• A Civics Lesson from America’s Airports, and the TSA

    May 8, 2014

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy

    It is unfortunate that so many foreigner visitors are unfamiliar with our freedoms. The tree of liberty needs to be refreshed from time to time with the residual remains of patriots, so I went to the airport for a civics lesson alongside them.

    I am sure that having flown out of sleek, modern facilities in Asia linked to nearby cities by fast, convenient public transportation, the tourists were unprepared for what it means to be truly free. The advertisements now included in the plastic security bins drove home the American government works for the people, not corporations. Still, many foreigners seemed confused as to why they had to semi-disrobe to board a plane.

    Was removing shoes at the airport some sort of American custom? Even the Japanese, who are shoe-removing fetishists, seemed unsure about wearing only socks to tread upon a filthy public floor. Then came off belts, jackets, jewelry and stuff in pockets. The foreigners, some from Commie Red China where the government controls their every action, were worried pants might be next, but quickly found out we Americans would never bow to a bully government like they had to do at home. We instead all waited in long, slow lines for our chance to appear before a petty government official with blind power over us.

    One thing that distinguishes our international airports from those in many other third world countries is the near-exclusive use of English. Few Americans appreciate the efforts we go to as a nation to provide these gratis tutorial sessions. A curious fact is that American airport workers seem to believe that anyone can speak English if it is blasted at them loud enough and s-l-o-w enough. Idiomatic phrases, such as “ I SAID, liquids in a baggie, 3:1, ya’all, c’mon, people are waiting behind you” are also taught. American passengers often helped out by advising foreign visitors of how to manhandle their laptops, tear open wrapped gifts, disassemble iPods, pour out big bottles of perfumes and bottled water foolishly purchased earlier in the airport and the like.

    As part of America’s commitment to equal treatment for all, I was somehow again selected for random additional screening. It was a good thing, as it meant at least I was still not on the no-fly list. The random part started when the helpful TSA employee scribbled something on my boarding pass and would not tell me what it meant. See, even though I am an American, I too could be treated with scorn. The foreigners, all of whom I could see did not get chosen by Das Selection, seemed impressed. In what other country could the son of a simple tradesman be singled out to represent what is now our America to the world?

    My random extra screening included removing a Chapstick from my pants pocket, and opening it in front of the TSA person as proof it was not terrorist balm meant to moisten one’s lips before shouting “Allah hu Akbar!” Like with the foreigners, the TSA gent spoke English loudly to me, as if to reaffirm loudly we are all equal here in America. He also “asked” that I remove and open my wallet in case it included a very thin gun. In some countries that might be seen as a sleazy request for a bribe, but here we all understood it was just bullying by a public servant. I think when Mr. TSA Employee of the Month saw I had a major credit card was when he knew I was “A-OK.” But not before swabbing my hands for explosives. The Chinese tourists watching all this no doubt remembered the great American cowboy movies they had seen, where men settled things with violence, and smiled seeing how far we had come. As a culture that revers its elders, the Chinese also noted how, after discovering a typo in the name on a boarding pass, TSA sent an elderly woman back to the airline counter for a new one even though she said that would cause her to miss her flight. Not all governments around the world understand they are there to serve the people, not themselves.

    Overall, as I reassembled myself alongside the many visitors sweating and yammering in foreign tongues about how much freedom we Americans enjoy, I could not help but feel proud. Travel and tourism builds bridges, and lets visitors see a people for what they really are. As those modern-day explorers returned to their repressive, petty and inefficient governments at home, I knew that they had at least once, briefly but certainly memorably, breathed free air alongside me.

    BONUS: The foreign visitors no doubt also enjoyed the airport’s retro-touches, which evoked the Golden Age of air travel of the 1950s and 1960s. The lack of WiFi, just like when their parents first visited America, the two electrical outlets serving an entire wing of the airport, the toilets which appear to have not been cleaned since 1950 and the “Welcome Home Troops” signs reminiscent of those displayed for soldiers coming home from the Korean, Vietnam and other wars, all harken back to simpler times.

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  • Recent Comments

    • pitchfork said...


      I’m sure glad my wife has a psychological aversion to flying. We’ll never have to face the US airport Gestapo groping and X-ray bullshit. It was bad enough just BEING in and around an airport in Eugene Oregon last year when my wife’s daughter flew to Wisconsin. Even outside, on the sidewalk while smoking a cigarette, the cops were eyeing me as if I were wearing typical Muslim attire. Even sitting in my car in the parking lot, a cop drove up and asked me what I was doing. I told him unless he planned on detaining me, to fuck off. I don’t have to answer a goddamned thing. Not wise..but fuck em.

      05/8/14 3:15 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      ps..once again, PVB’s satire is dead on. You couldn’t make this stuff up. I’d love to wear a T-shirt that says..

      What’s the difference between a TSA agent and a bucket of shit?

      The bucket.

      05/8/14 4:10 PM | Comment Link

    • Sunil said...


      I like to sing our anthem in my head as I stand shoeless in line, my pants threatening to fall off me. I particularly relish ‘Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave’ as we stand there in those scanning machines, allowing strangers to see through our clothes.

      You know how everyone cheers those last lines at sporting events? Here we are, your Free and your Brave!

      05/8/14 6:34 PM | Comment Link

    • Michael Murry said...


      From “America the Dutiful”:

      In the land of the fleeced and the home of the slave
      Where the cowed and the buffaloed moan
      Where seldom we find an inquisitive mind
      And the people pay up with a groan


      05/8/14 9:07 PM | Comment Link

    • jim hruska said...


