Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TSA's grope-'n'-porn: your experiences, plans, proposals?

I may have miscalculated the ratio of President Obama's political self-interest vs. his breathtaking arrogance.

It seemed a sure-thing to me that he'd decree that TSA agents in airport terminals stop sexually assaulting and taking nudie pictures of citizens, surely in advance of the Thankgiving travel surge. Yet so far, he has just doubled down against the will and horror of the American people, as he did in nationalizing a couple of private industries. Similarly, the gentleman in charge over the TSA has repeatedly said that they would not cease assaulting the innocent in the name of pursuing the (wannabe) guilty.

In fact, TSA head John Pistole has declared that, if passengers will not submit to humiliation at the hands of the government, they do not have the right to fly. Yep, you heard that correctly.

Meanwhile, apparently all the "rights" belong to TSA porn-directors. They apparently

This is the liberal's dream-world, where the State has all the "rights," and the serfs have none. Police officers have to have reasonable cause; TSA agents do not.

So what do you plan to do? Let me be more specific:
  1. If you have a flight, are you going through with it?
  2. You husbands, in particular: it's our job to protect our wives, to guard their modesty and honor. This isn't a medical situation, and these are not actions undertaken with our permission. Should it OK with us for strangers of either sex to feel up our wives' breasts, groin, rear end? Is it okay for strangers — anywhere — to look at nude pictures of our wives? If it isn't our duty to assure our wives that we'll stand up for them and protect them, then whose is it?
  3. HSAT, what do we do? Cancel, with a call to the airlines? Call ahead to assure that it isn't going to happen? Submit, while complaining in a calm yet audible voice? Take the names of everyone performing the grope?
I remind you of what I pointed out after our last disastrous Presidential election: the "king" in America is the Constitution. We should submit to it insofar as we are able.

And so (to say the least) should the government, including TSA.

So you have to wonder: where is the ACLU? What is being done about this? There are some signs of action here and there, which is encouraging.

Meanwhile, though it sounds cliched to say so, the terrorists have scored massive victories. Conditioned by state re-education agencies to see the State as our benevolent, omnicompetent overlords, thousands of sheep simply queue up and submit to the indignities, convincing themselves that Big Brother knows best.

As the terrorists laugh and chalk up cheap, sweeping victories with barely a shot fired.


UPDATE: here's one fellow with time on his hands who claimed to get through without getting groped or death-rayed.

78 comments:

Mark said...

This topic is becoming very pertinent as my wife & I may be flying home to New York just after the holidays. I'd like to try the train as an alternative, but last time I checked, they were expensive. So, what to do?

Lynda O said...

For a route I checked, train tickets are slightly cheaper than the airline, though of course you have to allow for the extra cost of food during a longer trip, but not that big a deal -- and no extra charge for up to three pieces of luggage. Bus tickets cost even less, so if you can't drive, Greyhound is a possibility.

As for me -- no flying anymore. I have parents to visit in Colorado, but this next spring I'll just take two days to drive there rather than put up with the nonsense and stress at airports. I wish more people would simply refuse to fly on commercial airlines until sanity returns. Unfortunately, it seems, most Americans show that they are willing to put up with anything, even giving up their 4th Amendment right, than fight this and give up the convenience of air travel. Even professed believers I know (in my own household), think this is no big deal and that the TSA stuff is actually necessary to prevent terrorist attacks. But what next? It seems all of this is a clear incremental way to get Americans used to a totalitarian government.

Robert said...

Whatever happened to unlawful search and seizure? And I'm sorry, I would say reasonable cause would exist for a person who fits within the certain ethnic group/culture/religion that has been responsible for these actions. "Radical Muslim" is just a label for a Muslim who actually follows what the Qu'ran teaches. Of course, we'll just take somebody's word that Islam is a religion of peace and those guys are just radicals, even though the rules of their religion (look up Taqqiyah)promote telling lies to further their cause. This has actually given me a bit of pause when I think about Obama, but then I realize God is sovereign and all things work together for the good of all believers.

Sonja said...

That video of the terrified little girl is forever seared into my brain. I understand her reaction, but I don't understand her parent's reaction of no action. I'd take my kid and go home.

And shame on the TSA agent who felt it was necessary to traumatize a child. Any chance of the TSA agents refusing to comply? Rhetorical -- I know the answer to that.

