The Peter Morrison Report, By Peter Morrison
Over the past year or so, anger has been building all over America at the tyrannical behavior of TSA airport security agents who use their government jobs to lord it over and abuse American citizens. Conservative media outlets have been filled with stories of outrageous abuses which go far beyond any notion of "reasonable" search procedures. Recently a former Miss USA cried while recounting how a female TSA agent touched her private parts four times. One lady who had had a mastectomy was forced to remove her prosthetic breast to prove she wasn't a terrorist. Three year old kids are regularly patted down.
On top of this, the TSA agents often go out of their way to target traditional Americans while ignoring young Muslim men, all in the name of political correctness. Muslims have a virtual monopoly on modern terrorism, but at the airport, young males in Muslim garb are deliberately ignored, while young children and grandmothers are harassed and in many cases virtually sexually assaulted.
This is an abomination and it needs to stop. It's an assault on not only our dignity, but our Constitutional rights, and groping American toddlers and grannies while ignoring the real risk groups doesn't do a thing to make travel any safer. It's a tremendous waste of time and money that serves no useful purpose. (This is to say nothing of the indignity and health risks of being given a full body scan.)
Unfortunately, given the public's concern about terrorism, it's not feasible to call for an end to all TSA security procedures, no matter how useless. However, that doesn't mean we have to put up with our wives and children having to face being groped every time they take a flight. Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) introduced a bill during this past session that would ban "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly touching" the "sexual organs" of someone during a security screening at a public facility, including airports.
This law is an excellent idea. It's a disgrace that we even need a law like this, but it is the refusal of TSA agents to respect the rights, dignity and privacy of Texans which has brought the situation about. Governor Perry added the bill to the agenda for the special legislative session after Rep. Simpson told him that there were probably enough votes to make it through both the House and Senate.
Unfortunately it looks as if the bill is dead in the water, and won't become law, thanks to the efforts of Old Unfaithful, House Speaker Joe Straus. Straus never seems to miss an opportunity to obstruct much needed conservative legislation, and this bill is no exception. He says it is nothing more than an "ill-advised publicity stunt" which will make Texas a "laughingstock." [Updated: Straus Calls TSA Bill "Publicity Stunt", By Becca Aronson, Texas Tribune, June 26, 2011]
How does Straus justify calling it a publicity stunt? He says it would be "unenforceable", and he is also worried that it would lead to a showdown over states' rights, after receiving a letter from Obama's Justice Department threatening to shut down all Texas airports if the bill becomes law. So Straus has employed his usual tricks to make sure the bill goes nowhere and it's working. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Simpson, says "at this point, it's doubtful...it was a miracle that it got this far." [Bill aimed at TSA's searches in trouble, By Dave Montgomery, Star-Telegram.com, June 25, 2011]
Well, frankly, it's about time we had a showdown with the gargantuan and overreaching federal government over states' rights. We can't keep putting it off or it will soon be too late. This past weekend brought a new horror story about TSA agents ordering a 95 year old woman dying of leukemia to remove her adult diaper as part of a 45 minute search. Incredibly, the TSA honchos in DC defended these actions with this statement: "We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure." If states won't stand up to federal bureaucrats who think it's necessary and "professional" to subject a dying 95 year old lady to a 45 minute search in which she's forced to remove her diaper, when will they stand up?
We need to take action. We need to try to save this bill, if it's not too late, and we need to let Straus know that his latest efforts to block the will of the conservative voters who gave the GOP a 2-1 margin in Austin have not gone unnoticed.
We won't forget, and he and his cronies who delight in stabbing us in the back will be in for the fight of their lives next election.
Peter Morrison (email him) is a businessman living in Lumberton, Texas with his wife and four children. He currently serves on the Lumberton ISD School Board and as treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party. He says "I believe deeply in the principles of limited constitutional government, the sanctity of life and that our state and nation should be run under Thomas Jefferson's principle of 'Equal Rights for All, Special Privileges for None.'" This article is from his free newsletter, which features commentary about current events of interest to Texans—sign up here.