Simply put, civil society cannot survive this.
Okay, I now have definitive proof that al Qaeda has actually won. It hasn't achieved the dissolution of the United States, or succeeded in murdering millions of Americans, or re-established the Caliphate, but it has caused our government to debase itself in the name of security. To wit:
My mother-in-law was traveling home to Rhode Island from Washington Reagan airport this past Tuesday night when, passing through the TSA naked-porno machine, she triggered an alarm.
A bit of background before I continue: My mother-in-law, though youthful in outlook and an all-around very attractive person, is also 79-years-old, 4'11" if she's lucky, and weighs about 110 pounds …
She entered the machine and struck the humiliating pose one is forced to strike -- hands up, as in an armed robbery -- and then walked out, when she was asked by a TSA agent, in a voice loud enough for several people to hear, "Are you wearing a sanitary napkin?"
Remember, she's 79.
My mother-in-law answered, "No. Why do you ask?"
The TSA agent responded: "Well, are you wearing anything else down there?"
Yes, "down there."
She said no, at which point, the friend with whom she was traveling, also a not-young volunteer library advocate, came over and asked if there was a problem.
The TSA agent said, again, in full voice, "There's an anomaly in the crotch area."
… How did it come to pass that the federal government takes official and invasive interest in the "crotch areas" of 79-year-old grandmothers? Have we just gone crazy?
In the same article, Goldberg goes on to report yet another crotch-related TSA story … But hey, "TSA legalized assaults happen daily in police state USA" right?
And it's not just at airports either. American travelers are being subjected to sexually intrusive gropings at train stations, bus stations, and at random checkpoints on highways too. Justice Robert Jackson, U.S. chief of counsel for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, warned in 1949:
Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government … Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart.
Obama is, along with the rest of his administration (especially Janet Napolitano), unquestionably responsible for the TSA's deliberate humiliation of, and lack of common decency toward, American citizens. He certainly deserves significant blame. But what my conservative friends must come to terms with is that there would be no Janet Napolitano, TSA, and random sexual gropings at all, if it wasn't for a Republican-controlled Congress, a Republican president eager to amass unbridled powers, and a "conservative" constituency who subserviently supported and cheered them on.
We don't like to talk about our own mistakes. It's human nature. We prefer to sweep them under the rug. But conservatives need to confess, repent, and work diligently and unconditionally toward rectifying this sin against American liberty. Because the conservative movement, by proxy of their unconditional support of the Bush administration and the Republican Party in general, owns the TSA (and all of the abuse that comes with it).
War and the Civil Society
James Madison, the father of our Constitution, warned that "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." He told us that "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare," because "Of all the enemies of public liberty, war … comprises and develops the germ of every other."
"It is a universal truth," Madison declared, "that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad." He's been proven correct.
The DHS, TSA and the rest of their bureaucratic ilk represent Madison's warning fulfilled - "Tyranny and Oppression" which has come to our land under "the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." As Angelo Codevilla, professor of international relations at Boston University, Vice Chairman of the U.S. Army War College Board of Visitors, and author of The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It, puts it clearly:
Common sense does not mistake the difference between victory and defeat: the losers weep and cower, while the winners strut and rejoice. The losers have to change their ways, the winners feel more secure than ever in theirs. On September 12, retiring Texas Senator Phil Gramm encapsulated this common sense: "I don't want to change the way I live. I want to change the way they live." Common sense says that victory means living without worry that some foreigners might kill us on behalf of their causes, but also without having to bow to domestic bureaucrats and cops, especially useless ones. It means not changing the tradition by which the government of the United States treats citizens as its masters rather than as potential enemies. Victory requires killing our enemies, or making them live in debilitating fear.
According to the official mantra, "[Terrorists] hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other." Yet ever since the creation of the DHS, the US federal government has gone out of its way to prove it hates our freedoms even more. Are they trying to appease the terrorists? Or is it that they simply didn't let a crisis go to waste?
Because it is Americans today who live in debilitating fear … A fear that has led them to willingly change the way they live, flip the people's relationship to their government on its head, and to make it their Master. Spreading democracy? Don't make me laugh. We're spreading dictatorship, right here at home.
Madison warned too of "the old trick of turning every contingency into a resource for accumulating force in government." Meaning as long as the TSA exists, the disrespect, indignity and abuse that is part and parcel of our new "Homeland" Police State - an institution that necessarily reduces ordinary citizens to less than human "enemies combatants" - can only get worse. Therefore it must be abolished outright. Otherwise, the "ratchet effect" of abusive "security" measures will continue to grow unabated.
The state has successfully destroyed American society. Unfortunately, it has done so with the people's blessing.
It has expropriated our labor, released us from the restraint of social sanctions, clouded our thoughts and dispossessed us of our self-reliance. The result of which, as Frank Chodorov wrote, is to induce "a climate of uselessness, of lack of interest in striving, and thus destroys the civilization it feeds upon. Or so the record shows: every civilization that declined or was lost carried an all-powerful State on its back."
Contra the suspiciousness of government that led to the Revolution, we've grown suspicious of our neighbors instead. Society is the problem. Government is the solution. And a patriotic love of country has been replaced by nationalistic obedience to the state: our protector, our provider, our priest, our equalizer … our religion.
In the name of war, any war, we've authorized psychopathic violence, licensed sexual immorality, glorify the absolute worst of mankind and get a vicarious thrill via mass murder (of the other). (See Robert Nisbet, The Twilight of Authority.) We're devolving into savages.
There's no hope if we continue traveling down the path we're on. A culture that once cherished freedom, but has willingly traded the virtue of self-governance for the (imaginary) "security" of slavery … will get exactly that, slavery.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking … is freedom. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower