1) It's Starting Small. On Thursday, July
21, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that all passengers using New York
City's transit system are subject to search by the City's police. So far,
only their bags – not their persons – can be violated. Because
His Majesty zips about town in a limousine, he had to rely on his imagination
to console commuters. "We just live in a world where, sadly, these
kinds of security measures are necessary. Are they intrusive? Yes. A little
2) It Began This Way At the Airports. After
a couple of skyjackings in the late 1960's, the Federal government decided
that it had an "interest" in "protecting" aviation.
Congress had so little respect for the Constitution that it simply ignored
the Fourth Amendment, rather than formally abolishing it, by decreeing that
passengers' bags would be rifled at airports. The judiciary connived and
read our minds. Judges solemnly informed us that we consider airport searches
not "a resented intrusion on privacy, but, instead, a welcome reassurance
of safety." About 25 years passed before ransacking luggage progressed
to pawing passengers.
With this precedent easing their way, New York's cops will
be feeling up commuters in a matter of weeks, not decades.
There are other eerie parallels. Both the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) and New York's rulers blame passengers for the delays
and harassment that characterize searches. The TSA's website warns, "Taking
a few minutes to prepare for security before you pack for your trip can
save you and your fellow travelers precious time when you arrive at the
airport." Meanwhile, Ray Kelly, New York's Commissioner of Pork, sorry,
Police, laments that passengers make searches necessary. "Ideally,
people wouldn't carry any backpacks or bulky packages on the transit system."
For sure Kelly never does: he's got swarms of underlings who tote things
3) According to the Courts, You Consent To Being Searched
By Flying – And Now Riding. I kid you not. Grown adults wearing
silly gowns have seriously argued that because we "choose" to
fly, we "choose" to be manhandled. Warrantless searches are part
of flying. If you dislike them, don't buy a plane ticket.
New York's rulers have already trotted out this blatherskite
to justify their rifling of commuters' belongings. Our Man Kelly says, "You
have a right to turn around and leave..." rather than submit to the
search. But he offered no advice on how secretaries, nurses, and other workers
dependent on the subway could get to their jobs. These folks typically live
in the outer boroughs, miles from midtown, because of the exorbitant rents
Manhattan's landlords charge to cover exorbitant real estate taxes.
4) The Searches Purport To Be Random, But Cops Are
Picking on "Suspicious" Folks. They define "suspicious"
behavior as making a fist, apparently because that's the preferred method
among suicide bombers for clutching detonators. No word on whether babies
clasping Cheerios will also be considered threats. People wearing "heavy
coats inappropriate for the summer weather" rouse cops' curiosity as
well. Someone warn the elderly that if they're cold because of poor circulation,
they'd better stay home. And anyone prone to sweating when it's hot should
avoid the subways: the NYPD is gunning for such miscreants because terrorists
sweat. One fears New York's Brightest will one day realize that terrorists
breathe, too, but let's not hold our breath.
5) It's Spreading Like Wildfire. Boston inaugurated
transit searches last year at the Democratic National Convention. There
was little outrage: few protests, no riots. Rulers in cities across the
country perked up. New York's latest adventure in fascism fascinates them
as well. They are studying the sheeple's submission. Keenly. Before rush
hour had even ended that first evening, New Jersey and Connecticut announced
that they, too, would begin ransacking bags.
Transit searches easily translate to suburban and rural areas.
They're called "roadblocks."
6) NYC Officials Have Been Scheming About This For
3-1/2 Years. But they were waiting for the right moment to spring
it on us, as Ray Kelly confided to the New York Times. "The reality
is, you need an event such as London for people to realize this is a procedure
put in place for their safety...The issue is what the public will accept.
You still need an event to get public support."
I wonder what else they're plotting, what "event"
will unleash it on us, and how they'll manipulate public opinion. Yo, guys,
those plans for the camps: have you ordered the razor-wire yet?
7) It Has Nothing to do With Security. New
York City's transit system is the country's largest. At street level, almost
4500 busses traverse about 2000 route-miles in the five boroughs. Underground
(and occasionally above ground, too) there are 468 subway stations with
multiple entrances, over 31,000 turnstiles, and 656 miles of track for carrying
passengers. About 4.7 million patrons ride the City's mass transit each
Our Rulers actually want us to believe that 40,000 New York
City cops – not all of whom will be deployed to the transit system:
after all, someone has to pester pedestrians and ticket drivers –
can identify and intercept a suicide bomber lost in this vastness.
Additionally, the gaps in this "security" yawn so
prodigiously that even dumbed-down public-school graduates could exploit
them. The cops and their "checkpoints" will rove from subway station
to station, depending on the time of day. They will search a certain percentage
Let us suppose for sake of argument that suicide bombers are
actually waiting to blow commuters sky-high. Let us further grant that these
terrorists are of sufficient intelligence to construct a bomb and plot its
effective detonation. Yet, when they come upon a search at one entrance
to the subway, it will not occur to them to "turn around and leave"
so they can hunt a different entrance. And men eager to die for their cause
would never consider walking 7 or 8 blocks to the next station.
"The public wants to feel safe, as well as be safe,"
says William W. Millar, president of the American Public Transportation
Association, "So this has a benefit of perception." Yep. It's
also invaluable to Our Rulers for the cover it provides.
8) Your Fellow Citizens Think It's Dandy.
Johnny Eggz, 31, exclaimed to The New York Post, "Cool!" Kinda
makes you wonder what Johnny does for entertainment of an evening, doesn't
it? He continued, "We're at war. What are you going to do – cry
about being searched or cry about being blown up?" Michael Schultz
at least recognizes that "it's an invasion of privacy," but, as
he concluded in The New York Sun, "if you're not carrying anything
illegal, you've got nothing to hide." Eve Holbrook, 35, volunteered
to be searched. "It gives me a sense of comfort," she told The
New York Times. "I went up there of my own free will." We can
only hope the terrorists among us are as amenable.
The few sheeple who object do so on PC grounds: they fear
"racial profiling," not unConstitutional, general searches. The
Times quoted Hani Judeh, 24, a Palestinian-American living in Brooklyn.
"They should check bags, but they can't discriminate. You can't tell
Indian from Pakistani, you can't tell West Indian from black, you can't
tell Arab from Mediterranean."
On the bright side, Gene Russianoff, a lawyer for the Straphangers
Campaign, understands what's really going on. "Riders being randomly
searched is what they do in Communist regimes," he told the Post. Ironically,
the article in which his comment appeared began, "Call [the searches]
9) Contraband Will Get You Arrested. In another
parallel with the airports, anyone found with drugs, weapons, or the myriad
other things on which Our Rulers frown will be arrested.
10) Larry D. Hiibel, Petitioner v. Sixth Judicial
District Court of Nevada, Humboldt County, et al. This case, decided
last summer by the Supreme Court, held that citizens must identify themselves
to cops. Refusal can result in arrest.
At some point, Our Rulers will revoke the "freedom"
to leave the transit system rather than be searched. And searching will
spread to streetcorners: if one consents to being frisked by riding in planes
and busses, one consents as well by stepping onto a sidewalk. Those who
don't cooperate, who complain or hesitate or perhaps don't raise their hands
overhead as quickly as ordered, will immediately rouse suspicion. Names
will be demanded and compared against lists of "protestors." It
won't be difficult to join those lists. Writing letters critical of Our
Rulers to one's congressman or a newspaper editor will be enough. Having
written one probably will be too: computers have long memories. And we all
know the patience police states extend to dissidents.
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