Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NJ Snow Storm Thoughts

Warning.. foul language.... but hey, at least no nudity... just some incredibly white legs.

In case anyone cares, I did my part and shoveled myself out yesterday and then shoveled the walk to my elderly's neighbor's front door. I then shoveled out a few cars stuck on my street and helped two other neighbors get their walks cleared as well. I usually shovel my neighbor's 100ft long driveway for him as well but I just don't have the energy to clear the 3-6ft drifts that are piled up there, honestly, the snow will melt in a few days time anyhow.

I tried to get to work around 11 yesterday (Tuesday) but about 4.5 hours later, I'd managed to get nowhere as Locust Ave in West Long Branch hadn't been plowed/was one lane in most parts with a van stuck/blocking the road. Then Rt35S at the Monmouth Mall was closed, couldn't make the left at Wyckoff or Hope Rd and Rt36 was barely one "lane" of moving traffic in each direction with the "lane" being a winding road between abandoned cars and trucks along the way, a car hauler had gotten stuck about a half mile or so in front of me which didn't help my cause. The ramps to/from Rt18 were all closed and it appeared the ramp to parkway south/express lanes was also closed. None of the Jersey Jug Handles were plowed and most people were just (trying) to make the illegal lefts across the highway or making u-turns where needed.

I then tried to take my elderly neighbor around the corner to 7-11 last night around 4:30 to get some milk and bread, because that's what everyone needs when it snows, but since everyone needs their milk and bread in the snow, they were all out. We tried to get over to ShopRight in West Long Branch but made it just beyond Oceanport Ave before we came to a stop for about an hour. It then took us another 45 minutes to get to Broadway -- BP station also had no milk/bread so I picked up the GF at work across the street and we headed back in the direction of home.. another hour later and a stop at QuickCheck on Broadway and the neighbor had his milk but had to settle for some healthy boxed donuts over bread. I got a lottery ticket for my good deeds, if I won I'm investing in snow making machines and a front loaded. I'll make my own hills.

For the record, I'll go out on a limb here and say that I think the cities/states did way too much this storm despite the incredibly poor conditions on the roads. Being the week after a big holiday and before the New Year, I'd bet most service related businesses weren't doing too much this week anyhow, the retail stores all seem to be claiming they made mega-bucks this shopping season, and for the cost to pretend to clean up, remove snow, pay overtime, pay diesel fuel, tow cars, destroy cars, etc we'd of probably been better off just having a State of Emergency declared for the week, no cars/buses/trucks/etc allowed on the roads, pay the public works types their usual 8 hours to work cleanup during normal hours and just tell everyone to stay home and enjoy the time off. I'm certain that the snow will be gone and melted in a few days anyhow not to mention it would have saved a lot of people the aggravation of getting nowhere fast or being told by their boss they HAD to be at work while it was nearly impossible to get there. If there was a real emergency somewhere that first aid or the fire department had to get to, just send the few front loaders in front of the emergency crew and things would have worked out just the same, if it was an emergency that required the police, same deal... just seems like a lot of time and money wasted to move snow that will be gone soon enough anyhow.

FWIW - a plow didn't come down my street until early yesterday morning. It took a manhole cover with it that has been called in to the city - someone came and put a bigger cone in place over the little orange one my neighbor put beside the hole. I'll add the cost of missing manhole covers to the cleanup effort's cost as well.

Also, Santa UPS man did just deliver something to me... maybe my Christmas gift that LAPoliceGear couldn't seem to deliver since Black Friday. I'll never order from them again and I've been a loyal customer for years. This is the 3rd time I've waited well over a month for something they claim to have in stock. I had already cancelled half of this order because their website doesn't indicate something is out of stock and then when I call, I get told "maybe February", meanwhile, I get emails from them telling me about a great sale on the items I'm waiting for... which means anyone else who ordered thinking they were getting a great deal and a gift for Christmas was getting the shaft as well. La Police Gear is just a poorly run company with a terrible website and terrible customer service and this capitalist will be shopping elsewhere.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mary Pat Angelini has Sent *ME* a Christmas Card!

Wow. As an update to my previous blog entry about cards, I feel an obligation to note that I was honored to receive a Christmas card in the mail this afternoon, Christmas Eve, from *MY ASSEMBLYWOMAN*, The Honorable Mrs. Mary Pat Angelini.

