Woman told to remove nipple rings for Texas flight

A TSA agent told a woman she would have to remove her nipple rings if she wanted to pass the security checkpoint. The woman has retained Gloria Allred as her attorney.
A woman was forced by the Transportation Security Administration to remove her nipple rings before she was allowed to board a flight, an attorney said on Thursday.

"The woman was given a pair of pliers in order to remove the rings in her nipples," said Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred. "The rings had been in her nipples for many years."

Link (Thanks, BadSneakers on #boingboing IRC!)


  1. I bet she was happy it wasn’t a clit ring.

    That being said… I would not tolerate a TSA agent being that “personal” with me. I very may well have called a supervisor and recieving no satisfaction there screamed protests a the top of my lungs “YOU CAN’T HAVE MY NIPPLE RINGS!!!” until being escorted out by the police.

  2. If she was feeling activisty and not too modest, I hope she pulled the rings out in full view of the entire line to make a point about how stupid the situation was.

  3. You know.. I think this is it. The last horrendous TSA story I can take.

    I’m not going to fly any more. If I can’t get there by car, train, bus, or boat I just won’t go.

  4. nyn stpd ngh t hv sch mtltn n thr bdy dsrvs ths.

    Prcng s lk rlgn. Stpd nd nndrthl.

  5. This is insanity. The whole TSA crew working that day right up to the idiots who wrote and approved the policy that would require body piercings to be removed should be terminated immediately.

  6. Holy cow! My 77 year old mother has had some metal screws in her leg from a broken ankle for about ten years now. Perhaps the TSA will hand her a scalpel, a screwdriver, and a rag to bite on.

  7. I had just finished reading this. I’ll title it Sexual Harassment and aren’t government employees “in trouble” if they do it?

    I really feel badly for her. She ended up in tears. These ass-wipes need adult supervision.

  8. Call me what you will but I am tired of commenters who are willing to find fault with someone who has their civil liberties abused by this police state. If you don’t want nipple rings fine. Don’t judge someone who does.

  9. I just got dsmvwld.

    Seriously I am disappointed that no-one in the queue had the initiative to capture the moment and share it with us on Youtube.

  10. The worst part is that the “TSA’s customer service manager at the Lubbock airport concluded the screening was handled properly”.

    Really? I can only imagine how much removing and reinserting the piercings around scar tissue must have hurt.

  11. Wow, that’s just so idiotic. I won’t fly either. but I used to before 911. And it isn’t fear of terrorists, but the airport security personnel that’s keeping me off planes. If I want to go overseas, I’ll take a boat.

  12. That is atrocious, obviously, but it’s also just very strange. I just flew out of San Francisco a couple days ago, and I have seven piercings, plus I was wearing a necklace. I had no problems. Ostensibly the nipple rings were deemed unsafe because they were under clothing and not visible, but I’ve never been told to get rid of my navel ring to go through security.

    You really have to wonder if someone wasn’t just power-tripping and had a dislike for nipple rings as strong as Allthegoodnamesaretaken’s up there. “I disagree with a personal choice of yours that doesn’t affect me in any way, and I’m in a position to fuck you over…Sweeeet!”


    I’m pretty sure that gets you arrested, they’re pretty hardcore on filming any part of the immigration/security process.

  14. Be still slaves, the cavity search is for your protection! There could be glass knives up there ! We wouldn’t want any dark-skinned-transsexual-paedophile-moslum-terrorists flying planes in to our dare care centers and churches !

  15. The more I think about this the angrier I get. In the news article the woman said the male TSA employees were snickering at her, and to make it even worse they were doing it while she was crying. There was more going on here than airport security.

  16. If insanity is a logical response to a world that doesn’t make sense, an insane screening procedure can only be explained by the TSA having no fucking clue what they’re looking for. Their job just plain doesn’t make sense to them as an institution.

