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Monday, November 22, 2010

The TSA Screening Line Is The New Town Hall

There has been so much written about the outrages by TSA agents during screenings, that I won't belabor the details. 

In a nation already revolting at the ballot box against overly intrusive government, the prospect of having your junk fondled out of bureaucratic inflexibility and political correctness is feeding the anger.  Providing security at airports and generally is a perfectly appropriate role for government.  But the seemingly mindless TSA screening procedures show what happens when bureaucracy takes over.

I mostly agree with Doug Mataconis that Obama is completely tone deaf on this issue:
Obama’s response strikes me as being politically tone deaf. In the face of outrage over Americans being groped by TSA agents, children being man-handled in a bizarre procedure that makes no logical sense, and people being exposed to the humiliation of having prosthetic breasts removed or being covered in their own urine, Obama’s “Too bad, you’ve gotta do it anyway” response is a sign of how far removed from reality the Presidency makes a person.
I disagree with that last clause, however, because not all Presidents would fail to feel the people's pain.  The aloofness of this President is unique.

The TSA screening line is the new Town Hall. 

Citizen reporters have been filming TSA screenings and posting the videos on YouTube, much like citizen reporters filmed arrogant Congressmen treating Town Hall participants dismissively and arrogantly.

And there is another connection between the TSA screenings and the Town Halls. 

The frustration which boiled over in the summer of 2009 was a reaction to fears about giving the federal government the ultimate power over our bodies through the control of health care. 

The TSA screening fiasco should remind people of why they opposed government control of health care. 

Related Posts:
Don't Reveal The Secret
President Protects Critic's Right To Speak At Town Hall

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  1. Frequent travelers were briefly offered the opportunity to undergo a security check and provide biometric ids (fingerprints, retinal scans) which would allow them a fast trip thru the lines and then I believe because some one said this was unfair, it was dropped.I'd even PAY for this service.

    Another system altogether must be developed for handicapped persons. When they are transported to the checkin on airport supplied wheelchairs, why in the world are they made to walk thru the screening devices Wand them seated.People with metallic implants already bring doctor's notes, why treat them as if they deserve to be waterboarded?

    This is all so utterly mindless. When it began, to avoid profiling, everytime they double checked a middle eastern they had to double check 7 other passengers. I was one of those always selected. I soon figured out why. The screeners are lazy and I am and look like an organized lady of a certain age who will have followed the published rules and who will not have hidden iguanas in her bags--a quick 5 minute , clean job.


  2. Within a couple of months it will be prohibited to film or take pictures of anything in the security area. This will be for security reasons, of course.

  3. I for one am for biometric IDS and/or a traveler ID card if TSA wants to check my background.

    Those of us who drive must obtain a drivers license (a proof of sorts that we can operate the automotive machinery, obey traffic laws, and not cause harm to others). Why not a flyers ID card with fingerprints to show that we have passed profiling?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Let the markets sort it out. What is not being talked about is the different areas where lawsuits can bring change. Yes, TSA and DHS will obviously be sued many times over, but last I remember, airlines and airports, to include the service industries inside the airports, are private businesses. Start suing them. Bring lawsuits for child abuse, neglect, improper seizure, assault, etc. Throw the sink at them. Once these businesses start getting enough on their plate, they will have to react against TSA. As far as I know, TSA is not a law enforcement authority, so their is a grey area in regards to the constitution and its ability to interject itself into what would otherwise be private businesses. In other words, if TSA is not a law enforcement agency, then why are they allowed to search and seize without due process? Miranda rights for example? I don't believe their is any concrete legal precedence in this grey area right now, it is time to start formulating one.

  6. Since airports and environs have been declared "constitution-free zones", aren't they immune from any discrimination lawsuits that could arise from using common sense and concentrating the most intense scrutiny on those most likely to be terrorists? Like Middle East Muslim males who aren't frequent fliers?

    For the sake of political correctness, the entire air travel system is being brought to a crawl when the vast majority of those being scrutinized could be passed through without delay. Like frequent-flier business people. Like small children. Like the elderly.

    That would probably eliminate 80% right there. The rest? I'll bet we could whittle that down significantly too. I'm sure patriotic American Muslims would understand if they a few of them were singled out for obvious reasons from time to time. If you fit the profile, you will be inconvenienced.

  7. K said...
    Within a couple of months it will be prohibited to film or take pictures of anything in the security area. This will be for security reasons, of course.

    According to this San Diego news paper, it ALREADY IS!!


    How convenient, by eliminating any documentary evicence of "goonish" behavior, it becomes "he said/she said" and guess who is going to be believed by definition?

