Monday, November 22, 2010

Miscellaneous: X-Ray Machine

I don't know where you've been, but to NOT hear the contoversy over the x-ray machines at the airports you'd have to be a hermit without access to any of the modern conveniences, like TV, Internet, and neighbors.

I am of two opinions. I understand that we need to protect ourselves. Terrorists are trying to get as clever as they can to make Americans suffer, that includes apparently putting explosive powder in underwear. To make sure we aren't victims, everyone should be checked. If people are out there crazy enough to put explosives next to their private parts or commit suicide, they are certainly crazy enough to arm children in hopes TSA have mercy and let them on the plane. I'd rather be on a plane in which everyone was declared safe than on one where TSA had leniency.

However, the lengths to which we are going are making me not want to travel at all. I don't want to be subject to an x-ray machine in which the levels of radiation may be suspect. I certainly don't want my children to be exposed as they will have more times in their lives for travel than I have left in my lifetime. I'm a person who turned down my third mammogram in as many weeks because I didn't like the doses I was getting.

I don't trust anybody. I don't trust all the people driving on the road with me, I don't trust the cashiers at the registers where I shop, and I don't trust those TSA personnel. Is someone watching them to make sure they are photographing and sharing what they see? Cellphones do amazing things these days. I would hate to recognize my body on YouTube.

Some people have even suggested that people not be allowed on the plane without the body screen and eliminate pat downs. I do not like that idea at all. B's mother has metal in her knee - what are they going to do? Skin her to make sure it isn't a bomb?

I am extremely tempted to make things difficult and request a private screening for myself - and possibly my children on a trip I have scheduled next year. B doesn't have any concerns. But you hear stories in which TSA officers put their hands in a man's underwear, three year olds who get their bears snatched away (couldn't the bear go with her through the scanner?), and fathers who strip their own children to hurry the pat down. And I may not have a choice anyway as the last four airplane trips B and I were selected "randomly" for a pat down. I'm thinking of wearing a bathing suit, leggings, and flip flops. And I'd rather have a dog sniffing my privates than have man hands touch my body, although I have heard that personnel will be gender appropriate. Can I have the German Shephard option?

What about other countries? From what I've heard they aren't having this issue because they still profile. I guess we have to think about being selective when it comes to complaining. Our stance on profiling has lead to this.

In the end I don't really know. Radiation or molestation?

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