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Posted: 8/22/2004 3:56:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 3:57:05 PM EDT by Airwolf]
This shit pisses me off to no end.

And yet we, the sheeple of the United States of America, just continue to submit to this sham of "security".

Oh, well. Reason #4,528 why I will never set foot on another commercial aircraft as long as I live.


My Turn: Defending Our Skies Against the Elderly

As I watched the airport screener search my father, I had to wonder: have we lost our common sense?

By Diane Dimond

Aug. 30 issue - Before he passed away in March, Allen O. Hughes took his final trip East. He came with Ruby, his wife of 56 years. They came not because they liked to travel—they came because Allen had lymphoma and he wanted to visit his only daughter and his granddaughter and his two great-grandchildren one last time.

The last I saw of him, a burly airport screener was forcing my frail and faltering 78-year-old father to stand at attention—arms spread—for a wand search. As I watched from the other side of the security gate I saw the man in the uniform point to my father to sit down and take off his shoes. These were the very shoes I'd just seen him wrestle on at home. He hadn't noticed me in the guest room doorway in the predawn light, but I had nearly cried as I watched him groaning his way into those shoes. Old-man shoes, I thought—you know, the ones with the Velcro straps—but they were about all he could manage.

Even hoisting himself up into my Jeep seemed a chore. As we headed for the airport I heard my husband, Michael, say, "Nice to have you here, Allen. Keep up the battle." Dad just dipped his chin and said softly, "I will."

My father was a man of few words: a proud man who had served his country during World War II, who had left the Navy and taken Uncle Sam up on the offer of the GI Bill to start his own business in Albuquerque, N.M. So he never said a word as he was plucked out of the line of travelers at the Westchester airport in New York. He'd already taken off his jacket. He'd untangled himself from the oxygen finger-cuff he wore on a string around his neck and put it in the little basket gliding down the conveyor belt. I held my breath as Dad shuffled through the electronic archway. Something made it squeal, and that's when the burly man motioned my father to the side.

You have to understand: my dad grew up dirt-poor in the northern reaches of North Dakota. He endured a terrible childhood and somewhere early on he taught himself pride and the importance of struggling through. So as sick as he was, as exhausted as the weeklong trip to New York had to have been, he did as he was told.

The man who never broke a law in his life stretched out his arms, stared straight ahead and waited as the wand passed over him. I heard the beep as the wand passed his left wrist. Without asking permission, the screener pulled back my father's sleeve to reveal the $20 watch he had bought because it had big enough numbers to read without his glasses. That damn wand kept going. Down to my father's belt buckle where I heard another beep. Again, without a word, the screener yanked up my father's flannel shirt, slipped his hand down around the buckle and tugged on it. I watched helplessly, knowing that if I shouted out my increasing rage I'd humiliate my father even more. I could see Dad clench his jaw as the last tug on his belt nearly made him lose his balance. Did the screener really think my father might wreak havoc on a planeload of people?

I'm not blaming the airport screener. He was just doing as he's trained to do. And I haven't forgotten what a handful of maniacs did on American soil nearly three years ago—but come on! Is this our best answer?

I waited on the visitors' side of the metal-detector station until my father struggled back into his shoes. My mother was standing at the end of the conveyor belt where she'd gathered up his coat, oxygen meter and wallet. As he shuffled over they spoke a few quiet words and my mother pointed to their gate. I don't know if it was embarrassment or fatigue, but Dad forgot to turn around for a final wave.

I have seen elderly people put through similar indignities at airports in Dallas, Cincinnati and Los Angeles. I remember the Dallas incident with clarity because the subject of the search reminded me of my father, except that the man was traveling alone and carrying a cane. The screener took away his cane, made him remove his belt and shoes and then left him to sit there while the screener consulted with his supervisor about how best to scan the cane.

Even as Dad battled his illness my parents still performed great acts of charity in their community. They read the newspaper so they could cast informed votes on Election Day. They went to the Albuquerque Fleet Reserve Club once a week to stay in touch with friends, where I'm sure my father never mentioned the scene at the airport. Instead, he would have told his Navy buddies stories about watching the Yankees on his son-in-law's big-screen television. But I remain indignant.

