Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nothing To See Here, Move Along Please

The bureaucratic and media spin that New Yorkers welcome bag searches with kisses and rose petals continues:
N.Y., N.J. commuters OK with bag searches

By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY

NEW YORK — Stepping off the subway Monday, Roberta Nelson said she hadn't been stopped yet by a police officer wanting to search her bag. If it happens, she said, she won't mind.

"I think it's necessary," Nelson, 30, said. "But I agree with a lot of people that it's not going to be a deterrent."

Transportation officials reported no delays because of the inspections and few complaints from passengers. "I think they know it's for their added safety," MTA spokesman Tom Kelly said. "In fact, most people have been very willing to do it and appreciative of it."

Robert Kramer, who travels from his home in Hoboken, N.J., to Manhattan each day for work, said the searches are fine provided they don't prolong his commute.

"As long as it does not double my commuting time ... I'm for it," he said.
So we have some people gladly submitting to this because they have a vague notion that "it's necessary"---but they don't think it will be a deterrent. And others are all for it as long as their precious "commuting time" is not affected.

Incredible.

What I find just as interesting as the basic issue of bag searches is the way in which some people not only accept this but welcome it, apparently without much thought. Remember learning how these sorts of things happened in other countries, wondering why there was no resistance or even debate, and confidently thinking it could never happen that way here? We've experienced a lot of "living history" over the past few years, and this is the latest chapter.

And this issue illustrates perfectly the intellectual hypocrisy and conspicuous silence of some who call themselves "conservatives" today. If this happened while Bill Clinton was president, Mario Cuomo was governor, and David Dinkins was mayor, what would those same conservatives be saying right now?

42 Comments:

Blogger Tayefeth said...

Those 'conservatives' would be screaming bloody murder...

7/27/2005 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Remember learning how these sorts of things happened in other countries, wondering why there was no resistance or even debate, and confidently thinking it could never happen that way here?"

So far, Muslims have been the bad guys. But if, as you say, "these sorts of things happen in other countries" it's just a matter of time before the Jews are made out to be the bogeyman. If you listen to bin Laden, every sentence combines the words Israel and the United States. Folks are going to get tired of contantly having their bags checked will pine for the "good old days" just like they did in Germany circa 1933. That's when this thing truly gets ugly.

7/27/2005 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're not conservatives; they're right wing authoritarians.

7/27/2005 10:12 AM  
Blogger The Ignorant Investor said...

The reaction of New Yorkers isn't so surprising. You can't walk out of the NY public library without having someone look through your bag for any books you've might have stolen. Bag checks in public events at sporting venues are common. So having random stops in public transport must seem normal.

7/27/2005 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think so. Jews are too much a part of the American culture for gentiles to turn against them. Muslims are the ones who are in trouble. They've got to realize they're part of the world community and quit trying to change everyone.

7/27/2005 12:09 PM  
Blogger owenz said...

We're one large to medium-sized terrorist attack away from killing the 4th Amendment altogether in this country. Illegal search and seizure? Puh-leaze, that will be the least of our worries. The government will be in the business of pure data-mining: monitoring emails, financial transactions, web traffic...everything digital on a massive, global scale. Those who are identified as wrongdoers by the data miners will then be monitored by the feds without any form of judicial oversight.

For the first five years the Feds will make an effort to limit the surveillance to "terrorism investigations." But then mission creep will set in. The data miners will get better and better and soon they'll be busting major drug dealers and organized crime lords. Slowly but surely, it will work itself down to the local level. Then all of us will be vulnerable. Don't say it's not possible. The mix of technology, governmental intent, and public disinterest is perfect for it to happen.

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7/27/2005 2:41 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Regarding the subway searches, be sure and check out The Citizen's Guide to Refusing New York Subway Searches put out by the Flex Your Rights Foundation. It teaches subway riders exactly what they need to know in order to assert their rights when they encounter a subway search.

7/27/2005 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>The government will be in the business of pure data-mining: monitoring emails, financial transactions, web traffic...<<

Will be? They already are.

7/27/2005 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a bit OT here, but i'm very glad to have found your blog.

it's good to know that questions are being asked from all political quarters, and heartening that they are so much the same.

i keep looking at the country i served for 6 yrs during the cold war and wondering why this happened. when did the reality of our constitution become a shrug and an "oh well".

in the name of safety?
what safety? what are we trying to protect when our own governemnt has switched the paradigm and no longer serves the people, but uses them for some other purpose?

from one weary mostly liberal but quite conservative on the constitution and finance (conservative in the old sense of prudence and personal freedom) old salt, i am glad to know others of all parties are still asking questions, and have memories longer than the days "talking points".

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