About a month ago, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) made headlines for missing more of the attempts to smuggle simulated bombs on to aircraft than they found (80% or more attempts were successful). Somehow this did not cause the masses to question why we need TSA. The TSA was created as a knee-jerk reaction to the events of 9/11. It was reasoned that since the terrorists were able to board with box cutters, the solution was to federalize the screeners. That was the long and short of it, TSA was begun simply by federalizing screeners.
Nearly fourteen years down the road, plus massive amounts spent on technology, TSA is still fundamentally doing the same thing it has always down…screening passengers to make sure they aren't boarding with prohibited items. The problem is the core function of TSA does not allow the screeners to function beyond a very bureaucratic and politically motivated set of rules. They are required to perform their jobs a certain way to look for specific threats. They cannot deviate from protocol hence getting something by them is easier, not harder.
Another knee-jerk reaction was for Mr. Obama to pull out of Iraq without regard to the consequences. His motives were more political than strategic and as a result, we know how Daesh (ISIS) doing its best to create a caliphate. Now the next knee-jerk reaction is to refrain from sending in more troops and blaming the Iraqis from holding up their end of the bargain.
The latest knee-jerk reaction though was courtesy of a punk-ass racist who killed 9 African-Americans in a church last week. Rather than having a dialogue about the state of race in this country or the dangers of psychotropic drugs, we get a superficial movement to ban the Confederate battle flag. How banning a flag is going to reshape attitudes towards race is beyond me. Mr. Obama has done nothing to use is role as the first black President of the United States to make race a major issue. He ducks this important issue to focus on gun-control and banning flags instead of getting whites and blacks to finally start having real dialog about how the state of racial relations in the US.
The Confederate battle flag may be a rallying symbol for racists but banning it will hardly have any changes on the attitudes that produced the racist in the first place. Similarly, banning firearms is not going to stop mass killings. There are over 58 million firearms in the US that we know about. Even if a ban is passed, there is no way in the world to seize all of those weapons. A racist prick like the one last week will either steal one or build a bomb. Everyone seems to forget that there are laws against murder yet we continue to see people being murdered daily. Banning weapons or flags makes for great sound bytes but it doesn't address the real problem.
The media is also ignoring and very obvious question. If things are truly as bad as they want us to think, why was there no rioting or looting in Charleston after a confirmed racist killed 9 African-Americans? Ferguson, New York and Baltimore all have seen a deterioration of relations between police and the African American community but somehow Charleston (both black and white) have stood in solidarity. Of course, the answer to that question won't be found in the media for peace and love doesn't sell copy.