She Could Have Given Someone a Nasty Paper Cut With Those Checks


Last year Steve Bierfeldt, director of development at Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty, sued the Transportation Security Administration after he was detained and grilled at a St. Louis airport because he was carrying about $4,700 in cash (proceeds from one of the organization's conferences). The lawsuit, filed on Bierfeldt's behalf by the ACLU, prompted the TSA to issue a directive saying that "screening may not be conducted to detect evidence of crimes unrelated to transportation security." Apparently not everyone got the memo. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin describes the experience of Kathy Parker of Elkton, Maryland, who recently underwent a  purse search at Philadelphia International Airport that ranged far beyond the requirements of airline security:

"Everything in my purse was out, including my wallet and my checkbook. I had two prescriptions in there. One was diet pills. This was embarrassing. A TSA officer said, 'Hey, I've always been curious about these. Do they work?'

"I was just so taken aback, I said, 'Yeah.' "

What happened next, she says, was more than embarrassing. It was infuriating.

That same screener started emptying her wallet. "He was taking out the receipts and looking at them," she said

"I understand that TSA is tasked with strengthening national security but [it] surely does not need to know what I purchased at Kohl's or Wal-Mart," she wrote in her complaint, which she sent me last week.

She says she asked what he was looking for and he replied, "Razor blades." She wondered, "Wouldn't that have shown up on the metal detector?"

In a side pocket she had tucked a deposit slip and seven checks made out to her and her husband, worth about $8,000.

Her thought: "Oh, my God, this is none of his business."

Two Philadelphia police officers joined at least four TSA officers who had gathered around her. After conferring with the TSA screeners, one of the Philadelphia officers told her he was there because her checks were numbered sequentially, which she says they were not.

"It's an indication you've embezzled these checks," she says the police officer told her. He also told her she appeared nervous. She hadn't before that moment, she says.

She protested when the officer started to walk away with the checks. "That's my money," she remembers saying. The officer's reply? "It's not your money."

Eventually Parker was allowed to proceed with her checks, but not until after police called her husband in Maryland to see if maybe they were in the middle of "a divorce situation" and she was trying to abscond with money that was partly his (a scenario rather different from the fake-check embezzlement theory that supposedly justified Parker's detention). As usual in cases like this, the TSA claims police were called because Parker's behavior "escalated," which is TSA code for questioning anything its screeners do.

[Thanks to dbcooper for the tip.]

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  1. You guys are mailing it in today, huh? This was linked on here a couple of days ago.

    1. At least Sullum credited it to the commenter.

  2. Sorry, but I had to share this:

    Neurotic girl writes angry open letter to boy because he likes curvy women better than skinny women

    In the comments: skinny women complain that men don’t care if they’re skinny.

    1. I can’t even believe the singularity of stupid that is Jezebel. That open letter is so fucking dumb I think it just gave me an extra chromosome. I cannot understand how anyone can read that shit, even for the lulz, because it would turn you into a fucking mongoloid.



        1. She wears a hat, and she has a job, and she brings home the bacon, and no one knows.

          1. Happier than you or me.

            1. Her friends are unaware.

              1. I bet no one even cared.

      2. The worst part is I almost made it all the way thru it and I usually avoid jezebel links but I was fooled by it not being a Nutrasweet link.

      3. I only skimmed a couple parts, and read the first few comments. I could instantly tell it was a girl crying about something stupid and looking for support online. I felt like I had to show the train wreck to others.

      4. Wait, wait… you can get in trouble for liking big girls now? That’s just bullshit, yo. (Not that I like ’em big, mind you – it’s just the principle of the thing. Goddamn, it’s enough to make a man go gay.)

      5. I found it to be a most engaging, thought-provoking expose on the mind of modern progressive-minded women and their insecurities due to male perceptions of the female form based on pre-Enlightenment sexualization of full-bodied women.

        Of course, by “most engaging, thought-provoking expose” I mean batshit crazy rant and by “modern progressive minded women” I mean fucking morons.

        1. Also, isn’t this the same website that linked earlier today to the youtube story on vagoo tattoos?

    2. I think that part of the reason I felt so uncomfortable with the group you joined, is because I have fucked you. Multiple times. With my curvy body. Should I be pleased that I fit into this so easily definable category of women that you like? Is the Facebook page some kind of compliment? Do I even get to say anything about the way that these Facebook groups turn women into commodities, when I just had sex with you because I was 19 and drunk and horny? Am I allowed to complain when I have sent you a pxt of my tits? Am I allowed to complain when I knew that you would probably show it to your friends and that I didn’t mind? Do I have an argument against objectification when I showed all my cellphone pictures of your cock to the other waitresses I worked with at the time, to make a long shift go faster and to show off that I was getting some? In the words of the Shortland Street theme song, is it you or is it me? Do I get to complain about raunch culture, when sometimes I like the raunch? It’s confusing, when you start thinking about it.

      You know, in the early Roman Republic, it was illegal for women to so much as offer a suggestion. Now, I’m not saying that we should staple womens’ mouths shut. I’m just saying we should think about it.

      1. Absolutely correct. No male has ever uttered an incoherent train of bullshit.

        1. Shhh. Men are talking.

          1. Warty are you still smarting from your xbox beat down?

      2. I don’t know about you, but I would like her to be able to open her mouth now and then for certain purposes.

        1. Fat girls give the best head, dude. Because they’re hungry.

          1. There are certain ways in which you are a complete evil genius, my friend.

          2. Fuck you, man. Leffe just sprayed out of my nose

      3. In early colonial New England they had these things called “branks”. Suitable modern substitutes are available from better BDSM supply houses as bit-gags.

      4. Shortland Street? Oh dear god she’s a monster from New Zealand. Awful, awful women the lot of them.

        1. Well, sheep do tend to be nasty.

      5. Jesus in a biker bar wearing leather chaps. Yeah, honey, because your self-obsessed rambling is really going to stop his self-obsessed quest for custom-shaped pussy.

        Oh, to be 19 again, and think the entire world revolves around this death-boring he-said-she-said angsty social networking bullshit.

      6. “I don’t really want to talk about the sex we had, mainly because you never made me come and you also kept a cum towel by your bed, which you would hand to me after you were finished with it”

        Wow – never saw that website before. C’mon, the whole website is a spoof…right??? correct???

        1. the whole website is a spoof…right???

          Of course it is, but sadly, the people who write those “articles” don’t know that they’re self-parodies.


    3. …..so I think it’s pretty normal for us not to talk anymore, especially now that it’s 2010 and I have a girlfriend and you have a jet-ski.

      That’s a decent trade! That Jet Ski will never post similar drivel on Jezebel!

      1. I’m also betting the Jet Ski is more fun to ride.

    4. Good lord, what embarrssing drama. Save it for the diary, kitten.

    5. “The problem with that is while the first girl, in most cases, was indeed not fat at all and did not need to lose weight, it’s still her body. If she wanted to do anything to her body, she should do it solely because she wants to. Instead we’re defining everything by the male gaze. Also, I’m an Art History major so I could rant about the male gaze for hours.”

      I’m in awe. This surely must be in jest modeled on the mocking descriptions on H&R. There can’t be a real person writing this in full earnest.

    6. That there – incl all these comments – is some quality stuff.

      Man, I wish my lawn was as emo as these chicks, cause then it could cut itself.

    7. I thought it was parody until I realized it was on Jezebel.

  3. The worst part about the security check at the airport is that this shit is completely arbitrary; you can be completely minding your own business and a screener in a bad mood can decide they want to fuck with you. Even with cops, they need to at least fabricate a reason to pull you over/fuck with you, but with airport screening, they need absolutely no reason at all.

    1. Even with cops, they need to at least fabricate a reason to pull you over/fuck with you

      Yeah, a pissed off cop would never make up a stop you supposedly missed.

      What cops are you thinking of? Ponyland PD?

      1. ok, nm, just realized i misread “fabricate” as “find”. back to my cave now….

        1. Get back in your cave!

      2. What cops are you thinking of? Ponyland PD?


  4. This is one of many reasons why I avoid flying if at all possible. If it’s about 350 miles or less, I’ll drive rather than fly. Even if it’s a bit longer, if I have the time, fuck it; I’ll drive.

    The security screening is the most aggravating and humiliating procedure. They treat the travelers like dumb cattle, and act so superior. It’s really annoying, knowing that half of the TSA screeners are sub-intellectual mouth-breathers, and they’re all standing there looking condescendingly at the rest of us. They know the can fuck with you, because if you say jack shit about it, they’ll just hold you up and make you miss your flight. And they love having that little bit of power.

    Oh yeah – and the little blue uniforms, badges and patches. That’s what really makes the job worthwhile for so many of them. They get to wear the little badges and patches and smirk at the “civilians.”

    1. This is one of many reasons why I avoid flying if at all possible. If it’s about 350 1,500 miles or less, I’ll drive rather than fly. Even if it’s a bit longer, if I have the time, fuck it; I’ll drive.

