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'The Resistance' is the actual name I've given to my testicles
October 29, 2010 4:55 PM   Subscribe


 
What ever happened to this shit getting more sensible under Obama?
posted by Keith Talent at 5:04 PM on October 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Keith Talent: "What ever happened to this shit getting more sensible under Obama"

I don't know, but I laughed just the same.
posted by bwg at 5:05 PM on October 29, 2010


My wife says the female TSA pat-downers have gone for the crotch for quite some time now. Maybe this is just new for dudes?
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 5:08 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Theater. Just like the author of the piece said.

Kiddies, I am old enough to remember when everyone including folks seeing off the passengers gathered on the tarmac, and then you just got on the plane. No pat down. No security xray. No taking your shoes off or your keys out of your pocket. No luggage scans.


They did have to chase the dinosaurs off the runway to take off, though.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:08 PM on October 29, 2010 [40 favorites]


God I hate security theater. Meanwhile, I am going to stuff my boxers to the point of serious elephantiasis the next time I fly.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 5:09 PM on October 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Back in the day, we would drive to DTW to watch planes take off. In those days none of us had ever been on a plane, flying was for rich people. The fun part was taking the stairs to the roof of the terminal, at night, where we could have easily shot planes down with air to ground rockets... good times!
posted by HuronBob at 5:12 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


'Resistance' in the form of Jeffrey Goldberg. Oh dear. I'm actually feeling sorry for the TSA.
posted by grounded at 5:14 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like to go on record stating that I invented the word "crotchal" first. My mom will back me up on this, because she totally made fun of me for, like, ten whole minutes after I said it.
posted by phunniemee at 5:15 PM on October 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Pretty soon there's going to be TSA-themed porno:

Agent: "What the hell is this suspicious object?"

Guy: "Uh...my penis?"

Agent: "Come with me, sir. I think we're going to need to bring you to to a private location."
posted by Despondent_Monkey at 5:15 PM on October 29, 2010 [21 favorites]


I've been reading all these articles saying that there was no reason to oppose the backscatter devices because anyone and everyone who wished to opt out could do so.

So now we find out that that was just a dirty lie to get the machines into the airport without resistance. Now that they're in place, the article shows the option to opt out is just a BS fineprint "on the books" option, with the reality being that people are to be bullied into the x-ray machine, and it is TSA policy that this bullying should occur.

WTF?! Is there no bottom to the overt and intentional deception, cynicism, and blatant bullying of the TSA?
posted by -harlequin- at 5:16 PM on October 29, 2010 [43 favorites]


St. Alia, I remember meeting my Daddy at the gate -- not at the end of the concourse, but being swept up and hugged within meters of the jetway.

It wasn't our modern fools who ruined that for us, it was the hijackers of the 70's who gave us the metal detector X-ray machine drill. And while that was a nuisance it wasn't that big of a deal until 9/11 and Shoe Bomber, when we started to get the real goat rodeo of taking off your jacket and shoes, taking your laptop computer out of its case, and so on and on.

And don't even get me started on the fucking jerk who thought it would be a good idea to use first name, last name as the index of a flag-fly/no-fly database, and procedures so that even when you present them with bona fide government ID that should prove you aren't the particular person who came up they have to go through some elaborate time-consuming airplane-miss-inducing procedure before they can wave you on.
posted by localroger at 5:17 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Have any MeFites ever gone through the backscatter scanner, and would care to share their experience here?
posted by Gator at 5:23 PM on October 29, 2010


Finding the resistance.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:24 PM on October 29, 2010


Man, I'm just going to drive from now on. Book a hotel and take 2 days to get there instead of enduring this strip-tease dog and pony show.
posted by hellojed at 5:25 PM on October 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


What about kids? I don't want my 9 yr old going through that machine and I don't want him fondled by a TSA perv. Fucking FAIL.
posted by e40 at 5:27 PM on October 29, 2010 [16 favorites]


I've driven to my last two meetings. It's sad to see me in my car going "La, la, la, I have a big tube of toothpaste!" or "Look at me! I've got three carry-on items!". Flying is no longer fun.
posted by acrasis at 5:29 PM on October 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Have any MeFites ever gone through the backscatter scanner, and would care to share their experience here?

I have. I was a bit anxious about it at first. (It was cold and I'm a nervous flyer, if you know what I mean). But it was pretty non-eventful. I stood in the machine, held my hands above my head and stood still, something went around the glass tube (a magnet?) and then I exited. The screen said OK or whatever and off I went. Fortunately, the people who are visually screening you are off-site in a separate room, and I understand that the machine obscures your face (?). Also, in Canada, we DO NOT keep copies of the image or make printouts, which I believe the US does.

I'm not really happy with it, and I do think it's a major invasion of privacy but at the same time, it does (probably) make air travel safer, or at least seem safer, and it was handled very professionally. I don't know if it's done differently in the US, though. I've always found Canadian screening agents to be very professional (and some times, downright nice--except for the "French" ones), whereas, in my limited and distant experience, I've found the US TSA agents to be rude, hostile, and/or intimidating (or at least they attempt to be).
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:29 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]




Then buy your own plane or learn to sail.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:32 PM on October 29, 2010


Now I have two reasons to inject saline into my scrotum.
posted by poe at 5:32 PM on October 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


I love security theatre. Last time I flew out of Lihue Airport in Hawaii, some cryptic phrase got blasted over the PA system and all the TSA guards ran up and blocked the metal detectors and started eyeing everyone suspiciously for about 5 minutes until another cryptic PA message told all the guards to go back to their posts. It was like going to a faux-50s diner where every fifteen minutes all the employees would be forced to come out and do a little old-timey song and dance for the diners.
posted by reformedjerk at 5:35 PM on October 29, 2010 [21 favorites]


Although on preview, the diner people don't come up and squeeze your balls.
posted by reformedjerk at 5:36 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Despondent_Monkey: "Agent: "What the hell is this suspicious object?"

Guy: "Uh...my penis?"

Agent: "Come with me, sir. I think we're going to need to bring you to to a private location.
"

Dear Penthouse Letters, you're not going to believe this, but ..."
posted by bwg at 5:36 PM on October 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


So now we find out that that was just a dirty lie to get the machines into the airport without resistance.

Yeah, they also said that the machines wouldn't save images.

Why anyone believes anything the American government says is beyond me.
posted by Despondent_Monkey at 5:36 PM on October 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


Have any MeFites ever gone through the backscatter scanner

Have not, will not. Bypassed it the last time I saw it, in the Denver airport, and the "pat down" was a non event.
posted by bearwife at 5:38 PM on October 29, 2010


What kind of dosimeter would you need with you to get a reliable reading on the radiation dosage you received from the backscatter device? (I'd be interested in buying one since the assurances of low dose came from the same people who assured us a simple pat down would also be available as an alternative, and probably refer to a minimal setting that is never actually going to be used.)

Presumably the dose happens very quickly and is not very large, and most dosimetry gear is designed for prolonged exposure, so I'd guess a fairly specialized radiation dosimeter would be needed. Anyone know the device that fits that bill?
posted by -harlequin- at 5:38 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I prefer "nard garden".
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:40 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]



Want to fly ? You have two choices : The Pornoscan, or the Grope-o-matic.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:41 PM on October 29, 2010 [12 favorites]


Okay, so people actually emailed Jeffrey Goldberg to ask if he really named his sack The Resistance? Are people really that fucking lame?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:45 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


(Last time I was given an assurance that the gamma radiation dose from doing X would be less than the dose I would get from cosmic radiation from flying halfway around the world, I had the equipment to measure and check that claim, and that claim was drumroll... false.)
posted by -harlequin- at 5:47 PM on October 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


What ever happened to this shit getting more sensible under Obama?

Because yes, every idiotic thing still in place is Obama's personal fault.
posted by nomadicink at 5:50 PM on October 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Resistance for the first time? For years now I've been keeping my shoes on and my laptop in my bag and when asked by the guard I say "Oh, sorry" in whispered breathe and then do as told.
posted by wcfields at 5:55 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


This escalation of security nonsense really has to stop. We're now at the point where TSA is taking naked pictures of citizens or groping them. The claim is this process passes constitutional muster because of national security and the notion that flying is an optional privilege rather than a right. Even professional pilots are getting fed up, as this referenced pilot account is a great example of.

Despite earlier promises, the naked pictures are being saved. I've yet to see an explanation on why it's OK for TSA security to take naked pictures of children.
posted by Nelson at 5:57 PM on October 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Man, that TSA exchange is sounding an awful lot like Jay Santos, the wanna-be cop from the Phil Hendrie Show. All the officers need is a pith helmet and some bermuda shorts.
posted by crapmatic at 6:00 PM on October 29, 2010


BOS has backscatter machines in each security line - they've actually replaced the metal detectors with them in some terminals. *Everyone* goes through them.

