Sick of whatever I'm sick of, but how sick!

I'm in a quandary. Again! There's an issue I am tired of writing about that I feel obliged to write about. That alone wouldn't be such a big deal, except that the last time I admitted I was tired of an issue, some commenters were mightily annoyed. One opined that if I am tired of writing about an issue I should "shut up."

Now, I've been writing this blog for over seven years, and there are many issues that I am tired of writing about. The biggest problem I have is that I don't like repeating myself. The other day I had nothing new to say about two social issues of pressing concern today, and I really have no right to be tired of them, because they're said to constitute the "third leg" of the "conservative stool" and we can't ignore a third leg of a collective stool we're all required to sit on for the privilege of being "conservative," now can we? Actually, I went out of my way not to get into the specifics when I first heard Robert Knight yammer about the leg, because I was tired of it by then, and I am still tired of it.

And in the post that drew yesterday's criticism of my tiredness, I was trying to be circumspect, so I made an analogy to the much safer, much more settled social issue of divorce. I even analogized to eating pork, and I still like the pork analogy, because to this day, no one has been able to explain how my right to eat pork imposes my morality on those who don't eat it. Or how my demanding to be left alone and eat pork as I see fit imposes my morality on the people who want to prevent me from eating it. It strikes me as a question of basic logic that those who want to prevent me from eating pork for moral reasons are the ones imposing, and those who only want to be left alone are not. I wish someone would explain to me how my desire to eat pork is an imposition on anyone.

But see, much as I am tired of the third leg of the stool, that's not the tiredness issue that I'm struggling with today.

What I am sick and tired of writing about today is invasive government searches.

There. I just admitted what I am tired of writing about today. Yay! (Hey, as the saying goes, the first step in tackling a problem is admitting you have it, right? So I do hope that my compassionate readers will take pity on me one more time and allow me to say I am tired of something before I write about it again; hence the lengthy background....)

Fortunately, no one is championing invasive government searches as a conservative principle, much less a leg of the stool. Even the underlying issue of the war on drugs is not touted as a leg without which the stool collapses. I think it is all for the good that so many conservatives are annoyed by having machines inspect their private parts, with genital touching as the alternative, and legal threats for refusing.

But while that's good, it doesn't make me any less tired of writing about the issue, because I have complained about invasive government searches in so many posts -- whether recent or old -- that it really is a broken record. I am just another libertarian who wants to impose my values on everyone by objecting to having an officer break into my home, shoot my dog, strip my clothes off and stick his fat finger up my ass.


But once again, M. Simon has, God bless him, stepped up to the plate and relieved me when I ran out of steam. He points out quite eloquently in two posts that it is the Drug War that has softened Americans up for this latest transgression, and I think he is right.

He also links and embeds a truly appalling video I had sent him showing male cops strip searching and generally brutalizing a woman who had called police for help.

Not only was I shocked to the core to watch it, I was more shocked to hear from a friend who had the same thing happen to his wife, and who said he couldn't bear to watch it all.

I realize that all too often we ask the police to perform impossible tasks, then blame them when they go wrong, but when I see cops behaving this way, I always end up wanting to know just what happened. If a couple of cops screwed up, that's bad enough, but there are often disciplinary systems in place to hold them accountable. What especially horrifies me about this case is that what happened is being called standard police practice.

Sorry, but if it is standard police practice for officers to behave that way, then standard police practice has become unacceptable.

Society is increasingly giving the go-ahead to shocking invasions of privacy, whether testing people's bodily fluids at the drop of a hat, to the choice of backscatter strip searches or actual genital groping. People who speak up are being threatened with litigation.

There was a time when only convicts entering prison were treated this way. But over time the war on drugs crept into everything, so that nowadays anyone who is subjected to what they call a "custodial arrest" (which can arise from something as mundane as a traffic ticket) can be subjected to these degrading and humiliating procedures.

Considering that the average American now commits three felonies per day, I guess it's not surprising that our rulers think we should all be treated as convicts now.

Yes, I am tired of it. And yet I forced myself to crank out another post on the subject. May the angry conservative commenters forgive me.

Can we ever go back to being free?

But waxing about freedom will have to wait, because if we look carefully at the search issue, something is lurking which might just be related to that third leg of the conservative stool I hate to discuss.

I refer to the sex issue. There is no denying that most Americans -- including most conservatives -- are horrified by two big strong male cops manhandling a woman and tearing her clothes off under color of law and under constant threat of guns or tasers. That is because invasive searches are supposed to be conducted by members of (gulp!) the same sex. Little good that does to gay strip search victims. (If you think they enjoy being sexually brutalized any more than straight men would, I suggest you think again.) But the reason I bring this up is that in theory, when one is subjected to one of these invasive bodily searches, it is supposed to be less humiliating if the searcher is a member of your own sex. Traditionally, men are not supposed to search women, and women are not supposed to search men. Whether sexual preference is a relevant consideration here, I don't know, but I brought it up in spite of my tiredness of it.