Mike Riccardi said...

So what should we do? My wife and I are traveling from CA to NJ a couple days after Christmas and staying through the first week and a half of the new year. I totally feel the burden of the need to protect my wife from skubalon like this, but I'm not quite sure what to do about it?

The tickets are purchased. The arrangements are made. We want to see our families. And it's 3,000 miles. Not flying is not an option.

So, radiation-porn scanner or sexual assault?

What would you choose, Dan?

(Btw. The ladies I've talked with about this -- as well as some of their husbands -- don't seem to have a problem with the pat-down as long as it's done by another woman. But precisely the reason that you'd worry about it if it was a guy was that if there'd be any sexual attraction on his part, with him having a little field day as he gropes your wife. But what if it was a lesbian? I wonder what kind of hades the ALCU would raise if women insisted on being patted down by a member of the same sex and sexual orientation.)

Sharon said...

Have never enjoyed flying; with each new intrusion into one's privacy, my resolve becomes stronger. Good-bye airlines, hello Amtrak!

A Musician by Grace

DJP said...

I think the question is how the ACLU/MSM would respond if it were a conservative Republican president telling the serfs they should shut up and endure the indignity.

Mike Westfall said...

Well, I flew from Midway to Albuquerque just last week. I was lucky, I guess, because there were no body scanners or pat-downs. Just the metal detector you walk through and hope it doesn't beep.

The TSA agent checking my ID and boarding pass sure acted like there was something suspicious about me, though. She looked at my ID and boarding pass,looked up at me and stared at my face a while, held up my ID and compared to y face again, looked back down at the boarding pass, looked up at me again,... and slowly, begrudingly stamped my boarding pass and let me proceed, never saying a word, or smiling. It truly looked like she just didn't enjoy her job, and was intent on letting everybody know it.

DJP said...

The least I can tell you, Mike, is that if it bothered my wife, I'd be sure she didn't have to go through it, one way or the other. If it means a financial hit, oh well, that's just money. I'd sure as shooting tell the airport why I wouldn't be flying. Money, and the lack of it, talks.

Another imperative: my wife doesn't take the hit for it in any way. Not by the screeners, TSA, relatives, whatever. That's my job. If we cancel, I call and I say I'm not allowing her to be pawed by strangers. I stand in front of her, figuratively or literally.

As to further specifics, that's why I'm opening the forum.

/c:

Lynda O said...

Sorry, no pat-down of any kind -- not all women are okay with this, and those that say they are may not realize how intrusive this "pat-down" is. From some of the descriptions of this pat-down, from others who've experienced it, it is on the same level of intrusiveness as a woman's doctor exam -- and only a doctor should be allowed to do that, for medical reasons only -- never for any other reason and especially not by some low-paid TSA worker.

But apparently some women have no problem with this. The main thing I hear is that people prefer the picture scanner to the personal groping. That is, for those who insist on flying anyway...

DJP said...

Any woman who is expecting a light little pat-down should read this carefully. Maybe it's an aberration, maybe not.

Stan McCullars said...

My wife and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary in February. We had been planning to go to Europe and were in the process of getting our passports renewed when all of this hit the fan.

We have changed our plans as a direct result of this. We will now be driving to a location in the Southeast.

DJP said...

Aw, Stan, that is really sad, seriously.

Please be sure to tell the airlines why they're losing your business. I know I've read that they don't HAVE to have the TSA in the airports.

Rachael Starke said...

I'm going to Chicago next April for The Gospel Coalition, and perhaps also somewhere overseas with Phil in February. For Chicago, I checked into the train and the trip would take precisely as long as the entire conference.

Until I read the post about the mother with the baby (which made me gasp out loud), I would have opted for the pat down. It's in full view, the person will have to look me in the eye, there will be plenty of witnesses. I was also planning on, by default, filing a complaint immediately. I anticipate that some smart lawyer is going to file a class action lawsuit over unlawful search, and I want documentation. The other option is basically a free peep show with potential radiation damage on the side. No thanks

But the mom's post gives me pause, because the implication is that that if I am notified in advance about the precise nature of the search, and give my verbal consent (under duress), it may nullify any complaint I make.

If what happened to that woman is only illegal because she wasn't warned/notified in advance, then this is flat out, legislated, mandatory sexual assault.

Multiple members of my family, including me, have experienced different kinds of sexual abuse or assault. The reaction that woman describes is very, very accurate. In my particular case, because I'm made of pretty strong stuff, I managed to look my assailant in the eye and offer up enough choice words out loud (I was on a crowded train, on my way to school), that he ran off as soon as he could. No one else around me said or did a thing. And that was almost as traumatizing as the actual event, which I've never forgotten.

I guarantee you that woman is not the only one this has happened to. I guarantee you they are terrified to say anything.

So, now I'm not sure. I'm an even tougher girl now. If what happened to her happened to me again, I could probably keep myself together just enough to not flatten my assailant, but then there'd be words. Lots and lots of words. And phone calls. And I'd probably not fly, and get slapped with that fine. Which I'd fight all the way to the Supreme Court (Aaron, you've got friends, right?).

Rachael Starke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stan McCullars said...

Dan, I let Delta know.

It is really sad. The whole thing.

threegirldad said...

I'm traveling in a week, and as far as I can tell from online sources, I won't be going through an airport that uses these procedures (yet -- the scanners have been installed at roughly 70). If I turn out to be wrong, and run into one, I'll take the same approach Phil J did.

I'll never allow my wife and girls to face such a "choice." Which means, apparently, that my 13-year old daughter won't be going on that "school trip of a lifetime" this summer, unless this insanity stops before the booking deadline.

For as long as this policy is in force, we'll choose other transportation options, or simply not go. And I'll figure out some way to send a clear message as to why (e.g., call the airline(s) I likely would have flown on, and explain why I'm driving instead; call the hotel(s) I likely would have stayed at, and explain why I'm not coming at all).

By the way, why hasn't someone -- ANYONE -- asked Tweedledum and/or Tweedledummer -- err, excuse me, make that Napolitano and/or Pistole -- exactly how we go about driving from the U.S. to Europe...or taking a train from the U.S. to Europe?

Or has that happened and I missed it?

CR said...

My job requires regular business air travel and for the most part I have never been searched. I was once but not groped. I have never been through a scanner machine. I will continue to obey the civil magistrate and go through whatever searches they deem necessary to get on my flight. The reason why we're going through this is because of the Fruit-Of-The-Kaboom bomber.

I prefer the scanner than the physical search but either one will do. I believe the TSA methods are inefficient and ineffective because selections are essentially haphazard or random. El Al methods are proven because they use passenger profiling, but I know that's asking too much from our government.

DJP said...

OTOH, you could make this case:

The heightened awareness will make them back off. So:

1. Refuse to let them pressure you into the peep-show booth

2. Insist that they pat you down publicly, not in the private room

3. Get their name

4. Narrate what they're doing, audibly but not yelling. "So, Agent Bob, you're running your hands up my thighs. You're touching my ____, now you're touching my ____...."

OR you could say "No, you do not have my permission to touch X, Y, or Z. So what other alternatives do I have?"

Dave said...

If what happened to that woman is only illegal because she wasn't warned/notified in advance, then this is flat out, legislated, mandatory sexual assault.

This is the part that caused me concern. It waould have not be assault if the TSA agent had told her what was going to happen.

I suddenly see a whole new defense for rapists. "I told her what I was going to do, so it's not rape"

I'm really not sure what to do about this in regard to my wife. I am going to a customer and need to fly there each week for three weeks. She is planning on going with me for one of the weeks. Now I don't know.

dswhite42 said...

Dan, don't forget that even if an airport opts out of TSA security and hires a private security firm, they are still legally required to follow TSA directives, including heavy pat-downs and body scanners if they are installed. (Not sure if an airport can refuse to actually install the scanners...)

Lynda O said...

why hasn't someone -- ANYONE -- asked Tweedledum and/or Tweedledummer -- err, excuse me, make that Napolitano and/or Pistole -- exactly how we go about driving from the U.S. to Europe...or taking a train from the U.S. to Europe?

Well there's always the cruise ship transatlantic option (I enjoyed one such cruise in 2008, from Florida to Amsterdam), but the specific dates and cruise lines are limited. Maybe this would be a good business opportunity for Carnival or other cruise lines, to expand the selection of transatlantic cruises.

But if our country had any decent passenger ship service (or decent train service like in Europe), the terrorists would attack it and the government would ruin those experiences too.

DJP said...

Ungh; no, ds, I didn't know that.

:^(

DLW said...

Did you read about Matt Kernen? He seems to have found a way to opt out if you have time on your hands as you travel and are patient. He has audio files of the discussions on his website. This seems like a valid approach.

Scroll down this link and you will find the section in this article where he is discussed.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1332307/Now-abused-TSA-staff-vent-anger-security-patdown-searches.html

Merrilee Stevenson said...

I'm seriously hoping that the National Opt Out Day (whenever that is) will become one of our country's defining moments of patriotism. I hope that the men and women who love this great country and love their freedoms will sacrifice themselves for the sake of the rest of us who won't be traveling this weekend, but hope to be in the near future.

My husband is planning to take a group of high school students to Italy this summer, many who are girls. This is a serious concern for him, being their teacher and chaperon.

Meanwhile, the plan was for me and our four young kids to travel 3,000 miles the opposite direction to visit the grandparents. Having seen the 3-year-old video, I know what the worst-case-scenario could be, and imagine mine could be worse.

I even discussed it today with my oldest two, aged 7 and 8. One wisely suggested we drive the 3,000 miles. (It would actually be 6,000--round trip.) Either that or stay home--also an option.

I'm thinking now might be a good time to invest in Amtrack and Grey Hound and the like.

kateg said...

I am not sure exactly how telling you what they are about to do, makes it okay to do. I am sure I have seen horror movies with that exact scenario.

CR said...

@Dan - I think for the most part the controversy is much ado about nothing - other than the methods are ineffective because there is no passenger profiling. Most people are not groped. Most people are not selected for search - I've only been selected once and none of my colleagues have been selected.

If people want to cancel or greatly inconvenience themselves by modifying their travel plans that's their choice, but odds are they won't be selected for search and their blowing their opportunities to go on a great vacation because their afraid they're going to be searched.

DJP said...

CR, I know you, and you're a fine-looking young man, so you'll take no offense to what I'm about to say.

I know one very pretty young lady whose traveling experience, even before these extreme measures, was already very different from yours.

DJP said...

KateG - LOL. Deft point.

Mike Riccardi said...

From the article linked by DLW:

...maybe it was the father watching teenage TSA officers joke about his attractive daughter.

See, I'd get arrested after performing my own very heavy-handed pat-down on these teenage TSA officers' genitals. This is just entirely ridiculous.

Merrilee, I'm pretty sure I read in one of these articles that after the 3 year-old debacle they're giving a pass to kids 12 and under. You just have to forcefully make the TSA aware that you're opting out for your kids.

DJP said...

Gang, check out the Update.

Chris H said...

I wonder whether anyone in gov't has thought about the effect this will have on foreign tourists.

Simply, while it may work for an American citizen to spend the time "opting out" and have his rights as a citizen respected, I, as a Canadian, have no such rights guaranteed by the American gov't.

As a result, why would I spend my hard-earned money to fly to the States and be assaulted?

candy said...

Michael Chertoff, former homeland security chief, and George Soros are just a couple of guys who are profiting from the sell of scanners to airports. From an article I read: "Janet Napolitano, when asked by her European counterparts of the necessity of body scanners, told the Europeans, “Body scanners are not essential to airline security.”"

This is all about power and control, not safety. In my opinion, this is all just the beginning of much more intrusive measures in our every day lives.

threegirldad said...

Gang, check out the Update.

That looks like one of those tactics that only works for the first person who thinks of it. Good for him, at any rate.

RealityCheck said...

I have mixed emotions about this. My first thought, as a guy, is to let them do what they’re going to do and say something like, “was it good for you”, when I walk away. My second thought is to tell them to shove their flights. Nothing gets peoples attention like a hit to their pocketbook. Then I think of Stan's 25th anniversary comments and feel terrible that their plans have been so rocked by this nonsense. As a husband I also can’t help but become infuriated when I think of what happened to Erin happening to my wife. In fact, I don’t even know Erin and I want to punch somebody.

But there is a silver lining. If you want people to believe government is the solution to everything that ails them… you don’t grab them in the crotch or parade their nakedness in front of the world. The fact that Obama “has just doubled down against the will and horror of the American people” is evidence that this guy is even more arrogant than I thought he was (and that’s pretty much mathematically impossible). His continuing to shoot himself in the foot (both feet for that matter)… is a good thing… in the long run. So… raise hell (respectfully), cancel flights and point to better ways of keeping people safe:

http://townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2010/11/23/airport_security

and take some solace in knowing how much this is demonstrating the foolishness of big government.

