Sunday, November 21, 2010

Opinions. Not Worth A Tinkers Dam

When TBG started to go off regarding the TSA's new pat-downs and sooper-dooper xray machine, I thought to myself "That dude needs to switch to decaf."

After all, how bad can it be?

Look! CBS says most of us don't mind.
CBS Poll: 4 in 5 Support Full-Body Airport Scanners
Americans overwhelmingly approve of the use of full-body digital x-ray machines - a new technology in use at some airports in the U.S.

Problem is, I think those 4 out of 5 are like me, and only travel once every 5 years or so, and are NOT travelers like TBG (thank God) and travel all the frigging time.

I guess you might have a different view, if like TBG, you had to submit to both the scanner and a pat-down. (We exchanged a series of rather colorful emails about this... I'm sure a 4th Amendment post is in-process. Don't miss it.)

Two things regarding the CBS poll...
They are playing fast and loose with their stats and sources. I hate it when pollsters don't discuss their polling criteria and methodologies...

The fine print? Here:
This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,137 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone November 7-10, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from RDD samples of both standard land-lines and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
Do they travel? How often? Have they experienced the TSA enhanced pat-down?
If not, then STFU. You don't have a valid frame of reference to give an opinion.

So, since I have no frame of reference, or as TBG phrased it "you don't have a dog in this fight..." I'll just keep my lip buttoned and watch the game from the sidelines.

One other thing that might cast a suspicious pall over the CBS article is the following quote:

Most [Americans], meanwhile, do not approve of racial or ethnic profiling - a practice not in place.
I'm not sure they asked the question in an appropriate context.
How do you think the questions was asked?:
"Do you approve of racial profiling?"
"Should individuals meeting specific criteria for know terrorist activities be subjected to more scrutiny than the average traveler?"
Yeah. Get back to me on that...

Meanwhile, for your amusement, a cartoon that MIGHT have some validity, if you look at the situation pragmatically:

Proxi, a non-traveler.


Luc said...

Have you read the comments on the CBS page? CBS are not making any friends with their interwebz friends ;).

Bug said...

Maybe we should get some radiation detection badges and see what kind of effect we're getting from these things.