Thursday, November 18, 2010


I've had some folks allow as how maybe stripping to minimal clothing -- underwear, or in the case of women, a bikini, while standing in the line to pass through the airport scanners might be a way to bypass the pat-down, in lieu of the scanners.

I must admit that the idea of a line full of Playboy bunnies in micro-bikinis might enliven the wait; however, given what most people in the U.S. look like these days, that notion is not one to inspire lust. Use your imagination.

As I understand it, it's an either/or choice where they have these machines, no matter how brief your outfit. They will have to feel around your private parts, because of the underwear bomber. The only way to avoid this would be to be completely nude -- and you can book it, sooner or later some loon is gonna get caught trying to smuggle something onboard a plane up his Hershey Highway -- and that is gonna open another whole avenue of exploration.

When the guy lubes up the finger of his rubber glove? That's the day I stop flying anywhere. I already avoid it as much as possible -- the days when air travel was a fun adventure are long gone. It is getting to the point where it's gonna start costing the airlines money, and if it gets expensive enough, I expect that the bottom line is going to come into play. 


Krystian Galaj said...

Best summary I've read for a long time now:

Anonymous said...

According to the article, "The terrorists have won."

They have and those few at the top seem to want it this way.

Sooner or later some bomb carrying yahoo will get caught again. This will inspire the application of yet another more stringent so-called security measure that will take yet another important freedom from us.

Make no mistake, this isn't about the the uniformed people who doing the patting down.

Nor is it about the outrage expressed by innocent travellers who are having their human rights infringed upon. I'm sure they are misguided enough to think these intrusive measures will keep them safe.

It isn't even about the amount of luggage that isn't scanned.

It IS about the money made by those few at the top of the security food chain. Their fear mongering is reprehensible.

I watched a program on a major news show a couple of days ago on this very issue. When the host mentioned that such pat downs might constitute sexual assault, the security op's response was, "So What? Don't like it? Don't fly."

Such self serving arrogance must be replaced with a more professional attitude.
(But hey! Where is the money in that?)

Other nations do not have such invasive pat downs. They do have professionals who are well paid and highly trained.

Why don't we?

Steve Perry said...

Whatever your stance on Israel, their airport security is a much better model than ours. Of course, it relies heavily on profiling, which is a bad word here.

i suppose if somebody's eighty-year-old granny is caught with a bomb in her undies, that might prove something. I don't recall seeing that such has happened. This doesn't mean that everybody who looks vaguely Arabic should be cavity-searched, but there are some tells they know to look for when considering who ought to be pulled aside.

When you have eight-year-olds on the no-fly list and all kinds of luggage not being scanned? Something wrong with this picture.

Shady_Grady said...

I have not had to fly since these scanners and patdowns were instituted. I would have to think very carefully about it. I think both of them are violations of human dignity.

I also read that Israel does not use the scanners.

Dan Gambiera said...

As usual, XKCD was ahead of the curve...

Travis said...

"According to the article, "The terrorists have won."

Yeah, making airport lines longer was at the top of Bin Laden's 'to-do' list.

(Although I do agree that the basic approach of 'throw more money at the problem and hire more marginally competent personnel' is, well, less then ideal.)

"Of course, it relies heavily on profiling, which is a bad word here."

In some ways I'm all for profiling but here's the problem. (I can't claim this as my original thinking but I can't properly cite sources as I simply don't remember where I found this) Terrorists don't just show up at the airport one day with a bomb (shoe bomber maybe being an exception but he's a piss poor excuse for a terrorist). They plan, they practice and they do dry runs. This means that if you have a guy who meets the profile the Ts are likly to find this out and drop him from the operation long before he's executing the attack. Based on this a couple of college kids somewhere mathematically 'proved' that random checks are actually more efficient then profiling.

Food for thought.

Steve Perry said...

If you can find that information, I'd like to see it, Trav. I have been given to believe that the Israeli's airlines, while not terrorist-proof are a lot safer that way than ours. Smuggling stuff onto planes can be done easily in several ways, not the hardest of which is social engineering.

Subjecting your old granny or prepub daughter to a strip search doesn't do squat to protect us, and everybody with the sense God gave a grapefruit knows it. It's all show, and there are folks making really good money off those machines.

It's really hard to protect people from dedicated loons who are willing die in an attack. Look how many presidents have been shot with a platoon of Secret Service circled around 'em.

Travis said...

I'll dig around when I've got a minute.

You're right about the ultimate futility of preventing all terror attacks; 'if they want you bad enough they're going to get you'. It's a lot like having locks on my door and a large dog; I could still be burgaled but most likly they're going to go to the neighbor's house.