Texas anti-TSA-grope bill killed by threat to shut down all Texas airports

Discuss

94 Responses to “Texas anti-TSA-grope bill killed by threat to shut down all Texas airports”

  1. Mister44 says:

    Fuck the TSA.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I know you have a posting history on BB, so why waste the username on terribad trolling?

    I’ll come right out and say it: the TSA should have no labor rights at all. Mostly because it shouldn’t exist, but also because . They’ve been an entirely reactionary force, which does no good whatsoever when the likelihood of an American dying in a terrorist attack is already less than that of being struck by lightning. Taking that into consideration, their only value is as security theater, which most people on teh interwebz think is abhorrent.

  3. Gulliver says:

    Yay! Mutual bigotry and hyperpartisan flame wars. Now ask yourself, how would you feel if it was swing state standing up for its citizens and this was still the era of Dubya? Would public workers magically transform into totalitarian enforcers?

    This is why nothing ever gets fixed. Everything is reduced to a political football.

  4. weldeng says:

    Can someone help me out. Is the TSA considered law enforcement, like police, FBI, etc? If yes, why do they have to get police involved in arrests. Also if yes, what happens if they are replaced with one of the private security firms that can also perform their job.

    I guess in the end, I’m asking what gives them the right to do this stuff that if a police officer did it, it would be illegal or if I were to do it I would be beaten and thrown in jail.

  5. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Neon Tooth,

    You go on the same shrill rant-fest every time this subject comes up. Take the rest of the day off.

  6. Palefire says:

    Thank God someone came to their senses. There are way too many idiots in state legislatures.

    • hassenpfeffer says:

      And there aren’t idiots in the TSA? This is another slap in the face to anyone who dares challenge the Almighty Gropers.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So, the TSA has openly admitted that their standard procedure is to “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly [touch] the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of the other person, including touching through clothing, or touching the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person.”

    If the TSA does not do any of the above then the law would have no practical impact.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Of course one response to this is to get a few more states to pursue such (basic civil liberties) bills, would the feds really be willing to contemplate the shut down of California, Texas, and Illinois; for example?

  9. delt664 says:

    Use of threats to shut down airports? Sounds like terrorism to me.

    I think the bill is well intentioned but not quite thought out. We need to act on the federal level to assert our constitutional rights and end the useless imposition that is the TSA.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So, it’s official: in order to safely run an airport, government officials must be allowed to sodomize you.

    Makes sense to me. They f**k us every April 15th. Now they want anal.

  11. Amelia_G says:

    I cry involuntarily now the whole time I’m standing in line for airport security. That’s public and awful, but then comes the TSA touching.

    I will accept help from the Texas legislature on this one. I’ll accept help from Sarah Palin.

    Nice wording, by the way! The Lege’s list begins with the correct organ.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How the fuck do I get off this planet?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Man I’d have felt actually proud of TX legislature for once if they had told the TSA, “Go ahead shut us down. Have fun rerouting all those Dallas and Houston flights”. They actually had a chance here to live up to “Don’t Mess with TX” and should have called TSA’s bluff. TX is home to major mid-US flight hubs.

    TSA doesn’t do anything useful to keep flights safe. You know what keeps flights safe now, more vigilant passengers who will never again be passive sheep on a plane. Someone gets up to something funny on a plane and it’s an instant dog pile.

  14. imhotep says:

    Fuckers.

  15. Evil.librarians says:

    If the TSA is directly responsible for passenger safety. Can they then be held liable for any injury or death resulting from their failure to protect fliers?

  16. jramboz says:

    TSA: “Screw you and your hippie 10th Amendment.”

    I seem to recall there was some sort of war fought over this kind of Federal bullying of the States. Back in the 1800s, I think it was…

    • GreenJello says:

      I seem to recall there was some sort of war fought over this kind of Federal bullying of the States. Back in the 1800s, I think it was…
      If by “bullying” you mean the unfounded fears of southern states that the election of Lincoln meant the end of slavery (good riddance), then yes, and the rebels lost that one as well.

