Constitution 101

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Cartoon Peril, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Let's dispense with the unwarranted & unsubstatiated personal attacks. We intend to show a lot of tolerance here, but at some point there will be limits.
     
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  2. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    that wasn't an attack, that was humor, albeit in poor taste as locker-room style jokes tend to be...
     
  3. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Yep. If I may quote Horatio Hornblower, our goal is not to fight them, but to defeat them. Fair-mindedness and humor are our tools.
     
  4. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Things are too easily misconstrued on the internet, there aren't the non-verbal cues present in ordinary conversation. Some fellow called me a "snake" recently on this site, truth is that I was glad of it, because it is self-defeating.
     
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  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Such "humor" is completely lost on me. Try to elevate the discourse a bit, please.

    I did indicate my displeasure with "snake" -- there won't be any snake smilies. A pilgrim smilie is a possibility once our quota for new smilies is replenished.

    "Cupcake" & "pumpkin" are cute. On occasions over the years, I've loaded up posts w/ :cupcake: & :pumpkin: and thrown them back at him. It's all in good fun, but when we deviate from a simple discussion of the issues, we need to keep it fun and fairly clean.
     
  6. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    this statement is a bit ironic, given the subject matter we are discussing....

    especially when our child protection internet software won't allow either FT or this site.

    oh well. fair enough, let's keep it elevated.
     
  7. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    Point taken. Snake is a term used throughout the RANGER community. It IS a term of respect. I just need to remember that I'm not in the company of RANGERS.

    Easily done.
     
  8. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Let me suggest that there would be no proper legal or moral objection to effective security. The most damning charge against your agency is that it is ineffective.
     
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  9. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    I respect your opinion, ill-informed as it is.
     
  10. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Of course, there are various definitions of "effective". I will grant that the agency is effective against ill-prepared fools and random nutters, of which there are too many.

    I do not think the agency is or would be effective to prevent a well-prepared terrorist scheme from causing damage to aircraft. Fortunately these are rare. I believe however that the means the agency has adopted are not only ineffective to stop such a well-prepared attack, but they also increase the
    risk of harm from a terrorist attack at the airport rather than on the aircraft.

    There have been a number of bomb attacks on airports in recent years in other countries, and given that our country is awash in lawfully-possessed high-powered firearms, explosive attack would not be necessarily be the choice of means by a terrorist. A Norway or Columbine type of incident could be too readily pulled off in one of our airports, and the crowding and confusion generated by the checkpoints creates the type of atmosphere where this could bring about extreme harm.
     
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  11. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Cartoon Peril,

    Why are you doing this? What's the point? There's a huge body of empirical evidence and expert testimony supporting the case that the TSA is ineffective. If you really want to trot it out ad nauseum for Bart, do so. Otherwise, why discuss the matter, and why "grant that the agency is effective against ill-prepared fools and random nutters?"

    They aren't. Those folks pass through undetected time after time, self-reporting later that they arrived at their destinations with forgotten and unnoticed contraband.

    Even if the TSA were effective, I'd still expect them to respect the U.S. Constitution and refrain from squandering tax dollars on junk-science toys and thug squads. Further, I'd still expect them to perform their original mission, Transportation Security Administration, and turn the checkpoints back over to the airports.

    Even as a make-work program, the TSA is an EPIC FAIL. The last time this nation was in serious financial trouble and our economy was on the ropes, we formed the WPA and improved our infrastructure in ways we benefit from to this day. The TSA is a national disgrace, compared to make-work projects of the past. Even if we disband the TSA today, we'll still have to deal with the workforce the federal government has conditioned to enjoy sadistic dominance over others and sexual abuse of children, among other morally repugnant practices. The consequences of the ill-considered illegal activities of the TSA will be with us for a very long time.

    There are plenty of people in the U.S. who are capable of moral reasoning. Save your breath for them.
     
  12. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Well, I can only say that I found security to be vastly improved and more thorough in December 2002 when I first flew after 9/11. I was actually glad of it because it seemed to be no longer a bad joke. Starting in 2007 or so, when I encountered the liquids ban in a line of 3,000 people (my estimate) coming out of Las Vegas, and having been given a random frisk by a white-shirt down in San Francisco at about the same time, I started to have my doubts about this agency's effectiveness. On the Vegas situation that I encountered, I would say a random shooter could have killed as many people as he could carry ammunition for, and there would have been no stopping his gaining access to the upper floor where the crowd was.

    My hope is that our correspondent, Officer Bart, will perhaps see that there is not so great a difference between his views and mine, and perhaps he might even agree with me, which would be a small step towards change.

    Another thing also is that I believe we need to encourage discussion of these issues, even with those with whom we strongly disagree, as I feel it will help the right side (us) prevail.
     
  13. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    I would argue, and this is the great beauty and intelligence of the Constitution, that if the TSA were effective, they would have no need to disrespect it.
     
  14. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Respect for the taxpayer's wallets if not the constitution would require ditching the behavior detection officers and eschewing purchase of the Chertoffomizers.
     
  15. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    My father was arguable the most ethical and reasonable man I've ever known. He once confessed to me that while he was employed as a chemical engineer for Dow-Badische, he had found it impossible to believe the company had ever done any environmental harm. It was only after he'd left the company and found employment in another field that he slowly came to accept that the company had indeed done a great many bad things while he was employed with them. It was a very uncomfortable process, this coming to terms with the truth.

    Apparently, when basically decent people blunder into a situation in which their organization is corrupt, these same decent people experience tremendous denial. The more they're confronted, the more information-proof they become. A bad person has an easier time accepting the idea that their organization does bad things than a basically decent person does.

    All people striving to be good fall into this trap at least once. Many TSA employees are good people. It's grossly unfair that our Federal Government has hired them to do bad things. As citizens, we're responsible for this injustice. I don't like being unkind to basically decent TSA employees either. That's why I ignore them much of the time. They'll come to grips with reality when they're ready.
     
  16. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    You've got a point there. The Constitution is as close to perfect as any human endeavor can aspire to.
     
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  17. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Completely agree, in the paltry positions of authority that I have occasionally found myself in, I was guilty of what I see now (and have seen for some time) as arrogance for which I deserved open and sharp criticism, but because of the situation, I didn't get it when it would have done me the most good.

    Solzhenitsyn wrote, in Chapter 6 in the Gulag Archipelago, in describing a good man who believe the Soviet government's propaganda even while he was imprisoned by that government:

     
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  18. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    I agree but let me a little qualifier and that it is not so much the constitution that protects the citizen while simultaneously insuring the steady continuation of the state, but rather it is constitutionalism, that is, respect for the constitution and orderly resolution of disputes through law that does so. Once a government discards respect for its own constitution in the name of security, you start down the road to becoming Argentina or Uruguay in the 1970s.
     
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  19. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Our current troubles stem at least in part from deriliction of duty on the part of our Congress and Senate. They should never have delegated the power to legislate to federal agencies - which is the net effect of administrative law as we see it abused today. Our legislators have really let us down.

    Federal Agencies currently hamstring our nation with their rules, with the judiciary aiding and abetting the usurpation of legislative power and State sovereignty.

    Not that I'm a Libertarian crank or anything:rolleyes:
     
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  20. This situation you describe is the basic plot of another Solzhenitsyn story, "We Never Make Mistakes". Solzhenitsyn is one of my favorites, and I'm more and more disturbed by the parallels to the TSA. There were even prison intake officers called "Blue Caps" in Gulag Archipelago who liked to harass people coming through and confiscate anything cool they had on them.
     
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