War on Terror

Feds Threaten No-Fly Zone Over Texas

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Yesterday the U.S. Justice Department warned that the federal government may cancel all flights out of Texas if the state legislature approves a law aimed at preventing the Transportation Security Administration from groping airline passengers without probable cause. H.B. 1937, which was approved unanimously by the state House of Representatives and is being considered by the state Senate, applies to any government employee who, without probable cause to suspect a crime has been committed, "performs a search for the purpose of granting access to a publicly accessible building or form of transportation" and in the process "touches the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person including through the clothing, or touches the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person." Such a search would be a misdemeanor punishable by a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail. In a letter (PDF) to the leaders of the state legislature, John E. Murphy, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, says:

The effect of this bill, if enacted, would be to interfere directly with the Transportaion Security Administration's…responsibility for civil aviation security….Congress has directed the Administrator of the TSA to take "necessary actions to improve domestic air transportation security"…and directed him to prescribe regulations to protect passengers and property on an aircraft…against an act of criminal violence or aircraft piracy."…Congress has directed TSA to provide for "the screening of all passengers and property…before boarding," in order to ensure that no passenger is unlawfully carrying a dangerous weapon, explosive, or other destructive substance….If the Administrator determines that "a particular threat cannot be addressed in a way adequate to ensure…the safety of passengers and crew of a particular flight," he "shall cancel the flight or series of flights."…

HB 1937 would conflict directly with federal law….Under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, Texas has no authority to regulate federal agents and employees in the performance of their federal duties or to pass a statute that conflicts with federal law.

If HB 1937 were enacted, the federal government would likely seek an emergency stay of the statute. Unless or until such a stay were granted, TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers or crew.

State Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), H.B. 1937's chief sponsor, replies:

Either Texas backs off and continues to let government employees fondle innocent women, children and men as a condition of travel, or the TSA will cancel Texas flights. The Federal Government showed its willingness to bully the State of Texas if attempts to protect passengers from being forced to give up constitutional rights are not dropped.

The DOJ attempted to justify their action by an appeal to the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution and by claiming that the bill "would conflict directly with federal law."  However, HB 1937 already grants a defense to prosecution for an offense that the actor performed pursuant to and consistent with an explicit and applicable grant of federal authority that is consistent with the United States Constitution.

"The bill clearly states that an agent is exempt from prosecution as long as a constitutionally sanctioned federal law directs them to perform the invasive, indecent groping searches-including touching breasts, sexual organs and buttocks," noted [Simpson].

"Instead of threatening to shut down flights in Texas, why doesn't the TSA just show us their statutory authority to grope or ogle our private parts?" asked Simpson.

I noted Simpson's bill, the first of its kind to be approved by a state legislative chamber, earlier this month. More on TSA pat-downs here.

NEXT: Poll Shows Age Gap On Social Security Reform

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  1. Yet Texas seems perfectly fine forcing women to have ultrasounds against their will.

    1. How do they get the ultrasound machine into the kitchen?

    2. Tony, I’m sure everyone of us Reasoners would agree with you that that requirement is wrong, but can we stay on topic? In this instance, the state of Texas is absolutely right, and they need our support.

      1. everyone of us Reasoners would agree with you that that requirement is wrong

        Tony’s claim is wrong, as Tony’s claims are wont to be.

        Assuming you’re talking about the requirement that snuffings in utero be preceded by an ultrasouond, no, we wouldn’t agree that it’s wrong.

        1. As someone who uses a spectrum-type morality on the issue of abortion (The fetus becomes more and more of a person as gestation progresses.), I generally consider myself pro-choice. If by the requirement is that an ultrasound be performed to ensure a safe surgical procedure, I’d have to agree with the requirement. But if the requirement is a ploy to try and guilt-trip the mother, then I’d have to disagree with the requirement.

          1. The fetus becomes more and more of a person as gestation progresses.

            Basically, I’m for state restrictions on late-term abortions, provided that there are exceptions for the health of the mother.

