Passenger’s Bill of Rights?

On September 12, 2001 I had plane reservations to fly to Chicago on business.   Since 19 Jihadists brought down our  towers on September eleventh in their quest to selfishly procure 72 virgins each, I missed my flight.   (There’s got to be a better way to get virgins.)   I finally did make that flight a week later.   Airport security inspected my bags and found a very dangerous fingernail clipper in my carry-on.   The remedy was for the inspector (a.k.a. dumb government employee) to break off the file portion of the fingernail clipper, lest it be used to hi-jack the plane; never mind that little piece of metal couldn’t even cut butter.   Since that time, on at least three different occasions, I have inadvertently packed a Swiss Army knife with my carry-on which actually had a real knife blade attached; so much for airport security.

The same people who’ve done such a bang up job harassing 90 year old Caucasian ladies, and rifling through the belongings of well known patriots like Rush Limbaugh, to insure we are all safe , now want to give us a Passenger’s Bill of Rights.   If you were one of the unfortunate soles stuck on Jet Blue’s runway for eleven hours because of unusually heavy icing and snow (What happened to that global warming?) it might seem like a good idea.   I assure you, the manifestation of that good idea will be more government intervention and oversight, and more opportunity for scum bag attorney’s to litigate against the evil airlines.   Bottom line: it is going to cost you money.

I’ve read some of the ideas that have been proposed, and on the surface they seem good.   For instance, the airlines must let anyone off the plane, who wishes, if it has been sitting for three hours.   Reasonable, but what if the plane sits for three hours five minutes before take-off?   Is that a plane full of lawsuits, or government fines, in the making?

One maxim we can depend on, when it comes to laws, fewer is better.   The very fact that proponents of such legislation are marketing it as a Bill of Rights ought to frighten you.   The real Bill of Rights was originally intended to restrain government.   Alexander Hamilton, arguably our brightest Founding Father, was against incorporating the Bill of Rights because he feared a list of rights would somehow insinuate Rights excluded in the list would be interpreted as within government authority.   The Founders were well aware that fewer laws would better preserve the ideals of freedom and liberty.

It is laughable to hear our politicians pontificate about a Passenger’s Bill of Rights when they spend much of their time twisting and contorting the words of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights to get around the annoying and troublesome wording which stands between them and their agendas.   Think about these:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof , and they don’t allow prayer in school.

the right of the People to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed , and Senator Diane Feinstein has stated if she could get the legislation she would happily take guns away from every single citizen in California (I’m sure she would keep her concealed carry permit or have some government security protecting her, but if you’re just poor black folk, c’est la vie).

nor shall private property be taken for public use , without just compensation, and in Kelo vs. City of New London, the Supreme Court affirmed (barely, 5-4 decision) it was within the eminent domain authority of the City of New London to take property from one private owner and give it to another private individual, even if the confiscation was not for public use.

It makes you wonder what other good our venerated politicians can do for us if we just ask.   The other day I took a dump at Mc Donald’s and there wasn’t enough toilet paper for me to finish my business.   I’d like to see a Fast Food Bill of Rights.   I would joke about a Patients Bill of Rights but the politicians are already on a march to destroy a mediocre and already overstressed health care system.  

It is so nice my public servants want to make sure I don’t experience any discomfort.   Getting stuck on an airplane is a big bummer, but it is still a rarely experienced occurrence.   If these guys really want to help me, how about voting for policies which allow me to keep most of the money I earn when I work over eighty hours a week, instead of confiscating it to give to someone who doesn’t work forty?

One more thing, Barbara Boxer is all for a Passenger’s Bill of Rights , so you know it can’t be good.

Copyright 2007 Jim Pontillo