Homeland security

You Are No Longer Free To Move About the Country


Janet Napolitano said last month that we should expect to soon see tighter restrictions at bus, train, and marine transportation centers, too. Here's a report about TSA, Border Patrol, and local police setting up a checkpoint at a Greyhound station in Tampa. Note how quickly preventing a possible terrorist attack expands to include catching illegal immigrants, and preventing drug and what sounds like "cash smuggling." (It's hard to tell from the audio.) Note also the complete and utter reverence the local news report bestows on these government agencies, who after all are merely "teaming up to keep your family safe."

A liberal blogger wrote to me in an email this week that libertarians who call the TSA pat-downs a violation of their civil liberties do a disservice to actual violations of civil liberties. It's not difficult to envision the day where anyone wishing to take mass transportation in this country will have to first submit to a government checkpoint, show ID, and answer questions about any excess cash, prescription medication, or any other items in his possession the government deems suspicious. If and when that happens, freedom of movement will essentially be dead. But it won't happen overnight. It'll happen incrementally. And each increment will, when taken in isolation, appear to some to be perfectly reasonable.

NEXT: Reasoners on the Radio: Nick Gillespie Talking Midterms, New Boss/Old Boss, on WBAL at 10.30a.m. ET

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This topic is now officially Four Lokoed.

    1. Speaking of Four Loko, I submitted a new definition to the urban dictionary:


      Unnecessarily banning a substance or activity enjoyed by young adults, due to media sensationalism, parental panic, and government overreach. Derived from the Great Four Loko Panic of 2010.

      You better stock up on some orgasm in a can before they fourloko it.

      Dude, did you hear? They fourlokoed Whipped Lightning! (Alcoholic whipped cream.)

      1. That’s not bad. I like it. 🙂

  2. what. the. fuck.

    1. You can thank pro-illegal-immigration and pro-terrorist and pro-sedition shitbags like yourself for this, Radical Butthole. People would probably object more to government intervention in these things if they didn’t notice what a bunch of anti-American be-more-like-Europe we-love-the-fascist-UN traitors you losertardians are, and how you never gave a damn about stopping illegal immigration and terrorism in the first place.

      Moreover, your determination to “spank” the Republicans helped give the Democrats a super majority. What the hell did you expect those commies to do with all that power, huh!? Fuck you, Radical Butthole, and may you be groped by a TSA agent who’s just groped another guy with herpes.

      1. what a bunch of anti-American be-more-like-Europe we-love-the-fascist-UN traitors you losertardians are [citation needed]

      2. So, if the Grand Old “It’s Perfectly Fine To Detain American Citizens Indefinitely” Party is returned to power in 2012, our civil liberties will be perfectly safe?

        Yeah, right. You people opened this door. The fact that our people have not closed it again does not give you a pass; it only means both parties need to be smacked around on this issue instead of just one.

        Point me to where you spoke out when Bush was shredding the Constitution, and I’ll be more inclined to listen when you scream about Obama scattering the pieces.

        1. P.S. to previous: The real fault, of course, lies with the American people. As long as there is political hay to be made by fearmongering and trampling civil liberties in the name of security–as long as we clamor to be kept “safe”–politicians in both parties will be only too eager to oblige.

          The only thing that will stop them is when they begin to notice their poll numbers going down, their focus groups getting unhappy, and their donor base drying up.

          1. “The only thing that will stop them is when they begin to notice their poll numbers going down, their focus groups getting unhappy, and their donor base drying up.”

            That won’t even be a problem since by then the masses will have been convinced that voting poses a risk to NS, so that process, too, has gone the way of the government via self-appointing.

            Hyperbole? Today, yes.


        2. Point me to where you spoke out when Bush was shredding the Constitution, and I’ll be more inclined to listen when you scream about Obama scattering the pieces.

          If you are talking to Reason in general, you can start here.

          Then just click the Archive link above and see any year from 2001-2009 for more examples.

          A search box is also available, try typing “Bush” into it and see if you can find any article saying that his violations on civil liberties were good.

          1. The commenter was replying to a Republican and not to Reason.

      3. Actually, to become more like Europe we would have to give police unlimited powers to stop and check anyone’s mandatory ID anywhere any time. That is the norm in most of continental Europe. The only thing that makes it tolerable is that for some strange reason Eurocops don’t seem to have the same talent for dickishness as Americops.

        So I’d say you’re the one who wants to be more like France, you traitorous cheese-eating surrender monkey.

        We’re getting there.

  3. I have approximately zero confidence that SCOTUS will step in and put a fence around these agencies. The doctrine of implied consent will expand to cover all transportation options, even though it is predicated on the existence of transportation that is not subject to government control.

    Did I mention I’m heading down to Panama in a few weeks?

    1. A widespread boycott would stop it. Dollars talk. It’s the universal language. But the people, so far, are fine with it.

      1. Ummm…have you seen the decrease in holiday flying numbers?

        1. Hardly a boycott.

          1. If the numbers I have seen are accurate, 7M to 1.6M is a hell of a boycott. More successful than any “official” boycott I can remember.

            1. Somebody is panicking, for sure.

              1. After reading this, I realized it might sound like that was directed at you or Radley. What I meant was that you’re right, and a decrease in numbers like that is sure to hit some panic buttons in the airline & related industries.

