On State Molestation, Physical and Mental

Here is a nice reminder of the way the progressive ratchet, the news cycle ratchet, and the public outrage du jour ratchet, inexorably inure the masses to any and every form of degradation. Diana Ross is complaining about her treatment at the hands — literally — of your good friends and protectors at the TSA (Tactile Submission Agency).

Specifically, the seventy-five-year-old singer was felt up by a female TSA agent at Louis Armstrong International Airport, and afterward wrote about her experience on Twitter:

“It’s not what was done but how,” she wrote. “I am feeling violated — I still feel her hands between my legs, front and back (saying to me ‘it [is] her job’).”

“Really mixed emotions,” she added. “I always like to see the good things but not feeling good right now.”

“And why should she be feeling good right now? She could have been carrying a bomb! Why should we care about her tender feelings? I mean, who is Diana Ross anyway? Why shouldn’t she have to submit to the same security screening as everyone else?” Or something.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Federal Government, in conjunction with more overtly authoritarian governments around the world, decided that forcing everyone who wants to fly on an airplane to submit themselves to random ritual groping at the hands of government agents would be a great idea. At the time, many people, including many who thought of themselves as conservatives or constitutionalists, were outraged both at the law itself, and at its absurdly indiscriminate application. 

Today, we have become so accustomed to this worldwide indignity, this easygoing violation of all principles of modesty and “personal space,” that men have simply gone sanguine about standing by passively as their wives, mothers, grandmothers, or underage daughters are subjected, without any suspicion of criminal behavior, to treatment that would be branded sexual assault if coercively imposed on them by anyone other than a government agent.

As usual, the U.S. Government’s response to this insignificant blip (aka “citizen”) on tyranny’s radar is informative:

A TSA spokesperson told Fox News of the alleged incident, “TSA is committed to ensuring all travelers are treated with respect and courtesy. TSA is aware of concerns presented by Diana Ross about her screening experience at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport this morning.”

The statement continued, “Initial review of CCTV indicates that the officers involved with Ms. Ross’s screening correctly followed all protocols, however, TSA will continue to investigate the matter further. We encourage Ms. Ross to reach out to TSA so we can further explain our procedures, designed to protect travelers from a persistent threat.”

“TSA is committed to ensuring all travelers are treated with respect and courtesy,” they say, in proper Orwellian fashion, to describe their “procedures,” which in past eras would have been grounds for a duel at dawn, or at least a punch in the nose. Today, by contrast, knowing that even assuming a facial expression indicating slight displeasure at this overt violation of all protocols of “respect and courtesy” is certain to get you whisked away to a private room for “advanced screening” — more advanced, that is, than being sexually assaulted in public — we all just pretend not to care. Or worse yet, we all learn not to care.

The TSA’s initial review of Ms. Ross’s “screening experience” — what a quaint phrase, as if TSA screening were something we voluntarily pay for, like customers leaving a note in the suggestion box, “In future, I’d prefer if you didn’t put your hands between my legs for no reason” — indicates that “the officers involved with Ms. Ross’s screening correctly followed all protocols.” But that is not the issue. If my “protocols” involve ritual coercive abuse of innocent people, then defending myself against criticism by saying I followed my protocols is completely missing the point. Why does the U.S. Government have “protocols” mandating the violation of female modesty on no grounds of any suspicion of wrongdoing?

Seventy-five-year-old American pop star Diana Ross. Why was she of all people subjected to such treatment? Has there been a rash of airline bombings by senior citizen Motown singers recently? That we all know the “correct” answer to this question, and have even learned to regard it as fair — “profiling” is discrimination, so it’s more just to treat everyone as a criminal by default, rather than isolate and “discriminate against” the tiny demographic group that actually has a history of committing such crimes — is another example of the psychological effects of the progressive totalitarian ratchet. 

On a personal note, I used to fly through the U.S. on my way to and from Canada. It was cheaper, and a couple of American airlines had convenient packages to get me from Korea to Toronto. The TSA “screening experience” is one of the major reasons my wife and I now willingly pay substantially more just to avoid touching down in the U.S. and having some government Epsilon “touch down” on us. Other nations do it too, and it’s offensive everywhere, but the TSA is, in my experience, especially gratuitous and unapologetic in its molestation “procedures.” Even if we ourselves happen to be lucky enough to be bypassed for the full frontal pat-down at any particular boarding area, we are sure to see someone else — grandmother, disabled veteran, mother superior, or elementary school kid — being subjected to it. No thanks.

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