Monday, November 22, 2010

Peel or Feel


How's everyone feeling about this latest invasion of our civic rights, this one the most invasive yet by a long shot.

Now we get a choice of a full body scan which reveals everything there is to know about our bodies down to mastectomies, circumcisions, surgical scars, etc. Or the probing fingers or other blunt implements into our bodily orifices.

All to protect our "freedoms". Oxymoron much?

The most interesting and informed critique I read of this is at The Smirking Chimp

He writes:

I encourage nudity, but I also believe it should be voluntary. And despite assertions to the contrary, the machines that make the images are designed to store and transmit them. Besides, anyone can take a picture of the screen with a cell phone or camera and the image can be distributed that way. It has already happened. In our modern world of pervasive titillation, how long will it be before a public figure finds his or her naked image, captured at an airport security checkpoint, all over the internet? How about a small child?

Sickened, yet?


And

If you are a survivor of rape or other sexual abuse, this procedure is no less a nightmare than the naked pictures. If you have deformities, injuries, or your body doesn't look or feel as expected, you will be singled out for further attention. What about transsexuals? They have little of this, a little of that, and I'm going to guess the screeners will have a hard time figuring out how to respond to it. What gender should the fondler be? How do we ensure the screeners looking at the nude pictures focuses on the job, not the equipment?


And the damage done by these X-Rays have not been assessed either.

Are we being numbed like sheeple into complete submission to Demz Wot Rulez? I, for one, am really, really happy I don't have to fly on business anymore. I am totally sympathetic with the frequent flyers who do.

Isn't there something horrific about being assaulted like this and then further demeaned by being squashed into a tiny seat with your kneecaps around your ears while the attendant shows you the vomit bags and the oxygen mask?

Blech.

19 comments:

  1. I've just read that It takes about ten seconds to scan one person with the machines, but if a passenger chooses to be patted down by security personnel instead it takes about four minutes and even longer if they choose to do so in a private room.


    FOUR minutes? !!!! Why?

    Anyway - I can't get myself overly pissed off about this whole thing, although I do sympathise with those who must fly frequently in connection with their jobs. Once a year (vacation) wouldn't be too bad to be humiliated in this way, I guess. I'm far more pissed off about the number of poor and hungry having to live from food stamps in this god-forsaken country....that's an everyday humiliation.

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  2. I find it very demeaning and we are all doing this because of our fear of terrorists. I, as a ordinary, every day, middle aged, white, European woman, would have to subject myself to this, because God forbid we should pick someone out of the line and hurt their feelings by subjecting them to the humiliation of this. I know, if you're Arabian and shifty looking, you may be a suspect. That's prejudiced of me. But surely the majority of people are not. Children? Middle aged women? Old men?

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  3. I would be quite happy about nude scanning if it was shown to have prevented numerous terrorist attacks. But where is the evidence that it does that? Once again travellers are being bulldozed into increased "security" procedures for no obvious benefit. Apart from anything, it insults our intelligence.

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  5. We've given up our freedom in the name of safety and we now perform (what used to be criminal) sexual assaults for our "common good".

    What next in the name of the common good? I shudder to think. Will we be subjected to these same assaults before boarding a subway, a commuter train, an elevator in a high rise, any place where a terrorist may commit an atrocity? Ironically, the atrocities are being performed by our "protectors" on men, women, children, senior citizens, our neighbors, just because they want to take an airplane from point a to point b.

    I am horrified by this. I am profoundly worried about the direction our country has taken with this outrageous mandate. I miss my America. God help us all.

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  6. You're not alone, T. we're all living on the edge lately, Harper here is now a despot, overriding the will of the people and the House of Commons to ram through his agendas. It is frightening. I guess we're all to caught up on the downsides, the poverty and the impending collapse of all that is familiar. We only have to look at the country of my birth.
    XO
    WWW

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  7. Nora:
    I don't have a fear of so-called "terrorists" at all. The bogey man has been inflated to an object of disconnected terror.
    And I have friends of colour who are consistently humiliated (beyond anything I've ever had to suffer) every time they cross on business to the states and back.
    It is unconscionable.
    I follow the money to the military-industrial complex who are rubbing their hands in glee over the sale of these machines and the increased (outsourced) personnel getting their jollies.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. Nick:
    the great dumbing down of the populace submitting themselves like sheep to these invasive procedures astounds me.
    I'm hoping that rail and passenger freighters come back, big time.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Sharon:
    It would not surprise me, there's a lot of money to be made by Big Corp on these machines and personnel.
    Every other industry has been outsourced.
    We're all too exhausted (or old) to protest.
    I agree we're all terrified.
    XO
    WWW

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  10. It makes me feel like the terrorists are winning inch by inch.

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  11. I am new to your blog, and am enjoying it very much. While I don't have a blog of my own...I'd like to tag along here if I may. :)

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  12. As usual, WWW, you are making me think. While I don't mind a quick scan of my sagging body, I hadn't thought about others who have had surgeries or even personal issues that they'd rather not share.

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  13. Lori:
    I really do see them in my mind's eye rubbing their hands in glee.
    they have won.
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Lori:
    Oh tagalong away, delighted you found me, welcome!
    XO
    WWW

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  15. Marcia:
    I think of sexual assault and rape victim particularly and people with PTSD.
    It is incredible.
    XO
    WWW

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  16. Hull:
    Thank you Hull, it is so good to have you back, I've missed you!
    XO
    WWW

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  17. To be perfectly frank, the news of these machines has erased any desire I may have had to ever visit the States. Whilst I would adore to visit New York, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park etc, and bring my tourist dollars with me, there is no way that I am going to put myself through either humiliation (and has *anyone* tested the radiation of those scanners on egg/sperm cells or foetuses? How many frequent fliers are going to end up sterile?)

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  18. I've missed you too WWW. A combination of getting married, moving house and having no home internet for months made it hard to comment. I have been keeping on reading your blog though, and think of you often.

    Now we are settling, the houses we needed to sell are sold and we are in the process of negotiating buying the beautiful flat that we are accidentally living in. How life turns in cycles.

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