Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The TSA Took My Contra Band Away Now!

The TSA Took My Contra Band Away Now!

It's the most wonderful time of the year... Yes, it's the busiest time of year at airports as people travel to hang out with relatives and get stuffed off Turkey. It really is the busiest times for airports, so that's why I take great joy in the fact that so many people are pissed off towards this whole TSA business. Just take a look at this poll
Reuters' readers were asked whether or not they would change their travel plans to avoid the invasive scans and pat-downs, and a whopping 96 percent (65,708 of 68,513) have thus far said yes.

What do you think about about the new invasive airport security screenings and all the hoopla surrounding them?

* Stop complaining! The new measures are necessary to guarantee security.
* They may go too far, but are okay so long as people are given the option to opt out.
* Enough with the scans and pat-downs! They're an invasion of civil liberties.
* I'm not sure. Maybe I'll feel stronger after my next flight.
I have to admit that my faith in my fellow Americans has been slightly improved upon after reading that. Good for them. Fuck the TSA.

I will refuse a body-scan out of principle. Not out of insecurity. I know it's hard, but try to put yourself in someone else's shoes please. A parent who doesn't want their 5-year old son/daughter to be either ogled or groped. A 16-year old girl who doesn't want middle-aged men making comments about her tits in a back room. A muslim woman who's religion preaches modesty which she now can't have. A pregnant woman who doesn't want to be subjected to poorly understood forms of ionizing radiation. The one guy in fifty million who actually develops cancer because of these machines. And yes, even the guy with crippling social anxiety and a tiny penis.

I don't particularly care if someone laughs at my dick. But there are plenty of reasons people do care about these new 'security' measures. I mean, look at the following picture. Does this person look like much of a threat?

Looking at those uniforms, it's pretty similar to an actual police officers, I'm sure that's on purpose. It's suppose to trigger a subconscious response to submit to whatever they are telling you to do.

It should be mentioned that you can visit any government building in the United States, up to and including the White House, where you may get a chance to speak with the President, and no one will stick a pen down your pants as shown in that picture.

I realize that a lot of dumb people fly and I'm sure TSA workers can get very annoyed at the fact that they deal with so many moronic people every day, but they should look at themselves in the mirror. Is the paycheck worth it?

Even if there's a lot of bad fliers, it can be easily explained by a lack of experience using the method of travel and general exhaustion that flying actually has on a person. You have to admit that airports and security check points in general are overwhelming and intimidating if you don't have to got through them normally.

Yup, back of the hand alright... then again, I don't blame her..

You have workers who are barking commands at you and treating you like you're a terrorist and all of a sudden it becomes a situation of US vs THEM. The whole notion that you're guilty till proven innocent.

Why can't the TSA officer involved in all this and doing this for a living take into account that the average flier only gets on a plane and has to go through this process once or twice every couple of years.

Then you have those who are coming back or going to a destination like a vacation. By the time you get to the airport it's usually when you're really exhausted from your long trip and can easily get confused. What you need is some rest and not to be treated like a criminal attempting to take down a plane.

I know I flew a lot during the post 9/11 world and I can tell you that even with my massive amount of miles, it has happened to me many times. So just blaming the public for being ignorant and stupid seems like it's shortsighted and not really much of a solution.

Besides that, I've said it before and I'll say it again, what does this security theater really do for your safety? If it was actually helpful wouldn't you see this force implemented in other places. What will the government do if there was some terrorist attack in a crowded subway car or in the ports, which are all poorly secured.

Looks like you're smuggling something here, sir.

TSA is a perfect example of the old "protecting you from yesterday's threats tomorrow" type of bureaucracy, so I'd pretty much exclude everyone. It's all bullshit anyway. As Bruce Schneier said back in 2005:
Exactly two things have made airline travel safer since 9/11: reinforcement of cockpit doors, and passengers who now know that they may have to fight back. Everything else -- Secure Flight and Trusted Traveler included -- is security theater. We would all be a lot safer if, instead, we implemented enhanced baggage security -- both ensuring that a passenger's bags don't fly unless he does, and explosives screening for all baggage -- as well as background checks and increased screening for airport employees.

Then we could take all the money we save and apply it to intelligence, investigation and emergency response. These are security measures that pay dividends regardless of what the terrorists are planning next, whether it's the movie plot threat of the moment, or something entirely different.

I mean, it's become a daily occurrence to spot the next epic TSA fuckup. Just look at this next situation..
A woman tries to have containers of breast milk she's carrying hand-screened instead of passed through the x-ray machine. Breast milk is considered a medical liquid under the TSA's own regulations, which means she has a perfect right to make this request, and the TSA, again by its own stated rules, will comply.

What happens instead is that she's scolded by the TSA, left standing in the clear "special screening" cubicle for over an hour until she misses her flight, and has a real police officer called over to tell her that she is being a disruptive passenger.

