From A Concerned Pilot

This is an email that has apparently been making the rounds in the general aviation community:

As the days go by I find myself more and more apprehensive about the drift of America toward becoming what, not to mince words, can be described as a “police state.” To the average citizen this drift is not yet all that obvious, as except for the now-familiar hassle of taking a commercial airline flight most people can go about their daily activities without interference. The average citizen, therefore, reacts to this police state notion with something ranging from a shrug to an outright “B.S.-what’s he talking about?”

Where the drift is showing up is not yet in the world of the average citizen but on the powerless fringes of society… affecting only those who, in the judgment of the “authorities,” lack the political muscle to fight back. What follows is a perfect example.

A tiny minority of Americans, a minority of which I am a member, are airplane pilots and owners. We own and operate small propeller-driven aircraft, used primarily for personal recreational travel. In other words, for fun. I compare us to RV owner-operators, as these airplanes are equivalent in price range to the RVs and campers so many Americans own and enjoy.

Just like the RVers we airplane operators have historically enjoyed the freedom of travel our machines can provide. In other words, we have been able to get in our airplanes and go somewhere without seeking permission from some government security agency. This is all changing.

Utilizing their seemingly unfettered authority to do anything that strikes their fancy without oversight by anyone, Homeland Security has instituted a requirement that private aircraft operators seek government permission each time we propose to take off if we are planning to depart for Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean. We must provide advance detailed information about where, when, and who, including the names, social security numbers, addresses, etc., of all persons who will be in the aircraft. The justification for this, they say, is that we, our spouses, family or friends might be on their mysterious and top secret “No Fly List.” The most significant aspect of this is that Homeland Security has indicated that this is a preliminary step toward their ultimate objective of requiring this data submission prior to EVERY aircraft takeoff in America, regardless of destination. Keep this in mind as we continue.

It is important to understand that this requirement breaks entirely new ground. While ENTERING any country requires formalities, never, ever, has it been necessary to seek and receive government permission to LEAVE America, the “land of the free,” much less to travel within its borders. And never, ever, has it been proposed that such permission is somehow necessary to preserve “national security.” This is a requirement only previously seen in Iron Curtain dictatorships.

Another entirely new and very unsettling aspect of this program has just surfaced in the form of several incidents in which citizens who filed the required information and received official permission to depart the USA have been detained as they were preparing to take off and had their personal aircraft, luggage, wallets, purses, etc., searched by government agents. In one particularly frightening case (Long Beach, California) the airplane was blocked in by multiple vehicles with red lights and sirens and the occupants forced from their plane, hands on their heads, by “screaming” agents from several agencies pointing drawn weapons. In this and all the other incidents, after extensive searches the agents told the citizens it had been just a “routine ramp check” and departed, leaving the shaken travelers to repack their belongings. This activity, totally unrelated to traditional arrival customs checks, also breaks new ground. On the face of it, it seems to clearly violate the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution, as it is not a match for any of the situations Courts have ruled would make this type of warrantless “random stop and search” activity permissible.

Complaints to Homeland Security higher ups about these “routine checks” were answered by spokeswoman Kelly Ivahnenko with a statement that said, and I accurately paraphrase, “we maintain we have this power and authority, you can expect we will continue to do it whenever and wherever we wish, and there is no requirement that we justify ourselves or explain our reasons.”

This answer itself is, in my opinion, even more frightening than screaming gun-wielding agents. Having an American bureaucrat maintain that their police organization possesses unlimited discretionary authority should give pause even to the most passive among us, as it is exactly what the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) said when anyone complained. Overrides of our Constitutional rights by authorities are supposed to be backed by Supreme Court rulings based on clearly articulated justifications, not on the whim of some unelected bureaucrat.

What does this mean to the average citizen? Yes, you don’t own an airplane and, OK, you really don’t give a [bleep] about how airplane owners are treated. But consider this: Do you own an RV? A car or van? All the “justifications” being used to restrict, control and harass aviation people would apply equally to anyone who travels in RVs, cars, vans, busses, trains, bicycles or what-have-you. And if you think that if unchecked it will stop with airplane owners, well, I fear you are sadly mistaken.

First they came for the pilots, and I said nothing because I wasn’t a pilot…

93 thoughts on “From A Concerned Pilot”

  1. When you have jews/zionists/isreal in charge of, or advising policy in this country, you are going to have communist/police state action. Look into it. You will find the truth.

  2. “A document check is an administrative issue, not necessarily a criminal one. If everything is in order, then there is nothing to freak out about. Remember, flying an aircraft is not necessarily a right, anymore than driving a car is”

    True, but I do have an unalienable right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. I also have the right to petition the slugs for redres of grievances, and yes

    “….these incidents…would make an excellent test case of DHS’s claimed authority versus the 4th amendment…these “shaken travelers” should sue for violation of their civil rights”

    But sadly, Taking these cases to the supreme court, the worst case outcome, can take a decade and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Who has that kind of resources?

    The pro gun has the NRA to collect dues, hire lawyers, and lean on politicians. What do the pilots have?

  3. > A document check is an administrative issue, not necessarily a criminal one. If everything is in order, then there is nothing to freak out about.

    It’s easy to arrange things so it’s impossible for everything to be in order.

    I see that GA has one of the problems that has bedeviled gun owners for years, the credentialist who assumes that it’s just a set of rules and he’s okay because he’s good at rules. In fact, he wants govt to clear out the rabble so his exceptionalism will be recognized.

    It’s good to thrown them under the bus first, even before the folks who think that the banners will be satisfied if they turn on their fellows.

  4. > The pro gun has the NRA to collect dues, hire lawyers, and lean on politicians. What do the pilots have?

    The NRA isn’t actually in that position. It’s completely voluntary. About half of US households has at least one gun (most that have one have two or more), but NRA membership is under 5M.

  5. Duncan, I live on a boat. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    Customs and the Coast Guard can board anything, but /anything/ floating on salt water, no matter if it is a log raft with a house on it or if it’s multi million dollar passage maker.

    Anything on salt water is considered to be, by law, capable of crossing into foreign waters or entering from foreign waters, even if it obviously cannot do any such thing, and, as such, is not protected by the 4th.

    This is established law, and has been for decades.

  6. What a bunch of whining little girls.

    If you want to drive your car you need a license. If you want to fly your plane, you need a flight plan. Now, if you want to fly out of the USA you need to tell someone.

    Now you want to make a comparison between pilots who have to file a plan and people who were being dragged off in the middle of the night to their certain death?

    Get over it and get a life.

  7. Paul, it’s not about filing a flight plan, (how else do they know you’re on the ramp to be slammed around?), it’s about agencies demonstrating the “boot in your face you’re guilty unless you can afford to prove otherwise” attitude.

    An attitude that runs directly opposite both the spirit, and letter of the Bill of Rights…of course, some folks think that document written by dead white guys is outdated and shouldn’t be applied, especially if it makes them ‘look good’ or gives people they don’t like discomfort.

    Amusingly, ’tis the mindset of guys like Stan Sikorsky (see his antisemitic post above) that reinforces this kind of abuse, enables it, feeds it.

    Along with the mindset expressed in your own post. Abusive government doesn’t happen overnight, and it is usually greeted with a certain amount of applause by those who don’t think they’ll be targeted next. This we have seen in the past-the Cherokee relocation, the driving of the Mormons from Missouri AND Illinois, anti-chinese laws and anti-labor police action in the early american industrial era, (right on through the forties), Jim Crow laws, “Separate But Equal” rulings by the Supreme court, and did you know that many places in the U.S. had laws restricting the civil rights of Catholics prior to the civil war? (not to mention Jews…) All of these were supported (along with Slavery) by folks who simply didn’t care for the abridgement of the rights of ‘others’ and thought these laws would ensure ‘domestic tranquility’ (i.e. security).

    It didn’t matter to THEM, because it did not affect them-or it impacted those they disliked, or it could be used to attack third parties they disliked.

    What I find fascinating, is that in most cases, people willing to toss away the civil protections at home, also express a desire to apply those same civil protections to enemies abroad. I call it the “Spineless overseas, jackboots at home” mindset, and it runs deep in today’s society-from HOA’s that can ‘take’ your paid-for house if you don’t pay the vig to them and obey every minor clause, to city zoning restrictions telling you what color your home can be, to Supreme Court rulings allowing your town fathers to dispossess you of your home and then hand it over to a private developer in exchange for campaign contributions, to ideas like ‘Homeland Security’ and the rather orwellian “USA PATRIOT act” which allows suspension of your (American Citizen) Right to Habeas Corpus (Habeas Corpus requires that the prosecution show that a crime has, in fact, been committed before they can imprison you for it, or even try you for it… and gone. All they have to do is accuse you of being a terrorist, even without evidence.)

    from “Fairness Doctrines” to “Eminent Domain”, from warrantless search-and-seizure to suspension of one of the most basic, fundamental, essential rights under the constitution, all of these and more have been heralded as great acts by our fellow citizens, all of these are, by themselves, looked on as ‘minor infringements’ caused by ‘necessity’.

    Take it together, along with tolerance for (and now federal support of) organized Voter Fraud, and there IS something to be alarmed about-because it DOES lead from a simple request for a flight plan to internal exile, eventual gulag, and possibly even up to and including the kinds of ‘minor infractions’ perpetrated by Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Hitler.

    (oh dear me, I’ve just broken Godwin’s law…)

    Liberty is about taking RESPONSIBILITY, Tyranny is about giving the responsibility to Government, along with the power to carry it out-

    “A Government Powerful enough to give you what you want, WILL take everything you HAVE”, “You have a Republic-if you can KEEP it”, and finally, “When you sacrifice Liberty for the sake temporary security, you will have, in the end, neither Liberty, nor Security.”

    Every word of those quotes is true, and in a way, it’s amusing to see not only people realizing it after so long, but also people defending the destruction of what it is that America had-once, and no longer.

  8. Now you want to make a comparison between pilots who have to file a plan and people who were being dragged off in the middle of the night to their certain death?

    Get over it and get a life.

    The only difference is time.

    I suggest you get a brain, you dolt. And while you are at it, lose that avatar, it implies a grasp of certain things contradicted by your idiot comment.

  9. “Brent G Says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 12:55 pm
    A very good piece. Though for those commenting about GA pilots coming late to the party, at least they ARE at the party now.”

    A respectable hat tip to Brent G, who clearly comprehended what I meant. Too bad I can’t say the same for John Wolf who vaguely accused me of being a troll and spitting on the pilot. Or Patrick who charged to the defense of John Wolf and directly accused me by name.

  10. People have always been subject to checks when departing the country. They don’t do 100% of the people, but they do it often enough that it’s known. The US checks for bulk currency smuggling in cars and trucks to Mexico and Canada, and on international commercial flights as well. They also check for fugitives. They check for nuclear and military technology being exported.

    Just because you’re wealthy and can afford a fancy plane doesn’t mean you can export anything that you want and never be checked. You’re not special.

  11. The only way this will ever change is when the thugs are afraid to pull people over or assault them at airports or kick in their doors.

    The only way to make them afraid is for them to die when they do it. Alexander Solzhenitsyn made this point very clearly. “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked. The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!”

    That is what is going on here. The jackbooted thugs are determined to destroy freedom. They are a boot smashing a human face forever. If you won’t stand up for your freedom, you won’t have any. They deserve death. They are tyrants.

    Sic semper tyrannis.

  12. If you drive over the speed limit, you can be stopped for speeding.

    If you drive at or under the speed limit, you can be stopped because
    it’s suspicious to drive at or under the speed limit.

    Deputy Has Midas Touch in Asset Seizures
    by John Burnett
    Listen Now [7 min 44 sec]
    Third installment of a four-part series
    All Things Considered, June 17, 2008

    Chief Deputy Eddie Ingram is a devout believer in highway traffic stops.


    Stress-induced Indicators

    Later, Ingram climbs into his white Ford Crown Victoria and heads out
    onto U.S. Highway 431 — the main north-south thoroughfare through
    Barbour County.