I went through one once, and loathed it. You stand in a confined space and raise your arms in a position of surrender. It's interesting how that simple gesture -- raising your arms while encased in a machine -- worked on me psychologically. I felt violated, humiliated, and upset.

So last week I opted for a pat-down. It was no big deal - the agent was polite, efficient, and very very thorough. And oddly enough standing there in front of everyone with my arms in the air while a dude in a uniform slid his hands up my thighs felt much more comfortable than being in that goddamn machine. So I plan to do it from now on.
posted by xthlc at 6:02 PM on October 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


If it means one would be hijacker gets foiled, I'll walk through those scanners all day long.
posted by morganannie at 6:03 PM on October 29, 2010


Even professional pilots are getting fed up, as this referenced pilot account is a great example of.

I didn't see this mentioned in the previous thread, but "Blogger Bob" of the TSA gave a terse response to that kerfuffle at the TSA blog.
posted by Gator at 6:03 PM on October 29, 2010


Also, do you think TSA employees want to grope your balls? No. They are following orders. Maybe they are jerks because they have to fight with you about taking your shoes off and your laptop out of its case after just doing the same thing with the guy in front of you.
posted by morganannie at 6:08 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The last time I flew, I went from Logan to BWI.

There were, effectively, two lines through TSA that was funneled through three points at the end. The take-a-pticha-of-yer-innards on either side of the gosh golly good ole metal detector. I was going to be put through one of the take-a-pitcha-of-yer-innards machines, and I calmly pointed to the metal detector. The crab apple of a TSA agent said, "You have to go through here." I looked at her and said, "I don't want to do that."

She stared at me blankly and then said in the bitchiest tone I have ever heard, "You'll have to get a pat down if you opt out."

I stared right back at her and said, "That's fine."

I still had to walk through that damn machine. They assured me it was off and I didn't stand through it at all, but I guess I'll never really know about that part.

Then a much nicer TSA agent came over and patted me down. A bunch of people in line behind me were pissed because until I was done being felt up by another woman, no one else could pass through the take-a-pitcha-of-yer-innards machine.

As I expressed to my husband's relatives in the ensuing days, "I would much rather be felt up than have a digital image of my insides out there somewhere." My husband's uncle, ever the wit, commented, "At least that's a familiar feeling, right?"

I will always opt out of those damn machines. Much as I don't ever want to have the unfortunate experience of being stripped search, I also think I would prefer that to those machines. And if anyone from TSA makes any attempts to lay a single pinky finger on Toddler Zizzle when we fly this holiday season, well....I hope they believe in a deity and he/she better be inclined to help.
posted by zizzle at 6:08 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Have any MeFites ever gone through the backscatter scanner, and would care to share their experience here?
Last time I was on a plane I had to go through that thing. Actually, I didn't realize that's what it was until I was in it, or I would have refused. They didn't make everyone go through it, though. I was pulled out of the line. It might have been random, but I did kind of wonder if there was any chance that they pulled me because I happen to be a small woman with big tits.

But yeah, the actual experience of the thing is no biggie. You go in, you put your arms up, the thing whirs, and you're done. You can't see the image, and you can't see the people who can see the image. But it's still creepy to be virtually strip-searched, and next time I think I will be prepared and refuse, if only just to make their lives more difficult.
posted by craichead at 6:09 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, if I draw smily faces on my breasts with a black Sharpie under my clothes, will it show up on the robot scanner xray thingy?
posted by spinifex23 at 6:11 PM on October 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


Every time they ramp up the security theater another increment, I increase the distance I'm willing to drive in order to avoid flying. I think I'm now at about 1200 miles (two days of driving) -- longer than that and I'll fly; shorter than that and I will drive, every time. This shit is demeaning and stupid, and the only people it makes safer are the owners of the companies that supply the equipment.
posted by Forktine at 6:16 PM on October 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


Gator, Blogger Bob's comment section doesn't seem too impressed with his post.
posted by localroger at 6:16 PM on October 29, 2010


America is still NUMBER 1!
posted by robbyrobs at 6:18 PM on October 29, 2010


Have any MeFites ever gone through the backscatter scanner, and would care to share their experience here?

The correct term is "pornoscanner".
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 6:19 PM on October 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


I hate to say this, but I got an uncomfortable bit of foresight that all these "clash with the TSA" stories we've been hearing lately are, at some point, inevitably going to become "some crazy dude goes postal on the TSA in an airport, killing at least one agent and six other passengers." But, you know, it's for our safety!
posted by Ouisch at 6:20 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


What Spinifex said. Are there any non-metal substances that will show up on a backscatter scan? And can they be used to write "FUCK OFF" in large friendly letters on one's torso?
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:21 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I guess what I'm saying is that, increasingly intrusive security measures are going to be met with increasing resistance from those subject to those measures. And I don't think that's very safe for anyone.
posted by Ouisch at 6:22 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think if I was pressed with the "you won't like it" line, I'd retort with "well, since neither the machine nor the rubdown will detect something in a person's anus or vagina they're both worthless, and if I have to pick one for show I'll go with the one that definitely won't leave a picture of my naked body zinging around the internet until the end of time."
posted by localroger at 6:24 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


even better, "a picture of my small penis zinging around the internet."
posted by localroger at 6:25 PM on October 29, 2010


Yikes. That private room option is way too rapey for my comfort. How on earth would that be better than being frisked in public???
posted by schmod at 6:26 PM on October 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yeah, between all this and the airlines jacking up prices and increasing fees right and left, I would think people are becoming less and less likely to want to fly. Is there any reliable, current information on how this might be affecting the airline industry numbers-wise? I mean like, hard numbers on how many people are choosing to fly this year, compared to years past, for example (speculation as to their reasons aside). I don't even know how to begin to Google for stats of that nature, but I imagine if they exist, they'd be interesting.
posted by Gator at 6:31 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Have any MeFites ever gone through the backscatter scanner, and would care to share their experience here?

Yep. They have them at ATL.

You hold you arms up, the machine whirs a bit, and you're out the other side.

Honesly I find the take off my shoes/unpack my CPAP machine/unpack my laptop/empty my pockets/put shoes back on/wait for chemical swab of CPAP machine/repack CPAP machine/repack laptop/put stuff back in pockets shuffle to be far more annoying.

How about some better scanners for our carry-on bags so I don't have to unpack all my shit?
posted by Fleebnork at 6:34 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Personally, I'd much rather have a bunch of people I don't know and can't see laugh at my wiener than get my junk groped.

Different gropes for different folks, I s'pose.
posted by jacobian at 6:45 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I managed to freak out TSA when they passed some thingy over my wheelchair and found something that they said was evidence of explosives. Turned out it was something I had used to clean my chair.

That was a weird day.
posted by angrycat at 6:49 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I still had to walk through that damn machine. They assured me it was off and I didn't stand through it at all, but I guess I'll never really know about that part.

Trust me, zizzle, you'd know if it were on (and you have to stay perfectly still in that position for it to work properly, anyways).
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:57 PM on October 29, 2010


Now this, this is wrong...
posted by Blasdelb at 7:01 PM on October 29, 2010


I'm starting to think the Airlines would rather us not fly.

(I know the TSA is government. Is there any push-back from airlines at all?)
posted by gc at 7:09 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm definitely going for the patdown from now on. Nothing like having a man in uniform grope my crotch. I usually have to go to San Francisco for such a thing.

I predict within a year we'll have a TSA scandal involving pornoscanner images being passed around and traded, at the very least.
posted by hippybear at 7:12 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Because yes, every idiotic thing still in place is Obama's personal fault.

It's not. But he could do something about it, and he does not. He certainly knows about the security theatre by now. "We have more important things to do right now" only works as an excuse for so long.
posted by JHarris at 7:20 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


What about kids? I don't want my 9 yr old going through that machine and I don't want him fondled by a TSA perv. Fucking FAIL.

You teach your child to shriek "Bad Touch! Bad Touch!". I'm serious.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:20 PM on October 29, 2010 [17 favorites]


Of course, I'm still wondering what happened to the 2008 reports that restrictions on liquids were going to be relaxed.
posted by hippybear at 7:24 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I call my testicles the "Gom Jabbar."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:26 PM on October 29, 2010 [21 favorites]


I was disappointed in myself last week when I passively opted for the pornoscan instead of requesting a pat-down, even though I had just read the recent thread where I first learned the term "pornoscan". Like xthlc, I found the arms-up pose humiliating.

Next time I'll request a pat-down, and Christ, why would I want it to be private? At least in the public line I can be assured the TSA agent will behave.
posted by nev at 7:28 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm choosing the grope. I don't want the radiation, I don't want the naked photos, and I do want the TSA to feel awkward and foolish.

When they touch my testicles I'll mutter a surprised "oh!" and when they grope my ass I'll lightly murmer "OhhHh!" in false delight.

