Like millions of other Americans, I was on the road this week visiting the family, filled with excitement at seeing the little ones again.
As much as I was excited about seeing the children, I felt some anxiety at traveling on an airplane. After all, the media had for days hyped the invasive nature of the new TSA policy of body searches and scanning machines. Like other travelers, I didn't know what to expect. As I drove to the airport I was seated next to an elderly lady who was near panic because she didn't want to be "patted down by some pervert," her words, not mine.
As for me, I thought that I might need a cigarette after this intrusion. Traveling is a chore under normal conditions, but the thought of this just added to my nervousness and anxiety. And, like most news, it was hyped by the media. Most news is 5-percent truth and 95-percent hyperbole, nonsense and bull.
I went through the scanner which took at most 5 seconds and then I was patted down by an Asian lady who was at least a head shorter than me. She explained what she would do as she began to pat me down. She wore gloves and never looked me in the eyes. It took approximately 10 seconds. I didn't need a cigarette or a drink. I didn't need to re-adjust my clothing, and I didn't feel violated. I have been felt up more by riding on the metro during rush hour in D.C.
We as Americans have to come to terms with the reality that we don't live in Mayberry anymore. 9-11 has totally changed our reality, and we must decide what kind of country we want and what we can tolerate; and most importantly, what we cannot. In a world where we are confronted daily by known and unknown threats, we need to stop being little wussies, crying and whining about the little inconveniences that may impact our day-to-day activities. It is a dangerous world out there, and there are millions of Muslims and others, even in our own country, that hate us and want to see our destruction, for no other reason than jealousy and evilness. They are mean-spirited, spiteful and would destroy themselves in order to kill us. History will show us as builders and them as destroyers.
I understand the concern of those who think this is another juncture on that slippery slope that we seem to find ourselves on. Everywhere we look, the long tentacles of the government are invading every facet of our lives. Nowhere is this felt more than when that incursion involves our bodies. It gives new meaning to the saying, "Reach out and touch me."
I have no love for "big brother" government, taking more of our rights away, creeping little by little into every crack and crevice of our lives. My preference would be for it to take its pound of flesh [taxes], run the military, take care of the roads, infrastructure and immigration and leave us alone to do what we need to do as individuals. But the truth is that Americans like the government to interfere in their lives when it meets with their own personal agendas. If the government does it, then it removes the responsibility and decision making from where it should be, in the hands of the individual.
The TSA searches are not the problem, but just another symptom of a society or people that does not want to take responsibility for itself or deal with its problems. Since this is a very dangerous world, we need to be less concerned with being politically correct and be more pragmatic. The truth is that our technologies have not prevented any potential attacks. It was human intel that stopped the Christmas bomber, the shoe bomber and the recent Oregon teenager. We need to do what the Israelis have done successfully for years, PROFILE everyone who boards a plane, without regard to race, ethnicity or RELIGION.
The Israelis know who and what you are before you even come to the airport. And if you get through an initial profile, they will do an intensive profile interrogation, and if by some chance one is able to slip by all this, then they have marshals on the planes who will shoot and kill you. So far, to my recollection, the Israelis have not had a high-jacked plane, nor have they trampled on the rights of little old ladies or shot someone with prosthesis. They have perfected the profile to a science, and it would behoove us to learn about it and adjust the model to fit our needs.
Beaver, June and Ward have left the house! Mayberry only exists in TV Land. What kind of country do you really want; that you can tolerate?