Sunday, November 21, 2010

When Logic Prevails

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.

- Laurence J. Peter

In an interview regarding the legality of invasive searches without first obtaining a warrant, as per the protocol secured by the Fourth Amendment in our nation's founding constitution, a law professor from Illinois (no, not him; his title wasn't "professor", it was "lecturer") said this, as excerpted from an article in the Christian Science Monitor:

“Are the conditions that you’re consenting to so draconian and so unreasonable that there’s a Fourth Amendment problem?” asks William Schroeder, a professor of law at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. “I don’t think that argument is going to carry the day, given that people have hidden bombs on their bodies in ways that cannot be found through less invasive searches.”

'You don't have to fly'

At the heart of the issue is consent, says Professor Schroeder. Have people consented to this search, simply by buying a ticket? "I certainly understand why people are not altogether pleased about it,” says Schroeder, but “you’ve consented. You don’t have to fly – that’s your choice.”
So according to professor Schroeder, if you've consented to be in a certain place at a certain time for a certain reason, then what ever befalls you is OK, since you consented to be there. And since attackers have succeeded in defying this particular screening method by carrying bombs internally, our government should spend hundreds of millions to subject you to their ineffectiveness in an effort to prove that the average passenger is as harmless and/or sheep-minded as we all suspected they were before the screening. Brilliant.
  • Don't call the police if you're the victim of a home invasion, since you decided to buy a home in an area that was not certifiably guaranteed to be crime proof. You consented to be there and you don't have to live in a house. "That's your choice"
  • If your credit card information is misused by the clerk in the store, don't report it since you gave them your card,  knowing that this type of abuse was not unknown. "That's your choice"
  • If your child is abducted or molested, you can't complain since, when you took your eyes off them, you knew that such things were possible and you consented to place them in the circumstances that led to the horror."That's your choice"
So be forewarned: if you attempt to use your consumer spending with an airline, feeling good about helping an industry which fights for its survival, as a result of the damage done to it by terrorists, don't expect to be treated as a helpful, beneficent American with "certain inalienable rights".
Rather, expect to be treated as the enemy.
"That's your choice"

Professor Schroeder doesn't expect the argument of your right to freedom from unwarranted search to "carry the day given that people have hidden bombs on their bodies in ways that cannot be found through less invasive searches.” [note to Prof. Shroeder: bombs have been gotten through this type of scanner by Israeli security forces, proving that they are a false security, the worst kind! ] The people that have actually done this hateful bombing stuff have all been devout and faithful, Koran-observant Muslims, at least as regards the killing of "monkeys and pigs", as their "holy book" refers to Christians and Jews.

Director John Pistole, prepared to grope and probe

One of the best definitions of "intelligence" is
"The observation of data and drawing a valid conclusion".
Since the effectiveness of a search would be increased greatly by intelligently recognizing a pattern and focusing on that pattern, then to not do so would diminish the effectiveness of the search. This, at best, would seem to be malfeasance on the part of Janet Napolitano and the TSA. Or perhaps incompetence,  if not sheer malice, as there are documented cases of people avoiding security and stowing away in the wheel wells of planes,. The TSA says that this is the only way that they can secure our safety. This the only way THEY can secure our safety is not the same as IT is the only way to secure our safety. There is a distinction, yet there were many distinctions regarding the election of 2008 that readily flew over  lot of cuckoo nests, unnoticed. Their presumption is your assumption that if they've chosen a method, intrinsically, it must be best. If we were to outsource our airport security to an agency that has a better track record than the TSA, we would be prudent to do so. Israel has mastered the art of airport security combined with public support without sacrificing the dignity of its citizens. They have foiled  these type of scanners and therefore consider them to be unreliable. And, as terrorists continually outwit the latest detection methods (now storing explosives anally, undetected by skin-scanners), wholesale use of these too-expensive machines does more to further cripple our economy alienate customers than it does to enhance our safety.

Inasmuch as we are treated as if we were the enemy while having our safety diminished by the decisions made by the TSA under the authority of the President, it is clear who the TSA thinks the enemy is, thereby defining who they are to the American citizen: his enemy.

And Obama's least favorite author had this to say on the subject:

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
-Thomas Jefferson
And, as Janet Napolitano referred to this abatement of rights as an "inconvenience", Mr. Jefferson had this to say:

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. -Thomas Jefferson

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