I have often said to myself, and other fellow passengers, that I would much rather be delayed, have my bag ripped (which has happened to me thrice), hassled and annoyed than unsafe. "Get me there alive" is really all I ask from a variety of airline carriers that I patronize. However, I had my hopes up in the past six months that things were finally going to change for the better - due in part to these two articles - http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-03-02-shoe-scanner_N.htm (talks about new scanners that will allow us to stop taking off our shoes) and this one - http://www.eturbonews.com/15849/eu-end-restrictions-liquids-carry-luggage-april-2013 (a possible end in sight for the liquid ban, even if just in the EU).
The last one was particularly exciting because as many Americans know, the EU comes up with a good idea and we follow about a year later. It's not that I mind shoving tiny liquids into one tiny bag - it's just that we have to stoop to that rule to begin with. I'm sorry, if someone wants to be harmful bad enough, they're going to find a way. (Btw, that is not ME, TSA, I'm just saying.)
Anyways, I have deviated off of today's point. I just checked in (for a flight to Durham, NC) and cleared security and am now sitting in my gate area. But not before receiving a lovely grope session. Seriously, flying when it's not busy is a curse - it's like they want to pretend things are safe all the time by using their fancy safety tricks when the airport is dead.
The TSA agent looked at me going through the metal detector and then said, "Hm, yeah, okay, let's do a full body pat-down." I was thinking, do I have a choice? Can I just strip for you and we'll call it even? Anyways, I stood there while I was checked for whatever I could be concealing, which was nothing. I can't decide which I hate worse - the pat-down or the digital full-body scanner machine, which I am still pretty sure they haven't resolved the retaining of captured images issue with yet...I'll save that rant for another time.