Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Libertarian" statist pricks

You don't normally expect to run across drool-worthy, jaw droopingly idiotic blog posts over at the Volokh Conspiracy, particularly not ones going full frontal in their advocacy of the most useless, wasteful, freedom-infringing, Statist Prick delighting Federal Agency ever devised.

Stewart Baker just did that.  Boy, howdy: The Sex secrets of the TSA?
It’s Thanksgiving weekend, when most of us get to spend at least some time thinking about TSA. I’ve spent mine puzzling over the roots of TSA-hatred.

There’s no doubt that it’s virulent. As a privacy skeptic and national security conservative, I’m used to hostile comments.  But it’s only when I defend TSA that the comments go beyond hostile to visceral and occasionally even spittle-flecked.

Why is that? Notwithstanding the venom of the TSA-haters, polls show that most Americans support TSA, including the decision to use whole body scanners. But for a very vocal minority opposing the agency isn’t political. It’s personal.

I can’t explain the women who hate TSA with a passion, though I’m not sure how many there are.
Wow.  The comments to that post are interesting, as are the comments to Jonathan Adler's Wow, didn't Stewart really open a can of worms one.  The first comment to that post is interesting:
Baker's post "touched a nerve" because it is insulting and beyond idiotic. The idea that women are going to be turned on by the involuntary guy on guy action in the security line, combined with the idea that men object to the screenings because of some kind of anxiety over their performance while being groped, is terribly offensive and litteraly the stupidest thing anybody has ever written on this blog. The fact that Baker would make this comments as one of the authors of the TSA policy shows him to be just a sick individual. It is not at all surprising that this is the TSA mindset.
[emphasis mine]  Note that the blog allows readers to rate a comment as positive or negative.  As I write this the score is 110 like vs. 2 dislike.

This shows that even a "libertarian" blog can be infested with statist pricks.  I had not known that Baker had been the #2 (or #3) man at the Department of Homeland Security.  But his view into the American Psyche is telling - the commenter to Adler's post has it precisely correct.  Baker wrote TSA policy.  The TSA is his baby.

Own it, Baker.

This was quite an insight for me as to the Volokh Conspiracy site.  Branding is a simple thing, but people forget that it's a two way street - people you work with can help your brand, but they can also hurt it.  I'll never run across that blog without the words "statist pricks" whispering in the back of my head.

And oh yeah, you should read Ken at Popehat on this, where our very own TJIC shows up in the comments with his patented form of snark.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aaron said...

Well you did just blog below of the attempted use of a rack as a deadly weapon. It's only a matter of time before the terrorists smuggle a dirty pillow, or even a set, onto a plane

Therefore the TSA, to keep us all safe on board of course, must thoroughly check these potential delectable devices of death for our safety...yeah that's it, the public's safety.

How else can the average TSA cop cop a feel without such pretense?

knottedprop said...

How the Aussies deal with security....

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understand your position BP.

Are you against airline security? Where do you draw your line?


JD Rush said...

I clicked through to Amy Alkon's blog. She has her very own TSA agent to harass her on her blog, too. Very nice of them to provide that.

rwcg said...

Holy cow. And you are so right about branding, too. I'm less libertarian than you, but the fact that this guy calls himself a 'national security conservative' has turned me off that brand forever.

Borepatch said...

JM, the TSA doesn't provide airline security, it provides security theater. Not only is it vastly intrusive, it's a waste of security resources that could actually do some good.

Anonymous said...

I don't necessarily disagree BP - something has to be done. Where do libertarians stand on sky marshalls?

Weetabix said...

Issue EVERYONE on the plane a taser. If someone gets frisky, you may land with a full complement of drooling vegetables, but the plane won't go into a building.

Jehu said...

Honestly, I am disgusted by people who are NOT disgusted by the TSA. I want to disenfranchise them permanently and marginalize them out of the public discourse. I consider them worse than collaborators, because at least most collaborators got serious benefits from their perfidy.

Goober said...

I heard a comedian the other day that said that the best way to secure airlines was to issue every passenger a gun when they boarded the plane. WHoever pulls their gun first is the terrorist. Whoever pulls their gun second is everybody else. Good luck to the terrorist.

Seriously, though, to anaymous above asking about airline security - the 9/11 attacks were made possible because of two factors:

1.) Unsecured cockpits on planes
2.) The belief, based on historical data, that if the people on board would just cooperate, that they would be ransomed and would probably survive the incident (as had happened in every other hijacking to date.

Neither one of these factors exist anymore. Cockpit doors are hardened vaults, and no group of passengers on a plane is ever going to allow a guy with a box cutter to take control of the plane ever again, because the historical data has changed to where now, if you let them have control, you probably die.

Pre-9/11 security measures at the gate would be more than sufficient. Metal detector and bag x-ray. DOne.

All else is just security theater, and proof of that is that these new methods have never actually stopped anyone from getting on a plane with a weapon. All of the examples of guns found by the TSA were found by pre-9/11 security measures.

The actual risk to you of terrorism is so massively low that it doesn't even register on a bar chart compared to the risk of allowing a government to run roughshod over our privacy and right to our effects. If you look at the last 100 years, the people killed by terrorists is microscopic compared to the numbers killed by intrusive, overbearing governments. There, my friend, lies the true risk.

I would be absolutely fine flying on an airline that didn't search you or restrict you at all, so long as the cockpit doors are secured. I'd take my gun on board with me, and any person who wanted to cause problems would get two to center mass before they finished their first "allahu ackbar!"