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Posted on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Dave!Today was declared "No Fly Day" by some ass-hats who think that punishing the airlines for something they have no control over is a good way to send a message to the TSA. Evidently, somebody finally told them that this was pretty fucking stupid, so they changed tactics and "No Fly Day" became "Opt-Out Day" where everybody is supposed to decline being scanned by the new intrusive airport scanners which display your junk on TV. Instead, we're supposed to opt-in for the new heavy-petting pat-down where the TSA makes sweet, sweet love to your fun zones. Personally, I don't see this as an upgrade, but hey... whatever floats your boat.

When I was flying out of Atlanta this morning, the TSA was indeed using the new intrusive porn-o-vision scanners. Fortunately I didn't have to choose between making a porno and getting a hand-job, because I was not selected for scanning, but I can honestly say I don't know what I would have done if I had. Probably opt for the heavy-petting, because a moment of embarrassment is moderately more preferable to getting a potentially dangerous dose of radiation in my eye-balls and testicle-balls.

It's not that I am opposed to security measures which make us safer when flying. On the contrary... if I thought a shot of radiation to my balls and a sensual massage would make us safer, then by all means sign me up for both!

The problem is that neither does shit to make us safer.

Since my previous attempt at explaining why was confusing because I was vague, this time I'll spell it out with pictures. For the sake of argument, let's say that the TSA decided that both a porn show and a crotch-rub were now required to fly...

DAVETOON: TSA tells Bad Monkey to enter scanner...

DAVETOON: TSA scans Bad Monkey for dangerous objects... it's all okay...

DAVETOON: TSA gives Bad Monkey a nice crotch pat-down...

DAVETOON: TSA says okay! You're good to go!

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey craps out a bomb...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey continue to crap out a gun and a knife...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey has crapped out a pile of weapons... a knife, gun, bomb, grenade, stick of dynamite, and bullets!

   
Now, clearly this is an exaggeration (they'd never let a monkey fly unaccompanied), but my points here are these...

  1. Weapons can be made undetectable by X-ray or scanners. Everything from ceramic blades to polymer resin-cast hand-guns exist. They're here, they're real, get used to it.
  2. Never underestimate what a terrorist would be willing to shove up their ass for a cause.

In other words... THESE NEW PROCEDURES ARE FUCKING BULLSHIT DUMBASSERY, AND WHOEVER IS MAKING THESE INSANELY EXPENSIVE AND INEFFECTIVE DECISIONS SHOULD BE PUNCHED IN THE FACE THEN KICKED THE FUCK OUT OF THEIR JOB!! I'm so not kidding. I can only guess that the idiots who set these polices own stock in intrusive scanner companies, or are getting some kind of massive kick-back from them. Nothing else makes any sense.

People are quick to say "If there was ever another terrorist attack, then you'd be screaming that the TSA didn't do enough... at least they're trying to keep us safe! To which I say "bullshit."

BULL. SHIT.

In my humble (ha!) opinion, the question should be "What happens when another terrorist attack occurs because some morons smuggled a couple pounds of plastique explosives up their asses and it wasn't detected by intrusive scanners (which don't penetrate skin, apparently) or getting felt-up? You've blown your totally-ineffective safety wad, so what then?"

Look, metal detectors and private screenings (when warranted) are basic security measures that I don't have any argument with. Even though they can be thwarted rather easily by somebody who is intent on thwarting them, they probably discourage general dumbassery, so fine. Go ahead and take our bottles of water and look at my shoes in an X-ray machine. Really, knock yourselves out. But until somebody can prove to me that these ridiculously stupid "enhanced security measures" are worth the cost, inconvenience, violation, embarrassment, and time... then what the fuck?

Until then, I understand people's frustration with the stupidity we're being forced to endure, and support thoughtful, respectful objections when directed to the place they're deserved.

Which does not include the TSA agent employees who are just doing their fucking jobs.

To wit...

After clearing Atlanta security in a mere 20 minutes (way to go ATL!), I gathered up my stuff and wandered off looking for Auntie Anne's Pretzels (she's in Terminal A, if you're curious). As I was walking back to my gate hoping that the crack-cocaine they put in the pretzels to make them so darn addictive wasn't at a dangerous level, I overheard a woman going off about how the TSA agents are all just a bunch of disgusting perverts and "gate rapists." This had me curious, so I followed her for a bit (I had two hours to kill) so I could listen to her ranting. After I had finally had enough, I resisted the urge to explain a few things to her...

