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    I’m With John Madden: No More Commercial Flying For Me

    Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2004

    After retiring from coaching, former Oakland Raiders Head Coach and now popular sportscaster John Madden hung up his wings. He had been forced to spend numerous hours flying commercial airliners with his NFL team, but upon retiring he said, "No more flying for me."

    When first approached to take a position as a professional sportscaster, Madden said he would only consider the offer if he could travel to games via a bus. The networks agreed, and Madden hasn't flown since. I think Madden has the right idea.

    While Madden's decision to stay out of the "friendly" skies was made several years before the terrorist attacks in 2001 and was doubtless made for other, and more personal, reasons, it seems especially sagacious in light of recent decisions by the Bush administration. According to the Washington Post and CBS News, President Bush plans to color code every passenger who flies a commercial airliner.

    News reports state that airlines and airline reservation companies would be forced to turn over all passenger records to U.S. government officials. The government would then assign a color code to each passenger, ostensibly determined by the passenger's "threat level."

    Passengers would be assigned a red, yellow, or green color. A red coded passenger would be stopped from boarding; yellow would require additional screening at security checkpoints, and green would mean only standard security for boarding. The government plans to implement the new system next month.

    Reports also quote Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesmen as saying frequent flyers could receive special passes which would allow faster check-in if they were willing to allow the government to access their personal information. Of course, this information would be entered into a government database.

    To any person familiar with the incremental methods used by totalitarian regimes to regulate and control their populations, this latest measure being enacted by President Bush can only be regarded as "scary." By now, it should be obvious to every thinking person that the Bush administration is composed of a bunch of "control freaks" who are attempting to turn America into a police state!

    Freedom and independence are extremely fragile commodities. They can only be maintained by an alert and vigilant citizenry. Unless the people of the United States awaken from their obvious passivity, what freedoms we have left will quickly vanish!

    It's time to face it: President Bush is no friend of liberty, and neither he is a friend to constitutional government nor national sovereignty. Four more years of a Bush administration could very well mean the death knell of freedom in these United States.

    The character and constitutional ignorance of Washington politicians being what they are, the only scenario that offers even a modicum of opportunity for freedom to last a while longer is for one party to occupy the White House while the other party controls Congress. It seems party stalemate is about the only thing that is somewhat favorable to freedom these days.

    Obviously, the ideal solution would be for Americans to throw off the current two-party system altogether and elect independent men and women of real honor and character who would have the courage to obey the U.S. Constitution and to restore the principles contained in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.

    In the meantime, if one wants a foretaste of a burgeoning police state, just try boarding a commercial airline. Of course, once air travel has been completely Gestapoized, it's only a matter of time for ground travel. Until then, however, I think I'll postpone the leap into Big Brother's Brave New World by getting on the bus with John Madden.

    © Chuck Baldwin

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