Of course we need to screen airplane passengers, but I think there is a better way. My first suggestion is to include in the security training this mantra: "You must look into the passenger's eyes. People should be treated with respect." Isn't that the way of life we're all fighting to keep?

Dimond lives in Grandview-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:03:58 PM EDT
Amen. The last time I was at the airport, they made a woman who was at least 80 go through this shit. They also made a little girl, maybe 5 or 6 go through it while she cried for her mother. Meanwhile, two Muzzies in turbans quietly walked on the plane without a word. Such bullshit.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:04:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:08:16 PM EDT
I've flown 12 times since 9-11.

Not once have I been subjected to any of this shit, none, nadda.

So there not profiling??

Look like gramps needs a pat down!!

Semper Fi

Once a Marine, Always a Marine, Still look like a Marine!!
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:13:19 PM EDT
It is sheer insanity to do this to that man.

Anyone remotely Arab looking should be treated like this... and maybe a few young folks or whathaveyous to avoid the lawsuits.

- BUCC_Guy

If there is a problem with a Ford, don't recall a Chevy.

Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:34:59 PM EDT
They do it because we the sheeple allow it to happen.
Just do as the gubmint says.....conform.......obey.......
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:47:26 PM EDT
I hate those damn elderly, they are evil. They beat you with there canes and hide razors in there pill bottles. I once was jacked up by an elderly street gang in Floridia. I am glad we are being protected from tose vicious elderly. We should get them on more prescrption drugs to keep the quiet.

I can't stand to fly. I only do so when work requires and I will in a year when I go to Hawaii on my honeymoon. It's sad when the TSA, Transportation Suppression Adminstration, doesn't have enough damn common sense to not put the elderly through hell.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:56:18 PM EDT
well, the people screamed for the gubmit to step in... well, they got it!

hows that old proverb go (?).. becareful what you ask for, you just might get it!
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:56:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 4:59:11 PM EDT by paenutz]
Why did she put him in that position in the 1st place?
I know that I am going to be called all kinds of names for saying this, but
people are going to have to learn to adjust thier lives to protect others.

I dont like reading something like that, I dont like the thought of an elderly man
being "Embarrassed" in ANY WAY...
But people in this country need to realize that airports are NOT the same as
they once were. This was IMO totaly the "daghters" fault...
If "dad" did not have his watch on or a belt buckle this unfortunate incident
would have been avoided. If it would have been ME this never would have happend.

I feel badly for the "father" and nothing but contempt for the "daughter"

Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:58:31 PM EDT
Last time I flew, I was told that the "security check" was a random deal that was flagged on your ticket. Yes, I had to go through the whole ordeal of taking my shoes off and having my bag searched, etc. At this time I was still a card carrying member of the military, but that doesn't excuse you from anything (unless you are in uniform). Its really too bad that the elderly are put through the search like that.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:58:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 5:15:17 PM EDT
I was traveling with an elderly friend, age 92 at the time. My purpose for the trip was merely to do the heavy lifting, help this guy make the trip.

In Chicago they made him get up out of a wheelchair to wand him. I gave the security guy (who barely spoke English) a glare that should have hurt if not killed him, and he waved me on through. ME they should have wanded, but a old man in a wheelchair?

And I want to know if the security guy was even a US citizen? If not, who hired him as security???
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 9:08:01 PM EDT
I travel frequently and frequently travel at the last minute so I am consistently the fortunate recipient of the dreaded "SSSS".(read in anal probing on a regular basis)

I made the mistake of putting my wallet in the bin at SeaTac and those bastages opened up my wallet and started thumbing through my cash and business cards. I had to restrain myself from B@#$%-slapping the puke. I have a friend who works as TSA in So. Utah and he told me that your wallet is fair game.

I flew to our fishing lodge in AK last week w/ my family and my wife was checked(metal hardware in her arm) and because my 6 year old daughter touched her arm they searched her as well.

real threat...right?hinking.gif

Link Posted: 8/22/2004 9:16:02 PM EDT
People start yelling if they search mostly Arabs becuase they are "profiling" thats why they have to put everyone through that shit.
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