TSA forces cancer survivor to remove prosthetic breast


72 Responses to “TSA forces cancer survivor to remove prosthetic breast”

  1. TenInchesTaller says:

    This is terrifying.

    • Larry7 says:

      “To those who say the terrorists have won: have you considered that perhaps forcing cancer survivors to endure the humiliating removal of their prosthetic breasts is merely the price of freedom?”

      This attitude is utterly digusting and downright dangerous. What is freedom if you’re going to subject innocent people to massive violations of personal privacy and try to normalise it? Are you prescribing George Dubya’s “new” freedom- which means the freedom to do what you’re told and bow to the will of the State?

      The person putting forth the “price of freedom” line needs a good slapping and a reminder of what liberty actually means. You’re all sheep and the country is gradually becoming a police state. By the time you realise this it will be too late to do anything about.

      Good luck.

  2. EarthtoGeoff says:

    “Maybe Brainspore is right. Maybe I just won’t fly.”

    5 years later…

    “Well, they’re randomly scanning people driving to Canada now. Maybe I just won’t go to Montreal anymore.”

    10 years later…

    “Well, they’re doing inter-state scanning now, maybe I’ll just stay in New York.”

    Does it really have to come to that? Or can you just drop the devil’s advocate bullshit and admit like the rest of us that it’s ridiculous (and ineffective)?

    • Brainspore says:

      EarthtoGeoff, I think you misread a post somewhere if you think I was the one suggesting that complainers should just stop flying. I’m strongly in the “this is ridiculous and ineffective (not to mention invasive)” camp.

  3. mindysan33 says:

    Seriously… Ugh. This just gets worse and worse… She makes an important point in the article, though. She says that there are always dogs at airports who can sniff out bombs… why are we having to do this shit, then?

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is so interesting to me that the only people who seem to be fine with this are men (Richard and DogStarMan to name a few). I can only assume they are single and have no children. Well, I am so glad you are fine with all of this but that does not help me (as a woman) or my children. It only negates my gender and reverses all that I do to teach my children that it is wrong to have a stranger touch their crotch. Oh and I love the advice that if I don’t like it, I just should not travel by air. Well I travel for a living and my family lives across the country… So by your logic I have to quite my job, give up years of education, start over, find a new career, never see my family again (or drive 3 days to do it) and pretty much live my life in fear of my own government. Or just stand there like a good citizen and let them touch my breasts and my child’s genitals. Really thoughtful idea! Thanks! The solution is for TSA to hire better people who are actually trained to spot actual potential terrorists. The machines and pat downs are the easy way out.

  5. Dr. Pasolini says:

    I don’t go to big arena shows, most of the concerts I attend are in very small venues where you’re lucky if the doorman is relatively sober. But I did go to a rave once where a VERY enthusiastic punk woman squeezed my nipples quite forcefully during the pat down. So I’m guessing it’s not completely uncommon.

    Looks like this particular question has its own post now though.

    • mindysan33 says:

      Clearly, the punk lady was hitting on you…

      But seriously, we don’t go to shows much anymore, but I don’t think I’ve ever been searched for any kind of show (be it big arena or tiny club). Maybe I’m misremembering? But I am curious about what kind of shows people are going to where they need to be searched. That’s just crazy.

  6. Motor City Is Burning says:

    Every time I see one of these ridiculous TSA articles I wonder why we aren’t doing what the Israelis do. Here’s what I mean:


    • mindysan33 says:

      People keep saying that — I think a couple of other folks mentioned it in the other threads about this topic. I guess it has its merits, but… I’m not buying it, I don’t think. It seems like many Israel citizens have just internalized the security state more than we have. Do we really want to internalize the security state? Do we really want to live in a security state? That seems to me what this comes down to. Bottom line, I think these extreme security measures are invasion of the 4th amendment, and of personal dignity. The Israel security regime at airports may be less inconvenient for the traveler, but I think the issue is deeper than convenience, don’t you? I totally recognize that the Israelis have a security problem that needs to be addressed… but perhaps the Israelis would have less of a security problem if they stopped oppressing people in the first place.

