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Oh, fer Pete's Sake...

Just when I thought there was an argument for the TSA doing what it does--a legal but lame one to be sure, I see this at ArsTechnica. Mild salty language alert, but apropos.

The country is in the very best of hands...

10 Comments

TSA is theater. It isn't security and never will be until they quit looking for things and start looking for the bad guys.
 
Not just theater, but *Kabuki* theater.
 
I read just the first of many pages of comments over there. The snark is strong in those ones.
 
Qm, they used actually to do that. I mind the time, back in the early Seventies, I think, when I had just read a book on airline safety and how to help your chances in a survivable crash.  I went to get on an airliner and requested a seat next to the aftermost emergency exit. They said they couldn't do that, but put me one seat away.

The guy actually next to the door was a nice old gent (20 years younger than I am now) who engaged me in conversation about who we were, where we were going, etc. and so forth. He mentioned at one point that he was a retired Railroad Detective, and then it finally dawned on me that the gate agent had interposed him between me and the emergency exit, just in case. Once we both realized what was up, and that neither of us had bad intentions, the rest of the flight was very pleasant and we parted on the best of terms..  Yup, I was prolly acting a bit like that Grandson you've mentioned.

If, God forbid, I ever board an airliner again, I will request a seat one seat away from the emergency exit, and insist that the guy right next to the exit be some kind of cool-headed Old Sarge type, who can be relied upon to do nothing until the aircraft comes to rest, and then immediately pop the hatch and dive out.  I don't want that responsibility, m'self, but you betcha I'd be right behind him.
 
P.s. Oh, there was a nice big fire axe clipped to the bulkhead right next to us.
 
Oh, dammit! I did not mean to kill this comment thread! C'mon, guys 'n gals, speak up!
 
And there you have it, folks:  The famed JTG's Quintuple Post of Doom!  *snerk*
 
JTG, Now, t want to approach this issue in a different way. Let's start with a question, "What is the worst thing for the airline/ aviation industry? But before you answer it, another question, "How do you think the answer to the first question will impact the the 'Performance Report of the FAA?'" Remember, part of the mission of FAA is to support the airline/ aviation industries. The worst thing thing is not a *pithed off customer*, but one that is *pithed on*. Now I know, there are more than one, but for the sake of discussion, let's say there is just one. We take this one "pithed on customer". He tells two people who are actually not aware of his experiences with the TSA. He took his wife and children and their lack of appreciation of the long handled glove treatment. Note, earlier I said, the one told two, who had no knowledge. This is just the math principle of doubling. You take a chess or checkerboard, it has 64 squares, 8 in each direction. Let's use it to show the completion  of the task. Let's start, 2,4,8,16, 32, 64, 128 and 256.  BTW, JTG, use standard numbers and not scientific numbers. This should keep him busy.

There is another issue to consider, "Is airline travel a right or a privilege?" For many of you, this will go down hard. All forms of travel are a privilege including this TSA molestation,  you paid for it. But if we let go of "rights aspect" and see it as a "privilege", it changes many things. First, you know without a doubt, this will be a real long haul issue. Calm down and try to talk with your "Congress Critter" *in writing", be careful, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Yes, I believe there is a better way to do this and some "Critters Here at the Castle" to make it work. JTG, let's see those numbers.

Time to go back to sleep.

Grumpy
 
I would have to say that I have the right to contract with, say, Delta Airlines for passage from Atlanta to Seattle at terms agreeable to both of us. TSA has no right whatsoever to interpose itself between us. If they have a reasonable suspicion that I might be a bad guy, then they have authority (not the right, as that is a different concept) to check me out and make sure I will do no harm to anyone else.

Note the concept "reasonable suspicion." What they are doing now is wasting everyone's time, including theirs. Since we are paying for it we have the right to demand they cease and desist and implement measures that will look for bad guys rather than things which can still be smuggled. Too much "stuff" has gotten past them.
 
Grumpy, if you were to actually meet me in person, I betcha you would conclude that I am harmless. You would be wrong in concluding that. I am only  "Mostly Harmless."  If sufficiently exercised and angered, you betcha I could go for somebody's throat. This is one of the the reasons I try not to set foot in airports, lately. The last time I had to do so, to ship an old neighbor lady's cat, I had to restrain myself from going for the throat of the airline agent.

P.s. That was before 9/11