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Tip of the spear

November 23, 2010
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Military tacticians and historians often make use of the term ‘tip of the spear.’ It refers to a combat force that is used to puncture the enemy’s initial lines of defense, to be quickly followed by concentrated forces which destroy any remaining threat.

Tactically, the tip of the spear is a bit of a blitzkrieg– an unexpected onslaught of firepower and destruction that takes the enemy by surprise, scatters his resources, and fractures his morale.

I’m convinced that what we’re seeing right now from the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the tip of the spear in the government’s battle for increased control of the public.

The groundwork has been laid for years– legislation empowering the TSA has gradually eroded civil liberties to the point that airports in the United States have now become ‘no rights’ zones. “Please remove your shoes” has now become “Take out your prosthetic breast so I can check it for explosives.”

Passengers who show up to an airport in the United States are now given two options: (a) go through the radiation bath [don’t worry, the government says it’s safe…] and let the TSA see you naked, or (b) let the TSA thugs grope you and fondle your children’s genitals.

This is not enhanced security protocol, this is a systematic desensitization to government intrusion. The idea is to get people used to new procedures, then continue to add more layers of government control.

Certainly, people will complain. They will be outraged… YouTube videos will abound of TSA agents stroking women’s breasts and disrobing 5-year old boys. The government will hold firm, though, responding that the tactics are necessary and that they will ‘look into’ egregious violations.

To be clear, some of the tactics are designed to be scaled back as concessions. It’s like turning up the volume from 0 to 10… everyone starts screaming that it’s too loud, so the government turns it down to 8. People think, “ah, that’s not as bad…” and eventually become accustomed to the noise.

In time, the government turns it up from 8 to 20. People pour into the streets again, protesting until the government turns it down from 20 to 15. People once again become accustomed to the noise as the new normal. This cycle escalates until no one can remember the sound of silence any longer.

It’s fairly easy to do– there will always be politicians and bureaucrats who can invent stories about innocuous white powders and men in caves that scare the daylights out of people.

Similarly, there will always be long lists of sociopaths, perverts, and pedophiles who are attracted to a job description that authorizes them to grope, fondle, humiliate, and intimidate others.

And of course, there will always be spineless nincompoops who stand by without protest as their wives and children get violated by government agents… and then rationalize their inaction as a necessary sacrifice for safety.

When I was in Bali the other day, I was flipping through channels on the TV and saw Mike Huckabee interviewing Whoopi Goldberg on FoxNews. “Now there’s a couple of intellectual luminaries,” I thought to myself. Whoopi wasted no time in summing up her intellect when she had this to say of the TSA’s tactics:

“… if it’s going to keep me from getting blown out of the sky, you can check anything you want; and if you feel something you like and squeeze it… what am I going to do? [acknowledging laughter from Huckabee]”

The fact is that body scanners are as ineffective at threat detection as metal detectors. Furthermore, the government has ruled out the idea of scanning air or seaborne cargo… because, clearly, cargo would never be a target. The little old lady with the prosthetic hip? Definitely. Cargo? No chance.

These tactics are not about security… they’re about submission, obedience, and cultivating the slave mentality– that people should be afraid of their government and happily yield to authority without question or hesitation.

To be fair, it’s not just in the US; I woke up this morning to a front page photo in the Wall Street Journal of a machine gun toting policeman in Germany cruising a passenger train because of some hackneyed terror threat. Much of the world is living in a similar state.

This is the tip of the spear, and what comes next can only be worse. I don’t say this to stir emotion or create a sense of panic, but rather to appeal to reason:

The threat is very clear– we need not fear men in caves or silly powders, but rather the malignant intentions of our governments and the perverse men who are attracted to its works. If these aren’t the clearest signs of a police state, I don’t know what else could be.

I’m really interested to hear from you about this– what have you experienced during recent travels? Are these offenses -finally- enough to make you consider leaving? If not, where is the limit?

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://justen.us Justen Robertson

    I am no longer willing to fly in the U.S. via any airport that implements any of these procedures. There are still small local airports that are safe if you’re willing and able to hire a small-time or hobbyist pilot and depending on your needs, but that’s outside my personal realm right now. The main way this has affected me is to change my exit strategy – I am now going to have to drive, rather than fly, out of the country when I’m ready to leave for good. This country and the people in it who support its perversions and monstrosities can go to hell, and I hope it burns good.

