I imagine once the rest of the professional political class really understands what a total disaster TSA has created there will be speeches like this everyday. The bandwagon will be full and more will be clamoring to get on-board. (and yes, I know they've already started, but this seems to be the first higher-profile example of a politician just really letting loose on the issue).
I still remain skeptical that the politicians can fix it, but perhaps we'll enter a period where lots of speeches are made and fingers pointed. For those of you who are political junkies, it will be very interesting to see how the national parties respond to this over the next two years.
Sampling of the first page:
* A concurrent resolution prohibiting use of Federal funds for foreign travel by Senators, Representatives, and officers and employees of the Congress, unless such travel is specifically authorized by a recorded three-fourths vote of the House involved.
* A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to abolishing personal income, estate, and gift taxes and prohibiting the United States Government from engaging in business in competition with its citizens.
* A joint resolution to end the practice of guaranteeing or making available loans to foreign governments.
* A bill to repeal the Federal Reserve Act.
* Flat Rate Tax Act of 1983
* A bill to provide that for purposes of assessing the taxable gain of a taxpayer, the Internal Revenue Service shall treat income in the form of United States coins or currency as income received in the amount of the face value of such coins or currency.
* A bill to amend the Social Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 to make social security coverage completely optional for both present and future workers, to freeze benefit levels, to provide for the partial financing of future benefits from general revenues subject to specified conditions, to eliminate the earnings test, to make changes in the tax treatment of IRA accounts, and for other purposes.
* A bill to repeal all authority of the Federal Government to regulate wages in private employment.
* United Nations Termination Act
(These are old, but he re-introduces them regularly; just last year, he again proposed to abolish the income tax).
Yes, I do think Paul is a mendacious kook. But my point here is, a Paul bill is actually a counterindication of the sense of the House. The fact that Paul is the first to address the issue suggests that the rest of the House (along with 80% of Americans, according to a CBS poll) don't think this is a real issue.
All I'm saying is, if there's an inference to be made about the legislative fate of the TSA's screening program from a Paul bill, it's probably not the inference we'd like to make.
I understand how his non-mainstream positions can cause people to brand him as a kook, but why would you add mendacious?
This doesn't explain fully why I think Paul is dishonest, but it spells out my politics enough to make the dots easy enough to connect. Obviously, I'd prefer to avoid a political argument on HN.
Now, if someone with some political credibility introduced a bill with support from other members of the House and Senate, that'd be worth pointing out. But as it is, this is no more "serious" than a good sketch on the Daily Show, is it?
He's actually gotten into a much stronger position of late than he has been in past.
You greatly overestimate the power of Reddit. You also misread Reddit--he's most associated with just plain crackpots there than with ultra-libertarians. Ultra-libertarians are for reduced government everywhere--Ron Paul doesn't seem to mind government, as long as it is not Federal government.
Indeed. And with a number of U.S. states having economies larger than most countries, this is not such a illogical ideal.
It is a mistake to conflate Ayn Rand with libertarians:
But we're not at the point of fixing it yet, I don't think (unless TSA comes to their senses. One can always hope). More likely is that you will see politicians who are considered outside the mainstream begin to pound the podium over this. In time, I expect it to become more mainstream. A month maybe? A year? As hot as folks are, it might happen very quickly.
The big problem here is that the answer requires putting people in charge at the local airport who are allowed to make mistakes. I hate what's happened to airport security, but I'd happily do the naked body scan and group grope -- as long as it was done on an ad-hoc basis. Maybe once out of every thousand flights or something. There's a bit of a quagmire about the way politics works, especially involving areas of risk and fear, which I won't go into here. Let's just say that yes, Ron Paul is not the guy, but things could change, and change quickly. But the overall problem of how to solve airport security is just going to stick around. Even if the grownups show up and set TSA straight, the only thing they're going to learn is how to use fear to sell even more equipment that intrudes on every passenger. Just in a different way.
They need to find the terrorist, not the weapon. The plane can be full of weapons, and as long as nobody wishes any harm to be done, it's as safe as a plane without weapons at all. Such a simple concept, yet I think it's going to be a bridge too far for policy-makers. (of course a plane can't be full of nervous people carrying nitro-glycerin and hand grenades, but you get my point)
Granted, these are one-off cases, but I can't think of a good reason for people to have guns, or (large) hunting knives in their carry-on luggage. And truthfully, if people want to pack guns in their checked luggage, from a safety perspective, it's probably better to have them declare it and put it into some sort of 'safe' container. Lord knows there will be people with ammunition that is waiting to misfire inside the luggage storage compartment of the plane.
(Not that I'm defending the TSA's actions for the past 9 years or anything...)
Has this ever happened?
