Wednesday, February 23, 2011

". . . no one should have to sacrifice their dignity in order to travel"

[Update, Feb. 24: New post with video of Rep. Cissna talking to media as she gets off the ferry.]
The Alaska State House passed a "Sense of the House" resolution today in support of Rep. Sharon Cissna, offered by Rep. Chris Tuck. His introduction was:

Last weekend the long-time member of this body from District 22 chose respect. She stood up for her rights, her sense of decency, and her prior commitments to herself at the Seattle airport by not submitting to an intrusive search of her body.

The sense of the house that passed stated:

"It is the Sense of the House that efficient travel is a cornerstone of the economy and our quality of life, especially in Alaska, and that no one should have to sacrifice their dignity in order to travel."

The vote was 36 yeas, 2 excused (Cissna, Fairclough), and Representatives Bob Lynn and Dan Saddler voted against.  

Cissna's office has been inundated with supportive emails from around the country.  The stack in the photo above is just Monday, and an equal sized stack came in Tuesday.  

Meanwhile there was a lively forum at (Not sure the link works if you don't register - for free - to flyertalk.)  Here's a post that apparently was also sent to Rep. Cissna:
Dear Rep. Cissna,

I wish to congratulate you on your bold stand against the TSA at SEA as recently reported in the Seattle press. Please know that a number of your fellow Americans stand behind you, and we, too, are tired of the ongoing abuse leveled by this agency. No one wants less security. What we do want is security that is safe, sane, effective, respectful, and doesn't make people like Michael Cherthoff richer. Instead what we have at the hands of the TSA are expensive machines that can't detect guns (recently reported in Dallas), thieves who have stolen a combined total of nearly $300,000 from innocent travelers (Newark and New York - JFK), and people who are literally sticking their hands in our pants. The images created by the full body scanners would make decent people blush, and as you are unfortunately aware do not protect anyone from an invasive body search demanded under threat of authority. I wish you good health, and as a fellow Democrat hope for your continued political success.

 Here's another:

And check out TSA's reaction:

TSA spokesman Kwika Riley was asked to respond to Cissna’s comments when contacted by The Associated Press. But a general statement issued later did not mention her or her claims, saying the agency is "sensitive to the concerns of passengers who were not satisfied with their screening experience and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA."
Translation: Stuff it, you whiner.

A number focus on TSA's treatment of people with medical prosthetics:

Originally Posted by BubbaLoop View Post
As usual, the TSA fails horribly when dealing with prosthetics. Lucky for us, it was with a public figure. This has to get out to more news media.

I´ll do my share to make this link go viral.
Problems with abusive and humiliating treatment of breast cancer survivors has been reported before. In that case, a TSA agent put her full hand on the (prosthetic) right breast of a US Air flight attendant and made her remove the prosthesis from her bra for inspection.

This post gives contact info for various beast cancer organizations.

These organizations should be "strongly encouraged" to fight for the rights of women to continue with their lives and careers after surviving breast cancer, including the right to travel without harassment, humiliation, and abuse.


  1. I am seriously re-thinking my vacation plans this summer. I don't "get out much". (via air travel anyway) I have the opportunity to attend my 35th HS class reunion. It has to be a quick trip via air. I am self-employed and work EVERY day ALL year. To take even 3-4 days off to do this, and I WANT to do this, to travel 1400 miles to attend, well, I have to fly.
    I am a Stage IV breast cancer warrior. (I hate the term survivor, because frankly...there is no cure yet, so how can you be a survivor?)
    I wear a prosthesis because of my mastectomy. Actually, a few years ago I finally decided on reconstruction and the surgeon screwed me up even worse, so my "full body scan" looks even more freaky than just a prosthesis showing through. (I found that out the last I flew and was humilated when I had to produce my breast form and they still didn't believe that my actual chest area was "real") Yes, my chest area is totally screwed up. I am very ashamed of it. I look at my maimed chest daily and remind myself that yes, I am still alive. But when they pull me off to the side, DEMAND to touch my chest area, pull my prosthesis out, yet still have some weird "thing" going on......well, I find myself making decisions to NOT travel and see friends before I die. It sucks, plain and simple. And the last time I flew, they ran my new mini-laptop through while I was pulled aside....never to be seen again. Hello? Can you at least WATCH my belongings going through while you drag me off? I totally get the entire terrorist threat thing, but I am so done with people pointing me out and speaking loudly to step aside for a FEEL down. Do I decide NOT to wear my prosthesis this summer? I swear....what's more embarrassing, going through disrobing and removing a device that makes me looks somewhat normal, or going w/o it and having people look at me and wonder what the heck is wrong with my body? I take pride at living through my illness, being Stage IV for 3 years now, but sometimes I wonder if it's worth the hassle.

  2. What if this is a conspiracy to get more people to travel by train and boat?

    No one should be allowed to feel you up unless it is a doctor.

    I am glad for Sharon deciding to take the ferry up-- she is a great lady with a lot of class. I really wish that SnoDrift Snooki would actually speak up on this issue for the people: she might make a difference in the matter if she sic'd her bots on the Powers that Be.

  3. Brava to Rep. Cissna for refusing to be pawed by these abusive, power-tripping thugs! There are so few of us out here who object, who see the writing on the wall, who are willing to stand up for our rights. The sheeple just blindly go along, thus making it easy for our security overlords to abuse us.

    I have stopped flying entirely, an enormous sacrifice for me, and I'm taking no end of sh*t for it from family & friends. But they're the ones who are deluded. When, one day, they have to bend over and spread 'em, they'll have no one to blame but themselves.

    As for the person above who said, "What if this is a conspiracy to get more people to travel by train and boat?" You have got to be kidding. Have you been following the news? Do you really think these abusive practices will stop at the airport?? Napolitano and Pistole are bringing their molestation show to a bus/train/subway/port near you. It's only a matter of time. And because the sheeple have shown that they're all right with it -- anything to "Keep Us Safe From The Terrorists!" -- they'll fall right into line.


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.