This WTF Moment Brought to You by Mitt Romney
I was driving home yesterday, listening to NPR on WBRU and I heard that Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has instituted a program that would allow for the random searches of commuters using the MBTA transit system (buses, subways, commuter trains and boats) for traces of explosives. The program is slated to begin as early as next week whereby MBTA Transit Police will carry around a portable "explosives detector" that will read pieces of cotton cloths that have been swabbed along the outside of a passenger's baggage, briefcase, handbag, packages, etc. and determine whether or not there are traces of explosives on said articles.
My IMMEDIATE response? You guessed it: "WHAT THE F*CK?!?!?! Are you serious?
My next thought was that I am one of the lucky ones who will get to live in this wonderful state of Massachusetts and have to watch while my governor whores himself around the country trying to become the next King for the Republican party in 2008 instead of taking care of matters here, for the people who have already elected him into office, like massive public education deficits, rising crime rates, his proposed healthcare initiative for the uninsured that he has no way of funding, etc.
The only good news is that as the national election gets closer, and with his politician buddies acting as his pimps, he won't be spending a lot of time in Massachusetts and maybe I won't have to see as much posturing and fakery as I am witnessing right now.
I mean, when asked why he was beginning such a program, ie was there some kind of threat made against the public transportation system in Boston?, he acknowledged that no such threat existed. He was simply trying to protect the citizens of the commonwealth and thought that this was the best way to do that.
In a quote taken from today's Boston Globe, Romney said,
``We are fighting a war against people that have as their objective mass murder and mayhem," the governor said at a morning press conference. ``Given a very different threat, we need different tactics."
I repeat: WHAT THE F*CK?!?!?!?!?!
I mean, did Bush's speech writers come up with that one? Sure sounds like the party line to me: Republicans are tough on matters of national security. I want to be your next President. I'm tough on issues regarding security. Just look at what I've done in Massachusetts.
Well, Mitt, you're also searching the personal belongings of thousands of innocent people everyday who are just trying to get to work on time all in the name of bettering your chances for obtaining the highest political office of the land.
But wait. It gets better. If a Transit Police officer finds "probable cause," after swabbing the bag, he may then ask the passenger to open his/her suspicious belongings and so that they may be searched. Any passenger who refuses to allow the search of his/her personal belongings will not be allowed onto the bus, subway, train or boat they are trying to board and anyone refusing to leave MBTA property after being refused boarding could be arrested.
Apparently the people who live in and around Boston who wish to use public transportation must first consent to living in a police state in order to get from point A to point B!! This is totally ridiculous and completely unacceptable.
And let's just raise one more issue - Who do you think is going to get searched more often? How random do you think these searches will actually be? Can anything be random when there are human beings doing the choosing as to who to search?
I'm in complete disbelief right now. Of course, the ACLU is all over this (YEAH! Maybe I'll make that donation they've been asking me for after all), but short of a court injunction the program will go forward until it is otherwise proven to be unconstitutional. (As if I need a court of law to tell me that!)
A case involving the constitutionality of a similar program in NYC, the only other city in the country that has such a program in place, was recently upheld which is what some speculate caused Romney to suddenly move forward with his own initiative.
Some passengers who were asked "at random" about what they thought about the program complained of it possibly being inconvenient or worried about racial profiling and false positive readings from the machine used to test the cloth sample. Was there no one who was outraged at being searched for no good reason? Are we still under the impression that we have to give up our civil liberties and personal freedoms in order to protect ourselves from terrorists?
Can we just look at this thing logically for one second: You are more likely to die in a car or on a plane or maybe even by a bolt of lightning than you are to die from a terrorist attack in the United States. Could it happen? Absolutely. Is it likely? No.
So we're going to give up our rights as individuals in order to prevent something that is highly unlikely to happen anyway? Well, I'm not going to stand by and let it happen without a fight.
That avalanche is not going to start on my watch.