The 9-11 atrocity, like the attack on Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the Maine, was one of laudably few occasions when the United States has, however briefly, just sat there and taken it in the shorts.
Unlike those two earlier horrors, 9-11 has not inspired the appropriate terrible vengeance against the perpetrators; as far as anyone knows, Osama bin Laden is living comfortably in Waziristan safe from American justice. Instead, the energies of our government are directed at... the shorts of innocent and loyal Americans.
Yes, the inconvenience, futility, delay, and indignity inflicted upon our citizens by the TSA over the last ten years has not been enough.
We have stood peaceably in interminable lines for hours on end, putting our shoes on and off, taking our property in and out of bags, being wanded or not wanded depending on what the "security" goon had for breakfast that morning.
We've placidly handed over our printed boarding passes and photo IDs for examination like they were a lost Rembrandt, despite the passes being nothing more secure than a computer printout and the photo IDs generated by the same government-run DMV that happily sold fake IDs to the 9-11 terrorists themselves.
We've serenely watched Granny and Little Annie patted down as if they were Bonnie and Clyde while Mohammed Hussein prances merrily on down the concourse lest we be accused of "profiling," and while Juan Valdez the illegal immigrant works on airport construction free of any sanction or inspection whatsoever.
We have patiently stood by as TSA goons and buffoons pile depravity upon stupidity, only to see them contribute nothing whatsoever to the stopping of actual evildoers.
Through all this, one question comes to mind: How much is enough? Is there a limit to the humiliation and inconvenience to which Americans will submit in the name of "safety"? Must there be any provable connection to actual security, or is the mere mantra of "It's for your own safety!" a blanket permission to spend money promoting any sort of tyranny, even if in objective fact it makes us less safe?
For lo these ten years, it's strongly seemed that the answer was: No, there isn't a limit. American really don't remember what freedom is; Americans really are the gullible suckers that P.T. Barnum thought them to be; Americans will, indeed, put up with anything if they're told it's good for them, no matter how manifestly it is not.
And now, all of a sudden, maybe the straw has broken the camel's back. The new backscatter scanners that produce very detailed, albeit black-and-white, pornographic images of people have been around for a while, but only now are they being required for ordinary people.
Well, not actually required. If you'd rather not submit yourself to a high-powered dose of radiation therapy, you can elect for a search of a different sort which the Chicago Tribune describes.
This is not the gentle frisking you may have experienced at the airport in the past. It requires agents to probe aggressively in intimate zones — breasts, buttocks, crotches.
If you enjoyed your last mammography or prostate exam, you'll love the enhanced pat-down. And you'll get a chance to have an interesting conversation with your children about being touched by strangers.
Reviews of the procedure are coming in, and they are not raves. The Allied Pilots Association calls it a "demeaning experience," and one pilot complained it amounted to "sexual molestation." The head of a flight attendants' union local said that for anyone who has been sexually assaulted, it will "drudge up some bad memories."
Of course, you can elect to save the TSA minions from having to pay for a Playboy subscription:
The U.S. Marshals Service recently admitted saving some 35,000 images from a machine at a federal courthouse in Florida.
And unlike the TSA, people actually respect the U.S. Marshals.
Is there an alternative? Apparently not, as recorded by a preternaturally wary traveler and reported in San Diego:
Tyner was simultaneously thrown out of San Diego International Airport on Saturday morning for refusing to submit to a security check and threatened with a lawsuit and a $10,000 fine if he left.
And he got the whole thing on his cell phone. Well, the audio at least.
There is, of course a solution, which we at Scragged have been calling for for years now: Abolish the TSA, restore American freedom, and save countless billions of taxpayer dollars. It's refreshing to see such illustrious outlets as Forbes magazine finally joining our call for sanity both fiscal and physical.
America urgently needs to get in the habit of standing up to our oppressive and overbearing government. The Tea Party is based on this theme from the point of view of money - we are, indeed, Taxed Enough Already. We are also Regulated Enough Already, Harassed Enough Already, Nannied Enough Already, and now, Strip-Searched Enough Already. (Once would be too many.) The power of the people needs to claim a major bureaucratic scalp forthwith.
Until then, you won't be seeing us flying - as, indeed, we haven't in quite a long time now. Why voluntarily put oneself through hell? Even Satan isn't, himself, recorded as being a sexual molester, which is more than can be said for the TSA.
And Muslims, the cause of all these problems in the first place? They can, in effect, opt out on religious grounds. The TSA's tortures are reserved for Americans only.