  1. Your run-of-the-mill TSA agents didn't get together one day and decide they want to touch people's junk. They're just doing what their job requires of them. Somebody way, waaaayyyy above their pay-grade is making those decisions.
  2. If you were to ask each and every TSA agent whether they liked having to perform the "enhanced security measures," I'd bet you the vast, vast, majority of them would say "no." They take enough shit from people as it is, and who wants to be around radioactive shit at their job-site?
  3. While I'm sure you can find perverts in just about any line of work, any TSA agent getting off on rubbing another person's privates in a public place would surely... surely... eventually reveal themselves and be discharged. I mean, if the TSA guy rubbing my junk were saying "Yeah. Yeah, baby. How do you like it? Do you like my hand there?" — I would obviously complain. I'd do more than complain. I would pitch a shit-fit so huge the entire airport would have to shut the fuck down. I think just about anybody would (well, unless that guy playing with my junk was very good with his hands... who am I to pass up a free hand-job from our government?).
  4. Yeah, accidents will happen. Sometimes a TSA agent might accidentally brush past an area that they didn't intend to... or they're lose their balance while frisking... or you'll just have a larger than average penis and they didn't know what they were getting into... shit happens. But to brand all of them "perverts" because of an accident is just fucking lame. Everybody makes mistakes. TSA agents are human just like you and me.
  5. Please, please, please stop calling the enhanced security measures "Gate Rape"... yes, I know it sounds funny, but it is really insensitive and disrespectful to victims of actual rape. Remember that rape is a horrendous act of violation and violence, and you simply cannot compare that to somebody just trying to earn a living in a way that's uncomfortable for everybody involved... even if you consider it a violation of your privacy (which it actually is).

In the end, I don't know what the answer is. As should be obvious, I am fully against these stupid new "enhanced security measures" which do nothing to better keep us safe. Since I travel a lot, I don't want to expose myself to radiation whenever I travel... no matter how small the amount because that shit adds up. And I really don't want some guy feeling around my junk whenever I have to catch a flight. Otherwise I might not care.

But I do. I have to.

There's probably an answer out there somewhere. Maybe it's a new technology we haven't discovered yet. Maybe it's an old technology we can use differently. So let's get to work on that, because this is some seriously important shit. What we shouldn't do is waste our time, privacy, and money on the crap that doesn't work.

Like porn shows and erotic massage.

Which is not nearly as much fun as it sounds (in this case, anyway) and should be stopped.

Like yesterday.

Tags: , , ,
Categories: DaveToons 2010, Travel 2010Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Sybil Law says:

    The only thing that pissed me off about this post was that I didn’t get to see monkey’s junk. :(

  2. Finn says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We need to employ the methods that the Israelis do. It’s not time consuming or intrusive, but apparently it’s effective.

    The problem? Everyone thinks “profiling” is a dirty word. The thing is, the Israelis do behavioral profiling rather than racial profiling. How someone reacts to simple questions like “Where are from?” “Where are you headed today?” can be huge red flags. And everyone you deal with is watching your behavior.

    I don’t know why we can make it work here.

  3. Geekytaitai says:

    I love this post, Dave! Bad Monkey is really BAD!

    If memory serves, TSA did not uncover the underwear-bomber’s or shoe-bomber’s attempts to kill people.

    I think these policies are in place to make the general population feel “safe”. Unfortunately, subjecting frequent-fliers, airline/airport employees to unwarranted radiation does not make any of us safe from lunatics who want to kill people.

    The whole “Opt-Out” campaign may have failed as far as a protest, but at least it has brought attention to the subject of airline/airport security.

    I also feel that more attention needs to be paid to our ports of entry by Homeland Security. Why aren’t we subjecting the thousands of containers shipped into this country to the same type of scrutiny?

    • Dave2 says:

      Even worse, the people who MAKE these scanners have said that they doubt their hardware would have detected the underwear bomber in the first place! They’re obviously ass-covering in case something goes wrong on their watch, but still… WTF?

  4. NYCWD says:

    The level of outrage over this directed at the TSA agents (who are just doing what they are told to do) and the calls to action that would negatively affect fellow travelers really made me wonder what the true issue is. I completely agree that it isn’t the TSA Agents’ fault and that the scanners are definitely not fool proof. I do think that, unless we are willing to accept tried and true proven security methods, the scanners are the best we can do.

  5. Alexander says:

    Now you’ve done it. If you weren’t before you’re definitely on a list now.

  6. Peggy Archer says:

    You know, this is the end result of the politics of fear – we were in such a hurry to hand over our civil liberties because we were afraid and now it’s come to this – radiation or sexual assault.

