What's Dumber Than Patting Down Old Ladies and Toddlers?


"I just want to be able to go to work and not be harassed or molested," says Michael Roberts. "I'm just not comfortable being physically manhandled…every time I go to work." So on Friday, he finally took a stand—against the Transportation Security Administration. Roberts, a first officer for ExpressJet Airlines, refused to submit to a full-body scan at the Memphis International Airport. He also declined the alternative pat-down. Since the TSA would not let him through the security checkpoint without one or the other, he went home. Later he told The Commercial Appeal the TSA is a "make-work" program that does little to enhance the safety of air travel. "I don't believe this approach is a necessary or effective way to mitigate the threat," he says.

The TSA's security theater is especially idiotic in this case. Ostensibly, Roberts was selected for a scan on the off chance that he might be concealing plastic explosives or other nonmetallic weapons beneath his clothing. But I have to assume that before a guy is hired to fly passengers from city to city, the airline tries to make sure he's not a terrorist. In fact, you would think that not being a terrorist, along with the ability to fly an airplane, would be one of the top qualifications for a job of this sort. Even if an Al Qaeda sleeper managed to slip onto the payroll, why would he risk smuggling explosives onto a plane when he is already in control of what amounts to a big bomb when properly deployed?

These are just a few of the thoughts that occur to me. But I am not an airline security expert. Or a TSA official.

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  1. The purpose of security theater is not just to make people feel safe, it’s also to let them know who’s the boss.

    1. That’s for damned sure.

    2. Winner. Close thread.

    3. Remove the words ‘just’ and ‘also’ and you will have summed up TSA and DHS in one perfect sentence.

  2. “What’s Dumber Than Patting Down Old Ladies and Toddlers?”



    1. Tony immediately came to mind, but I’ll have to defer to your top two.

  3. FO Patrick Smith (Ask the Pilot) has run numerous articles at Salon on the stupidity of the TSA screening process.

    The sole function of the TSA is to build yet another beachhead of union public employess.

    1. Can we have two winners?

    2. That is why the Dems flipped out when they wouldn’t let TSA unionize.

      1. It is only a matter of time. The worse the TSA gets, the more “logical” it will become to unionsize them under the feds.

        1. TSA were the creation of the Republicans. There are no TSA inspection for private or charter flights, none, zero, zilch. Rich established a process where the poor and middle class and their families become accosted to random pat downs, scans and strips searches. Accustomed to the idea that as economic failures they are not entitled to any rights and shout expect to be treated like animals with random physical examinations to test for fitness.

  4. Even if an Al Qaeda sleeper managed to slip onto the payroll, why would he risk smuggling explosives onto a plane when he is already in control of what amounts to a big bomb when properly deployed?

    He’s got gravity!!! Shoot him! Shoot him!

    1. “You win again, gravity!”

  5. I’ve seen enough action movies to know that there’s always a threat of a terrorist slipping some sort of explosive, biological agent, etc., onto the body of an unsuspecting airline pilot/steward.

  6. I like to refer to it as Security Kabuki.

    1. Security Bukkake?

      1. Bukkake is less invasive.

        1. More productive, too.

    2. That’s an insult to Kabuki, which does actually have plots and a point.

      1. Whereas with theater…

  7. These are just a few of the thoughts that occur to me. But I am not an airline security expert. Or a TSA official.

    Or an idiot.

  8. The airlines should handle security on their own. Let them decide their own policies. Let them assume the liability too, whether they like it or not.

    1. Yes, and coffee shop owners in lebanon should have to compensate the families of those killed by suicide bombers on their premises.

      1. Not sure if serious, because that’s actually not a bad idea.

        1. Yeah, and if a guy runs into a school and shoots fifteen kids, we can charge the kids with being accessories…after all, they were involved in the crime, right?

          1. No, but the school is responsible for security.

    2. Exactly. If TSA had existed before 9-11, 9-11 still would have happened. And if TSA had never been created, airports would have made the security changes necessary.

      Basically, TSA has been a massive waste of time and money. And don’t forget TSA is about more than airplanes. They claim jurisdiction over every mode of transportation in the country commerce clause be damned.

      1. even the helicopter I made with the 12hp briggs and stratton?

      2. This was precisely the situation after 9-11. The airports and airlines hired security personnel to manage the security theater. It was the Democrats on the hill that insisted that these private contract employees were unacceptable and mandated that they be federalized. For our safety, you understand. Not because they wanted thousands of new federal employee’s union members. Nope, not for that reason.

        1. Despite the fact that virtually every developed country still contracts out for screeners.

      3. Even my teleporter?

      4. We have Bush to thank for the TSA. That’s what happens when the Republicans elect a complete moron.

      5. “They claim jurisdiction over every mode of transportation in the country”

        This is verifiable:

        I was on the Red Line in Los Angeles (it’s a subway) this morning when about 10 TSA thugs came on board. One of them actually said, “Get out those tickets, people, MOVE IT.” like he was some kind of fucking drill sergeant. What the hell TSA is doing checking tickets is beyond me.

        Note: When I say ‘thugs’ I should paint a more accurate picture. About 80% of them were young women ~300lbs each. I should have taken a picture but I wouldn’t have been able to covertly. (I’m absolutely buying a keychain camera!)

        These people are a bunch of busy-making asshats that should be happy they’re not shoveling shit for a living.

  9. Whe I first tried to post my comment the less than flawless site software sent me this meassage

    Your post (#1959856) has been marked as spam by a third-party spam filter. If this is a mistake, please email webmaster@reason.com.

    So I’m trying again.

    These are just a few of the thoughts that occur to me. But I am not an airline security expert. Or a TSA official.

    Or an idiot.

  10. Your post (#1959856) has been marked as spam by a third-party spam filter. If this is a mistake, please email webmaster@reason.com.

    Your anti-spam software sucks.

  11. Your post (#1959868) has been marked as spam by a third-party spam filter. If this is a mistake, please email webmaster@reason.com.

    Thanks guys.

  12. Bruce Schneier wrote the BEST essay about the ridiculousness of security theater about a year ago-



    Since 9/11, we’ve embarked on strategies of defending specific targets against specific tactics, overreacting to every terrorist video, stoking fear, demonizing ethnic groups, and treating the terrorists as if they were legitimate military opponents who could actually destroy a country or a way of life — all of this plays into the hands of terrorists. We’d do much better by leveraging the inherent strengths of our modern democracies and the natural advantages we have over the terrorists: our adaptability and survivability, our international network of laws and law enforcement, and the freedoms and liberties that make our society so enviable. The way we live is open enough to make terrorists rare; we are observant enough to prevent most of the terrorist plots that exist, and indomitable enough to survive the even fewer terrorist plots that actually succeed. We don’t need to pretend otherwise.

    1. I agree with almost everything that Schneier says (and pretty much everyone on this blog today) but I should point out something that Bruce S. has also said. Stupid as it seems to make airline pilots go through security, if we don’t, we have the more daunting task of determining who is and who isn’t an airline pilot. Anybody can wear a uniform, or steal or manufacture credentials. So it merely changes the nature of the screening process.

      1. Anybody can wear a uniform, or steal or manufacture credentials. So it merely changes the nature of the screening process

        Like TSA uniforms and credentials

      2. By your own reasoning, if a terrorist went through the trouble of creating a fake identity to pass as a pilot and gain access to the flight controls of a plane, how exactly would a security screening at the airport prevent him from piloting the plane?

        1. I think the point was just getting past the checkpoint. He could plant a bomb or something.

          When are we gonna realize the terrorists aren’t gonna go back to the well with the whole airliner thing? And if it does happen, it’s gonna be a flight coming into America as opposed to originating here.

        2. It wouldn’t prevent the phony pilot from piloting the plane–it would prevent the phony pilot from smuggling a bomb on board the plane. The whole point behind screening is to find bombs, and exempting people because of the way they are dressed invites problems. Ask the victims of these flights
          I still think the TSA should be abolished, incidentally. I’m quibbling only about the idea that pilots should be exempt from screening.

          1. I understand that you don’t want the fake pilot to smuggle a bomb on the plane, which is clearly a reasonable desire, but if 9/11 showed us anything it’s that they don’t need a bomb, the plane itself is a bomb. So my point was that this hypothetical terrorist pilot with the fake credentials could easily pass the screening with his fake credentials and wouldn’t need a bomb. He could just fly the plane in to a building. The screening would do absolutely nothing to stop this.

            1. That’s no longer a problem, since nobody is going to be able to get hold of the controls to an airliner once it’s in the air. Between the locked, armored door and the fact that passengers are no longer sheep, we don’t need to worry about a 9/11 style hijacking for a long, long time. But there have been bombs smuggled on planes since 9/11, as the reference to Chechnyan terrorists posted above notes.

              1. nobody is going to be able to get hold of the controls to an airliner once it’s in the air.

                Maybe, but in your scenario these fake pilots will get control of the airplane on the ground. I work in the field of ID theft and I can tell you that it’s entirely possible for someone to create or assume the ID of a legitimate authorized pilot and then waltz right through security in to the cockpit. And in that case the screening at the gate will do absolutely nothing to stop them because their fake credentials will verify who they are.

                1. But for that to work all of the people at the airline would have to not notice the fake pilot. And the ground crew would have to push the plane back and start it up without anyone noticing the fake pilot. And you’d have to have the real pilot not show up. This is not nearly as viable as a solution.

                  Using a pilot uniform to bypass the screening and then boarding as an ordinary passenger with your bomb in tow is a valid scenario, were the TSA to routinely allow pilots to bypass security.

