Am I a high risk flier? – U.S. plan: Threat level for every flyer – Feb. 28, 2003

Summary: The US government adn airlines are going to do background checks on everyone with the audacity to buy airline tickets, and categorize them as to their risk level.

And what’s amazing is not so much that they expect people to put up with this, but the fact that the sheep (baa baa baa) will welcome this invasion of their privacy with open arms in the name of “National Security.” Yes, the same National Security that confiscated a bungee cord from my father’s luggage cart because he could use it to “restrain” someone.

I keep hear people saying, well, when they do X, people will rise up and protest, and something will be done. I hear this about absurd patents, I hear this about the DMCA, and a variety of other things, and now I hear it about these absurd, and unconstitutional, travel restrictions. But we (the collective we of all the travellers who have to get places, and realize that we have to put up with this nonsense to get there) will put up with it, just like we put up with them stealing our Swiss Cards because we could use them to hijack the plane (presumably if the pilot was really small), just like we put up with unbathed strangers pawing through our underwear, just like we put up with the assumption that we are terrorists (guilty until proven innocent, right?), just like we put up with sweaty strangers groping us in public without our consent, and just like we put up with a thousand other absurd things that have been laid on us, in the name of security and blind patriotism, since our nation was attacked precisely because of the freedoms we enjoy. Our response should have been greater freedoms, not eliminating those that we still have.

I’m getting seriously steamed about the treatment that I get when I travel. Travel is one of the fundamental aspects of being American, since moving to America in the first place (ie, in the 1500’s through the 1700’s), through the move to the West Coast (in the first half of the 1800’s, I believe), through the road trip you took in college. travelling is part of what it is to be an American. And, yet, when I arrive at the airport, and I need to get to my destination, I realize that one does not insult the crocodile before one crosses the river, as I read on a plaque at the border crossing between Rwanda and Zaire, during my 1988 visit to those countries. And so I feel helpless to protest, realizing also that the people carrying out these acts are not themselves the source of the problem, merely the tools via which it is inflicted on us – although many of them are taking undue advantage of their position to exploit the situation for personal benefit.

What, exactly, is it that we can do to fight these profoundly unamerican moves on the part of our government, and restore the liberties that make us Americans?