DJP said...

Right there with you, RC. Obama's tone-deaf arrogance surprises even me... though after the healthcare debacle and its aftermath a few weeks ago, it shouldn't.

RealityCheck said...

Yeah Dan… just when I think this guy can’t surprise me anymore… he does it again. He’s certainly no Bill Clinton… Clinton moved to the center to save his job but not Obama (although I guess it’s a little early to be certain), he just keeps on keeping on… right out of a job I hope.

lee n. field said...

TSA Checkpoint t-shirt. (Be warned, some of Oleg's work is NSFW or home.)

Seriously, I don't know. Can't afford to fly, couldn't afford to vacation any place that costs money.

Trains and buses exist, but have certain limitations (quite beyond the time factor) that make them unattractive to me.

Who didn't see this coming, when the good Christian president George Dubya Bush and his associates brought in the TSA, DHS and Patriot Act? Did you-all think it wouldn't be abused? No possibility of "mission creep"?

RealityCheck said...

Oh I get it Lee... it's Bush's fault...lol



verification word: notursac (no, I'm not making it up)

CR said...

@Stan - sorry you cancelled your plans. I wish you wouldn't esp for an anniversary. Most likely you wouldn't b selected. I can't imagine having not gone to Hawaii or canceling my New Zealand trip next month. But it's a decision everyone has to make. I love to travel so it won't stop me.

Rupert said...

Personally I don't have a problem with it, I have nothing to hide (and not out of any prurience).
I've been closely patted down in Geneva, opened my luggage in front of huge well armed soldiers in Frankfurt and been screened at Heathrow. And all that was in 1993!

It's not being done for any reason than to protect people. Remember the shoe bomber and the underpants bomber. If one terrorist succeeded because of insufficient vigilence, the screams would be double what they are over this.

Having said that, most of the risk is from incoming passengers so perhaps the outgoing checks needn't be as 'severe'.

It really does need to be conducted by people who display the utmost professionalism and decorum though. And that seems to be somewhat lacking at the moment.

zostay said...

And didja hear that your friendly government officials are exempt because we wouldn't want our vaunted leaders to be treated like little people?

TSA: Some gov't officials to skip airport security

Mike Riccardi said...

Most likely you wouldn't b selected.

Unless I've totally misunderstood everything, there isn't a selection process. The scanner or pat-down is mandatory for every traveler.

Scott Shaffer said...

Mike,

Currently only some passengers go through the scanners. If you set off the metal detector, you are then asked to go through the body scanner. Last week I saw some passengers volunteering to go through the scanner instead of the metal detector, because they wouldn't have to wait in line.

Scott Shaffer said...

Can anyone point me to the legislation that authorized DHS or TSA to start using scanners and intrusive pat downs?

CR said...

Mike, yes Scott is correct. Unless you're selected randomly for screening, best way to avoid pat-down, is just take everything out of your pockets that can set off the metal detector.

Stephen Rodgers said...

I'm actually a little ways away from getting stuck in this myself.

I'm currently engaged to an amazing Christian woman from Central/Eastern Europe (Czech Republic). As a non-US citizen, she does not enjoy the same rights that I do while on US soil. So even if I were to exercise my rights, she wouldn't be able to.

Now personally (as in, for MY person), I'm not too offended by the enhanced pat-down. If it seems to me that the TSA agent doing it is having a bad day, I'm not shy about requesting that his supervisor and/or local PD are present to ensure that his search is professional. I'll even tell them, "I understand you're just doing your job, but based on my observations I have concerns that you have not been adequately trained to prevent charges of sexual assault. Having these witnesses present protects everyone."

I understand that not everyone shares my comfort level at being searched; that's ok, and I certainly don't blame you if you differ.

However, my comfort level takes a rather sharp dip when it comes to my fiancee. I certainly don't want her subjected to this, although if left no choice, we both agree that being searched is preferable to being scanned. We have to get her from Europe to the US, and we have to comply with all relevant USCIS, State Department, and Homeland Security requests or her visa can be revoked. Heck, they can even revoke her probationary green card after that if they feel like it. We're pretty much stuck, and are already bracing ourselves for this whole rigamarole.

