It’s Not About Taking Off My Goddamn Shoes

Oh, what joyful timing. Here’s two headlines that came along (thanks, PeterK) that go right with today’s post I wrote over the weekend. The links are about a passenger harassed by TSA bullies for carrying some cash and refusing to be intimidated.

Here’s the first.

Here’s the other.

Oh, and here’s the link to another incident, right here in Dallas last week.

Preface: I wrote what follows in the midst of a storm of anger and furious indignation that hasn’t ebbed one bit.

This is offered with no apologies to anyone for anything, and contempt for everyone.


I hate to fly. It’s not the airplanes. It’s the airports. Specifically, the part we actually call “security” as provided by the make-work federal drones that constitute the Transportation Safety Administration.

img_0178I watch them. Groping, dirty apes. I watch what they do. And I watch how ordinary people – you know, you free citizens as we used to say without irony – react in to these little people with big badges on their hollow or otherwise obese chests.

I hate what everyone involved does. I hate what it all stands for. I hate the fact that it’s not going to change because we ask for it, and we don’t have any courage, self-respect or will to change it. Like every other victim in history, we’re getting exactly the kind of government we deserve because we either embrace it, or we’re too cowardly to fight it. That includes me.

I’m so mad right now I could strangle something.

The scene at airport security screening is a defining case study – a simple sentence diagram – of what’s gone wrong not just with government, but American people. It showcases the delusions we cling to, the lies we let the authorities tell us, the even worse lies we tell ourselves, the self-perpetuating circle of it all, the psychological destruction of our spirit, and the reality that the whole thing may – probably is – too far gone to change since we’re all complicit.

The main players in this farce are right there.

The first: The petty, most useless human types given unnatural, near unchecked authority that they lord over ordinary people, demanding respect and submission that no one is entitled to, and that they could not earn without their badge of office.

The second: The victims – the public – they pretend to serve, who give over their most precious possessions – their dignity, their self-respect, their rights, their spirit – all because those won’t fit in the overhead compartment. They give over what can’t be returned. Say thank you. Bow.

I don’t know which group is worse.

Played out every hour at every airport. Changing our very psychology and our nature. Making us a little less every time. The only thing it strengthens in us is our resolve to shore up our illusions as we parrot words we don’t even understand — words like freedom – while we wave flags and chant pledges like primitive tribes chanting to tree spirits.

We’ve become cargo cultists of liberty. The enabling wife who keeps going back to the abusive husband. “He’s really a good man. I made him do it. It’s for my own good.”

So no, it’s not about the goddamn shoes.

I don’t know if the farce at airport security is cause, effect, symptom or what. By itself, not the worst thing. Taken as a piece of the whole and a symbol of the totality of its impact? It’s everything wrong.

I’m not blaming any person, party, agency or group for this.

I’m blaming all of you. That includes me.

Long before Sept. 11, we were headed down the path that Ben Franklin warned about — way overused by bloggers so I won’t even type it, but you know what I mean — regarding liberty and security, and how you can’t have both. The aftermath of Sept. 11 just codified it and sanctified “safety” in our culture as a holy word. The name of some volcano god that we now serve and sacrifice to.

Funny thing is, the whole process of airport security? It just doesn’t work.

Period. Full stop.

The federally run security we have now – just the process – is a failure on the face of it. Internal audits tell the story of how easily the trained security test agents get everything from faux bomb parts to real guns through.

Hell, even mid-size market television reporters have snuck through with contraband. These are guys whose sole life experience is being a television reporter.

So just imagine what can a dedicated, hard man with a zealous belief and a few years experience in war, crime, or the bad side of black ops can do.

The kabuki theater of airport security isn’t there to stop the real threats. At best it’s a speed bump. It’s a little show make you feel good.

This is what you don’t hear much from the people behind the curtain. They know it’s easier to put on a show that squeezes the law-abiding passenger, rather than doing anything about the tiny population of skilled and dedicated bad guys who can get right past their kindergarten perimeter and their Maginot Lines.

Feel safer? Want to know how far down this rabbit hole goes?

