"No really: He might be a suicide bomber for Operation Rescue. What's in the rattle?"

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Goddamn baby terrorists.

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  1. “Sanden and Zapolsky would not allow their children’s names to be used in this story because they fear people who prey on children.”

    In-depth reporting at its finest.

  2. Are we sure that these TSA idiots aren’t actually robots? Because they seem to have the same mechanized ineptness and inability to deal with complex problem-solving (and figuring out that a toddler isn’t a fuckin’ jihadist ain’t too high on the complexity scale to begin with…)

    Between this and the whole nail clipper ban, one can’t help but wonder how homo sapien sapiens can be so devoid of rational thought. Meanwhile, we somehow made it through the TSA checkpoint with a corkscrew, so they can’t even implement their irrational policies correctly.

    What a joke.

  3. Why do the parents of children wrongly identified as terrorists hate America?

  4. When baby terrorists are outlawed, only outlaws will have, uh… nevermind.

  5. I’m not so sure this isn’t terrorism. A dozen squalling babies on a four-hour flight may not be murderous, but they can sure make you wish for death.

  6. I know it’s not the point of the story, but the thing Rich Ard pointed out jumped out at me, too. They won’t tell their babies’ names? Are people totally fucking insane?

  7. “In-depth reporting at its finest.”

    My policy is to omit the names of children from stories at the request of parents; I think a lot of reporters do the same. To the extent the name’s not necessary to tell the story, I don’t see there’s anything wrong with that.

  8. They’re insane. In the article they said they totally understood the war on terrorism.

    So they’re either insane or braniacs because I don’t totally understand the war on terrorism.

  9. Evan:

    I don’t think we’re dealing with a lack of ability to solve problems, but a lack of willingness to do so. They don’t make these asinine rules; they just implement them, thereby sparing themselves accountability and any trouble independent thinking might bring. Number one rule of the TSA: CYA.

  10. The TSA guys at Dulles were extra-rude last week; my boss told me he didn’t mind, though, because of “security.” I pointed out that first of all, there’s no evidence terrorists will be dissuaded from their mission by being treated rudely (this one fat sonofabitch actually announced to nobody in general “Taking off your shoes is voluntary but if you don’t you’ll be given a special search, and as busy as we are right now that means you’ll probably miss your flight.” For some reason that irritated me a LOT more than being told “Taking off your shoes is required.”).

    Secondly, if they really gave a damn about security, they could take what we’re spending in one week in Iraq, and use that to buy explosive detectors for pretty much every airport in the country, rather than forcing little crying girls to release their babydolls and shove them through the X-ray (which I also saw at Dulles). Or at the very least, hire TSA guys with IQs in the THREE-digit range.

  11. “Or at the very least, hire TSA guys with IQs in the THREE-digit range.”

    that means the TSA probably will have to abandon the “dropped/missing chromosome” requirement for the employees.

  12. Julian, do you then explain the reason behind the parents’ witholding of their childrens’ names? I don’t know that I agree with Steve that such a fear is strange, but it just didn’t seem necessary to point out the parents’ fear of those who prey on kids.

    I would understand the aside if, for example, they didn’t want to share the childrens’ names because the kids were international drug smugglers.

  13. You know the terrorists have won once the TSA gladly invites baby terrorists on U.S. airplanes. Thank you sfgate.com for aiding the baby terrorists in their fight against freedom.

  14. Oh, I think reporters should point out the reason behind withholding the names because it made me laugh.

    I’d just like to see more common sense in implementing these rules. To me it’s like the idiotic restaurant policies than now demand government ID to get served a bottle of wine with your dinner no matter how old you are.

  15. They just want people to get used to behaving like automatons, utterly without thought.

  16. Hey, I thought it was funny too – maybe the kids are really undercover CIA ops, and the parents had to come up with something on the fly.

  17. “Sanden and Zapolsky would not allow their children’s names to be used in this story because they fear people who prey on children.”

    What I don’t get is why this sentence is in the article at all. Whether the baby’s names are listed or not is totally superfluous – who gives a fuck if the terrorists in question were named Brittnee, Luke, or Apple. And, if I was a predator, who preyed upon children, I’d take this as a challenge.

  18. As far a witholding children’s names, there are people who will look them up for the purpose of obscene phone calls. It happened to me as a kid when I had my name in the paper for winning a contest. It was years ago, but I could understand parents being worried about it today. There are some sick people out there.

  19. It’s nice to see the TSA remains an intelligence-free zone. Well, not exactly “nice,” but there’s always that warm feeling of having your world-view confirmed.

    I just wish they’d implement a no-babies rule for flying. I’d gladly trade the no-weapons rule for a no-babies one.

