Police State, USA update

Dan Denning and Byron King have some thoughts about a story first noted here nearly three weeks ago: Homeland Security is drawing up plans to give Customs and Border Protection the authority to decide when you may or may not leave the United States by airplane or ship.  The airline, cruise line, etc. would have to clear your name with FedGov before you can get on board.

By some accounts, this new rule is to take effect January 14 of next year, but other sources dispute this and say the time frame is up in the air and not yet posted in the Federal Register.  In any event, the rules don't appear to be a done deal — yet.

Here's the summary of the new rule as noted in the Federal Register .

This rule proposes to amend existing Bureau of Customs and
Border Protection regulations concerning electronic manifest
transmission requirements relative to passengers, crew members, and
non-crew members traveling onboard international commercial flights and
voyages. Under current regulations, air carriers must transmit to the
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland
Security (DHS), passenger manifest information for aircraft en route to
the United States no later than 15 minutes after the departure of the
aircraft. This proposed rule implements the Intelligence Reform and
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requirement that such information be
provided to the government before departure of the aircraft. This
proposed rule provides air carriers a choice between transmitting
complete manifests no later than 60-minutes prior to departure of the
aircraft or transmitting manifest information on passengers as each
passenger checks in for the flight, up to but no later than 15 minutes
prior to departure. The rule also proposes to amend the definition of
“departure'' for aircraft to mean the moment the aircraft is pushed
back from the gate. For vessel departures from the United States, the
rule proposes transmission of passenger and crew manifests no later
than 60 minutes prior to departure of the vessel.

And unless you're cleared by Customs and Border Protection, you don't board.  Writes Dan Denning:

well…it may be delayed for awhile…but as I've said before…the day is coming…whether it's a democratic or republican congress, where you are going to have to present your papers to board flights to certain places in the world…london, new york, dc….and certainly ports of departure or arrival. course it might not even be papers…the biometric passports…or facial recognition…I think the practical reason all this is getting adopted is that you can't really prevent people from doing things once they're in a place…so the next best thing, apparently, is to control who gets to that place…sort of like the border really. But if the war on terror is everywhere…because terror could be everywhere…that means the border is everywhere is too….and so you must always be checked when you're crossing it, i.e. going from one place to the next.
I don't see this rolling back…it might go away for awhile if our counter-terror people continue to be successful at interdicting possible terrorist strikes. But as they say, it only takes once. And not even that is true. It only took once, is more like it…the memory of 9-11 has been enough to convince people to trade liberty for security time and again…and frankly…I think it's a trade people have made with their eyes wide open. concluding, rightly or not, that the threat justified extra-ordinary security measures.
But if the threat is permanent and constant and ubiquitous…doesn't that mean the security measures will become so as well? I think they might become a little less onerous (having an RFID embed bed in your baggage…or your skull..isn't that bothersome is it?) but more ubiquitous…on mobile phones…bank cards…car keys…cars themselves.  Who knows maybe even Google will bring it altogether in a database that does real time tracking and pattern recognition of whomever you choose, for $9.95 a pop or something.

I think we'll soon see a new trend, the "opt-out" society…people who feel threatened by the encroaching web of technology…and do not trust the institutions which govern their daily lives. They will move to Arkansas, with Gary North…or look for other, more practical solutions. You know, that's one thing people forget about the second amendment. It didn't exist because we were a nation of violence-loving, blood-thirsty, indigenous-people-slaughtering modern-day warriors (I know Greg, disappointing). You needed guns because on the frontiers of the Republic you couldn't dial 911. There were no cops. No FBI. No ATF agents. No National Guard.  

Come to think of it, it doesn't sound so bad. It wasn't nirvana either. You had wolves, Indians with hatchets, smelly French fur traders…and the scariest thing of all…having only you and your family and your shotgun and your wits to rely on for personal safety.   But hey, freedom isn't free. There's a hefty fee. Last I heard, freedom costs a buck oh five.   You better get some while you still can, though.

Pretty soon, "your papers, now."  

p.s. this is the kind of thing that produces a modern-day Guy Fawkes. Men who want to destroy the government because they believe the government is destroying liberty. Of course Fawkes was a religious zealot as well, a Catholic, and wanted to decapitate the English government to pave the way for the return of the papists.  

It's a fair question though…how long will it be before our own counter-terror policies start breeding terrorism…from our own citizens. You could argue they already have, with Tim McVeigh.  

The prospect of an "opt-out" society intrigues Whiskey and Gunpowder's Byron King — especially the notion that gun ownership in such a setting would be mandatory.

Sign me up. 

No "Gun Free Zones" for moi.  I think that if people had been permitted to have "concealed carry" firearms and to take them onboard airplanes, 9/11 would have been just another day with a bit of excitement and a few dead men of "Middle Eastern appearance."

The US is fortunate that it had its Whiskey Rebellion early in its existence (1794).  This taught the central government everything it needed to know about the limits of its power to coerce a large number of armed citizens into doing things that they did not really want to do.  The legacy of the Whiskey Rebellion lives on within the DNA of the republic.  God made man.  Samuel Colt made men equal.

ps–"Gun Control?"  Last time I qualified on the M-16, I shot 342 out of 350 possible on a 100-meter range.  That's gun control.