Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Defeat S.510 (The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act)

I oppose S.510 for a few reasons:

1 - It is unconstitutional because it regulates in-state commerce. The federal government has no business regulating in-state commerce!

2 - The problem this bill intends to fix are caused only by large international and interstate food companies. They are the ones that brought us chicken and eggs with salmonella, poisoned peanut butter, toxic dog food, and green onions and jalapenos with hepatitis ridden.

3 - In spite of the fact that giant companies have caused the problem with food safety, the expense and paperwork this new legislation will require will likely put thousands of small farms and food production companies out of business.

4 - While I am opposed to much of what S.510 will do, most of these regulations already exist!

5 - Giants such as Monsanto, Conagra, and Tyson support S.510 it even though it will raise their costs. Why? The costs are easy to absorb with economy of scale and most of them are already doing this type of tracking for marketing and logistics purposes. They know it will eliminate the competition of the small farmers and producers.

6 - This bill doesn’t make food safer anyway -- it is about tracking food after someone gets sick.

7 - Why must everything be a federal crime?

Instead of focusing doing something about everything (I say gridlock in Congress is good), perhaps Congress should focus on undoing everything wrong it has done over the past 100+ years. That would probably reduce the cost of government by about 90% and make everyone's life a whole lot better.

I urge Congress and the acting president to reject S.510 and anything like it and the inclusion of any of its provision in any other legislation.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Reject Andrew Traver to run BATFE

I strongly oppose the nomination of Andrew Traver to head BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives). The BATFE is just one of several out-of-control federal agencies that run roughshod over the rights of innocent citizens. Traver one of the people that make the BATFE the corrupt organization that it is.

Traver participated in an extremely deceptive NBC "news" report wherein fully-automatic arms were falsely portrayed as widely available to gangs. Traver must surely know that virtually all so-called assault weapons available in the US, including the AK-47, are not capable of full-automatic fire as shown in the NBC-Traver propaganda video. He surely must know that so-called assault weapons are rarely the choice of criminals because they are difficult to conceal. He also must surely know that no criminal can legally buy a gun anyway. These simple facts apparently are anathema to him and his agenda.

Traver has long been deeply aligned with gun control advocates and anti-gun activities. This further makes him the wrong choice to lead an enforcement agency that has almost exclusive oversight and control over the firearms industry, its retailers, and consumers.

Traver has not demonstrated the judgment and objectivity necessary to lead any law-enforcement agency, let alone the BATFE. Instead, he has a history of deep hostility toward a freedom that is so essential that it is specifically protected in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

Traver, as a BATFE agent, has sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Yet, his history shows to be one of its most dangerous enemies.

Like Traver, each Senator has a sworn duty to defend the Constitution. For this purpose, the Constitution gives the Senate the critical role of confirming or rejecting presidential nominations. To fulfill their mandate to protect the Constitution from the tyranny of an anti-Constitution president, each Senator has an obligation to reject the confirmation any anti-Constitution nominee. This includes Andrew Traver who must be denied any leadership position in the US government, especially the BATFE.

Every Senator must insist that, in the future, the current acting president as well as all future presidents nominate only individuals with a solid record of supporting and defending the US Constitution and of interpreting it as it was intended by the founders.

There must be no compromise. Compromise on principles always moves the nation in the wrong direction albeit more slowly that the opposition desires.

The Gang

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The curse of earmarks - a mere symptom of the problem

According to Wikipedia,
"...an earmark is a legislative (especially congressional) provision that directs approved funds to be spent on specific projects, or that directs specific exemptions from taxes or mandated fees....Typically, a legislator seeks to insert earmarks that direct a specified amount of money to a particular organization or project in his/her home state or district. Earmarks are often considered synonymous with "pork barrel" legislation, although the two are not necessarily the same.
Although widely abused in Congress, earmarks actually comprise a relatively small portion of the bloated federal government (reportedly less than 2 percent of the federal budget). It is because of this relative insignificance that politicians historically justify the practice.

