Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful for not flying this week

I am eternally grateful that I will not be flying this week when the #TSA airport security groping protest meets one of the worst air travel times of the year.
Unfortunately, my wife is not so lucky.
She is scheduled to fly in on Wednesday evening, and already we have been emailing various plans back and forth in anticipation of a major snarl that night which will likely delay her flight to Detroit.
Already started last week, the protests are growing about the TSA's new more aggressive approach to discovering what might be hidden in travelers' underwear. Those include a radioactive scan that shows what is beneath travelers' clothes. And, the alternative, an intense body pat-down by TSA workers.
And, what can we expect in this age of cell-phone videos and cameras? Why the Internet is alive with videos, photos and interviews of people who are being treated badly. Nuns being patted down. Elderly women being patted on the behind by male TSA workers. A boy, 8, without his shirt being frisked. A story about a cancer survivor with a urine bag that got squeezed during a search and having to fly soaked in his own urine. And on and on.
This is the point where someone in authority should step in and do something to stop the madness. I am thinking President Obama -- this would be a great opportunity to exhibit leadership.
And finally, there are two reasons why terrorism has impact. The first is obvious, to strike terror by succeeding or nearly succeeding in an attack. The second is when a terrorist attack succeeds in changing the social climate of the target and making that entire population the victims of fear and bureaucratic overreaction.


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