I was wondering when the board would start a discussion about the TSA. Here's where I come from:
1. These pat downs ARE NOT the pat downs of old - they're the new, improved, "enhanced" pat down, meaning that instead of brushing with the back of the hand to the point where they're -next- to the groin area, they actually touch you there. I'm sorry, but since when does a government agency have a right to touch me there without me being under arrest? Just because I choose to fly does not mean that I have to undergo the same procedures as someone who's being -incarcerated-.
BTW - for those of you who say "you don't have to fly:" Yes, actually, I -do- have to fly because a transatlantic voyage by boat takes a bit more time than one by plane. Also, from a civil rights perspective, the Supreme Court has ruled on several occasions that, as citizens, we have a right to travel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement_under_United_States_law
). By saying "if you don't submit to these procedures, you can't board the plane" you are denying me freedom of movement.
2. The first option for enhanced screening, these backscatter x-ray machines, are -not- safe. They have -not- been tested thoroughly. (http://myhelicaltryst.blogspot.com/2010/11/tsa-x-ray-backscatter-body-scanner.html
) The only reason they even EXIST is that a whole bunch of money is being poured into congress by way of the lobbyists who work for the people who make these things: http://washingtonexaminer.com/nation/2010/11/naked-scanners-lobbyists-join-war-terror
3. Actually, just read the whole post here, from security expert Bruce Schneier: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/11/tsa_backscatter.html
4. Israel and "profiling:" Let me say this. The 'profiling' that the highly-trained individuals at Ben Gurion and other aiports utilize is NOT in ANY WAY the sort of profiling that you'd get from $12/hr TSA employees. Here's a great article on how they do their screening: http://www.forward.com/articles/122781/
The idea that any of what the TSA is doing is actually making people safer is hogswallop. They exist to provide people with the illusion of security - they're entirely reactive, as opposed to proactive, and what that tells me is that they're only caring about protecting people from what they already know about, as opposed to what might be happening.
Someone said earlier that 9/11 couldn't happen again because of passenger attitude. This is 100% correct, in my opinion. Look at what happened to the underwear bomber guy - he got the s*** kicked out of him and the only thing he succeeded in blowing up was his own weewee. Passenger attitudes, plus the reinforcement of cockpit doors, are the things keeping us safe. Look, AQAP isn't even trying to put people on planes any more, they're now putting printer cartridges in cargo planes. BTW, if you want further evidence of the TSA's security theater, they banned printer cartridges from planes after that happened. Can you see the stupid from here? I sure can.
Finally, back to the whole backscatter/groping stuff. Do you have kids? Watch these videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSQTz1bccL4http://vimeo.com/16865565
No way in hell I'm having my child have to go through this. And I suspect many others wouldn't, either. Don't have kids? Read these: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40291856/ns/travel-news/http://www.darkpolitricks.com/2010/11/sanitary-towel-prompts-tsa-to-grope-sexual-assault-victim/http://www.ifeminists.net/print.php?news.17770http://www.2012electionyear.com/2010/11/elderly-woman-with-2-artificial-knees-describes-sexual-assault-by-tsa-in-st-louis-i-was-shaking-crying-i-likened-it-to-being/
Somewhere in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden is laughing so hard, goat milk is coming out of his nose.