Don't Scan Me Because I'm Beautiful

As I noted in my column last week, the Transportation Security Administration's full-body scanners, which eventually are supposed to replace metal detectors as the routine method for screening airline passengers, have not been fully deployed yet and are used only intermittently at the airports where they are installed. Under these circumstances, people are naturally curious about the criteria for deciding which travelers will be subjected to a virtual strip search. The TSA, the better to keep the terrorists guessing, won't say. But former Playboy Playmate and former Baywatch star Donna D'Errico tells AOL News she thinks she knows why she was singled out by a male TSA agent while catching a flight to Pittsburgh at Los Angeles International Airport:

I immediately asked why we were having to go through an extra search, and no one else was being made to do so, indicating the long line of other passengers in front of and behind where we had been in line. In a very sarcastic tone, and still holding me by the elbow, the agent responded, "Because you caught my eye, and they"--pointing to the other passengers--"didn't."...I'm not sure whether they had recognized me or not. If they did, they didn't say anything. However, it is my personal belief that they pulled me aside because they thought I was attractive....

After the search, I noticed that the male TSA agent who had pulled me out of line was smiling and whispering with two other TSA agents and glancing at me. I was outraged.

Consistent with reports from other airports, D'Errico says she was never given the option of a pat-down instead of a scan and was not even told what type of machine the TSA was using.

It could be that D'Errico misconstrued the TSA agents' reaction to a celebrity sighting. But she is not the only one who suspects considerations other than security are affecting the choice of passengers for full-body scans. Over at The Daily Caller, Theo Caldwell wonders, "Is the TSA targeting women?" His evidence is also anecdotal:

The young, male TSA officer walks slowly down the line of airline passengers waiting to clear security. He looks down at tickets, up at faces, then points to those whom he selects for additional screening. In a theoretically possible, albeit unlikely, random sample, when the officer reaches the end of the long queue, we find that every passenger he has chosen for further scrutiny is female.

As I watched this scene unfold at Washington, DC’s Reagan-National Airport recently, the moment that struck me most was when the officer looked down at my ticket and seemed about to pull me aside. But when he raised his eyes to see my face, he veered his blue-gloved finger, already in mid-air, toward the woman standing behind me.

Caldwell also reports that "a wildly unscientific survey of my personal acquaintances" reveals that "almost every female traveler I know has at least one story of being scanned and/or patted down—and in some cases, they advise it happens every time they fly." By contrast, he says, "very few of the men I speak to report anything similar." Citing a few other incidents of alleged ogling, Caldwell says "anecdotal evidence is mounting that TSA officers are inappropriately directing their newfound powers to prod and peer at female passengers."

Although the TSA insists that the agents who select passengers for screening do not have any contact with the ones who watch the scans, Caldwell suggests an implicit quid pro quo may develop:

Human nature being what it is, how hard is it to suppose that if you are working a menial, hourly job at the airport, and you have opaque, random power to choose people to be exposed naked to whichever of your chums is manning the peep booth, you would be tempted to send pleasing shapes through the scanner, on the understanding he will do the same when it's your turn to do the ogling?

The TSA, of course, is working hard on a solution to this problem. Once all of us are automatically exposed before the eyes of an anonymous, invisible agent of the state, women will no longer complain that they are being singled out because of their hot bodies.

[Thanks to Ron Steiner for the AOL News link.]

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  • Brian Sorgatz||

    There is no such thing as a "former Playmate." It's a lifelong honor.

  • LeSigh||

    Unless they win a pageant. Then they have to turn in their centerfold.

  • TSA Blue Shirt||

  • ¢||

    I'm not sure whether they had recognized me or not.

    That's funny.

  • Night Vision IR Lens||

    Some people who received recall notices from Sony found out that you do not need the TSA's help in these matters.

    Those who have recieved such letters do not need further explaination as to why this comment is relavant.

  • Tman||

    Was that the deal where the lens they sold was taking "x-ray" level pictures when it wasn't supposed to?

  • BenDU99||

    Fuck anyone that supports the use of these body scans, the pat downs or the TSA.

    Anyone who's not a politician or boot-licking statist recognizes the TSA for the thugs they are.

  • Who, Me?||

    That settles it.

  • Almanian||

    I think "thugs" applies to the politicians and TSA "higher ups" who dream up this shit.

    The TSA drones in the airports doing the actual irradiating/molesting I believe are more accurately described as...."drones".

    Their customers are best described as "lowing"....

