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CSpec

Nude model or groping victim?

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Nude model or groping victim?

The Economist

THE Transportation Security Administration, America's second-most loathed bureaucracy, has used its stimulus bucks to stock up on fancy ritual-humiliation scanners that electronically disrobe air-travellers. TSA officers are exceedingly unlikely to detect terrorist tools thereby, but they can always wince and titter at their victims' corpulence or unimpressive primary and secondary sexual characteristics. And if you are unwilling to surrender your dignity to a low-level security-state functionary in this way, you always have the option to surrender your dignity to a low-level security-state functionary in an "enhanced pat-down". The enhancement is that the TSA agent now gets right in there and gropes nearer the possibly ne'er-do-well passengers' tender bits.

It is heartening that there is a growing backlash against the TSA's policies, but I am not optimistic. I have found the submissiveness and docility of the American people in the face of the state's pointless molestation incredibly discouraging. I think this is one of those subjects that demands we step back, take a deep breath, and consider with a clear mind just how phenomenally idiotic the government's policy of increasingly invasive degradation really is. Law-abiding travellers, who pose approximately zero risk of terrorism, and offer no ground for reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, must run this gauntlet of abasement because airplanes were once made the instrument of mass death. The odds of being a victim of terrorism on a flight are approximately 1 in 10,408,947—rather less than the 1 in 500,000 odds of getting killed by lightning.

But nope. Who cares? Doesn't matter! Instead the government ramps up their time-consuming campaign of harassment. Is the idea that if we are not made to feel ashamed, we will not be made to feel safe? I can't figure it out. The TSA is like my dog. Once he spied a rabbit by a tree in our yard as we came in the back gate. Now, whenever we come through that gate, he freezes and stares bullets at the spot by the birch where a bunny once sat. To a first approximation, there is never a rabbit there, and any special effort devoted to detecting one there is wasted. I have tried to explain this to Winston. But the poor dog, a genius of premature inductive inference, just won't believe me. I find this a little annoying, but he's a dog, it only takes a second, and he doesn't fondle my upper thigh.

I'm flying to Boston tomorrow. If forced to make a choice, I'll opt for the nudeoscope (I've been working out), but if resentment could be weaponised, I'd be a dangerous man. It's an outrage we're forced to live like this.

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Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

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Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

My favorite Franklin quote.

My feeling on the whole thing is to request the grope... in public view... and when they get too close for comfort, have the best fake orgasm you've ever had.

Theatre works both ways.

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Time to abolish the TSA and all of this fear-mongering nonsense.

Agreed...the TSA zombies seem to be little more than minimum skill ex-burger flippers now with badges. It's all a show to make it look like they know what they are doing about security.

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People point out that these scanners are much better at finding drugs than bombs, and in fact airport security has proven a convenient place for law enforcement to arrest people for non-security related things (despite the fact that Bush promised this wouldn't happen).

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found this last night.

Unfortunately, it looks like this Meg McLain has done her effort a disservice my not being completely truthful... the whole thing was recorded on video... HERE.

She appears to have never been cuffed... her ticket was apparently not torn up and only about 8 officers were involved.

Interesting, to watch this video, as they are putting a LOT of people through the Body Scanner (also debunking her contention that she was the only one selected to go through the body scanner while she was there.)

I still think this security theatre needs to end... but this incident, so far, is being well played by the TSA.

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I read an interesting reply on a site regarding this issue when there was discussion on what is considered invasive for security purposes. On one hand, we had a woman complaining that she feels violated by pat downs. On the other, was the comment that it's no different than tailors doing measurements for bust size and inseams. It all ends up being a catch 22 situation with the public. If there are high security systems meant to check all passengers indiscriminately, there is still someone offended of being lumped into that group. If there is someone sitting on the plane with you, threatening to blow it up, people are offended of being lumped into that group and wonder how security failed them.

Edited by ShadowDog
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While I like Franklin's quote, the fact remains we ALL do this, every day (give up a little freedom for security).

What's in all of our our pockets at a given moment? Keys.

Frankly, it IS the fearmongering that is the worst aspect of the whole issue.

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While I like Franklin's quote, the fact remains we ALL do this, every day (give up a little freedom for security).

What's in all of our our pockets at a given moment? Keys.

I have to disagree with that concept. There is giving up freedom... and there is the common sense or protecting one's property, having the latter does not give up the former... you are still free to choose when to lock your doors (apparently, not in Philadelphia if your car is parked on the street). Franklin was a very prudent man, and I'm sure his possessions where locked and he carried the keys for more than his kite experiment.

Now, if we gave up our keys completely... so only a government agent could come and lock and unlock our house, then we would be giving up freedom for security.

I also suppose you could be referring to the idea that virtually any key system ever created has some back door locksmiths or the government can use. At least, in theory, these methods are not supposed to be used unless a court approves it... and anything "secret" that may be getting around this is caused by the fact that our current political state has no respect for the constitution, and not by the key system itself.

Now, I agree that we have been giving our freedoms for security, either intentionally or by being conditioned that we are "free enough", for 200+ years. But not by carrying keys.

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I have to disagree with that concept. There is giving up freedom... and there is the common sense or protecting one's property, having the latter does not give up the former... you are still free to choose when to lock your doors (apparently, not in Philadelphia if your car is parked on the street). Franklin was a very prudent man, and I'm sure his possessions where locked and he carried the keys for more than his kite experiment.

Now, if we gave up our keys completely... so only a government agent could come and lock and unlock our house, then we would be giving up freedom for security.

Good point. There's a difference between rational steps to ensure that you and your property are kept safe, and surrendering yourself to Big Brother with the assumption that He knows best and will keep you safe.

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CSpec ~ >>"Good point. There's a difference between rational steps to ensure that you and your property are kept safe, and surrendering yourself to Big Brother with the assumption that He knows best and will keep you safe."<<

There is, no question. The key example isn't the best nor the deepest example, but it is still an outside source 'forcing' me to alter what may be my preference in a scenario.

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There is, no question. The key example isn't the best nor the deepest example, but it is still an outside source 'forcing' me to alter what may be my preference in a scenario.

Well, I suppose that there is few ways to deter that particular 'force'... but in general, NJ has stripped many of the rights of the citizens to protect themselves by using deadly force to stop intruders.

In general, though, those "forces" have been around forever and will always be there... these human tendencies are as fundamental as physics.

My preference is to keep my helium balloons untethered in the yard... but I have to trade some freedom for security and put them in my garage or else they will float away.

I feel Franklin's infamous quote is really only truly applicable to governmental actions and restrictions the government puts in place... since they are the ones most likely to take away freedoms. We never had freedom from human nature or physics in the first place.

I'll keep locking my house and car... even if we live in utopia... because it gives me a little bit less to worry about.

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TSA forces cancer survivor to show prosthetic breast

Some fliers with medical conditions call new airport security procedures 'humiliating'

A longtime Charlotte, N.C., flight attendant and cancer survivor told a local television station that she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down.

Cathy Bossi, who works for U.S. Airways, said she received the pat-down after declining to do the full-body scan because of radiation concerns.

The TSA screener "put her full hand on my breast and said, 'What is this?' " Bossi told the station. "And I said, 'It's my prosthesis because I've had breast cancer.' And she said, 'Well, you'll need to show me that.' "

Bossi said she removed the prosthetic from her bra. She did not take the name of the agent, she said, "because it was just so horrific of an experience, I couldn't believe someone had done that to me. I'm a flight attendant. I was just trying to get to work."

For Americans who wear prosthetics — either because they are cancer survivors or have lost a limb — or who have undergone hip replacements or have a pacemaker, the humiliation of the TSA's new security procedures — choosing between a body scan or body search — is even worse.

Musa Mayer has worn a breast prosthesis for 21 years since her mastectomy and is used to the alarms it sets off at airport security. But nothing prepared her for the "invasive and embarrassing" experience of being patted down, poked and examined recently while passing through airport security at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

"I asked the supervisor if she realized that there are 3 million women who have had breast cancer in the U.S., many of whom wear breast prostheses. Will each of us now have to undergo this humiliating, time-consuming routine every time we pass through one of these new body scanners?" she said in an e-mail to msnbc.com.

'I was so humiliated'

Marlene McCarthy of Rhode Island said she went through the body scanner and was told by a TSA agent to step aside. In "full view of everyone," McCarthy said in an e-mail, the agent "immediately put the back of her hand on my right side chest and I explained I wore a prosthesis.

"Then, she put her full hands ... one on top and one on the bottom of my 'breast' and moved the prosthesis left, right, up, down and said 'OK.' I was so humiliated.

"I went to the desk area and complained," McCarthy wrote. "The woman there was very nice and I asked her if the training included an understanding of how prosthetics are captured on the scanner and told her the pat-down is embarrassing. She said, 'We have never even had that discussion and I do the training for the TSA employees here, following the standard manual provided.' She said she will bring it up at their next meeting."

If she has to go through the scanner again, McCarthy said, "I am determined to put the prosthesis in the gray bucket," provided to travelers at the security check-ins for items such as jewelry.

"Let the TSA scanners be embarrassed .... not me anymore!" she wrote.

Sharon Kiss, 66, has a pacemaker, but also has to fly often for her work.

"During a recent enhanced pat-down, a screener cupped my breasts and felt my genitals," she said in an e-mail to msnbc.com "To 'clear my waistband' she put her hands down my pants and groped for the waistband of my underwear.

"I expressed humiliation and was told 'You have the choice not to fly.' "

The remark infuriated Kiss, who lives in Mendocino, Calif. "Extrapolate this to we should not provide curb cuts and ramps for people confined to wheelchairs because they can choose to stay home ... This a violation of civil rights. And because I have a disability, I should not be subjected to what is government-sanctioned sexual assault in order to board a plane."

No planned changes to security

So far, the government is not letting up on the enhanced screening program. TSA administrator John Pistole said this week at a Congressional hearing on the matter that "reasonable people can disagree" on how to properly balance safety at the nation's airports, but that the new security measures are necessary because of intelligence on latest attack methods that might be used by terrorists.

Gail Mengel, of Blue Springs, Mo., is used to being patted down; she had a hip replacement five years ago.

"I admit that I was relieved when I flew last week and was able to spend a few seconds in front of the X-ray screen in Seattle and Denver," she said in an e-mail to msnbc.com. "I have heard medical experts say the level of radiation will not hurt us. And frankly I was happy to realize I won't have my body touched, patted and rubbed anymore.

"Unfortunately last weekend, I arrived at the New Orleans airport and learned that airport staff (was) still being trained in using the X-ray machine. Because my hip replacement sets off the security buzzer, I was faced with the new regulations."

While she is "used to" being patted down, "this experience was certainly much more personal, uncomfortable and embarrassing," she said. "Every part of my body was touched. I do not want to be harmed by radiation, but the experience was painless and quick compared to what I have faced over the last five years. I support security measures but I also hope we can be assured of safe procedures."

One man, from Nashville, wrote in an e-mail that "as a handicapped person, I am sick and tired of being 'raped' at the security line. I lose my crutches and leg orthotics to be 'nuked' by the X-ray machine. Then manhandled by the pat-down, followed by chemical swabbing for 'possible explosives.' ...Enough is enough."

Said Mayer, the longtime breast cancer survivor: "I am outraged that I will now be forced to show my prosthesis to strangers, remove it and put in the X-ray bin for screening, or not to wear it at all whenever I fly. To me, this seems unfairly discriminatory and embarrassing for me, and for all breast cancer survivors."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40278427/ns/travel-news

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I offer the following scenario to the disabled: Nobody gets scanned, searched or examined and everyone boards a plane. Then before they take off, they are told someone with a prosthetic limb has smuggled a bomb on board so they must all be removed and inspected. I'm willing to bet limbs would be tossed up to the front of the plane faster than you can say, "May I see your leg please?"

What is the answer? Seriously. WHAT is the answer?

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What is the question? There was no actual question in your scenario.

However, being molested by rent-a-cops isn't security, rather its the ideal job for pedophiles, perverts, and rapists.

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I'm gonna shift my focus a bit here: I would actually trade being forced to go into the scanner, but then be allowed to bring liquids in my carryon and not take off my shoes. I find the latter two far more annoying.

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TSA pat-down leaves traveler covered in urine

'I was absolutely humiliated,' said bladder cancer survivor

A retired special education teacher on his way to a wedding in Orlando, Fla., said he was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an enhanced pat-down by TSA officers recently at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

“I was absolutely humiliated, I couldn’t even speak,” said Thomas D. “Tom” Sawyer, 61, of Lansing, Mich.

Sawyer is a bladder cancer survivor who now wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine from a stoma, or opening in his stomach. “I have to wear special clothes and in order to mount the bag I have to seal a wafer to my stomach and then attach the bag. If the seal is broken, urine can leak all over my body and clothes.”

On Nov. 7, Sawyer said he went through the security scanner at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “Evidently the scanner picked up on my urostomy bag, because I was chosen for a pat-down procedure.”

Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer. “After I said again that I’d like privacy, they took me to an office.”

Sawyer wears pants two sizes too large in order to accommodate the medical equipment he wears. He’d taken off his belt to go through the scanner and once in the office with security personnel, his pants fell down around his ankles. “I had to ask twice if it was OK to pull up my shorts,” said Sawyer, “And every time I tried to tell them about my medical condition, they said they didn’t need to know about that.”

Before starting the enhanced pat-down procedure, a security officer did tell him what they were going to do and how they were going to it, but Sawyer said it wasn’t until they asked him to remove his sweatshirt and saw his urostomy bag that they asked any questions about his medical condition.

“One agent watched as the other used his flat hand to go slowly down my chest. I tried to warn him that he would hit the bag and break the seal on my bag, but he ignored me. Sure enough, the seal was broken and urine started dribbling down my shirt and my leg and into my pants.”

The security officer finished the pat-down, tested the gloves for any trace of explosives and then, Sawyer said, “He told me I could go. They never apologized. They never offered to help. They acted like they hadn’t seen what happened. But I know they saw it because I had a wet mark.”

Humiliated, upset and wet, Sawyer said he had to walk through the airport soaked in urine, board his plane and wait until after takeoff before he could clean up.

“I am totally appalled by the fact that agents that are performing these pat-downs have so little concern for people with medical conditions,” said Sawyer.

Sawyer completed his trip and had no problems with the security procedures at the Orlando International Airport on his journey back home. He said he plans to file a formal complaint with the TSA.

When he does, said TSA spokesperson Dwayne Baird, “We will review the matter and take appropriate action if necessary.” In the meantime, Baird encourages anyone with a medical condition to read the TSA’s website section on assistive devices and mobility aids.

The website says that travelers with disabilities and medical conditions have “the option of requesting a private screening” and that security officers “will not ask nor require you to remove your prosthetic device, cast, or support brace.”

Sawyer said he's written to his senators, state representatives and the president of the United States. He’s also shared details of the incident online with members of the nonprofit Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, many of whom have offered support and shared their travel experiences.

“I am a good American and I want safety for all passengers as much as the next person," Sawyer said. "But if this country is going to sacrifice treating people like human beings in the name of safety, then we have already lost the war.”

Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network executive director Claire Saxton said that there are hundreds of thousands of people living with ostomies in the United States. “TSA agents need to be trained to listen when someone tells them have a health issue and trained in knowing what an ostomy is. No one living with an ostomy should be afraid of flying because they’re afraid of being humiliated at the checkpoint.”

Eric Lipp, executive director of Open Doors Association, which works with businesses and the disability community, called what happened to Sawyer “unfortunate.”

“But enhanced pat-downs are not a new issue for people with disabilities who travel," Lipp said. "They've always had trouble getting through the security checkpoint."

Still, Lipp said the TSA knows there’s a problem. “This came up during a recent meeting of the agency’s disability advisory board and I expect to see a procedure coming in place shortly that will directly address the pat-down procedures for people with disabilities.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40291856/ns/travel-news/?GT1=43001

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