  17. #11
    I’m saddened that people like you are so afraid of “terrorist” that you are willing to be humiliated and dehumanized just to feel “safe.” At NO point in my life did I decide that MY nipples (metaphorical nipples of course) are fodder for governmental scrutiny. And it is my right to protect my nipples from persons who would want to (or force me to) violate them. No percieved terroristic threat is enough to make me accept the unreasonable search of my nipples.

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated” and you better believe that includes my fucking nipples!!!

  18. Ooops! Not you number #11 of the grandma with metal hip parts. The previous #11 who has aparently modded out.

  19. How is it that the ONLY option was removal of the nipple rings? It makes no sense considering that people travel all the time with metallic bio-implants (titanium pins, skull plates, knees, pacemakers, etc)

    It makes no sense.

    As an aside:

    The last time I traveled by plane I was unable to ship my high-speed scientific photographic film ahead of me via UPS. When I asked for hand inspection I was told I should “get a digital camera” because it made less trouble for the TSA.

    Trying to explain why they couldn’t open the sealed film to inspect it was hopeless. The concept of ‘light will ruin the film’ was like speaking an alien language.

    At the airport, the TSA relented to keep the film sealed as long as each foil pouch could be sniffed by the machine. The guy working the sniffer was sympathetic, “You’ve got five of these. One is going to set off the alarm guaranteed”…i.e. in his experience the false alarm rate is at least 20%. And, in fact on pouch #4, it did go off, semi-silently.

    A few moments later the flanking guards arrived and the explanations led into pat-downs and more questioning.

    That pack was sacrificed. “Once it sets off the scanner, I am not allowed to test it again”…i.e. the positive detection ability of the machine is flaky too.


    This is a war on the unusual and it is very sad.

    I wish I could ship myself by UPS.

  20. This is shocking! I have 10 ga rings in my nipples and 8 ga titanium barbell in my penis and in the last five years I’ve passed through airports in San Francisco, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, and Maui several times and never set off the metal detector. It doesn’t require pliers to take off my piercings, because they have captive ball rings which pop in and out, but some piercings do require pliers.

    I never once thought that anyone would confiscate my jewelry, and only feared I’d have to show it to someone if I set off the detector. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine someone might insist I remove the jewelry and leave it behind. I am absolutely flabbergasted. Where is common sense? What is this authoritarian blind obedience coming from and why are we accepting it. Sue them, sue them now and sue them hard. Not just for the pain of having to re-pierce the piercing but for theft and violating my privacy and human rights!

  21. How precisely would our nation’s enemies go about plunging us into a state of chaos and havoc using a pair of nipple rings?

    Someone (BoingBoing?) should sponsor contest for the best reader-submitted movie-plot threat involving an evil freedom-hater who manages to use her nipple rings (but no other contraband items) to attack our nation’s airways. The prize could be a free piercing.

  22. sue them, and find out where their boss lives and we’ll all take a dump on his front lawn

    I notice the abuse and subjugation of people who have to fly is escalating. The TSA goons are getting more arrogant since NOTHING EVER HAPPENS TO THEM!

  23. Can we PLEASE file some sort of class-action lawsuit on behalf of anyone ever humiliated by the TSA? Or is there some weird thinger that shields government agencies against class action?

  24. @20 Lauren O:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the power trip theory was true. I live in Lubbock and this area of Texas is known for its “traditional” values.

    The article says she passed through the larger metal detector without any problems but was still hand scanned. My guess is someone who “knew what was best” saw something weird under her shirt and when the nipple rings were discovered, the woman needed to be “taught what was proper.”

  25. They’ve been disemvowled for being asshats. And I realize now that I was replying to #12 before it was disemvowled. Which I confused with 11#. I wonder if it WAS #11 before it was moderated which dropped it next in line to #12. Oh the confusion!!!! I think it’s late for me and I might need a nap.

  26. Wasn’t it the Democrats that demanded that we federalize airport security? The government is doing such a good job at protecting us, I can’t wait tell we have nationalized health care. Look what we have to look forward to!

  27. Evenin’ GOVERNOR. First comment eh? Yes, the TSA nightmare and all of the current administration’s boondoggles and outrages are surely the DEMOCRAT’S fault.

    Get real.

  28. Why’d I get disemvoweled? I was being serious. The bus driver really did yell at me this morning, and life really is cruel. I mean it.

  29. Jamie Sue, that’s probably what they want. Not a criticism of your decision at all – just saying.

  30. I’ve flown through a fair number of airports in the past decade and only once had body jewelery set off a detector. I just pulled up my shirt, explained, and moved on. That was before we went down the 9/11 rabbit hole, though.

  31. I’m not blaming anything else on the Democrats, just this. I think they own this boondoggle. I remember their campaign to federalized airport security. This was their idea. Surely there’s plenty of other things you can blame on the current Administration but I don’t think the TSA is one of them. In general I don’t think the government can run anything properly no matter which party is in power. This is what happens when the government oversteps it’s boundaries. Like I said I can’t wait for nationalized health care.

  32. You really have to wonder if someone wasn’t just power-tripping and had a dislike for nipple rings as strong as Allthegoodnamesaretaken’s up there.

    An old friend of mine had a brother who was a policeman. If he saw a youth wearing a baseball cap back to front, he’s make them turn it around. I mean, really. A kid’s baseball cap. So yes, powertripping twonks are in positions of authority all over the place.

  33. Governor…”In general I don’t think the government can run anything properly no matter which party is in power.”

    I am starting to think the same thing. I think we agree on this at least.

    And I don’t know why I was so quick to defend democrats, personally I don’t really care who’s to blame for the TSA mess. It just sucks and should be dismantled and started over.

  34. This makes me furious. I have ~no choice~ about being in airports 3 or 4 times a year because my daughter lives with her father in Alaska. The ONLY way I can see her is if she flies to me (in San Antonio, TX). And because I’m meeting an unaccompanied minor, I go through security to pick her up, as well as being REQUIRED to go through security when I put her on the plane.

    If TSA EVER tried something like this with me I think I would just lose it.

    #31 Nick – I have jewelry that I wear in my nipples that I could do lovely things with, but they aren’t exactly RINGS. Not sure I could hijack a plane with any of them either…although if I was allowed to use the contents of my purse I might manage something a bit more serious.

  35. Can somebody photoshop a poster of Sally Field in Not Without My Nipple Rings?

    And Scoutmaster,


  36. The DHS today announced a TSA alert after the CIA indicated it had intelligence that Iran is supplying Al Qaeda with Model 36DD Fragmentation Bazooms. In a related story, TSA announced a 500 percent increase in teenage males applying for airport screener openings.

  37. @23

    I think you’re right. There’s a really disturbing sexual aspect to this incident and it shouldn’t be overlooked. These backwards morons got off on having power over this woman.

  38. This is nothing new. A brand new authority force with no proper checks on their operations was created to “protect us” and this is what we get…big surprise. You want your stomach turned? Go read this – http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/monahan1.html

    and then run a search on ‘TSA horror story’ and you will find tale after tale. It is sickening.

  39. #52, you have just made sure I will never visit the USA, unless substantial changes to this lunatic system are made. Thank you for the warning.

  40. As someone with 15 genital piercings it was always always an on-going joke amongst my friends that I would likely set off the metal detector at the airport. Given the stories you hear about the TSA however, there was a not so easily discounted fear in our minds that some TSA bozo might insist they be removed. “No no, they wouldn’t go that far, would they? They wouldn’t see a 3/4″ Barbell with one ball unscrewed off of it as some kind of weapon would they?” It seems they actually will.

    I don’t fly anyways so it’s not really an issue per se, but the more and more I hear these kinds of things the more and more disinclined I am to even visit the States via land route.

  41. 55 AlisonG76

    Visiting the USA is SO much worse than just traveling within it. DHS is the TSA’s bigger, meaner, nastier brother.

