Saturday, December 11, 2010

Since neither Congress nor the Executive Branch look likely to step up and defend my 4th Amendment constitutional rights (protection against unlawful search and seizure), I will be opting out of air travel this holiday season. I'll be foregoing an essentially "free" airline ticket (paid for out of my credit card "reward points") and instead spending more than half my savings on gasoline and motels in a three-and-a-half day sojourn from here in the middle of the continent, to its western edge. In the dead of winter. Across a major mountain range. In my car. Alone.

This might strike some, at first, as pretty stupid. Well, let me allay your fears. If it's storming on the morning of my planned departure like it is right now, I won't be setting out at all. I want to spend Christmas with my beloved family, but not from the inside of a coffin. I've got Skype; if the continent is torn asunder by winter storms, I can always hook up with my kids via the internet.

My car pooler seems convinced I'm hell bent on committing suicide this way. He's just worried he'll have to pay more for his gas to & from work.

There is of course an elevated amount of personal risk even in good weather, of some 27 hours of driving over 7 hours of flying. It would CERTAINLY be more CONVENIENT to fly, for God's sake.

But I have sat here and watched George Bush and his cronies dismantle our Constitution and the values this country was supposed to hold dear, and done not very damned much. Watched Obama not do very damned much about it, either. I've written a few letters, made a few phone calls, donated a (very) few dollars here and there. Thing was, there just didn't seem to be anything much I could do about any of it.

The TSA and their x-ray nudie machine vs. their jackboot enhanced pat-down routine - now that, I can do something about. Doesn't matter if they do it randomly and if I never got "picked." That they CAN do it AT ALL is what makes me sick to my stomach. In my view it's just plain fucking illegal. Yoo hoo, Congress? White House? Anybody?

Obviously they don't care (at the least, or in the least). I can opt out of flying, so I am. One of the most horrifying scenes I remember from Schindler's List were the people of the newly-occupied towns getting herded and prodded into lines by the Nazis. Told to strip naked, they stripped naked. Humiliated, embarrassed, frightened - they stripped naked, God bless them, and stayed in lines, and got into the cattle cars.

Do you remember that scene?

Does anybody?

No comments: