The Washington Post “addresses” a few TSA matters

Lightning by veggiefrog
In a post today by the normally clear-eyed Jonathan Capehart — and in The Washington Post, no less — you will see plenty of admiration for the way the TSA handles children and the elderly (they get to keep their shoes and jackets on!) as well as cheery support for the some-animals-are-more-equal-than-others Pre-Check program:

Anyway, all I’m asking is that the TSA treat the rest of us the way it treats little kids and old folks. Since 2011, youngsters under age 12 have been allowed to keep their ubiquitous light-up shoes on. And those age 75 and older have been able to keep their footwear on since 2012.[. . .]

But there is a way around the shoe rule and others that would transport you back to the golden days of air travel when you could breeze through security and go right to your gate. It’s called TSA Pre. If the agency approves you after you’ve undergone its voluntary risk assessment, you get to keep your shoes, belt, and jackets on, and your laptop and plastic goody bag of 3 oz. toiletries get to stay in your carry-on.

Looks like I better sign up for this thing.

To Capehart and the TSA apologists alike (who, to my profound disappointment, are well represented in the article’s comment section): I must remind you that just because the intrusive and often-painful gropings of sex organs (which in many instances are both abusive and, according to FBI definitions of sexual assault and rape, illegal), the needless and forced removal of prostheses and artificial limbs, or any one of countless debasements and offenses to human dignity have not happened to you personally, doesn’t mean that they haven’t happened to other people all over the United States.

Innocent people who merely want to get from Point A to Point B.

As we have said so many times we’re feeling metaphorically hoarse — as well as afflicted with serious writer’s cramp —  the TSA is an agency rife with criminals, from thieves to child-porn aficionados to rapists to drug-smugglers to (yes) muderers and spouse-abusers.

On top of all that, the agency itself is an unjustifiable use of tax dollars. It should be disbanded.

Furthermore, TSA Apologists, although you may have “breezed through” what is rightly described as, and proven by security experts worldwide to be, pure Security Theatre, those of you who are in possession of a modicum of conscience and a decent level of sympathy toward your fellow human beings should take a moment or two and read about at least some of the agency’s victims. Click the tab at the top of this page, where resides an ever-growing Master List of documented abuses and crimes.

Read it and realize that your tax dollars support an indefensible, ineffective, fascistic agency that violates your Constitutional rights and emphatically does not make us safe. Reinforced and locked cockpit doors; alert, non-compliant passengers; and good, solid police work on the ground — long before a terrorist even gets near an airport — are what protect us from that which is statistically speaking, an event so rare that one has a greater chance of being struck by lightning — four times more likely, in fact– than being involved in a terrorist attack.

(Photo: veggiefrog/Flickr Creative Commons)

  • WhereAboutsUnknown

    It also must be said here, repeatedly, that it is reasonable to conclude that Mr. Obama has become a full fledged enabler of those two despicable fascist organizations (DHS,TSA) created by the younger incompetent Bush. A few executive orders by a responsible, humane president could probably take down the TSA a few notches if he so wished.

    On another note, it is also thanks to celebrities, like Ben Affleck, who huge swaths of the American public adore for unfathomable reasons, encourage the masses to submit to government authority. Probably many saw this clip of Affleck on the Maher show making this stupid, hypocritical comment, that’s it’s not the end of the world if a TSA grabs your crotch. This from a jerk who always flies private.
    http://youtu.be/WmJMOjE7_3k

    • Daisiemae

      Too bad I didn’t know about this before I rented Argo. I’ll never pay to watch anything of his again.

      Small amount of money, I know. But they all add up, and I don’t want ANYTHING of mine to support this obscenity…at least anything of mine that i have control over. I can’t control those taxes that the feds are ripping out of my bank account and shoving into the hands of rapists and pedophiles. But I can control any money of mine that even remotely benefits this hypocritical jerk.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Having gone through a TSA checkpoint just this morning, I’d like to echo just how ineffective they are.

    I put my carry-on bag through on the x-ray belt, walked through the metal detector (thankfully without setting it off, so no grope for me today), then hung around putting my shoes on, watching the guy who was supposed to be watching all the bags on the x-ray monitor.

    This young man’s eyes NEVER ONCE looked at the monitor. He didn’t look at ONE SINGLE BAG. I am not making this up. I stood there and watched him staring off into the concourse, completely ignoring every single bag that passed on the x-ray monitor, which he was turned away from so he couldn’t possibly have seen anything on it. At least a dozen bags scrolled past him, without a single glance.

