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I’ve been an air traveler since the mid ‘60s and my tolerance for inconvenience has finally been exceeded. I’ve worked in and around the airline industry since the ‘70s and seen service and amenities disappear faster than a 401k held by Goldman Sachs.  I have probably accumulated close to a million air miles but this latest indignity is just too much.

Since 2004 I have been subjected to a ‘pat down’ every single time I’ve flown; my crime – osteoarthritis. In 2004 I got me a shiny new titanium left hip and in 2008 I made it a matching pair.  Now I understand the need to keep the airways safe, and I understand technology’s inability to distinguish between a titanium hip and an AK47, so I grit my teeth and stand, with arms upraised, to be patted and wanded for everyone’s peace of mind – but these new measures have just gone too far... Action is required.

The first weekend in December I am planning a vacation trip to Sedona, AZ that will include air travel from Dallas to Phoenix; and as much as I am looking forward to the vacation, I am dreading the inevitable groping I will be subjected to going through security. There is little doubt that my hips will trigger the metal detectors and lead to further screening. What are my choices? I’m not thrilled with the full body scanners – I don’t need more radiation, but I don’t really care if someone sees an image of my body – and I don’t know if that will be an option.  They may or may not have full body scanners at the American Airlines terminal. What I really object to is some stranger groping my junk and putting his hands (gloved or not) inside my pants. So what do we do.

The more traditional responses have included all of the usual: write your representative, file a complaint with the TSA, file a complaint with the ACLU, have a travel companion video the entire groping, call the police, file sexual assault charges, etc.  I am suggesting another alternative –

DROP YOUR DRAWERS !!!

Make sure that you are wearing your finest; fresh tighty-whities, Calvin Klein designer briefs, a Speedo, your Road Runner boxer shorts, etc.  No doubt you have been seen in them before, and certainly no one waiting in line could be more offended by a pair of clean briefs than the sight of people being groped in public.  It should speed up the screening process as I am guessing that your pants won’t have to be around your ankles very long for that TSA screener to determine you are not wearing C4 underwear.

This approach might be a bit more challenging for the ladies amongst us, but perhaps wearing a bathing suit instead of underwear might just be an alternative.

In any case, it seems like a non-violent, non-threatening way to make a loud statement about the absurdity of this latest TSA nightmare. What a great way to start the Thanksgiving holiday travel weekend.

Originally posted to ambdallas on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 07:42 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I am sorry to tell you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt
      that you may also have to drop the undies. Otherwise the nice TSA screener will need to feel around inside them to make sure there is no explosive residue next to the skin. Should make quite a picture, though.
  •  Beats My First Thought (4+ / 0-)

    I'm flying on the 9th and I've already said that I am going to need to be restrained if someone dares lay a glove on my chocha.  It's reflexive at this point - I was taught to defend the goods back in the day where defense really meant defense, not crying about being molested after the fact.

    If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

    by shanikka on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 07:46:50 AM PST

  •  I have decided (8+ / 0-)

    to use this latest absurdity by TSA and DHS as a rallying cry for high speed rail. You know that whole silver lining thing ;)

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 07:49:40 AM PST

    •  Looked on Amtrak yesterday (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice, JG in MD, jsfox

      for NY to Orlando.  The trip is there, reasonably priced and takes nearly a day.  

      Yeah, there's room for improvement.

      Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, Content, and sufficient champagne. --Dorothy Parker

      by M Sullivan on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 07:54:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I used to fly between Bos and NY (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        M Sullivan, Tyrenon

        regularly, but as soon as I figured out the train got me door to door just as fast and the cost when adding in taxis and time wasted turned out to be a wash I no longer fly.

        Right now the train is best for these types of trips, but all the more reason to push for a system  that would make trips like yours a viable choice.

        In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

        by jsfox on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 07:59:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, I'm from NJ, and our "Governor" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice

          just scragged a shovel ready tunnel project 20 years in the making.  I don't think we're going to get much traction until the TSA does something truly horrible.

          Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, Content, and sufficient champagne. --Dorothy Parker

          by M Sullivan on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 08:05:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't fly often, but (4+ / 0-)

    if I am ever subjected to a pat-down, I intend to pee on the TSA worker.  

    Oooopsie!

    Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, Content, and sufficient champagne. --Dorothy Parker

    by M Sullivan on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 07:53:38 AM PST

  •  This isn't a bad idea... (7+ / 0-)

    I may see about getting one of those bright green Borat bathing suits to wear on my next flight. ;-)

    In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

    by Cixelsyd on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 07:53:56 AM PST

  •  You'll love it once you get to Sedona (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, JG in MD

    Hope the in-between makes it all better.  I've lived in Sedona for 18 years and sometimes we play tourist and love it all over again.  WELCOME!

    •  Not my experience at all (0+ / 0-)

      I found Sedona to be quite unfriendly, unwelcoming, and largely comprised of upscale assholes who like to look down on others.  My impressions may have been shaded by the prick in the Mercedes who made derogatory comments about me "washing my RV" at a roadside spring when I was actually filling my potable water tank with good spring water.  I spent a week in the area and failed to meet a single person who wasn't an arrogant jerk.  Very beautiful area though, I'll give you that.

      FOX News is for people who can't handle reality ...
      BTW - read The Authoritarians free here.

      by kbman on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 12:07:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Okay. (0+ / 0-)

    Now what?

    "Yeah, like God couldn't play a better solo than that?" (reply to "Clapton is God" remark on You Tube)

    by dov12348 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 07:56:57 AM PST

  •  I've been following these TSA horror stories (5+ / 0-)

    as of late.  In this world where more and more people are getting hip and knee replacement surgery, TSA agents should be made aware of this.

    As well, the story about the man who had his colostomy bag ripped from him enraged me.

    If the TSA was serious, they would be proactive about these abuses by the bad apples in the TSA.

    I always look for pro-TSA comments from people who post on forums and the number one talking point from them is: "I don't care about the new guidelines, I don't fly" followed by "I'd rather have my nads checked and be safe".

  •  Wait til someone hides a bomb up their butt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, crystal eyes, Clio2, T100R

    After that, it will either be the end of TSA inanities or the end of flying in the US of A.
    Unless everyone wants to submit to body cavity searches by the gentle hands of TSA agents .

  •  If the elites don't get a pass (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, gooderservice

    then there's a much better chance we all be treated with dignity.

    Crotch pats for everybody until the madness stops.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 08:09:03 AM PST

  •  Adventurers Club Time! (4+ / 0-)

    To quote a member of an old favorite comedy troupe:

    (CHORUS) Drop your drawers! Drop your drawers!
    I'll drop mine if you'll drop yours!
    Drop your drawers! Drop your drawers!
    Down below your knees!

    Drop your drawers! Drop your drawers!
    That's the way to open doors!
    Drop your drawers! Drop your drawers!
    Whoops! I feel a breeze!

    (Chorus only, rest at the link; I do apologize...but your title made this leap to mind with rather...stunning speed and vigour.)

    Your data forms the basis for your conclusions. If your data is flawed, then your conclusions will be as well.

    by Tyrenon on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 08:15:06 AM PST

  •  drop your drawers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blue Republican

    While I find this an interesting suggestion to try to stop invasive inspections, I would like to make a suggestion that would stop a large part of the outcry against them.  I believe that most objections coming from women probably do involve modesty or panic based on bad incidents with males.  Such being the case, inspection by female employees of the TSA should work in almost all cases.  Objections to patdowns coming from men are based in an overwhelming number of cases on homophobia: the fear that allowing intimate touch by another man indicates homosexual proclivities in the man receiving the touch.  If I am right, then this fear and objection would be instantly removed if the inspectors were female. In fact, I am sure than some of the loudest shouters would get into line again.  I hope that the TSA is listening.

    •  Sorry, no (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, kbman, kurt

      As a female, I can tell you my objection does not arise from "bad incidents with males," nor does being groped by a female make it okay with me.

      I know we're not supposed to advertize our own diaries in comments, but for further explanation, you might look into my diary series, "Coercion, Sexual Humiulation and the TSA".

    •  Also, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kbman, kurt

      I should have said this in my comment, TSA already uses female screeners to touch females and males to touch males.

    •  within the last hour the news media reported (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, kurt

      the TSA is rethinking its methods because an agent slipped his/her hand INSIDE the underwear of a female traveler during the screening process.

