Naked Neighbors

What if I told you I was going to punch you in the face sometime in the future?

What would you give up to spare this unfortunate collision of knuckles and nose? A dollar? A twenty? Would you invest in a face mask, helmet and Kevlar vest? Would you stay at home and never come out? Would you give a stranger naked pictures of yourself  in exchange for a vague promise of protection? Actually I’m guessing you probably would just tell me to f-off, and/or punch me in the face depending on how hard core you were.

But, what if my name was Osama-Omari-Middle Eastern-Dark-Skinned-Man-with-a-Turban?

And what if Fox, CSPAN and Obama said that I was going to kill you, your family, and any cute floppy-eared puppies in the vicinity of your house? What would you give up then to spare this unfortunate collision of jet-liner with jenny & rover? It’s likely you would go all out, screw a $20, you’d give $2,000. Hell, you’d probably give naked pictures of yourself to all sorts of strangers in return for a vague promise of protection.

Actually, it seems that  you already are! Full body scanners, all the rage of the day, are taking off like co-workers on a Friday. Basically, if a low-income home owner or Mexican hasn’t already caused you to lose your job and you have some money to play with, you should invest in Rapiscan- one of two federally approved manufactures of full body scanners in the USA .

( I would give you their stock symbol, but Google finance says that’s private.  ERRrr? )

So let’s cut the chase and get to the point here. Basically some guy from Nigeria, whose parents forewarned the U.S. Government about his diabolic intentions, got on a plane and tried to blow up his underwear. The United State’s response? Obama made up a list of 14 “naughty countries” including the major island-nation of Cuba, USA-run Iraq, and reigning nuclear heavy weight Algeria; from now on, anyone flying to the USA from these terroristic nations will have to go through additional screening mechanisms.

In addition, with absolutely, positively no pressure from the United States government or corporate interests, several European nations are stepping up their use of full body scanners on passengers planning to fly to the United States from terror hotspots like Italy, Britain, and the notorious Netherlands.

(Some countries though are dragging their feet however, with Germany stating that before they use such scanners they want the ridiculous assurances that: “they increase security, that they are not a health hazard, and that the scans do to not harm the individuals’s rights)

So what’s the problem with these scanners? Well honestly it’s not that big of a deal, but let’s look at a few:

1)  Some guy takes a picture of you. Naked.

While it’s true that if you are uncomfortable with this technology you can request TSA personnel to personally grope you instead, there’s no guarantee this user-friendly alternative will always be an option.

You might say big deal, sucks to fly to the United States from somewhere else, but the fact is, these scanners have been tested in the US since 2003 and are already operational in 40 major US airports including:  Dallas, Baltimore, Denver, Tampa, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix San Francisco and Richmond.

2) There is no way to guarantee a passenger’s privacy. Officials say that personnel reviewing the Passengers Gone Wild! images sit in a remote room, will not see a distinguishable face and cannot save or print the images. Sounds great. Then why do I know what Susan Hallowell looks like naked? And how come this guy’s baby maker is on full display?

I highly doubt that Beyonce or President Obama (or me) are going to go through these scanners and the image won’t turn up somewhere.

3) How about this one: are we going to take naked scans of kids? 10 year old Johnny? 6 year old Susie?  Don’t think so? Wait till we get child bombers. Or what about the Muslim women who don’t even reveal their face in public? Are we going to tell them if they want to come to the US we have to check out their goods first? That’s going to make us a lot of Middle-Eastern friends.

4) Or how about health? Don’t the X-ray and MRI technicians always slap a lead vest on you and hide in the next room when they take scans?  These airport scanners are full body and last at least 15 seconds.  Free cancer with every 1,000 frequent flier miles!

5) Here’s another problem- follow the money. The former head of Homeland Security who has been pushing the government to purchase more of these scanners has just admitted that he has a consulting relationship with a full body scanner manufacturer. I’m willing to bet he’s not the only politician, past or present, that stands to gain from this lucrative business- each of these machines are retailing at over $170k, and the TSA just ordered 150 of them with plans to buy another 300.

Okay, so if you’ve stuck with me this long, now I get to the real issues, the aforementioned issues are really just sensationalistic fluff for those of you who saw the word “naked” on facebook and clicked on over.  The real problems are the deeper currents of growing government intrusion in our lives in the name of “security”.

Throughout history, the rights of people in this nation have been compromised for the “safety of the nation”. It seems to me that this line of reasoning got lots of nice Japanese folks kidnapped and locked up on the west coast during WWII.

It Seems to me that this got us a 1,000 page Patriot Act passed in the middle of the night after 9/11. And it seems now that its setting us on the proverbial and terribly cliché “slippery slope” of absolute governmental control over our selves. Nothing is more fundamental than our bodies. Without a right to the autonomy of our own body all other struggles are futile.

Today a guy sticks a bomb in his underwear and we wind up with naked imagery as a solution. This will be about as effectual as building a picket fence with Mexico to keep out immigrants. Know why? Because tomorrow some misguided soul is going to stick a bomb up their rectum- out of the reach of a body scanner. Then what? Full cavity searches for all passengers, spread your leg’s please mam?  Or some jackoff is going to swallow a chemical compound and then we are all going to have to purge in a personal bucket we can reclaim at the security clearance window, two heaves please sir?

