Constitution 101

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Cartoon Peril, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Somebody posted something recently on this site that the images generated by the Chertoffomizer "aren't sexy" and that Transportation Security Officers don't enjoy groping passengers.

    I have seen this type of argument before, it is basically that the average person isn't very attractive when viewed naked, and therefore they've no business being offended by being scoped or groped by a dope. The most ludicrous version of this was put out by Susan Estrich, campaign manager for Michael Dukakis (remember him?) in 1988, and currently an alleged law professor, where she wrote:

    What this amounts to is an argument that only attractive people have rights not to be strip-searched or groped by TSA. It's like arguing that search warrants are only required for mansions. I don't accept that and I don't see why anyone would. Most people are blessed with youth and vigor at some point; the inevitable loss of it as the sands run through the hourglass does not forfeit the protections of the Constitution. So please, let us not hear about how unattractive we are to the Transportation Security Officer.
  2. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Bravo, CartoonPeril. That comment by Estrich is obnoxious.
  3. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    The whole article is quite wretched, basically blames the passengers for being "modest". Again this is the same thing I blogged about earlier, the blaming of the passengers and their Puritan ways, as if it's now customary to jam your hands up someone's skirt. (Oh you crazy kids!) Estrich, who I suppose is a feminist, appears to believe that a woman who (in her opinion) dresses like a tramp thereby loses her right to control when and where she can be touched by TSA.
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  4. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    agree. It's totally non sequitur. The issue is not whether the TSO clerk want to see you naked or gets hot or not from seeing you naked. It's that he has no RIGHT to see you naked and doing by force and by duress is perpetrating a violence upon you. In a healthy America, this would have generated a 30 caliber response. We are sick, and so we put up with it.
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  5. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    The constitution guarantees the right, for example, to be secure in one's papers and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures. If I should write the worst novel in the world (worse even than anything by Harold Robbins), I may still object if the government should seize my manuscript without probable cause or a warrant.

    A constitution which only protects that which is attractive or beautiful, or the product of wealth, is no constitution at all.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  6. Yeah, you make good points about how stupid this argument is. And what about the dignity of all these unattractive, flabby people? They're not supposed to have any feelings about being seen naked because they aren't hot? Makes no sense. And I still don't buy that it's impossible that the perv in the booth isn't getting off on the images. It all depends on the individual perv, and we the traveling public have no way to verify his or her particular proclivities.
  7. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    Sorry, I don't follow your cartoon logic on this.

    My comment was aimed at those who think that TSOs get any sort of sexual pleasure from looking at AIT images. Let me assure you, there is absolutely nothing attractive or sensual about those images.

    I guess you'll put whatever spin you want on this to boost your argument and try to disguise it as intelligent discussion. And that's certainly your right. Too bad you're not interested in opposing views.
  8. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Ah, my friend, you and "Professor" Estrich seem to believe it matters whether somebody is getting off on the images, and I accept your representation that no one enjoys the images in strictly sexual way. However in the broader sense I believe that officers of the Transportation Security Administration enjoy asserting power over people. It is for this reason that the constitution places checks upon them, and the constitution protects all, even, or perhaps especially, the ugly and the misshapen among us.
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  9. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Philip Zimbardo. Stanford Prison Experiment.

    Stanley Milgram. Milgram Experiment.

    Solomon Asch. Asch Paradigm.

    That's all the TSA is. Living, breathing demonstrations of the results of these experiments.

    Bart can talk all he wants about safety, security, resolution of images, fuzzy outlines, training, attractive, unattractive, blah blah blah. None of it means anything except these two things: Power. Control.
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  10. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    TSA really does not get it. In the Savannah train incident, they separated people from their baggage coming OFF the train, forced them into the station, where the children were separated from their parents, and all were forced to remove their outer clothing and shoes and submit to a search by government agents.

    The cultural overtones of such a procedure should have been nakedly apparent to any officer participating. That they were not is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of that incident.
    JoeBas, barbell, Doober and 2 others like this.
  11. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Equally disturbing -- if predictable -- was the fact that people just blindly complied.

    "Oh! Authority figure! I must obey!"

    I know we're preaching to the choir at TUG; I can only hope hundreds of other people are not commenting but reading and absorbing, because my god, do we really have to spell out the historical parallels??
  12. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    This issue of compliance has come up before. I really don't see how they had any other choice. There were a lot of police, fully armed, and the people were separated from their property, including money, car keys, and even shoes. There was a clear show of force, one would have to have been willing to risk arrest or even a police beating to avoid the situation.

    Again, the unquestioning willingness of the police and TSA to do this to people getting OFF the train is very bad sign.
  13. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Evidence children were separated? The Savannah incident was bad enough as it was -- screening people & thier luggage as they arrived -- but to the best of my knowledge they did not separate anyone from family members. The video shows them being searched side by side. :td: Unnecessary exaggeration only helps the bad guys.
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  14. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    That's not how I read it at all. Estrich is saying the woman had it coming to her because of the way she was dressed. That she had no right to complain. Blaming the victim. A story as old as time, and all the more disgusting as told by a woman.
    How that gets turned into "only attractive people have rights" is mysterious to me, but utter nonsense.
    AngryMiller likes this.
  15. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    I agree with not exaggerating, as it is bad enough as it is. Reasonable people may differ, but for me, when I watched the video several times, it seemed clear to me that the mother had been ordered to have no contact with the children, for as the younger one was waiting, he edged over to the mother, who pushed him away back toward the other line. To my mind the only reasonable interpretation of this was that she had been commanded not to have any contact with the child, and, given the child's age, which was 8 or 9, this seemed to me to constitute separation of the mother from the child. And we have many other reports of similar instances, such as this one from
  16. It's hard to take your word for it when we hear about things like a Baywatch babe getting picked for the scanner because she "caught someone's eye" and, of course, the "Heads up, got a cutie for you" story. Look, you may be right, or you may be full of it, we on the internet have no way of knowing.
  17. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I think we have every way of knowing. The evidence speaks for itself. And it speaks of abuse.
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  18. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Also the report from Nigeria a while back where the screener was assessing the women about to be scanned & then stepping into the peep-show booth for look-see.
  19. Well, I certainly find the stories of abuse far more credible and plausible than the kinds of things our resident screeners say. But I do try to maintain a healthy skepticism about stories I read on the internet, which is why I parsed my comment like that. But yes, you're right, the evidence overwhelmingly points to lies and abuse.
  20. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Look, given the way men are, they can manufacture something sexy. Imagination is a powerful thing, especially if you KNOW from your buddies via the headset that you're looking at a hottie.

    Besides, I recall that the "privacy filters" were not on the originally deployed equipment, but got installed later. Perhaps Bart could clue me in on that point, after he finishes xxxxx.

    [Coached by Mike to remove personal attack.]

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