      No, this :

      I would like to make a suggestion that would stop a large part of the outcry against them.  I believe that most objections coming from women probably do involve modesty or panic based on bad incidents with males.  Such being the case, inspection by female employees of the TSA should work in almost all cases.  Objections to patdowns coming from men are based in an overwhelming number of cases on homophobia:

      is not the case for many passengers. Like the man whose urostomy bag was detached by TSA by careless and rough patting. I am jhust waiting for the TSA agent who pulls out an insulin pump tubing insertion from the abdomen or backside of a insulin pump user. This is serious shit and TSA isn't addressing this!

      Update Ca Schools Diabetes Lawsuit to be heard in Ca Supreme Court(unanimous decision) http://tiny.cc/zknbl

      by foggycity on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 10:22:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll skip the Calvin Kleins. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, Kitsap River, kurt, Tyrenon

    They'll get my hairy butt in all its natural glory.

    Agricultural hemp is "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs."

    by ben masel on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 08:58:38 AM PST

  •  Oh...I though this was a Senator Vitter Diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    Boy, was I mistaken!

  •  I won't fly into or out of the USA. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, JanetT in MD, kurt, Clio2

    I won't fly within the USA, either. I still deal with PTSD from being raped and I know there are triggers within me that haven't been found yet, so I cannot guard against them. The only way I can keep myself safe is not to fly within the U.S. If someone I don't know touches my vagina, I will freak out, and it won't go away for me, not for years. For me, the pat-down is an unsafe situation.

    The scanner is likewise an unsafe situation. How much radiation am I getting if I go through it? How do I protect myself against a stranger seeing me naked? How do I protect my body against the radiation when I am immune compromised and more susceptible to cancer?

    The solution I've chosen is not to fly within the U.S., into it, or out of it. There are other ways to travel here.

    Vancouver, BC is not all that far away and probably much more friendly than any U.S. airport. Even if the invasive pat-downs and naked scanners haven't made it to Seattle yet (and I don't know that they haven't), it's worth going to BC if I am to fly internationally (except into or out of the U.S.) to send a message to all the U.S. airlines that there are some lines that shouldn't be crossed, and the TSA is crossing them.

    Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

    by Kitsap River on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:09:59 AM PST

    •  Kitsap, I am so sorry your having (0+ / 0-)

      to readdress painful issues due to the stupidity of the TSA.

      Seems to me they could shorten the lines for everyone if gov't employees with clearances were exempt from this as they have all their info on file. Seems ridiculous to have someone take off their shoes for inspection while they have access to information that must be protected at all costs.

      Update Ca Schools Diabetes Lawsuit to be heard in Ca Supreme Court(unanimous decision) http://tiny.cc/zknbl

      by foggycity on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 10:29:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  pat downs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    Hell, Don't wear any underwear.  There's no law says you have to.  If they want to check my privates, they can do so in all their glory.

  •  I can't understand why (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, kurt

    TSA always seems to pick on people with physical abnormalities. It seems disciminatory. Not to mention creepy.

    There are so many accounts from people who have knee or hip replacements who are required to go the full monty in spite of being willing to show their leg scar plus a medical ID card or doctor's letter. What is the point of groping such persons up to the wazoo with greater frequency than the general population? If there's a worry they are carrying other metal, what's wrong with a wand scan?

    I did see one comment (sorry not to have kept the reference) from one gentleman who wore a kilt. He said the male screener was nonplussed and had to ask for instructions from a female screener about what to do when a traveler is wearing a skirt. After hearing the explanation, reportedly he simply waved the kilt-wearer through.

    A number of people have mused about stripping off off or dropping trou, but I haven't seen any reports from anyone who actually did it. Good luck!

  •  Go to a medical supply store and see if you (0+ / 0-)

    can get a patient gown, or a paper cover(gown) used by hospital staff. Underneath wear a g string, carry your underwire bra on a small poleand clothing in a clear plastic bag.

    Update Ca Schools Diabetes Lawsuit to be heard in Ca Supreme Court(unanimous decision) http://tiny.cc/zknbl

    by foggycity on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 10:15:15 AM PST

  •  When I go through the screening (0+ / 0-)

    I'm just going to make sure that I'm aroused as possible.  

    Let's see if they pat me down then.

    "Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what."

    by peacemaker33 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 11:11:59 AM PST

  •  They will make you put on some more clothes so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman

    they can grope you. It had been tried. How many times does it have to be said? This is not about security. This is about big money for naked scanners.

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