How to Get a Foursquare TSA Badge This Week

→ by Andy Yen < @renowned >
at 2:41pm Nov 24, 2010

Hey, are you a foursquare badge whore like me? Flying this week for the holidays? Don’t forget to get your limited edition “Baggage Handler” badge by checking in at LAX or whichever airport you land at and typing in any of these keywords: “TSA,” “grope,” or “junk.”

Here’s what my check-in sentence is going to be if you need some inspiration: “The TSA groped my junk… and I liked it.” (yeah, obviously you can’t do italics on Foursquare, but I can on lalawag so deal with it.)

If you’ve unlocked the badge correctly you’ll get a message that reads:

“Looks like you’ve had your baggage handled. Happy Holidays and have a safe flight!”

(thanks to for the image)

Foursquare isn’t the only social service to pay homage to “National Opt-Out Day” today. Loopt is giving away ten iPod touches to randomly selected people who use the hashtag #touchedbyTSA in their airport check-in on Loopt.

For those of us living under a rock, there’s been massive public outcry over the new invasive body scanner/searches implemented by the TSA over the last few weeks. Jeffrey Goldberg over at The Atlantic has been one of the most vocal opponents of the new policy and I gotta admit, he makes some pretty convincing arguments.

In other words, people, when faced with a choice, will inevitably choose the Dick-Measuring Device over molestation? “That’s what we’re hoping for. We’re trying to get everyone into the machine.” He called over a colleague. “Tell him what you call the back-scatter,” he said. “The Dick-Measuring Device,” I said. “That’s the truth,” the other officer responded.

The pat-down, while more effective than previous pat-downs, will not stop dedicated and clever terrorists from smuggling on board small weapons or explosives. When I served as a military policeman in an Israeli army prison, many of the prisoners “bangled” contraband up their asses. I know this not because I checked, but because eventually they told me this when I asked.

If we’re fighting terrorism by relying on random TSA screenings, rather than stopping plots before they get to airports, we’re doing something wrong.

This past Monday, our very own Mayor Villaraigosa got his “dick measured,” so to speak, at LAX in order to show his support of the new screening procedures. The most telling thing about the publicity stunt was that ABC news apparently decided to crop video footage of the scanning at the waist for their telecast. If these revealing images aren’t fit to be broadcast into the privacy of our own homes, why are they fit to be shown in front of complete strangers in a crowded airport?

About the Author: Andy Yen

Andy loves to live his digital life on the bleeding edge. He usually falls into the category of "early adopter" by being in on new gadgets and beta versions of software and sites. Most of the time it doesn't end up biting him in the ass. He also loves video games and music and curates a site called My Day Will Come if you're into those sorts of things.