Thankfulness Project, Day 8
November 8, 2011, Tuesday
Today I am very thankful for my extended family.
1. My Dad, who somehow just seems to "get it" whenever I have an issue I have to discuss- never mind that, generally speaking, I just sit and talk, per my big fat motor mouth, and he nods and listens and smiles at opportune times when something I say rings in all too true. He's always there.
2. My mom, who knows when to let me have my space and do the "grown up" thing on my own, and when I need to be mothered, even though I'm almost 30. In so many ways, I want to be like her, and I'm not sure I can live up to it. But she's an excellent, compassionate, driven, and energetic example to me.
3 My brother, Biege, who is very easily my best friend. I wish I got to hang out with him more often. My blog would not work if it weren't for him, and he is my dictionary for random video game information- specifically so that I can understand the geek jokes he wears on his t-shirts.
4. My sister in law, Shalynn, who is amazing, supportive, gorgeous, and has a gift wrapping talent that kind of makes me jealous. I've called her, before, "the girl of my dreams" - she's as geeky as my brother, but you can't tell by looking at her. She fits into our family like she was born there, so much that I look back and can't really remember what it was like without her.
5. My sister, Bergan, because she always makes me feel wanted and appreciated. When I babysat her as a kid, I never really imagined we'd be close. But now we are, and it makes me so happy! I miss her sometimes. And I am always excited to see her.
6. My new brother in law, Spencer, who is as crazy as my brother, Biege, judging from all his firework stories, and is quietly funny. He loves my kids, tolerates them, even though they can be intense, and loves my sister even more. Like Shalynn, he just fits right in, like a piece of the puzzle.
7. My youngest brother, Bozton, who is another person I never thought I'd be close to, because he's so much younger than I am. But the gap has closed. He's talented in so many areas- he writes incredible poetry, and builds really weird, but strangely fascinating contraptions, and just has the creative heart of an inventor. He is going to be an engineer someday, and I'm glad. He'll do well at it.
Touchy Topic Tuesday- Airport Security Checks
(And if you're irritated by my Christmas music before thanksgiving, please visit THIS TOUCHY TOPIC TUESDAY to give me a piece of your mind.)
As a kid, I flew on planes often. Back and forth to Arizona from Utah to visit my grandparents, to Disneyland, I was pretty used to planes and the procedures you followed to get through. And I was never afraid.
In my older years, I flew on multiple planes to get to Jamaica for my honeymoon, and from New Jersey several times back to Utah for weddings and visits to my family- several of those times with children.
Now a days, though, you'd be hard pressed to get me on a plane. Too much likelihood of dying.
So, every which way you look, every news channel, all over youtube and so on, people are talking about all the stuff going on over at the airport.
You know what I mean: Airport Security Checks. Are they ethical? Are they too invasive? Should they be done on children?
Well, here's my piece, and then you can feel free to flog me if you want.
Maybe it's because I'm not a terribly private person- I'm modest, but I'm not terribly private. I'm also a big believer in "necessity." Like, when I gave birth and there were half a dozen med school students looking wide eyed at the giant bloody mess that was my nether region and I just didn't care a lick. Or my inability to even feel a slight sense of bashfulness when I have to get my yearly exam from my doctor, or ask him "embarrassing" questions, the details of which I won't go into- for YOUR sake, not mine. BUT, I am 100% honest when I say, if I were to be randomly selected for a thorough search, I would have very VERY little problem standing there while the worker squeezed my boobs, my butt and everywhere else too. I have nothing to hide. I'm not going to act like I do. Furthermore, I understand that women check women now, and men check men. So, there wouldn't even be the uncomfortable question "is he poking that because he's a perv or because he thinks I have a machete hidden in my 34-B?"
I'm even going to go as far as to say that I would be happy to let them search my child. For one, kids aren't as dumb as most adults seem to think they are. And if I were to explain to my child, before hand, that when we go on a plane, it is important for the workers to make sure no one, even kids, have anything dangerous hidden in their clothes so that everyone on the plane can be kept safe, and that, while it is NOT okay for people to touch them inappropriately, this particular procedure is not meant to take advantage of them, but to keep them safe, I am one THOUSAND percent sure that my kids would say "okay." and know what to expect and never think of it again. I've had to have the EXACT same conversation with them when they go in for their yearly well child checks and the doctor has to check their private parts for proper development. I see no difference.
WHY would I be okay with that, you ask? I'll tell you: Because people who are willing to smuggle explosives, weapons, drugs, or any other dangerous thing, are usually not the kind of people who look at a little kid and say "Oh, poor innocent child, I think I'll give them a safe distance from me. Maybe I WON'T blow up this plane." - no, people who are going to do those things are not in high standing and are never above such things as using children for their immoral endeavors. You think I'm delusional? Watch the news for 5 minutes.
That being said, since these guidelines of x-ray vision that shows passengers, essentially naked (which I think, having seen the machines before, is quite the stretch of imagination. It's not like it shows you as a hot Victoria Secret model running around with explosives strapped to her thighs. It's black and white and pretty fuzzy unless there is something detected, which it shows in a brighter shade of gray or white.) so as to find dangerous items, and invasive pat downs, NOT ONE terrorist has been found by these people. Drugs? Yes, occasionally. But terrorists have never been found, and attempts on planes have still been discovered and, luckily thwarted. But the fact that they happened on the planes is testament that the process is not working. Terrorists made it past the gates.
The problem? Pat downs are "random". Workers are not allowed to profile. So, they see someone suspicious, they very well may pass them up if they match a profile they're not allowed to "attack", and go instead for the young mom with two kids hanging on her shirt.
At least in most videos I've watched, the workers have the grace to look sufficiently forlorn about their responsibility and embarrassed to boot.
My opinion here: Invasively search EVERYONE, or don't search ANYONE.
When it comes down to this, I just feel that, while we live in America, Land of the Free (or, more accurately, Land of "leave me alone. I'll do what I want, when I want, where I want, and you can't stop me because I could sue you.") we also live in a world where personal safety is something that other people (terrorists, rapists, murderers, drug dealers, and so on) don't take very seriously or care about. I would rather be patted down and have SOME semblance of security when I get on a plane than to just watch everyone board the plane on the honor system.
Now, we have two options here.
1. If you don't want to be patted down, don't ride a plane. (I won't in any near future. But not because of the pat downs. Because I hear more and more about plane crashes that have nothing to do with terrorists, and I'm not willing to die that way.) - which is pretty much how I see it.
2. No one gets checked, and if you don't want to risk the possibility of terrorists on your flight, don't fly.
I agree with either one. Specifically because either way- over security or no security, I won't be flying.
Now, of course, we see awful stories like THIS ONE that don't help TSA's cause in the slightest. But the risk is there: We know exactly what goes on when we want to board a plane. If you're not willing to risk it happening to you, don't get on a plane. Otherwise, realize that it's a possibility.
Kay, discuss!!! Remember, though- behave yourself. Discussion and disagreements are fine, but foul language, mean or belittling comments, or name calling is not allowed, and comments with such will be deleted immediately.