The Lunacy of the TSA
I write this post from a hotel room in Ireland. I am on vacation here this week with my beautiful wife, and we are enjoying every moment of our stay. It was the travel here that was less than desirable.
We flew first from Raleigh Durham Airport to Philadelphia, then from Philadelphia to Shannon (snow prevent us from going straight to Dublin), then from Shannon to Dublin.
In Raleigh, we entered airport security and were directed toward the security scanners–you know, those pornographic scanners that radiate you and reveal your privies to whichever Tom, Dick, or Harry is manning the monitors. My wife and I both “opted-out,” which means we bypassed the porno-scanners, but instead had to be groped–I mean patted down–by agents. Since my wife and I are of the opposite sex, two agents (one male, 0ne female) had to be called over to perform the pat downs. As I was being patted down, a young girl–maybe 3 or 4 years old–stood nearby waiting for her mother to put her shoes and belt back on. She stood there staring at me, wondering what was going on, what had I done, to deserve this treatment. I was wondering the same thing. After the pat down, the agents had to swab the gloves to check for explosives residue. This part amazed me because nobody checks the porno-scanner patrons for residue. Why do they get off without a residue check, but opters-out do not?
In Philadelphia, I noticed something else. Being a partaker in the goodness of cigar and pipe tobacco, I am sympathetic to smokers of all sorts. I noticed the absence of any kind of smoking area. The last time I flew, those places were prevalent. This time, they were nowhere to be found. I asked an employee, and he informed me that smokers had to go back outside of airport security to smoke outdoors, then return back through airport security to get to their departure gate. Not only has TSA made flying as difficult as possible, but the airports have accommodated their desire to annoy flyers by declaring an entire subculture of flyers will have to go through that security multiple times. Imagine flying and having a several hour long layover!
What was worse, though, was that as we walked through Philadelphia’s International Airport, we noticed at least one security checkpoint (in Terminal A near Gate 17) they didn’t have porno-scanners installed! Passengers entering through that gate simply had to go through a metal detector!
This just baffles me. If I go through a checkpoint with a porno-scanner and opt-out, I am subjected to an embarrassing procedure where I am touched in all the wrong places, while everyone else–including the little children who somehow know this is just wrong!–stares at me as if I’m a criminal. If I go through a checkpoint without a porno-scanner, I simply have to walk through a metal detector–like the old days.
How can such glaring hypocrisies possibly be considered sane? What have we allowed to be done to ourselves in this country? I can’t even say “the land of the free and the home of the brave” without cringing throughout my entire body because of the hypocrisy of the statement.
Oh, how I long for freedom.