Take a look at this attached picture back near the top. Not revealing where I got it, but it’s a nice, roughly 3.5-inch knife that someone carried right through screening at big international airport. The owner carries it every time that person flies.

Now, I’ll grant that it’s not one you’d want to rely on as your daily carry blade — it’s some kind of plastic, nylon, ceramic or composite deal. They’re hard to hone and breakable if not used properly. But they work. I’ve tested some of these “CIA letter openers” on slabs of meat and they can slice and stab right through flesh and meat. In the hands of someone who knows how to use it — that is, going for vital points and avoiding hitting bone — it’s as deadly as any steel blade. Not perfect for slitting a throat, but a jab to the neck will get the carotid or go right through the medium tissue protecting the windpipe. That serration ensures that even if you miss the carotid, once it’s in the neck it won’t take much to saw through to the sweet spot. Won’t go into the base of the skull for the quick, instant kill where you scramble the thinker eggs, but good enough to get the job done.

So there’s your security process. A shamanistic ritual, and nothing more.

That’s not the bad news.

The bad news is this sham is served up at a cost that is far, far worse than any butcher’s bill – and yes, that includes the butcher’s bill of September 11.

Yes, I said it. Someone has to. Get all indignant. I don’t care.

What airport security – stay with me, I’m using it as a metaphor for the big picture so don’t act stupid – what airport security does now is kill our soul and our spirit.

The whole thing is just downright humiliating if you have any pride at all. From top to bottom it’s an affront to the sensibilities of any free man or woman with even a thimble of self-respect.

Those of us over 30 are being taught with every trip to accept it a little more. And even the most ornery of us get a little more indifferent each time, resigning ourselves a step at a time. This is because most older adults remember when airport security was, while a little troublesome, something you still walked away from with your dignity. And the security people — employees of the airport without the arbitrary power to ruin your trip or your very life, and with more accountability and respect for us since they were mostly private or local government employees — actually treated passengers as both fellow citizens and valued customers. They didn’t look at us like serfs.

That’s the over 30ish crowd’s reality.

But what’s got me so seriously angry is that younger adults and especially children — my child, if you must know specifics — don’t know any other way. It drills into them the sickening idea that the natural state of things is submission to authority without question, to fear uniformed government employees, and that hey, that’s just how it is — government has arbitrary, almost unchecked power, and you better do as you’re told.

Whatever our ages, we are being taught to be obsequious, obedient, and to submit to degrading treatment, all in the name of the volcano god called safety. Even if it worked it’s not worth it.

605074-cartman_superWe queue up like farm animals. Strip our shoes, open our bags for searches without warrant or cause, and have our private things and bodies pawed and handled by people you wouldn’t let in your house or even shake your hand. We humble ourselves before government employees who we have come to fear because of the enormous and arbitrary power they have over us to force us to undergo even further humiliations — strip searches, pat down, delays created on a whim that can ruin your travel plans.

They get to treat free citizens like suspects and criminals. They can pull you out and have you put in cuffs at a word, with almost no accountability and no consequence. Simply because, what the hell, they’re having another bad day in a lifetime of bad days, and they already yelled at a waitress and kicked the dog, so now it’s your turn.

We – you and me and everyone – fear asserting ourselves, our rights, and our dignity because one cross look at those petty TSA drones and you can be off your flight, in a holding cell, and on the terror watch or no-fly list. (And let’s not even go into the issue of the ridiculous rise of property theft since the TSA pickpockets took over.)

These lowlifes can search our hard drives and digital pics on return from international travel, rifling through personal, financial, confidential and private effects without warrant, cause, or reason. They have the power to seize even moderate sums of cash and put you through the medieval ordeal of civil asset forfeiture.

We get treated like criminals and suspects and potential threats, and before long, that’s how we start seeing the people around us. And then ourselves.

How many of us say anything beyond a whisper of disgust — when well out of earshot, of course, since you have no freedom of speech at airports either?

Most of you embrace it. A few resent it quietly. And even those few who seethe over it – we take it too. And we come back again for another helping of humiliation.

We’re all cowards.

This is how the process kills our souls.

