Department of Homeland Security

Restraining Orders

The government's unconstitutional restrictions on our freedom to travel


Steve Bierfeldt, director of development for Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty, thought he was having a good day. At a regional Campaign for Liberty event in Missouri, Bierfeldt had sold thousands of dollars worth of conference tickets, bumper stickers, T-shirts, and books, and was now in the security line at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, waiting to catch a flight back to Washington, D.C. But the federal government had other ideas.

After discovering a metal box with more than $4,700 in cash and checks inside Bierfeldt's luggage, officials from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) detained him for further screening. The TSA, you will recall, is the agency within the Department of Homeland Security that (according to its website) is tasked with protecting "the Nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce." Bierfeldt had an altogether different experience. 

TSA agents interrogated him for more than a half hour with a series of intrusive questions: "Where do you work?" "What are you planning to do with the money?" "Where did you acquire the money?" Although he had nothing to hide, Bierfeldt valued his privacy enough to refuse to answer the questions. The officers told him he wouldn't be able to move on if he continued to clam up. But Bierfeldt stuck to his guns, and was eventually, if grudgingly, allowed to catch his flight.

Consider the potential consequences of the TSA's open-ended license to hassle travelers. If Bierfeldt had stayed huddled inside his home rather than risk the whims of armed interrogators, he would no longer be able to pursue his lawful employment. He would be less free to express his political views by advocating Campaign for Liberty's values. The government in this way can eviscerate constitutional rights simply by burdening the travel of those whose ideas it disfavors.

The right to travel enables the free exercise of the other rights we most cherish. We should not have to check our constitutional freedoms at the curb simply because we decide to leave the house. Sadly, freedom of movement has been one of the most disparaged rights throughout human history, and our country is no exception. If we are ever to be truly free, then we must possess an absolute, uninhibited right to travel throughout America and the world free from interference by government.

The Freedom to Travel in American Law

Of all the inalienable rights we possess as individuals, none is as basic, fundamental, and natural as the freedom of movement and travel. As human beings, we enter this world bestowed with two legs and feet and the muscles needed to power them. Furthermore, we are given a brain and the undying yearning to discover, to know the unknown, to see what lies hidden beyond the horizon. Thus, a fundamental right of movement is inherent in our very humanity. It is altogether fitting that one of the universal symbols of freedom is a broken chain.

The freedom to travel is also central to the American national psyche. Our European ancestors settled here because they had the right to move freely from their homelands. The very history and trajectory of the United States are testament to man's inherent right to movement and travel, from Lewis and Clark to Armstrong and Aldrin.

State restrictions on the right to travel connote that the government is the individual's master, and not his servant. The right to own property includes being able to decide which individuals may enter upon our property, and under what circumstances. If the government usurps this ultimate right from property owners, or grants itself a monopoly over certain modes of travel, then clearly the rights of individuals extend only so far as the government, and no one else, wills them. Thus, circumvention of the right to travel is particularly antithetical to the Natural Law, and to the principle that the temporal is always subject to the immutable. Freedom subject to the government's whim is no freedom at all. Liberty, at its core, is encompassed in the right of exit. As constitutional scholar Randy Barnett has noted, if one wishes to discover which nations offer the best protection of natural rights, one only need observe the directional flow of its refugees.

American courts have, at least in theory, declared the freedom to travel to be near absolute. The right to travel is so basic to our nature that the Founding Fathers did not believe it needed to be documented in the text of the Constitution. In Saenz v. Roe (1999), the Supreme Court stated, "We need not identify the source of [the right to travel] in the text of the Constitution. The right of free ingress and egress [to enter and leave] to and from neighboring states which was expressly mentioned in the text of the Articles of Confederation, may simply have been conceived from the beginning to be a necessary concomitant of the stronger Union the Constitution created." In other words, the right to travel is simply implicit in the concept of freedom, and indeed in the Constitution itself.

To further illustrate the point, consider the original meaning of Congress's authorization to regulate interstate commerce: to keep commerce between the states regular. Indeed, the principal reason for the Constitutional Convention itself was to establish a central government that would prevent ruinous state-imposed tariffs that favored in-state businesses and impeded the natural flow of goods and services across state borders. Thus, the central purpose of the Commerce Clause was to secure, not inhibit, the free travel of goods. If this was the Founders' attitude toward commerce (the trade of goods owned by individuals), then they most certainly would have held a similar view on the freedom of individuals themselves to travel.

In more recent times, the United Nations, of which the United States is a member, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides for a similar right on an international scale: "Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country." This is significant for a number of reasons. First, it is further evidence of the absolute and universal nature of the right to travel. Second, it imposes upon the United States an international legal obligation to not inhibit travel within its borders, nor prevent individuals from leaving or coming back. 

The U.S. Supreme Court formally recognized the freedom to travel as a fundamental right in Shapiro v. Thompson (1969), which examined statutes that denied welfare assistance to people who had not resided within their jurisdictions for at least one year. The Court held these laws to be unconstitutional because they inhibited migration and restricted movement. The majority wrote, "The constitutional right to travel from one State to another…occupies a position fundamental to the concept of our Federal Union. It is a right that has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized." 

Doctrinally, the right to travel can be separated into three constituent parts. First, taken from Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution, a person from State A who is temporarily visiting State B has the same "Privileges and Immunities" as a state resident. Second, an individual may move freely between states. Third, when an individual establishes residency in a new state, he or she enjoys the same rights and benefits as other individuals who have been there for years. Together, these components ensure that the individual can fully enjoy an uninhibited, natural right to travel. How faithful the government has been in following these principles is another story.

Physical Restrictions

As Steve Bierfeldt and anyone else who has flown a plane over the last decade can testify, the federal government impedes travel by monopolizing the protection of airports. Like monopolies everywhere, the TSA is overly expensive, customer-unfriendly, and famously inefficient, hassling grandmothers and toddlers while missing the open transport of weapons and other dangerous contraband. Law-abiding U.S. citizens can be put on watchlists and barred entry on planes without even having the right to know how and when they got on the list in the first place. And unfortunately, government intrusion on the freedom of movement long predates 9/11.

