Have the terrorists already won?

Frankly, I’m surprised at how respondents to our poll question this week feel about the controversial “full-body scan” and “pat-down” practices of the TSA at airports. As of this writing, barely more than half voted these practices “go too far,” with 45% saying they are “necessary for security.”

BIAS ALERT!  FAIR WARNING!

I’m giving you this ALERT/WARNING because I have experienced both the scan and the “pat-down.”  Even though a single scan is not physically uncomfortable, it is personally invasive, as you can see from the photo nearby. And since I fly a lot, the long-term radiation exposure of the scan is a concern.

My subsequent “pat-down” - they didn’t like my scan so I got the full treatment - was VERY uncomfortable on wa-a-a-ay too many levels. Let me put it this way: I’m sure the man who frisked me was not paid enough to do what he did to me. Gentlemen, think of how weird it feels when a tailor measures your inseam while you’re wearing the pants and take that up about four notches of weird. Ladies, I have no female frame of reference, but would like very much to know what that would be.  You can click here to send an email with your thoughts.

Earlier this week on my radio program, I described in detail my recent scan/pat-down experience, including what I could have done - and therefore, what you can do - to avoid the pat-down. Click here to listen - it’s about 6 minutes long.

So, since these two practices are still not widely used (again, please forgive me for making the following assumption), I’m going to hazard a guess that some of those who voted “necessary for security” but have not yet experienced the pat-down would change their vote after they did.  In the future, I will do everything in my power to avoid the pat-down, including exposing myself to the scan.

Finally, the definition of terrorism is not committing physical harm, it’s creating a state of fear and submission.  Every time you and I have another level of liberty taken away in the name of security, a little piece of terrorism is delivered by proxy and the bad guys get one more point added to their scoreboard.

I think the pat-down and probably the full-body scan goes too far. We’ve got to find other ways to provide security.

Thanks for being part of my community. I’ll see you next week on the radio - and on the Internet!

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