In response to voter outrage over government spending, it has finally become fashionable in Republican political circles to eschew earmarks.

While I believe it is absolutely essential that we get the federal government and its budget under control -- and controlling earmarks is a part of that budgetary process -- I oppose earmarks for reasons that politicians and most other voters fail to acknowledge:

1 - The problem is not that federal tax money is spent. The problem is that the money is spent on State or local projects that should be State or locally driven and funded. The federal government has no Constitutional role in State or local affairs. In fact, the federal government is specifically prohibited from State and local matters by the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution.

2 - Earmarks are used to buy the loyalty of State and local politicians. Earmarks bribe them into accepting the federal "strings" attached to the funds. Consequently, State and local politicians cede precious sovereignty and power to the federal government. The closer the workings of government are to the people, the better control the people have over government. For this reason, the founders established clear and specific limits over the federal government and retained all other rights and responsibilities to the States and the people (9th and 10th Amendments).

3 - Because of all the "free" money pouring in from earmarks, State and local governments tend to build projects their constituents don't really need or projects that are much more extravagant than their constituents need. These projects are often of such a scale that the beneficiary States or communities can't even afford to operate and maintain them.

4 - Earmarks are often offered to members of Congress to entice them to vote for a bill they otherwise might not vote for. It is a corrupt soul who would sell his vote for an earmark, and there certainly seems to be no shortage of such corruption in the halls of Congress.

5 - There is no transparency or accountability in the system. Congressional members funnel hundreds of millions of dollars for pet projects without subjecting them to debate by their colleagues in the Congress, or to the scrutiny and oversight of the public. Congressmen use earmarks to secretly reward their biggest campaign contributors and even family members!

As I mentioned above, earmarks comprise less than 2 percent of the federal budget. Therefore, the Republican effort to curb earmarks is essentially a slight-of-hand to distract us from the real problem: an excessively intrusive, expensive, and wasteful federal government. I say the same for all "balanced-budget" proposals which in reality don't do anything to cut government.

In its early years, the federal government only needed about 4 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Now, it engorges itself on 20 percent of GDP (or 43 percent of each American's gross income) and wants more and more and more. While tackling earmarks seems a noble quest, it only addresses a minor symptom of the true problem. If the federal income tax were abolished altogether, the federal government would only need to shrink to its size of just over 10 years ago!

What we really need is politicians who will eliminate all federal agencies, legislation, rules, policies, and executive orders that exceed the authority delegated to the federal government by the people. I suspect that doing so would reduce the cost of the federal government back to around 4 percent of GDP (Dr. Walter Williams would allow a generous 10 percent). The States and our communities would need to increase their own tax revenue to pay for the services that currently and illegitimately are paid by the federal government. Think of all the good that States and communities could do if that money ceased to flow through the federal government and instead flowed from the people directly to their community and State governments. Think of the greater control the people would have over that flow (except in places like California where voters seem to have no desire to control their government whatsoever). Since that money is very likely to be spent more efficiently, States and communities would leave a lot more money in the pockets of the people. And, think of all the good that we, the people could do for ourselves, our families, and our neighbors if we could keep more of our personal GDP.

If we, the people fail to demand that of Congress, we have no standing to whine about our tax burden and our loss of individual liberty.

Abolish the TSA and DHS

As an airline pilot, I fully appreciate having a reasonable level of security screening at airports. However, the people's 4th Amendment rights must be protected!
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The TSA (Transportation Security Agency) has long deviated from the limits of reasonableness. It treats every traveler and every flight crew member as if he is on the FBI's 10-Most-Wanted list -- without the probable cause demanded by the 4th Amendment. Its ongoing trend indicates it is nothing if not another rogue out-of-control government agency created in the Frankenstein lab we call Congress. And, what is the probable cause that the overwhelming majority of travelers have committed, or are about commit, a crime justifying the level of government-mandated assault -- now including sexual assault -- imposed upon them?

Where in the Constitution did Frankenstein (Congress) find authority to nationalize a government-monitored free-enterprise security system into a full-fledged government bureaucratic monster, anyway?

TSA policies and regulations clearly indicate that the best DHS Secretary Janet “The system worked” Napolitano and TSA Administrator John Pistole can come up with are intrusive techniques intended to stop the last threat to aviation. It is extremely expensive theater designed to give the appearance of security to the citizens and to the threat.

The government seems to have the notion that buying an airline ticket give implied consent to the government for any level of search. The government posts signs indicating that all persons and items are subject to search. Passing such signs give implied consent to any level of search. Unlike Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, we, in the US, have a natural right to travel. But, we have blindly allowed our government to twist that natural right to travel into a government-granted privilege! I am saddened that the people of the United States have willingly submitted to ever increasingly intrusive government searches like a flock of sheep.

A very frightening aspect of this egregious institutionalized violation of Constitutional rights is that every individual TSA employee is apparently fully willingly to violate the God-given rights of another human being. They are only following orders, after all. Or, perhaps each TSA employee is on such a power trip that violating the rights of another person brings him sadistic pleasure. Were a military serviceman to be given an unlawful order (ie one which would have him violate the laws of war or to violate his oath to support and defend the Constitution), we all would expect him to refuse to obey that unlawful order -- and he his trained to do so! Yet, no TSA employee seems willing to refuse (or even intellectually capable of refusing) to violate the human rights of airline travelers. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the TSA's hiring practices are designed to select only people who are effectively mindless automatons.

Way back in the TSA's infancy I expressed my concern that the TSA was rapidly becoming the tail that wags the dog -- that its employees would view the aviation industry as noting more than something to justify TSA's existence. That seems much more evident today. As another observer said, TSA efforts now seem designed to drive away the lifeblood of the aviation industry -- the customers!

For example, the strip-search x-ray machines and the new, more intimate pat-down (groping) searches are effective in only stopping some, not all, things that are carried outside the body. The TSA seems to assume that a dedicated threat (bad person) isn't smart enough to carry weapons, explosives, or biological agents internally -- undetected by anything the TSA does or apparently plans to do. The TSA, under Napolitano's "leadership" is helpless against such a dedicated threat. (I warned Congress, during her confirmation hearing that she was a bad choice.)
The TSA agents never look at you because they're not looking for terrorists; they're looking for things. This is the bureaucratization of the war on terror and we should not allow it to happen. — Mark Steyn, 18 Nov 2010
The TSA must stop focusing its efforts on finding things (which they often miss) and start focusing on genuine threats: bad people and travelers about whom they know nothing. It's easy to know who the good people are -- leave them alone! Tiny little Israel can do it. Why can't Napolitano and her 15,000 gropers? (If they're not gropers, why don't they tell Napolitano that they refuse to grope and view porn -- then follow through with that refusal?)

There is no question in my mind is that sexual harassment is a significant element here. If any TSA employees are getting the slightest pleasure from all this groping and viewing nude images of innocent people, those employees are sexual predators. This raises the big question" Have TSA employees been screened to determine if sexual harassment has been a part of their life -- either as a victim or as an abuser? Either way, they are statistically much more likely to be an abuser than the general population. Napolitano and Pistole have created a perfect place for these people to get away with sexual predation -- and get paid for it! At lease one TSA emplyee is reported to have criminally exploited the trust some passengers have in the goverment.

Now, please consider a certain category of passengers who must endure these "pat-downs" or who are pressured into submitting to having nude images taken of them -- the sexual assault survivors. Has anyone in the DHS and TSA thought about the effect these enhanced screening methods have on passengers who have been subjected to sexual assault in the past? And, how do the innocent TSA employees who are sexual assault survivors feel about being required to do the same thing to others that caused themselves serious psychological harm?

Here's something for Commissar Napolitano to consider: Attacks on air travel have been thwarted by alert passengers, not the TSA! This after the TSA or its foreign counterparts cleared the threats to fly! How about treating the passengers as part of the solution -- not as the threat?

