Sunday, November 21, 2010

Suddenly, I don't want to go home

My darling readers, you may or may not be aware of the new security procedures laying in wait for you when you go to the US, but they aren't pleasant.

To sum it up, you can now get a full body scan that shows your body as if it were naked to a TSA official in a closed off room and stores the images in a database, or a very thorough new pat down type that includes your private areas to search for weapons. Just in case you're holding a gun between your butt cheeks.

Here's the news for those who haven't been following it lately:

Feel free to check it out. I thought this was a joke the first time I read it, but I assure you, it's very real.

I keep following these stories with a kind of morbid fascination. People are (rightly) kicking up a big fuss, and I hope they keep at it. Preferably, some action will be taken before January 9th, as that's when I'm going home to Cali!

So to help fan the flames as it were, I even used the online email system to write a letter to my congresswoman. But since it was me writing it, it turned out a little snarky and full of my 'writer's voice'. Well maybe she'll get a chuckle out of it. Or most likely an assistant will simply look at the topic, add a number to a tally, and ignore it.

So, as not to waste a perfectly good letter, I'm posting it here for your enjoyment. If you agree, please kick up a fuss with your local lawmakers! And try to make it snappy, I've only got a little over a month left ;)

(writing to Anna Eschoo)

Hi Anna,

I'm sure you've been hearing about this, but I am so personally disturbed by the new full body scanners at the airports that I have to write. (First time writing to a member of Congress! Well I'm sure there's a first for everything).

I like to think as an American, my rights are protected by the government. Rights like not having to choose between being seen in X-Ray vision with all my clothes off like some sort of perverted Superman, (with the side effect of radiation as a bonus! Yay?) or being groped inappropriately by a total stranger in a way that anyone else doing the same would be rightly arrested for sexual assault.

If the reason behind this is to protect us from a terrorist attack on an airplane, let's think of the odds for a moment. Walking on a sidewalk down a busy street is just about as likely to get me killed. By the same reasoning, should I wear full chain mail body armor and duct tape pillows around myself to walk to the grocery store?

Somewhere we have to draw the line between personal safety and common sense. The lower the odds of something happening, the less we should be forced to submit to rediculous (and in this case humiliating and insulting) schemes to prevent their occurance.

You are probably wondering what to suggest to the TSA as an alternative. That's a good question. Since every scanner cost over 100,000 dollars, each scanner would pay the yearly salary of maybe two air marshals. More air marshals on more flights would be great for security and much less personally invasive. Just a thought.

But please, we need congressional action on this. I'm currently living in Japan and can't 'take a train' home.




Blogger KittyBonkers said...

Wow, this is totally wrong!! Its an invasion against privacy and I don't blame people for not wanting it!! I think your letter is great, I think people should pay attention to it!!

Kitty x

7:53 AM  
Blogger Fugu Tabetai said...

I had 4 full body scans and 2 pat-downs on my last trip (earlier this month) to the US with my wife. It was annoying.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to travel either, but you have to! You've gotta come home so I can see you, because I'm not going to Japan.

Grandma Blue

12:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home