Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Groping Our Way To The Boarding Gate

Some of us are already traveling again, and with the holiday season fast approaching - and Eid already here, so 'Happy Eid' to our muslim readers -  the rest of us will also be doing some traveling soon enough. We're fairly certain that you will also be on the road - or in the air - soon, so with that thought in mind, our thoughts have been turning to travel troubles.

We've been staring at the low-level controversy coming from the babbling heads on TV and the radio regarding the problems with the full-body scanners and those who are fighting against being scanned - and simply shaking our heads.

This manufactured media controversy doesn't even rate a halfway decent quotation of Ben Franklin's opinions on liberty and security.

We're well aware of the stupidity of the TSA's current policy regarding scanning of passengers. A recent change in policy now forces TSA personnel involved in full body pat-downs to use the front of their hands in "vigorous" searches, versus the previous back-of-the-hand, barely worthwhile searches.

Of course, if someone would rather not get groped as part of their pre-boarding procedures, they can also choose to use the modern day technological equivalent of the old x-ray specs we used to get from the back section of the comic book. Then they can worry about blurry photos of what purports to be their naked bodies, shared online, with strangers.

Most of the reports on this issue continue to omit the fact that most airports in the United States don't even have these full-body scanners. Those same reports also usually gloss over the fact that virtually nothing that travels in the cargo areas of most airplanes in America, including packages under one pound, is ever scanned. So any attempt at claiming these heavy-handed procedures make traveling by air safer are simply laughable.

Of course, that isn't preventing some Americans from calling for a national 'opt-out of passenger screening' protest in airports across the country, on the day before Thanksgiving. That's JUST what every American needs on the busiest traveling day of the year - something that will delay our time in airports even more.

Frankly, if we can get to our destinations safely and on time, without having to listen to the mewling of a small child the entire time we're trapped in a confined space thousands of feet in the air, we don't really care if we get a free mammogram or testicular cancer screening at our boarding gate.

All we ask is that they throw in a lollipop, like they do at the doctor's office.

No comments:

Post a Comment