A while ago, when I was flying to Idaho and had a layover in Salt Lake City, Utah, I was for the first time confronted with full-body scanners at an airport security checkpoint. It was at the time a pilot test, and there were signs saying I had the right to refuse the scanner. Appalled by the idea of doing a digital strip dance for the security officers, I refused, and while I the security officer didn't appreciate the extra work, I had to wait in line shortly, received a quick pat-down, and was sent on my way.

Full-body scanners have since received a lot of attention, and were introduced in many airports, some mandatory for primary screening, others opt-out, and finally some only use it for secondary screening, that is, when the metal detector beeps, or similar.

Today I am pleased to read that the Idaho House voted in favor of a bill restricting the use of such scanners in the state (the bill would forbid using such scanners as primary screening method in airports). The bill is now moving to the Senate. While I may not agree with many views of American conservatives, (given I am European, probably not too shocking a statement), I agree with the assessment that full-body scanners entail an unreasonable strip search of people who haven't given any indication that would warrant such treatment.

Now let's hope the law passes, and that other states, and perhaps countries, follow suit.

Thanks for the link, Jenny!

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Dear Readers!

Merry Christmas from snowy Idaho! I haven't been posting anything lately as I am busy taking trips, eating good food, and similar things, and I hope you are equally unconcerned with the Internet these days :)

Here's a pic from our recent sledding in the Idahoan mountains. The snow here is awesome!


These are Tara's cousins. Of course, when I tried to gain a similar amount of air, I always crashed ;)

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A common stereotype about the US is, if you can think it, no matter how odd it is, there's somebody in the USA who does it.

I apologize therefore that this country still manages to weird me out. Like in the case of the Idahoan Politician who changed his only and legal name to "Pro-Life" (as a way to express his opinions about abortion):

A Senate candidate has legally changed his name to Pro-Life and will appear on the ballot that way this year, state election officials say. As Marvin Pro-Life Richardson, the organic strawberry farmer from Letha, 30 miles northwest of Boise, was denied the use of his middle name when he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006 because the state's policy bars the use of slogans on the ballot. Now, though, officials in the Idaho secretary of state's office say they have no choice because Pro-Life is his full and only name. He says he will run for the highest state office on the ballot every two years for the rest of his life, advocating murder charges for doctors who perform abortions and for women who obtain the procedure.

Incidentally, having seen an Idaho absentee ballot, I can confirm him showing up as "Pro-Life, a person formerly known as Marvin Richardson".

Ignoring his political agenda for a second: Are you kidding me? Big Superman fan? Name your kid "Kal-el". Into pork? Why not call the little fellow "I-love-bacon"? (Oops, now I gave Scott an idea for his next child). There's really nothing crazy enough not to be done over here. Wow.

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