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Friday, November 19, 2010

Make Sure You're Wearing Lipstick Next Time You Fly

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've by now read some horrific account of a TSA agent being a bit to handsy. In tort law its called battery, at Homeland Security it's called protocol. Now don't get me wrong, what they are doing is entirely legal provided they are following procedures mandated by DHS and Cruella De Vil. I mean Janet Napolitano. It's privileged contact and without this tort law exception, police and their ilk would be completely ineffective. As much as the left might believe it, asking nicely will not get the insane clown serial killer to relinquesh his knife.

But like all things, there is a difference between legal and right. It is not right to grope a 60 year old woman's breasts to the point she considers herself rape. I'd expect NOW to be outraged but after their horrid treatment of Meg Whitman being called a whore, they'll probably say the old woman was asking for it. Now should a 12 year old travelling without her parents ever, and I mean ever, being photographed in anyway that might even loosely be considered nude photography. I get they use kids as suicide bombers, but to quote Office Space, "this is America, not Riyahd."

What we're facing right now is a line in the sand moment. We can either allow what ever hair-brained scheme the rocket scientists who couldn't get private sector jobs over at DHS to be implemented unimpeded, or we can say enough is enough. I think we've reached enough. As Charles Krauthammer noted, we are not fighting a group that is hard to recognize and so heterogenous that they blend into crowds at the airport. We're looking for Muslim males age 18-39. So no, the nun with her rosary beads does not need to have a high school educated (at best) TSA employee reaching up her skirt. I got hit with a ruler by a nun for not knowing the periodic table, I feel bad for whatever is coming to that TSA agent. These aren't highly trained agents incredibly skilled at the art of detection and counter-terrorism, they're the men and women who applied to TSA because the airport Cinnabon had no openings. Sending out a memo on guidelines for groping men and women around their genitalia is not enough to justify the violation people are rightfully feeling.

I'm all for airport security if it will stop a terrorist attack. The problem is they are trying to stop the items of terror, rather than the terrorists. Look, if you gave me a pound of C4 and put me on a plane, that C4 is less dangerous than an indoctrinated Pakistani with some nail clippers. I do not want to kill other people nor does the incentive of dealing with 72 nagging former virgins a week later appeal to me. We need to start applying the Hand Formula (no joke, named after judge Learned Hand) to these guidelines and look at the burden we're causing versus the probability it will stop a terrorist attack. Can't bring a 22 ounce bottle of shampoo on a plane, no burden. Some guy grabbing my kibbles and bits, big burden. DHS needs to start polling flyers and comparing that to the raw data on the potential a policy has for stopping a terrorist attack before they begin implementing procedures. At minimum, they could at least instruct their TSA agents to cuddle for a few minutes afterwards.


  1. There is still a big question as to whether all of this is even legal. Like I've said before, just because the government says it's allowed to do it or a judge allows it to keep his position doesn't mean it's always Constitutional. I look forward to seeing how this will play out in the next few years, but I'm not entirely optimistic.

    I'm already looking to get a bottle of Astroglide for my trip through customs next month.

  2. Unfortunately that joke about astroglide will become a reality the first time a terrorist shoves a bomb up his anal cavity on a flight.

    Here's what I don't get. Israel has successfully implemented profiling with no objections by their citizenry, and no attacks. What is it about this country that non invasive preventative steps can't be taken.

  3. For this to be ruled unconstitutional would be a giant leap. At the end of the day, you don't have to fly so its hard to prove deprivation of rights under the 4th or 14th amendments. This is also analogous to the police patting down suspects which has been held constitutional numerous times. Its repeal will depend solely on outcry. This is another case of wrong but legal. Dave, I agree. But you find me one time the government has looked elsewhere when developing policy. Look at healthcare, the only thing we took from other countries was it being free for the poor.

  4. That's the issue. Suspects. Passengers on a flight are not suspects, nor have they done anything at all to indicate suspicion except buy a plane ticket. They are nevertheless being treated like suspects. Also, they had made an agreement between a private air carrier and themselves and not a government agency. And where do we draw the line with this? If they can sneak a peak at my cock and balls before I catch a flight, what stops them from locking down road systems and other forms of transportation the moment they see a security threat? You don't have to fly, but you don't have to drive, or cross state lines either. Do you want to live in that kind of society? This is what's coming down the road if we start to accept these intrusions.

    And I don't understand this conservative fascination with Israel. Contrary to what you see on Fox News and on televangelist channels, Israel isn't really all that nice a place if you aren't Jewish. In fact, it's really not a nice place if you're not even the right kind of Jewish. It's neither a free society or an open one that respects its citizens. It's a racist theocracy where people have no problem being pushed around because they don't know anything else, and it's certainly not a model to imitate for the supposedly freest country in existence today.

  5. And cops are a totally different story. I'm not a fan of American police very much and I think they need to have their leashes tugged back hard by the people who pay their salaries, but I will say this for them. When cops pat people down it's because there is a suspicion already in place a person may be hostile. In most cases you are already being arrested on suspicion of having done something wrong. What is so suspicious about a person who buys an airline ticket, a simple act of commerce? There is none. There is absolutely no reason or any ground to violate a person's rights in this way because of that because of that. It should also be noted here that these are not simple "pat downs". If a cop ever did what the TSA is doing right now and got caught on video, he'd have his ass handed to him by a judge.

  6. Who advocated anything pro-Israel other than a successful example of profiling?

  7. What right do you have to not be pat down in the process of boarding an aircraft?