I again want to thank everyone for forgiving my erratic posting this week. It has been one heck of a week around here and it is only Wednesday night! Family stuff and my first week at a new job in a new industry. I do want to take a quick moment and thank all of you for your well wishes surrounding the tragedy in my family. That I can come on here and find that 30-40 people have taken time to wish me well and take time to think about me and my family is truly heartwarming. The relationships that have developed because of this blog are truly an amazing thing for me. I live my life boatloads happier just for knowing that there are so many people out there who I have a kinship with. No matter where I go in this country I can find a friend. And all of you can find one in North Carolina. So thank you for all your kind thoughts. As for the TSA article that I posted the other night, I never was able to get in and post what I think. So I wanted to do that now, because I certainly have some strong feelings about not only the situation faced by Tyner, but the entire airport security situation in general.
I don’t have tons of time to write, so I will attempt to be brief. First, the situation that unfolded in the video I am torn on. Let me first say that I get why some people are not on board with Tyner. He was obviously looking to “pick a fight” with the TSA over this issue. He knows the rules and he knew them before he went to the airport to cause a scene. He clicked on his video recorder and created some compelling drama that played out for all the world to see. Kind of a dick move, sure.
But I think that he was absolutely correct in the stance that he took. And I absolutely agreed with him when he said at one point that “someone has to take this stand” or something along those lines. Because someone does have to take a stand and challenge the status quo. His taking a stand has opened the lines of discussion across the country. And that is a very good thing. Will it change anything? Maybe, maybe not. But without a doubt I can say that had he said nothing and not taken a stand, we were guaranteed to continue down this path. Security would likely have continued to get more and more intrusive. His taking a stand is giving Americans everywhere the chance to voice their opinion on this matter and talk through the issue.
As for me personally….. I don’t like the new scanners. I want to thank D13 for taking the time to go out and actually learn about the procedure. It frightens me that he made the statement that the scan leaves nothing to the imagination. It especially frightens me since we are now hearing that people have been illegally storing and leaking the images. I don’t want anyone faced with finding their naked body online without them having put it there themselves. I shudder to think how Mrs. Weapon would feel if that happened to her. The humiliation if all her co-workers saw something like that. Until we can absolutely guarantee that these images are not stored, and especially are not smuggled on to the internet, I cannot support that scanners being used. I wouldn’t let some stranger take a picture of my wife getting out of the shower. This is no different.
However, I understand that some people feel as though we need to have this level of security. I completely disagree, but I understand the sentiment. I really had no issue with metal detectors being used or with the subsequent wands being used when the need arises. It wasn’t really that obtrusive. No one put their hands on you. No one was looking at an image of you without clothing. I understood, but didn’t agree with the sudden need to have everyone take off their shoes. Again, no one was being touched and you just walked twenty steps without shoes. Big deal.
I don’t have that issue that so many seem to have when small children or old women are checked. Unfortunately, those who would do us harm have shown that there is no level they are not willing to stoop to. They have already used children, old folks, and mentally retarded individuals to deliver explosives. I have seen all three of those personally. It is sad and twisted, but they will do it. So I am cool with anyone being checked, no matter how ridiculous it seems.
What I have an issue with is that we are forced to give up so much of our privacy and submit ourselves to so much hassle for what has resulted in very little effectiveness. What I have issue with is that we are told that security is the number one concern while we simply refuse to use the techniques that are proven to be most effective all in the name of bullshit political correctness.
Obviously I am talking about profiling and asking tough questions the way that some other countries do. I have never had an issue with racial profiling. Not in this situation or any other. There is a “profile” for a reason, and it isn’t because of bigotry. And we are being completely ignorant in not understanding the profiles and using them to our advantage. It is the most effective form of security available to us without invading privacy. I understand that to some, profiling seems like a blatant violation of people’s rights. I understand, and I am sorry, but I want security at the most effective level possible. That we would be willing to step on people’s rights so quickly in order to not step on other people’s rights when the former is far less effective than the latter is simply mind-boggling to me.
And here is the kicker. Perhaps if people of arab descent were profiled as they should be at this point, those who are not a threat to us would stop being so tolerant of those who are. We often decry the situation in that the regular muslims are not doing enough to denounce the radical muslims and hold them accountable. What reason do they have to take that risk? We refuse to do anything about it. We don’t make life uncomfortable in any way for those who would silently watch radicals do what they do while saying nothing. They have no incentive to do or ay anything. Perhaps after they have been double and triple checked enough times they will get angry that the radicals are causing them so much inconvenience. Maybe then they will stand up and say something.
But most of all in this situation, we need to all take a stand ourselves. There comes a point where what we are being subjected to outweighs the benefits of the action. More important, there comes a time when the things we are being subjected to are simply outside the scope of what we should deem acceptable from our government. Tyner had it correct when he said that the only difference between assault and search is that the government is the one doing it. The Department of Homeland Security is a dangerous organization being run by an incompetent woman. That she deems this as the correct move only solidifies in my mind that it is not worth doing and likely illegal.
That a country that fought so hard for the rights of three pieces of terrorist trash who got waterboarded is the same country that has nothing to say about innocent people being forced to go through a scanner or go through a thorough pat down saddens me.
As for security overall. I say that the TSA should be abolished. The TSA was little more than a cop-out for the airlines. The airlines didn’t want to face public scrutiny for taking security actions, so they were all too eager to allow it to instead be “mandated by government.” Take away that cop-out. I say that the airlines should be personally responsible for whatever level of security they deem necessary. Put the choice of how secure you need to feel back into the hands of the consumer. Allow airlines themselves to make decisions as needed. Decisions would be made faster, more effectively and more efficiently. If not, thinking people will have the ability to choose a different carrier that makes them feel more secure.
And for me personally… I could care less about the pat down. They can feel me up all they want.
I will hope the be able to check in throughout the day, but cannot promise as I am still adjusting to the new job. And tomorrow is a day where I work both the old job and the new, so after a 16 hour day I may not have the brainpower left to write. But I am certainly going to try!