Amy's Humble Musings

Life in rough draft — by Amy Scott.

My experience with the TSA naked body scanners, part 2

with 55 comments

For context, part one is here.

The thing about 9/11 is that it basically ruined it for the old-fashioned hijackers. Remember those guys from Liberia (or some such country over there) who would hijack a plane, land it in Cuba, and demand a one million dollar ransom? (If only they waited, they could’ve skipped the FBI hassle and went on a reality TV show to win their million.)

Over. That gig is up. The lesson the world learned from 9/11 is that if you hijack a plane, everyone in the exit row will jump your butt, put you in a choke-hold, and kill you by stuffing peanut packages down your airway. I bet there are no 70 virgins for that.

I can’t help but imagine there are a group of guys with turbans in a middle eastern cave watching CNN news on a Chinese TV with tinfoil antennas and laughing themselves silly.

You can not take 4 ounces of shaving cream on an airplane, but you can take two 32 ounce containers of kerosine just as long as it’s labeled “Saline Solution”. Ahem.

After my last post of tongue-in-cheek TSA snark, I’m surprised about the lack of much push back on my blog or on Facebook. It could be that everyone I know has a life. True, true. I know that when I disagree with someone online, I don’t necessarily take time out of my day to tell them so.

But if the number of people going through naked body scanners vs. the number of people opting out –which on the day that I witnessed, was precisely ZERO– is any indication of the outrage, I don’t get it.

And perhaps I’m preaching to the choir (a very small choir or maybe an ensemble). But the longer I sit here and stew about the three TSA agents, who are paid for with my tax dollars, hovered over some lady that plays the piano and writes some cheeseball blog instead of the guy flying into the country without a passort, giving me the impression that (1) I was stupid for asking questions, (2) they had some sort of authority that wasn’t a farce, and (3) made me feel “bad” for noncompliance, mocking me for not “knowing better” –the more I think we are past the point of no return.

The fourth amendment is “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

If it does not apply here, then where? Where and when does it apply? I can not find the asterick and footnote.

When I unboarded the plane in Louisville, a group of police officers were waiting in the terminal. My first thought was not, “Hmm. I wonder what they’re here for,” but rather, “Oh my gosh. The government reads my blog and I am so toast.” Greg thought so too, and so he pretended like he didn’t know me.

From my perspective, as a woman, I believe that if I have committed no crime, given no cause for search or seizure, then I have the right to maintain the privacy of ….say, my menstrual cycle. If you are a menstruating woman and walk through the naked scanner, the TSA goon squad, those people with permanent Bad Mood Disorder, know.

As a woman, a very private woman, I choose to share my body with two people: my husband and my doctor. When I visit my doctor, it is only because I have gotten recommendations, talked with him in his office before I let him touch me so that I can be sure he is neither a pervert nor stupid, and then I pay him money on my own volition to screen me for cancer. It is my choice.

What the government does with these new invasive procedures is give us a Sophie’s Choice, that is, an impossible one. Comply with nude screening or lose your job (in my husband’s case).

Rights are not given to us by the state but by God. The Constitution recognizes this. Were rights given to us by the state, then the state would also have the right to take them away.

So as citizens of this country, I wonder then, don’t we have the choice, no, the obligation to resist in every possible way when the state overreaches its power? If we don’t resist, then we concede this power to the state and we de facto recognize the state as the Giver of Rights? Is that what we’re doing when we comply?

Forgive me for a minute, but I am feeling patriotic. Would the men and women who have given their lives in service of our country, defending our Constitution, consider our letter writing, our blogging, our “opting out”, or maybe even an $11,000 fine and a night in jail too great a sacrifice?

Someone wrote, “If these measures prevent one plane from going down, it will all be worth it.”

Not to me. Not to me.

We can not have a temporary perspective on this. It is too short-sighted, too weak, too unAmerican to cede our Constitution because of some Uzi toting cave man with no running water in the Middle East want to put a homemade bomb in their underwear.

I asked my husband yesterday, “If this were about safety, then why has the government refused to close our borders?” Couldn’t some terrorist walk over the Mexican border, maybe even choosing the safe part for terrorists– the part on American soil where the feds told us Americans not to go because it was too dangerous because of the cartels? I am simple like that.

“Shut up. That would make sense. Oh just stop,” he answered.

The lives of countless American citizens were given over the past few hundred years just for this. They died so that we could have our Constitution and our 4th amendment. We dishonor their sacrifice with our fear.