          2. Is there any abortion you would coercively oppose?

            If not, then in practice your spectrum is indistinguishable from doctrinaire pro-abortionism. Indeed, it would be even worse since you’re sanctioning the killing of what you believe to be a person.

            1. You’re not a person until you are in my phonebook.

              1. Its a legal defense too. Thanks NOW!

            2. I oppose late-term abortion for the purpose of convenience. If the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, I believe the moral calculus forces one to accept that saving the life of the mother alone is a better option than letting both the mother and the child die.

          3. If by the requirement is that an ultrasound be performed to ensure a safe surgical procedure, I’d have to agree with the requirement.

            I’d like to take that back. I’m not sure that requiring an ultrasound is something the state should be involved in. But if it increases the chances for a successful procedure, then I’d agree to its usage.

            1. If it were about improving the chance of a successful procedure rather than guilting the mother out of an abortion, the state wouldn’t need to mandate it–OB/Gyns would already be doing it routinely. Their malpractice premiums are already high enough without making procedures more risky than they have to be.

          4. Guilt tripping isn’t coercion.

        2. Some of us Texans would agree that it’s wrong. All it really does is jack up the cost of having an abortion. Whether it is medically necessary should be a decision left up to the doctor – not some damned legislator with a religious agenda.

          1. That was directed at Tulpa.

          2. I know there exist pro-abortion Texans. And this atheist yawns at your invocation of “religious agenda”.

            1. Tulpa|5.25.11 @ 2:17PM|#

              I know there exist pro-abortion Texans. And this atheist yawns at your invocation of “religious agenda”.

              Pro-choice or not, the requirement for ultra-sound prior to an abortion is pretty hard to defend. Care to make a stab at it?

              1. commerce clause!

            2. You are welcome to be an atheist all you like, Tulpa – I’m one myself – but unless you happen to be a member of the Texas Legislature, the people I was refering to – who are responsible for this law – are not atheists.

            3. Tulpa, I agree with your point about the irritating assumption that all pro-life types are bible thumping religious zealots. It’s a fun way for hardcore pro-choicers to try to immediately discredit pro-lifers. My pro-life views go back to my agnostic, anti-religious establishment years. My pro-life beliefs only intensified once i started working in translational science. In the last few years I have become a Catholic, but many forget that there are actually a great many who consider themselves Catholics these days who are hesitant to take a pro-life stance.

    3. red herring

    4. LOL I thought you liked having the government in charge of health care.

      1. When the government pays for your health care, you are not entitled to privacy.

    5. Considering Texas will probably lose on this one, why not? Everyone should be subject to a government which knows best.

    6. fine forcing women to have ultrasounds against their will.

      I know, right? It’s like someone forcing you to buy health insurance.

  2. Did we mention “fuck you, TSA”?

    1. I think we should again, just for good measure.

  3. Some days I am sooo happy that I live here.

  4. If I were the TSA, I’d avoid offending the 34 representatives and senators that could do plenty to make the TSA disappear. Pretty stupid move to threaten a state with the political heft of Texas. And other states may join the battle if Texas decides to fight it out in Congress.

    1. This assumes that Congress has the authority and the will to oppose an Executive agency. Recent evidence does not support that.

      1. Well, thirty representatives could start the ball rolling. I also note that federal agencies usually aren’t so stupid as to take on large states like this.

        1. I hope you’re right, but if Congress doesn’t want to keep the constitutional powers (money, war) it already has, I don’t have a lot of confident for the duly elected reps of Texas.

    2. you’re giving the TSA and the government reps who tout it so highly waaaaaaay too much credit in the foresight category.

  5. Welcome your new overlords, bitches.

    1. thank you may i have another?

    2. Shine my shoes, Obozo.

  6. Why are they frisking Ozzy? What did he do now?

    1. impersonate the living…sorta

    2. He was flying high again.

  7. Uh, prohibiting all flights out of a state would be a blatantly unconstitutional violation of the freedom to travel.

    1. Interstate commerce, motherfucker.

    2. Interstate commerce, motherfucker.

    3. Interstate commerce, bitches.

    4. Interstate commerce clause, bitches.

    5. that aint in the constitution…unless u penned it into ur copy

      1. Since it’s not a direct OR implied power of the feds to regulate, that means the only restrictions can come from the states.

        1. Commerce Clause, mofo!!

      2. It’s a firmly established right, and it is considered constitutionally protected.

        The Bill of Rights was never intended to be an exhaustive list of individual rights.

        1. The 5th encompasses it.

          No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

          Without due process of law, you cannot held captive by the government.

      3. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments would probably disagree, Orrin.

        BTW, I’ve taken the liberty of contacting Dateline about you, and they’re very interested in airing the heartwarming (if slightly disgusting) story of a man who bravely continues to comment on the internet despite having a softball lodged in his skull.

        1. thx hugh. my former agent quit after i boned-out his eyesockets. anyway, PL’s link above states the word travel is NOT in the constitution. it is derived fm precedent.

          1. “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

            So you’re technically right. But it means exactly the opposite of the point you were intending to make.

          2. I think you missed a very major point. That page I linked to also noted some other extremely important rights not actually specifically protected in the Constitution. One of those, surprisingly, is the right to vote. It’s implied and is addressed for certain limited purposes, but it’s not called out like the right to free speech.

          3. anyway, PL’s link above states the word travel is NOT in the constitution. it is derived fm precedent.

            Weren’t you the one yesterday who was telling us it doesn’t matter what the Constitution says, only what judges tell us it means?

    6. The Supreme Court has already assured us that as long as you can hike your freedom of movement has not been infringed.

      Assured, I tell you.

    7. Silly, sure, but I am not sure it is blatantly unconstitutional. It is not like they are putting armed guards at the borders and preventing people from going to an airport in an adjacent state. The whole premise of TSA authority is based around the voluntary nature of choosing air travel over other choices.

      1. Putting a state under the interdict isn’t voluntary, I suspect. Picture the roads into the state being blocked off. Same thing.

        1. I agree it is debatable, I just don’t agree with “blatant.”

          1. It’s only debatable in the sense that torture is now debatable.

            1. Touche

              1. We’ll be debating death camps in a hundred years.

                1. A hundred?

                  1. Inflation.

      2. Uh, no. It’s got fuck all to do with being “voluntray”. It’s a special administrative search.

      3. The whole premise of TSA authority is based around the voluntary nature of choosing air travel over other choices.

        You are terribly wrong about this as the government has been extending body scanners to other forms of travel, on the streets and at stadiums, etc.

  8. “The bill clearly states that an agent is exempt from prosecution as long as a constitutionally sanctioned federal law directs them to perform the invasive, indecent groping searches-”

    As much as I would like to see the highjinks of this going to court this expception is a loop hole big enough to drive a truck through.

    Also when did Ozzy lose the weight and get a sex change operation.

    1. And Fitzwell beat me to the Ozzy reference.

    2. Even if it’s not prosecutable, it would allow Texas authorities to harass the TSA agents.

      1. “Harass”? Am I harassing someone when I defend myself from them molesting me?

        1. Actually, when it’s members of the ruling class or their enforcers, defending one’s self is considered assault. Videotaping the ensuing beat-down is what they consider harassment.

  9. I just heard they pulled the bill. Texas FAIL

    1. Where did you hear this?

      1. I heard it was pulled as well from a facebook contact down in Austin… I know, not the most “reputable” source.

      2. Boston Globe:

        http://www.boston.com/travel/b…..g_bil.html

      3. Here’s one article about it:

        http://www.lonestarreport.org/…..ulled.aspx

        Googled and a few more came up, you can sort out which ones are worth reading.

    2. All SHALL kneel.

      1. we heart ur chocolate thunder

        1. Two by two, hands of blue.

    3. Pics or it didn’t happen.

    4. Don’t mess with Texas…..or else we will surrender.

  10. “pursuant to and consistent with an explicit and applicable grant of federal authority that is consistent with the United States Constitution”

    I think they were referring to a warrant.

  11. Son of a bitch must pay!

    Seriously…this is enough to make me look into local militia groups.

    1. I would follow Eggs local militia agains the evil LoPan any day!

      When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks ya crooked in the eye and asks you if ya paid your dues, well you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: “Have ya paid your dues, Jack?” “Yes Sir, the check is in the mail.”

      1. I dunno, Lo Pan seemed pretty cool to me.

        1. I like how quickly he’d kill Kim Catrell so he can live out his earthly pleasures with the green eyed Asian broad. I mean, you have to at least smile to yourself and give him a quick thumbs up while no one’s looking.

          1. And look how he lets his hair down when discussing dating with Jack. . .before he plans to kill him: “There have been others, to be sure. There are always others, are there not? You seem to be one who knows the difficulties between men and women. How seldom it works out. Yet we all keep trying, like fools.”

        2. If I could figure out a way to do the Chang Sing hand gang sign at you over the interwebs, I so would!

      2. ;D Glad somebody caught that.

        But seriously this situation is fucked up. I’m calling our Lt. Gov. and my state senator TODAY. We caved way too quickly.

  12. When are we going to abolish the TSA? In fact, why do we even need a federal TSA? Let each state handle their airport security as they see fit, in fact, why not hire a PRIVATE security company?
    http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

    1. akbar idea dude!!

      1. Shine my shoes, Qaeda.

    2. Sadly, once again, Grego and I are on the exact same page. I’d take it a step further. Why do we wait on the gov’t to mercifully agree to reduce their own power? When are we going to get fed up enough to take direct action?

      1. I’ve wondered this. How bad do things have to get before people begin to not comply with laws? Or states just refuse to comply with the Feds? When do things start getting violent and ugly?

        1. I think it’s safe to say that as long as american idol is most people’s main concern that things haven’t gotten bad enough yet. When people’s TV connections start failing that’s when the revolution will begin.

  13. And how do they plan to enforce this? Will the U.S. Air Force be shooting down commercial airliners flying from Texas airspace?

    1. The Texas Air National Guard will fly escorts. I believe this was in TV show.

      1. The Texas Air National Guard vs th United States Air Force.

        Awesome.

  14. 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.

    Probable cause is the standard for obtaining a warrant, not the excuse for a warrentless search. And reasonableness is based on the existence of a valid warrant, not “whatever we feel like.”

  15. If the Administrator determines that “a particular threat cannot be addressed in a way adequate to ensure…the safety of passengers and crew of a particular flight,”

    This could be easily done.

    Arm the passengers.

    1. Arm the passengers.

      The God-King doesn’t want that to be an option, either.

      Obama: We’re working on gun control “under the radar”

      1. Please. Spare me your outrage, groundling. You’re all going to vote for me in in 2012, regardless. You know it. I know it.

    2. That’s way to simple a solution for Obama and his followers to comprehend.

  16. I think we need a biblical sort of incentive for the TSA; for any air passenger harmed by terrorism, one hundred TSA employees (starting, of course, with John Pistole) should be summarily executed on runways across the country. Just to let the people know they take their jobs seriously.

    1. biblical? ahh – they didnt fly in the king james version

      1. whoa there sinner – dont forget the flying rapture…well, the next one

      2. they didn’t flap their arms hard enough

  17. Those stalwart defenders of freedom at Morning Joe will be all over this.

    1. maybe unless joe goes off on another joe tangent

  18. Imagine the shitstorm if the Feds tried to shut down DFW. Ridiculous.

  19. Stop messing with my business model, Texas!

  20. All your air bases are belong to us!

  21. Too bad Texas blinked; I think they’d win this game of chicken if they had the courage to stick with it. As someone else pointed out above, it’s Texas, i.e. a big-ass state whose forced removal from air commerce would have enormous economic repurcussions throughout the entire country. Not like it’s Rhode Island or anything.

    1. Not to mention that the Texas National Guard could be rolled out to enforce it… imagine the hilarity that would ensue!

  22. I’m probaly going to be accused of being pro-rape again for questioning the “pat-down = sexual molestation” meme, but here goes.

    Assuming that some sort of body contact pat-down is necessary (and I do NOT operate under that assumption), doesn’t declaring certain body parts off-limits for pat downs just tell the bad guys where they can safely hide stuff?

    I oppose the increases in security theatre at airports as much as anyone, but the reason it is bad is not because it has anything to do with sex (unless particular screeners are taking liberties for which they should be fired and prosecuted in any case). It is about people being secure in their persons from unreasonable searches. If an enhanced patdown is sex, then gynecologists have sex with their patients all day long.

    Please note, I am not defending the searches. I am simply pointing out that if body searches are necessary and productive elements of airport security, then putting certain body parts off limits renders them close to useless.

    1. If an enhanced patdown is sex, then gynecologists have sex with their patients all day long.

      It’s about consent. And consent under duress. “Let me grope or you miss your flight” is duress. “Complain about groping and be detained for five hours” is duress. “Let us see you naked or feel you up” is a false choice under duress.

      1. Sorry… premature epostulation…

        Going to the gyno under external duress is also sexual assault.

      2. “Let us see you naked or feel you up” is a false choice under duress.

        Ironically, that was also the theme to my high school prom, 35+ years ago.

      3. I agree and I don’t like it. I just think it doesn’t have anything to do with sex and the sexual assault angle is a needless distraction. The problem is that people are being searched with no probably cause under duress. My only point with the gynocologist was that contact of sexual organs is not necessarily sexual.

        Look, I have undergone a full on strip search before, including having my junk handled and my butthole looked at. I didn’t like it and I don’t think that police should have the authority to do such things without damn good evidence that it is necessary (the only evidence in my case was that a drug dog hit on me while close to an international border. They found nothing as I had no contraband on me.). But was I sexually assaulted? Absolutely not. And it would be horribly insulting to people who have actually been raped to suggest that that was the case.

        1. There are two issues here:

          Unconstitutional searches
          Unwanted touching of genitals

          I’m more concerned about the searches, but unwanted sexual touching is determined by the person being touched. You cannot let the touchers intentions trump the touchees perceptions.

          I think it might go a little too far to call it sexual assault, but determining who you give consent to to touch you in any way is pretty bedrock to any construction of the right of self-ownership and the bodily integrity it implies.

          And that they can strip you naked on a dog’s say so is so far beyond “reasonable” as to make the word meaningless.

          1. Well said. It’s your junk, and you should have the right to determine who handles it.

        2. But was I sexually assaulted? Absolutely not. And it would be horribly insulting to people who have actually been raped to suggest that that was the case.

          “Rape” is not the only form of sexual assault, you know. Your analogy is like saying “Complaining about that pickpocket who stole my $20 is horribly insulting to people who lost their life’s savings to Bernie Madoff.”

          1. True. I think part of the terminology problem comes from the fact that “rape” is often not a legal term, and “sexual assault” gets applied to rape as well as less egregious crimes and often people who have actually been raped are not allowed to use the word in court. When “sexual assault” is used, rape is often assumed, though that is clearly not always the case. If we are talking about sexual assault as a legal principle, then the government gets to define the term, and they sure are not going to define it in such a way that their agents are guilty of it in the course of doing their job. If we are just talking about things we don’t like, I think that there are probably better words.

            In principle, I don’t think that any coercive government action is morally acceptable. But we live in the real world and have to consider the assumptions other people work under even if we do not agree.
            Anyway, thanks all for engaging in an interesting discussion of this and not jumping to conclusions about my moral character.

            1. Issues of consent are sometime hard to understand, especially since our culture (to be fair, all others as well) tend to couch acquiescing as a synonym for consent.

              I know I ride the consent hobby-horse a lot, but I really do think it’s a core concept in formulating the boundaries of an individual forced to interact with a collective.

        3. having my junk handled and my butthole looked at.

          Tell me more. Slowly.

          1. Cops can make their dogs give a false signal.

            It is quite possible that the cop in question wanted to see what you had for lunch, so he could small talk you to the hotel down the road. Make me wonder how the cop handled your junk: Was it in a slow circular motion or an up-down motion?

    2. I oppose the increases in security theatre at airports as much as anyone, but the reason it is bad is not because it has anything to do with sex (unless particular screeners are taking liberties for which they should be fired and prosecuted in any case).

      Do you remember a few years ago, when Justin Volpe and other New York police officers were convicted of sodomizing a prisoner with a bathroom plunger? I rather doubt any members of New York’s finest actually got hard-ons from the experience, but what they did was still a particularly vile and violent form of sexual assault. What matters is what was done to the victim, not the stated motivation of the victimizer. And yes, the mandatory fondling of body parts required to stay hidden lest you run afoul of public indecency laws is a form of sexual assault.

      I am simply pointing out that if body searches are necessary and productive elements of airport security, then putting certain body parts off limits renders them close to useless.

      And if Jews really are threats to the Fatherland and humanity itself, then opposing concentration camps is a spectacularly bad idea. But in both cases, the initial premise is so utterly wrong, there’s no need to waste time arguing the best way to deal with it.

      1. I don’t agree with the premise either about Jews or the necessity of bodily searches. But the wrongness of the premises is not close to the same. There is at least a plausible justification for the searches.

        1. There’s just as plausible a justification for fearing/hating Jews, too. More plausible, in fact — humans did, unfortunately, evolve the tendency to fear or distrust The Other (for most of our time on earth, people who looked or talked different than you really were to be hated or feared, because anyone not of your own tribe was very likely to kill or enslave you). But TSA isn’t even about tribal fear and distrust of The Other; it’s based on fear and distrust of other members of your own tribe (Americans). And that attitude, if left to fester, can only ultimately result in the tribe destroying itself.

          Sometimes I envy the Brits. At least they had a good excuse for the rapid decline of their empire: getting clobbered in two successive world wars will do that to you. We Americans are clobbering ourselves via craven bedwetting cowardice.

          1. Maybe we can bring back the Soviet Union. The days when we Americans were told to fear the Big Bad Commies were much better than today, when we’re told to fear anybody who buys a plane ticket.

            1. I remember when teachers used to praise the United States because “we don’t have to show our papers to go anywhere.” I wonder what they say post-Hiibel.

              1. I once wrote a column on that very theme: if my junior high school civics teacher is still on the job, he’s had to rewrite all his old lesson plans because he can no longer brag how America is the type of place where the government has to leave you alone unless it has damn good reason to think you’ve actually done something wrong.

                And yeah, that column’s comment thread also had a hefty share of authoritarian apologias. Fucking cowards.

                1. Indeed. You don’t hear “it’s a free country” too often anymore either. Insert appropriate Franklin quote as necessary.

                2. if my junior high school civics teacher is still on the job, he’s had to rewrite all his old lesson plans because he can no longer brag how America is the type of place where the government has to leave you alone unless it has damn good reason to think you’ve actually done something wrong.

                  My junior high “social studies” teacher was of a similar mind. One 1978 evening at dinner I told my father what my social studies teacher said, something along the lines above. My dad’s response: “Your teacher is a fucking idiot.” (My dad rarely swore.)

                  From then on, whenever I made the mistake of saying what the government would never do to its people, my father would always counter with historical examples of the government doing those very things. (He was employed by the government for 40 years and saw the hypocrisy on a daily basis.)

          2. We Americans are clobbering ourselves via craven bedwetting cowardice.

            I agree with you, but I do find myself wondering sometimes: is it really cowardice, or is it being stuck in a perpetual childhood?

            Several years ago I studied Isshinryu karate. When I was promoted to Shodan I was put in charge of the beginner’s class, which was mostly children. We encouraged questions but I began to notice an interesting pattern to the children’s queries. The kid would ask a question which I would answer. The kid would then switch into “But what if…” mode. Each answer would trigger a fresh scenario, each less plausible than the last, until I was getting questions like “what if he has a bazooka?” or “what if he’s a robot?”.

            I see the same thing when I talk to alleged adults about the TSA. Any suggestion that the TSA is a ridiculous solution to the alleged problem puts them into “But what if…but what if…but what if?” mode. No matter how many times you answer, they just dig that much deeper into their fearful imaginations for a fresh scenario, until they chortle in triumph “Aha! So you admit that your little pistol wouldn’t help if the entire plane was full of Terminators! Woo-hoo! I win!”

            Just like children.

            1. Mr Sandwich,
              Choosing to be stuck in perpetual childhood is cowardice.

              I am very ashamed of this country.

      2. I mean seriously, do you really think that: “Jews are a threat to all of humanity and must be eliminated” and “strip searches are necessary to keep people from bringing weapons onto planes” are anywhere in the same ballpark in terms of reasonability? Give me a fucking break.

        Again, I do not support the searches.

        1. They’re both equally unreasonable, though differ greatly in their consequences for the victims.

          1. Then I guess the question is where to draw the line on the reasonableness of airport searches. Allow me to play devil’s advocate for a moment. [walks over to pinball machine] Are random bag checks OK? If so, what is the difference between that and a random body check? Both can be used to carry some dangerous object onto a plane.

            1. (This is not a personal attack, merely a screed, Zeb.)

              I know no body gives two shits about the Bill of Rights any longer, but the 4th says that all warrantless searches are unreasonable. The lack of the warrant is the “unreasonable” part, not the exigent circumstances surrounding the search. That “reasonableness” and “probable cause” became excuses for warrantless searches, and not standards to be met to obtain a warrant, hollows out the 4th and renders it ignorable gibberish.

              1. That’s a good point. I hadn’t really thought about it before.

                I guess my point here (now that I have thought about it some more) is that if a search is not justified, then it unjustified whether or not someone’s privates get touched. The possibly sexual aspect really shouldn’t be the most important thing here, but I suppose it is a useful tool to get more people worked up about this sort of thing.

            2. An airplane is private property. If the airline wants to search me as a condition of flying their plane, it is their business, not the government’s.

              The TSA’s mere existence tramples all over the bill of rights, and its #1 purpose is to bail out airlines and insurance companies from having to pay liability claims for damages done to property caused by an airline’s unsecured planes.

              1. This seems like the right solution. Airlines have a tremendous incentive to keep planes from being hijacked or blown up. Set standards if necessary, but let them figure it out.

        2. Hi Zeb,

          why do you oppose weapons on planes?

        3. I am very fucking tired of the pro-molestation crowd acting like they are the voice of reason. If you can’t open your eyes and plainly see that something has gone horribly wrong, then I hold YOU — you, personally — just as accountable as any TSA agent.

      3. “I rather doubt any members of New York’s finest actually got hard-ons from the experience”

        You’re a kinder person than I.

  23. if body searches are necessary and productive elements of airport security

    There’s your trouble.

    1. Is that not exactly what I said?

      Here is a better way to make the point, perhaps: Texas should ban all unreasonable searches, not just the ones where privileged classes of body parts are involved.

  24. if body searches are necessary and productive elements of airport security

    And, if Negroes are a genetically inferior race, there is no reason they should not be enslaved.

    1. Hot damn, this Texan wants some of them sweet sweet slaves!

  25. Please Texas. puuulleeeeezzzzeee have a pair of balls and don’t back down.

    1. LOL. The state that produced LBJ and two George Bushes by definition is the most pussified of states.

      1. George H. W. Bush was born in Massachusetts. George W. was born in Connecticut.

  26. Time for Texans to take another vote on leaving the Union.

  27. Regarding the irony of this proposal following hot-on-the-heels of the ultrasound law …

    If the Dems are smart, “Transvaginal” should become the word-you-can’t escape during the 2012 election.

    “Transvaginal” should be like “individual mandate” in 2008 or “swiftboat” in 2004. It should be a mantra.

  28. There is at least a plausible justification for the searches.

    If pigs had wings, they’d be eagles.

    1. Wrong. They would be pigs with wings.

      1. If a frog had wings, they would bump his ass when he jumped.

        1. He’d probably set off that handgun in his side pocket when he landed, too.

  29. I wonder if AA freaked? DFW is their home base

    1. Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. Major airlines, being perpetually on the edge of failure, are reliable supporters of any political action that minimizes disruption to their revenue streams. Government has them by the short-and-curlies, and they are happy to tug back when they get the chance. A perfect example of the big business-big government nexus.

  30. “Under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, Texas has no authority, blah, blah, blah………….”

    Why do they leave off the most important part of the Supremacy clause when they cite it?

    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;…”

    Something about MADE IN PURSUANCE THEREOF is what I was thinking about.

  31. I was groped by TSA, and my bag was “searched” and they confiscated my toothpaste, but after a roadtrip, I forgot I left a prohibited item in that same bag, and they didn’t catch it. But they did confiscate by dangerous toothpaste.. TSA security is a joke.

  32. I note that there’s no strip search scanners nor “enhanced” patdowns at Austin-Bergstrom. Good thing, since I have to fly to Oakland next week.

    Hmmm, maybe I just need to think real hard and get a massive boner before the patdown on the way back…

    1. Not yet, anyway. Even our pussy City Council can’t pass a weak little resolution opposing that stuff at our airport.

  33. “Yesterday the U.S. Justice Department warned that the federal government may cancel all flights out of Texas if the state legislature approves a law aimed at preventing the Transportation Security Administration from groping airline passengers without probable cause”

    And Texas should respond by stating that no non Texas originated flights will be allowed to fly through Texas airspace.

  34. It’s pretty clear that this law does /not/ invalidate the Supremacy Clause because 1. The laws of Congress are supreme only in the context of those areas expressly delegated. Fondling, touching, and air travel are not expressly delegated so this is really an area for the supreme court to rule on (good luck getting a fair trial there)

    Tom Woods talks about this in depth in “Nullification” and there is another good article at http://www.campaignforliberty……hp?view=57

  35. Considering Texas will probably lose on this one, why not? Everyone should be subject to a government which knows best.

  36. Bunch of sissies backing down. Not that I’m surprised. After all, Texas is the only win in Mexico’s military history (traveling league, not intra-mural). If it wasn’t for the Alamo, Mexico would be the Detroit Lions of manifest destiny.

    1. Hmmm… If you knew anything about Texas history other than “the Alamo,” you’d know we sorta got ’em back for that one at a place called San Jacinto.

      1. And they are now getting back at y’all.

      2. fmt,

        I know you came back and got a bunch of w’s It doesn’t remove the fact that you managed to blow one at the alamo.

        I know I’m onto something too, because all you Texans get really touchy every time you bring up Mexico’s victory.

        1. Yeah, seeing as how the Texian Army was nothing but a bunch of recruits and settlers fighting Mexican regular soldiers, what a shock that the overwhelming numbers Santa Anna brought would gain him some type of victory somewhere.

  37. Why not pass the same bill in ALL the States and let the DOJ totally shut down air traffic in the US. See how that would sell.

  38. I have a second ammendment right to bear arms, but there are all kinds of hoops I have to jump through to buy a weapon. The only time any of my weapons killed a human being was the one I was issued by the government. Every single abortion terminates a human life. Every one. So it’s reasonable to me that the government that has conditions on every single constitutional right, has conditions on this one also. Besides, how did TSA agents groping crotches of nuns turn into an abortion issue? Sounds like left wingers diverting the issue.

  39. I hope the CzarBama does it.
    It might show the inbetweeners who he really is.
    Bring it Texas!

  40. Let’s see if this works…

    Don’t Mess with Texas.

  41. How did this thread get diverted from personal privacy and being manhamdled by ged hopefuls to a pro con discussion about abortion?!?

  42. This was one of the last good things about Texas. They didn’t back down. Now it’s just a state full of pussies with bad weather.

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