Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Don't touch my junk

I remember once, long ago, arriving at O'Hare airport well after midnight with a pair of hungry, thirsty, overtired and near hysterical pre-schoolers following a full day of airport delays and stormy air travel that began in Jamaica. The agony of enduring hours of waiting and seemingly microscopic baggage inspection is impossible to forget as was the large Orwellian banner demanding "PATIENCE - A DRUG FREE AMERICA COMES FIRST." From my point of view, it sure as hell didn't justify the trauma and I don't have to add that it wasn't and still isn't 'drug-free;' but those were the good old days. They didn't strip search my 5 year old.

Yes, sure, a majority of Americans are willing to put up with the ritual humiliations that now accompany air travel; those same people that don't worry much about driving their luxury trucks at 100 while talking on the phone -- at night -- in the rain. Odds are they haven't had to experience more than being asked to remove a belt or their shoes or having been chastised by someone in a too-tight polyester uniform and rubber gloves about which size Zip-Loc they put their shampoo and toothpaste in or even having 'terrorist tool' nail clippers confiscated. Of course many of us still haven't been through the full-body cameras and the rude, abrupt, "up against the wall" attitudes of TSA tyrants. Many have been and many are now fed up with what's being mocked as Security Theater. Fed up is a euphemism here of course but in this week of peak air travel, some of us will undergo an attitude adjustment and begin to use more direct words.

Some will elect to deprive some unseen gnome of viewing their nakedness, or that of their spouses and children and choose a "manual" search. It may be more 'manual' then they expected. ABC News producer Carolyn Durand claims that
"The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around. It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist."
Raw Story reports that women have had to remove prosthetic breasts for Link"inspection." One man had a urostomy bag ruptured by TSA's claws and had to board an airplane while soaked with public humiliation and urine. Keep in mind, that no probable cause is involved here since profiling would be insulting. Keep in mind that you probably can't get there by Amtrak and driving to grandma's house may be more dangerous than flying.

Of course, to me, the Government's power to stick their fingers in your hooha is far more offensive than its power to prevent the bus company from making some of my friends sit in the back seats and expel them from the Woolworths lunch counter, but then I'm not a Tea Party 'Patriot,' I don't support Rand Paul's discomfort with anything infringing on absolute property rights and I'm not an oil company either. Neither am I like the troll who used Raw Story's comment section to rave about supporting the "Terrorist State of Israel." I'm just sick of arguable ends being used to sanctify extreme and offensive methods. I'm tired of losing my freedom to other people's fear and my country to the neurotic and fearful mob.


Buffalo said...

It is going to be an interesting holiday travel season. I don't anticipate the righteous anger translating into an actual protest.

Baltazar said...

and it is not going to work - in two instances people got into the Capitol threw 'the armed camp' as some congress men have called it and it was office workers that dealt with them.

Capt. Fogg said...

If you've ever seen the lines at the stockyards, you'll remember it every time you fly. It used to be a dignified process - until we got terrorized. Now, even on a good day, it's like flying a cattle car.

And can't someone board a plane in Yemen or Pakistan and fly here without going through all this?

Susannah said...

Very nice post. On these points we absolutely agree, my friend. Nice surprise, eh?

Have had you in my prayers.

Hope you have a lovely & Happy Thanksgiving.