I’ve been following John Tyner’s “groin check incident” at the San Diego airport.
For those of you not familiar with it, you can visit the original blog posting John Tyner made right after this happened. He was singled out to be subject to a naked body scanner at the airport. When he chose to opt out, he was told that he would then be subject to a standard pat-down. When the TSA officer “assisting” him told him he would do a “groin check,” he says, “I looked him straight in the eye and said, ‘if you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.'”
The incident quickly escalated from there, he was not permitted to take his flight, and was even threatened with detention, a civil suit, and a fine.
What I find particularly interesting about this encounter is that John Tyner, who fully deserves his new status as a folk hero, is no conservative. This conclusion is based on comments of his that I read that he had posted elsewhere on his blog about waterboarding. He also make this statement in commenting about this groin check incident: “The second link is to a story written by a woman who thinks that the best way to fight for our civil rights (with respect to illegal searches by the TSA) is to begin writing letters to corporations whose businesses will be hurt if people refuse to be groped and stop flying, altogether. At first, I didn’t think this approach had any merit, but after seeing the TSA steel their resolve in the face of that pilot standing up to them, I think the corporations who control the government might be our only chance.”
A couple of points that really need to be made here.
First, Bush and his waterboarding and monitoring of phone calls, that was directed against the enemy. You are naive if you think that we can protect liberty without fighting. There have always been thugs in this world who would take away human liberty. This country was founded by the shedding of blood and “violating the civil liberties” of the British. Yes, we believe that all people are endowed by their Creator with the rights of life, liberty, and property. But establishing and defending those liberties has to be done by wresting power from thugs, which, yes, does violate their rights. Yes, it’s bad that we have to live in such a world. There was a time when, as a society, this is what we believed. The erosion of that belief is probably the greatest threat, now, to our liberties.
Second, yes, I understand that these airport screening procedures had their germination in the Bush administration. That’s another thing that makes addressing these liberty issues difficult – the partisanship of so many people. Many Republicans think, “Well, if Bush did it, it’s okay.” I’m sorry, I don’t think that way. Republicans, don’t let that diminish your fervor in fighting against this. Democrats, don’t let the notion that since Barack Obama and Janet Napolitano are standing their ground on this, don’t let that cause you to let up. You were horrified at the government looking at your library records. How can you stand idly by when they’re looking at your naked body or have their hands in your groin?
But John Tyner, this idea of demonizing the corporations, I hope that with a little more maturity you will see this a little more clearly. After your fight with the government, you went to the American Airlines counter and, while it was contrary to their rules, they ended up giving you a refund.
You people who demonize corporations while giving more and more power to the government, you really need to open your eyes. American Airlines, or any other airlines, or all the airlines put together, can’t forcibly take your property, hold you at gunpoint, put you in jail, or tell you what to do. Their power comes by persuasion. Yes, some of them wield great influence with the government. But there are times when corporations cross the government, and when that happens, guess who wins? Wake up, people. Corporations can’t tell the government what to do. They can beg, plead, bribe, or whatever. But it’s the government that has the power.
Extend what you are learning about the government, PLEASE, to health care. When an insurance company denies your claim, you can run to the government for redress. Failing that, you can always just pay for it yourself. Even when you can’t afford it, there is human compassion that can be remarkably resourceful. But, if this Obamacare is allowed to be implemented, and you have a government bureaucrat deny your claim, you won’t be able to run to anyone – you’ll just die. And when the government runs out of money to pay for all those kidney transplants and bypass operations, some people will get them and some won’t. All this faith in the government – you really need your eyes opened.