Saturday, 23 October 2010

Slack off, poke fun, smash oppression

Earnest zealots will probably say there are more important things to blog about, but the developing story that’s interested me most in recent days started when a US pilot had a bit of a ‘Rosa Parks moment’ last week.
On October 15th Michael Roberts was commuting to work through Memphis International Airport, when the sheer effing pointlessness of a ‘routine’ security check made him snap. You can read his account of it at , and a follow-up supporting article by another pilot at .
I’m sure there are other accounts of this matter by the kind of muesli-munching ‘civil liberties activists’ that kneejerk lefties approve of, but I quite like the cranky, downhome mix of libertarian headbanging you get from Lew Rockwell, so I’m going to stick with that.
For example, more recently a bod called Michael S. Rozeff goes a stage further.
As he says:
“Flyers now have the option enforced against them of either being scanned or groped. What a choice!”
Then he says something that really made me grin, when he suggests:
“What I wish is that all flyers would organize and boycott all flying, or organize sit-down strikes at all the airports on a given day and hour, or organize some sort of widespread protest action or actions at specific times so as to make known their true inner feelings.”
And he continues, quite reasonably:
“Groping and scanning are both searches. Both are equally vile. Both are unreasonable searches. Both need to be rejected.
Why should I submit to a search? What have I done to merit that? What criminal record have I accumulated in my 70 years? When have I uttered a threat against an airline? When have I encouraged anyone to blow up an airplane?
Where’s the probable cause? Where’s the reasonable basis to grope me, frisk me, x-ray me, or otherwise invade my person or property? There is none.
Where’s the warrant obtained from a judge? There is none.”
Because for 'the Septics', as Ian Dury memorably dubbed them (Septic Tank = Yank), this is covered in the Fourth Amendment, which demands that:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
And just the next day, there’s another joker going for it with an open letter to the Walt Disney Corporation at Read it and wet yourself.
Of course, this isn’t America, neither the Isle of Man nor the UK has a written constitution, and as most of my fellow Manxies are way too indolent or worried about what the neighbours might think to protest about anything (other than why Ramsey Pier hasn’t been restored or why some of us not only have to go to work but are actually expected to get off Facebook and do some when we get there) Martin Luther King wouldn’t make many converts here.
Then again, as King’s hero Ghandhi once slyly suggested, if sitting around doing nothing is the culture you live with, why not do as little as possible and pass it off as a campaign?
Yay! A campaign for social change that doesn’t involve anything but sitting at home and/or extracting the Michael out of dumb corporations who offer tastless tat in a country no sane person would bother travelling to. Bring it on.
If we get really worked up, we could even wander down to Ronaldsway Airport en masse and…well, sit around staring out the window for a few hours or something.

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