      Seriously dislike the TSA, & the grope-a-thons but this is nolonger (if it ever was) the way to do it.

    • wsst1000 says:

      Before the war the southerners were Federalists who insisted that the Fugitive Slave acts be enforced throughout the United States. Without Federal supremacy the slave economy would have fallen apart. It was only after the war that the former traitors who wanted to continue their maltreatment of blacks became interested in state’s rights.

    • OrcOnTheEndOfMyFork says:

      I seem to recall there was some sort of war fought over this kind of Federal bullying of the States. Back in the 1800s, I think it was…

      The States lost. But at least slavery ended, so it wasn’t all bad.

      Thing is, the problem Texas has is they can’t regulate federal airspace. Even if each State were responsible for regulating their own airspace (which would be a nightmare for everyone), there’s still the matter of the national defense of the country’s airspace, and there’s still the idea that there’s a war with international terrorists bent on taking over planes going on.

      I’m not saying it isn’t a fight worth having, it’s just not going to be an easy one to win.

    • Chris Tucker says:

      Ah, yes. That was the War of Southern Douchebaggery, as I recall.

    • petertrepan says:

      I seem to recall there was some sort of war fought over this kind of Federal bullying of the States. Back in the 1800s, I think it was…

      I challenge you to name one state’s right, besides slavery, that the states seceded in order to protect. Then explain why only states that relied heavily upon slave labor for farming seceded.

      • petertrepan says:

        Then explain why there is so much overlap between people who talk a lot about states rights today and people who support the federal anti-gay marriage amendment.

    • mindysan33 says:

      Yeah. I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon of this here, and say that this is wrong. If you go read much of the founding CFA documents (which I think I might make my students do this semester) you will see that the protection of the institution of slavery is mentioned quite a bit and was the motivating factor. And don’t forget that Lincoln was wavering about the full ending of slavery across the country up to 1863! The emancipation proclamation only freed slaves in rebelling states, not nationwide. it was the 13th amendment which ended slavery, after the war. The issue was always about new territories and the spread of slavery to those territories, not about abolition.

      Regarding the issue at hand: The supremacy of the fed, within limits, is defined within the constitution, written the way it was in part due to the weaknesses of the articles of confederation. On that level, you can argue that the Texas legislature is in the wrong, as this is about interstate commerce. The argument we need to make is that the TSA gropes and the invasive procedures in general are direct violations to at 2 amendements to the constituion – the 2nd and 10th. The states rights argument doesn’t seem to have any legal ground to stand on…

  17. Palefire says:

    Look, I don’t want the groping anymore than anyone else does, but this was a stupid waste of time and effort. The outcome was inevitable and nothing changed.

    • David Llopis says:

      I was hoping that either Texas would have called the TSA’s bluff, or that TSA would shut down Texas flights, and that this would create a national embarrassment, killing security theater, finally!

  18. Alvis says:

    ENSURE the safety of passengers and crew?

    That’s a bit cocky, no? I mean, “make the passengers and crew feel safer”, maybe…

  19. Marcelo says:

    While we all hate the TSA, this bill isn’t really about that. It’s about ultraconservative wackos who want states to have the power to nullify federal law. delt664 is right on, we need to combat this on the federal level, not provide states nullification powers that could then be used to destroy public education, health care, you name it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry Marcelo, the cat is out of the bag, When the president can write NSDs (national security directives) that trump the constitution. Then all bets are off. The fed doesn’t need warrants to take american citizens and hold them indefinitely without trial and without even showing any evidence, as long as they say it is a national security matter. As long as the government can order the assassination of anyone anywhere without trial, there is no way that this can be redressed at the federal level. That is the point. The federal government has shown they are above the constitution.

      And for those people that say it is the “crazy” republicans that are destroying the nation. That is incorrect. There are many independents and there used to be many democrats that were against government destruction of civil rights. If bush was back in office, there would be fewer republicans supporting this. I voted for Obama thinking he would redress these issues, but instead he’s just taken the fed to the next level.

      People need to stop thinking in partisan terms. This is an issue of civil liberty and government intrusion. When I was young, this used to be something championed by democrats but with Obama in office most are silent.

      There are areas of agreement with the PEOPLE of both parties. If we would get together on those issues the PEOPLE could get changes in government. End the 3 wars!! End the banker bailouts!! End the tax cuts for billionaires and global corporations!! Audit the federal reserve!! End the massive flow of money to the federal government with the hope some will get routed back to the states!!

    • Cowicide says:

      While we all hate the TSA, this bill isn’t really about that. It’s about ultraconservative wackos who want states to have the power to nullify federal law. delt664 is right on, we need to combat this on the federal level, not provide states nullification powers that could then be used to destroy public education, health care, you name it.

      I say let the Republican corporatist idiots ruin the states they run. The public will get what they deserve for voting in Republicans and not kicking their corrupt asses out. Meanwhile, in states that didn’t have a populace that voted like idiots, they can continue to progress and show the other states by example.

      Let’s let the Republican party destroy itself. I normally wouldn’t want this because of all the horrible collateral damage they’ll cause, but things have gotten so bad and the public so damn dumb and docile, I think the only way to shake the populace from its slumber is to let the corporatists run everything into the ground in places where the public is too stupid to stop them.

      The country is so fucked at this point, it’s time for drastic measures. You want people to rise up? Let the Republicans ruin everything in states they run.

      • Anonymous says:

        As a Texan who voted a straight democratic ticket in the last election, I’d like to say “grow up.” I didn’t vote for these jerkoffs, and nobody deserves to have their government ruined. If you really believe in your rationale, then you vote for the suckers.

      • petertrepan says:

        If democracy really worked according to specs, we’d still get the government only 51% of us deserve — but it doesn’t even do that.

        Remember last year’s political ads for Alabama? Here’s a reminder:

        Roy “Ten Commandments” Moore
        Tim “This is Alabama, We Speak English” James
        Dale “Dale Peterson Facts” Peterson

        You probably saw some of these ads, but you probably didn’t see that they all failed miserably at the polls. I’m not that excited about the candidates we did elect, but the fact that all these guys were seriously fielded and failed tells me that Alabama’s political establishment thinks its voters are a lot crazier than they really are. How many people stayed home on election day because there were no acceptable choices? How do you get a government you deserve out of that?

        • Cowicide says:

          How many people stayed home on election day because there were no acceptable choices?

          Then you get off your ass and run for office. You DON’T let your town, city, state or country go to shit.

          But, that’s what we’ve collectively done as weak citizens. This is the product of the worst generation.

          It’s up to us to turn it around, if it’s not already too late.

  20. scopeyPDX says:

    What’s Texas, a haven for terrorists?

    TSA aside, I like to see the bit about “conflict directly with federal law” trotted out a early often, when state legislatures act like 8th graders.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I am disgusted with many of these comments.

    Look, Texas, and the south in general, does a lot of stupid things, we can all agree on that.
    But, why are you people cheering so much for the expansion of the TSA???

    Thanks, guys, I really appreciate it.
    Now when I take the Amtrak upstate, I can’t take my pot with me, because the TSA is there.
    And I have to worry about what might be in my bag.

    It’s a major hassle to have “my papers” ready just to board the bus — and while the TSA has only set up shop at a few bus and train terminals, they’ve made it clear that they intend to expand.
    So, thanks again, you jerks, for supporting that.

