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  1. #91
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    A long thin country
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    The radiation worries me, but not the pat downs. My son has a pacemaker, so he is patted down every time we fly. They always, always, always use a same-sex patter. I've even suggested that I wouldn't mind if a woman did it, and they said no, we had to wait for a man. The same would apply to female travelers--only female agents can pat them down.

    The radiation on the other hand... My son has been exposed to way more radiation than I'm comfortable with already, frequently without the little lead apron for his private parts (they're a little lax on that sort of safety measure here). No more of that than absolutely medically necessary, thank you very much.
    ~Jen
    2008 Trek Madone 5.1/compact double/Terry Butterfly
    My family's food and winemaking blog is www.flahertywines.com

  2. #92
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    I worry about transgendered folks going through the new TSA stuff. (I know several, and none have done any airtravel lately.)

    The "drag queen tuck" isn't gonna hide from either the backscatter nor the pat-down, and a "packer" is gonna show up wrong on the backscatter. (as would breasts in a binder, I assume.)

    How does TSA designate the patter for the transgendered pattee?

    ETA: google and ye shall receive: http://www.transequality.org/Issues/travel.html
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 11-27-2010 at 06:22 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  3. #93
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    98
    Thanks for the link Knotted; it's an interesting read.

    '09 Trek 7.3 FX hybrid / Jett 155mm
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  4. #94
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    6,984
    Quote Originally Posted by Chile Pepper View Post
    The radiation worries me, but not the pat downs. My son has a pacemaker, so he is patted down every time we fly. They always, always, always use a same-sex patter. I've even suggested that I wouldn't mind if a woman did it, and they said no, we had to wait for a man. The same would apply to female travelers--only female agents can pat them down.

    The radiation on the other hand... My son has been exposed to way more radiation than I'm comfortable with already, frequently without the little lead apron for his private parts (they're a little lax on that sort of safety measure here). No more of that than absolutely medically necessary, thank you very much.
    Children really are vulnerable.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  5. #95
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    568
    Quote Originally Posted by Owlie View Post
    since the new scanners don't show anything internal, tampons or cups won't show up.
    Oh thank goodness! I was worried my lucrative career as a drug mule was about to come to a halt! *smirk*
    "True, but if you throw your panties into the middle of the peloton, someone's likely to get hurt."

  6. #96
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,545
    Regarding safety of the machines, I can't stop thinking about how they told us the air was safe to breathe after 9/11.

  7. #97
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    1,668
    Quote Originally Posted by smilingcat View Post
    If TSA was serious about stopping sabotage, hire psychologists who are trained to pick out the nervous traveller or pick out those who are hiding something. EL AL questioning takes less than a minute. No search, no rude questions. Also use bomb sniffing dogs. Dogs can distinguish between fertilizer nitrates versus explosive type nitrates. Nitrogen sniffing machines fail miserably with garden variety fertilizer. The back scatter x-ray goes everywhere so even if you are NOT in the machine, you ARE being exposed. So going for a humiliating enhanced pat-down does you no good.
    I agree about increasing use of sniffer dogs. As far as hiring people who are "trained to pick out the nervous traveler", the problem I see with that is that there are a lot of "nervous travelers" who are not terrorists--flying is just plain nerve-racking sometimes. I'd hate to think that I would potentially get in trouble just because I am a bit stressed out by the following: the crowds and lines at the airport, trying to find where I need to go and get there in time, being interrogated (like the person who posted her experience flying from Amsterdam to the US, I had to go through all that when doing so this spring--necessary but still unnerving, like being treated as a criminal), and just the fact that I am about to put myself in a situation where if something goes wrong, it could be really bad news. How would they guard against those kinds of "false positives" so to speak?
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  8. #98
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367
    http://ori.cnbc.com/id/40335379

    The gal who pulls her breast prosthetics (masectomy) and tosses them in the bin belong to a professional group with me, she shared this article.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
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    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  9. #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,193

    El Al

    I wish Homeland Security would allow TSA to train with Israeli airport security. Not only are Israeli's thorough with inspections (and no pat downs!) but they are trained to study the reactions of individuals who, upon questioning, may be deemed as a possible terrorist. If there's any country that has to deal with the greatest potential for terroristic threats by extremists, it's Israel.

    I came across a letter endorsed by several biochem professors at USC that details the documented risks and resulting injuries produced by the backscatter machine. View the actual letter here:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/35498347/U...nings-4-6-2010

    I have a real problem with not only the use of these so called security measures but for the TSA's approach to young children who are strip searched in front of their helpless parents. One woman, who was traveling with her young grandchildren, opted for a pat down and was forced to set her toddler on the floor well away from the TSA agent and watched helplessly as people walked by the baby. The agent told her that she could not hold the child because she would "contaminate" her.

    What kind of screening is that?? Placing a toddler on the floor, away from the grandparent, in a busy airport where someone could have easily kidnapped the child?? Sorry but I would have politely told them them they could not touch me or my children.

  10. #100
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    That letter is scary, sundial. I would definitely trust what those UCSF scientists/faculty have to say vs. what the TSA and government have to say about the safety of the backscatter machines.

    I wonder if anything will come of this letter - I fear not.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  11. #101
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    14,501
    Thanks for that, sundial. I'd heard the same thing, but only repeated second or third hand by people with no expertise - hard to convince others when I'm just repeating it myself.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #102
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,193
    Emily, I fear the gov't doesn't really have our best interest at heart.
    Oak, I hope people become more aware of the dangers of the backscatter devices. The more people are educated about such matters the better.

  13. #103
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,316
    That letter is amazing. It never occurred to me that the operators of these machines might be able to adjust the radiation level to improve the image. Holy cow. And that the level of radiation exposure is more concentrated in the skin and immediately adjacent tissue...I can't imagine any man agreeing to put himself at that kind of risk for testicular cancer, and I sure don't want my daughter or me going through the machines. I have a history of skin cancer.

    I don't think I'll be able to fly until these machines are gone.

    Roxy
    Getting in touch with my inner try-athlete.

  14. #104
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,645
    I flew from Canada to the US and back last weekend and was expecting all kinds of inconvenience -- in my past experience they've taken the US security measures quite seriously. But this time, no pat-down, no backscatter. Just the normal stuff. I was surprised.

    Still, I'm grateful for this thread for raising my awareness about what people have been experiencing these past few months. Who knows what TSA will be doing for Christmas!

    Given the option, I'd take a train. Much more comfortable! But not an option right now.
    2014 Bobbin Bramble / Brooks B67
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    2007 Dahon Speed Pro TT / Biologic Velvet
    1998? GT Rebound / Serfas Gel

  15. #105
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    Thanks for posting a link to the letter sundial. I flew to Seattle last Wednesday, was selected for the backscatter at O'Hare, and I opted out. Thus, I was patted down. The TSA woman was very respectful, asked about any sensitivities and explained every step before carrying it out; the process was tolerable. I requested fresh gloves, though.

    What is most annoying about security in the US is how reactive the process is: shoes, underwear... I think having bomb sniffing dogs in security would be more effective than any X-ray or "enhanced pat down". Dogs would also be friendlier.

 

 

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