Protect and serve (you with a crotch-grab)

There are many perfectly good reasons to hold Republicans (a.k.a. big-government conservatives) in thorough and utter contempt; personally, I view most Republican politicians as being even less intelligent than the majority of lower primates, including the uniquely American species known as Leftloonus democratis, from the Jackass phylum. One of the best reasons, of course, has to be the existence of that miserable excuse for a domestic terrorist prevention system that we call the Transportation Safety Administration. As far as I can tell, they attempt to justify their existence through the use of the most irrational approaches to public safety that I've ever seen.

Of course, when you ask most ordinary Americans whether they think the whole "domestic terrorism prevention" racket is a Good Thing, almost on cue the sheeple always do. This simply proves Vox's longstanding aphorism that MPAI, after all, and should be no source of surprise to anyone who has actually lived with or had extended exposure to ordinary Americans.

The question is, does the TSA actually protect anyone? The answer, according to someone who actually understands how to keep airports safe, is "HELL no":
For a bunch of people in snappy uniforms patting down crotches, the TSA is remarkably unpopular. Nobody likes going through security at the airport, but you probably figured most of it had a point. All those hours spent in line with other shoeless travelers are a necessary precursor to safe flying. It's annoying, but at least it wards off terrorism. 
That's all bullshit. The TSA couldn't protect you from a 6-year-old with a water balloon. What are my qualifications for saying that? My name is Rafi Sela, and I was the head of security for the world's safest airport.
The article goes on to list a long series of cock-ups that make one think that the entire agency was designed and built by a bunch of drunken loony bin inmates with crayons. (Which, come to think of it, is a highly apt and apposite description of most American politicians.) The article makes for incredibly depressing reading; it's literally as if no one in America has grown a brain cell in the last 12 years when it comes to thinking about how to keep people safe and secure.

For instance, those high-frequency imaging scanners that are supposed to be perfectly safe for public use, as well as highly effective at catching potential terrorists with plastic explosive strapped to their asses? Totally useless:
Remember those full-body scanners that leaked naked pictures of random citizens all over the Internet? The last ones were removed earlier this year, but did you ever wonder how those things were approved in the first place? 
Blame Michael Chertoff, former secretary of Homeland Security and head of the Chertoff Group, which in 2010 represented a little company named Rapiscan. In addition to sounding like "Rapey-Scan," Rapiscan was in the business of making full-body scanners. Chertoff stood in front of Congress (his friends and former co-workers) and explained that these scanners were the future of security ("and," he neglected to add, "the future of ME getting very, very rich and horrible"). Congress listened, and for the first time they mandated a piece of equipment for use in American airports. Remember: These were politicians with no security credentials. They decided Chertoff was an honorable man and went along with everything he said. 
Of course, after a little while it came out that these scanners were useless. I could strap a bomb capable of taking down a 747 to my body and walk right through a body scanner. Nobody would catch me. I'd rather not explain exactly how, but this German man was able to sneak a fake bomb through the same scanners without being caught. And he did it in Germany, a country where "airport security officer" isn't a synonym for "failed Walmart cashier."
And then there's my single biggest beef with the TSA: the fact that they refuse to profile people. If I could name one really idiotic idea that I thought needed to be nuked from orbit, this is the one. For whatever reason, the TSA, and the DHS in general, do not wish to offend "minority groups" by promoting the stereotype that Muslims are dangerous- despite the fact that MUSLIMS commit almost EVERY SINGLE TERRORIST ACT in this day and age:
The TSA treats each traveler the same because of some stupid idea that everything needs to be fair. Security needs to be done due to risk -- and risk means that in Israel we don't check luggage, we check people. And I'm not talking about racial profiling here; that's a product of poor training. Regardless of race or creed, people with bombs strapped to their body behave in similar ways. The TSA claims thatfinding IEDs at the checkpoint is their number one goal. But it's the people who mean us harm that we should look out for. Instead of checking intent, they check luggage. 
And they don't even do it well: I have orthopedic insoles in my shoes made from composite material. On the machines, that composite looks identical to plastic explosives. I put them on the belt every time, and no one -- NO ONE -- ever questions my shoes. Some security experts suspect that the TSA has never once caught a terrorist at a checkpoint. And we know that at least 16 of them have flown into U.S. airports since 2004.
The trouble here is, there is literally no way to convince most otherwise rational people that this is an insane idea. I've gotten into massive arguments with both of my parents, and my sister, about this very subject. All three of them refuse to listen to the idea that profiling people, whether by race or appearance or behaviour, to sort out the genuine loonies from the people who just want to get home quickly, is a Good Thing. Their way of thinking is that security trumps everything else, and therefore, it somehow makes sense to have everyone checked and humiliated and violated at an airport. My mother literally tried to trump my reasoned and factual arguments by saying that she would rather have everyone go through pain and misery at an airport than drape wreaths over pictures of me and my sister in the event that a terrorist managed to blow up a flight that we were on.

Of course, this completely ignores the fact that if you want to kill large numbers of people quickly, you can achieve results much more quickly at the airport than you can 10,000m in the sky.

The funny thing is, this particular brand of jaw-dropping stupidity is unique to the USA. I've been through airports in Germany, Singapore, India, the UK, Hong Kong, and Canada over the last 5 years, and every single one of them got me from check-in to the gate in under 30 minutes. Yet at JFK two weeks ago, it took nearly an hour just to get through the security screening, never mind the associated rigmarole of check-in and getting to the gate, etc.

It is deeply ironic that it was Alexander Hamilton, the father of American Big Government, that wrote the following words:
Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.
Or, to put it more succinctly:
A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.
One can only conclude that the Americans, along with most of the rest of the Western world, are indeed ready and waiting for a master.


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