One Picture Is Worth 1,124 Words

Here at TharpSter.Org, one of the cornerstones of the insight that you as the reader gain from visiting this website is the imagery that accompanies my verbal brilliance. 

Certainly I could spend all of my time posting various pictures in order to let them stand alone as a blog, much like a picture book.  Wander around this site and you’ll find I’m not into doing that. 

Go ahead and do that right now.  I’ll be here when you return.

I’d like to take a few moments out of your internet surfing to discuss a particular picture.  Take a gander at the one I’ve posted below.



If at this point on November 20, 2010 you haven’t seen this picture yet, then I would like to welcome your return from the extended stay in a cave on the backside of Uranus.

I don’t know the specific date this last week in which the picture was taken, however I can tell you it was taken at Denver International Airport.  I can also tell you that it depicts a Transportation Security Agency agent performing an enhanced pat-down on an airline passenger.

I don’t know if the passenger declined to be scanned by the new full body scanners which were recently implemented in this nation’s airports.  For those of you who may not know, the consequence for declining the full body scan is an aggressive pat-down.

For all I know, the passenger in the picture may have been singled out for a pat-down for any number of reasons. 

I’m not going to discuss anything about this picture where I don’t know the details.  Instead, I’ll discuss what I do know about it.

Take a look at the picture again.  I copied it from an article about the new procedures on



 Look at the passenger. 



Does he look at all relaxed or comfortable?  Maybe you can’t tell, so envision yourself in his place.  Naturally the process isn’t supposed to be a relaxing walk in the park, and I wouldn’t even bother arguing from the point of view that American’s comfort is at risk here.

 Look at the left hand of the TSA agent.  Do you know what he’s doing?  He’s been instructed to put his hand there in order to steady the passenger.


Look at the agent’s face.  Does he look like he relishes his job right now?  I hope not.  I hope he hates his predicament as much as anyone else in that room.


If you haven’t looked at the TSA agent’s right hand, then you’ve missed the whole context of the picture.  You don’t need my description or very much imagination to figure out what he’s doing.


Take another look at the full picture.

If we as freedom loving Americans believe the terrorists haven’t won, will someone please explain to me what the key indicator is?  I just don’t see it at this point.

Consider the terrorists’ goals. 

They hate that we are free.  They hate our rugged individualism and our independence.  They hate the liberty we have with our faith, or lack thereof.

They hate our capitalism.  They hate our goals of spreading freedom everywhere we can.

When they attacked us on that horrible day in September nine years ago, they weren’t doing so just to kill, maim, and destroy. 

They were doing so in hopes of getting our government to clamp down on our freedom.  As a result, we became the hapless recipients of more stringent security rules in the airports.

I remember the first time I ever boarded an airplane in 1985.  My parents read me the riot act for days leading up to that particular flight about smarting off to the airport security.  Nothing was funny and jokes and smart-ass remarks were completely unacceptable.

Back then, friends and family could go all the way to the boarding gates in airports, even though they weren’t flying.  I have memories as a small child going to those gates just to watch the planes take off and land.

Gone are the days.

With the 9/11 attacks, everything thing changed.  You’ve got to have an airline ticket and valid identification to get to the gates now. 

Fine.  Only passengers can go to the gates and security is heightened.  That would seem to be an acceptable trade off.

But then it got worse shortly after the attacks.

You have to take your shoes off and subject them to x-ray now.  Thank you very much Richard Reid

Just when we thought we have had enough with shucking our clogs at the security checkpoint, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab packed explosives into his underwear and tried to detonate them on a plane on Christmas day this last year.

Now as result of the actions of these two doosh-bags and the rest of their hell bent conspiracy, our freedoms have been limited.

Go back up a few paragraphs and read what I said about the goals of terrorism.  They hate our freedom and want to strip us of it.

December 15, 1791 serves as a very important day in this nation’s history.  Do you know why?

It was on that day, ladies and gentlemen, that the Bill of Rights was ratified.  Among those first ten amendments to the new U.S. Constitution, a right protecting the American people from unnecessary searches and seizures was placed as number four.  It reads as follows:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Here in America, I as one of it’s citizens have the expectation of a certain level of privacy.  If I don’t want pictures of my nude body to be generated by a full body scanner, I have that right.  Regardless of the claims of the TSA, I don’t trust what will happen to those pictures.  Even on a bigger picture, I don’t think it’s necessary for the government to perform a virtual strip search on me in the event I should want to fly.

The consequence of me asserting my right to said level of privacy now results in me being subjected to an aggressive and invasive pat-down where various parts of my body are groped more in the matter of minutes than what I do personally in any given day.

Virtually strip searching and aggressively patting down the American public in hopes of stopping terrorist attacks is unreasonable.  The steps taken by elements within our government under the banner of making us a safer society have done nothing but to limit our freedoms.

Prove to me otherwise.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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