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Monday, November 22, 2010
It's Pat-down

Here we are in the busiest travel week of the year, and millions of Americans are about to board planes. This year, however, your trip comes with a bonus plan: Radiation, a grope, or both.

I'm speaking of the new TSA procedures at many airports in the United States, which have been all over the internet and television news for a week. Either you go through a new type of scanner, which essentially gives you a 5-second x-ray (do not want), or you can opt out, and demand a personalized trip to second base in full view of the rest of the cattle being herded onto our nation's fleet of flying Trailways buses.

This is America! Isn't it nice to have choices?

I have joked that if I am forced into needing to use air travel, I am showing up at the airport wearing a tank top, Speedo, and flip-flops, and just carry some other clothes in my backpack. I have nothing to hide after all, especially in the shame department, and if I can help hasten the process for myself and my brave fellow travelers by donning these newly sensible garments, then as ever, I am a trend-setter and true patriot. I probably won't shower for a few days before my trip.

Also, I'm not joking. If I'm to be treated in this manner, I want the government's representative to, at the very least, be made uncomfortable, and at the most, sickened and temporarily rendered blind.

The real issue, I hope, is the question of whether or not any of this makes our planes any safer. It doesn't. That's not just my opinion, it's also that of Isaac Yeffet, former director of security for Israel's El Al Airlines. I suppose I'm going to put some stock in the collected learnings of a man responsible for keeping safe the nation on Earth most threatened by terrorists, especially when El Al has a perfect safety record.

No one seems thrilled with the new procedures, but the least thrilled? The people at FOX News, who see this as yet another intolerable reach by the government into our otherwise bucolic, wholesome lives and crotches.

And maybe they have a point, or at least part of one.

My question, though, is how can a citizen raise so much hell about the new TSA protocols, and have no qualms about the Patriot Act, warrant-less wire taps, or any of the other infringements that have taken large bites out of the Constitution in the past decade?

If you have nothing to hide in your underpants, you don't need to be worried, do you?

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posted at 12:03 AM

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