  • PETA||

    McDonald's employees are murderers!

  • Meh||

    Lame.

    If McDonald's employees were killing the animals themselves and you considered killing animals murder, you could call them murderers and have a consistent view.

    Since TSA goons are themselves committing these violations, they are in fact 'thugs', your disingenuous hyperbole notwithstanding.

  • Jeff||

    Wouldn't McDonald's need to serve meat in order for us to have the murder debate?

  • Meh||

    I don't care if you're the one doing the dirty work or the one keeping your hands clean. You're still a thug.

  • .||

    Calling everyone you disagree with a "thug" is the hallmark of a small mind.

  • seguin||

    Being unwilling to be forthright in order to appear sophisticated is the hallmark of a weak mind.

  • sr7||

    +1

  • Jeff||

    +2

  • ||

    You disagree that TSA employees are tasked with making physical contact on passengers' genitals or send them through full body scanners and enjoy it in these cases?

  • Abdul||

    The ones making physical contact are the same sex as the passenger they are contacting, so the majority of them probably don't enjoy it.

    The scanner thing--more possible.

  • ||

    Sexual pleasure is not the only way one can enjoy something. I tend to believe these TSA thugs (yeah, I went there too) enjoy the power over people by arbitrarily selection of the vulnerable. To justify it by saying they're the same sex is an asinine argument. We're talking about humiliation and power-hungry bureaucrats and you equate that to someone getting aroused because they get to cop a feel.

  • cynical||

    "The ones making physical contact are the same sex as the passenger they are contacting, so the majority of them probably don't enjoy it."

    Do formerly straight convicts enjoy prison rape (assuming they are the rapist in that scenario)? Power is the greatest aphrodisiac.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Because we all know men really don't like seeing a woman touch another woman even in only vaguely sexual ways.

  • prolefeed||

    What if you only disagree with thugs? Still a small mind?

  • cynical||

    No, thugs engage in thuggery. Those who oversee and direct the efforts of thugs are bosses. If you want to be classy, dons.

  • sounds real good||

    Yes.

  • Almanian||

    Also, fuck the TSA

  • ||

    Oh for Christ's sake--why wouldn't they single out hot chicks to go through the scanner?

    There isn't a father of a teen out there who shouldn't be outraged about this. For pete's sake, seal the cockpits from the passengers and let the airlines screen their own passengers already!

    Oh, and once all the screening's done by private companies and not the TSA?

    Is there a reason why private airlines shouldn't be allowed to refuse service to any customer they want to--if you know what I mean?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Let the passengers screen the passengers!

  • James||

    I say scrap the scanners. If Israel can keep Their Country safe while being surrounded by the enemy, so can we. We just need to follow their example and teach TSA employees how to read body language and question those that look shifty.

  • Shifty||

    Nuh-uh, Racist.

  • MNG||

    Does Israel have each private company do their own screening?

  • sounds real good||

    Why didn't you capitalize "their" in the second sentence?

  • IceTrey||

    For fucks sake El Al has 30 flights a day the US has 30,000. Stop fucking using the Israelis as an example.

  • ||

    Of course they're doing this. It's like when the cops used to deny having quotas for tickets; of course they do. Anyone with half a brain knows they do.

  • sevo||

    Included in the next Wikileaks tranche: "TSA employees selected attractive women to scan".
    How shocking!

  • sevo||

    BTW, I still agree: Fuck TSA.
    Wanna look at naked pretty women? Go buy a magazine at the news stand.

  • Or you could say...||

  • robc||

    Someone should have created a gis version by now.

  • ||

    "Cops don't have quotas, Cops only have goals."

    An ex-cop once told me, he was grinning as he said this.

  • hmm||

    If this anecdotal evidence is to be believed, I am one sexah motherfucker.

  • MNG||

    How would libertarians feel about letting each company do their own security but with minimum standards established and policed by the government? And, does anyone know what the argument was at the time as to why was this option not taken?

  • hmm||

    Get rid of the minimum standards and any pricing control and you have a deal.

    I'd fly one bullet and bacon airline anytime.

  • MNG||

    See, I think there is an argument for at least minimum standards as the entire public has some interest in that kind of thing (I don't want a plane or parts of one to land on my house or vacation spot).

  • sevo||

    EXTRENATLITIES!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hmm||

    @sevo: I want to shoot you in the eye with a spork right now.

  • 0x90||

    Yes, there is such an argument, and this is where it gets you.