  22. Gutierrez says:

    I don’t know why you wouldn’t press the bill regardless of the warning. If the government is into “too big to fail” try cancelling every single flight into through and out of the state of Texas. How long do they think they could make that idea last? The Southwest headquarters and former Continental headquarters are in Dallas and Houston respectively. And how do they think the air traffic controllers would take to the idea of having to re-route that many flights? Well, okay, Regan would fire the ones who wouldn’t. But why is probable cause such an issue?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Everyone likes to bring up that slavery was a state’s rights issue, therefore any state’s rights issue is comparable to slavery. Unfortunately, when you’ve got an abusive federal government (I don’t think anyone on bb would debate this), state’s rights are all you have.

    Which I’m sure is exactly what the Confederacy said, but, be real, we’re talking about a fed that penalizes use of a drug that is less harmless than alcohol (as worse, or as bad as, cocaine) and mandates sexual abuse in all the airport’s and is taking a dump on the Constitution. It’s not the same thing as slavery.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Would you be cheering the Federal Government on, if, say, California went ahead and completely legalized pot, and the feds threatened to seal off the CA border and send federal agents in to beat cancer patients?

    Yeah!
    Let’s reign in that crazy rouge state!
    Show em who is boss!!

    MORONS!
    I *like* the fact that America has a diverse range of culture and governing style.
    I like that states have the authority to try radically different styles of laws, because, it gives us all more freedom and flexibility.

  25. Nimdae says:

    As I’ve pointed out in the past, I’m following this bill and a related one (HB1938). The news seems to be missing a lot of facts on the progression of this bill repeatedly. HB1937 is still alive. Previously, media was exclaiming around 4/12 the bill passed the house when it only passed the house committee. The bill didn’t pass the house until 5/15.

    It’s likely this bill will not pass (be shelved, not receive enough votes, etc), unfortunately, because of how much the TSA is lying to our senate, and our senate accepting those lies as fact.

    “conflict directly with federal law”

    If I recall correctly, the TSA itself conflicts directly with federal law and HB1937 enforces it. The federal law I’m referring to is the Fourth Amendment. HB1937 does not prevent the TSA from doing their job, but rather requires the TSA to have probable cause, such as through exigent circumstances (ie: someone looks really nervous, scanned luggage requires further examination, etc), to perform a physical search (pat down). Further, HB1937 takes away the protection the TSA agents have from sexual assault charges that exist in the guise of “following policy”.

    TSA agents are still allowed to perform their screenings through this law, such as the X-ray luggage scans, and the advanced imaging technology scans (this gets addressed in HB1938). TSA agents are also still allowed to perform physical searches based purely on probable cause, and in a manner that is acceptable. All the same, the Fourth Amendment is somewhat restored for travelers in Texas.

    So far only the TSA is being vocal against this bill. For some reason they are hell bent on protecting their agents who are allowed to perform illegal searches and sexual assault with impunity. It’s not just a matter of being molested or raped, but protecting the security of self from, lets be honest, those you don’t trust.

    TL;DR: I don’t understand how HB1937 conflicts with federal law and prevents the TSA from doing their intended job.

    • Jake0748 says:

      “If I recall correctly, the TSA itself conflicts directly with federal law and HB1937 enforces it. The federal law I’m referring to is the Fourth Amendment”.

      You said it better than I was going to. Why SHOULDN’T the TSA have to have some probable cause before doing these horrible, invasive searches?

  26. Anonymous says:

    The TSA needs to be brought to justice. The supreme court should be sending marshalls to arrest their people RIGHT NOW. This is absurd.

  27. shadowfirebird says:

    A Texan friend of mine claims (over IM literally ten minutes ago) that senators phones are “melting” from people calling up to disagree with the bill being pulled, and “the senate is still threatening to send the bill back to the house”. So it’s only Mostly Dead….

    Personally I’d like to see someone to face up to the TSA.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hypothetical scenario:

    The federal government creates a clowning agency.
    The feds employ a workforce 50k strong, to go around in bright clown cars, and get in people’s faces and honk silly horns all day long.

    And if you don’t laugh along with their theater, the federal clowns have police powers, and will arrest you and give you a $10,000 fine for not being jolly enough.

