X-Ray, Invasive Patdown or old status quo?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by KnightWriter, Nov 16, 2010.

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  1. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Mr44,

    How, then, do you react to the blatant spin coming from the TSA?

    For example, how do you react to their blatant manipulation of statistics to claim that 99% of travelers consented to body scans? (For the falsity of that claim, see Nate Silver's analysis linked to by DS.)

    How do you respond to the deceptive claim about no "opt-outs" at Colorado Springs, without disclosing at the same time that there are no AITs to opt-out from at Colorado Springs Airport?

    If TSA has been blatantly deceptive with those statements and claims, then on what basis do you trust their other statements? How have you verified their accuracy?

    So far, your response has been essentially one long ad hominem. Can you actually provide evidence to refute anything that "Make Adams of Natural News" wrote? Because your response was to attack him, instead of what he said. That is the very definition of ad hominem. In addition to that, you have completely ignored other reports that support what "Mike Adams of Natural News" reported, reports from credible sources (like CBS or NJ.com). If that is the best you can offer, then you've already lost the argument, and you're simply trying to save face.

    If you are going to claim that we are missing something, then present evidence, not ad hominems.

    Kimball Kinnison
  2. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    Glad you mentioned the TSA's spin. I was appalled when I went to their website for information on exactly what these "enhanced security procedures" are, and found that 90 percent of the links on its home page are to articles about how wonderful the new procedures are and how everyone likes them. I haven't seen such spin since I evaluated the Sweet Surprise website for one of my graduate courses. It's the high fructose corn syrup "information" website maintained by the Corn Refiner's Association, which produces high fructose corn syrup, so they have a reason to spin: it helps their profits if people believe that high fructose corn syrup is OK, natural, same as sugar, etc. What exactly is the TSA's reason for spinning? Given that they are a government agency and we pay their salaries, and these "enhanced procedures" are performed on us if we fly, I think we have the right to know exactly what they are and how people are reacting, instead of being given spin disguised as facts.
  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Deceiving the American people and managing public opinion with manipulative PR is nothing new of course. That's how Bush got his Iraq war. It's a time-honored tradition.
  4. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    How do you respond to the deceptive claim about no "opt-outs" at Colorado Springs, without disclosing at the same time that there are no AITs to opt-out from at Colorado Springs Airport?


    This is really a hilarious statement if you stop to think about it. Of course, there's a lot of unintentionally funny stuff going on these days, or it would be funny if it wasn't so expensive and costly in both financial terms and other resources.
  5. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    How, then, do you react to the blatant spin coming from the TSA?

    I'd say there's nothing to "spin." What I find amusing is that originally, you had absolutely no problem with the scanners. In fact, you provided links which proved that they weren't invasive, and declared over and over that your problem wasn't with the scanners, or even checkpoints in general, but with your Pa-jay jay getting groped. But I'm not making any claims, so there's nothing to prove or disprove. I don't have to refute anything "Mike Adams" said, because he himself didn't say anything about any particular practice. I'm not defending one method over the other. My point has been that checkpoints are a way of life, so deal with them or use an alternate method of transportation. No big deal.

    All this stuff about them being extraordinary violations of civil rights, and it's worse than the cold war, and each example being no different than getting sexually assaulted, and stories about TSA personal masturbating passengers in line are just silly, and represent the real distractions. I remember when some people were paranoid about the Patriot Act, when in reality it wasn't that bad. I remember when people were worried that agents were going to arrest them for having Almanacs, which wasn't ever the case. I remember when the rumors of the draft being reinstated ran rampant, or the impending invasion of Iran, or that missiles were really launched at the Pentagon, or how the CIA blew up the World Trade center. People like drama and sensationalism. It's human nature. In reality, both time and facts mitigates all of this.

    If the public wants AL EL methods, then do it. If the public wants Swedish scanners instead of a different model, then make it happen. If it's bomb sniffing dogs, great. For the umpteenth time, it's not a big deal. But you can't make claims like you're doing if 91% or whatever the specific number of the population supports the methods. It means that things aren't going to change beyond a few sensationalized accounts, and this has nothing to do with being "right" or "wrong." I don't want to co-opt his argument, because everyone can stand on their own merits, but this is what Gonk posted about the issue:

    "Not being an American, all I really have to say about this issue is that the American government and/or people have the right to implement any security they like at their airports. If they deem patdowns are necessary, then by all means. The only thing I don't agree to that I've read on this thread was JS's assertion that 'extra' security only be made on those people deemed to come from an ethnic group that might be a likely threat. That I don't agree with: either the security measures apply to everyone, or they apply to nobody. If there's an individual acting suspicious, by all means go ahead. But let's not get into this "seperate but equal" farce.

