Streetwise Professor

April 16, 2011

Keeping the Skies Safe From Kleenex

Filed under: Politics,Regulation — The Professor @ 11:19 am

I read this article about how the TSA is targeting complainers right before heading out to the airport.  Not that it made any difference (as you’ll see in a bit).  The line at Terminal C of IAH was interminable–35 minutes in mid-afternoon.  There weren’t that many people in line, but TSA had only 1 lane open and was making everyone go through the body scanner so the line moved at a glacial pace. In preparation for the scanner, I took off my watch, and removed my wallet, boarding pass, and plastic comb from my pockets (the last item having been identified as suspicious in one of my previous nude photo shoots).  I went through the machine, fingers touching over my head as instructed.  (Guess which ones.)  I get out of the scanner, and Officer Friendly says (I quote exactly): “I need to inspect your buttocks.”

Oh joy.

So he gropes, and says, “What’s in your back pocket?”  I thought I’d taken out everything, but I reached in and found a piece of Kleenex balled up at the very bottom.  I show the worthy public servant, who barks at me: “We told you to take EVERYTHING out of your pockets.”  I replied: “Sorry.  So relieved to know you are keeping the skies safe from the Kleenex threat.”  Apropos the article, that set me up for special treatment: the bomb swab.

I’m sure you’re shocked to learn that I passed.

What’s the point of having expensive technology that can provide precise, anatomically correct 3D images of your junk, but can’t identify a plastic comb–or a piece of facial tissue–as harmless?  Based on my myriad experiences in airport security lines, I estimate that the rate of false positives of body scanners at about 30 percent, meaning that about 1 out of 3 people require a grope down to uncover some innocuous thing that they inadvertently missed in their self-grope before entering the machine.  That’s just idiotic.

So, Obama is right when he says that through government we can do things we cannot do as well by ourselves.  Especially things involving incompetence, inanity, and insufferable attitudes.  But you better not mouth off about it lest you get attention from the Nurse Ratched wannabes.

On this subject, Obama continued his full-throated defense of the need to spend more, More, MORE in a fundraising speech in Chicago.  Quoth Mr. Post-Partisan:

“Under their [the Republicans’] vision, we can’t invest in roads and bridges and broadband and high-speed rail,” Obama told a select group of the Democratic faithful at the second of three fundraising events in his hometown of Chicago.

“I mean, we would be a nation of potholes . . .”

He apparently said this without the slightest sense of irony, given that his speech was delivered in Chicago, City of the Big Potholes.  The city where it takes 10 Streets and Sanitation workers to fix a pothole: 1 to actually fill the hole with asphalt, the other 9 to lean on their shovels and rate his performance (that doesn’t include the guys sleeping in the truck).  The city where the only things that government fixes are elections and contracts.

Yeah.  We have to protect all that from the budgetary meat axe.  (The last being the standard political rhetoric referring to cuts that only a trained microsurgeon could make under high magnification with a laser.)

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  1. Sounds like you’re waking up to the fact that the Devil isn’t always in the Kremlin, sometimes he’s breathing over your shoulder right here at home.

    Comment by pahoben lite — April 16, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

  2. We can call you the “snot rag bomber” from now on. I got busted once for a gum wrapper. Apparently, it has some metallic properties in it, so I got the condescending glare down. This was before the additional measures were put in place. I’d probably be put on the no fly list now.

    Comment by Howard Roark — April 16, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

  3. He will gradually increase the rhetoric until his crescendo “Lenin moment” nearer to the election when he will raise his arm gazing into space and exclaim-THERE IS SUCH A PARTY. Thank goodness it does not appear this moment will be commemorated in bronze, rock, and paint in every public space and in every nook and cranny of every public building.

    Can’t you just absolutely see Barak as the central character in a Social Realism mural exhorting the workers to pass quickly through the body scan with nothing in their pockets.

    My wife got Grope Level check for not following directions 100% through the body scan. I followed directions to a tee and my tactical knife that I had forgotten in my pocket made it through with my shoes no problem. The central purpose it appears is less about security more about following government orders.

    Napolitano physically resembles the Commandant Stoler in Wertmuller’s Seven Beauties. God help us if they start posting her picture in airports. It will be even scarier for children.

    Comment by pahoben — April 16, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  4. Craig,

    Enjoyed your post. You might like the protest song/music video we made about the TSA’s ridiculous policies.

    Comment by Kevin — April 16, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  5. Just one more example of the sneering arrogance and contempt for liberties so typical of the Obama regime.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 16, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

  6. Kevin-great video dude.

    Comment by pahoben — April 16, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

  7. Thanks, Kevin. Excellent. My kind of music too.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 16, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

  8. @pahoben lite–if you’ll notice, I have a decidedly libertarian orientation on most domestic matters too. The Devil (interesting that you capitalize) is all around–it’s when he’s in league with the coercive power of the state that’s the main concern.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 16, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

  9. lite-thanks for the info. She doesn’t add much in the way of ideas just dogmatic rantings.

    Speculation was that the uprisings in the Middle East were fomented to destabilize Iran and Soros even mentioned that as his hope in a recent speech. Considering his track record with respect to forecasts (excluding investments) who knows what will come of this. It certainly could be contrary to the interests of the US but that is just part of his agenda. Destroy the US financially so that a great socialist state can be erected on the ashes.

    Soros is only the most visible of a larger group that ascribe to similar goals. When he threatened Obama with loss of financial support from he and his friends it seemed Obama launched additional left wing initiatives to placate him and them.

    I would put Soros far higher on the diabolical genius list then Putin.

    Comment by pahoben — April 17, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

  10. Legitamely surprised to see that you are submitting to the naked scanners professor. I’ve refused every time and had my gf record the ‘enhanced patdowns’ from Big Sis’ stooges. It’s only a matter of time before this farce becomes a civil liberties lawsuit at a federal level, and I’ll happily be there.

    Comment by Jack — April 18, 2011 @ 9:48 am

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