Who knew the hullabaloo that would arise from the new TSA screening measures now being instituted in airports all across the land? Didn’t homeland security perform a “worst case scenario” before plunging forward with such a radical system? Really. If the government is so omnipotent and smart, it would have realized that the so-called unwashed masses (and those who have bathed) would balk at such an intrusive procedure.
It’s not just the body scanners, able to see through your clothes to the point of being able to make out not only genitalia, but scars, beads of sweat, camel toes, muffin top,s and junk in the front and the trunk. It’s not just the concerns about excessive radiation. More and more, reports are surfacing regarding highly aggressive “pat downs” of those who opt out of the body screening machine. These searches are much like the ones given to criminals headed for the slammer and include the intimate investigation of private parts that border on fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.
What a great job the casual TSA employee making enhanced minimum wage now has! Not only can they get their jollies from seeing a parade of naked bodies (and cancel those expensive subscriptions to Playboy, Hustler, and Maxim), they can actually touch the sexual body parts of anyone they want, and get away with it! (Can you say “Squee!”?) This leaves the weary traveler — who already is having the same good time as a truckload of cattle headed to the stockyard — to make a choice: Give up your personal freedom or drive to your final destination.
But wait! The people are in minor revolt. A new rallying cry can be heard from those under assault and it’s as plain as this: Don’t touch my junk!
I am assuming all of this new technology is to combat any attempts to bring down airplanes with hidden box cutters or bombs. For this, I am thankful. I would gladly give up a few rights to make certain my airplane won’t explode due to a hidden incendiary device. I recently went through a body scanner at Detroit Metro Airport (north terminal), AND was patted down on the behind because the screener thought I had something in my back pocket. I was wearing a new pair of pants, I might add, that I didn’t have time to open the pockets with my seam ripper, so no, there was nothing in my back pocket. I just lurved getting my considerably tiny and flat, old-aged bootie patted down by a manly woman. Never mind that I had gotten through metal detectors with my cell phone in my pocket on other occasions.
Come to find out later, the body scanners cannot detect the presence of plastic explosives, similar to the kind used by the “crotch” bomber last Christmas, inside the body. And, if a really stealthy terrorist has half a brain cell, he/she can hide the plastic where the sun never shines. Airport X-ray machines can see into your clothes, but not into your body cavities.
All of this is done to avoid the dreaded “P” word: profiling.
In this politically correct environment, God forbid anyone actually performs a time-tested method (see Israel) to determine whether or not a person would be a risk to the traveling public. I like the Israeli way: question a person by looking them in the eye to gauge their reactions by the amount of sweat and nervousness exhibited. Look at the person’s flying habits and see how many trips they’ve taken to terror hotspots or how many one-way tickets they’ve purchased.
The insanity at our airports has gone on long enough. I say, profile away.
As a frequently flying traveler, I give myself up as the first to be racially profiled. My heritage includes Japanese, Greek, American Indian, Scottish, and French. So far, none of these ethnicities have blown up airplanes. I have determined in a recent poll of the other five of us with the same racial make up (my siblings) that self-implosion is the last thing on our minds and definitely off the radar for the Bucket List. The Federal government can rest easy and scratch all of us off.
But wait! We can profile the other way as well. Instead of racial profiling for those who might want to cause harm, profile for people who would never cause harm. For example, screaming babies are probably not worth performing a pat-down on. For one thing, they don’t like strangers touching them, especially surly, underpaid TSA workers with no sense of humor. Besides, you can determine just by smelling one that the only thing in their drawers is a dirty diaper. Why profile the parents of such travelers, when they are the ones with the diaper bag and butt wipes and are the only ones willing to rectify the situation?
The same goes for unaccompanied minors. If I were a parent of a child that age, I would not allow them to fly at all these days. Parents not only have to worry about perverts in the airplane, they have to worry about the pervs in the screening line. I’m fairly certain any parent putting a child on an airplane will want for the safe return of said offspring and would not bulk up the little traveler with explosives. Besides, the skin area on a small child doesn’t leave much room for hiding anything.
On the other end of the spectrum, elderly people, especially those in wheelchairs, are probably not going to blow up an airplane. I can’t imagine what one looks like in a body scanner, but using myself as a standard, it can’t be pretty. Give them a pass, due to the gruesome factor of the mental image and because it holds up the line.
Anyone with a notarized doctor’s note regarding implanted metal objects should also be exempt. Having once had a removable cast with metal supports that sometimes set off the metal detectors and curiously other times did not, I would say that people with metal in their bodies have enough problems as it is.
And as long as we are including those with implanted metal and prosthetic devices, might as well include the doctors too.
Flight attendants and pilots should also be exempt. Flight attendants are there to serve (unless you’ve had enough and decide to jump ship with a six-pack of beer) and I’m pretty sure pilots are not a danger to the flying public, unless one happens to be suicidal. In that case, the pilot does not need plastic explosives. He has the controls and can take the plane down without assistance.
Perhaps the TSA could come up with a one-size-fits-all prescreening for those who do fly on a regular basis. Those who want to fly will need to come up with a certified criminal background check (*raises hand* I have one of those!). Travelers would subject themselves to a one-time body scan, a one-time full body search, and a comprehensive mental health screening. Pass all of that, and you are given a Get-Out-Of -The-Way card and proceed to the head of the line. Call it the Passport to Safety.
Either that, or gas up the car and prepare for the old-fashioned road trip.