David Kirkpatrick

November 24, 2010

Holiday air travel food for thought

Not only is the TSA a ridiculous bureaucratic mess that isn’t making anyone any safer at airports or in the skies, plus it’s now turned into an organization demanding organized “legal” molestation. It’s also very possibly damaging your health if you want to avoid the unwanted groping.

From the link:

As millions of U.S. travelers get ready for the busiest flying day of the year, scientists still can’t agree over whether the dose of radiation delivered by so-called backscatter machines is significantly higher than the government says. This is despite months of public debate between the White House, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and independent scientists.

Full-body scanners have been installed at many U.S. airports. The machines use either low-energy, millimeter wavelength radiation, which is harmless, or X-rays, which can potentially be hazardous. X-rays can ionize atoms or molecules, which can lead to cancerous changes in cells. Even if the government has significantly underestimated the dose of radiation delivered by an X-ray scanner, it is likely to be relatively small.

And more:

In April, four scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote a public letter to the White House warning that the government may have underestimated the dosage of ionizing radiation delivered to a person’s skin from a backscatter machine by one or two orders of magnitude. The scientists, who have expertise in biochemistry, biophysics, oncology, and X-ray crystallography, pointed out that the government’s estimate was based on radiation exposure for the entire body. During scanning, the majority of radiation will be focused on the surface of the body, meaning a more concentrated dose of radiation is delivered to the skin.

June 25, 2008

IDs, airports and “security”

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:47 am

Jim Harper at Cato-at-Liberty has a great post pointing out the essential truth behind the policy preventing anyone from flying unless an ID is presented.

The first graf:

We’re now learning the meaning of a new policy that Americans can’t “willfully” refuse to show ID at airports. The Consumerist has a write-upof one man’s experience with IDless travel. It turns out they do a background check on you using, among other things, your political affiliation.

He goes on to point out the TSA’s “system” is easily subverted by anyone with no history of breaking the law. It does provide a burden on the overwhelming majority of travelers who just want to get from point A to point B. Oh, and it has another effect as well. This time on the civil liberties and right to privacy of the traveler. Two US Constitution granted ideals held near and dear by most Americans.

Harper’s conclusion:

Identity checks at airports require law-abiding American citizens to give up their privacy, including their political affiliations, with essentially no security benefit.