Friday, July 15, 2011

Americans and TSA: A Call For Sacrifice

As usual, there's plenty of new TSA outrage stories I could link to if I wished, but I won't bother today. Let me get right to the point: I know that simply saying "Do not fly" is turning into a cliche, but dammit, people, if you don't like seeing yourselves and your loved ones mistreated by the TSA, do not fly! It really is that simple.

Sometimes liberty requires sacrifice, though it's easy for contemporary Americans to forget that, especially middle-class-or-better Americans, given how cushy we've had it compared to the overwhelming majority of humans who are or ever have been alive.

And we are still lucky, because liberty today requires such a small sacrifice, compared to sacrifices made by Americans past! Seriously, my fellow Americans: if you want yourselves and your descendants to live in freedom, you need not risk maiming or death, by taking up arms against an oppressive army. You don't have to abandon your family, friends, credentials and all worldly possessions to escape from behind the Iron or Bamboo curtains. You don't have to face an angry southern lynch mob armed with dogs and fire hoses to deny you "free and fully human" status. All you have to do is not fly.

Yet so many refuse to even consider this! "I don't like the idea of my kids being groped by the TSA, but how else can I get them to Disney World? It's too far to drive."

OLD AMERICANS: Give me liberty or give me death!

NEW AMERICANS: I'll put up with anything, if my kid can shake hands with Mickey Mouse.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i appreciate the inclusion of patrick henry's famous quote here. americans are too concerned with being entertained to worry about whether or not they have constitutional rights.

12:07 PM  
Blogger sb10 said...

Thank you Jennifer!

People have forgotten what REAL sacrifice is.

Collectively, we could bring the travel industry to its knees in a matter of weeks if everyone chose to forgo their usual extended summer trip.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Rykk Ferraris said...

My sentiments exactly. If everyone stopped pleasure travel, the airlines would be brought to their knees. Remember, the airlines can replace TSA with their own security measures, they just have to face bankruptcy to be forced to do so.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been boycotting the airlines since about 2002, with a single exception for a close personal friend whom I helped move to SLC (>1,400 mi) in 2005, because rail/bus would have been 8 days. I arranged for an employer to let me drive on a business trip (at my own expense, on my own time) rather than fly 600 miles each way in 2004. Would I make another exception? Maybe, if it were the only way I could come hear you talk in person.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous the Hunter said...

Since 9/11, I have not set foot on a plane. And I travel from New England to Florida once a year, and Kansas twice a year. The cost is roughly the same, it takes way more time - but the savings in liberty is immense.

The tragedy of this whole farce is that the measures TSA enforces are almost entirely ineffectual. Numerous reports from security experts have testified at the ease with which trained individuals can sneak lethal instruments aboard.

The one measure which public outcry forced through which WOULD help (the armed pilots program) was hedged about with such massive restrictions as to render it nearly useless, too. The Israelis have known for YEARS how to deal with this problem, but the fascist-minded in Washington DC refused to even look at their proven solutions.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally I enjoy this blog, however, exception is taken to the "don't like the TSA, don't fly" comment. The TSA is now in bus stations as well and is expanding their treasonous actions to all manners of travel. What are you going to say when they can stop you in your car and frisk you when you have done nothing wrong? "Don't like it, don't leave your house"? Come on....though not flying may help some, that isn't the sole answer.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Oeberon said...

Seeing as how the TSA is rapidly expanding into trains, buses, sports stadiums and, likely, cars, what, then, will be your sage advice for those that still do not want to be irradiated and digitally stripped or sexually assaulted?

"Don't fly" is not a valid response to the trampling of our rights and liberties. For, once you validate such a response, the next response will be "Don't take the train" or "Don't take the bus" or "Don't drive" or "Don't go to sports staduims." Where do you draw the line?

7:16 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

I agree, the steady encroachment of TSA into other forms of transit is incredibly ominous -- and I've written as much before -- but it never would've gone this far had Americans shown a spine in October and November, when the groping first started. But no -- far too many spoiled twits felt "taking a vacation closer to home" was just TOO much of a sacrifice for them to make.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Here's a story which may interest you.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with not flying is that it's absolutely meaningless and it only hurts you. I haven't flown since the TSA perverts began but what difference does it make? It just means I can't go anywhere, it hasn't made a bit of difference to anyone else, I'm simply stuck at home. Since things are actually getting more draconian, I'd have to say that simply choosing not to fly has not done any good whatsoever and perhaps has allowed things to get worse, afterall, a single person is worth nothing. We need to do more than not fly. We need to organize a protest. A big visual and loud protest in the news, in everyone's faces. We need to make that sacrifice of being arrested for our rights because quietly sitting at home is worthless and doing nothing and saying nothing let's them get away with breaking the law.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

The problem with not flying is that it's absolutely meaningless and it only hurts you.

