Wow. CEO of Rapiscan Systems who makes one of the backscatter x-ray machines used to irradiate folks at our aeropuertos was a guest of the Obamas on their visit to India. Why does this not surprise me?
I wonder how much this guy and his company are making selling their machines to American airports?
I think people bent on terrorizing the flying public would not be deterred by these scanners and I am skeptical about their efficacy as well as their safety for frequent travelers. I think the traveling public should pick a day for a mass protest. I'm thinking everyone who is willing to go through the scanners, albeit under duress, could spell something provocative on their body with reflective tape that would make their feelings known*. I suggest FUTSA, but someone can probably think of something more clever and to the point.
Then there's the folks who insist on a pat-down. While such gear is reputed to be uncomfortable, I think it would be a special treat if the TSA screeners found a lot of folks sporting, uh-- how shall I say?-- under gear of a sexual and bondage-flavored nature. After all, air travel these days is pretty much a form of masochism anyway, so why not mince up to the fondling station wearing a little secret something lewd, bawdy and very personal in nature, but entirely legal and non-threatening? I suggest strap-on day. Chastity Belt day. (don't read this next bit, Dad. I have no idea what that all means. I just saw one when a package broke open on the mail sorting slide in 1987 at the Dallas Bulk Mail Center. I'll never forget that. It wasn't masturbating-monkey weird, but it was definitely weird.) - Buttplug day.
I'm loving the idea of the guy who did an impromptu strip sans tease. How about a whole bunch of people getting pre-emptively nekkid whilst waiting in line?
I think it's ironic that in the name of so-called safety, folks going about their own business are being subjected to increasingly dehumanizing rituals. What then if someone manages to pull off another terrorist act in spite of these machines and invasive pat-downs? After all, no one has successfully pulled off another 9/11-style attack using commercial airliners in those scanner-free years after 2001, have they?
Looks like we're in for it, no matter what we do. Once a candidate for the governor's seat in Austin was on the campaign trail and a storm was looming. A reporter asked him if he was upset about the impending bad weather, he quipped that the weather was just like rape- "if it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it**." Well, if being fondled or irradiated by the TSA is inevitable, I say we at least go out of our way to have fun with it.
I already detested flying. I feel sad because I don't know if I'll ever feel like going through all that invasive stuff just to see England one more time. I feel a little sad about that.
And to whinge on a bit further-- not a single one of us is guaranteed a tomorrow. Life is dangerous but we are made complacent by the relative ease of the western life we've built around ourselves. I think it's a great joy to not have to worry about the banal horrors of a world without antiseptic and the kind of sophisticated safeguards we have in place, but we should not take that for granted. At this very moment, some great rock could be hurtling through the depths of space and coming right for us. Should we all be standing around, knock-kneed and peeing ourselves because something bad might happen?
Life is pain, highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.
I'd rather take my chances with my privacy and dignity intact, TYVM. On a scale of degrees, the perceived benefit of body scans and TSA-endorsed groping is vastly outpaced by the abhorrent degree of exception I take to having my privacy thus invaded. Our government is perpetually thinking of new ways to bilk yet more money out of us, and they must be perceived to be doing something about threats to our society. Therefore, bodyscans are our dinner-and-a-movie. Either we do something to illustrate the preposterous scenario with which we are faced or we succumb.
* Himself suggested that subverting the process could get someone prosecuted, so mebbe this is not a great idea? I dunno.
** A bunch of us voted for Ann Richards instead