I am not embarrassed that they choose to implement security theatre. Let them feel uncomfortable. It's no skin off my ass.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:32 PM on October 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


Back on the college debate team, we had a guy quit right before a tournament, and a frosh got pressed into action for an out of region tournament. So, because tickets weren't transferable even then (this was ~1995) me and the assistant coach stayed up to do the next most cost-effective option: we made a fake ID for froshboy as quitterboy, supposedly as a college ID. It totally worked.

It amazes me how quickly everything changed. I won't even say what we used to pack in the evidence boxes. Besides evidence, of course.
posted by norm at 7:34 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


If it means one would be hijacker gets foiled, I'll walk through those scanners all day long.
posted by morganannie at 6:03 PM on October 29 [+] [!]

Except it doesn't work that way. There is no measure that any country can ever take that will always prevent this kind of thing. All that happens is that new ways to circumvent security are developed, and the methods change. Wait till these nut-jobs start targeting cruise ships, or container vessels, or buses. The sad fact is that there is no defense that is impenetrable, and you can never make yourself entirely safe. The only way to defend against this kind of thing is through social engineering, and changing the behaviors that make you a target.

I got a bit excited when I read the headline. I was hoping that you Americans had finally gotten fed-up with this ridiculous security theater, and that finally a mass rebellion had blossomed; maybe with everyone opting for the alternative screening. No such luck.

Don't even get me started on the true permeability of the U.S/ Canada boundary, , and the absolute charade of the so-called "border".
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:43 PM on October 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


From the article: By the time terrorist plotters make it to the airport, it is, generally speaking, too late to stop them. Plots must be broken up long before the plotters reach the target.

I don't necessarily agree with the point that comes right after that quote (that if they can get as far as the airport they can certainly get contraband aboard a plane) but earlier in the article the writer observes that a terrorist only really needs to gain access to the tightly-coiled, slow-moving security screening area to kill a lot of people and/or cause a lot of mayhem.
posted by carsonb at 7:43 PM on October 29, 2010


When they touch my testicles I'll mutter a surprised "oh!" and when they grope my ass I'll lightly murmer "OhhHh!" in false delight.

I'm thinking a "hey, big boy, maybe we should get that private room after all" would be appropriate.
posted by hippybear at 7:44 PM on October 29, 2010


So because we no longer have any balls, now we have let people grope them?
posted by JaredSeth at 7:44 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I unexpectedly had to go through the backscatter before flying from San Jose to Maui for my honeymoon in September. I didn't know they'd instituted it yet, it was very early in the morning, and I tend toward scene-making panic when I feel anxious. I did not expect to find it as terribly upsetting as I did.

The position you assume makes you feel vulnerable and, from what I saw, if you twitch, you have to do stand there for a long time while they scan more than once. I started shaking as I watched the person in line before me go through, and by the time it was my turn, I was just a wisp of "don't ruin your honeymoon" will away from saying the kind of thing that gets you arrested.

It's shaming to stand quietly while some stranger looks at your naked body from an anonymous cubicle. The psychological aspect of it, of presenting yourself in that manner to have your personal space intruded upon from a distance, felt very much like a violation. Particularly because you know this isn't like getting a massage where the person looking at your body got into this profession because they aren't judgmental or turned on by this kind of thing.

It really made me think about how we define our physical boundaries and how they intersect with out psychological ones. I can't believe my choice are "Have a stranger look at my genitals" or "Have a stranger fondle my genitals."
posted by mostlymartha at 7:48 PM on October 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


I requested a pat-down last time I went through security, because I didn't want to go through the backscatter. The agent was completely respectful, and while it took a bit longer than just going through the machine, it wasn't a major hassle. I wish it weren't necessary -- and I'm not convinced that it is -- but they didn't give me a hard time for refusing the backscatter at all.
posted by cider at 7:50 PM on October 29, 2010


I think this might be the best method for going through the backscanner.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:03 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm taking 2 Cialis an hour before I show up at the airport.
posted by docpops at 8:06 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Magnetic paint ought to do the trick. Google it.

Should also work for painting bombs and machine guns under the lining of your un-friend's suitcase.

The point of the security theatre isn't to find anything. It's to make the bad guys so nervous they give themselves away. This is how Resham, the "millennium bomber" got caught in Port Townsend back in 1999. The goons view rudeness and being power-mad as feature, not a bug.

Refresh my memory, please. When was the last time the TSA actually caught a real live terrorist in a US airport? I'm thinking never, but I could be wrong.

So it may be like the magic powder that keeps the tigers away. No tigers, the powder is doing it's job. QED.
posted by warbaby at 8:14 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Actually, the point of security theater is to cover the asses of incompetent people. It's also, unfortunately, a result of a society that is completely unwilling to deal with risk in any rational way. People will die. Things will happen. The question is, what are you willing to trade to reduce that number, and how can you link the causation such that you can prove the trade was worthwhile.

None of that is done. It's more like "well, if we make it a huge pain in the ass, it looks like we're doing something". I wish I could say otherwise, but having worked with many functionaries in the Federal government's "security apparatus", it's mostly about covering themselves.

Probabilities and statistics are too scary, and too hard to explain to the "people".
posted by petrilli at 8:29 PM on October 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


This past Wednesday, I showed up at Baltimore-Washington International for a flight to Providence, R.I.

STOP RIGHT THERE, MISTER.

I live in Warwick! Here is my neighborhood! WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THE TOP RIGHT CORNER OF THE SCREEN?

The airport is NOT IN PROVIDENCE.
The airport is IN WARWICK.

Yes this comes up a lot HOW COULD YOU TELL?

Carry on.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:30 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


If it means one would be hijacker gets foiled, I'll walk through those scanners all day long.

If it means one highway fatality is avoided, I say we all quit driving.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:35 PM on October 29, 2010 [23 favorites]


I hate to say this, but I got an uncomfortable bit of foresight that all these "clash with the TSA" stories we've been hearing lately are, at some point, inevitably going to become "some crazy dude goes postal on the TSA in an airport, killing at least one agent and six other passengers." But, you know, it's for our safety!

From what I have seen of people who like to assume they are in an authoritative position...its more likely that a passenger or two will be killed by TSA agents who did a bit too much meth and watched a bit too much "24" right before their shift.

Then we'll have a whole "oh...we need to better screen the TSA people" rather than "lets fucking end this charade that doesn't prevent shit".
posted by hal_c_on at 9:04 PM on October 29, 2010


I call my testicles the "Gom Jabbar."

Thats funny, because I call my junk "shai halud".
It works because my people are from an area of the earth that has sand. It also works because it sounds arabic, and they loves themselves some arabic at the TSA line.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:10 PM on October 29, 2010


I don't have (non-metaphorical/silicone) balls, so I'm gonna have to settle for naming my labia majora "The Resistance" in honor of security theater.
posted by NoraReed at 9:13 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


So far, there are nearly 80 comments, a fair amount of get-pornified-or-groped talk, and no one has mentioned that the Electronic Privacy Information Center is fighting the body scanners on grounds of privacy, health and government deception.

I've never given to EPIC -- here's my first $25. Letters to senators are next.

If we're not willing to put a few dollars toward keeping our modesty and dignity as citizens, let's all just STFU, raise our arms and file through as many scanners, gropers and anal-swabbers as we're told.
posted by slab_lizard at 9:14 PM on October 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Rumor has it that zinc oxide will show up differently on the backscatter scans.
posted by humanfont at 9:21 PM on October 29, 2010


In March 2004, terrorists carried out a coordinated assault on commuter trains at Madrid's Puerta de Atocha station, killing 191 and injuring nearly 2,000 more. It was widely reported that the attacks would have been even more deadly if the bombs had gone off only a short while later, when morning commuter traffic would've been at its peak.

When you go to Puerta de Atocha nowadays to board an AVE high speed train - a system whose construction the Basque terrorist organization ETA has opposed to the point of executing a construction company executive working on the project - you have to arrive a good ten minutes early. You have to show picture ID and they scan your bag and you walk through a metal detector like the ones they've had at airports for decades. You leave your shoes on throughout, and then you collect your bag with liquids and gels in it and everything. And then you board your train, which zips you in fast, efficient comfort to your destination.

This is what you do when you board a train in Madrid, because this is how a mature society faces fears and threats. By taking only the necessary precautions, accepting that there is no such thing as a risk-free life - not one worth living, anyway - and carrying the fuck on like grown-ups already.
posted by gompa at 9:25 PM on October 29, 2010 [23 favorites]


Real duct tape is adhesive aluminum tape. Should be a cinch to cut out letters or shapes. They'll showcup beautifully.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:28 PM on October 29, 2010


They took out the machine at the big airport in my city. I don't think these things are going to get ubiquitous implementation. However, there's probably more invasive technology coming that would be unavoidable for anyone entering a given space.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:55 PM on October 29, 2010


I was told, in 1986, by an NSA consultant (who had a skorpion machine pistol on his person, so I assume he's somewhat legit), that all that is needed to hijack an airplane is a wooden pencil held to a stewardess' neck.

