Those Who Forget History Are Doomed to Have Their Junk Squeezed
When "progressive" ideas smack into national security.
December 11, 2010 - 11:37 am
Are you enamored with the size and curvatures of our big, loving government? Do you yearn for a quick and easy romantic bonding? Try screening procedures at your local airport. You’ll establish an intimate bond for life. Critics may call it a “junk bond,” but that’s true only according to their old-fashioned value system with its absolute standards — an absurdity in the era of relative Keynesian morals and redistributive justice.
In the eyes of the big, loving government you are a “junk asset” in need of security and equal protection. In practical terms this translates to an equal redistribution of pat-downs, as well as massive participation in the making of completely unbiased naked videos regardless of age, gender, body type, or membership in a certain murderous cult you may or may not belong to.
That’s what happens when you subscribe to the principle to each according to his need without reading the fine print: the government gets to define your needs for you. As a result, even those who didn’t vote for this administration are getting their junk squeezed. It’s called redistributive justice.
For this particular purpose, the government has an arm called the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA. It has been put in control of the airports, to which it lovingly refers to as “junk yards,” operating under the slogan “if everyone is a suspect then no one is a suspect.”
The objective of redistributive justice at the airport is to make homicidal jihadist maniacs feel as uncomfortable about wanting to blow up the place as their fellow passengers who may not have entertained such thoughts previously. An equal redistribution of guilt presumes an equal redistribution of criminal intent. That makes equal treatment of all passengers as terror suspects a fair practice.
As an added bonus, universal pat-downs promote an equal redistribution of venereal and other infectious diseases when the TSA agents don’t change their gloves. So when Barack Obama promised to spread the wealth around from the bottom up, he meant it literally. Someone should tell the government to make it the official motto of the TSA.
My friend Rocco, on the other hand, believes in old-fashioned standards. That means he also prefers the old-fashioned profiling. A man of Sicilian ancestry, he is easily mistaken for a Middle Easterner. By his own admission, he used to be singled out for security screenings more often than others, but it only made him feel safer because he knew the system was working. That was in the pre-TSA days. He has since signed up as a building contractor in Iraq and feels safer being mistaken for an Arab.
Five years ago, all passengers on New York subways were subjected to “unbiased” random bag searches in the name of equal redistribution of homicidal intentions. The People’s Cube responded to that with an editorial which equally applied the same “unbiased randomness” to all other activities by the city agencies and officials. Thus, the Fire Department would randomly douse one house per neighborhood per week, inevitably soaking a real fire every so often. The Sanitation Department would remove random objects from people’s driveways — a garbage bag, a car, and sometimes a random family member. City hospitals would perform random heart surgeries and treat patients for random diseases without bias towards their actual malady. And Mayor Bloomberg himself would invest his money randomly, by spinning the wheel at Atlantic City to see what he should do with his billions.
After a few short months even the progressive New Yorkers found the practical implementation of their own ideas of fairness and redistributive justice too absurd to continue. Fast forward five years. Our big, loving federal government picked up the same concept — only now it upgraded it from “random” to “universal — or as they say in New York, “the whole schmear.”
The loving government also got an upgrade, adding the letter “g” before “loving.” Well, hello, junkies!
One wonders, if universal strip searches are such a great idea, why doesn’t the government also abandon common sense and objective standards in all those other departments? Come to think of it, redistributive justice is still largely neglected in fire prevention. Why isn’t equal house-to-house soaking considered a good way to fight fires? Neither does the FDA require all Americans to take equal doses of Thorazine to prevent individual psychosis. And the government-run Fanny Mae doesn’t engage in an equal redistribution of subprime loans … No, wait, scratch that. Rather, if Janet Napolitano’s personal broker decides to invest equally in all stocks regardless of their performance, she will most definitely sue him for the losses and take her money elsewhere.
How come government officials who otherwise rely on old sensible standards are quick to abandon them in the matters of our life and death? Those of us who still want to live need to know. From where we are getting groped at the security checkpoint, it looks as if the government’s main concern is not protecting our lives, but something entirely different.
A few years back America used “Shock and Awe” to subdue Iraq. Today, it seems, America is itself being subdued with a subtler, gentler version of “Shock and Awe” at its own airports.
I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but if the overall goal of this administration were to crush the nation’s self-respect and turn individual citizens into a spineless biomass cowering in awe of government powers, electronic strip searches, and groping pat-downs would be an excellent way to do it.
Quite opportunely, former Senate Majority Tom Daschle’s wife happened to be lobbying nearby, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars given to her by the L3 strip search manufacturer. She was paid to convince the government to ditch the non-intrusive “puffer” machines that blew air at passengers and analyzed it for traces of explosives undetectable by all other scanners, especially if the explosives were hidden in body cavities. The system worked perfectly in laboratory conditions but was scrapped in 2009 before the machines could be perfected in airports. The demise of the puffers coincided with Tom Daschle’s wife’s lobbying efforts. As the stars would have it, she was rubbing shoulders with George Soros and Michael Chertoff, two serious customers with some serious investments in another competing company called Rapiscan.
When such great ideological, political, and financial interests start working together for the common good, chances of regular folks not getting their junk squeezed border on the paranormal.
These regular, common-sense folks would be happier if, instead of strip searches, George Soros’s money were invested in the following anonymous proposal that is currently bouncing off their computers in the form of a chain mail: Develop an armored booth for the passenger to step into, and if there are any explosives hidden on or in his body, the machine detonates them automatically. No racial profiling, no invasion of privacy, no long and expensive trials — a win-win for everyone. All the other passengers will only hear a muffled explosion followed by a pleasant chime: “Scanner clean-up at Gate 7. … Attention standby passengers: we now have a seat available … .”
Whoever thought up that idea must have a serious aversion to equality of outcomes. In the modern age of Keynesian morals and redistributive justice, the perseverance of die-hard “common-sensers” who write and forward such emails can only be explained by the objective existence of absolute human values that are antithetical to utopian thinking with all the usual scheming that comes with it. One such absolute human value would be the shared yearning to take a family on Christmas vacation and bring them back home in one piece, alive and unmolested.
Herein lies the divide between the two opposing ideologies: one is rooted in objective, absolute human values, and the other one is rooted in fleeting, feel-good opinions that always mutate depending on political expediency and their usefulness to advancing the conveniently vague idea of “progress.”
To an untrained eye, these seem to be two equal, parallel worlds where people can choose to settle — or to live between them in permanent confusion. But that choice is false. As we can see, even the toughest proponents of utopian relativist morality still need to rely on absolute standards in order to survive and advance their careers. No one can live on junk values alone; that utopian world exists entirely at the expense of the reality-based universe. Those who claim to live solely by impossible utopian principles are only deluding themselves and the others.
The real choice, therefore, is either to live by universal objective standards and common sense, or to succumb to eternal confusion that has spawned such oxymorons as “redistributive justice” and is responsible for the very existence of the Obama administration.
In a nutshell, to paraphrase George Santayana’s bumper sticker, those who forget universal values are doomed to have universal pat-downs.
This is why focusing public attention on the existence of absolute standards will always be damaging to progressivism with its amorphous junk values. The more the national dialogue dwells on universal core values, such as our lives and freedoms, the more people will side with objective reality and shake off the unhealthy seduction of utopian social experiments that has kept this nation in the state of confusion for a dangerously long time.