Since 9/11 every year has brought us new and more absurd regulations from the TSA. The one time I got on an airplane and took a flight was Christmas 2005. The procedure than was not nearly as harrowing and invasive as it is now, but I did get to experience the royal treatment. After removing my shoes, belt and jewelry, I placed my bags on the conveyor and stepped through the metal detector. BEEP! Looked through my pockets and found a gum wrapper and a dime. Tried it again. BEEP! I knew this was going to get bad.
The security person told me to step over to the side and another person came over and began to scan my body with the wand. After a thorough 'wanding' I was allowed to put back on my shoes and jacket; gathered my stuff and was on my way. This took quite some time and I barely made it on to the flight. I do have to say that the day did hold a small victory for me. After I reached my destination and got to my hotel room, I began cleaning out my luggage. Contained in my green backpack was a lighter, a pack of matches and a small pocket knife. Since the miniscule container of shampoo I had wasn't flammable, those things wouldn't have allowed my to hijack a plane anyways.(Not that I was trying.)
Since then, a few new regulations have cropped up, one of them caused a flurry when the 'secret' plans for these new TSA regulations were leaked to a couple of bloggers who got a visit from the feds and had some explaining to do. As I looked over those new regulations I started to realize there was a problem with all these regulations. They don't address the problem at all. They are broad reaching, and blind to the problem at hand. Scandinavian grandmothers, circus performers, children, nor wheelchair bound paraplegics have ever tried to hijack an airplane and fly it in to a building. Yet they were subject to rigorous scrutiny by the ever vigilant TSA.
I understand that it is unfashionable to mention that it was, in fact, Muslim males who did hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings, and bombed the U.S.S. Cole, and dozens of American embassies around the world, and subways in Britain and Spain. It was Muslim males who attacked Mumbai, Paris,
Moscow, Turkey, and Argentina. There have been a few isolated incidents involving Muslim women as well, but few were as successful, or as widely publicized as the 9/11 or Mumbai attacks. I'm not saying we shouldn't be on the lookout for other threats to our airlines, but it seems prudent to be most aware of the dominant group of people who wish to kill Americans.
Some on the left will of course counter my argument with a statement condemning me for failing to mention 'Jihad Jane', Ted Kaczynski, Olympic bomber Eric Robert Rudolph, or Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. While 'Jihad Jane' was a Muslim sympathizer she wasn't a convert, and she was mentally unstable, as were the others on this list. Individuals with broken minds who committed acts of violence for their own reasons. The terrorists the TSA seek to stop are adherents of Islam, and they commit acts of violence in the name of their God. There is no greater kind of illness, than killing in the name of Religion.
Things aren't always black and white. On Christmas day 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab detonated a bomb in his underwear to destroy Northwest Airlines Flight 253. The bomb malfunctioned and only succeeded in burning Abdulmutallab's genital area. A Dutch passenger, Jasper Schuringa
, witnessed the failed bomber's smoking crotch and tackled him, sustaining burns himself in the process. This should be cut and dry, but it isn't. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is not the textbook definition of a Muslim. He wears no beard, and his skin is very dark color. Umar is from Nigeria, and while there is plenty of violence happening in Nigeria, most of it directed inward, so this attack was a bit of a surprise.
In the wake of the 'crotch bomber' the TSA enacted even more stringent regulations,even using more body scanners, making life harder for all of us who use air travel. Many people were incensed at the idea of more regulations, claiming that we had more than sufficient methods at keeping the skies safe. Political mouthpiece James Carville had a slightly different take on the whole affair. He said he had a novel idea on how we could make flying safer. He suggested that he have his genitalia measured and than they could simply use it a reference point every time he flies, thereby avoiding a full body scan. Carville opined ““What I want is, let me pay for something, give me a safe flyer card, and then y’know, go measure my penis and let me get on the airplane.”
Now many months after Carville's unique approach to flight safety, the TSA is restricting flight even more. In addition to the ubiquitous metal detector, you now have to also choose between full body scan, or full body pat down. The former could conceivably allow TSA agents to see you naked, and the latter would allow TSA agents to fondle your private parts. Neither sounds the least bit amusing, and has started a flurry of news stories about the horrors of airplane travel. This could be the breaking point for many Americans. Perhaps AMTRAK might have a shot at being successful after all.
The now viral cell phone video of John Tyner, the 31 year old software programmer, whose now famous quote “You touch my junk and I'm going to have you arrested.” started an altercation with airport security that ended with the TSA threatening to sue him, and fine him 10,000 dollars for NOT being able to touch his proverbial 'junk'. He was ejected from the airport, but not before being harassed some more by another agent of the airline. I feel sorry for anyone who gets treated this way all because they don't wish to be sexually molested in an airport by an authorized government grope trooper.
I can assure you, the TSA are even more vile than this. 3 year old daughter of a reporter is patted down by an uncaring TSA agent as she screams in terror for help from her parents, after she set off the metal detectors twice. A 6 year old boy was brought to tears when he was patted down at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The boys father posted on the blog We Won't Fly, “He was pleading for me to help him and I was admonished for trying to comfort him,” “His genitals area was groped. He walked down to the plane in tears." There are many more horror stories like this one, more than enough to make any parent weep.
This overreaching government nonsense has even sparked a national “Opt Out Day” There is little else we can do except to keep informed, voice our dissent, and hopefully get this nonsense stopped. Congressman Ron Paul has just introduced H.R.6416: American Traveller Dignity Act of 2010. There is a wealth of information on We Won't Fly and the Opt out Day websites. Please feel free to check them out so you can tell everyone that you are part of the “Informed Voter” coalition.