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TSA adds "sarcasm" to list of aviation risks

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Marc Mielke
02:53 AM ET (US)
dubiousal, what has happened, post 9/11, that gives you the idea that the TSA, or in fact, any authority figure, DESERVES any respect?
doggoPerson was signed in when posted
03:00 PM ET (US)
Fuck the TSA! Have they found ANY bombs yet?

This was not a bomb threat. This was the TSA being stupid, again. The word "bomb" is not a threat. The real judgement-impaired party in this incident is the screener. Wasting time and resources for something like this is the real threat.
Eli the BeardedPerson was signed in when posted
04:13 PM ET (US)
So Lex, you're trying to say that we should have the same
expectations going through airport security as living in jail?
Lex LuthorPerson was signed in when posted
01:32 PM ET (US)
A few years back I found myself in a facility for the judgment-impaired. I had a room to myself, so it certainly wasn't hard time.

The 'screws' would execute random room searches. You weren't supposed to see how they did the serches, but I saw they had a mirror on a stick, presumably to save themselves from bending down to look under the bed or climbing up on top of the closet.

So one day, I penned a note. I wrote "have a nice day" sdrawkcab and added a smiley face. I placed the note on top of the closet and forgot about it a few days later.

Well, some time later they searched my room and found the note. You can guess what happened: I was punished for "interfering with security."

My point? Actual security is irrelevant in these situations. Even disrespect is irrelevant in these situations. The number two red flag (after obvious stuff like contraband and weapons) is any indication that you are watching the watchers. This makes them *very* uncomfortable.

Go home and watch "silence of the lambs" a few times and you will understand exactly what they're afraid of.
SixDifferentWaysPerson was signed in when posted
02:14 AM ET (US)
Sit the kid down. Talk to him. I can even maybe live with detaining him and scaring him a bit straight. Call him a stupid, sarcastic punk. Perhaps - even a small fine or something. But people are missing the point:
he was arraigned on a felony charge.
That is some serious stuff. He'll have to go to court and pay thousands of dollars. He could have trouble getting into college, getting a job, getting an apartment, and may be restricted from flying again. The government will spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars literally making a Federal case out of this.
So while a slap on the wrist may be in order, the reactionary mountain-from-a-molehill culture of fear approach is messed up. Our federal courts don't need to be more backed up and threaten a kid's entire future just because some Bag Ape at the airport saw a note and thought: "BOMB! BAD! ME TELL!"
Cory DoctorowPerson was signed in when posted
10:31 AM ET (US)
Brava, Teresa. Hell of a note. Well said.
Teresa Nielsen HaydenPerson was signed in when posted
10:24 AM ET (US)
I can't believe how many people here are saying -- and in many cases so sanctimoniously -- that the kid deserved to be pulled off the airplane. He wasn't a threat to anyone's safety. He left a note in his luggage that dissed the baggage checkers, and they took an extremely inappropriate revenge which they claimed was a security measure.

It wasn't. It had nothing to do with actual security. Harassing someone for having a "suspected terrorist" button also has nothing to do with actual security. You know Cartman's line about "You will respect my authority"? that's what this is about.

I don't know how old the person is who professed to be shocked that anyone could write such a foulmouthed note, but however long he's been on this planet, he can't have been listening very hard to the way some of his fellow human beings talk.

I'm not in a good mood about this. I've just come back from a trip, and when I unpacked I found the nice new pair of bonsai shears I bought in Portland have not come home with me. I distinctly remember putting them in the bag I checked. They were smallish, and wrapped in multiple layers of lilac tissue paper. I take it someone fancied them. I'd have put them in my carry-on bag, but of course that's impossible now.

Don't anyone tell me I should have mailed them to myself. If someone gets mugged while walking six blocks from their bank to their apartment, the appropriate response is not to tell them they should have mailed themselves the money as soon as they got it out of the ATM.

Other disappearances from my luggage over the last few years: Jewelry. Clothes. My digital camera. I've been told that if I padlock my bag and they decide to search my bag, they may "accidentally" destroy the zipper closings when they cut off the padlock.

There were a lot of pictures in that camera.

The airlines were lobbying for years before the 9/11 attacks to stave off any increase in airport security requirements. They handed off security to two companies, Argenbright and Huntley, whose only concern was to satisfy the letter of the law at the lowest possible cost. Actually providing airport security wasn't part of the calculation.

Pulling people off planes because they've left notes in their baggage that diss the searchers only convinces me that the air industry is no more serious about security than they ever were.
chico haasPerson was signed in when posted
09:54 AM ET (US)
He teased the dog and got bit. Screwed the Hawaii trip. Punishment enough. I'd be surprised if it goes any further. At least he's learned what others haven't: just get on the plane and be happy the effin' thing lands where you want.
Happy EngineerPerson was signed in when posted
09:08 AM ET (US)
Dave (if you're reading this), pre-9/11, I don't remember physical searches of checked baggage being permitted. The bags were screened by machines and put in decompression chambers, but I don't believe they were supposed to be searched. Oh, theft happened, that's for sure. But the thieves didn't have the same opportunity they now have. You could lock your bag and that was that. Now, I don't know what the rules are.
Dave MetzenerPerson was signed in when posted
01:57 AM ET (US)
As I suspected. Using name calling to help win arguments. I'm not really surprised.

As to the theft of items out of luggage... That has been going on for quite some time and well before 9/11. My last trip on a plane was back in Christmas of 1999. I had presents in my luggage, and when I arrived home, found that one of them had been taken. That and a couple of packs of playing cards. What I find really surprising was the gift was a video tape of a car race. Hardly worth taking.

To Dalke:
Luggage, gym bag, is there really a difference?

Ok, I'm finished again. Carry on with your ranting...
JustAnotherGuyPerson was signed in when posted
05:34 PM ET (US)
It seems hard to find the balance in this thread. Those mouthing the age old chant that kids must be punished for their behaviors that we "reasonable" adults deem inappropriate are contrasted by those who express semblances of respect for the TSA and such agencies.

We live in a world where engineered images of terrorism are beamed to the comfort of our living rooms and assimilated as truth by an unquestioning citizenry. Our judgement is clouded as we accept too much without question. The individual with the "questionable" judgement is a teenager. I trust his observation is closer to the truth than our judgement. We live in a culture of paranoia and how dare we accept that. How dare we inflict that upon our children. How dare we allow our government servants to treat us with disrespect!

Me thinks we become the children when we accept this as the way things are. We question too little, accept too readily, and do not apply enough discernment to what we are told. We do not hold those government SERVANTS accountable. We do not hold ourselves accountable.

Let's aim our arrows of indignation at the right target instead of each other. We know who was right and who was wrong in this situation. If you are indignant about what I say, start over at the first paragraph until it burrows into your frontal lobe.

Just my thoughts!
Edited 08-03-2003 10:46 PM
QrazyQatPerson was signed in when posted
03:17 PM ET (US)
We should go all the way and make poor judgement a capital crime. It would solve the world's problems by wiping out every last human being on it.
wiseanduncannyPerson was signed in when posted
02:50 PM ET (US)
Nah, dubiousalibi, I just find it humorous that your main argument is "he said naughty disrespectful words." Why resort for scintillant prose when calling you a fuckwad is so much more entertaining?

Your argument holds no water, unless you honestly believe that "disrespect" is a valid reason to bar someone from a flight.

The kid didn't do anything wrong. He said "fuck" a few times and pointed out that he did not have a bomb. How is that a threat?

Blah blah blah recalcitrant behavior -- the fact is, pally, that the kid's behavior is his right. He didn't harm anyone. He didn't threaten to harm anyone. He got ANGRY about the TSA's impropriety and expressed that.

Read the US's first amendment lately?

xradiographerPerson was signed in when posted
02:00 PM ET (US)
Next time I fly with a copy of a review describing a movie as "a real bomb" I'm going to be hauled off, becuase the word bomb is dangerous.....
Nelson MinarPerson was signed in when posted
12:31 PM ET (US)
Cory: we are doomed.
dubiousalibiPerson was signed in when posted
11:28 AM ET (US)
ok Sean. Brilliant, articulate response. You've obviously resorted to the gutter as your only retort. Keep on applauding recalcitrant behaviour in the community, instead of solving the real issue (the TSA's impropriety) the correct way. You make the world you want to live in, as I mutually suspect, let's hope we ain't in the same one.
Edited 08-03-2003 11:30 AM
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