I have to confess: I broke Robert's Rule.
Like so many who run afoul of Robert's Rules, and suffer the deserved and inevitable natural consequences of their sin, I thought I'd found an exception to the Rules. This despite the Rule that plainly states there are no exceptions to the Rules. In my defense, I was just trying to get along. I had written a lot here about freedom to travel as a canary the coal mine,* suggesting that the TSA's security theater was not merely pointless, but actually nefarious. Friends of more moderate mind -- perhaps more charitably disposed toward the state, or perhaps just concerned about the proliferation of sheepdogs on various watch lists -- told me it smacked of blogger paranoia to posit that the genital gropes and virtual porn scanners are meant to be the thin end of the wedge.** So I told myself, "enough already," which was really just another version of "could be worse . . ."
And just that swiftly am I punished. Because, clearly, it could be worse, will be worse, indeed already is worse.
How else to explain the latest? How else to explain the federal government conducting warrantless searches, far from any border, of citizens who have finished traveling? If the justification for abridging my God-given, Constitutionally-assured rights is supposed to be that "flying is a privilege" and that we "must keep the travelers safe" and that all this is worth it "if we can save just one life," doesn't that justification evaporate when you start fondling nine-year-old train passengers after they get off the train at their destination? I'm a clever enough fellow. From time to time, I am actually paid to take a position. But I lack the suppleness of mind -- or maybe the time machine -- to conjure an explanation for how searching child travelers after they get off the train is a practice intended to make train travel safer.
And if the stated justification of safer travel is are gone, then what are you left with, if not the damp and undeniable nose of the camel under the tent?***
* That's one.
** That's two.
*** That's three. Those who post with comments containing additional cliched metaphors for giving inches and taking miles (that's four) will be eligible to receive exclusive Suburban Sheepdog coffee mugs -- if any are ever created. Resort to research about Lydia Sigourney and here Arab miller will disqualify you.