Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fly No More

Well, this is it. I'll never fly again (unless it's absolutely necessary).

I refuse to walk through scanners or be subjected to a "grope" down so that I might fly. It's too bad, I used to love going to other countries or states to visit beautiful sights or my relatives.  But no more.

We have been manipulated into standing for such security manoevers by the TSA that involve nude body scans and extensive pat downs by TSA officials using their fingers and palms.

We have been frightened into accepting such actions because we think it will make us safer.  I must agree with Benjamin Franklin who said:

He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.  

Who gave the TSA the go ahead on this? I don't know, I think they are acting on their own. 

Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda have won. They've scared the bejesus out of us.  We believe we have to be afraid, very afraid of the terrorists. We've had a few little incidents since 911 (and they are little compared to 911) but we've kept up the hysteria so everyone allows this crap to continue.

We have to refuse to fly any more until this is stopped.

A New York City lawmaker on Thursday introduced legislation to prohibit the TSA from using its advanced body scanners at New York airports, including JFK, the busiest international airport in the country.

Critics of the screening have already called for a National Opt-Out day on Nov. 24, traditionally the busiest travel day of the year, to protest the scans, and privacy groups like the Electronic Privacy Information Center are seeking a federal court order to halt the use of the scanners.

But if the scanning is halted, then what, "grope" downs become commonplace?

U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz, Utah, has been quoted as saying, “I want to have as much safety and security on an airplane. I fly every week. But there comes a point in which in the name of safety and security we overstep that line and have an invasion of privacy. This happens to be one of those invasions of privacy.”

 The letter below, which is addressed to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, was posted by James Fallows and used with permission of the author, James Ehrler of Stanchfield, MN.:

 Let's be clear, explosives have destroyed aircraft, as I well know. And they have been smuggled onto aircraft by the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber. But let's note a few things. First, because of the change in passenger and crew responses neither of the smuggled on-the-person bombers succeeded. Second, the amount of explosive that can be smuggled on-the-person is limited. Third, aircraft, while vulnerable, are not made of glass. As the Aloha "topless" incident demonstrates, they can withstand a large amount of damage and still fly. There have also been many incidents of cargo doors coming open, engines disintegrating and causing holes, etc. where the aircraft has been able to land safely. Fourth, the most devastating bombings have not been caused by bombs on persons, but in cargo holds (see Pan Am 103). It is easier to pack a large amount of explosives into suitcases than on a person so intensive scanning of the luggage/cargo makes perfect sense.

For all these reasons, while bombs on the person are a concern, they should not so concern us that we are unwilling to make reasonable judgments about what threats and responses are appropriate.... Stepping back, if I were to tell you that 30,000 people were dying every year in the air you would be appalled and demand something be done. I can already hear the calls that, "Whatever the 4th amendment says, we need to strip search every passenger to stop the bloodshed."

Now, obviously, this is not happening in the air but it is happening on the roads *every year*. And we *can* stop that bloodshed! How? By limiting vehicles to no more than 10mph. ... Yet we, as a society, are *not* willing to do that because we *are* willing to make cost/benefit tradeoffs.


Carol said...

:) So agree!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

perfectly said, thats why when I think of going anywhere I hesitate.
I had a friend go from Hartford CT. to Florida with no scans or pat downs. Nothing seems to be consistent.

♥ Kathy said...

I have to forward you an email my momma sent me Mary...I think you'll like it.

Lesa said...

I'm with Mr. Franklin and have been always been leery of the Patriot Act ect.

Body scans and groping don't bother me one bit though-- seems silly to be bothered-- people take their body parts way to seriously-- hold over from the prudish puritans, I suppose. I was 'groped' the last time I flew-- nothing to it-- no big deal-- quite interesting really-- like being in a cop show but the hilarity of it all was like being in an episode of Seinfeld.

Paxie Panicker said...

Great post, Mary...I completely agree.

Rita said...

You speak for a lot of us. Can I write you in for congress next elections.

We need more voices like yours.

Paz said...

I've been groped before. They did it several times. Not a good feeling. Trust me....

I'm going to do like Rita and write you in for Congress on the next elections.

Paz ;-)

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Great post.

But why the black background? It's usually reserved for conspiracy theorists and politicals ;-)

Lui said...

Quite a dilemma and I agree.

Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

I see both sides and wish it had never come to this. It is a sad state of affairs.