Roam If You Want To

Today is National Opt-Out Day, for whatever that’s worth. I’m opting out of receiving an unnecessary radiation bath, surrendering my Constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure and foreseeable sexual assault every day by not buying a plane ticket. Pete and I are planning a vacation, so: sorry, airline industry! No ticket money for you! But you won’t miss us, will you? If you did, procedures would probably change tout de suite. No, the police state has plans for us all, such that even I, public transportation’s fervent cheerleader, might find myself persuaded to buy another car someday.

I’m surprised to write those words, but there we are.

My friend Scout observed years ago that statistics indicated 1 in 4 women would be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, “but in my experience that number is reversed.” I agree: in conversation, when you explain what legally constitutes sexual assault, you can watch the terrible light dawn in women’s eyes. Suddenly they know an uncomfortable or traumatic memory is painful for a reason.

The American Cancer Society offers this set of numbers (.pdf):

Estimated New Cancer Cases and Deaths by Sex for All Sites, US, 2010
Estimated New Cases
Both Sexes
All Sites 1,529,560

Male
789,620

Female
739,940

Estimated Deaths
Both Sexes
569,490

Male
299,200

Female
270,290

Last night, Pete and I watched the episode of Modern Marvels called Failed Inventions, that included a segment about radiation and consumer products that were huge mistakes. We should expect to see backscatter scanners join this list of regrettable contraptions with a body count, but what will we say about people now expected by the United States government to endure sexual assault in the name of safety?

The idea born of bed-wetting cowardice, like so many in the last ten years, is monstrous.

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