Airport Security: Hey, Watch Your Hands!
Now listen, I'm all for a good groping now and then, but airport security is getting completely out of control. If the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has the audacity to tell us that inspecting the urine bag of a sick elderly man is a measure to deter terrorism, they're out of their minds.
Everybody wants to be safe, but many passengers have the opinion that the new invasive pat downs, which go so far as to touch the crotch and breast areas of fliers, are down right a violation of their personal space. Honestly, I've seen arresting police officers and doctors do less touching then these so called officials. Surprisingly, it seems the preparation measures airports have taken nationally in an effort to combat the much anticipated pat down protests seems to be for naught. Compliance has not been issue thus far. Most passengers are merely rolling over and taking it... and in some cases, literally. One breast cancer survivor was humiliated when she was reportedly asked to take off her prosthetic breast!
In the hopes of speeding up the dilatory lines at security, the TSA has started using scanners which can easily be called virtual strip searches. But, I guess this is better than some drone sticking his hands inside your underwear. And yes, that was actually reported at a number of airports! The TSA plans to spend about $1 billion for the purchase of 1,000 of the backscatter X-ray machines. As of now, 385 have been installed at 68 airports including busy hubs like Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, John F. Kennedy in New York, and Los Angeles International. (MarketWatch) Scanners are not the simple answer however. Like any devise that ex-rays our entire body, we have to be weary of the health risks that may be associated. Of course, the TSA claims they are perfectly safe... Though I'm not sure how much credence I put in an organization that feels they have probable cause to check my butt cheek for a bomb.
All in all, the new airport security it's a catch-22 for individuals that want to take a stand. On the one hand, I applaud any individual that stands up to authority that is in the wrong and says, No! On the other hand, it will ultimately be passengers and families that suffer. The TSA has handed out uniforms, badges, and a modicum of power which can sometimes be turned into an ego power trip. John Pistole, who's the head of the TSA, stated travelers considering taking a stand should consider the impact on people who just want to get to their loved ones for the holidays." Let me paraphrase that for you: Eat sh*t and die.
Airport security, for obvious reasons, is a serious thing that shouldn't be taken lightly for the benefits of our citizens. Here's how I see it plane and simple. Before the September 11 attacks, airport security was basically a joke. Now, it's become more invasive yet lacks an increase in efficiency. I don't care if grandma wants to knit on the plane. Just make sure I get to my destination safely. I'll tell you one thing, if a man figures out how to take down a plane with a tube of toothpaste, he's probably going to focus on an act of terror a little more impressive than a commercial airline.
With Thanksgiving knocking at our door, we can only hope the repugnant hands of airport security grab the right thighs this holiday season. Sorry turkeys.
(image from AFP)