Eventually a supervisor is called over. The woman shows him a copy of the TSA's guidelines, printed out from their own website and brought with her, as the TSA itself suggests. The response? According to her, the supervisor tells her, "Well, the rules don't apply to you today."

According to the woman the TSA was rude and verbally abusive to her, but the security camera footage has no sound. However, the TSA hasn't denied her version of events, and even if you can't hear what's being said, the video (in four parts, all taken from the TSA's own cameras) is pretty damning with just what you see of the interaction.
In all honestly, the real power of the TSA is the ability to make people miss their flights. No matter how well you follow the rules, they can make up some stupid reason to keep you there for an extra half hour and then whoops! Sorry about that.. oh wait, not even a sorry.

And since they've been getting so much bad press, they decided to not include 12 year old and under kids into the whole scanners, but now it's Pilots who finally get the pass.

Which is smart because, let's fucking be honest here.. Given the amount of radiation pilots are exposed to on a yearly basis just flying, I can't really imagine why they would opt in to going through more machines that send radiation bouncing off their bodies. Also, they're the goddamn pilot. If they wanted to take down a plane, they don't need to sneak in a bomb. They could just crash it.

I have an idea that these machines really don't have much to do with the War on Terror and is instead sounding like a move for the war on drugs. Liquids, gels and powders either don't make good explosives or require a detonator to go off. However, these substances do describe all commonly smuggled drugs. And what better mule to carry drugs than an pilot.

They should be checking Kim K.'s ass, as that would be the place she would smuggle midgets in with.

The worse of it is that no one is even paying attention to who gets the money in all this. The machines cost somewhere around $100,000 each and they plan on selling 500 this quarter and another 1000 the next quarter. Which means that the former director of the TSA gets his paycheck.

Our nations security, dignity, and time is being sold on a lie because there is a buck in it. Not like Micheal Chertoff, the former director who is cashing in on all this with his company who makes the machine ever has to fly commercial anyway. So he wouldn't know what it would feel like to be treated like a terrorist.

Michael Chertoff's "Chertoff Group" which he has admitted owning RapidScan Systems, one of the two manufacturers of the of the full-body scanners, simply wants to take millions of dollars of your tax money while simultaneously convincing you that it's for your safety.

Turn and cough please.

I mean, it's really obviously a money-making scheme for those with stock involved here. It's actually pretty awful that if this was a movie we'd all be bitching about how unrealistic it is because the plan is so fucking obvious. And yet this point is ignored because it's not as visceral or easy to relate to as the TSA getting their grope on.

There really isn't any point to any of it anyway. It prevents nothing. In fact, the one thing we've done since 9/11 that actually would have prevented 9/11 was reinforcing and locking the cockpit door, everything else is completely reactionary. It's better to gut the TSA to 1/8th its current budget and go back to metal detectors and employ air marshals to fly on each plane and call it a day.

Grabbing a kids junk isn't going to find the bomb someone made him swallow or otherwise jammed inside of him. So, yeah, the threat level remains the same. Firing the junk grabbers on the other hand, at least gives us infrastructure budget to be used in a more helpful manner.


And it's not even a case of bad screeners either. You can't just say to fire them for going against the TSA policy because.. at the current moment TSA has no policy. They pull it out of their ass as they go along. No one knows what the rules are. We're directed to the website, when the website doesn't say what the screener says, we're told that it's all part of "dynamic security" so that the terrorist don't exploit a weakness. In short, you're just making the fucking rules up as we're playing the game.

You have a bunch of people who don't know their polices and apply them so inconsistently, then they wonder why people get pissed off. Like in the situation where a cancer survivor had to remove her fake breast in public. Only that's not what the policy states to do.

I also love it when people start quoting shit like in this article..
But John Drake, 36, of York, Maine, flying yesterday with his family to San Jose, Calif., for Thanksgiving, had no complaints: “Travel is not a birth-given right. It’s a choice. And it’s up to our government to make sure we’re safe while we do it.” He called Opt Out Day “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.”

Shut the motherfucking fuck up. Traveling is not a birth-given right? We should have to check in with the police station for permission before we leave our hometowns, and notify the police in te cities we visit when we arrive. Just like a good totalitarian state, I say. The government knows what's best for us!

It's bad enough they're making outrageous shit for not following their strict rules.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is warning that any would-be commercial airline passenger who enters an airport checkpoint and then refuses to undergo the method of inspection designated by TSA will not be allowed to fly and also will not be permitted to simply leave the airport.

That person will have to remain on the premises to be questioned by the TSA and possibly by local law enforcement. Anyone refusing faces fines up to $11,000 and possible arrest.
They've implemented that right now. Why? it's purely punitive measure, made in response to the constant public outrage of last week and because it's the Holiday travel rush. It's the TSA saying, in clear terms, "You are the enemy, and we are the authority".

