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TSA Blogging

So I’m catching up on my blog reading when I notice that just about everyone is mad at the TSA. Which was quite a coincidence because I was pissed off at them too. After all, they swabbed me for being a smart ass.

Seems TSA wants you to consent to either going through a scanner that will show your junk to someone who you hope, depending on preference, is or is not a pervert; or fondle your junk. Seems they haven’t quite gotten the procedure worked out but are definitely discouraging folks from opting out of having their nekkid bodies looked. And some are fighting it.

So, I’m sitting here pondering exactly how such a stupid policy gets enacted in the land of the free. I don’t remember a law being passed or any thing like that. I figure it’s just some dumb bureaucratic decision that no one put thought into.

Trying to figure out a way to combat this stupid policy that is nothing but a show and a pain in the ass, I thought maybe we could just get everyone to quit flying. But that’s not going to work. People have things to do. And then I thought if everyone opted out of the scan and, then, when the TSA agent tried to fondle them, they punched the TSA agent in the nose that might help. Both those plans rely on lots of people participating. You see, if I stopped flying, no one would notice. If everyone did, then that sends a strong message. Also, if I started punching TSA agents in the nose, I’d go to jail. But if everyone did it, well, we might still go to jail but the message would be sent.

Then it hit me. I’m sitting here planning to stop traveling and contemplating advocating violence against bureaucrats. The terrorists have won.

Correction: From Tango, in comments:

I want to correct you. The terrorists have beaten our bureaucrats. They havenít beaten us.

Indeed. We are the ones stopping terrorists on planes. Not the TSA.

25 Responses to “TSA Blogging”

  1. Oscar Says:

    I have four words for you: “As the Secretary
    determines…”

    Those four words empower the [INSERT AGENCY
    HERE] to do whatever they want without
    explicit Congressional oversight.

    Through a mixture of cowardice and laziness,
    the Congress routinely writes broad,
    vague, wide-ranging legislation that leaves
    all the specifics to unelected bureaucrats.

    In effect, Congress long ago abdicated its
    authority to unelected segments of the
    Executive Branch.

  2. Newbius Says:

    I disagree. The bureaucrats have won. Maybe that is the same thing? The gauleiters and brownshirts who gravitate towards this kind of work, and their enablers in the administration, believe that we the sheeple answer to them. The Airlines like having taxpayer-funded security without any corporate liability. And, the people get used to another layer of intrusion into their space and accept the new normal. The bureaucrats win.

    I won’t play. I am going to California in about a week. By car, from Virginia. The businesses that I will frequent along the way will get my hard-earned scratch. The airlines will not see a thin dime of mine as long as they allow their customers to be abused in the name of ‘safety’. It is time to boycott them and their TSA trained monkeys.

  3. Mike Says:

    Maybe there’s a third way… figuring out a good security alternative which is no less effective, and and which is both politically and economically practical.

    I hate to defend the TSA, but we literally have guys with bombs in their underpants to deal with here. Bomb sniffers don’t work. Israeli profiling tactics are not only politically impossible, but worse, they can’t scale up to the volume of passengers we move every day.

    if you think flying is hard now, wait until the bad guys get 25 bombs on passenger jets like they almost did last month. In the wake of an attack like that, nobody is going to be going anywhere for quite a while.

    I don’t have an answer for you. I’m just happy I don’t have to make those policy decisions myself, and live with the consequences.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    Has the TSA found a single bomb? And if you stick a bomb in your bum, a pat down won’t find it.

  5. Mike Says:

    I’m not aware they’ve ever found a bomb, but that’s kind of like asking guys like us how many burglars we’ve shot. The real value is in deterrence.

    Both the shoe bomber and the underpants bomber failed because their weird little specialty bombs didn’t work. If we still used pre-9/11 security procedures, they would have been armed with the simpler sorts of bombs that have taken down planes before, bombs which our current procedures seem to be able to deter quite well.

    The fact that they haven’t found a simpler bomb doesn’t mean that people aren’t trying, right now, to sneak a bomb through. It means that we have made it too dangerous for the bombers to try.

    Look, I hate what flying has become, and I am no fan of the TSA, their excessive powers, or their creepy director. I am just pointing out that I have no idea how to do their job any better. Just trying to be fair here.

