The state can do no wrong
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The naked truth: TSA can touch my junk anytime | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.
Of course (except in the eyes of Guardian journalists) it can and often does. In some fields in fact, it does little else. But if it wants to do something that would be wrong for any of us, it has an option we don't; i.e. to change the law to make it right.
The Guardian, of course, sees any argument that there is a limit to state power as "unsafe right-wing ideology." No doubt the author of the linked piece would have argued that the girls raped by Beria as part of the infamous "flower game" were unsafe right wingers too. They were certainly unsafe. As they were too terrified of the Cheka to speak, I guess we shall never know if they would otherwise have indulged in
...teenage grudge-bearing and solipsistic whining...
For some time I have been avoiding German airports because that, in many ways laudable, nation rather lacks the physical reserve of the Anglo-Saxon world. Airport security searches in the country of "Freikörperkultur," are noticeably more invasive. Junk-touching was already no biggy. Now it seems that approach is spreading.
It is ridiculous to tell us this is for our own safety. Throughout the post-9/11 era, the security hassle for passengers checking baggage has been steadily increasing. But freight has been loaded into the same holds without routine screening. Why would even a crazed fanatic brave airport security if he can simply courier his bomb?
Even if the freight hold was not potentially full of explosives, it is a bad joke to subject to searches every flyer (including the pilot who needs no suicide weapon beyond his plane), toddlers and regular (easily cleared in advance) travelers. Perhaps it is conceivable that some parent might be a vile enough fanatic to shove explosives into his toddler's body cavities and blow him to Allah (though I can't help feeling that's a greater slur on Muslims than any Danish cartoon). It's a lot more likely that simple risk profiling could ensure there was rarely, if ever, a need to frighten small children by having strangers touch them inappropriately.
Finally, has anyone considered the turnover rate in these low prestige, low pay jobs? Pretty soon everyone touching your junk will have been hired since the practice was legitimised. As the article said, the present security staff have no interest in groping genitalia. Give that a couple of years, during which only people with such in interest will have applied, and things will be different.