To judge fairly as I did to the other cards/senders, the card is a casual Hallmark style Christmas card, no picture or Republican logo or anything "political" about it and it is HAND SIGNED by "Mary Pat Angelini / District 11, Assembly". (Side Note: the hand signing thing is an important item to me because it demonstrates the extra few seconds invested in each person's card as well as, hopefully, a look at the name the card is being sent to. I hand signed my name in black Sharpie marker on the back of each of my 70ish cards that I mailed) Overall, it is well done and clearly identifies the sender and appear as a legitimate acknowledgement of the holiday over a political advertisement, I just hope that Mrs. Angelini didn't just see my blog post and send me alone a card, but I hope that she sent a card to other committee members, volunteers and the good Republicans among us as well. If not, then don't I feel special (and a bit of a goof for complaining to get a card), and hopefully Mrs. Angelini continues and expands the holiday tradition in the coming years.

Again, I personally think that mailing a card is a (money wise) cheap and great little motivator and team building tool to acknowledge and thank the supporting cast who otherwise go unnoticed; as long as the card is sincere rather than a solicitation like Anna Little's card, it is appreciated. Thank you again Mrs. Angelini, and a Merry Christmas to you and you family and all of my other blog readers here.

..for the record.. Mr. Frank Pallone still didn't send me a card.... I doubt he will. If he does, I'll make a special note of it here...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Good Leader Sets A Good Example :: Judging the Cards

I seem to have earned myself a [bad] reputation for a being a bit overly critical most of the time, maybe even more of a complainer than a reasonable critic even, but I've always said that I at least try to give credit where credit is due. So today I'd like to visit the few Christmas/Holiday cards that I received in the mail from fellow Republicans as well as my own [lame] postcard to my local district.

For the record, I mailed my card, a rather simple out of the box/off the shelf $50 worth of a Staples print job and some postage for about 70 people, before I received anyone else's cards. I probably don't HAVE to mail a card to my local Republicans as a lowly committeeman, but I do anyhow since it seems to be the right thing to do, and in a past Republican seminar, either Joe Oxley or Steve Lonegan or some other prominent Republican leader explained such little things as being great party building tools. So I didn't have a good example at the time to work from and just did my best, which is all I ever really try to do, and sent my little "Happy Holidays" postcard with a little note/thank you on the back. (As you can see, I'm one of those people who is on team "Happy Holidays" over team "Merry Christmas" I'll offer my explanation/rational to anyone who would care to consider my opinion rather than just argue the point with me)

So then a few days later, I received a very nicely done, very professional and simple Christmas card from Monmouth County Republican Chairman Joe Oxley. The card is a plush elephant with a Republican logo/Santa hat on the front and short little message inside thanking the volunteers and party members. Joe's name and title are clear and overall this is a GREAT card. It is also another example of GREAT leadership; doing simple little things like this mean a lot to me and help keep me motivated and involved and I suspect it does the same for others. If there is one additional thing I can say, it's that Joe seems to follow his own advise well -- practice what you preach I guess is the saying. Again, I'm pretty sure it was Oxley who suggested cards at a past seminar, but it could have been Lonegan or any of the other hosts -- my memory is poor, but that he follows through on that kind of action is, again, GREAT. Thanks Joe! I hung Joe's card along with all of my other cards.

It was about a week later when I received a solicitation for donations masked as a Christmas card from Anna Little. Click the link and read *ALL* of Art's words in the original post, it's about all I thought the card and sentiment was worth... nothing. I was actually so annoyed and offended by it that I tore the card up and tossed it in the trash as just another silly solicitation rather than a genuine "thank you"/Christmas wish. If you're one of the people who might be mad at me for being on team "Happy Holidays", then surely you don't want to see this Christmas card/solicitation or you should be really mad.

The only other Republican card I received was from Dave Rible. Now, I personally have some problems with Dave Rible's record and am a known critic of him, however, I will say this much, Dave seems to be a stand-up guy on a personal level. I'm sure the issues I have with him, namely his anti-gun record and his personal income situation, have some kind of reasonable explanations (just like I can offer what I think is a reasonable explanation for team "Happy Holidays") and in fairness, I haven't done my part to talk to Dave personally about those differences, but his card was a simple picture of him with his wife and child. Professional looking picture, short and simple message. If I were to offer my critical $0.02, it's simply that my girlfriend didn't immediately recognize the guy, the name, etc and in the tiniest of black text on a dark green background was the "paid for by"... Assemblyman Rible. I hung Dave's card along with all of my other cards.

For the record, I haven't received a card from the Long Branch chairman, or vice-chair for that matter. I also didn't receive a card from my other Assembly member, Mary Pat Angelini. She doesn't seem to know who I am I guessMary Pat Angelini EVEN SENT ME A CARD; no worries, despite that Art seems to think I'm an Average Some One, I still believe that I'm just an Average No One just doing my little thing in my little part of the big world.

So anyhow, that's my lousy contribution to the card discussion this year. I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas as the birth of Jesus has a joyous day and I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas as the annual arrival of a fat man in a red suit bearing China made gifts also enjoys their day with family and friends. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, hopefully all of your other holidays this year were full of joy and happiness or whatever you're supposed to feel on those days and I hope the coming year brings us all some joy, happiness and Republican victories at the polls!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advise From Gov. Christie to the Long Branch Committee

Ok, so Christie didn't say this directly to the Long Branch committee last night, but it holds true here in town and I'd have to double check, but I do believe I said the same basic line, not quite as well, last night to the committee. Here is Christie's line:
It is extraordinarily important that we all stand up for the principles we believe in, but also recognize that we are sent here to get the work done that the people have sent us here to do. Video of Chris Christie
I couldn't have said it better myself Gov, really. I tried, but I'm not a great speech giver or writer; I'm not even good or mediocre at it for that matter, but I try and am passionate and (perhaps overly and bluntly) honest in my delivery. Directly off of my notes/bulleted items to hit last night in my pitch for votes for chairman, which I knew the outcome of before I even arrived, my line was (or should have been):
When each of us volunteered by a self-write in for committee and not asking the clerk or chairman Oxley to remove us, we agreed to do the work of a committeeman and have an obligation to the Republican voters in our local districts and an obligation to the Republican party to do the work we were elected to do. We as voters would not, or should not, tolerate our elected representatives failing to do the work we elect them for, and we should lead by example and not fail at our own jobs.
Hopefully it came out that way, or close enough to, and I think it did. I don't think any of the other committee members were listening or I'd ask them. I saw a few rolling their eyes and covering their faces instead of showing any signs of basic courtesy. Then again, the new chairman didn't even stand to make his "speech" nor did he even take the time to thank our distinguished guests, which included the county chairman Joe Oxley and the municipal chairwoman from Sea Bright, Marianne McKenzie, who both volunteered their time and knowledge to come help us.

I wish our new Long Branch chairman the best of luck in organizing and establishing the party's presence here, unfortunately, I don't think my fellow committee members, or the chairman, recognize that they were elected to work and simply believe it is their job to hold a title, and hand out titles to friends. As a Republican, I don't believe in taking, or giving, handouts and doing either of those is a disservice to the people who elected you to work and represent their Republican values. In my opinion, without a chairman that can lead by example, and without a committee full of people willing to work, this new committee is not likely to succeed, where success can only be measured by voter registration and voter turnout.

I'll be continuing to do my work; I still have an obligation to the Republican party, to voters in my district and to myself and I will continue to fulfill that obligation to the best of my ability, or even a little more. As always, do write me or call me if a committeeman in your district or city is failing to do their work, and when possible I'll continue to volunteer wherever and whenever I can.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Long Branch has a (new) Chair

By a whopping 7 to 2 vote, the Long Branch Republican Committee elected Ray Patsky over James Hogan for muni chair. Beth Cook was uncontested for vice chair and was elected with one objection, from James Hogan. More tomorrow.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Random Observation of Semantics

I don't have the time to say too much on the topic of the "Bush tax cuts" but I wanted to share this (interesting to me) observation I had made while listening to the radio.

Republican speaking: "... $250 thousand dollars a year ..."
Democrat speaking: "... quarter million dollars a year ..."

It's an interesting and curious application of semantics. I bet plenty of people just hear "million" and think "rich" without even realizing the numbers are exactly the same, but that the two sides use different words for the same number says something about who and what their party believes.

Along these same lines, I read a headline in the APP, which is the Worst News Paper Ever, this weekend stating something the affect of "1 in 3 people have a flu shot". Consider this alternative "only 1/3rd of the people have a flu shot", or another one "2/3rds of the people don't have a flu shot". Again, all the same, and depending on your perspective and view of the issue, I'd bet the different words will change your reaction to the scoop.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Monmouth County GOP has changed, and it's so much better

For my long time readers (and there is one in particular who I recently learned is a reader and I am honored and delighted to you have as a reader and I'm now a bit embarrassed about the quality of my writing and editing skills knowing that you're a reader) who might remember when the Monmouth County GOP wouldn't even allow me to come inside of the nominating convention in 2008, just two short years ago, or for the political newcomers who read my blog and who fear "The Establishment", I have great news as an update for you: The Monmouth County GOP has changed and is better than you could imagine. I certainly recommend that rather than staying home and complaining about "The Establishment", you come out and get to know the new, and improved, Monmouth County Republican Party and I believe we'll continue to see great candidates coming from the improved organization.

