Weather Forecast


Column - Whiners should drive, not fly

Better to have a "pat down" than a "plane down." These whining complainers should stop flying. Let them drive, take a train, take a bus or a boat. Let them walk, for all I care. They should all be grounded, like spoiled brats, until they agree to grow up.

One of them, a California man, told the security man, "Don't touch my junk or I'll have you arrested." Typical jerk, thinking some stranger is just dying to touch his precious "junk." He must think he's a "10." Minus-zero is more like it - mentally, at least.

Don't these oh-so-sensitive souls remember the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber and other suicidal-homicidal lunatics eager to board airplanes and blow everybody to kingdom come? Wouldn't you think these complainers would realize a moment of embarrassment is worth the possible prevention of an exploded jet and a long fall to certain death?

Some of these whiners are worried that their scanned body photos might be shared or sold and end up published. Like the "junk" man, these people must have a high opinion of themselves and their sought-after bodies. The lechers of this world are just itching to get their hands on the arousing photos of the X-ray ghost outline of someone's magnificent body. Imagine, the photos of these "sexy" people on the covers of sensational magazines. Just think, it'll ruin their ghostly reputations, if they had any to begin with. Horrors!

Fasten those seat belts, folks. And pass the barf bag, please.

Some reasonable pat-down critics (non-whiners) do make some good points. For instance, airports should make special privacy provisions for people who would be made particularly embarrassed by a pat-down search, such as those who wear ostomy bags or those who are seriously overweight. Others have pointed out there remains an alarming lack of security protections while loading and unloading cargo sections of planes. Those inexcusable lapses must definitely be fixed. Airport security, in all of its phases, is one of those unfortunate realities of life that must be fine-tuned constantly in a never-ending effort just to stay one step ahead of those extremist maniacs whose one goal of living, apparently, is to kill Americans and other Westerners.

As soon as the Twin Towers fell, the world changed utterly, maybe forever. Those unimaginable daytime nightmares of September 11, 2001 were bound to affect our freedoms, our abilities to come and go unfettered within a free country, a free world. It's a crying shame what a handful of vicious fanatics can do to this world. For their every awful act, there is a multiplicity of security measures and adjustments free societies must initiate and learn to live with. Scanning machines and pat-down searches are just two of them.

I used to say, after the shoe bomber attempted his twisted scheme, that it wouldn't surprise me if someday people are going to have to fly stark naked. Those who are embarrassed could choose to cover themselves with toga bed sheets. Of course, I was being facetious. But that's nearly how extreme we are having to become to counter the violent extremities of the bomb-crazed fiends in our midst.

Scanning machines and pat-down searches are the price we have to pay to try to keep the fabled "friendly skies" friendly.

Instead of complaining, all jet passengers should welcome them. Airports should install big signs at security check-points that say, "No whining. If you don't like it, go drive."

Dennis Dalman, a former reporter for the Echo Press, is a regular contributing columnist to the Opinion page. He is currently the editor of the St. Joseph Newsleader. He can be reached via e-mail at