The crazy misadventures of the TSA


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    Why do you hate freedom?Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My brother was killed on 9/11, dude. I will never again eat Thanksgiving dinner at his house. An American soldier being bought nail clippers by Cory Doctorow is supposed to make that balance out somehow???Report

    • Avatar Janna in reply to Jaybird says:

      Don’t pretend that what’s going on right now has anything to do with 9/11. I’m sorry for the loss of your brother, for everyone’s losses, in fact. But is your brother’s death avenged by violating the Constitutional rights of every citizen in America who chooses to fly?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Janna says:

        He wasn’t killed by the terrorists, he was killed by a drunk driver.

        It just happened to be on 9/11.

        But the point stands.

        Or, I suppose, it would, had I a brother.Report

  3. Avatar Fish says:

    If TSA agents can’t fondle and take naked pictures of your loved ones, then the terrorists have already won.Report

  4. Avatar the innominate one says:

    To paraphrase Barry Zuckerkorn, you’ll never get your junk fondled by the TSA agent you hope for.Report

  5. Avatar North says:

    What’s the TSA’s budget? Surely slashing that would be helpful. Alas there’s not a hope in hell.
    A- Politicians cut back on security in any way.
    B- Opponents characterize them as weak on defense.
    C- Some event occurs/ an attack happens (probably would have occurred anyhow)
    D- Politician is drummed out of office by a torch carrying mob.


    A- Politicians don’t cut back on security.
    b- Some event occurs/ an attack happens
    C- Politician says everything that could be done has been done, accidents happen.
    D- Politician has a decent shot of keeping his job, may even get rallied around.

    The incentives are wildly against correcting this madness.Report

    • Avatar rmabelis in reply to North says:

      You have just described the real reason for the existence of a Department of Homeland Security. It covers the naked rear ends of the security establishment. When the unfriendlies get lucky the security establishment can say they did everything to prevent it. And no matter how much we inconvenience and enrage the public the unfriendlies will eventually win. They only have to win once, the security establishment has to win every time.Report

    • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to North says:

      Yes. That was flawless.Report

  6. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    I can’t blame the TSA guy for following his training. If he lets those nail clippers on the plane and someone finds out, he’s fired.

    Try asking a McDonald’s burger-microwaver to give you one “medium rare”. This is exactly the same situation. It looks stupid because we aren’t thinking like the government bureaucrats who wrote the TSA procedures.Report

  7. Avatar Lee says:

    Although if that soldier had successfully hijacked the plane with those nail clippers and crashed it, Bryan Fischer would nominate him for a Medal of Honor.Report

  8. Avatar theotherjimmyolson says:

    I wrote the TSA suggesting that they prominently display on their website the names of the many terrorists they were able to thwart as a result of enhanced airport security. This would reassure the public that their humiliation and inconvenience were not for nothing. No reply yet.Report

    • So far random chance operating in our favor seems to be the primary successful method of thwarting terrorism. In any event there just are not all than many terrorists to thwart . When you consider the ratio between terrorists thwarted divided by number of airline passengers inconvenienced or even angered by invasive airline security procedures you must conclude even the most rigorous security procedures are not cost effective.Report

  9. Avatar bill says:

    The posting that is sited is BOGUS

    First, the TSA does NOT take nail clippers, and NO ONE except Federal Air Marshals and Flight Deck Officers carry fire arms in aircraft cabins. Solders NEVER carry firearms on aircraft.Report

  10. Avatar zmanbeachcomber says:

    lets see you have a soldier in combat uniform carrying an a4 assult rifle.he has a gerber tool. HELLO dont they know he is on our team. its part of his t.a. 50.gear. these young men and woman are over there fighting a war on 2 fronts . the ones they are suppose to catch they slip right under the radar. it gets better every day.Report

  11. Avatar bill says:

    Do you not understand?? This entire episode never happened. Nail clippers are ALWAYS allowed, guns are NEVER allowed, except for Federal Air Marshals and Flight Deck Officers. Period. No further discussion necessary. The conversation between the soldier and the TSO never happened. The person who posted this bit of fiction is a LIAR.Report

  12. Avatar rmabelis says:

    Bogus and fiction. 233 soldiers flying with full battle gear would almost certainly be flying under military authority on a military aircraft. I doubt if the TSA would have anything to do with them at all. If they were flying on a civilian aircraft with other civilians they would not be allowed on the plane with guns.Report