I've been remiss in blogging about instances where our country is demonstrating a trend towards a police state, but two incidents caught my eye this week, one which happened in my own town.
The first incident involves a family going to Disney World for vacation. It's the idyllic American dream- parents and their three children save up the money to go on a wonderful vacation. In this case one of the children was a 3 year old girl with spina bifida who was confined to a wheelchair. Unfortunately, the family chose to fly which subjected them to a TSA screening.
Remember a few years back when we all flew without being scanned, screened, poked and groped when we flew? Ah, good times.
Anyway, a disabled 3 year old in a wheel chair leaving on vacation with her family is exceedingly suspicious it seems, it probably ticks off at least 3 points on a DHS terror memo. So they subjected the girl to a 30 minute enhanced screening starting with taking away her stuffed animal to "screen it". The ordeal ended with her father removing her from the chair and carrying her through the scanner.
The mother chose to record part of the incident and the TSA agent told her that was illegal. It isn't, but if you fight with the TSA you get detained and miss your flight. Of course, the TSA says they can't detain you, they just put you in a room and won't let you leave. Apparently that's different. If you want to see the video that was recorded you can do so here.
But it's all OK now! The TSA apologized. All is well in the world again!
The second incident involves another branch of Homeland Security, Customs. Did you know Customs was now part of the DHS? If you didn't, you can thank Bush for that swell move. Well, and a majority of both Democrats and Republicans in congress that voted for the Patriot Act. So, a man purchases a boat from a Canadian manufacturer and needs to register it so he can bring it to the US. This is a pretty routine sort of deal for customs.
But wait! Because the man refused to purger himself by signing a document with errors on it his boat was seized. It seems that was easier than printing out a new form for him to sign. More and more we see various government agencies seizing goods and cash without cause and a citizen's only recourse is to hire a lawyer. In fact, it's been quite common for police departments to seize vehicles and cash to fund new equipment for themselves, only to never charge the person who lost property with a crime. Seems like a pretty good deal for them.
Stay safe out there!