  8. The real joke is that neither pat-downs nor scanners will detect underbombs, as security experts have warned.

    Worse, they're inserting bombs up their nether regions now. How do we check for that?

  9. The "don't touch my junk" guy was informed that by purchasing a ticket he had lost some of his rights. That strikes me as an excellent answer to profiling. We profile and explain to those profiled "when you purchased a ticket to fly you lost some of your rights."

    And does *anybody* have a verifiable story yet of anyone in a burqa or hijab getting a full body pat down or grope?

    I mean, if the garb is for modesty, do they go through the scanner and have their body exposed? [And can I wear a burqa and avoid both the scanner and the grope?]

  10. In response to CC: The solution is simple, existing technology, every one that want's to fly gets an endoscope up the anal and vaginal openings.

  11. Here in LA, we have a KABC radio host (Peter Tilden) preparing to test the TSA security by putting through a hijab-wearing transsexual. What are the rules? Free pass to Muslims?

    Muslims have instructed their women to skip the body scan and opt for the enhanced pat down. So.... Male agent pat down? Female agent pat down? Both? Hire a tranny agent to appease the gay-lesbian-transsexual community? Could be very entertaining.

  12. We started down this slippery slope a long time ago when we allowed them to get away with banning smoking on flights. Start with something that a lot of people agree with and continue one little step at a time until now, and ultimately we will be looking up the sign on the gate: 'Arbeit macht frei'.

  13. pasadenaphil wrote:
    Since airports and environs have been declared "constitution-free zones", aren't they immune from any discrimination lawsuits that could arise from using common sense and concentrating the most intense scrutiny on those most likely to be terrorists? Like Middle East Muslim males who aren't frequent fliers?

    Well it is good to know that you are acknowledging that the type of security you want is against the constitution,but if it is do you realistically expect any airline will ever adopt it? and that there wont be lawsuits over it? You're going to profile muslims only and ignore all other threats (like tim mcveighs,drug traffickers) and single out varoius muslims for treatment like pat downs which you would sue over. And they are going to sue the govt and win.

  14. I expect congress will yield; they'll create the equivalent of a HIPAA form that all of us travelers can sign, stating that we understand that our nude images will not be misused, improperly stored, and - certainly - never used as the object of masturbation.
    What the world needs is a yellow burka with "Hey TSA, don't tread on my teabag" printed on it. That'd torment them.

  15. Why does a jihadi even need to get to the airplane? There are hundreds of people milling about the security area and all one needs to do is simply walk up and BOOM! As they say in chess, Check!

  16. jr565: First of all, you are mischaracterising what I said.

    Profiling is not a dirty word and it is not against the constitution. It is based on common sense. For fear of offending an ethnic group that claims to be too intimidated to police their own, we have to surrender the constitutional rights of everyone else.

    The truth is that we are now inconveniencing at least 99% too many people and at great expense. It is nothing but a kabuki exercise intended to make us feel safe because "the government has it under control".

    I heard at least 3 "experts" today justify this exercise of public molestation claiming that "the red alert is blinking furiously". Well, if the threat IS that serious, why don't we NAME the enemy and then GO AFTER the enemy?

    I don't buy this under Obama any more than I bought into the "red light/green light" game Bush played. Profiling is the way to go and if the Muslims don't like it, help us by policing your own. It's not like they intend to integrate into our culture. If they insist on having their own separate culture, they should police it themselves because they won't like the way we do it.

  17. Why do I think this is a harbinger of Obamacare? Decisions made by unelected bureaucrats, brusque and condescending dismissal of the publics legitimate concerns and a general theme of haughty arrogance not seen since since Nancy Pelosi carried her gavel up the Capitol steps.

  18. Obama is not merely "aloof." He is actively contemptuous of America and Americans. He is convinced to his core that we deserve any and every punishment, humiliation and denigration we get. He didn't dream up current TNA (oops, I mean TSA) policy, but I'm sure he enjoys a quiet glee at what he sees and hears about it.

  19. "The solution is simple, existing technology, every one that want's to fly gets an endoscope up the anal and vaginal openings."

    I foresee a merging of CMS and TSA with great savings for all. Unskilled, rent-a-cop quality TSA agents are a lot cheaper than docs, so under Obamacare replace docs with TSA agents doing full, mandatory probings of the flying public. Both invasions of our privacy can now be consolidated and far more complete than either could have been alone. Brilliant!

  20. Obama and his blue state supporters don't conceive of any limits to the scope and power of the Federal gov't. They just feel that they can do anything they want and you'll be fined and imprisoned if you pbject.