What $1 billion won’t buy, and a RAND study of airport security

If you gave me a billion dollars, I'd let you keep your shoes on. But then I'm not TSA head John Pistole. That and more in three quick stories you might have missed: Item One: John's Billion-Dollar Morning. In a post last week I mentioned that the TSA had awarded contracts worth a billion dollars in a single ...read more »


TSA forms subcommittee, turns deaf ear to complaints

The TSA has formed a Passenger Advocacy Subcommittee of its Aviation Security Advisory Committee. You probably haven't heard much about this group, mostly because (if we're being honest) they have little authority to do anything. Still, in an effort to be fair, I wanted to at least congratulate the TSA for taking a step in the ...read more »


Tom Vellner, Boston Magazine: my cousin’s experience with the TSA

Tom Vellner writes in Boston Magazine about the experience of his cousin at the hands of the TSA. From his column on August 17th: My own cousin shared a story with me about her trying experience at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport last week. After a male TSA agent described the pat-down to her as “touching your breasts and ...read more »


Your pants may be cleared, but baggage still goes unscreened

As so many Americans love to say, "Meh, facts schmacts." What difference do facts make when irrationality is so much more fun? After all, we can pretend that the TSA is Keeping Us Safe by strip-searching us and sticking its hands down our pants. Never mind that the practice is degrading, humiliating, criminal, and just plain stupid, ...read more »

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Mythbusting the TSA

Our right to privacy is in peril. An unaccountable government agency becomes more powerful by the day. America needs a champion. America needs a hero. America needs the Mythbusters. Yes, I'm talking about those bearded and bespectacled boys from the Bay Area. No, I'm not kidding. Not even a little. Stay with me here. Whatever your reasons for reading this ...read more »


5 times you should stand up to the TSA

Francisco Canseco took a stand when a TSA agent tried to give him an enhanced pat-down last spring. Canseco, who happens to also be a Texas congressman, objected to the agent's forceful frisking, and a few days later, to being singled out for a secondary screening. Police had to be called in that incident. A report published ...read more »


TSA “Chat Downs”: Just say no to Big Brother at the airport

Steve Gunn writes in the Muskegon Chronicle about his refusal to tell a TSA worker where he was flying and what he was doing: At first she simply seemed chatty and friendly. She looked at my airline boarding pass and noted that I was coming from Denver. Then she mentioned that I was headed from Detroit to ...read more »

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What my father would have said about the TSA

My father fathered the way they did on black-and-white TV, though not so much Ward Cleaver as Ralph Kramden (if he and Alice had had kids). He went to work, Mom stayed home. Every night we ate dinner together, but I don't remember Dad ever saying much. When he did, it was so unusual that it ...read more »


TSA on Nicole Sandler’s Radio or Not

I was a guest on Nicole Sandler's Radio Or Not yesterday, discussing the TSA and a variety of civil liberties and health concerns about which my colleagues and I have written here at TSA News. I come on at around the :30 minute mark. (Thank you for having me on, Nicole!) If you're on Twitter, you can follow Nicole Sandler: @nicolesandler And ...read more »