Thursday, May 26, 2011
TSA and Texas...
by Becky Akers
Pick your period – Texas’ Revolution with its inspiring cries of "Come and take it!" at Gonzales and "Remember the Alamo!" or the War of Northern Aggression that Lincoln prosecuted against states’ rights – and tell me the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) isn’t setting us up for a replay.
"A threat from the federal government to shut down Texas airports or cancel flights may have killed legislation … in the Texas Capitol to prohibit federal Transportation Security Agents from conducting ‘invasive searches,’" the Texas Tribune reports.
You remember this bill. You no doubt cheered when you heard that Rep. David Simpson, a Republican from Longview, TX, had introduced it in the state’s House a few weeks ago. It would have "subject[ed] federal employees, including TSA agents, to a Class A misdemeanor if they inappropriately touch someone seeking access to a public building or means of transportation, or if they search an individual without probable cause of criminal activity." Joy erupted nationwide, not just across the half of it that’s Texas, at the thought of the TSA’s criminals finally being arrested as such.
Unfortunately, the bill suffered serious flaws. Even folks friendly to its intent criticized its wording. And Dave himself unwittingly personifies those flaws: "The safeguards instituted in the wake of a national tragedy to protect us from terrorists have somehow been transformed from prudent caution to ridiculous excess," he alleged, falling neatly into the TSA’s trap.
Yo, Dave, a quick lesson on the State: the TSA was not "instituted … to protect us from terrorists," OK? It was instituted to subject us to tyranny, though I grant you, the excuse was protecting us from terrorists.
In reality, the TSA made lots of work for the otherwise unemployable. Which gratified labor unions – and the Democrats whooping it up alongside them: since the TSA’s slugs are five short of a six-pack in both intellect and morals, lots of new dues and votes would eventually come their way.
Republicans benefitted immensely, too. Its liars blamed 9/11 on non-existent "private" screening (which the FAA controlled then as completely and disastrously as the TSA does now). And it worked: the country was too distracted learning the new rules for navigating checkpoints in bare feet to notice the startling discrepancies, contradictions, and outright holes in the Bush Administration’s explanation of the attack. Indeed, it worked so very well that those sociopaths won a second term.
That’s why we who foot the bills for the police-state that 9/11 solidified speak of "exploiting the national tragedy," not "instituting safeguards in its wake." And yep, an entity evil enough to capitalize on the slaughter of 3000 people must be abolished – exterminated, gutted, drawn and quartered, with a stake driven through its heart (metaphorically speaking, of course: the TSA has proved over and over again it has no heart). We cannot stop the beast otherwise. Certainly laws like Dave’s won’t do more than give it a good chortle.
In fact, the ink had barely dried on the legislation before said chortle erupted from the TSA’s website. "Blogger Bob" of the "TSA Blog Team" smugly opined, "…the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article. VI. Clause 2) prevents states from regulating the federal government." The irony was so staggering you didn’t need to be a Constitutionalist to savor it: here’s an agency that long ago trashed the First, Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments shamelessly citing another part of the document for salvation – all while ignoring the Ninth and Tenth Amendments! Heck, the TSA deserves obliteration for this travesty alone.
Texas’ House had more sense than the "TSA Blog Team" – but then, so does woodwork. It passed Simpson’s legislation on to the Senate; Dan Patrick (R-Houston) sponsored it there. It would have come to a vote this week and likely graduated to law – except that two of the TSA’s head thugs "visited Patrick at the Capitol … to discuss the legislation. They warned him that the legislation ‘could close down all the airports in Texas,’ he said." Dan "ang[rily]" called these "heavy handed threats." Bingo! How refreshing to hear a ruler call it like it is!
But that wasn’t all. The TSA hasn’t a scintilla of finesse or delicacy: it never settles for a fly-swatter when it can fire a battery of cannon instead. "After [the thugs’] departure, U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy sent a letter to Speaker of the House Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst saying the bill would ‘conflict directly with federal law’ and that if it became law, ‘TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crew’ until the agency could seek a court order stopping the measure from being carried out."
That spooked some of the senators: apparently, the politician in a guy supersedes the Texan. "Sen. Juan ‘Chuy’ Hinojosa, D-McAllen, who voted for the bill in committee, said he still agreed with Patrick’s intent but could not vote for the bill because it preempts federal law." Ummmm, Juan? That was the point, you moron.
"Realizing he ultimately did not have the votes, Patrick decided to withdraw the bill" – but catch his parting shot: "There was a time in this state, there was a time in our history, where we stood up to the federal government and we did not cower to rules and policies that invaded the privacy of Texans." Whoa! Is this dude Ron Paul’s protege or what?
Please God, that time will come again. Meanwhile, Dave Simpson accurately analyzed the blackmail: "They’re basically saying, unless you allow us to grope your genitals, you can’t fly." And then he vaulted for heroism with Dan Patrick: "I hope Texans would say come and show us the law … This is a Gonzales moment. ‘Come and take it.’"