31 December 2009

Terrorism and Saline Beach: A plan for the New Year

Terrorism is no joking matter. But still... .

I alternately chuckle and fume over the airline security body scan controversy: A terrorist almost blows up a U.S. airplane with 289 men, women, and children aboard, and the ACLU insists that body scans that might have prevented him from getting aboard are an invasion of privacy. Some knuckleheads (a majority, yet) of the House of Representatives agree. Ignored are the facts that the face of the scannee is obscured, and the "voyeur" scan operator cannot even see the traveler. So what's the beef? An anonymous TSA employee is going to learn I have a penis? Are we afraid that teenage boys will abandon their explicit Playboy magazines, find a way to hack into the TSA's scanning software, and spend their days and nights ogling chalky breasts passing through JFK? The ACLU argues TSA should give people with colostomy bags and penile implants the option of a pat-down. Anybody who thinks that is less invasive than the electronic scan has never been patted down properly. The Nigerian terrorist had the explosive powder under his testicles. Think a TSA guy is going to go there? Or the TSA woman is going to make a thorough "feel" of the analogous area on female passengers? Or check the contents of a colostomy bag? Get real. Wanna know what a real pat-down is like? Travel to Israel on El Al. A guy with hands the size of catcher's mitts checks every freckle. Privacy? Hah.

But for those people who still feel strongly about the issue, I offer four possible solutions:

1. All adults who contemplate air travel must first spend six months of basic training in the United States Army at the old WWII barracks at Fort Dix, NJ. The "latrine" was one large room. Shower heads coming out of the wall at one end, then a row of unpartitioned toilets opposite a row of wash sinks. By the third week, all notions of privacy were permanently altered. It is a life-changing experience. (And that is but one of the many unsung advantages to universal military service.)

2. Properly train the TSA pat-downers, and then create an airline trial period: one out of every three flights on a particular route will have no electronic tushie-scans. Travelers so inclined can choose those less secure flights. Let's see how many ACLUers and whackadoodle congress persons choose the less secure, more invasive pat-down alternative. It will take only a short while before the less secure flights are eliminated from the schedule because no sentient person would fly on them.

3. Forget mandatory health insurance: Congress should require all citizens to go to the gym every day, and abide by a rigid calorie-restrictive diet. In six months all the women will have bodies like Uma Thurman and men will have pecs and abs like the guy who plays the werewolf in New Moon, and everybody will be proud to parade around LaGuardia airport naked.

4. The Saline Beach option: All travelers must undergo an orientation period of two weeks sitting on Saline Beach in St. Barths. Trust me, there are no hidden weapons or explosives on the bodies of the local denizens. I have made observations. All clear. What's more, even those of us who keep our bathing suits on become less certain that a lightning bolt will strike us down if someone sees our behinds: Just watching the naked kids and their parents play on the beach is a permanent cure for the obsessive American need to protect against someone getting a glimpse of our not-so-private parts.

Duh, I know that options 1, 2, and 3 are impracticable.

So come on down!

A happy and healthy New Year to all.

A bientot.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home