  42. 57: I’ve heard. Do they still fingerprint anyone who comes in? I’ll be travelling somewhere not quite so unfriendly – a war zone, maybe.

  43. FYI, I will only say this once because it will live on in Google cache forever – I’m in Lubbock. This figures. TSA is evil, but so is the city of Lubbock. Google “Lubbock TX Chippendales arrests” or “Lubbock TX strip club lawsuit” or “Lubbock TX liquor sales”. If this were me, or my wife, sister, mother, whatever I would have said sod off I’m not flying then and requested a ticket refund. What will the airlines do if a huge amount of passengers start requesting refunds and complaining to them? I haven’t flown since before all this crap and I won’t. We have joked for years that they’d never let me on a plane (I have various piercings, tattoos, steel in some teeth, and always have to frisk myself before going anywhere), now I know it’s TRUE.

    Boycott flying. Boycott tourism to the USA. Boycott Lubbock TX.

  44. just read #52;

    I have a personal message for the TSA rep who visits here periodically to “contribute”:

    You. Fucking. Pigs.

  45. at the beginning of this I had a genuine curiosity to hear from the front line workers in the trenches , doing a underpaid, disagreeable but probably somewhat neccessary job -just to make a buck like anyone else who likes to eat.

    I find now that my thoughts turn to what will happen when the shoe is in the other hand. Stories about outlaw bikers kidnapping and raping the innocent shouldn’t have reasonance with tales of the TSA.

    What goes around comes around, I’m thinking “TSA” on your papers is going to be more than a small liability one day.

  46. Saw this on the news here in Dallas tonight. Pretty pathetic of TSA, I hope she sues their butts off. But why is a woman who lives in Dallas, and was flying from Lubbock to Dallas, having a news conference in LA with Gloria Allred? Not enough publicity for the lawsuit in Texas?

  47. This was on Fark earlier today. Some folks who at least claimed to work for the TSA explained the situation like this: the woman passed the walk through metal detector, but was selected for random screening. This includes things like a pat down and a scan with the hand scanner. The hand scanner picked up metal in the lady’s breasts. From what they said, at that point, they cannot use a pat down to make sure that her boobs aren’t weapons–the metal must be removed, and her rescanned. The TSA cannot request or accept an offer to look at someones “privates.”

    If you believe that, things sound somewhat less arbitrary. The TSA website does not mention anything about them not being able to pat down specific areas. If they can do cavity searches, I think letting the lady show the rings to a female agent (which she requested to do) seems more than reasonable.

    Anyway… fuck the TSA.

  48. #63, Two reasons – obviously because that’s where her lawyer is based out of, and because I bet most Texas papers/news stations in smaller towns…including Lubbock…will deem this too risque to even publish/broadcast. SO there will be very little publicity in Texas.

    I totally agree with the other posters that think Lubbock’s conservative morals probably have a lot more to do with this incident than TSA policy. People fly with piercings like this all the time. Only a arrogant male conservative Texan with his head up his ass would say she had to remove them. And oh wait…that’s exactly who did it.

  49. @Taukuan:

    I can’t speak for that community, but it sounds like a bunch of corrupt assholes.

  50. #52: It’s stories like these that remind that, while a wonderful place, Portland’s airport is still run by the feds, and thus totally sucks (though not nearly as bad as larger airports).

  51. How ironic. The number of posts before mine was 69.

    Sorry for the immaturity. It just seemed fitting.

  52. I keep hearing these shock & horror stories from Boing Boing but all the TSA personnel I’ve had to deal with since 2001 have been polite & friendly. It seems like if you expect a bad experience you’re definitely going to get one.

  53. At least on Vienna airport their metal detectors are adjusted to their most sensitive setting: A single titanium barbell was enough to set the damn thing off… making it whole process completely pointless (aside from its obvious authority-reinforcing purpose, of course).

  54. Evil Jim,

    You’re certainly right that if people go into the security line with a pissy attitude that’s likely to contribute to a pissy experience all around.