    But scans, patdowns, whatever: if you think it's over the top, change it. If you think there's a real threat of these things preventing a terror attack, keep them. It seems simple enough to me.
    "

    I couldn't agree more, especially about the "seems simple to me part."
  6. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I gave you two blatant examples of gross misrepresentations about the use of scanners and pat downs. If that isn't spin, then what is?

    That is a gross misrepresentation of what I stated before.

    What I said is that I don't have a problem with using the scanners as a security measure. For me, the jury is still out on the health risks associated with using the scanners. I have seen enough evidence to support the claim that they are far more risky (at least for certain portions of the population, including my father) than the TSA claims, and that it is a violation of civil rights to force someone to go through the "enhanced" pat-downs as the only alternative.

    You say that you are not making claims, but you are responding to claims that have been made and asserting that those claims are incorrect. I have provided ample support for the claims that I have made, while you have not provided one iota of evidence supporting your assertions about those claims.

    Mr44, you know me. I have tried to be extremely fair about evaluating the evidence. I have researched both sides of the issue, and I have explicitly corrected people when I have found them posting false information.

    And yet, here you are, essentially accusing me of holding to some sort of conspiracy theory. You are being grossly unfair here. I have tried to be reasonable in this discussion, and apply clear standards of proof to everything I've said. I have consistently backed up every one of my claims that has been challenged, and offered to "show my work" when I have performed an analysis. In response, you have issued little more than ad hominem attacks against some sources (while ignoring others), and made ad hominem attacks on me and my family.

    It's time for you to stop that sort of childish behavior and actually back up what you are saying with fats and data. Give us links to your sources, other than a single link to a Fox op-ed. If you have information that responds to the health concerns, then post it. If you have information showing that the "enhanced" pat downs are not as invasive as people are claiming, then post it. If you have anything at all to support what you say, other than accusations that people are blowing things out of proportion, then post it! You used to be one of the biggest advocates of people providing sources for their information in the Senate, or admi
  7. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    To be fair, I do need to disagree with one point of yours, KK, as if you treat those getting enhanced security as a sample of the larger population, then you could, presuming they were informed, project opt-out rates there to what it would be for the larger population. Looking at public opinion on it certainly could work that way, which seems to be the nature of saying x% didn't opt out.
  8. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Except that the percentages that I estimated were based on the number of people given the opportunity to opt out (i.e. the number of people who were selected for the AIT scanners and opted for the pat down). The TSA's "99% didn't opt out" is based on the numbers who opted out (i.e. given the opportunity to use the AIT scanners, they opted out) as a proportion of the total flying population (including those who were not given the opportunity to use the AIT scanners).

    It's meaningless to treat those who never had the opportunity to opt out of the AIT scanners as if they opted in to them. For example, the passengers who were screened in Colorado Springs neither opted in nor opted out, because they were never presented with the option of the AIT scanners. Similarly, every passenger who was not selected (I will assume randomly, although the TSA will not say how they select people for increased scrutiny) for the AIT scanners where they were available neither opted in nor opted out.

    Assuming that those selected for the AIT scanners (where available) were a random sampling of the flying population, we could make some reasonable inferences about the flying population as a whole. However, as the TSA hasn't released their full data (preferring to give the meaningless opt-outs/all travelers percentage), we can only estimate about the true opt-out percentages.

    However, the estimates that I gave are consistent with the 57% who are opposed to the pat-downs, or the 42% opposed to the body scanners (source: USA Today/Gallup). It's also in line with the 61% who oppose both (source: Zogby).

    If you have different numbers to present, then I welcome them. Similarly, if you think you can give a better estimate of the opt-out rate, then go right ahead. I'm always open to my figures being challenged.