Yet cockpit doors were not secured in the US. Are they even now? The last flight I was on (post-911) , the cockpit was open when I embarked.

I vote for armored cockpit doors and the passenger compartment is a Mad-Maxian free-for-all until landing... this is unfortunate for the steward/esse/s (not a regular expression), but a boon to national security. Instead of trading privacy and liberty for security, we offer bravery for security.
posted by squinky at 9:58 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Kiddies, I am old enough to remember when everyone including folks seeing off the passengers gathered on the tarmac, and then you just got on the plane. No pat down. No security xray. No taking your shoes off or your keys out of your pocket. No luggage scans.

When I fly Wellington to other domestic routes in New Zealand on the smaller planes - Dash 8s and so on - this is still pretty much how it's done.
posted by rodgerd at 10:24 PM on October 29, 2010


Also, do you think TSA employees want to grope your balls? No. They are following orders. Maybe they are jerks because they have to fight with you about taking your shoes off and your laptop out of its case after just doing the same thing with the guy in front of you.

You know, you're probably right. Just like the SS guards who were directing gays and gypsies and Jews into the gas chambers didn't really enjoy the work. Sure, they did it, but it was a bit of drudgery for them. Poor bastards.
posted by Sukiari at 10:51 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


A third option could be just going through the line naked.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:57 PM on October 29, 2010


Have any MeFites ever gone through the backscatter scanner, and would care to share their experience here?

Yes, I went through 2 weeks ago in Oakland. Why? Because I have nothing to hide.

By "nothing" I mean "not so much"
posted by victors at 10:58 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Remind me not to call my testicles "my bombs" when I travel to the US one day.
posted by lifeless at 11:17 PM on October 29, 2010


reformedjerk: "Although on preview, the diner people don't come up and squeeze your balls"

Unless they're looking for a bigger tip. Ahem.
posted by bwg at 11:20 PM on October 29, 2010


The disturbing thing for me is the TSA agent is suppose to be able to differentiate with a pat down the difference between male genitalia and things posing as male genitalia. How much training do you suppose they get on that? (Male TSA Pat Down Practice Model: Worst Job Ever)? And are women wearing skirts required to wear underwear? Substantial underwear?

docpops writes "I'm taking 2 Cialis an hour before I show up at the airport."

I've been contemplating how to mess with the new pat downgroping procedures:
  • Wear a kilt and go commando. (Bonus points: Good size Prince Albert or PA Wand).
  • Commando Kilt and be treating a case of Jock Itch.
  • Stuff a jock with half a coil of garlic sausage (are you allowed to bring food onto a plane anymore? If not substitute a condom filled with cured plaster of paris.)
  • Bags of plastic ball bearings, large and small.
  • Balloon animals.
It's probably a good thing I have little need to fly.
posted by Mitheral at 12:43 AM on October 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's something seriously wrong when the security procedure for visiting a prison is less intrusive than flying in an air-plane.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 2:04 AM on October 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


In the news, last Wednesday.

In the news, today.

What convenient timing for the airport security Nazis.
posted by Decani at 2:17 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't even get me started on the true permeability of the U.S/ Canada boundary, , and the absolute charade of the so-called "border".

I don't understand what you're getting at with those links. Two links to driving directions from Osoyoos to Oroville on highway 97? There's a full border crossing/customs building on that route. Do you mean the lake? The Okanagan valley is pretty narrow and would be easy to monitor, making it a bad place to try to sneak across the border.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:24 AM on October 30, 2010


Meanwhile this week, the head of British Airways (former national carrier) called for the removal of some redundant security checks, including saying the UK should stop kowtowing to US demands.

He gets direct backing from many of the other UK airlines, and the UK airline representative body, BAR UK.

BAA's chief executive (operator of most big UK airports) said security at Heathrow and its other airports was "defined by the authorities" and consisted of "one requirement laid on top of another".

He added: "There's European requirements, there's UK requirements and... US requirements laid on top of that.

"We could certainly do a better job for customers if we could rationalise all of that into a single, coherent process, and I'd love to have the chance to do that."

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond responded with: "Security is, and will remain, a continuing challenge to the industry and the delivery of effective aviation security must be at the heart of the aviation policy debate.

"I intend to develop a new regulatory system - one where the government concentrates on setting the security outcomes that need to be achieved, and frees up operators to devise the security processes needed to deliver them in line with EU requirements."

So hey, maybe the UK will break away from the codependent 'my police state is better than your police state' competition it has going with the US. At least for planes.
posted by ArkhanJG at 2:24 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yet another reason why I've turned into someone who hates flying.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:57 AM on October 30, 2010


Now the TSA employees are Nazis?

Following orders to do a pat down on someone and following orders to kill someone are two different monsters, my friend.

Full disclosure: my brother used to work for TSA in Myrtle Beach. He is a pretty good guy.

A few people here have mentioned that their pat-downs weren't that bad. A few people have likened TSA employees to Nazis.

I get that you may not want your tiny junk scanned by some anonymous stranger but don't make that stranger out to be the worst thing since Jack the Ripper.
posted by morganannie at 4:32 AM on October 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also, instead of devising ways to write FUCK YOU on your bodies with duct tape that only TSA line workers will ever see why don't you write a letter to the people with the actual power?
posted by morganannie at 4:38 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


morganannie: "Also, instead of devising ways to write FUCK YOU on your bodies with duct tape that only TSA line workers will ever see why don't you write a letter to the people with the actual power?"

You wanna know why? Because they don't respond. As some people here know, I've been on their list for about 8 years now and have been subject to somewhere between 3 to 8 hours of questioning and searching each and every single time I go to the United States. You wanna talk about "tiny junk", of those dozen or so incidences, I have on only two occasions met TSA officials who weren't blatantly abusing their power in an attempt to scare the shit out of me with their threats and baseless claims. One of those two handed me a form to fill out which could, he claimed, get me off the list. When I got back to Toronto, I read the instructions very carefully and attached all supporting documentation (RCMP and local police background checks, birth certificate, a letter which stated my employment, etc. - anything which those fuckers could use as an excuse not to let me in). Three months later? Nothing, no response. I had kept a copy of the form and re-sent it all again. Twelve months later I received a form letter which basically apologized, but also stated there was nothing they could do at this time and to try again at a later date.

I went to your TSA link and saw this. What a fuckin' joke. Discriminated based on "national origin"? Ha. Those fuckers have a physical list of 7 or 8 nationalities which they are required to stop every time. Doesn't matter if it's a god damn 8 year old child who's lived in the U.S. since he was 6 months old. I've asked them about this list, and although these poor people are always subject to an interview, the TSA refuses to call it "profiling".

So yeah, I'll take whatever kicks I can get by taping "Fuck You" to my body. Doesn't matter. Either way, I'm fucked.
posted by gman at 6:16 AM on October 30, 2010 [12 favorites]


Finally a career path that allows pedophiles and rapists to express their inner desires while being paid by the government to do it.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:36 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


morganannie : Also, do you think TSA employees want to grope your balls? No. They are following orders.

If everyone refused to kill in the name of their countries, we'd have no wars.

And if the TSA couldn't find anyone willing to act in their security theater, we'd have no coercion to submit to an unlicensed and untested medical imaging device.

At some point, we have to call "just following orders" a crime against humanity and punish it accordingly. I'll refrain from committing a Godwin, but you get the obvious reference.


If it means one would be hijacker gets foiled, I'll walk through those scanners all day long.

Did you read TFA? It would not foil any serious hijackers. we haven't seen a successful repeat of 9/11 because the real terrorists (unlike fucknuts like Reid who couldn't take down an old woman on a walker) don't have an unhealthy obsession with airplanes. The next attack will use the vector we least expect.
posted by pla at 6:44 AM on October 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


jeffamaphone : A third option could be just going through the line naked.

On a slightly less extreme note, I have to seriously wonder how they would respond if you stripped down to nothing but a tight speedo. It would make either scanning or a pat-down (even more) pointless, and in some contexts (a beach) would count as more-or-less socially acceptable attire so they couldn't (legitimately) harass you for public indecency.

Oh, who do I kid? We all know what would happen - They'd either go through the exact same motions of a pat-down (on the off chance you had an invisible 5oz bottle of water strapped to your thigh), or they'd take you aside and let you wait in a screening room until one minute after your flight left, like they do for just about every other challenge to their authority.
posted by pla at 6:55 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I recall flying out of San Francisco about a year ago. At the security checkpoint, they separated people into two lines. Some were directed through a metal detector, others through a backscatter imager. My wife went through the metal detector and I went through the backscatter machine. I agree that it's humiliating, and also slow.

After I got out, they did a pat-down on me, and I was thinking "you've got this big fancy machine and you still can't find what you're looking for?"

