I’ve decided to end the almost-weekly @AskTSA thread as the TSA’s site has devolved into posting praise from passengers for PreCheck, advising passenger’s how to make certain they receive PreCheck on their boarding passes, explaining to passengers how they can receive “expedited” screening in regular lanes, sometimes offering insincere apologies for the actions of abusive screeners, and claiming that security is their #1 priority.
For the most part, on the positive side, @AskTSA has stopped claiming that canine teams make checkpoint lines move faster, substituting the claim that they are bringing in “additional resources” to move the lines along.
There’s an all-out press over at the TSA Blog pushing PreCheck in addition to a general PR campaign to improve the TSA’s image. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem as if too many people are buying into that campaign.
I will keep reading @AskTSA, responding to individual tweets, and, from time to time, posting links to the more outrageous claims/comments @AskTSA’s Twitter page, such as when they claim that liquid explosives are still a threat.
As I wrote earlier this month, TSA incompetence and stupidity — combined with American populace passivity — are causing thousands of people to miss their flights. The amount of time travelers are supposed to allow to get through airport security keeps ballooning — from one hour to two hours to, now, three hours before their flights. And that’s for domestic flights, mes amis, not just international ones.
Yet despite the copious coverage of this insanity, people keep flying. They not only keep flying, they’re increasing their flying. They keep planning vacations, they keep taking trips they don’t have to take, they keep putting up with being abused, and they keep complaining — just read the comments at Jonathan Turley’s post on this. Yet they will do nothing to resist.
Guess things must not be so bad.
I’ve said it a thousand times before, and I’ll say it again: unless you’re forced to travel for work or for a family/medical emergency, you don’t have to fly. You’re choosing to fly. You’re choosing to risk missing your flight. You’re choosing to be treated like cattle to the slaughter. Your behavior is telling the airlines and the TSA that you’re pefectly content to be abused.
When people get what they ask for, I don’t see how they can be surprised.
(Cross-posted at ABombazine)
There are no screen shots of @AskTSA comments this week because 90% of comments from @AskTSA are in response to the growing number of complaints about long lines and lack of Pre-Check lanes.
There have been questions about hair pat-downs of women of color whom, in spite of an agreement with the ACLU, the TSA still seems to profile.
There have also been complaints about the scanners alarming on crotches. Two people complained that they get crotch pat-downs every single time they fly. There was no indication, however, about whether they might have been transgender passengers, which could explain the alarms. Then again, since the scanners alarm on seams, pleats, and sweat, as we have pointed out hundreds of times, who knows?
There were a couple of comment about the fact that @AskTSA is unwilling to give direct “Yes” or “No” answers to questions. We all know that’s standard operating procedure for the TSA. Gotta keep those terrorists guessing!
One of the standard responses from @AskTSA to questions about long lines is:
We’re working to address the volume by increasing use of canines, encouraging TSA Pre✓® enrollment & accelerating hiring.
How does increasing the use of dogs speed up the screening process? There don’t seem to be any reports of passengers who pass the “sniff” test being moved to PreCheck lanes, so if someone could explain to me how it works, I’d appreciate it.
And by the way, as we’ve also explained umpteen times, dogs are no panacea.
As for “accelerating hiring,” the TSA allegedly has plans to hire 800 more screeners. But a quick perusal of USAJobs, where TSA openings are advertised, shows no openings for TSA screeners in Chicago, Atlanta, or New York/New Jersey, areas that are seeing some of the the biggest lines and longest delays.
There are two openings for trainers at the “training academy” in Georgia, however.
In other TSA news, it’s been reported that 35% of newly hired screeners leave the agency in their first year of employment.
Until next week . . . .
Because the level of ignorance and stupidity in this country can never be overestimated, we have the latest incidence of one of America’s fine upstanding citizens displaying her intellectual acumen for all to see. And supposed airline professionals going along with her. True, this didn’t involve the TSA, but we can easily see how the stupidity and paranoia exhibited by that organization — and constantly hyped by our “security” overlords — has spread to the population at large.
From The Guardian:
Professor: flight was delayed because my equation raised terror fears
American Airlines says woman expressed suspicion about University of Pennsylvania economics professor, who was solving a differential equation
Menzio, who is Italian and has curly, dark hair, told the Associated Press he initially “thought they were trying to get clues about her illness.”
“Instead, they tell me that the woman was concerned that I was a terrorist because I was writing strange things on a pad of paper.”
He told the Washington Post that he was “treated respectfully throughout” the process but remains perturbed by a system that “relies on the input of people who may be completely clueless”.
Completely clueless? Well, that’s half the American population right there.
(Cross-posted at ABombazine)
For months now, there have been so many stories in the news about the fact that airport security lines are getting longer, that the TSA is getting more onerous (as if that’s possible), that people are arriving earlier and earlier and still missing their flights. With increasing numbers of travelers during the summer, things will only get worse. Here are just a few such articles:
To all of which I have only one thing to say:
Which is pretty much what I said at the comment I left at the NYT article (the last one in this list). Let’s see if they print it. I left it early this morning:
No sympathy. In fact, laughter. The TSA is an out-of-control criminal agency that abuses people with impunity. It has been doing so for at least the past six years. Yet people put up with it.
Stop flying, people! Stop flying and bring the airlines to their knees. Then things will change. But as long as you’re content to allow yourselves — and your children — to be bullied, harassed, robbed, and assaulted, you’re getting exactly what you asked for. Happy Trails!
(Photo: 01/13/16. KUSA)
Though on the one hand it pains me to post this video because it’s via Alex Jones, who’s — well, not to put too fine a point on it — a lunatic — on the other hand it’s hilarious and entirely apt. So hey, credit where credit is due. Watch and enjoy. TSA: Now Hiring!
An update to the page @AskTSA has been posted. Click the link @AskTSA in the Menu bar at the top of the page.
Here’s a teaser for you (as always, click on image to enlarge):
It’s so obvious that whoever mans the @AskTSA desk just looks for key words and then responds to those key words — in other words, just like a robot.
A recent tweet, brought to you by the brilliant minds of the TSA:
ADVISORY: #TSA RECOGNIZES PASSENGERS WHO MISS FLIGHTS DUE TO SECURITY LINES AS “MAKING HEROIC SACRIFICE FOR FREEDOM.”
There you have it — you’re making a heroic sacrifice for freedom!
Don’t you feel better already?
(Okay, the tweet is technically satirical, but it reads exactly like something the TSA would say. They say stupid shit all the time. Read on.)
This tweet was in response to the fact that thousands of people all over the country are missing their flights because the security lines are so long. But hey, all you have to do is arrive earlier. Then, when you’re all massed together at the checkpoint like sitting ducks, you can feel secure that if a bomb goes off there, the dead won’t be as dead as if it goes off on a plane, because — well, logic!
Keep flying, people. Keep rewarding the airlines and keep putting up with this abuse. After all, what do you have to lose?