  • Hillsboro-nm

    All these ‘necessary’ 4th Ammendment violations against persons for whom NO probable cause has been established at a time when Arizona Law Enforcement is prohibted from asking for ‘proof of citizenship’ from someone who has been stopped due to probable cause for a crime. Remember AZ Senate Bill 1070– and the UPROAR that caused?? Perhaps Arizona detainees should be given a free airplane ticket…

  • Jack

    This is just the beginning. I think they call that incrementalism. Income tax was created for the wealthy, the war on drugs started with simple old laws that have grown to create a significant Gov. entity that has eroded our rights to privacy to the detriment of our safety, Mexican border mean anything to you? It’s a matter of time till a celebrity scan shows up for a all to see and these scanners start popping up in places never intended.

  • Ourearthlyangels

    I see a fairly simple way to combat this: First…. vote republican every time the contest is democrat versus republican or if a democrat would beat both others with a split vote.
    Second: call your representative and senator’s office and email them with your objections and tell them clearly you are paying attention and telling all your family and friends.

  • ZZZZ

    I no longert fly unless absolutely necessary

    • Anne

      Ask El Al. They don’t do this crap and have a great safety record. Must be they use their brains.

  • perennials

    So, how would you stop people from carrying explosive devices onto airplanes?

  • Tom2

    Look. The tip of the spear is long past. It began with the idea that you do not have the same rights in civil court as you do in criminal court. This led to the ability of the IRS to freeze your assets at will. They do this through civil court. You don’t have to be guilty of a crime for this to happen. The gov can monitor your account without a warrant. You have no FINANCIAL rights to privacy. In fact all of those silly privacy statements mailed to you by banks and other corporations say one thing: we will not share your information with anyone EXcept the government. The government restricts how much money you can take out of the country. It taxes you if you want to give up citizenship. Not that anyone would ever want to give up citizenship, but the questions remains, how free are you to do it if you wanted to. You can thank all those people who say they have nothing to hide, so, go ahead government, do whatever you want!

  • Yucafiero

    It only takes one devious person, (who ever it may be) to screw up the world and the insurance companies who lobby big time in DC to provide prevention of such catastrophies that will happen without defensive resistence. Thank God for technology. Our airlines, we cannot live without them and the infrastructure is huge and difficult to maintain in so many ways. Soon there will be a reality show of a TSA workers’s life, it might be a huge hit! History, we use to voyage across the ocean @ 6 knots w/ a 50/50 chance of survival and the food was terrible. Happy Travels! And Happy Hoildays!

  • next door neighbor

    I heard about a great idea:
    Develop a booth for detonation of explosive devices. Require airline passengers to enter the booth. No explosive, no problem. Suicide bombers are detonated within the booth and a sanitation crew cleans it up. What could be simpler!

    • Bill Morey

      That’s too simple and right on the money! Oh did I say money? That’s what its all about in the long run.

  • Concerned

    I usually travel a lot with work. I haven’t traveled as much this year, but I did fly right before the scans were mandatory. I was in a hurry and allowed this once. Never again. They scanned me and did the pat down anyway. I decided then never again. Even if I have to find another line of work. There is a way to get the government to do what we want, but everyone has to work together. We need to remind them they work for us and that it doesn’t matter what political party they associate with because their opinions don’t matter. They are in office to represent what the people want. If enough people from all walks of life would work together and make a list of what we want the government to do. Then pick a date for deadline to meet our demands. If they aren’t met everybody goes on strike and refuses to go back to work until our demands are met, they would not have many options. Yes, life could be less than comfortable for a while. But at least our discomfort would be on our terms not theirs. Everybody would just need to be prepared to stand their ground.

  • Jdmcac114

    Very interesting….As a police officer I am constantly being challenged by my detainees/citizens or illegal immigrants regarding a “violation of their rights”. A man looks like a gang member, hanging out in a gang location where the community is besieged by violence nightly. This in and of itself is not enough to detain this individual….it doesn’t matter that a five year old boy was shot the night before by these thugs who perpetrate violence on innocent residents. I can’t do a thing, based on the example provided. By doing so would “turn up the volume to 20”. The individual may or may not be involved in criminal activity. He may just be talking to friends and not involved in anything other than social activity. By detaining and questioning I have just violated his “rights”. Conversely, he may be an active gang member on parole armed with a handgun. To do nothing would be negligence and a disservice to the community. Now exchange that gang member with an individual hanging around the schoolyard watching children….Pedophile or parent??? Would you rather have the volume at 5 or 25?

    I find it very interesting that when the right wing goes too far to the right they have now become the left. Remember ruby ridge/Waco??? When the Republicans and the right wing use the ACLU to fight their battles things have gone completely wrong.