    “I look for things that just are different, and there’s no one way to
    explain it, there’s no one indicator. I just look for people that try
    to fit in that make themselves stand out,” he says.

    Without giving away his secrets, here’s one thing Ingram looks for: If
    the speed limit is 65 mph, most people will drive 75 mph. But someone
    wanted by the law will go 65 or less, and avoid eye contact with a cop
    who pulls up alongside. Ingram calls them “stress-induced indicators.”


  13. The only way to make them afraid is for them to die when they do it

    Oh, good. Now the Libertarians want to murder officials of Homeland Security because Homeland Security wants pilots to tell Homeland Security when those pilots are going to fly across US borders.

    All this while comparing Homeland Security to the Cherokee relocation.

    And if you don’t agree with the Libertarians they call you a dolt and an idiot.

    I think I’m beginning to understand the problem a bit better …. apparently Libertarians don’t masturbate enough.

  14. I think I’m beginning to understand the problem a bit better …. apparently Libertarians don’t masturbate enough.

    One doesn’t have to agree with Jim Davidson to consider this a shallow, in fact mindless diagnosis.

  15. I am not “the Libertarians.” I’m just me.

    I haven’t called you a dolt nor an idiot. Are you tempting me? lol

    You are welcome to masturbate a few times. Make up for those who aren’t keeping up the side.

    My position is very simple. Freedom has a price. That price has always been the death of tyrants. The excuse “I was only doing my job,” and “I was only following orders” doesn’t work with operating a death camp, nor with any other authoritarian behavior.

    May your chains weigh heavily upon you, may your manacles chafe and bind, and may history never record you were an American.

  16. Rand writes, “One doesn’t have to agree with Jim Davidson to consider this a shallow, in fact mindless diagnosis.”

    True enough. On the other hand, you are welcome to agree with me. lol

    If Americans are not free to fly, as it seems clear we are not, then it is beyond my imagination how Americans are ever going to get to fly to destination resorts in orbit. Which is the topic of a documentary film a friend of mine is working on. Kinda sad.

    And there was a time, not long ago
    When the dream was young, we would go
    Together. The stars would be ours
    And all the planets, even Mars.

  17. The Coast Guard has had the right to board and inspect your personally owned boat, for some time now. Even on in-land lakes.

  18. Just shoot back.

    Our forefathers gave us the power to repeal the most egregious of usurpations of our liberty by going to the polls and throwing the bums out!

    In this case, those of you who leaped for joy as Bush Administration’s Jack Bauer’s chased imaginary terrorists while shredding our Constitution, need to join the rest of America in taking back our country.

    The Republicans have shown their true colors over the Bush years; demonstrating how they will gladly eliminate our liberty.

    We must never trust them to run our government again.

    We need a new political party that will be a champion of the Constitution and that will speak for Americans who still cherish our traditions and values.

    DHS must be de-funded and the original agencies dispersed and brought under the control of our citizens again.

  19. The political party that I like is The Boston Tea Party is their site.

    However, I am not confident that the constitution is worth championing. Lysander Spooner wrote in 1874 that the constitution got us into this mess. “It has either authorized all the tyranny under which we suffer or has been powerless to prevent it.”

    Shooting back is only part of a complete strategy. I like what L. Neil Smith has written in this issue of The Libertarian Enterprise. Not only the first article, but several more in the same issue.

    Worth looking at good and hard.

  20. If Americans are not free to fly, as it seems clear we are not

    You’re not free to fly? What? You mean the DHS says that you need to tell them when you’re going to fly across a national border and you deduce that “Americans are not free to fly“.


    then it is beyond my imagination how Americans are ever going to get to fly to destination resorts in orbit.

    Dude, I don’t think you’re going to have struggle to get into orbit. I think you’re pretty much there already.

  21. Wow. Apparently we’ve stumbled into one of the virtual headquarters for murder and violence against American government officials on The Internet.

    Surely you meant to write something more intelligent than that?

    They tell me people call on Rand Simberg to consult with them on Space Policy … why again? Why would they want to do something like that?