      • Motor City Is Burning says:

        You raise a valid point. I guess I was focusing on the common sense approaches they are taking more than the “TECHNOLOGY WILL SAVE US” approach the TSA seems to love. Things such as the staggering of lines instead of huge target rich queues, the bomb proofed luggage inspection area that allows for quick quarantines without the need for mass evacuations and so on.

        • mindysan33 says:

          It’s not just the current methods that are worrying, Motor City… it’s the attacks on our constitutional rights as citizens. Frankly, that’s what I’m concerned about… I wish more were worried about it too.

  7. richard says:

    Just unsubscribed from BB. So tired of 50 posts a day about not being able to fly exactly how they’d like.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Finally somebody figured out how to unsubscribe. E-mail me and let me know how you did it.

    • Mark Frauenfelder says:

      “So tired…”

      I hope you get the rest you need, Richard!

    • Talia says:

      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    • Anonymous says:

      deal with it. it’s whats in the news right now…

      And I count 2 TSA related articles from yesterday…

    • snakedart says:

      At least the breakup was mutual.

    • DogStarMan says:

      Thank you for that! I am getting so sick of seeing this too. The sense of entitlement people have in this country amazes me. If you folks up in arms about the new screening going on don’t like how they are doing it, don’t fly. You do have that choice.

      • Loraan says:

        If you folks up in arms about the new screening going on don’t like how they are doing it, don’t fly. You do have that choice.

        I’ve seen this comment all across the Internet, and it ticks me off. As if flying was always an expendable luxury, and entitled, fat, bourgeoisies just needed to STFU and take what the TSA was giving.

        I am required as a part of my employment to fly, an average of perhaps five to ten times a year. For me, the “choice” not to fly involves quitting my job. I may or may not be a fat, entitled, bourgeoisie, but my decision to fly is hardly expendable.

      • Larry7 says:

        “You do have that choice”

        Your arrogance and disregard for human dignity disgusts me.

      • Brainspore says:

        Thank you for that! I am getting so sick of seeing this too. The sense of entitlement people have in this country amazes me. If you folks up in arms about the new screening going on don’t like how they are doing it, don’t fly. You do have that choice.

        The sense of entitlement people have in this internet amazes me. If you folks up in arms about the choice of topics on a blog or don’t like how it’s written, don’t read it. You do have that choice.

      • Spencer Cross says:

        If you folks up in arms about the new screening going on don’t like how they are doing it, don’t fly. You do have that choice.

        Did you even read the article? As a someone who’s worked as a flight attendant for the last 32 years, no, she really doesn’t. Unless your point is that she can just give up a 32-year career if she doesn’t like it?

      • Nadreck says:

        I believe that the entitlement being spoken of is the Constitution of the United States: specifically the 4th amendment.

        • DogStarMan says:

          So getting on a plane is like being pulled over by the police? I always thought it was like going into a night club in that I have been frisked, my bag looked into, etc at the door of a concert. The people doing it are not police officers acting on a warrant. It’s what you have to do to get into the club. If you don’t like it, there’s the door. How is this different than boarding a plane?

          • PathogenAntifreeze says:

            Since when did the federal government we pay for mandate that all nightclub entrances have federal employees performing a thorough groping or sending customers through a pornoscope… or both? When did such a federal mandate result in the concert and nightclub industries shrinking and consolidating… resulting in less selection for the public?

            I’ll give you this: you’re well prepared for the continuing escalation of “do what we say; this is freedom” bullshit. You equate the type of frisking that happens at some nightclubs and some concerts with the federally mandated nightmare to end air travel in the US. So as they grasp for more money and more power in terms of TSA-style exams at more and more places (trains are next… entertainment venues following… grocery stores likely near the end)… you’re ready for them. You have given up on any sane uses of our tax dollars and you’ve acknowledged that this shit will get worse, not better.

            I hate that the “land of the free” and “home of the brave” I grew up in has turned into this garbage… you’re way past me in accepting it. Perhaps you’re the wiser for it.

