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Profiling for Sanity

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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?

About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • http://viclana.blogspot.com/ Victor Lana

    Funny but sad too, Joanne. I’m not too anxious to get on a plane since 9/11, and now this only makes that decision easier. Drive or take the train or walk (that has been my course of action).

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Even allowing for the tongue-in-cheek nature of your blog, I find several of your references at least as offensive as the TSA’s enhanced screening procedures.

    “These searches,” you write, “include the intimate investigation of private parts that border on fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.” Are you an attorney? A law enforcement official? How many degrees of criminal sexual conduct are there?

    “Not only can they get their jollies,” you continue, “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!” This is a scurrilous allegation. Can you cite even a shred of evidence that TSA screeners “get their jollies” from performing their assigned duties?

    “I just lurved getting my considerably tiny and flat, old-aged bootie patted down by a manly woman,” you add. Oh, so it was the female screener’s manliness that roused your ire! If she’d been more feminine, the experience would’ve been less onerous. Perhaps TSA ought to weed out their bull dykes. (Except, of course, for flights originating at SFO.)

    If irresponsibly tossing off smutty one liners is the best case you can make in defense of our endangered personal liberties, I suggest you return your mouth to its shut-tight position and let TSA get on with its work of safeguarding the traveling public.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Wow, Alan, aren’t we being frank.

  • Ruvy

    Take a train or a bus. It’s cheaper than driving on your own. And it sends a message to the would be-dictators (and their groping agents) of your country.

  • Ruvy

    Man! Smutty one-liners are what these pretend cops deserve – at the minimum. Bullets in the head is more like what they really deserve. They do not protect your safety, Alan. They protect the shareholders of the manufacturers of the damned machines they use, and they protect the power of the would-be dictatorial bastards who have you less than over-bright Americans convinced you have to give up YOUR liberties, so some scumbag with a plastic explosive in his butt can kill 300 of you in an airplane.

    Way to go, Alan!

  • zingzing

    “some scumbag with a plastic explosive in his butt”

    thank you. i always wanted to imagine shoving a live bomb up my ass. that’s got to be thrilling.

  • Ruvy

    The imagery gets better, zing. One passenger, a bladder cancer survivor, was totally pissed off by your idiotic TSA monkeys and their “pat down” procedures.

    Look, I live in a country with a real terrorist problem. We can’t afford to mess around with bullshit. NEVER have I faced a humiliating search – except when I had to go to court a couple of times. And there, the issue was protecting judges against the people who might kill them for their verdicts. When I went to a court building, I had to take my belt off. Once the search was over, and it just consisted of a light pat-down, I put my belt back on, retrieved my change holder, wallet, keys and cell phone.

  • warner mobley

    explosives placed in the anus will get past the measures the TSA has now.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Thanks for sharing, Warner.

  • zingzing

    terrorist #1: alright, now you slide the device inside your anus…
    terrorist #2: say what now?
    terrorist #1: you volunteered for this.
    terrorist #2: didn’t say a damn thing about putting nothing up my butt.
    terrorist #1: it’s very simple. do you want me to show you? you see, you just *mmhph* slide *hurk* the bomb… uff… you shove the bomb up your… damnthisthing… alright, there. like that!
    terrorist #2: well, how do you activate it?
    terrorist #1: it’s already activated.
    terrorist #2: then how do you detonate it?
    terrorist #1: it’s on a timer.
    terrorist #2: well, how do you get it out?
    terrorist #1: it’s not something you take out, once it’s there, it’s there.
    terrorist #2: i see.
    terrorist #1: …oh, allah.
    terrorist #2: you should see the look on your face right about now. are we filming this? i hope we are filming this.
    terrorist #1: WE HAVE TO GET THIS THING OUT OF ME!
    terrorist #2: how do you plan on doing that?
    terrorist #1: FORCEPS? TONGS? THINK, MAN!
    terrorist #2: dude, we’re in an airport bathroom. where do you plan on getting medical or culinary equipment?
    terrorist #1: we can rob a a a restaurant or something.
    terrorist #2: what, like a starbucks?
    terrorist #1: yes! yes! hurry!
    terrorist #2: can you run with that thing all up inside you? ha. this is so great. dude, you look like you just got sodomized at gitmo.
    terrorist #1: how can you laugh at a time like this?
    terrorist #2: look at how you’re walking! how can i not laugh?
    terrorist #1: oh allah, i am going to die.
    terrorist #2: try and push it out.
    terrorist #1: yes, yes, i can try to push it out.
    terrorist #2: give me the camera. there has to be some record of this.
    terrorist #1: it’s not working!
    terrorist #2: don’t push too hard, that’s how you get hemorrhoids, i hear.
    terrorist #1: fuck you.
    terrorist #2: hold on, hold on. ahem. i have to narrate. to all you viewing this tape, hasan has a fucking time bomb in his ass. when’s it set to go off, hasan?
    terrorist #1: a half hour from when i… when did i stick this thing up my ass. OH WHY DID I STICK THIS THING UP MY ASS?
    terrorist #2: that is a good question to ask yourself right now.
    terrorist #1: it is hopeless brother, i am doomed.
    terrorist #2: well, i’ll leave you to it. peace be upon you.
    terrorist #1: you’re going to leave me?
    terrorist #2: what do you expect me to do? wait around for your ass to explode?
    terrorist #1: go then, i will contemplate paradise.
    terrorist #2: oh, i can just imagine that first conversation. “so how’d you get into paradise, handsome?” “my ass exploded in the family bathroom of the chicago airport.”
    terrorist #1: i hate you.
    terrorist #2: mind if i take a leak before i go? no? alright, wave goodbye to the camera! idiot.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    That’s classic, zing. Worthy of the ages. However, something tells me the TSA is, as we speak, adding this to their library. Fly much, do you?

  • The Caffeine-Free Herbal Infusion Party

    Lol. Very clever zing.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    ACLU Legislative Counsel Chris Calabrese has blasted the new TSA procedures. This article posted today at Huffington Post was merciless about the excessively intrusive, ineffective and stupid TSA procedures. These folks are general well to my left. Credit where credit is due.

    I have written two articles taking similar positions, here and here. It strikes me that there is a substantial revolt in progress, that the general public regardless of location on the ideological spectrum is finally becoming aware of the problems with truly abusive and brainless government control and that a “tipping point” may well have been reached.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Jordan Richardson

    I think this sort of ridiculous invasiveness is beyond politics. I haven’t seen many, left or right, supporting these measures. MSNBC, Alter Net, HuffPo, etc. have been steadily lambasting the TSA procedures.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    I agree that this issue is “beyond politics,” if by that you mean it has nothing to do with politics. Or with civil liberties or anything else worth discussing. Fact is, air travelers in this country are a bunch of spoiled brats who refuse to recognize the kind of world we now live in. (A world we owe to the religious clowns that zingzing so deftly satirizes in comment #10.) Along with a pat-down, these overprivileged brats ought to receive a crisp slap in the face to wake them up to reality.

  • zingzing

    quoting from a cnn article here: “…the president vowed he’d try to find a way to make passengers feel more both comfortable and safe, whether it is through the current policies or with new ones.

    “Every week I meet with my counterterrorism team and I’m constantly asking them whether — is what we’re doing absolutely necessary? Have we thought it through? Are there other ways of accomplishing it that meet the same objectives?” he said.” snip snip

    i think there are other ways to “meet the same objectives.” i’m flying the 2nd week of december, so i hope they’ve found a way around this by then. but i kinda doubt it.

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    Just for the record, Alan, in the state of Michigan there are four degrees of sexual misconduct. Fourth degree is unwanted touching through clothing. Third is unwanted touching skin to skin. Second includes sex through coercion. First includes rape. I would send you the link to the Michigan criminal code, but I’m woefully bad at html.

    From my perspective, the TSA agents were having a field day the day I went through. Granted, it was a month ago and they were likely giddy with enthusiasm with their new toys, and yes, it’s a subjective observation.

    As for YOUR observation of my “smutty one-liners” you can think what you want. I wrote this using a humorous vein, and that is why it is called satire. It’s nothing worse than what you would hear Jay Leno say. Yes, I know I’m not a professional comedian. Who among us blogging is a professional anybody?

    As I stated in the article, I’m all for security, even if I have to suffer humiliation. However, there has to be a better way.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Re #15, Secretary Clinton, interviewed on Face the Nation and Meet the Press on Sunday, was asked, “Would she submit to a pat-down? ‘Not if I could avoid it,’ Clinton says. ‘No. I mean, who would?'” Fortunately for her, she has several more ways to “avoid it” than do most subjects, I mean citizens. So, of course, do congressional leaders and others who have the resources to fly in private aircraft. Perhaps they should, just for fun, stop being such a bunch of spoiled brats and experience it.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Joanne Huspek (#17), since you are obviously so well versed in Michigan’s laws of sexual misconduct, please tell me how many TSA screeners have been arrested and charged with violating those laws? You needn’t include any links. Just give me a round number other than zero.

    Also, is it your understanding that the TSA has hired convicted sex offenders or other known perverts as airport screeners who come to work every day only to “get their jollies” from seeing a parade of naked bodies, touching the sexual body parts of anyone they want, and getting away with it? Unless you have evidence of that, Joanne, it’s a despicable insinuation.

  • Jordan Richardson

    It’s nothing worse than what you would hear Jay Leno say. Yes, I know I’m not a professional comedian.