    Besides, if it as you say, and the entire public has some interest in that kind of thing, then I have to wonder why you need the standard? Not to mention that you're going to win the powerball about 23 times before a plane lands on your house due to any security problem. If that's what really what you're worried about you'd be much better off doing away with air travel entirely.

  • sevo||

    Sorry, MNG, but the same could be said of someone running into your house over the sidewalk.
    The same could be said of the AP wrench who leaves his screwdriver in the intake.
    None of that justifies the costs of TSA, either direct (lost man-hours = X deaths) or indirect (vehicular deaths to avoid flying), not to mention the pure invasiveness of the TSA processes.
    You wanna be a weenie and worry about every plane that flies over your house? Fine. I'll take a bit of liberty, and pass on the fantasy of security bought with that liberty .

  • hmm||

    Okay you like minimum standards. I too like minimum standards. The question is how do you plan to achieve these standards? I assume you want some sort of government entity to try and create them? What if these standards were driven by what the people actually wanted. Instead of what a group of people think people should want.

  • hmm||

    Right now you can't discriminate against who you sell a ticket to. Do you think this is a minimum standard?

  • MNG||

    I actually do think public safety from attack by foriegn enemies is a legitimate function of government. We have had enemies use planes to attack and kill thousands of Americans and recently stopped similar plans. When the former happened the economy tanked for a while, people got renditioned, wars got started, so I do think that preventing that from happening again would be worth a bit of cost.

    Now I can see the argument that this could possibly be done even better by private firms. But I think you are going to have to have minimum standards because there is a pressure on private actors to cut costs. Think of the company that sold the tainted peanut butter or that bought bunches of toxic bundled mortgages, private actors have a pressure on them to cut costs to make a quick buck sometimes. In theory (and I mean in theory) government may be better able to resist that and enforce a minimum standard.

    And I don't think airlines should be able to discriminate when selling a ticket based on tribalistic charactersitics as protected in the 14th. That could impose hardships on minorities who need/want to travel just like the majorities (discrimination to travelers was a main focus of the first federal civil rights acts in the 1960s), would place barriers to a fair amount of trade and such travel falls well within the inter-state commerce clause (even under a "conservative" reading of that clause).

  • MNG||

    Planes are instrumentalities of interstate commerce and most flights involve interstate commerce and travel. Here on reason many people have advocated a narrow reading of the IC clause which states that its purpose is to "make regular" inter-state commerce. I submit that a successful terrorist attack could have incredibly negative effects on the "regularity" of interstate travel (and therefore commerce) via airplane and therefore this kind of thing is nearly certainly constitutional from that angle.

    Of course not everything constitutional is smart. Additionally I have some doubts about the 4th Amendment constitutionality of these searches.

  • hmm||

    Sure there are pressures to cut costs, but those pressures meet resistance when cutting costs begin to jeopardize revenue.

    It's funny you mention two instances, both of which are highly regulated and both of which occurred while being highly regulated. Surely you knew the irony going into that argument.

    So a minority can't start an airline? It was government sponsored public travel that was targeted, I don't remember seeing any car dealerships in the civil rights literature I have read. Even the restaurants that discriminated did so at a loss of customers that would attend other restaurants. Was it ideal, no. Would the model have sooner or later worked towards an equilibrium, if other instances around the world are a metric, yes.

  • ||

    I actually do think public safety from attack by foriegn enemies is a legitimate function of government. We have had enemies use planes to attack and kill thousands of Americans

    Hey minge, our nation has also been attacked by an invasion of airplanes. Should we outlaw private planes as well because the Japs bombed us 69 years ago this very day? Or how about being invaded by foreign agents by sea (sub and surface ship) during ww2. Should we outlaw or overly monitor these forms of travel as well? Or how about the Mexican cavalry that attacked us in the Mexican-American War. Should we stop all people on horseback and search them because they may be "an enemy?" Oh, and we have had foreign enemies attack us on foot as well in various battles on our own soil. Should all people on foot be subject to search because we've been attacked that way as well?

    I swear. Anything to lick the boots of the benevolent masters. You are such a fuck.

  • MNG||

    Lord this is just embarrasing for you. I actually do want government to protect me from foriegn fighter planes and submarines like the ones that attacked us in WWII...

    But we were talking about commercial planes. No, I don't want them outlawed. I would like to stop foriegn enemies from using them to kill Americans. So that means taking some measures. Do you really think absolutely no measures should be taken to prevent that from happening again?

  • MNG||

    There was pretty extensive congressional findings for the act that demonstrated the burdens of discrimination by hotels, eateries, etc., on blacks that were travelling.

    The pressure on a private firm is to make money. Indeed usually some short term gains will put you at risk for long term losses, but my point is that private firms take this risk all the time and this area may not be one where we want that risk taken.

  • ||

    Minge, go clean yourself up, you reek of stale urine.

  • ||

    Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin

  • ||

    Technically that's the status quo. Any airport that wants to kick the TSA scanners out can do so, as long as they are replaced by someone doing similar procedures.

  • Warty||

    The point was to create a gigantic unionized bureaucracy. Safety has nothing to do with anything the TSA does; remember that.

  • ||

    Why would you want to see a monochrome silhouette of Donna D'Errico's naked 40-year-old body when you can easily download pictures of her 20-year-old naked body in full visible color?

  • cynical||

    Because you can. If there's one thing I learned from crime dramas, it's that peeping toms always escalate into rapists and then serial killers. If women start turning up missing in a town with an airport, you know where to start looking.

  • MWG||

    LOL... Literally.

  • Dylboz||

    Didn't the cuter, chubbier Kardashian report something similar on Lopez or Conan?

  • ||

    Yup, she likened it to rape, which had the added bonus of pissing off the Jezebel crowd.

    Is she really the cuter one? I woulda guessed the smaller one.

  • Bingo||

    Please don't discourage the chubby chasers, they give the rest of us better odds with the hawt ladies.

  • Ted S.||

    They're not chubby; they're voluptuous.

  • Jeff||

    Is that code for fat as fuck?

  • Dylboz||

    Kloe is a HAWT lady. Plus, she doesn't look like she was just gang-drained by the cast of True Blood.

  • hmm||

    Those are some arrogant spiteful dumb cunts. There really is not language strong enough to describe that community.

    Really they deserve every bit of derision one can muster.

  • ||

    From the comments (a fair number of which actually thought it was dumb to bitch about Khloe's remark):

    You're right it's hard to discuss something with a lunatic, especially a libertarian. I give up.

    Ha. Too bad we can't troll there.

  • Hugh Akston||

    We can't? Is it because they already troll themselves so hard?

  • ||

    They lock down their comments section hard. Rumor has it SugarFree obtained commenting privileges, but I don't know if he posts or what handle he uses.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What doesn't piss off the Jezebel crowd?

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Homosexuals.

  • ||

    Ordinarily the feminazi crowd will go into spasms simply because men are aware of women; Teh Evil Male Gaze and all that. How is TSA goons deliberately scanning women to gawk at them any fucking different? The only difference I see is that it's worse: it's men in power using that power to abuse women. I thought they were against that.

  • ||

    She was probably selected for being a Ron Paul supporter.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Maybe so, I seem to recall another incident where someone from the Paul campaign or Campaign for Liberty was detained by the TSA for having a big wad of cash on them.

  • Jeff||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGbbgtuAKtg

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm still not comvinced it was the "wad of cash" that led to the detaining. IMO, it was political profiling, and that's bullshit.

  • Corduroy||

    Great, just great. Hot babes are infiltrating the libertarian masses. How am I supposed to sleep at night?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Fuck the TSA. They're Obama's fuckin' henchman. I'm sure they would be offended by being called henchman, but you know what? Fuck you! If you don't want to be called a henchman, don't fuckin' be one. Definition of a henchman is someone who performs despicable acts at the order of their boss and that's exactly what you pieces of shit you are. Fuck Obama and fuck his TSA henchman.

  • cynical||

    Hey, Obama inherited his henchmen from Bush. He'll replace them once he finishes building his new volcano lair.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I don't give a shit who he inherited his thugs from. Worst president ever. I'm including Nixon in that too. Watergate does not even come close to comparing to ordering naked pictures and/or grouping of Americans mothers, wives, and children.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Groping, not grouping obviously.

  • ||

    So I should be honored if they choose me? I'm flying over the holidays, and fully intend to opt-out if chosen. Grope away, pervs.

  • anarch of the Chosen People||

    I'm flying over the holidays, and fully intend to opt-out if chosen.

    Me too.

  • Warty||

    What airports are you flying out of? Time for some old-fashioned Wartinfiltration.

  • ||

    SeaTac, but when I flew out last in mid-Nov, no porn-o-scan in sight. And, no way could you infiltrate the TSA- pretty sure they have an IQ ceiling that even Steve Smith couldn't sail under.

