Free Phyllis Dintenfass


The Green Bay Press Gazette reports:

A 62-year-old retired technical college teacher was found guilty Tuesday of grabbing an airport screener's breasts after she said she was touched inappropriately during a routine screening in September at the Outagamie County Regional Airport.

Phyllis Dintenfass of Appleton will be back in federal court for sentencing at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 1. The woman could face up to one year in federal prison and a fine of $100,000….

During closing arguments Tuesday, Robinson said Dintenfass was compliant with Transportation Security Administration supervisor Anita Gostisha, "up until she put her hands on her breasts."

[Via Wendy McElroy.]

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  1. That's hot.

  2. 1 year and $100,000 is a bit steep for the crime of being a complete idiot, isn't it? What she did isn't much more severe than me getting pulled over by a cop at night and then shining a flashlight into his eyes as he's looking in my window. Stupid, but not a "federal case".

  3. She punished Anita Gostisha for doing her job.

    So, they do it to us, it is them just doing their job, gently providing security. But when we do it to them, it's punishment.

    Good to know...

  4. God forbid citizens of a free country be allowed to Just Say No to federal boob-gropers.

  5. That's $50,000 or 6 months per boobie.

  6. Has there been even ONE case where the Federal Boob Gropers have found a weapon or a bomb in a woman's bra? I don't think so--it's just another assault on our freedom and dignity.

    (Cue Mona to explain why REAL libertarians don't mind letting the government trample their rights and invade their privacy in the name of safety. After all, there's a Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism going on!)

  7. jf,


  8. When they pry the boobies from my cold dead hands...

  9. And anyone who's watched a Pink Panther movie knows that bras can contain the deadliest of weapons, although most can be thwarted with a well-placed pretzel.

  10. anyone still believes this is a free country with reasonable and creative leadership which deserves the allegiance of the people?

  11. Gaius--
    I stopped believing that a long time ago. And if I'm ever chosen for a more intense airport search I will REFUSE to have it done in some private out-of-the-way place. Better to let everybody see what the hell is going on in the name of "liberty" and "security." And if that means standing in front of a bunch of strangers in my underwear then so be it.

  12. but groping is for the children!

    they have to grope or the terorists win!

  13. That's a noble sacrifice, Jennifer. When's your next flight, by the way?

    Kidding, kidding. You are over 13, right?

  14. I had a cousin visiting from out of town who was 3 years old. She came with her family, great kid.

    I was told the day after they left that on the trip home by airline she acted "so cute." Her acting cute was that when she was selected for extra screening she put her hands on the walls and put her legs out, like they do on cops.

    My level of disgust of this type of behavior being acceptable is enormous.

    Since when is acceding to a fucking search cute? I have always had disdain for that side of the family but seriously. It isn't cute! It is a sad commentary on what is deemed acceptable. These kids are being taught that peeing on demand in a cup is normal. That uneducated poor quality security screeners can touch you where ever they want. That you don't actually have rights.

  15. anyone still believes this is a free country with reasonable and creative leadership which deserves the allegiance of the people?
    Comment by: gaius marius at July 27, 2005 03:28 PM

    As the President stated shortly after the worst terrorist attack in Amerian history:

    ...The people who came to the United States to bomb the World Trade Center were wrong....

    ...How dare you suggest that we in the freest nation on Earth live in tyranny....

    ...[T]here is nothing patriotic about hating your country, or pretending that you can love your country but despise your government....

  16. Don't know yet, Steve. But I've absolutely fucking had it with what's going on in this country, and I'm no longer content to just bitch about it on the Internet. Cops want to search my private property every time I get on the goddamned train to New York? Fine, asshole, just be prepared to have one FUCK of a miserable time going through the nasty-but-legal surprises waiting for you in my purse. Cops want to feel me up with the bullshit excuse that it's for airport security? Fine, asshole, but I'm not going to some private out-of-the-way place; let's do it here in front of the uptight soccer mom and her three kids you claim to be protecting. Cops want to strip-search me in the name of security? Fine, let's let Soccer Mommy and her spawn watch THAT, too. Let's let everybody see just how non-existant our freedoms are becoming. I have fucking had it.

  17. Well, it's a good they searched her. She could have had a bomb in her bra.

    See, this is why profiling is common sense and random searches are a stupid kowtow to PC.

  18. Jennifer: I fly for work quite a bit (across borders often) and I feel your frustration, but keep in mind that pissing off TSA people can make every future flight hell, if you are allowed on the plane. It's not right but it's reality that some of us hafta grin and bare it if we want to keep working.

  19. As somebody else pointed out: "Of course,now she's facing federal charges, so no doubt she'll be put away for a long time. Hopefully, the jury understands their right of jury nullification, but it's doubful."

  20. X-Ray--
    I neve said I'd piss off the TSA; I simply said I'd make sure whatever they did to me was done in full view of others. If letting people view them at work pisses them off, then we've got a far more serious problem than even I previously thought.

  21. Jennifer: they range from friendly, sensible and even apologetic to evil little tyrants. I got snapped at abt a year ago when I suggested that since I had been wearing the same clothes on my way thru 4 different airports that day, it was unlikely my shoes would start setting off the alarm. TSA people have the power to fuck up your life and enough of them abuse that power that I have learned to be very timid on my way thru security.

  22. So...if Babs Bush were to go through security, would someone get to feel her up? Or are polluticians and their immediate relatives exempt?

  23. Jennifer--When I had a bag searched while getting on the subway in NYC Monday morning they didn't stick their hand in, just shined a flashlight in for literally 1 second. Leaving sharp things in there or other nasty suprises won't do you any good.

  24. Xray--
    As a former Southerner who furthermore grew up with a psychotic mom, I actually have very finely-honed skills when it comes to being utterly infuriating, but in such a sincere, wide-eyed, clueless way that my victims think I'm merely an airhead, not deliberately trying to piss them off.

  25. Ben--
    Doesn't matter. It's the principle. In fact, your one-second experience is even worse in some ways; if you HAD had a weapon they never would have seen it. They just want more excuses to fuck with us and take away our privacy.

  26. Jennifer: That could work. (Works on H&R anyway!)And as long as it didn't keep me from reaching my gate on time, it would be so satisfying to watch. I'm just too chicken to do it myself and didn't want you to be grounded for life. Pathetic, I know.

  27. Somebody said

    "Well, it's a good they searched her. She could have had a bomb in her bra.

    See, this is why profiling is common sense and random searches are a stupid kowtow to PC."

    Well, I'm afraid that the reason they are feeling up women is that in fact two women did have bombs in their bras, and brought down two planes about six months ago in Russia. The women were veiled and appeared to be devout Muslims (maybe they were...)
    And, as I've mentioned here before, profiling is a security risk and random searches are more secure and reliable. As Richard Reid showed, profiling can be scammed. Random searches can't, if they are truly random.
    This is not to say that security money is best spent at airports, but that's a different question.
    Recommended reading for everyone:

    Schneier, Bruce. 2003. Beyond Fear. Copernicus Books.

    Schneier isn't exactly a libertarian, but he leans that way. He argues against the Patriot Act not because it violates liberties (although he agrees that it does) but because it has decreased our security while lulling us into thinking we're safer. He thinks the constitution and bill of rights are security measures, incidentally, since they put limits on what the government can do to us, thereby making us safer. Cool analysis.


  28. xray - that's a shame. I mean, I understand where you're coming from, but that's just the reaction the authoritarian assholes want. They're just doing it for your safety, right, so why not just cooperate?

    Hopefully you won't say that when they come to take you away "for your own safety".

    Surprising that Jennifer's attitude is actually making me more pessimistic than I already am. 🙂

  29. I'm starting to see an apparent conflict developing: profiling vs. random searches. But why should we assume that those are the only two possible options? In both cases, we have government authorities saying that they have the right to stop and search people, even though said people have shown no criminal intent or action.
    There must be some way that rights can be protected without necessarily violating rights in the process...

  30. Lowdog: I agree it's a shame. And it's not all TSA people, but enough of them to make me feel guilty that I don't stand up to them at the same time I feel relieved just to get thru the screening. I have to fly without nailclippers and I have to shut up when some minimum wage asshole treats me like a criminal cuz I forgot I had a bic lighter in my pocket.

  31. Xray-
    I was able to smuggle nailclippers through the last time I flew. Pretty goddamned sad when cutting hangnails in your hotel room is an act of defiance. Drop me an e-mail and I'll tell you how it's done.

  32. Gary, its our kid. Leave us alone.

  33. On a lighter note, Manhattan-Connecticut-New Jersey-area Reasonoids who are interested in getting together sometime, email me. So far it's me, Rhywun and Dhex. And presumably Jeff, too, as soon as I tell him I plan to go meet some guys I met on the Internet, and would he like to come along?

  34. lol -- mr nobody, that guy was almost as much a part of the problem as the guy we got now.

  35. Just deploy backskatter xrays and be done with it. Seriously, make EVERYBODY feel violated and maybe then this will stop. If it's wrong to despise soccer moms and their purported sensitivities as much as I do, I don't want to be right.

    I think Jennifer has the right plan, though, if they demand to search me I'll make them do it in public. Nobody wants to see my skinny ass naked.

  36. We wouldn't have these problems if airlines demanded all nude, all the time.


  37. You have to use reasonable care these days, no doubt the Outagamie County Regional Airport in Appleton WI is a main hub for terrorist transportation networks...

  38. So, if you can get up to a year in prison and a fine of $100k for grabbing a boob on one of the Fatherland Security Agents, this has serious implications for anybody thinking of dating an airport screener.

    Fortunately, most of the airport screeners are pretty ugly, so most guys won't be faced with any dilemmas here. Unless you're into that sort of thing.

  39. In Columbus it's legal to walk around topless for both sexes, so that might be one way around the groping.

    Just take off your shoes for screening and don't stop there!

    I also wonder if the grope man-boobs.

  40. I keep wondering if this could be a defense against indecent assault charges. "No, I wasn't feeling her up - I was using the back of my hand, see. You guys said that was OK, right?"

  41. Sorry for the threadjack, but some of us regular posters from the Connecticut-New York-New Jersey area are talking about meeting somewhere in Manhattan on some weekend, to drink, talk about how much better the world would be if we ran it, and see how TOTALLY wrong we were when we imagined what the others looked like. I've got a few regulars signed up already.

    So drop me an e-mail if you're interested, and after a couple of days, when I know who all's going, we can work out the when and where.

  42. there's an ancient heinlein book called "the puppet masters" about these nasty little alien blobs who latch onto humans and turn them into zombies... ultimately, the only solution was to have everyone walk around pretty much stark-nekkid. (with shoot-to-kill vigilantes enforcing the rule...)

    we aren't there (yet) but why not just put every air traveller in hospital gowns and slippers? it couldn't slow things down much more, and it might even fly legally, since it would be a universal rule (no profiling or random searches etc). plus, it would be hugely entertaining to watch...

  43. Talk about tit for tat!

    (stole the line from Leno)

  44. Mark Dintenfass was a mentor to me in college. It's very sad to read that his family is going through this. I've come close to reacting that way on more than one occasion. What's the threat of prison when you're already treated like a prisoner?
    As somebody else mentioned, the Outagamie Regional Airport (pronounced Oat-a-gamie in Wisconsinish) is not much of a terrorist target. The puddle-jumpers flying out of there would probably bounce off the Sears Tower if they struck it. There are only two gates right next to each other, and once in college I got dropped off at the airport 1 minute before my flight was scheduled to leave and I made it on the plane (even with the old bs security). Apparently nobody on the jury has been on an airplane in the last four years; entirely possible in those types of places.

  45. Oh, man. Living in Appleton, I'm embarassed in so many ways about this. First Greta van Susteren, now this.

  46. What do you call a 300lb girl from Green Bay?


  47. I hate the press.

    Why'd they have to tell us she was 60?

  48. Work for TSA -- it's easier than getting a date!

  49. I have heard of people enjoying their job, but to
    have a executive position as a member of the boob patrol is my idea of heaven. What do I have to do to earn that position. I might even be willing to work cheap. I think our federal dollars could be put to better use. If we have to resort to body inspections, why don't we just have all inspections done before a x-ray machine,

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