The TSA Follies

Are you more afraid of airport security procedures than of terrorism? Do you think the Department of Homeland Security is out of their minds? If so, you aren’t alone. Here are three reports from recent air travelers of the lunacy they encountered at the airport security checkpoint.

Bret Fausett writes in to say that while traveling home with his five year old daughter after the holidays, TSA screeners at the Burbank, Calif., airport confiscated the Disney Princess Shimmering Lights Ariel Doll that she received as a present. Why on earth would heartless TSA screeners do such a thing? Because they thought it looked like toothpaste.

Try explaining to a 5-year old why the Ariel doll she received as a present has been confiscated by a government official.

I went over to a local Burbank police officer and asked if he could do something to help. He politely deferred to TSA, saying that airport security was “All TSA’s authority–And they’re nuts.” Amen. — Lextext

Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame has been traveling lately, too. He lost his nearly empty 3.2 ounce tube of toothpaste and his nearly empty 3.4 ounce tube of “hair goop” to that same TSA checkpoint in Burbank. He was so mad that his posting about the experience has profanity in virtually every paragraph.

But suffice it to say that like the rest of us, he’s sick and tired of “the outrageously stupid war on moisture” and if he hears one more “person tell me that I have to take off my shoes or give up some more privacy, or fall to my knees and worship George Bush so we don’t have ‘another 9/11’ I’m going to put three ounces of my foot right in their ass.”

Our favorite Wired reporter, Ryan Singel, has been traveling extensively this holiday season. And he has plenty of comments about stupid airport security procedures and a couple of helpful hints on getting through security a little faster.

I still love that screeners will search carry-ons for liquids — which “could be” a bomb — remove them from the bag and then throw them into a plastic trash bag a few feet away. Do they get hazard pay for this? And how do they dispose of the suspected bombs later? Do the janitors get hazard pay? — 27B Stroke 6

I’d like to remind everyone that the greatest threat you face while flying is not terrorism. It’s the federal government.

One thought on “The TSA Follies

  • December 21, 2007 at 11:01 am
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    Talk about whining! You, Mr. or Ms. TSA, are the one who applied for your job. I didn’t force you to take it. Now, go back to hassling travelers.

    About the shoes, this is just plain stupidity. I read on the Dept of Homeland Fear site that this “removing of shoes” requirement began in 2006 after the “fear” level went to Orange. This was years after that one bozo tried to blow up his Nikes on a plane, but couldn’t flick his Bic. Even if he set them off, all experts agree that there might have been some damage to the plane, but it wouldn’t have caused a crash.

    I was pulled aside in Halifax Canada by US authorities prior to boarding a flight for a thorough search. Beats me why. It’s a good thing I wasn’t traveling with Senator Kennedy who was on the TSA’s no-fly list (!!!), or it might have been worse (he was stopped and questioned by the Airport Fear Factor agents 5 times in March 2004).

    I have Allen Edmunds shoes Made In America that are guaranteed not to set off any alarm. They’re dress shoes with typically thin soles, and the only possible offensive weapon a terrorist could fit into them are 3-day-worn smelly socks. I was screamed at in Mobile AL when I told them they were airport-friendly shoes.

    This is simply another way for the Department of Scare Mongering to keep you looking under your bed for Osama, and potentially re-electing Mr. Bush’s Republican Fear friends.

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