We won’t fly

Neither Spacebunny nor I have any intention of flying while the TSA is permitted to force travelers to choose between being scanned naked or sexually molested.  This is an absolute travesty and if Americans do not resist it now, they will have no cause to complain when they start facing the same choice every time they leave the house and travel in a car, a bus, or a train, all of which are presently under the abusive authority of the Transportation Security Administration.  As I wrote in my column on Monday, I recommend that Americans not settle for merely opting out of the scanners and submitting to the grope testgate rape, but rather stay home, save money, and see how long it will take before the airlines stop meekly accepting every Federal dictate handed down from on bureaucratic high in the interest of their own survival.  See We Won’t Fly for more details.

Needless to say, every pervert and pedophile has probably submitted their application to the TSA upon hearing that hot down-the-pants action was now part of the job description; SB sent me this little bit of unsurprising news about a police search for one of the TSA’s finest.

Winthrop Police were searching this week for 45-year old Sean Shanahan, most recently of 26 Shirley Street apartment #3 on five charges including two counts of statutory rape, two counts of enticing a child and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, after the alleged victim’s parents reported finding disturbing and explicit text messages on the child’s cell phone.  “This individual (Shanahan) is someone who was familiar with the child,” explained Police Chief Terrence Delehanty. “It appears that this case began with a series of text messages and then progressed to other activities that included the statutory rape charges.”

Shanahan, a Transportation Security Administration employee at Logan Airport, has not appeared at his job in several days and has also not been back to his apartment on Shirley Street, following an initial search of his residence by police, which resulted in the confiscation of a computer and cell phone from his home.

Clearly this is all just a terrible misunderstanding, as Shanahan is obviously nothing more than a deeply committed employee who is so devoted to transportation security that he took his work home with him.  The TSA will probably promote him. And for those who think the scanners are a reasonable option, note that, statistically speaking, they are as about as dangerous to your health as those dangerous airborne terrorists.

The war on human nature

It is not a new one. Sam Harris’s moralistic brand of scientific utopianism is merely the latest in a long line of philosophical ideologies that end up killing large numbers of people in an attempt to remake them. One thing I have discovered in delving deeper into what can be broadly labeled “scientific humanism” is how little its advocates realize that they are only beginning to consider important concepts that have been active matters for intensive debate by economists for two centuries.

Consider the following quote from Ludwig von Mises from Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth, published in 1920:

“All socialist systems, including that of Karl Marx, and his orthodox supporters, proceed from the assumption that in a socialist society a conflict between the interests of the particular and the general could not possibly arise. Everybody will act in his own interest in giving of his best because he participates in the product of all economic activity. The obvious objection that the individual is very little concerned whether he himself is diligent and enthusiastic, and that it is of greater moment to him that everybody else should be, is either completely ignored or insufficiently dealt with by them. They believe they can construct a socialist commonwealth on the basis of the Categorical Imperative alone. How lightly it is their wont to proceed in this way is best shown by Kautsky when he says, “If socialism is a social necessity, then it would be human nature and not socialism which would have to readjust itself if ever the two clashed.”

It’s interesting how many philosophical ideologies, including scientific humanism, rely upon one form or another of this illogic. One sees some form of this argument not only made by the secular humanists of the New Atheist cabal, but also by the advocates of global corporatism and AGW/CC activists as well as the Ricardian free traders. (There is, of course, a certain amount of ideological overlap between these groups.) Ironically, those who are prone to relying upon these utopian and purely philosophical arguments almost inevitably claim to be realistic empiricists despite the fact that the observable and empirical evidence tends to be stacked rather heavily against them.

But it isn’t their ignorance that makes them dangerous. The danger lies in their inability to recognize the logical consequences of their arguments. Those who believe in the perfectibility of Man are inevitably bound to find themselves eventually advocating the culling of imperfect men.

HR 3808: the banks try again

The Market Ticker reports that the snake’s head is not yet detached:

2:13 P.M. –
The House received a message from the Clerk. Pursuant to the permission granted in Clause 2(h) of Rule II of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Clerk transmitted H.R. 3808, the “Interstate Recognition of Notarization Act of 2010,” and a Memorandum of Disapproval thereon received from the White House on October 8, 2010, at 12:55 p.m.

Mr. Scott (VA) asked unanimous consent That, when the House adjourns on Monday, November 15, 2010, it adjourn to meet at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16, 2010, for Morning-Hour Debate. Agreed to without objection.

Mr. Scott (VA) asked unanimous consent That, when a veto message on H.R. 3808 is laid before the House on the legislative day of today, then after the message is read and the objections of the President are spread at large upon the Journal, further consideration of the veto message and the bill shall be postponed until the legislative day of Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010; and that on that legislative day, the House shall proceed to the constitutional question of reconsideration and dispose of such question without intervening motion. Agreed to without objection.

In other words, the House is gearing up to try overriding Obama’s pocket veto of a procedure that would help the banks retroactively cover up the mortgage and title fraud they committed previously.