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Protectus Extremus

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Message Rafe Pilgrim
(Definition:  The obsession of our federal government to lavish upon its citizenry every conceivable means, however excessive and bizarre, purportedly to provide for our physical security, as exemplified by the attitude at the airport check-point:  "We're frum tha Guv'mint, an' we're gonna search you to proteck you, refuse you to travel or arrest you, so don't give us no lip.")

Now being crafted by Congress is a bill that would empower the President to mandate monitoring and control and even shutting down the internet in event of a "national emergency," such a state that he would declare as he deems fit – all this to protect the American people.

So much has been done to protect the American people in the past fifty to sixty years, including the Korean and Viet Nam wars across the wide pacific, the protectors seeing no barrier in distance to their mission.

Then there was for decades the protective prohibition of Americans to travel to Russia and the Soviet bloc as well as to Communist China and much of Asia.  Then came the prohibition of commerce with and travel to Cuba (Ahhh, those Upmann cigars!) starting in the 1960's when the ungrateful Cuban people threw their support behind a popular revolution that ousted our puppet Cuban president and American commercial exploiters including the Mafia – a prohibition apparently to protect American vacationers from exposure to Cuban beaches and resorts (and again those fine Upmann cigars and that exquisite Bacardi light rum).

Other endeavors to protect the American people have included interventions (both merely political and armed) in Central America, the invasion of a menacing Grenada, the bombing of a threatening aspirin factory in Libya, and the gifting of billions in dollars and military hardware to Israel to protect us from indigenous Palestinian civilians and impoverished refugees in Gaza, all mere preludes to the granddaddies of all protections:  the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the current incursive flirtation with competing political factions in nuclear Pakistan, featuring our use of drone weaponry, which after all, being unmanned, can hardly be expected to always differentiate between "terrorists" and children.

After 9-11 it was determined that the American people needed more protection right here in the good ol' US of A, starting with color-codes which alerted all citizens to the levels of protection our government was providing us (These didn't last too long, just too silly, even for the government without contrived facials).  But what have endured are the body searches of all Americans prior to boarding passenger aircraft – to protect us, of course.  And this process has now advanced – aided by recent advances in x-ray technology -- to examine all details of the passengers' pockets and even what lie beneath his drawers and her bra and panties – Woo! Woo!  X-rated protection?

There was one passenger – or so our protectors advised – that endeavored to board a plane while possessing a small container of suspicious liquid.  Our protective government, right on the spot, immediately forbad all passengers thenceforth to carry any liquid – shampoo, skin lotion, gin or Diet Dr. Pepper – aboard.

And then when a nut of a passenger endeavored – we are told -- to ignite what was described as an explosive agent concealed in the heel of his shoe (shades of Maxwell Smart!) our government mandated that all passengers were to paddle through Check Point Charlie forevermore exposing their shoe-less footsies to God knows what microscopic contagion.

 One concerned protectee has recently wondered that if it were possible for a "terrorist" or lunatic to craft underwear suspected by our protectors to be inflammable, would all of us be required thenceforth to fly naked, for our own protection?

The mind boggles at what protections will next beset every citizen of the flying public.  Conjure, if you can, what new general rules and practices we would all of us be required to submit to if one female were ever detected to have concealed a substance "of suspicious nature" within her vagina.

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Rafe Pilgrim, after "a life largely wasted on hard honest work," found himself a jungle of turkey oak, scrub pine and giant palmettos up a dirt road running east of Crystal River, Florida, which neither school busses nor the U.S. Postal Service dare (more...)
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