I think the TSA has an impossible job. I think they are way out of bounds on the 4th Amendment. I think they are blowing smoke just to try and keep their jobs. I think they should be abolished and that $5,000,000,000 per year should go toward something useful. But I don’t hate them.
This guy hates them. And I guess I can see his point. Here is a sample:
Hate is a pretty strong word. But it’s not strong enough to express how I feel about the TSA — the Transportation Security Administration or Thousands Standing Around, depending on your point of view — which runs those security checkpoints at American airports.
I may fear the IRS, and I may dread the DMV — but for shear bureaucratic stupidity and its affront to personal liberties, the TSA has earned a special place of loathing in my heart.
My family and I – which means all three kids, including the baby – were returning home from vacation last week and dutifully filed in line for the ol’ “Papers, please” routine at the Honolulu airport. I handed our five boarding passes and our ID to the lone TSA guy who gets paid to look at boarding documents and, according to TSA chief Hawley, use them to root out would-be terrorists every day. But this genius couldn’t find any of our names on the boarding passes and handed them back to me, demanding that I show him where the names were. Heck, I didn’t know. It’s not my yob, man.
Apparently there was something in our “behavior” and/or our “documents” which triggered the crackerjack TSA security guards’ suspicions. Yes, a middle-class white family with three young children, including a 16-month-old baby, returning from vacation set off alarm bells in some bureaucrat’s mind. So we were instructed to move to the side for “enhanced” screening while all of our carry-on bags, including the baby’s stroller, were hand-inspected.
Out of morbid curiosity, I asked if this was simply a “random check” that we’d been so lucky to be honored with. The terse reply from the agent on the front-lines of the war against terrorists was a simple, “No.” So our selection couldn’t even be explained away by the stupidity of random selection; these people intentionally singled us out as a potential security threat.
Barney Fife then proceeded to get a female agent to pat down my wife and two daughters before feeling me up-and-down himself. At which point my wife was instructed to hold the baby out with outstretched arms like Rafiki did with Simba on the rock ledge in “The Lion King” for a pat-down. Absolutely ridiculous.
In the meantime, another crackerjack TSA agent was busy rifling through our carry-on bags, and lo and behold, he caught my wife trying to smuggle onboard a tube of skin cream which exceeded the federally-mandated 3-ounce limit. Goober informed us he was confiscating the potentially lethal tube of Lubriderm, much to the relief of the other passengers standing in line who clearly were worried it might be used to send us all to a watery grave in Davy Jones’ Locker somewhere over the Pacific.
With one of our bags now 5 ounces lighter, we finally were allowed to leave Checkpoint Charlie and proceed to the gate. Now for the kicker.
When we finally get home and unpack, I discover that the girls had inadvertently packed a pair of metal scissors they found at the condo where we stayed in their carry-on knapsack. Neither the TSA’s expensive, super-sensitive X-ray machine nor hand-inspection of the bag detected this pair a metal scissors – but they did find the Lubriderm! Don’t you feel safer now?
And here is a video of someone actually sneaking a simulated bomb through security. Anyone that doesn’t believe we need to explore different means for airplane security is either willfully ignorant or has some agenda they aren’t sharing.