The other teensy-weensy problem is that our Constitution already defines who we are supposed to be. If liberals and fake conservatives want to insist everyone be pumped with carcinogenic radiation before you travel, then you should probably look at setting camp some place where you can make those rules. Maybe Antarctica will carve off an island for you. Or save the trouble of finding an icepick (they might be dangerous) and move to North Korea.

Nobody has to take our freedom away, we just keep giving it. The people who died in defense of all of that would be ashamed.

It was Benjamin Franklin who wrote, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Written by Amy Scott

December 4th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

55 Responses to 'My experience with the TSA naked body scanners, part 2'

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  1. Could not agree more. :)

    What are your thoughts on kids and scanners vs pat downs?


    4 Dec 10 at

  2. Maybe you are preaching to the choir, but I can’t understand why any reasonable person would disagree with you. Fortunately I haven’t had to fly in the past couple of years. Hoping enough people make enough of a stink about these violations of liberty that by the time I do fly, things have changed. People, don’t let yourselves be herded and manipulated like cattle! or sheep.


    4 Dec 10 at

  3. Very well said! I couldn’t agree with you more!

    I can remember leaning toward the supposed safety of the Patriot Act when it first came out, but a friend asked, among other things, at what cost was my safety worth.

    It’s not about safety. It’s about control. If they wanted us to be safe, they would use sense and stop worrying about the feelings of people who fit certain profiles.

    Thanks for saying something. We can’t just sit here in silence while they shred our constitution.

    Great posts!


    4 Dec 10 at

  4. Once again, I do not believe the ultimate issue here is “safety”. I believe it is about CONTROL. And the government, by nature, will continue to chip away at our freedoms until we say, “STOP!”

    I Live in an Antbed

    4 Dec 10 at

  5. I keep thinking where is the outrage? Why isn’t EVERYONE complaining about this nonsense? Then I see the people being interviewed in the airport spouting the same drivel you mentioned about “safety”. When have middle aged women and grandmas flown planes into buildings?

    My only conclusion is that the masses have been very effectively indoctrinated in the gov’t schools. We have created mindless drones. Very scary indeed.


    4 Dec 10 at

  6. Love Greg’s response: “Shut up. That would make sense.” I used to think it was just a lack of common sense, but now I’m leaning towards the it-must-be-deliberate explanation. Deliberately taking away our rights under the guise of “safety.” And I hate to say it, but I do think we’re past the point of no return.

    I’m pretty sure I told you before about my experience nine years ago flying with my 5 month old baby, who was stopped by airport personnel and had to be removed from her infant seat for a full security check. She was sleeping, but of course that could have been a clever ploy on her part. So she had to be rudely awakened in order to satisfy our country’s facade of national security. I haven’t flown since.

    emily hope

    4 Dec 10 at

  7. I read both your articles about the TSA perverts & I agree with you! :) I have stopped flying for that very reason – I don’t feel like being molested. Why, all of a sudden, is being molested socially acceptable!?


    4 Dec 10 at

  8. THANK YOU! I keep wondering the same thing, and am amazed at the tendency of people to, as my husband implores in my ear on our approach to ‘security’~ “Just don’t make any waves. Just go along.” I am MORTIFIED and overcome with sadness, as I imagine Germans saying the exact same thing as they watched neighbors and friends taken by force away, like cattle led to slaughter. “Don’t make any waves”???? SERIOUSLY???! If not now…WHEN?
    Trust me…I am not above creating a few waves. We all better be, as the words, “history repeats itself” whispers in my heart. God help us!

    Jan Knox

    4 Dec 10 at

  9. Amen, amen and amen. Might I also add a hearty AMEN!

    Lady Why

    4 Dec 10 at

  10. I couldn’t agree with all of this more. It’s a flipping charade. Especially the part about how they don’t actually CHECK to see what is IN the contents of your 3 ounce travel size bottles. Get together your whole “soccer team” and each of you brings six 3-ounce bottles of two- or three-part mixable explosives and you have quite a quanitity.

    Jimmy Cracked Corn

    4 Dec 10 at

  11. I fully agree with all you have said. I don’t fly, but I’m afraid, if I did, I would meekly stand in front of the scanner. Don’t know what it would do to my insulin pump. I really feel these policies will not be long in effect, too many are too outraged. Vote the bums out!


    4 Dec 10 at

  12. Mindless drone checking in here.

    Everybody prepare to shake your heads and roll your eyes at how indoctrinated I am, please. In absolute honesty, I think you’re all misreading the 4th amendment. While not thrilled at the TSA security measures, I get that this plane? Doesn’t belong to me. What happens on it? Not in my control. Heck, if the stupid TSA measures make just the pilots feel a teensy bit better about toting me about the “friendly” skies, then I’m all for it. Would these measures have found boxcutters 9 years ago? Sure would have. So maybe the pilot doesn’t want his throat cut, maybe the flight attendant wants to live to see her kid graduate from college. Maybe I want that psychological security that my children are safe (even if that’s all these provide, and I disagree with that [since when is the Internet a *reliable* source of information])? In any case, it IS worth it to me. And maybe it’s worth it to all us other mindless drones.

    I’ll go back to my indoctrination now. (All snark aside, Amy, I really do enjoy your blog. Just disagreeing with you here.)


    4 Dec 10 at

  13. Kind of New to the blog….I thought maybe you only wrote about dying farm animals which I enjoyed! Do you have a biblical standpoint in being so passionate about the influence of government on the citizen. Do you believe ALL authorities were placed by God? I understand we have rights and as a Christian I wouldn’t want some of those taken away but do you believe that in trying to be bold and speak out for our rights that we should be compliant to rules and have a heart/attitude that is loving towards others who enforcing rules passed down from the government.


    4 Dec 10 at

  14. Keep beating the drum Amy! This issue raises my blood pressure, so much so I wrote to four Congressman citing my concerns about the tyranny of TSA. The three who responded, U.S. Senators Mark Warner, Jim Webb and U.S. Representative Eric Cantor, all gave some version of the same line, saying we need to find a “balance” between safety and privacy. (Must be talking points from some handout or something.) Wasn’t that “balance” all worked out in our Constitution already?

    Amy Long

    4 Dec 10 at

  15. Amy, keep beating the drum on this for all of us out here who agree with you. I’m glad I’m not the only one whose blood pressure rises over TSA tyranny. I wrote to 4 Congressmen, something I rarely do. In the 3 responses I have gotten back (from U.S. Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner and U.S. Representative Eric Canter) they all used a phrase about striking a “balance” between safety and privacy. (Is that from a talking points handout or something?) Wasn’t that “balance” all worked out already in our Constitution?

    Amy Long

    4 Dec 10 at

  16. “The lives of countless American citizens were given over the past few hundred years just for this. They died so that we could have our Constitution and our 4th amendment. We dishonor their sacrifice with our fear.”



    5 Dec 10 at

  17. Becky, regarding life as a mindless drone:

    The flight crews are NOT happy about this. They’re getting the same treatment as everyone else. If we want to apply this logic consistently, then our children should be groped or mini-nuked every day before they get onto the bus before and after school. At least then we’ll know they’re safe!

    Someone blew up a train in London. Everyone here should be groped or mini-nuked before they get onto the subway. It’s for safety!

    Part of the problem here is the hysteria in the name of safety. As I said earlier, this is not about safety, it’s about control.


    5 Dec 10 at

  18. I agree with you…………..and I hope you don’t need to fly again, anytime soon, as you’re probably on some “watch list” yourself now!!


    5 Dec 10 at

  19. I have been so outraged by this and was beginning to think I was the only one! How can anyone think it is OK to let the government take naked pictures of them or grope their private areas just so they can get on a plane? If a woman opts out and is menstuating and they feel a sanitary pad what will they do then, make her PROVE it? Think about that senario with your 13 yr old daughter. What about those who were sexually molested in the past? This is soooo emotionally and psychologically traumatic! But has anyone thought of that? The randomness of it is really what gets me. They have NO cause to suspect me, no justification to search. We are going down a slippery slope people. What’s next? Searches before entering the mall? Taking the city bus? Random houses being searched? The birth pains have begun and we don’t even care.


    5 Dec 10 at

  20. Franklin also made a comment about giving us a republic… if we could keep it. He probably never dreamed we would give it away on purpose. Silly Old Ben.

    IF… if… if… the government really put these measures in place to protect us, they would be scanning and patting down EVERYONE – not just a select few grandmothers and suspicious looking 4 year old boys who might be carrying toy guns.

    I agree with Becky (the self proclaimed mindless drone) that I would like to feel safer if/when I fly. Unfortunately these new “safety measures” aren’t going to make things any safer. Period. They are a 4th amendment, right stealing circus for the masses.

    My husband’s answer: just before boarding, hand every passenger over 21 a loaded hand gun. Watch air terrorism become non-existent.


    5 Dec 10 at

  21. I think you need to get Greg one of these:

    or these

    I agree with everything you’ve said. I’ve asked Ron Paul (via FB, which I’m sure he’s seen… ahem) how this is all legal. Honestly, I don’t get that.

    I wish I could afford to fly so I could refuse both and sit down and protest. I wish we could organized a nationwide sit down demonstration even every major airport on the same day. Just put everything to a screeching halt. I wish…

    Grateful for Grace

    5 Dec 10 at

  22. Totally agree, Amy. There is no way we will ever be able to screen for every conceivable risk. Enough shoestrings on a plane could be a problem in trained hands. But screening for people who might pose a risk…well, gee, I guess *that* might infringe on someone’s rights.

    Shannon Miller

    5 Dec 10 at

  23. Forgot to say that I *do* think it’s too late. I think America has permanantly changed and our freedoms are being laid down in naivaity. I agree that the men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms would be ashamed of our country. And very, very sad.

    Watching Ron Paul speak out as the only Congressman doing so… that shouts volumes to me. As Congress just sits there… As the president just sits there…

    I fluctuate between being very angry and very sad.

    Grateful for Grace

    5 Dec 10 at

  24. What I do agree with is your right to decide for yourself which option to choose. Get it?–you’re being offered options, you’re not being forced to undergo a full “nude” body scan. (And are you such a prude that you care what an unseen person thinks who will never connect you to what they’re seeing on the screen?)
    Based on your implications, I suppose you would consider me a “fake” conservative. Well, I consider myself a thinking conservative who does not accept the “party line” on anything, but who carefully considers both sides of an argument. I do not vote a straight party ticket for that very reason. And while I neither fully support nor vilify our government, those who consider themselves “true” conservatives have a marked tendency to decry any attempt by the feds to make our country more secure.

    Close our borders? Sounds nice, but that would inhibit us from being the great country that our Constitution sought to create and uphold.

    Jen Loren

    5 Dec 10 at

  25. Two words for TSA: Todd Beamer. A man who did not sit down and do what he was told, along with a handful of other brave Americans, kept United 93 from making it to its target. TSA and Homeland Security are breeding and cultivating the same passive, “don’t think and let the government handle it” mentality that made us so vulnerable pre-9/11. If that makes you feel secure, then ignorance is bliss.

    What do pilots want? (I am one…let me tell you) Secure cockpits, their own guns, and 155 Todd Beamers in coach and 1st class.

    Fake conservative, fake liberal? I won’t label you if you don’t label me. But what do you want to conserve, and what do you want to change? If you want to conserve the current status quo, the over-reaching, invasive government, the erosion of our freedom and morality..then you may be a socialist, a fool or in power. If you want to change the foundations of our republic and the meaning of our constitution, then you too may be a fool, and one who will be soon parted with his freedom.
    If, however, you want to conserve the Constitution we have been blessed with, you and I will have to stand up for a change in the way our government is doing business.

    Prude? I think not. It should get our attention when, in a YouTube society with lax standards of modesty, even secular sources are outraged about the invasiveness of the scanners.

    Would the Holocaust have been not so bad if you got to choose? Gas or oven? That’s freedom!

    How does securing our borders go against the Constitution? The problem with the Berlin Wall was that it kept people IN, if I recall.

    So what to do? It is easy for me to say, “Yeah, Greg, opt out AND refuse the unwarranted search and molestation” since my job isn’t on the line and my family won’t have a dad in jail. It is difficult, however, to offer any other advice without a wrestling match with my conscience.
    We have a certain responsibility to speak the truth and stand for what is right. This may not, however, be the hill to die on, given that-sadly- the masses mostly don’t care.

    But hear me well- it is not enough to avoid trouble, and hope it stays far away, for trouble will come to find you. If you cannot travel freely, how long before they search you at the store? At the gas station? On the way to church? It may not be worth it to get arrested for the scanner, but if they keep on going, and keep on going, it will be worth it to get arrested to keep them from taking my children, but by then it may be to no avail.


    5 Dec 10 at

  26. I really appreciate you sharing your experiences and thoughts. I’m opting out of flying completely for now.

    My concern with profiling is that *what* is looked for, the standards or issues sought, during profiling easily changes with whom is in power and what has been defined as “evil.” As we see less and less salt-and-light effect from the Church and dwindling general Judeo-Christian societal influences, I do become concerned with where even profiling could be turned against us.

