Airport Pat Down -- Is Shampoo a Crime?

This is how civil liberties die. Little by little. First it's our shoes, then our shampoo.
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Here's another 're-blog' from Max. Take a look at how the world look through the eyes of an 18 year old who's just trying to deal with stress, college, life, and politics.

Now departing 2007. Welcome to 1984.

Okay, so I just got back from Maine, where I was visiting colleges.

Everything went very well, except for one thing.

My hair was frizzy and gross.

This woman and I had a lot in common.

Now, one might think this is inconsequential, but that's what THEY want you to think.

We'll get to the "THEY" in a sec, I just need to satisfy my shtick first:

I had frizzy hair, so I was nervous, and I looked like a crazed asylum escapist to my interviewer. In short, frizzy hair sucks.

So, Max, why is it that your obviously untrendy hair is the subject matter of this particular blog post?

Hm, that's a good question, hypothetical reader, maybe because the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT is singlehandedly responsible for ripping my faithful shampoo and cream rinse from my pallid little hands and crushing it under military boot.

OK... so I leave my mom at the security checkpoint. That makes sense... we don't want anyone who isn't flying in the gate area, right? I'm busy making puppy eyes and waving goodbye while waiting on the line, so I don't notice the hundreds of millions of ridiculous signs around me.

Suddenly, a guy I'd describe as "not warm and fuzzy" is stabbing me with eyeballs obviously hardened in Guantánamo, demanding I, ahem, here we go:

1. Remove my shoes.
2. Remove my jacket.
3. Remove my belt.
4. Empty my pockets.
5. Take any large electronics out of my bag.
6. Retain my boarding pass.
7. Retain my Identification.
8. Keep any unshot film with me.
9. Move quickly.

So, while I'm dancing on one foot, playing music plastic bins, and getting to, like, second base with the security guard, I begin to get a little frustrated.

I somehow throw myself through the metal detector, which, magically, doesn't declare me to be Osama Bin Laden junior, as all the guards seemed to hope it would. I didn't forget anything.

Now I'm waiting on the other end, with everything in my hands, and bags spilling out of the machine.

My camera makes it through, but they demand to swab it, as they always do. I've decided I don't care, though, since jokes on them, I don't have to clean it myself!

And my other bag comes through, I grab it, and begin to hobble over to the nearest seat, conveniently located 9000 feet away.

But then, suddenly, a latex claw grasps my arm and a bodaciously big lady says, "WHERE DUH YUH THINK YUR GOWN?" In response, I immediately pee my pants.

Okay... so I didn't, but I was startled, for sure.

Then, as if she were commanded by God himself to do it, she rips my bag open, and plunges her latexed claw in, digging, drilling, puncturing. She brings her spiked appendage out, triumphant.


A fricken toiletries bag.

"And what did you think you were doing with this, young man?"

The number of wry, hygiene related puns that fleeted upon me at that moment was overwhelming.

Yet, I still responded with "Uhhmmmmmmmmm..."

And so, the bag was opened, the shampoo thrown out on the table, and the bag thrown beside it.

"These MUST be checked sir". Echoed across the security area, and I wanted to fall to the floor in shame. I had obviously betrayed my country, how could I live on?

I had somehow missed two more commandments in addition to the nine above.

10. No liquids in bottles larger than 1/2 a quart. (or something like that)
11. Remove all toiletries from bags.

Ultimately, she decided NOT to strip search me in a backroom, and settled for making me throw out my sundried hair cleaning products.

That being said, even the environmental aspect of making people throw out things like that is just disgusting.

Is this what our country has become?

If so, ladies and gentlemen, this is a real freaking problem.

This is how civil liberties die. Little by little. First it's our shoes, then our shampoo. What's next? When does the government decide not to allow carry-ons OR checked baggage? "Items required for use at destination must be purchased upon arrival or shipped directly via mail. This is for the safety of all Americans. Baggage compartments offer a striking vulnerability in the security of all aircraft. Thank you for doing your patriotic duty. God Bless America."

I get that I'm making a fuss about something not that important, but we must draw the line somewhere. We must decide when too much is enough. 10 years ago, I think it would have been drawn at when we need to keep our toiletries in ZIP LOC bags of PRECISELY one quart in size.

When old men are being searched in their wheelchairs.

When toddlers are forced to walk through metal detectors alone.

When a woman has to drink her own breastmilk.

Security is important. Security from without. But what is far more important, and what we're far less capable of enforcing under this barbaric administration, is security from within.

Civil disobedience is American. It's how we stay American.

It's time to remember that.

from: The Idealistocrat: Link to the blog

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