Monthly Archives: November 2010

Patriot Pin-up or Freedom Fondle?

So much virtual ink has already been spilt on the TSA’s latest exploits, that I will confine my remarks to what I believe I can, somewhat uniquely, add to the discussion.

How did we get to a point where government agents are routinely taking nude photographs and patting down the genital areas of United States citizens, citizens about whom those agents have no particularized suspicion of anything other than wanting to get from point A to point B by airplane? Aren’t we supposed to have a “right to privacy,” protected by the Fourth Amendment, to guard against such intrusions by our government?

I believe it is, ironically, the right to privacy itself which allows a power-grabbing regime like the Obama Administration to completely disregard our privacy in situations such as this. There should be no distinct legal “right to privacy.” Rather, I think states of privacy should be legally protected in terms of our rights to property, contract and liberty. Such rights, at least up until the last century or so, were not held to depend upon: (1) whether we had the appropriate subjective expectations, and (2) whether society was prepared to recognize those expectations as reasonable. (That is the “reasonable expectation of privacy” test that has been applied since the Supreme Court’s decision in Katz v. United States.) As Rand often said, something we enjoy only by permission is not a right.

Those who are interested may read more here.

Or if you just need a little comic relief, because you simply can’t believe how bad things have gotten, you might enjoy this.

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