About a quarter of my way through writing the treatise below the asterisk line, I realized I was on enough of a roll that it would warrant further publication as the central essay in addition to an entry in a Facebook discussion thread.
The full discussion can be read on columnist Tom Lucente's page in order to get the full context as well as understand several references I make below to others' comments.
There are so many false premises and technical points being slung around in this exchange, I don't know where to begin -- my off-kilter state due to working 3rd shift isn't helping me, either.
However, I'll start by pointing out the obvious that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (the "Underwear Bomber") and how his actions relate to present TSA policy are moot beyond description. Let's not forget, HE BOARDED FLIGHTS IN AFRICA AND AMSTERDAM that were en route to the U.S., HE DID NOT EXPLOIT ANY SECURITY MEASURES IN U.S. AIRPORTS. So, the argument that the new measures are necessary to prevent "the next underwear bomber attempt" is false, false, and -- oh yeah -- FALSE.
What would have prevented Abdulmutallab's attempt on a Detroit-bound flight?
How about if SOMEONE AT DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY WOULD HAVE EXTRACTED THEIR CRANIUMS FROM THEIR RECTAL EXPANSES and paid attention when Abdulmutallab's own father went to the U.S. Embassy and ATTEMPTED TO ALERT CIA OFFICERS THERE OF HIS SON'S INVOLVEMENT WITH ISLAMIC RADICALS.
The ultimate point that has not yet been spelled-out in the outrage over the increasingly intrusive nature of the updated airport so-called security measures is that it's effect -- either by design or circumstance -- is to condition us ever further toward accepting conditions of living within our own borders that rightfully ought to be unacceptable.
They are unacceptable if you have read the Constitution and devoted any time to study and understand its original, founding meanings and intents.
And, it's a shame those last two points even require spelling out.
To bring up the players in the OK City bombing, Columbine, VA Tech, or the Manson gang and compare and contrast those examples against what is a response to the threat of radical Islamic terror makes no sense. None of them had anything to do with mass transit within the U.S. or jihad being waged by an organized international outfit such as al Qaeda. With one exception, they all were individuals reacting to their own detachment from reality.
McVeigh tried to join the Michigan Militia. But, they asked him to never come near them again with the message in essence being, "You're too nuts for us."
The closest thing to an exception is Manson, who organized a "family" around himself. But, none of those examples cited above were acting in the name of Allah, Jesus, Buddha, or Bozo the Clown or as part of a global network of like-minded other combatants pursuing the exact same ends elsewhere in the world.
Next, the ultimate problem with profiling of Muslims is the fact that those who are "identifying themselves as Muslims" when they board a plane in the manner Juan Williams described in his well-known comments are almost assuredly not going to engage in terror activity on it.
I point this out based on the fact the 19 al Qaeda hijackers who boarded their planes were not dressed in any manner that would lead anyone to believe they embraced a sense of Middle Eastern identity. They all were dressed to blend in and not draw attention to themselves -- which is what makes Williams' comments all the more nonsensical.
Honestly, instead of dreaming up arguments to condition us all to accept what is rightfully unacceptable treatment in our own country, a major part of the solution to our security worries on airplanes is to free-up our 2nd Amendment rights aboard them.
Now for all you left-wing reactionaries whose sphincters just tightened up a few extra notches, perhaps instead of "reverting to the Wild West in the skies" as I'm sure you're ready spew-forth how about this compromise:
If you're active duty military (and possess a valid CCW permit if not traveling in uniform), then you may carry a firearm aboard that flight. By virtue of completing basic training (or, Boot Camp as us non-Air-Force-flimsies call it) you have demonstrated you have completed more-than-adequate firearm safety training and know how to effectively handle that piece.
Next, if you are a current, badge-holding law enforcement officer you also get a free pass to carry a sidearm based on all the same criteria listed above.
In those two instances, we now potentially have among the passengers aboard any given commercial flight a number of armed responsible individuals who have pledged an oath to protect their fellow citizens and are not just equipped to deal with a 9-11-style threat but enjoy the inherent training that better enables them to act in such an emergency than the average citizen.
Finally, please stop assigning racial bias to every opposing argument. Wasn't this supposed to end with the 2008 election? Zzzzz...