On the subject of increasing the distance one would rather drive than fly, I heard an ad recently for a company that operates vans tricked out like private jets, driving over what would be short-haul flights, like Austin-Dallas. Can't remember the name, but it makes a lot of sense. Since (I think) they drive you door-to-door, it's probably faster.
posted by adamrice at 7:29 AM on October 30, 2010


I was told, in 1986, by an NSA consultant (who had a skorpion machine pistol on his person, so I assume he's somewhat legit), that all that is needed to hijack an airplane is a wooden pencil held to a stewardess' neck.

Yet cockpit doors were not secured in the US. Are they even now? The last flight I was on (post-911) , the cockpit was open when I embarked.


This is because up until 9/11 flight crews were trained in specific response to hijack threats. The assumption was that a hijacker would take the airplane to a new destination, make their demands (usually political), land, engage in some sort of stand-off, and then the episode would be over. The concern was to avoid unnecessary conflict or loss of life on board. So, crews cooperated with hijackers where physical violence appeared imminent, and a sharp pencil through the neck is definitely an imminent threat.

Of course, the 9/11 events took complete advantage of that, as the flight crews cooperated with the hijackers who demanded to take the actual flight controls. The solution should have been:
* Changed flight crew training (implemented)
* Air Marshals on a random assortment of heavily fuel laden flights (implemented)
* Deck door closed and locked prior to closing the cabin (implemented)
* Improved "back door" non-passenger security (semi-implemented)

These steps alone, along with better existing agency cooperation, would have been enough to change the parameters that allowed 9/11. But, as you notice, they have three disadvantages:
* They aren't very publicly visible responses
* They don't involve buying lots of new things with taxpayer dollars
* They don't create hundreds of thousands of new government jobs

The first was a directly political necessity, the second and third seemed like a good idea at least in part because the economy was heading downhill and no one was willing to argue "against security". What we see now is just the momentum of the beast that was created at that time.
posted by meinvt at 8:37 AM on October 30, 2010 [8 favorites]


localroger wrote: "It wasn't our modern fools who ruined that for us, it was the hijackers of the 70's who gave us the metal detector X-ray machine drill."

Huh? Until 9/11, anybody could go through the security checkpoint. No ticket or pass required.

schmod wrote: "Yikes. That private room option is way too rapey for my comfort. How on earth would that be better than being frisked in public???"

Back when I flew, before they got quite so out of hand (I was done once shoe removal became an absolute requirement for folks who are capable of removing them rather than strongly suggested), I'd make sure to request every little thing I could of them to make it take as long as possible, including the private room, glove changing, a second TSA agent to monitor the first, and so on. My operating assumption was that I was either saving other people from the treatment (back then, if a secondary screener was not busy screening someone else, you'd get "randomly" selected so as to keep them busy) or making them hire more people, thus busting their budget. Either way I consider that a small win.

Needless to say, every time they violated policy, I filed a complaint. Also needless to say, I'm sure every one of those complaints went into the circular file, even the one where they searched my carryon outside of my presence, which is strictly forbidden. They don't mind being seen as molesters, but they do mind being seen as thieves.
posted by wierdo at 9:48 AM on October 30, 2010


> ... why don't you write a letter to the people with the actual power?

morganannie, would you consider writing letters to your government reps asking them to stop creating terrorists by mucking about in their regions of the world? Can you help by not voting for empire builders and warmongers?
posted by Artful Codger at 9:59 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Artful Codger, I'll do whatever it takes.
posted by morganannie at 10:41 AM on October 30, 2010


I think that not wearing underwear to fly, is the way to go. Or maybe putting a banana in your pocket, or something even more odd in your underwear, could also be the way to go. I think a fortune is waiting for the miniature, stuffed GW Bush doll, that people can stuff, where the sun doesn't shine.

Unfortunately, these people are serious, and have been given the right to see anyone naked who chooses to fly. Once we put up with a violation so basic, then the rest of the destruction of our rights as American citizens will be a piece of cake. You know those pictures are available for any security agency with decent equipment, including private corporations who feel they have a necessity to know, because of their beloved, money making, infrastructure.
posted by Oyéah at 11:58 AM on October 30, 2010


What amazes me is we are not allowed to fly naked, by choice, but we are seen naked, not by our choice. How has the law regarding nudity, been stretched for this?
posted by Oyéah at 11:59 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Have any MeFites ever gone through the backscatter scanner, and would care to share their experience here?

I had the "opportunity" to yesterday, and I chose not to.

I flew out of DTW (Detroit) yesterday into DEN (Denver) on the way to Seattle. DTW has the new "millimeter wave scanner" porno-scanner machines installed.

During the shoe-bin shuffle, they have people remove everything from their pockets, including identification and boarding passes. At the machine when asked to step in, I clearly and politely stated "I choose not to."

The security agent at the machine wasn't outraged or unprofessional. He simply radioed on his shoulder unit for another agent and asked me to stand aside. I stood to the side as other passengers watched me curiously and stepped through to have their Porno-Vision Portrait taken and archived for eternity at a TSA and NSA data-warehouse. No doubt as we argue on here super-geeks with not enough social grace, empathy and too much patriotism are developing advanced computer models of their bio-identity. Markers will be found to uniquely identify individuals based on their nipple size and distance apart. People will be archived and indexed and searched and reasoned about. Yet another record has been added to their file. But this file isn't a dusty file cabinet in some East German town. It's digital and invisible to all but the paranoid.

Eventually, another agent came to get me and asked me to identify without touching the bins that were mine. I pointed them out. He indicated to one of the other agents my name and I believe they grabbed my boarding pass at this time and took it somewhere. He led me to what can only be described as a quarter office cube, an area with a few seats and a small table built into the wall.

The agent was professional and indicated he would do a thorough search. He asked if I wanted a private pat-down area. I indicated no. I noticed my fly was undone, an oversight from earlier in the day. He was efficient and thorough. We both chose to politely and awkwardly ignore the fly issue. I'm sure it was embarrassing for all involved. A small social faux pas against a mountain of violation.

When he was finished, he politely indicated I could leave. Throughout the process he professional and courteous, even as he was nudging my testicles. I thanked him and he left. In other awkward situations, I suppose now would have been the time to leave the money on the small table. I choose not to and instead simply put on my belt and gathered up my belongings. I finally zipped my fly. Then I noticed my boarding pass was missing.

I went up to the agent who did the screening and asked if he knew where it was. He said he didn't and asked if I had missed it and to look again. I searched again through my bags and the bins. Eventually he came over and said that I could just get another at the boarding gate. As we walked out of the screening area, he noticed a pass on a table next to two other TSA officers on computers. It was my pass. I have probably somehow been flagged and indicated in a computer program with a horrible interface that we all paid way too much for. Another digital check mark.
posted by formless at 12:08 PM on October 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


It took them about 10-20 minutes to search me. If we all refuse to have our naked pictures taken and archived something will have to happen.

Watching the steady stream of citizens into the machines, I'm not holding my breath.
posted by formless at 12:18 PM on October 30, 2010


I would go for the patdown, but to be honest, even though I have family in the US and have no evil intentions whatsoever toward the US, I think I'm just completely done traveling south (I'm in Canada) ever again.

IMO, if I did, I'd just be giving some small approval to these ridiculous processes.
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 12:31 PM on October 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Most of my flights are to, from, or within the US (even though I live in Toronto now), so taking a trip that originated and ended within Canada last week was an interesting contrast. I know this is old news to many of you, but I'd half-forgotten what it was like.

Before the metal detectors, there was somebody checking to see that I had a boarding pass, but she didn't need to see my ID. ("You'll only need that when you get on the plane," she said.)

At the security checkpoint itself, I was starting to take off my shoes when I had a realization. "You ... you don't need me to take off my shoes, do you?" The security guy smiled, and said "nope. that's just a US thing." I walked on through.

It reminded me of that guy played by Sam Neill in "Hunt for Red October," who's talking to Sean Connery about what he's going to after settling in America: "I will live in Montana ... and drive from state to state. Do they let you do that? (...) No papers?" And Connery says, "No papers, state to state."
posted by chalkbored at 12:49 PM on October 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Purely out of curiosity -- did anyone else pledge to the EPIC lawsuit to halt implementation of these scanners (which I mentioned above)?

I merely ask.
posted by slab_lizard at 1:11 PM on October 30, 2010


Now the TSA employees are Nazis?

No no no. The people responsible for implementing the demented security rules the TSA have to enforce are Nazis. The TSA staff are merely concentration camp guards. Oh wait, did I say concentration camp guards? I meant nice, decent people with families to support who are just trying to do their jobs as best they can.
posted by Decani at 2:22 PM on October 30, 2010


Do you mean the lake? The Okanagan valley is pretty narrow and would be easy to monitor, making it a bad place to try to sneak across the border.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:24 AM on October 30 [+] [!]


Sneak? You silly person. You don't have to SNEAK across the border there. You can water-ski across the border on the lake, all day long. Your assumption that there is any kind of control on all the cross-border waterways is simply wrong. The same thing applies to the Gulf Island's in the Straight of Georgia, which is what one of those two links was intended to show. The route that B.C Ferries travels from the Mainland to Vancouver Island crosses that border twice, which is why prudent travelers don't use their cell-phones on-board, to avoid suddenly using American towers and wracking up massive roaming charges.