    But is there any evidence that this is what happened to the woman with the nipple rings? If she had just been sweeter would they have spared her the tweezers?

    Also, in comparing your own experience you should consider how ‘mainstream’ you are. If you’re like me, you’re a youngish white guy who dresses more or less normally for a middle class American, and you don’t have any tattoos, piercings, etc. (Maybe you’re not – I’m not assuming). I also don’t generally carry any special technical, scientific, artistic, or other unusual but innocuous equipment with me.
    In that case, the fact that people like you and me often avoid being hassled doesn’t mean that the system doesn’t unfairly and arbitrarily target appearances and behaviors outside the norm.
    Also, just because the TSA employees we’ve encountered are nice, professional people doesn’t mean that the system hasn’t given them arbitrary and poorly checked authority over us.

  55. My wife set off the metal detector in Eugene, OR a few years ago. She was willing to show her nipples to anyone with the authority to let her through (She wasn’t even picky re privacy or agent gender), but they told her she’d have to take them out.

    This was a huge problem for her as they were very new and very tender. After about fifteen minutes of calmly protesting, they found a lady policewoman who’d take her into the lavatory and inspect here piercings.

    Me, upon her return from the police inspection: “So, was that totally hot?”

    I couldn’t believe an airport near Portland would have such trouble with piercings! Aren’t, like, three out of every four Oregonian nipples pierced?

  56. My wife set off the metal detector in Eugene, OR a few years ago. She was willing to show her nipples to anyone with the authority to let her through (She wasn’t even picky re privacy or agent gender), but they told her she’d have to take them out.

    This was a huge problem for her as they were very new and very tender. After about fifteen minutes of calmly protesting, they found a lady policewoman who’d take her into the lavatory and inspect here piercings.

    Me, upon her return from the police inspection: “So, was that totally hot?”

    Aren’t, like, three out of every four Oregonian nipples pierced?

  57. #52: If there’s nothing that can be done about that, this country is done.

    Seriously absurd. I have no words.

  58. I agree with the other posts about it being a Lubbock, TX thing. Smallish, conservative townspeople with their own agenda.
    I used to fly a lot out of Waco, TX. I’m a young, Asian male and never really got hassled. But 5 out of 6 times, I would be “randomly” selected for a private screening. After being violated, I’d sit and watch other passengers going through security. One time, I counted 36 passengers (remember, small airport). 6 minorities including myself. 5 of us were randomly screened, and 2 white people were screened to keep up appearances.

  59. there’s something to pass the time with in the plastic box: counting. Apparently using your camera to document TSA antics gets a gun at your head, but they can’t stop you from collecting your own stats.
    Next time they are wasting your time,take notes of who is screened and who gets a pass. Bring it here.
    If they take your pen, tear small rips in a piece of paper, use your imagination. Let THEM feel surveilled.

  60. I’m not keen on body piercings, either, but for this to make sense it would have to apply to everyone with any piercings — from the basic ear job (like I have) to, yes, clits.

    These TSA stories do sound like an agency of people in power out of control.

  61. Can’t Americans amend their Constitution to make such random searches illegal? Perhaps a Right to Privacy of some kind?

  62. Back in 2005 I had to remove my own piercing at the small Erie International Airport. I think its was because the field is named after Tom Ridge.

    Now my piercing wasn’t a nipple one but an ampallang. ( NSFW photo on wikipedia ) I was allowed to go to the near by bathroom and remove it. Placed it in a ziplock bag and had to show it to TSA. I’ve been though the same airport other times and never had a problem. No other airport I travel through has ever asked me to remove my piercing

  63. #80 – A constitutional amendment that helps terrorists sneak nipple bombs on planes? Not in Bush’s America!

  64. You removed your ampallang?!? I’d have told them just where to stick their metal detectors. Same for the nipples. My piercings stay right where they are, I don’t care what I was going for I would walk.

