November 19, 2010

"Don't touch my junk." It's the new "Don't Tread on Me."

Says Charles Krauthammer.
Don't touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter. Don't touch my junk, Obamacare - get out of my doctor's examining room, I'm wearing a paper-thin gown slit down the back. Don't touch my junk, Google - Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don't touch my junk, you airport security goon - my package belongs to no one but me....
Do you remember how the government presented this newly intensified bodily search? Why did the Obama administration — which I associate with opposition to enhanced interrogation techniques used on terrorists — adopt enhanced pat-downs on ordinary citizens to protect us from terrorists? Was it done because of the introduction of the enhanced imagining scanners? I really don't know. Did the government explain this to us when I wasn't paying attention? Because I monitor the news for hours every day, and I don't know the explanation.

It seems to me that these 2 things happened together: new machines that see you naked and newly intense body searches. Am I wrong to believe that the new groping procedure was intended to get more people into the scanners they would otherwise resist? Someone, at some level of the Obama administration, decided that the only way to channel people into the see-you-naked machines was to make the alternative more offensive to nearly everyone. Personally, I'd take the grope over being seen naked, but I did a poll yesterday, and I see that the scanner is significantly more popular than the grope.  I suspect that was the calibration. And I suspect that if too many people choose the grope over nakedness, the plan is to intensify the grope until they get the scanner acceptance rate they need.

But why were the scanners introduced when they had to know people didn't want them? With healthcare reform, the Obama administration became associated with ramming things down our throats. The government knows what we should want and doesn't bother to find out what we do want or even to persuade us to want what they think we should. The scanners are the ultimate graphic example of forcing something on us without asking. We're only asked: Well, would you prefer to have us feeling all around your genitals? That's the kind of consent of the governed we're facing these days.

But why push the scanners on us? Do you remember hearing Obama or Janet Napolitano or anyone say anything persuasive about why these machines were bought? (Suddenly, I want to follow the money. For that, I will  move to a new post.)

(In my unscientific poll, 73%  of those who would keep flying, picked the scanner over the grope. I suspect the government needs a better acceptance rate than that to keep the lines flowing and justify the investment in the machines. But most of those of us who picked the grope haven't been groped yet, and if being seen naked becomes the norm, more of us may fall into that brain-dulled line that shuffles into the machine.)

119 comments:

Scott M said...

The junk man’s revolt marks the point at which a docile public declares that it will tolerate only so much idiocy.

Best Krauthammer take on the whole affair and quite accurate judging by those I interact with every day. I don't know if it's another Rick Santelli moment, but it's certainly got the potential.

mRed said...

Does Andy Sullivan ask for a hairy bear to grope him?

The Crack Emcee said...

There is so much nudging occurring it was only a matter of time before a revolt of some kind happened.

I, personally, am tired of being pushed around for "my own good."

Drew said...

Something awesome is happening.

When we've got Krauthammer using the phrase "Don't touch my junk," we are clearly experiencing a cultural sea-change.

Kirby Olson said...

Apparently the Israeli Airlines have someone stationed at the entrance to the plane who INTERVIEWS suspected terrorists, and they have 100% success with this. This would probably seem unscientific to scientific Americans who want to be materialistic positivists on every front, but I think you could tell if someone had something to hide when you spoke with them by the way they everted their eyes, or stared in your face, or whatever, if you had half a brain. We should follow the Israelis in dealing with the Muslim terrorists. They deal with them quite well, surrounded by a billion of them as they are, and managing to survive, and get on in quite a neighborly fashion with that group.

Groping seems so inept by comparison.

MadisonMan said...

These intrusive decisions are made because no one wants to be in charge when the next successful attack occurs.

MayBee said...

But why push the scanners on us? Do you remember hearing Obama or Janet Napolitano or anyone say anything persuasive about why these machines were bought?

That's the weird thing.
And, as you say, rather than patiently and honestly deal with our concerns, they pushed the groping on us. Why did they choose to do it this way?

Although, this is the same Homeland Security Secretary who chose to tell us "The System Worked".

Maguro said...

It seems to me that these 2 things happened together: new machines that see you naked and newly intense body searches.

I believe the body scanners were introduced after the underwear bomber incident last year and the pat-down was introduced as an alternative to the body scan.

Am I wrong to believe that the new groping procedure was intended to get more people into the scanners they would otherwise resist?

Absolutely right. The more unpleasant they make the pat-down, the fewer pat-downs they have to perform. TSA employees greatly prefer standing around doing nothing to touching your junk.

Sharon said...

I'll believe the government is serious about avoiding terrorist acts in this country when people that are on the "no fly list" aren't on planes coming into this country, profiling is enacted and the word "Islam" appears in an army report on the Fort Hood Massacre.

Kevin said...

Am I wrong to believe that the new groping procedure was intended to get more people into the scanners they would otherwise resist?

Bingo! It's designed to be punitive.

shoutingthomas said...

Interestingly, Althouse skips entirely the meat of Krauthammer's argument, which is that profiling passengers is the answer.

Why?

Don't know. But Althouse has always been a player in Bigot-O-Mania, from her commitment to feminism to her recent obsession with homo-everything.

The Diversity is Everything creed is what prevents us from doing what Krauthammer suggests, which is profiling.

And, Althouse, with her feminist and homo-everything obsessions is a true believer in the Diversity is Everything creed.

edutcher said...

I love the line, "Not quite the 18th-century elegance of "Don't Tread on Me," but the age of Twitter has a different cadence from the age of the musket.". Very aptly put.

What we have here is Dr Evil wanting the machines in which he has considerably invested give him a return. How Capitalist of him.

Then, of course, there's the simple fact that the Limeys and the Krauts are both predicting big terror attacks on the US. As France in 1940, Big Sis and The Zero want to fight yesterday's war.

Like all government functionaries, CYA is their rallying cry, but I don't think it's gonna help.

jsled said...

When Obama campaigned on health care reform, and only 51% of the people are against it despite a sustained pr campaign against it, why do you perpetuate the "rammed down our throats" line?

I'm also confused about your ideas of "consent of the governed". Isn't that what we do by voting? Or, like You Cut, are politicians not supposed to actually represent the people that elect them and their interests through leadership, but instead defer to the will of the populace on every issue?

Not that I think the scanners are efficacious, or the threat of humiliation through groping to encourage people to use them is valid, or to your main point that their rollout was well-managed. Ultimately, airport security is not justified as implemented today.

shoutingthomas said...

These intrusive decisions are made because no one wants to be in charge when the next successful attack occurs.

Agreed.

The threat is vastly over-exaggerated.

We need to dump these security measures, return to using the old scanners, employ profiling, and...

Accept the fact that a degree of risk is the price of freedom.

Big Mike said...

... and if being seen naked becomes the norm, more of us may fall into that brain-dulled line that shuffles into the machine.

You say you want a Revolution? We-ell, you know...

Who knew that when the Revolution finally came it would be the famously passive middle class in full revolt against the Left? I think some day we're going to see Obama's logo in the same trash can as the swastika, the fasces, and the hammer and sickle.

traditionalguy said...

The best comment I have read is, "That we slowly heated frogs are all jumping to get out now" before we all become numbered prisoners for the wealth of a new international Ruling Class. The EPA continues its back door cap and trade as we speak, despite a true settled science by all "un-bribed by the UN scientists" that CO2 is a harmless fertilizer.

Christopher said...

There's a level of PR cluelessness I don't quite get. Right now at the TSA blog, there's a list of Myths/Facts. Some of them make sense but one of the top ones says Myth: The TSA pat-down is invasive. Um....

(wv=schews. First they came for the schews, and I said nothing...)

roesch-voltaire said...

Such a challenge now we have to protect our junk form the terrorist as well as the TSA! I am all for profiling and interviews, as are now conducted on our international flights in- bound flights, but given the weirdness of so many folks these days-- just what is the profile?

traditionalguy said...

The revolt is against the TSA's doubling down on worthless abuse that everyone knows is worthless. All for a few hundred million dollars in the pockets of Chertof and friends. As Charlie Rangel is a public scapegoat sacrificed for nothing except recieving a few politician favor bags, the real bank robbery is going on under our noses.

Richard Dolan said...

MMan suggests that the scanners were introduced as CYA protection in the event of another terrorist attack. No doubt that was part of it.

But it was also that the O-team believes completely in their ability to offer technocratic solutions to society's problems. Only the well-credentialed elites will understand all the complex ways in which their solutions solve our problems. But no big deal -- as O says, it's all just a communication problem.

If that's how you view the world, there is nothing surprising in a relying on expensive, fancy technology, or in brushing aside tiresome privacy (they might call them prudish) objections to its use.

And if you are unwilling to accept the idea that the Obamacrats know best, well, the reason is that there is something wrong with you. Do you want to be responsible for making O-man feel even more disappointed in us?

SteveR said...

I wonder what would have happened if this had taken place before Nov 2?

Trooper York said...

You have to entertain the notion that the Obama administration is just a bunch of incompetent schmucks.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TRO said...

This is a simple, albeit expensive, fix. Do as the Israelies do - profile behavior, not people. It works. And it works well.

Unfortunately, it's very expensive since you have to hire, train, and pay top-quality people to do it, not these TSA types. Former Secret Service agents and even Customs inspectors who are used to looking for certain types of behavior.

Of course, when the ACLU and CAIR determine that suspicious behavior in these cases usually correlates to certain specific ethnic and religious groups, they're going to to all politically correct on it, so I'm not sure how long it would last.

MrBuddwing said...

Yesterday, I invoked the case of unsuspecting bomb mule Anne-Marie Murphy, a pregnant Irishwoman, in suggesting that airline profiling is grossly overrated. (I was told that apparently, there's such a thing as profiling that totally excludes race and ethnicity - I'd like to know more about it.)

I cite two more examples:

I recall years ago, Arthur Bremer told a reporter how he was able to get close enough to Gov. George Wallace to shoot him and leave him permanently paralyzed. Bremer said he made it a point to dress conservatively and get a nice clean haircut. Bremer said the Secret Service agents were so busy keeping an eye on the hippie-freak types (like a hippie would really shoot Wallace?) that he had no trouble getting as close as he did before opening fire.

Fans of profiling might also check out the Gillo Pontecorvo film "The Battle of Algiers," a documentary-style drama about the Algerian War for Independence. They're bound to get a kick out of the scene in which a group of Algerian Arab women adopt Western dress, hairstyle and makeup so they can plant bombs inside a French cafe. They weren't trying to pass for white, they were trying to look "ordinary" by Western standards - and succeeded remarkably well. (But, of course, it's only a movie.)

Word verification: kalitc

SteveR said...

The main problem with the Israel comparison is the sheer number of flights and airports. But we really have to stop treating everyone the same.

Original Mike said...

"I believe the body scanners were introduced after the underwear bomber incident last year and the pat-down was introduced as an alternative to the body scan."

I don't think they could have got them in the field in that amount of time. These things have had to have been under development for some time.

Original Mike said...

"The main problem with the Israel comparison is the sheer number of flights and airports. "

It's not at all clear to me that it is not scalable. Can the government do it, however? No.

Anthony said...

Had President Bush decided to push the scanners and the groping shortly after 9/11 as a permanent measure to decrease the risk of terrorism aboard planes, would this be an issue to the same people that find it to be an issue when it's done by Obama a decade later? What is seen now as an invasion, something being forced on us, something apparently comparable to enhanced interrogation of terrorists, I suspect would have been seen in 2001 as necessary, and a credit to President Bush for taking our national security seriously.

Wasn't the patriot act rammed down our throats, too? Congress decided we should want that before anyone even knew what it was.

Michael said...

Anthony: You are quite right about the timing thing. The issue now is that these devices are not proven capable of discovering the materials, for instance, that the Christmas bomber was using. The current administration is not acting in bad faith, just implementing a nuisance toy that will tie up additional time and money. Old ladies, children, goobers from Wisconsin, will all have to suffer this, just as they have suffered the long lines and stupid "screening" being done now. All to make sure that nobody gets their feelings hurt because their coreligionists have been bad boys. Makes sense to you? You don't fly much.

Big Mike said...

Had President Bush decided to push the scanners and the groping shortly after 9/11 as a permanent measure to decrease the risk of terrorism aboard planes, would this be an issue to the same people that find it to be an issue when it's done by Obama a decade later?

Short answer: yes. Only back then the folks on the center-right would have had the lefties supporting us. The difference that the presence of Obama and Napolitano makes is that the lefties are sitting on their hands and ceding the heavy lifting to the rest of us.

Wasn't the patriot act rammed down our throats, too? Congress decided we should want that before anyone even knew what it was

No. And, not to put too fine a point on it, if someone who is a known terrorist places a call to your home phone number I, and nearly every other commentator on this blog, would want to have some assurance that a trained agent is monitoring that call. And along with that call that they aremonitoring any calls you make subsequent to that call to assure ourselves that if your next action after hanging up the phone is to activate a sleeper cell that we have a fair chance of rolling it up before you and your fellow sleepers kill people. Which would be way before the FBI could get a warrant in front of a compliant judge.

And if the known terrorist mis-dialed, well, sorry 'bout that.

AlphaLiberal said...

This whole thing started under Bush, Ann. Try to pin it on Obama all you want, but the blame should be shared between the two.

dave in boca said...

This is up there with Paine's Common Sense in clear lucid exposition of the insanity that loathsome ogress monstrosities like Napolitano are inflicting on nuns, babies, and grandmothers in wheelchairs, all so the loathsome sport-of-nature Janet N. can avoid 'profiling,' that bete noire of progressives.

CraftD said...

My wife travels a lot for business. Doesn't it make sense to speed the process along for frequent fliers? They tend to make the same trip repeatedly. If my wife if making her 12th trip between 2 cities isn't it pretty clear it's work related. These are the people who are going to be most heavily burdened by all of this.

Maybe the government should give people the option of paying for their own simple background checks and then provide them with "Flier Cards" to let them avoid most of the ridiculous checks? It would speed-up the process quite a bit and reduce security lines.

Quaestor said...

Voltaire wrote: I am all for profiling and interviews, as are now conducted on our international flights in- bound flights, but given the weirdness of so many folks these days-- just what is the profile?

I doubt anybody who comments here can give an informed answer. Yet consider the case of El-Al. If any airline in the world could be considered a target of choice it would be Israel's national carrier, and so it was back in the day of Islamic terrorism's modern re-birth. In response El-Al adopted a profiling policy which has made their flights safer. Apparently their technique is so effective that there has not a serious attempt on an El-Al flight in thirty years.

Scott M said...

Had President Bush decided to push the scanners and the groping shortly after 9/11 as a permanent measure to decrease the risk of terrorism aboard planes, would this be an issue to the same people that find it to be an issue when it's done by Obama a decade later?

It's a false analogy. Right after 9/11, we had absolutely no idea what was coming down the pike at us. Yes, the American public would have been much more forgiving about these sort of invasive techniques (along with all of the screams from the left...remember we're talking Bush here...demanding to know why groping and full-body scanners weren't being used prior to 9/11).

Almost ten years later, we have a slightly better idea what came down the pike at us and apparently quite a few people have decided the scanners and gropes aren't worth it.

JAY said...

why do you perpetuate the "rammed down our throats" line?


Er, because Massachusettes, I mean how blue can you be, elected a Republican running on stopping it.

Your comments are parody.

JAY said...

When Obama campaigned on health care reform, and only 51% of the people are against it

Your "facts" seem to be lies.

This is from Aug 2010:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds 57 percent of likely voters say the recently-passed health care law will be bad for the country. Thirty-two percent say the health care plan will be good for the United States.


Prior to this survey, belief that the plan is good for the country ranged from 34% to 41%, while those who predict it will be bad for the country range from 49% to 54%


That is not 51%.

Leland said...

I didn't respond in the poll, but I did answer in the poll. If I'm going to fly, I'd probably stay with the scanner. But what's not asked is why?

If I'm flying, I'm in a hurry. Neither option is preferable to me, but the third option (not flying) may not be a viable option either. So if I fly, it's likely I'm in a hurry. And if I fly, I'm not going to prolonge the miserable experience that is security.

Then, there is also the fact that I tend to respond to perceived injustices. If I'm already annoyed about flying, annoyed about a naked scan, decide to be cute and opt-out; then face a drone TSA guy who is more concerned about the danger posed by my left nut than my right hook coming... well, I might just do something that could be used against me in a court of law.

Titus said...

Instead of scanners we should of just told passengers to drop their bras and get ready for the feel of a lifetime.

This would of been an excellent opportunity for tits that haven't been getting any attention lately to get a nice groping.

Quaestor said...

Original Mike wrote: It's not at all clear to me that it is not scalable.

It's not scalable if Napolitano's TSA continues its current hiring policy.

Rachel said...

You'd rather be groped than go through a scanner? Personally, I wouldn't want those goons to touch so much as my elbow. And I suspect the market for those nude shots of people going through the scanners is rather limited. Who beside a woman with the modesty of Mother Theresa and the body of Kim Kardashian is seriously worried about their nude x-ray being put up for sale?

That aside, I'm pretty sure the scanners have been in the works since before the Big O took the oath of office. Which is not to say I'm in favor of them. I, too, would prefer the Israeli method. But even supposing we could get it through the loony anti-profiling people who would do the profiling? Not those same TSA morons, I hope.

Anthony said...

Michael said the scanners are "a nuisance toy that will tie up additional time and money."

Ah see! I can agree with that! You said I don't fly much, actually, I fly regularly. If I have one issue with these machines is that they're potentially horribly inconvenient. But that isn't the argument I'm hearing on this blog and others. I'm hearing that they're treading on our junk, which frankly doesn't bother me as long as it's for a good reason. I'm not convinced it is yet, but my larger point was the feeling that some of this opposition comes from partisan dislike for Obama and not the utility of the devices or the invasion of privacy.

jr565 said...

But why were the scanners introduced when they had to know people didn't want them?

Because someone got on board a plane with a bomb in his underwear and bypassed security in doing so, revealing that they have no plans for people who hide bombs in inventive places. So they introduced scanners and "groping" as a way to show they are addressing the problem. If they allowed someone else on a plane who similarly hid a bomb in their trunks and they again didn't check it, they would be accused of being negligent with national security. And the airlines, also being forwarned would have the shit sued out of them by all the families who lost loved ones because the airlines didn't check the guys trunk even though they KNEW that terrorists put bombs in their trunk (or their shoes).
They were covering their ass, and trying to fix holes in security (as security people are wont to do). Its not too often that security experts will see a glaring security hole that could lead to the death of hundreds, and then refuse to fix the problem, as that would defeat the purpose of having security.

jr565 said...