    Perhaps because I know a lot about space policy?

  22. As a conservative airplane owner, and gun owner, I want to make a couple of points. First to J. T. Ballance, Bush was against creating a Homeland Security Dept. but the democrats and the MSM raised such a stink and made such a political issue out of it. he aquiesed. Second, not all pilots and airplane owners are rich. Some here, I guess, think lear jet when someone says they own an airplane. I bought my plane 4 yrs ago for under $40.000. You can buy one for less. The operating costs are heavy, but so are those of a boat or RV. One sacrifices to do what one likes. My income is at a $50,000 annual, not rich by any means. In fact, every addition to costs at my level really affects me. Three, as of right now, I can fly out of my uncontrolled airport and fly to any other uncontrolled airport without filing a flight plan, or even talking to anyone. I fly from Southern Ca to Northen Nevada, and only make calls in the blind for traffic advisories when taking off or landing (not required, but very wise). There are airplanes flying with no radios at all. Yes, they have limited options where they can go, but within those limits, you still could fly coast to coast. Finally, FAA regs are written so ambiguously, that a ramp check is a very scary proposition. An inspector can play “gotcha” no matter how careful and compliant you are. And they do.

    As a member of EAA, AOPA, and NRA, I take my, and your, freedoms very seriously. A push against one is a push against all. (by the way, I am a non smoker who hates cigarettes, but I love freedom even more, and have always defended smokers rights. If you only defend what you like, we all lose.)

  23. Surely you meant to write something more intelligent than that?

    In response to blatant threats of violence against USA government officials? Nope, not really.

    But I’m always curious. Let us read your response to these clear threats of violence on your blog. What would you say? It is your blog, after all.


  24. > Surely you meant to write something more intelligent than that?

    Nope, not really.

    Perhaps you’re incapable of it. The evidence so far would indicate so.

    Let us read your response to these clear threats of violence on your blog.

    Why would I bother to respond to a random commenter on my blog? I stand by my own words, not those of my commenters.

  25. This is stupid, but…

    Geez Brad, get over it. I did not ACCUSE you, I QUOTED you–in response to someone being an ass toward someone else (and yes I think John Wolf should NOT have called you a troll.)

    You tell me what in my post is inaccurate, regarding you. What names did I call you? What did I accuse you of (except being ignorant of what AOPA/EAA etc. have been doing all these years, which is obvious from your post)? It’s your own words!

  26. Why would I bother to respond to a random commenter on my blog?

    Ah. Now you’re wiggling. No one asked you to comment to a random commenter. Someone asked you to comment to the ones who are clearly advocating violence. And in fact you have alr eady responded to at least one of those commenters, at least indirectly.

    So you will respond, and it’s not a random commenter. But you won’t respond to the calls for violence, even though it’s your blog.

    Apparently describing the comments of someone with whom you disagree as not intelligent is the best you can do.

    And that’s quite the comment, isn’t it Rand?

  27. No one asked you to comment to a random commenter. Someone asked you to comment to the ones who are clearly advocating violence.

    OK, why would I bother just because a driveby moron (as demonstrated by all of your comments here, with their illogic and non sequiturs about masturbation, “virtual headquarters for murder and violence,” space policy, etc.) asks me to?

    I’m not responsible for comments at this blog, either yours or Jim Davidson’s, and I will continue to respond to what I choose to respond to. You’re about the only person here who has taken Jim Davidson’s comments seriously, and it’s very difficult to take you seriously.

  28. Well, I take my comments seriously. Americans stood up on the 19th of April in 1775 and shot British soldiers at Lexington and Concord. Killed a whole lot of them. That’s why people here don’t have the Queen’s ugly mug on their currency. If you have a problem with the idea of defensive and retaliatory force to defend and extend individual rights to life, liberty, and property, you cannot possibly understand either American history or the function of the liberties identified and ostensibly guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The reason we have a right to keep and bear arms is to kill jackbooted thugs when they trample on our freedom, when, as, and how each of us thinks best.

