Tag Archives: TSA

The TSA is still defying its Court Order

Court orders TSA to justify year-long defiance of the law | Ars Technica:

Requiring the TSA to follow the formal rule-making procedure is important, because one of the essential steps in that process is the solicitation of public feedback. American travelers will have the opportunity to voice their concerns about the TSA’s policy, and the agency will be required to respond to those concerns. Given that so many of the TSA’s policies are shrouded in secrecy, forcing the TSA to explain its policies will be a much-needed source of transparency. And if the rationale for using the machines is as flimsy as some critics charge, perhaps the exercise will cause the agency to re-consider the decision to use them.

(Via arstechnica.com)

I’d argue it’s also important because they were given a court order. If government agencies can simply ignore the Judicial Branch of the government, that’s the end of everything, folks. Game over. We’re living in a totalitarian state. 

At least give us the illusion that we still have some control over what our government subjects us to, here. Play along for show. That’s what the TSA is best at, anyway, right? 

What’s the worst that can happen? A bunch of lefty liberals write their objections in the formal procedure, and you ignore them and do what you want, anyway. No harm done, and it won’t even generate much bad press, because most Americans are too scared of their own shadow to think rationally about what does and doesn’t make them safer. 

The fact that The TSA has simply ignored the order all this time demonstrates a level of arrogance that, frankly, is very frightening. If they don’t even have to pretend to follow the rule of law, what will they do next? 

TSA defends cupcake confiscation – CNN.com

It’s the “Red Velvet” jar that got them into trouble a week later. When they tried to clear security at the Las Vegas airport, the jar got seized for violating the 3-1-1 rule. “This wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill cupcake,” wrote TSA blogger Robert Burns. “Unlike a thin layer of icing that resides on the top of most cupcakes, this cupcake had a thick layer of icing inside a jar.”

via TSA defends cupcake confiscation – CNN.com.


Okay, so it’s the amount of frosting on the cupcake that matters. SO what would be the difference between one cupcake with a lot of frosting, and say, 12 cupcakes with 1/12 of the frosting each?

What if five people brought five individual cupcakes onto the plane? Could the five of those combined not have enough explosive frosting to blow up the plane?

The liquids rule never has and never will make any sense. Any five-year old can figure that out. 

TSA defends cupcake confiscation from Mass. woman

The TSA says travelers can bring cakes, pies and cupcakes through the security checkpoint, but should expect that they might get some additional screening.

via TSA defends cupcake confiscation from Mass. woman – Boston.com.


This would be funny if it weren’t so tragically stupid. The fact that most people will read this article and think “Yeah, I guess whatever makes us safer,” is proof that we don’t deserve to continue much longer as a species. 

TSA stands by officers after pat-down of elderly woman in Florida – via CNN.com

The TSA released a statement Sunday defending its agents’ actions at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport.

“While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner,” the federal agency said. “We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure.”

I’ll say it again. It’s not the TSA agents. It’s the fact that the leadership of the TSA considers this stuff “proper procedure” that scares the heck out of me.

If we had rogue agents abusing the system, that would be a problem, to be sure. But it would be an easy problem to fix. This issue is embedded in the very core of TSA’s founding principles. The only way to solve this is to disband the agency altogether. Or at least rethink it from the ground up.

We need law enforcement that knows the good guys from the bad. The TSA clearly doesn’t.

Upgrading the Full Body Scanners

In Tuesday’s demonstration, Transportation Security staffers walked into one of the newly configured machines and stopped with their arms raised, as passenger being scanned are asked to do. A small video monitor near the unit’s exit displayed the results for both the passenger and the security officer operating the machine.

Those who deliberately carried objects were detected and portrayed as generic human outlines, with regions of their body highlighted by a box indicating additional security attention was warranted.

Those who carried no questionable objects saw a screen that was green with “OK” in the middle.

Pistole acknowledged Transportation Security workers will no longer be able to see the shape and size of the questionable objects that are detected by the machines.

“That’s one of the things we’ll be assessing in our pilot testing at the three airports,” he said. “How do the security officers engage the passenger based on what they’re seeing, and is there any diminution of efficiency in terms of what we’re doing?”

The TSA is banking on this software upgrade quieting criticisms of the full-body scanners. And it does help, as far as privacy concerns go. But there are still at least two remaining reasons why the scanners need to be eliminated altogether. First, there are medical questions about the radiation exposure that have not been completely addressed, especially for frequent travelers and airline staff. And second, there’s still the notion of an “illegal search” to be considered. We do have a right not to be treated as criminals without suspicion in this country, people.

Does the Tea Party have its head so far up it’s ass on the Second Amendment that it’s forgotten about the Fourth? Where’s the protest on this one?

And the most important reason of all, of course, is that these expensive contraptions DON’T MAKE ANYONE SAFER. They just make lobbyists richer.