When will Congressmen in general muster the rare courage of Representatives Jason Chaffetz and Ron Paul and reign in the TSA? If Congress fails to draw the line now, what will it take to get Congress to stand up to the monster it created? Several months ago, the US House voted 310-118 in support of an amendment from Chaffetz to prohibit whole-body imaging as a primary screening. The cowards in the Senate, Under Harry Reid's leadership, let the plan die.

Congress and the acting President must immediately implement HR-6416 (The American Traveler Dignity Act). It is a very tiny step toward restoring rights and sanity to the airport screening process. Much more must be done.

Better yet, when will the aristocrats in Congress come to their senses and abolish the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA and return airport security to private enterprise (which met government screening standards, was just as effective, and a whole lot cheaper than the TSA, and substantially less arrogant, stupid, and abusive)?
They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

It is inevitable, that eventually the people will demand absolute security from the state...And absolute security is absolute slavery. — Taylor Caldwell
On 11 September 2001, the terrorists won in that they gave the political elite all the cover needed to destroy our Constitution and the rights it protects. We, the people, must fight this tyranny! It will soon be too late to avoid much bloodshed.

Now, here's my prediction for the next successful attack on air travel: The attack will be outside the secure area of the terminal at the busiest time of the day. While scores of people are lined up waiting to get through the security screening farce, someone will detonate a fragmentary bomb that will kill or severely maim everyone within 25 meters. Similar attacks will happen at a the same time at 5-10 (maybe more) airports across the nation. The terror resulting from this attack will shut down air travel for months, perhaps forever. Consequently, every US airline will go out of business. Because the DHS and the TSA are so focused on fingernail clippers, nude x-ray images, and groping nuns and children, they have no plan to defeat the attack that I predict. Why will such a successful attack cause the total collapse of air travel? Because the people will fully understand that our current process of security theater is only temporary and illusory and that such security measures inevitably fail. Not only will the feeling of insecurity be widespread, but there will also be the total loss of trust in the competence of those responsible for security -- Pistole, Napolitano, and Obama.

None of this is really about airline security. It's about governmental power overruling individual freedom. We might as well be subjects of a feudal English king once again.

The solution? Stop looking for things! Follow Israel's lead and look for bad people! Profile!

Recommended reading:

The Top 10 Insanities of Airport Security

The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land
The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land

Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen
Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen

Lost Rights; The Destruction of American Liberty
Lost Rights; The Destruction of American Liberty

Monday, November 15, 2010

No Compromise!

To Democrats, bipartisanship and compromise simply means they get what they want, but sometimes a bit more slowly than they would like.

To Republicans, bipartisanship and compromise simply means they give the Democrats what they want, but sometimes a bit more slowly than the Democrats would like.

This bipartisanship and compromise not only involves legislation, it involves the confirmation of the President's appointees and nominees. Historically, Democrats give the "Bork" treatment to Republican nominees and appointees. On the other hand, Republicans nearly always vote to confirm Democrat nominees and appointees -- no mater how unqualified, corrupt, or anti-Constitution they are.

For generations, the Republicans have cheerfully compromised with the Democrats, their big-government anti-liberty agenda, and their crusade to ensure the Constitution is a meaningless historical artifact. Often the Republicans have not only made compromises that have enabled the Democrats in these efforts, the Republicans also have initiated these anti-liberty efforts themselves!

Some time back, I heard a wise political observer announce, "The Democrats are evil. The Republicans are stupid." Try as I might, I cannot find evidence that his statement is incorrect.

Every politician, from the local city council member to the President of the United States must keep in mind that they do not swear an oath to a political party, nor to party leaders, nor to an agenda, nor to bipartisanship or compromises. Their sworn oath is to the US Constitution! Their primary obligation is to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic (including fellow politicians).