Leland wrote:
Then, there is also the fact that I tend to respond to perceived injustices. If I'm already annoyed about flying, annoyed about a naked scan, decide to be cute and opt-out; then face a drone TSA guy who is more concerned about the danger posed by my left nut than my right hook coming... well, I might just do something that could be used against me in a court of law.

So instead of a quick scan or a group, we'll go the Israeli way and have someone interrogate you for ten minutes and make you come to the airport three hours earlier. Something tells me that would set off your annoyance meter even more.

Fen said...

These intrusive decisions are made because no one wants to be in charge when the next successful attack occurs.

Which is not logical. These are static defenses. The weakness of static defenses (for you non-gamers) is that you cannot be strong and vigilant on all fronts at once all the time. Something will always get through.

So you either go on offense and eradicate radical Islam, and then eradicate those you radicalized.

OR

get used to spreading your cheeks at the airport.

Quaestor said...

If TSA adopts a "profiling" regime along the lines of Israel's airport security model (unlikely for political reasons) then they should hire retired police detectives and Secret Service operatives. Most police departments have mandatory retirement ages which remove people from the force at an age (55 on average) when there are many good years left. Those decades of "street smarts" cannot be taught except through experience.

Fen said...

Alpha: This whole thing started under Bush, Ann. Try to pin it on Obama all you want, but the blame should be shared between the two.

When are you guys going to start holding your Diversity Hire accountable for his own mistakes?

[and has anyone noticed the JournoList theme circulating that "the presidency is too complex for one man"]

You give him a pass because hes a Democrat or because of his skin color? Or both?

Nevermind, it obvious from your history here that you are a Partisan Racist. Like most liberals.

Martha said...

Commenters have neglected to note the health risk from the total body scans. The machines are X-Ray machines manned by TSA employees with no medical training. The machines are not calibrated with same proficiency X-Ray machines in the hospital are calibrated repeatedly. TSA claims the machines deliver X-rays to the skin only. Even if true, the skin is susceptible to damage from radiation. Skin cancers can be deadly.
I have advised my sons and daughter-in-law to avoid the total body scanner. No one of child bearing age should submit to unnecessary radiation. Same goes for young males planning to procreate. See http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/aviation/safety/the-truth-about-tsa-airport-scanning

Fen said...

jr565: So instead of a quick scan or a group, we'll go the Israeli way and have someone interrogate you for ten minutes and make you come to the airport three hours earlier. Something tells me that would set off your annoyance meter even more.

Thats an interesting point - Americans are willing to trade convenience for danger. How many of you accept being delayed twice as long as you are now, and missing 50% of your flights with no refund.. if it meant saving another human life. I think most here will say they'll submit to that.

But in the real world, I think most would draw the line further in favor of Less Annoyance and away from Less Risk. As long as its someone else who is blown up.

The Jihadi who caused this mess is a genius. We need to kill him asap.

CraftD said...

If these more intrusive pat downs are so necessary why did they wait until the scanners were more prevalent to introduce them? The "underwear" bombing attempt occurred almost a year ago, right? Are they telling us we've just been lucky since then? That's the best evidence I've seen confirming that the groping has intensified just to get people to go through the scanners.

Fen said...

So you either go on offense and eradicate radical Islam, and then eradicate those you radicalized.

OR

get used to spreading your cheeks at the airport. And getting blown up anyways.


/fixed

Leland said...

@jr565 How about you speak for yourself? Or should we just realize you are projecting, and thus your suggestion about what might bother me is actually what would bother you. You have a problem with someone asking you a few questions?

Personally, I've already had several background checks done on me. In fact, my NACI was done because of some work I did early on with the TSA. So a 10 minute interview isn't a bother to me.

Fen said...

The "underwear" bombing attempt occurred almost a year ago, right? Are they telling us we've just been lucky since then? That's the best evidence I've seen confirming that the groping has intensified just to get people to go through the scanners.

No. The briefings I've seen indicate (by omission) that there is new intelligence that they have not made public. Something wicked this way comes.

John said...

In the morning to all the slaves, human resources and all the ships at sea!

Those of us who listen to the No Agenda Show with Adam Curry and John C Dvorak knew all this stuff a year ago. Naked body scanners were first discussed in show 173 on Feb 11, 2010.

They have been all over the Chertoff connection for several months now.

They discussed the underpants bomber at considerable length back in Dec and Jan last year. Including the reports that a number of people saw him escorted onto the plane.

No Agenda is a 2 hour podcast every Sunday and Thursday with John C Dvorak and Adam curry at www.noagendashow.com

It is commercial free and they are making a living off of listener donations (I send them $50 every year)

You will learn a lot of stuff you might not otherwise hear.

John Henry

Fen said...

Leland: So a 10 minute interview isn't a bother to me.

I would happily delay my schedule by 10 minutes if it meant they were actually profiling passengers, instead of this PCBS we're subjected to.

Fen said...

The Jihadi who caused this mess is a genius. We need to kill him asap.

Sorry. Pour water down his mouth till he gives up everything the Jihad has in the works. Then kill him.

John said...

BTW: It is my understanding that, had the underpants bomber gone through the pornoscanner, the machine would not have detected the bomb.

Also, I can't carry a set of nail clippers through security but as soon as I am on the plane I am given a glass made of glass. What is to stop me from breaking it and using the shards as a weapon?

And finally, I think Napolitano has given us an out from both pornoscan and grope. She is thinking about waiving Muslim women from having to submit to either. So once she does, I am going to start wearing a burqua through security.

Muslim women will be exampt. That does make a certain amount of sense because they are the only ones, in Russia, who have successfully brought down a plane in the past 5-10 years. Why bother searching them? Nothing to see here.

John Henry

Alex said...

I am all for profiling and interviews, as are now conducted on our international flights in- bound flights, but given the weirdness of so many folks these days-- just what is the profile?

Muslim males between 18-40.

Stevie said...

((Its not too often that security experts will see a glaring security hole that could lead to the death of hundreds, and then refuse to fix the problem, as that would defeat the purpose of having security.))

What about the glaring hole of having a suicide bomber blow up in the line waiting to be detected? How many people are jammed together in the line vs how many are on a flight? It would damage the building too, BONUS!

