Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Scanners and Gropers and Creeps, Oh My!

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

"Never mind my 'junk,' I resent having to walk on the nasty airport carpets shoeless!"  PaRock on Twitter earlier today.
I have wanted to write about the outrage of full-body scanners and minimum wage gropers employed by the TSA for a couple of days now, but I have held off because of the company that those complaints would put me in.  Over the past two days I have heard both Limbaugh and Hannity pissing and moaning over this true outrage, but, of course, their patter is that the blame for the whole mess belongs with Obama - because, as with all evil in the world, none of it was present until the country went crazy and elected a Kenyan socialist to the Presidency.

But Rush and prissy little Sean be damned because it is an outrage anyway - even if they have the temerity to agree with me!

The story has circulated around the globe regarding the San Diego passenger, John Tyner, who refused the full-body scan and then, as he was about to be sexually felt up by the TSA, declared loudly, "...if you touch my junk, I'm going to have you arrested."  It's a common-man-rebelling-against-the system, David versus Goliath, good conquering evil kind of story.  It's the kind of story that appeals to the rebel in all of us.

Airports are places almost guaranteed to make a Buddhist scream.  The situation has never been good, with fluctuating rates, routes, and peanuts, but it became considerably worse after twenty or so young Saudis (not an Iraqi or Afghani in the bunch) blatantly attacked our country using passenger jets as weapons.  Suddenly we had airport police (TSA) setting up obstacle courses in every airport.  They began with some level of professionalism, but the Bush administration quickly quashed that and replaced the professionals with minimum wage workers - workers with big badges and minimal law enforcement training - and loosed them on the traveling public.

The result of this mish-mash of security is a system that functions differently in every airport.  What is fine in Phoenix is damned in Denver.  And Kansas City...well, bad example, because nothing is fine at Kansas City International.  (For a while Kansas City TSA workers also had to clean planes between flights.  Maybe they still do.)

So leave it to technology to make a bad situation totally intolerable.  The new full-body scanners render an essentially nude image of every passenger - even children.    Of course, there have already been reports of these nude images being preserved and passed around by TSA employees.

This is quickly becoming a civil rights issue.  At what point will privacy rights kick in, or do we completely give up that right to ride on an airplane if we have a sense of modesty?  Someday there will be a bus bombing, or a train bombing, or a discount store bombing.  Will we then be scanned and squeezed before riding a bus, or a train, or shopping at a Wal-Mart?   When society becomes completely dominated by rent-a-cops and full-body scanners, the terrorists have won.

"How about two sets of passenger jets - one for those who agree to be screened and groped, and the other for those who don't?"  PaRock on Twitter earlier today.

I would be on the latter, thank you very much!

No comments: