• The TSA Didn’t Check My Shoes… and No One Died

    I’ve been travelling for work recently (remind me to tell you how some fish delayed my flight home for over an hour). When I left Monday, something amazing happened.

    The TSA just ran me through a metal detector. I left my shoes and belt on. I didn’t take my laptop out of the bag (I have a TSA approved fold open bag anyway, but I didn’t even have to open it). And shockingly, not a single aircraft was subject to a terrorist event.

    I know that’s a bit of hyperbole. But still, there’s a core of truth there and it applies to everything in our lives. Mary, a blogger for biofortified.org, said it best in a letter to her legislator.

    fear makes terrible policy

    These four words are truth. Look at the policies based on fear that we’ve been dealing with over the years and more recently. Everything from fear of the Commies to fear of terrorism. Today we think nothing of exposing ourselves to total strangers on the off chance that one of us is carrying a pair of toenail clippers.

    Mary, in her letter, is talking about a GMO labeling bill. Fear of genetically modified food… and the organic industry’s push for it as a marketing ploy… causes people to reject it, without understanding the science.

    Fear of autism has prompted thousands of families to skip vaccines, resulting in massive outbreaks of dangerous diseases that were effectively gone.

    Fear of losing our way of life has prompted people to lie, harass, even murder others who dare not have the same fear (homosexuality, abortion, skin color, location of genitalia, what holy book one believes in, etc.).

    Skepticism replaces fear with knowledge.  And that’s one reason that some people don’t like it.

    Fear gets people out to vote. Very little motivates human beings like fear. But fear results in poor decisions.

    Fear causes all kinds of changes in the body. And those changes tend to reduce the ability to think rationally. Heart rate goes up, adrenalin floods the system, are brain shifts into survival mode. Fight or flee. Those are the two options. Think is no longer a possible response.

    If you can instill fear in your followers, then you can determine what and when and how they fight or flee. You become the thing that thinks for them. This is a tried and true method that has been in use for thousands of years. Churches use it, political leaders use it, even parents use it (have you ever read the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales?).

    In our society, the need to actually fight or flee is exceedingly rare. I’ve never been in a fight, but fear prompted me to learn akido. No one in family has ever been mugged or even had a house broken into, yet every one of us has firearms. Most of my family has concealed carry permits and carries guns. Not a single one of us has ever been in a situation that we even considered the need for it.

    But we’re afraid… of something. We’re not sure what.

    Our society is afraid. We must be afraid because politicians keep telling us about all these bad things that will happen if we don’t elect them. Religious leaders tell us about all these bad things that are happening because we don’t listen to them. And people keep believing them.

    How non-functional must a human brain be to believe that an earthquake is caused by two people of the same sex loving each other? Really?

    We’re afraid of terrorists, so we create a new department that scurries around and makes it look like they are accomplishing something. But it’s a lot of money that is no more effective than anything before 9/11.

    I suspect (insert snark) that this is all a plot by (insert evil group) to get us to lower our guard and allow (insert reduced fear) before totally destroying our world.

    Category: featuredGovernmentLifeSkepticism


    Article by: Smilodon's Retreat