Strength in numbers. Think of the Birmingham bus boycotts, the first domino to fall over in the civil rights movement: if only ONE black person in the city had refused to ride the bus, that indeed would have made no difference at all. But get enough people boycotting ....

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Simeone said...

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Economic boycotts are powerful. The civil rights movement didn't succeed with only protests and marches. MLK et. al. also employed economic boycotts. So did Gandhi. That -- in addition to concern over human dignity and civil liberties -- is why I stopped flying last year.

So to the person who said it's a waste of time not to fly, no, it's not. We have to keep convincing others to do likewise. And yes, I know that not everyone can make this decision -- some people are forced to fly for work -- I sympathize with them. But millions upon millions of us can choose not to fly, even though it's a sacrifice. It would bring the airlines to their knees. I love travel more than I can say. But I ain't doing it. My husband just got back from a trip to London and Amsterdam, two of my favorite cities. I didn't go.

We have to keep chipping away, bit by bit; that's how change happens. It's not going to happen overnight. And as more people feel the wrath of the TSA, those who didn't give a shit before will start to wake up.

I, too, am incredibly frustrated -- and fed up -- with the docility and acquiescence of so much of the population. All I can do is keep ringing alarm bells, keep trying, keep hitting that wall, hoping that one of these days, a brick will fall out, which will lead to two, then three, then the whole wall will come crashing down.

The rallying cry of this country once was, "Give me liberty or give me death!" Now it's, "Don't inconvenience me!"

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Lisa Simeone said...

By the way, Master Lists of TSA Abuses and Crimes at this link:

2:15 PM  
Blogger Todd S. said...

I believe the Dead Kennedys hit the nail on the head with their album title "Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death". And that album came out a long time ago; long before the TSA. Americans' attitudes toward this are just par for the course; they aren't specific to TSA searches.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Oeberon said...

Economic boycotts are powerful. The civil rights movement didn't succeed with only protests and marches. MLK et. al. also employed economic boycotts. So did Gandhi. That -- in addition to concern over human dignity and civil liberties -- is why I stopped flying last year.

I, too, stopped flying last year after suffering a sexual assault at the hands of the TSA in lieu of being strip-searched and poisoned by radiation. I was unaware of the next step of massive encroachments on our liberties the TSA had taken by installing porno-scanners when I purchased my ticket several months before actually flying in mid-October. Had I known, I would have either driven CT to WA, as I did this past January (7000 miles round trip) or taken the bus, as I will be doing in Sept.

I have chosen to take my travel dollars elsewhere and will continue to do so until the TSA is disbanded. That being said, I still believe that "Don't fly" is a not valid response.'s not right...I suppose I should really amend that and say that "Then don't fly" is not a valid response. Mostly because those I hear giving such a response are condescending in their delivery of it and see no problem with giving up not only their rights and liberties, but mine and yours as well.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Erin said...

I haven't flown since July of 2002. The most inconvenient thing I had to endure was removing my flip flops so they could look at the bottom of them.

My sister in law flew up to see me a month ago, and was very quiet after getting through the security gate. On the way to our house she started crying. My sister in law is not the emotional sort so I was surprised. She then told us that at SFO in San Fran, she was grabbed hard on her genitals three times. And that her breasts were grabbed equally as hard. She was emotional and extremely upset for the first day of our visit and it took a couple more days for her to calm down. She felt as if she had been molested. As far as I'm concerned, she was. I encouraged her to make a police report and a report at the airport. She did neither.

My aunt who lives in Florida told me that she was going to board a Greyhound bus to take her to see a friend in the Keys just as she had always done since 1972. But this time, she was met with TSA agents who were set up there in the station. A woman agent stuck her finger into her blouse and down into her bra. My aunt is 68 years old, by the way.

This has to end. I'm boycotting and I have been for years.

5:25 AM  

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