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Squawks & Headlines5 things the TSA doesn’t want you to see

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5 things the TSA doesn’t want you to see

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But if you did, here’s what you’d learn: That almost every step the agency has taken to protect us from airborne terrorists has either been ineffective or wasteful, or both. And that they’ve got the data to prove it. One Freedom to Travel member, who also happens to be a tenured mathematics professor, applied something called Bayes Rule and the concept of Base Rate Fallacy to the TSA’s behavior-detection methods. Stay with me, here. It revealed that even if TSA’s current screening practices were… (www.elliott.org) More...

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jdr567
jdr567 5
Laws used to be to help the American citizen, now they are used to help the law makers. This once was a hella of a country. Good luck.
pnschi
pnschi 2
Exactly. Laws aren't made to help citizens any more. The focus on the vast majority of laws passed in the last 20 years is on giving government and industry (think DMCA) more power to cudgel people into compliance.
k2lck
Ed Mentz 2
correct, that is wmy we should never vote to re elect..about all we can do if killing em of is not an option...
dmanuel
dmanuel 3
I wonder if their need to double the fee they charge airline passengers " to maintain their security" will subsidize these other activities?
genethemarine
Gene spanos 2
I agree that we need to maintain control, containment and provide direction at all of airports - period. Yet - I believe that we should improve the screening system
as well.

Bottom of the barrel - I disagree here.
Some are retired u.S. military as well as
law enforcement.

It's the wannabees that I agree with the flexing of their muscles.

Take the train or drive - if you have the time.

Avoid the beefs in line when you stop or sit back and enjoy this great country
from an observation train car.

Be safe!
Gene
egnilk66
egnilk66 2
The problem is that they're beginning to show up at train stations...and turnpikes...and bridges...
jimcander
Jim Anderson 1
Oh those pesky bad guys. Why can't they just stick to airplanes, eh???

[This poster has been suspended.]

JetMech24
JetMech24 1
Surplus? LMAO! Is that why China owns us?
LearATP
R J 3
A better solution? How about being honest with the American taxpayer and tell them that there is no good solution right now instead of pretending like they are doing a wonderful job. We are not 'safe' because of the TSA. Try this mental exercise: drive around your local airport that has airline service. Ask yourself if you were a terrorist with no consideration for your own life, what would you do to wreak as much havoc as possible? It's amazing how many ways you'll discover that the TSA is NOT keeping us safe.
jimcander
Jim Anderson 1
And again you don't answer the question or are you just saying that there is no way to secure air travel and we are to travel at our own risk?
GLF5Pilot
GLF5Pilot 4
Jim, what he is saying is that there is risk inherent to everything that we do, and it is better to know that risk exists and make informed decisions based off of that fact, rather than put blinders on and pretend that everything is just hunky dory. What we are doing now instead is sitting around hoping that the TSA is taking care of everything for us, when all they are really doing is wasting our money and coming very close to violating our civil liberties. And Jim, don't be fooled. There is no way to to absolutely secure air travel, or any other travel for that matter, without eliminating it. If absolute safety is what you want, then just stay in bed.
jimcander
Jim Anderson 5
GLF5Pilot, I fly weekly. I accept the risks. I accept the fact that I'm far more likely to die on the way to the airport than I am in the air, by any means. My beef with "RJ" is that he's spewing the same old, same old. TSA sucks, security theater, look at all the other holes. Fine. I accept that too. My challenge to anyone who comes up with the same song and dance is this, stop whining about the problem and make a damn suggestion to fix it.

As to your comment about "civil liberties," don't kid yourself... you're civil liberties are violated on a daily basis by multiple means. I agree with the comment about implementing an "Israeli model" for security. Profile EVERYONE. Period.
STEELJAW
STEELJAW 4
Ditto Jim Anderson. Especially about the part; "My challenge to anyone who comes up with the same song and dance is this, stop whining about the problem and make a damn suggestion to fix it."
pnschi
pnschi 0
"...stop whining about the problem and make a damn suggestion to fix it."

Nonsense. We live in a representative democracy (in theory). If people are unhappy with a government service, they should complain loudly and frequently, and our representatives should listen, and try new solutions.
pnschi
pnschi 0
... in other words, we're talking about our government, not our highschool basketball team.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
in other words just be a cry baby like a two year old until you get your way.. LOL!
PATRON66
James Mason 3
It seems like the TSA makes work for themselves. I had a US Government TS security clearance, and airport credentials which gave me full access to anywhere in the entire airport. You guessed it, When I traveled I always got diverted to the suspect line for a more through inspection. The TSA inspectors knew me, but they didn't know why I got sent to them. I think the TSA has been built up by inept appointed polititions, and they have people who do nothing but make lists of names for checkouts.
seahawker01
Ryan Moran 2
Try this: Remove the screening function from the TSA. Slash their budget and staff, greatly reducing the STUPID associated with this agency.The governments job is to govern, not to operate. The TSA can remain as a regulatory agency with a investigative/ law enforcement arm (Federal Air Marshals). The airports can go back to contracting out screening like was done prior to 9/11. This will reduce the wasteful spending on screening. The TSA can set standards and then hold the contractors accountable for their actions. This will result in a much cheeper, more efficient and effective system.
zcolescott
I don't dislike the notion of the TSA. What I do dislike is the majority of the people they have employed. Many are the bottom of the barrel, many flex a 'policing' muscle that they do not have, and many more are just lazy. I have experienced all three of these first hand. I am fully in favor of moving to more of a profiling system such that Israel employees, one with multiple layers of security, not just one. Obviously some tweaks would need to be made to accommodate a much larger system, but I believe that it could be done. Security theater is all we have right now...no real protection. Maybe we just go to pat downs for EVERYONE (men, women, children, old, young, etc...). If no one is exempt, it shouldn't be an issue. Some people need to realize that the passenger sitting next to you on a plane doesn't give a damn about your personal privacy when it comes to his/her safety.
KineticRider
Randy Marco 2
The TSA is a complete waste & TOTALLY ineffectual. Anybody with 1/2 a brain can see that from even a cursory glance. The TSA was/is the hysterical Repugnant, Right Winged response to make you "feel safe".

If the Right Wing wasn't so proliferated with Bible Thumper's we could racial profile which is the only thing that may have any impact.

Finally, the terrorists totally have won given the Trillions we've spent & that the sheeple of this country have gone along with the summarily changing of our way of life.

Sad testimony of America!
jimcander
Jim Anderson 1
I agree with the need for a "Israeli type" solution. Unfortunate thing about that is the vast majority of folks in the US see air travel as a right. With that, any sort of profiling is going to never fly...
zcolescott
Airline travel is not a right...it is a privilege that we enjoy. There are many other ways available to reach your destination...car, bus, train, etc...
ftldave
Uh, not really. What route would I drive to get to Armenia? America isn't the only country in the world, Zach. Get real.
jimcander
Jim Anderson 1
Boat. Canoe. Kayak. Your choice. Still doesn't make air travel a right.
jimcander
Jim Anderson 0
Ryan, isn't that the system, more or less, that was in place 9/11? How is that safer? How does that improve on this broken system that is in place now? Going back to a system that was somewhat proven to not work is pretty silly.

Remove any political or social bias from the discussion. There has only been one solid recommendation in all of this and that was the full profiling method. We all know that as the level of security increases the level of convienience and I guess comfort in this case is going to decrease proportionally.
liquidxer0
Pray tell, exactly how the "Right Wing" "Bible Thumpers" are the ones that would hold up profiling?

I believe you meant Left Wing Civil Rights activists. They'd have an absolute conniption about any profiling...racial or behavioral.
k2lck
Ed Mentz -1
govern not operate that is the winning statement....everything the govt tries to do, somehow, gets screwed up..
PaulR1200
Paul Rudman 2
Sounds like jobs at TSA are created to JUSTIFY jobs...
euronorb
euronorb 2
Racial profiling Is the best way, but were not allowed to do that, thanks PC
N7172P
N7172P 1
This is sunday and the link is down for me..anyone else having the same problem?
charlieo42000
carlos ospina 1
Ido agree that TSA is too much of a distraction, meaning that the basic job that it was created to do works but it needs to be refined into an image that it's uniform not matter where you are, It needs to have a more of a presence that gives you the confidence that goes with the important task at hand.
N7172P
N7172P 1
A sugestion, some is tongue in cheek, but its open for thought,
1. In order to work in the TSA a candidate must be able to bend over and pick up a ticket from the floor, and stand back up without fainting.
2. Prior to acceptance, the candidate shall undergo an INTELEGENCE TEST, the passing numerical grade shal be at least equal to the candidates wasteline in inches.
3. The candidate shall possess a genuine high school diploma,(photo copies not allowed).

Your thoughts ..
tlillis4
How long will it be before I have to call a (real) police officer to keep from being accosted by a TSA agent?
jimcander
Jim Anderson 1
My suggestion? Spell check...
k2lck
Ed Mentz 1
try this on for size. Socialism advances (its leaders acquire more power) by FAILING and getting more money...
ftldave
Maybe you're really describing corporatism. Much more real evidence of that in US corporations ... CEOs being lavishly rewarded no matter how they performed, outrageous compensation packages and bonuses. They're the new royals, you now: privileged, unaccountrable except to their own clique, and enjoying perks most citizens can only dream about. Pretty much the same description of the USSR's communist party inner circle, except in the USA it's the corporates. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the disdain and hostility shown toward the working class, the "middle class" as it's called in America. You can rant and rave about boogie-man socialism as much as you want. I'm much more worried about unlimited corporate power and its abuses and intrusions into our lives.
k2lck
Ed Mentz 1
Corp power has limits, they are called going out of business.. The govt grabs more and more power until the only way to put em out of business requires blood.. But both are centered around power...
jimcander
Jim Anderson 0
And of course we know how the previous administration had socialist tendencies. This is fun!
k2lck
Ed Mentz 6
all parties in govt are after more power, thats why they should be changed often like diapers...
hdeever
Hugh Deever 1
Incremental totalitarianism. That is ALL this delusional evil of 'Thousands Sexually Assaulting' has ever been about. The Gucci loafer on our collective necks is shortly to become Orwell's living nightmare of the jackboot stomping human faces. Adolf Schickelgruber wrote a filthy screed titled 'Mein Kampf' from Landsberg Prison in 1923. The only thing in it worth recall was his cogent, crystalline grasp of where human nature & realpolitik intersect. "What luck for rulers that men do not think." The man telegraphed his intentions to any who cared to think & we know most ignored him, though Churchill singularly among 'leaders' sounded an alarm early on. 10 years later Schickelgruber 'legally' became chancellor of what many considered the most cultured nation in Europe; & 12 years after that 40+ million were dead in the war he'd wanted & promised.

America is much farther down the road to it's own Auschwitz than was Weimar Germany in 1933. Those who are building such horrors have, like the failed Austrian painter, plainly telegraphed their intentions. Are YOU listening? Watching? Thinking?... Most likely not. Back to the 'TSA' point: "Grope my children. Feel me up. Strip us all naked. Search & steal our property. It's OK, we feel 'saaa-aaafe"...
cincinnatikidd
Douglas Yates 0
Instead of debating I prefer being part of the solution by participating. Terrorist realize that there are many additional people watching not just TSA. I'm also certain that they have alternative plans in place. The terrorist that is. Don't waste my time with your whining.
flynryan
Ryan Parry -8
The second you remove TSA is the second we have planes blowing up. The reason terrorist try to get on planes in other countries, try to plan attacks on trains, buses, subways etc and not planes is because they are afraid of the TSA. Sure they they may have ineffective things, but terrorist are afraid of the TSA, and that is exactly how it should be. It blows my mind full grown adults can't figure that simple idea out and are ok with removing the TSA and running the risk of another 9/11.
LearATP
R J 7
What a frightened, and naive, life you must live to believe that that the TSA is actually protecting you. There are multitudes of ways that terrorists could maim and kill in the US, specifically in the realm of aviation, and the TSA cannot do a damn thing about it. And the TSA knows it, too. The TSA is purely 'security theater' for making the feeble minded feel like their government is doing something to protect them.
jimcander
Jim Anderson 3
As I can't prove they've stopped anything, I dare say you can't prove they haven't stopped something.... I go with theater. Bring popcorn and enjoy the show.
LearATP
R J 2
"I dare say you can't prove they haven't stopped something.... " Sort of an unfair burden isn't it? Not sure that anyone could prove a negative such as this.
jimcander
Jim Anderson 0
Yup. As I can't prove the contrary... so where does that put the discussion?
Isha
Isia Maria 2
TSA trumpets their confiscation of soup cans, souvenir pocket knives, and dead paper weights as if they had saved us from a band of ravenous Orcs. If the TSA had saved us from a real threat we'de never hear the end of it. I dare say that if they had stopped something then even tree dwellers in the wilds of the rainforests would know about it.(Note I say the TSA and not the CIA or even Interpol acting well before the airport security line.)

So, it's either a) all glorious misdirection to make us and the terrirists THINK that they are an incompetent buffoonish agency or b) they simply ARE an incompetent buffoonish agency.
STEELJAW
STEELJAW 3
You forgot to mention the loaded guns that are found at the check points everyday. Also, the explosive that the soldier had in his carry on bags.
jimcander
Jim Anderson 1
c) <place your suggestion for the alternative here>
STEELJAW
STEELJAW 2
If that's true, why haven't they (the Terroist) did so???? It's been 10 years since 911 and no plane has been hijacked. We know that they have tried. No one is saying that it's perfect, but it's the best that we have right now. What do you suggest we do? We are listening..... R J
liquidxer0
I'll note here that the attempts, that the public is aware of, were thwarted by other passengers coming from international destinations....not TSA. If they have evidence to justify their claims, now would be the time to present it.
JetMech24
JetMech24 0
You further proved his point, as in the terrorists are not even TRYING over here.
slgordon3
slgordon3 3
Yep. I've thought that individual screeners were idiots (and even that is rare in my experience), but i've never felt animosity towards the TSA as a whole. While the system is not perfect, i too am glad that there is a TSA and i gladly deal with the minor inconvenience of going thru airport security--i feel safer knowing that everyone on the plane has to go thru security.
JetMech24
JetMech24 2
Finally some one else gets it.
jimcander
Jim Anderson 0
Same old TSA bashing with ZERO suggestions on what to do in place of it. I'm sick and tired of the bitching about the whole thing and when you pose the question "What do you suggest we do in place of it?" the blowhards suddenly have nothing to say.

I hate the hassle. I hate the intrusion. It's the price I pay. If I didn't want to deal with it, I wouldn't fly. Since when was flying a right?
LearATP
R J 4
I think that the implied suggestion of what to do with the TSA is 'get rid of them.' They add no value to the issue of travel security, and are a drain of taxpayer dollars. And by the way, traveling is a right, affirmed by our courts many times.
slgordon3
slgordon3 1
You definitely raise a good point and i appreciate your comment. Traveling is definitely a right as you say, and you are correct that the Supreme Court has decided that. But really that is just the right to go to different states and to move to different places. This right doesn't entail that you can use any conveyance you want on your terms to move about. For instance in my state the DMV states in every publication that having a driver's license is a "privilege, not a right" (their words). Also, airlines are private companies and they have no duty to abide by the Constitution (because the Constitution only applies to governmental action, for all intents and purposes). To be sure, the TSA is government agency and has to abide by the Constitution. But anyway, all in all i personally wouldn't characterize the current state of the law as "people have a right to fly on an airline." Again, i respect your viewpoint and am not trying to start a fight here.
LearATP
R J 1
I completely agree with everything you just said. I think we would agree as well that the lines between TSA 'enforcing security measures' and infringing on people's ability to travel has the distinct possibility of merging.
slgordon3
slgordon3 2
Definitely agree. And despite what i said earlier, i think we are getting close to that point, if we're not there already. It's a fine line and we have to be very diligent to ensure that we're not crossing it. Personally i feel that there is a need for some level of passenger screening, but when i read about TSA agents making old people take off their diapers and strip searching toddlers i can't help but think that this is getting absurd. Such a tough issue and i'm not sure what the best solution is.
Isha
Isia Maria 3
I think that the TSA being present at public gatherings and at cross roads to randomly search people and their belongings is bleeding edge close to crossing the line of what our rights are versus what our privileges are.

It's like saying that we have the right to privacy and movement but only if we don't go anywhere or do anything. I'm not being facetious, snide, or splitting hairs. It really does seem like we're getting to that point.
slgordon3
slgordon3 2
Very good points, and important ones. Although for me personally i don't think that the TSA has impacted my right to travel all that much, in the end that's not really saying much, for i could just be lucky (or blind!), and we still are moving in that direction. Perhaps ultimately it's part of the bigger issue that in the name of the "war on terror" a lot of our freedom is being taken away. Your points are well taken.
liquidxer0
"When essential freedoms are sacrificed for temporary security, you have neither."

-Ben Franklin
N7172P
N7172P 0
slgordon..to clarify this part of the conversation..It is a "PRIVALAGE" to be licenseed by the Gov. to operate a convayance, be it a Taxie, Boat,or Airplane,and to be authorized to solicit,and hold forth transportation to the general public as oulined in the restrictions of the license. It is "RIGHT" for any person to utilze the offer of transportation by these license holders.
JetMech24
JetMech24 0
LOL...try again.
jimcander
Jim Anderson -1
I never said TRAVEL is not a right. Travel is. Air travel is not. You can get between any point A and point B without flying. Just takes a bit more time. Don't like it? Don't fly. Don't want to pay for car insurance? Don't drive. Don't want to pay for a subway token? Don't take it. Life is full of choices.
JasonPhipps
JasonPhipps 0
Funny - the link is down! Censorship!?? LOL

notaperfectpilot
TSA missed the weapons that the hijackers carried on board the 9/11 planes. I can't help but wonder that if you got rid of the Terminally Stupid Association, and place pilots in the cockpit with a concealed carry, maybe they could have taken care of a few guys trying to hijack a plane with a BOX CUTTER?!
jimcander
Jim Anderson 6
Uh, Joel... TSA didn't exist prior to 9/11...
Yazoo
Yazoo 3
Joel, not only did the TSA not exist prior to 911, the weapons (box cutters) that were used were allowed to be carried. The best post 911 defense afforded to air travelers is the lack of complacency and current willingness to be proactive when it really matters. Every post 911 aviation security event has ultimately been foiled by passengers. Not the armored security door, nor TSA airport screening. TSA, largely because of the CIA, FBI and other local authorities, have prevented incidents prior to the airport/flight.
siriusloon
siriusloon 1
The TSA was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, sponsored by Don Young in the United States House of Representatives and Ernest Hollings in the Senate, passed by the 107th U.S. Congress, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001. Originally part of the United States Department of Transportation, the TSA was moved to the Department of Homeland Security on March 25, 2003. (Wikipedia)

You may recall that 9/11 happened on September 11, 2001? Or do you think they have time machines?
notaperfectpilot
ahh, I see that you are right that they were not before 9/11. Shows how much I know about them! (do I want to know more?) Anyways, I still think that the better solution is to arm the pilots....
jimcander
Jim Anderson 3
How so, Joel? A gunfight in the cockpit solves what? Dead pilots and a shot up flight deck and explosive decompression... How is that better?
N7172P
N7172P 1
Joel,I worked for a "Local " and almost all our pilots carried sidearms.. (We carried U.S/Mail)

Jim Anderson...In the time I worked for the airlines most of the commercial pilots were ex Airforce,some were Ex Army Airforce I doubt they would miss at close range,and Decompression from a bullet is very unlikley in a pressuized aircraft.
slgordon3
slgordon3 1
If i recall correctly, the screening was done by private security firms under contract prior to 9/11. Seems like ages ago.
jimcander
Jim Anderson 1
Don't think the bad guys are as a good a shot. Good point on decomp from a bullet hole. But how well does an all electronic flight deck resist a bullet?
seahawker01
Ryan Moran 1
well, ref: US Air