On September 12, 1986, New Jersey law enforcement officials established a roadblock during the height of rush hour on the George Washington Bridge connecting New York City to Fort Lee, New Jersey. The stated purpose was to detect persons transporting drugs or driving under the influence. As would have been predictable to even the most casual observer, the roadblock caused massive delays and traffic stalls. Capt. Robert Herb of the Bergen County Police Department, the highest-ranking uniformed officer supervising the roadblock, later testified that more than one million motor vehicles came to a complete stop; in other words, more than one in 300 of all Americans were blocked by law enforcement—in some cases for in excess of four hours.

There were plenty of adverse consequences. Infuriatingly, a woman was forced to give birth that night on the shoulder of the West Side Highway in New York City. People were prevented from returning home, from getting to work, and from seeking proper medical treatment, all so that police could identify individuals carrying drugs. If we as Americans possess an unconditional right to travel freely, how are such government actions tolerable? Shouldn't mothers in labor have a constitutionally protected freedom to drive to a hospital? 

Sadly, the freedom to travel has been among the most degraded rights throughout American history. Chattel slavery was obviously the most egregious restriction. The Constitution itself (Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3) enshrined this circumscription of travel by requiring that escaped slaves be returned to their "owners": "No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due."

Nor did the freedom to travel become absolute with the passage of the 13th Amendment, which formally abolished slavery. During the height of World War II, the Supreme Court upheld the forcible internment of Japanese American citizens in the notorious decision of Korematsu v. United States (1944). 

In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt had issued an executive order which granted military officers the power to "prescribe military areas [from] which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions [the] Commander may impose in his discretion." In other words, the natural right of individuals to move freely was subject to the discretion of a military officer. Subsequently, the military imposed a curfew on Japanese Americans, and shortly thereafter, the wholesale relocation of scores of thousands of U.S. citizens to detention centers. 

Fred Korematsu, an ardent American patriot, was convicted of violating this military order after he rightfully refused to leave his home. The Supreme Court upheld Korematsu's criminal conviction upon a finding of military necessity, namely, "the presence of an unascertained number of disloyal members of the group, most of whom we have no doubt were loyal to this country." In other words, so long as there was some subjective, nebulous threat that our enemies had infiltrated our shores, the government was justified in detaining every member of the ethnic group to which those enemies belong.

To add insult to injury, the Court justified internment in the language of patriotic duty: "Citizenship has its responsibilities as well as its privileges, and in time of war the burden is always heavier." It was simply assumed that such measures were just, expedient, and proper, and that the executive branch was free to incarcerate innocent civilians so long as it could muster up the most tenuous showing of military necessity. Liberty cannot exist, much less thrive, in such an atmosphere. 

In 1983, Fred Korematsu, the primary litigant in the case, had his conviction formally vacated. His response? "If anyone should do any pardoning, I should be the one pardoning the government for what they did to the Japanese-American people." Korematsu was right.

Financial and Other Restrictions

Like freedom of speech, if the right to travel is fully protected, it must be freed from the "chilling" effects of government burdens. Financial restrictions can serve as such a burden, deterring us from freely exercising those rights.

As in federalized airport security, financial restrictions often come in the form of government monopolization and the subsequent inefficiencies that inevitably result when an entity is shielded from competition. Take, for example, the government-subsidized railroad system. 

This behemoth transportation matrix has survived solely on subsidies, grants, and loans totaling more than $25 billion throughout its existence (with that amount growing after the immense bailout payments bequeathed in the wake of the 2008 recession). Despite these handouts, train ticket prices have continued to grow over the years. In October, a last-minute search for a train ticket from New York Penn Station to Washington, D.C., Union Station turned up a price of $160. A quick online search for a round-trip airline ticket between the two cities produced a $136 flight on JetBlue. So it is cheaper to travel on a privately owned airline than on a land-based railroad owned and operated by the government. 

Monopolized government transportation is subject to sudden massive increases whenever the state needs more cash. On Sept. 18, 2011, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey jacked up the toll for the George Washington Bridge from $8 to $12. The Port Authority, one of the most powerful and least accountable public agencies in the country, justified the 50 percent price hike in part because of cost overruns in rebuilding the World Trade Center. The new toll, currently the subject of multiple lawsuits, can be the difference between a poor person visiting his ailing grandparents or staying at home. 

Until the government has legitimate competition, or abdicates control over transportation altogether, these escalating prices—for services that were originally paid for by our tax dollars—will continue to inflict and restrict Americans' natural right to move and travel.

Then there are the explicit travel restrictions that the United States places on its citizens. If you owe more than $5,000 in back child support, the State Department will not issue you a passport. The same applies if you have ever been convicted of a drug offense that involved crossing an international border. Citizens under both descriptions, even if they are not otherwise under the supervision of the criminal justice system, are effectively sentenced to remain in their home country. And the rest of us still must ask the federal government's permission to visit such Washington-disfavored countries as Cuba.

Immigration Restrictions

In 2009, Roxroy Salmon, a human rights activists and married father of four U.S.-born children, was ordered to be deported from America. A Jamaican national who had lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years, Salmon ran afoul of a 1996 immigration law that made past drug offenses a deportable crime (he had pleaded guilty in 1989 of drug possession and the sale of narcotics). By the applicable law, there is no consideration in deportation hearings allowable for the preservation of families. 

Sadly, this was no isolated incident. A study conducted by the Department of Homeland Security showed that from 1998 to 2007, 108,434 parents of American-born children were deported. And more recent statistics have shown that President Barack Obama has set all-time records for deporting immigrants. How can a country that prides itself on a respect for liberty adopt a policy which tears families apart, leaves children without parents, and treats the right to travel as subject to the government's whim?

Limitations on immigration fundamentally inhibit a person's free will to come and go as he or she pleases. Because the right to move is a natural right, it should not be limited to just American citizens. 