    Kimball Kinnison
  9. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    I'm not sure I was making an argument, more asking a question, but either way the article points out that while the TSA didn't go out of it's way to to inform people they could opt-out, the article also points out that not one person opted-out.  The article also states that half the people were unaware that the scanners were in use or part of the controversy, so this could mean the other half were aware. Now it is possible that not a single person was aware they could opt-out, but probably unlikely.  And remember, even if it's 0 out of 1, that's still 0% opted out, 100 percent consented. ;)
     
    It also points out that the body-scanners take about the same amount of time as the metal detectors.  IIRC someone here claimed they take much longer.
     
    As we know, anecdotal reports aren't statistics.  Nate Silver's article does address the flaws in TSA's numbers, but it also cautions against anecdotal reports.  I think to surmise anything else in terms of percentages is premature.  It will be interesting to see the DOT's stats. Granted it is the TSA, but they did link to several news outlets (CNN, Dallas Morning News, NYT, etc.) that reported that travel went smoothly.

    He also states:

    Despite widespread anticipation of chaos at airports over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend ? some of it prompted by concerns that passengers would ?opt out? of new full-body scans in favor of more time-consuming pat-downs ? most media accounts suggested that travel went rather smoothly instead, with few passengers declining such screenings, and short waits at most airport security stations.

    And

    I have no reason to doubt the two specific claims that the T.S.A. has made: first, that security lines at most airports were manageable (if not, I?m sure we would have seen plenty of evidence to the contrary, between tens of thousands of passengers with cellphone cameras), and second, that a relatively small number of passengers opted out of the new screening procedures.

     
    So I?d say that Mr44?s original point stands:

    I'll still say that this has quickly become a non-issue. The busiest travel weekend came and went without incident or protest, because 60 million people focused on what should matter in the first place, and just went on to visit their family/friends/loved ones.

    You asked Mr44 ?If you have information that responds to the health concerns, then post it.?

    He did several pages ago:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60553920100106

    You also asked ?If you have information showing that the "enhanced" pat downs are not as invasive as people are claiming, then post it.?

    I?m not sure what you are asking of Mr44. Should he prove that everyone who did go through the bodyscanners/pat downs really enjoyed it? [face_mischief]

    Bear in mind I?m not convinced that the scanners/pat-downs are necessary. And I?d reiterate that one of the main people pushing the scanners (Chertoff) is a lobbyist for one of the manufacturers, which certainly raises concerns.
     
    But I think that Mr44 really just wanted to have a discussion about what actually was going on, before everyone jumped on the issue, and him as well...just as he did regarding the Patriot Act. Although IIRC I did have a few questions about that that went unanswered. :p
  10. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    To start off, I notice that I accidentally transposed "EL AL" in my above post, but I'm sure everyone noticed the typo. Anyway:

    KK, I do know you, and honestly, I do think you're being quite unreasonable with this. If we hit "reset" and go all the way back to the nexus of this current debate, you posted an anecdote about your father. You started off by mentioning him, so it's difficult to reference that without focusing on him, so I'll just call him "Ed" and try to keep a generic tone.

    The core of that debate was that Ed:
    1)didn't want to go through the scanners because of his medical history.
    2)But he also didn't want to get a pat down because of modesty.
    3)And he also didn't want to take the train because the trip took too long, but he would settle as a way to protest the government.

    I'm sorry. I still have a nagging feeling that the core of the debate can be broken down to "just give Ed what he wants." I do think that's unreasonable, because there are 300 million "Ed's" in the country who all want something different. What's ironic is that the government is making a basic allowance for choice, even if it's small, because the reason the enhanced pat down exists as an alternative is for people who opt out of the scanners precisely because of concerns like Ed's. For all he knows, Ed's plane could flame out and crash into a river half way through the trip, so it does seem petty to me to quibble over a possible 1 in 30 million chance of cancer, or a slip of the hand on a testicle before he even leaves the airport, especially if it means he's making life altering decisions just to avoid the choice. Or, he could just drive or take the train, which might not be perfect, but it's up to him. That's life. From the beginning, I said that Ed should act maturely, spend the 30 seconds on the method that bothers him the least, and get on with visiting with his family because that's what really matters.

    DS is correct when he points out that all I wanted to do was focus on the actual policy, but people kept going off on tangents like they would rather die before letting their daughter get molested and somesuch, which I do think is a complete overreaction. I'm not even sure DS is on "my side" per se, he just has a similar neutral position. Combined, I think both Gonk's and DS's latest post absolutely sum up my own position.
  11. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I think it is silly to debate specific policies when we haven't agreed on the values those policies should be based on. The debate was never about "Ed" himself, but that there are legitimate concerns that are based on other worthwhile values than simply security.

    It can't be broken down to give "Ed" what he wants. It is that we as a country need to decide what to put Ed through to fly and it has to make sense by weighing competing values. You don't get to continually dismiss those other values as "no big deal" because for some people being touched or virtually strip searched is very much a big deal. You've yet to recognize that is even a possibility. You've also failed to demonstrate why your overriding value of security at almost any cost that the government says is necessary is not in fact an overreaction to the potential threat. If you only have a 1 in 40 million chance of dying from a terrorist attack versus a 1 in 30 million chance of dying from cancer because of the screening device, how does that cost benefit analysis not show that you are overreacting?

    You want to focus on the actual policy because then we have to only appeal to the values that you hold. We need to come to an agreement about the limits we are willing to go to for security, how much risk we are willing to take, and then evaluate policies based on that criteria. You've bristled at the notion that we set pre-determined limits on what could be an acceptable security policy.

    This isn't really about the individual, it is about the society. Because your argument could just as easily defend the random checking of papers. People should just be willing to spend the 30 seconds to show proof of who they are if asked at any point because getting home to their family is what really matters and they shouldn't bother challenging the system and being forced to be taken down to the station for being immature. Just because the most logical solution presented to an individual during an unreasonable search is to comply does not in fact make that search reasonable. It also doesn't demonstrate the popularity or Constitutionality of the search if most people comply.

    It is not an overreaction to do a cost/benefit analysis of this policy and come to the conclusion that the invasions of privacy outweigh the supposed benefits. It seems the only analysis Mr.44 you've given is to see that the government says so, therefore it is needed. And then grossly mis-characterize any opposition because if only a small minority object well then they just need to get with the program and you don't need to bother yourself with countering the reasons they object and the values they hold.

    And just because someone submits to the scan doesn't mean they are happy about it or approve. People have to travel and when I went through it wasn't clear at all you could opt out because it was before the groping down policies. I myself standing in the security line at Boston Logan went through this same dilemma. I really didn't want to go through the machine but simply didn't have the time to oppose the procedure so if selected I would have just given up my privacy. But I don't have to like it and when I get home I can argue with people on the internet who think it is a good idea. And my friend who did go through it didn't like it but did it anyways. As individuals we are sheep, but that doesn't mean it is a good policy.
  12. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    It is that we as a country need to decide what to put Ed through to fly and it has to make sense by weighing competing values.

    Yes, exactly. This is what I've said from my first reply onward, and it's why it's so important to look at what the actual policy is.

    For a different example, someone might come in and say "I don't think people should own guns at all, and only the military and police should have them." Well, US society has pretty much answered that question, and private citizens can own firearms. So someone could then say "Fine. If people can own rifles, can they own nuclear weapons? Where do you draw the line and don't dodge the issue." duh, duh duuuun...! (<---that's sinister music, by the way)

    But I'd reply that is an absurd example, because no existing law even comes close to allowing this. You could ask about all sorts of hypotheticals...what about flamethrowers, or grenade launchers, or machine guns, or rockets, or phosphorus bombs, or napalm, and so on...until the cows come home. But since nuclear weapon ownership isn't part of any existing gun law, it's silly to argue about it. So where's the "line" with regards to something like the gun issue? As you said, there is no defined line besides where society puts it. But a good start would be to look at what the gun laws actually are, instead of the hyperbole. Because no one can make a rational decision based on conjecture.

    This issue is no different. The current "line" consists of body scanners with a pat down alternative at airport checkpoints. Nothing more. Nothing less. What does a scanner entail? What is included in a pat down? Those are the questions and answers that matter. Until colonscopies, or stormtroper paper requirements, or whatever else are actually proposed, they aren't included in the line at all.
  13. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    But the only line you've given is the one that is put in place? It doesn't matter what a scanner or pat down entails if we can't first agree on what the line is. If the line is whatever the current policy is, then there is nothing limiting you from going into the extreme. I'd say you are already well into that zone, and your only response has been that you aren't, that we are overreacting, and if we don't like it deal with it. We've raised plenty of concerns, but you've dismissed them as just individuals that need to go along with society. How can we even discuss whether the scanner goes to far when you've shown no concern with an actual strip search. You've raised some issues with strip searches, but I think I've already given you a system that addresses those concerns.