How did I come to this conclusion? This past Thursday night I attended the Monmouth County Affiliated Republican Club's Holiday Party at the Lakeside Manor in Hazlet NJ. I shouldn't have to tell you this, but don't believe the snooze, ever; "The GOP Establishment" (in Monmouth County) is not, or rather is no longer, some shady old guys in dark suits who won't give a newcomer like me a minute of their time or the time of the day and want to sit around patting each other on the back ignoring the AverageNoOnes like me and trying to raise your taxes, take your guns and steal your property. The new Republican Party headed by County Committee Chairman, former Middletown Mayor and former County Sheriff, Joe Oxley along with the Affiliated Republican Club, of which Wayne Pomanowski among others, seems to be working hard to welcome new names and faces, reach out to voters and getting average, ordinary folks to work together to do extra-ordinary things.

But back to the Holiday Party. My girlfriend and I walked in and debated a coat check or not. We opted to hang on to our coats because I had that left over fear from 2008 that I'd quickly be shown the door, no one would want to talk to me, again, and we'd be on our way back home shortly. So we approached the welcome table and just as I was about to open my stupid mouth and give the "Hi, James Hogan from Long Branch. I paid my $20/each by check #XXX", the man at the table, who I believe was John Lane(from Belmar? my apologies if I have this wrong, I should know obviously, but my name to face skills may be lacking at this point) looked up at me with a big smile on his face and said, and I do quote because I asked my girlfriend several times if I heard it correctly, "Mr. Hogan. Good to see you. You're all set." and we walked on in. Needless to say, as honored as I was to be recognized by anyone, I was still a bit skeptical.

Not three feet into the room, Marianne McKenzie, the Sea Bright Republican Chair came to greet me. Marianne has been a huge asset as we try to re-organize in Long Branch (which is a whole different story for another day, probably next Friday) and Marianne spent the night going out of her way to introduce me to the people in the party that she knew, which is greatly appreciated. Again, the more interesting and welcoming part, a handful (and I do mean a handful, but to keep things honest, not two handfuls) of the people Marianne introduced me to actually knew who I was already, it's a great feeling to see that hard work pays off. Someone (and I'll get back to this next week) may accuse me of "gladhanding" or try to use my committee position as a stepping stone, but all that I have done is worked hard to support great candidates like Anna Little and Warren Lapp, which is what a committeeman is supposed to be doing, and that people recognize a hard worker and are motivated by my efforts is part of my own motivation to keep going. Regardless of being accused of "gladhanding" or anything else, I'll continue to help seek and help support great candidates and help local voters communicate their opinions with the candidates and representatives. But I'm straying from my main point again, the new people leading the Republican Party really are great people, rather than sitting home and complaining about "The Establishment", I really do suggest YOU getting involved, I think you'll be delighted with the direction that the party has taken, and the people who are actively participating in the party.

So also that night, I ran into my long time buddy Hank Butehorn from Middletown, who is another former Long Brancher and great conservative himself and we chatted for a bit. Hank also works hard for the Republican party and has played an important role in helping to redefine and reshape the party. Again, for anyone concerned about an "Establishment" in Middletown -- reach out to Hank, I know he'll be more than willing to talk and offer input if you're reasonable and willing to do more than yell and complain and Hank and the other people I've met from Middletown are again not "The Establishment" that the snooze has told you to hate, and fear.

Also in attendance was Jim Granelli from Neptune who was Warren Lapp's campaign manager. For anyone who doesn't believe that Neptune Township Republicans are alive and well and trying to work hard for you, I suggest you contact Jim. He welcomed me to the Republican Party and I'm confident that he'll welcome anyone who wants to do more than sit around the table at Tony's Pizzeria and complain (and I'll explain this next week too). If I've been called a hard worker for this party and its candidates, then the people who have called me such haven't or aren't comparing me to Jim Granelli. Jim may not be the current chairman in Neptune, I don't even know if he's on the committee, but I can assure you, Jim is an Establishment of his own, and if you want to be involved and make a difference in Neptune, reaching out to him will be another experience to convince you that the snooze has it all wrong.

And so my night had gone that well. I'd met most everyone including Jim Giannell from Red Bank and Gerri Popkin -- both of whom I've seen around at numerous events but was always a bit intimidated by, were THEY that awful "Establishment" I was supposed to fear?? If so, there is nothing to fear, they too are not the evil and feared "Establishment". In fact, I was a bit shocked that they seemed to recognize me to some extend from just being around. Again, if you get involved with the new Republican party, I think you'll learn that this "Establishment" isn't hundreds or thousands of creeps meeting secretly to destroy your life, but is just a few dedicated, hardworking people who openly support the party and its candidates.

Just as I was about to leave, I stopped to thank Wayne P for all that he has done and is doing for the party when Steve Grossman spotted me and said hello. I first met Steve outside of the convention in 2008 and Steve gave me some great advise that night and we've been in loose contact on and off since then, as a side note -- I have Steve in my phone as "Steve the Spy" since that convention, I'll probably not change that. And what I've left out to this point is that standing to my left near Wayne was someone else I'd recognized and respect greatly and was too intimidated to talk with -- but Steve says my name and this person turns to me, grabs my hand and says "Jim Hogan! I read your blog!" and wouldn't let go of my hand. There aren't enough words to describe how good it feels to have one of the County's most active and dedicated volunteers, John Costigan himself, recognize you and admit to being a reader of a silly little blog.

John and I sat down and had a long talk about the state of the party in Long Branch, how best to move forward, the challenges, the people.... the ego... John couldn't understand why I wasn't already the chairman in Long Branch, I'd like to be... but someone who doesn't seem interested in being chair doesn't seem to want me to be chair for some reason. As I told John and others that night, becoming chairman in Long Branch would be huge for me, I'd put the same level or more of hard work into building the party in Long Branch as I have into supporting candidates, but at the end of the day, it's just a title, without it, I'd still be the hardest working Republican Committeeman in Long Branch and I'd still be working hard to grow this party and support its great candidates. For the record, none of the other Republican committeemen from Long Branch seemed to make it to the Holiday party, I'd even offered a ride to one who I know doesn't drive.

And I know that this blog entry has gotten long, but if I haven't convinced you yet that this party has changed for the better, then there are just two more people who I need to tell you more about and I'll keep it brief because you (hopefully) know these people already.

First is our current Monmouth County Chairman Joe Oxley. I had suggested to our group of committee people (the 5 of 11 that seem to want to be involved) that it would be great if we could get the entire (yeah, ***all*** 11) committee together, get everyone involved and motivated and working together -- and to do that, we could ask through contacts I had, mostly Marianne and Hank from above, to have Joe Oxley send a notice of a meeting to the 11 people, get everyone together, and asking that they consider nominating and electing me chair. Everyone seemed to be on board and through connections made, I received an email from Joe himself inviting me to a breakfast. This is a big part of why and how the party has changed, the chairman wants to work with the committee. Some people, self included, have complained about Joe in the past. Those people, self-included, probably never made the effort to reach out to Joe. That the chairman of the feared "Establishment" was willing to come have breakfast and try to understand what was going on in little ol' Long Branch is huge. I know we don't NEED the chairman involved to organize, but it certainly makes Long Branch and our organization more credible, more than just a "fringe neighborhood group". I thank Joe for everything he has done for this party, and for inviting me to breakfast and working with us. Hopefully the rest of the Long Branch committee is still on board with the plan we discussed and hopefully I can become chairman and work with Joe and the others I've talked about to grow the party in Long Branch. I fear any other direction may result in another failed effort in Long Branch, as many committees have been tried, and failed, here.

And finally, the last person you probably already know, or should, and I can't thank this person enough for everything he has done for me and the party and the candidates -- is Art Gallagher. If you want to talk about a grassroots, conservative activist willing to embrace new comers like me, and probably you, Art is the man. I won't go into too many more details because it's easy enough to get to know Art, just read his blog and do some hard work and he'll notice you.

In any case, I hope that my readers here know, and I hope that I can spread the word to non-readers, just other AverageNoOnes like me, that the Monmouth County Republican Party really has changed. I know someone, or many, will say "no Jim, YOU'VE changed, traitor!" -- it's just not the case, I still support the same types of candidates and the same principles I've always supported and I still just want to pay less taxes, shoot my guns and be free from government over-regulation.