                  1. “all of the people at the airline would have to not notice the fake pilot.”

                    If you fake an ID well enough -from a database entry standpoint- you are as real as I am. And are you telling me that everyone from the baggage handler up to the ticket counter recognizes every pilot that flies every plane and would notice if it was a “fake” pilot or not?

                    How about two fake pilots?

                    The point is that there are certain vulnerabilities in our system that come with the territory in a free society. We can’t prevent all of them. What’s Schneier’s point is that we should be focusing more on improving our disaster response systems instead of these feeble attempts to put a finger in the dike.

            2. You have it backwards. The false ‘pilot’ is not going to go anywhere near the cockpit – he would be found out immediately (there are many people in the cabin crew, who all know each other, and the real pilot would also come, no?). He won’t even board the plane.

              The false ‘pilot’ would happily pass through the checkpoint, pass the bomb to a legitimate passenger and then leave the airport. If you’re checking (a big if), you’re checking everybody.

          2. Do TSA agents all search one another when they report to work? Or do they assume that someone wearing a TSA uniform with a working badge works for the TSA?

    2. +6.02?10^23

      1. You calling Schneier a mole?

      2. You forgot to carry the ‘2’

    3. overreacting to every terrorist video, stoking fear, demonizing ethnic groups, and treating the terrorists as if they were legitimate military opponents

      I missed the part where ethnic groups were demonized.

      1. Don’t worry, in a few years the responsible commentariat will all “discover” that GWB did a lot to avoid demonizing Muslims, for the purposes of wondering why the current GOP can’t do the same.

        Even in the wake of 9/11, hate crimes against Muslims didn’t reach the level of hate crimes against Jews or gays and lesbians.

        1. What’s a “Hate Crime?”

          1. The opposite of a “love crime”?

            1. So, what does Steve Smith perpetrate then?

              I just hate the term “hate crime,” when “crime” is sufficient.

              1. I think if I beat the shit out of Tony just because he is gay, that is a hate crime.

                1. Unless you are gay and both of you are wearing leather then you’re just expressing your pride and it’s nobody’s business anyhow.

            2. Do love crimes involve unenhanced penalties?

              1. Thanks, Pro L. I’m glad somebody finally answered with some sense.

                And no, Pip. That would be considered self-defense because he wants to falsely imprison you in his nanny state. His gayness has nothing to do with his idiocy.

          2. Invading Iraq.

  13. These are just a few of the thoughts that occur to me. But I am not an airline security expert. Or a TSA official.

    Or an idiot.

  14. The anti-spam software at Reason.com sucks.

    Why should I bother to comment?

  15. Is there a reason that everything I post get’s flagged as spam by your software?

  16. There is always the risk of a pilot who has become mentally unstable. A minimal risk for sure, but still legitimate.

    1. EgyptAir Flight 990

      1. If only we had had full body scanners back in 1999, that pilot would not have deliberately crashed into the ocean.

      2. What do EgyptAir Flight 990,TWA Flight 800,Swissair Flight 111,and American Airlines Flight 587 have in common?

    2. It’s not so minimal. It’s happened at least once:
      on an Egyptair flight

      1. there are other cases, but I am too lazy to google.

      2. Minimal is >0 but still unlikely. There are thousands of flights worldwide every year and an EgyptAir flight from 11 years ago is the primary notable example.

    3. Of course if he has, he can just fly the damned plane into the ground. He really doesn’t have to bother with smuggling a bomb on board.

    4. Dumb ass.

      And the easiest way an unstable pilot to kill everyone on the plane would be to what? Make a bomb? Or simply drive the plane into the ground?

      “These are just a few of the thoughts that occur to me. But I am not an airline security expert. Or a TSA official.

      The reason they occured to you is that you have a functioning brain. Apparently those who are so called security experts or TSA employees must have theirs removed as a condition of employment.

      1. The dumb ass is aimed at MP, by the way, not John. Slow on the post.

      2. It’s not just about bombs. And there’s not just one person in the cockpit of most major airliners.


        1. Sorry, MP, but you are the dumbass here.

          In the EgyptAir case. The crazy pilot turned off both engines, which have a complex and involved restart process. The crazy pilot and the non-crazy pilot then fought for control of the yoke (the two yokes are tied together) all the way to impact.

          I remember at least one other case where pilot suicide as the leading candidate for the cause of the accident, but I don’t remember enough details to start a google search.

          1. I’m familiar with the EgyptAir case, and I was not talking about that specific example. I was talking about hypotheticals.

            For example, a cockpit crew member could bring a gun (plastic or otherwise) onboard in order to make it easier to incapacitate his compadres.

            Again, minimal risk, but risk. And that might not be the best plan of attack to execute a suicide spiral. And it’s almost definitely not worth the security theater expense.

            But it is a legitimate risk.

            1. My point is that both Jacob and First Officer Roberts treat it as inconceivable that a cockpit crewman, well known to the security personal, should be subject to anything beyond a metal detector because there’s no risk.

