Backlash

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The blogosphere is currently aflame with outrage over the TSA's new invasive procedures. I have friends who consider these procedures to be an aspect of terrorism, and while the head of the TSA bleats on about these activities being a "balance between privacy and security," the bottom line appears to be that the American public is channeling Jean-Luc Picard:
We've made too many compromises already, too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back...Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far and no further!
You said it, Captain.

I do not appreciate some random TSA officer essentially groping my Hot Mom because she cannot pass through an airport metal detector without her artificial knee setting it off. I do not appreciate the idea of some nasty TSA officer accidentally "saving" a body scanner image of my Hot Daughter for use as a masturbation aid. And mostly, I simply don't appreciate my government asking me to give up even more of my privacy and civil liberties in exchange for some artificial sense of "safety."

I'm a grown woman. I'm aware of the risks associated with traveling. I'm aware that there are people in the world who want to do me and mine harm, simply for the sin of not agreeing with them. And I'd rather take those risks than sacrifice even more of my Constitutional rights for some artificial sense of security.

My Senators and Representative will be hearing from me on this one.

11 comments:

Steve Buchheit said...

As I commented elsewhere:

If we adjust for every “possible” threat, 1) it can’t happen (unless we just go the whole 9 yards and just allow body cavity searches right now, because, really, you can hide a bomb in there - you know where-, and these new procedures won’t detect it) and 2) if I were the terrorist, I would game the system (I don’t need to blow up an airplane to gain my goals, because my goals are to make these rules overbearing to you the populace so you hate your own government). So as a terrorist, what I would do is make attacks that really weren’t intended to succeed, but had the possibility to do so, but the main thrust would be to adjust TSAs rules and screening procedures to make traveling a horrendous experience (like having officers “grab your junk”).

However, I’m solidly a bastard when it comes to cointel. If it were me, I’d increase “chatter” to phantom agents right before Thanksgiving (like this weekend) and Christmas (the two holidays that have the highest rate of air travel). I’d plant ideas in the heads of those likely to be captured to seed the paranoia of the US. But, like I said, I’m a solidly a bastard. Good thing our opposition doesn’t have those ideas.

The Mechanicky Gal said...

I'm aware that there are people in the world who want to do me and mine harm, simply for the sin of not agreeing with them.
Right-wingers?
Oh, Muslims.
Oh.

Janiece said...

MG, you have made my week.

I love you so...

Anne C. said...

I think what really put it into perspective for me was the comment (by who, I do not recall) that these searches are at the level that require probable cause in a law-enforcement setting. As Fenster said, "No PC, no goddamn right."

Janiece said...

Anne, I was thinking of "unreasonable search and seizure" myownself...

Eric said...

if I were the terrorist, I would game the system (I don’t need to blow up an airplane to gain my goals, because my goals are to make these rules overbearing to you the populace so you hate your own government).

Plus, as a lot of people have already pointed out, it's only a matter of time before the security lines themselves become targets: disrupt air travel, check; kill lots of people standing around taking off their shoes, check. "Let me show you my bomb, Mr. TSA Man," click, BOOM!

My suspicion is that we have these stupid backscatter devices because of one of my fellow geeks. Someone remembered that X-ray machine in Total Recall and thought it would be too cool if the thing was real. Two problems being: (1) that machine showed animated skeletons decked-out with guns, not hairless pasty hominids, and (2) Arnold Schwarzenegger.

You're wondering what I mean by that second one. Well, here's what I mean: that scene in Total Recall works because the guy being scanned is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who (even in less-than-Mr. Universe trim) is, as the bodybuilders say, sculpted. When a Schwarzenegger skeleton goes berserk, etc., it's pretty impressive. As opposed, let's say, to if the scene had featured singer/actor Meat Loaf Aday, in which case the whole thing would look like the camera was being attacked by a thoroughly armed and violent lava lamp.

Most Americans, even the more fit specimens, are closer in physiognomy to Mr. Aday than Mr. Schwarzenegger. If we all looked like Mr. Schwarzenegger (or, let's say, Angelina Jolie), no doubt the popular dress code would consist of thong and sandals and nobody would be the least bit embarrassed to be seen naked. As we all look more like Mr. Loaf, nobody really wants to go through the damn thing and hence much of the popular outcry.

The Total Recall-loving geek did not factor this into his "this would be cool" line of thought, or he never would have pushed the idea of the backscatter machines. Of course, it's also likely he forgot how that scene ends--with Schwarzenegger killing everybody--which goes back to the whole idea that the damn security lines are going to be a target sooner or later in and of themselves.

This is, of course, all speculation on my part. For what it's worth.

The Mechanicky Gal said...

Being of the lumpy sort myself, I just have this to say:
"If you are the one that is causing a scene when I am trying to get to my gate, then I WILL don my shoe and kick you in "The Junk"."
That is all.

Rachael Acks said...

We could certainly do worse than becoming more like Jean Luc.

Oh and. For you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBL3ux1o0tM&feature=player_embedded

Do not watch while drinking any beverage.

mom in northern said...

This came in from a friend...

Improvements to Airport Security
Here's a simple solution to the controversy over full-body scanners at airports.
Develop an enclosed booth that passengers step into but, instead of X-raying them, when the door closes, it will detonate any explosive device they have hidden on or in their body. The explosion will be contained within the sealed booth. This would be a win-win for everyone!
Think about it...

There would be no concern about racial profiling. The booth would eliminate long, expensive trials.
You're in the airport and you hear a muffled explosion, followed by an announcement over the PA system, "Attention standby passengers, we now have a seat available on flight number..."
What's not to like?

The Mechanicky Gal said...

"Attention, wet clean-up in Security line 4,"

I like it!

Stacey said...

Mom, you crack me up!
My girlfriend just flew from Sacramento airport. She had on a skirt and, you guessed it, they ran their hands up her legs almost to her crotch because she might be 'hiding' something in there...