Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Thanksgiving TSA Opt-Out Week!

By Hugh Farnham

It's that time of the year again.  Dragging your roll-around through terminals, the lines, the bad airline food and... getting a nude-ray photo of your body courtesy of the Federal Government. 
 
Most citizens don't know it is their right to "opt out" of going through the millimeter ray scanner.
 
These nude-ray scanners have a very salty past and there are many reasons to say "No":  
 
-   Potentially these scanners, especially the X-Ray backscatter units, could contribute to a higher risk of cancer
 
-  Having the Federal Government take a naked photo of you is a gross violation of your 4th Amendment rights (and no, I don't believe the machines immediately erase the photos)
 
-  The procurement of these machines is a scandal in itself, with Chertoff, the former head of DHS, working as a lobbyist to get these funded
 
- The TSA is more about getting compliance and submission than actually finding terrorists.  After billions spent, how many real rabid terrorists have they found?  0.

As you go through the security screening line, if you are told to go through the scanner simply say "I exercise my right to Opt Out".  The TSA screener is then bound to honor your request and you will be sent through secondary screening.  Without the X-Rays.

In 2010, when the Opt Out Week first started, the TSA shut down the scanner machines rather than face confrontation over the use of them.  We will see what they do this year.  Please share your experiences here at Western Hero.

Travel safe and happy holidays to all our readers of Western Hero!

29 comments:

Always On Watch said...

At my age, with the risk of cancer having increased, I sure as hell don't need any unnecessary x-rays.

jez said...

If you're worried about the radiation dosage from a scanner, don't fly: you'll get about 20 times the dosage for each hour in the air.

Always On Watch said...

Jez,
Well, actually I don't fly very often. The last time was in 2006, I think.

jez said...

Very wise, I hate flying. Destination has to be REALLY compelling to get me up there.

conservativesonfire said...

I haven't been back to the States since long before this non-sense stared. I agree that it has less to do with actually security concerns than it does with the control submission aspects. Drive! Enjoy some scenery while your at it.

Ducky's here said...

The TSA is more about getting compliance and submission than actually finding terrorists.

-----
Bingo.

KP said...

@Duckt and @CoF Serious question, in your views, what benefit does the Federal Govt enjoy from developing submission and compliance?

Adrienne said...

I used to like to travel. Now? Not so much. Air travel (IMO) is a nightmare.

Hugh Farnham said...

The TSA is more about getting compliance and submission than actually finding terrorists.

-----
Bingo.


Glad to see there is one thing that you and I agree on, Ducky. BTW, I do support many of the things the ACLU does - and keep the phone number of an ACLU lawyer in my wallet, just in case. Libertarians and Liberals do overlap a bit, Vin diagram-style.

Dr. KP: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I make my claim based upon studying DHS/TSA behavior over the past 10 years, watching the mission creep, and having to deal in my professional life with two of their directorates - cyber and chemical security. Add to that my sour personal experiences at these "checkpoints".

It's security theater, designed to a) give you a warm fuzzy placebo about being safe and b) training you to submit to someone in a federal costume.

The GAO routinely sends red teams through these checkpoints. Almost half the time they get firearms through undetected.

In a few years expect to come across DHS/TSA checkpoints in your daily life outside of the airport setting.

TSA Checkpoints to Expand to Our Highways

Divine Theatre said...

Ugh! The mere mention of TSA is my Niagra Falls moment! (Remember, the Three Stooges skit?) Affirmative action idiots with power. Yay.
It's a looong story that ends with a 12 hour layover at LaGuardia. I despise them.
I would rather walk, thanks.

Andie

skudrunner said...

The TSA and all the checkpoints are really about feel good. Anyone who fly's often knows there is so much inconsistency in the process that it does little to insure safety.

Since they started the body scans I doubt we have seen a dramatic decrease in violations but we sure have riled grandma.

Ducky's here said...

@KP --- @Duckt and @CoF Serious question, in your views, what benefit does the Federal Govt enjoy from developing submission and compliance?

-----
A subservient population.
Passive sponges for the media.

Finntann said...

@what benefit does the Federal Govt enjoy from developing submission and compliance?

Submission and Compliance.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: A subservient population.
Passive sponges for the media.


It warms my heart when we can agree on something.

Hugh Farnham said...

I see a member of the Blame Bush Crowd stopped by, feced us, then promptly got deleted.

We really do need to get away from the false Left-Right paradigm, as I have said before. It's not Left vs. Right but tyranny vs. liberty.

Just because I oppose Obama doesn't mean I fall into the Romney - Bush crowd. You can blame Bush all you want but it will miss me completely.

viburnum said...

@Hugh

That deletion has nothing to do with the authors politics, it's his/her/it's ( opinion varies ) manners that are insufferable.

Hugh Farnham said...

Came across this gem from Lew Rockwell:

TSA To Blame for More Deaths Than Al Qaeda

Predictable. A government program that does far more damage than it supposedly solves.

viburnum said...

@ A government program that does far more damage than it supposedly solves.

“Once we suffered from our vices; today we suffer from our laws" Pascal

FreeThinke said...

Never may be a long time, but I will never set foot in an "aeroplane" (that's what they were first called, believe it or not) unless and until the TSA -- and anything even faintly resembling it -- are abolished and freedom is restored to the traveling public.