          • lectroid says:

            “I hate that the “land of the free” and “home of the brave” I grew up in has turned into this garbage… you’re way past me in accepting it. Perhaps you’re the wiser for it.”

            Mind you, as ridiculous and pointless as I find these security procedures, rhetoric like this is exactly the sort of jumped up, hyperbolic screeching that the Teapartiers have used to kick holes in the real, common sense uses of government.

            The trope of “It wasn’t this way back when…” is almost always pointless and silly, since “back when” almost certainly had just as many, though markedly different problems, about which the people then exclaimed just as angrily “why, back in MY day…”

            Nostalgia is not a sufficient base for sound policy.

      • Anonymous says:

        And I’m tired of hearing that I have a choice to fly. No. No, I don’t. I have to travel for work. Trains don’t always go where I need to go, with a reasonable schedule. I could theoretically drive but the extra time it would take, plus the extra expense of hotel rooms in order to get from one coast to another is not in our project budgets. Not to mention that I’d be looking for another job.

        What about families spread across multiple continents? Oh, right. I can choose to never see them again.

        The fact is that all the recent events that are being cited as the justification for this increased security would not have been prevented by more invasive body searches or the new scanners in the US. The “shoe bomber” was on a flight from London. The “underwear bomber” was on a flight from Amsterdam. The package bombs from Yemen were cargo. None of these would have been prevented by the increased security measures.

        It’s security theater, plain and simple. I take you’ll support cavity searches as well? That’s the next logical step, isn’t it, since the scanners can’t pick up on internal elements?

    • eboy says:

      I have mixed feelings.

      On one hand, I completely agree that I should pass through a tight security process in order to get on an airplane. If this means getting frisked, I can deal with that minor violation of my right to dignity — if it bothered me that much, I could take a train or a boat. Hell, it’s standard procedure to get a thorough friskin’ before attending a rock concert and that’s considered perfectly reasonable.

      On the other hand, how much is too much? Between the electronic scanners & dogs, you’d hope that they can capture what they need. Is frisking really necessary? Does it actually result in increased safety for passengers?

      Regardless, one thing that I don’t like is the portrayal of the TSA workers as deviant sex fiends. “Sexual assault” implies some intent to commit a sexual act, and I can guarantee that there is nothing sexually enticing about frisking airline travelers for hours on end.

  8. Xeni Jardin says:

    this is so sad.

  9. MrJM says:

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

    – T. S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men” (1925)

  10. Tatsuma says:

    The lines are from the 1980′s but they are just as relevant today.

    “I don’t think there are any Russians, and there ain’t no Yanks,just corporate criminals, playing with tanks”

    Seriously, if there really were such a severe terrorist threat in the USA, some really determined folks would have been able to pull it off by now. Hell, you don’t even have to get on the plane to take it out. You could do a lot of damage from the parking lots that are usually right next to the runways,seperated only by a chain link fence in most cases.

    It’s all security theatre, plain and simple.

  11. 1 says:

    Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave.

  12. Spencer Cross says:

    Yep, sure is ridiculous when people think they can effect change. Oh wait, what’s that?:

    Pilot Screenings To End Amid TSA Privacy Clashes

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand how the American people can stand for such obviously ludicrous “security & safety procedures”.
    Srsly. If this was done in any of the European countries, especially France, the riots would be epic & this kind of behaviour by governments would be short-lived.

  14. Felton / Moderator says:

    Seriously, TSA, if this is all based on some bet that you can pretty much get away with anything without too much of a public outcry, I’ll pay you the damn $5. :(

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well, that settles it. I am definitely going to wear my prosthetic willy when I next fly.

  16. folkclarinet says:

    Motor City, Thank you very much for that link. I’m going to send it on to my friends. It makes so much more sense! :)

    And Mindysan, You do raise interesting points, but I think that the Israeli security regime would be more effective than the USA’s “oh, let’s look for what the last bomber did” policies in addition to making air travel more convenient.