    The fundamental fact is that we can't agree on any of these policies because you can't agree with us on what those policies should be based on. This is why this debate is going in circles. The principle is simple. Don't touch or virtually look at my junk. That is too far. Why is it too far? Same reason you think people should have guns. I'm not overreacting. I have a different value system than you do, and I place a greater priority in freedom than security. Your primary concern is security, and unless the limitation on freedom is especially egregious you are fine giving it up. We are at an impasse and no amount of looking at the actual policy will change either of our views. You need to accept that people here have looked at the policies and because they have different values than you came to a different conclusion. So the only thing we can do is evaluate each others values, and you've made no real effort to defend them.
  14. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    That is an outright false characterization of how I introduced my father as an example. My first post mentioned nothing about him. It focused completely on the issue. I only mentioned him as an example of how far you can push the idea of "consent" to the pat downs, citing the health concerns of the backscatter x-ray machines.

    Specifically, the way I mentioned him was:
    The example of my father was to show that what you are calling "consent" is a form of coercion, and therefore not actually consent. You are the one who tried to push that into something that it wasn't.

    It isn't consent when you force someone to either give up their rights or sacrifice their health.

    Except that link does nothing to respond to the specific health concern that I cited - not the dose of radiation, but the type of radiation used. Ionizing radiation is very different in how and where it is absorbed by the body, and is a very different type of radiation than the dosage you receive while flying, or in a standard x-ray. That link provides no information addressing that specific health concern, and the "experts" it cites are primarily from TSA itself, and we've already established that they have been distorting the truth. I also responded pointing to one of those TSA experts who outright said that if he had known how they were planning to use the machines, he would not have given the same advice concerning the health risks.

    Does he have any information addressing the specific concern over ionizing radiation (which causes cumulative damage to DNA in skin cells, greatly increasing the chances of skin cancer, especially in those who have previously had such cancer)? I've been specific in explaining the concern. He needs to give more than just a general "it's not an issue" as a response to that specific concern.

    Kimball Kinnison
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    How can we even discuss whether the scanner goes to far when you've shown no concern with an actual strip search?

    But, unless I completely misunderstood it, then the standard you just put forth exists nowhere else in the free world. I suppose the simple answer is because the two don't really have anything to do with each other? Set aside this issue. What if we were examining mathematical formulas and you asked the same question? "How can we even discuss basic addition when you've shown no concern over high level trigonometry?" Except we can both look at the rules of addition. We can both look at the rules of subtraction, and so on together. In essence, you're asking me to solve the equivalent of Euclidean Geometry just so you can personally get a taste of how I would react to the much higher level of math before you're ready to just answer what 2+2 is. That's backwards.

    Why is a body cavity search not like an image scan? You're joking right? But regardless, no one should have to contrast if a strip search goes too far in relation to a scanner in the first place, because strip searches aren't used. There are no "actual" strip searches, only hypothetical ones. Again, I've already touched on this. You're trying to create a playing field full of what if's. You could ask if it would go too far if the TSA rode elephants around the airport instead of using a scanner? Would it go too far if zombie super soldiers were used? You could ask if a million things that have nothing to do with the procedure go too far. But since neither zombies, nor elephants, nor strip searches are used, the only thing that matters in relation to the policy, is the policy. That's not a dodge. Instead of throwing all sorts of "what if's" just to see a reaction before examining the actual topic, just go ahead and examine the actual topic. What does the scanner technology entail? What does a pat down entail? Everyone can look at these things together, without worrying about if a hypothetical colonoscopy goes too far, because the government doesn't, in fact, do this.

    The second issue is that if society collectively says yes, your junk will be visually inspected or touched in order to fly, then your junk will be inspected in order to fly. Either you convince enough people to change it, or you accept it to do whatever the practice is. It's no different than any other topic. A specific person might object to abortion, for example, but abortion is legal. Either they accept it, or convince enough people to change it.
  16. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Except that you are conducting some very circular reasoning here.

    Earlier, you were saying "Just go through the scan". "Accept it, or convince enough people to change it". Except that when we are working to convince enough people to change it, you keep falling back to your first argument, and throw out repeated ad hominems to belittle those who are trying to convince others.

