Good news from our friends at TSA: they are getting rid of the hated (by me) Rapiscan "backscatter" screening machines like the one shown at right. These are the scanners in which you stand between two big, opaque boxes, raise your hands, and have X-rays shot at your body. The systems measure the "backscatter" radiation that reflects back from hard and soft surfaces on your body and clothing. Radiation in such backscatter systems is much weaker than medical X-rays, which are of course meant to go right through your body. Still, it is ionizing radiation, which is guilty until proven innocent in terms of possible health effects.
I've now had increased experience with the government's "trusted traveler" ID system. Despite my shifty eyes, I have now qualified for a "trusted" card. This system deserves more careful discussion, which I'll try to do soon; mainly it's another positive step. For the moment, let's recognize a rare reversal of the otherwise-ever-advancing ratchet of security-theater measures. And adios to Rapiscan.