    I could have carried on a backpack full of loaded guns, C4, and live grenades. Nobody would have stopped me.

    Sure makes it clear how a teddy bear bomb managed to make it to a gate.

    Oh, and just as a reminder, we’re paying 8 billion dollars a year for this. Such a deal.

  • REPOST: I think website links are not allowed????

    AMENDED RISK: You have to compare lightning strikes to the subpopulation of terrorists on US planes. There have been 0 suicidal airline passengers which caused a fatality with a NON-METALLIC Bomb on US domestic flights for over 50 YEARS!

    29 people were killed in the US by lightning in 2010.

    CONCLUSION: The unconstitutional scanners and criminal pat-downs are fighting something that hasn’t happened for 50 years!

    In that same time, linear math suggests 1,450 people were killed in the US by lightning. You are INFINITELY MORE LIKELY TO BE KILLED BY LIGHTNING THAN A TERRORIST PASSENGER WITH A WORKING NON-METALLIC BOMB.

    Unless the TSA starts resuscitating the DEAD, they can’t demonstrate an improvement over the period before unconstitutional scanners and criminal pat downs were rolled out.

    • Jeff, website links are allowed. We post them in comments all the time.

      Why “repost”? Where’s your original post?

    • TSAisTerrorism

      WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME?!?!?!?!

      😉

      • Daisiemae

        Yes, and all that twisting is offensive too. Twisting and yelling!

        Oh dear TSAisTerrorism! Maybe it’s time I should give it a rest. I think I could probably keep this up for a couple of years. Especially if you and Chris Bray keep returning the ball back to me. You guys are the greatest!

        I’m afraid I might wear out my welcome. The jokes might be getting lame to the others.

        But it’s pretty fun, right? Maybe every now and then when things get really ridiculous, you and Chris and I could drag out our routine again….lightening rods and all!

      • Daisiemae

        TSAisTerrorism,

        Take a look at the other website. Two of my jokes replying to you were deleted. I made comments to you about it.

        I’m hoping you can make some sort of reply before those comments are deleted also.

      • BECAUSE I can’t use color, bolding, and underlining to call out KEY POINTS !

        • Jeff, other than the fact that we love “TSAisTerrorism” for his sly and witty comment — we appreciate humor at TSA News — you can, actually, use bolding and italics in comments. The HTML code is simple. Put your words, lines, phrases in between the following marks:

          for bold

          to end bold

          for italics

          to end italics

          • Daisiemae

            Way cool! I’m be on the lookout for my next opportunity to use it.

    • Jeff–you’re welcome (and encouraged!) to post links here. We’re all about cites, sources, empirical evidence, and logic. Websites who try to tamp down those things (other than deleting obvious spam links to cheap erectile-dysfunction drugs and counterfeit Nikes) are, to my mind, anti-small-d-democratic, illogical, and given to powermongering that smacks a bit too much of fascism for my taste.

  • Chris Bray

    Obviously your conclusion proves that the TSA needs to also protect us from lightning.

    • Daisiemae

      I demand to be placed in a whole body scanner immediately to check for lightening residue! And that is not enough! I demand to have a high school dropout search inside my underwear for lightening rods!

      • Chris Bray

        You know, lightning would lose a lot of its power if it couldn’t carry more than 3.5 ounces of liquid.

      • Chris Bray

        I neglected to mention that I do in fact have a lightning rod in my underwear. But the TSA has not stopped me from flying with it.

        • Daisiemae

          We must demand that Congress pass a bill banning all lightening rods in underwear. A no lightening rods ban!

          Lightening rods are a serious flight risk. The flight attendants are the first and last line of defense against lightning rods in underwear. Lightening rods will be used against flight attendants first. Why, one person on another blog expressed deep concern that lightening rods could be used to decapitate flight attendants.

          You, sir, are a serious security risk to our country. I demand that TSA confiscate your lightening rod.

          • Chris Bray

            “Lightning rods will be used against flight attendants first.”

            Oh yes. Very much so.

          • Daisiemae

            Actually, this is starting to sound like fun. Maybe I should get a job as a flight attendant. I wonder how many lightening rods there are on that plane. The constant failure of TSA to confiscate all weapons seems to suggest there might be quite a number of lightening rods on any given flight.