The TSA tests a new scanning device at the Phoenix airport with other airports soon to follow.

The technology, called backscatter, has been around for several years but has not been widely used in the U.S. as an anti-terrorism tool because of privacy concerns.

The security agency’s Web site indicates that the technology will be used initially as a secondary screening measure, meaning that only those passengers who first fail the standard screening process will be directed to the X-ray area. [My italics]

Should make for some great stories in the TSA break room.


  1. Sir Hola and Merry Chrimble to you and yours
    I read yr interview with Roberto (Wolf..he’s a fine and good fella. Hi Rob !)
    So do i take it from what i read you’d rather have yr eggs fried in butter than wheel d’olive ?
    And what about lard ?
    When i was a lad Ida Leverington that stoic South Sorkshire sage who popularized, as yee know, the phrase ‘Daft as a brush’ used to give me lashings of lard as well as bread and dripping as it was called.
    So any comments on lard or butter that you’d care to share with us the thronging masses ?
    Thankyou Sir.
    P.S.Cue three jokes from school days(this is what a good Jesuit education affords one !) done with a contorted accent to imply..well you know double entendre !
    Do you like beef ? try this its dripping.
    Do you like chicken ? try this its foul.
    Do you like chewing gum ? Well try this its wrigley.
    And the difference between an egg and a wank ?.. You can beat an egg but you can’t beat a wank !
    Hi Simon–
    Merry Chrimble to you and yours.
    Yes, I fry my eggs in butter or bacon drippings or coconut oil or lard when we have it on hand.  I never, ever fry them in wheel d’olive.  Somewhere in the vast archives of this blog you should be able to find all my ramblings on lard and/or butter.  Just put the words in the search and hit go.

  2. Can you hear the screaming now from Christian sects and Muslims groups that have religious modesty laws? What are these people thinking? I predict lawsuit parties, class-action coffee klatches! Why do Americans have this childish need to implement every technology that comes our way simply because it’s there? Technology can never supercede good old fashioned police work, or take the place of society’s regard for its members.
    This is just a kind of mental and moral laziness that we can idiot proof the process of security instead of cultivating officers and agents who wouldn’t need this viewscreen. Just put a low paid TSA employee in front of a screen and expect them to do the right thing by the individual being violated–I’m sure!
    Hi LCforevah–
    Agreed 100%.  But could we afford to pay officers and agents who would be smart enough to be trained to perform without the viewscreen?  The problem as I see it is that we no longer live in a pre 9/11 world, yet we’re using security measures aimed at protecting us against forces used in such a world.  Pre 9/11 the rules was that if a plane were hijacked passengers should calmly remain seated and let the hijackers take the plane wherever they wanted.  That idea allowed a bunch of people to take over planes full of passengers using box cutters.  Those rules have changed.  Now no one would allow that to happen.  As has been demonstrated with Richard Reid and others, passengers are no longer so docile.  So why spend time and money looking for and throwing away manicure sets and such and using plastic knives in first class.  It’s DUMB.

  3. Yes, I just love being an armchair bureaucrat! Dismantling the ATF and DEA would give us an incredible number of agents already trained. You already know how I feel about the War on Drugs–what uselessness! Having these agents go from private crime to public crime makes budgetary sense to me.
    Hi LCforevah–
    Yeah, and we could throw in the boys and girls from the FTC as well.  In fact, there are probably a lot of trouble makers we could convert into worthwhile citizens.

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