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

No more compromise. Period.

I guess the next two days will feature obligatory public pearl-clutching that the president asked why America would want immigrants from “s***hole nations,” instead of from more Western countries like “Norway.”

Yes, he absolutely shouldn’t have phrased it that way.  But I’ve traveled myself, courtesy of Uncle Sam’s Armed Forces, to a few “s***hole nations.”  Trump is imprudently making an important point that will be entirely overlooked: the only question that should drive policy in this area is:  ‘What does an unchecked flood of migrants from failed societies do for Americans already here?’ Answer: become a net burden.  Enough with the ‘diversity’ experiment.

The public displays of moral outrage over Trump’s latest remarks will push the real scandal off the front pages.  That scandal is that once again our lawmakers are proposing a compromise deal on immigration that is bad for America.  “Just let the Dreamers stay,” they preen, “and we’ll get serious about immigration enforcement this time.  No, really.”

They said that in the 1980s, too.  And the 1990s.  “Wiping the slate clean” as the 1986 law was supposed to do clearly didn’t solve the issue, because we have more illegal immigrants in America today than we did then.  And “amnesty” by any other name is just as unjust.  Lucy is simply preparing to yank the football away from Charlie Brown once more.  This is the best comment I’ve seen on the compromise proposals:

The basic problem with trading amnesty for so-called “Dreamers” (illegal aliens brought to America as children) for increased enforcement of laws against illegal immigration and greater border security is that those aims are fundamentally in contradiction…  (emphasis added)

So when it comes to the shell game negotiations now going on in Washington, as of now, I’m voting for gridlock.

Despite his appalling tendency toward diarrhea of the mouth, Trump’s administration has accomplished some noteworthy goals on behalf of America during this first year.  Some have compared him favorably to Saint Ronald of Reagan.  That should be a warning: Reagan’s two fatal errors were agreeing to the immigration compromise of his time, and not demanding spending cuts to offset the military buildup that allowed the U.S. to reengage the Cold War on a stronger footing after Vietnam.  The first created a demographic time bomb, the second a fiscal one.

As currently practiced, immigration to the United States changes our country more than it changes the immigrants.  We are expected to adapt to their norms, rather than the other way around.  And since norms in many of the countries of origin can be fairly described as producing “s***holes,” one wonders what future immigration advocates desire for America.

“Magic Dirt theory is a key component of immigration romanticism, too. Sure, Mexico and Central America are messed-up places, and presumably their inhabitants played some role in messing them up. If we just move thirty or forty million of those people to the U.S.A., though, our Magic Dirt will transform them into civic-minded Jeffersonian yeomen!”

I recently visited my parents, and some observations come to mind.  Their neighborhood has never been wealthy, but it has deteriorated noticeably over the four decades they’ve lived there.  The two houses across the street now each house multiple families of foreign origin who do nothing to keep their houses up, park semi-abandoned cars all over the yards, and party so loudly my parents have had to call the police multiple times.  One of the neighbors bragged to my father that he has 18 children by different women.

My formerly small-town home has seen wave after wave of migrants from all over the world, and I don’t see the “enrichment” such diversity was supposed to bring.  What I *do* see is the old YMCA where I took swimming lessons is now a Buddhist meditation center.  Large piles of trash litter the side of the road for a mile leading to the dump because avoiding the landfill fee is now common practice.  Similar disregard for the law manifests in myriad other ways as well.  My parents didn’t install a security system in their house until after I graduated college, and they now have concealed carry permits.  Sure, you can get authentic Thai, Mexican and Chinese food.  Few of the people I grew up with there would consider that a positive tradeoff.  In fact, few of the people I grew up with are still there.

For all of these and many other reasons, I will not support ANY compromise on DACA, which was an openly admitted executive usurpation of legislative authority by the former president.  We’ve been sold this kind of “relief” too many times, and our good-hearted nature has been used to play us for fools.  Those who come here illegally have already shown disregard for our laws.  What makes us think that attitude will change once they’re here?  Particularly if we so obviously don’t intend to enforce our laws?