    Now, this agency is utterly stupid and a complete waste of money, and generally gets in everyone’s way, and everyone hates them.
    You cannot find a single person who actually likes the clowns.

    WHY is the discussion about whether the clowns should unionize (and calcify their position in our society).
    Why is the discussion NOT about the quickest and simplest way to remove them, or at least slash their funding and minimize their hold over us?

    Does a SINGLE PERSON in this thread actually like the TSA?
    ANY OF YOU?
    Would you shed a tear if they were disbanded?
    I’d honestly like to know if a single person reading this likes the TSA.

    Those of you that have an issue with this bill, only do because it is Texas that is doing it.

    Here, here’s a compromise:
    Let the TSA unionize, but slash their funding 50%, and revoke most of their powers, reducing them to mall cops.
    Don’t let them carry weapons — if they want to search someone, they’ve got to call a real police officer to do it, and if they touch you, it’s assault.
    And if they want to go on strike, LET THEM, we’ll just have to fly without their “help”.

    Then, I would tolerate the existence of the TSA.

  29. Taymon says:

    This is how federalism works in the U.S.; federal laws and rules take precedence over state ones. Plenty of constitutional scholars (and apparently Cory) believe that it’s not supposed to work this way, but it does, and despite the occasional protests of both Tea Partiers and actual libertarians in Texas and a few other Southern states, this arrangement is generally accepted by Americans.

    The only way for TSA groping to end is at the federal level.

  30. Neon Tooth says:

    Good for the TSA for not buckling over ridiculous anti-labor, right wing, agenda driven Texas bullshit!

  31. eviltaz says:

    1. Feds do not have authority over domestic travel and Congress routinely has to extend TSA’s waiver to continue this practice, so stop saying this is nullification. If anything, the Feds have nullified states rights. TSA screening was supposed to only be a 3-year temporary program.

    2. States lobbied to require TSA to have an opt-out clause so airports can hire private companies to perform screening. San Francisco international airport already did this.
    *** MY TACTIC WOULD BE TO OPT-OUT, THEN PASS A LAW MAKING IT ILLEGAL FOR THE PRIVATE AGENTS TO GROPE PASSENGERS. SINCE THE AGENTS WOULD NO LONGER BE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, THIS IS NO LONGER AN STATE VS. FED ISSUE. ***

  32. Anonymous says:

    And apathetic people DO deserve it.

    No, they don’t. It happens to them, which is why they should learn to take steps against it, but that’s different. Do people who tried and failed, or have too many other problems to worry about, or simply don’t understand what they should be doing also deserve to suffer just because they will?

    • Cowicide says:

      No, they don’t. It happens to them, which is why they should learn to take steps against it, but that’s different. Do people who tried and failed, or have too many other problems to worry about, or simply don’t understand what they should be doing also deserve to suffer just because they will?

      Yes. Once again, apathetic people will get what they deserve. I didn’t make the rules. It’s life.

      If the populace works for rights and struggles, they are far more likely to make strides in human rights for all. If the populace sits on its collective ass and votes on nothing more than watch American Idol, then don’t be surprised when everything goes to shit.

      Sorry, real life isn’t a video game. There are actual consequences to inaction in real life. And there’s no reset button, some things are simply irreversible damage.

      Sorry, I didn’t make it this way. Go complain to God.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Couldn’t we fix all this by having the TSA hire only really hot gropers?

  34. jphilby says:

    Wow. They lettin’ the feds push them around down there? I remember when Texass had REAL men in it.

    “Shut down all the airy-ports? You just go ahead ‘n do what you gotta! Course, uh, Texass might gotta stop all other bidness crossin its borders too. Until we git our Texass passa-ports ready, ‘n git our Rangers wired-up and fired-up, heh, for border duty. Bah the way, you got til sundown to git all yer buddies out the state. Else our Blackwater boys we got maht mistake them for, uh, Ay-rabs ‘n get all nervous ‘n stuff.”

