Opt Out (or, "Dismantle the TSA and Send the Screeners Back to Wal-Mart.")

UPDATE: the big man has spoken. Executive summary is, of course, um, yep, hysterical security theater continues to trump ration.

Recently, as any even moderately informed American knows, the Transportation Security Administration began a new program to coerce travelers into submitting to the porno scanners--the backscatter X-ray machines that the TSA calls Whole Body Imaging--by instituting a new policy to punish those who opt out of being photographed naked.


Many people do prefer to opt out, due to the legitimate safety questions, or perhaps because they just don't feel like having naked images of themselves (or their hot teenage daughters) viewed by airport rentacops and captured on computer (the TSA's ludicrous assurances that they ‘cannot be stored' having already been disproven).

The new deterrent, to prevent people from exercising their right to opt out of the nude imaging process, is that those who do so will now have one of those ubiquitous blue-gloved TSA agents physically grope their entire body, including testicles or breasts and vagina, as a consequence.

The numerous women and children who have recently been traumatized in this way has been fairly well covered in the media, and especially, of course, on the internet tubes. Frankly, it's another fucking disgrace, one which quite rightly has generated some outrage.

However, there are still a lot of uninformed citizens out there (and they couldn't ALL be ignorant cowards who are already prepared to jettison the most fundamental of American values for a theatric pretense of security (could they?)). Plus, few people I meet outside of the US, Americans included, know much about this story.

That's why I was glad to see a new web site that does a fairly clinical job of explaining the issue simply and unhysterically:


This site looks professional and coherent, and it also features a handy printable pamphlet that has already proven helpful in explaining this important issue to people who for whatever reason don't get much information.


Which is good, Because according to a CBS News poll, so far the hysterics and cowards are winning. Will sanity prevail? I wouldn't put money on it, but here's hoping.