security kabuki, part the umpteenth.

There’s only one reason why the TSA is threatening to fine the guy who resisted both the full-body scanner and “alternative” patdown search in San Diego last weekend.  A terrorist intent on blowing up or hijacking a plane would not be deterred by the threat of civil suit and $11,000 fine.  Those punitive measures are purely designed to keep the rest of us looking down and shuffling through the line without defiance.  They’re pulling out all the stops on the resister to send a message to the rest of the traveling public:

Fail to comply without question, and we’ll ruin you.

We can’t have people questioning, resisting, or (worst of all) making the TSA look like the mouth-breathing goobers they are.  He showed them up, and they didn’t know how to handle it.  Now they’ll have to come down on him like a bag of anvils so others won’t consider doing the same.

TSA: Making Our Airports As Safe As Our Prisons.


43 thoughts on “security kabuki, part the umpteenth.

  1. Jay G. says:

    They’re really pushing to kill the airlines, aren’t they?

  2. Phssthpok says:

    That’s it TSA…keep poking that penguin.

  3. Jake says:

    Can someone explain why the intense pat-down is seemingly so universally preferable to the full-body scanner?

    I personally think they’re both awfully demeaning, but I’d rather have someone noting the general shape and configuration of my genitalia, as opposed to actually *touching* them!

    • MarkHB says:

      I think this quote is the explanation, Jake:

      “They say the risk is minimal, but statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays,” Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at Johns Hopkins University school of medicine, told AFP.


      I have to fly internationally near Giftmas. Don’t wanna. Gotta. I’m going for the “groped scrote” option than a radiation blast 20x more powerful than a normal X-Ray, thanks.

      • Tam says:

        They told me that if I voted for McCain, this PATRIOT/TSA/police state nonsense would go on forever, and they were RIGHT!

        • MarkHB says:

          It doesn’t matter who you vote for – the Government still gets in.

        • tangopapabravo says:

          That’s pretty good, MarkHB…yours?

        • MarkHB says:

          It’s been said in the UK for as long as I can remember. I have no idea as to it’s original source.

        • Ken says:

          I remember seeing “Don’t vote — the Government will get in” in an old paperback called Graffiti Lives OK.

        • Tam says:

          It doesn’t matter who you vote for – the Government still gets in.

          Bullshit. If you vote for the right lizard, you get hope and change.

        • MarkHB says:

          I find it astonishing that a person of your intellect still seems to think that any given political party is somehow “on your side”.

          I find our other conversations bracing and stimulating though. I miss those. They were fun.

        • Tam says:

          I find it astonishing that a person of your intellect still seems to think that any given political party is somehow “on your side”.

          I find it astonishing that you believe I think that. Your reading comprehension is better than that, or at least I had thought it was.

        • MarkHB says:

          In which case, I’m enlightened as to your position – but still feel I’m missing something.

          I hope it’s not massively important.

      • Charles says:

        “I have to fly internationally near Giftmas. Don’t wanna. Gotta.”

        You always have a choice. Benefits and costs may vary, but you always have the choice.

        • MarkHB says:

          In which case I’ll say that having my junk fondled my some TSA hooligan is preferable to the outcome of not taking that flight.

          Hey, I could piss myself in the queue. That’s really quite tempting.

        • Charles says:

          Yep. Those are the choices we make. It’s nice that we’re able to make them. Will TSA stops at state lines be next? Reasonable regulations, keeping us safe, and interstate commerce and all?

          Involuntary urination as response to stress is probably defensible too. I can imagine biohazard regs coming into play. More fun than you can shake your junk at?

        • MarkHB says:

          Long story short, if I stay here, I’m going to be:

          1) Out of work.
          2) In debt.
          3) Turning down work I could easily be doing.
          4) Stupid for all the above.

          So I’m glad I participated in this discussion. Crossing the TSA goon’s palm with a little liquid gold will ameliorate my irritation quite nicely, I think.

          Note to self: Spare trous in the bergen.

        • Kristopher says:

          If one of the options is not “Leave me the fuck alone, government asshole!”, then you do not really have a choice.

        • Charles says:

          In the end you have the choice to not fly.

          Commercial anyway. Private aviation, more than less, still resembles the America in which we grew up.

        • MarkHB says:

          I’ve also got “the choice” of starting up my own electrical generation plant rather than buying my joules from NMP. It’s every bit as realistic as flying privately across the Atlantic.

        • Charles says:

          You’re very right in that direction. It’s the other direction that has more room.

          It’s easier to contemplate going off the grid the smaller your electricity use becomes. You also have the option of not traveling overseas by working here differently. If work is too good there maybe make one more flight, stay, and go expat?

          My main point is that we have choices. The choice of less is often ignored yet remains available.

          The new American dream? Settling?

  4. John Murphy says:

    Now would be an excellent time to call or write to one’s Congresscritter on the subject, as there is a hearing tomorrow:

    Personally, I’d like to see the TSA sued for practicing medicine without a license: those X-Ray backscatter devices are not toys, and they are in effect saying that they are the proper judges of how much radiation is OK for a wide range of travelers. Used to be, only a physician could make a determination of whether the benefit to my health/safety was worth a given dose of radiation…

    • Marko Kloos says:

      That’s a good point. Imagine you’re flight crew, or a heavy-duty business traveler. You’d get doused with radiation several hundred times per year.

      • Robert says:

        Not only that, but how likely is it that the Thousands Standing Around goons are going to know how to calibrate it properly? Hell, medical professionals have problems keeping medical x-rays calibrated; some are so far off they cause radiation burns.

        Somehow, I doubt they will have certified x-ray technicians on sight for every single airport they install these in.

      • Tam says:

        It wouldn’t matter if the scans were safer than my mother’s arms…

        • Robert says:

          True, but it’s one more argument to leverage against the “I don’t care if they see me nekeds so long as I’m safe” sheep.

  5. abnormalist says:

    I used to travel for work about 20-30%. Usually a week away every month, sometimes more, sometimes less. Most of this was air travel.

    The more you fly, the more you notice that the people who fly a lot are the ones most likely to be affected by an act of politically motivated violence, and they are also the ones who despise the TSA and their smoke and mirrors security game the most.

    At this point even the vacationing families are getting past the “Well its OK if it makes us safe” point when you are asking to irradiate their children.

    This whole things needs to stop, its a joke, and its gone on long enough. You pay your money, you take your chances, this is how life is, get over it.

  6. Fred2 says:

    Not only that but BUDDY, aside from not wanting to be groped. COOPERATED all the way to the point were he was walking back out of the airport (haveing been told to leave and ESCORTED OUT) and was then re-stopped and told to go back in, and then (after checking what they wanted) he rightly told them to get bent and strolled out.

  7. Rusty P. Bucket says:

    It’s their plane, kids, and if you want to use it you have to jump through their hoops or walk.

    A better answer would be to not let moslems get on airplanes as they are responsible for 90% of this kind of terrorist bull shit but the pissers and moaners would see that as racism rather than an honest statistic.

    • perlhaqr says:

      Wow, when did the FedGov buy all the major airlines’ planes from them? I hadn’t heard about that one.

      • Tam says:


        Relax, it’s “Free Internet Day” at Alzheimer’s Acres again.

        • Fodder4Thought says:

          Ooh – blogs and tapioca!

          I LOVE free interne-where am I?

        • Al Terego says:

          From the mouths of babes and the mentally infirm…

          Rusty is right of course. Does anyone who has “navigated” the process of commercial flight recently really doubt that, regardless of the logo on the plane and the flight attendant’s lapel, the entire system is operated by GovAir?

          Well, except that their giant bailout is a bit less public…but they are more in control of that big bird you’re on than the guys up front with the epaulets on their shoulders.

          He’s right about the profiling too. Take a page (or the whole book rather) from Israel’s airport system and maybe our kids and wives won’t be forced to fly naked or suffer defacto rape in order to be allowed to fly over the rivers and woods to grandmother’s house for the holidays.

          Don’t be gathering up your things for the ride home quite yet though, Rusty…you know even a stopped clock etc., etc.


        • Al Terego says:

          Oh, and do me a favor…Tam’s not speaking (typing?) to me right now, so let her know you’re at Dementia Acres, not Alzheimer’s, or you might just get Marko’s fan mail but not hers.

          You might be nuts, but at least you’re aware of it, eh?

        • Tam says:

          I agree. We should screen for terrorists, not pocket knives.

          But even El Al doesn’t (and I quote Rusty, here) “not let moslems get on airplanes”.

        • Leatherwing says:

          Trying to think of a way to keep Muslims off planes I came up with a great idea.

          TSA can have one of those steam tables with a big old pan of bacon. You eat a piece of bacon, you go through to the plane. You refuse, you get left behind. This would screen out vegetarians as well as Muslims, but I’m OK with that (security at all costs, you know). Plus, passengers would all be happier because they just got bacon at the security gate.

          Plus, I think the TSA staff is probably more qualified to serve cafeteria food than to provide security.

          Bacon, not scanners!

        • Tam says:

          This would screen out vegetarians as well as Muslims…

          …and observant Jews and some of the more outlying Protestant sects and…

        • Marko Kloos says:

          …and a week after you put that genius plan into action, some radical mullah is going to issue a fatwa that says eating pork is OK if it’s done to deceive the infidel.

        • perlhaqr says:

          But it’s really a super double-secret reverse sneaky plan, because once the terrorists try bacon, they’ll realise they don’t wanna die.

        • Tam says:

          Okay, that’s funny. 🙂

        • Kristopher says:

          El Al does let Moslems on their planes. After a thorough background check, like all of their other passengers.

          The underwear bomber rode an El Al flight as a test before he attempted his bombing. An El Al plainclothes security person rode in the seat next to him, glaring at him and keeping his hand on his gun the entire flight.

          For some reason, the underpants bomber decided to not make his attempt on an El Al flight.

  8. MPH says:

    My wife and I have been calling the TSA security checkpoint the “passenger harassment point” for several years now. I’m starting to think I’ll need to come up with something new, like:

    Flyer fondling foyer
    Passenger Petting Point

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