And worse, we’ve come to accept that the very most basic rights we have – those specifically detailed in the first half of the Bill of Rights — do not apply if “safety” is invoked, or some crap about implied consent is said.

When exactly did airports become Constitution-free zones?

Oh, you’ll cite necessity. Yell “September 11” and show your “Never Forget” bumper sticker. Screw you, and screw that.

The protections you – we – so quickly surrender – those rights – were put in writing for exactly these kind of extremes. Our rights aren’t enshrined for sunny days and ordinary occasions. It’s for the worst of times.

Those rights were enshrined and are most important when everything goes to shit. It’s not a luxury. It’s not there for when it’s convenient.

There’s a name for the kind of government where your rights are suspended every time the authorities make claims of “national security” or “public safety.”

There’s also a name for the role we’ve embraced. Our forefathers and their soldiers gave their lives and fortunes to reject it.

“Our forefathers.”

Let’s not kid ourselves. The side that fought for freedom made war on their own government over a goddamn tax stamp and a list of injustices that, frankly, these days would be a relief if it was all we had to deal with.

Look, face it, sunshine. The side that fought for dignity, freedom and the very rights we toss the minute there’s a hint of danger was just one-third of all American colonists.

One-third of the people didn’t care either way.

That last third were the willing servants content with being ruled and protected. They’re modern America’s real forefathers.

We just take it. We even help them justify and rationalize it. Long as we get to vote on one of two parties and pick our new royalty, we can call it freedom even though they do as they please.

Why? Because we also embrace the delusion that freedom is in the ballot box, and not the Constitution, which is supposed to be a limit on them, not a blank check on us.

The whole ugly rotten farce of it all, played out right there at airport security, showing you exactly the toll the sham takes.

Old con. Nothing new.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. – H. L. Mencken

It’s getting worse, naturally.

How are you loving the idea of your wife, your young son, or your grandfather going through one of the new X-ray scanners that allows these bottom-feeders to look right through their clothes at their naked bodies?

You’ll get used to it.

Look, I’m mad, not stupid. I know that terrorists and criminals can do a lot of evil. But while they can kill, they can’t take your rights and your dignity. Only one thing can do that and claim it’s for your own good, and all nice and legal.

I’m not saying give up on security at airports. But let’s also look at what made possible Sept. 11 before anyone starts waving the bloody shirt.

1) Every passenger except the hijackers was disarmed. And we’re not talking super-genius hijackers, and yet they got blades aboard. Just blades. Which work when you know that everyone else doesn’t have one. (This is why schools are a favorite of psycho shooters, by the way. As “gun-free zones” they know they have a massing of targets that won’t shoot back. Few mass shooters pick gun stores and police stations for their venue, no matter how crazy they are. Funny, isn’t it?)

2) The policy preached to passengers, air crews and — to this day by most police to citizens — is “don’t fight back.” Disarm, and don’t fight back. Let us government people handle it.

This is why what happened on United 93 is all the more heroic and amazing — those men and women there did what should be natural to anyone facing any threat but we’ve been taught is wrong – they took the law into their own hands and they fought back.

So fine, big man, what’s your answer?

I don’t know. Not here to provide every detail.

But I do know the overriding objective and the first priority should be the rights, dignity and just basic respect for people. It’s our right to be considered innocent until proven guilty, to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and that no claim of security justifies treating people like threats to be neutralized, or suspects just for breathing.

Here’s a few ideas.

Turn all security back over to individual airports to be run, administered, or contracted out as they please.

There are tests for explosives that are neither invasive nor require stripping your shoes or people rummaging through your stuff like Michael Jackson sneaking into a daycare. Use them.

Here’s a thought you knew was coming: Empower passengers by allowing those with state-issued CHLs to carry their sidearm on flights. Don’t even start about Wild West shootouts at 50,000 feet. You tried that one when they passed CHLs, only the venue was parking lots. Oh, and if you think a bullet hole causes explosive decompression you’ve been watching too many movies.

How much trouble would someone make if they knew others may be around them able and equipped to stop them? Look, you know it’s not even hard to get knives on planes, so you’re already at greater risk.