The 2010 voter revolt is a strong signal to both parties, especially to the Republicans, that we voters demand a return to the limited government mandated by the Constitution. There must be no compromise whatsoever!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beware of the Dog House

I plead guilty. It was a garden hose. A really nice one! Honest!

The NEH: Part of the unconstitutional federal alphabet soup

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is a "grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities."

I have learned that the NEH recently funded a conference in Hawaii entitled "History and Commemoration: The Legacies of the Pacific war." One attendee, Professor Penelope Blake of Rock Valley College in Illinois, courageously described the conference as an "extremist, agenda-driven, revisionist conference, nearly devoid of rhetorical balance and historical context for the arguments presented." She reported that lectures included broad-sweeping assaults on the integrity and decency of US servicemen as well as US objectives during WWII.

As any objective observer well knows, nearly everything the federal government funds or manages is overpriced, poorly executed, and hostile to human decency and individual liberty. The NEH is no exception.

This pervasive failure is true of the government's all-encompassing alphabet soup of agencies such as the NEH, BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, an Explosives - whose primary objective seems to be enforcement of unconstitutional gun laws), CPB and NPR (Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio - entities which compete against private enterprise with content which can't survive in a free market using taxpayer money), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency - an agency which destroys the concept of property ownership in the name of protecting the environment), NEA (National Endowment for the Arts - an agency which funds self-described artists who don't have enough talent to make a living through their obscene "arts"), FED (the Federal Reserve - an organization which refuses to be held accountable to the citizens and their elected representatives), NIH and CDC (National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control - agencies which have funded biased studies designed to destroy the Second Amendment) and ED (Department of Education - an agency whose existence parallels the decline in the quality of education in the US).

The establishment and perpetuation of most of this federal alphabet soup is based on the arrogant assumption by America's elitist ruling class that we commoners can't make appropriate decisions on anything without the intrusion of the government.

But, more important than the horrid waste of the taxes imposed on hard-working Americans to fund these misguided agencies is the simple fact that the US Constitution clearly rejects all federal intrusion into these areas of American life.

I am appalled that any member of Congress would violate their oath to the Constitution by voting to establish, continue, or fund any of these agencies.

Every congressman and the acting president must lead the charge to phase out, over the next 10 years, every agency, law, rule, policy, and executive order which is incompatible with the restrictions the US Constitution places on the federal government. Begin that process now by defunding and eliminating the NEH.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Burglary and warning shots

Yesterday (8 Nov 2010), at approximately 1 am, a couple of young men tried breaking into a home in a Salt Lake City suburb. One of the burglars was fatally shot.

In the aftermath, one head-in-the-sand citizen pondered, "I wonder why the homeowner couldn't have fired a warning shot first?" Hmmm. I wonder where the homeowner should have sent that warning shot. Into the sky, maybe -- to fall somewhere else in town? Perhaps, into the ground -- to ricochet into the neighbor's bedroom? Possibly, into a wall -- to pass through and into the church down the street?

It seems to me that Mr. Homeowner did indeed fire a warning shot. He warned all potential burglars that getting shot is a serious occupational hazard in free States such as Utah.

The surviving burglar, 18-year-old Derek Sego, seems to have learned from that warning shot and immediately abandoned burglary as a career.

So, how much warning do criminals really need? They know that crime is, um, against the law. They surely must know that the rest of us are tired of being their victims. They know that homeowners in free States are armed. So, here's your warning, punk: Commit a forcible felony, expect to suffer severe consequences.

The real tragedy in this story is that the homeowner will feel profound heartache for the rest of his life for having been placed in the position of needing to take a human life to protect himself and his family. No criminal has the right to do that to innocent people.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

General William G. Boykin on the Ft. Hood Shooting

On offering aid to illegal immigrants

I was disappointed to learn that my senior senator, Orin Hatch, sought to help an Argentine family who wants asylum from religious persecution. The fact is that Hatch's clients were victims of a local crime in Argentina and should have dealt with it as such -- not run away.