It's all just a massive con, to lull the gullible into believing that the "border can be secured". It'd be funny if it all wasn't such a monumental waste of money and time. I was traveling yesterday, so I was unaware of the developments with the parcel-package plot, but this is precisely the kind of change in tactics to which I was referring. As with the Maginot Line, and every other defensive strategy in history, security theater targets the last threat, not the latest one.

These ridiculous security measures being undertaken at U.S. airports will be shown to be completely ineffective when the terrorists merely change their tactics. In the interim though, they have already been spectacularly successful, in that they have completely altered the way of life of the West, and have caused otherwise sensible people to allow the suspension of their liberties in the name of useless "security".

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

The solution is political, not technological.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:40 PM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Today a Redditor accused a TSA agent of feeling up his 10 year old son. Earlier this year a TSA agent was busted for raping a 14 year old girl. Yeah, this is going to end well.

Genital pictures to the left or genital groping to the right...your call.
posted by ryoshu at 3:30 PM on October 30, 2010


So, the question that lingers in my mind is....

If someone is in a position of having to grope strangers for a living... and one of those strangers makes approving comments about the groping while it's happening... who is doing the sexual harassment in that situation? The one who is actually using his hands to handle another man's genitals, or the one who is making noises which indicate that the genital handling is pleasurable?

Or is it kind of a cancel-out situation, as far as harassment laws go?
posted by hippybear at 3:48 PM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


You could always tape heavy round rocks to your undercarriage, and when the TSA groper asks what they are, you can say: "I have big stones, what about it?"
posted by bwg at 4:14 PM on October 30, 2010


It was pointed out to me that the way to stop this was to grab the scans of some Senator going through the machine and post them everywhere. We'll see how fast this stops. Apparently this happened in to Robert Bork in 1987, and congress quickly passed the Video Privacy Protection Act because of it.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 4:36 PM on October 30, 2010


Here is the question we have to answer, and I mean this completely seriously, not in a what about the children kind of way: what security precautions would you go through to make sure your loved ones don't get blown out of the sky? Would you be ok with said loved one dying because you preferred to not go through security? I wouldn't.

Security theater stops crimes/tragedies from occurring. It doesn't stop them all, but it stops a LOT of them. They catch people with knives and guns all the time. We don't know what these people's intentions were. Not everything about airport security is stopping middle eastern terrorists. Most of it is plain old mundane stopping psychos.

Security theater also *prevents* these things from happening because people planning mayhem have to figure out other ways of causing their mayhem. Because they know they won't be able to get their M-16 on the plane. Security stops some people from trying, and it forces other people to find different methods of smuggling weapons onto planes, and having multiple "waypoints of security" increases the chances they will be caught. A person with a stick of dynamite up their orifice walks funny and probably has an odd look on their face. That person will stick out like a sore thumb.

Here is another question: if you were suddenly in charge, what would you do? Remember, you would have to live with your decision if anything goes wrong. The TSA has no other option but to try as hard as they can to catch people intent on destruction. That gets balanced with the public's risk tolerance. In the end we have a crappy, but workable system.
posted by gjc at 6:22 PM on October 30, 2010


Does anyone know what the procedure is for infants? If, say, I refuse to put my infant through a pornoscanner - which I will, just like I will refuse to put myself or my 7- and 4-year-old children through a pornoscanner - who will search the infant? How? Will they want to remove his/her diaper? Is someone going to pat down my son's crotch? Because I can only *imagine* what he'll do to that person.

The TSA web site is no help. It's already wrong - they say they will not do anything to separate you and your child, but then they want you to send your child through the x-ray machine on their own. And there's nothing I can find about kids and these new machines.

Like I've said previously, I travel a fair bit on my own with my kids. We deal with the security theater pretty efficiently, because it's the only thing my kids have ever known. But this, this might be the end of that. I guess we better get the grandparents, living on the other side of the country, much better at Skype.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 6:23 PM on October 30, 2010


what security precautions would you go through to make sure your loved ones don't get blown out of the sky? Would you be ok with said loved one dying because you preferred to not go through security? I wouldn't.
What an asinine question.

Of course I don't want my loved ones dying in an act of terrorism. I fly fairly often, and I would prefer not to die in a terrorist attack, either. But in the grand scheme of things, that's an incredibly small risk. It's vastly more likely that I or my loved ones will die in a car accident on the way to the airport than in a terrorist attack on a plane. It's vastly more likely that a terrorist attack will be foiled in some other way (or will be successful) than that it will be stopped by the virtual strip search machine. If this gizmo makes me or my loved ones safer, then it's an incredibly tiny improvement in safety.

So my question to you is what level of sexual humiliation are you willing to subject your loved ones to in order to prevent a maybe one in a hundred million chance that he or she will die in a terrorist attack?
posted by craichead at 6:40 PM on October 30, 2010 [9 favorites]


Perhaps the slow jerk is the appropriate response.
posted by ryoshu at 7:03 PM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


gjc writes "Here is the question we have to answer, and I mean this completely seriously, not in a what about the children kind of way: what security precautions would you go through to make sure your loved ones don't get blown out of the sky? Would you be ok with said loved one dying because you preferred to not go through security? I wouldn't. "

We're being nibbled to death by ducks instead. There are something like 600 million enplanements in the USA every year. If each of those persons spends an extra hour on questionable security prior to boarding collectively they've spent ~900+ (600,000,000 hours / (24 hours*365days*75 years)) lifetimes on security. Or somewhere between 3&4 9/11s annually. And that's just counting the passengers and not including the time of the TSA agents who could be doing something useful like monitoring lost luggage or something.
posted by Mitheral at 7:12 PM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


what security precautions would you go through to make sure your loved ones don't get blown out of the sky?

You mean like Iran Air Flight 655 or Korean Air Flight 902 or Korean Air Flight 007? Or perhaps you are referring to TWA Flight 800 or ValueJet 592? Or maybe those don't count because they were preventable accidents and you're only concerned when brown people (tm) cause it?

The proper response is to find out what is causing this behavior/mode of thought, and work towards fixing that. Otherwise you'll never stop it. Might as well put all your money in DRM tech.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 7:50 PM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of four things is going to happen wrt airport nudie scanners:
A) passengers will think they cause cancer and the industry will have to find some otherway to make you feel safe, because this is about making you feel safe. The economics of the air travel industry require lots of passengers going places.
B) Everyone is going to get a lot more comfortable being seen naked. Soon overweight, hairy, palid, middle aged white guys like myself will be walking around offices in our boxers. Not just our home offices either.
C) Some hacker will bring their laptop and some electronics gear to LAX, decode the images as they show up on the monitors of the tsa watchers and post bunch of famous passenger photos to wikileaks. Or some poorly paid tsa worker will to avoid foreclosure.
D) Some even more expensive screening machine is developed.
posted by humanfont at 7:58 PM on October 30, 2010


gjc : In the end we have a crappy, but workable system.

The rest of what you wrote, I'll skip over as merely a matter of opinion (with which I couldn't disagree more, BTW). But here, we have a problem:

No amount of security theater adds up to actual security.

Annoying the terrorists into choosing another attack vector doesn't address the underlying reasons why a particular culture hates us enough to want to blow any or all of us up at random. Only by either implementing real security measures, or by finding a way to make up for the last 62 years of pissing on the Middle East, will we find a lasting solution to the problem at hand.
posted by pla at 8:32 PM on October 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Security theater stops crimes/tragedies from occurring.

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Security theater is claiming that small bottles of shampoo could be extremely powerful explosives when combined with other small tubes of toothpaste, and then throwing them all in the same garbage bin at the checkpoint.

Security theater is using a profilling system like CAPS that is actually LESS effective than random searches.

Security theater is taking your shoes off to go through the x-ray machine, but not actually testing them for explosives, the reason they're supposedly removed in the first place.

It goes on and on. Some of it can be chalked up to bureaucrats trying to cover their ass as petrilli pointed out, and cognitive biases in risk assessment. But some of it is also to create a culture of fear. To instill in citizens the need to bow down to authority. It is to feed the obese security and intelligence companies and organizations that profit from this theater. Building the hardware and software to track and surveil individuals is big business.
posted by formless at 10:37 PM on October 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Perhaps it is to the elite's advantage that we not travel so much. It certainly seems that we are being deliberately discouraged from air travel, at any rate.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:19 PM on October 30, 2010


morganannie: "If it means one would be hijacker gets foiled, I'll walk through those scanners all day long."