Details are unimportant. The purpose of the policies – and what we place precedence on – is what’s doing real harm.

Because it’s not about the goddamn shoes.

It’s about what we’ve all created that leaves you weaker and less…just, less. Less. For every encounter.

Could my ideas slightly increase the danger in flying? Maybe. Then I remember that security now doesn’t do anything to stop people from things like, you know, flying with knives.

Look, we’re all gonna die of something, and the truth is for most people the biggest danger is from being a fat ass and a lazy slob.

Pass all the laws you want. Death won’t stop. It doesn’t care.

When did we stop caring about how we live?

I’d like to think instead of breaking us down, it’s going to get to the point we push back. We draw a line. We say, “No more. We want it back. We won’t be tagged, pushed, stripped, numbered, or intimidated. Keep it up, and you’ll see what’s inside us.”

But I don’t think there’s anything inside us. We’re getting exactly what we want and deserve.

Goddammit all.

How can people be so scared of death when they’re already dead inside?

UPDATE: A good friend just pointed out something in the links at the top, which counters my dour conclusion and offers a spark of hope. Thanks to technology — a phone audio recording made by the guy victimized by the TSA thug — there’s a slim hope that if we have any spirit left in us and any desire to stop living the lie that the TSA protects us, maybe we “can level the playing field.” But that requires having enough dignity left to care when it’s put right there in front of you.


  1. Steve says:

    Standing. Clapping.

    Honest to God. I just pushed my chair back, stood up and applauded you.

  2. keith johnson says:

    My Father-in-law, an Annapolis graduate and successfully retired businessman in his ’70′s, was jacked up by the goons at the St Louis airport. I suspect he was plucked out of the crowd so those idiots could demonstrate that they weren’t “profiling” (an overused and stagnant term).
    I’ve been reading your work since I met you and today’s blog is the finest piece imo that you’ve written to date; If more Americans expressed that raw emotion and righteous indignation that you do in this article our country wouldn’t be circling the drain.

  3. Lisa says:

    Heart beating. Mind screaming.

    Thank you, Trey.

  4. FanFan says:

    Doesn’t matter. It’s for our own good.
    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
    C. S. Lewis

  5. Andy says:


  6. keith johnson says:

    Spot on FanFan. They’re crushing the tobacco industry, a profitable free market industry, “for the good of its victims.”

  7. Bob says:

    Who forced you to take the fucking plane anyway? Why aren’t you out there driving your gas-guzzler, racing the engine and smoking the tires? Only sissies take the plane and bitch about it later. Get over yourself. Your starting to sound like a liberal.

  8. amanda says:

    Hey…I resisted to a boobie feel. The TSA doesn’t like that. I don’t like to be fondled by some dude with a GED. MBA…maybe.

    Anyway, they are thugs. Love this post.

  9. Michael in LH says:

    Bob – I think this whole rant was about you.

  10. TWylite says:

    It sounds like you flied through Franz Kafka International Airport…
    Maybe you should book trips through Spain instead, and go through Salvador Dali Memorial Airport. They are a bit more relaxed about the flight schedules. Avoid M.C. Escher Interdimensional Airport in the Netherlands, though. One wrong turn in the terminal can lead to hours of going in circles. And their stairways are positively unsafe.

  11. Laurel says:

    Thanks for writing this. You captured my frustration and then some. What’s worse, I just keep silent while the wheelchair bound are forced to struggle through the scanner or be frisked, and children and grandmas are treated like criminals. Why? Because I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I hate what airport security procedures have done to all of us.

  12. Bob says:

    FAce it, you’re not really upset about civil rights and personal dignity, you’re pissed off because the process of flying your lazy, impatient asses to Las Vegas for more booze and buffets takes an extra 10 minutes.

    Guns for everyone on airplanes – what a completely idiotic idea. You don’t like delays? Walk, take a bus, drive your fucking Tahoe with the DVD player. Who says its your God-given right to fly anyway?

  13. Craig T says:

    Amen Brother. AMEN!!

