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Hands off my Yellow Rose, TSA

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In airports across America, the lack of romance is overwhelming — especially if you prefer a meal, some conversation and possibly a movie before giving up the oh so sweet stuff. In that regard, the eyes of Texas are upon you, Transportation Security Administration.

The bad news: If you live in the Lone Star State and want your cooter groped by a TSA agent who thinks you’re harboring explosives in your rectum, you’re one step closer to disappointment. Might I suggest planning your flight out of one of the other (mostly smaller) states, unwilling to take a similar stand.

Two weeks ago, the Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that prohibits “intrusive touching” by TSA screeners. Specifically, the bipartisan measure “outlaws public servants from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly touching anyone’s anus, sexual organ, buttocks or breasts, including touching through clothing.”

Translation: Don’t mess with Texas, you know, down there.

That TSA agents could still touch your anus in the other 49 states, well, this news from Austin only made this crystal clear. Texas immediately became either more or less appealing, depending on your perspective on the procedure and how often you’re willing to travel.


Up to 60,000 people are touched in this manner every day at U.S. airports. So far, zero reports that this has led to the capture of any for real terrorists, nor has it advanced the exchange of cellphone numbers or Facebook friend requests — probably because people who’ve experienced it have likened it to rape.

“Yes, there’s a bomb in my bum but I assure you, it’s from the Thai food. Can we hurry this up?”
 
The question, wrapped in mystery: What example does this set? What do you tell a young kid with a dream of being a TSA screener, who notices at an early age that he’s particularly good at groping? That’s fine, as long as you don’t live in Texas?

All this seemingly came to an end last week as the Texas Senate backed away from the bill, citing pressure from TSA — wasn’t that the original problem? — and the Justice Department. Appealing to security concerns, federal officials threatened to cancel flights in and out of Texas airports, if the measure passed.

The problems arise when an airline passenger refuses the full body scanner. The reasons for doing so extend beyond privacy, including radiation concerns as well as potential damage to DNA. In a land forged on the concept of innocent until proven guilty, it’s assumed on a federal level that when a passenger refuses the procedure, it’s likely because their cavities are packed full of C-4. Whether you’re 6-years old and wouldn’t know Alan Arkin from Allahu Akbar, it’s time to break out the speculum.

And rubber gloves are never a strong enough privacy barrier, especially if you’re into that sort of thing.

With the price of fuel and airline travel, who can afford to blow up a plane anyway? Think of the materials you’ll need … the hassle of parking, getting to the gate … meeting your connecting flight … keeping the plastic explosives hidden inside your surgically-implanted man breasts from rupturing, before you attempt to detonate them in the rear lavatory. Therein lies the problem. Getting through security is the easy part.

You have to cut TSA screeners some slack. Sure, you hear about the supermodel or celebrity who takes exception to getting felt up and singled out, but for every former Miss USA, there are eight Walmartians with back boobs and a smelly guy with a beer gut that mushrooms over his thighs. You need the EZ-Moves Ergolifter just to access the less-than luscious nougat center and, sorry if I don’t begin to sympathize with screeners when Heidi Klum checks in. It’s just her turn.

Then of course, there are the actual terrorists with actual explosives in their underwear. Who in their right mind would want to touch that?

It’s true what they say about Texas: it’s like a whole other country. It’s not “a-hole other country,” as Texans — as usual — refuse to go down without a fight; demanding lawmakers resist bullying by DOJ & TSA, the bill may be reborn in Special Session.

You can’t racially profile private parts, if that means anything — unless you’re Lady Gaga, they’re usually hidden. And every thing’s bigger in Texas, so there’s some stuff TSA screeners don’t necessarily want to know. From their perspective, what makes you people deep in the heart of Texas think your privates are so damn special anyway?

Organic ProfilingThe ability to better seek out terrorists using race demographics pointing to historical probability but doing so in a manner characteristic with natural growth and evolution.

Here’s a test. Picture every person you’ve seen going through invasive pat-downs on TV or complaining about having the procedure done to them. What do they seem to have in common? Now, picture the aftermath of a terrorist attack and the perpetrator of the act. Any similarities to the first group? Get a good mental picture of the terrorist and the images you’ve seen of airport screening in action. Are either of these pictures interchangeable? Does the person being screened ever look like the terrorist and does the terrorist ever look like the person being screened?

Seems this TSA effort to not appear racist is creating an unequal strain on those possessing a less-than likely chance of harboring dangerous materials inside or near their anus, sexual organ, buttocks or breasts. A policy, in effect, using racism to avoid the appearance of racism.

Texas translation: All hat and no cattle.

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© 2011 – 2014, Soapy Johnson. All rights reserved.

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