Saturday, November 20, 2010

TSA & Shovels

The kids over at the TSA seem to think the best strategy, when caught in a hole, is to dig faster. Oddly enough, most sensible folks disagree. And to search 3yo's using enhanced patdowns...

From forcing breast cancer survivors to remove their prosthetics for inspection, to patting down a passenger with such vigor as to lift them off their heels when the groin was hit, to travelers making strong arguments that *enhanced patdown by skin-to-skin genitalia fondling* constitutes sexual assault the TSA seems, in the face of criticism, to hunker down and embrace tone-deafness as a defense - the "if we just ignore them long enough, they'll get used to it and give us what we want" theory.

This problem is far from new - our power-drunk TSA drones have been misbehaving and exercising their "authoriteh" for quite some while, as evidenced by the 2008 experiences of Robert Perry's forced public pantsing, Mandi Hamlin's coerced nipple-ring removal (pliers were required), and the Angone case.

However, with celebrities such as former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura declaring they will not fly commercially under such conditions, it seems steam is only gathering behind the TSA abolition/reform movement, with no sign of a slowdown in sight.

It could be the TSA's loudly proclaiming their intention to continue engaging in unlawful detention of those not submitting to their program of using assault and harassment to drive the public through a unreasonably revealing device of uncertain medical and radiological provenance, and impose "unappealable" fines of $10,000 or $11,000 (they don't appear quite sure which) on those who, on discovering this once inside the checkpoint, have temerity to prefer to leave rather than put up with the harassment is only fueling the public outrage.

Or perhaps the outrage is fueled by not merely the sheer insensitivity displayed by the TSA drones, but by the constantly startling level of stupid. Refusing to let a couple of hundred lawfully and fully armed U.S. soldiers pass until a nail file is surrendered, as one commenter puts it, takes a VERY special kind of stupid - particularly when they are on their way home after a tour in Afghanistan.

Or perhaps both the stupidity and the insensitivity of the TSA, long rising to a boil heated by idiocy and incompetence, when combined with the quaint American notion that our government works for us (not the other way around) and that we are innocent until proven guilty (and demand to be treated accordingly), have incited this wholly justified tsunami of ill will against this mis-managed, ill-considered, and overly authoritarian agency composed of glorified rent-a-cops and the rejects of federal and local law enforcement (the only way I can explain their actions without assuming actual treasonous malice...).

If you must fly...

Remember National Opt-Out day...and subsequently, No-Fly Wednesdays.

Be painfully helpful and chatty with every TSA staffer you encounter if you must fly. Be certain to ask for hard copy of every regulation they cite, and decline to go *any place* out of the public view with them. Inquire if you are under arrest if at any point any person tries to detain you - if they continue, loudly ask for probable cause. Wear bulky clothing, even if you normally wouldn't. Consider wearing clothing that, if you follow common TSA directions, will promptly fall to the ground providing a full naked view of your person to all within eyeshot.

Ask questions - lots of questions. Ask follow-up questions. If lawful in your jurisdiction, record all interactions w/ TSA personnel.

If you believe anything untoward has been done to you, or in your presence, call 911 and press charges.

And, with all that, try and keep an upbeat attitude. And now, for a final message from John Pistole of the TSA.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Sigh... This is going to be a LONG year if the public and Airlines don't get pissed and get the TSA to stop this crap.