Sorry about to rant a little here, so if your not interested in politics, keep moving…
Haisong Jiang is currently in jail because he “breached” security at an airport to kiss his girlfriend goodbye. People are angry not because he is in trouble, but because he will not be able to face more jail time. This is all after new security measures put in place after the recent bomb attack. What is interesting is that we have gone beyond logic, compassion, and humanity all so we can FEEL safe. We will give up our freedoms and flexibility just so we can think we are secure.
The patriot act is just the beginning, the attitude that we need to “tighten” security, increase intelligence on suspected individuals(in other words spy on anyone you want too legally), and remove any last shred of privacy we have. All in the name of “safety”, “security” and “fighting terrorism”. Look at poor London, they have cameras watching everything, the whole place is under surveillance. How much did crime decrease? Not really a measurable amount. So everyone gave up all their privacy, so they could feel safer. If you keep people afraid of scary things they will give up everything if you make them believe it will protect them. The world is no more scary now then it ever has been. You think airplane security threats are new?? Well thats just because you were not around in the past! Whole planes have been KIDNAPED in the past. The world is arguably much safer now then it ever has been, the percentage of people that have violent crimes committed on them compared to the population of the world is DOWN. It has been going down. Yet people “think” now it is less safe, people are worried and afraid of imagined threats.
The main difference now is that the governments have really realized how they can play this fear to their advantage and gain an increasing amount of power. The media gladly goes with this, because sensationalism improves ratings and sells products. It also makes us more controllable consumers, and gives the media power.
No matter how good security is, people CAN still get through. It is a gain vs loss scenario. Sure the obvious things like metal detectors will catch ALOT for little inconvenience, loss of privacy or rights. While full out spying, profiling and the new strip searches will catch VERY little more for a HUGE inconvenience and large loss of privacy and soon rights. You can say “well then if you don’t like it don’t fly” but to be honest is not that simple. Flying has become an important or even essential form of transportation for many, it can not be avoided. Also if you don’t think this floods into everyday life, you are dead wrong. Look at the new drivers licensee laws, all the new requirements you have to go through to get the privilege to drive. Look to our cities, rights are given up in troves in the large cities. Although I am not a gun activist, I am surprised how many big cities want to outlaw guns. Logically it really makes little sense, criminals will break the law anyway, but the average person will let a right turn into a denied privilege. This logic continues into other non security issues as a result. What we can have as a pet(no chickens, bee hives or small goats in the city), the length our our grass, ability to have a windmill(no mater what size or hight they are not allowed anymore in my city unless you have 5 acres) and many other personal chooses, are rights taken away if you pick to live in the city, all in the name of protecting others.
If we limit freedom so much just so we can feel safer then we will ultimately kill creativity, and imagination. We will become a flock of mindless consumers. Our ideas of art will be what is pretty with no attention to a message to give. Movies will all become “popcorn” movies that make millions but are pointless(transformers). Inventing will be only for things that can sell, and people will become more self centered. That is all only IF we don’t stop giving up our freedoms, opinions and chooses in a fire-sale attempt at safety and security.
All at the same time we put little or no restrictions on the big and real threats that we face. We let big business act as greedy as posable. We let them kill our economy, increase the lower class, starve the education system, and kill the environment. All so they can make more profit. If anyone questions it or suggests regulations like we as citizens have, they are shot down, because it could kill the open market economy, or make it “hard to compete.” Look where most things are made, in China. Where the people have little or no rights, are paid VERY little, and the businesses have no environmental laws or fair business practice laws to worry about. Because of this, the profit goes way up. Sounds good right? Well it only goes to the people on the top. It never is passed down.
In fact that is the biggest myth that big business perpetuates. “Profit travels down to the consumer” Wal-mart has made a killing with it. You have to check your own groceries out now, because you think it will “keep prices low”. All it does it does is let the people at the top make more money. Or take that extra profit and fight the little guys. It is hard for a small place to compete in the market if they want to pay there employees fair.
It all boils down to fear, and greed. It can be stopped, Starting with us individually and moving up the line.
Sorry I will get off my soap box, see links below:
Slovic police find holes in security.