Mr. Trump, you were elected in no small part because after half a century of constant betrayal, the “posterity” of those who fought the American Revolution have run out of places to flee from the effects of these policies imposed on us by our self-proclaimed “betters.”  Many of your supporters in 2016 overlooked your personality and character flaws in the hope that maybe, just maybe, you would listen to the concerns of what some of our those ‘betters’ now openly dare to call “deplorables.”  If you sell us out, too, there is likely no chance those concerns will ever be addressed.

At least, within the system we used to respect.  This country was founded on the idea that systems sometimes fail the people.  Something about “altering or abolishing” government when it becomes destructive of life, liberty and property.  Despite the best efforts of today’s education system Marxist indoctrination factories, some of us still remember that legacy.  It’s our heritage and birthright.  And we’ll defend it.

Your move.

Why have a Congress?

It’s clear we aren’t ruled by representative government anymore.  Instead, unelected bureaucrats and a President who continues to wipe his feet on the Constitution rule us instead.

Today, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on a sweeping, 300+ page overhaul that will place the internet under government regulation as though it were a public utility, including, for the first time, the power to levy Federal taxes on it.  The FCC is expected to pass the changes by a 3-2 partisan vote (three Democrats, two Republicans on the commission) — just as “Obamacare” was passed on the flimsiest of margins.  Not exactly a mandate from the people in either case.  Not only has the FCC Chairman steadfastly refused to allow public review of the proposals before the vote (something that more sensible Senator Obama fellow thought should be a requirement), he has also refused to appear before Congress — the representative branch of government — before taking action that seems predetermined.

And thus does Congress just roll over yet again.  Does the IRS want to stonewall them about how they attempted to influence an election?  Fine, says the Congresscritters.  Got a rogue President ignoring his duty to faithfully execute the laws on immigration?  Gosh, wish there was something we could do about that, says Congress, but guess we’ll fund Homeland Security anyway.   Meanwhile, despite a court injunction against the President’s unconstitutional actions, he has the gall to tell our border enforcement agency–in a public, townhall meeting–to continue on anyway, or they’ll “answer to the head of Homeland Security.”

To top it off, despite Americans being war weary — especially given how the ship of state has been run aground at home — our leaders seem determined to pick a war with Russia (probably to distract from their utter corruption and abuse of power at home.  After all, we’ve always been at war with Eurasia, right?):

U.S. military combat vehicles paraded Wednesday through an Estonian city that juts into Russia, a symbolic act that highlighted the stakes for both sides amid the worst tensions between the West and Russia since the Cold War…  The United States has sent hundreds of military personnel to joint NATO exercises in the Baltics. NATO nations committed in September to forming a rapid reaction force that could deploy quickly to eastern Europe if they are invaded.

Congress, if it had any spine whatsoever, could stop all this in its tracks.  FCC chairman wants to ignore a request for testimony?  Fine — defund the FCC until he sees the error of his ways.  IRS wants to act like an unaccountable mafia operation?  Fine, pass a flat tax to be collected at the point of sales and sent direct to the Treasury, abolish the income tax and the IRS right along with it.

The problem is that Congress has either no will or no desire to act so decisively in defense of the people.  Some of that is because many of its members secretly hope to wield this growing Federal power themselves one day.  For those who see the danger and want to roll back increasingly unitary government under executive fiat, they can’t get enough of their fellow Capitolistas to cooperate.  Worse, many individual Americans are still convinced that handing government more power will solve problems that government intervention created to begin with!

Maybe Americans will light up Congressional phone lines today.  Maybe not.  I’m not convinced it makes a difference anymore.  Leviathan’s gonna do what Leviathan wants to do.  And that’s increase its control over you.  So the question, America, is what are our alternatives?  Are we ready as a people yet to say that if Congress won’t comply with our will, we’ll just defund the whole three-ring circus ourselves by refusing to pay taxes?  Or will this trend have to continue until either freedom dies completely or shots have to be fired in its defense?  I greatly fear it’s going to be the latter, because it seems that will be the only thing that will wake up a critical mass of citizenry to action.

“The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.” –John Adams, 1818