                1. Its been a slow decline over the last decade, Ive seen no evidence of panic.

                  1. Nobody said it’s a “panic”, but it’s pretty damn obvious that security hassles are a factor people weigh when deciding how to travel.

                    I don’t even fly when going from Minneapolis to Dallas & back anymore, preferring the 14-hour, 1000-mile drive each way over dealing with how horrible air travel has become, in spite of the fact that I-35 typically has about three major construction zones per state on any given summer day.

              2. They might be panicking, but a partial solution has just been (re)introduced: the NTSB is recommending that – for their safety – all children 2 and under should be strapped into a car seat and not held by a parent. In those rare cases where injury is possible, the seat is obviously better than simply holding the child. But by the numbers, this really just adds revenue to the airlines, because to use a car seat means the purchase of an additional seat.

            2. Robc, can you provide a source please. I’d be happier than a pig at high tide if this is for real!

          2. Hardly a boycott.

            Airlines are a low margin business in the best of times (Thanks, Mr. Carter!), and a relatively small drop in ridership points them straight at bankruptcy.

            Not quickly mind, they’ve a big pool of capital and borrowing power, but…

      2. yeah! A boycott! Let’s boycott the airlines because the government is screwing with our boarding. That’ll teach the TSA.


        Those screeners will still come in every day, and stand around doing nothing, as is the dream job for government workers.

        And the airlines will reduce flights to save money.

        The point of what the government is doing here is not to make us safer–it’s to make us less likely to travel.

        1. Those screeners will still come in every day, and stand around doing nothing, as is the dream job for government workers.

          Except that without we stooges to pay the TSA taxes on all those tickets we aren’t buying, there won’t be enough cash to pay all those screeners for their “services” either.

          Ultimately, the parasite kills itself, every time.

          1. Yeah, we’ve gotten rid of a lot of bad government programs and agencies like that.

        2. And the airlines will reduce flights to save money.

          And after they reduce flights, they’ll ask for government subsidies to stay in business, which makes it just as easy for the government to take over the airlines and we’ll be riding on am-air in a few years.

          1. am-air

            I prefer AirTrack.

    2. “”I have approximately zero confidence that SCOTUS will step in and put a fence around these agencies. “”

      Same here.

      Have fun in Panama.

    3. I have pretty much decided that any trip I take out of the country in the future will be taken with the possibility of not returning.

      This will take some planning so I’m not going anywhere in the near future.

      1. Let’s not get carried away.

        America is only horrible on civil liberties issues until you compare it to other places. Then you realize that the US sets a rather low bar which nobody else seems to be able to clear. Unless you can afford to live on one of those new “sea-scaping” rigs, there isn’t really a more-free place to go to.

        1. That’s why I say it’s not going to happen soon and that also said “possibility”.

          I’ve lived nearly half my life outside of the US on and off and I’m still convinced this is the place to be.

          But you see, one of the problems is this. French cops (for example, I could as easily have picked Italians or Canadians for that matter) have powers that American cops would salivate over. But for all of our formal constitutional protections there’s no one in the world who can be a bigger dick once you dress him in a blue uniform and pin a badge on him than an American.

          Mind you, how nice French or Italian cops are to you depends on some factors.

          The opinion of a “North African” will be quite different from that of an American tourist or well-dressed local.

    4. Sidewalk police
      Who was it – Asminov???
      If your not hiding anything bad on the sidewalks, what do you have to fear?

    5. To Panama permanently, RC?

  4. “This way us and our partners are ready…”

    Someone needs to learn when to use the nominative case.

    1. What is the correct way to say this? There is no use calling out a grammar mistake if you don’t provide the correction. Otherwise, you just come off looking like a complete troll.

      1. *sigh*

        We and our partners.

        1. What’d you give him the answer for, mang? Sheesh!

          1. Heroic Mulatto.

            1. Indeed.

              *cape waves in the wind*

        2. You mean, “Our Partners and I”

      2. Take away the words “and our partners” and see if it sounds correct.

    2. Where’s the error? Us don’t see anything wrong with it as written.

      1. Me faill english? That’s unpossible.

    3. Right. Cops are stupid and given guns to “keep us safe.” Where is the “news” exactly?

  5. Fuck them up their lying asses!Give them a little power and goes right to their heads.Cockersuckers

    1. Calling authoritarians gay isn’t helpful.

      Unless you’re trying to come out of the closet, in which case just admit you want to have gay anal sex with male TSA agents.

      1. He isn’t being homophobic. “Cockersuckers” is the name for fans of Joe Cocker.

      2. I’ve had several female accomplices who fell into the “cocksucker” category, so I don’t get the automatic “gay” reference when using the phrase.

      3. …since when did libertarians start acting like politically-correct speech police?

      4. pricks and cunts.

        1. That’s more like it. Though some of the men fall into the “cunt” category (e.g., Paul Krugman).

  6. A liberal blogger wrote to me in an email this week that libertarians who call the TSA pat-downs a violation of their civil liberties do a disservice to actual violations of civil liberties.

    This line of argument has a certain amount of credibility, to me.

    My objection to airport security is based on my assessment that it is a gigantic waste of time and money.

    But we definitely seem to be headed at breakneck speed to a regime in which free travel around the country will be a fond and distant memory.

