Construct a makeshift raft from 50 raincoats & use scrap plywood for paddles
Hot air balloon
Avoid commercial air travel whenever possible.
"Are you KIDDING ME!?"
This is what I said just before I got felt up yesterday at the Oakland airport by Atilla the female TSA agent...and, I'm none to happy about it. Yep, I got the old karate-chop hands between the bazongas. She could have at least offered me a cigarette afterwards. I could have used one because, honestly folks, it is a seriously invasive and humiliating procedure. Then, I had to move to another area and have my hands swiped. That is the second time that's happened. All the while, my purse with all of my ID and money, my camera, my cell phone with all of my personal phone numbers, my shoes, and my carry-on bag were sitting on the scanner belt while busy passengers snatched items from the bins and scurried away like scared mice.
I surrendered like a good little submissive to the full-body scanner, put my hands in the air, produced the penny in my shirt pocket that triggered the pat-down, stood there patiently while Atilla groped me, and did everything that I was told. Last Fall, a guy in the scanner line tried to steal my new Mac Air from the bin after it went through the scanner, so I was trying to keep an eye on my laptop. For some inexplicable reason, Atilla noticed this, marched over, and positioned herself directly in my line of sight so that I could no longer see my laptop. I guess, that crack security tactic was supposed to prevent me from using mental telepathy to detonate the lintballs in the bottom of my purse. Remember, all of my stuff had already been scanned, and so had I.
I am not the only one who feels violated. Boldredrosie sums it up well in her blog post from last February, entitled, Now I'm going to touch your buttocks.If it weren't such a dehumanizing experience for every man, woman, and three-year old who gets searched, the TSA's government-approved gropefest would be kind of funny! Take my word for it, an atomic wedgie is preferable to being put on public display and pawed.
Google "tsa gloves," and you'll find over a million hits that address the questionable hygiene of those crevice-seeking blue gloves. Just so you know, I wipe down my seat, the handrails, my seatbelt, and the always sticky tray table whenever I get on the airplane, mostly because it's a good way to keep from getting the flu, but also because it tends to keep the seats around me empty. Handiwipes and a bottle of saline spray have kept me from getting sick over the past two winters.
Something is wrong. It's not just about the need for tight security at the airports. Everyone acknowledges that there are crazy bad dudes out there who want to hurt innocent people. Thanks to President Obama and Navy Seal Team 6, there is one fewer walking the Earth.
Terrorism is a fact of life, and it is something that we all have to live with. But, what is going on with the TSA is that their authority is still so undefined that it diminishes the personal dignity of every traveler and nullifies the presumption of innocence. Under these circumstances, the wrong facial expression might be enough to land a person in locked detention at the airport. In case anyone's forgotten, that would be a violation of our 1st and 4th Amendment rights (freedom of speech and unreasonable search & seizure). This blog post is an exercise of my 1st Amendment right, as well.