There are a lot of perks that come with celebrity status. Clothing and jewelry designers provide custom-made wares, companies frequently give away their products in exchange for an endorsement, meals at fine restaurants are sometimes comped, the list goes on. There’s good reason for this, too. Businesses know that taking care of their most popular customers is good advertising.
Not only that, and perhaps even more importantly, they understand that one heated Facebook post or one angry tweet will be instantly broadcast to millions of consumers all around the world. In an age where the largest film studios can see their multi-million dollar investments turn to box office gold or barely break even at the hands of the amateur film critic on Twitter, such word-of-mouth publicity has never been more crucial to earning profits.
It’s quite the cliché to point out that the Internet has revolutionized the way information is transmitted. Virtually everyone knows that individuals can produce their own videos with YouTube, start a blog, or simply share their thoughts on literally dozens of social networking sites with nothing more than a cell phone and an internet connection. This isn’t even a new phenomenon; it’s been the case for years now.
With all of that seemingly self-evident knowledge it’s simply fascinating that one institution has yet to catch on to this. The federal government, or rather agents of the federal government, still behave as if we’re living in a time when only a tiny group of news media exists. They act as if they can do whatever they want, secure in the knowledge that it won’t get out. But it does get out.
Take the case of Nicki Minaj, the latest in a string of celebrities to fall victim to the perverts and pederasts employed by the TSA. In a series of tweets she described her experience of being “overtly fondled” and posted pictures of her accused assailant. Others who might expect more preferential treatment, such as Khloe Kardashian and JWoww from MTV’s “The Jersey Shore,” have also been subjected to the depredations of the TSA. The former described her encounter with security theatre as “like being raped.”
Imagine the swift and heartfelt reaction the owners of a private company would make in the face of such terrible publicity. They’d have to call all hands on deck just to stay in business if their most popular clients were raped at the gate. But governments don’t have this worry. They’ve granted themselves a legal monopoly on airport security (and increasingly in other parts of the transportation industry) and no one is allowed to compete to satisfy customers. They collect their revenue coercively anyway, and taxpayers already feel like they’re being screwed, so what’s it matter if the Feds actually begin sexually assaulting them?
It’s high time this all came to an end. And since the Feds rarely move to limit or reduce their own power, change will most likely have to come from the states or the people. To that end, the more independent journalists who detail report the abuses of the TSA, the better.
Unpopularity for the war in Viet Nam is widely credited with bringing about its end. The prohibition of alcohol wasn’t only a failure in the sense that governments can’t control human behavior, even with extensive, but also in the realm of public opinion. And the U.S. enjoyed a lengthy period known as the Gilded Age where (relatively) sound money was in broad use, due in large part to the demands of the people. Politicians are certainly corrupt and evil, but they’re nothing if not self-serving, so when the pressure is on they sometimes can be used to advance the cause of liberty.
Now I’m not referring to the ballot box or some nonsense as supporting “liberty candidates,” per se; I’m referring to nullification, interposition, and simple acts of non-compliance with such a repugnant organization as the TSA by states, municipalities, and individuals. All it takes is an army of 21st Century journalists tweeting and YouTubing the patently gross violations of person and property that goes on hourly at airports across the country, a solid group of individuals tired of being treated like slaves, and some state legislators sick of hearing about it to begin rolling this thing back.