    Just some thoughts….I believe in the rule of law….If you have done nothing wrong then you have nothing to worry about.

    • Merclss777

      Remember your oath? Detectives do investigative work. You sound like a patrol officer. Either way a “Public Servant” not a local millitary force to be reckoned with. Decent human beings can provide security for themselves and loved ones. Your kind just get in the way mostly these days. When will one of your coworkers stand up against what is going on? Public servants let the general public down daily!

    • Any Mouse

      “If you have done nothing wrong then you have nothing to worry about.” This is the problem. Right here. Are you listening to yourself? This is why police officers have asked me to search my car even though there is no smell of an illicit substance right? Rifle through my things? How about random checks? Are they okay too?

      I have no problem with LEO in general staying in their lane but unless a person has asked for your ‘help’ or given you a reason to suspect something then leave them alone.

    • Larryhager1

      Excuse me but Waco and Ruby Ridge were a Democrat/left wing fiasco. You know, Bill Clinton, Janet Reno, Those people. Oh, by the way, We almost forgot the little boy from Cuba that Janet Reno organized a Swat team to drag him out of his relatives arms in the middle of the night and ship him back to Cuba.

    • Jonathanfowler76

      The officer could not be more wrong, but ignorance is bliss. “Those who give up a degree of freedom for a measure of security deserve neither” Ben Franklin



  • concerned american

    Type your comment here.
    living abroad
    I have lived outside of the USA now for 26 years —– having the objecive view makes it easier to so this process. There is no question in my mind that the founding fathers who drafted and ratified the constitution considered these times as a real possible threat to there work and dreams for a free republic. The answer to this internal threat is to use the constitution’s inherent mechanisms for self-preservation: put pressure on politicians and courts through all modes of media, including a grassroots movement to put new and sincere blood into government positions.

  • The5thOfNov

    Make all laws that Congress/Senate pass apply to them also AND then make them fly coach like the rest of us; lets see how long those Chertoff scanners and gropings go on.
    Let’s see how they like their new healthcare plan or new retirement (Social Security) plan.
    Laws and taxes are for peons and peasants – elites pay no taxes and are above the law. This is what we have allowed our non-Republic to evolve into.
    Remember, Remember the 5th of November.

  • http://twitter.com/AlvinSan Alvin-San

    EXCELLENT summation; I have been saying much the same to many of my clients, Friends and Fam for many months now to little avail … but I am not the silent type when it comes to such matters; here’a another development supporting Simon’s observations and my own: http://atwonline.com/international-aviation-regulation/news/tsa-takes-full-control-passenger-watch-list-checks-1201

  • Jsf40

    I’m a 65 year old grandma who has been on the watch list twice and have quit flying altogether. I’d rather drive 1600 miles than be subject to that garbage! You are so right we are being led down the path to no rights!

  • Jstotler09

    Let’s see, pilots that flew the planes on 9/11 were here from the East, shoe bomber a wanabee young man, NYC almost car bomber, from the East, same with the Oregon, ALL Were radical MUSLIMS, the almost bombs were mailed from Yemen a strong MUSLIM country, one thing I don’t see is an old woman in a wheel chair being escorted by a nurse and son carrying a bomb, yet this same woman was asked to stand, unable due to stroke, then she was humiliated by asking to bend over so TSA could look inside he depends. Son had already shown the agent her medical records and explained that the trip was to relocated his mother closer to him. I am 78Yo white female of Danish decent, I have never been outside USA except to Mexico, Juarez, and Ontorio, Can. Yet I get stopped, I don’t even have a passport. Best would be that tickets be purchased at least 10 days before flights, exceptions could be made with substantiated emergencies, this would allow background checks to be run by airlines at points of origin, with RT tickets this BC could be forwarded to the RT airport. BUT if we don’t screen ALL MAIL and packages all this would be futile. Out enemies are watching ang noting our weak points and it isn’t innocent children or elders of American birth who NEVER travel to Muslim countries nor attend Mosque’s. I know ACLU is against profiling, WHY are they not against the violation of yours and mine 4th amendment rights??

  • Lea

    how different are TSA pat downs now from a few years ago? everyone is making a big deal out of the pat downs but if its the same ones they’ve been doing, its not that big of a deal. really. i never got the impression that any of them even mildly enjoyed invading people’s personal space.

    oh well, lets all just call tsa thugs and terrorists muslims. <———sarcasm

  • Pablorobo

    Oh get over itall for god sake its an anonymous camera scanning you to make you safer – no one wants to see your obese bodies.
    American right wing nutters it is the reason these equally nutty people want to attack you. Some day you will wise up.