The family claims religious persecution against Mormons in their homeland of Argentina. That excuse doesn't work. We have it here too -- religious bigots are burning LDS chapels and even throwing LDS college students out of sports because they choose to honor the Sabbath day!

For Hatch to step in to ensure the family's rights are being protected is fine. But to intervene and try to get them special consideration is an insult to equal protection under the law.

Where are we to draw the line on illegal immigration? How about: If one's presence here is in full compliance with our immigration laws, that person can stay. If not, he or she must go back home and begin or resume the immigration process properly.

Too harsh? Try violating Mexico's immigration laws (or those of almost any other nation)!

Our immigration problem is not inadequate, unfair, or inadequate immigration laws. The problem is politicians in all three branches of government who commit treason by refusing to ensure these laws are enforced.

Our nation's failure to execute its immigration laws is a white flag of surrender to a foreign invasion. Our national leaders have surrendered our national sovereignty, identity, and language to this invasion without so much as firing a single shot. It is complete and willful failure to fulfill the federal mandate to defend the States from invasion. For State and local leaders to participate in, or endorse to any extent whatsoever, this surrender is unconscionable.

There are situations and issues where compromise and moderation are appropriate. Dealing with an invasion is not one of them! There must be no compromise on illegal "immigration." Compromise on principles always moves the nation in the wrong direction albeit more slowly that the opposition desires.

Politicians love to talk about immigration reform. Our immigration laws do not need any reform. However, the administration's immigration policy does need reform -- reform to bring policy into compliance with the law!

BTW, I am pleased that Hatch's official website is not in Spanish. Other than for tourism or legal immigration, there are very few legitimate reasons for any federal, state, or local government to have a website in any language other than English or to offer services or printed matter (especially ballots) in any language other than English.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election 2010 lamentation

Although the voters made some progress in removing from Congress some of those who have been bent on running our republic into bankruptcy, they chose to return several who will continue their crusade to destroy the Constitution and to enslave the people with a bloated government: Boxer, Conyers, Dingell, Frank, McCain, McCarthy, Murray, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Rangel, Waters, and Waxman.

And, Alaska is letting Princess Murkowski keep the Senate seat her daddy gave her just because she thinks she’s entitled to it?

I suppose I should rejoice at the movement back toward politicians who at least say they'll follow the Constitution. But, I'm disappointed that we've kept so many who, at a minimum, have a long-proven history of ignoring the limits the Constitution places on the federal government. I hope they don't blow it like they did the last time the Republicans controlled Congress.

I hope Election 2010 teaches Republican politicians and party leaders at least one thing: When the Republicans put up Constitutionalist candidates or campaign on Constitutionalist principles, they generally win quite easily (except for hopeless places like New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco). When they put up moderates (ie McCain for president) or run on compromised principles, or fail to follow the Constitution after being elected, they are generally defeated.

We clearly have far too many voters who go to the polls who have insufficient facts on who or what they're voting for and too many who vote based primarily on bigotry or greed.
Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If the people be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand those high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. — James A Garfield
We need better civics education in our government schools.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The TSA and Whole Body Scanners

I won't be surprised if this commentary puts me on a TSA terrorist watch list. But, here it comes:

A while back, a man whom I respect a lot, Dennis Prager, wrote to advocate more use of whole body scanners.

As an airline pilot, I typically spend about 17 days a month traveling by air (yes, we airline employees are subjected to the same degrading screening by Wal-Mart Greeter School dropouts as everyone else). So, I understand where he's coming from, but if he saw as much of airport security as I do, I think he'd change his mind.

I've been subjected to the whole body scanners on multiple occasions. Yes, the scanners might be effective in finding foreign objects carried by by people who are not a determined threat (they once caught me with one of those little Burger King salt packets in my front left pocket -- nothing carried under or in the clothing gets past 'em).

