Imagine we are sitting at a table - a roadside café in Frankfurt, Germany.
I tell you, "I had a nightmare. We were here, but it was 1946 instead. The Americans and Russians have bombed all of Europe into the dust, because this new guy running Germany invaded Poland, Russia, France... he won approval to call the Jews inhuman, and killed millions of them in gas chambers, with machine guns, diseases and starvation. Tens of millions more died in Europe trapped between immense armies - the Americans put thousands of bombers in the sky at one time."
Quietly, you talk to the waiter when he next approaches, and shortly the ambulance arrives. Smiling men in white usher me off to the hospital. Clearly I am mentally ill. No one could do what I suggested that Führer was planning; Germany is starting a new age of recovery.
Every generation is living in the most modern society it has ever known. None of them actually ask for the purges taking millions of people to early graves.
But it happens, largely because no one can believe it, and so no one acts early to prevent it.
Take the lesson.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Ladies and gentlemen, you're being hoaxed.
You're being sold your own fear.
A number of people are making claims about "security" while pointing at the Transportation Security Administration - and they're trying to paint a positive picture. They're wrong to do so, and I will explain why you should be angry at being manipulated.
But where to start?
Okay. Look at the pile of confiscated belongings at the airport. Some are eager to show you a pile of tweezers, scissors, knives (including butter), power tools, even hammers and saws. They cry, "See what we have saved you from!"
That's Part 1 of the Big Lie. First: all of those things have flown on commercial aircraft for over 70 years without incident. If you know that people, not things, are dangerous, this will not surprise you.
At the extreme, you might be doubtful of this. Surely, you say, guns are a bad idea. What if I could show you that in the entire history of commercial flight, small arms fire to the airframe has never shot a commercial airliner down? Can I prove that? Sure I can. Just read through the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center site.
There is another part of the Big Lie. This is that if we only search airline passengers, the United States of America will be safe from terrorists.
Well, no. Not only do we not even search everything going into the plane (have you thought about the caterers?), we don't screen baggage handlers or even the TSA workers hired to pat you down. You can find dozens of on-line articles where TSA employees were thieves, or where someone was bribed to allow drugs to be shipped on a plane.
Question: if you can bribe somebody to put something on a plane, does that somebody actually know what that something is?
Now, let's step away from the plane for a bit. Does a "terrorist" only have a plane for a target? Of course not. Have you seen an Emergency Response Guidebook?
Oh, yeah. That should have opened your eyes a bit. Yes, we ship, truck, pipe and rail millions of tons of hazardous materials across this country daily. It's in transit right now - the raw materials of an industrial nation. That's us. Some of those materials are actually called Weapons of Mass Destruction when a politically-unpopular person or group has them. We just ship it around. It's right here among us, ready to be used to kill or injure thousands at a time.
We don't care.
So. What are we doing? For convenience, we are allowing ourselves to be presumed guilty of an unnamed offense for the crime of wanting to travel by airplane.
For convenience, we allow ourselves and our children to be groped by an ersatz guard force so abysmally stupid they searched veteran Joe Foss for carrying his Medal of Honor.
I suggest that if you are letting this happen, you should stop.
And if you are causing this to happen, at least wear the brown shirt.