    • mindysan33 says:

      Hi folkclarinet… I’m just gonna have to respectfully disagree on this with you guys. I don’t think the point is convenience, as I said — it’s not being treated like a criminal when I have not been accused of a crime. It’s a fundamental attack on the 4th amendment, plain and simple. Maybe I’m wrong, as I’m not a constitution scholar. You don’t want angry people to try and blow up civilian targets, don’t occupy their countries, for a start. Don’t have a foreign policy that supports oppressive dictators and countries that repress some portion of their populations. And stop trying to shut down their places of worship when they flee those oppressive countries for a freer and better life here. If you and others think we need to live in a more secure state that allows this sort of thing (or the Israeli alternative), then what needs to happen is you guys need to start a grassroots movement to change the constitution to reflect that.

  17. Anonymous says:


    An amazing example of a complete lack of sarcasm detection and I feel that many people have missed the inherent sarcasm in the original posting as well.

    What’s more, what dogstarman suggests is THE solution to this. If the ACLU fails, if protests in the security area fail, a national boycott of airlines would work. You do have that choice.

    You are consenting to this kind of search. You do not have the right to fly. It’s a privilege. While I find the types of searches, seizures, and detainments the TSA and other law enforcement services practice to be deplorable and in violation of many people natural rights, anyone who flies has given them permission to act in this way.

    I am in the camp that believes the Israeli style terrorism prevention system would work very well. Except that most Americans would probably perceive questions about where they stayed, who they visited, small talk for the rest of the world, as rights threatening questions. That and Americans would probably sue for harassment when they got looked in the eyes the entire time they were being talked to. We’re just too damn shifty.

    Remember to opt-out on nov. 24.

  18. DogStarMan says:

    I see what you did there.

  19. chgoliz says:

    I experienced the “Israelification” style at Charles de Gaulle a few years ago. Multiple stages of well trained employees watching each individual, sometimes overtly and sometimes subtly, and NOT going petty-bureaucratic when a group of self-centered Americans weren’t taking it seriously enough and started mouthing off. At one stage, I had to (once again) show our tickets to an agent while my kids were eager to push ahead to get on the bus to the plane. I was absentmindedly holding up the tickets for review while keeping my eyes on the kids. He gently but firmly held onto the corner of the tickets. Hard to explain…it was just enough pressure that it caught my attention and so I turned to look at him full in the face. A split second later, he’d had enough eye contact from me that he knew he could let the tickets (and me) go. Very impressive.

    But yeah, you need employees who are self-disciplined, cognitive thinkers. There’s the rub.

  20. DogStarMan says:

    My point is not that she give her career up, but if this is the new reality, she needs to adapt or make a change. I gave up on thinking that I was owed anything by my government or my employer when I lost my 20 year job.

    I remember the last time the TSA changed their screening methods and it exploded on this site. People got arrested for LED shirts, etc. BB railed against it, blah, blah, blah. Did anything change? Nope, things have now gotten tighter.

    I envy you people that think you are free to affect any type of change in this country…you are blissful in your ignorance.

    • Brainspore says:

      You don’t think you’re owed anything by your government? I thought I was a cynic but that’s just sad.

      • DogStarMan says:

        Not really anything beyond what I’m getting now. I’m a simple guy and I don’t ask for much. What you may call cynicism, I just look at as low expectations.

        • Brainspore says:

          Not really anything beyond what I’m getting now. I’m a simple guy and I don’t ask for much. What you may call cynicism, I just look at as low expectations.

          Many would consider “cancer surviving flight attendants getting to keep their breast prostheses in their bras” to not be asking for much. This isn’t about expecting the government to do more FOR us, it’s about expecting them not to do new, needlessly invasive things TO us.

  21. Teller says:

    fwiw, I think the Republicans, in their inimitable and nasty way of douching the Administration, are going to run with the TSA thing. If the Administration does nothing – it’s tone deaf to the American people! If the Administration relents, Obama’s people don’t know what they’re doing! It’s a w-w for Republicans and, perhaps, a victory for privacy activists from strange bedfellows.

  22. Daemon says:

    You ever notice how often the price of freedom is your freedom?