Alex said...

What about the glaring hole of having a suicide bomber blow up in the line waiting to be detected? How many people are jammed together in the line vs how many are on a flight? It would damage the building too, BONUS!

Or a bus stop, a bus terminal, a train, a mall, a theater, anywhere there is a high concentration of people just waiting to be slaughtered like sheep. The fact is if the Muslims want to kill a lot of people they can do it alot easier then targeting an airline.

LarsPorsena said...

What is the protocol going to be after the first 'rectum' bomber or 'vagina' bomber? If you think the jihadis haven't looked past shoe bombs and C4 jockstraps you're delusional. All of this security stuff has been aimed at the last threat not the next.

Bender said...

"Don't touch my junk." It's the new "Don't Tread on Me."

Please.

"Don't touch my junk" is the new "Don't tase me bro!"

Alex said...

What is the protocol going to be after the first 'rectum' bomber or 'vagina' bomber? If you think the jihadis haven't looked past shoe bombs and C4 jockstraps you're delusional. All of this security stuff has been aimed at the last threat not the next.

Full body cavity search on everyone, oh and you're gonna love it too.

Scott M said...

Muslim women will be exampt. That does make a certain amount of sense because they are the only ones, in Russia, who have successfully brought down a plane in the past 5-10 years. Why bother searching them? Nothing to see here.

Certainly not an history-changer on it's own, but I can easily see this being a camel back breaker (no pun intended). This would be the point at which I feel a great many people in this country would come to the conclusion that we've collectively lost our minds.

Streetlamp time.

Michael said...

Alpha Liberal: You are absolutely right that this b.s. began under George W. Bush and his idiot Transportation guy Mineta. Because Mineta's parents had to be rounded up in the Second World War (over half a century ago) for being Japanese we all have to stand around like idiots and be "screened." Because, you know, the Japanese didn't attack us or anything just like you know who didn't attack us. Make sense now?

Freeman Hunt said...

I'll take the grope over the nudie scan, but if you seem to be taking liberties, I'll deal you a solid slap.

Actually I think I just won't fly unless traveling overseas. Flying is getting too weird. It used to be fairly pleasant.

I was already tired of being randomly flagged all the time. I was already tired of having to unpack my suitcase on a table in the airport and then having repack it. I was already tired of having to remove so many things to walk through the scanner.

Now I also either have to submit to having naked pictures taken or to being felt up.

Their way or the literal highway. I'll take the highway.

When do we all decide that maybe profiling is less stupid than what we're doing instead?

William said...

A few judicious bribes should do the trick: Get some influential imans to find verses in the Koran that makes air travel with infidels verboten. Fund airlines that offer hallal travel. As we have seen, there is no law against Muslims discriminating against infidels, and no liberal would protest against such an airline. That's the ticket. Heaven belongs to Allah and his followers. To travel in the sky with the unclean is an offense against Allah.

Freeman Hunt said...

Aren't frequent fliers at a bit of a health risk if they're constantly walking through these scanners?

Freeman Hunt said...

What we need to buy are those scanners in Total Recall that show only your skeleton (in green) and any weapons you have (in red). That's the ticket.

FormerTucsonan said...

You have to entertain the notion that the Obama administration is just a bunch of incompetent schmucks.

Bingo!

I'm sure Janet's implementation plan read as follows:

1) Put in the nekkid scanners and scan people to see if they got bombs 'n stuff.

2) If people don't want to go through the neddkid scanners, feel 'em up to see if they got bombs 'n stuff.

wv: ourabuf - Typical TSA work shift?

MadisonMan said...

So who is selling Don't Touch My Junk T-shirts. Seems like a winner to me.

Scott M said...

My general working opinion of the TSA workers (applies to the USPS as well) is the amount of competence you possess as a worker is inversely related to the length and color of your fingernails. I say your meaning that they are on your body...not that your body necessarily was responsible for growing them.

bgates said...

given the weirdness of so many folks these days-- just what is the profile?

Excellent question. Here are links to news stories about four people. Three of them I found by searching for "News of the Weird". One of them was a terrorist. See if you can guess which one it was.

Ruth Flowers, born 1941 in the United Kingdom;
Wayne Hallquist, born 1963 in the United States;
Khalid al-Midhar, born 1975 in Saudi Arabia;
Seol Hwang, born 1989 in South Korea.

How did you do?

kimsch said...

My husband flew to Raleigh from Chicago O'Hare yesterday. He chose the scanner line because it was shorter. He got the pat down anyway because he had neglected to remove his wallet before going through the scanner and they saw it on the image.

WV: menon: menial morons: TSA agents.

Stevie said...

Ruth, Duh!

bagoh20 said...

Can the government let air travel get a little more dangerous in exchange for a little safer highways? You know, like fill the potholes. I bet nobody would bitch, especially if they see TSA uniforms on the pothole detail.

Titus said...

I think the world would be a much better and happy place if more tits were felt up.

thank you.

pduggie said...

here's a flag i ginned up

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31757510&l=8d7a646eb8&id=1041003943

pduggie said...

The point about how no arguments are made is what gets me.

If Obama came on TV and said, "Top Men have determined that this is ncessary for your security. Top. Men." I'd have bought it and submitted without complaining.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Top Men have determined that this is ncessary for your security. Top. Men.

Well, of course 'Top' men are going to argue that they need to grope you before you get on the plane.

The 'Bottom' men were arguing that you need to grope them before you get on the plane. For safety, of course.

Original Mike said...

"Aren't frequent fliers at a bit of a health risk if they're constantly walking through these scanners?"

I'd be more worried about the screeners who have to stand next to them for hours on end. A well shielded unit will present no risk, but I'd be really interested in the rate and quality of the preventive maintenance of the unit I'm standing next to.

Original Mike said...

In fact, I wonder if they are "badged" (wearing a radiation monitor)? They should be.

Anglelyne said...

jr565: Because someone got on board a plane with a bomb in his underwear and bypassed security in doing so, revealing that they have no plans for people who hide bombs in inventive places.

Why do you keep bleating this line when it's been debunked over and over? There was more than enough in the way of "plans" for nailing this guy, no mass junk-scanning required. They weren't implemented. (You know, simple stuff like requiring valid visas and passports. Things you or I would get all kinds of grief for violating.) He was allowed to cruise on through with all the bells and whistles clanging. Are you some kind of paid shill for Rapey-scan or something?

Again - are you on board with requiring mandatory mass probings (Muslim ladies excepted of course) of the next "inventive place" the terrorists come up with? Since they've already moved on to body cavities, I guess you're in favor of "adapting" in that direction, right? Do we at least get the right to request a fresh pair of latex gloves when subjected to the next adaptive step of enhanced security?

MadisonMan said...

Top Men have determined that this is ncessary for your security. Top. Men.

Love that movie.

Shanna said...

Top Men have determined that this is ncessary for your security. Top. Men.

I always think about that when stupid stuff like this comes up. And then pan out to the warehouse...

Original Mike said...

We use that line a lot around the lab.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Don't touch my WHITE junk. Krauthammer supports racial profiling, but he is upset that "innocent" whites are being groped. If the TSA wants to subject Arabs to intensive scrutiny, he'd be ok with it. This is the height of hypocrisy and discrimination. Conservative Hypocrisy Regarding TSA Security Procedures

amba said...

enhanced imagining scanners

Love your typo. Actually more of a Freudian -- or Jungian -- slip.

vw adjugsi -- deciding in court if it's OK to pat down tits

jr565 said...

if mohammad ali ever flies to a boxing celebration. I hope we profile the shit out of his muslim ass. yes hes Mohammad Ali and an american, but he's also a muslim. Lets be sure to let all the white people like John Walker Lindh and adam Gadaan walk by and concentrate on the dark muslim.
And also, I think we should include some Jews who look muslim and also some hispanics too, becuase I can't always tell whether they're hispanic or muslim. But they look suspicious. And when we start demanding to know where they're going they get awfully nervous, just like terrorists do.

Michael said...

Yes, Darren Leonard Hutchinson, focusing on the probable is a form of discrimination. It is discriminating to chose the right object on which to place your attention. It is not discriminating to spend an equal amount of time on a grandmother in a wheelchair as on a twenty five year old from Yemen. It fact it is stupid in that case to fail to discriminate. There is no hypocrisy in choosing to spend a moment more on a twenty something from Yemen than on a white goober from Wisconsin. That is if you think this exercise is about security.

Michael said...

jr565: bad example. Everyone knows who Mohammed Ali is, so no problem. Give us another deep thought.

Michael said...

jr565:
"And also, I think we should include some Jews who look muslim and also some hispanics too, becuase I can't always tell whether they're hispanic or muslim. But they look suspicious. And when we start demanding to know where they're going they get awfully nervous, just like terrorists do."

These are useful ideas. If someone looks suspicious do you think that is a cue to spend more time searching the old lady from Des Moines instead? You don't have to "demand to know where they are going" since they have a ticket and you can read it on the ticket.

jr565 said...

anglelyne wrote:
Why do you keep bleating this line when it's been debunked over and over? There was more than enough in the way of "plans" for nailing this guy, no mass junk-scanning required. They weren't implemented. (You know, simple stuff like requiring valid visas and passports. Things you or I would get all kinds of grief for violating.)

You have yet to address these methods to determine what is in someone's underpants if they get past the initial stage of security. lets assume that someone is smart enough to pay with a credit card, has a valid passport, has a drivers license and does't get nervous under pressure. Oh, and he has a good story about where he's going and sticks to it. And he's not on a terrorist watch list. And he doesn't even look muslim.
How are you finding his bomb absent a scan and/or a pat. Give me specifics,He's in the security gate. What is the issue with simply scanning him and finding out for sure? What do you know of that would work better. You're the guy on the security line. Whether he is or isnt' a terrorist on a watch list he's on your line and is about to walk through the xray machine. I guess you let him walk past right? So then, if he's lucky enough to actually get him bomb off before being tackled by passengers, wouldn't that explosion be on you? So then why would you restrict the tools you would use to get him while you have the chance? And not tools that will cause major harm or hassle for him or you. It's the equivalent of walking through a machine and looking at an image. One that will not be the least bit embarrasing to him, and will cost him nothing more than two minutes ofhis time,but if you did spend that two minutes you could save lives. At the least you could pat him down. Nope, we don't pat down people as security guards. If they got past homeland security and made it to the security gate then we've already lost the ability to find his bomb.Oh well. Move along, and hopefully the passengers will tackle you before you blow them all up.

jr565 said...

Michael wrote:
65: bad example. Everyone knows who Mohammed Ali is, so no problem. Give us another deep thought.

So what, he's a muslim. Muslimss are terrorists. He might have some latent suicidal bombing tendencies.

Anglelyne said...

jr: You have yet to address these methods to determine what is in someone's underpants if they get past the initial stage of security.at is in someone's underpants if they get past the initial stage of security.

You have yet to address these methods to determine what is in someone's rectum if they get past the initial state of security.

lets assume that someone is smart enough to pay with a credit card, has a valid passport, has a drivers license and does't get nervous under pressure. Oh, and he has a good story about where he's going and sticks to it. And he's not on a terrorist watch list. And he doesn't even look muslim.

I'll worry about attaining perfect security after we've solved the existing problem of a security apparatus staffed by clowns so incompetent and/or politically correct that they can't execute known, tried-and-true, simple and effective security procedures to catch even the most fuck obvious security risks.

In the meantime I suggest reading some books on risk, risk analysis, and risk management. Real risk management doesn't involve pouring money and manpower into ferreting out the theoretically possible terrorist Norwegian granny on that flight from St. Paul to Des Moines. Nor does it have anything to do with getting lucrative contracts for your cronies.

jr565 said...

Michael wrote:
These are useful ideas. If someone looks suspicious do you think that is a cue to spend more time searching the old lady from Des Moines instead? You don't have to "demand to know where they are going" since they have a ticket and you can read it on the ticket.

I don't KNOW that sweet old lad from Des Moines.The first time I've seen her is when she's on the security line. Just as I may not know Adam Gadaan. He looks like a harmless jewish college student. Let me instead concentrate on this muslim guy because he looks suspicious. An awful lot of assumptions there, and one that security shouldn't make. Security shouldn't act on superficial impressions because they are often wrong.and in the case of a security guard dealing with thousands of people at one time he doesn't have alot of info and is making snap judgements. SOmeone like Jeffrey Dahmer escaped police may times while his victim was in his house because he told them that the victim was his boyfriend and was drunk. And then when the cops went away killed him and ate him. It's not a guarantee that a cop will find things, but if a cop simply goes by the surface appearance, Jeff was a nice sweet guy with a boyfriend problem.
That is simply lazy security. And granted, very often that old lady is just an old lady,but imagine if the old lady was a known fugitive or something and you barely gave her two glances.

