cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
I do not travel so much as I used to and I’m grateful for that. I have, however, been following the growing concern over airport security and the tactics employed by the TSA to thwart would-be trouble-makers.
The addition of full body scanners that radiate us to detect items that might be secreted underneath clothing has caused a lot of that concern since there is exposure to radiation. We’ve been taught that it is not a good thing if we are exposed to “too much”. I haven’t seen anything about the amount of radiation this body scanning exposes one to but people are still reacting to it. Pilot’s unions are very concerned since their members are regularly exposed as part of their profession. Additionally, the "never-to-be-seen-publicly" images are now finding their way onto the Internet, and that has increased the rate of criticism of the TSA and of this technology.
The “opt out” procedures have generated even more angst and the name, “enhanced pat down’s”, might give us an idea of why. Those people who have complained have told of being “groped”, of having their most intimate areas touched, etc. Religions that require members to be attired in particular ways have issued instructions to those people as to what they should expect and how they ought to deal with the process that could be seen as being a form of religious disrespect. I suspect that the TSA people will have been given “special handling” instructions for those, such as nuns in habit, following an Internet item that had millions of hits.
Against this backdrop, we have the state of Israel that has, by all accounts, the most effective approach to assuring air travel security. Israel does not employ the full body scan machines. It employs what many would call “profiling”, and it employs that technique very effectively. Israel’s system has yet to be breached; that doesn’t say it will never be breached, but it is an impressive statistic.
The U.S. has done its utmost to avoid the contention that it “profiles” in order to avoid the labeling that some would find very offensive. It avoids the accusation of profiling by not profiling.
Are we missing the boat by being politically correct? Would we be better off in terms of flight safety if some profiling were employed no matter the political fallout?