And now that you know that the party isn't some evil empire, I hope you are motivated to get involved, and not just sitting around complaining. I'll welcome you, and so will the rest of the party.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ron Paul on the TSA - Introduces HR 6416

My favorite quote of the video is simply "private property should be protected by private individuals" --just like I believe in protecting my own home, not paying the government to post a police officer outside of my door 24/7. I agree with Ron Paul on this and believe the airlines should be protecting their own homes, the airports and terminals they operate from, as well as their own aircraft and their own customers. Criminals have struck banks, but the government doesn't post an officer, or several, at every bank nor does it scan every bank customer on the way in, and out. The local sports arena has it's own security staff when it holds concerts and I know of a local apartment building that pays for it's own door man/security guard for it's occupants, if someone can help me find another private industry where the government is responsible for security, I'm all ears. While the government is protecting the airlines on my dime and yours, I see no reason to believe anyone like a TSA agent is there to stop me from walking into the local public, government owned school with a bomb or firearm -- not that I ever would, just using the over the top example. If I can borrow one of the classics "what about the children??" But hopefully no one would tolerate TSA like screenings of every child and/or parent coming in and out of a public, government owned, school. If We the People would even consider tolerating that kind of treatment in public schools, then indeed I fear the terrorists really have won. I wonder if Mr. Frank Pallone will get on board to support this bill? Or rather, I wonder if Mr. Frank Pallone has considered holding a town hall meeting or asking what his constituents think of the matter and finally making the effort to represent all of the people in his district?

Personal note I think I should disclose: I'm afraid to fly and don't so the whole TSA thing doesn't really impact me personally nor have I been, or plan to be, screened. I don't know what part about flying scares me or why. I was on a plane from JFK to FL once as a kid, great flight, I puked before I even got on the plane, back in those days (87ish?) I got to go into the cockpit and meeting the crew, check out the controls and get my picture taken with the pilots in front of all of those super ultra top secret jet controls; it's amazing how quickly times have changed. That flight and the return flight home were fine. Aside from that I flew a few years back from EWR to the Dominican Republic; another trouble free flight, but I'm in no rush to get back on a plane.

Ron Paul's letter is here. It is copy/pasted below as well:

Mr. Speaker, today I introduce legislation to protect Americans from physical and emotional abuse by federal Transportation Security Administration employees conducting screenings at the nation’s airports. We have seen the videos of terrified children being grabbed and probed by airport screeners. We have read the stories of Americans being subjected to humiliating body imaging machines and/or forced to have the most intimate parts of their bodies poked and fondled. We do not know the potentially harmful effects of the radiation emitted by the new millimeter wave machines.

In one recent well-publicized case, a TSA official is recorded during an attempted body search saying, “By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights.” I strongly disagree and am sure I am not alone in believing that we Americans should never give up our rights in order to travel. As our Declaration of Independence states, our rights are unalienable. This TSA version of our rights looks more like the “rights” granted in the old Soviet Constitutions, where freedoms were granted to Soviet citizens -- right up to the moment the state decided to remove those freedoms.

The incident of the so-called “underwear bomber” last Christmas is given as justification for the billions of dollars the federal government is spending on the new full-body imaging machines, but a Government Accountability Office study earlier this year concluded that had these scanners been in use they may not have detected the explosive material that was allegedly brought onto the airplane. Additionally, there have been recent press reports calling into question the accuracy and adequacy of these potentially dangerous machines.

My legislation is simple. It establishes that airport security screeners are not immune from any US law regarding physical contact with another person, making images of another person, or causing physical harm through the use of radiation-emitting machinery on another person. It means they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

Imagine if the political elites in our country were forced to endure the same conditions at the airport as business travelers, families, senior citizens, and the rest of us. Perhaps this problem could be quickly resolved if every cabinet secretary, every member of Congress, and every department head in the Obama administration were forced to submit to the same degrading screening process as the people who pay their salaries.

I warned at the time of the creation of the TSA that an unaccountable government entity in control of airport security would provide neither security nor defend our basic freedom to travel. Yet the vast majority of both Republicans and Democrats then in Congress willingly voted to create another unaccountable, bullying agency-- in a simple-minded and unprincipled attempt to appease public passion in the wake of 9-11. Sadly, as we see with the steady TSA encroachment on our freedom and dignity, my fears in 2001 were justified.

The solution to the need for security at US airports is not a government bureaucracy. The solution is to allow the private sector, preferably the airlines themselves, to provide for the security of their property. As a recent article in Forbes magazine eloquently stated, “The airlines have enormous sums of money riding on passenger safety, and the notion that a government bureaucracy has better incentives to provide safe travels than airlines with billions of dollars worth of capital and goodwill on the line strains credibility.” In the meantime, I hope we can pass this legislation and protect Americans from harm and humiliation when they choose to travel.