I am not alone in spotting this issue; I heard about it on the radio the other day and some Freepers have been all over it.

They say they have members of the same sex do the "rub down". But what if that person is gay? Or what if the person receiving the rub down is gay?

Can a gay person request a member of the opposite sex to do the rub down?

Can a "victim" of the rub down request the sexual preference of the person doing the rub down?

And if you think it's OK to allow twisted gay authoritarian sickos who are into sexually harassing strangers to get their jollies at the taxpayers expense (even though their twisted straight authoritarian colleagues have to be unfairly deprived), then take a look at "My First Cavity Search" (a cartoon in which a child who wants to be left alone seeks to impose his morality on TSA officers):


How sick is that?

I don't know what the answer is to that one, and I am already sick of it. Perhaps only children should be allowed to conduct invasive searches of children. What a world.

At any rate, the, um, bottom, line would seem to be twofold.

We are all criminals, and we are all children.

I am not only sick of wanting my freedom back, I am sick of living in what I'll call a "national kindergarten" again.

And yes, still sick to death of writing about it.

OK, I'll shut up now.

posted by Eric on 11.18.10 at 10:52 AM



M. Simon   ·  November 18, 2010 12:57 PM

No, thank you for making me impose on myself and of course impose on all these commenters who are forced to read CV.


Eric Scheie   ·  November 18, 2010 2:57 PM

Some things just cannot be said enough.

J Milam   ·  November 18, 2010 4:16 PM

Can we ever go back to being free?

Only in our minds, that's the last refuge. The police state mentality is from the local level on up. Don't you think that maybe the reason for rampant drug use is the attempt to escape into a world of make-believe freedom?

Frank   ·  November 18, 2010 6:50 PM

I am not only sick of wanting my freedom back, I am sick of living in what I'll call a "national kindergarten" again.

I think that's the deal.

I'm very uninterested in having some otherwise unemployable tool feel me up, I couldn't care less about the stupid scanner but I can see how lots of people would, and should.

What really bothers me though is the blithe way they just take more freedom.

With the wave of some bureaucratic wand they implement an incredibly invasive procedure and we're threatened and harassed when we get upset. Americans don't like to feel frustratedly angry. We aren't used to it. In other places with more of a class system people are used to the powerful screwing them.
We aren't.

The Tea Party was a reaction the straw that broke the camel's back and they just keep piling more and more straw on.

The gov't has really forgotten who's who in this republic. Look at the Dream Act crap they're talking up. Against the express wishes of huge majorities of Americans.

The whole thing is very depressing to watch.

Veeshir   ·  November 18, 2010 7:27 PM

I've long, long ago given up on understanding the impulse that says "I don't want to do it, so no one else is allowed." I mean, I have no interest in lesbianism, but I have several lesbian friends. Frankly, I don't want to see/imagine/think about ANY of my friends having sex. (Well beyond tasteless jokes, occasionally. I like tasteless jokes.) How other people get their jollies is none of my business. Whom they love might be, insofar as I like to include my friends' loved ones in social activities. But that's it. I don't do drugs. I am too much of a control freak for it. BUT I don't object to people doing drugs. (I do object to their calling me while high. That's a social failing.) Provided they're not driving or handling dangerous stuff while high (and that's a whole other issue) it's NONE of my business. I like to drink a bit now and then (No, it's not a problem, Sarah says, antecipating censure. yeah, I know the whole thing about a drink a day meaning a woman is an alcoholic. It's bullshit. I come from a country where half a bottle of wine a day is NORMAL. At any rate, I don't do that -- no time, mostly, or disposition. I have a couple of drinks a month, usually beer, and about a night of single malt twice a year when I have a friend to drink with) My husband is very much a non drinker. It never occurred to him to stop me drinking.
I've told my oldre son that there seems to be this weird impulse in people of stopping EVERYONE ELSE from having fun. Like they spend the night awake in fear someone, somewhere might be having fun.
Maybe that's it. Maybe there is a group of people who hate humanity so profoundly that they not only do NOT want us to stop having fun, but they want to humiliate, degrade and imprison us. Unfortunately in any bureaucracy those people rise to the top.
Um... I sense a post coming on...

Sarah   ·  November 18, 2010 8:45 PM

The head of security for El Al Airlines, which is generally recognized as the most secure airline in the world, says that El Al does not believe that body searches are an effective way of finding terrorists and they don't do them.

chocolatier   ·  November 19, 2010 12:24 AM

That brings up fond memories of me (5 years old) and the 5 year old neighbor girl Kathleen. I can tell you for sure she had no bombs hidden in her anal cavity. Of course she made sure there were none hidden in mine.

M. Simon   ·  November 19, 2010 10:13 PM

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