    1. So you’re ok with nudi-scans and crotch grabs so long as they’re effective?

      1. Not to defend him, but it’s a moot point since they aren’t and never will be.

        1. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    2. Frankly, this is insane. I grew up smack dab in the middle of the cold war and daily we were indoctrinated with horrors of life in the USSR and East Germany – having to carry and show your papers, check points, routine searches of persons and vehicles for no particular reason.

      Americans have accepted all of this as a routine, normal part of life – just like those behind “the iron curtain” did. Americans should be ashamed of themselves. Oh, and yeah, the same excuses were used to justify these things – it was to keep people safe. And of course, there’s the ever popular idiocy – if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. I’m ashamed of my country and the people in it.

      1. Holy shit! I’ve been thinking the same thing for the last 10 years.

      2. me, I’ve been wondering if anyone else remember that..how those poor commies had to show an internal passport to get on a plane or train, or even could be stopped as they drove through the countryside.

        Anyone else had enough?

        1. I’ve had it, also grew up with Cold war sentiment, viet nam war, nothing except in the last years compares to this atrocity. I’ve decided not to fly unless absolutely necessary. Lots of other people are no longer flying due to the intrusiveness of security, with the last 2 weeks being the tip of the slope, so far. I have been blogging for most of the last week, getting points across. Big brother is too much in our face. Our rights are at stake, and back office deals. Follow the money, so glad Ron Paul and others have asserted – sponsored a bill, give us back our rights, etc.

    3. This line of argument has a certain amount of credibility, to me.

      I’m not seeing it. Perhaps you can expound on how that argument makes any sense. Getting felt up without one’s consent is an actual violation of one’s civil liberties, not a fake violation, regardless of whether the molester is wearing a badge saying TSA.

    4. I think the liberal blogger’s argument is bogus. What, after all, is civil rights really about? The right to participate in the government’s meaningless rituals? No, it’s about basic human dignity. That’s something that liberals at least claimed to care about back in the dim and distant past.

      I guess that since the Great Barack became El Presidente, his “dignity” is supposed to suffice for all of us.

      1. As a liberal in most ways, I’d like to say that my experience in the last few months has been that most liberals are against the pat-downs as well. I live in Berkeley, CA — a liberal hot-bed if ever there was one — and people I’ve talked to have been universally against this invasive security theater, just as they were under Bush. A lot of us were shocked and aggravated by The Nation article suggesting that objections to it were part a right-wing plot.

        There will always be pundits, of course, whose priorities and beliefs will shift based on who’s in the oval office. This is not a liberal vs. conservative issue, no matter how many people on both sides want it to be.

  7. sorry I spelled cocksucker wrong.

    1. It’s OK. Nobody takes you seriously.

  8. The doctrine of implied consent will expand to cover all transportation options,


    “Implied Consent” was the end of America.

    1. That and the concept of the “diminished expectation of privacy”.

      1. Don’t forget the modern interpretation of, “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States.”

    2. “Implied consent” was a sad day. Same for “preventive detention,” asset forfeiture, varying levels of judicial scrutiny, sovreign immunity, constructive paternity, the rationalization that the “all criminal cases” in the Sixth Amendment didnt really mean all criminal cases, etc. Just a long line of bullshit ideas plucked out of thin air by courts and legislators, which collectively have made us far less free. I agree, though, the rest of the world is even worse.

    3. I don’t know, it’s a philosophy that’s served me well, along with GHB.

  9. Someone made the good point on a previous thread that civics courses thirty years ago made a big deal about not needing internal passports or having checkpoints, as compared to communist nations.

    Between these assholes and ICE, that freedom is as dead as the dodo.

    1. Makes you wonder who really won the cold war.

      1. I lost any doubt about that after Obamacare passed…

        1. You should have lost doubt way before that.

          1. I was TRYING to be optimistic, sheesh.

    2. Your ID says you’re from Indiana. What is your reason for being in here in Arkansas? Business? Do you have proof of that? No? I’m afraid we’re going to have to strip search you and your car.

      1. Get pulled over by the right sheriff and that will happen anyway.

        1. Only if you’re brown. Or look gay.

          1. Used to be if you had long hair to but now it’s the rednecks that have long hair.

      2. Why would ANYbody be in Arkansas? …other than nefarious shennanagans…
        Come to think of if…why would ANYbody be in Indiana? …name one good reason.

          1. realize that anyone googling that will go to the old site.

            New Albanian Brewing Company is the proper answer, not that any of us oldsters call it that.

        1. State Fair pork chops

      3. How do you strip search a car, exactly? Are we heading toward government controlled chop shops now?

        1. You do things like taking door panels off, cutting into the fabric of the roof, removing the carpeting.

          It’s common enough.

        2. You use a naked-scanner mounted on a truck – or you just rip apart the car piece by piece like they do at the border when a dog alerts on it.

    3. T’was me under my million random commenter names. It’s a disease.

      I grew up in New Mexico, where permanent border patrol checkpoints were installed decades ago, and going to visit relatives meant being stopped by uniformed federal authorities and being asked where you were going, why, and what’s that bumper sticker mean? Sometimes they’d want to look in the trunk. God help you if you were Hispanic.

      One of my early memories is my mother leaning over the front seat and saying “Just let Dad do all the talking, children.”
      Kinda skewed my outlook on our free nation.

      1. Guess I must be a bit older, or on another border. Lots of memories of bopping back and forth across to Canada with minimal (or even zero) controls.