              There is risk. It’s simply too minimal to justify the expense and time and inconvenience.

            2. http://www.factcheck.org/2009/03/guns-for-pilots/

              Q: Is it true that Obama is dropping the federal safety program that allowed pilots to carry guns?

              A: No, the program is not being ended, according to the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the largest airline pilots union. In fact, TSA says the program is being expanded. The claim comes from a Washington Times editorial that has been removed from the paper’s Web site.

            3. What is this plastic gun of which you speak.

              Feel free to Google; we’ll wait.

              1. MP, I have to retort, that you’re the dumbass here.

                Oh, and I do realize there is more than one in the cockpit. I work in the business. The obvious point, which you missed, is that if a flight crew member were to choose to off everyone (a la Egypt 990, as pointed out) there is far easier ways to go about it than a bomb (again, a la Egypt 990).

                But hey, since you’re more dense than the center of a star, I’ll spell it out for you: The highest probability for a pilot to conduct a sucessful attack would be to do nothing to draw attention to themselves until they’re in position to attack. Trying to bring a bomb, gun, bowie knife, etc through security would do what? Yes…draw attention to themselves, inviting further scrutiny. ‘Tis far better tactics to wait for a good chance to knock out the other cockpit crew member (as noted below) THEN do a kamakazi run ending in a bit smoking hole in the ground.

                With out a bomb, gun or piss ant little pen knife, were a flight crew member to decide to kill or incapacitate the other crew, it would be pretty quick to someone with only rudimentary training.

                Let’s count the ways: stab em in the throat with a pen, bash ’em up side the head with the combination circular slide rule that is common pilot equipment, cold cock ’em from behind on the way back from the lav, strangle ’em from behind (again, while coming back from the lav, either bare handed or with a shoe lace, or if you’re a big knuckle dragger, just simply over power via brute force the petite lady with shoulder boards who is in the other seat.

                Hmmm…these are only the ones I can come up with off the top of my head. NONE of which could be prevented by the TSA and their screeners.

                So, we spend billions and billions on theater addressing a non-issue. Pilots aren’t worth screening – period.

                MP – again I’ll repeat: Dumbass.

                1. I feel there’s a good chance that an unarmed suicidal flight crew member could be overpowered by other crew members. But an armed crew member has a better chance of carrying out his plan.

                  An armed crew member who can pass off weapons to fellow conspirators on the same flight has an even better chance.

                  Pilots griping about being treated like common passengers also get on my nerves. Prison guards are subject to random search to detect contraband. Hell, I work in federal buildings and have to dump my pockets, get xrayed, and often patted down. Every job has some bullshit, and tho this be obvious bullshit, it’s hardly the most onerous bullshit.

  17. Is there a reason everything I try to post is flagged as spam?

  18. Is there a reason everything I try to post is flagged as spam?

    1. It usually happens to me (although not today). Maybe it’s due to living in the D.

    2. That usually happens to me after I take the time to post something unusually lengthy and insightful – even brilliant. In fact, most of my witty and intelligent musings have been trapped by the spam filter.

  19. You Americans are so stupid. You look for weapons. We look for terrorists.

    1. We look for terrorists, too… and there everywhere.

  20. Ooh, I changed to a different e-mail address and my comment now appears.

    If I’m banned please have the courtesy to inform me. If not, fix your next to useless spam filtering software.

  21. What’s Dumber Than Patting Down Old Ladies and Toddlers?


    1. I laughed.

  22. Just wait ’til the “bullet” train comes on line.

    1. I also wonder what anti-terrorism tactics we will be using in 80 years.

      1. Start by reading (1984), then move on other (wonderful dystopian) works, multiply by (we’re fucked) and you got your answer

      2. Start by reading (1984), then move on other (wonderful dystopian) works, multiply by (we’re fucked) and you got your answer

        1. I’m sure you’re right. I was just making a joke about how long it’s gonna be before the bullet train technology actually results in bullet trains in the US.

          Obviously I think I’m a lot funnier than everyone else does.

          1. Ray LaHood (french for The Hood) only allocated 9 billion. That will be enough for two detailed plans and 4000 enviromental lawsuits. Anyone want bullet trains , get em in HO scale.

    2. Wouldn’t that be a “wizard” train now?

    3. Some years ago, when taking Amtrak to Union station, Washington DC, you had to remain in your seats for the last 10 miles (30 agonizing minutes if your bladder was full), because terrorists might hijack the train and fly it into the Pentagon. I never did get an explanation of how the terrorists could make the train fly, or how staying in my seat would prevent this.

  23. “These are just a few of the thoughts that occur to me. But I am not an airline security expert. Or a TSA official.”

    The fact they you have thoughts make the last two statements unnecessary.

    1. It was also wise of you to put “airline security expert” and “TSA Official” in separate sentences. We need to differentiate the two every opportunity we get.