As Americans we are not worthy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness merely by virtue of being born in the United States of America; these rights do not depend upon American citizenship for their existence. They are self-evident. In fact, our nation was built on the promise of freedom, not just to those who were born here, but to all those struggling under the yoke of oppression. America is not a geographical border, but rather an ideal: that "all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." Thomas Jefferson did not qualify this statement by saying that all men born in America deserve access to these rights; such a statement would have been even more ludicrous then than it is now.

From a practical perspective, an absolute, uninhibited freedom to travel would not have the "devastating" impact on American jobs that is so often conjectured, so long as it was accompanied by the abolition of the minimum wage. When the minimum wage rises, some jobs that were worth hiring someone to do are no longer worth filling. As a result, there are fewer low-skilled jobs available for people who live here legally. Thus, when the minimum wage rises, employers, to cut costs, hire black-market labor (illegal immigrants) at a lower price instead of hiring people who live here legally and paying them the minimum wage. If the minimum wage were eliminated, the opposite effect would occur; employers would pay people who live here legally fair market value—not the government-mandated amount—for their work. As a result, immigrants would be less inclined to move here for fear of not finding work. 

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) explains the problem this way: "Our current welfare system…encourages illegal immigration by discouraging American citizens from taking low-wage jobs. This creates greater demand for illegal foreign labor. Welfare programs and minimum wage laws create an artificial market for labor to do the jobs Americans supposedly won't do."

Opponents argue that legalizing immigration will only make our nation less safe. Studies say otherwise. Since 1986, the year amnesty was granted to illegal immigrants in the United States, the U.S. murder rate has dropped by 37 percent. Forcible rape is down 23 percent. Drunk driving deaths are down by more than 50 percent. If these illegal immigrants are so dangerous, violent, and predatory, why are these numbers not going the other direction? Most of the immigrants in U.S. prisons are not there due to violent crime, but rather for violation of immigration laws.

Militarizing our southern border with Mexico has mostly served to perpetuate the one-way flow of illegal immigrants northward, making it more dangerous and expensive for all parties involved, and therefore discouraging job seekers from returning home after seasonal work. Consider that 30 years ago, nearly half of undocumented arrivals departed within a year. Today, only one in 14 does.

Moreover, if these men and women were made legal while the minimum wage was abolished, then they would not have to "steal" jobs and Social Security numbers, but rather they would have their own. They would not work under the table, but rather on the books. They would not avoid taxes (though many pay sales, Social Security, and even income taxes currently), but rather would pay everything owed. The net effect of the legalization of immigration would be positive. Immigrants would gain more of a stake in participating in and preserving our way of life.

I leave you with an egregious story of travel restriction inflicted by government on the oldest and most aboriginal of Americans: the Iroquois tribe. 

The Iroquois, who helped invent the game of lacrosse, at one point fielded the fourth-ranked lacrosse team in the world. The Iroquois team was set to travel to Manchester, England, for an international competition in July 2010. Problems soon arose from the fact that the tribe governs itself, independent of the U.S. government, and thus issues Iroquois their own passports. These passports symbolize that independence; in the words of one of the players, "it's a huge deal because these visas mean so much to our sovereignty." 

Before the Iroquois team's flight abroad, the British consulate declined to recognize their tribal passports and informed players that "it would only issue visas to the team upon receiving written assurance from the United States government that the Iroquois had been granted clearance to travel on their own documents and would be allowed back into the United States." The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security refused to grant the request. Only after public embarrassment at the debacle did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally agree to waive the travel restrictions. 

The next time you believe that the government has your best interests at heart when it restricts the freedom to travel, remember this story of the government's unjust treatment of the Iroquois lacrosse team. 

After self-preservation, the urge to move about the world is the most fundamental of human yearnings. Although our human desires to think and work hard may be chilled with free speech restrictions and taxation, as animate beings we lose our naturally endowed vitality when the government mandates where we can and cannot go. Thus, the right to travel is not only essential to, but directly symbolizes our freedom. 

Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that curfews, internment camps, and unlawful imprisonment are common denominators among despotic regimes. Although the U.S. government may claim to have our best interests at heart when it commands who may go where and at what times, to grant Washington that power means subjecting our liberty to the beneficence of a government which legitimized slavery for 200 years. The War on Terror is no excuse to abandon what strands remain of our withering Constitution.  

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is senior judicial analyst for Fox News Channel and anchor of Freedom Watch on Fox Business Network. This article is adapted from his sixth book, It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong, with permission from Thomas Nelson.

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  1. We now know Caucasian Sub-Asian’s true identity!

    1. Big-government Land enTITLEments regulating the free movement of Non-State societies to forage and hunt the land for food are even more restrictions on our freedom to travel.

      Officer, am I free to gambol* about plain and forest?

      Agricultural city-Statists always have the same answer, at the point of a gun:

      MARX: NO!
      MISES: NO!

      The Left-Right Axis of Gambol Lockdown, marching in lockstep against freedom, and the individual responsibility necessary to live a free, Non-State** lifeway.
      * Why agriculture? In retrospect, it seems odd that it has taken archaeologists and paleontologists so long to begin answering this essential question of human history. What we are today?civilized, city-bound, overpopulated, literate, organized, wealthy, poor, diseased, conquered, and conquerors?is all rooted in the domestication of plants and animals. The advent of farming re-formed humanity. In fact, the question “Why agriculture?” is so vital, lies so close to the core of our being that it probably cannot be asked or answered with complete honesty. Better to settle for calming explanations of the sort Stephen Jay Gould calls “just-so stories.”

      In this case, the core of such stories is the assumption that agriculture was better for us. Its surplus of food allowed the leisure and specialization that made civilization. Its bounty settled, refined, and educated us, freed us from the nasty, mean, brutish, and short existence that was the state of nature, freed us from hunting and gathering. Yet when we think about agriculture, and some people have thought intently about it, the pat story glosses over a fundamental point. This just-so story had to have sprung from the imagination of someone who never hoed a row of corn or rose with the sun for a lifetime of milking cows. Gamboling about plain and forest, hunting and living off the land is fun. Farming is not. That’s all one needs to know to begin a rethinking of the issue. The fundamental question was properly phrased by Colin Tudge of the London School of Economics: “The real problem, then, is not to explain why some people were slow to adopt agriculture but why anybody took it up at all.”

      ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain, p.24

      ** NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES…..ieties.pdf

    2. I am a summoner!

      1. Why can’t that fucktard Jason Godesky just STAY THE FUCK GONE?

        Sorry, had to shout.

  2. Mr. Napolitano, I am skeptical that you were actually a judge. I have watched state, local, and federal courts for years and have never once seen a judge who advocates for freedom or rules in favor of it the way you do. Did you really sit on the bench? If you did you are one-of-a-kind.

    1. Too lazy to google? And maybe that’s why he quit…odd man out and all that.

  3. Judge Napolitano, more valuable as Attorney General or one of nine justices on SCOTUS?

    1. If it were my call, he would be offered a seat on the SCOTUS right now. My only problem would be deciding which statist fuckstick he would replace.

      1. all depends on whether you prefer the Nanny State or the Police State as those appear to be the two prevailing options.

        1. They’re so awfully worried about White Indian getting eaten by a bear in the woods; their prescription is city-Statism.

          1. Actually we were hoping for it

            1. I’d pony up pay-per-view money to see it.

    2. Judge Napolitano offers some compelling arguments. But the facts are as long as terrorists are trying to destroy the American way of life we must stay vigilant. If this means a longer wait at the airport or occasional roadblocks so be it. Libertarians can apply their high-minded principles to the paradox of security vs. freedom but the truth is American lives are more valuable than principles.

      1. Libertarians think trinkets and security are more valuable than principles too.

        Ask White Indian how they quiver like domesticated poodles with fear-of-wilderness at the thought of real freedom.

        1. How his Military-Grade Federal EnviroCops crack down on explorers and discoverers. What a laugh!

          1. I’m asking; wtf, over?

            1. ……lover of Mother Earth. Supports EcoCops to deny access and punish peaceful exploiters and users of Mother Earth’s resources. Over.

              1. “Supports EcoCops”

                Cite please.

                Oh, wait, there is none. Another paranoid libertard making up shit.

      2. >Life more valuable than principles

        You might find many would argue differently…

      3. You didn’t do well in history or civics did you? The Founders’ vision…what the *&^%$#@! was that?

        1. With the exception of Washington, I don’t recall that many of the founders were sufficiently prepared to sacrifice their lives, liberty and sacred honor by actually participating in the fighting. Perhaps the founders were the original neocons?

          1. Some of the Founders actually DID pay with their lives.

          2. From the Wikepedia article “Founding Father of the United States”:

            In the winter and spring of 1786-1787, twelve of the thirteen states chose a total of 74 delegates to attend what is now known as the Federal Convention in Philadelphia… Of the 55 who did attend at some point, no more than 38 delegates showed up at one time.[6]
            These delegates represented a cross-section of 18th century American leadership. Almost all of them were well-educated men of means who were leaders in their communities. Many were also prominent in national affairs. Virtually every one had taken part in the American Revolution; at least 29 had served in the Continental Army, most of them in positions of command.

            So 29 out of 74, which is 39%.

          3. Not really up on your history are you?

            Wasn’t it Ben Franklin that said, “we must all hang together, or we shall certainly hang separately?”

            Pretty sure Ben realized what the English would do to every member of the Continental Congress if the Americans lost…

      4. So you won’t be swayed by compelling arguements? Only appeals to emotion (in this case, fear) work on you?

        1. Good one, KK!

        2. If we don’t screen old ladies and businessmen at the airports, then the terrorists win.

        3. It’s not fear that has informed my view. Instead it is the very real incidents beginning on 9/11/01 and continuing through the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber to today. Like it or not there are very real people with real plots to destroy real American lives. We may disagree on how to best protect those lives. I prefer airport searches and roadblocks to another 9/11.

          1. Multiple government agencies unsure of specific responsibilities and AO were the reason the 9/11 hijackers succeeded. So you think the best solution is to create another layer of bureaucracy?

          2. I prefer living in a free society where citizens are allowed to protect themselves. Kind of like the ones on UA #93. But we can’t have that. Nosiree. The all-powerful, omniscient, omnipresent godlike Big Brother government in its infinite and infallible wisdom should be the only thing standing between us and the next Mohammad Atta.

            1. Can we all agree that air travel in the US is considerably safer today than it was pre-9/11? If so, can we also agree that airport searches and roadblocks have contributed to safer travel? Can we agree that US citizens are still free to travel the country? If so, can we also agree that airport searches and roadblocks have not removed that freedom? Since the answer to all four questions is yes we have a paradox of security vs. freedom. Libertarians are always willing to apply their rigid principles despite the fact that in the real world there must be compromise.

              1. 9/11 was an outlier. Take it away and air travel is just as safe now as at any other point in history.

                Some US citizens are on that big “no fly” list. They aren’t free to travel. Also, rate of travel and hassle involved is an important part of “freedom”. How long are you willing to wait in line before you admit that you are no longer “free” to travel by air?

                Speaking of rigid principles. How much farther are you willing to let the government go in making air travel safer? Strip searching every passenger and their luggage would certainly make air travel safer. The problem is that the potential benefit is very small compared to the cost. Surely you must agree that others will have a different opinion about where the cost/benefit line should be placed.

              2. No, “we” can’t agree on any of that stuff.

                And libertarians compromise about lots of things. We all agree that taxation is theft and government is bad but the whopping majority of us accept some taxes and some government as a necessary evil. That’s why there’s a difference between libertarians and anarchists.

                So, Mom, this thing called freedom…does it have any meaning to you? Are there any freedoms which can’t be waved away because someone gets the vapors?

                1. I’m guessing the Wallet has never read the many stories of fucktard TSA monkeys doing stupid shit that has nothing whatsoever to do with catching actual terrorists…

              3. Can we all agree that air travel in the US is considerably safer today than it was pre-9/11?

                No, if you’re claiming the Transportation Security Administration and/or the Department of Homeland Security is making travel safe.

