TMZ Sports was the first to report that police officers in Los Angeles had arrested NFL linebacker and defensive end Aldon Smith at LAX last Sunday afternoon (13 April 2014) for becoming belligerent and making a false bomb threat before boarding his flight. But before we rush to judgment in this particular case, it’s important to remember what triggered this sorry state of affairs in the first place: annoying and largely ineffective airport security protocols. Specifically, Mr Smith was “randomly” selected for a secondary (i.e. more intrusive) screening after he had already been screened at the main security checkpoint in Terminal 1 of the Los Angeles airport. (By the way, in any other context these grotesque, invasive, and non-consensual airport searches would no doubt constitute a common law invasion of privacy tort, would they not?) Thus we say Mr Smith had every right to be upset. His fake bomb threat (assuming he even made such a threat) is no less farcical and stupid than the airport searches designed to detect such threats. In short, why do Americans like to proclaim that we live in a free country when our major airports and other public venues (like NFL football stadiums) are anything but free. Our airports and arenas have become mini-Gulags, mini-police states. Or, as Senator Rand Paul said at a speech at Cal-Berkeley last month, this is not the stance of a free man:
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