Have Satellite Truck, Will Travel

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Location: Sitting inside a TV truck, Somewhere, more then likely in the Southeastern region, United States

I am a grouchy, bald headed old fart filled with opinions and not the least bit shy about sharing them.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The National Turkey

President Obama issued a general pardon commuting the death sentence hanging over the National Turkey. Joe Biden is said to be greatly relieved.

Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.
- W. C. Fields

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

The TSA crossed a line

Over the years in these pages I defended the TSA and their security measures taken in the wake of September 11th. I felt most of standards and procedures were reasonable based on the moronic twisted rules (No profiling for one) the TSA is forced to work under.

That was until I saw this video:

Ok, pulling off a T-shirt is not exactly a strip search. But it does not take away from what we are witnessing. Watch the pat down after the shirt comes off very carefully.

No one, and I do indeed mean NO ONE, would strip and touch my child in that manner on probable cause based solely on possession of an airline boarding pass. It doesn't matter that it was conducted there in public with two other TSA personnel looking on or out of the public eye. I assure you that would not have happened to my child.

Yes that is a battle I would lose. We are talking arrest, jail, bail, charges, fines and permanent records. But there are some lines even my government shall not cross. That video clearly shows agents of the TSA stepping way over that line. There are some things I simply will not sell out for. My children rate really high on that list.

There is no proof anywhere, no one has said anything to this effect, but it is my belief the "enhanced" pat downs are punishment for refusing to go through the new body scanners. My theory is TSA management believes if they make refusing the full body scan unpleasant enough, the vast majority of us will happily go through the full body scanner.

Enough is enough. It is time we as a country decide to grow up and start dealing with our security problems in a mature rational manner. Rational means politically correct words like "profiling" become irrelevant to security practices. That means a complete and total revamping of security systems and procedures (popularly known as Security Theater by some reading this) surrounding airports.

The United States should have followed the Israeli model from day one. The Israelis are under far greater threat then we are. (Were?) Most people don't even realize they are being screened when going through the Israeli process.

Check out this article on how Israel handles their airport security.

"The first thing you do is to look at who is coming into your airport," said Sela.

The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?

"Two benign questions. The questions aren't important. The way people act when they answer them is," Sela said.

Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of "distress" — behavioural profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.

"The word 'profiling' is a political invention by people who don't want to do security," he said. "To us, it doesn't matter if he's black, white, young or old. It's just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I'm doing this?"
The Toronto Star: The 'Israelification' of airports: High security, little bother

I highly recommend reading the entire article. It is very clear and very eye opening.

As much as it pains me to admit this, the fact is our government beginning to cross some real lines here. We are not talking artificial tempests created in virtual teapots like Boing-Boing or the Daily Show here. This is not an urban myth like suggestions the government is tapping every cell phone call in the United States. This is hard evidence of a system gone nuts.

I find it impossible to believe that partially stripping and then groping that young man in front of the entire airport screening area audience is a reasonable security measure.


"Goodbye commercial flying, hello No Fly List."
- Me after proofing this post.

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