  23. MRKiscaden says:

    The problem is many people cannot simply choose not to fly. Air travel has become so integral to the US economy that its a false choice.

    I’m pretty sure most employers would be quite upset with an employee if the employee said “Sorry, I can’t go to Arizona this month by air, I don’t want to be groped by the TSA”.

    • TheMadLibrarian says:

      Apologies if this ends up a double post.

      In addition to TSA harassment of cancer survivors, rape victims, people with prosthetics, toddlers, attractive women, and anyone who objects to the security theater, you can add residents of the 49th and 50th states. It’s nearly impossible to leave either Alaska or Hawaii without boarding a plane, ditto traveling within the state.

  24. Neon Tooth says:

    You don’t want angry people to try and blow up civilian targets, don’t occupy their countries, for a start. Don’t have a foreign policy that supports oppressive dictators and countries that repress some portion of their populations. And stop trying to shut down their places of worship when they flee those oppressive countries for a freer and better life here. If you and others think we need to live in a more secure state that allows this sort of thing (or the Israeli alternative), then what needs to happen is you guys need to start a grassroots movement to change the constitution to reflect that.


  25. Annibal says:

    I dunno, folks, I feel WAY safer now that the TSA is targeting “cute” girls to stare at nekkid, groping everyone and their 3-year old (!) children–who are screaming (because everyone knows you only scream if you have something to hide…in your teddy bear), harassing people with prosthetics, irradiating cancer survivors and everyone else, humiliating and bullying their own coworkers, detaining people without reason and threatening to sue them for trying to leave, and being a general nuisance to everyone’s rights, freedoms, and personal privacy.

    I mean, if you’re dissenting, it means you have something to hide, you criminal! If you’re a good, upstanding citizen you have nothing to fear! (Unless the TSA decides to “prank” you and plants something in your bags or on your person, just for shits and giggles.)

    Honestly, if all you people who have to fly for your jobs or to see family or whatever just stopped flying you wouldn’t have to deal with it! Find another job! Make a new family! (That’s what babies are for, after all.) It’s not like we’re in an economic slump with a small job pool, I bet it wouldn’t take you more than a year to find a food service industry career.

    All you people who want to travel for leisure, stop it! You don’t have the right to do that. No siree, I don’t care how much you’ve earned through your hard work, if you so much as complain evarh about the heroes at the TSA keeping you safe, you don’t DESERVE the right to spend your money how you see fit!

    So there!

    (I’m not sure how much sarcasm is readable through that tirade. I mean, I hope I sounded sarcastic enough, but you never know, amiright?)

    (P.S., that last paragraph was still sarcasm. Just FYI.)

  26. Anonymous says:

    I believe the government owes us everything. We give them a monopoly on violence; we assent to the theft of our wages to provide for public services.

    However, I expect the government to give us none of the services we are paying for with those costs and, at this point, don’t see how anyone could expect the government to do any less than the worst it could at the time.

  27. Dr. Pasolini says:

    I’m certainly not in favor of the TSA’s various policies, nor its general ineptitude. For those who say people are “choosing” to put up with the invasive searches, might we not also say that people are “choosing” to run the risk of dying in a terrorist attack, when they fly?

    But it is an interesting phenomenon, if we step back from our immediate outrage a bit, to look at these stories, and try to ascertain why they have legs, especially on the internet. A 2 minute security screening that involves a complete invasion of privacy is no picnic, but compared to the vast array of other civil rights issues in play at any given time, it does seem like small beer. From Guantanamo to wire taps to attacks on reproductive freedom to crackdowns on immigration to harassment of peace activists on down the line — it’s 45 years after the Voting Rights Act, and we still have white supremacists conspiring to keep black people from voting, after all — this TSA stuff doesn’t seem like it should warrant so much attention and vitriol. Opposition, sure, but the purported horror of having a vague likeness of what your nude body might look like if you were made of gray pudding displayed to a bored government functionary for a few seconds, or the humiliation of the same functionary doing an ineffectual pat-down is lost on me. I don’t like it, but frankly there’s just so much else to organize against right now.

    So, honestly, for those of you who are making this an organizing priority, what is your particular reason for privileging this issue over the other possibilities?

    • mindysan33 says:

      I think part of it is that it is actually the only one that is getting attention. I see it as interconnected to the others you mention, not as distinct from it. I think there have been people talking about all of these things for a good long while (one good example is Glenn Greenwald), but it’s been this that’s garnering attention in the past few weeks. Do the others need attention — yes, yes, HELL yes. But there is no reason not to start here, as right now this is the most visible manifestation of the creeping military-security-industrial-complex, and the one that more people are actually going to see and come into contact with most frequently.

      Also… what lectroid said.

    • Anonymous says:

      I personally would reply that no one should give up her rights to bodily integrity and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure in the name of ‘security,’ without first being shown that said ‘security’ is compellingly necessary and at least reasonably efficient.
      I would imagine that most people would reply, “Because this affects me directly.”
      600 million people fly in the US every year (not unique travelers, admittedly, but surely there are at least dozens of millions of unique flyers per year). That’s an awful lot more flyers than peace activists, racial supremacists and Guantanamo detainees combined.
      I’m not saying it’s necessarily right (or wrong) that people only protest things that have direct personal impact. I’m just saying that’s probably the reason you’re looking for.
      Also, I bet lots of us are also angry about Gitmo, voting rights violations and warrantless wiretapping. At any given time I’m outraged by a good fifteen different issues.

    • grimc says:

      Which do you think is more important: Organizing against torture of brown people, or ensuring they can vote?

    • Neon Tooth says:

      I think there’s an inconvenience aspect at play, as well as discriminatory issues with the workers. Look at the comment in this story, middle class people being treated like lower downs: “My daughter’s white! she doesn’t look like a terrorist!”. That’s just *one aspect* though that you can pick up on from comments and attitudes. That said, these procedures are without a doubt invasive and ridiculous.

    • lectroid says:

      “So, honestly, for those of you who are making this an organizing priority, what is your particular reason for privileging this issue over the other possibilities?”

      Possibly because this particular issue affects THEM more than the others you mentioned. Perhaps they are not minorities living in largely poor communities where these voter-suppression activities are taking place. Perhaps they are not women who live in areas where their access to reproductive services is limited, by either culture, income, or legislative means. Perhaps they or their close friends or relatives are not undocumented workers. Perhaps they have much less personal sympathy for the Guantanamo detainees.

      Asking why anyone chooses to get up in arms over THIS particular issue as opposed to THAT particular issue is a pointless question. People care about what they care about. Personally, I cannot fathom why some people seem want to devote all their time worrying about whether pet cats can be declawed or not. How can they possibly care about such a trivial issue when there are people right in their own neighborhoods going hungry, getting inadequate medical care, etc. But you know what? I’m not them. Something in the issue speaks to them, and they’ve decided that on this particular issue (or that one, or some other one) they feel that change is necessary and work to convince people their point of view is the right one.

      People working towards a cause in a knowledgeable and positive way is generally a good thing, even if you yourself do not agree with their particular priorities, or heck, even if you disagree with their cause!

      An engaged citizen attempting to make life a little better for his or her fellow citizens by raising awareness and spreading information is better than people simply accepting the status quo and deciding watch the CSI:Miami marathon. The first leads to social pressure which forces our society to move. The latter leads to stagnation.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Since there are hundreds of countries where TSA-style harrassment doesn’t happen, yet they are very much free… no.

    Have you considered that the terrorists are having a laugh at you, and they stopped terrorizing since a sizeable while, as you are doing their work yourselves?

  29. Pirate Jenny says:

    I wish people would stop comparing the TSA patdowns to the ones you get at concert venues. I’ve been to many rock shows and have been patted down from time to time, but I can assure you they don’t grab your breasts or put their fingers in your crotch. Ever. Maybe I’m just going to the wrong shows.

