TSA’s Enhanced Security – Get over yourself

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Want to know something?  I have no problems with the “Enhanced
Scanning” that the TSA has started to use.  Yes, it means when I fly I
am exposed to a small amount of X-Rays.  Yes, if I elect to skip the
scanner I will be frisked. Is this an invasion of privacy?  Is this a
form of consent to some stretch of sexual assault? Is this Mr. Tyner,
who made a stink about it, a crybaby and a pretentious snob?  Am I
somehow shortening my lifespan?  Am I on a soapbox and unable to
reason with some of the more recent complaints.  In short. “No, No,
Yes and Yes, No, Yes, no.”  But that is no fun, after all, if you are
still reading this you have a valuable question: Why.  And I answer
with this: Because…(yes, that ellipse is annoy, so read on!)

Yes, I do not care if the government wants to see a virtual rendering
of my naked form before I hop on a plane.  The biggest reason being
the sense of security.  I can trust that until a way to make
explosives (or any other device) disappear from x-ray is created, the
air plane I ride in will not blowup because someone doesn’t like the
way I live, the way I honor God, my pasty white flesh, nor my
interfaith home.  I prefer, much like the vast majority of this
country, to get to my destination on time (give or take a couple
hours, this is air travel after all) and not be a pile of ash,
horrible disfigured, or a eunuch.  For that, good TSA agent sir, pat
me down, touch my junk, fondle if you must.  After all it is
a small price to pay for not dying.

Is my naked likeness on a monitor an invasion of privacy? Nope.
Though the skin tone for the body is a little creepy.  It would be an
invasion if I didn’t have the choice or if there wasn’t good reason to
scan.  I don’t feel a need to explain the choice portion of what
excludes the scans from it other than the random pat-downs.  We all
know technology isn’t perfect, so we must include a human element.
Tangible evidence is the only true way to ensure safety.  These random
pat downs are not something you can choose.  However, you still have
the choice.  You can drive, or simply choose not go to your desired destination.  The
other bit that prevents this from invasion is the reasoning behind it.
 We all know too well that there are monsters roaming the proverbial
countryside.  There are people who want to kill us to prove a point.
Who want to use our airplanes and guided missiles in an effort for us
to give up what they believe to be evil.  Things like mini skirts,
porn, women’s right to vote, and Victoria’s secret.  Why else would
some ultra conservative religious zealot hate us?  Oh yeah, that thing
called the bill of rights.  The constitution.  And our beloved
freedom.  I wasn’t a New Yorker on September 11, 2001.  No, i was a
husky at NIU in DeKalb IL.  It would take a few years for me to
become a New Yorker.  But as an American, I cried that day.  I know
exactly where I was.  I remember finishing my work shift, walking home and remaining in
front of the TV for the better part of the week.  (Took time out to
attend a couple of events relating to it.  The following week I
attempted to enlist.)  That is a pretty damn good reason.  No one will
die from being frisked.  No one should die from a bomb carried on
board with these procedures and technological devices in place.  More
people would if we went along with business as usual.  Frisk me! Frisk
them!  Lets all be Frisky!

The biggest complaint seems to be the pat down.  (Love that segway
don;t you?)  I’ve been frisked before.  No, not  TSA, nor was it by a
cop.  Nope.  I was frisked by the bouncer/security guard at a
Metallica concert in 1998.  My junk was touched.  Did I feel
assaulted? hell no.  Was it weird?  Yes, it was my first time.  But
sex was a little weird my first time too.  Speaking of sex, the
kinkier kinds are more related to sexual assault than the rub/pat down
one gets going to a rock concert.  The rock concert frisking is
reported more aggressive and thorough than the TSA Enhanced pat-down
too.  So I don’t think there is much sexual assault going on.
Instead, I am being assaulted with the sensationalist news about the
pat downs and scans.  Where, voices like my own, might get some air
time, but if the reciprical to the ration of people that complain.  In
the end people more people say, “Ok, touch my junk” than “Don’t touch
my junk or I’ll…”