Michael said...

jr565: I am on at least two flights a week. You? I have the sense that you are describing an elephant from feel, that you have nothing to go on here other than what you have read or fantasized.

The long lines that form before one arrives at security would be a good place to prove that all this is stupid on stilts, but I gather you do not know about such lines. You clearly believe it is as likely for an old lady from the Midwest to be a terror bomber as is a twenty something man from Saudi. But it really doesn't matter how much bullshit every flier has to put up with because you, like our administration, do not have to deal with it.

Michael said...

jr565: The J. Dahmer example is absurd in this context and demonstrates how out of your depth you are.

jr565 said...

Anglelyine wrote:
I'll worry about attaining perfect security after we've solved the existing problem of a security apparatus staffed by clowns so incompetent and/or politically correct that they can't execute known, tried-and-true, simple and effective security procedures to catch even the most fuck obvious security risks.

Who says the TSA has perfect security or that perfect security can be attained? Having scanners will not be perfect, but it will be better security. I'm saying having a scan of the whole body provides yet more information to work with that can detect potential problems. If an investigator knows so much a scan will give him that much more information, and pretty valuable information too. Informatoin that might have been missed with the initial investigation. It's the same reason why putting a bag through an x ray provides more info than not putting a bag through an xray. the same way that an mri provides more clarifying info than hearing the patient say his arm hurts. You seem like you want security with no bells and whistles and the less tools in the hands of investigators the better. And seem to want to settle scores with the TSA rather than protect passengers.
Should we do away with xray machines for bags? Do you think having people looking at your bags and its contents provides more or less info to them to make them let you go through a line and board a plane. Because how is a body scan any different? It's not going to provide LESS info than a non body scan. I could see not using it for a few reasons though. One, if the pictures revealed were in fact explicit and showed you peoples privates in hi res detail and you could see peoples faces clearly. But they don't. I could see not using it if it took forever took make people walk through the line. But it doesn't. I could see if it was dangerous to use. If every time you walked through it you got cancer, then obviously its not worth using. I could see it if it didn't provide relevant data. But it does. You can simply see things that someone might be hiding and trying to get on a plane that you can't see by not looking at someone.
It's a cheap tool, it's efficient, it causes no lasting harm, there isn't really a privacy concern, it is not dangerous, and it gives security guards that much more ability to keep an airline safe because they get the person who might cause problems off before he ever boards the plane. Tell me where I'm wrong about this machine.
Don't tell me about evil kid molesting TSA workers who only want to grope kids and old ladies. Explain why having no scanwould provide more info than having a scan? And if there is an issue with the scanner explain, why you have a specific issues with it. 4th amendment grounds? You'd lose. And frankly your whole, lets target the muslims only would fly smack in the face of the 4th amendment anyway.

JAY said...

Security shouldn't act on superficial impressions because they are often wrong.

Something you couldn't possibly prove.

Why?

You're lying.

jr565 said...

Michael wrote:
The long lines that form before one arrives at security would be a good place to prove that all this is stupid on stilts, but I gather you do not know about such lines. You clearly believe it is as likely for an old lady from the Midwest to be a terror bomber as is a twenty something man from Saudi. But it really doesn't matter how much bullshit every flier has to put up with because you, like our administration, do not have to deal with it.

How about a sikhh (the guys wh wear the turbans)? They look muslim, but aren't muslims. Should we profile them? Are many security guards that proficient at separating out muslims from sikhh's? Many would think that because they have the turban that they are in fact muslims. But if there is confusion should security guards target muslims AND sikhs? And how about indians? they look muslim too? So should we profile and target muslims and sikhs and indians alone?

jr565 said...

Jay wrote:
Something you couldn't possibly prove.

Why?

You're lying.


Superficial impressions are never wrong? You couldnt prove that an impression was superficioal? ?

Michael said...

Jr565: Sikhs are a bad example. They aren't Muslims and few Muslims wear that kind of head gear. Your examples can, of course, be endless as sophomoric as they are. I will stipulate that it would be a bad idea to leave discretionary activity at security to guys like you. But then guys like you are the ones who work there. You never know when a white lady of sixty flying from Mississippi to Memphis might take up Jihad.

jr565 said...

Michael
Ok I'll ask you too? Leave out Mohammad because hes too well known? How about a prominent doctor who is a muslim and is well know in his field but who is not a celebrity so a security guard wouldn't know him by face. Should we profile that guy? And what about sikhs and indians. those who are not muslims but could pass for muslim?

jr565 said...

Michael wrote:
Sikhs are a bad example. They aren't Muslims and few Muslims wear that kind of head gear. Your examples can, of course, be endless as sophomoric as they are. I will stipulate that it would be a bad idea to leave discretionary activity at security to guys like you. But then guys like you are the ones who work there. You never know when a white lady of sixty flying from Mississippi to Memphis might take up Jihad.

Not everyone knows the difference between sikh's and musilms or indians. In fact, in NY a sikh cab driver was beaten up beucase someone thought that because he wore a turban it meant he was a muslim. Not that many westerners are that down on the nuances of indians versus sikkh's versus muslims.
What if a security guard profiles an indian thinking hes a muslim?

jr565 said...

Michael wrote:
They aren't Muslims and few Muslims wear that kind of head gear.

What about the few who do wear that kind of head gear? can we profile only those, or should we throw in the sikhs just to be on the safe side? And who is determining their identities and the subtle cultural differences? Airline security?

Anglelyne said...

jr565: if mohammad ali ever flies to a boxing celebration. I hope we profile the shit out of his muslim ass. yes hes Mohammad Ali and an american, but he's also a muslim. Lets be sure to let all the white people like John Walker Lindh and adam Gadaan walk by and concentrate on the dark muslim.
And also, I think we should include some Jews who look muslim and also some hispanics too, becuase I can't always tell whether they're hispanic or muslim. But they look suspicious.