    By your behavior, you are effectively arguing for these scans, no matter how much you try to hide it as merely examining the policies.

    When you have polls indicating that numbers ranging from 42-61% (sources: USA Today/Gallup and Zogby) oppose the scanners, the pat-downs, or both, then it demonstrates that society has some fundamental issues with them. Society is collectively saying no to these procedures.

    Remember, these procedures (especially the pat downs) weren't even implemented by law. They are a regulatory change by the TSA, done without public disclosure, review, or approval. Even now, the TSA isn't giving the public very specific information on what the procedures are, citing "security" concerns. The problem is that national security isn't a blank check for the government to do whatever it wants, and TSA is acting like it is (and you are supporting that argument by saying that people should just submit to the scans and pat downs without actually examining the concerns that people actually have).

    The public outcry over this, including the comments in this thread, are part of the process for changing this sort of a regulatory change. It is a way to place political pressure on the people who implemented it without public notice or approval.

    Kimball Kinnison
  17. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5

    There is another other option, going to court to show that this is already violating established rights. But right here we're having a discussion about what should be, and all you can talk about what is. You run around in circles telling us to look at the specific case and your are trying to defend a policy without examining what the ideal policy would be.

    Take a position for the scanners, defend them and why the increased security is worth the cost, and stop trying to hide your opinions, you aren't fooling anyone and it is annoying.
  18. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah, I think some 'liberal activist judges®' would put an end to this pretty quick if the case was ever seen before a court.
  19. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    This supreme court? I wouldn't be too sure. Most of the old search and seizure case law is about some bad guy getting caught and whether the evidence obtained is admissible in court. To what extent do we throw out evidence of wrongdoing and let criminals go free to deter the police from violating a suspect's constitutional rights?

    But this case would be different. Here the issue turns entirely on the rights of obviously innocent people and the extent to which they can be inconvenienced, irradiated or publicly humiliated to try to prevent a crime that hasn't even occurred from ever taking place. Can't wait to see whether such a case makes it to the Supreme Court and how it turns out.

    The only option in the meantime is lobbying, protest and boycott. Why is it that most Americans are so politically lethargic? Down the road, you can vote some more democrats out of office because, as Homer Simpson knows, Republicans are the cause of, and the solution for, all of life's problems.
  20. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Earlier, you were saying "Just go through the scan". "Accept it, or convince enough people to change it". Except that when we are working to convince enough people to change it, you keep falling back to your first argument, and throw out repeated ad hominems to belittle those who are trying to convince others. By your behavior, you are effectively arguing for these scans, no matter how much you try to hide it as merely examining the policies.

    Um, yeah. I've said from day one that I don't have a problem with either the body scanner or the pat down. I've lost count of how many times I've posted "just pick one and go on to be with your family." I don't think that equates to me "arguing for" them, just not caring either way. Is there anyone who thinks that I'm against them? That would take me by surprise.

    Anyone can, and should, form the opinion that matches up to their value set. What I'm against, if you can even call it that, are arguments that aren't framed according to the actual policy. If someone says "I'm against the pat down because it allows TSA workers to masturbate passengers," then that's blatantly false. (or the opinion holder is just misinformed.) That's an easy one to answer, because if that's why the person is against policy, then it's just not true, so their concerns should be addressed.

    Espaldapalabras is slightly different. He keeps asking about all sorts of other methods besides the two that are actually used to try and create possible "what if" scenarios-strip searches, body cavity probes, he even mentioned putting bags over people's heads and searching them by remote camera. It's not a dodge to not have an answer about hypothetical anal probes, and I wouldn't know how to begin to answer those examples, because none of those methods are actually in use.

    How would you answer if someone asked "What line does it cross to put a paper bag over someone's head and have them strip in front of a camera? I don't know, it sounds like a typical Friday night to me, and it would be much cheaper to boot, assuming that the front register has plenty of dollar bills... But it still doesn't have anything to do with an airport scanner.
  21. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    "that you don't have a problem with it" isn't an argument. I've only asked all that other stuff because you haven't said why you don't have a problem with it, nor what values lead you to that conclusion, so I'm trying to divine what you would have a problem with by asking you hypotheticals. You don't have to answer the hypotheticals if you create a test of any procedure that does a cost/benefit analysis that doesn't summarily reject the values we're espousing as overreactions.
  22. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Except, the issue is how does one define reasonable privacy. The argument being made as to why we should accept these enhanced measures has been based on "well, terrorists did something". Shown by the number of times that people have cited the underwear bomber as the justification for the scanners and patdowns. That framework establishes that the only test to see if a security measure acceptable is "will it allow us to detect a particular terrorism attack". Given that successful terrorism attacks have already been carried out using bombs inside body cavities, then cavity searches pass that test of "a terrorist did it once" just as well as the scanners or enhanced patdowns do. Actually, technically they pass it better as the body cavity bomb detonated and the underwear bomber didn't.

