Karoli, Terror and the TSA: Not the Same

by francine Hardaway on November 28, 2010

Sunday morning, 6 AM. I awake to find my friend Karoli‘s post in her fine personal blog Drums and Whistles. I have been reading this blog for three years. Karoli, whom I met on Twitter, has become a close friend. I follow her daughter’s Irish dance career, and her son’s serious illness. Her experience being laid off and losing her health insurance. She has stayed in my home.

So when I miss a chance to defend her from something that obviously has hurt her, I feel bad. I knew something was going on about the TSA on Twitter, but it seemed silly and trivial to me, so I stayed out of it.

I am sorry, friend; reading your post this morning made me feel like I should have weighed in earlier and heavier.

But here it is: I am 69 and four years ago I had a hip replacement, which means I get re-screened every time I fly, and in every country. Since my hip replacement I have been to Jamaica, Malaysia, Thailand, China several times, Singapore and Korea. I have been patted and wanded everywhere.

I also travel about once every two weeks in the US. I first received the enhanced patdowns in Phoenix before they were rolled out nationwide. The first person to give me one didn’t even warn me, and I naturally had questions when she put her hands up my thighs,

However, she explained this was the new procedure, and sure enough, when I got to SFO the next trip, it was done to me again.

I had forgotten about it until i started reading the fights in the media. I just accepted it and moved on. But now I have to say something:

1) you can’t speak about this unless you have experienced it
2) you probably won’t unless you have metal on you
3) it doesn’t make us safer
4) it probably IS, like everything else, a marketing scheme for Rapiscan or whoever makes the machines
5) it is definitely a way to fight the last war
6) BUT: if the government did nothing, we’d be even more irritated
7) since 9/11 our country lives in fear and has lost its mojo
8) we are electing fear-driven representatives a decade after 9/11
9) most countries live with far more terrorism
10) terrorism is in our minds and until we get rid of it, we have no business talking about 4th Amendment freedoms, or any freedoms for that matter

In a week, we will be off this canard and on to something equally trivial. Fine. Be whoever you want to be. But don’t take a smart, complex thinker like Karoli down with your oversimplified fearful rants. Look inside first. Do you really want the government out of your life? I bet you don’t.

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