Texas Senate: Not Worthy of Texas?
by Paul Perry    Sat, May 28, 2011, 04:22 PM

It appears that the federal government has successfully threatened your state legislature and your state.

House Bill 1937 passed the Texas House of Representatives with a unanimous voice vote. If it had passed both houses of the state legislature, it would have made it illegal under state law for Transportation Security Administration security to touch a passenger’s private parts during random searches at the airport without probable cause.

But after a letter from the federal Department of Justice threatening to shut down Texas air traffic was circulated in response to the bill’s eminent passage into law, your Texas Senate caved and did not bring the bill to a vote.

The fact is, every time you buy an airline ticket, the federal government runs a background check on you. They know who you are before you board the plane. Your luggage is already X-rayed. Your body is generally X-rayed to a level with which many people are already uncomfortable. A former head of Homeland Security was rewarded for the X-ray machine contract.

HB 1937 is a well-crafted and narrowly focused bill.

This bill, written by freshman House member David Simpson, dealt with the most controversial act of the TSA, the searching of the private parts of many individuals – the groping, including of children and passengers in wheelchairs.

Does everyone get the search? No, but I'm personally familiar with one 78-year-old lady who was carrying an FAA-approved oxygen bottle and, since she couldn't go through the normal X-ray machine, was searched most thoroughly. An 82-year-old lady who cannot stand or walk long enough to go through the normal procedure was searched in her wheelchair -- intimately.

On Youtube, it has been documented that 6-year-old boys and girls and at least one baby has been groped and abused.

Federal transportation groping includes moving gloved hands inside all layers of your clothing. It also has been widely reported that agents do not change gloves between searches, leading to a risk of passing parasites or disease.

Tuesday night, the TSA released a letter from the federal Department of Justice claiming that if the Texas Senate joined the state House and this bill became law in Texas, your federal government might have to shut down all commercial air traffic in Texas in order to keep us safe.

Only an over-fatigued or cowardly politician could really believe this threat. DFW International Airport is a major international hub, not just a large regional airport. Houston Intercontinental is a large airport and also a port of entry.

Shutting down just these two airports would have an immeasurable effect on air traffic throughout the United States, as well as the national economy. It would be a politically indefensible move. No administration, not even the administration of Barack Hussein Obama, would
do that. Can you imagine the flight delays? Passengers equal voters.

It was an empty threat, but for now, it worked. In retrospect, our state senators might as well have had a spitting contest on the walls of the Alamo.

It is a tragedy that our state senators caved in to an empty threat, a threat that was from many angles undoable and a farce. None of these men who buried this bill deserves reelection.

Many senators assert that the Texas Senate should operate like a private club and that has never been more evident. By not publicly attempting to rally the citizenry, those senators supposedly for HB 1937 ultimately indicated their desire to submit to tyranny without even a court fight. I guess in the name of club loyalty.

To Dan Patrick, Brian Birdwell and the handful of senators who were still trying to pursue this bill to the end, thank you.

Otherwise, the Senate of Texas was fooled by a bluff. It can only begin to redeem itself by joining with the citizens of this state and requesting that our Governor call for a SPECIAL SESSION in order to pass HB 1937. Our citizenry deserves to be protected from random gropings that do nothing to protect us from terrorism. Only a nation afraid of its shadow would submit to such. Call for a special session now, demand it. The Governor’s phone number is 512-463-2000.

Ben Franklin said it best. "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." I believe a free people is ultimately our best defense.

Paul D. Perry

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Comments (6)add comment
written by Austin , May 29, 2011

Another case of a federal agency out of control. What idiot of a president created this monstrosity, anyway?

written by DAN COMSTOCK , May 30, 2011

Paul, important article, thank you. I called the Governor's Office and asked that a special session be condsidered. If a Senator has been thinking about this issue (should be a given), and for sound reasons decides to vote for HB 1937, but at the last minute in the face of a letter from TSA/DOJ caves in, I think the bill needs to be reconsidered!

written by Paul Perry , May 31, 2011

The outrage in this state is registering. http://www.lonestarreport.org/...-call.aspx

written by Ian Perry , June 01, 2011

I do think I disagree with the expanding-felonies aspect of the bill, though. Perhaps a civil fine would be enough to deter any behavior we don't want? I'm leery of taking out our rage at federal overreaching by branding the employee a felon (unless they are actually trying to do something which is already a felony).

written by Byron George , June 15, 2011

Thank you sir for a great article.

written by Paul Perry , June 17, 2011

Thanks Byron. Ian I think the point of the felony aspect is that touching someone in those areas is already a felony in Texas if objected to. I'm not sure, but I believe under some circumstannce that is already the law here.

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