  20. So all those images of grenade-hiding babies from countless Viet Nam B-movies are just an urban (I mean jungle) legend? A LOT of villages got torched because of those babies, or so the plot usually goes. Do peaceful, Allah-fearing Muslims watch this stuff too? Hope not.

  21. There are sick people, yes. But babies don’t have telephone numbers–at least around these parts. Obscene phone callers would be calling a parent’s phone.

  22. Alison,

    Even the sickest fuck on the planet wouldn’t expect a parent to hand the phone to a one-year old.

  23. But what’s weird is not that the names were withheld – makes sense to me – but that the reporter pointed out that the parents are afraid of those that prey on children.

    If the TSA is this concerned about terroristfants, I’ll stop allowing people I don’t know to handle my children at the airport, same as my baggage.

  24. rather than forcing little crying girls to release their babydolls and shove them through the X-ray

    This may be more necessary than it first appears. Remember this?

  25. While you wouldn’t think something so common sense would need a rule, there actually is one specifically saying NOT to stop babies whose names are on the list. So it’s not the TSA in this case, it’s lots of brain dead employees. From the linked article:

    “The Transportation Security Administration, which administers the lists, instructs airlines not to deny boarding to children under 12 ? or select them for extra security checks ? even if their names match those on a list.”

  26. Why does everyone quoted confuse security with what the TSA-holes are doing to us?

    I wonder if they’d let me board with five inch fingernails. You know, I haven’t been able to cut them since the last flight.

  27. Goo-goo ga-ga Mohammed jihad!

  28. Babies hate us for our freedoms. (Walking, chewing solid food, being able to reach doorknobs.) These kids should feel lucky they aren’t sitting in a playpen at Gitmo.

  29. On the bright side, it does look like the TSA is planning on removing some of its more asinine restrictions on carry-on items, such as those on razor blades, scissors, and pocket knives. To think, it only took the dolts four years to figure out that no one’s going to hijack a commercial airliner with something less than Rambo-caliber weaponry.

  30. explain the reason behind the parents’ witholding of their childrens’ names?

    Hey, maybe the kids are named Dina Might Sanden and Hy (for Hyland) Jack Zapolsky. Naturally, these names drew a red flag at the airport. Now the parents are embarrassed by their lack of foresight.

  31. I’m curious. How many of you have given up flying? I haven’t flown since early in 2001 because I don’t want to put up with the BS now required to fly. Basically, I value my dignity, privacy, and presumption of innocence over the (ever-decreasing) convenience of a flight.

    Besides, a road trip is fun.

  32. I used to love flying. I’d always ask for a window seat, for the view. I even loved being served a mediocre meal in the cramped little seat.

    Now it’s just a hassle and no fun anymore. Not just because of security — although it’s no fun taking your shoes on and off, and emptying your pockets, while trying to get carry-on bag and a biefcase or laptop, and maybe a jacket, through the X-ray machine. It seems like all the airlines lately are trying mightily to piss me off.

    Example: Last time I flew for non-business reasons, I was meeting some friends for vacation in Florida. I had a chance to share a ride from St. Louis with one friend, but it was going to take two days to get there. I didn’t want to spend four days driving, round trip, to get back and forth from a stay of only five days, so I opted to fly.

    The flight there was OK, but on the way back I had to spend an entire day camped out at the airport in Pensacola, because Delta was flying me through Atlanta, which had bad weather. Every 15 minutes they announced something about the flight ahead of mine that was leaving at the same gate, but they couldn’t tell me anything about my flight. “I’m sorry, sir, right now we’re concentrating on the flight ahead of yours.” At 8 p.m., that flight takes off (about 6 hours late), and they tell me mine has been canceled. They give me a flight for 11 a.m. the next day, but I have to pay for my own hotel because the delay is due to weather in Atlanta (act of God) rather than mechanical difficulty that would be Delta’s fault.

    Long story short, the guy who drove from Florida back to St. Louis made it home before I even got to board a plane! From then on, I decided to drive instead of fly where I had a reasonable choice.

    For example, I’m 90% sure I’ll be at the H&R get-together in Chicago — but if I go, I’m 100% sure I’m driving. A few years ago, I definitely would have flown.

  33. I fly four or five times a month. It lets me do the business that supports my lavish lifestyle. The new “security” precautions don’t do anything to make us any safer. They’re just silly busywork. The airlines irritate me more than the TSA people, whom I only have to deal with for a brief couple of minutes. I just get sick of the gate agents lying or withholding information, but at least I travel enough that I mostly know when they are lying.

  34. With my flawless sense of bad timing, I NEVER had to fly until a couple of months ago, but now I have a job that requires me to average one round-trip flight every four to five weeks. I actually like traveling to places I haven’t been before, but those TSA guys infuriate me. (Except for the ones at New York’s Westchester Airport–they were actually very professional and polite.)

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