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01/30/2006 Archived Entry: "A TCFer makes the TSA "no-fly" list"

AMERICUS FERNANDO HENSHAWE, welcome to the TSA "no-fly" list. I must admit, I'm jealous. Henshawe has joined the exclusive (or these days, perhaps not so exclusive) ranks of those whose opposition to the policies of Our Glorious Leader has earned him a Stalinist travel restriction in the name of "national security."

Well, okay. We don't really know why Henshawe is on the TSA no-fly list. We don't know why anybody is on the no-fly list. As Scarmig notes in that same thread, names might end up on the list through guesswork and coincidences.

But Americus Fernando Henshawe? Not likely.

Henshawe's newly elevated status in the Outlaw community got me thinking about this whole business. So, some random observations ...

When we first learned about the no-fly list -- when two peace activists were forbidden to board a plane several years ago because they differed politically with George W. Bush -- guesstimates placed the size of the list at 1,000. Now, I've heard guesstimates as high as 80,000. And who knows?

Are Bushevik drones in the deep recesses of the Department of Homeland Security scanning Internet sites 24 hours a day and entering the names of writers and ranters? Is there any standard -- even a warped and twisted one? Or is it really just a matter of, "Hey, so-and-so's a smartass. In he goes"? Maybe it really was 1,000 a few years ago and 80,000 and growing now, thanks to little anonymous gatekeeping functionaries, earning their pensions at our expense.

What's amazing is that American citizens blandly tolerate any such list. Secret. Arbitrary. Obviously politically motivated. How can this be okay with anybody? Nixon was hounded and ridiculed for his infamous "enemies list." But at least his list included high-power political types. GWB's list is longer and reaches out to include thousands of ordinary people who never did anything more than express an opinion or three. How can this be okay?

I know why there isn't more outrage among activists, though. It's because there's too damn much to be outraged about. Take a number. Get in line.

A client and I were talking about The List the other day. We both figure that if Americus Fernando Henshawe is on it, then we probably are, too. But since we both refuse to fly, we may never know. I tell ya, it almost makes me want to buy some $29 bargain airfare and go to the airport just to see.

Besides tolerating the intolerable, I really wonder why more Americans -- and more people in the media -- also don't grok that things like the TSA no-fly list aren't examples of strength. They're blatant signs of helplessness and weakness (as well political bigotry in this case). How "strong" is it to pick names out of a hat and say their bearers can't get on airplanes? That is desperation. That is from hunger. That is what you do when you don't have Clue One about who or what the real threats to "national security" might be.

That is also what a police state does, of course. But it doesn't do much good to talk about that. It's not as interesting as American Idol

The more I distance myself from the daily barrage of news, the more I perceive that the country is being run by desperate lunatics. And the TSA no-fly list is as unambiguous an example of that as I can think of.

I hope to heck I am on it. No Outlaw worth her salt should go unnoticed by the TSA's professional paranoids. I might never find out, since I stay clear of airports. But there's another Claire Wolfe out there -- same spelling and everything -- who's prominent in her very respectable profession and has to fly to conferences & such. I wonder if she knows whether Claire Wolfe has made The List? Hey, Claire-Who-Isn't-Me, sorry for the inconvenience. But if you're living in Police State USA and you're not raising a ruckus against such stuff, then perhaps you deserve to be left standing in the airport.

Posted by Claire @ 09:20 AM CST

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