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View Diary: Sobbing, she held her son as I said, "This is not random." (183 comments)

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  •  Haven't flown since they started that crap (34+ / 0-)

    If I am required to travel, air is out.

    Driving distances have expanded greatly for me.

    Too bad there are not enough that just plain refuse this poor treatment until they stop.

    Stop traveling to, from or across America by air. Well, I can hope for high speed rail to not behave this way.

    The cowardice of America (That is how TSA looks from here, inside America) has been shown to not be very effective. TSA causes more grief than comfort of safety.

    Since they have been around...two bombers with devices have made it onto planes? This draconian stuff is supposed to make up for the farce that they are.

    All the Ill Will generated by the non-random ramdomness is helping how?

    Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance. Kurt Vonnegut

    by ToKnowWhy on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:36:52 PM PDT

    •  You have no idea what you're missing. (7+ / 0-)

      "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

      by David Harris Gershon on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:38:23 PM PDT

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      •  We drive (0+ / 0-)

        Sometimes for thirty hours or more.  

        And, we have "flight benefits".

        •  Can you drive to Europe or Asia? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There's only so much of the world you can see if you refuse to travel by air.

          "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

          by yg17 on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 05:17:50 AM PDT

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          •  Toronto is a lot closer. (0+ / 0-)

            Or Mexico City, if you are so inclined.

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            There are no Christians in foxholes.

            by Odysseus on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 07:51:51 AM PDT

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          •  You can drive to Mexico, or Canada (0+ / 0-)

            And at least fly from a semi-civilized nation.

            I've been in a Mexican airport.  Not nearly as stupid and irritating as they are in America . . . . until you reach the exit and all the pitchmen descend on you.

            The security, though, is no big deal.

            That was 2010.

            I won't fly unless I have to.  I hate flying, I hate the airport, I hate the airplane, I hate the horrible sub-standard service.  Of course, my first pilot was my Dad, in a Cessna, and I got to experience airline travel when it was civilized.   I don't just mean the security -- everything is massively worse these days.  

    •  asdf (35+ / 0-)

      After working for TSA for three months, I quit.  And from the moment I turned in my resignation, I have not ever gotten on an airplane.  Cars, buses, trains - ok.  Not planes.  

      Just as when I participated in the civil rights movement back in the 60s, I vote with my feet.

      "The diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty." James Madison

      by mslat27 on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 03:43:20 PM PDT

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    •  Of course its cowardice. (15+ / 0-)

      Nobody wants to just ACCEPT the incredibly rare, extremely unlikely risk of something scary happening. Noooooo.

      I'm at the point where I'd rather that we dump ALL airport security, and then when ONE guy blows up ONE plane like 7 years from now, I want whoever's President to walk to the podium, scream "90 PEOPLE DIED IN CAR ACCIDENTS TODAY, AND 30 FROM GUNS, YEAH THIS IS BAD BUT ITS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD, THIS IS THE PRICE OF FREEDOM, MOVE TO NORTH KOREA IF YOU WANT TO BE F***ING SAFE!!!", then leave by kicking open the press room door like that old Tonight Show clip w/ Obama.

      Worst part is, whenever you start talking about the idiocy of random searches, half of the people opposed are these racist Islamophobic assholes that want a Muslim-only line at the airport. Seriously, Sam Harris is the most rational atheist this side of Hitchens but he suddenly becomes Pam Geller when it comes to this. That security expert sat him down and lectured his ass for like an hour about all the ways that policy would be stupid and Harris not once budged from his HURR DURR WELL OBVIOUSLY MUSLIM PEOPLE ARE GONNA BLOW UP AIRPLANES dickposition. Way to go, you rational freethinker, you.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 04:09:58 PM PDT

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      •  Harris explains that he sees most religion-aligned (5+ / 0-)

        violent acts by individuals as coming from professed adherents to Islam, these days.  So, he favors profiling that biases towards potential Islamics, etc.

        He explains this away as an extension of rational thinking and calls any negative labelling of his views here as from a "politically correct" reactionary culture, which belies his somewhat conservative, social fearfulness, I feel.  That, and he's apparently received the most death threats from purported Muslims as his views have been published and discussed, so has soured on them more severely over time, IMHO.

        I say conservative fearfulness because he's had an obsession with self-protection and associated gun ownership for years, by his own admission.  He poo poos stats about positive correlations between personal ownership and gun-related accidents, or that massacres such as those are meaningful enough to represent moments for considering a change in gun ownership policies/culture, etc.

