November 17

TSA: Tolerated Sexual Assault

Over the past week, more than ever before, public outcry over the TSA’s “naked body scanners” – also affectionately called “porno scanners” – has been LOUD. This, along with the TSA’s increasingly physical searching/groping procedures, has led some to give the agency new nicknames – my personal contribution is “Tolerated Sexual Assault”. But, as with any liberty-vs-security issue, there are always those on the other side of the fence. Here is a look at some of the more “security-minded” arguments, and their common-sense, liberty-oriented counterparts.

I’d rather submit to these invasive security measures than be blown up by a terrorist! How about this: you and yours get on a separate plane with no security, I’ll do whatever TSA says and get on a different plane that has been properly vetted for explosives, and I’ll make it to the other side. Hope you enjoy dying by fireball!

That’s what I’d like too! Well, kind of. Realistically, the airlines themselves ought to deal with security and let the people choose which level of checks they’d like. But we all know that won’t happen anytime soon. Anyways. They did it my way for 50 years and it was an issue once in the US because the TSA lapsed on its job and let multiple alleged “known terrorists” on planes. My line can have bomb sniffing dogs and metal detectors, your side can have porno radiation scanners and Tolerated Sexual Assault (TSA), and I’ll see you on the other side – albeit more quickly and comfortably, and with my dignity :)

This whole “porno scanners” thing is way blown out of proportion. All I saw in those images were gray blobs.

Some of the images aren’t that bad, but do a Google image search for “naked body scanners” (might have to turn safesearch off, LOL) and you’ll see what the majority of TSA agents are seeing (and are able to save). Here’s a link to an example of the naked body scans – WARNING, NSFW. Not to mention the fact that the scanners give off radiation and the long-term effects are unknown and untested. Plus, anyone serious about getting bomb material onto a plane will insert it inside themselves like Paris Hilton and her drugs. The porno scanners can’t even detect that. It’s a false security blanket.

Okay, so I see your points, but I don’t mind letting Big Brother see me naked if it means I’ll be travelling safely. What’s the big deal?

Let me mention a few more things you may not have considered:

  • the naked body scanners store naked pictures of minors. that’s illegal, child porn.
  • Muslim women can object to the scanners and the Tolerated Sexual Assault can only check them from head to neck, on religious grounds…… kind of defeats the purpose, no?
  • pedophiles, perverts, and people with superiority complexes jump at these type of jobs. it legalizes their illegal fetishes. not for me. do you really want some random guy looking at your wife/girlfriend/daughter naked?

At this point, I hope it is becoming clear that the whole thing is clearly just ripe for abuse and poorly thought out. And if that wasn’t enough, well, just today this story came out: Tolerated Sexual Assault agents will put their hands down your pants for free! You don’t even have to ask.

But isn’t it a national security risk anyways? Couldn’t a hijacker with a bomb take the plane and fly it into a building like they did on 9/11?

No. Unbreachable/impenetrable plane cabin doors have been installed on all commercial aircraft and are mandated to be locked for the duration of the flight – as they should have been before 9/11 ever happened.

Whatever. TSA is going to porno radiation scan and grope you, get over it. If you don’t like it, don’t fly.

That’s nonsense. I could make the same argument: “Security isn’t going to invade every inch of your privacy anymore. If you don’t like it, don’t fly.” But that’s not a fair or rational argument, either. The truth is, we’ve got to find a middle ground that does not breach our right to privacy as defended by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, as well as our right to travel. I’m all for a reasonable solution – that’s why I want to leave nudity, groping, and radiation out of it.

Category: 9/11, politics | Comments Off on TSA: Tolerated Sexual Assault
June 10

preemptive, prolonged, “indefinite detention”

in case you are unaware of the topic, this link should provide the appropriate background: Rachel Maddow: Indefinite detention? Shame on you.

now for starters, for Rachel Maddow to come out against Obama on this policy was both surprising and energizing. but whether or not you care what Ms. Maddow had to say on the issue, let’s delve into my thoughts. most of the following is put together from a topic I started at my Facebook app, Take A Stand, entitled Obama: preemptive “Prolonged Detention”? yikes…:

the Constitution just got torn in half again. the Fifth Amendment contains the verbiage “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger“. it seems that clause was written about POWs specifically. POWs, to me, are “enemy combatants” captured on the battlefield – basically, caught red-handed. however, my problem with this detention policy is that the detainees essentially cannot be proven to be terrorists, but the government insists that they are, so they will “indefinitely” remain locked up. this is just a basic human rights violation. under this policy the military could go into any country, grab someone off the streets, and throw them in jail forever, without any due process. all because we declare we are “at war”.

now, I do not have a problem with the idea of POWs. I think it is a necessary action during wartime. I do have a problem with just “grabbing someone off the streets” because they seem like a terrorist. and while you may think that doesn’t happen, it does. for example, see the case of Abdullah Kamel Abudallah Kamel.

this man was nabbed and detained for over 5 years because he was carrying $15k and wearing a Casio wristwatch. given, the third reason cites that “One of the detainee’s known aliases was on a list of captured hard drives (sic) associated with a senior al Qaeda member.”; however, this allegation goes largely unconfirmed, and the president of the tribunal which tried him didn’t even know what the alleged alias was. yet the tribunal ruled that Kandari was an enemy combatant.

he was not the only man detained for wearing a Casio, there were a few others. these men lost years of their life, time with their family, watching their children grow up, because they had money and a watch, so we deemed them terrorists. I’m not okay with that.

I used to align with the utilitarian school of thought – that is, that the very small minority should sometimes suffer for the good of the majority. I now find myself on the opposite end of that spectrum, I suppose we would call it deontology – that is to say, that every minute action we take, we better be sure it’s the right one. because destroying an innocent man’s liberty is against the most basic roots of this country, and I am not okay with that.

last note: if we suspect someone of terrorism, fine. detain them, but afford them due process, one of the least of all human rights, not just an American right. 5 years is too long; 5 months, or WEEKS, even. there is an international standard of holding someone for no longer than 30 days before trying them; I see no reason why we can’t follow this example, since we are following global policy in almost every other area these days.

please add your two cents in the comments, or in the original thread here!