  35. Palefire says:

    I think the only way TSA regs will be repealed will be through the courts. I don’t think that a different administration is going to change anything.

    For those lobbing baseless accusations about conservatives in Texas pushing the Texas HB, that’s nonsense.

    I am Texan and largely conservative and I still think challenging the TSA on the state level was pointless.

    Fed law trumps state law.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re missing their argument. Their argument is that conservatives who want to be independent of the [unjust] federal government are crazies.

      My argument would be: If you think the federal government will ever cede power willingly, you’re more likely the crazy.

    • Neon Tooth says:

      This is all about undermining labor, promoting privatization, and state rights. It’s a completely right wing agenda.

      intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly [touch] the anus

      Give me a F****** break. Ridiculous demonization of the public workforce.

      It’s worth mentioning once again:

      Republicans have used this playbook before, of course, it’s just that Wisconsin finally made us all too aware. Perhaps the most obvious example — and the least understood — is from last November, when the same basic strategy was used to wage war against the TSA’s 55,000 employees, who have been locked in a savage decade-long battle to gain the same collective bargaining rights that employees of all other federal agencies enjoy. Unlike in Wisconsin, the Republican right succeeded in burying the story about the TSA employees’ struggle for collective bargaining rights underneath a sophisticated, well-PR’d campaign demonizing TSA screeners as modern-day Gestapo agents, rapists and child molesters.

      http://exiledonline.com/did-you-fall-for-it-americas-outrage-over-tsa-porn-scanners-was-right-wing-pr-to-prevent-workers-from-unionizing/

      • Anonymous says:

        How has the federal fight for the 4th amendment gone? Oh right, no elected official, short of those you’re demonizing as being wingnuts, have opposed any of the violations. Democrats and Republicans close ranks when it comes to dismantling the Constitution.

        Get off your fucking high horse. You clearly don’t have the luxury of choosing your allies. Who represents you in the federal government on this issue?

  36. eviltaz says:

    Also, wouldn’t the actual act of shutting down ports (air or sea) be considered an act of war normally. TSA would have accomplished what Al-Queda could not.

    Who are the real (T)errorists (S)abotaging our (A)irports now?

    • Neon Tooth says:

      Who are the real (T)errorists (S)abotaging our (A)irports now?

      How childish.

      • eviltaz says:

        Haha, namecalling. Classy.
        Do you get paid to troll here?

        I don’t usually respond to flaming, but I feel this issue is actually important. This will be my last response here.

        The comment you called childish was actually sarcasm and irony at the idea of TSA shutting down airports. Those concepts might be a bit over your head. The act of threatening to shut down airports seems like the childish thing to me.

        My stance has nothing to do specifically with inappropriate touching, but with security theater in general. I believe in Benjamin Franklin’s quote:
        “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
        I suppose you would also support Congress voting to extend the secret authorities granted by the Patriot Act for another four years today.

        But here’s a serious question. I’m very curious, although I probably won’t bother to come back and read your response, so it’s mostly rhetorical. Do you really believe that anti-TSA sentiment is a right-wing agenda? I remember only a few years ago when being against the Patriot Act and TSA under the Bush administration made you a left-wing liberal. Wow, talk about the modern day Ministry of Truth in action.

  37. Anonymous says:

    More evidence that the TSA is the real terrorist organization.

  38. Anonymous says:

    IMHO the 1st Amendment ensures the right to organize labor. Freedom of speech + right to assemble = organized labor. It ought to be cut and dry. It ought to be. *sigh*

    On the other hand, I’m not at all easy with the idea of TSA employees considered civil servants. Am I being stuck up to consider the FBI, NASA and the National Park Service a cut above McDonald’s reject TSA goons? Yeah, but it’s justified.

  39. Anonymous says:

    To those saying we need to work it out at the federal level:

    Long ago, there were naysayers who thought the American colonists ought to work out their differences with King George III. After all, colonial subjects don’t have the right to overturn imperial law.