  6. StanInTexas Says:

    Mike, Uncle makes a good point that I would like to expand on…

    All the TSA has done is REACT to highly publicized incidents. We have to have our shoes checked because a of shoe bomber. Before that, nothing. We can’t carry liquids on board becasue they tried that in England. Now we have to have a full body scan and cavity search because of that underware bomber. Everything the TSA does is an afterthought. So they may catch a copy-cat, but they are doing NOTHING to keep us secure.

    Add to that the arrogance and power trip some of these jokers are on, and you have a disaster waiting to happen. The most dangerous person in any governmantal agency is a petty and small person that is given power.

  7. alan Says:

    The TSA would have a leg to stand on if they had anything to show that they were the least bit effective at preventing a terrorist from getting on an airplane.

    Unfortunately for them, they can’t.

    They routinely fail to detect test bombs that look like something Wiley Coyote bought from Acme.

    In the almost ten years they’ve existed they have not stopped a single terrorist from getting on a plane. Every terrorist that has tried made it through only to be stopped by the passengers.

    A far more effective strategy would be to fire the TSA and tell the passengers to watch out for terrorists.

  8. Tango Says:

    I want to correct you. The terrorists have beaten our bureaucrats. They haven’t beaten us.

  9. Mike Says:

    We’ve gone almost ten years without losing another plane. Be fair, guys, that’s a miracle. None of us would have predicted that.

    Have a look at what we are up against here:

    http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/planes/q0283.shtml

  10. JohnF Says:

    Just a thought… if there were a common way to detonate a wide variety of explosives without actually searching a body, ie (just an imaginary example, I know nothing about explosives)) some sort of radio wave or electric field or combination of things that are pulsed through a bombproof hallway that ALL passangers must pass through, one at a time so no one has to see a potential mess… Line up, walk through. No one touches you. If you come out the other side in one piece you get on the plane. If you dont, they send in a cleanup crew and then send the next person through. Jus a thought.

  11. alan Says:

    Mike: My guard gecko keeps the elephants out of my yard.

    Just because something didn’t happen doesn’t mean the TSA had anything to do with it not happening.

    Conversely we have PLENTY of evidence that the TSA routinely fails at it’s primary mission of keeping terrorists off planes.

  12. StanInTexas Says:

    Alan, that is because the TSA is more afraid of being politically incorrect and racially insensitive than they are of having American die horribly at the hands of terrorists.

    The Israeli’s told us EXACTLY what we needed to do to prevent another 9/11-style attack, AND WE IGNORED THEM.

  13. wizardpc Says:

    Iím not aware theyíve ever found a bomb, but thatís kind of like asking guys like us how many burglars weíve shot.

    How’s that? People actually DO shoot burglars on a fairly regular basis, but TSA agents have NEVER caught a terrorist.

  14. TexMax Says:

    I’m flying tomorrow. Anyone knows if there is any Federal or Texas law that requires officials to tell you their name and service number or whatever? I want to tell them that I need their name and ID to sue them for violating my 4th Amendment rights. Would be nice to have the statue number to back me up.

    Class action lawsuit, anyone?

  15. Heather Says:

    Ugh, I have to fly in April. No way around it. Not pleased. Class action lawsuit would be nice.

  16. Gunmart Says:

    The way I understand it, you also have to get patted down fondled if you set off the metal detector. You know how fast the sh*t is gonna hit the fan the first time a little 4 year old kid sets off the metal detector and then is given “additional scrutiny”?

  17. ATLien Says:

    How many of those incidents involved planes from, say, Atlanta to Dallas? LA to NYC? Seattle to Chicago? NONE. All of them started in either BRitain (full of muslims), or a place like Yemen (full of muslims). And nobody knew until AFTER the threat was on the plane. So, that’s proof that all this shit going on in airports in the US is a colossal waste of everyone’s time. And that’s before the illegal searches and invasions of privacy.

    PS- i think ultraviolence against this kind of oppressive government BS should be the norm, as it was back in the day.

    PPS- grow a pair, mike.

  18. TexMax Says:

    http://www.firetown.com/blog/2010/11/10/george-soros-one-of-a-handful-investors-who-owns-the-tsa-scanner/

    Apparently our “favorite” anti-gun guy makes money off these scanning machines.

  19. SE New Mexico Says:

    I always read this blog and never post a comment. Today I will. I agree with Tango. The terrorists have beat our bureaucrats; not us.

