My current Perl Ironman Challenge status is: My Ironman Badge

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sensible Letter

I just contacted my House representative with the following letter. It is a more properly measured correspondence, filled with less ragespeak and more call-to-action words. I wait patiently with baited breath for my form letter response thanking me for contacting him about gun control laws. Sigh.


Regarding TSA experience:

Mr. Joe Barton:

After refusing to be have my body irradiated and naked pictures shown to "highly trained security professionals", I was given an "enhanced pat down" which had no patting involved, only lots of unwanted rubbing and general molestation. This is not security. This is blatant violation of my person. Then when I voiced my dissent on this process using strong language (as any reasonable person would do under this circumstance), I was "invited" to have a conversation with a manager in a suit and a uniformed law enforcement officer. At this point, I asked if I was being detained or if I was free to go. My question was not answered until after the LEO and manager arrived where they attempted to intimidate me into surrendering my first amendment protected right to free speech. I was then accused of causing a "scene" and was given the threat of "not flying." I argued for my protected right to free speech, but then realized that this was not going to change anything. I reiterated my previous detainment questions and was told I was free to go so I left immediately.

After having such a terrible experience at the hands of these poorly trained "professionals," I urge you not to further support any bills that will increase funding to the TSA for any additional staff or equipment and to vote for any bills that limit the TSA's governance. Situations like mine are not increasing airport security, they are violating individuals rights and persons.


Nicholas Perez
[contact information redacted]


  1. While I sympathise with the heavy-handed treatment you received, I don't think your right to free speech actually grants a right to fly, or a right to be on privately owned land if the owner or their agents take a dislike to what you say.

    Free speech just means you can say it without being arrested, doesn't say anything at all about other people forming opinions about you and acting on them in a legal manner.

  2. @Illusori, you are partially correct. TSA are a federal agency acting under the Department of Homeland Security. They have no privileges granted that excuse attempts at silencing protected speech. TSA are not an agent of the airport. That particular airport is not a private institution, either. The agents involved do not have a right to not be offended. Although I am not a lawyer, I am fairly sure there would be repercussions for denying the flight of a passenger based solely on the passengers opinion of the screening process and not on an imminent physical threat such as a weapon or explosive. At some point it would have to be considered an arrest as you are no longer free to leave to catch your flight.

    So yes, while what you say about private land (even though it doesn't apply in this case) and no specific right protected when it comes to flying is correct, I take exception to the idea that a federal agent can threaten arrest based on a voiced opinion.

  3. Good for you!
    You have the unconditional RIGHT to opt-out.
    Go to:
    for important radiological safety and privacy information and actual images from this technology, not the lame images that TSA is propagating.