The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘backscatter machine’

Just say no to air travel

Posted by keithosaunders on November 20, 2010

Enough is enough.  The TSA has made it clear to us that they will have their way with our bodies, whether it be by radiation exposure or excessive groping of genitalia.  Let’s face it, the experience of air travel has long ceased to be anything approaching glamorous, let alone tolerable.  Let’s exercise our last line of recourse and vote with our pocket books.  

If enough of us refused to fly the airlines would feel compelled to offer incentives as a way of drawing us back.  Number one on their priority would almost certainly be expunging the TSA from the airports and replacing them with private security.   

Since that alone would not be enough to entice this jaded traveller to return I am offering my own list of incentives.

1)  Elimination of charges for checking luggage. 

2) Ability to fully refund my ticket up to 7 days prior to flying

3) A guarantee that when I purchase a ticket that I will have a seat waiting for me.  This means that when I purchase my ticket I immediately have an assigned seat.

4) Price of in-air food decreased by 50%.

5) Two in-air drinks for the price of one.

6)  In case of flight delays exceeding 30 minutes passengers receive a $50 voucher which can be used towards future flight purchase.

7) In case of delays upwards of 60 minutes passengers receive $80 in airport VIP lounge script and lunch with John Elway. 

I’m negotiable on point 7.

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Fear of flying

Posted by keithosaunders on November 17, 2010

Just in time for the holiday rush the TSA has rolled out the nude body scanning machines, allowing security officials to see through clothing.  Passengers may opt out of the scanners, but up to this point less than 1% have done so.  This is not surprising since opting out means enduring an invasive  pat-down complete with genital groping.  You get the feeling that if the TSA  had the technology to do it fast enough they would go ahead and submit us all to full cavity searches.

There is nothing easy about airline travel, which is an ordeal on par with root canal.  For me, the biggest indignity is being made to feel like a criminal simply by my possession of an airline ticket.  With every security breakdown we travellers are subjected to more and more nonsense.  From taking off our shoes and belts, not being able to bring water into the terminal, to having to endure groping by high-school graduate, would-be jack booted thugs.  Can that retina scanners be far in our future?

Today I read of a passenger named John Tyner who opted out of the scanners.  During the pat-down, when it became clear that the agent was about to touch his groin he said, “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.”  This kicked off a series of consultations with supervisors that resulted in Tyner not being able to fly and being ejected from the airport.  His ordeal is detailed in his blog post and is worth reading. 

Most disturbing of all is what I read yesterday in Salon in Glenn Greenwald’s column.   He wrote,

 …the TSA called a news conference to announce that it was formally investigating Tyner to determine whether to impose $11,000 in fines on him.  

Nothing about Tyner’s protest was threatening, violent, or belligerent.  This kind of reaction makes me wonder if we are living in a proto-fascist state.  The message is clear:  Do not make waves if you know what’s good for you.


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