1) It's Starting Small. On Thursday, July 21, Mayor Michael
Bloomberg announced that all passengers using New York City's transit system
are subject to search by the City's police. So far, only their bags –
not their persons – can be violated. Because His Majesty zips about town
in a limousine, he had to rely on his imagination to console commuters. "We
just live in a world where, sadly, these kinds of security measures are necessary.
Are they intrusive? Yes. A little bit."
2) It Began This Way At the Airports. After a couple of skyjackings
in the late 1960's, the Federal government decided that it had an "interest"
in "protecting" aviation. Congress had so little respect for the Constitution
that it simply ignored the Fourth Amendment, rather than formally abolishing
it, by decreeing that passengers' bags would be rifled at airports. The judiciary
connived and read our minds. Judges solemnly informed us that we consider airport
searches not "a resented intrusion on privacy, but, instead, a welcome
reassurance of safety." About 25 years passed before ransacking luggage
progressed to pawing passengers.
With this precedent easing their way, New York's cops will be feeling up commuters
in a matter of weeks, not decades.
There are other eerie parallels. Both the Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) and New York's rulers blame passengers for the delays and harassment that
characterize searches. The TSA's website warns, "Taking a few minutes to
prepare for security before you pack for your trip can save you and your fellow
travelers precious time when you arrive at the airport." Meanwhile, Ray
Kelly, New York's Commissioner of Pork, sorry, Police, laments that passengers
make searches necessary. "Ideally, people wouldn't carry any backpacks
or bulky packages on the transit system." For sure Kelly never does: he's
got swarms of underlings who tote things for him.
3) According to the Courts, You Consent To Being Searched By Flying
– And Now Riding. I kid you not. Grown adults wearing silly gowns
have seriously argued that because we "choose" to fly, we "choose"
to be manhandled. Warrantless searches are part of flying. If you dislike them,
don't buy a plane ticket.
New York's rulers have already trotted out this blatherskite to justify their
rifling of commuters' belongings. Our Man Kelly says, "You have a right
to turn around and leave..." rather than submit to the search. But he offered
no advice on how secretaries, nurses, and other workers dependent on the subway
could get to their jobs. These folks typically live in the outer boroughs, miles
from midtown, because of the exorbitant rents Manhattan's landlords charge to
cover exorbitant real estate taxes.
4) The Searches Purport To Be Random, But Cops Are Picking on "Suspicious"
Folks. They define "suspicious" behavior as making a fist,
apparently because that's the preferred method among suicide bombers for clutching
detonators. No word on whether babies clasping Cheerios will also be considered
threats. People wearing "heavy coats inappropriate for the summer weather"
rouse cops' curiosity as well. Someone warn the elderly that if they're cold
because of poor circulation, they'd better stay home. And anyone prone to sweating
when it's hot should avoid the subways: the NYPD is gunning for such miscreants
because terrorists sweat. One fears New York's Brightest will one day realize
that terrorists breathe, too, but let's not hold our breath.
5) It's Spreading Like Wildfire. Boston inaugurated transit
searches last year at the Democratic National Convention. There was little outrage:
few protests, no riots. Rulers in cities across the country perked up. New York's
latest adventure in fascism fascinates them as well. They are studying the sheeple's
submission. Keenly. Before rush hour had even ended that first evening, New
Jersey and Connecticut announced that they, too, would begin ransacking bags.
Transit searches easily translate to suburban and rural areas. They're called
6) NYC Officials Have Been Scheming About This For 3-1/2 Years.
But they were waiting for the right moment to spring it on us, as Ray Kelly
confided to the New York Times. "The reality is, you need an event such
as London for people to realize this is a procedure put in place for their safety...The
issue is what the public will accept. You still need an event to get public
I wonder what else they're plotting, what "event" will unleash it
on us, and how they'll manipulate public opinion. Yo, guys, those plans for
the camps: have you ordered the razor-wire yet?
7) It Has Nothing to do With Security. New York City's transit
system is the country's largest. At street level, almost 4500 busses traverse
about 2000 route-miles in the five boroughs. Underground (and occasionally above
ground, too) there are 468 subway stations with multiple entrances, over 31,000
turnstiles, and 656 miles of track for carrying passengers. About 4.7 million
patrons ride the City's mass transit each day.
Our Rulers actually want us to believe that 40,000 New York City cops –
not all of whom will be deployed to the transit system: after all, someone has
to pester pedestrians and ticket drivers – can identify and intercept
a suicide bomber lost in this vastness.
Additionally, the gaps in this "security" yawn so prodigiously that
even dumbed-down public-school graduates could exploit them. The cops and their
"checkpoints" will rove from subway station to station, depending
on the time of day. They will search a certain percentage of passengers.
Let us suppose for sake of argument that suicide bombers are actually waiting
to blow commuters sky-high. Let us further grant that these terrorists are of
sufficient intelligence to construct a bomb and plot its effective detonation.
Yet, when they come upon a search at one entrance to the subway, it will not
occur to them to "turn around and leave" so they can hunt a different
entrance. And men eager to die for their cause would never consider walking
7 or 8 blocks to the next station.
"The public wants to feel safe, as well as be safe," says William
W. Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association, "So
this has a benefit of perception." Yep. It's also invaluable to Our Rulers
for the cover it provides.
8) Your Fellow Citizens Think It's Dandy. Johnny Eggz, 31,
exclaimed to The New York Post, "Cool!" Kinda makes you wonder what
Johnny does for entertainment of an evening, doesn't it? He continued, "We're
at war. What are you going to do – cry about being searched or cry about
being blown up?" Michael Schultz at least recognizes that "it's an
invasion of privacy," but, as he concluded in The New York Sun, "if
you're not carrying anything illegal, you've got nothing to hide." Eve
Holbrook, 35, volunteered to be searched. "It gives me a sense of comfort,"
she told The New York Times. "I went up there of my own free will."
We can only hope the terrorists among us are as amenable.
The few sheeple who object do so on PC grounds: they fear "racial profiling,"
not unConstitutional, general searches. The Times quoted Hani Judeh, 24, a Palestinian-American
living in Brooklyn. "They should check bags, but they can't discriminate.
You can't tell Indian from Pakistani, you can't tell West Indian from black,
you can't tell Arab from Mediterranean."
On the bright side, Gene Russianoff, a lawyer for the Straphangers Campaign,
understands what's really going on. "Riders being randomly searched is
what they do in Communist regimes," he told the Post. Ironically, the article
in which his comment appeared began, "Call [the searches] freedom frisks."
9) Contraband Will Get You Arrested. In another parallel with
the airports, anyone found with drugs, weapons, or the myriad other things on
which Our Rulers frown will be arrested.
10) Larry D. Hiibel, Petitioner v. Sixth Judicial District Court of
Nevada, Humboldt County, et al. This case, decided last summer by the
Supreme Court, held that citizens must identify themselves to cops. Refusal
can result in arrest.
At some point, Our Rulers will revoke the "freedom" to leave the
transit system rather than be searched. And searching will spread to streetcorners:
if one consents to being frisked by riding in planes and busses, one consents
as well by stepping onto a sidewalk. Those who don't cooperate, who complain
or hesitate or perhaps don't raise their hands overhead as quickly as ordered,
will immediately rouse suspicion. Names will be demanded and compared against
lists of "protestors." It won't be difficult to join those lists.
Writing letters critical of Our Rulers to one's congressman or a newspaper editor
will be enough. Having written one probably will be too: computers have long
memories. And we all know the patience police states extend to dissidents.
Are you scared yet?