“Give them fear; sell them security.”

I would never have thought it – but it seems there are people who have limits as to how much “security” they will endure.

First pilots, and now flight attendants, have objected both to repeated radiation exposure and now TSA’s long-arm-of-the-law inserted up their you-know-whats, before boarding their flying office. It’s still OK for passengers, though, both unions were quick to add.

Back in my more cosmopolitan days (the city, not the magazine), I developed a theory about how much government intrusion people would tolerate, based on the length of the traffic commute. My theory was, if you could force people to accept a two-hour commute for what was essentially a 30-minute drive, there really was no limit to what government could do to them.

I always assumed that in a sane society, road officials who took tax money for roads but never built any to relieve congestion would at some point be dragged from their posh offices and beaten in the street with dilapidated bicycle parts. Alas, I was wrong, and the money is still spent on everything but new roads.

Courts have repeatedly ruled that the police have no obligation to protect you from criminal attack, even in your own home. Rather, their job is to investigate the crime and have your body hauled off to the morgue.

TSA’s police, however, have somehow found a mandate to protect you on a commercial airliner – even if it means irradiating your organs or searching your body cavities – and even if you don’t want such protection.

Rather than profiling terrorists – which we have every ability to do now (and Israel has done for years) – TSA has devoted their attention to the docile herd of travelers, who seem willing to accept any intrusion in the name of safety. Meanwhile, all the terrorists need to do is ship a package set to explode at altitude. Go figure.

One could easily argue that many more Americans are killed or injured by illegal immigrants perpetrating crimes or driving without proper education, state licenses or insurance than are killed by terrorists in airplane attacks. Yet the government refuses to inconvenience illegals, even to the point of resisting state efforts to enforce federal laws! All to protect illegals – who by definition shouldn’t even be here!

In the wake of 9/11, the airline bosses were only too happy to have taxpayers pick up the tab for the security they had been providing. Try adding the cost of naked body scans and an army of TSA agents into the ticket price and see how many people will buy a ticket. (You might soon be hearing ads with the old jingle, “See the USA, in your Chevrolet.”)

The simple fact is, nowhere does the Constitution give the federal government authority to say, “Your papers, please,” for domestic travel. (International travel and passports are another matter entirely.)

When I was in the sixth grade – a few years ago at least – nuclear power was going to be so cheap that your house would not even have an electric meter. It seems like they neglected to consider the cost of disposing of spent nuclear waste in that equation. There’s still a meter on my house.

When the airlines are forced to put the price of security into their tickets – things will change in a big hurry. Private businesses sometimes display a sign that reads, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” Your remedy as a consumer in a free economy is to go elsewhere. Your remedy in a government-controlled industry is to go nowhere.

Government doesn’t screen the shopping mall’s customers. But a person with poison gas or a crude explosive device could easily kill more people at a mall than in an airplane attack.

Should there be security checks? Absolutely! Should you be treated as guilty until proven innocent? Not in America.

At some point human maturity demands that we recognize the world is a dangerous place. And some places are more dangerous than others. A free society means that each person must be given an accurate picture of the risks for a particular behavior and left to decide the risks verses rewards that they are willing to accept.

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