    Additionally, I do not travel on planes anymore unless required for work. If everyone decided not to travel by plane we would begin to see change.

    It is like so many other things – sometimes REAL change only comes about by necessity – not by policy. For example, real tax and social security change won’t come about by policy. It will come out of necessity – either .gov failure or otherwise.

  20. Fox Says:

    Something that I’d like to point out… a lot of people say “Well, hell with that, I won’t fly anymore, I’ll take my car” and there’s a serious issue with that way of thinking. The issue is that the people who do say that are a minority and because there won’t be any measurable financial effect against the airlines or outcry against the government, that such an action won’t cause any change in the direction the security theater is headed.

    Unless /everyone/ stops flying, it really won’t have any effect, and even then the administration will simply blame it on the economy and claim that people don’t travel anymore (and not that they’re using alternative means of travel, because that would make them look like the weak and ineffective tools that they have become).

    Here’s my alternative… go ahead and fly. Opt out of the backscatter bullshit and let them search you. Then, if they get a little too touchy, file assault charges on the agent. Sure, it’ll be dismissed in a heartbeat, but think of the media shitstorm that will ensue.

  21. Gun Blobber Says:

    What I don’t get is why people think these hidable-on-your-person bombs are such a threat anyways. A hole in the fuselage a couple feet across is NOT going to bring down the aircraft. Planes use a spaceframe design (the entire body provides structural integrity — see Aloha 243) and there is usually not a single point of failure (although you could point to the rear control surfaces as an easy target, the fact is that the passenger compartment usually ends well forward of those surfaces).

    What I would like to see is a thorough debunking of this crap. I’d love to see some rich dude buy an old decaying DC-9, rig it up to fly remotely, point it out over the ocean and set up a bunch of bombs onboard to detonate in sequence, smallest to largest, while live video feeds let the world know what’s happening.

    The overreaction here is massive. I don’t see how the stupid “laser printer cartridge bomb” could have done anything to bring down a cargo plane. Chances are it would be packed in among tons of other inert stuff that could absorb most of the blast — boxes mostly full of packing materials. My one hope in reaction to this new take on plane bombings is that maybe the cargo carriers will come up with a private-sector solution to the problem instead of pushing it over onto the various governments of the world.

  22. Kevin Says:

    The printer bombs most certainly could have destroyed the aircraft. The bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103 and killed 270 people has been estimated to be 12 to 16 ounces of the plastic explosive Semtex. The amount of plastic explosive in the printer cartridges was about the same, 11 to 14 ounces.

    Aircraft are designed to survive cracks in up to two bays and to arrest the crack before it spreads. It isn’t designed to stop bombs. You might be lucky like the Quantas 747 that had an oxygen bottle blow up in 2008, but hope in not a strategy.

    The survival of the Aloha aircraft was a miracle, any aircraft with the level of unsuspected wide-spread fatigue damage to have that failure would normally be expected to have another crack close enough to critical to destroy the aircraft.

    An interesting report I just found that applies is

    THREATS TO AIRCRAFT STRUCTURAL SAFETY,
    INCLUDING A COMPENDIUM OF SELECTED
    STRUCTURAL ACCIDENTS / INCIDENTS

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA519867&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

  23. nk Says:

    I’m flying to visit family, Christmas time. My thought is, where they ask you to take your shoes off, I take everything off. (I’m a fifty-for year old, skinny, gray man.)

  24. SPQR Says:

    We need to put out a nationwide alert to warn people about the hazard that nk’s prancing through security nekkid will pose to health and sanity. Red alert.

  25. Al Says:

    It is relevant to ask “How many bombs have the TSA found?” …in more than 9 years of searching? Out of how many million (billion?) passengers hassled, wanded. irradiated, demeaned, and homosexually groped? I’m not aware of any bombs having been found. Although we do hear now and then about fake bombs (used to test their procedures) being missed and allowed through the screening. The “weapons” that “Blogger Bob” implies they have found are most likely nail-clippers and knitting needles.

    Remember, the TSA know that they are reviled and ridiculed by 99% of the people who know about them. If the TSA had one single “catch” that they could point to without embarrassing themselves, it would be as famous as the Shoe Bomber.

    The first time those bozos actually hassle a real bomb-carrying terrorist, it will be big news. Everyone within earshot — and in a blast-shadow — will know about it one second after it happens.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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