Pat down or scan? (5×8 – 10/29/10)

How do you want to reveal yourself, the ‘what’ is easy but the ‘how’ is hard, fear the pumpkin, how biased are you, and when dreams come true.


You’ve set off the airport metal detector, now you’ve got a choice. Starting today airport screeners will use what the TSA calls an “enhanced pat down procedure.” Some travelers call it “groping.” Or you can go through the new scanners that give screeners an “enhanced” picture of what you look like when it’s not 27 degrees outside. You can request to be patted down by someone of the same sex. It’s unknown whether you can request a “screening” from a person of the opposite sex. So, which is it going to be?


Today’s MPR poll says more than half of those surveyed want smaller government with fewer services. And this is why the lack of details from the gubernatorial candidates matters so much with only a few days left before the election. Anybody can describe what they want, but it’s harder to provide the “how.” What services do those who want fewer services want cut? How do those who want the same or more services propose to provide them? Those questions weren’t asked. Today’s discussion point: In the spirit of shared sacrifice, if you want smaller government, what service you receive from it can you do without? If you want the same or expanded services, what’s the plan for paying for it?

Meanwhile, in Alaska, the state’s supreme court ordered that a list of write-in candidates has to be shown to voters who request assistance. It’s seen as a boost to a Republican senator who lost in the primary. So opponents have flooded the state’s election division and dozens of people have announced write-in bids for Senate.


Halloween, Schmalloween. In the Ukraine the pumpkin means, “I won’t marry you.” The obvious question: What does a zucchini mean?

In Scotland, MPR’s Euan Kerr reports, there’s no trick-or-treating. They go door to door telling jokes and performing songs.


Psychologists at Harvard, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington created “Project Implicit” to develop Hidden Bias Tests — called Implicit Association Tests, or IATs, in the academic world — to measure unconscious bias. You can participate in actual research, or take some sample tests and tasks, which may reveal more about you than you’re comfortable with. Do you favor young vs. old, for example. (h/t: Mrs. News Cut)


In New Ulm, a group of residents in an assisted living facility revealed their dreams. Then the people of the city made them happen.

Bonus: “Nobody was improperly thrown out of their home,” is the biggest lie in America right now, The Big Picture’s Barry Ritholtz writes today, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. The only people who have the data to prove or disprove it, he says, are the banks. So he uses anecdotal evidence, including over a dozen lawsuits from people who were improperly thrown out of their homes.


Air travel officials in Europe are challenging American security requirements as burdensome and unnecessary. Are security measures for air passengers too strict?


(H/T: Julio Ojeda-Zapata)


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: What makes a good job in bad economic times?

Second hour: Singer-songwriter Dar Williams.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Four legislative leaders discuss the key issues in the legislative campaigns. All 201 House & Senate lawmakers are on the ballot Tuesday.

Second hour: Six Minnesotans discuss who they’re supporting for governor, the issues that are most important, and what they want the new governor to do once elected.

Science Friday (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: A Halloween creature round-up, including a look at eels, dracula orchids, ants in amber, and the mythical chupacabra.

Second hour: What if you find out your genes put you at risk for a fatal disease, do you really want to know?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Mark Steil has an update on the Walz/Demmer/Wilson race from the western part of the 1st District.

Bemidji State University’s American Indian Resource Center has been open for several years now. Is it meeting the expectations of the university? Has it increased American Indian enrollment? Is it being used as a resource outside of campus regionally, nationally? MPR’s Tom Robertson has a look.

Rob Fulton is retiring after 22 years as head of the St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health Department, the largest local health agency in the state. During his tenure the department has grappled with HIV/AIDS, smoking bans, new immigrants, pandemic flu and lots of hazardous waste. MPR’s Lorna Benson talks to him.

Tim Pugmire has the final candidate profile in the race for governor. He’ll tell you everything you always wanted to know about Mark Dayton.

  • Tyler

    There will NEVER be a time I submit to those full-body xrays – I’d rather be stripsearched. If I do get asked for an “enhanced security session,” I’ll request the pat down. It should be as uncomfortable for the security team as it is for me.

  • John O.

    I’ll opt for the scan. Yeah, it can be frustrating and TSA is consistently inconsistent, but that’s airline travel for you in the 21st century.

    Being obstinate or smart-mouthed at a TSA checkpoint is not going to make your day any better.

  • Greg

    What does a zucchini mean?

    Far, far too dirty for this early in the morning Mr. Collins!

  • andy

    John O said “Being obstinate or smart-mouthed at a TSA checkpoint is not going to make your day any better.”

    Yeah, they aren’t jokesters are they? I went to Texas for a long weekend and bought a toy gun and holster for my nephew. I thought it would be fine to have it as carry-on (it was more like, let’s see if I can get away with this).

    They (of course) took me aside, took the plastic toy out of the package and dusted it for gun powder residue. I tried to make small talk and throw in a joke or two while they inspected the little toy gun and they weren’t having any of it. They did let me take the toy on the plane though.

    As far as this post goes though, scan me, pat me, whatever you want sir/madam. I’ve got nothing to hide.

  • kennedy

    Scan or pat-down: Whichever line gets me through faster.

  • Heather

    Oh, to NEVER have to take my shoes off in an airport again… Stupid shoebomber. I HATE that guy.

  • JackU

    Bob, I think you over estimate the challenge in #2. It’s simple that any program/service that I don’t use and nobody I know uses is a complete boondoggle. Those programs can be cut and the only ones to suffer will be the state employees that loose their jobs.

    Of course with that simple logic you will have a hard time getting a majority of legislators to agree on which programs to cut. So the task for the incoming legislators will be to follow your advice and think of a program that they use or that someone the know uses and ask if it can be cut. Compromise will be needed, I hope they can find a way to do that considering the external forces that are aligned against it.

  • JStrander

    Just because no one you know uses a program doesn’t make it a useless program. There are more people in the state than your social circle.