  24. There is little dumber, but I am just amazed at the lack of anybody mentioning the 4th Amendment’s proihibition on unreasonable search and seizure. TSA cannnot articulate any reasonable suspicion to justify a body scan or pat down just because someone wants to be a passengeron a commercial flight, much less a crew member. Why limit it to commercial flights? Since 9-11, there have been two instances of people flying small planes into buildings–one of them an IRS office. If they can make a body search a condition to air travel, why not travel on a bus, a train, or my car–Timothy McVey stuffed a truck with a bomb, and who knows who else might do that. Indeed, I could be carrying explosives down the street in my brief case–why is it unconstitutional for them to stop me and search me when I am walking down the street, but not when I buy an airline ticket.

    1. -why is it unconstitutional for them to stop me and search me when I am walking down the street, but not when I buy an airline ticket.

      Ask people in NYC, where they stop people in subway stations and subject them to random searches regularly.

    2. Because when you by an airline ticket, you agree to these terms. Whether those terms are unfairly forced on the airlines, to make you agree to them is another question. Flying is volunatry, not a right.

      1. Driving is a privilege as well. I cannot drive my car without a license and unless I register my car. Is it constitutional for the government to insist that I waive my 4th amendment rights as a conditin to getting my license. If streets and sidewalks are publicly owned, can it require that I waive my 4th amendment rights as a condition to entering onto those public spaces? Requiring the airlines to make my submission to searches without any reasonable suspicion that I am a wrong doer, is no different than conditioning my use of other public rights of ways on such a waiver. If Southwest chooses to make me go through a body scan as a condition to flying on one of its planes, I am free to accept or reject that condition–but when the govenment requires that for anyone to use a plane, it is pure sophistry to say that I have voluntarily waived my 4th amendment rights by choosing to fly. BTW–I have never seen that waiver on any ticket I have ever purchased, and the general rule is that a waiver must be knowing and intentional to be effective.

        1. “Is it constitutional for the government to insist that I waive my 4th amendment rights as a conditin [sic] to getting my license?”

          Don’t give them any ideas.

          1. It already is a condition of getting a license that you waive your 4th and 5th Amendment rights. Just try to refuse a breath alcohol test and keep your license.

    3. Perhaps this? http://www.aclu.org/national-s…..-free-zone

  25. If your heart flutters at that thought of being caught in a terrorist attack on the aircraft, then there are lots and lots of things to worry about that the TSA has absolutely no ability to deal with.

    Start with fight crews, cabin crews, maintenance crews, cleaning crews, catering crews, etc that have experienced 20% to 30% salary cuts. People pissed enough to grab a couple of beers and head out the emergency exit. These are the people who are susceptible to recuitment or extortion that will be the means of moving weapons or bombs onto an aircraft.

    You could strip out just about all passenger screening and there would still never be another successful hijacking.

    1. The first rule of fight crew, is you don’t talk about fight crew.

      1. Yeah, I saw that. I even previewed, but fucked it up anyway.

  26. I am just amazed at the lack of anybody mentioning the 4th Amendment’s proihibition on unreasonable search and seizure.

    Its a living Constitution, remember?

    Although some parts of it seem to be stone, cold, dead.

    1. I think the argument would be, “you don’t have to get on that plane, buddy,” to which the proper challenge would be, I have to fly for work and I can’t drive to see my clients in _______.”

      So then the question becomes, what’s “reasonable” and does the TSA/State to believe that the specific guy you being searched is trying to smuggle a weapon on board?

      But I’m not a lawyer, so perhaps my reasoning is 100% wrong.

    2. Courts have pretty consistently upheld these sorts of checkpoints on the basis that:

      (a) there’s a reduced expectation of privacy when boarding a commercial airplane; and

      (b) the nature of air travel is a special circumstance that justifies a lower standard of review of security measures.

      It’s all bullshit, of course, part of the increasingly supine posture that courts have taken vis-a-vis the demands of law enforcement over the years.

      1. As I understand it, the searches have been upheld in the context of gradually increaing levels of intrusiveness–walk-through metal detector first, then handheld metal detector, than patdown if indicated, etc.

        Going directly to a highly invasive search (full-body scan or patdown) without specific suspicion is a matter that is still being litigated.

  27. “I have to assume that before a guy is hired to fly passengers from city to city, the airline tries to make sure he’s not a terrorist.”

    But I thought it was impossible to tell, and therefore pointless to even try. I’m getting confused signals here.

    “you would think that not being a terrorist, along with the ability to fly an airplane, would be one of the top qualifications for a job of this sort”

    People can flip. Happens all the time when weak-minded individuals find religion. Fort Hood, anyone?

    “why would he risk smuggling explosives onto a plane when he is already in control of what amounts to a big bomb when properly deployed?”

    Logic does not apply to religious fanatics. Discuss.

    1. But couldn’t your logic be construed to mean that the minimum-wage fool sitting behind the monitor, viewing the images from teh body scans, could also be a pervert or a pedophile? Do you want your under-aged daughter walking through a full-body scanner, not knowing who’s on the other side, looking at near-enough-to-naked images of her, and storing it away in the spank bank? I certainly don’t want my 7-year-old daughter being viewed that way or being felt up by some doofus working for the TSA.

      But need we even go that far? I’ve committed no crime, and there is no probable cause or reasonable suspicion to believe that I might commit a crime, based simply on the fact that I bought a plane ticket to go somewhere. The search is invasive in nature- either the pat down or the scanner- and completely unreasonable. There is no reason the TSA screener needs to see a digital image of my breasts and vagina to rest assured that I mean no harm, even though I have given him no reason to believe that I’m concealing anything.

      I have not flown anywhere in over four years, largely due to the perverse TSA “security” measures.

      1. Me neither. It’s easier to drive. A person can easily cove 1,000 miles in a single day. (62.5 mph x 16 hours)

      2. I’ve boycotted all commercial airlines since 2001. The nonsense will continue until all airlines are bankrupt. I suggested TSA check all mammary glands for possible liquid terrorist materials (palpation and needle biopsy), because I thought surely no self-respecting lady would submit to such. The sad fact is that I was wrong. Most will, and feel safer for it. We get the government we deserve (T. Jefferson). So, it’s still general aviation for me, or driving.

  28. I am just amazed at the lack of anybody mentioning the 4th Amendment’s proihibition on unreasonable search and seizure.

    Good one, dude.

  29. Am I misunderstanding that there is already a loaded pistol behind the cockpit door? It does seem unnecessarily invasive to screen these guys for weapons if they’re being armed once they get on board. And yes, if you’re in the position to fly the plane into the ground a bomb is superfluous and only adds to the risk of being detected. We ought to be able to reasonably conclude that screening for bombs in such circumstances is a waste of resources.

    1. Yes, you are misunderstanding. Whether or not to carry a firearm is up to the individual pilot. It is not that each one is standard-issued a gun. The program is that if they want to, they can receive training and become certified and qualify for the armed pilot program.

      I know a commercial airline pilot who formerly was a military officer (not an uncommon thing) and who therefore is very comfortable with firearms.

      He opted not to do it because it was such a pain in the ass – the procedures he had to go through to secure the gun as he transported it through the airport and into the plane, plus the various restrictions of different states and the varying degrees to which the local aiport and TSA personnel were willing to be cooperative with an airline pilot transporting a handgun. He told me that most pilots he knew never bothered to do it and most of the ones who did eventually gave it up as being just too much of a hassle.

      1. “… most of the ones who did eventually gave it up as being just too much of a hassle.”

        That’s the point!

  30. What’s Dumber Than Patting Down Old Ladies

    I dunno, depending on how you define “old” some of those mature ladies can be pretty hot. There are several I can think of I’d be happy to pat down.

    Anybody see the recent pics of Sharon Stone in a bikini, or Cybil Shepard on the red carpet? 52 and 62 years old, respectively.

    1. I did. And Cybil Shepard looked like Jonathan Winters in a housecoat.

      1. “Jonathan Winters in a housecoat”

        Mmmm… that’ll keep me warm tonight!

  31. Robert A. Iger
    President & C.E.O.
    Walt Disney Co.
    500 South Buena Vista Street
    Burbank, CA 91521
    email c/o TWDC.Corp.Communications@disney.com

    Dear Mr. Iger,

    I am writing for your advice about how to best enjoy a great Walt Disney World experience with the new prohibitive TSA/commercial airlines “security” shenanigans.

    My wife and I have two children (one strapping 14 year old boy and our beautiful little girl, 12). They would just love to go to Disney World and we would love to take them — but now we don’t know how to get there!

    Please allow me to graphically explain. On the way to Disney World at the airport, United States government agents now force children and their parents to make a difficult choice between:

    1. a dose of ionizing radiation concentrated almost entirely on your skin to create a nude image on the government’s computer screen. They call this Whole Body Imaging, or WBI. Please see sample image at http://www.prlog.org/10891401-…..ranny.html of a male subject. Note that the detail of the image, even before zooming in, allows the viewer to see that the glans is uncircumcised.

    2. a government agent using his gloved fingers to grope/frisk/probe the exterior of the child’s entire clothed body (including genital manipulation) in order to ascertain the same detail of information as the WBI would have done (see above). They call this Enhanced Pat-down.

    3. police escort to interrogation by TSA security as to your reasons for refusing the above two choices…followed by confirmation that you did not verbally abuse any government agents…followed by being permitted to turn around and go home…to watch the Disney Channel and call Disney for hotel plus plane tickets refund?

