A site has popped up promoting what is becoming known as “Opt Out Day”. The day is set for November 24—the day before Thanksgiving, and one of the busiest days for airline travel. The promoters are suggesting that folks “opt out” of the “naked scanners” and submit—publicly, to raise awareness of what’s going on—to the “pat downs” that are happening in the place of scanning.
Some have suggested—including a friend of this blog’s—that this is the price we pay to remain safe and secure as we travel, and that everyone will get used to the inconveniences. These folks suggest that as long as there are terrorists (specifically Muslim terrorists) out there, that we’re just going to have to put up with it. …So I guess we’re relegating ourselves and our children to living in an eternal police state, huh? Won’t there ALWAYS be terrorists? Weren’t there terrorists before 9/11?
I want to be safe, just like the next person. I don’t relish the thought of getting on a plane, or being in a building, that is the subject of a terrorist attack. Just like everyone else, I’d like to live a long and happy life, watching my kids grow up, get married, have families, and bring the grandkids over to visit. But I can live with a little bit of fear of the actions of crazy people, and random violence—just as I can live with the risk of getting in a car each day, knowing that statistically, my chances are better of getting killed out on the road, than of being the subject of a terrorist attack.
The assorted school shootings hasn’t meant that kids are subjected to strip searches every day before school—the actions of a couple of sick kids doesn’t mean that everyone is a shooter; and yet the TSA apparently suspects that EVERYONE is guilty until proven innocent. I wonder, is the purchase of a ticket the equivalent of purchasing a warrant for your own arrest in the eyes of the TSA? Even before these latest additional security measures, I was hesitant to fly—the last time I flew, it just seemed to me that stopping and pulling 80-some year olds out of their wheelchairs so that they could be “wanded” was a little much.
So, what happens now, if you’ve got someone—say Grandma—who can’t stand in the Advanced Imagery machines like they want her to? Will she now be subjected to an aggressive pat down?
What about young children? I’ve seen videos of late, of children who could barely walk on their own, being pulled aside for the special screening, and when parents objected to having them go through the “scanners” (how do we know that no pedophiles are watching the images of our children?), they were taken from their parents for an aggressive pat down that—including what parents and schools had taught them about “private areas” would be something they should report as “bad touch”?
I know some will disagree with me here, but the more I’ve read—and from multiple sources—the more I believe that the TSA is out of control. Be sure to click on the link at the top, look at the scanner pictures, and consider whether you want to have some stranger—not your doctor and not your significant other, but a stranger who may have little more than a high school education, and about whom you know nothing—looking at you naked body (I don’t get THAT naked at the doctor’s office—the medical professionals and procedures I’ve been around at least allow the covering of areas that aren’t specifically being examined at the time, allowing you to maintain some sense of modesty), or rubbing their hands along your “private areas.” And after you’ve done that, lighten up on the topic, just a little, with Colbert’s perspective (the first part of the video). As serious as this is, and as frustrated as we might be with this situation, if we don’t find ways of laughing just a little at it, we’ll drive ourselves crazy.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Tip/Wag - TSA, Bert & Dogs<a>|
EDIT to add the Japanese making fun of us: