TSA Shutdown? Yes, please

Regular readers of this blog know that I absolutely loathe the Transportation Security Administration. It’s a monstrous, unconstitutional abomination that should not exist in any society that considers itself “free.” What’s more, it is demonstratively unable to meet its primary purpose: detecting and intercepting potential threats to travelers.  Perhaps the ongoing “shutdown” of the Feral Government will give Americans — and the TSA Employees themselves — a chance to rethink how ‘essential’ this function really is:.

Nobody wants to work for an employer who holds off on cutting paychecks until a more convenient moment, and that’s just what the federal government is doing during its “shutdown”—a spectacle that almost seems crafted to demonstrate how easy it is to live without the leviathan in Washington, D.C.

Understandably, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees are no more enthusiastic about working when their paychecks are delayed than is anybody else on the planet. That’s why they’ve been calling-in sick in increased numbers—some to seek temporary work elsewhere in order to pay their bills—as the more-theater-than-reality “government shutdown” drags on.

Not that there’s any point to all of that [TSA] groping beyond the purely recreational aspect. Undercover investigators were able to smuggle weapons and explosives past TSA agents 95 percent of the time, according to a 2015 Homeland Security Investigator General report. Maybe that’s because agents are relying on dowsing rods or Spidey sense—they’re certainly not depending on the expensive equipment they make travelers and baggage file through.

“Because TSA does not adequately oversee equipment maintenance, it cannot be assured that routine preventive maintenance is performed or that equipment is repaired and ready for operational use,” The Inspector General office also noted.

“Security theater” is what security expert Bruce Schneier, a lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of government, calls most of what the TSA does. They’re “measures that make us feel safer without improving security… I’ve repeatedly said that the two things that have made flying safer since 9/11 are reinforcing the cockpit doors and persuading passengers that they need to fight back. Everything beyond that isn’t worth it.”

But, isn’t this an opportunity for us all? Given that the world is a better place when TSA employees and other government minions don’t do their jobs, and some are already seeking alternative employment, what a great opportunity to shut down their agencies, shrink the government, and make everybody’s lives a little better!

If it isn’t worth it, why pay for it?

Especially when the cost is measured in civil liberty as much as it is in dollars. It’s long past time we reevaluate just how “essential” large parts of the Feral Government really are. We pay for more government than we should want, and yet get less return on those payments than we need.  As for the “shutdown,” let’s keep a little perspective:

shutddown

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A few modest suggestions

Life’s been busy lately, so posting has been light.  For some time, though, I’ve been working on a list of “things I’d do if I was completely in charge of adjusting the government.”  They center around limiting the influence of lobbyists, making immigration offenses a serious matter, and reducing the ability of a president to unilaterally commit the nation to war.

It’s an ongoing project.  But I’ll post it here for any comments and input on what’s already there.  Warning: it’s a lot of stuff (roughly 6 pages in a word processor).  But then, there’s a lot of stuff wrong with the country, so that’s to be expected.  Use the page numbers at the bottom of the post to advance to the next page.

Constructive input/critiques welcomed.

REFORM  (Federal Level)

General:

No person convicted of a felony will be eligible to hold elective office at the Federal Level.  Convicted felons may not serve in the Federal Civil Service above the grade of GS-5.

The Legislatures of each State will appoint one person to serve on a Federal Civil Service Oversight Board.  Board members will serve terms determined by their individual State.  This 50-member board will have power independent of Congress to investigate accusations of fraud, waste, abuse, or employee misconduct/failure to meet standards within the Federal workforce.  The board, by a 3/5 majority vote, may dismiss any federal employee below the grade of Cabinet Secretary.  The board will also investigate charges of retaliation against whistle-blowers.  With the concurrence of 3/5 of the board, anyone deemed as having engaged in retaliation will be dismissed from Civil Service.  No person dismissed by the Oversight Board will be eligible for any future Civil Service position or for elected office to Congress or the Presidency.

292,000

That’s how many people are known to have illegally crossed the U.S. border “in recent months” and been allowed to stay…. with the Federal Government transporting them throughout the country with open arms.

And now the town of Murietta, California, is being portrayed as some sort of eeeeeeevil group of people.  According to the New York Times article, Murietta “has not been as transformed by immigration as many other communities in Southern California have,” ((how dare they?)) and residents had the audacity to block the busloads of invaders (lets call them what they are, please) Uncle Sam apportioned to their community.

Supposedly, our nation just celebrated the anniversary of the date we withdrew consent from a government that was injurious to our freedoms, and set about forming a new one.  In reality, most Americans simply enjoyed their time off work, overate at barbecues, spent money they didn’t have on things they don’t need, or watched fireworks from a safe distance (instead of creating some much needed ones like the residents of Murietta did).  It wasn’t a celebration of freedom… it wasn’t even a contemplation of it or what it takes to sustain it.

Let’s be blunt: for the following reasons (among many others), there can be no doubt the Federal Government not only does not represent the wishes of the citizenry — it is actively hostile to those wishes:

– We are slowly becoming re-embroiled in a war the current Administration was originally elected in 2008 to end

– Our government no longer recognizes any Constitutional restraint against collecting our personal communications, with or without any probable cause (and such illegal evidence is used in courts with the sources obscured to cover the government’s own crimes.)

– Uncle Sam is actively abetting a large-scale, ongoing invasion of this nation.  Yes, they are fellow human beings bearing the imagio dei.  So are members of al Qada and MS-13.  I raise that fact because the first point is not the carte blanche excuse for erasing the border and letting just everyone in that activists portray it to be.   Freedom of association is an important trait of a stable nation.  The United States is no longer a stable nation.  It is an unstable political entity made up of imported and non-assimilated polities whose determination not to integrate and competition for influence and resources only benefits our rulers.  And let’s get another thing straight while I’m at it: I’m sick of activists comparing current events to the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers.  Did they dispossess the Native Americans?  Yes… and these holier than thou people frequently point out the abuses that involved.  But are you now saying two wrongs make a right?  It sure seems that way.  Be careful — your anti-Western civilization bias is showing.

– The Federals are abusing virtually every power and trust, via every agency they have, and refuse to account for their actions.

At least one writer was willing to ask the pertinent question this weekend.  To which I reply a resounding “ABSOLUTELY.”  Our government’s actions on multiple fronts no longer bear any semblance of legitimacy.  And if voting them all out in November doesn’t fix it, then it’s time to look at remaining alternatives.  I have come to strongly doubt, however, whether Americans are even serious about trying the first option, much less running the risks involved in large scale disobedience and refusal to comply.  Make no mistake, either: as ‘law enforcement’ becomes ever-more heavily militarized, our days of being able to peacefully resist in force sufficient to actually change things are likely numbered.

What would the Founding Generation do?