Monday, April 09, 2007

No fly for you

Via Atrios, this article provides more anecdotal evidence that the government is using the No Fly List to torment its critics. Having gone to a peace march, for example, may be the most common clue to why someone is singled out to be harassed at airports.

You might think that more people – people like our elected representatives, the fucking Democrats if nobody else, or even those running for office, not to mention the media, or even the man on the street halfway through his case of Busch Lite or the soccer mom cheering the little tykes from the sideline, pretty much everyone that might someday voice an opinion of any kind on any subject – would be upset that the government puts peace activists and other advocates of non-violence on terrorist watch lists. If this kind of thing can happen to the least violence-prone among us, imagine what will happen when government sponsored petty retribution gets totally out of line. Making snide comments about the price of gas? No fly for you. Wish that kid you liked didn’t get tricked into enlisting? Upset that he got fucked up? Died? No fly for you. Have you seen An Inconvenient Truth? Grounded, sucker.

Ah, but you are not a peace marcher. Frankly, I’m not either. And I don’t drive. The price of gas doesn’t even affect me. And no one I know is in Iraq. Seriously, nobody that’s anybody to me has died in our wars. And I’d sooner drill a hole in my head than pay $10 to see a slideshow about science. Trust me, I’m not in any danger of being put on the No Fly List because I like to watch Al Gore. So it’s really not my problem.

I’m not even sure they go far enough. So many more people die from car bombs than airplane hijackings. Wouldn’t it make a whole hell of a lot more sense to have a No Drive List? Of course it would. And suicide bombers wear vests. Shouldn’t we have a no vest list? And terrorists carry guns and use ammunition to construct bombs. Shouldn’t there be a no guns and ammo list?

Ha ha, just kidding. A no guns and ammo list? Sorry, that’s just crazy. Anyone who suggest it should be put on the No Fly List, and maybe even the No Drive List, if they haven't been already. It’s all well and good that the government harasses old ladies for peace, but the constitution guarantees all men, even suspected terrorists, the right to own guns. I'm not going to to live in some future where they say that first they came for the terrorist's gun, but I wasn't a terrorist...

So you see? Old chuckling has no dog in this fight. They can put anyone on the No Fly List, as long as it's not me. As long as it's not me, I just laugh like hell.

See how those who actually advocate armed resistance to the American government, those who are actively stocking up on weapons for just such an occassion, those who like the communists of old are openly joining the army, serving in Iraq, in order to gain experience for the coming struggle – people whose movement has already fostered domestic terrorism from the assasins of doctors to Olympics bombers to mass murderers like those who killed hundreds at the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City – how these heavily armed anti-government wackos are considered less of a threat to the government they hate than people advocating non-violence and popular participation in the American constitutional system of government. You just gotta laugh like hell.

The punchline, of course, is that the war protesters and those who take their democratic responsiblilties seriously and make informed, moral choices when they vote are not a threat to national security. They may be, however, a threat to the national security establishment, which is what it's all about. And that's what's really funny. They are no more of a threat to the national security establishment than they are to hijack an airplane. People who advocate non-violence have zero influence on national policy and they are not going to hijack any airplanes.

The second amendment guarantees the right of terrorists to purchase assault rifles without a background check. The rest of the constitution may be nothing more than a relatively coarse brand of toilet paper, but the second amendment rules. The skys would be safer if everyone carried guns. Everyone but peace activists that is.

And even though the idea that an NRA member would hijack an airplane or commit an act of violence is only exponentially more likely than the people with children, families, and a strong place in the community who advocate non-violence, we have to ask ourselves who the fuck hijacks airlplanes anyway? It’s not something that happens every day. Is there even one a year? Even the 9/11 hijackers flew a lot and didn’t usually hijack their airplanes. The odds of it happening on any one flight, even if Mohammet Atta is on it, are subatomically slim.

Of course the big joke would be if what goes around comes around. Regimes change but tradition based on principle has a longer shelf life. If the tradition is that government harasses its critics based on the principle that they can, then payback could be hell. Wouldn’t it be fun to put every member of the National Rifle Association on the No Fly List? What about the anti-abortionists? And prominent Christians? Fuck, let's include taxidermists. No fly for you, suckers. Maybe you can rent a car? Ha ha. Maybe not.

But although revenge can be a powerful motivator when it comes to trashing our constitution and way of life, I don’t think that fully explains why no one (with the possible exception of the victims) cares about the fact that 100’s of thousands of innocent people are being harassed by the government for no good reason. We really should look into it, appoint a bi-partisan commission or something. But hey, look over there, nappy-headed ho’s. And Sanjaya. What’s up with that? And the price of gas? Wasn’t that supposed to get cheaper when we invaded fucking Iraq? Ooops. I didn’t say that. It was some other guy. No fly for him.