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
posted by IndigoRain at 12:32 AM on October 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I fly all the time for work. About two weeks ago leaving BWI I went through the pornoscan for the first time. I didn't request a grope instead because it all happened so fast, but frankly I was also curious to experience it for myself after having read so much about these things. After going through, a security guy directed me off to the side and did a grope, asking me if there was anything in my pockets. No, just a few pieces of paper. He seemed incredulous at this. Then I realized he was wondering about The Mighty Righty.
I said "Oh, yeah, you're talking about The Mighty Righty! Yeah, my right ball is like the size of a fucking softball or something, man. Or a grapefruit or something! It's huge!"
"Uh... right. What?" Now he's calling for his supervisor to come over.
"My attorney kicked me in the nuts a few years ago and now I have to carry The Mighty Righty around with me everywhere I go!" He is having a few quiet words with the supervisor. He tells me he's going to do a grope, despite having just done one thirty seconds ago.
"Okay." He is visibly uncomfortable. He does another grope with the supervisor, uh, supervising.
Then the supervisor tells me they need to do a grope, and asks if I would prefer this happen in privacy.
"What? I don't care. You just did two patdowns right here."
They are both now very uncomfortable. They tell me we're going to go into the private room.
We go back there and the supervisor asks me what's up.
"Yeah well I got kicked in the balls a few years ago and so now my right testicle is fucking enormous."
He tells the officer to do a grope. The officer gropes yet again, exactly like the previous two out in public.
Supervisor: "Does it feel like it could be that?"
Officer: "Uh. Yeah. I guess so? Sure."
Supervisor: "Okay. Thanks. Sorry. It just looked really weird on the scanner."
Me, as we're walking back out: "I bet it did! I need to get a framed copy of that picture!"
Supervisor: "We can't do that."
"Yeah I know. I'll have to file a FOIA request or something."
"Have a good flight."
Meanwhile ten thousand dollars of sound gear has been sitting out at the end of the x-ray conveyor belt. I was flying with someone that day, so I had made sure he was watching it all, but I fly alone a lot and that could have been a problem.
Anyway, I agree that the posture is very much "I surrender". I will probably try to avoid these damn things in the future, but I can't do that at the expense of missing a flight, and I imagine that's another behavior the TSA is counting on and will take advantage of.
Also, I was having a conversation with three pretty smart people today about all this, and they could not care less about the invasion of privacy. It just doesn't register with them. I think one of them actually said "I have nothing to hide," or words to that effect. I threw that same Ben Franklin quote out, and was met with blank stares. I think that's how most people feel, and I don't know what to do with that.
posted by zoinks at 12:43 AM on October 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I so want to get a silicone testicle installed now. "yah, I have three balls!"
posted by five fresh fish at 10:21 AM on October 31, 2010


Which reminds me, I wonder what happens to this guy when he flies. (SO VERY NSFW)
posted by Gator at 10:44 AM on October 31, 2010


Justice Thurgood Marshall premeire legal mind of the 20th century now famous as that airport where TSA guys grab your nutsack.
posted by humanfont at 11:17 AM on October 31, 2010




If everyone refused to kill in the name of their countries, we'd have no wars.

Until some dude came along and conquered the world with a butterknife.
posted by acb at 8:09 AM on November 1, 2010


Wear a kilt and go commando. (Bonus points: Good size Prince Albert or PA Wand)

Utilikilt and 0g, check.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:11 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


You should've seen those idiots freak out at the Nike+ sensor on my shoe last month...I swear they were ANGRY it wasn't a bomb or something...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:04 PM on November 2, 2010


Also:

And are women wearing skirts required to wear underwear? Substantial underwear?

I know what I'm doing the next time I fly!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:08 PM on November 2, 2010


If everyone refused to kill in the name of their countries, we'd have no wars.

Until some dude came along and conquered the world with a butterknife.


Nah, he'd be in prison before you could say "accidentally broke his wrist (and nose) from carrying a butter knife" :)
posted by -harlequin- at 12:55 PM on November 2, 2010


American Airlines Pilots in Revolt Against the TSA: "a letter from Captain Dave Bates, the president of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents 11,000 American Airlines pilots, to his members, in which he calls on pilots to refuse back-scatter screening and demand private pat-downs from TSA officers".
posted by Nelson at 10:20 AM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]




Question the TSA at your own Risk
posted by homunculus at 8:47 AM on November 10, 2010


Am I the only gal in this thread that's really tempted to wear a packer next time I fly?
posted by NoraReed at 6:33 PM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


If that means what I think that means, that's a hilarious idea.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:20 AM on November 11, 2010




"Airport Screeners: Denied radiation badges?"

Those badges are designed to provide a lot of false positives even when used correctly, so as to err on the side of caution. However, even most Ph.Ds don't use them correctly. I don't want to think about the logistical nightmare of 50,000 TSA screeners who don't know a fart from a beta emission all taking them home, putting them in pockets, leaving them in unventilated areas, hell a ride on a plane would set any of them off many times over.

The badges only ever make any kind of sense when there is a known and real danger worth investigating, and as almost always determining that the locker the badge gets left in accumulates that tiny bit radon. They arn't toys.

Farts should be meaningfully radioactive due to their natural sulfur and phosphorus content.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:34 PM on November 14, 2010


Gotta learn to fart on demand. No pity for people employed as molesters.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:07 PM on November 14, 2010


filthy light thief, just came in to post that. It's getting national press in Canada, at least online.

I wonder how much more of this until I just decide not to fly through the U.S.
posted by Dasein at 1:42 PM on November 15, 2010


I just saw a video on TV of a three year old girl in total hysterics screaming "Don't touch me!" while being "patted down" by a screener.

Apparently her teddy bear went off in the scanner, which is why she was getting the full treatment.

My heart just broke.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:35 PM on November 15, 2010


Here's the video. WTF is the matter with these people?
posted by homunculus at 12:40 PM on November 16, 2010


Minimum wage, lack of training, and a shit job. Anyone who can do better in life isn't taking a TSA job.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:47 PM on November 16, 2010


A screener's point of view. TL;DR: touching people's junk all day isn't what they wanted in life and digging into rolls of fat isn't pleasant.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:00 PM on November 23, 2010


Maybe that's a joke page, though, because I can't believe this:
“Do people know what a Nazi is? One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body. A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences. I work to make travel safer, even if I do not agree with the current security procedures. Further more, I am Jewish and a TSA Transportation Security Officer, an American Patriot and to call me a Nazi is an offense beyond all other offenses.”
Seriously? What you do is theatre and you do it anyway because you're just following orders—you essentially just admitted it. "Just following orders" is the classic "Nazi defense."

I'm offended by that excuse, TSA employee. It is wrong and weak from first word to last. You are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:19 PM on November 23, 2010


excuse me five fresh fish but you're out of line. I completely disagree with TSA bullshit but what's missing from the equation is a little more compassion and lot more perspective. This guy is not your enemy.
posted by victors at 2:45 PM on November 23, 2010


When I was a lawyer my specialty was representing clients with mental impairments (in the context of housing matters, usually). Imagine my surprise when at JFK one day one of my former clients yelled, "Hi, Angrycat!" Wearing his TSA uniform, he was.

So no, nobody gets a Nazi card because they took a shit job to keep the planes safe and are trying to do it the best they can. Sheesh.
posted by angrycat at 4:59 PM on November 23, 2010


Likewise, that poor bastard who was loading the train cars gets a free pass. Just doing his job, not really a Nazi after all!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:31 PM on November 23, 2010


five fresh fish,

In the final days of World War II the Nazis were desperately trying to "clean up" the mess they had made and were hurriedly transporting concentration camp prisoners to death camps. My father was one of those prisoners on one of those trains that you so blithely and sarcastically employ to make your point of comparison. He had been a prisoner for over 2 years but survived that "final" ride because en route the train was liberated by American soldiers. Unfortunately, his uncle, who was traveling with my dad, died of starvation in the train car while my dad (emaciated and barely able to walk himself) went to forage for food in the nearby town. (To his dying day, June 8 of this year, my dad blamed himself for his uncle's death - if only he hadn't stopped to eat himself, he feels he could have made it back to the train earlier to revive his uncle.)

My mother was also deported to a concentration camp where she fell into a hunger coma so deep that she was literally left for dead. She awoke in the middle of a pile of corpses of her fellow inmates and managed to crawl to a barrack where surviving inmates managed to keep her alive and helped her revive her strength - such as it was.

They, and my handful of surviving uncles, aunts and cousins (about 80% of the family was killed) had quite a few graphic and disturbing memories they shared with me that, I think, qualify me to have an understanding of what happened on those trains and under an actual Nazi regime.

Now, if you're trying to say that those that participate in an immoral system are as guilty as those that dreamed it up, then you may have a point. In an affluent society such as ours here in North America, there are career choices you can make so that, for the most part, you should be able to follow your moral compass and minimize the rationalizing required to bend over and take up the ass for a few extra shekels. I have often made this argument and I have also, in my life, bent over because my principles took a back seat to my fear of having my wife and children go without food and medical care. I've worked for huge corporations like CBS and Microsoft when I knew for a fact they were conducting business in ways that ran counter to my own beliefs. I'm not proud of those gutless decisions and I'm not sure I wouldn't make those same decisions today - but I am grateful for the experience because it taught me, first hand, to be more compassionate when I rant against the lemmings and cogs. Turns out, those aren't actual lemmings or cogs - they're people who feel they had the screws turned on them.