In regards to the whole security circus, she made an interesting comment (it's not a precise quote, but you'll get the idea): "Oh. We had such things with the Communists. That's why we don't allow it anymore here."

When the folks who grew up under an oppressive Communist regime think you're doing something wrong, that's a pretty good sign you took a wrong turn somewhere...just sayin'.

Stephen Rodgers said...

Oh, and Scott, my understanding is that there is no legislation that authorized them to start. Rather, the legislation that would have FORBIDDEN the porn-scanners from being used as a primary screening device passed in the House, but was never voted on by the Senate. Hence it never passed into law.

If it HAD passed, then this wouldn't have happened. The groping is there to intimidate people into using the porn scanner (even the TSA admits this). If the porn scanner is not available, the TSA does not have enough manpower to grope everyone.

Stan McCullars said...

We deserve some of this stuff if we don't do something about it! -- Ron Paul on the TSA insanity

Seth said...

You missed the incident in August where a TSA agent manning the body scanner was caught masturbating viewing a high school girl's net ball team go through the body scanner.

As for me, I'm driving — no agents's touching my privates, even if he's wearing new gloves (which he isn't) after scanning Charlie Sheen.

I'm still not sure how I'm going to get to Nicaragua, but there's many a mission need in my back yard.

DJP said...

Seth, it appears that that story isn't true.

Sonja said...

This whole thread (or meta) ticks me off. And I don't even fly anymore.

However, the progressives LOVE it the new screening. The why wasn't explained but I suspect it's because it's the next best thing to having the government in your bedroom. And progressives are all for government intrusiveness.

Sorry for the broad brush, but I feel I'm among friends. :)

Laura said...

Here's my story, of being scanned, then sexually assaulted afterward, at SFO on October 20th. I'm a sexual assault survivor, and the experience was deeply traumatic. http://blog.drlaurahendrickson.com/2010/11/19/my-third-lifetime-sexual-assault--by-tsa.aspx
I spoke out! Here's a link to my local newscast, which aired last night. http://bit.ly/fnUNPa

Sir Aaron said...

This is a no-win situation anyway you look at it. If you submit or if you refuse to fly, the government has controlled you. We've lost freedoms because people weren't willing to make the necessary sacrifices that liberty requires. And It's going to get worse. How many of us here have even written a single letter to our congressman or Senator in the last year? We talk but we don't act. IF we wont do simple things we certainly aren't going to do something drastic.

Fortunately, I don't have to go through the screening process for domestic flights and neither does my wife. But my children on the other hand...Once when my wife and I were flying back from CA, they insisted on screening my two year old. I could carry on anything I wanted as could my wife. But they still felt it necessary to screen the baby. Go figure.

I heard a talkshow program today that thought this would lead to biometrics implementation instead of the backscatter machines (referenced some recent agreement with pilots).

Magister Stevenson said...

Dan,
My wife wrote earlier, and since then we have checked some prices. I am set to fly overseas with high school students--parents are aware of the potential of their children being either patted down or being scanned. How they deal with it is up to them, but all (so far) are willing to allow the scan or pat down rather than lose their deposit. I will take the pat down.
My wife and kids were supposed to fly to Oregon while I am out of the country--if this does not change, flying is out of the question. I will politely write to the airlines and let them know we will be taking the train (actually at a savings for 6 people, but at a cost of three days each way. But since it is the summer, this is ok). But if Amtrak moves to a similar program, I don't know what we will do.
On a personal note, I am sick in my heart that my country feels this level of intrusive behaviour is fine if it is for security. The slippery slope of it worries me. We will be vigorously pursuing our other rights while we have them. Not because we fear being scanned or groped, but because we fear our country giving up other ground in the name of safety.

Stan McCullars said...

Parents willfully subjecting their daughters to groping...

Every teenage boy's dream.

Mike Westfall said...

"... my country feels this level of intrusive behaviour is fine if it is for security."

Coming next, the quartering of troops in our private homes. To keep us safe, of course. Nevermind the constitution.

Man of the West said...

While I think it's unbelieveably stupid and a terrible abuse of government power to grope grandmas instead of looking for likely terrorists, I have to admit that up 'til a few minutes ago, I didn't worry too much about it on a personal level, as I have absolutely and utterly no reason to fly anywhere and probably never will.

