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In USA Today, Bob Poole argues that airports and private security firms can strip-search grandmothers and make us wait shoeless in long lines at least as efficiently as the government can.

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  1. Ok, and if he’s right what do we do with all the new federal TSA employees and we just hired?

  2. This caterwauling is stupid. The new TSA employees generally are awake and speak English, which makes them 1,000,000,000 times better than the old crop of “security” personnel in the airports I flew through.

  3. I don’t remember having to deal with security too much until after the TSA took over, so I can’t confirm what M1EK said.

    Although I do remember when I had long hair I would always get “randomly” searched. Hmm.

    I just had a lighter (left it in some shorts I carried on in a bag on accident) and a small pair of scissors (a lady friend of mine put them in my bag with a bunch of her other hair care, etc products cuz her bag was too heavy) confiscated by the TSA on my last trip.

  4. Uh, M1EK,

    NEWSFLASH: The ‘new’ TSA employees are one and the same as the ‘old crop’.

  5. “Uh, M1EK,

    NEWSFLASH: The ‘new’ TSA employees are one and the same as the ‘old crop’.”

    Varangy:

    The TSA employees are not, in fact, the same bunch that screened people prior to 9/11. Far from it. Here in Austin, you were lucky if you got one that spoke English, and even most of _those_ were asleep at the wheel.

  6. Why does Bob Poole hate America?

  7. Oh, my bad. Has the moratorium on that joke passed?

  8. The graphic on this article is hilarious. …cudos to whomever!

  9. I agree that the graphic is hilarious. Something about it reminds me of the cartoonist who did the illustrations for suck.com. Terry Something.

    Terry Colon! Did he do it?

  10. Mr. Poole’s argument would have been better if he had quoted the GAO report.

    It doesn’t look like we’re much better off than 20 years ago, but we wouldn’t be billions lighter in the wallet.

  11. I went through security multiple times during a recent trip to Vegas — my first post-9/11 flight, as I have been avoiding flying ever since then.

    The sight of HUNDREDS of people, taking their shoes off and filling gray tubs and ivoryoid plastic bowls with their personal belongings and contents of their pockets, as fast as possible, was at once comic and sad — sadder yet that my family and I were among them. Ironically, I was carrying my own stuff in a Museum of Tolerance cloth bag: I imagine the Jews in Nazi Europe were similarly rushed and had comparable feelings of agitation, confusion, and sadness, when being put on the trains headed for the camps. Those feelings were enhanced by having to sit on the floor in in the boarding area because the flight was deliberately oversold, and then being herded into a passenger cabin that was — due to severe overcrowding — only marginally better than a cattle car.

    Why do people put up with this? I had to fly this time, but I am returning to my avoidance of air flight with redoubled determination. Flying used to be fun, even an adventure. Until it is again, I’m not interested. And for the record, I do not blame “the terrorists” for this situation, or accept it as the inevitable price of having to deal with terrorism. People’s fear, stupidity, lack of imagination, and disregard for basic human rights and decency are the key ingredients here. Terrorism is merely a trigger and an excuse.

  12. James;

    “Why do people put up with this? I had to fly this time, but I am returning to my avoidance of air flight with redoubled determination. Flying used to be fun, even an adventure. Until it is again, I’m not interested. And for the record, I do not blame “the terrorists” for this situation, or accept it as the inevitable price of having to deal with terrorism. People’s fear, stupidity, lack of imagination, and disregard for basic human rights and decency are the key ingredients here. Terrorism is merely a trigger and an excuse.”

    I have felt that way for a long time now. I just could not articulate it as well as you did. Part of a terrorist plan is counting on the reaction of the state to further annoy the citizens. When I saw the WTC and Pentagon attacks / suicide homicides, I said to myself that air travel will become the worst public transportation nightmare imaginable and sadly I was right.

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