Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't touch my junk!

Some buddy in our favourite United States of America has taken the glittery road to folk hero superstardom with the rallying cry of, "If you touch my junk I'll have you arrested" (a wordy yet effective cry that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue as smoothly as, say, "Fifty four forty or fight" did, but which has caught on with the public's imagination regardless.) John Tyner was working his way through the security at San Diego airport when a friendly Transportation Security Administration employee tried to get even friendlier. It was then that John laid down his immortal line, igniting yet another firestorm regarding airport security in the U.S. of A.

Welp, here we go again. As everyone who pays attention to these sorts of things will remember, right after the 9/11 attacks this whole airport security thing hit the public consciousness like a big, flaming bag of poop on the porch. The folks who are in charge of making the public feel better without actually doing anything, got right on it and next thing you know the Big Government Republicans (under the deft leadership of President George W Bush) had manned up and federalized airport security in the U.S., creating an entirely new level of bureaucracy which has now has over 67,000 employees. Potential fliers are now poked, groped, prodded and x-rayed, and surprisingly enough they are getting tired of it all. What a fickle bunch the flying public are. Sure, they don't want to be on a terrorist riddled airliner plowing into the ground at seven hundred miles an hour, but they don't want their junk joggled either. Sheesh.

I am curious why our United Station friends didn't turn to some sort of country who had a proven track record dealing with a terrorist threat, you know, for advice. A country like, say, Israel. The Israeli security folks have been defending against terrorism for sixty years now and they have gotten pretty good at it. Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv is a pretty busy place, and is also a prime target for your average homicidal terrorist, yet the security teams there manage to get the paying customers safely from the front gate to the boarding ramps in about twenty five minutes, and all without disturbing anybody's junk.

The main tool the Israeli security dudes use is observation. There are six layers of security and at every one every customer is being observed and examined for signs of nervousness or distress. Pretty low-tech, but the last time there was an issue was in 2002 when a handgun was found to have accidentally been allowed onto a plane. Accidentally. Even the person carrying it didn't know he had it.

Then again maybe it's just easier to fondle passengers. Why be effective and efficient when you can juggle someone's family jewels? In fact our friends in the Transportation Security Administration are so intent on continuing to touch junk that they are investigating Mister junk himself (John Tyner). You see, according to federal rules and laws in the U.S. once you start the security process you have to finish it, which Mr. Tyner did not (opting to not board the plane rather than have his joy-stick toyed with). In other words, once they start touching your junk, they have to complete touching your junk. Weird.

Anyway... Humouroceros


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