  • Warty||

    Your compliments won't save you, dearie. Now excuse me while I bash my head with a kettlebell until I can pass the TSA's entrance exams.

  • MWG||

    A libertarian in the Seattle area!? Being raised right outside of Seattle I knew a lot of pot smokers, but they were all of the leftist breed.

  • !||

    As a fat bald guy, I promise to do a little bump & grind move next time I pass through TSA.

  • ||

    What happens if you hold a dollar bill in your teeth during the pat-down?

  • robc||

    My plan is to pull out a $20 and ask for a happy ending.

  • TSA Agent||

    This story is totally bogus. Just because we need to use the 6" internal flesh colored phallic imaging devise to internally check the vaginal walls of some female passengers does not mean we are abusing our authority.

  • Jeff||

    I'm done flying unless it's international or over 10 hours. It's not worth the massive pain in the ass anymore. I used to pick up short haul flights form SF to LA or from DC to NY. Then 9/11 happened and everyone lost their collective shit. Gone were the days where you could get to the airport 45 minutes early. Once you factor in the new luggage limitations and the added security, it's almost faster to drive (and you get to listen to w/e you want on satellite radio and can shit in some of the nicest rest stations/gay night clubs in America). Now I'm extending my limits. It just does not make sense to fly.

  • IceTrey||

    It may be faster but it's also WAAAAAAAY more dangerous to drive.

  • Jeff||

    Yeah, but you're forgetting:

    (1) Fuck the man; and
    (2) I'm not a pussy. I've been in a car accident so I've got my statistical 1 one out of the way. If I do get in another one, w/e. If it kills me, I won't give a shit because I'll be dead. I like driving - I like this country - and I hate flying. The result? I'm driving.

  • Spoonman.||

    Probability has no memory.

  • Steff||

    I flew to Maine once.

    Drove ever since. And this was before the porn-o-scan. Because the TSA were dicks. Since then, I've been in Manhattan, Hoboken, Boston, Portland and a ton of other places, and I have discovered that while the risk of driving is higher, the sheer freedom and beauty of the experience are worth every last bit.

  • Steff||

    Is worth.

    First cup of coffee. It's NOT ENOUGH! Gaaaaagh.

  • robc||

    It's not worth the massive pain in the ass anymore.

    At one time, this was a metaphor.

  • SFC B||

    "Home Alone" is on cable right now and I watched it. It's depressing to remember that it wasn't that long ago a group of 15 could leave their house 45 minutes before their flight and still make it to the gate in time.

  • alan||

    Just tape the shortest barrel rifle you have to your back when you travel next time. It is the best way to insure that they do not notice you.

  • ||

    Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!

    (pulls gun from back and shoots Hans Gruber the TSA agent)

  • alan||

    Poor Hans, always the foil to American badassadry.

  • ||

    A quick review of Ms D'errico's Playboy portfolio via Google images reveals that she was pretty weird-shaped in the regions of interest even back in those days. One can only imagine what havoc the intervening 15 years have wrought.

  • Warty||

    You are an idiot.

    Obviously not safe for work.

  • ||

    Without getting too graphic, it looks like our tastes in those regions are different. That should comfort you.

  • ||

    So you're a chubby chaser. It makes sense; you like to make them feel bad about their weight so you can control them, don't you.

  • ||

    No, that's not the region I was talking about.

  • Warty||

    What, you're pissed because she doesn't have a dick or something?

  • ||

    Tulpa likes hermaphrodites? That makes even more sense.

  • ||

    Tulpa likes hermaphrodites?

    Only for bait.

  • ||

    Worm jokes? Your attempts at humor make me sad, until I realize it's you, and then I laugh.

  • ||

    I was just warming you up for the tapir humor.

  • ||

    Right, I said she was "weird-shaped" because of her lack of male genitalia. You're a master of deduction.

    Of course, I don't deny wanting to give her a taste of the Tulpa-lovin' back in the day. But there are different standards for visual material and tactile material.

  • Warty||

    Tulpa-lovin'

    Do you whip yourself afterward to punish yourself for feeling joy, Agent Nelson Van Houten?

  • ||

    I applaud that show for making me hate him so much. I really want him to off himself.

  • ||

    Nelson is Milhouse's brother?

  • ||

    Do you whip yourself afterward to punish yourself for feeling joy, Agent Nelson Van Houten?

    It's Van Alden, you criminally inept cacafuego.

    Tulpa, you don't have HBO, do you.

  • ||

    No, Episiarch, I do not have HBO. I also use the same fork for salad, meat, dessert, and nasal hygiene. Does that make you better than me?

  • Warty||

    nasal hygiene. Does that make you better than me?

    Um...yes.

  • ||

    Does that make you better than me?

    Among so many things, yes. I will assume your fork is plastic.

  • ||

    Not all the time.

  • Warty||

    Van Alden. Whatever. No one gives a fuck about Dutch names.

  • Tman||

    Get a room you three..

    ...but seriously though, don't hate on the Donna.

  • Amakudari||

    What, you're pissed because she doesn't have a dick or something?

    +1

  • ||

    Says she likes men with foreign accents... I can do Canadian pretty well eh.

  • MNG||

    Two questions:

    What do people here recommend to take the place of the current TSA methods? And please don't just say "let the companies do the security" because I'm curious as to what you think they would be smart to do if they were doing it.

    Secondly, why wouldn't private actors in charge of this come up with just as invasive procedures? On the one hand libertarians say that we can trust companies with this because the costs of lawsuits, bad pr and loss of equipment that would follow a successful attack on an airline will push them to take it very seriously, wouldn't these be strong incentives for them to come up with similarly invasive procedures?

  • ||

    Airline A hires security company C who uses very invasive procedures. Airline B hires security company D who uses Israeli-style security and doesn't do invasive searches.

    People fly Airline B much more, even though they cost a little more, because they get through security quickly and without invasive procedures.

    Airline B profits, Airline A loses business. Airline A fires security company C after receiving complaints and feedback, and hires security company E which operates like security company D, but claims to care about customer satisfaction even more.

    The TSA is not responsible to the customers. You cannot punish them by using someone else; you don't have a choice and they get your money (via taxes) no matter how dissatisfied you are.

    Even if private security wanted to be invasive, customers would have choice and could punish airlines who used that security. The same cannot be said for the TSA. They have absolutely no motivation to be efficient, courteous, or to satisfy customers.

    But you already knew all this.

  • anarch||

    Here's a guy who belongs in public service.

  • ||

    You forgot the part where one of Airline A's planes blows up over Cleveland, and they get sued out of existence.

  • ||

    I meant Airline B, not A.

  • Warty||

    We have a lot of neighborhoods that need to be cleansed with fire. It's OK.

  • ||

    If there were only ten righteous persons in Cleveland, I would spare it just for the ten.

  • ||

    Warty ate all ten of them. They were Bengals fans.

  • Warty||

    Bengals fans aren't to be hated, just...um...pitied? I dunno. If I ever meet one, I'll figure out what to do with them.

    Steelers fans, on the other hand, deserve to be forced to have an earnest conversation with Tulpa.

  • ||

    Even you're not that cruel. Maybe force them to have a conversation with Tulpa, but...an earnest one? That's just wrong.

  • ||

    Every conversation with me is an earnest one. I just spent 45 minutes ranting to three of my students with a rant about Hell's Kitchen, and they had to pretend to listen because they don't want to piss me off the night before the final.

    Asperger's Power FTW!

  • ||

    I attempted to give a link to a picture of Big Ben's bisected nose from Sunday night, but Reason's spam filter refused to let me link to any of them.

  • Warty||

    I had a hearty laugh when I saw that happen live. It's just too bad the hillbilly rapist motherfucker didn't die, isn't it?

  • ||

    There is no conclusive proof of him being a hillbilly.

  • Warty||

  • ||

    I found Tulpa's video on YouTube.

  • Brian D||

    "You forgot the part where one of Airline A's B's planes blows up over Cleveland, and they get sued out of existence."

    Which, since the Rapescan machines haven't been around between 9/11 and now, has happened countless number of times already.

    Or has not happened because the TSA has confiscated countless number of bombs and arrested throngs of known terrorists due to their diligent ball-cupping and boob-squeezing.

  • MNG||

    "Even if private security wanted to be invasive, customers would have choice and could punish airlines who used that security."

    A good point. But couldn't the same pressures to please customers mean shortcuts on security which could endanger third parties?

    Company A has responsible but slightly pain in the ass procedures. Company B has risky but far less pain in the ass procedures. Company A cannot compete with Company B and this effect occurs throughout the industry. Company B's plane is crashed into a suburban neighborhood killing hundreds of third parties to the transaction. The economy tanks, wars are started, renditioning starts...

    I guess an answer is that customers will be smart enough to overlook the lack of hassle and choose the most responsible airline.

    From my interaction with most people, good luck with that. Behavioral economics and psychology show that people make some really stupid decisions to avoid hassle, especially when it comes to risk...

  • ||

    I'd think that the airlines' protections from being sued for damages from crashes would be repealed under this privatization system, so Company B is going to get sued out of existence after that crash. Indeed, airlines would probably try to get insurance for their new liabilities, and the insurers would probably mandate tough security measures.

  • MNG||

    Tulpa
    I guess I'd be concerned knowing that, well, it's somewhat common (or at least not unheard of) for companies to do stupid ass things for short term profits that get them sued out of existence...

  • MNG||

    And I don't necessarily have the faith in insurance companies to police things that you might have. Think credit default swaps...

  • ||

    Hence the tendency of people to favor buying from long-lived, well-established companies in an industry rather than fly-by-night ones, unless there's a huge price difference.

    And there is no perfect solution here. The TSA doesn't exactly have the purest motivations for its security guidelines either.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    I guess I'd be concerned knowing that, well, it's somewhat common (or at least not unheard of) for companies to do stupid ass things for short term profits that get them sued out of existence...



    Ah! Are you profiling, MNG?

    I'd be concerned about buckets of water because toddlers have died inside them... Or maybe, I would do the smart and intelligent thing and simply verify that my toddler is not near a bucket of water, instead of asking Daddy Government to regulate buckets of water.

    If you want to be shielded from the effects of folly, then you can simply get under your bed and cuddle in fear around your blankie, because Daddy Government cannot give that to you.

  • MNG||

    I guess one thing I am saying is that I'm not sure I want this area to be policed by the market where consumers trying to avoid hassle would put pressure on the development of minimum standards on the industry. Note that this would just be if there was no attack; if there were some awful attack the goofy consumers would then put enormous pressure to make the minimum standard some hysterically invasive one (huge chunks of the market would not buy tickets from any airline not engaging in them). There would be incredible under-reaction of the threat by most consumers in the first instance and incredible over-reaction in the second, but in both incredible pressures would be put on companies to satisfy the whims of the market at the time...

    The TSA strikes me as heavyhanded, stupid, slow and clumsy. I'm just thinking private alternatives would not be much better in the long run...

  • ||

    (huge chunks of the market would not buy tickets from any airline not engaging in them)

    And huge chunks wouldn't buy tickets from an airline that does engage in them.

  • MNG||

    In the immediate after-math of a much publicized terrorist event on a plane? Dude, I seriously doubt that.

  • ||

    It might be a niche market, but no airline has a terribly high market share anyway.

    Also, you could easily have several airlines hire Full Body Cavity Inc. for their security immediately after that event, and then switch back to a less invasive provider when emotions settle down and they see a competitive advantage. With the Feds in charge any upgrade in invasiveness is never going to be rolled back because of the Not On My Watch effect and the lack of incentive to do so.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    I guess one thing I am saying is that I'm not sure I want this area to be policed by the market where consumers trying to avoid hassle would put pressure on the development of minimum standards on the industry[...]In the immediate after-math of a much publicized terrorist event on a plane? Dude, I seriously doubt that.



    Ve vant aktion. Aktion! Schnell! Schneller!!!

  • Dylboz||

    Invasiveness is a bug, not a feature. It comes from government monopoly, lack of accountability, and political pressure to act "randomly" so as not to appear to to be profiling, but it is actually just laziness and a calculated risk, playing the odds that 99.999% of passengers are just average schlubs visiting family, on vacation or doing business (in this formulation, D'Ericco is a schlub, too. Albeit, a pretty one). It is acurately described as mere theater, not genuine security. Point is, there is a whole lot of public information available that can easily be researched in the average 2-3 week interim between when a customer purchases a ticket, and the date they actually fly. That would be plenty of time to not only decide which passengers pose the greatest risk, but to ask them for more information or whatever else you feel necessary, should some red flag arise. Also, I'd likely flag ANYONE who flies one way/same day for extra scrutiny. These are just off the top of my head, but notice nudie-scans and aggressive groping are not in there.

  • Jeff||

    Puffer machines and bomb sniffing dogs to keep explosives off the plane. Metal detectors to keep guns and knives off. What's left? Plastic blades. How to solve that problem? Put one taser at the front and back of the plane in a locked box that only the flight crew can access. put a 9mm hollow point with hydrashock in a "break in case of emergencies" case in the cockpit. Problem solved, no balls felt to stop the imaginary threat.

  • anarch||

    Harr-umph.

  • Anomalous||

    But the Muslims will object to the dogs.

  • ||

    I'll fly on the private airline that uses dogs and profiling? Profiling by private industry is fine. Profiling by government, I have a problem with...equal protection and all that.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Two questions:

    What do people here recommend to take the place of the current TSA methods?

    Nothing. NOTHING should be the replacement.

    But, if you want to have a dog and pony show that remedies your hang-ups, then let private companies do the show. It will be far cheaper than paying government to make you feel better.

    Or buy a blankie. Or hide under your bed. I don't care.

    Secondly, why wouldn't private actors in charge of this come up with just as invasive procedures?

    Trick question, as private companies don't do privates.

    On the one hand libertarians say that we can trust companies with this because the costs of lawsuits[...]

    Maybe some libertarians may argue that. I simply say government should stay out of that business.

    I don't trust shoemakers because I can sue them, I trust them because I know they want MY business. I would NOT trust a government-run shoemaking business, as I know government does not want my business, it will simply take it - they don't call it a monopoly of power for nothing.

  • tiffany bracelets||

    This is a nice article for sure. I am glad to read some fantastic tiffany bracelet article like this.It has been long before I can find some useful articles about tiffany jewellery.

  • Nash||

    While this is entirely wrong of the TSA one wonders why this woman gets so angry when "Donna D'errico" with safe search off yields the same results.

  • .||

    Cuz she didn't make any money of it?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    She explained her objection - they are quite different circumstances. And yeah, part of it was that when she got her picture taken nekkid, she was working, under contract, in very controlled circumstances, and being paid a shitload of money for it, with control over who has the rights to the images.

    Seems to me she's got a legitimate beef - just because she appeared nude in Playboy several years ago doesn't mean she should have to have her naked image taken in a public setting and viewed by lord knows who.

    Or are you advocating a different standard for someone who at some point in their lives posed nude for a photographer than for any other U.S. citizen?

  • enzo||

    i was 'handled' by a woman (I'm a man) security agent that actually cupped my crotch (in front of others) and asked me if I 'was having a good day'. I was so in shock that she was feeling me up, (for about 10 seconds) I didn't know what to say. she then said that I could go.

  • MNG||

    "she then said that I could go."

    At least she didn't say you could come.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    The proper response is "I will be if you keep going for another minute or two."

    Of course, that will get you arrested. See, she can grope and joke, but if you do, you'll get put on a sex offender list.

  • Rich||

    The TSA, of course, is working hard on a solution to this problem.

    I see what you did there.

  • Virginia||

    It's b/c women love authority. It's the same reason prosecutors prefer women on the jury.

  • ||

    What's left? Plastic blades. How to solve that problem?

    Some wannabe jihadi pulls a spork and starts ululating, they'll be hauling him off in a garbage bag. This is America. The passengers will solve his problem.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I thankfully no longer have to do a whole lot of business travel, but at the time of 9/11/01, I traveled a hell of a lot all over the continental U.S. Once air travel got back to sort of normal and I started flying all over the damn place again, I told my wife that if anyone ever got out of his seat while we were at altitude and started any shit, I, for one, would come at him flying, feet first. I spoke to a few other fellow travelers who expressed the same sentiment. Unfortunately, enough time has passed now that most travelers are probably pretty much once again very complacent and operating in Condition White and would just sit there and watch the scene unfold and wait for "someone" to "do something."

    But there probably still would be enough guys on the plane who would interfere - it would take only 3 or 4 guys to jump on a dude and kick him into submission.

    The easier solution for me is, when I need to travel, I hit the highway rather than the skyway.

  • ||

    I'm still with you. I already want to jump over the seat and kick the crap out of the asshole behind me who won't stop kicking. I've got crazy pent up geek rage.

  • ||

    What do people here recommend to take the place of the current TSA methods?

    Disband TSA. Privatize security. I suppose some minimum standards regulation is politically required, so here's mine:

    (1) Hardened cockpits.

    (2) A gun in every cockpit.

    (3) Bomb sniffers for luggage and passengers.

    And, I suppose,

    (4) Metal detectors for passengers, but no lists of what must be confiscated.

  • ||

    Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin

  • Invisible Finger||

    We need to go back to the days when the protectors of the king (the TSA) were all eunuchs.

  • ||

    "The TSA, of course, is working hard on a solution to this problem."

    So to speak.

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