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What's everybody's opinion about the new TSA security procedures? I'm talking about the naked body x-ray scanners and aggressive pat downs from TSA agents who are groping private parts to look for objects on people. I'm already not a fan of flying in the United States because of rude customs agents and poor customer service from American owned airlines. This is why I drive whenever I can. Of course, outside of police states like Canada and the United States, I enjoy flying much more because the foreign owned airlines are much better and you won't get the angry and rude looks from American customs agents when you travel into the country. I see that there's already quite a backlash from passengers and even pilots about the new procedures. Is America and Canada turning into an Orwellian 1984 scenario or are we already there?
To me personally this whole thing gives more credence to the whole "Loose Change" 9/11 theories out there, hear me out.
For years the Europeans especially the Brits were far more sensitive terrorism of public transportation bombings since a rash of takeovers and bombings in the 70's and 80's, including the Munich Games murders. So they took precautions that DON'T INCLUDE X-RAY EXAMINATIONS of humans. I should also mention that law enforcement not the Military found the originators of the 9/11 bombing plots and even the Blind Sheik that bombed the World Trade Center the first time was caught and tried in normal criminal courts.
This is just another tactic to discourage Americans from traveling abroad. I don't like it, its invasive and unnecessary. If the grand concern was public safety and not generating a profit for the companies that makes these machines and nobody knows if these machines are even safe, then it could be just wrong headed, but since its not and its to scare the public at large and make money, its even worst.
Of course there's ways around this. You can fly out of Mexico or Canada for example. These things haven't been talked about widely but they seem obvious to me.
What the TSA is doing is theater. They are going through the motions pretending to actually believe that old ladies and young children are potential terrorists. The fact is that the TSA has never caught a real terrorist with their procedures. Not one. It is a concrete example of how bureaucracy can go insane. I avoid air travel in the US, and leave from Mexico, because it is dangerous to subject yourself to a system once madness has been demonstrated.
The TSA and Air Marshals, etc are a waste and not even that good at their jobs. Israeli security for instance works much better, costs less, and doesn't create big head aches. Israeli airports put bomb proof areas around where they scan luggage and can drop a suspected bomb into a bomb box. I don't even think they need to evacuate the whole airport on a suspected bomb unlike here. You don't line up like cattle at Israeli airports either. The best place a bomber could detonate in a US airport would be in the security waiting line. When you fly into the USA they are supposed to check you out but in my experience the security over seas is even lighter. The whole thing is just stupid and a waste.
Had the pleasure for the first time on a flight out of St Louis yesterday. They also confiscated my shaving cream and shampoo. I'm a clean cut, middle-aged American paleface, with a metal hip that sets off the detectors (which they knew) -- not a fertile profile for people wanting to blow up airplanes. It's beyond absurd -- just psycho theater, as catameran observes. One of the prices you pay for being a citizen of the world's most hated country. But this sort of mindlessness is the main reason we are hated, and it keeps getting ratcheted up relentlessly.
When I was flying out of LAX last week, I passed the metal detector but the TSA guy still wanted to pat me down, because my shirt was over-sized and they wanted to make sure I didn't have anything concealed. I wore the same shirt when I meet Rock in Taipei after I landed, so you guys can ask him if I looked like I was hiding dope taped to my armpits in that shirt. ;p
My opinion of LAX airport can be described by this photo:
The sooner that they bulldoze the piece of sh*t excuse of an airport, the better. I'd even vote in favor of eminent domain for nearby areas to rebuild a completely new and expanded airport, preferably modeled after Singapore.
If anyone has visited Singapore, Malaysia (KL), or Taipei (Taoyuan) airport, you'd think LAX is a complete dump. We welcome millions of visitors to LA every year, and their first impression of Los Angeles is this piece of sh*t airport.
I hate LAX and I've only been there once. I had a two hour lay over and I barely managed to make my next flight. I intentionally go out of my way to pick flights that don't go through LAX even if they cost more. I might go for a pat down next time just to say I got one, plus I think it'll wake me up early in the morning.
Warning from my friend about TSA body scanners at US airports, and how you can opt out of them:
"When you are taking a departing flight in the USA to fly domestically or internationally, be sure to opt for the pat down option instead of going through the body scanner. The TSGay agents will try to talk you out of it and tell you that the body scanners' radiation levels are very low and safe, but don't believe it. Just politely say you want the pat down, and they will allow you to have that instead. This is true of 100% of airports in the USA. It never ceases to surprise me how many people on the Internet (justifiably) write things critical of the USA government, and then blindly trust the USA government when they are in an airport by going through a body scanner. It's like they value saving 10 minutes of time by going through a potentially cancer-causing device. Seriously, next time you meet someone abroad who (justifiably) writes a lot of critical stuff about the USA government, ask him if he has ever gone through a body scanner. Chances are that he goes through the body scanner 100% of the time and has never once opted for a pat down.
The body scanners violate privacy because they reveal photos of your naked body. (I am only comfortable with two types of people seeing my naked body: single women and medical professionals.) But what's orders of magnitude worse than violating one's privacy by revealing nude body photographs is the potential cancer risk. Body scanners have never gone through any long-term safety testing. They were hastily created and soon after implemented in airports across the USA.
In 2012, the European Union banned body scanners over safety concerns."
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