Yeah.. she's not hiding anything there...

Even if we have this little Fourth Amendment in our Constitution...
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Yup, it sounds pretty cut and dry.

And it's not that they can save your image. I mean, that is terrible, but the fact that when they asked them if they could save the image, the TSA flat out lied about it. So it brings into question what else they are lying about.

But the worse part of this whole situation is that Michael Chertoff, the guy at the DHS who pushed hard for these scanners, is financially connected to the company that makes them. And that they're being crammed down our throats. Someone's making a huge amount of money off irradiating us under the impression that it makes us safer.

Of course, they'll just flat out deny that there was any conflict of interest, but yes it's absolutely disgusting that not only are people's rights being trampled, it's likely being implemented so one of the executives can make a nice gain.

I bet that the terrorist are so pleased with how hysterical we've all become. I'm confused by how people forget that the point of terrorism is to create a heightened state of anxiety and fear in the culture targeted, but yet somehow don't see that this is sort of intense violating reaction in order to protect us.

But hey, maybe if they make bladder problem people pee, they're doing something to stop terrorism.
A Houghton Lake man says he was so aggressively patted down by an agent at a Detroit Metro Airport security checkpoint this month that it caused the lid on his urostomy bag to come loose, spilling urine on his shirt and pants.. . .

Sawyer said he and his wife were heading to catch a plane to Orlando on Nov. 7 when he went through the airport’s new full-body scanner and was then selected to be patted down by a TSA agent.

Sawyer said that after asking the agents for a more discreet pat-down, he was taken to a private area.

Sawyer said one agent began the pat-down, but when he began sliding his hand firmly down his chest, he said he told the security officer that the pressure could pull the lid off his urostomy bag — which, Sawyer said, is what happened.

“When I got out of the room my wife knew something was wrong and I just broke down crying,” he said. “I was just so embarrassed, so humiliated.”

He said once through security, he changed his bag, but didn’t have time to change his clothing and had to board the plane soaked in urine.

“I was embarrassed to death,” Sawyer said.

He said he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2007 and had to have a procedure that left him with a urostomy bag to catch re-routed urine. . .

Still, Sawyer said it didn’t ruin his trip with his wife.

“Nothing,” he said, “absolutely nothing, ruins our good time.”

I have to say, "I'm just doing my job" has never been an acceptable excuse for anything. I'm not sure why people think that doing bad things is okay if you're doing it for money.

It's also a bit comical. Looking up what you can bring on the plane, I noticed that you can bring your knitting needles as carry on, but not a nail clipper... I just have to wonder how that makes any sense. I mean, yeah, everyone should know that it is possible to blow up a plane or take over it with nail clippers, but with Knitting needles you're not going to do anything but make a neat Doctor Who scarf.

As for the comment from the TSA administrator John Pistole: comes down to how do we give the highest level of confidence to everybody on that flight that everybody else has been properly screened
Not the highest level of safety, but the highest level of passenger confidence. Security theater has been directly unmasked by the TSA.

I mean, how else do you force everyone to go through their incredibly dangerous and expensive machines while punishing the ones who would argue with it to ensure their contract stays as strong as it does? You grab their junk and say that there's potentially a risk of a bomb being kept in an area they value more than anything else. If that doesn't work they'll just start doing wrist deep anal searches.

I have to ask why everyone assumes that people are asking for more security and a better feeling of safety... Who the fuck is asking for more security? Does "people" mean the people who are making money from the TSA? Because the average traveler is much more nervous about something happening with the plane itself, or with the fact that they'll be defying gravity in a few moments and flying. They're less afraid of terrorist because.. the amount of terrorist attacks is fucking small!

Buy a man dinner first before you touch my mini anaconda, nigga!

Unless we get another underwear/shoe/mustache/anal cavity bomber this holiday season, the TSA will probably be under significant pressure to change their practices. Hell, and even if we do, they'll be shown as the king with no clothing that they are.

There's a point where you put too much security and you hit some sort of safety diminishing returns somewhere past taking off shoes and a little before body scans and groping. And I have to say, the shoe threat was stupid. The guy was trying to light C-4 with a lighter. C-4 doesn't explode from just applying fire to it, it'll burn, but that's about it.

We are so far past that diminishing returns point that it's not even funny. The TSA is only continuing to get funding by employing terror techniques to scare the average American into giving them more money to ensure their safety. That's right. How ironic is that shit, the TSA is a terrorist organization and while we fight this war on terror we created one to terrorize our own population. Isn't it about time that we see the TSA as useful as putting up a sign that says "Please don't attack us"

So of course the TSA is digging in their heels on this one, because the makers of the device spent 4.3 million this year paying off the government for the right to put these into place. There's nothing that makes officials fight tooth and nail more than the prospect of losing lobbyist money. Yes, corruption happens. A lot.

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