Hey, TSA, Scan THIS

by Marinka on November 22, 2010

Has everyone gone insane?

I mean, has everyone lost their fucking minds?

Let me get this straight.

There’s a new rule that everyone going through airport security gets scanned. So that their pubic bone appears on the scanner x-ray-like. And if you don’t want people to know that you have a pubic bone, you can opt-out and be patted down.

Because obviously having someone’s hands on you is less invasive.

But now, there’s an internet-civil-rights movement that is urging fellow travelers to opt out of the scan and ask to get patted down.

Oh, and they want to do it on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. AKA the busiest travel day of the year.

Why?
Not because they’re feeling the holiday spirit and wanted to get a little closer to their TSA agent. Which would make a ton of sense.

But because they want to slow down the line and make it a living hell for TSA agents and other travelers. To prove a point. That they’re insane.

Please tell me what I am missing in this madness.

Personally, I encourage the scan. As a matter of fact, I’d love it if they could somehow combine the scan with a mammogram so that I could kill as many birds as possible. I’ll be flying in December, my annual mammogram is in January, how awesome and cost-effective would it be if I could get it all done at the airport? As a matter of fact, since I’m a fucking hypochondriac, get some MRI machines instead of a baggage scan and feed me in!

But these internet warriors haven’t thought of that, I bet. Because anger blinds you. And then you’re so blind, you’re asking to be patted down by an unattractive TSA agent. Nose chopped off so as not to appear on a scanned face.

And since I’m ranting, let me just put in a plug for huge raises for TSA agents. Because I’ve done my share of flying. And patting down my fellow passengers isn’t exactly on my bucket list.

Ahem.

___________________________________
Hey! Want to know what’s on my wish list for the holidays? If you guessed “world peace” you must be new here! Welcome!

One year ago ...

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November 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

MFA Mama
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I heart you for being sane about this. The blogosphere has done lost their damn minds–I wrote about it, too.

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Susan @ DreamSakes November 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I agree…let’s make the scans multi-functional. And for those who opt for the pat down, I wonder if any passengers will give the TSA agent their phone number afterwards and mouth the words “call me” with a wink.

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Scary Mommy
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Couldn’t agree more. Get a grip, people!! I kind of wish I were flying- I haven’t been felt up by anyone other than my husband in 15 years.

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pgoodness
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm

With all of the uproar, I was confused – I thought EVERYONE was getting groped, er, I mean patted down. Now I realize that it’s only if you don’t get scanned or if the scanner sees something suspicious. The crazy stories are obviously the exception, not the rule.

And yes, if they could squeeze in the mammograms and my cancer screenings, that would awesome! Totally cost effective and a new kind of national health care right there!

I do maintain that if there is patting down of my kids in January, I will have some issues with it and will probably need bail money.

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Always Home and Uncool
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I’m opting for the pat down. That counts as a proctologist visit, right?

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Pop
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

You wouldn’t want to scan my pubic bone after a pat down. Just sayin’. And it is insane.

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Redneck Mommy November 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm

There have been times (what with the husband working and living out of town) that the TSA patdown is the only action I’ve seen in weeks.

I never know whether to feel indignant or grateful.

The scans never bothered me. It’s not a secret my boobs hang down to my knees. I’m a walking freak show.

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Finn
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I think most people are concerned about the fact that the images are supposed to be deleted immediately, but reportedly that hasn’t been happening. Honestly, I couldn’t care less. I suppose once you’ve had children these things aren’t critical anymore. So someone sees me naked; I’ll still be alive.

On the other hand, subjecting kids to that is another story. And I have concerns about the radiation from the x-rays for frequent fliers.

We need to adopt the Israeli security model. Smooth as silk and you never even notice it.

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Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I’ll say it again…I’ll take a cavity search for a vacation right now.

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Loukia November 22, 2010 at 12:55 pm

AWESOME, Marinka. WELL SAID.

The thing I have the MOST about flying is how there is NO consistency with security. Sometimes we take off our shoes. Sometimes I can take the snow globe I bought my son with me. Sometimes, I can keep my water. But other times, no snow globe. No rubber ball with liquid inside, no water.
I fly often with my kids, and last year both my boys were frisked. MY 2 YEAR OLD. Why I did not record this at the time, I don’t know. It was awful, and laughable. He was a trooper, put his little tiny arms out, and was gently patted down. I just look like a huge threat of a mother, right? SIGH.
SO STUPID ON EVERY LEVEL.
Although, if the scan was a full-body MRI and I knew I wasn’t dying and that all of me was healthy, heck yeah, sign me up!

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Life As I Know It November 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm

scan and mammogram combo…that’s the funniest thing I’ve read about this whole mess!
Excellent idea.