    You have a right to use up to and including deadly force to defend your life, your liberty, and your property. If you choose to lay down your freedom and don the manacles of slavery, and chant how you are happy and you know it, that’s not a choice I can endorse.

    You believe that you are free to fly about the country. But are all Americans? The evidence at the airports is, no. Many Americans are denied the freedom to fly at all. Often for no reason, since their names are mistakenly on a no-fly list off which they cannot get their names. There is no due process here, only authoritarian lunacy.

    You believe that the only requirement now is to ask permission to leave the country, because some bad men in uniform allowed four planes to be stolen in September 2001, and you gave up on living free. But the pilot in the post discussed on this page says that the program is already in motion to further the restrictions, not only for the cattle cars called airliners, but also for individual pilots.

    So it is merely happenstance that some people feel somewhat free some of the time to fly some places. So what? The policy of the FCC has been and continues to be that broadcasting isn’t free, that people are not to be allowed to express themselves on the radio waves. The policy of the FAA has been not to certify types of aircraft that represent radical changes to the economics of airlines – such as the Moller air car, e.g. The policy of DHS is that you and all your fellow countrymen are terrorists and must beg on bended knee for temporary permission to fly, just a little bit, maybe, if you are willing to go for the full cavity search routine. And that “deal” could change without notice.

    So, no, that isn’t freedom. You calling it freedom doesn’t make it so. It is tyranny. The Department of Homeland Security represents tyranny in America. In German, that would be Heimatlandsicherheitsdienst or Geheimstadt Polizei – what we used to call “Gestapo.” And like a good little German, all you can think about is how appalling it is for someone like me to openly and publicly say that the Gestapo is evil.

    By their fruits shall ye know them. Did you know that DHS agents kill people? Doesn’t that bother you?

  29. Too often , perhaps because of the child abuse that is American public education, many erstwhile Citizens believe that criticism
    and even derision and downright hostility towards the Federal government is de-facto criticism and hostility towards the entire American experience and way of life.In short, they believe it is anti-American to criticise the government.
    The very fabric, the VERY SEED of America is hostility towards authoritarian central government encroaching on the INDIVIDUAL freedom expressed by the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.
    The Declaration announced the natural state of Rights and liberty inherent in any group of INDIVIDUALS and the Bill of Rights enumerated those Rights. The Constitution of the United States gave the framework upon which a limited weak central government whose primary job was the defense of individual liberty was to be established.
    Those who cry foul when others call for a long overdue trip to the woodshed for the Federal Government have NO clue what America is really about. (“The tree of Liberty must from time to time be watered with the blood of patriots and Tyrants;it is it’s natural fertilizer.”- Thomas Jefferson)
    Indeed,”they” did come for those involved in drugs; hence the militarization of police and suspension of certain portions of the B.O.R., and we said it was okay because it was just druggies they aimed those laws at.
    They used those laws of asset forfeiture and violation of 4th and 5th amendments against others, often FFL license holders who failed to dot an ‘I’ or cross an ‘T’. Patriot Act provisos apply to everyone for ANY crime. Mark my word.
    Now ‘no-knock searches and trumped up reasons to use Police State(TM) tactics are the norm.
    Familiarize yourself with Hegelian principle for a deeper understanding of this Statist state of affairs. A quote from H.L. Mencken elucidates:” The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and thus clamorous to be led to safety from an endless series of hobgoblins;all of the imaginary.”

    Now the DHS says if you believe in the Constitution , or own a gun; if you’re against abortion or support the Tea Parties- YOU are a ‘possible domestic terrorist ‘ and they lump you in with Tim McVeigh and neo-Nazi’s.
    Anyone who is successful is an “enemy of the people”(TM)
    The RIGHT to travel and assemble and live your life as you choose as long as you don’t infringe upon the God-given Right of others to do the same is YOURS. Men better than ANY of us risked their lives, their fortunes, and their Sacred Honor to vouchsafe this to us, and we are less than cowards if we shirk the responsibility to live it to the fullest in our own time and deliver it safely to the next generation.

