Friday, February 25, 2011

. . . could be raining.

I have to confess: I broke Robert's Rule.

More particularly, I broke the Rule that states what you know well enough: "It can always get worse." I broke the rule by violating the essence of the proscriptive corollary, which, is that one must never, ever say: "Could be worse . . ."

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.


  1. More than agree. This sounds so crazy that I have to believe (well, at least hope) that there is more to the story. If not, I fear you may be inclined in the right direction with contemplations about some nefarious scheme.

    However, I am still in denial, I guess, and look for some justification upon which to hang the hat of reason. Wish me luck (as I may need it).

    By the way, was it Robert's or Murphy's? IIRC, Roberts are rules of a different order.

    (Thanks for the link. --dugo, from GT)

  2. We speak here of Robert's Rules. I understand there is some other, more obscure Robert who may at one time have had something or other to say on the subject of orderly meetings. No doubt a fine fellow and a worthy effort. But I am the Robert of these far more useful, universally applicable rules.

    Thanks for coming over from GT, and for commenting.

  3. I stand corrected, and honored to meet the author of so wise a treatise as the Robert's Rules of THIS order. So Robert's Rules it is.

    Thanks for noticing. I'll try to check in again. --Dugo