      //Seriously thinking of driving to L.A. Book Festival next year. From DC. Currently, I just drive to TX.

    2. Depending on how far the origin and destination are from their respective airports, 400-450 miles is the threshold I use. It’s actually faster to drive.

    3. Wuss! Anything east of the Mississippi is fair game for driving for me!

    4. I’ve flown once in my adult lifetime… a $19 “super-saver” Round-trip ticket from Columbus to Chicago in 1995.

      On the return trip, I got “bumped” off the Columbus leg after landing in Cincinnati(Delta) on Sunday night at 11 PM. My compensation was a “first-class” ticket to anywhere in the Continental US- and a van ride to Columbus.

      I sold that ticket on E-Bay for $272.

  5. You’re welcome dude. 🙂

  6. If you’re going to travel by air, you better have your shit together before just showing up and expecting to get on. I like to get to the airport fourteen to sixteen hours before departure with my W-2’s and 1099’s, as well as a projected budget for the next five fiscal years. Notarized blood, stool and semen samples also at the ready.

    It’s just common sense.

    1. Also – Velcro. Make sure all of your clothing is fastened with it. It makes it so much easier for the public disrobing they make you undergo these days.

      They’re really loving those full-body scanners these days. They make you take every last little bit of anything out of your pockets – even slips of paper – and take off your belt and shoes. I can just see someone who recently lost some weight taking off his belt and having his pants drop down around his knees.

      Oh yeah – and your wallet – it all has to go through the x-ray machine. Great. So now they’re making it easier for someone to swipe your wallet.

      Then when you get out the other end, they yell at you to move along before putting all your shit back together. Well it’s kinda hard to move down when your shoes and belt are in a plastic box coming out of the x-ray machine and you’re trying to keep an eye on your wallet, briefcase and laptop – which of course, you had to take out and put in its own separate plastic tub.

      So now you’ve got three tubs – shoes and belt, laptop, jacket – plus your briefcase and carry-on bag – and they’re yelling “move down, please!”

      I swear, last week when I was going through this, it was all I could do to not yell back, “oh shut the fuck up, we’re doing what we can, asshole.” Yeah, that would work just peachy, wouldn’t it?

      1. “They make you take every last little bit of anything out of your pockets – even slips of paper – and take off your belt and shoes. I can just see someone who recently lost some weight taking off his belt and having his pants drop down around his knees.”

        That’s actually the style in my neighborhood?

        1. That should be a declarative statement?

        2. You could also take the Marx brothers approach:


      2. And pre-cleanse. Seriously… cavity searches when you need to take a dump are not fun for anyone involved.

        Not that I’d know or anything, but the conversation goes something like this:

        Agent: “Supervisor! I found something!”

        Me: “No… no you didn’t…”

        I gotta get more fiber in my diet….

        1. Cyto who was more surprised, the agent when he discovered what the “contraband” really was? Or you when you realized he had one hand on each of your shoulders during the search?

        2. cavity searches when you need to take a dump are not fun for anyone involved.

          Sounds to me like a highly effective means of resistance. Spraying a goon with shit would probably make him reluctant to conduct cavity searches, and if the story got around, his fellow goons might think twice about it, too.


          1. Projectile diarrhea might be considered a terrorist weapon.

      3. But just think of all the lives that have been saved and all the terrorists that have been thwarted!!! Being treated like a criminal, being disrespected and humiliated and inconvenienced, it’s all a small price to pay for Americas heroes to keep us safe. (anyone in a costume with a badge is an American hero, right?)

    2. We just got a memo that says that as a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires airline companies to collect personal information from their passengers as they make flight reservations.

      Beginning Sept. 1, 2010, it is mandatory for all travelers to provide their date of birth and gender in their travel profiles in order to complete a reservation booking.

  7. “It’s not your money.” Welcome to Obamamerica.

    1. Well, it never really was your money to being with. You were just allowed to hold it a while for Daddy.

      1. You only have it by blind luck anyway.

    2. almost never do words send me into a rage-induced headrush where i lose visual focus. those words did and i think it’s b/c of the fake fucking worthless piece of shit cocksucking cop who said it.

      1. Yep, same here. What a great idea, giving absolute authority and jobs for life to a bunch of mouth-breathing, Neanderthal goons with GEDs who are carefully selected for their fit with Affirmative Action policies. These also sound like just the people who should be our first line of defense against terrorist attack, don’t they?

        Do they seriously expect someone’s behavior not to “escalate” when they’re being complete @#$&ing; ignorant anencephalic assholes? I’m just curious, is there anybody who’s ever sat there while they’re pulling this stunt and NOT become angry enough to swing them around by their balls?

        1. Don’t think I’ll be flying again. Sorry, airline industry. We hardly knew ye.

          1. if one is flying out of the country, there are better ways,……instead of flying dallas to chile, i rented a u haul p/up…drove to laredo,took cab across border, took bus to monterrey, caught flight from there. in the end, it was only 6 hours longer for trip, but i also saved $165 total………..and didnt have to deal w/ bullshit tsa…………btw, found a cheap way back too…….2 week “cruise” on panama flagged frieghter ship,punta arenas to galveston,tx……total cost $800…….

    3. Sigh…the Police State mentality is not an Obama invention. Cut the crap, will ya?

      1. No, but as I have said since the Reagan administration, “if you build it (the apparatus of the authoritarian state) they will come (those who will use it).” Obama deserves at least the same blame as all of his recent predecessors because, rather than dismantling that apparatus, he seems to be using it enthusiastically for his administration’s purposes — even building upon it. If some thug comes along and picks up a gun dropped by an earlier thug, then proceeds to commit crimes using that weapon, it is no excuse to say that the first thug only dealt with the world as he found it, and that others had previously made it into a dangerous place.

        We must vigorously resist giving government more “tools,” because those tools will surely be used by the tools, whom we elect to wield them.

  8. NOAA Scientist: Release of Oil Spill Report done by White House, Not NOAA
    By Online Thursday, August 19, 2010
    -Darrell Issa

    WASHINGTON, DC ? A NOAA scientist, Dr. Bill Lehr, yesterday told a group of Congressional staff investigators on a conference call that a controversial National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report claiming that nearly three-quarters of the oil from the Gulf oil spill has already been addressed was released by White House officials and not scientists at NOAA.

    The NOAA scientist told congressional investigators that the data backing up the assertions made in the report is still unavailable and that peer review of the report is still not complete. Officials at an August 4 White House press briefing had said that the report had been thoroughly peer reviewed.

    “This is yet another in a long line of examples where the White House’s pre-occupation with the public relations of the oil spill has superseded the realities on the ground.”


    1. No, that’s not possible. We’ve been specifically told that the Bush administration was hostile to science and tried to steer scientific reports from the White House. We’ve all been told explicitly that the Obama White House respects science and is letting the science drive the policy, not the other way around.

      So your story cannot be true. He’s just a Republican plant.

  9. What the fuck’s business is it of TSA’s whether a passenger is “in a divorce situation?” Goddam petty tyrants, all of them.


    which is TSA code for questioning anything its screeners do.

    And I can attest to this with personal experience on multiple occasions. The best time was in Phoenix when the cop walked us to the gate and once we were out of earshot of the security check said, “I’m really sorry for the behavior of those assholes. I really do hate ’em and there’s nothing we can do about it.”


      Because the dangers of terrorism have been grossly over sold.

      1. Tell that to the Southern Poverty Law Center. They think anyone who has even driven by and honked at at tea party rally = Timothy McVeigh.

  10. “Is the Facebook page some kind of compliment?”

    Oh, she think he still thinks about her.

  11. TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said the reason Parker was selected for in-depth screening was that her actions at the airport had aroused the suspicion of a behavior detection officer, and that she continued to act “as if she feared discovery.”

    I’ve watched two seasons of “Lie to Me.” Does that qualify me to be a “behavior detection officer?” I bet I can do a better job than this guy.

    1. act “as if she feared discovery.”

      Well, since we was “discovered”, her fear was apparently warranted.

      It’s not paranoia if they ARE after you.

    2. Lie to Me is a damn good show.

    3. Is there a more Orwellian sounding description than “behavior detection officer”?

  12. Another in the litany of reasons I refuse to fly.

    “Why are you so nervous?”

    “I’m not nervous. I’m pissed off. In fact, I’m trying to think of a reason not to unscrew your head like a lightbulb.”


    “Tonight, on CNN; terror plot averted by alert TSA agent. Film when we return.”

  13. She protested when the officer started to walk away with the checks. “That’s my money,” she remembers saying. The officer’s reply? “It’s not your money.”

    The statist’s reply:

    “We need government! La-la-la-la! No civilization without government! La-la-la-la! We need government! La-la-la-la! Nothing to see here!”

  14. US Government: Creating Terrorists and Libertarians Daily?

  15. At least flying is cheap!



  16. Hi: Many of my friends from other countries tell me America is under Marshal law and we don’t know it… Just try and board an airplane for a international flight it’s pains-taking and not worth the effort. I renewed my passport only ‘not’ to use it.

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