    As you can imagine, none of these choices appeals to us. Other than a fleet of Disney private planes or opening scaled-down Disney World resorts all across the country, how do you recommend that paying customers get to your resorts if decent caring for their children now prohibits them from using commercial airlines?

    Now that you are aware that children must submit to nude photography or genital manipulation in order to enjoy the Disney experience (and on the way home), your silence on this issue may be seen by many as passive agreement with this new pathway to your business, which I am sure is not the case.

    Please confirm.

    Yours truly,

    Disney World Prospective Customer

    1. R C like.

    2. Pretty cool. I’d be reluctant to use the words genital and children too often here, though.

      I Imagine you will get the same type of response Pro Lib got with the folks from Newculear Titties’ group. Please share if otherwise.

      1. That was capitol l who took the Newcular Titties cause to a new, fully interactive level.

      2. Thanks for kudos RC Dean & Sean L…and sloopyinca, point taken, thanks. I think I’ll substitute “inspection of private parts” in place of “genital manipulation”. I’m just a little reluctant though to insulate the squeamish reader from the unvarnished truth: Enhanced Pat-Down equals a grown-up US government agent using the bank of his hand or fingertips (fingertips approach is a being tested at some airports I hear)to see if you’re hiding an explosive inside your underpants. That’s where a child’s genitals are, right? Children 17 and under not exempted by TSA, right? My Oxford defines manipulation as “2. examine or treat (a part of the body) by feeling or moving it with the hand.” Pretty applicable word here, at least I thought. But I know what you mean about being too shocking and coming off as a shrill alarmist to be dismissed. I don’t want to be dismissed with this question. I’m absolutely serious. Thanks again for your feedback.

    3. Let us not forget that Disney has its own private Prohibited flight zone over each park,(in the name of safety), courtesy of government bribery and corruption. “Equal protection under the law” went out with “Disney is bigger than Six Flags”, etc. Prohibited zones only keep out nonviolent pilots – who have to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to avoid all the temporary flight restrictions that make ignorant paranoid people feel safer.

  32. Was wondering if he would be compared to Rosa Parks. I see that some people are making the comparison.

  33. to Robert’s waaay earlier comment ala this is all conditioning poor people to accept their lack of rights, BRAVO. could not have been better said.

    But, what troubles me is the massive failure of intelligence implicit in the TSA process. The fact that they are full-body scanning everyone makes it clear that they have NO IDEA who is a risk and who isn’t. The US has the most sophisticated, invasive, and deeply entrenched intelligence apparatus the world has ever seen, and yet everyone is being equally scrutinized, after almost a decade of the start of the “War on Terror.” We don’t have leads on any of these guys? We haven’t been spending the last few years doing our due diligence on every Saudi and Pakistani living in America? Searching us all is actually counter-productive, as it creates a crippling information overload which defies analysis since it contains no useful information. The resources (money, not TSA dumbasses lol) used for this could be split between security personnel ONBOARD THE PLANES and actually ferreting out those planning these activities.

    The cherry on top of all this is my final point, which is this: none of the TSA’s infrastructure, procedures, or personnel are even capable of actually preventing the hijacking of a plane. Why? Because virtually any airport in the country could be easily penetrated by a handful of operatives with assault rifles, grenades, body armor, and a few vehicles! If terrorists really wanted to steal another plane, and if they really are the super-badasses DHS and the TSA say they are, they would just drive trailers up to the terminals, get out, gun down whatever cops are there, torch the trucks to barricade the entries, and fight their way onto a plane ready to take off. If they were really smart they would have guys inside when they showed up to interfere with the flight crew, and bam, they’re in the cockpit of a plane full of people at a paralyzed airport and are flying away. What the hell is TSA going to do about that? Throw their union cards at them?

    1. This isn’t about catching bombers. Michael Roberts points that out correctly. This is simply a demonstration of the federal government’s power over the individual so they can stay in power as the seeds revolution infect the land these days. We have nude pictures of you, we can grope your and your child’s genitals, says DHS. We will humiliate you. We will get you fired from your job. You are powerless against us. Got it? Now may we suggest you stop going to those anti-government rallies, unless you would like to be placed on an extremist list. The government wants its people to stand naked before the state, as Edmund Burke predicted more than 200 years ago: “When those institutions are weakened, citizen and state come into direct contact with each other, and that is a contest the citizens will inevitably lose because they stand naked before the state, unable to protect themselves against its tendency to rule over them.” http://books.google.com/books?…..4&dq;=“for+they+will+stand+naked+before+the+state”&source=bl&ots=fZmXA9jIF0&sig=N0PSR1TljUUewYsMorzGf9YOU_M&hl=en&ei=zkXATMGoA8X_lgeqlc2LCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=”for they will stand naked before the state”&f=false

      With WBI and Enhanced Pat-Down, they have succeeded. You, the individual, now stand virtually naked before the state.

  34. If someone, while experiencing an enhanaced pat-down from TSA, gives the TSA agent ‘the goat’ will you please let me know.

  35. If we dislike security theater so much, it’s because we haven’t thought to produce our own. We forget that the American sense of humor, our great melting pot of mirth is uniquely suited to responding to tyranny. If a pat-down is inevitable, why not enjoy it? Loudly. And in great detail. Oh, and get your kids and parents to do the same. Just tell them to imagine Robin Williams getting patted down. Or Eddie Izzard. Or Amy Sedaris.

    Why should it be a humiliating experience for you when you can make an entertaining one?

    1. Ever tried making a “humorous” comment to TSA agent? Making ANY kind of loud noise (laugh/hoot/holler/giggle) could be branded THREATENING or VERBALLY ABUSIVE behaviour. You will have threatened and or abused a US government agent. At that point, Eric, you will get the chance for even more “entertaining” experiences in the lock-up. As they begin to turn up the heat on humiliating privacy invasion in the name of “security”, your willingness to go along and treat it all as wonderfully humorous (quietly that is), is just fine with them. A frog in the pot as the water gets warmer and warmer and warmer. Ha ha ha!

  36. I am so tired of all the whining public that don’t want to have their crap x-rayed, they don’t want to go through a full body scan or have a pat down, they don’t want this they don’t want that. All some of you do is whine! Now on the other hand if someone wasn’t checking your stuff or scanning people your would whine because the government isn’t doing anything to protect you! The idiot pilot took a job knowing that he would have to go through the check points but all of a sudden he refuses to be scanned or searched? What was he hiding that day that made him give up his job? Think about it you dimwits, he obviously had some fear he was going to be caught with something on his body that day or he would have never given up a pilot’s position, especially when you consider the fact that he most likely ended his career with that one refusal. All of you retards that are taking his side think about this, he didn’t want himself to be searched but I can promise you that he would make sure they searched you before he let you on his plane! TSA has already proved themself valuable by catching several people at our airport, one with a loaded gun which led to an arrest. And for the idiot that posted that the terrorist could just take over the plane, well since 911 you try and get in the cocpit, it not as easy as it was before 911. Of course everyone forgets about cases like the underwear bomber, the shoe bomber, the lady with plastic explosives in her bra. What about the groups that would think nothing of placing a bomb in a baby’s blanket or in the formula bottle? You think there’s not groups out there that would kill a baby in order to bring down a plane? There killing 150 or more people so why would a baby matter to them. Heck some think that would promise them and the baby a place in heaven! so next time your all pissed off at TSA for doing there job think about this, are you willing to bet your life the person three seats down, five seats down, 10 seats down are happy with everything in life and have no desire to blow your goofy butt up.

  37. Smokedgoldeye, you need to get the smoke out of your eyes and quit believe everything you hear on the school playground. The full scan does NOT show a nude photo of you. What an idiot! It shows an outline of your body and if you have any organic, metal or in other words dangerous items close to your body they will show up. You can’t even tell what gender the person is. And yes if you refuse the body scan then you will have a pat down, who cares about you safety, I look at your pat down as for MY safety. You could be some nut job that just got fired and your wife ran off with your septic tank man. I don’t want your disturbed butt coming on the plane trying to end your life and take mine in the process!

    1. Jeryy, see if I have this right:

      1. The image shown at http://www.prlog.org/10891401-…..ranny.html is not a nude image.

      2. It is to my benefit that the government protects me from any suicidal person no matter what the cost in terms of my privacy, increased cancer risk, money or time.

      Is that about right?

      In that case, I respond:

      1. I believe you are factually incorrect about the nude image. Also, keep in mind that the WBI machine allows 4x zoom which is not shown in the sample image. Also keep in mind that technology improves over time. Remember regular TV before HDTV?

      2. I accept many risks as part of living as a free individual. I take decisions about risk all the time. Just today I rode my bike on the street beside fast moving cars. Any one of those cars could have been driven by that suicidal sexy-septic-man cuckold. Would I feel happier with the enhanced ‘safety’ of a new law requiring government agent chaperones for all septic man-housewife interactions? No I’d rather not. I’ll take a chance that there will be that small increase in suicidal drivers as a result. Likewise on airplane security. Remember when Janet Napolitano said after the Fruit-of-Kaboom bomber was foiled, “Our system worked perfectly.”? I remember. I also remember that it was a fellow passenger, not a TSA agent, that was the foiler. Remember which TSA agent stopped the shoe bomber? I remember. It wasn’t a TSA agent there either. Fellow passengers again. So you might persist: Oh, come on smoked, nude photos and genital fondling by the TSA will give you even more safety than your fellow passengers can. My answer, no thanks. If I have a choice, I’ll decline. Right now, that choice is driving or general aviation. How about a new commercial airline that gives you a choice:TSA screening of you and your fellow passengers is optional. I’m their first customer.

      What do you say?

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