Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. –H.L. Mencken
In my previous line of work, I designed custom roof and floor trusses for a building component manufacturer. When customers would complain about a certain aspect of the service we provided, we would often refer them to an ages-old business concept represented by the triangle above. The idea we would try to convey to the customer was that it was impossible (with a custom product) to deliver on all of the items at the corners of the triangle at the same time. You could pick any two, but the other one would remain illusive. For instance, we could provide a quick turn around with a cheap price, but chances are the quality would take a hit as a result. If you wanted high quality and a quick turnaround, it would cost you greatly. Only in a perfect world could all three of these desires be met.
Unfortunately for the voluntarists among us, we do not have the choice of alternate, let alone custom, products as regards governmental practices. That does not keep a politician from using the old triangle technique on us. Obama recently created his own triangle when he said, “You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience.” Oddly enough, his statement does make a good amount of sense. It is true that you cannot have 100% security with the other two elements attached. However, let’s begin to think through which of the points of this triangle we have achieved. Do we have privacy? No. We have CCTV cameras, NSA spying, etc. Do we have zero inconvenience? No. We have TSA checkpoints, metal detectors at football games, etc. Finally, do we have security? No. The events in Boston earlier this year speak for themselves. It is not privacy or convenience that holds us back – no amount of security checkpoints, NSA spy programs, drone flyovers, federal agencies, or Presidential alerts can provide us with perfect security, the mythical portion of Obama’s triangle. He, like the presidents before him, is only using the myth of security to justify his intrusions into our privacy and the ‘inconveniences’ we suffer at his minions’ hands.