        Best was coming home after a near disaster left the car covered with dry fire extinguisher residue, a fine white powder all over everything. After explaining about the burning gas tank (and subsequent unrelated pulp truck that almost ran us off the road and into the St. John river), all the US customs agent said was “Welcome Home”.

        (Did I mention that at that point, one could cross into or out of Canada through a road in a potato field, with a little shack and notice that basically said ‘If you’re going to stay in Canada more than 48 hrs, please sign in’… I don’t recall what was on the other side coming into the US, but it was completely unmanned.)

        1. Please sign in?

          I love it. Canada is adorable.

    4. Until about fifteen years ago or so you didn’t even need to show ID to fly domestically. The airline took your word for it that you were who you said you were.

      Internatinal airlines only cared that your passport and visa were in order because they were on the hook to fly you back if your were turned away from wherever you were going.

      1. It’s not that they took your word, they just didn’t care who you were. They got someone’s money, why would they care whose?

      2. In the 80s you could fly PeoplExpress without even telling them your name.

        You showed up at the airport, stood in line, boarded the plane (if there were fewer people in front of you than there were seats on the plane), paid them cash or traveler’s checks, and off you went.

  10. Shout “The Terrorists have won!” every time you’re stopped. Make sure everyone hears you.

    1. Which will make the security goon absolutely positive that YOU are a terrorist. Sounds like a good plan.

      1. Huh? They already treat you like a suspected terrorist. The 100% false positive rate only means they don’t have enough money to do their jobs properly.

  11. Usually I can read this stuff with some equanimity, but I literally felt nauseous after listening to that video. The self-righteous terms that these bureaucrats use when talking about implementing internal travel controls makes me ill. We are so close to ‘internal passports’ now that the difference is pretty much trivial.
    And when was the last time there was a bomb on a bus in the US?

    1. The fawning comments of the reporters made me angrier than the government agents did. Whatever happened to the media questioning things? When did they become another arm of the government?

      Radley’s right. We don’t have a right wing or left wing media, we have a statist media. And it’s getting worse.

      1. I call ’em all “Pravda” now, which irritates my liberal acquaintances.

      2. Media sucks. You have to read further to get at the truth. Mainstream meadia, smooths over surface, doesn’t really get at heart of matter.

      3. But media professionals could have any opinions. Why should they have those in particular?

    2. But just a year ago there was a psycho on a bus in Canada. What?! Not close enough?

      1. That’s right, a psycho. In other words, somebody mentally ill. Would groping his genitals before he boarded have made it less likely that he would attack and kill a fellow passenger?

      2. Have you ever been on a bus on the Canadian prairies in the middle of winter.

        I’m surprised we don’t see a lot more of this.

        In fact, I’m surprised whole busloads of Canadians don’t go beserk.

    3. When has a bureaucrat been anything other than self-righteous?

    4. Dude you don’t remember my movie

    5. And when was the last time there was a bomb on a bus in the US?

      If it does happen, Middle Eastern terrorists will definitely NOT be responsible. They know some American leftists share their America is the Great Satan mindset, but attacking a bus full of passengers who often poor minorities, a key leftist constituency, will create hostility for them among those who unintentional share their position.

      1. I find your ideas intriguing, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. But how does your theory explain why the 9/11 attacks were directed mainly at NYC?

        1. They attacked NY and DC because the burning towers and pentagon provided excellent shock value, and a major city provided the highest body count. Nevertheless, their main grievance is the presence of American troops on Mid East soil, and their goal is to hasten the removal of those troops. They will refrain from any attack that even slightly undermines that goal politically.

          1. Nevertheless, their main grievance is the presence of American troops on Mid East soil, and their goal is to hasten the removal of those troops. They will refrain from any attack that even slightly undermines that goal politically.

            Really? Because it seems like one effect of the attack was to increase the number of US troops in the Middle East.

          2. Their goal is to get MORE American troops to attack the Middle East, not get us out of the Middle East. They lost the Soviet Union as an invading army so they needed a new army to rally their political power around. As far as avoiding enraging the Left, AQ doesn’t care because they know that both the Left and Right will spend so much time attacking each other for small political gains that AQ will benefit whoever they kill. They likely won’t attack buses because its hard for them to justify the killing of primarily poor people within Islam and because the fear and financial effects are just too small.

        2. Two of the 4 were directed at Washington. One of them was thwarted by the passengers. If they were only directed at NYC, we wouldn’t have a TSA.

  12. I’m waiting for Poole to come around and tell us we need to let TSA data-mine all our financial transaction records so they can know whom to trust.

    1. “” let TSA data-mine all our financial transaction records so they can know whom to trust.”‘

      That would be part of the risk based approach.

    2. Well, they make it clear that carrying a large amount of cash is an offense that they are on the lookout for. Essentially turning refusal to participate in the mainstream financial system into probable cause for extra scrutiny by government agents.

      1. I’ve never really understood this. If I keep sticking “Legal Tender” into my pocket, at some point it becomes illegal.

  13. Not gonna happen. kill the free movement and you kill the dollars.

    1. Free movenment as we knew it. It doesn’t really end free movenment per se, it just puts a bunch of regulations and burden on the traveler. Much like what happened to gun rights. You’re free to own a gun pretty much everywhere, if you can jump through the hoops. Even SCOTUS upholds the notion that extreme regulation does not infringe upon the right.

      I will fondly look back at how America was, and miss it.

    2. Like that has ever stopped a bedwetting securityphile. If you don’t think our security fixation has already had negative economic effects you just haven’t been paying attention.

      Excessive, arbitrary regulation kills the dollars too. How’s that working out for you?

      1. For example, has anyone looked at airlines’ bottom lines lately? How many people choose not to fly if it’s less than, say 200 miles or so, because it’s more of a hassle than it’s worth. And just when deregulation was beginning to make it really cheap to fly, too.

        1. They are doing much better, finally. Terrible example on your part.

          1. They’re doing much better financially finally, after cutting a lot of capacity in response to losses caused by people flying less (and economists have studies that suggest that extra security is causing that.)

            But that’s what you’d expect in a free market anyway. You wouldn’t get permanent huge losses, not without government bailouts. You get capacity cuts and price increases, shrinking the industry until it’s profitable again, just smaller and more focused on long-distance and serving a somewhat richer class of passengers.

          2. It’s a good example, because they only restored profitability by slashing capacity.

        2. Weird. I guess my family has always been car-oriented, since we’d never fly if it were less than, oh, 600 miles. You can do 600 miles in a day, easy, so why screw around with planes, security, screaming babies, etc.?

          Now I’m starting to push that mileage even further out, although it looks like the g’ment is way ahead of me. At least they haven’t passed a law requiring you to have a screaming baby in the car, yet.

      2. Like that has ever stopped a bedwetting securityphile. If you don’t think our security fixation has already had negative economic effects you just haven’t been paying attention.

        That’s for damn sure. I recently decided I won’t fly another plane unless they quit molesting me at the airport. And I fucking live on an island in the middle of the Pacific, where I literally have to either fly or take a boat if I want to go further than about 50 miles tops from my house.

        My wife is still OK with her and the kids getting molested, or at least OK enough to not give up her precious vacations.

    3. Hasnt happened so far.

      1. well, the $$$ have been killed successfully.

        1. Yep, airline bailouts happen with regularity. They don’t care if you fly, just as long as you pay.

  14. It’s not just that each increment will seem perfectly reasonable to some, it’s also that each increment will seem like a tiny marginal “rounding error” not worth getting upset about to people like your liberal blogger mentioned in the post. “The government already has these searches that go too far, who really cares if they go a little farther, it’s bad either way.” “You people on the other team didn’t sufficiently object to the last marginal change, which I think was more significant than this one, so I’d rather bust you your hypocrisy and/or say that my side’s infringements aren’t as bad as yours.”

    Even when the existing situation is bad, it’s still worth fighting every marginal change, no matter how small it seems.

    1. Right. But you get idiots, even on this board, who say “Oh, we’re tired of hearing about this trivial matter.”
      Then don’t fucking listen. This is a rare opportunity to screech loud and hard about a controversy that has gained some resonance with the public. Let’s ride this baby as far as it will go.

      1. Let’s ride this baby as far as it will go.

        You’re not riding anywhere until I see you naked. Or grab your crotch.

  15. Chuck Lawrence.
    He rides the bus.

  16. So, 2-3 years tops before citizens aren’t free to leave the country?

    1. I don’t think they’ll go that far, but I can see strict regulations being implemented. Especially regulations which govern access to US bank accounts from overseas and how much money you are permitted to take with you on your travels.

      1. And at least one family member will have to remain in the country at all times. Y’know, for their own safety.

    2. I would be surprised if that happened. Now getting back into the country is another matter.

    3. I — and probably many others — have always thought that the one concrete, almost defining characteristic of a totalitarian state was not being able to leave the country to travel or emigrate. Otherwise, you’re just a ward of the state. If it goes there, even incrementally, then that’s sickening.

      More generally, travel without interference is enshrined as a fundamental right in pretty much every Western framework of law, from the Constitution to the EU to…you name it.

      I’m not sure why people are so flippant about this lately, or why questioning these procedures does a zero-sum disservice to other fundamental rights.

      1. Rock,
        Freedom to travel goes back to the MAGNA CARTA. Since 12 freakin’ 15.

        Think we’ll be celebrating 800 years of free travel in 2015?

  17. Look on the bright side. Somehow, almost miraculously, the dog-shootings have ceased.

  18. You can see where “Reason” leans. Notice how now the comments are LEFT justified. Notice that?

    1. yes, but the threaded comments move to the right 😉

  19. What about car bombs? Shouldn’t TSA be frisking us before we get in our cars? If it saves even one life…

    1. Breathalyzers and On-Star for all.

    2. We should at least have internal TSA checkpoints at state borders. Free movement doesn’t mean the government can’t search you and check your papers. As long as you’re free to move along as long as you aren’t doing anything wrong.


  20. Chuck Lawrence
    Rides the Bus

    Hahaha – classic

  21. “Papers please.”

  22. Never thought I would see the day where I have to go to frickin’ Canada to be more free.

    1. You’ll need $10,000 Can., in addition to other requirements.

      Not that I’ve extensively looked into it, or anything.

  23. Come on up . . . but bring a shovel. It snows up here.

    1. I’m already half-Canadian… I live in Michigan!

      1. Oh, you mean Upper Canada?

    2. What’s the chick-dude ratio up there? I’m getting sick of the 20-1 in DC.

  24. Why stop at mass transportation? How about any mass gathering? Didn’t you see where a hopeful terrorsit-in-training wanteed to blow up a christmas tree lighting ceremony?

    Just looking at statistics, you are far more likely to be the victim of a terrorist attack at a lighting ceremony. Those only happen once time a year and only in maybe a few thousand locations. We must conduct anal exams of anyone who wants to see a tree with lights in it!

    1. That there isn’t a bunch of bombings at such events is pretty good evidence that there are virtually no terrorists roaming around the U.S. As airports have become more hardened, one would think the (mythical) mob of terrorists would migrate to, say, the Rockefeller Center Tree lighting ceremony, or some random Greyhound bus pulling out of the Port Authority Terminal. Or maybe I’m wrong that supplies to make any decent sized bomb are virtually impossible to obtain in the U.S. so all these terrorists among us have to wait for their next container shipment to be smuggled in through Baltimore.

      1. +1

        In a world of 7 billion people, America shits the bed over 5,000 Islamo-terrorists. And we wonder why our economy sucks.

        1. But… but… Timothy McVeigh and, uh, abortion-clinic bombers and, uh…

          1. We proudly stand by our assertion that Ron Paul voters, supporters of the Campaign for Liberty, and members of the Constitution Party, are more of a threat to airline passengers than young men of Middle Eastern origin.

        2. If cable TV teaches us anything, it is to fear the highly implausible event that actually never happens.

  25. This has been the norm with private recreational boating for years. For example, if you’re out in the Chesapeake Bay in your boat, the USCG can stop and board you at any time and inspect your vessel and its contents to determine whether you’re in compliance with various USCG requirements.

    There was a story recently on one of the sailing forums about a guy whose sailboat was boarded while under way – i.e., the USCG dudes did not wait for the boat to come to a stop; they just motored alongside and jumped aboard – with guns drawn – and ordered those in the cockpit not to move or do anything. One guy in the cockpit yelled down to the boat’s owner, who was below in the cabin, that they were being boarded by the Coast Guard. The USCG dude did not like that, so he barreled down the companionway with his service pistol drawn and pointed it in the face of the boat’s owner, who was coming up out of the cabin.

    They were searching to make sure that the boat had its marine sanitation device’s Y-valve properly shut off and secured.

    There’s nothing new under the sun, folks.


  27. So you’re ok with nudi-scans and crotch grabs so long as they’re effective?

    Not in the least. My position is that they are useless by definition, and never should have even entered the consciousness of anybody.

    I’m trying to avoid the “OMG! LITTLE GURLZ TEENSY BOOBIES!!” line of objection, because I hate it when it gets used by the other side.

    As has been said thousands of times, by me. and many others: The “hole” in airplane security which was exploited by the 9/11 TERROR TEAM ™ was filled almost immediately, by the passengers in Pennsylvania. For decades, passengers and crew were expected to sit quietly with their hands in their laps, while the “pros” negotiated with a group of hijackers who wanted to survive. The rules changed, and so did the response on the plane.

    Pretty much everything else which has been done in reaction to that day has been unnecessary and pointless, and has made our lives worse instead of better.

    1. The thing that drives me mad about this is that if I really wanted to destroy an airplane full of people, I’m POSITIVE that I could pull it off. Anybody could. It would not even be difficult to plan, and nothing done at security checkpoints could do anything about it.

      The TSA exists to make people FEEL like traveling is safe. No other reason. You could eliminate security gates entirely and air travel would statistically be no less safe than it is now. They are about as useful as door locks on a convertible with the top down.

      1. ^^This^^

      2. The TSA exists to make people FEEL like traveling is safe.

        No, the TSA exists to make the paranoid sociopaths who live and work in the capital feel safer, and a few large insurance companies feel like they have less liability to cover. I seriously doubt anyone on an airplane actually feels safer.

      3. Tara is Bruce Schneier’s echo from 9/12/01.

  28. Since I got (justifiably) piled on, I’ll say this; I guess I was thinking about Balko-grade civil rights violations, like military style SWAT raids, expropriation of cash and property without due process… that stuff.

    I stopped flying in 2003, because I thought the security kabuki bullshit had gone too far. The last time I “went somewhere” I drove 1700 miles each way rather than fly, and that was two years ago.

    If I encounter a checkpoint on the road, I’m likely to erupt from my car, pistol in hand, shouting ALLAH AKBAR.

    1. security bukake?

      1. left out a k.

        Im going to be proud of that misspelling.

  29. 2-3 years tops before citizens aren’t free to leave the country?

    Not necessarily; but you’ll have to put your family up as collateral, to ensure you return to your duties as a productive member of the collective.

  30. It’s not difficult to envision the day where anyone wishing to take mass transportation in this country will have to first submit to a government checkpoint, show ID, and answer questions about any excess cash, prescription medication, or any other items in his possession the government deems suspicious

    But hey! We’ll always have our non-mass transportation, right? Our cars! Yay, freedom!

    Only… did you see the news lately about Google’s driverless cars? It won’t be long before highways can (and, I think, inevitably will be) completely automated. Imagine, all those cars, driving under computer control in tight formation, making great time and saving on fuel. Sounds perfect… for the terrorists! Obviously automated highways will require federal regulation, and people who want to use them will have to submit a movement plan for approval and possibly be subject to spot checks and searches, especially if they’re leaving their designated driving area. It’s for your own safety, I’m sure you’ll all agree.

  31. We’ll always have our non-mass transportation, right? Our cars!

    Because driving would never be deemed to be implied consent to warrantless searches or a waiver of the right to self-incrimination, would it?

    1. In Canada, the police are allowed to conduct warrantless searches of vehicles that are operated on any highway (road). Every time you drive your car you are allowing the police the right to search the contents of you and your car without probably cause.

      When I saw the flex your rights video about what to do when stopped by police I cried.

      1. Same in Mexico. Our Constitution guarantees (ha ha ha!!!) our right to freely travel…

        … except when the State wishes otherwise.

      2. Though I’ll admit our constitution is shitty, your comment is not correct.

        I can recall several cases where evidence was excluded in court due to an illegal vehicle search. Here’s one, and another.

        I dunno what the exact criteria are here, but it seems that either consent or some sort of probable cause is required for the search to be legal. Of course, Canadian courts can still admit illegally-obtained evidence in some cases, which sucks but is pretty rare. The upshot is that anything a cop obtains from an illegal vehicle search will likely be dismissed.

      3. Having said that, I’m sure that 90% of Canadians have no clue what their rights are, and will just consent to a search without thinking, thereby rendering the difference moot. Hell, most people don’t even know that you aren’t required to ID yourself to a cop unless they have a reasonable suspicion you’ve committed a crime.

        And here’s the link on illegally-obtained evidence that the filter wouldn’t let me put in my previous post. Basically a judge can include it if doing so does not “bring the administration of justice into disrepute”, whatever the fuck that means. Our Charter of Rights is so full of weasel words it was practically written by the Wild-Wood-dwellers themselves.

        1. The “notwithstanding clause” is the most absurd part of the Canadian Charter of Rights. The government can violate the Charter if it really wants to, just by saying so.

          1. Yep. The best part is that while it pretty much kneecaps your protection against torture, unreasonable search, the right to free expression, freedom of religion, and other important stuff, it can’t override “language rights”.

            So the human-rights vision of the philosopher kings who authored our constitution goes something like this: the State should have power to censor, kidnap, murder, and torture its citizens at its discretion. But forcing them to speak English is going too far!

          2. I think you’re supposed to consider it a moral victory if you make them resort to the notwithstanding clause. like they killed you but only by using an illegal hold or an illegal weapon.

  32. Most folks read Orwell’s works as cautionary tales.

    Seems like the fuckers in charge view them as “how to” manuals.

    1. No, most libertarians read Orwell as cautionary tales. Most others read them as fantasy, as disconnected to the current state of the world as Gulliver’s Travels.

  33. shall be presented to any authority at any time in any place. Josef Stalin is smiling.

  34. TSA scans will be more difficult to implement on buses than they were on planes. To start a bus fleet with a few terminals requires a lot less starting capital than an airport, and I can see competing regional services that would promote the lack of scanning as their competitive advantage.

    1. Until the day it becomes mandatory for all commercial coach lines to use a TSA-approved bus terminal as part of a bus station that is required to use a TSA security checkpoint.

      What everyone fails to notice is that busses stop at bus stops. Unless the TSA is going to put up checkpoints at every stop along the road, or ride coach along with the other passengers in order to grope everyone who boards, this is nothing more than a random citizen check, drug search, and outstanding warrant lookup booth.

      1. Instilling fear of a random search seemed to be the point of the security theater in the video link.

        Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

  35. I used to ask people, in discussions about open borders, whether instituting controls on internal border crossings from state to state would make the country richer or poorer. I guess we’ll find out.

  36. I’m surprised that none of our resident state-worshippers have been here to chastise us for our lack of patriotism.

    1. Re: Enjoy Every Sandwich,

      That’s because they choose their battles according to expediency and disingenuity, not on principle or logical consistency.

    2. Okay, you are unpatriotic. Cavity searches are a good thing in authoritarian states. Everyone should be required to carry internal passports.

  37. You’re no Bruce Vilanch!

  38. Around the 1:20 mark is the chilling remark.

    “It’s not like this kind of security is going to be on display in every bus terminal every time. But the message here is, ‘It could be.'”

    And that reporter is cheery about that prospect?

    1. Gives him hope for a future breaking news story. “TSA catches someone at my bus terminal — network here i come”

    2. The bus terminals I’ve been near already looked like terrorists blew them up in the 70’s.

      If an actual al qaeda bomb goes off in one, union demolition crews will demand to be paid for the rogue labor.

  39. Anybody link to this yet?
    4th Amendment Underwear
    I thought of it, but someone actually done it. Teh awesome.

    1. the perfect stocking stuffer. looks like the t-shirts are sold out.

    2. Wait a second – if you can print metallic ink on a shirt, you can put that ink all over the shirt, effectively blocking the scan altogether.

      I’m curious what would happen if you did that – would the moron looking at the scan even notice?

      Side note – having a human looking at scans, 99.999% of which will be negative, ends up making a very bored human who isn’t going to take notice of the 0.001%.

  40. I visited California from the UK back in 2005 and was surprised to find my freedom of movement wasn’t legal back then either; because I didn’t have a car.
    There were no sidewalks or other pedestrian routes and it’s illegal to walk in the road. So if you can’t drive or can’t get, beg or borrow a ride, you have to break the law to leave every tiny concrete street block.
    (in my case paying a $5 taxi ride to go just 100yards under a busy underpass)

    I know this may border on unrelated, but just trying to say that from my outside perspective the USA’s restrictions on movement have apparently been evolving for a very long time, from equally absurd roots.

