- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 8, 2008


Robert Woodson, the tireless advocate of common-sense anti-poverty, education and housing policies.

Mr. Woodson, founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, has spent his life helping inner-city Americans help themselves.

Since the 1960s, he has an unrivalled track record building and shaping programs on youth intervention, violence prevention, training, education and - well, you name it. If it helps low-income and inner-city citizens, and derives from smart, free-market principles, chances are Mr. Woodson had a hand in it.

His programs helped stop a crime wave in Philadelphia in the 1980s. He brokered a peace deal between warring gangs in Washington, D.C. In the meantime, he helped Congress and the Bush administration craft humane social policy that helps all the right beneficiaries but avoids the dependency inherent in Great Society-era initiatives.

This week, Mr. Woodson received the Bradley Prize at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in recognition of his achievements.

For a lifetime of service to needy Americans, Bob Woodson is the Noble of the Week.

Knave: The Transportation Security Administration chiefs at 10 airports - including Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport - who installed creepily intrusive scanners to peer under travelers’ clothes.

Pat-downs, random interrogation, shoelessness, toothpaste confiscation and general intrusiveness: This much Americans have been able to tolerate in the effort to thwart terrorists. But now the feds reserve the right to see you naked. Ten American airports have installed high-technology scanners to look underneath the clothing of selected passengers - because a close look straight to the skin, all of the skin, is what the government seeks. The scanners produce ghostly, white-hued screen images of a passenger’s body. They leave nary a thing to the imagination, head to torso to toe.

“It’s the wave of the future,” James Schear, the Transportation Security Administration’s security director at BWI, told USA Today. Rapid deletion and a promise to obscure faces are the government’s consolation to travelers. In case you’re flying soon, be aware that BWI has two of these scanners; New York’s Kennedy airport and the airports in Los Angeles, Denver and Albuquerque are also presently using them. These airports are soon to be followed by Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and Miami.

Everyone sacrifices some privacy for enhanced security when traveling. But this level of intrusion is humiliating, even Orwellian. There must be effective means of screening the traveling public without photographs of their private parts.

For a creepy zealousness to peer under the clothes of American travelers, the nation’s TSA security chiefs are the Knaves of the Week.

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