    I’m not keen on the scanners. I don’t think their safety has been adequately proven, and I don’t think they’re going to stop any reasonably determined terrorist, as has been pointed out over and over. But I would rather go through that thing (since I don’t fly frequently, thank goodness) than the physical search. Trouble is, if the airport doesn’t have the scanners yet, apparently your choice is get groped or don’t fly. Not okay.

    • mindysan33 says:

      I’m still trying to figure out what concerts people go to where they get frisked! I’ve been to 2 concerts in the last month, and nothing like this happened. Are these big arena type shows, or big outdoor festival concerts? I’ve been to a number of shows in my life, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a bag searched or been frisked once.

      • Anonymous says:

        Closest I had to a frisk was attending a pro basketball game. At the security checkpoint I was asked to hold my coattails up and out as I made the required pirouette. I could not help visualizing the entire crowd in tutus…

        (Really, I think this “security” was more about preventing bootleg beers than a terrorist attack. Praise Wackenhut!)

  30. gwailo_joe says:

    Sure, BB has gone very TSA:WTF lately. But why not: it’s the topic of the moment.

    I read the link from Motor City Is Burning. I don’t love the idea of settling (haha) for such ingrained paranoia. The interviewed guy basically calls all North Americans sheeple: that’s kind of insulting. . .but he has a point. Our security system is inefficient, backwards-looking, and more and more invasive of human rights and dignity.

    That is Completely Un-American.

    Well actually we do inefficient quite well: we would rather pay a whole mess of lame brains some lousy wage then pay fewer smarter more professional people to do the same job. Dunderheads need employment too, you see. . .

    But those Israelis, trained to recognize human behavior as well as they are. . .better paid I hope? Military trained. . .no doubt about that.

    Would this country be better off by adopting different standards?

    One thing is sure: Without a doubt what we have now, is pretty pathetic. . .

  31. oddible says:

    I can’t even remotely imagine that Israelification article working in North America. The problem is that you need a significantly more advanced personnel operating these checkpoints that currently exists at all N.A. airports. This may work in Israel but the cost to maintain this more specialized personnel at N.A. airports would dramatically increase the cost of flying. Currently we hire the bottom of the security dregs to man our TSA stations. There must be some middle ground. I think that much of the problem with the TSA right now is the attitude – both the attitude of flyers toward the TSA and maybe more importantly the attitude of the TSA toward flyers. If the TSA reps handled things with more humanity rather than just processing flyers like a machine things would go much smoother and ruffle less feathers. This is the problem with almost all beat-level justice and security operatives. Police and TSA treat all citizens like they are guilty until proven innocent.

  32. Frank_in_Virginia says:

    A simple question for those who feel either we talk too much about the TSA or try to “inform” us we are better “safe than sorry”.

    How many people were killed by terrorists on September 10, 2001 while flying in an commercial aircraft from a flight that originated in the United States.

    I’ll help you out here. The answer is none.

    The fear generated by security theater serves only the fear. The Transportation Security Administration is “expected” (by the flying public) to ensure the same number of persons killed on 9/10/2001 is the number we should see any other day. The TSA wants the flying public to believe they are capable of doing so.

    The flying public isn’t as informed as the typical Boing Boing reader, and they want to believe the Government is protecting them. It is in the best interest of the Government (as represented by the TSA) to maintain a level of fear. So they use “public” measures of protection (porno-scanners, etc.) to place a public face on their “War on Terror”.

    Boing Boing, by exhibiting the tenacity of a junk yard dog, shines a light on those (the government) who would rather have the public stay fearful in the dark.

  33. Sork says:

    To me Cathy doesn’t really look like the typical jihad extremist.

  34. Rob Cruickshank says:

    34 comments in, and nobody’s made a “booby trap” joke? I think the internet is broken.
    Perhaps the TSA folks watched this classic:

  35. mccrum says:

    While this is simply rhetorical and based solely upon everyone who claims that flying is not a right, but let’s imagine that after the ’93 truck bombs in the Towers that one could be pulled over while driving anywhere, patted down and had one’s car searched for security. “Would these people be claiming that driving is not a right” in the same way or would they claim the 4th Amendment applies here as well?

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