So, originally I was going to say “screw it” today and post some creative work that I’ve had sitting around for a while. A bit of a cheat, but part of the goal of this site is to have an open avenue for creativity as well… But then I read this – “Pregnant Flyer Says TSA Confiscated her Insulin” and I remembered that I’ll be flying the lovely skys in about a month. Now… I’ve never been a fan of TSA, or their safety practices, which are ever-encroaching upon a violation of human rights… And before any of you who don’t know me too well start up with “if you don’t like it, don’t fly” nonsense… think about this first.
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
I’ve said this for a while, and have always stood by it, and encouraged other people to at least consider it, if not agree with it. This is one of the principles that our country was founded on, and as much as I think our country has gone down the shitter in some ways since then… but that’s another story for another day. When we allow organizations like the TSA to control our every move in travel, we lose that essential liberty. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for not dying in a fiery explosion. But forcing a 95-year-old woman who has cancer to remover her Depends? Yeah, that’s going so far over the line you can’t even see the line any more. And of course, they are always up for a good excuse to fondle women…
Why should we have to put up with this? Why should pregnant woman be forced to subject themselves to potentially harmful body scans, even when they ask for a pat down? Why should I have to carefully go through my suitcase and carry-on and make sure that, A: everything I’m taking is “legal.” B: Nothing I don’t mind potentially losing is in my suitcase. And C: Even the things that are within TSA regulations aren’t suspicious looking. Of course… in most cases I probably shouldn’t fly anyway considering I’m the type of person likely to do this…
The security measures here have reached the point where, honestly, I’d prefer to not fly. Sometimes it really just isn’t an option though. With gas prices what they are, it’s actually cheaper for me to fly to California than to drive there (which is where I’m going in early September). And, I’m poor… so obviously I have to pick the cheapest route. And taking Amtrak is almost twice as expensive, and there isn’t even a station in San Fransisco. So that’s not an option. When the most convenient, and usually cheapest way to travel is the most violating… I call that bad business. Are we going to get people to boycott flying? No, and I would never even suggest it. But can we try to change things? Yes. And some people are already trying… Check out Ban Strong Hands, a satire site dedicated to mocking the TSA’s ineffectual operations and bring the “actual” security risks to light. They also strongly stress banning people with strong hands from flying. Because, you know… strangulation can be an effective way to kill someone.
There is also a blog over on MSNBC called Overhead Bin dedicated to news reports on TSA transgressions and the ridiculous things they subject flyers to. I mean, hell, let’s not forget the MIT student who was arrestedfor having an LED display with exposed wiring on her shirt (for a school project). She was even informed that she “was lucky she followed instructions, because deadly force would have been used.” And of course some media picked it up as “MIT student arrested at Logan in bomb scare” (note that the Boing Boing article’s use of this headline is mocking the other one). Remind me not to wear this shirt Crista got me for Valentine’s Day.
Travel, in any form, can be stressful, or pleasant. And I vote it should always be pleasant. So let’s make sure the TSA, and our government, know how we feel.