Blogs > Liberty and Power > Airport security Pat Downs

Feb 7, 2006 2:29 pm

Airport security Pat Downs

Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller ("Bullshit") has been on my mind lately. It is not merely that his TV show is one of the rare programs I make a point of marking onto my schedule to watch every week. (Highly recommended!) Or that I just discovered he is a fellow-traveller, a fellow anarchocapitalist. It is also due to the hostile response I've received over an article I ran on the front page this week entitled"How to Fight Back Against Pat-Downs by Airport Security Screeners" by Matthew Reed who specifically wished to have his position in the military known: Lance Corporal, Unites States Marine Corps 0351/ Training NCO 1st Marine Regiment. Gutsy fellow to stand by his beliefs in such a prominent manner. The gist of his article: Reed suggests much the same behavior that Penn Jillette enacted a few years ago while going through an airport pat down. That is, when airport security touches your genitals in an unwanted manner and despite your protest, call the police and register a sexual assault complaint. I applauded Penn's actions then and I equally applaud women now who file a police report of sexual assault in a similar situation. I have received howls of outrage from some extreme voices within the men's movement who seem to believe that I wrote the article, not Reed, despite his meticulous attribution and attached email. If I had written the article, I admit that I would have changed a few sentences as they do not accurately reflect my opinion. As a matter of site policy, however, I do not edit the content of contributors who, after all, I don't pay; I either run a piece or I don't. As a general assessment, I believe Reed wrote a solid article and that the pre-emptive sexual molestation of both men and women in the name of 'security' should not be legally tolerated. Some howling critics also maintain that such complaints are false accusations and that I am calling for women to falsely accuse men despite the many articles in which I called for the punishment and non-toleration of same.

Is legally objecting to the forced groping of your genitals a false accusation? I don't see how...unless, of course, you believe that putting on a uniform excuses the wearer from all personal responsibility of respecting the human rights of others. That is a popular view these days, I admit. Put on a police, military, or some otherwise governmental uniform and you are somehow given a"right" -- no, make that word"privilege" -- to break the laws of common decency and non-agression. So, in response to critics, I say...GO PENN! GO REED! Thanks for making my person a bit safer from the thugs and their attack-dog apologists who wish to grope the genitals of reluctant others in order to make the world a better place. How bright the future they envision must shine!!

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Aster Francesca - 2/9/2006

Thank you for posting this. The treatment of escorts and other sex workers going though airport security is, as one can imagine, a standing atrocity.

Amusing note: when I came home from sex change surgery in Thailand, the goons took me aside, claiming I'd been randomly chosen for a search (yeah, right) and spent three-quarters of an hour looking through every item in my bags. The amusing part is that they carefully unwrapped, then re-wrapped, a couple thousand American dollars worth of Thai jewelry I was forgetting to declare to customs. They didn't seem to notice that, tho' I do vaguely remember they stole something.

Perhaps America would be safer from terrorists if they hired brighter security guards.

There's also a profile out that catches transgenders, because some brilliant bureaucrat had night terrors among mid-Eastern male terrorists dressing up in a burkha; as a result the guards are instructed to specially search anyone who shows any signs of gender nonconformity.


David T. Beito - 2/8/2006

A vice president who keeps quiet would be a nice change from the last two occupants of that office.

William J. Stepp - 2/8/2006

And Teller for VP. They could announce before the election that their first magic trick, upon being elected, would be to make the White House disappear. Then Congress, then the Pentagon, then the CIA, then ... the list is, unfortunately, endless.

David T. Beito - 2/7/2006

If the Libertarian Party has any smarts they will try to get Penn to run in 2008.