Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA and T&A

In 2004, I was on my way to Spain. In Madrid, their subway had just been bombed and Al Queda had taken responsibility for it. In Philadelphia, I just put all of my belongings from my pockets into a plastic tray and they went through the x-ray machine and the scanner. I got on the plane... no fuss, no muss. But in Madrid, I had to take my belt and shoes off. I was patted down and I had to empty my pockets. I was not pleased to say the least... I guess that was the spoiled and entitled American in me.

When I got to Southern Spain, my destination, I had to go through all of this again. I reasoned... I was getting off the plane and leaving the airport! I complained to one of my friends about this and he said, "Look... as long as I don't blow-up way up in the sky and nobody trys to hijack this plane and fly it into a building, they can look as much as they want and where they want." So, that put everything into perspective and my friend was right. They were doing this to make sure I and everybody else was safe from these Al Queda lunatics... and not just them, but anybody who decides to get crazy on the plane.

This is why I don't understand all this whining now about the Transportation Security Administration deciding to pat down people in airports and do body scans. You've got people carrying bombs in their shoes and in their underwear. Some folks just sent several bombs over here that mercifully didn't detonate in small breif cases. By all means, search whereever you see fit!

Travelers and airports are preparing for one of the biggest travel days of the year, while the TSA comes under scrutiny. The controversy over body scanners and personal pat downs is only the prelude. Some argue that private security would be better than TSA and Jerry Orr, Aviation Director at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, doesn't disagree. Florida Congressman John Mica is leading the push. He sent letters to different aviation directors across the country, asking them to reconsider using TSA.

"We can do better," said Mica. "The private screeners under Federal supervision performed statistically, significantly better." Airports can opt out of using TSA for private security. The Administration would still regulate the security, making sure all standards are met and maintained. Jerry Orr supports the idea but said it came down to cost. "We could certainly do that, but we would then be paying for it with our money instead of TSA paying for it with everybody's money," said Orr. TSA said nine airports across the country currently opt out for private security.

This is all fine, well, and good... but a life is a very valuable commodity and taking the cheap road when it comes to protecting not just one life, but many many lives, is just not going to cut it. For those who are too timid to have the body scans and are so offended by the pat downs, I have this to say... grow up and stop whining and don't fly. Drive!


Rich Fitzgerald said...

I don't see what the big deal is. The last time I flew - back in September - I volunteered for the full body scan. It was a lot quicker.

When I look at the news it appears to me that only women who look as if they would be uptight about their body image and white males who are trying to hide their small package behind the right to privacy are the only ones concerned. One guy cancelled a long planned trip he scheduled months ago.

I'm with you. Get over it or drive.

Arlene said...

I want to see my grandkids at Christmas so I'm flying to NC on Christmas Eve. I've had enough radiation for medical reasons and I won't use the scanner. I'm planning on the plane arriving safely so I'll take the patdown and I want every other person on the flight checked thoroughly as well.

You're right! This is an issue of safety. Deliberate action must be taken. I do agree with Rich. Some of these folks have not been physically touched in years because of their own body-image problems. Others have "junk" to hide. I'm planning on enjoying my "patdown." It has been years!!LOL

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

I believe I smell a little bit of politics in this TSA debacles,it's funny the same people who are screaming about being scanned or patted down will be the one's screaming the loudest if a incident occurs.
It seems lately there's always a group popping up complaining and moaning over stuff that never seem to bothered them when Republicans were in charge at the White House.

John Ribbler said...

Here's the opinion of Stephen Whitten who is the expert on Interactive Security Technology: "Techno-physiology can stop terrorists NOW!"


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