However, by insisting on using the Nazi holocaust as a analogy for what these screeners and Homeland Security are doing, it sounds like you think their actual actions compare to the actual actions of the Nazis. That somehow, the process by which Americans are screened at a 21st century airport, compares to what my family went through. My family did go through a screening process - at that screening, 80% of them were sent to their deaths in a Nazi gas chamber.

This makes whatever argument you may or may not be making into an irrational and immature rant. Like a hurt child who has to lash out in wild and senseless babble. In a word, it makes you sound like an idiot.

Just ftr, five fresh finger, I do not wish to engage you in this any more, the last word is yours because I don't say these things in the hopes that you change your irrational tone or childish behavior - I don't expect you to budge, leave alone apologize for your degrading and belittling the deaths and suffering of the victims of Nazi crimes. I only relay my family's history and point out your infantile behavior for the benefit of others who come across this thread and think that a) this community finds it acceptable to make irresponsible, inhumane arguments and b) assume that Nazi trolling is the best argument against immoral (if not illegal) search and seizure procedures at airports.

I will wish this to you, personally, in all sincerity: I hope you are never, ever, faced with a moral dilemma where your survival or the survival of those that you love, depends on you foregoing your personal principles. And if you are faced with a choice, that you are never judged as harshly as your have judged here, for choosing survival - no matter how misguided.

You know, many concentration camp inmates were given some pretty horrific fucking tasks, including herding other inmates onto trains and into the gas chambers themselves - you see, the Nazis themselves, never actually carried out these tasks, it was always inmates who were left with the nasty of the nasty jobs. So, actually, no, I do not have my head so far up my ass as to blame that poor bastard loading the train or escorting my family into the gas chamber, leave alone mistake him for a Nazi.
posted by victors at 9:17 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


victors, I empathize with your family's suffering, but fff did say that it's the classic "Nazi defense," not that TSA people are morally equivalent to Nazis. "Just following orders" didn't fly at Nuremberg, and it shouldn't fly today, even though the offense of the TSA folks is so mild in comparison as to be nearly meaningless.

When I wrote my earlier comment in this thread, I had considered calling out that quote also, but chose not to precisely because I expected someone would come along and take offense.

What I had written in my own pre-emptive defense went something like this: The parallel between the TSA and the rank and file Nazis is an apt one because they are also "just following orders." That's not to say they're out there murdering people, but most NSDAP members weren't either. The reason the TSA screener can't see the parallels is that we've trained ourselves to think that all Nazis were evil monsters, and the TSA person who made the comment thinks of themselves as a good person, so can't see how their justification for what they do is the same thing that the rank and file Nazis used.

We dishonor our past by reducing it into such simple terms and thus failing to learn from it.

tl;dr version: I'm personally not terribly comfortable with the comparison, hence my reluctance to write about it, but the screener's remark deserved to be called out.
posted by wierdo at 10:08 PM on November 23, 2010


The reason the TSA screener can't see the parallels is that we've trained ourselves to think that all Nazis were evil monsters

The reason the TSA screener can't see the parallels is because he can tell the difference between a bad career choice and taking an active role in a fucking holocaust

You know, sometimes an analogy can be technically correct and wrong in every other possible way, including as an effective, compassionate way to make an argument.

We agree that TSA screenings are wrong. Where we disagree is whether it is useful to label the screeners themselves as employing Nazi tactics to defend their actions. Maybe you will see the childishness of this if I put it like this: Stop being such a Nazi about it and consider how extreme your position is.
posted by victors at 11:09 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


With that backstory, one would think "just following orders" would ring a few more alarms for you, victors.

Anyhoo, it's not like comparing someone to a Nazi is supposed to engender feelings of compassionate argument. It's supposed to make people who grope balls for a living feel like shitheels and clue them in that "just following orders" does not give them an excuse.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:50 AM on November 24, 2010


for all that is holy and gentle, five fresh fish, can you just dial it back?
posted by angrycat at 4:42 AM on November 24, 2010


It's supposed to make people who grope balls for a living feel like shitheels and clue them in that "just following orders" does not give them an excuse.
Really? Because right now it's making me think that being on your side of an argument is not an especially comfortable place to be.
posted by craichead at 5:28 AM on November 24, 2010


victors wrote: "The reason the TSA screener can't see the parallels is because he can tell the difference between a bad career choice and taking an active role in a fucking holocaust"

I seriously doubt (but could be swayed by evidence) that most Nazis took an active role in the fucking holocaust. Their looking the other way and just following orders is what enabled the fucking holocaust, though. They may not be killing people, but their attitude is the sort of attitude that allows their bigger shitheel bosses to get away with whatever they'd like to do.

The point of the comparison is not to say that what they are doing is tantamount to committing genocide, it is to point out the self-same attitude involved.

It's a shitty way to say it, but it's not completely inaccurate. There was more to what was wrong with the Nazis than the genocide.
posted by wierdo at 7:20 AM on November 24, 2010


I seriously doubt (but could be swayed by evidence) that most Nazis took an active role in the fucking holocaust.
The idea of "just following orders" is taken from the Nuremberg Trials, which were indeed specifically about the Holocaust and other Nazi war crimes.
posted by craichead at 7:37 AM on November 24, 2010


It took the Holocaust and the Nuremberg trials to establish the principle that "my boss told me to do it" is not an excuse for committing crime. This was in fact quite a break for some people because it was previously thought in many circles that, particularly in an authoritarian hierarchy like a government or military, or even a business organization, that your duty to follow orders did trump the illegality of those orders for the same reason a hammer isn't guilty of murder if you hit someone over the head with it. The Nuremberg verdict informed everybody that you are not just tools, you are responsible for your own actions even if you have been ordered to do something by an authority.

Having established that principle, which probably would not have been established if not for the utter horror of the Holocaust, it becomes apparent that if it applies at all it must apply universally. So it does not matter whether the act is mass murder or sexual assault or turning right on red without stopping first, the fact that you were ordered to do it is no excuse and you should know better and not do it.
posted by localroger at 8:00 AM on November 24, 2010


TSA agents are "just following orders" as they completely violate the 4th Amendment, vis a vis search and seizure. There is good reason to compare them to rank and file Nazis.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:42 AM on November 24, 2010


Unfortunately from what I have read the fourth amendment does not apply since none of us have a constitutional right to fly.

If someone better versed in the applicable constitutional law sees it diffferently I would love to know it as hell will freeze over before I let a stranger stick his or her hand down my pants.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:12 AM on November 24, 2010


Ladies and Gentlemen, the fourth amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Funny, I don't see the word "unless" in there. As in the missing phrase, "unless you want to fly" or "unless what you're suspected of is DUI" or "unless we think you're a drug dealer" (though sadly, the Supreme Court is finding a number of invisible clauses like those last two in the 4th lately, and they might very well see an invisible "unless you want to fly" too.)
posted by localroger at 9:44 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have been thinking a lot about this today, mostly regarding how I really wouldn't have a problem scanned or searched -- even if this meant a cavity search -- as long as it wasn't painful.

I think mostly I feel this way because, given my medical conditions, I have been poked and prodded in every conceivable way. Many, many doctors have seen my vagina and breasts.

I remember once breaking down and crying over a particularly embarassing thing that I won't go into -- but then I just said, fuck it. I really don't fucking care. Seriously. I could be buck naked if it were not for social mores and just really not care.

Although this DOES mean that I can't smuggle pot in my underwear when I fly anymore, and that's a bit of a drag.
posted by angrycat at 12:33 PM on November 24, 2010


Although this DOES mean that I can't smuggle pot in my underwear when I fly anymore, and that's a bit of a drag.

Just checked with my mom and oddly enough, she says the one thing the Nazis allowed to go through into the work camps was her stash. Go figger these TSA fucks are worse than the Nazis.
posted by victors at 12:45 PM on November 24, 2010


Yeah those TSA guys could teach Hitler a thing or two.
posted by angrycat at 1:27 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


angrycat wrote: "I really don't fucking care. Seriously. I could be buck naked if it were not for social mores and just really not care."

I think the dearth of nudists is a strong indication that most folks don't share your attitude. Doctors have seen me naked, yes. The TSA is not my doctor.
posted by wierdo at 2:37 PM on November 24, 2010


No, I get it, I was just articulating my understanding about why some folks are wigged by the pat downs and some aren't. My boundaries were torn to shreds quite a while ago, and thus I'm completely apathetic when it comes to the naked picture taking whatevers and the pat downs.

Not condemning anybody for wigging.
posted by angrycat at 2:54 PM on November 24, 2010


Guilty of menstruating.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 AM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


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