stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
I am not really distressed that polls show roughly two-thirds of US citizens aren't particularly bothered by the new TSA procedures. I am distressed by the fact that many of those interviewed seem to regard any protest of the government's actions as borderline treason, or perhaps just wimpishness. Folks, if a third of the population objects to something, maybe you should take a closer look.

Even if you're willing to "put up with it" why won't you protest on behalf of those being victimized by this system?

A good example:

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/11/24/menstruating-woman-s.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+boingboing%2FiBag+%28Boing+Boing%29

You don't even have to object to the potential radiation hazard; just be a menstruating woman, or a man with a bladder problem. However, there is plenty about these scanners which is objectionable. The X-ray machines are not certified, in violation of federal regulations. The people running them are not certified X-ray technicians, as require by federal regulation. The TSA is violating the laws of the United States on multiple counts with these devices. Since they dump their entire energy into a shallow layer of skin, there is a significant melanoma risk. This has been testified by experts in the medical effects of radiation. This is why pilots and flight attendants are allowed to bypass the machines. A single X-ray photon in the right place can turn a cell cancerous.

I have read that the TSA is preventing the people who run the machines from wearing film-strip badges to measure their own X-ray exposure, even when they buy their own.

Worst of all, security experts say none of this significantly improves airline security. Terrorists have already used bomb-smuggling methods which neither the scanners nor the fondling will detect.

The TSA is one of the youngest federal agencies, but they have already become a mindless bureaucracy whose primary purpose is increasing their budget and their authority. They consider "it's policy" to be sufficient justification for any act, and any criticism to be an attack, to be responded to in force.
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
I have attended every US WorldCon since IguanaCon. However, if the TSA isn't reined in I will skip next year's despite already having an attending membership. I had enough trouble flying to the NASFiC this year (and Denvention two years ago). I have repeatedly been singled-out, most likely because I'm a male traveling alone with lots of camera gear and a computer. (People have actually been arrested in the US for this, so I guess I'm lucky.)

It's not just that the TSA's methodologies are flawed and intrusive. The worst part is that they have that "we're feds; you're nothing" attitude. Any complaints are dismissed out of hand, no matter from whom. In an interview on NPR recently, when the head of the TSA was told that world-class experts on the medical effects of radiation had warned against using the new scanners in peer-reviewed reports, he sniffed and said, approximately, "*I'm* not aware of them."

I wonder if _he_ goes through those scanners? Even airline pilots are protesting them.

What happened to the plan, several years ago, to have people pre-approved and given special cards which let them skip the worst of airport security?

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