Anyone wanting to see me in the flesh (God help him!) will have to come to visit my estate. The guest accommodations here are excellent and the food second to none.

As the Popes of old used to be "Prisoners of the Vatican," so am I a prisoner in my pleasant manor house.

At my age that suits me down to the ground. There's nowhere else on earth I'd rather be anyway.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, everyone!

Cheerio!

~ FreeThinke

LSP said...

Flying's become a right nightmare. I'll be driving to the Dallas HQ for the turkey bash...

Have a great Thanksgiving -- despite the TSA.

Z said...

so what're we supposed to do, just let everybody on the plane? "Come on DOWN"?
I've seen hair-curling things on planes, particularly in Europe...and they got solved...once, because I NOTICED IT. The person didn't fly with us.

just a thought.
I hate the TSA because they're ineffective and unintelligent from what I can see, but we need nothing ?

REALLY?

beamish said...

One day some government union yokel will detect a nuclear bomb in one of our ports, just as it explodes.

Jersey McJones said...

Ya' know, for all the ranting about the TSA, I've personally heard of very few problems, and those tend to be at big airports.

A month after 9/11 a friend of mine put on a jacket to go flying from NYC to see some family abroad with wife and sons. He hadn't worn that jacket since the past spring when he took his sons fishing... he had a pocket knife on him.

Needless to say... I mean, in a way, it's really funny, but not when it happens to you. So I really felt for the guy, especially since he and his family were scared to death.

On the other hand, there are some serious questions about the TSA, but the bottom line is clear: How do we keep psychos off planes?

As I recall, after 9/11 the White House and the GOP congress, being always - no matter what - vehemently against "big government" getting involved in private business, even if it's in an interstate transportation sector, decided we'd have the system you guys are complaining about today.

So, whatever. Keep voting "conservative," and see where that genius logic will get you.

JMJ

Finntann said...

@So, whatever. Keep voting "conservative," and see where that genius logic will get you.

And what alternative do you offer? Other than more of the same?

Hugh Farnham said...

Jersey: It was my dark suspicion that the Patriot Act was formulated way long before 9/11 - just my sense of having worked in the Government.

Turns out this was true.

Richard Clarke was told by the DOJ it had been sitting in a desk for 20 years, waiting for the opportune time. Regardless of a liberal or "conservative" in the White House.

On the other hand, there are some serious questions about the TSA, but the bottom line is clear: How do we keep psychos off planes?


I would turn that question around to this: How do we keep psychos out of the TSA grope line?

Child Porn, Coke Smuggling: Hundreds of DHS Employees Arrested Last Year

You Don't Have to Be A Sexual Deviant To Work For The TSA, But It Helps

Free market solution: bring back the private security screeners.

Corporations can be held accountable for bad behavior; very difficult for a unionized, federal thug to be brought to account for evil behavior.

Ever tried bringing the federal government to court?

Of these DHS/TSA criminals the IG report talks about, how many got away with crimes but were never charged? Hmmm...

Z said...

"Ever tried bringing the federal government to court?"

Holy cow! now THAT would be something to be thankful for these days :-)

Craig said...

Free market solution: bring back the private security screeners.

Yeah, private security, like it was on 9/11/2001. If I remember correctly, it was the public who demanded something be done. We were willing to put up with the inconvenience if it made us feel safe. I remember hearing callers to Righty radio saying, "Go ahead, read my emails, tap my phone, I've got nothing to hide."

I agree, this is security theater. I don't agree that it would be different if we privatize security. In this age of hyper fear and hyper polarization, people are quick to blame the team in charge. Classic CYA and the private sector isn't immune. Find liquid explosives on a plane? Ban shampoo bottles. Shoe Bomb? Everyone take off your shoes. Underwear bomb? Enter Chertoff porno scans. The private sector is going to find a way to profit from this. Beware the Security Industrial Complex.

One thing that might have prevented 9/11, besides ignoring the intelligence, was hardened cockpit doors (I know, there not fool proof. I emphasize might). After the rash of hijackings in the 70's and 80's, congress tried to require them. The airlines lobbied hard against it. It cut into the bottom line. I ain't buying the private sector is the cure meme.

"Ever tried bringing the federal government to court?"

You can bring a gov. employee to court. Unless they claim honorary diplomatic status. (Extra points if you get the Jill Kelly reference.)
Happy Thanksgiving. I'll be camping out in front of Best Buy and I don't even know why. Is something on sale?

FreeThinke said...

"Security is mortals' chiefest enemy."

~ Will Shakespeare (Hecate - Macbeth)

A New Hampshire's sate motto says:

"LIVE FREE -- or DIE!"

Surely an echo of Patrick Henry's famous line:

"Give me liberty, or give me death."

The pursuit of "SAFETY" as a primary goal is in fact the pursuit of SLAVERY.

Old Ben probably said it best:

"They that can give up essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

~ Franklin (1706-1790)

AMEN, BEN! AMEN!

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Bring back the vigorous vigilante spirit of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys.

Those guys REALLY knew how to take care of nettlesome, troublesome elements in THEIR midst.

Don't you get sick of the pussy-whipped, metrosexual, mentality the Feminazi bitches have saddled us with?

If only some one had had the guts to knock Betty Friedan's teeth down her throat at a propitious moment, we might have been spared much misery.

~ FreeThinke