Full Body Scan or Pat Down?

I am flying soon and am wondering which to do: The daring, racy and novel full body scan (X-rays=hot!) or the tried and true pat down (fun, if done correctly; otherwise, pesky and mild). I may try one flying out and the other on the way back, just to see which I like best since I have yet to experience the anticipated soothing brusqueness of a  homegrown TSA frisk.

I had some some pretty nice pat downs this summer in Europe while traveling. I don’t get all fussy over a pat down; they are so not a big deal. I mean, what does it say about us as a nation that we won’t let other Americans get paid to run their hands up and down our  thighs? Or perhaps we suspect that there are ulterior motives for security wanting to pat down Grandma and not Aunt Jenny.

I am still trying to figure out the issues behind the full the body scan aside from getting microwaved or macrofried or whatever. Could they see my tattoos? Do I care?

And like seriously, aside from the potential life-threatening, cellular-disrupting, DNA-damaging sizzle of  electrico-magnetic Kryptonitic theremin waves–or the concern that there might be some transporter beam glitch and you’d end up hanging with the Sleestaks or centaurs–why are people so upset at having their naked meat suits seen by total strangers? You’d think with reality shows, amateur porn, and people sending each other rather intimate images via text-tickles and twits (and getting medical body scans!), it’d be all like, “So what?”

Fear of the search must come down to Puritanical roots combined with the belief that our fellows will mock our defects. Alongside simmers the perverse hubristic  hope that they might also do something sticky with our X-rays.

How can we think so lowly of our fellow Americans?! Surely we all live by the Golden Rule of doing unto others as we would have done to us. And I like  Larry Flynt’s addendum:

Only do it first

7 Responses to "Full Body Scan or Pat Down?"
Pannochka | Tuesday November 16, 2010 05:46 am 1

Puritanical beliefs are really not the issue. The issue at what point are we willing to cede our rights to the government in order to have the appearance of safety or the right to travel?

Yes, one can still drive or take the train, but with such a large country, that is not really practical for many. So people who have had enough will travel less, and this will impact the airline and tourism related sectors of the economy. And they are the ones who will hopefully get this new aggressive pat-down meant to humiliate people into going into the porn-o-tron removed.

What of rape victims who don’t want strangers seeing them naked or touching their genitals? Is it OK that they are left crying just so they can travel?

What about young children who are forcibly touched or seen naked via the scanner?

What about people on the autism spectrum who will wig out when touched by strangers? I can easily see people reacting to this aggressive touch and getting tazed…for no reason…as only a few people are even pulled to go get scanned or groped.

What about transgendered people? Is the requirement that they travel that some low wage power tripper gets to know their personal condition?

Once rights are given away, it is very hard to get them back. If people accept this further intrusion that treats travelers like people accused of criminal activity, more will follow. The TSA is taking advantage that people are in a hurry and already invested money in their travel to push them towards giving up their 4th amendment rights to NOT have to undergo unreasonable searches. Once a terrorist blows up a plane with something in a body cavity (which will not be detected by the porn-o-scan), cavity searches won’t be far behind, no pun intended. Packages and mail are still not scanned in the cargo hold of planes. The new measures are theatre and one is not really safer.

I am done flying for now. The thought of letting myself have my rights abused when I know it is not necessary gives me the chills.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday November 16, 2010 10:37 am 2

A hundred reasons why not with lots more links at the article.

goatman | Tuesday November 16, 2010 11:11 am 3

I was one of the lucky ones at Memphis. After a full body x-ray, and failing to remove some folding money from my pocket I heard a resounding “we have a multiple” from the TSA guy. I then had to go through a full pat down that I would not let my doctor do. I am 62 and spent 27 years in the service of my country. Humiliating and the bad guys are winning. Throw a frog into boiling water and he’ll jump out. Want frog for dinner, use cold water and bring it to a slow boil!

DonWilliams | Tuesday November 16, 2010 12:53 pm 4

Heckuva job, ~~~Edited by Moderator. No slurs of this nature~~~

Why did anyone vote for the guy in charge of this?

Pannochka | Tuesday November 16, 2010 05:35 pm 5

Don, while I do not support Obama in this, this started several presidents ago, then Bush started the TSA and the Patriot Act (Which many Democrats had to vote for as well) and Obama has failed to remove the Patriot Act or warrantless wiretapping.

I have always been against those. Some on the right only care now because Obama is president but were saying we shouldn’t be worried about the Patriot Act if we had nothing to hide…

But I do not think Hillary (The only other viable Dem candidate) or especially McCain would do any differently than Obama in this. They are following the natural progression of the American people ceding their rights until they say “no more”. This might be that point as it reaches across the aisle.
I hope the anger lasts and then extends to the other less visible transgressions of the government into our rights.

brendanscalling | Wednesday November 17, 2010 07:57 am 6

wear a skirt with no underpants, but eat a pile of ex-lax the night before. when they go up the skirt, relax your bowels. it’s even better if you have corn for dinner.

humiliation must be repaid with humiliation.

peterroscoe | Wednesday November 17, 2010 08:58 am 7

Our efforts to combat them have done us far greater harm than they could ever have done themselves. That’s why they call it “terrorism.” They have us on the run.
As for the invasion of privacy; I am glad I have been diligent in my regimen for male enhancement. I can walk tall through those checkpoints…

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