An old Saturday Night Live skit used to tout a product called “Toast on a stick”. It was funny because it was so basic. A stick pushed through a piece of toast.
That came to mind when I read the “Mother Jones ” article on what the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has requested, as part of its government 2012 budget request.
Currently, TSA advises that it conducts over 8,000 unannounced screenings each year. They report that they have 25 teams that conduct screens in conjunction with Customs and Border Patrol. They don’t just do their “pat downs” at airport security,
On one hand, TSA makes a good point it needs more funding to prevent incidents like the Madrid train bombings. Plus, if you’ve ridden on a train recently, you’ve probably noticed that the security does seem a bit relaxed. Maybe that’s why Hollywood has train bombings in many of their movies.
In short, I basically am postulating (I finally got to use that word!) the concept of safety, versus how far do we allow the government to do mobile searches?
It’s clear that TSA wants the ability and funding to walk up to people at train stations, ferries, subways and other public transportation and perform searches or “pat downs”. Is it worth granting this funding and power for safety, or is this going to far in the encroachement on personal liberties?
One final thought might be to consider what Ben Franklin might have said to my blog. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
You still might be trying to figure out the “toast on a stick analogy” because I did get a little distracted. Well, I just kinda imagined all the TSA uniformed government workers running around, doing their mobile scans with their wands. Seems to me that this is taking a simple idea of safety too far. What else? Are they going to push a mobile bucket in my face, for my shoes and keys?