Saturday, November 13, 2010

First they came for the gimps...*

For the past week, there has been a lot of talk on the news and in blogs about the TSA, opting out and full body pat downs. The entire country is offended that, suddenly, they are being forced to choose between being ogled by perfect strangers with x-ray vision or being felt up by perfect strangers with questionable fetishes in order to fly the friendly skies.

Well, welcome to our world - where the only opt out, ever, has been to not get on an airplane at all.

(Did you think you wouldn't be next?)


(and for your reading pleasure, my TSA experiences: part 1 & part 2)


Alan said...

And to all those people who want to give up some freedom to be safe?


Even if the TSA theater did keep you safe, and it doesn't, it STILL would not be worth it.

Jay G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay G said...

Pastor Niemoeller

There's a reason I drove to NC, FL, and OH this year. And that was before the new TSA regulations.

I had considered flying to St. Louis next year - that is right out. I'll take an extra couple of days and drive, thanks.

RobertM said...

I stopped flying years ago. It's just not worth it, for me.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

I just read your TSA posts and I wish I could say I'm shocked. Outraged and angry, most definitely, but sadly, I'm not shocked or even surprised.

I've lost all patience with the "it's for our own good" people. Remarks like, "I'm willing to be searched if it keeps me safe," completely misstate the issue.

And what about what everyone else has to endure? We don't hear these same "safety" people say, "I'm willing to degrade and humiliate handicapped people if it keeps me safe," or "I'm willing to radiate young children or traumatize them with head-to-toe groping, for my own safety and peace of mind," but they are so willing.

I don't mean to sound melodramatic, but . . . what's become of us?

Mike W. said...

I've been pulled for "secondary screening" almost every time I've flown in recent memory. I thought those were bad enough, but with the new screening procedures I think it'd just really piss me off.

I can't imagine how much worse it is for you and fellow amputees.

It amazes me that we've given TSA goons legal sanction to feel us up in a manner that'd get your average person arrested (or worse)

Tam said...

I've only flown once since 1994, and that was because someone else was picking up the tab. I still haven't been able to bring myself to reward the airlines with my own money for the dystopian farce that air travel has become.

ddg said...

I have a permanent surgical plate -- limb sparing surgery was, fortunately, an option for me.. Nevertheless, I set of the metal detectors about 90% of the time (no, not 100%...). So nearly every time I go to the airport I get felt up by some government worker moron. I'm not looking forward to this new procedure at all. I already avoid the degradation of flying as much as possible.

Keryn said...

Last summer, TSA made me remove my then-2-year-old son's DAFO braces before allowing us to "walk" through the metal detectors. They wouldn't allow him to use his walker through the detector, either. Because at the time he could not walk without the walker or the braces, I had to carry him through, although I was also carrying his infant brother.

At no time did they tell me I could opt for a different screening, even when I asked if it was necessary. The kicker? I wasn't even boarding a plane, I was picking up an unaccompanied minor.

instinct said...

I had to fly last week to go to a job interview (got the job - yay!) and there was not one TSA agent that I saw that I would trust to feed my cat much less protect our airlines.

Most were badly overweight, one had his hair in a very nice pony tail and the other six that I saw spent most of the time just standing around BSing. Nice to see we pay them to do nothing.

Personally I think airport security should be turned over to the cities and they local PD should handle it. That was it's at least real cops doing the job instead of a bunch of worthless union thugs.

Geodkyt said...

I'm mostly in agreement with Instinct, although the first time I flew shortly after 9/11, I met ONE TSA agent who seemed competant -- but he was a retired Navy EOD guy who was doing the explosives swabs.

As Joe Hufman and others have pointed out, short of a strip search, full body cavity search, and focing you to fly in TSA-provided prison jumpsuits, they can't keep you from presenting a threat if you are so inclined. (Even trussed up, naked, and unconscious, one can still have a time delay device in a cavity -- if you're planning on dying with the plane anyway, what does it matter if you are awake or not?)

9/11 didn't happen because TSA didn't have official Authorized Groper's Cards. It occured because red flags were ignored out of political correctness and a "terrorism is a crime" mindset.

Look at the Fruit of the Boom Christmas Bomber (complete with falsetto solo).

As an Israeli security expert said, while TSA was being debated, "The difference between Israel and the US is that you look for weapons, and we look for terrorists." Anyone who wishes to bring out the tired old argument of, "If you profile, they'll just start looking like us!" needs to address the relative rates of Israeli aircraft security failures since they instituted profiling (NOT "racial" so much as "terrorist indicators") versus the American and European record with a nearly pure physical inspection philosophy.

Anything more intensive than the pre-9/11 physical screening provides no additional safety.

Anything less than the long-term Israeli policy of screening the person provides no additional security.

Ed Rasimus said...

The stupidity of trusting security to a government bureaucracy is becoming apparent even to the common man. If any of the TSA ballet was demonstrably effective, it might be tolerable, but the actions are so irrelevant and inevitably a knee-jerk response to last week's attack. The shoe removal, one-quart Zip-Loc, take the laptop out in a separate bin exercise is simply because they can't figure out what to do to get a bigger budget next year.

Anonymous said...

Farcical aeronautical ceremonies, all of it. With a little luck there will be a shift away from this socialist nonsense most rikky tik.


Old NFO said...

Breda- I opted out yesterday and got the full grope... I wrote a complaint and submitted it today to DHS and was basically told tough, if I don't like it, don't fly... Like I have a choice...

be603 said...

TSA is still looking for tools when they should be looking for terrorists.

Prisons do cavity searches and still weapons get in. Big surprise -- NOT! It's an axiom of Quality Engineering (my field) that the best human inspectors are only nominally 85% effective. There's always escapes from the inspection process.

Turn it over to the airlines. Give them responsibility and liability for passenger safety.

Newbius said...

Breda, I am no longer playing the airlines' games. My open letter to the industry:

Lance R. Peak said...

I'm still trying to figure out how a male TSA agent with hair in a ponytail labels him as untrustworthy and what it has to do with the overall problem being discussed.

ON a side note, the word verification for this entry is "flyingl", too funny.

.45ACP+P said...

We came up with the way to avoid all TSA screenings….The wife wears a burka and I wear mufti and sandals with the little skull cap. We are still in discussions as to whether this should be accompanied with shouts of “Alahu Akbar” to ease the mind of the screeners as to our certain peaceful intentions. No one would dare screen us. ‘Tis a shame that this is EXACTLY what the fanatics want. What was that website again?

Tennessee Budd said...

Haven't flown since '96 & have no intention of ever doing so again. When I go to a customer's site & they have a detector, I whip out a copy of my x-ray--they, unlike the TSA, have some sense.

ZZMike said...

There are some (most likely conspiracy theorists of some sort) who say that this is really a clandestine move to stop people from flying altogether (how lovely and green that would be!).

After all, before about 1920, nobody flew across the country - let alone across the ocean.

Fortunately, I do not have to fly anywhere - and haven't done so in a very long time. (Last trip was to New Zealand, about 1984.)

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