  • Elitaliafero

    Or maybe its a precaution to prevent another terrorist attack? If you have a problem with it then DON’T FLY. Flying isn’t a right, it’s a privilege.

    • Dimension14b

      Nonsense. Any person has a right to fly, if they buy a ticket. Once you buy into that one fascist lie, they have you right where they want you.

      Do people have a right to also take explosives and weapons on board a place? Well, no. So common sense measures have been in place – years prior to 9/11 – to prevent that. Metal detectors, bomb sniffing dogs. Been used forever as a non-invasive way to determine if dangerous things get aboard.

      So 9/11 happens, a weakness gets found, and a teak is in order. Sure. But anything beyond locks on cockpit doors, armed pilots, and background checks, serves ONLY one purpose – to dehumanize and control the public.

      And you fell for it.

  • http://twitter.com/AbolishtheTSA The Abolitionist

    Flying is a privilege? Of course! Granted by our benevolent government. It’s so nice that they allow us to do that. Right?

    The TSA does not make us safer: http://blogs.forbes.com/artcarden/2010/11/14/full-frontal-nudity-doesnt-make-us-safer-abolish-the-tsa/

    The body scanners might be dangerous. All we have to go on is our benevolent government telling us they’re safe. They won’t release the data: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/body-scanners-dangerous-scientists/

    I don’t know why people think this is a “right wing nutters” issue. Ignorance I guess.

    Ignorance seems to be the way to go when commenting here. It’s embarrassing.

    For those of you who aren’t complete fucking retards: http://abolishthetsa.net/sign-the-petition/

  • Woowoolady

    Why doesn’t some lawyer or astute layman wave a copy of the Constitution at the TSA and when he is told he can’t fly wave copies of the Interstate Commerce provision and some of its more cogent court decisions. Then he should attempt a citizens arrest of the TSA drone as violating Federal law. Of course, he would be arrested but couldn’t be charged with any serious crime and might get on many of the conservative radio and TV shows. Sure this may be a dumb idea, but “we the people” (probably far less than 50% of us) who believe in freedom from government oppression must do something or all is lost.

  • Brnsm2004

    But who in the political sense would the TSA like to feel up? Pelosi or Reid?

  • The voice of reason

    This is a very well thought out, and written piece, thank you Simon Black! It is becoming painfully clear that what we are doing is not working. The power we do have is that of consumers. Economic pressure is usually very effective. For those who want to do something but don’t know what check out “awakening as one”. It is brilliant, and offers simple solutions all can use! A must see! Fighting fire with fire leaves the whole village burned, the choice is simple, don’t play the game, or support those who do!

  • swigrus

    I agree with you Simon. I live her int he states and will NOT fly until these TSA thugocracy procedures are lifted. However, the gov is not going to lift them as there are way too many people who will kowtow to them. That’s a shame as the Land of the Free no longer is.

    • BRH

      The problem is that our government officials are exempted from tsa searches. If they had to under go these humiliations , they would not be happening.

  • Travelerx44

    We all know what you are saying because we are living it..come Simon, you can do better why don’t tell the readers what we must do..arise and revolutionise,hit the streets,picket and refuse to pay taxes..what are they to do..throw us all in jail..hell in california the state is kicking loose almost 10% of the criminals..they cant afford to arrest anyone..what about the court system we would flood id it would be CAOS..what we need is action..encourage readers to get pissed off and Riot peacefully..you keep mentioning to re-patriate..where? You just mentioned Germany..where, your model city drem where is that going to be? are you planning on buying a planet somewhere?g et bussy mobilise your troops.i know you’ll not publish this,but stop the BS

  • Pearl

    Government is out of order because of the low paid stooges who do its dirty work.

  • KT Grinnell

    On September 18, 2012 I was going through security at DTW. The TSA ID checker started asking me questions about where I had been, where I lived (she was holding my drivers license and could clearly read it) and other invasive questions about my in country travel. I told her that frankly I did not want to answer her questions because it seemed like they were designed to control travel within the country and that I had been asked far fewer questions when clearing customs in other countries. When I asked her why it was TSA’s business about my concern she abruptly stopped questioning me and explained that they were doing a test survey at that airport then she called the shift supervisor over to smooth my ruffled feathers.
    It was clear that they were after passenger conditioning, as you referenced, and I refused to take part. It did not impede my travel at all.

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