Saturday, November 20, 2010

Are we like sheep?...

I know that it’s easy for me to sit in my cozy house in the woods with no plans to fly anywhere in the foreseeable future and make comments about the heightened TSA security system but what I’m reading makes my blood boil.  It isn’t just the invasion of privacy that is disturbing, but it is the fact that Big Government and Big Authority And Big Media and Those-in-the-know are telling Americans to be quiet, stand in line (shoeless) and offer themselves up without complaint or argument because it’s for our own good.  
Perhaps it is but the introduction of new scanning machines in airports has been handled most poorly.  I think that the NYTimes called the situation correctly on Friday in an editorial: [Here]
Americans understand the need for security screenings at airports and are remarkably patient.  So there is no excuse for the bumbling, arrogant way the Transportation Security Administration has handled questions and complaints about its new body-scanning machines and more aggressive pat-downs.
...[C]ivil liberties groups have collected more than 400 complaints since the new pat-downs began three weeks ago. That is a minuscule number compared with all the people who flew. But there are far too many reports of T.S.A. agents groping passengers, using male agents to search female passengers, mocking passengers and disdaining complaints.
Lawsuits have been filed asserting that new, more powerful body-scanning machines violate the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches. In general, it seems to us that the scanners are not unconstitutional, but the lawsuits are a healthy process that will require the government to prove that the scanners are reliable and more effective than other devices.
The poster boy for the anti-TSA sentiment is a 31 year-old software engineer named John Tyner who was flying out of San Diego with his father-in-law to go on a hunting trip.  He refused to go through the xray machines and was going to be patted down.  Tyner is the young man who did not want his “junk” touched, the statement that the msm has made much of.  Actually, Tyner firmly held his ground, but more supervisors were brought in and the situation unnecessarily escalated.    
According to Tyner’s own account, he had read about possible radiation danger from the machines beforehand.  He then had carefully checked the TSA’s website which said that the machines had not yet been deployed in the San Diego airport and made his plans accordingly.  Unfortunately for Tyner, the website was out of date and, as we all now know, San Diego did indeed have the new machines.
What will now happen to Tyner, I do not know.  He has been threatened with a sizeable fine, but whether the feds will see this through, I do not know.  Tyner should be a poster man for the ACLU.  Whether or not one agrees with the TSA and the current time-consuming security system that they have devised, it is clear that Mr. Tyner is clear-headed and intelligent and a man of conviction.  Standing up for one’s rights is not easy.    
Furthermore, he should not have been messed with.  Once again, we wish that the msm had handled the incident with more intelligence and sympathy.  I guess when they heard that Mr. Tyner had referred to his genitalia as “junk,” they went snickering off the deep end.  Tyner deserved better and so does the privacy issue that he had the courage to face head on. 
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the week ahead when Americans experience the heaviest travel week-end of the year.  I wonder how many grannies and children will be patted down and how many will take it silently.  The President said today that the procedures were “inconvenient, but necessary.” [Here]   
I wonder if that is all that he would say after he watched Sasha and Malia being subjected to a full-body pat-down or would he have allowed them to be x-rayed? 
Sheep, Mr. President?...

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