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November 22, 2010

Microwave or Grope?

Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds.” ~John Perry Barlow

So people have asked, "Hey Fuggin [(I wish people actually referred to me as that)], why haven't you written anything on the whole TSA body scanner/pat down thing?"  The answer is that there really is not that much to say about it.  It's another spectacle in the sham production that is airport security

For as long as I remember, I've thought that the idea of flying on commercial airlines was contrary to my belief systems on individual freedom and natural order.  The long lines, the need to submit to strict security, the cramped space, the recycled air, the stink, the minuscule bathrooms, the crappy food, the prospect of plummeting to my ultimate demise in a tin can packed with strangers, and giving up total control of my life to people I've never met -- you know, the stuff commuters have accepted as the norm for so many years rather than developing more natural travel technologies, like magnet driven tube trains for example.
Therefore, the idea of getting a crotch rubdown before boarding a cramped plane really hasn't done much to further sour the experience of flying for me.  Hell, I got a  nice pat down before a Halloween booze cruise last month.  Do you think that I am even slightly surprised that people have to get one before boarding a plane in post-9/11 America?  Or that we all won't ultimately accept it?  Of course we will.

Granted, I try to fly as infrequently as humanly possible, so maybe I am not the best commentator on this topic.  Road trippin' is where it's at!  Also, maybe it has something to do with my years of training and mental manipulation living in the ole U.S. of A., but I'm actually appreciative of my masters giving me such a choice between two invasive body-search options, instead of requiring me to heedlessly accept one.  I welcome the choice.

So next time I take to the air, should I choose the radioactive body scan, where my genitalia will be on big screen and possibly stored for who-knows-what use?  Or should I "opt out" of the body scan experience and allow a same-sex TSA agent to use the back of his hand to rub the outside part of my pants, where underneath a layer of pants, another layer of underwear, my penis and testicles feel the pressure of the warm backhand as all my fellow passengers await their turn to choose.  "Dick-measuring device" or "molestation"?  Still, I'm going to choose the rubdown, and will enjoy every minute of it, as the whole time I'll moan, "OH YESSS!!  OH YESSSS!!!! 

Yes, I kid around, but really, why don't I care?  Fugg it, I am already shoeless, my jacket is off, my belt is off, my laptop has been removed from my bag, I dumped out my water (but still have my Beerbelly), and I've paid top dollar to jam myself on a stuffy plane.  Once I was even sent to secondary security after a persistent metal detector slip.  There I rolled down my pants and underwear to right above my penis, exposing my pubes to the agent.  Then I had to lift up my shirt.  This was all out in the open, merely to the side of regular security.  I was 20 years old, still in college, yet getting strip searched like a suspect.  

A young boy being strip searched by TSA
Still, I am not infuriated by this outrageously-extended terrorism campaign completely blown out of proportion by fear-mongering bullshit.  Why?  Firstly,  it is the obvious next step to our government's post-9/11 campaign of intrusiveness.  It's just another "necessary" infringement on our personal welfare and privacy in the name of "terrorism prevention."  Come on all, it's un-American and unpatriotic to argue about letting the agent stick his finger up your ass before you fly.  Seriously, that could be next.

Truthfully, the main reason that I am enjoying this TSA scandal is how extremely pleasing it is to finally see the makings of civil unrest and backlash, considering the general passivity of people in our country to most forms of blatant injustice.  I've already formulated my opinion on the flying process along time ago.  It is humiliating to be treated like a criminal because of the paranoia of the masses.  It has been for some time.  Hell, having to sit that close to another human being for 6 hours is already in violation of my idea of personal space.     

Furthermore, there are countless of other violations of moral decency, natural law, and infringements on human rights world-wide that we all should be mentally occupied with.  We have to have our priorities  (Stopping COICA from passing for instance).  The question people should be asking is why does mainstream media care so much about these scanners and the pat down option??

Whenever there is so much attention on something in the mainstream news, question the motive.  Who makes these body scanners anyway?  L-3 Communications Holdings, who?  A huge military contractor?  Oh a former branch of Lockheed Martin, the weapons manufacturer?  One of the three L's stands for Lehman Brothers?  Oh another company called Rapiscan Systems too?  And that's it?  Who is making money off manipulating the stocks of these companies?  Always follow the money and you'll eventually find hints of some conspiracy.  Oh, and speaking of money, at least 450 of these scanners were purchased with taxpayer dollars, specifically with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

Our government has been planning to get into the business of these body scanner machines for some time, well before the Christmas Bomber,  and they are not going to abandon ship merely because a few customers, pilots, and politicians have spoken out.  Federal regulations are going to eventually force everyone that wants to fly to go through the body scanners, no pat down or other options, just like they did with metal detectors in the early 1970s.  If you don't think this is true, why was the CEO of the second largest manufacturer of such scanners, Rapiscan Systems, selected to accompany Obama to the U.S. India Business Entrepreneurship meeting in Mumbai?  It's was a sales trip.    

Evidently there was more to say about this topic than initially believed.  A piece of advice if you are against this TSA crap - on National Opt Out Day,  opt out of flying, as participating in the system only strengthens it.  Oh yea, Flying, you are fuggin suggin.  Happy travels all!!!

"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men." ~Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead