It seems like lots of people are upset by the prospect of getting groin-groped by uniformed personnel. Times sure change. It seems like only yesterday people were lining up for the opportunity in places like churches, boy scout meetings, and the armed forces.
Mindful of the mood, your government has responded:
With the Thanksgiving travel crush imminent, the chief of the Transportation Security Administration, John S. Pistole, said in a statement that his agency would try to make screening methods “as minimally invasive as possible.” But he gave no indication that the agency would reverse its move to full-body scanners, now deployed in 70 of 450 airports in the United States, and physical pat-downs for passengers who object to the scans. –NY Times
Feel better? No, neither do I. But one man’s grief is another’s joy:
The debate over the proper balance of security and privacy was unfolding as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist group responsible for the Detroit airliner bomb last Christmas and for placing explosive devices aboard cargo planes last month, threatened similar plots to sow fear, disrupt travel and transport, and impose huge costs on the United States.
“This strategy of attacking the enemy with smaller but more frequent operations is what some may refer to as the strategy of a thousand cuts,” the Yemen-based group said in a new issue of its English-language magazine, Inspire, which resembles a glossy publication but is available for download on militant Web sites. “The aim is to bleed the enemy to death.” [via]
But fear not, fellow travelers – whoops! Can’t say that! — because American ingenuity trumps anything those turbaned terrorists come up with:
DENVER (AP) — It’s a special kind of underwear – with a strategically placed fig leaf design – and a Colorado man says it’ll get you through the airport screeners with your dignity intact.
Buske of Las Vegas, Nev.-Rocky Flats Gear says the underwear’s inserts are thin and conform to the body’s contours, making it difficult to hide anything beneath them. The mix of tungsten and other metals do not set off metal detectors.
The men’s design has the fig leaf, while the one for women comes in the shape of clasped hands. — Associated Press
Me, I’ll pass on this noble contribution to modern civilization: my comfort level can be maintained only by going commando. Besides, considering how many people wielding everything from gloved fingers and radiation beams to scalpels and pizza spatulas have been up my ass and all over my crotch and abdominal areas over the last year, getting felt up while completely dressed is almost a relief.
As for the body scan, I love it that I get to completely expose myself publically without fear of arrest or freezing to death. Isn’t this a male fantasy come to life, or have I got it twisted again?
What isn’t clear to me – and I know I’m not alone here – is whether all this renders air travel any safer. I imagine it’s only a matter of time before some enterprising madman figures out how to make edible explosives — and I don’t refer here to gas-inspiring cuisine already available at airports, particularly in Cincinnati with their 5-Alarm chili crap.
Actually, metal-reinforced underwear might come in handy with that, too.