  30. Sutton Ray, just a quick note to say “hail! fellow, well met.” I see you’ve read your Ninth Amendment. Good on you.

    May glad tidings of liberty follow you for all the rest of your days. If there must be war, let it come in our time, that our children may know peace, as Thomas Paine wrote.

  31. Above is the question: do you think airplanes will still be flying in ten years?
    I presume the question applies to personal aircraft, and my gut feeling is possibly not and if they are it will likely be with so much red tape, social stigma, and confiscative fees that the practice may as well be non existent.
    The power to tax is the power to destroy. The same will hold true with ‘fees’ and ‘administrative costs” attendant to the additional ‘safety’ concerns as yet to be fabricated out of thin air by our government. See NFA 1934 concerning previously legal automatic firearms for more on this. Folks won’t want to be subject to cavity searches and Swat teams just to go for an exciting jaunt in your new Beechcraft. Besides, dontcha know private planes are for the REAL ELITE anyway..y’know politicians and actors and such? Similar to how the most ardent gun-grabbers always seem to have a carry permit AND a bodyguard armed to the teeth nearby. Silly peasants, planes and guns are for the Ubermensch.
    Witness the Obama administrations’ villianization of corporate jet use this year. First they target a group already in bad public grace, then they go for everyone.Expect any symbol of individuality, success, or exceptionalism exhibited by ordinary Americans to be vilified in the coming years, with personal aircraft ownership to be an obvious target.
    We seem to have been struck with the Chinese curse,” May you live in interesting times.” We are going to see the type of condemnation and ‘for the common good’ destruction of liberty we only read about regarding previously mundane activities by erstwhile ordinary citizens of pre-Soviet Russia. It is now almost a crime to own yet alone operate a leaf blower in some circles. You can’t ride a bike without a helmet..not a motorcycle.. a BICYCLE. Did you know you ALREADY are required to register your microwave with the FCC? Have you removed the tag from your mattress? Do you separate your fair trade organic bannana peels from your 70% post consumer hemp brown paper bags before you put the trash out?
    I predict it ‘stops being funny when it starts being you’.
    Buckle up kiddies, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

  32. “chunk” sez “It’s called ‘border search authority'” to which I say, “so what?”

    You can call a boot stomping a human face forever reason, but that doesn’t make it reasonable. If you like authoritarian government, why don’t you move to North Korea?

  33. The empathy in this country (and county in which I live) is best reflected in the following attitude: Good people don’t need the bill of rights and bad people don’t deserve them.
    Vote only for libertarians because they are usually the only candidates that understand and will protect your constitutional rights.

  34. It started with the drug war. Now the FDA is being allowed to regulate tobacco, which means it will end up illegal too. To fix the whole mess we need to start by supporting drug legalization, which the Libertarians have been in favor of for years. Only trouble with the Libertarians is that they’re stupid. They refused federal campaign funding even though they qualified for it because “they’re the party of principle”. I propose starting the Jeffersonian party. Jeffersonians would agree with the writer above that says all tyrants must die. If every time someone got busted for a joint, or every time they turned a dog loose in someone’s car, a cop died, they’d start thinking twice. If this happened whenever and wherever cops “enforced” any of the multitude of unjustifiable and unconstitutional intrusions on our civil liberties, eventually the cops would back off and if the cops backed off the politicians would be effectively neutered. I don’t need some guy in a black robe to interpret the Constitution for me, I know how to read, and I know what it means. We’re all armed to the teeth but unless we’re willing to use our weapons, what’s the point of having them? If anyone feels I’ve unjustly attacked the cops remember that it was the cops in Nazi Germany that arrested the vast majority of the Jews and political ‘criminals” locked up by the Nazi’s, not the Gestapo, but the regular police, and it’s our “regular” police that enforce the drug laws and that trot out to “investigate” pilots who have a forced landing. I know one pilot who was busted for drinking while flying because a lady gave him a glass of wine after he made a forced landing on her gravel road, and by the time the cops got there, he failed the breathalyzer, her testimony notwithstanding. I’m a pilot and gun owner and a free American. Death to tyrants!! It’s the only way to restore the Republic now.

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