The Land of the Free

I think it’s time for Americans to begin sitting down for the national anthem. Perhaps while holding aloft two middle fingers as a remembrance of the “don’t tread on me” motto of the time when Americans really were free:

John Gilmore’s splendid isolation began July 4, 2002, when, with defiance aforethought, he strolled to the Southwest Airlines counter at Oakland Airport and presented his ticket.

The gate agent asked for his ID.

Gilmore asked her why.

It is the law, she said.

Gilmore asked to see the law.

Nobody could produce a copy. To date, nobody has. The regulation that mandates ID at airports is “Sensitive Security Information.” The law, as it turns out, is unavailable for inspection.

I suspect that law can probably be found in the bathroom with the “Beware of the Leopard” sign, along with bypass construction plans the North American Union agreement and the list of fraternities on double-secret probation.