So what gives you or anyone else the right to play God? Have you missed the point about these scanners being a health concern as much as flying is?
and don't underestimate Ron Paul's influence. the Tea Party movement (which has a lot of overlap with libertarians on a lot of issues) and a general "small government" attitude were big winners in November. and with the Republicans recapturing control of the House, Paul's seniority leaves him well-positioned.
for more about the general political situation for privacy-related issued in the upcoming congress, here's my notes from a Privacy Coalition call early this month: http://getfisaright.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/looking-forward...
I'm confused why you seem to be so hostile to a member of congress from another country speaking up about an issue. We have no elections for two years so I'm uncertain why his motives are suspect to you.
- be amended and approved by the appropriate Representatives committee
- be passed by the House of Representatives
- be amended and approved by the appropriate Senate committee
- pass the "filibuster" gate
- be passed by the Senate
- have any amendments reconciled
- be signed into law by the president
See http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_law.html for more details. Each of those steps are difficult and require a lot of politicking about, building consensus, getting public support from other politicians across both houses, and so on. Successful bills are usually announced with political support from leading figures right away, particularly when they touch on a controversial topic.
So, proposing a bill with no meaningful consensus-building or public support is effectively just a PR gesture. It is utterly and completely fucking pointless when you're known as a politician associated with crackpots. Except, of course, for the purpose of getting the aforementioned crackpots worked up that "something is happening". Hence my point:
Is Ron Paul just capitalising on yet another libertarian crackpot movement and actually hurting the very legitimate cause of telling the TSA to keep their grubby paws and scanners away from travellers' bodies?
Preventing the government from groping travelers is exactly what libertarianism is. In this case, most people seem to be behind his "libertarian crackpot movement", if only for the TSA.
Do this survey in a line of people queuing to go through one and watch the results change. Do the survey after some ex-con pats down their 6-year-old daughter and watch the results change even more.
News surveys are worthless for debating public policy. You could do a poll of whether the Earth is flat or round, but the fact that some people said it was flat doesn't make it so.
If CBS wanted to poll effectively, they could show an image of the x-ray, or even better, show people an image of their own x-ray, and then ask them if they would be ok with that.
Then if they say no, they would show them a video of the pat down (their other choice) being performed on the gender. And ask them if they would be cool with that.
If they said no to that, then ask them if they are cool with paying a 10,000 fine as the third option.
See how people survey given more complete facts.
I would say it's people that call him a crackpot instead of looking at the merits of the argument that are hurting this legitimate cause. Watch the video. He's right; we expect the government to protect us and have become submissive to them. Not enough people care and it's sad.
> Is Ron Paul just capitalising on yet another libertarian crackpot
> movement and actually hurting the very legitimate cause of telling
> the TSA to keep their grubby paws and scanners away from travellers'
Ron Paul is a good example of a Libertarian, though he often parties Republican, in that he wants to liberate power from the Federal government and relinquish it back to states, generally speaking.
From what I've seen, many Redditarians just want the government to give up all their power, and just not have it anymore, uhhhh, for great justice.
Edit: I really wanted to use the word "Redditarian" after I thought of it.
I think you would agree that the likelihood of a filibuster on this issue is zero. I would suggest that the likelihood of a presidential veto on such a bill would also approach zero. As for the whole amendment crap, that is our public shame, that no bill can just be about what it was written about, but instead, must be saddled with miscellaneous additions on any number of unrelated matters. If I could change that aspect of our government, I would do so.
I find it kinda funny how people have problem with the current use of the filibuster when it was used by the other party in the past. It is a tradition to protect the minority. Committee rules are much more damaging and used much more often then the filibuster has ever been used.
Well, there's respected and respected.
How many co-sponsors does he have on that bill? I have to agree with the assessment that it has "zero chance of actually getting anywhere."
I am an outsider living in the US, and the hope for change you're expressing makes me think of how the mother of the crack-addicted gun nut schizophrenic must relate to him. To an outsider, he's hopeless, but for anyone with some stake in his happiness, every small move in the right direction is cause for hope, no matter how irrational that might be to others.
Your projection of aspersions on such a person is likely to force that person into defending himself, and hence disagree with your position purely as a defensive stance.
If Joe Biden or John McCain came out in favor of privacy, that would be evidence the tables are turning.
As it is; while us vocal minority are kicking up a stink most people are just apathetic about these things. Till that changes, nothing else will.
Surely a copyright law, or software patents law would be much more 'tech related'
The politicians know this, of course, and are going to reduce this to a few slogans and beat it into the ground. This despite the fact that very few Americans spend any real amount of time dealing with the TSA.
The airport we use currently has X-ray machines instead of the millimeter wave scanners, so I will probably have to choose the groping. Here is what I'm expecting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80JAcQ8WOP8
And re: Ron Paul's credibility, I continue to meet a lot of people who admit (in hushed tones) that they would have voted for him in 2008 if he had made it through the primaries...
I, too, am doubtful our political system is capable of solving the problem unless enough of us as individuals are willing to stand up (and be groped) rather than meekly letting them strip us of our rights.
The duty of the government is to PROTECT our rights, not VIOLATE them!
To ensure that certain Federal employees cannot hide behind immunity.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. NO IMMUNITY FOR CERTAIN AIRPORT SCREENING METHODS.
No law of the United States shall be construed to confer any immunity for a Federal employee or agency or any individual or entity that receives Federal funds, who subjects an individual to any physical contact (including contact with any clothing the individual is wearing), x-rays, or millimeter waves, or aids in the creation of or views a representation of any part of a individual's body covered by clothing as a condition for such individual to be in an airport or to fly in an aircraft. The preceding sentence shall apply even if the individual or the individual's parent, guardian, or any other individual gives consent.
The Fourth Amendment should already be protecting us from what the TSA is doing. Why isn't it? And isn't the fact that Fourth Amendment violations are not prosecuted as such a much bigger issue?
The clause that shelters the TSA is from a 1973 court decision: "a warrantless search...is valid under the Fourth Amendment if it is 'no more intrusive or intensive than necessary, in light of current technology, to detect weapons or explosives'" (http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/optout/spp_faqs.shtm). Cavity searches aren't far.
Republicans would do well to notice that a lot of the polling of people who attended tea party rallies across the US show that the people attending were about 50% social liberal / fiscal conservative (more Libertarian) versus social conservative / fiscal conservative (traditional Republican base).
Show them his "We The People Act" and then see if they feel the same way.
What it does is use a legal trick called "jurisdiction stripping" to take several classes of cases out of the jurisdiction of Federal courts (including the Supreme Court). In particular, it removes jurisdiction over cases involving abortion, same-sex marriage, sexual practices, and establishment of religion (with the exception that if the Constitutionality of a Federal law is challenged, Federal courts have jurisdiction).
This would, among other things, make it so that things like the clause in the Texas state constitution that requires office holders to acknowledge belief in a Supreme Being (and this making atheists and Buddhists ineligible for state office in Texas) legal. Right now, that clause has no effect, because any attempt to enforce it would fall to a challenge in Federal court as a violation of the establishment of religion clause in the Constitution and the 14th Amendment. Under "We the People", no challenge could be brought in Federal court.
It would be OK if "We the People" passed for a State to actually establish an official state religion, or to outlaw specific religions.
Paul is not just trying to revert airport security, he is trying to introduce legislation that removes immunity from the government for anything that a citizen would not have.
The problem with Paul is he is an idealist. We need a pragmatic libertarian.
THE PILOT HAS A GUN IN THE COCKPIT AND HE'S MANAGING THIS AIRCRAFT WHICH IS A MISSILE AND WE MAKE HIM GO THROUGH THIS GROPING X-RAY EXERCISE, HAVING PEOPLE FEEL IN THEIR UNDERWEAR.
It just gives the impression that he's more excited than thoughtful. Then again maybe thats more important on the floor of the house.
The reason they search pilots is because the only obvious things distinguishing a pilot from a non-pilot are a fancy uniform and an ID. If pilots are exempt from screening, then your method of determining who is a pilot needs to be at least as effective as the screening itself. Otherwise, an adversary needs only to steal or forge the proper credentials to bypass screening.
Either Paul is aware of this and is being deliberately misleading to make his case, or he hasn't given the issue enough consideration.
Googled and found the Ron Paul clip on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwsdq69AHnw
Firstly, to my knowledge, nobody has attempted to storm the cockpit since 9/11, so the locks, though a good idea, haven't actually done anything. And the guns -- projectile weapons not being the best idea when travelling in a pressurized metal capsule anyway -- have certainly never been fired.
The actual improvement in airline security has been greater vigilance on the part of passengers, who stopped both the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber, and better intelligence operations in the middle east, which got us the tip-off about the toner cartridge bomb.
Thus, securing the cockpit gets you more bang for the buck by removing a whole avenue of attack, with relatively low cost (the lock and the gun). While I agree that firing a gun in a pressurized cabin isn't the best idea, having it there makes it very likely that the pilots would have an advantage over any potential hijacker, since keeping other guns off the plane is relatively easy, and doesn't require overly invasive searching.
If no-one's ever climbed over the walls at a prison, does that mean that the walls are "doing nothing"?
This is what you get when you start with the politics articles.