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Air Port Insecurity
This is just a quick account of some events the other day with very little reflection. June and I were at the Indianapolis airport the other day, getting ready to leave California. First off, the woman checking my boarding pass was unnecessarily rude. I stood at the designated waiting spot keeping my sharp eyes, recently enhanced by new trifocals, and my unsurpassed peripheral vision keenly focused on both her and her colleague. As soon as she called next, I immediately stepped forward, driven by my neurotic need to be liked, only to be subjected to her sharp tongue chastening me for not paying attention. I haven't been this disappointed since about two months ago when someone opposed to the filioque clause in the Nicaean Creed endowed me with an explicit cloacal identity. But again I digress.
Still maintaining my good humor I proceeded to the station where I customarily make use of several trays for the inspection of all of my carry-on luggage, take off my shoes, remove my belt, extract my laptop, and do whatever other things are necessary for me in order to protect Muslim terrorists from people such as myself, I guess. June had wound up in another lane, and there was a woman behind me who appeared not to be as encumbered as I was, and, of course, I let her go ahead of me. How could I know that she was wearing sandals, each of which was secured with two buckles, neither of which she could open. (I imagine that her feet had swollen from standing in line.) Finally I thought it was my turn to walk through the beeping gate--but no, I was called into an open booth where I was asked to undergo certain low-level gymnastics, reminiscent of a neurological exam. When I was finished posing as a ballerina in various stances, I thought I was done--but wrong again.
Now I had to step forward in order to receive the manual scrotal exam. This procedure appears to be a new feature they introduced since that gentlemen last December accidentally set off explosives cleverly hidden next to his genitalia. I would have thought that his case had made it clear to any potential terrorists that it was a very, very bad idea to repeat such an attempt, but the management of TSA obviously thinks otherwise. The expression "closing the barn door after the oxen have left" comes to mind, but, if you think about it, it doesn't apply here, given the nature of what exactly turns a bull into an ox. The gentleman undertaking the inspection told me that he was doing his job in order to keep all Americans safe, which bothered me somewhat since, even though I am proud to be an American, I think 1) all people should be kept safe, and 2) there are more effective and respectable ways of doing so than to touch my private parts. Do you remember the big to-do over the sexual perversions foisted on our prisoners of war a few years ago? That was creepy. This is creepier.
Add to that feeling of revulsion my general objection to functionaries and their ilk--who, as far as I'm concerned occupy a very different category than law enforcement personnel, for whom I have deep respect--and I didn't surprise myself totally when I heard myself voicing my objection to him. I informed him that I had Parkinson's, that his procedure was putting a great strain on my body (I was shaking pretty severely by then) and I questioned his dignity. I freely admit that I had crossed the line with that last part, I mean how would I know that he had any dignity to question? In any event, when he let me go, I picked up my things out of the extra tray into which I had been made to put several non-metallic items and then gently tossed the tray back onto the chair on which it had resided. Well, as I'm sure you realize, these trays are made to slide. Thus it did not stick to the chair but serenely skipped off it and continued on the floor for another ten feet or so. The gentlemen who was protecting America from me interpreted this event as an aggressive maneuver on my part and pushed his alarm button. Immediately a higher-level functionary appeared. He and Captain Protector conferred; June joined in and spoke up on my behalf, and I was allowed to proceed to the gate.
What can I say? I showed poor judgment by voicing an opinion in this, the land of the free. I should be a good citizen and be thankful that these devoted fellow-citizens are working hard and are putting up with people like me so that we can all continue to live in peace and freedom. Woops! There's the problem. (Again I have to forgo another common saying, i.e. "There's the rub," because of the nature of the situation.) You don't protect freedom by continuing to give up your freedom and making happy-talk about it. Let me assure you that for the people who gain something by increasing "security" measures, such as employment, self-importance, and the chance to wear a cool uniform, this is just the beginning. Just think how much more convenient it would be if, instead of going through this airport procedure, they could inspect your home from time to time.
But how do we put a stop to this slippery slope? -- Awe, do I really have to tell you again? I made this point several times a couple of years ago. There are more elections coming up. Be sure to vote for all the incumbents, that's how. Right?
Actually, I have some other ideas as well, but--since we Americans are simply too nice and trusting not to believe our leaders (many of whom are naive and nice as well), and since it would require a certain amount of understanding of Islamic thinking--I believe I'll save the bandwidth. My ideas would not involve curtailing any person's civil rights within their country of citizenship, nor anyone's human rights, but it would place the burden of protecting the world from Islamic terrorists on all Islamic nations, particularly the so-called moderate ones, because only they can make a difference.
As long as we reward moderate Islamic nations to turn a blind eye to Qutbism and other forms of Neokharijite Islam, this situation is going to continue.
Back to the blog entry to which this post is related.