    Elise Grete

    6 Dec 10 at

  27. Amy, I was in agreement (I can’t say total) with what you have said. Having flown to and from Israel (after being in the West Bank), nothing surprises me or bothers me too much. I was frisked and my passport was taken until I boarded the plane. In the meantime, in a 12 hour wait at the airport, we were evacuated 10 times. However, while I was getting ready for work this morning, I started thinking about my three children flying all over the world this summer on mission trips WITHOUT ME. Do I want every measure of safety (or control) put in place when they fly? You betcha! It’s one thing when it concerns me and totally another when it concerns my kids. I know I am taking the sovereignty of God out of the equation…

    Beth Kostner

    6 Dec 10 at

  28. COULD NOT AGREE MORE!!!! If we ever had $ to fly anywhere I might be more outraged. As it stands, I think I’ve flown twice in 10 years so….

    But we should not stand by and watch our rights be eroded bit by bit. This is a huge deal and I think it is only going to get worse.


    6 Dec 10 at


    Last night, I read this particular link in your margin. My blood has been boiling since. As my husband says in referring to the craziness …”Peace and safety, peace and safety.”
    I Thes. 5:3
    This quote also comes to mind:
    The average man does not want to be free.
    He simply wants to be safe.
    H.L. Hencken

    I say it’s just a matter of time until they’re encouraging microchip implantation in the population to ensure safety for all. Sound a little extreme? Well, referring back to the above link, ten years ago I wouldnt’ have believed we would give our consent to strangers to touch our kiddos private parts!
    II Chron. 7:14 also comes to mind.


    6 Dec 10 at

  30. Amy, I agree in theory with what you have said. I don’t fly, but if I did, I would probably stand meekly in front of the scanner. Don’t know what it would do to my insulin pump or what they would do about it. They would probably not understand that it is not some new kind of explosive! I really believe that these measures will not be in place very long. Too many people are too outraged.

    Carolyn Plemmons

    6 Dec 10 at

  31. [...] My experience with the TSA naked body scanners, part 2 [...]

  32. Amy,
    Last summer I was flying back home to lovely south Florida from Phoenix with my 3 children. Right before I was to go through security my dh phoned and told me about these new scanners that take naked pictures of you. He told me not to go through them, or let the kids go through them. He said they were optional. So while in line there was a person there telling us all about the scanners, and how they were not at all doing what the media was telling us. They were safe and private. Yeah right. So when I got to the front of the line I naively told the nice young lady that I didn’t want to go through the new scanner. I, and my children, were immediately pulled out for a pat-down. I didn’t expect this. Live and Learn. And while I was being frisked in plain public view I started to cry. Not because I felt humiliated (which I did) or because I was embarrassed (although I was) or even because my children were forced to witness all this; it was because no one did anything, or said anything. People just watched and did nothing-like it was no problem. I couldn’t, and still can’t believe the American Apathy. Listen! If we have no Constitution, we have no America.

    They are all profit motivated. I believe that it would only take a one week boycott. No flying for one week. And things would change at the airport.


    6 Dec 10 at

  33. gr8 post. Just a clarification: you mention a few times the “middle east” as a probable threat, supposing muslims from the arabian peninsula, I guess? Only 20% of muslims are from the middle east. If we really do face a threat from the muslim world, it is not the middle east with whom we must deal.


    6 Dec 10 at

  34. Let’s set aside the absurdity of the Franklin quote, one of the most bizarre remarks the genius from Pennsylvania ever said—the men and women of the military give up essential liberties, would Franklin say they deserve neither liberty nor safety?—and consider how it applies in this case. A hundred and twenty years ago airplanes didn’t even exist. Forty years ago, air travel was a luxury reserved for the wealthy. Would Franklin really consider the right to travel by air an “essential liberty?” Should any of us?

    That is, after all, what we are talking about—the liberty to use a particular form of transportation. No one is required to submit to the TSA’s scanners or pat-downs because almost no one is required to board an airplane against their will. While it may be an inconvenience there are alternate forms of travel. So for anyone that thinks their constitutional right to privacy is being violated by these new security measures, I have two words for you: Go Greyhound.


    6 Dec 10 at

  35. Daniel wrote:

    I have two words for you: Go Greyhound.

    TSA, Homeland Security & Tampa Police Set Up Checkpoints At Bus Stations

    Amy Scott

    6 Dec 10 at

  36. Amy,

    I’m sorry. Is that an argument of some kind? I fail to see the logic.


    6 Dec 10 at

  37. I have two words for you: Go Greyhound.

    Perfect! Which Greyhound route is the one that will take my 13 year-old daughter from the U.S. to Europe this summer? I want to be sure to reserve her seat well in advance.

    Thanks for the help!


    6 Dec 10 at

  38. Coming from one of those who has served in the military the last 26 years and is still serving – I am outraged at the blatant trashing of our Constitution in the name of “safety”.

    I have chosen to no longer fly even when on TDY unless it is absolutely necessary and then only under protest.

    I fear that the first time I have the “Sophies Choice” I may be in jail as they will not treat me like a terror suspect without probable cause.

    We should all remember the phrase “Live
    Free or die”.

    Terry T

    6 Dec 10 at

  39. threegirldad,

    Is your daughter’s European trip somehow a necessity? Should we just not check anyone or only the people you deem fit to be screened?

    Again, is there an argument here because I’ve yet to see one.

    Your daughter can always take a boat but she’ll still be subject to a search.


    6 Dec 10 at

  40. Terry T,

    Concern over the Constitution is not exclusive to those in the military so I’m confused as to why you need to inform us as to your service when trying to make your point. Should your view receive extra weight for some reason?

    Since all are searched you are, by definition, not being treated any differently than anyone else. And I don’t see any evidence to support a phrase such as “Live free or die.” That is pure nonsense. No one is free. It is an illusion. You, as a serviceperson, have given up certain rights and freedoms…should you then die? Per your reasoning it would seem so.


    6 Dec 10 at

  41. Daniel,

    I’m sure your kind is highly respected in the little seminary bubble you travel in at SBTS. Having spent significant time in seminary circles myself I know what that environment can be like and what it can do one’s sense of self importance and one’s estimation of one’s own superior logic and intellect.

    However, trolls are generally not welcome in most other circles you will find yourself in when you are done being a student. So, please, go away.

    Greg Scott


    6 Dec 10 at

  42. Greg,

    It’s cute that your knowledge of me is so in-depth without knowing anything about me other than my educational background. Is such insight a gift of the Holy Spirit or is this something cultivated only within yourself? Is this “seminary mindset” only applicable to people you disagree with? Are you somehow immune to this intellectual disease that you claim to be so familiar with?

    I’m sure in the “circles” that you claim to have knowledge of it is perfectly acceptable to attack the person all the while utterly refusing to engage the topic but here in the real world adults interact with one another’s ideas. We leave sniping for the children and actual trolls.

    So, Greg, once you are able to show respect to me and act like an adult I will be more than happy to continue this little talk. Until then, though, I appreciate your silence.


    6 Dec 10 at

  43. Would Franklin really consider the right to travel by air an “essential liberty?” Should any of us?

    The issue at hand is not any supposed “right to fly.” The issue is our Constitutional right not to be subjected to “unreasonable searches” per the Fourth Ammendment.

    Amy Long

    6 Dec 10 at

  44. Amy,

    You are the one that put forth the Franklin quote as part of your argument. I merely showed its irrationality and misuse.

    [Daniel, the Amy who engaged you above is not the blog owner. ~ Amy Scott]

    The Fourth Amendment applies ONLY to non-consensual searches. You give your consent when you enter the screening area.

    However it also only protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Who decides what is unreasonable? The courts. What have the courts said? They have ruled in favor of airport searches in the cases brought before them.


    6 Dec 10 at

  45. On the last post, Daniel wrote:

    “I wish you’d be honest Amy and not ground your argument in emotion, rhetoric, and ignorance of the Constitution you appeal to. But, then again, that may be too much to ask.”

    I ignored it because it was directed at me.

    But now I feel obligated to say something, to not leave the comment thread a gross place to be. The comment thread on my blog is not a ghetto. My blog is like my living room. We are all sitting around having a discussion–sometimes mutually affirming and sometimes spirited disagreement.

    But now you are being rude to the other people here. You just told the guy who pays the hosting fee, my husband, in the place were you were afforded the freedom of your opinion, to shut up.

    You, a child, just demanded that my gray-haired husband — [allow me, now}: an elder in the church, a rocket scientist by trade, and yes, a seminary graduate — to show respect to YOU and act like an adult while you show off your naked rear end without the help of a TSA scanner.

    Nerve, man, nerve.

    Amy Scott

    Amy Scott

    6 Dec 10 at

  46. Now back on topic.

    Just saw this tonight and thought everyone talking about the TSA here might enjoy this guy’s take:

    True Loyalty vs. TSA Treason

    December 6, 2010
    Billboard, Columns, Latest News & Quotes, Relevant Articles, TSA

    By Wesley Strackbein

    Face reality, good citizens. It’s not wise to question the tyranny behind the TSA’s groping of innocent travelers or gawking at your loved ones’ naked bodies. Never mind the Constitution; we must abridge your liberties in order to protect you from harm. Show loyalty to America—these new measures are for your good.

    We live in a world turned upside down. Our rights are being violated in the name of keeping us safe. And in this new Orwellian reality where civil liberties are being trampled on in the name of the Patriot Act, and loyalty to our country is being measured in terms of willing compliance with tyrants, we must wake from our confused stupor and look to the past.

    What Americans need to know is this: Our Founding Fathers decried these specious arguments and warned the citizenry not to fall prey to them.

    As England grew increasingly despotic toward Americans in the days leading up to 1776, liberty-minded patriots rose up in opposition to violations of their rights. Their response was not well-received by the King and Parliament who demanded slavish fealty to the British Crown. The patriots insisted on loyalty to the law instead. Boston patriot Sam Adams declared:

    True loyalty . . . cannot subsist in an arbitrary government, because it is founded in the love and possession of liberty. . . . it is the scourge of the griping oppressor and haughty invader of our liberties. . . . Whoever, therefore, insinuates notions of government contrary to the constitution, or in any degree winks at any measures to suppress or even weaken them, is not a loyal man. Whoever acquaints us that we have no right to examine into the conduct of those who, though they derive their power from us to serve the common interests, make use of it to impoverish or ruin us, is, in a degree, a rebel to the undoubted rights and liberties of the people.

    Adams’s point was clear: Fidelity to fundamental laws, not fealty to a despotic state, is what defines true loyalty, and anyone who seeks to subvert constitutional rights for some pretended greater good is a traitor. Those who would silence objections to tyranny are rebels. Those truly loyal to the Constitution must resist.

    James Otis, a fellow Boston patriot, agreed with Adams’ point. When Parliament issued the Writs of Assistance in 1760 which established general warrants which authorized customs officials to search for smuggled material within any American colonists’ premises—regardless of whether there was probable cause for wrongdoing or not—Otis objected, describing England’s policy as an “[instrument] of slavery on the one hand and villainy on the other. . . . It appears to me the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law that ever was found in an English law-book.”

    While Otis acknowledged in a five-hour speech that special search warrants were at times necessary to fight crime, he staunchly opposed general warrants that allowed for officers to indiscriminately search homes, stating: “the writ … being general, is illegal. It is a power that places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.”

    We must not equate lawless policies with liberty, Otis maintained, arguing that England’s formal policy to molest law-abiding colonists without just cause under the guise of nabbing traitors to the English Crown was an illegal act of villainy. His battle against the Writs of Assistance, in time, led to the establishment of the 4th Amendment to the Bill of Rights:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    The new search-anybody policy instituted by the TSA—apart from probable cause or even reasonable suspicion—is an old lawless ploy which directly violates Americans’ 4th Amendment right against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The disloyal Americans are those who condone and carry out this breach of liberty, not those who question it.

    The TSA’s policy to violate Americans’ 4th Amendment liberties has shown them to be petty tyrants. The TSA—and those who support their intrusive tactics—are rebels to the law and traitors to the Constitution.

    As freedom-loving Americans, what should our response be? According to Senator Jay Rockefeller, we must “face reality” and dutifully comply: “There really isn’t any choice. Others have learned how to live with this, and I think we can too.” Rockefeller, who chairs the Commerce Committee, stated these exact words in response to those who are outraged at the TSA’s invasive new measures.

    Rockefeller is wrong. If we acquiesce to traitors, we cease to be loyal Americans. Our 4th Amendment right to be “secure in [our] persons” is being egregiously violated by the TSA, and fealty to the Constitution, in Sam Adams’ words, requires that we be “the scourge of the … haughty invader of our liberties” by contending for our rights.

    This must be done prudently and lawfully, yet fight we must, lest our families be abused under the guise of safety and tyrants prevail.

    True loyalty requires nothing less.

    Amy Scott

    6 Dec 10 at

  47. Daniel,

    I’m so very sorry that you took what I wrote as an “attack.” Perhaps to get along as an adult in the real world one should develop significantly thicker skin.

    The only knowledge I claim to have of you is that you are a student at SBTS. Beyond that I couldn’t care less to venture. As for the rest of what I said, well, if the shoe fits and all that.

    Respect is something I will show no further than I already have in asking you, nicely, to go away, for that is the measure you deserve until you earn the right to more. Anyway, I don’t think anyone is just waiting for you to continue this “little talk.”

    Good bye.

    Greg Scott


    6 Dec 10 at

  48. Very well. It is apparent that any disagreement is considered a faux pas so I will acquiesce and take to my own “bubble.”

    I’ll send you a track back where you will be welcomed to disagree with my position. Mine is a blog where reason and logic prevail.

    Good day.


    6 Dec 10 at

  49. Daniel,

    No, my daughter’s trip to Europe is not somehow a necessity. Is that an argument of some kind? I fail to see the logic.

    Yes, my daughter can always take a boat. Of course, you know full well that, practically speaking, “Take a boat” is the same thing as, “Don’t go at all.” And Amy’s husband can always quit his job and get another one, all to allay your hysterical fears. I rather think not.

    I’ve been through Tel Aviv and Haifa airports multiple times. Israel’s screening procedures have this quaint little thing going for them that TSA can’t claim: track record. And they make TSA look laughable by comparison.

    Should we just not check anyone or only the people you deem fit to be screened?

    Nice try, but no dice. This is a debate over “how,” not “whether.”

    What makes the full-body scan and the pat-down examples of “reasonable search”? Oh, that’s right — my supposed “consent” that I’ve given by purchasing a ticket. Well, I give no such consent.

    Why should airport security policy in this country be driven by your irrational fears, anyway?

    Here’s what I say: this country should adopt a proven method such as the one used in Israel. We should return to some level of sanity in the screening procedures, such as what existed prior to 9/11. People like me should be able to actually enjoy the experience of going from the airport terminal parking lot to the the departure gate, as was once the case (well, ok, probably not so much for people like Amy’s husband).

    And if people like you don’t feel safe flying on a plane in that sort of “world,” well, you’re always free to choose another mode of transportation.

    It is apparent that any disagreement is considered a faux pas…

    No, not any disagreement…

    Mine is a blog where reason and logic prevail.

    Of course it is. Unlike this blog. [rolls eyes]


    6 Dec 10 at

  50. Apologies. I hadn’t refreshed the screen since earlier this evening, and didn’t notice the request to “cease and desist.”

    Feel free to delete my previous comment.


    6 Dec 10 at

  51. If I might add another angle here…

    My husband works for an airline. I completely agree with those choosing not to fly right now–my kids and I aren’t flying right now, even though it’s free for us. But that brings up one more way the government’s interference is hurting people. The airlines are just now getting their footing back since 9-11 and now will be taking a serious hit due to these security measures which are beyond their control. My husband’s job could be at stake too, Amy.

    This is not free enterprise! The companies (airlines) don’t want it, the customers (from what I’ve seen) don’t want it, and the inevitable boycott will hurt the industry and not touch the people who are really responsible. As many have already pointed out, why just an airplane, as opposed to the numerous other places where crowds gather? It seems our government is already seeking to fix this inconsistency by spreading the madness to other places like bus stops, and soon we will be viewed and groped wherever we go, in a country that is no longer free.

    Washington DC was attacked by terrorists too, so it makes sense to me that our government offices should be the next thing “secured” by the TSA. I have a feeling that would put a stop to this nonsense. Unfortunately, it will never happen.


    7 Dec 10 at

  52. Does anyone have any advice on how to appeal to have this changed? My understanding is that each individual airport has the choice to hire the TSA or their own personal, security companies as well as whether or not to allow for the full body scans. Should I be looking up who is the CEO of the airport to write a letter? Does my congressman have anything to do with it? It looks, Amy, from this latest article that you posted that I may not get anywhere with that. With family all over the country and 2 pilots in my immediate family, I choose not to give up flying so that we can be together for the holidays. I would eagerly, though, write letters to give voice to my personal concerns. I am represented, after all, right?!


    8 Dec 10 at

  53. Here’s a solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners at the airports:
    All we need to do is develop a booth that you can step into that will NOT X-ray you, but WILL detonate any explosive device you may have hidden on or in your body. The explosion will be contained within the sealed booth. This would be a win-win for everyone. There would be no racial profiling, nor discrimination, and the device would eliminate long and expensive trials.

    This is so simple that it’s brilliant. I can see it now: you’re in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system,

    “Attention standby passengers, we now have a seat available on flight number…”

    ~author unknown


    8 Dec 10 at

  54. Tressa,
    Absolutely brilliant! Love it :)


    9 Dec 10 at

  55. Amen! (and that wasn’t just a head-nod) ;)

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