Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Can you see me now?

There have been some good ideas for National Opt-out Day, or Tease-a-TSA day as I like to call it. Kilts. Can't have too many kilts, in my opinion. And I'm sure the guys are all in favor of the lady who decided to travel in a bikini. My suggestion would be a discreetly placed cotton ball drenched in some wretched perfume, such as Giorgio, that could be removed once security was cleared. Don't want to gas your fellow passengers, after all. I'm sorry the TSA screeners have to deal with fat smelly people. Did it occur to them the fat smelly people did not wander up and insist on getting a gropeathon? That someone ORDERED the fat smelly people to get molested in public? I cry precisely two tears for TSA's sufferings.

So, objection #1 to the new TSA order of things is it is capricious. First they say nobody under the age of 12 will be groped, sorry, "patted down", then there are two different Youtube videos showing precisely that. Objection #2, the people making the rules don't have to live with them. Nobody is groping Janet Napolitano (see "fat smelly people" objection above) and she can get away with it. We shouldn't object to the ICUNekkid scanner, but she won't go through and show the public exactly how unobjectionable it is. Objection #3 is the new regime is not uniform. You can board a plane from some small obscure airport and not have to deal with anything but the metal detector, and catch further flights in major airports without getting scanned or felt up. So right there, any bad guys know to fly out of Lower Bumstupf Municipal Airport, and we are right back where we started before the x-ray goggles came out. Objection #4, the New! Improved! scanner system would not stop existing known terrorist attempts, e.g. the PantyBomber. We only survived that one because he was an idiot and doped up to the point he didn't notice his crotch was on fire, plus the passengers leaped at the chance to put out a forest fire at 30,000 ft. Which to me means the solution is to give all passengers a Vicodin and a blackjack on boarding. Objection #5, the scanners in use here are x-ray machines. I can guarantee the TSA folks manning the buttons do not have x-ray technician training. They might, with coaching and flashcards, be able to correctly pronounce the phrase "ionizing radiation". One or two might be able to tell you what it means. Why does this matter? Even if the machines start off with correct, safe settings, you are just one "I wonder what that dial does" moment from turning it into an unsafe machine. Objection #6, this does not make us safe. The full gamut of metal detector, scanner, and grope search will not find suppositories or tampons full of C4. The detonator could be something innocuous like a cell phone. So this is all USELESS. Well, no. Lots of people are going to be publicly humiliated. Someone must want this. Useless for making us safe, rather. And if the TSA thinks there's an uproar now, wait until they roll out the cavity search line!

I do not understand how people can claim we should just accept this. It has gone too far. It is NOT OK for a stranger with latex gloves unchanged from the last search to do things to me only my gynecologist does, and in full view of the public. I might have accepted the scanners, if all the promises they made hadn't turned out to have an expiration date. The images CAN be saved. The scanner screen, showing you in all your natural glory, has been reported as visible to the public on multiple occasions. The scanner would NOT detect the Crotch Payload. And even if you agree to the scanner, they can STILL pull you over and grope you.

I recently met up with some rather liberal friends. I didn't have to bring the subject up; they mentioned it first and they are angry. Look, folks, if you can tick off the conservatives AND the liberals, maybe you did it wrong. Just a thought.


Blogger prestonious said...

This topic gets me all hot and bothered. While TSA's tactics will be effective against the 1970s style highjacking, for those intent on modern malice, I agree the TSA can't detect what they need to get the job done. You did the hard part enumerating the main points, so I will just pile on.

I am one of those members of society have maxed my RAD count. The docs say no more for me, certainly not in an elective way. I suppose if it is a broken bone then we have to do what we have to do. I don't even have to debate the TSA operators training or equipment calibration - the answer is NO. So that leaves the next option for me.

Your kilt alternative is an imaginative counter to the TSA gauntlet. Being an old fashioned guy, I am very traditional when it comes to wearing a kilt, as was your intention no doubt. While it might be a surprise (initially) to the TSA agents, the event / the patdown / the grope would not be a surprise to the wearer but it would certainly be a "different" experience. And how do you propose the ladies are going to support and contribute to this declaration of rebellion? (no, I was not thinking of applause). For some reason the kilt selection gives me more pause than the suggestion I gave a little while ago to our mutual friend who lives in one of those conservative rectangle states.

What I suggested to him (he ignored me) was a third option, one to augment the nuke and the grope options, which would be the peep show. Yes, truly. If you have been watching national trends the number of nudists has been growing significantly in the last few decades. (lots of evidence to support this assertion). This gives them a chance to "show their stuff". Doff your clothes and put them on the conveyer belt just as your briefcase and other items to get zapped. Saunter through the metal detector, which at that point anyone without metallic bone replacement should easily pass, wave to the nice TSA agents and dress and be on your way. Artificial bones would be trivial to scan for with the hand scanner -- no question there what is up. No captured images which may or may not be deleted. No radiation. They get their jollies and you are on your way. The line should move fast. Yes, I understand everyone is America is not a swimsuit or underwear model, but then we are not talking about wearing those! I am certainly no Arnold Schwarzenegger. No one would push or shove to see me standing in such a line!! But I think that is partially my point. It certainly would take the joy out of having to staff that queue.

Your option is something that is cost free and the individual could control it, whereas in my option ... think of the gov't approval process and facility physical layout ramifications; and, oh, the gnashing of teeth regarding the concept. And doing such in the United States - why the horror of it all. So it is not practicable you say? Maybe not (and we would argue recent laws they are attempting to forge around the country), but it makes the point, just what the heck are they/we trying to accomplish here? Let's call a spade a spade. They don't want to make a mockery of the process? -- TOO LATE.

The rest is part of a longer discussion, but I believe *if* we are forced significantly change our behaviour due to terrorists we have already lost. If we think we can implement cookie cutter safeties and pretend the danger is not there, it isn't going to work. "They" are there and if motivated, they will find ways to succeed. Trying to fix the end of a process without understanding or controlling the source elements is like trying to lead a dog with his tail. But, if we start talking about the terrorists, the subject will go on for a long while.

7:04 PM, December 01, 2010  
Blogger Justthisguy said...

The photo ID requirement (internal passport) was the last straw for me, and that happened back in the late nineties. It is an ancient common-law right to call yourself by any name you like as long as you are not doing fraud.

I am old enough to remember when flying was fun (and _expensive_, we only did it for funerals). I fondly remember my experiences as a little kid sitting right behind the door to the flight deck in the DC-6B, which door was always open, and being a kid, I was invited in there to watch the blinkenlights.

Oh, and this was back in the early sixties, when airline pilots, whether they liked it or not, were still required to carry The Mail Gun.

Dang, I miss Delta as it used to be, and airports which smelled like gasoline instead of kerosine.

12:54 AM, December 14, 2010  
Blogger Justthisguy said...

P.s. The heads in the front of the DC-6B were right in the plane of rotation of the inboard props. I remember standing there peeing and watching the prop spin, and wondering what would happen if it suddenly happened to throw a blade. Made me do my business quickly and GTFO, you betcha.

WV: hedlesse. Like that Roland guy, with the Thompson.

1:23 AM, December 14, 2010  

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