Jr, you could really benefit from some lessons in etiquette from Darren Leonard Hutchinson. Note how he enters the thread and immediately plays the race card, thus courteously signaling that no one need inconvenience himself taking him seriously or wasting any time reading any further at all into his comments. Class act all the way. Read and learn.

P.S. Have you been contacting your representatives regarding the absolute security imperative of mandating body cavity inspections for all air travelers?

jr565 said...

How about a christian palestinian who looks muslim. Should we profile him? And note,in order for you to determine that he is a christian palestinian and not a muslim, you are going to have to view him with increased scrutiny because he looks a certain way. Since you don't want the TSA to tread on you is that fair to target non muslims who only look musilms and ask them all the tough questions and make them jump through hoops only to find out that they aren't muslims? Then it sounds like you don't care that that guy is profiled so long as you aren't. But how likely is it that a christian muslim would be a suicide bomber? Then, he would be unlucky enough to simply be profiled because he looks like a muslim. Why should he have to go through that if we don't want the nice grandma from Topeka to go through that?

jr565 said...

Anglelyne wrote:
P.S. Have you been contacting your representatives regarding the absolute security imperative of mandating body cavity inspections for all air travelers?

No one has ever even suggested that, though I'm sure you think the TSA has that down as their next security protocol. Becasue the TSA just really wants to stick their fingers up peoples asses for no reason. they're just that kind of people.

jr565 said...

Anglelyne:
I'm pointing out flaws in your let's just target the muslims brand of security. Though muslims are the majority (hell more than the majority) of suicide bombers, a lot of people would be stuck in that net who aren't muslim, but simply have the misfortune of looking muslim.
not to mention the absurdity of high ranking non terrorist muslims who don't have facial recognition also being treated like garbage because they don't have the fortune of being as well know as Mohammad Ali.

caplight said...

I have never seen so many lefties arguing for intrusive law enforcement behavior. Did it take Obama in the Whitehouse to convert them to the good of fascist police state tactics? If it had happened under Bush the cry of,"Repression," would be heard on every lefty blog, MSNBC and the NY Times.

JAY said...

I have never seen so many lefties arguing for intrusive law enforcement behavior.

They're just coming full circle.

They want a government run economy and government run health care.

It is a natural progression.

Just Lurking said...

jr565 jumped the shark at 5:16 pm.

Anglelyne said...

jr565: I'm pointing out flaws in your let's just target the muslims brand of security.

No, you're pointing out the flaws in a straw man, because nobody is arguing for a "let's just target Muslims brand of security". That the application of rational security "profiling" would likely result, at present, in a statistically disproportionate suspicion of Muslim persons, and non-white Muslims persons at that (since most Muslims are not white Europeans) is not the same thing, anymore than the fact that British police back in the day collared a disproportionate number of Irish as bombing suspects indicated that they were "targeting all Irish".

And btw, no, Johnny Walker Lind would not slip through a security net with rational, realistic standards because he was white. If most terrorists attempts on U.S. targets are at present made by Muslims, and most Muslims are not Europeans, then no rational security protocol is going to produce a demographically proportionate group of suspects, and only the terminally reality-denying insist that its failure to do so is "racism". Nor does it mean, contrary to your hysterical assertions, that no suspect is going to be white.

No one has ever even suggested that [body cavity searches], though I'm sure you think the TSA has that down as their next security protocol.

I'm pointing out that this logically, inevitably follows from every argument you've made here in favor of the porno-scans and groping. If you can't follow your own arguments through to their logical conclusions that's not my problem. (And no, there is no "slippery slope" argument involved in this observation, despite your apparent attempt to couch it as such.)

Michael said...

jr565: Were I you I would immediately put in an application to serve as a TSA employee. You are perfect. Absolutely perfect. I have profiled you and you are the perfect fit. You are a moron on a pogo stick.

Russell Catlin said...

It is possible that the groping is meant to be as unpleasant as they can make it, to coerce compliance with full-body-radiation scanning. Some decision-maker high in the TSA would look bad if after all those millions, travelers simply opted out of getting irradiated. So the groping could well be a policy from the highest levels of TSA management.

However, there is also a less sinister explanation, along the lines of Adam Smith's "invisible hand", a groping invisible hand, to be sure. It might be an individual decision to fondle unpleasantly made by each low-level TSA employee, acting out of self-interest. He (or she) would much prefer passengers go through the machines rather than have to search them himself. So perhaps he gives them a little incentive for the next time the passenger must choose between radiation and assault.

jsled said...

@JAY :

"lies"? Because I used a slightly different statistic than you, I'm not a liar. C'mon, be civil.

I took "51%" from the current RCP average.

Rasmussen is nearly always an outlier, in one direction. Besides, the range you quoted only has opposition up to 54%, which I still don't consider to be exceptional.

Mass. is an interesting anecdote … and I do think there is a lot of legitimate opposition (and a *lot* of illegitimate opposition ("death panels", not understanding Medicare is government health care, &c.)).

But for a long time, including through much of the debate of the bill, things were closer to 40/50.

I just don't consider delivering on something that was explicitly promised during the campaign, that "only" 50% of a highly polarized country is against to be "rammed down our throats".

Isn't this exactly why we have a representative democracy? To be able to do things that are sometimes borderline un-popular?

John0 Juanderlust said...

Make everyone fly naked duct taped to the seats.
jr is obviously so concerned about party affiliation that reason has flown the coop.
Effective profiling is not a strictly race based process, and it is fairly easy to differentiate between Sikh, Indians and others, which is actually irrelevant.
None of the scanning procedures in place would have prevented 9-11.
Anything put in place can be defeated if the goal is to kill people in an airport or on a plane.
Either people decide they want to go back to being innocent until proven guilty rather than having to prove their innocence, or not.

This is pretty much the logical result of the the war on drugs which opened the door to search with no defined object or cause. And of roadblocks which stop everyone in order to find out if someone is drunk. All in the name of safety or law and order.

Having worked at airports, and in some cases closely with TSA, I know that many in Homeland security salivate at the thought of implementing such measures at very public place, malls, etc. I also know common sense is more likely to get a TSA employee fired than promoted.

It is interesting that those who claim to champion civil liberties are so compliant regarding TSA measures while vocal about other intrusions. Same goes for the old "law and order" crowd who didn't mind loosening search requirements in the past. It came back to bite them. But this time their dissent is right.