                Yes, if you’re talking about locking cockpit doors, and passengers knowing they need to stand up and fight.

                Both the TSA and DHS failed to stop the shoe bomber or the fruit-of-the-boom underwear bomber.

                If so can we also agree that airport searches and roadblocks have not removed that freedom?

                No. At several large airports, if I don’t consent to being irradiated, or felt-up by a TSA agent I won’t be allowed to fly. An unreasonable, and arguably invasive, search should not be a precondition for air travel. As for roadblocks all I can say is meh, I’m not impressed. It just makes travel more inconvenient.

                Can we agree that US citizens are still free to travel the country?

                Mostly. We can travel, but not with 100% freedom. Look at the case of Steve Bierfeldt from the article above. He was detained half an hour for the horrible non-crime of having $4,700 in cash and checks with him. Not sure I would say he was free to travel.

                If so, can we also agree that airport searches and roadblocks have not removed that freedom?

                See my answer to the first time you asked it.

                Since the answer to all four [three] questions is yes we have a paradox of security vs. freedom. Libertarians are always willing to apply their rigid principles despite the fact that in the real world there must be compromise.

                Security theater is not the same thing as security. Full-body scans, pat downs, taking off your shoes, bans on liquids, et cetera are security theater. Those actions aren’t making you safer. They are only being done to give the impression government is doing something, because too many people can’t handle the idea that government just cannot protect them from the boogeyman 100% of the time.

                It’s not just that terrorists want to kill us, they want to destroy our way of life. The actions of the TSA and DHS are exactly what they want to see. You’re right in saying there needs to be compromise. Metal detectors are a decent compromise. Minimally invasive, and fairly effective. However, I draw the line at giving up any freedom for an impotent showing of theatrics.

                I wish I could directly add images. I love to fly and it shows (possibly not safe for work).

              4. @Mom’s Wallet, you’ve fallen for the false security blanket hoax. Hijackings had occured previous to 9-11, but had not affected flight safety. Now, what you have countless citizens refused the RIGHT to travel, remember from the Constitution? Unreasonable searches and seizure are the usual course nowadays. And it’s going to get worse. I, for one, can no longer fly in the US. Why? Because of a couple reasons: I share my name with someone who apparently became an “associate” of a non-approved organization(Due to some laws, I can not find out any additional Information, either) and am on a NO FLY list. Some other person has also obtained my SSN(which was posted online by my former spouse out of spite) and used it to illegally obtain ID and commit some kind of crime.
                In addition to being on a NO FLY list, thanks to the poorly named PATRIOT ACT, I also get hassled at every traffic stop, like the road blocks to check for DWIs or whatever, again due to the various recent POLICE STATE laws.
                I’m a law-abiding citizen, Veteran who served with distiction, born in USA, WASP who can not travel.
                Perhaps one day, YOU will end up in my predicament. And NO, there are NO WAYS to getting off any list once listed.
                Trapped in the USSA

          3. So that’s not fear, how exactly? You’re afraid of dying in a terrorist attack, or you’re projecting your fear onto others. And you’re not even intellectually honest enough to admit that.

            Also, nothing whatsoever about freedom. Patrick Henry would pimp slap you.


              Fear is the reaction to a perceived threat. The terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 as well as the other incidents were not perceived threats. They were in fact very real. Every day there are real people plotting real acts of terrorism against the US. Airport searches and roadblocks are effective tools for stopping these real threats. I would be motivated by fear if I wanted the government to protect us from goblins, unicorns, Godzilla, or spacemen because these are perceived threats. Libertarians seem to turn a blind eye to the real threats to America.

              1. We aren’t blind to real threats. We just perfer to handle them in a different way. Basically, we know that we can take better care of ourselves without government intervention.

              2. Also, another 9/11 is not a “real” threat. If someone tried to take over a jumbo-jet with a razor blade today he would end up getting his face smashed in. The government wouldn’t be doing the face-smashing, ordinary citizens would.

                One last thing, you’re assuming that, minus the TSA, airlines and airports wouldn’t create their own security. That’s demonstrably false. The airlines don’t like to see their planes crash anymore than we do.

                1. Not to mention that prior to 9/11, it was the airports and the airlines responsibility to provide for security at the airport.

              3. Mom’s Wallet|12.19.11 @ 2:14PM|
                Can we all agree that air travel in the US is considerably safer today than it was pre-9/11? If so, can we also agree that airport searches and roadblocks have contributed to safer travel? Can we agree that US citizens are still free to travel the country? If so, can we also agree that airport searches and roadblocks have not removed that freedom? Since the answer to all four questions is yes we have a paradox of security vs. freedom. Libertarians are always willing to apply their rigid principles despite the fact that in the real world there must be compromise.

                Actually the answer to all four questions is “No”. And as much as you’d like to believe in unicorns, and that your question can we all agree is reasonable and full of potential hugs, we cannot … or more accurately the real answer is: “Are you out of f’n mind. NO, I can’t won’t agree!” Therefore the follow up question, “If so,” becomes completely meaningless!

                But truly, thanks for participating and asking the questions. Participation, as you know, is the most important part of any discussion.

              4. Mom’s Wallet|12.19.11 @ 2:14PM|
                Can we all agree that air travel in the US is considerably safer today than it was pre-9/11? If so, can we also agree that airport searches and roadblocks have contributed to safer travel? Can we agree that US citizens are still free to travel the country? If so, can we also agree that airport searches and roadblocks have not removed that freedom? Since the answer to all four questions is yes we have a paradox of security vs. freedom. Libertarians are always willing to apply their rigid principles despite the fact that in the real world there must be compromise.

                Actually the answer to all four questions is “No”. And as much as you’d like to believe in unicorns, and that your question can we all agree is reasonable and full of potential hugs, we cannot … or more accurately the real answer is: “Are you out of f’n mind. NO, I can’t won’t agree!” Therefore the follow up question, “If so,” becomes completely meaningless!

                But truly, thanks for participating and asking the questions. Participation, as you know, is the most important part of any discussion.