  14. Craig T says:

    Looking at my comment I see it appears I am saying Amen to Bob.
    Let me Clarify;

    Amen brother Trey…AMEN!!!!

  15. As a person who flys every week for work, I would agree that the process has slowed down a great deal by the security measures. As a person of “height” 6’8″, flying is already a challange because the airlines have determined that in order to cram enough people into the regional jets to make them profitable, they have designed the seating to accommodate Hobbits.

    Bob…some of us fly out of necessity, I have never flown to Vegas…and flying isn’t optional if I want to keep my job and feed the family. Not being a liberal democrat, I don’t see being welfare recipient as an option…so I continue to fly.

    I have learned that the TSA people act differently depending on the airport. In Omaha they are generally pretty friendly. In Chicago..not so much.

    We do live in a country where the vast majority of people are not in tune with the ideas of liberty. The last election proves that….so I don’t really see a general uprising to overthrow the nanny state. Hell most of the people are lining up to interview the nannies and hand their lives over to them.

    I am not sure what the solutions are…if indeed their are any short of leaving….but the imbecile classes are the majorities in all the other countries just like this one so there really isn’t anyplace to migrate too. Most of the people in the world have decided that those who succeed are their for the purpose of fleecing for their assets. The USA was the last holdout until this year.

    If we all moved to someplace remote…like Nevada or Wyoming, elected state and local governments without any socialists or liberals or statist leaning conservatives…I am certain that the federal government would invade and force us to accept collective rule. I am just glad I got to witness some measure of personal liberty growing up….I fear my grandchildren won’t be so lucky.

  16. Bob says:

    “I hate what everyone involved does. I hate what it all stands for.”

    See, if you really hated “what it stands for,” you’d know that those “thugs” are just schmucks like you and me who need a job and are basically just doing what their bosses order them to do, even if they do get snippy at times. And as someone who’s making a career of snippy, you should be all about that. Your righteous anger really should be aimed at the Department of Homeland Security and the ideology that led to its creation, and not the lowly Lindie Englands of TSA inconveniencing you at the airport on your way to Vegas.

  17. Right over your head, huh, Bob?

  18. Carter Class of '72 says:

    Awww, Bob the JBT Lover appears to have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.

    Thanks Trey. I’ve gotten so tired and disgusted with the airport kabuki theater that I no longer fly unless absolutely necessary. I drive where ever I need to go if time allows. Besides the convenience of being able to set my own itinerary and drive my own vehicle, I can carry my own means of self defense. Too bad I have to wait until next year for the new rule allowing licensed concealed carry in national parks to go into effect. I’ll bet Bob will be just as apoplectic about that as well.

  19. Bob says:

    Right over your head, huh, Bob?

    Yeah, that’s it.

  20. BarbaraB says:

    Trey, you sound exactly like my son who just got off a plane from Brazil where he lives with his wife with his 21 month old son. In 2 plane changes in the US, he not only had to take off his shoes, he had to take off and put on his son’s tiny shoes, twice. He had no place to put him to take them off or put them on since he was carrying him. He’s a Libertarian so he was especially steamed about that whole drama at the airports. He also said they were rude and officious to boot !

    We seldom fly any more either unless going overseas. I have a hip replacement which sets off the damn machines every time so I have to get wanded because of the titanium. So much fun to stand in front of a million people and have that wand shoved almost everywhere.

    Just found out I have to have the hip removed before cremation. What a POS. Maybe I would start a nuclear reaction????

  21. Robert Guest says:


    Great piece, a triumph in a sea of blog mediocrity.


    Why can’t social conservatives tell the difference between liberals and libertarians?


  22. Bob says:

    Why can’t social conservatives tell the difference between liberals and libertarians?

    Because there’s really not that much difference, especially in this case.

  23. towski says:

    Team Bob.

    Oh, and the “right over your head” rejoinder was exceptionally weak.

  24. Bob says:

    Trey obviously thinks I’ve missed the point(s) of his latest rant; I don’t think I have. But then, if magazine writers carrying concealed handguns on flights is the logical alternative to hollow-chested TSA thugs, then maybe I want to miss the point.