    So the question very realistically becomes "where do you draw the line?" and you can't say that you don't have to explain where you draw the line because clearly strip searches are unreasonable, because a large portion of us rather thought that the current new measures are ALSO clearly unreasonable, so the "isn't it obvious what's acceptable?" answer already isn't going to cut it and instead it needs some better foundation to it.



    On Supreme Court topic, don't think this has come up here, but had initially read this on, what i guess was Washington Post, but I can't find that now so instead here's a copy of it I scrounged up posted elsewhere that addresses what we could expect of the Supreme Court.



  23. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    What is this "actual policy" of which you speak? The TSA isn't telling anyone what it is, so where are you getting your information?

    I've posted descriptions that actual passengers have given of the pat-downs, and they absolutely involve inappropriate touching; as in, a stranger's hand on my inner thighs or on my chest for any nonmedical reason constitutes "inappropriate touching", and I have the right to make that call when it comes to my body. As far as the scanners, are you arguing that they are not pictures of people naked, or that they do not use radiation, which is the concern of many people?

    If anyone but a TSA agent took a scan or did an "extensive pat down" on a stranger without consent, the person would be arrested. Is anyone going to dispute this fact?

    That is the objection. Discussions about body cavity searches or bags over heads involve the slippery-slope argument, which is separate; not entirely invalid in this case IMO but at the same time, the primary objection to this policy is not the slippery slope. It involves what is actually happening to people in American airports.
  24. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    "that you don't have a problem with it" isn't an argument.

    You're right. That's intentional because I'm not making an argument. I think you're highlighting a problem with the Senate and its intrinsic "us vs them" nature. Just because I'm not hopping mad with anger about the scanners doesn't mean I can't live without them at every single airport. I just don't see the 1-2 minute checkpoint process as a huge deal. I'd be perfectly happy with whatever method the population settled in and used at airports based on a risk prevention formula. Use EL AL interrogations. Use the Swedish brand of scanner. It doesn't matter to me.

    The closest thing I put forth was that I felt it was very curious how worked up people can be. Honestly, that's pretty much what you said as well when you supplied your personal anecdote about flying. From what I remember, you paused for a second at the checkpoint because it was annoying, but then just went through so you could get to where you where ultimately going. I accept that they're inconvenient and annoying. But I also realize that inconvenience doesn't equate to "extraordinary violations of civil liberty," or whatever the hyperbole filled term that was previously mentioned was. Someone previously posted that they think the body scanners are worse than the height of the communist scare during the Cold War. Either that person is unfamiliar with the extent of the cold war, or they've had it so easy that the littlest things seem like major problems.

    If everyone just asked "hey, what's the policy?" and then some people disagreed and others agreed, everyone could determine what works and what would work better. But no policy is going to make every single person in the country happy.
  25. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Low, the Alito opinion seems entirely consistent with Rehnquist's opinion in Sitz, that if there is a generalized stop and seizure, reasonable suspicion has to be established before law enforcement can move on to a more intrusive search.

    I would call it an open question whether people can be moved into full body scan/enhanced patdown mode in an airport security line (established already as a permissible generalized search) without some prior determination of reasonable suspicion based on a less invasive search.

    How violated innocent people feel about the body scans/patdowns, is completely relevant to its constitutionality within the framework of Sitz. Still, there's no knowing for sure without the SC granting cert on a case. It's unlikely absent a higher level of public outcry that there will be any kind of suspension of the procedure prior to a SC judgment, and we'll be waiting on that for years and years. In the meantime, protest remains the sole real option for anyone without a lot of patience.

    Sometimes I think the only thing that would cause real political unrest in the U.S. would be if Facebook went offline or the Fox channel was banned.
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