But, they're expensive, incredibly inefficient, and will not stop a determined threat (more on that later)! It takes several minutes to process each passenger in each scanner. It is unreasonable to expect to process even half the passenger throughput using this method. And it doesn't stop evil-doers from shifting contraband from their body to their luggage -- and current technology still lets a lot of contraband get through in the luggage. Likewise, It doesn't catch contraband carried inside the body -- a practice long employed by smugglers. A determined, savvy, and organized adversary will always defeat whatever technology the TSA chooses to deploy.
I don't know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747. That's why we haven't put them in our airport. -- Rafi Sela, leading Israeli airport security expert, referring to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport, which has some of the toughest security in the world

TSA claims that the whole-body scan is not an intrusion on privacy. If that is the case, why not post everybody's scan on the Internet with names and dates? Start with Janet Napolitano! If these scans are not an egregious intrusion, why are many scanner operators worried about violating child porn laws?

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said, "Nobody needs to see my wife and kids naked to secure an airplane." Yet, in the name of "security", we are losing against the surveillance state, all because of the "systemic failure" of the federal government (as Obama himself recently called it).

Under current TSA policy, a traveler may request a pat-down search to avoid exposing himself to the body scanner. However, those pat-down searches reportedly will become much more intimate -- not to increase effectiveness -- but to increase compliance with the will of the government.

Scanning people for whom there is no probable cause to suspect wrongdoing represents an unreasonable search that violates the Fourth Amendment. If we continue to allow it -- or even ask for it -- the government will continue stripping away our privacy and liberty, all to foil the last attack, but the terrorists will continue to circumvent any of their silly, yet freedom-crushing "security" measures.

Judge Andrew Napolitano explained, "Airline travel is safer today because pilots have guns, cockpit doors are like bank vaults, and the passengers have become courageous. All this was done by individuals in the private sector, not by the government. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if the feds had not stripped us of our natural rights to keep ourselves safe—by keeping and bearing arms—9/11 would never have happened."

I have experienced the superior airport screening process used by Israel and by El Al. I am always impressed. They know how to identify evil people. Sure, they'll confiscate dangerous things when they find them, but their focus is on identifying dangerous people. You see, it is people, not things that pose a danger to us. There is nobody in TSA who is smart enough or trained enough to do what Israel's screeners do.

Silly ideas like banning bottles of water and the in-flight use of airplane toilets should give one a clue about how far in over their heads the TSA really is. Whole body scanners are an unreasonable and an inadequate solution to a transportation security system that is more eyewash and a government-jobs program than it is security.

The TSA already subjects our carry-on bags to X-ray scanning that penetrates the luggage "skin" to show what's inside. Yet screeners routinely fail to discern the guns, knives, and other contraband their monitors show. Sometimes undercover federal investigators are smuggling those weapons to test screeners; other times, passengers who’ve forgotten the pistol or ammunition in their knapsack turn themselves in when they reach their gate.

One report I read says that TSA screeners fail to identify and stop 25% of the weapons hidden in carry-on luggage by federal investigators! So, their solution is to electronically strip search us! If TSA can't competently use the existing technology, why are we giving up liberty and money to give them more technology that will be only partially effective in their hands?

The goal of terrorism is to cripple a population by instilling fear. Our adversary has succeeded in that goal -- with the full cooperation and support of our central government. By giving up individual freedom and rights in the name of security -- especially when it is a false security -- we have handed victory to our enemies. Our politicians must be replaced because, like the terrorists, they have used fear to gain power over us.

We Americans should be ashamed by our cowardice and unwillingness to fight for liberty. Our willingness to give up our rights to politicians, bureaucrats, and semi-competent government employees.

It's time for airport screeners to stop focusing on things and focus on people instead. Just like gun control and the criminal use of guns, evil people are the problem -- not the inanimate things they use to hurt us.
Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Benjamin Franklin

The terrorists won on 11 September 2010 -- with the full cooperation of Congress and the Whitehouse. Together, they finally destroyed the Constitution and voided the God-given rights it protects and created the TSA to do some of the dirty work.

Recommended book:
Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen
Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen