The Christmas holidays are upon us and travelers are preparing to drive or fly to visit with family abroad. For the first time in many years, Another Joe is flying right now as well, with a sense of trepidation I didn’t really experience last time. The times, they are a-changin’, as security is stepped up in US airports. As we’re herded like cattle through radiation machines and/or given a rubber glove treatment by TSA agents, it becomes apparent that this is not the country of our forefathers.
Americans are being systematically stripped of dignity by the government. Do you remember when it used to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people? I don’t. But I do remember believing that it was, and believing in our system. And that’s because, at its core, the idea of America is a good one. The principles upon which our founding fathers built this nation are sound and just. From the outspoken defamation of any central bank authority to protect us from monetary oppression to the right to keep and bear arms as a deterrent to subjugation, the founding fathers thought through the issues of a tyrannical government, doing all they could to prevent the atrocities they suffered under their former dictator.
Some may call me alarmist. Some in my own family do. And, perhaps, in some ways I am. Another Joe’s always been contrarian; at least as far back as I can remember. There is a cynical side to me, for whatever reason. Perhaps it came about as my vision for a good and free America became tattered and torn as I realized that the ideal was dead; struck down at the hands of social programs, manipulated markets, corporate fraud abetted by legislators and draconian laws foisted upon an unsuspecting and over-trusting citizenry.
There is an interesting equation in America that few of us think about. To be sure, I hadn’t considered it much until recently. As we study different cultures it becomes readily apparent that lying is commonplace in many of them. This breeds a certain distrust. And this distrust can be conducive to questioning the government’s intentions. Such questioning can lead to uprisings and protests that are uncommon in the US. Of course, we’re seeing this more and more, but they’re still very tame.
Perhaps it’s our aversion to lying that sets us up to be so easily deceived. Most Americans try to avoid lying, at least to any significant degree; and do not respect those who are willing to lie. While the days of making a deal and trusting your partner with a handshake are largely from a bygone era, we generally take people at their word. And, generally speaking, we can. It’s possible and still common to trust people to follow through in our culture. What we may not consider is that this prevailing sense of trust would easily lead to us trusting our government to be what they say they are.
They claim to be watching out for our best interests. They claim to be doing what they’re doing for our own safety.
And yet, in a country where “they” are supposed to be “us,” they continue to make the chasm between “them” and “us” broader and cut it more deeply. So, it’s certainly true that my concerns are not unjustifiable. There are clearly movements afoot that should concern each of us. And, even as I prepared to fly this season, I read a report from a dear friend who recently fled the system of social indoctrination for what she and her husband are convinced are clearer waters and greener pastures.
She had shared her feelings of being violated and denigrated at the hands of the TSA, prompting me to ask her to write her personal account of what happened. To be sure, her account is a tame one, in comparison to many others. We’ve read about and heard reports from others who have gone through horrendous experiences at the hands of TSA.
On one hand it’s all innocent enough. But even going through something as simple as having dogs checked for some malevolent devices (yes, her dogs were patted down), what becomes glaringly obvious is the treatment Americans are being brainwashed into thinking is for their own good.
This dear friend didn’t fall for it, and left with conflicting emotions of deep sadness, great relief, indignation and affirmation that she and her husband had made the right choice. Her experiences are in two stages.
I’ll share the first one below, where she shares the challenges faced as she helped her husband as he took the first of their pack of dogs and shipped off to their new home. Before I do, however, I want to point out one other important factor.
This woman does not come from a background that we would think is conducive to being too suspicious of her country. She comes from a very patriotic background, with many family members in the military, as well as a rich heritage of patriotism and sacrifice for America. And, even in sharing this account, it must be recognized that she is a true patriot; though one with a heart broken for her country and fellow citizens. Read and ponder…
I recently was forced to subject myself to the all-around nastiness of the renowned TSA, and surreal barely describes it.
After observing the cattle-like, overly cooperative, behavior of fellow boarding passengers (who typically respond, “I don’t mind because it’s for our safety… ,” if questioned why they tolerate abuse of their person and that of their children), and the prison guard-like behavior and demeanor of the obviously undereducated TSA clerks, it all fell into place. This is most definitely a conditioning, and the useful idiot taxpayers seem just fine with it.
The only positive regarding my first and only encounter with the lowest level of police state personnel, who operate as thugs because there is no accountability, is that it happened as I was exiting the U.S., ironically due to the burgeoning police state.