      One small point.
      NOBODY sent me off to VN. , nor welcomed me back.
      Not even my Army.
      I say this in reply to your comment that we were treated with respect.
      I don’t know ,but i doubt the troops returning from Korea were given hero welcomes either.
      xin loi.
      jim hruska

      05/9/14 12:20 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      jim hruska said…
      quote:”wmw, One small point.
      NOBODY sent me off to VN. , nor welcomed me back.”unquote

      Jim, people my age know that not all veterans understood what they were getting into when they voluntarily submitted their lives to the Death State’s pillage of the planet. And it’s unfortunate that the citizens whom you thought you were protecting didn’t appreciate the thousands of lives you and your military compandre’s decimated in the name of STUPIDITY. So be it. Live with it. You are not alone.

      05/9/14 1:41 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      To expand on the theme of this post, read Paul Craig Roberts’ latest article on our police state:


      Read the articles he links to (if you have a strong stomach).

      Have a really nice day.


      05/9/14 7:30 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote”To expand on the theme of this post, read Paul Craig Roberts’ latest article on our police state:”unquote

      I’ll add this one too..


      Look at the map of botched SWAT team raids. Then tell me we don’t have a US Stazi now. Beyond comprehension. And in Connecticut, the PTB are preparing for MASS SWAT assaults, as the new gun control law there has become a line in the sand for gun owning citizens. Read what one of the cops there said to the gun owners. Perfect example of the Stazi mindset. However, at some point, should Connecticut decide to step over the line, and they will because their ego’s/stupidity will force them, they won’t be prepared for the 4th generation warfare wrath that will overwhelm the PTB..and we’re not just talking police. After all..the names and address’s of every politician who voted for this law is PUBLIC INFORMATION..and they are scared shitless.


      05/9/14 11:22 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote”Read the articles he links to (if you have a strong stomach).

      Have a really nice day.


      You are right Teri. I couldn’t finish. My blood pressure was sky high after the first one. The one about the wedding did it for me. Any one who doesn’t believe the US Stazi exists is an idiot. Frankly, I’m 10x more scared of these scumbag police than a possible crime by another citizen. But now, I truly believe the LEO community is totally infested with murdering psychopaths. And it’s only a matter of time before people start defending themselves against police brutality by virtue of carrying GUNS.

      05/9/14 11:55 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      God only knows what lies the DS Flying Monkeys wrote in their TIPOFF report to the TSA about you. Of course, in our land of “freedom of information” you will never find out. It’s ridiculous that we have to depend upon these Keystone cops to protect US. I hope our fearless leader Barry will feel TSA’s thumbs up his ass one day when he has to fly commercial to get to his speaking engagement. Speaking of sell-outs, Barry is already on the road:


      05/9/14 12:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      In choosing WALMART as the backdrop for his announcement, Obama triggered a backlash from labor unions and pay equity advocates who say Wal-Mart pays low wages and who archly noted that Obama has made pay equity a central issue of his presidency.

      “What numbskull in the White House arranged this?” former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who served in the Bill Clinton administration, said in a posting on Facebook on Thursday.

      Aren’t they all ?

      05/9/14 12:25 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      Hm. About Chinese airports:

      Several years ago when I finally departed from Communist China after having lived there for some years, I took exactly one ounce of silver out of the country, because I had researched Chinese law on silver and gold and it had a strict limit of one ounce of either metal.

      So, just one silver coin as a souvenir, but the law required me to declare it at Customs. I dutifully went through the “red” gate at customs, and handed my customs form to the officer, declaring one ounce of silver.

      She looked at me as if I were crazy, and waved me off because I was wasting her time. Good thing I didn’t take off my shoes or else I might have been detained for possible insanity.

      05/9/14 12:33 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote:” Good thing I didn’t take off my shoes or else I might have been detained for possible insanity.”unquote..

      They would have been right. After all.. you came back. 🙂

      Ya know melove, I think we ought to declare the Terrorists won. And call it a day. Let them know..hey, ok, you guys won, were outta your countries..never to return. You go your way..we go ours. All I know is I hate this country now. The lies, the surveillance, the militarized police, the DHS, the TSA,.. actually..death isn’t a bad option now. Give this country 5 years and people will wish they had been paying attention. So will their grandchildren.

      All I know is this..they didn’t build all these FEMA camps for nothing. I’ve seen a couple. AND, I personally saw rail cars in Oregon LINED WITH LEG AND ARM CONSTRAINTS..THREE LEVELS HIGH. A hundred or so cars. Once I saw that..no one on this planet can tell me this government isn’t planning something..and it ISN’T gonna be a July 4th celebration. You want a “civics lesson”? Compared to what is happening under our very noses..TSA are sheep. Here it is circa 2014.



      I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I am a realitist. I’ve seen one. In Palmdale, Ca. Miles of barbed wire. One only need use Google street view to see it.

      Fuck this government. Fascism is here..and it’s only a matter of time till the Totalitarian State starts Marshal Law.

      05/9/14 8:00 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      ps..if it weren’t for the fact I have children..and grandchildren who will have to face this perverse change in America.. I wouldn’t give a flying fuck now because you can’t cure stupid. But I care. Unfortunately..unless you’ve spent 10 years like I have, researching and watching, notwithstanding the stark in you face reality of the NSA revelations, one doesn’t realize we are frogs. Boiling frogs. I try to tell my family. They won’t listen. They think I’m .. well..”misinformed”. Hahahahahahahaha!

      Wait till the US Stazi starts kicking in THEIR doors to confiscate weapons under the United Nations dictate. AND THEY WILL!! You see..that is the whole PLANET plan. Eventually. No guns. No resistance. Perfect. At least in the collectivists minds. I think they underestimate the power of the human drive to be free. youbetcha. And THAT is the battle of the future. Just like Revelations predict.

      05/9/14 8:13 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      Speaking of insane cops…


      I rest my case, as there should be no doubt whatsoever now.

      05/11/14 11:07 AM | Comment Link

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