  25. Robert Guest says:


    You’re right, they are one and the same, my bad. There is really no difference between Trey Garrison and A. Huffington, or between Barack Obama and Ron Paul.

    Sarah Palin 2012!!


  26. Dommerdog says:

    Amen, Trey; but I wish screaming from the windows, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” worked as well in real life as it did in the movies.

    What you described, what we’ve all experienced when we fly, is not the same as necessary increased security implemented to protect us from another 9-11. It’s a very expensive and maddening exercise in political correctness that uses the enhanced dartboard method (everybody screened but a few randomly pulled out for extra screening) of violating personal freedom in hopes of catching terrorists. It’s not the young mother with bottles of breastmilk, the little old white haired lady, the former vice president, the rabbi, the schoolkids, or the rapper that hijaciked those planes.

    I’ve got my own stories, e.g., being asked to remove a lightweight poncho I was wearing as a shirt (with nothing underneath) over my jeans; having my carryon dumped with the security guard screaming “alarm” because a bottle of baby powder had spilled, and he thought I was transporting loose anthrax (that event held up an entire flight out of Farmington, NM, to Denver).

    One of my children is a military trained explosives expert, certified in biological, chemical, and nuclear. It aggravates her every time she has to unpack her laptop so it can roll through x-ray. She says the equipment can see what it needs to see through the carrying case.

    So Trey, I’m mad as hell and wish I didn’t have to take it any more; but how does a movement that has teeth get started? It’s easy to blame those whose life’s mission is to protect us from everything (especially ourselves) – probably because they’re responsible. But who the heck’s going to stand up and tell them the emperor’s naked? Who’s going to stand with them?

    And then what?

  27. Bob says:

    “You’re right, they are one and the same, my bad. There is really no difference between Trey Garrison and A. Huffington, or between Barack Obama and Ron Paul.”

    And by your specious logic, there’s no difference between Trey Garrison and Ron Paul?

  28. Steve says:


    I think you’re too stupid to even understand you’re own insults. Your so far out in left field right now that you’re comments are nothing more than white noise. Take a time out; regroup; organize your thoughts; and come back when you can form a cogent argument.

  29. Deep Ellum says:

    Bob, “You don’t hurt ‘em if you don’t hit ‘em.” – Lieutenant-General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller USMC.

    The TSA is a low-end jobs program that will not get rid of itself. It will take festering anger to leech it out of the body. If we let something like that remain, it will grow.

    The TSA is universally viewed as ineffective, and recognized by most that it was but one of several manifestations wrought from the use of Fear as a tool of governance.

    We now have a new team in the White House, but to illustrate the mutation process, the new Homeland Security chief has turned the guard inboard – returning veterans, right-wing zealots, the TEA Party crowd, and generally a big slug of the American demographic is considered potential enemies of the state and should be covertly monitored.

    If I read you correctly, you are merely expanding the Garrison chain gun to the larger apparatus.

    If we do not eject this hideous internal security monster, it will come off the table and we will not be able to control it. Frankenstein has been electrified.

  30. Bob says:

    God you people are obtuse. Where were all you phony libertarians after 9-11 when Cheney was ramming all this odious legislation down our throats? I don’t recall Garrison writing a single thing about it. I guess he was too busy drag racing and polishing his ‘gun’ like the other bad-boy teens.

  31. Frank R says:

    In my last job I had to travel by plane. At first I saw the TSA as a necessary evil. The more I traveled, however, the more aggravated I got at the inconsistencies. Some airports had very efficient TSA personnel who did their job with a minimum of fuss and tried their best to move people along quickly. At others the people were downright lazy, either indifferent or over zealous in the performance of their duties.
    I went through dozens of checks when one day my luggage was pulled aside. The TSA person dug deep and found in my shaving kit a small pair of snub nosed scissors. She showed them to a very bushy browed manager to told her to confiscate them. This pair of scissors had made many trips and would be completely useless as a weapon. My ballpoint pen made a better weapon. I had another TSA agent dig out my stick deodorant. Why? Because it was cylindrical in shape. He let me keep it, but told me to warn them if I thought something was in there that they might think could be dangerous. Yeah, right! I switched deordorants.
    The no profiling thing is also ridiculous. Minetta instituted it under Bush. It was stupid then and is stupid now. Also, the maximum of 3 ozs of fluid. How brilliant is this? How many 9/11 hijackers were there? How many 3 oz bottles can on fit in a 1 qt zip lock bag? Wouldn’t it be possible for hijackers to regroup and mix those together. Further, just how much fluid would it take to make a explosive dangerous on a pressurized plane flying at 30,000 feet?
    It isn’t just the creation of the TSA, it’s the inconsistency and idiocy of the rules it is trying to enforce that need review.

