Just returned from being out of town since the 3rd at my daughter summa cum laude graduation (proud of her? me? you betcha). It was a pretty pleasant experience but for the return flight home and an unfortunate encounter with TSA.
I spent the evening last night and most of today contemplating the matter and trying to decide what to do about it. Part of me is so angry that I want to just shred something and the other part? Well, it acknowledges that this pitiful state of affairs wherein citizens are routinely being intimidated, humiliated, harassed, and manhandled is only possible because the airlines permit it, the “leaders” push it, and frankly, “the people” allow it.
Yes, I now include myself in that number, but only because it was made very apparent to me that it has come rather directly and badly to “take it or take off” (I suppose I should say “don’t take off”, shouldn’t I?).
Under the gun to get home in time for work today, faced with a pack of uniformed personnel all too happy to oblige should it come to force, and without any recourse other than be stuck without transport or let them stick it to me, I too, endured the humiliation, experienced the invasion, and felt the powerlessness, and have alternated between frustrated anger and a very real sense of betrayal that this manner of intrusive, invasive, and intentional domineering of citizens occurs.
It has settled one thing, however, I simply will not be using air transport so long as the TSA is allowed to browbeat and intimidate and harass innocent citizens. For the “high crime” of having a metal hook and eye and a few rhinestones on my slacks, I was publicly humiliated, groped in ways and in places that any other stranger undertaking them would now be sitting in a jail cell under assault charges for engaging, and, at no time did my explanations (as mentioned above) nor the actual evidence of the human eye (or common sense) have sway.
I won’t bother laying out the full details; there are plenty of them in the news and I do not care to be any further intruded upon (particularly not in the manner in which what passes for “news” today tends to do so).
Nor shall I bother laying out “the case” against the TSA (though I will link to those that have been set forth by others); primarily because it becomes obvious in what discussions I’ve had the last day and a half that the average person is of that “if you have nothing to hide, why does it matter” mentality, but also because it long ago became patently obvious that the American populace, at large, is far too preferentially biased for convenience to actively pursue anything that upsets access to it.
Suffice to say that, as an American citizen, an innocent and utterly harmless consumer of transportation services, and as a female, the experience has so greatly upset me that not only will I no longer subject myself to it in any way, I am actually still having difficulty with the aftermath of it. (And if you know me, then you know that this is saying something, indeed.)
I can say with no hesitation that I have never endured so frightful and deliberate an invasion of my person, my privacy, nor such abrogation of my civil liberties by an agency purportedly in place to “protect me”; it is absolutely unconscionable, excessive to the point of the ludicrous, and I refuse to as much as present myself at any location at which this manner of harassment is not only permitted, but actively supported.
What I WILL be doing, however, is getting in touch with EPIC, apprising them of my experience, and seeking to either be added to their suit or to discover ways to assist them in any way possible.