Because of a bad flight years ago, I avoided flying for approximately 15 years; well before the institution of the TSA. So when my husband took some of our pets with him on an international flight, two weeks before our permanent departure, nothing could have prepared me for the reality of this monstrous manifestation of our complete loss of liberty, as I helped him at the airport.
TSA encounter #1: LAN Airlines provides first class treatment, regardless of your fare category. They are extremely solicitous and hospitable. Even with lots of luggage, boxes and pet crates, we sailed through smoothly. Just as I thought we had completed the process and he could board, one of the airline professionals whispered apologetically “You must bring all the pets to TSA.”
In retrospect, I understand why he sounded so empathic and regretful.
With the assistance of a few LAN personnel, I brought the crates around the corner to TSA, while my husband completed some items with the airline.
I greeted the “gentlemen” very respectfully, told them it was my first experience with them, explaining that I hadn’t a clue what to do, using lots of self-directed humor, laughing at myself for being so naive. Then I asked if they could please guide me through the process. Nope.
No one would look at me. Not once. Absolutely no eye contact.
Psychologically, that technique alone is very dehumanizing; but when coupled with talking over my head, ignoring my questions as though I did not exist, it generated a sickening feeling. Their conversation was very animated with each other, however – discussing a baseball game the night previous.
I was curtly instructed to take each pet out of each crate.
The crates had already been secured, so the ties had to be broken. They had no means to break the ties, but the nice LAN personnel who escorted me to the TSA station and stayed with me, were very supportive, and they brainstormed a strategy, then replaced the ties. All the while, the 3 obstinate TSA men in this area just glared at us, instead of deigning to offer any assistance whatsoever.
Our pets were already stressed – being crated, car travel, decibel level at the airport, thousands of strangers, etc. As I patiently extracted each one, ’cause they sure did not want to come out, one TSA clerk – still discussing baseball with the other clerks – felt all around the cage. I won’t bother the reader with detail on what a mess they made, and how difficult it was in an open airport, holding an animal that is trying to bolt with one arm, while trying to quickly restore some comfort to the crate that was carefully set up to minimize their stress on a 13 hour flight with the other arm.
Again, not even one of these “gentlemen” offered to help me, or offered to call someone to help me.
By now I knew there would be no apology for the ridiculous premise of their search and for the inconvenience to me, our pets, and the nice LAN personnel who, it was apparent, are quite cowed by these thugs who had the grammar and etiquette of cavemen. What a disgusting charade.
But all’s well that ends well, right?
Wrong. I left the airport with thoughts of my 5th grade project on WWII. I could never reconcile the psychology of those poor souls who meekly marched off to concentration camps, with their children in hand. And now I’m haunted by trying to understand the psychology of a people who rationalize the existence of a TSA, permitting their children to be mentally, verbally and physically abused.
Another Joe here again.
We’ll read the rest of this account next time. For now, we really need to think about what transpired here.
Some will minimize it, pointing out that nobody was hurt. What such thoughts fail to recognize is the marginalization and dehumanizing techniques involved in what transpired. These agents weren’t serving the people – a principle this country was founded upon.
They’re clearly using tactics that alienate the people from them. They keep the people at a distance for a reason. There is to be nothing but a sterile relationship between the TSA agents and those who are subjected to their ministrations. It’s all part of a conditioning that separates “us” from “them;” as though they aren’t us?
Let us be careful not to allow the freedoms our fathers fought for become a lost memory, even if it only remains a distant one. It is true that the state can strip us of our freedoms. But, if they do, let it be because we couldn’t resist rather than because we were too ignorant to even recognize it was happening. Knowledge is freedom. And it’s only armed with knowledge that we’re able to respond with any true sense of purpose.
We’ll hear Part II in the next day or two, which expands on what we’ve read here. Before I log off though, I’d like to share one more statement from my friend. I was chatting with her about the fact that her experience was actually quite tame, considering many of the atrocities we’ve seen documented in various articles and on YouTube. Her response offers us an insightful warning, even as we grow accustomed to measures our founding fathers offered their lives to prevent.
Yes you are right that my experience was quite tame, compared to others. I am so grateful that He protected me. I guess what I was trying to communicate was the overall impression of revulsion and disgust from someone who had not encountered these beasts yet. Everyone – you, my husband, my family and friends – seem to have adjusted to the dysfunction and measures the TSA now by very high standards of abuse. Does that make sense? In other words, we are all tolerating certain levels of abuse. An interesting psych manipulation – highlight the extreme situations (old ladies being strip searched) to keep us conditioned for lesser abuse. I really am shocked that people just accept this and walk though the process like zombies. They will make very good obedient residents in the FEMA camps…