But then it hit me that my wife flies north every Fall to visit a friend of hers. If she insists on going...

Duane & Patricia said...

For those who say that it is ok, to not be worried about it, I say that the Lord gave us this country with this Constitution of which we are to be good stewards of it. The Constitution is our highest governing authority. It is the law of the land. When government workers violate it they are to be removed from their positions. Those who care not about this issue, in my opinion, are cowards. This issue is worth fighting over. Not all the issues are. But to shrug it off is a selfish attitude. It is our fault that abortion is law. It will be our fault that molestation of our girls, women, boys, and men becomes acceptable. Right now the highest law of the land gives us the right to use our voices, our votes, and our money to kick this out the back door. Every person here should be sending an e-mail to the White House, every one of their Representatives and each of their senators, as well as their governors.Then for good measure send one to six different airlines telling them you refuse to fly until this monster is shot! And then don't fly. Drive. We are going to NM at Christmas. It will take us 22 hours of solid driving (not counting breaks)to get there. We will have three days there and then the drive back. We will do it in 3 hour shifts. Or else we won't go. It will cost us only 1/2 the price of 1 round trip ticket. If the train takes too long, then forget the trip. Go when you actually have time. If it's about the holidays-guess what? I bet you can find a half dozen people you know who don't have a place to go or can't go home. Have them over. I guarantee it will be great.

Rob said...

This is why I prefer to drive to vacation spots... or better yet, just stay home. Besides, last time I traveled Continental I spoke with the air hostess about the recent airline changes, and she hinted that free meals/snacks would likely be taken away soon. Whereas the minivan is always loaded with munchies...

Susan said...

Just had lunch with a girlfriend of mine today. Her husband had taken their baby daughter to see her in-laws, so I asked her whether they were subject to such ill treatment by the TSA. She said no, which surprised me. The security was very kind to her husband and daughter, and they went right through. Praise the Lord for that.

Susan said...

Okay, I just read all the comments, and to my horror I realized this:

You mean if I were selected for such traumatic procedures, there is a possibility that a MAN may be touching me??? If that's the case, I'd put my foot down and ask for a lady instead. That's ridiculous. Don't these policy makers have any BRAINS??? No, don't answer that.... >:(

Susan said...

All right, one more question, guys: Has anyone emailed the TSA and complained about this? I sure am tempted....

https://contact.tsa.dhs.gov/DynaForm.aspx?FormID=10

christianlady said...

Chastity belts and other undergarments with a key mailed to the place I plan to travel to. How can they get their hands on me then? A blow torch?

Of course, I'm not flying, this is only my best answer...and I don't know where to buy such items.

Blessings!

Daniel Portela said...

Rent a car, drive to Canada, fly from there...

Stan McCullars said...

Has anyone emailed the TSA and complained about this?

Yes.

Robert said...

@Aaron: If they are going to implement some form of biometrics, I hope they get somebody competent to do the screening. I can't imagine trying to fly somewhere with my children (one of whom is autistic) and not have at least two of us chosen to be searched unless they have people who know what they are doing. And even then, it is a crapshoot.

Lynda O said...

Currently only some passengers go through the scanners. If you set off the metal detector, you are then asked to go through the body scanner.

That does help clarify the current situation; at first it sounded like it's already mandatory as a primary method. Again we have the incrementalism of it. Legislation has been proposed to mandate full-body scanners as the primary screening method by 2013 -- but Congress hasn't yet acted on it. Obama started the current push, as he directed the Homeland Security Dept to spend $1 billion to purchase the body-scanners; and Obama's Stimulus bill is funding the installation of the devices. Even if a soon-to-be majority Republican House prevents the overall Congress from enacting this legislation for 2013, it sounds like Obama will try to make it the primary method, sooner or later.

JackW said...

I think Rush might be on to something. Good cop, bad cop. Condition us to accept the body scanners which are made by who? ... and who is profiting? Won't stop at the airports either, bus stations and metros are next.

Sir Aaron said...

@Robert: The conspiracy theory was that biometrics (thumb print and optical scan) would replace instrusive screening. The theory was that the American people would do anything to avoid the pat downs and therefore gleefully accept biometric ID.