            2. OK, you are an hysteric and time-waster and are incapable of rational argument. Thanks for clearing that up.

              Your arguments are unpersuasive to anyone here. Please go annoy someone else.

          4. I would like to add that I’m pretty sure my risk of death-by-terra is higher than most in that I live & work in the DC area, ride public transport 4-5 days a week, use the Pentagon transit center and work across the street from a cabinet-level Department that is at high risk of attack.

            And I’m really fucking sick of cringeing, pants-wetting flyover country assholes who live their lives in abject fear every damn day.

            1. My God, how is that you’re not already dead???

          5. Then ban backyard swimming pools.

            And stop using kitchen stoves. Your argument is atrocious.

      5. “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
        -Benjamin Franklin

        1. But what about safety…and The Children(tm)?

      6. “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! ” Patrick Henry.

        True in 1775 and true now.

      7. Mom’s wallet,

        Ask that question again to any of our combat military folks.

      8. Since you place your freedom below your security we should throw your cowardly ass into prison in order for you to “feel” safe.

  4. When the judge’s show first went daily on FBN, he would have Bachmann on and I think she at one time joked that the judge should attend her “constitutional” classes for house members. Well she hasn’t been on for a while, I wonder if it is because she is a big gov republican religious hack. Probably. The judge is the man.

    1. I don’t know why they need classes.
      Just read the damn thing. It ain’t that difficult.
      Unless they need classes to explain how “Congress shall make no law” really means “Congress will do whatever the fuck it wants” and “shall not be infringed” means “shall be trampled at will”.

      I would support an Amendment barring lawyers from holding political office.

      1. It aint that difficult.

        Thats right. It doesnt take legal scholars to interpret, isnt vague or cryptic. You hit the nail on the head.

        1. What’s difficult is twisting the plain language to mean something completely different than what it says.

          1. What’s difficult is twisting the plain language to mean something completely different than what it says.

            Not so if someone has at least a BA in Postmodern Studies with a minor in LitCrit.

            1. But… but… Ezra Klein said the Constitution was, like, a hundred years old and stuff.

  5. Constitution Ghost Dance,
    White man’s golden past.

    Wovoka has spoken.

  6. Freedom to teavel isnt the same as freedom to board an airplane, and the fact that this article conflates the two is a problem.

    1. Freedom to board an airplane is an exercise in private commerce, not government control, and therefore very much in line with freedom to travel.
      I also find it interesting that they stopped him for having money, not a weapon, not papers outlining a target, or anything remotely related to their intended purpose of “safety.” In no way does having a box of money in your checked baggage make a flight unsafe.

      1. Are you guaranteed the right to travel in a manner of your choosing

        Not really sure why you think commerce has anything to do with it when you can choose not to fly, theteby preserving your right to free commerce

        In short, you are wrong

        1. Ah, so what you’re saying is that “you don’t have a right unless it’s in the Constitution”? Gee that was easy.

          And get a fucking clue, dipshit. Airlines would love nothing more than for the TSA to go fuck itself, but since the government thinks they own these businesses, they feel free to fuck with them as much as they want.

          In short, you’re wrong and an idiot.

          1. Nope, not what im saying at all

            So, are you really that stupid, or just n ailliterate troll?

            1. Sy is both stupid and mendacious, expect more childishness from him when he sees your post

              1. Ah, MNG sucking some fellow authoritarian cock. What a shock.

              2. -15. Doesn’t even come close to the real MNG’s style.

                And here I was hoping he’d be back, given that Sodesky returned today.

            2. Um what about the fourth amendment genius?

          2. The constitution explicitly makes policing the sky the purview of government

            Your idiotic attempt to at a gotcha is betrayed by your own ignorance.

            1. Alright, sockpuppet. Run along now.

            2. The constitution explicitly makes policing the sky the purview of government

              Does it? You’ll have to show us that one. But lets pretend for a moment you are correct.

              Why is the TSA expanding into areas like SPORTS STADIUMS, ROAD BLOCKS, TRAIN STATIONS, VIPER TEAMS?

              Further, if you protect the train station, what about the thousands of miles of remote tracks? How is that track any less vulnerable than a station? If anything exploiting tracks remotely is more of a threat.

              The only thing that’s going to save the USA is by putting these psychopaths who drive this war on Americans, war on the Constitution, War on the Monetary system, Big Corporate Media’s War on the and War on the American mind, indicted, convicted and imprisoned.

              What’s left? Jury Nullification. And they’re already starting to crack down on that. Fine. After that’s gone, we truly will be without law, or the better word is “lawless.”

              America the lawless.

        2. I’m sure it’s there somewhere in the emanations and penumbras. Or in the “all other rights belong to the people” part.

          1. “Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals — that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government — that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen’s protection against the government.”
            – Ayn Rand

    2. No one is talking about the freedom to teavel.

      1. Nice to see the sum total of your ability to discuss this subject is to troll for spelling errors

        1. …is a proofreader waiting to break out!

          Don’t worry, they’re just whoring for work, and trying to look ever so meticulous.

        2. put your goddamn name on your posts coward.

          1. Cry again like you just did

            1. It’s so much fun to watch a troll accuse seasoned veterans of trolling.

    3. So where does freedom to travel stop in your worldview?

      1. My problem was with the authors fallcious implication that freedom to travel is equivalent to freedom to travel in a manner of your choosing

        Freedom to fly is not freedom to travel

        1. Put your goddamn name on your posts coward.

          Using your logic, every form of travel could be restricted or curtailed.

          “….but officer fuckstick, you cant prevent me from traveling, I have freedom of movement.”

          “That is true, you do, but not necessarily in the manner of your choosing. Flying is a special consideration and requires severe restrictions. There have been attacks on airplanes.”

          “OK then, I will drive.”

          “I am sorry, that also is a form of travel that requires special consideration because of all the car-bombs of late. I will have to ask you to submit yourself and your vehicle for an inspection and permit to travel.”

          “Forget it. I will just walk.”

          “I must inform you that walking without a permit is also prohibited. Suicide bombers dont have cars or planes, so we must be ever vigilant!”

          1. I remember helping a friend of mine study for her GRE many years ago. She, being a profoundly intelligent genetic biologist, when full retard when she cracked open the logic textbook. Apparently logic problems is teh hard for many many people. This is what arguments with statist assholes here remind me of.

            1. You are on to something there. There is a commonality in all statist arguments, but I cant quite put my finger on it. It is a non-sequitur, and one of these days I will get it, or someone here or over at PJM will nail it for me. In the case of the TSA it’s defenders routinely ignore the fact that all the terrorist attacks that have been prevented were prevented either by passengers on an already in-air flight, or by the terrorist’s bumbling stupidity. The TSA on the other hand has proven itself very capable of strip-searching grandmas and little children. The more they fail and the less effective they are, the more they advocate buckling down.

              1. A lot of mistaking cause for effect, false choices, and multiple question fallacies. You can’t expect logical consistency from someone who’s never been able to tell logic from emotion.

                1. You have yet to refute a single point, but instead think insults and bloviiating wil mask your ignorance

              2. I think we may as a group take for granted that most people don’t understand simple logic problems and how that applies to first principles and as such to the legal framework of government.

                Maybe we need some sort of diagram explaining our an algorithmic flow chart works and carry it with our decoder rings.

                1. Doubt it would help. Most people genuinely think they can refute any argument with a simple one-liner.. or if all else fails, say “fuck you”.

                  Logic is just something most people don’t have even a vague grasp of.

                  When we were discussing logical fallacies in a freshman English class, my professor had never heard of a “No True Scottsman” or a “straw man”. She nodded politely and quietly laughed as if to say “okay, whatever you say”.
                  And this was while she was working on her PhD at UT..

                  1. Using Multiple Name Troll’s logic, the TSA should have the authority to check our bodily orifices before we get into our own cars to go to work… and then check us when we *get* to work… and so forth.

                    Because the right to travel is not absolute. Or some shit.

                    1. You are free to choice which brand of ass lube is used. We still have freedom.

        2. Still have yet to refute anything

          Just to be clear, foul mouthed insistence isnt a refutation

        3. Your argument doesn’t make the least sense. Freedom to travel is meaningless unless one also has the freedom to travel in the manner of one’s choosing.

          Anyone who thinks otherwise is clearly a retarded walking diaper stain, not to mention a trolling ass clown.

          1. So what youre saying is all expressions of a right are equivalent , as are all methods of invoking that right.

            I had no idea you were stupid enough to think yelling fire in a crowded theatre is legal

            1. Just the same way as freedom to travel doesn’t make DWI legal.

            2. Yelling fire in a crowded theater is not speech, but the court has judged it as action, action that endangers others. Reasonable people mostly agree ( unless the theater is actually on fire ), but most of those reasonable people also see that this is opening the door to unreasonable restrictions on speech that are not action, such as hate-speech.
              You see this as a first amendment issue where restricting speech is allowable and that tells me alot. My questions earlier about how statists come to the conclusions they do could be answered by saying that they are unable to see fine distinctions between similar concepts. In other words, your thinking is crude.
              Oh, that and you are an anonymous coward.

            3. Should I sing ” I am my own grandpaw”?

              1. God damn, spoofer, at least make an attempt at spell-checking. You’re failing horribly at this shit.

      2. Answer the question.

    4. Apparently, so long as you can walk wherever you want to go, your freedom to travel is uninfringed.

      Kind of like how your freedom of speech isn’t infringed by laws prohibiting you from spending money to spread your message.

      Our basic rights; who knew they were so narrow?

      1. No actually, but nice try

        The objection was the conflation in the article was to conflating flying with travel rights

        Please feel free to continue pretending theyre thesame, your credibility is ypur concern not mine

        1. put your goddamn name on your posts coward.

          1. Or what, youll cry more?

              1. Gotta be another Jason Godesky-style pricktard.

            1. @”incorrect” Seems you are just a troll. I’ve read your posts, or those I have to guess are yours, and find that the comments are mostly devoid of logic. You like Big Brother, that’s easy to see. Big Brother, however, abhors basic human rights, one of which is the freedom to travel. And the freedom to travel inherently includes the freedom to choose one’s mode of transportation. In the past 200+ years, new modes were developed, and likely in the future more modes may be developed as well. My most recent cross-country trip was human-powered; I cycled from coast to coast. To return, I did the same. But for most travellers, cycling isn’t efficient. I don’t fly anymore. The TSA has made travelling by modern means loathesome. Thanks for contributing to a free and moral society.

        2. Separating out the concept of travel from the actual means of travel and then rationalizing government control and restrictions on those means is functionally indistinguishable from restriction on travel.
          The author did not conflate anything, he discussed the heart of the matter. You are conflating the fact that you can actually read with the act of thinking.

          1. The means of travel matters

            Ive explained why, while youve screamed and thrown a tantrum while making no rational aguments

            1. Ive explained why

              No you did not.

        3. Conflating the lack of written approval in the “constitution” with absence of “freedom” would indicate you’re the one without an argument.

          It. Tries. So. Hard.

          1. Yeah, but no one made that argument, so are you lying or just a shitty reader?


        4. The objection was the conflation in the article was to conflating flying with travel rights

          So, restricting my right to travel by air doesn’t restrict my right to travel?

          Aside from the apparent absurdity of that statement, I assume you hold the position that my right to travel isn’t restricted as long as I have alternative means of travel, yes?

          So, my right to travel by air can be restricted as long as I can take the train, and my right to travel by train can be restricted as long as I can take a bus, etc. through cars, bikes, horses, etc. until we are down to walking, yes?

          What am I missing here?

          1. “If you take a walk we’ll tax your feet.”

      2. Resort to the sarcasm of an eleven year old girl when you cant refute an argument.

        How sad for you

          1. “so you” have no leg upon which to stand when it comes to acting like an eleven-year-old girl.

      3. So what youre saying is all expressions of a right are equivalent , as are all methods of invoking that right.

        I had no idea you were stupid enough to think yelling fire in a crowded theatre is legal.

        1. I had no idea you were stupid enough to think yelling fire in a crowded theatre is legal.

          It is, if the theater’s on fire.

      4. Actually, I think Multiple Name Trolltard would have TSA goons frisk us and make us take off our shoes if we decide to venture from our homes for a stroll… or should I say *gambol*?

    5. Freedom to travel isn’t a right to have someone else pay for it, but it sure as heck IS the freedom to board a PRIVATE vessel so long as it’s ok with the owner of said vessel. (And coercing the owner of the vessel into making you jump through regulatory hoops – aka TSA – just moves the intrusion back a step. It is still unconstitutional, unAmerican, and just plain wrong!)

  7. Penn Gillet had the best solution to air travel. He said we should totally privatize the airlines, so that they could allow armed passengers. Then the potential terrorists would have to do the profiling, wondering who was packing heat and who wasn’t.

    1. Actually I think the airlines should just issue each passenger a 9mm handgun. I figure 9mm because it shouldn’t cause explosive decompression (which is a myth anyway) if one were to go off, plus that way everyone would be packing heat.

      If MAD worked for superpowers during the cold war, surely it would work for people on an airplane.

      1. The 9mm has too much penetration, perhaps a .38 with a good, heavy bullet would be better.
        Perhaps a 158gr. soft lead at around 900 fps…..probably wouldnt penetrate the cabin walls or go through and through a human body but still has alot of knock-down.

  8. Because they restrict our right to travel when we wish, we should say no to Stop Lights.

    1. Oh, wow, that was so clever…totally demolished Napolitano’s argument. /sarc

      1. Ah, but you see? He totally did. To him, a stop light is just as intrusive as a government organization with an $8.1 billion annual budget that’s sole purpose is to harass individuals in the event they might be up to no good.
        Therefore, PWND.

    2. G’wan, Stevie. Throw in something about roads, and Somalia.

      You know you want to.

    3. Stoplights are a rather obsolete concept; other nations (Australia comes to mind) are using roundabouts whenever possible.

      Please don’t accuse me of being a racist.

      1. Everytime I see or hear the word “roundabout” I think of the Yes song.

        1. Every time I see or hear Yes, I want to puncture my eardrums.

  9. TSA: It’s like the Stasi, only dumber.

    Perhaps they were protecting us against the new al-Qaida tactic of taking over an airliner cabin and throwing money at everybody…?

  10. I wonder how shit would have turned out if the people on those flights on September 11 were armed. Statism, eh?

  11. So Jim shit all over this thread?

    Nice work, douchebag.

  12. Tough day for the Commentariat.

    Sodesky is back; I’m guessing his foraging at area Burger Kings on Friday was successful when they had the “free fries” promotion.

    Someone called “Mom’s Wallet” (perhaps describing their primary source of income?) has expounded how being interrogated, groped, and robbed by the TSA under threat of arrest makes us more safe than when free citizens privately contracted with airlines to voluntarily screen them for weapons using a competitive security screening market place.

    Finally, we’ve had an anti-Paul-bot post screenfuls of text telling us what a mortal threat the Newsletters? are to Paul’s candidacy, inbetween reminders that Paul’s rising poll numbers mean it will be even less possible for him to win, because the other candidates will unite against him, or he won’t win in NH, or because Jeb Bush is about to run, or something.

    1. ‘Mom’s Wallet’ is some dude whose mom wants him out of the basement by next December — but he’s wondering where he’ll ever get a job. After all, the Jewish Studies major with a minor in Dingaling-dynasty Chinese literature he got last year entitles him to a six-figure salary at a top college, you see, so he won’t go work at a lower-paying post. Don’t blame him for being awesome!

      As for the Paul-skeptics, I’ll believe that his candidacy’s fucked when I see it. If that’s the case, fucking fuck, but what can we do about it? Until then, however, I’m still hoping earnestly that he breaks through.

  13. The outright fear of Paul that has become so evident in the Antitards itself gives me hope.

  14. Meet Tasha – a top model from Russia posing nude for the first time ever!

    With her long red hair, white porcelain skin and perfectly defined body it is easy to see why Tasha is a success in the world of fashion. She works primarily out of Milan, and has modeled for some of the big names ? including the prestigious Chanel shows.

    Tasha keeps her toned body in perfect shape by swimming, she tells us that this is one of her favorite ways to relax.

    It is incredibly rare to see high-end international models like Tasha doing full nudes ? she is exclusive to Hegre-Art!

    With her ethereal beauty and stunning body Tasha definitely has the ‘wow’ factor!

  15. While the right to move may be a natural right, the right to cross a border is not. Why? Because it involves property rights, which trump all else. Citizens have the right to enter this country. As does anyone who has been granted permission. But that does not mean that ANYONE has the right to be present in the property of the people of the United States of America without consent. That is not what a right to travel or move implies.

    1. You’re quite incorrect in your statement. Even the UN disagrees with you. If you refer to the article and actually read it, you should easily see your error. Besides, no one was discussing property rights, and your attempt at making a logical statement was rather poor. Good luck in developing your debating skill.

  16. The only thing the demopublicans want more than to know what you’re up to, is for you not to know what they’re up to.

  17. I wonder if Shapiro v. Thompson has ever been used to challenge universities’ requirement of one year of residence to qualify for in-state tuition.

  18. If you are in an airport, bus or train station and have to use the rest room, I suggest you check for TSA. Be more vigilant if you have children with you, as a very large majority of TSA people are sexual predators. Why indeed do you think they applied for a job patting down people by hand? Next time you see TSA physically patting someone down,watch carefully and you will see what I’m talking about. Watch closely as they near the center region of the body they are searching. You’ll see.

  19. Eh bien, je suis un bon poste watcher vous pouvez dire et je ne donne pas une seule raison de critiquer ou de donner une bonne critique ? un poste. Je lis des blogs de 5 derni?res ann?es et ce blog est vraiment bon cet ?crivain a les capacit?s pour faire avancer les choses i aimerais voir nouveau poste par vous Merci

    ????? ???

  20. Because they restrict our right to travel when we wish, we should say no to Stop Lights.

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