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Life As I Know It November 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm

scan and mammogram combo…that’s the funniest thing I’ve read about this whole mess!
Excellent idea.

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Hamlet's Mistress
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm

I guess I just have a problem when a traveler can’t have the scan because of a medical condition and then they pat him down and feel something and he tries to explain that it’s his CATHETER BAG and they don’t believe him so they strip search him and see that “oh hey, it IS a catheter bag.” but then just to be sure they cut it open and now the man is covered in his own URINE. I think the Feds are going a bit far on this. It’s America. Jesus. Of course, I guess it MIGHT not have been a catheter bag, so thank God they checked, right? I’d hate to have been blown up by exploding urine. It’s the extremes, people, that are making people so angry. The ridiculous extremes. I think this whole thing Wednesday is a fan freaking tastic idea.

Those who would give up individual freedom for temporary security deserve neither freedom nor security. – Ben Franklin.

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Marinka November 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I’m glad that you weighed in. There will always be ridiculous and horrifying extremes, and I can definitely see the unfortunate catheter incident happening even without the full body scans/pat downs.

I have mixed feelings about the Ben Franklin quote– and quotes in general, actually. Yes, giving up individual freedom is bad, and I really, really like civil liberties, and yet, I’d feel a whole of a lot better if every time a person boarded a plane, he’d get strapped into his seat like Hannibal Lecter.

And no, I don’t mean just my kids.

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Vicki
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Where can I get me one of them boobogram/bodyscan machines? I don’t think I’m of mammogram age yet, but it never hurts to get started on my hypochondria early.

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melissa
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm

THANK YOU.
oh, and i’m loving the mammogram idea but also, i’d like a scan of my uterus to see if there are any tumors growing in there, too.

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Bill November 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I wouldn’t mind the scans if there were a rhyme or reason to how people get picked. But it’s not random, it’s at the TSA employees’ whim. But we have no idea what they’re looking for, and they keep no records of who gets picked, and who picked them. We have NO IDEA how the whole thing works, or even if it works at all.

So my main objection isn’t that the scan is too invasive (although I think it is), my objection that the way they’re implementing it is a complete waste of everyone’s time.

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Kiran
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I had never thought about the multi-purpose scanner before. I fly a whole lot and that would come in handy. It would also be great if it popped corn and the TSA agent could hand it to you as you were going to collect your luggage.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Look, if getting scanned keeps planes from flying into our buildings, I’m all for it. If you don’t like it – don’t fly. I’d rather be safe. If people want to get pissy at this whole thing, get mad at the terrorists.

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Nicole November 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm

That could go either way – I say no one is allowed to touch me in inappropriate places without buying me dinner first (and there is no situation where my daughter will be searched) and since they found that pesky cancer I’m a little leery about subjecting myself to repeated and unnecessary sources of radiation. So I can’t fly?
How about this: if you can’t feel safe getting on a plane without some police academy drop-out feeling up everybody, then YOU don’t have to fly. There has to be a balance between security and personal freedom. And besides, the TSA sucks at their job anyway – they have a horrible track record in inspections and there’s no proof at all that these scanners or pat-downs make anyone safer.

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Marinka November 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I’m curious–what kind of proof that this makes anyone safer are you looking for?

And if it’s just a matter of dinner before the pat down, I’m sure that something can be worked out.

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Nicole November 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm

When the undercover agents get through with fake bomb parts 9 out of 10 times, I’d say there’s a flaw somewhere. If, perhaps, agents made it through regular security only to be stopped by the body scanners, I could see their value.

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magpie November 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I am so glad I’m driving somewhere this year. Alas, my in-laws are flying. They may be unhappy campers. Should we have offered to drive them? I mean, we could tie them to the roof of the Mini…

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anymommy November 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Have I told you lately that I love you? Flying is a privilege based in following the rules that keep our airways, and those on the ground, safe. Scans for everyone are fair, non-biased and (fingers-crossed) efficient. AND, for god’s sake, we all plaster our children all over the internet for pervs to look at and beat off to, if that’s their plan. Really? We’re worried about an x-ray picture of their pubic bone?

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Heather November 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Tell me, is the TSA paying for these photographs? I’m pretty sure my pubic bone is worth millions.

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Robyn November 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Dear Marinka,

Please watch this, it explains pretty well what people are really upset about, and how bogus and unnecessary these scans actually are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXDLQPfqc04

I personally have had x-rays, CAT scans and MRIs for medical reasons, and I REALLY don’t feel that I need to be arbitrarily blasted with extra rads to add to my cancer risk from the radiation I’ve already been exposed to. I don’t care that the TSA thinks that it’s probably a negligible level – they don’t know what I’ve already been exposed to and they do not know the long-term effects for frequent flyers.