  65. #79 SLYWY

    I’m not keen on body piercings, either, but for this to make sense it would have to apply to everyone with any piercings — from the basic ear job (like I have) to, yes, clits.

    I’m not too keen on oxygen myself.

  66. So what happens for saline implants? That’s liquid / gel, right? Doesn’t that break the liquids ban anyway?

    Entropyworks 81;

    Dear God. I concur with Wynneth. Tell them to stick their wands where the sun don’t shine.

  67. I already posed the binary liquid explosive bomb bomb (along with the Ass Bomb and the Surgical Implant Bomb) – all credible with suicide bombers.
    TSA is more interested in molesting women and children

  68. No kidding, Takuan.

    I was doing a Greet The Troops as they came home from Iraq for Christmas Leave as a cadet in my JROTC Corps. Fully decked out in uniform, but to even go into the terminal to the army club thing they have (there’s an acronym that has slipped my mind) we were scanned etc all according to procedure.

    I take off boots, jacket, blousers, etc, leaving me in the rudiments of my uniform and cross through. I beep. I explain it’s my hair and ask them to wand me. Stand in the wanding area and get wanded. Where does it beep? My hair. Imagine that. I have bobby pins in. Scary TSA agent pats me down roughly and unnecessarily (I’ve been patted down by -police- before. Police who did not molest me.) and is overtly hostile. Wands me again. I beep where? AT THE HAIR. Pats me down a second time, and then decides if I can’t take off my bobby pins that I need to be searched privately.

    My sergeant steps forward, and my friend, trying to defuse the situation, says, Hey, Tenn, you think it’s your hairpins?

    Now it may not be obvious in forum, but I tend to be a sarcastic, quick-speaking punk when I’m nervous, threatened, or angry. In this situation, my mouth outruns my mind as it usually does and I say “No, of course not, it’s the bomb I’m smuggling.”

    You could have dropped a grenade pin on the carpet and heard it. Everyone froze, my friends started laughing, TSA Agents started laughing, except the one who was currently fondling me.

    “Private screening room,” says she.

    “I request a different screener, then, thank you.”

    She went six shades of red, my sergeant stepped forward, and she says she’s the only female on the floor.

    I’m a teenage girl so I looked at the nearest hot screener and said, “It’s okay, he’ll do,”

    Somehow I survived that trip without being strip searched.

  69. A: feel like a leucocyte sometimes?

    Way to go Tenn! Civil resistance all the way!

    Will iron oxide powder in aqueous solution applied as a spray work?

  70. When I greet the troops, I usually dress like Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver. Coincidentally, it makes the strip search easier.

  71. It’s not about the stupid nipple ring. It’s about the fact that there’s a piece of metal on someone’s chest and making sure the only thing alarming is the nipple ring. The only way to do this is to have the passenger remove the ring. The TSA is not permitted to pat down breasts or look at exposed breasts(in fact, anyone who exposes themself at an airport will be removed by state troopers).

    But I guess no one’s ever heard of people smuggling crap on to a plane, and there’s simply no reason why the TSA shouldn’t take a person’s word for it since we know everyone who flies is completely honest and forthcoming.

    And I guess the bra bomb thing never happens…

    She was ready and willing to show off her tits in front of people, but I’m supposed to believe this whole thing was “humiliating”? And since when does removing your rings involve pain? I remove my nip rings many times throughout the year and it’s hurts no more than removing an earring.

    She just trying to scam money from the government and get media attention. Maybe she’ll be on a reality show now.

  72. You ‘dress’ like Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver?

    I was never aware she put on clothing for that movie! You learn something new every day.

    My mouth got me in a lot of trouble on that trip. I was talking to Pyro (yes, there’s a reason for the nickname) about why there weren’t any Marines on the flight. Told him, “Didn’t you hear? There was a layover in DUBLIN.” He chimes in with “Oh yeah, man, somewhere in Ireland there are a hundred Marines sprawled on the runway, clicking their Guinness and asking where in hell is that mother effing plane?”

    The only Marine on the flight disembarked at that moment. He was rather amused, actually.

  73. hey there “CIA”rin- if that is your REAL name! areyounoworhaveyoureverbeenamemberoftheTSAParty? ANSWER THE QUESTION THAT IS NOT RESPONSIVE! Howdy!

    The Tamil Tiger bombing you link is about as related to the reality of your buddies fondling the breasts of helpless victims as is the footage of Pearl Harbour you fall asleep to every night. Prove I’m wrong. Same terms the TSA gives.

  74. That is exactly how I dressed in 1976, except my hot pants were green suede lace-ups and my platforms were a lot higher. My hat was bigger, too. Not surprisingly I got propositioned by quite a few real taxi drivers.

  75. Ciarin’s my online name actually. you can check me out at http://ciarin.com

    Also, you said “related to the reality of your buddies fondling the breasts of helpless victims”, didn’t I just say TSA aren’t allowed to pat down breasts? Wasn’t part of the complaint of the nipple ring passenger that she wanted the TSA to pat down her breasts and they wouldn’t? Hello? wanna pay attention some time?

    I work for TSA but I hate it for reasons only those in the customer service industry can appreciate.

    here’s why the TSA has to make sure the only thing alarming is a nipple ring:

    Because sometimes people smuggle things on to a plane. The metal could be a razor, a detonator, a switch, etc. The tamil bra bomb video should’ve illustrated that the breasts of a woman are not sacrosanct to terrorists. THEREFORE IT MUST BE VERIFIED AS A NIPPLE RING AND NOTHING ELSE. Get it?

    It’s the same reason everyone with a hip or knee replacement has to go through extra screening. The TSA must verify that the only thing alarming is the medical implant. There was a guy last year who had metal hips, but also forgot he had his folding knife in his pocket. How do you like them apples?

  76. well then,seein as ye be o’ the one true church, I’ll be delighted to discuss.

    Firstly: You take the king’s shilling. Do you claim a pure and objective spirit?

  77. I work for the government till I can get a better job. I’m completely objective, unfortunately it may not seem that way because I have a different perspective.

  78. My perspective is the one charged with making sure your ass doesn’t get blown up on a plane.

    Do you want liberty or do you want security? You can’t have both without compromising each of them.

    I happen to not mind going without security. I take trains and buses that have hardly any security measures taken(I really hate flying). But apparently, it is the wish of the american people to have a certain level of security for their air travel. So be it. You no like? then write your congressman.

  79. Ah! But precisely how many asses have been blowed up good in the past seven years? No one believes the risk is real. As to exchanging liberty for security; no.

    If hostile forces want to kill Americans enmasse at random, why are aircraft so magical? A few buses would make the news.

  80. If this woman is so “idiotic,” then why is there nothing on the TSA website regarding piercings? (If there is, tell me where it is – I just combed the site and couldn’t find anything.) If there is risk that being selected for additional screening can result in your having to remove any rings you have underneath your clothes, isn’t that pertinent information for travelers? All of my piercings are above the neck, but I would be pretty angry about taking out any of my piercings, *especially* if they were new and/or might involve expense (not to mention considerable pain) on my part to get the piercing redone, when I had no reason to anticipate that my rings would be an issue. Should everyone who has a piercing beneath their clothes start wearing plastic rings when they travel? (I think this is all a very bullshit way to “protect” us but I am seriously interested in answers to these questions.)

    And no amount of protest from anyone will change the fact that the TSA officials were being completely unprofessional (to say the least). Laughing while someone is crying and in pain? Sorry, that is your effing job. Laughing at someone even being frustrated shouldn’t be in your vocab. At any other job that is the kind of shit that would easily get you a reprimand or citation, but I have serious doubts anything will happen to these guys.

  81. “exactly” equals “no elephants no elephants no elephants” in Iowa. Prove the connection. Cite plots foiled. List terrorists caught, Names. Places. Dates.