  32. Joe Schneider says:

    You know how Al-queda and Bin Ladin really aren’t on their game? Once they saw what we had to go through because someone made a shoe into a bomb, the next logical step would have one of their operatives hide a bomb in a personal body cavity and INTENTIONALLY GET CAUGHT. Air traffic would have ground to a halt while we all submitted to full body cavity searches. Or maybe they knew we’d have revolted at that point so they left us with the half-as* system we have today laughing every day at what they’ve created? Terror is about achieving an objective through fear. I’d say the terrorists are winning because our response is what they want.

  33. Anonymous Man says:

    The government should mandate total nudity and complete sedation for all passengers and crew.

    Then we’ll be safe.

  34. Daniel says:

    (munching on bread) Did somebody say something about the circus coming to town?

  35. Chad says:

    Trey, I think this piece is excellent. Rough and raw, letting emotion show through on a rant about the indecency and humiliation of this process is exactly what is called for.

    Normally, I’d keep in check my pointed jabs, but for crying out loud, Bob. Just because YOU weren’t paying attention to Libertarians after 9/11 does not mean we were not piping up. Oh, wait, are you omnipresent? Sorry, God, let me bow to you.

    If you don’t know the difference between a liberal (statist) and a Libertarian, yes this all goes over your head, and you are an idiot. A liberal LIBERATES the restrictions built in to the Constitution. A Libertarian is one who believes in personal LIBERTY afforded in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    Get a clue, man.

  36. Bob says:

    “A liberal LIBERATES the restrictions built in to the Constitution. A Libertarian is one who believes in personal LIBERTY afforded in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

    No kidding? So any schoolkid who can mumble all the way to “…liberty and justice for all” is a libertarian. Given what passes for libertarian thought in this forum, that seems about right.

  37. Chad says:

    Just because the kids are taught to parrot it, does not mean that they believe it. Most of the public educational system is set up to indoctrinate kids into the socially irresponsible activity of group think, i.e. liberalism. You are a prime example of that.

    What exactly is your idea of libertarian thought, and how should it change?

    I can point out the hipocricies of “liberalism” and “conservativism” all day long, my friend. There are also a few in the “libertarian” frame of thought, but they are few and far between. When the choices are statism on both sides of the aisle, just in different forms, one really does simply choose between the lesser of two evils when they vote for someone other than a Libertarian or Independent. Personally, I think the framers of the Constitution (you were there for that also, were you not, oh omnipresent one?) had the best shot to come up with the best idea, and they did better than anyone has to date. What exactly is wrong with following said document and it’s built-in limitations? As someone new to this particular board, I don’t know what you consider, “what passes for libertarian thought in this forum”.

    Enlighten us, oh great one.

  38. Rawlins Gilliland says:

    I see your points. But after traveling a gillion miles…and most assuredly after taking a post 9/11 flight through Heathrow on American Airlines to Cairo for f__ing hold your breath sakes, I’m just happy when the plane doesn’t crash. As long as I make my flight and I land safely and get reunited with my bag(s), I look for bigger fish to fry in my bubbling grease head caldron. Generally speaking, my travel experiences at airports has been annoying but smooth. Except that time I tried to carry on a 16 ounce water bottle.

    Truth? My real irritants were pre-9/11 when I traveled often to an from Colombia 1992-2000. I was strip searched more than once in Miami and detained several times in Colombia. I was in Colombia to see friends and dance. Somehow that was never the right answer.


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