So my options are submit to excess arbitrary radiation, or get groped and have my breasts and labia handled by a stranger? And if I decide to take the chance to fly but change my mind after being randomly picked I STILL have to go through the procedures or pay $10,000 even if I decide not to fly? Yeah, I’ll be taking the train from now on.

Ben Franklin was right on this one.

Sincerely,
Robyn

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Nicole November 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

werd.

Also, I tend to trust safety decisions to people who know what the hell they’re talking about:
http://tinyurl.com/23ps3wo

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Robyn November 23, 2010 at 10:06 am

Thank you for the link, Nicole, it’s excellent!

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Issa
Twitter:
November 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Okay, I’m going to ask…What does Ben Franklin have to say about the TSA? That makes no sense.

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Robyn November 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Nothing, specifically. It was in response to this: “I have mixed feelings about the Ben Franklin quote– and quotes in general, actually. Yes, giving up individual freedom is bad, and I really, really like civil liberties, and yet, I’d feel a whole of a lot better if every time a person boarded a plane, he’d get strapped into his seat like Hannibal Lecter. “

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Bostulla November 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Can a pubic bone be bedazzled? I like to look my best in all photographs and images.

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Bruna November 22, 2010 at 7:35 pm

OMG! That was the best read of my day! I couldn’t stop laughing and agreeing with everything you said. I’ll be checkin in regularly to see what’s new :))

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GrandeMocha
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 7:53 pm

The guys at work threatened to find my scanned, naked pictures online & sell them. I told them if they could find someone willing to pay $ for them, go for it.

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Alexandria
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I saw. TSA give me cancer & TSA go on and pat me down and bust a nut if you want. I don’t want to die and have my body parts scattered all over the Atlantic Ocean. And the people who want to boycott are freaking idiots.

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Peajaye
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I really like this TSA scan/mammogram/MRI idea, and think it might just be the real solution to our healthcare crisis.

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traci November 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Honestly, I was fully prepared to write you off if you were on the other side of this. Someone I have no connection with? Go be crazy, and petition the TSA! wear a sandwich board! ring a bell!. AT YOUR AIRPORT. Just don’t hold up the fucking security que at JFK, LGA or EWR because some foul mouthed New Yorker will tear you to shreds. Or a foul mouthed Texan transplant will. Someone will.

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Ann's Rants
Twitter:
November 22, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Here HERE!

And can we have print outs to show our friends? Here I am at 700,000 weeks! I know I still look like Cro Magnon man, and now you may have a wallet-sized reminder!

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From Belgium November 23, 2010 at 2:52 am

And while we are at it, can we get that eye sight test done at the same time…

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CoftheU November 23, 2010 at 8:45 am

And it’s not even the busiest air travel day of the year anyway. That is just a myth.

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Crisanna November 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm

As a relatively infrequent flier, I’m pretty much one of the sheep – I’ll follow whatever guidelines the proper authorities deem necessary to get me from point A to point B as quickly, cheaply, and safely as possible.

That being said, I work with pilots and I can’t imagine being a flight crew employee that is mandated to have a coworker either inspect a virtually nude image of me or have the hands on experience (hey, and I’m a hugger!), just so I can go to work and earn my paycheck. I can’t help but feel that there is something intrinsicially disturbing about treating our “last line of defense in the skies” as potential threats, all the while repeatedly exposing them to possibly dangerous amounts of radiation. So, heck, I say raises for them as well as the TSA agents. Raises for All!! (After all, the recession IS over, right??)

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Issa
Twitter:
November 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I could honestly care less. I’m traveling tomorrow with my kids. Getting there an extra hour earlier than I ever would consider, because I’m sure the security lines will be insane. I’ll go with whichever is the shorter line. ha.

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Kimberly November 23, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Do these maniacs think a TSA agent having to check their ball sack for a shiv is a sweet gig?

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Daisy November 23, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Amen!

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deborah l quinn
Twitter:
November 24, 2010 at 11:15 am

just for the record, we flew to the UAE (you know, Arab country, and EVERYONE going in and out of Arab country is a terrorist, or terrorist-wannabe; AND my husband is of the brown persuasion) and we were through security in a nano-second–no pat downs, nothing. Because we were in the business class line.
So clearly, if you want to smuggle explosive across international boundaries? pay for the expensive ticket (or better yet, get your corporate capitalistic pig of a boss to pay for the ticket).
And that’s why the TSA has no cred with me: the swanky seats don’t get searched/patted/scanned, but everyone else (which is where I’m usually standing) does not?
Hmm.

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Keyona
Twitter:
November 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Why you always starting shit on your blog? LOL! Scan, pat down, who cares. I’d just like to not be blown the fuck up on a plane.

Reply

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