  82. By the way, I don’t fly – I fell in love with Amtrak and never looked back.

    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Ben Franklin

  83. How do you know those guys were laughing at her? Were you there? Are you omniscient? Not likely.

    aw geez, blue it took me all of 30 seconds to find what TSA says about body peircings on their website and I never go there.


    “Hidden items such as body piercings may result in your being directed to additional screening for a pat-down inspection. If selected for additional screening, you may ask to remove your body piercing in private as an alternative to the pat-down search.”


    “TSA Security Officers have to identify any metal that is detected at the checkpoint. If you set off the alarm, you will undergo additional screening. This includes a hand-wand and pat-down inspection.

    You can remove metal items at the security checkpoint and place them in the plastic bags offered at several airports or in the bins provided. The bins will be sent through the X-ray machine. You can save time by not wearing metal items or by placing them in your carry-on baggage before getting in line.”

    The only thing I would add to that is that TSA isn’t permitted to do a pat down search on sensitive areas(like breasts) so the only option if you want to board the plane is to remove the piercing. If the piercing was impossible to remove, a state trooper would be called to assist the passenger. State Troopers have the authority to visual inspect a piercing.

  84. 1) The woman claims they were laughing, and I’m willing to take her word on that considering all the terrible press on the TSA.

    2) Sorry, I was mistakenly looking at “items” since I don’t think of piercings as clothing. I appreciate that you gave the link even though you were condescending about it.

    3) They should add the part about the state troopers – depending on the piercing, its age, ease of removal, etc. I would rather flash a trooper than remove the ring. Just my personal feelings anyway.

  85. 1) She heard laughing, she has no idea if it was at her expense. Could it be possible that they were talking amongst themselves and they laughed at something totally unrelated to her stupid nipple ring problem?

    2) I went to tsa.gov and typed in “piercings” in the search. Too easy.

    3) It could be a matter of local policy. I don’t know if all airports use stateys in that way.

    Seriously, why do people all of sudden want to expose themselves to strangers rather than remove a piercing in private? UGH.

  86. 4) Oh yeah, also, don’t forget to address Taukun’s comments in #111 – I want to hear a response to that too.

  87. 4) Hell no. I’m not divulging any of that shit until it’s made public knowledge. You want me to get fired?

  88. Ciarin,

    For a government employee, you certainly have a lot of scorn for the public. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  89. the credibility gap; a governmental organization is asking to be believed without any evidence – with a government in power of the most monumental liars, scum and thieves since the soviet union.

    Front line TSA’ers might be working schmoes, but they are working for stupid people who get their orders from bad people.

    Just the fact things have gotten to where they are is proof positive of the utter and total coempt BushCo feels for Americans. And why not? TWO elections???

  90. Ciarin,

    Sure – rules are rules, and it is for “national security”, but common sense should still have a place. Read #52’s linked article about the pregnant woman being asked bare herself in the security line.

    Seems like the rules only get bent when people want to power trip even beyond their already overly-assigned rights to do so, never to make someone who is pretty clearly not a threat have a better time of it.

    Your disdain for the commenters who do complain about the heavy handedness, as Antinous (#122) points out, is a pretty clear demonstration of what is wrong with the system and the inappropriate sense of entitlement TSA employees have been given in a security-dazed “post 9/11” world.

  91. the other thing to not lose sight of is that the real objective is to NOT NEED THE TSA, LIKE BEFORE.
    Not to make it “better”, not to make people more sheep-like but to arrange a state of affairs where it is not needed. WAR IS NOT NORMAL!!!!!

    Big hint: spending a trillion dollars killing people
    hasn’t yet made one flight nuisance free.

  92. the dumbest thing about this is that she was flying from lubbock,tx to dallas,tx which is only a 5 hour drive. how lazy can you get?

  93. #122:

    I hate the public. And this is from only 2 yrs of having to deal with them.

    Ask customer service reps to see how lovely the public is.

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