Sure it is easy to sit in my cozy terror-free apartment enjoying a slice of sweet potato pie and criticize those who would sacrifice our liberties in the name of our safety

After all I wasn’t on Flights 11, 175, 77, or 93 in 2001, and I wasn’t on Flight 253 this past Christmas—but it is easier still to change the channel,  to turn off the radio, to close the webpage when I come upon a thorny issue that’s not easily reduced to black and white.  So perched up here on my soapbox, do I have some grand plan for national security? No, (actually I do)  but what I do know is that when we accept rapid national adoption of reactionary policies that infringe upon our liberty in order to negate  undefinable threats, we do ourselves a disservice as human beings and as thoughtful engaged citizens.

People are quick to jump on the bandwagon decrying how our government failed to protect us and let a terrorist slip through their fingers. I disagree. It is no more reasonable for us to believe the government can ensure 100% exclusion of foreigners who would do as harm, than it was for China to believe the Great Wall was going to keep all the Mongols out.

I will however, jump on the bandwagon of people who fault our government for not doing more to proactively reach out to the world in a positive way.  Here’s one idea- establish a Department of Peace– the legislation  has been raised in Congress over 100 times since 1935- including the last 8 consecutive years (yeah Kucinich!) .  

This singular act would do more for our security than 1,000 naked pictures ever could

You know what f- -k, it, I’m being too idealistic. For our children’s future, let’s all just get anal probes and start a war with Yemen.


Further resources:

Petition against body scanners


Warm & cuddly video on body scanners


15 Responses

  1. And this is why I’m just as glad that I haven’t set foot on an airplane since 2003.

    War with Yemen sounds about right. We should probably invade Indonesia, Nigeria, and Hawaii while we’re at it. After all, those other two wars are going so well, let’s start a few more!

  2. Way to go my Son!
    As I have only been raving and frothing at the mouth about the systematic, right on schedule with the supposed pandemic scare that is designed to enact Police Powers(martial law) and require us to submit to any device (perhaps the Chip or Vaccines of Poison), destroying of our CIVIL RIGHTS DAMN IT and I for one WILL NEVER RELINQUISH MY BODILY AUTONOMY willingly. It is CLEARLY TIME to draw up a massive march (remember the big one) to DEMAND an end to the INVASIVE “techniques” designed to strip us of our humanity and CITIZENSHIP. And did you know about Chimeras, The Blue Brain Project, Morgellons Disease, Under the EightBall (met the Producer) story of how certain system “Plans” kept his sister from drugs which would allow her to recover from Something that has been fed the Public regarding the Proposed “Lyme Disease” diagnosis (biowarfare out of control) Do YOU Really know where Joseph Moshe is???? and why we have not heard more about Jane Burgermeister’s charges against the WHO, Novaris and others…….America WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP We have a RIGHT TO STOP THIS. STOP WATCHING TELEVISON AND “PLAYING” IN THE MALLS WHILE THE DESIGNER OF THE PATENT (IBM) THAT STATEs how people will be tracked and impanted with chips in their brains and uteruses has had its -get this-head of legal counsel and intellectual property has been made the Head of THE US PATENT OFFICE!!!???Helooo????Now they can turn around and Grant their own patents Don’t believe me. Look up the patent for “Triage Detection System”. TBC Namaste oh a little lite viewing>

  3. maybe well intended tongue in cheek but I would Never joke about such a serious topic as starting more Unwarranted Wars on innocent Human Beings-our “Big Brother” does that well enough all by itself…Namaste A

  4. Great post, KD. Good to see you blogging again.

  5. Excellent post! I’m looking forward to the civil rights court case that comes up when I get fired for refusing to travel by air because I won’t give up my rights to my body image.

    The Department of Peace is an idea whose time is way past due! Let’s get to the root cause of why people resort to violence and get past band-aid approaches such as full body scans.

  6. Ok, “Passengers Gone Wild” is pretty funny. I think you should trademark that 🙂

    One of my students says that we will now all fly naked and be issued snuggies on board the airplane.

  7. Bug Girl, that was funny … now I need to get my Sham-Wow to clean up the Pepsi that just shot out my nose.

  8. thanks for all the feedback everyone!

    its been a while since ive actively blogged, so u know this issue must have really got me riled up to start writing again!

    lol @ the snuggie idea

  9. woah, i really like this post.

    you make a hell of a lot of good points.

  10. […] customs agents has reawakened security issues and fostered much stricter custom clearances for airports and bridges. Consequently, this event is now threatening the building of a third crossing that […]

  11. I really do want to know how they’ll handle kids, especially the ones whose parents won’t let them be scanned. Do they get tackled too? Roughly frisked? This is very dumb 😐

  12. In that last comment I wasn’t calling your post dumb, by the way. I just re-read my comment and it kind of sounded like I was…

  13. lol jammed no worries, i got what you were saying

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