Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TSA Must Really Love Me

So yeah, it happened again. Returning home from Libertopia 2011 , I was “randomly” selected to go through a TSA body scanner at the San Diego airport. (Actually, as I watched, it looked like almost everyone was chosen to go through the scanner and the “random selection” was for a few people who for some unknown reason just had to go through the metal detector.)

Husband says I bring it on myself, expecting I’ll be selected. Okay if there is anything to this “attraction” stuff, maybe I did attract it last time.

But this time was different. Really. I was relaxed, smiling and singing to myself. (It wasn’t until later that I realized maybe my song choice created an “attraction.” I was mentally enjoying the Temptations’ Get Ready....“Get ready cause here I come!”

Anyway, same as last time, we were both “selected” and once again I opted out. They took me to the side for a “pat down.” But unlike last time, my husband had the camera and recorded the interaction.

At the beginning of the video below, she’s telling me what she’s going to do, "blah, blah, blah, okay?”

I say, "No it’s not okay; I’m only doing this under duress because I want to complete my transaction with the airline company.”

At about :52, she notices John taking video and tells me he has to turn it off. I said he’s perfectly within his right to capture video on this. So she calls her supervisor over and continues to explain what she’s going to do with him witnessing.

She says nothing about the video, but at 1:23 someone off camera says “Hey they’re videotaping…in case you’re wondering.”

The supervisor says “Sir, can you step out of the checkpoint area please?” This is where John thought he was being told told to stop videotaping and he turns it off.

So here’s that first video:

After he turns it off, I tell him he can continue to take video so he turns it back on and the supervisor tells my husband he needs to move “outside of MY checkpoint area,” so he doesn’t interfere.

Now in the second video below, watch where the supervisor positions himself.

They ask me if I want a private screening and say “No, I want everyone to see what you people do.” The rest of the video shows you a “pat down,” done on randomly selected people, guilty until proven innocent with the rubber gloves.

Maybe capturing video of this means nothing. Maybe it’s just spitting in the wind, but at least there was one instance in that particular day when they knew someone was watching THEM for a change.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I “chose” to fly. Yeah, I could have taken days to drive more than 2100 miles to get to the event. However, I would not have made it because that would have added even more travel days than my husband and I wanted to take for this trip. Would not going have made me feel any more free?

If I didn't go, then I couldn't have talked about unschooling to Libertopia attendees who were interested. I couldn't have connected with others who are looking for encouragement, inspiration and camaraderie as they try to get their kids far, far away from the government education system.

And I would not have spent several fascinating and enjoyable days learning along with others who feel the same way I do. So I'm certainly glad I jumped on those airplanes to get there and back.

The real question now about driving is how long will that be a preferred method? How much longer do we even have that choice before we have to endure random searches on the highways?

Think I’m just being paranoid? Think that’s just silly? Think that’s just crazy?

Well, it’s already started in Tennessee:

Tennessee Becomes First State To Fight Terrorism Statewide

One politician seems concerned. But I wonder if he’s just sitting out there in the middle of a long, dark, lonely stretch of road.

Edit: Here's another report on the VIPR issue from Wendy McElroy.


  1. welcome to the fascist/socialist country... the tsa is obama's brownshirts !!!

  2. good for you! "under duress", he has a right to videotape, guilty until proven innocent. keep up the good work!

  3. The scanners and subsequent opt-out searches are reprehensible and I'm grateful you told them you were complying under duress.

    I was about to say "Well, at least the TSA is hearing us and trying to make the best of bad policy" and then....the thug tried to block John's video access (that boiled my blood). Stupid me for thinking that someone with "authoritah" wouldn't get off on abusing it.

    This needs to stop but I intend to use their line on them, when I insist on videotaping them; "you have nothing to fear if you're doing nothing wrong". The camera posits the TSA as guilty until proven innocent and is our greatest weapon.

    I'm sorry you had to deal with that, Debbie. It was a pleasure to meet you and John this past weekend

  4. It was great meeting you too Brian. :)