        I'm happen to be atheistic and support some skeptics groups, but Sam Harris only makes some decent points once in awhile to me - his biases otherwise colour too much of his "rationalization" at times.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 05:34:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ^^^^^^^^^^^^this^^^^^^^ (0+ / 0-)
        Worst part is, whenever you start talking about the idiocy of random searches, half of the people opposed are these racist Islamophobic assholes that want a Muslim-only line at the airport
        That is the only reason 'Murka puts up with it.  If "random" searches regularly included Joe Rockribs and Jane Churchlady, suddenly they will be a massive imposition on our way of life.
    •  I don't fly anymore either (30+ / 0-)

      I have long felt that the whole TSA security crap is the most visible victory by the terrorists, and make no mistake; they won.  I can't bring myself to be treated like a criminal by my own government, I guess it's just my thing.  There is something that is just so wrong about the way Americans rolled over after the attacks, rather than stand up in defiance we allowed a corrupt government to create a massive charade built on fear of imminent attack.  I worry about a lot of things but terrorist attacks aren't among them and it has nothing to do with the Department of Homeland Security or the TSA.  Our enemies don't have to attack again....they won.

    •  TSA confiscated more than 1500 guns in 2012, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and of those more than 1300 were loaded. During the first week of December 2012, screeners confiscated 41 firearms, 40 stun guns, four grenades -- and a rocket launcher. All of these are discovered from screening of hand carry items.
      USA Today article here.

      As annoying as the security checks and as insufferable the profiling/discrimination, we can thank TSA for keeping air travel safe so far.

      And TSA must stop profiling such as happened to the Indian family described in this diary.

      “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

      by SoCalSal on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 07:26:53 PM PDT

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      •  It Was Safe Before (8+ / 0-)

        Confiscating those weapons didn't make air travel any safer. Before the TSA's draconian protocols we just didn't catch that many weapons, but there's no reason to believe they weren't carried.

        There is no reason to believe that these violations are making us any safer than when a couple dozen assholes carried boxcutters on a plane. An era in which I had a knife taken from me before boarding a plane in Africa, and a sword taken from me before boarding a plane in Morocco to NYC. Neither of which would have been used on the plane.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 08:13:33 PM PDT

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        •  As safe before TSA by what criteria? (0+ / 0-)

          By number of hijackings? The numbers I've found might be unreliable; there have been no  hijackings in the USA since 9/11 and the numbers of  hijackings worldwide have decreased significantly since then. I'd like to find something measurable to compare air travel safety then and now.

          I agree that some of the TSA screening procedures seem draconian and unlikely to further passenger safety. Certainly, the profiling and debasing treatment of the Indian family -- the topic of this diary -- cannot stand.

          On the other hand, I definitely do not want to be on the same flight as someone with a loaded gun in his/her pocket or carryon bag. And I don't recall any fond discussion of the airport security system that was in place before the TSA. That system and its contract employees were thoroughly reviled by my experience.

          “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

          by SoCalSal on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 10:12:22 PM PDT

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      •  Screening of hand carry items. (10+ / 0-)

        Nobody had to rub their hands on my children to find those items.

        This better be good. Because it is not going away.

        by DerAmi on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 08:28:10 PM PDT

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      •  Bags, not bodies (12+ / 0-)
        All of these are discovered from screening of hand carry items.
        So every single one of the confiscated items came from a bag placed on the conveyor belt and run through the x-ray machine.

        Not a single one came from feeling up passengers.

        •  and one has to wonder about the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radical simplicity

          people carrying those bags.  incredibly arrogant, incredibly stupid.

          the guns i can see

          the grenades and rocket launcher mystify me

          i'd really like to know the specifics on those

          •  The TSA confiscated guns have been reported (0+ / 0-)

            by news media. TSA reports the details on

            Also reported either in David Waldman's Gun Fail series on DK's front page, or in Tom Begnal's DK series, Another Day in the Gun Crazy USA.

            From last week's TSA blog report:

            24-Pounds of Black Powder – Ten canisters containing 24-pounds of black powder were discovered in checked baggage at Chicago Midway (MDW). While properly packaged ammunition is permitted in checked-baggage, black powder is not. Especially not 24-pounds of it…
            34 Firearms Discovered This Week –Of the 34 firearms, 32 were loaded and 10 had rounds chambered.
            Stun Guns – 11 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Denver (DEN), and the other nine were found at Atlanta (ATL), Branson (BBG), Baltimore (BWI), Detroit (DTW), Las Vegas (LAS), Minot (MOT), Phoenix (PHX), San Francisco (SFO), and St. Louis (STL).
            Items in the Strangest Places –It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure no prohibited items are inside. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag, you could be cited and quite possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found in strange places.

                Two fireworks were found in the back pocket of a Cleveland (CLE) passenger while receiving a pat-down after alarming advanced imaging technology.
                An eight-inch butcher’s knife was discovered concealed under the lining of a carry-on bag at Houston (IAH).
                A handmade knife was discovered under the sole of a shoe at Los Angeles (LAX).


            “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

            by SoCalSal on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 07:34:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  So... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, ladybug53

        It's amazing what you will find, when you go looking.   My knee doctor told me that one time, before he found something unusual when looking for something else entirely.  

        All that stuff was flying before TSA, too, and we never even noticed.  

        •  Before TSA, the FAA oversaw airport security. (0+ / 0-)

          Guns and "all that stuff" most definitely were confiscated before the airport security function was transferred to Homeland Security and TSA.

          “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

          by SoCalSal on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 08:15:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And miss more than that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        USA Today: Most fake bombs missed by screeners

        WASHINGTON — Security screeners at two of the nation's busiest airports failed to find fake bombs hidden on undercover agents posing as passengers in more than 60% of tests last year, according to a classified report obtained by USA TODAY.

        Screeners at Los Angeles International Airport missed about 75% of simulated explosives and bomb parts that Transportation Security Administration testers hid under their clothes or in carry-on bags at checkpoints, the TSA report shows.

        At Chicago O'Hare International Airport, screeners missed about 60% of hidden bomb materials that were packed in everyday carry-ons — including toiletry kits, briefcases and CD players. San Francisco International Airport screeners, who work for a private company instead of the TSA, missed about 20% of the bombs, the report shows. The TSA ran about 70 tests at Los Angeles, 75 at Chicago and 145 at San Francisco.

        As Schneier has regularly show, the TSA is irrelevant.
        Our leaders are just as prone to this overreaction as we are. But aside from basic psychology, there are other reasons that it's smart politics to exaggerate terrorist threats, and security threats in general.

        The first is that we respond to a strong leader. Bill Clinton famously said: "When people feel uncertain, they'd rather have somebody that's strong and wrong than somebody who's weak and right." He's right.

        The second is that doing something -- anything -- is good politics. A politician wants to be seen as taking charge, demanding answers, fixing things. It just doesn't look as good to sit back and claim that there's nothing to do. The logic is along the lines of: "Something must be done. This is something. Therefore, we must do it."

        The third is that the "fear preacher" wins, regardless of the outcome. Imagine two politicians today. One of them preaches fear and draconian security measures. The other is someone like me, who tells people that terrorism is a negligible risk, that risk is part of life, and that while some security is necessary, we should mostly just refuse to be terrorized and get on with our lives.

        Fast-forward 10 years. If I'm right and there have been no more terrorist attacks, the fear preacher takes credit for keeping us safe. But if a terrorist attack has occurred, my government career is over. Even if the incidence of terrorism is as ridiculously low as it is today, there's no benefit for a politician to take my side of that gamble.

        The fourth and final reason is money. Every new security technology, from surveillance cameras to high-tech fusion centers to airport full-body scanners, has a for-profit corporation lobbying for its purchase and use. Given the three other reasons above, it's easy -- and probably profitable -- for a politician to make them happy and say yes.

        For any given politician, the implications of these four reasons are straightforward. Overestimating the threat is better than underestimating it. Doing something about the threat is better than doing nothing. Doing something that is explicitly reactive is better than being proactive. (If you're proactive and you're wrong, you've wasted money. If you're proactive and you're right but no longer in power, whoever is in power is going to get the credit for what you did.) Visible is better than invisible. Creating something new is better than fixing something old.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 08:14:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

          The detection rate for guns would be much higher than the detection rate for bombs, particularly under the bomb detection training conditions described in the USA Today article.

          I think it's not possible to have foolproof and error-free detection of bombs, especially, and probably also for guns. The majority of Americans do seem to want to try for that foolproof, error-free level of detection, at any cost.

          “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

          by SoCalSal on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 08:50:20 AM PDT

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      •  this is not an excuse (0+ / 0-)

        And, how much stuff didn't they get?  

        Also, did anyone check the baggage compartment?  My guess is they still aren't doing that.

        All you are doing is bringing up the curtain on Ye Olde Security Theatre, and giving us the gigantic MacGuffin we've been looking at for 12 years now.

        I'm not impressed.  I certainly am not going to tolerate any further groping.  

    •  i flew once, for a funeral (3+ / 0-)

      and it was before the taking shoes off and getting felt up really started in earnest

      it's the only flight i've taken since 9/11 and I don't intend to take any others.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 09:45:14 PM PDT

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    •  I stopped flying about 4 years ago, but it was (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penguins4peace, Calamity Jean

      more than just the TSA hassles -- it was the passengers who'd freak out whenever someone wearing even the slightest hint of "foreign" garb got on board... the people who'd get crew-rolled at the gate or after boarding for wearing the "wrong" kind of t-shirt... the warp factor eleventy gate-closing red alerts whenever someone took a few steps across an imaginary, arbitrary line (or when the TSA would lose track of someone or something).

      Just wasn't worth it anymore.

      Hey SCOTUS: your government is tracing all your calls too.

      by here4tehbeer on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 03:11:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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