    1. What are you going on about? Please cite some source for your claim that it is illegal to walk in the road in California.

    2. What part of california? Must be a really crumby town… Try visiting a place like San Jose. The transportation system is the best ever. I’ve yet to be molested at any bus stops btw I think Flordia is just fail.

  41. When I visited the UK, they made me pay for food! What the fuck was up with that?

    1. Food is a basic human right.

      1. Considering the nature of British cuisine, people should be paid to eat the food.

  42. Time to mount my ass to travel, like Jesus

  43. Wow, I know when I was younger I wanted to visit the USA for a vacation. No-adays I would not consider it, at least as most other countries I would be willing to visit, its not a choice of grope or get naked pics taken of you. I wonder how greatly this has affected your tourism industry, I’m guessing I’m one of a great deal of people in a western country who now would not consider visiting the usa, seeming more and more it is becoming a police state. It’s sad to think i would choose visiting the UK over USA, at least the UK, just has a camera watching your every single step in London, but hey at least the poms don’t get felt up on a regular basis by TSA.

  44. Bulk cash smuggling**


  45. This is hilarious. To think people actually buy this bull… Just slowly taking away all of our liberty’s one by one until it’s too late. I swear to god and all that is good for the human race, this earth and all upon it that is what is happening as we speak. Very saddening. God bless us all.

  46. I was going to go my industry scientific meeting in CHicago this spring, I won’t be returning to the US until and unless these scans and gropings are stopped. That’s a lot of trips your economy is missing out on, and I doubt I’m the only one

    1. I drive everywhere I go and soon your TSA will figure this out and there will be check points on the highway! Say hello to da father land my Foolish amerikanischen Freund. The more foredooms you loose, the more we win!

      1. Please forgive hopeless slellchecker
        praise Allah

  47. I see you searching passengers…so, I come anther day.Then we have a nice bus ride! I see you soon, we’ll have a blast!
    Praise Allah or Die!

  48. If there weren’t so many poor people flying, there would be no need for TSA screening.

    It stands to reason that getting poor people to turn out their pockets is the reason for these changes. When will vagrancy arrests occur? Do you have to have at least fifty dollars in your pocket to avoid suspicion?

    It may say 21st Century over the door but this is a 19th Century glove-covered fisting, complete with superstitions and xenophobic media darlings, and even a preacher or two for good measure.

  49. Oh yeah! I forgot; Hi mom!

  50. About 25 years ago, I landed at this bus station, and while waiting for the lovely Melinda to pick me up, bought weed out front. It was shitty weed.

  51. Arizona’s even worse.. I jumped on my bike two weeks ago and headed south from Phoenix towards Tucson. In a 300 mile trip I had to go through 3 Border Police Checkpoints. A 6 hour trip became 9 1/2 hours. Welcome to NeoNazi AZ.. Feel free to boycott it if you like. I’m a prisoner in my own land! Time to get the hell out of this country..

  52. “”Time to get the hell out of this country..””

    Sounds like getting out of AZ would be a good start.

  53. This shit’s getting BANANAS!

  54. I’ve been driving much more and farther to avoid the TSA’s nonsense, but learned there’s plenty to go around. Apparently napping in a rest area while unshaven is a key part of the drug courier profile. Writing up the warning for ‘Following too closely’ didn’t take enough time for the dog to arrive, so the policeman declared ‘I smell beer’ which was simply not possible. After all the drunk nonsense, still no dog, but I was having so much fun having my rights violated already, and needed a bit more nap, so I waited for the dog. Sure enough, the dog beat the odds and alerted. I let ’em look through the bag, which of course had nothing in it and never has, but that wasn’t enough to prompt an apology, just a return to mumbled nonsense about getting the form to consent to a full search, which I declined of course. I’m sure they didn’t see it as a waste of two hours, either.

    Now I wonder if I’m on some list….

  55. Yeah, and those people who complained about being made to sit in the back of the bus because their skin color was too dark also trivialized “real” violations of civil liberties. It was just a teeny tiny imposition that contributed greatly to civil peace and order, and kicking up a fuss about it was just small minded pettiness.

  56. Well, i’m a liberal who appreciates your attention on this, Radley. Please keep it up.

  57. Well, i’m a liberal who appreciates your attention on this, Radley. Please keep it up.

  58. Well, i’m a liberal who appreciates your attention on this, Radley. Please keep it up.

  59. I’d like to take this article, transcribe it to stone tablets, and personally feed it to the obnoxious morons who have been posting all over about how flying is a privilege, not a right, and if you don’t like the TSA airport procedures, then you should take the train.

  60. U.S.A. State Sponsored Terror (rock music video) Released

    album: “Fighting the U.S. Police State With Music”.

    American musician that has become totally fed up with U.S. government crimes and oppression targeting him has released a 7 song rock music album and his 5th music video detailing his experiences with the corrupt U.S.A. government. Rocker Scott X has been banished with the threat of arrest from all courthouses in the U.S. for LIFE. U.S. State and Federal governments have targeted X for over a decade with wrongful criminal prosecutions, courthouse banishments, free speech violations, double jeopardy violations and other oppressive acts.


    Scott X and the Constitution Commandos

    Fighting the U.S. Police State With Music

    Check youtube for Scott X anti police state videos

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.