    Neither is Leno. :)

  • Jordan Richardson

    Perhaps they should, just for fun, stop being such a bunch of spoiled brats and experience it.

    I smell a prime-time special.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    “To Catch a Predator: TSA Edition”…

  • zingzing

    “dancing with the tsa,” if you want to go for a series.

  • Clavos

    If irresponsibly tossing off smutty one liners is the best case you can make in defense of our endangered personal liberties, I suggest you return your mouth to its shut-tight position and let TSA get on with its work of safeguarding the traveling public.

    You really are a prig, Al. Too bad the Transportation Stupidity Administration can’t “safeguard” the traveling public without humiliating it. Janet Knucklehead should have asked the Israelis how to do it right.

    Joanne Huspek (#17), since you are obviously so well versed in Michigan’s laws of sexual misconduct, please tell me how many TSA screeners have been arrested and charged with violating those laws?

    Who the fuck cares, Al? It’s a humor piece — and yes, it is humorous.

  • Doug Hunter

    I wonder whose opinions would be different had this policy been enacted under Bush and perhaps the wiretaps issue been under Obama?

  • zingzing

    i don’t think anyone (except alan) likes either of these things.

  • Ruvy

    The only ones who are willing to bite the bullet and admit that “da Joos” know what to do and that you don’t, are Joanne, Clavos, and possibly Dan Miller. The rest of you wave your hands about in denial.

    Satire, shmatire. No lousy minimum wage rent-a-cop gets to feel me or my wife up. They can examine my luggage if they deem needful, they can check if I carry weapons and demand documentation that I have the right to carry if I do.

    It appears that I have more rights and freedoms than you allegedly free Americans do. And very few of you are willing to admit the painful truth. The TSA DOES NOT protect you. It is there to get you all used to being humiliated by uniformed rent-a-cops.

    You guys just will not bite the bullet and admit that fascists are running your country into the ground.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t see how admitting that the security processes in Israel are fairly good constitutes biting the bullet at all.

    Setting that aside, you can make all the empty bravado remarks like “No lousy minimum wage rent-a-cop gets to feel me or my wife up” you want. It is a pretty meaningless statement in the absence of travel plans to the USA.

    I think many people, both inside and outside government, have reservations about current security levels in many Western countries and look forward to the day when they won’t be necessary any more.

    Leaping from there to thinking that the USA is being run by latter day Fascists is quite a leap though.

    If you are right, then it really isn’t going to matter what the size of the trade imbalance is between the USA and China, which is your other favourite meme of the moment…

  • zingzing

    “admit that “da Joos” know what to do”

    i did on another thread. and i quote, from “will the tsa crash the security state?”: “the israelis take it to a whole other level, but it seems to be fair, and it seems to be working. and there are less delays over there as well. and no one’s grabbing your penis.”

    shows how much you fucking know. a few other people were commenting on the merits of the israeli airport security system. then again, you didn’t bother to show up on the thread except to yell about fascism for a bit at the beginning, and then something about some schoolyard fight at the end.

    “You guys just will not bite the bullet and admit that fascists are running your country into the ground.”

    do you even know what fascism is at this point? i bet you see a sign on a door that says “restroom temporarily unavailable due to cleaning” and you start muttering about the fascists.

  • Ruvy

    “admit that “da Joos” know what to do”

    i did on another thread. and i quote, from “will the tsa crash the security state?”: “the israelis take it to a whole other level, but it seems to be fair, and it seems to be working. and there are less delays over there as well. and no one’s grabbing your penis.”

    You get a gold star, zing.

    do you even know what fascism is at this point?

    Let’s put it this way, zing. There are three things you know better than me – Shakespeare, musical bands and the non-kosher restaurants in Williamsburg. That is where it ends, dude.

  • zingzing

    “That is where it ends, dude.”

    you really believe that? you know about everything else in the world better than i do? i can blow glass, i’ve got about a dozen articles in literary journals NOT on shakespeare, i’ve studied the desertification of nigeria’s sahel region, i’ve co-written and edited two textbooks, written national ad campaigns, television commercials and plays… there are a lot of things i know better than you do.

  • Ruvy

    Bless you, zing. You’re a regular genius!

  • Ruvy

    i can blow glass,

    I ain’t going there, tempted as I am….

  • zingzing

    i’m sure you know more about dick jokes than i.

    “You’re a regular genius!’

    at least i know enough not to assume i know more about everything than anyone.

  • Ruvy

    As much as I think OUR airline security is far better than the joke you Americans have, there is another side to the story.

  • Clavos

    Here, by Thomas Sowell, is an opinion piece that says all that needs to be said about TSA’s new “security” measures.

  • joe

    Police are now doing vaginal probes in TX-sick!