“Don’t touch my Junk” is as much of a punchline as “Don’t
Tase me Bro!” or at least it will be in my book.  Mr. Tyner is one of
the many names to come out since the new policies were enacted.  I
rate him up there with most wing nuts who are capable of doing a great
deal with very little.  Tyner took advantage of the perft recipe for a
“good” news story.  This was pointed out in the one opinion article I
have agreed with and I wish I could credit that author right now for
pointing out this recipe.  Government, Privacy, Sex, public health,
and air travel. Add the accelerant that is Twitter, Facebook, and
iReport with your video taken by that cell phone (which is supposed to
be turned off at security checkpoints) and you have an easy public
outcry.  Thank you Mr. Tyner, for being to closed minded and unable to
get past the fact you are alive today and that no one has died in a
terror plot on an airplane in the US for a while now.  Thanks again
for being that asshole in a theater who yelled “fire!” because public
fear has done so well in the past.

Next headline should be something like this: “Newsflash!  There
has been in recent outcry due to increased radiation exposure. 
If you fly you will be exposed to higher than normal ammounts of
radiation.  Radiation has been identified as a cause for cancer and
death of cancer cells, headaches, vommiting, nausea, skin
discoloration, cognitive impairment, and many other terrible
things, including death!” 
Yes, all of that is true.  If that fake newsflash scares you go buy
thick clothing, paint it with lead paint, and move into a bomb
shelter.  Oh, yeah, also don’t drink anything that contains water. 
Don’t let any light, noise, or heat be in your shelter, it all has a
high risk of being a radioactive substance. You also need to
vetilate your bomb shelter well as Radon will collect inside and
it is a know radioactive gas.  Come on you ignorant people.  Our
Bodies are designed to put up with radiation, it is infact why 
our skin tans!  Our bodies were designed in nature, under direct
sunlight, and is made to resist radiation.  2.4 mSv of radiation
happens just from the sun shinning on the Earth.  If you work in
a Nuclear Power Plant, your exposure my double annually, but
you won’t die from it.  IF YOU FLY, you expose yourself to more
radiation than the scanners.  FACT:  In Europe, pregnant women are not
allowed to be part of the Air Crew.  The FAA limits you to an estimate
1 mSv (a measure of radioavtive energy per kilogram) exposure from
flying during pregnancy.  Yes, these new scanners use XRays.  However,
the power is less than that your doctor may order.  Biggest reason?
They don’t need to see much inside you.  Dense objects will show up,
so if you have things imbedded in your body, carry the doctors note to
go with it.  The TSA reports that the exposure is less that 9 minutes
of flight.  You could be in the air for an extra 9 minutes
invoulentarily due to airport conditions, so go cry a river on the
exposure.  It really adds up to nothing.

I hope you enjoyed my preaching because the last question is Yes, I am
on a soapbox about this issue.  To the second half of that question, I
am able to reason with those who have had problems, like the poor guy
who “pissed himself” when the agent was a little to rough with his
urine bad.  BAD Agent, no doughnut.  There is a weak argument out
there regarding cancer patients about chemo ports.  I suppose the same
would apply to fatties with lap bands.  If these people are patted
down, then agent might feel the ports tha are under the skin.  Carry
your medical notices about them.  The cancer patients might not want
to because it is a reminder of their condition.  Get over it.  You
might be dying, we get it. But you having to deal with a reminder that
you really don’t need (as I imagine you are always well aware of your
condition) vs a terrorist blowing up the plane is not a difficult
call.  Carry the damn card.  I did when I underwent a nuclear study
for my heart.  I didn’t need the reminder that my ticker isn’t in the
best condition.  But I was emmiting gamma radiation, so I carried the
card.  (I didn’t annouce it to the people in the elevator so I must
have endagered their lives with radiation, oh wait… I finished that
argument already.)  Yes, TSA should be better with people who are
living with medical problems, but this is also only 1 story, and if it
was more widespread, we would be hearring about the high numbers of
these situations.

Ultimately people… grow up and think.  This new level of security is
a good thing and it does little more than annoy.  Deal with it.  If
you don’t want to deal with it, realize this:  It is not a God-Given
right to fly.  It is a priviledge we purchase.  If you don’t want to
deal with TSA, there are other forms of transportation you can
utilize.  We are not entitled to fly.  It is not a social security
check.  It is not medicare insurance.  It is more akin to a driver’s
license.  A priviledge you get by proving yourself worthy, and giving
some money.  If you can’t appreciate that, then simply go BLEEP
yourself, and do it with a smile.

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