Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Through the Looking Glass

I know... believe me, I know... that I've been horrible about blogging. I wish I had a better handle on why that is, but there are moments when I have to say something or spend years telling myself that I should have said something.

Today I awoke to the news that
TSA was putting federal agents - air marshals - on Los Angeles' Metrolink. This is being marketed as "test" but the public is reminded that the 'T' in TSA covers all forms of transportation. This is apparently a "test" being conducted across the country.

This is one of those incremental changes that people say I overreact to... Like when I-5 and I-15 were blocked by Border Patrol checkpoints on the San Diego County line at least 75 miles north of the US-Mexican border. The one response I got was that they were successfully catching "a lot" of drug smuggling activity.

For forty two years I was taught that totalitarian government was the antithesis of liberty. I was employed for twenty years in the defense of that concept. The very idea of a central Department of Homeland Security brought to mind nothing so much as the Soviet KGB. Now I am forced to accept that federal surveillance and intervention is acceptable to protect us... not from (other) totalitarian governments but from common criminals.

I am mindful of the quotation attributed to Benjamin Franklin: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

For the record, I object to federal interference/intervention in the internal affairs of the city and county of Los Angeles and the state of California. If TSA wants to ride Metrolink, make them buy a ticket.

P.S. While I have the soapbox out, Mr. Bush did not take us to war in Iraq on the basis of faulty intelligence. He took us to war in Iraq on the basis of manipulated intelligence, and he damn well knew it.

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