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Squawks & HeadlinesTexas Gov adds anti-groping bill to special session

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Texas Gov adds anti-groping bill to special session

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Gov. Rick Perry announced he had added legislation that would make it illegal for TSA agents to engage in “intrusive touching” at airports security checkpoints without probable cause to the list of items for the legislature to consider during the special session. The measure had previously failed to muster enough support in the Texas Senate to come up for a vote because the Justice Department wrote a scathing memo against the bill, which threatened legal action against the state, and the measure… (blog.chron.com) More...

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cmp5n
cmp5n 0
Finally! Some hope of checks and balances for the TSA!

The men, women, and jackasses in blue have gotten away with "Terrorising Society in America" for too long.
suz
suz 0
We do not need the TSA in its present state. End of story.
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
Right on queue Dillon! 'Secret internal threats', home-grown terrorists, everybody afraid of their neighbors, fellow Americans suspicious of each other. The terrorists have already won!

Seriously though -
What do you mean by 'coordinate the myriad of airlines'? If coordination is required between airlines who share terminals or routes or something, that could be easily worked out. Major airlines already coordinate connections, maintinance schedules, revenue sharing, etc with regional carriers. I am positive they can figure out how to coordinate security screening.

Also, expense for the airlines is not a valid argument. Who do you think pays TSA's salaries now? Airline customers pay those costs through the 9/11 Security tax charged for each one-way trip. Paying taxes to the governemnt to turn around and do the screening itself is no cheaper.
mldavis2
Mike Davis 0
This is a political stunt. Adequate laws are on the books to deal with 'groping' but the burden of proof is all but impossible - he said, he said - and the definition of 'groping' will never be nailed down in legal terms. The underwear bombers will laugh themselves to death. Everyone has 'junk' that they've shown to their doctor. TSA agents have enough trouble with arrogant, indignant passengers without having to deal with arbitrary laws that hamper their duty to keep us safe from the wackos. What are you hiding?
upchucked
Another idiotic measure by a southern state to prove they are immune from Federal law. If I were a TSA supervisor, I would instruct my agents to simply deny boarding to anyone who objected to a search. Let them take the train to Hawaii or drive to Japan if they don't want to subject.
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
50% of recent job growth in the US has been in Texas. 80% of job growth has been in southern states. They are obviously doing something right, we (in the north) could all take a lesson from them.

If I wanted to live in a country where I needed to show my ID and completely surrender my property and person to Government Personnel without question or complaint in order to go to work every Monday - I would emmigrate to a totalitarian country.
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
I'm with Grady and Davis. The haters have no inkling of how many threats are found across the country every day by TSA. And the verbiage "intrusive touching" is too ambiguous. A political stunt indeed.
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
Dillion works for the TSA; she is with Grady and Davis because she is trying to preserve her salary, pension, and government appointed importance. See early postings from other TSA related articles.

The CIA, FBI, FAA, and Armed Services failed our country by allowing terrorists to gain entry, remain in the US, and take flight lessons leading up to 9/11. The TSA terrorizing Americans organization should be disbanded and airport security privitized.

(queue Dillion claiming more about 'how much we don't know about all the secret threats that they can't tell Americans about' and 'how we are lucky that TSA spends our tax dollars heckling us on our way to work.').
JBReinertsen
Cmp5n :) someones on their forum game
chuckbeecher
chuck beecher 0
Doesn't surprise me..since he is out campaigning as aright wing, conservative, born again, anti gay/lesbian candidate for who knows what office. Can't fotget him jumping out of his state chauffered vehicle and yelling the question "don't you know who the **** I am?" to the trooper that had stopped them.
Billynpgv2007
Billy McGhee 0
As a 25 year Flight Attendant and Pilot who holds a Commercial ticket and is a CFII
I will ask this; who should take over for the dreaded TSA?
Army,Air Force,CIA,ICE,CBP or FBI.
Private screening has already failed the US traveling public. Is that a real option?
What would your expectations for the "New security"?
Why don't we do this; flights that are screened depart terminal A
Flight with out screening depart terminal B
Are you looking for more smiling faces at the TSA. I've seen very few smiles, but I'm not looking for personality.
I'm sure the TSA people want to touch your junk, as much as you wanted it touched.
I totally respect what the TSA has to put up with on a day to day basis.
The majority of them seem like decent people with a job to do...I wouldn't want their jobs..do any of you
jlbrecher
John Brecher 0
So, what other "BS" tactics must we go thru from our shallow-minded Perry before he announces his "I'm mad as hell and won't take it anymore" run for the presidency? This is the clown who preached leaving the Union because the Feds were so bad. The guy who put Texas # 44th in school spending. I'm sure his buddies in the oil companies will step up to elect him. That way they will get the same free ride they have in Texas.
jlbrecher
John Brecher 0
Perry maybe thinks the Texas Rangers should do it. They wouldn't touch your "junk" but rather pull their big six-gun and shoot you if they thought you were a mad bomber!
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
I feel like I'm arguing with a man resting on a bed of straws who keeps having them pulled from underneath him, one by one.

Happy now? Yes. Even the lawyer with a career in aviation law couldn't defend the current state of affairs in Aviation Security.
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
McGhee - Great question.

Yes - private screening failed. But so did a lot of government agencies in allowing those 9/11 terrorists to live and take flight lessons on US soil.

1st - Get rid of the TSA ID checkpoint. As long as you can print out your boarding pass on your home computer, you could use any number of graphic design programs including 'Paint' to fake the ticket. True, you can't get on the plane with a fake ticket, but you can have any valid ticket to get down the jetway at that pint. Gate agents don't recheck your ID and rarely check for a TSA approved stamp on your boarding pass.

2nd - Let airlines do their own screening. They are paying for it already anyway but have no control over it. If someone prefers to fly with the knowledge that everyone has been throughly screened, let them. Those airlines who choose to participate can work out 'sterile' areas and thorough screening options. Let rational people who aren't always afraid that their neighbor wants to kill them be free to travel without the hassle.

Planes have suffered large structural damage in the past and made safe landings. There was a United 747 and Hawaiian Air Lines 737 in Hawaii to name two. No rational person is afraid of someone who sneaks an underwear bomb onto a plane. Case in point, the last person to do that only managed to burn his crotch off and get a beatdown from passengers.

We have solved the problem of terrorists flying planes into buildings by mandating that Part 121 aircraft have secure cockpits. If you can remember that long ago, you used to be able to go visit the pilots during flight. You can't anymore - problem solved.
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
I don't work for TSA, the airlines, or any government agency to support my opinions. I am an informed, educated individual who regrets that the world has come to this level of security, but we have home-grown terrorists, nut cases, and whatever else trying to board a plane, so I'll endure the wait and screening because I know it is for the safety of all us.

And how are you going to coordinate what all of the myriad of airlines want and can jointly afford for screening and replacing equipment. That's a pipe dream, and I don't hear any airlines suggesting that huge and expensive undertaking.
upchucked
cmp5n, you are suggesting that in one terminal, United, American, Southwest and Air France will work together to share the cost of the screeners. In the next terminal it will be British Air, United, China Air and El Al, and they will work together and share the costs. Management of the system will be by whom? Personnel functions are to be handled by whom? Who will they hire to do the actual job now done by TSA?

And, do you really expect the screening to be any different if handled by the airlines? Do you think they are going to be any less intrusive? Given that crazies have already tried to smuggle explosives on board in their shoes and underwear, do you not believe that the airlines are going to check those areas as well? To ignore those areas, would not that be gross negligence?

And, don't forget, once the airlines take on the role of screeners, they are 100% liable for any breach of security and any injury or death that might result. I seriously doubt that any airline will want that responsibility, and quite honestly, that is not their function, that is the role of our government. Remember "...insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense.."
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
Management will be by the airlines, personnel functions handled by the airlines, hiring/firing will be done by the airlines. Hey - gues what, the airlines will also set their own ticket prices and choose what routes they fly. Am I the only one who knows that we don't live in a centrally planned economy?

American carriers already provide their own screening in foreign countries for US bound flights. Each gate has its own sterile area. So Delta or United rescreens you just before you board. They do it because they are 100% liable for whom they bring to the US and want their passengers to feel safe. Yes, currently the screening process is almost identical, but it is still TSA controlled. (Do you guys actually travel at all?)

BUT you as the customer can choose a different airline if you don't like the screening process. I have no doubt that the SkyTeam Alliance would do screening differently than the OneWorld Alliance, who would also do screening different than Southwest/Airtran. By having the option to chose, we Americans can truely vote on what type of security we desire as passengers.

Airlines are already 100% liable for you when you are on their flight. Unruly passengers, medical emergencies, equipment functionality - the airline already takes on 100% risk for you when you buy a ticket and travel by air.

Whew! Covered all your points. Any other concerns?
upchucked
So, nine separate airlines operating out of one terminal will have nine sets of screeners, nine sets of x-ray machines, nine sets of personnel all hired by the airline. Each one operating on its own, with their own guidelines. That will sure work well. And really be cost effective. Instead of having 40 screeners working the terminal, you will have 9 times that many, with nine times as many supervisors. And, with the equipment costing

I don't know where you get your information about liability, but you are dead wrong in your assessment, particularly in terms of potential security threats.

And, so we know we are talking about the same thing, a single Rapidscan DV520 Xray scanner, with parts, installation and training will cost over $800,000. And, you want nine of them, at least.

And, it isn't just passengers that need to be screened, it is 100% of the luggage.
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
Grady, there is no way you are employed in the private sector. Do you share resources with your competitors? Probably not in most cases, but maybe yes if it makes sense and you can reach an agreement/contract.

If all the airlines operating in one terminal want to agree to share one machine, great. If an airline has extra profits and wants to invest and can afford an additional machine so its passengers can board more quickly, all the better. If an airline doesn't want to use the machine at all, great - many other Americans and I will fly with that airline.

If I am so wrong in my assesment about liability - please correct me. This is a forum after all!

Just to be clear - Are you suggesting that airlines are not responsible for making sure their pilots are properly trained, their planes are in good working condition, that you get to the ground and to medical professionals if you are having a heart attack? If so, you are dead wrong.
upchucked
I am retired, sir. After 30 years of practicing law, much of it in the aviation field. In your message you said, "the airline already takes on 100% risk for you when you buy a ticket and travel by air." That is incorrect. Now you change it to say properly trained pilots, planes in good working condition. That is not the same thing. When you purchase a ticket to fly on United Airlines and security lets someone on the plane with a bomb, United is not responsible. If the United flight is operating in IMC conditions and ATC vectors it into a mountain, or into the direct path of another aircraft, then United is not responsible. Those functions fall to the Federal Government and as such they have assumed the responsibility for proper operation.

The Federal Government has now spent over $1 Trillion dollars on Homeland Security since 911. Do you honestly believe that any airline wants to spend that kind of money and take on that responsibility?
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
Okay yes- I agree with you. I am sorry I wrote '100% risk'. Airlines should not be responsible for ATC negligance in IMC. The national airspace system is governed by the FAA, who has responsibility to maintain it properly. But I am sure airlines would like to have someone else running the national airspace system other than the FAA. (Someone who would finally invest in NextGen!)

But what does it matter whether the airlines want to take on the risk of terrorism? Southwest didn't want to take on the risk of fuel price fluctuations, so they entered into a long term contract to purchase fuel. Airlines don't want to take on full risk of weather cancellations, so their pool their risk by code-sharing flights. Airlines don't want to take risk of mechanical problems, so they buy insurance.

The argument that airlines don't want to take on the risk doesn't make sense in this context. Airlines could avoid taking the risk of terrorism by hiring private contractors to do the screening, who would in turn be liable that the passengers were 'sterile'.

Also if the airlines could prove that the governemnt was negligent in letting the person immigrate to America, or the FBI/CIA should've caught them long ago - the Airline might also mitigate the liability.
upchucked
"The argument that airlines don't want to take on the risk doesn't make sense in this context. Airlines could avoid taking the risk of terrorism by hiring private contractors to do the screening, who would in turn be liable that the passengers were 'sterile'"

Did you ever hear of vicarious liability?

I get the feeling that I am arguing with a high school student who keeps grabbing at straws.

OK, you win. The airlines should do it all, TSA shut down, government out of everything to do with aviation, kill the FAA, fly where and when you want, whenever you want and forget all about screening and security. Happy now? You win. I'm done.
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
Ignore the ignorant, Grady.
jlbrecher
John Brecher 0
So, take your off topic argument off this thread. Go grind your axes somewhere else! My dad's bigger than your dad is for middle schoolers.
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
How sophmoric.