Let me preempt the “quit picking on the little guy” comments: Every time I hear the whine “Consider the plight of the POOR TSA workers; they’re only trying to do their jobs!” I want to rip off the heads of the imbecilic apologists and vomit fiery bile down their throat stumps. I suppose we’re supposed to empathize with the situation of the overworked water-boarding CIA interrogators? We’re supposed to feel sympathy for terrorists, heavy laden with explosive vests? We’re supposed to think kindly about serial killers who, after all, have the onerous, thankless task of disposing of the bodies of their victims.
I am full of rage today, but I’ll try to calm down a bit so my ranting will be somewhat intelligible. Okay. Let’s begin.
I fly a lot for business and recreation. I hate flying, for obvious reasons– it’s cramped, airlines treat passengers like infants, the food is horrible, the security protocols are meant to annoy not protect, flight attendants are more bothersome than not, the airlines furnish you with flotation devices instead of parachutes, you’re nickled and dimed for everything, your luggage is manhandled and then pilfered and then misplaced, boarding is inefficient, the in-flight entertainment sucks, and they STILL make us listen to the safety presentation about seat-belt buckling. And yet it gets worse…
9/11 happened. In order to fight back, we decided to beef up our safety bureaucracy. Here’s how the TSA is run:
- Step 1: Compile a list of crazy, impractical ways of bombing an airline
- Step 2: Ban the elements of those insane plots (liquids, toner cartridges, shoes, nail clippers?!?)
- Step 3: Employ technology to solve a problem that technology can’t solve
- Step 4: Hire creepy, untrained carnies to grope our children
All of this is tremendously stupid. From whence comes such nitwittedness? The FBI. “Who is running the TSA”, you question. Former FBI Deputy Director John Pistole. We got a man from one poorly run agency to lead another. If you were challenged to list the two most poorly run government entities, you’d likely list the FBI and the IRS. The FBI being the more corrupt of the two won the task of running our transportation safety. Brilliant. Democracy works when there are checks and balances and accountability. The TSA, in the un-attackable name of security, seemingly reports to no one and can do whatever they’d like without consequence.
Here’s my issue: the TSA presents us with a false delimma, a so-called sucker’s choice: Either send your kid into a backscatter machine which allows a TSA worker to view your unclothed child, OR allow a TSA worker to grope your children’s private areas. Our choice. Our inspired Supreme Court ruled you can’t turn back in a security screening or you’ll be fined $10,000. Does the TSA hire sex offenders to pat us down? Yes. Is the TSA is violation of child pornography laws by transmitting nude images of children? Yes. Has the TSA managed to catch a single terrorist before they attempted to commit a crime? No. Have the FAA Red Teams experienced any difficulty breaching airport security? No. Can the TSA naked machines save pictures? Yes. Has the TSA continued to lie to us at every turn? Yes.
The real issue at play is the Milgram effect. We respect authority so much, we sit idly by and watch their abuses of power without action. We are, in effect, issuing electric shocks to our civil liberties with each act of compliance.
The time to act is now. The time to speak out is now. The time to rebel against illegal federal agency is NOW.
There is a third choice: opt out of the TSA. The airports are under the city’s jurisdiction. Call and complain to the mayor’s office. Have your airport opt out of the TSA. They did it in Florida. No naked body scanners, no government-approved groping. These gross violations of privacy and decency should not be tolerated.
The responsibly of complainers is to offer an alternative solution. I have one. It’s called the Israelification of Airports. Google it.
We must accept that 100% safety in flying is simply not possible. Any determined attacker can take down a plane. The completely misguided and ineffectual TSA procedures amount to nothing more than brain dead theater that diverts money and resources from actually ferreting out the bad guys. The TSA is staffed by mindless functionaries. The airport security goon squad aren’t even real law enforcement officers. They’re just glorified rent-a-cops wearing a fake uniforms. Let’s not submit to Team Sexual Assault.
I’m irate. Are you? You should be.
Here’s some reading for you: