I spend a good bit of time on airplanes – far more than I’d like, really, but since my only child lives over 1000 miles away AND since I have a ton of money invested in a home in his neighborhood, I find myself winging my way back and forth across the country with steady frequency.
However that may soon come to a crashing halt. After watching a news clip about the new TSA full body scanning procedures going into effect at an airport near you, this frequent flyer may just be grounded.
Here’s the thing.
This business of some stranger being able to scan my entire body with a radiographic device that allows them to see me right down to the skin ~ well, that’s just a complete invasion of my privacy and my civil rights as an American. Oh sure, I can “opt out” (a phrase borrowed from bankers who use it to jack up the rates on your credit cards), which means those same strangers now get to “pat me down” in any way they see fit to determine that I’m not concealing explosives somewhere on my person.
I don’t think so.
And don’t give me the patriotic bit about the necessity of doing this to weed out terrorists. I cannot believe that our government, with its sophisticated web of technology and security, cannot come up with a way to keep terrorists off of airplanes without violating the personal privacy of thousands of innocent, law abiding, tax paying citizens on a daily basis. As Benjamin Franklin once said “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
It takes a lot to rile me – to “get my Irish up” as my mother used to say – but this is an example of the kinds of egregious interference in my individual freedom that simply infuriates me. It happens far too often in modern life – the government, the insurance companies, the banks, all filling our life with rules and restrictions supposedly designed for the betterment of society but which simply end up punishing and diminishing the individual.
To borrow a famous phrase from an old film ~ “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
Truly, I think the American people need to rise up (dare I even say Tea Party style) and refuse en masse to participate in some of these policies. If only every person could declare the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally the largest travel day of the year, a “no fly day” in protest – think what an impact that would make on the airline pocketbooks.
And we all know that nothing influences the government more than big business and the bottom line.
Certainly not the individual rights of the American people.