    Good move, America.

  7. Peggy Archer says:

    Of course, I didn’t mean in any way shape or form to compare *actual* sexual assault to being felt up by the TSA, who, as you point out, are just doing their jobs.

    I just have issues with people touching my private parts without buying me dinner first.

  8. martymankins says:

    As always, your points you make here are very valid. There are much smarter ways of catching the terrorists and underwear bombers – one of which are the actual passengers that kicked that guy’s ass last Christmas.

    Ever since I read that article about Israel airport security, and how they have been pretty successful at keeping the bad guys out of the airports, is something I would consider smarter. Yes, it’s profiling, but they profile EVERYONE.

    I had a post on my blog about how I felt that body scanners would be the best solution. Since I’ve posted that, I would have to recant part of that post to say that they don’t catch everything, but I would stand by my preference for them over a TSA agent rubbing my junk.

    However, I do believe we should not be “shooting the messenger (the TSA agent) when voicing our distaste for these mindless attempts at security. And the term “Gate Rape” is too much. Too harsh.

  9. Barnmaven says:

    Why isn’t there a “favorites” button on your posts? Geez Louise, Dave, be more like Facebook so I can give this a big fat two thumbs up.

    You hit the nail on the head so hard with this one you knocked it right through the board.

  10. Abigail says:

    Always appreciate your smart, articulate response to issues like this!

    Due to metal on my body, I have always dinged going through the traditional detector and have been getting wanded pat-downs for about 10 years. This past year I’ve traveled more than ever which means I’ve now had the intimate massage six times. (Those of who alarm don’t even get the choice between radiation and intimacy.)

    My brief (heh) thoughts:
    -the new pat down is actually faster than the old one, so I kind of like that
    -with the old one, there were still about fifty places I knew I could get away with bringing something non-metalic on board
    -with the new one, the places has probably been reduced to 15
    -it only took me three pat downs to learn where those 15 places are
    -the TSA agents have always behaved embarrassed and awkward about it, and have never been rude or inappropriate. In fact, on my last pat down the TSA agent encouraged me to be more modest (she thought I was lifting my shirt too high).
    -I can’t imagine how much more uncomfortable it must be for dudes. They pretty much avoid my rack still, but they are alll up in the crotch.

  11. Faiqa says:

    I can’t believe I’m going to write a comment like this, because they usually kind of annoy me, but all I can say is, “You? Are simply awesome.”

    Agreed. AGREED.

  12. the muskrat says:

    I have a lot of trips planned for 2011 that will potentially start on an unpleasant note. Not cool, TSA.

  13. Justin Scott says:

    My deal… what about the potential for an explosive in a security line? Hundreds… thousands of people lined up in a twisty line, completely unsearched etc etc… BOOM! If a terrorist really wanted to f’up our travel industry, that’s how they would/could do it. Plus, no xray, no backscatter, no pat down.

    But then what? Do we scan people before they enter the airport? Ugh.

  14. whitenoise says:

    It’s all for show.

    Case in point- our security clearance to get those ID tags: background checks by several agencies, fingerprinting, retina scans, photographing, forms, signatures from employers… All worthless. I’m subjected to the same checks you are at every security checkpoint.

    I then step into my flightdeck with a razor-sharp crashaxe at my side and take the controls of a 160,000lb jet. Why would I need to hijack a plane? I’ve already got one. I tried to explain this to a TSA agent once. “Yeah, but you’re a security risk UNTIL you get to that airplane” he stammered.

    I’m still puzzling my way through that logic…

    • Dave2 says:

      It was explained to me that pilots get the same treatment not because they might take over their own plane… but because they might be blackmailed into smuggling something through security to be given to a “civilian” on a different flight. I guess that makes sense.

      Well, at least as much sense as the rest of it. :-)

  15. Walt says:

    I hear ya! In November 1999, I, along with a large group of college students, sat down to listen to then Rear Admiral Quigley. At that time he made it clear that “any plane not cleared for Washington D.C. air space could be intercepted within seconds and that drill has been rehearsed for decades,” since “an aircraft carrier has been assigned to protect the Pentagon and the White House since WWII.” As we know now, up until 2001 that ship sat there until ordered out to sea just before September. I’m not talking government cover up or anything like that, I’m talking opportunity. It was there and people took advantage. Selling out our freedom of privacy to be felt up does nothing to protect anyone. If you keep trying to crush and anger everyone, you will always have enemies at home and abroad.

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