Tag: tsa

TSA Sucks a Bigger Budget

Sometimes, you really can’t make this stuff up.

Over the last few weeks, dissatisfaction with TSA has been bubbling over as airport lines have reached insane lengths, causing hours-long delays. TSA says it is because they are “understaffed”. But given that they blame understaffing for everything, including the murder of Jon Snow, I’m disinclined to take that seriously. McArdle breaks down what’s really going on: they’re making security more of an ordeal because there is no cost to them in doing so.

Still … the TSA now has a response: clowns. Seriously.

A Roll Of The Dice

Two stories of late highlight the simple fact that despite spending billions and billions, the TSA/DHS/the military put on a pretty good show wrt to security and protecting us, but it is mostly for appearances.

Leading off, we have a Russian nuclear submarine, armed with the latest and greatest, doing a bit of site seeing off the gulf coast (I wonder if that sub captain has a girl in every port):

A Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks and its travel in strategic U.S. waters was only confirmed after it left the region, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

——

The stealth underwater incursion in the Gulf took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July, and highlights a growing military assertiveness by Moscow.

Where is Curtis Lemay when you need him?

Cuts in the military, the smallest amount of working Navy vessels since WW1? no problem, because you know, Russia is our friend.

The other has to do with a stranded jet skier who defied a hundred million dollar security system, “Can anyone spare a gallon of gas”?

A jet-skier who became stranded in Jamaica Bay easily breached JFK’s security system by walking undetected through two runways and into a terminal.

Daniel Castillo of Queens swam to shore and then walked past motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras of the airport’s state-of–the art Perimeter Intrusion Detection System.

The $100 million system is meant to safeguard against terrorists.

Castillo climbed an eight-foot-tall perimeter fence and made his way to Terminal 3, according to The New York Post. He approached a Delta Airlines worker, who alerted authorities, the paper said.

The breach raised a host of troubling questions about safety.

Ya think? If you have seen pictures of this guy, broad daylight, sashying in a bright yellow vest, bright enough that Curiousity on the far side of the red planet could see him, later spotted arguing with a Delta worker who wanted to charge him baggage fees for his empty gas can.

Raytheon is trying to determine what went wrong, what didn’t work, but it appears that nothing worked.

Yeah, boy, safety is their top priority.

Face it, there by the grace of God is anyone really safe. It appears that blind luck is the a better bet then Raytheon, or any ham fisted groper wearing a TSA uniform. Inconvenience folks, put them through the drills, shoes off shoes on, take off that belt, empty your pockets, as long as I feel safe, what could possibly happen?

Another Step Toward a Worse TSA

It’s not exactly news that TSA is unionizing. Pistole opened the door for that last year and they’ve finally hammered out an agreement.

What is news is how dumb the critics are getting. The criticism had focused on TSA striking. They’ve agreed not to strike but I frankly think we’d be better off if they did strike. It would have little impact on security but result in less gropings and harassment. The link above also has Republicans worried that TSA will be less “flexible”. I don’t think that’s really a concern since they’ve been flexible enough to ignore court orders for a year or more.

No, the concern is that any hope of any accountability is now gone. TSA agents have always been free to grope, harass, bully and steal, but they now have a big bad union to back them up. It’s not that all TSA agents do these things or even a large majority do. I travel a lot and have only had trouble with TSA a couple of times. No, the problem is that even a tiny minority of abusive TSA agents now have an even thicker shield of job security over them.

It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Dildo, Or Vibrator?

Don’t you just hate it when you read some scintillating article and they leave out the pertinent stuff? Thankfully I’ve got my FOIA request, penned and ready to go, but since that new revision of the FOIA I wrote about earlier, I will probably get a response like this ,” Thank you for your request about information on our recent discovery of a sex toy, we regret to inform you that no such incident took place, you might want to check with the Post Office”.

What I am referring to is a recent tweet by a female traveler who packed for a lonely night and upon arrival found this in her luggage.

I guess she called the TSA to complain because they have officially commented on it:

A Transportation Security Administration airport security worker has been removed from checking baggage because of a note with sexual implications he left for a passenger at Newark’s Liberty International Airport.

Jill Filipovic, a New York blogger who is also a lawyer, tweeted Monday that a note was left in her bag — which contained a sex toy, according to reports — that said “get your freak on.” The note was written on a TSA notice of inspection form, leading Filipovic to believe it was written by someone at airport security.

TSA said on its blog Tuesday that it had conducted an investigation into the incident and removed the employee that was responsible from duty.

Even here, I am left unsated, not knowing for myself what item she planned on using to pleasure herself.

This episode does reveal how far we have come. Used to be that any self respecting female would keep activities like this quiet. Much like having your carry on’s gone through, with the TSA agent pulling out your favorite anal beads, a 12 inch strap on and some lube, right in front of that Mormon family from Provo that was checking in behind you, some items and activities related to those items were a private matter. not with Jill, she is proud to tell the world ,”Hey, sometimes I fly solo”.

And we really don’t know what happened to the guy/gal that originally wrote the note. “Removed from screening operation”, translation, got a better gig, “Disciplinary action taken”, translation, promoted making more money then before.

Personally, I don’t know what all the fuss is about, this shows that they are checking bags like they’re supposed to. At least they did not steal the sex toy, there’s a positive.

What A Colossal Waste Of Money

A few days ago Seattle Outcast in one of his comments mentioned how the TSA was expanding their influence out of the airports and hitting the streets in Tennessee. My reaction was I’m sure like everyone else’s , that old Franklinism about security/liberty immediately came to mind, saying to myself ,”Here we go again”.

It is amazing how much leeway a government can be given by a willing populace if that rope is couched in terms of fighting terrorism or making the country safe. I am usually on the other side of this argument, praising the efforts made by law enforcement and those agencies tasked with fighting terror in how tirelessly and effectively they have done their jobs. We have all heard about the several instances over the last decade where terror plots were stopped dead in their tracks, all due to effective police work.

But hearing about TSA stops on the highway, is it a natural inference to assume that they will be stopping people at random, profiling, and throwing the Constitution right out the window, but that was NOT my inference. Just like all the false hysteria perpetrated by the left about the new Arizona immigration laws, how the cops would now be free to profile, to stop cars and people at random solely for the purpose of checking for papers and citizenship status, I knew that was horse shit. For those that bothered to read the bill, Constitutional protections were not infringed on one bit. The precept of “probable cause” was not altered or did away with and the police were still guided by law as to when they could effect a traffic stop.

Same with this new TSA scare:

VIPR (ohhhh, sounds menacing) is operating at truck safety stations. Commercial rigs (trucks, big rigs, implements of husbandry, etc) are governed by more stringent regulations then regular cars, this is due to their size and potential for carnage if crashed. Commercial rigs are required by law to enter these safety stations, they are weighed and visually inspected, and some are required for a random safety inspection, this happens to like every 10th (or so) truck that goes through. So while Highway Patrol mechanics do a cursory (using involving just a few minutes) inspection, TSA is out there with their bomb dog giving the rig a quick sniff, no harm no foul.

While I like the idea of a program that brings awareness of “suspicious” vehicles and gets those truckers out there to keep their eyes open, I don’t think they are fishing in the right pond. I doubt terrorists are going to drive (or transport their explosives) in big rigs, too expensive and too much of a hassle to operate.

I said this was a waste of money because all this stuff is funded by Homeland Security and it is all run on overtime, designed more to show the folks how “on the job” the government is at keeping them safe, but very costly, due to how it is being run. No mention is made in this article that the TSA is stopping regular cars on the highway, that is because they have no authority to do that. Now most counties in California have drug dogs at the access, if a routine traffic stop warrants some probable cause that there are drugs in the vehicle, the drug dog is called for a routine sniff. I would have no problem with this if the TSA wanted to make this a model for vehicle interdiction. Mohammad gets stopped for speeding, he has no ID, car not registered to him, interior is strewn with Arabic printed material,and on the seat is a copy of “Bomb Making for Dummies”, yes, call out the bomb dog, OK by me.

I am glad that the attached video mentioned Timothy McVeigh, this example reenforces everything good about what we expect from our police. McVeigh was stopped by an observant cop for no license plate (probable cause) and during the contact was sharp enough to connect the dots, MeVeigh’s demeanor, stuff inside the van, and his inability to answer even simplest of questions. Sometimes bad guys are caught just like that.

More TSA Screw Ups

Here is an exercise in futility, which folks deserve more derision and scorn, politicians or TSA officers? All those old jokes about lawyers, much like Jimmy Carter, who everyday thanks the world for Mr. Obama, the TSA has managed to make everyone else stellar in comparison. Here is the TSA’s public enemy number one:

Dr. David Mandy: Special Needs Son Harassed by TSA at Detroit Metropolitan Airport: MyFoxDETROIT.com

Early on I was one of those rubes that defended the TSA. Like meter maidsparking enforcement officers, any and all encounters are usually unpleasant and adversarial, so at the outset, courtesy, decorum, and tact was paramount in making this tolerable. And, as with any jobs involving positions of authority, good judgement and common sense was needed above all other attributes. Sadly, these two ingredients had been lacking in this stew of abuse.

We can all sleep easier tonight knowing that Drew Mandy’s plastic toy hammer is in the trash rather than terrorizing passengers and crew on the plane he and his parents boarded for Walt Disney World.

If you’re looking for someone to thank for depriving a mentally challenged 29-year-old of his much-beloved security blanket, look no further than the Transportation and Security Administration.

Members of this feckless bunch sprung into action at Detroit Metro Airport when they first laid eyes on Mandy, whose parents say has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old. They singled him out for a special pat-down, which makes perverse sense of a sort: Special pat-downs for people with special needs.

Being a law and order kind of guy I understand the need for rules, but in my mind the spirit of the law always trumps the letter of the law, these folks failed miserably in this regard. It stretches credulity to think that these agents would not know after only a few seconds that Drew was mentally challenged. This was reenforced when he had trouble comprehending the yellow line. At this point the normal procedure should have gone right out the window and a more nuanced approach was needed, but this was beyond them. And why the special pat down? The hand swabbing was probably procedural ,every 10th (?) passenger gets this, no big deal and could have been done in a few seconds. But taking the poor kids toy, come on, again, where is the common sense we all hope is inherent in these folks?

The obligatory letter of complaint resulted in the usual tap dance. Funny, but TSA has been around for a very long time, you would think that they would have seen it all by now and had procedural guidelines for all contingencies, but I guess Drew was the first “special needs” passenger they ever saw.

The usual blow off of ,”Thank you so much for your concern, we are constantly changing our procedures to make sure you have the most enjoyable flying experience possible, we will be retraining all of our staff and can assure you that your safety is our main concern…..yada……yada…….yada”.

A uniform does not God make, you pinheads, you have a brain, try using it once and awhile.

NO TRAIN FOR YOU.

Are you one of the hundreds – if not thousands – of people who have inadvertently ended up on the no-fly list? Do you really need to travel, and want to take the train instead? Well guess what, dillhole? NO TRAIN FOR YOU. Asshole Senator Chuck Schumer needs to look busy, so he’s doing this now:

A senator on Sunday called for a “no-ride list” for Amtrak trains after intelligence gleaned from the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound pointed to potential attacks on the nation’s train system.

Sen. Charles Schumer said he would push as well for added funding for rail security and commuter and passenger train track inspections and more monitoring of stations nationwide.

“Circumstances demand we make adjustments by increasing funding to enhance rail safety and monitoring on commuter rail transit and screening who gets on Amtrak passenger trains, so that we can provide a greater level of security to the public,” the New York Democrat said at a news conference.

If you think TSA at an airport is bad, wait’ll you get a load of Amtrak TSA.

Seriously, when are we going to stand up and tell these ruling class nitwits that we’ve had enough security theater? Do morons like Schumer really not see that with every move like this, they guarantee that even dead, bin Laden is still winning the game?