@Lynda O: Probable use of these techniques for trains and government buildings too.

@DJP The problem ultimately is that people who love liberty are a decreasing minority. Francis Schaeffer predicted this in his book, How should we then live. He said that people would accept intrusion for personal peace and prosperity. We are gradually coming to a place where we will have to decide to take radical, sacrificial action, or accept the tyranny that has been thrust upon us. Because eventually, the progressives will make it an either/or choice.

Robert said...

@Aaron,

I was confused and thinking of behavioral biometrics instead of physiological. Although, I'm still not sure if he'd deal well with optical scans or fingerprinting unless the people screening him had the right attitude. Of course, all that would prove is that we are who we say we are (as far as our name is concerned, anyway).

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

This is just sick. This is not just the groping of a handful of travelers, but this is the fleecing of Americans, as a whole. We feel other's pain, too!

We loose our freedoms by degrees, at first the abuse of power does not seem that monumental, the potential for harm is not fully understood; it is pretty subliminal, not quite on the radar screen.

Then the abuses loose their titillating factor, media coverage stops, and before you know it the raping of America is SOP, and people just yawn, shrug their limp, perplexed shoulders, and say, almost fatalistically, “What next?”

I am convinced if a steamroller came directly at us, few would move aside. That is how dumb, deaf and blind this society has become.

Many may remember years ago students did some role-playing. Some students were prisoners and some were wardens. The wardens were given the ability to shock the prisoners, and found they actually enjoyed doing it; even people who considered themselves to be loving and kind, enjoyed their newfound power, in a very sadistic way.

Give anyone the power to abuse, especially sanctioned by the government of that country, and you have a created a Gestapo-like state. But, as the world turns, it will soon be second-page news, then forgotten in a heap of trash, and a new, sick reality will have taken hold, that no one really gives a yawn about. If we don’t take a stand against oppression, we stand for it.

Anna said...

The weird thing is, I got felt up last summer at Charles De Gaulle in Paris, and that was before any of this nonsense. At the time I was grossed out and whatever, but I'm a big girl and I got over it. I am sicked out by the TSA nonsense of course, but it has me wondering, what was that at CDG last summer then? Was there always a feel-up option that we just did not know about? Weirdness.

candy said...

Interestingly, news reports and TSA state that Opt Out day has fizzled, but news reports also state that the scanners are roped off and not being used today. Hmmmm.

DJP said...

Honestly, I wouldn't believe anything the MSM reports too quickly. They're been running interference for 0 to a surprising degree on this issue.

Magister Stevenson said...

Just got home from work today--listened to "All Things Considered" while driving. They reported no significant disruptions.
However, I found two things interesting about their coverage.
First, they talked to (and about) the few protesters at the airports who were handing out literature about what exactly the scans do (radiation, how graphic...). I was struck by how those protesters sounded like Christians who hand out tracts (which I wish we did more of). The report made them sound like kooks who knew they couldn't make a difference, so they had to retreat to the metric of "if people are informed, then I've done my job." Hmmm.
And second, how many of those who opted for the scan said they did so out of convenience, didn't care because it was for safety, didn't think it was bad, didn't think complaining would do any good--in short, how defeated they sounded, how resigned to the new "normal".
Neither bode well.

candy said...

My theory is that TSA wants to make it look like the protest fizzled, when in fact, TSA is not using the scanners that much in order to not have the negative PR that the Opt Out protest would have generated.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

Woke up this morning and read in the headlines of a 19-year-old Somalian man who was arrested for having plotted to detonate a van filled with explosives in my hometown (Portland, OR).

I've had people on my facebook page tell me that they cooperate with the unlawful searches at the airports because "it's for everyone's safety."

But today's headlines remind us that the bombers and the terrorists aren't limited to airports. We have this false sense of security, while our heads are in the sand, it seems.

But that young man WAS stopped by the FBI. So here's my proposal: expand the FBI (a.k.a. create more jobs!) and allow them to scrutinize passenger lists and do the kind of investigative work they are so good at doing. That's gotta be better than what the TSA is doing.

Either that, or every passenger gets handcuffed and treated like a prisoner under military control until they make it through baggage claim at the other end. I'd feel much safer then, wouldn't you?

Southwest Airlines' motto keeps going through my head:

"You are now free to move about the country"

Or are we?