"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and gained the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds -- and done a hundred things

You may not have even dreamed of. . ."

Thus go the words of "High Flight," by John Mageealt=" Violating the Fourth Amendment: Why I Don't Fly in America " title=" Violating the Fourth Amendment: Why I Don't Fly in America " target="_blank"

I have flown the airlines many thousands of miles, back in the good old days when they would attach a name card to the back of your seat so the stewardesses -- yes, we called them stewardesses -- could address you by name. Back when meals were served -- real meals with your choice of either chicken or steak --- on linen tablecloths with real silverware, and a glass or two of complimentary wine. Continental Airlines had the motto, "We move our Tails for You," without being accused of sexual exploitation.

Do I fly now? Not if I can help it. And it is sad.

It's bad enough that the airlines fill the planes with so many little seats that anyone weighing over 115 pounds cannot fit in comfortably. And if you want anything to eat, you had better bring it with you -- making sure it contains no liquid or a plastic knife or fork.

But worst of all is the so-called pre-boarding screening process, conducted by the 50,000 thousand or so Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inspectors.

It wouldn't be so bad if the system worked. But it doesn't. Yes, there have been a couple of instances where potential terrorists, such as the "shoe bomber," or the "underwear bomber," were detected and disarmed. But they were discovered and subdued by in-flight passengers, not TSA officials.

Although there are dozens of reported instances where journalists, and others, have purposely brought prohibited items on board, and in spite of the fact that hundreds of $millions have been spent on electronic gadgetry that exposes your privates for all the TSA staff members to see, and sometimes post on YouTube, there has not been one single instance where an armed terrorist has been detected. No, not one!

Israel, probably the most insecure country in the world these days, handles the problem cheaply and effectively with intense profiling. But political correctness won't permit us to do that. So our wives, daughters, mothers, and even grandmothers, are being "felt up," while those, presumably females, concealing themselves in an Islamic burqa cannot be touched.

So why does this travesty continue to exist? Have we become so accustomed to governmental incompetence that we have just come to expect it? Or is this just another example of our lawmakers imposing unconstitutional constraints on us, while creating exemptions for themselves?

As you might have assumed, since our elected representatives do not want to be subjected to such humiliation, they have excluded themselves, and their cronies. They have developed what has shown to be a rather ineffective "blacklist" of those who are presumably prohibited from flying. But they have also creating a "whitelist" (no racial inference intended) of those for whom no shoe removal of other intrusive screening is required. And guess who make up the list:

  • Members of Congress (of course)
  • UN Officials
  • Federal Judges
  • Department of Defense Personnel
  • Miscellaneous other Government Employees

Now do you understand why this violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing "the right of the people to be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures" continues? As in many other instances, those who write our laws exempt themselves from them. (Does ObamaCare come to mind?)

As Benjamin Franklin so wisely stated,

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

So as for me, I don't fly anywhere within a day's drive. If you push it, from where I live that includes most destinations east of the Mississippi, with the possible exception of New York City, to which, in light of current terrorist threats, no one in their right mind would want to go to anyway.

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