    I support the USA as a federal union, but I will not stand for despicable, illegal laws which order agents of my government to commit serial sexual assaults for a day job.

    To TSA: bring it, bitches. Let’s shut down airports in all 50 states.

  40. shadowfirebird says:

    I think this bill has already had a big effect, win or lose: it prompted the TSAs response to threaten to close Texas airports. That’s pretty bad PR from where I’m standing: when a single government body starts threatening to close all the airports in a whole state, that surely says they have a tad too much power.

    Also, I wonder if it opens any avenues for legal redress.

    I don’t live in the US, but I think it’s fair for me to have an opinion on this because what the TSA does has international ramifications.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Threatening to shut down airports? Gee, that sounds a little bit TERRORISTIC, doesn’t it?

  42. CLP says:

    I agree with many commenters here that this Texas law smells like nullification and is probably unconstitutional. But I would have liked to have seen the courts make that determination. What happened instead was that the TSA threatened to use its power to cause massive harm to the Texas economy if Texas passed a law they didn’t like. That’s abusive.

    A lot of liberals–myself included–would have been angry if the Bush Administration had done that. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be just as angry that the Obama Administration has done this.

  43. dross1260 says:

    Don’t care about the law, but what about constitutional right to freedom of movement?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are free to move, you can walk anywhere you like with no interference… well not much except that walking long distance makes you a suspicious character these days…

      You have no right to travel by commercial air liner, or bus. or on a road that is not monitored by cameras (think toll roads).

    • Neon Tooth says:

      I don’t think the personal choice to patronize a private airline is mentioned in the constitution. Sorry to say……

  44. Anonymous says:

    There are already laws against molestation and sexual assault. How about local Texas police growing a pair and actually arresting TSA agents? They don’t need the anti-grope-bill to make it stick.

    • Neon Tooth says:

      There are already laws against molestation and sexual assault. How about local Texas police growing a pair and actually arresting TSA agents? They don’t need the anti-grope-bill to make it stick.

      That would involve actually having to make a case against specific documented incidents, rather than relying on a right wing pr campaign of hype and anecdotal incidents.

  45. marc anthony says:

    As a Texas resident, I would very much like this bill to pass, as I feel that the TSA pat-downs violate my liberties to move about the country unaccosted. I don’t even like air travel anymore because it’s such an ordeal, and it’s time that someone challenged the TSA. I’m disappreciative of the TSA trying to use this intimidation tactic on my State’s government. If they have a problem with a law that may come to pass, then let them mount a legal challenge to it. Threatening to close down our airports unless we allow them to feel up our people without reason is prima facie evidence that something is VERY WRONG.

  46. giax says:

    In that case TSA should also ban flights to anywhere outside USA as well.
    Places like Europe or even Israel don’t force one to have their naked pictures taken or go thru “freedom grope” or however you want to call the gate rape, to fly.

  47. jackdavinci says:

    I was under the impression that airports weren’t actually required to use the TSA anyway, and could use their own security instead. Didn’t a few airports do just that after all the naked scan hoopla?

  48. Anonymous says:

    Those wacky state legislatures, always trying to stand up for the Fourth Amendment.

    I can’t believe some of you people. Are you really on the TSA’s side in this?

    Texas may be a redneck, religious nightmare, but at least they stood up and said enough is enough.

    The solution is a federal law? Name one of the feckless federal lawmakers that would have the guts to introduce an anti-groping bill.

    And God, let’s not focus on the assault the TSA commits daily on American citizen, let’s focus on the real victims: government-employee unions!

  49. Avram / Moderator says:

    People eager for TSA workers to unionize ought to familiarize themselves with what the California prison workers’ union (the California Correctional Peace Officers Association) has done to that state’s prison system. And legal system! The CCPOA spent a million bucks getting a “three-strikes” law passed, because having more people in prison was good for the union.

    • benenglish says:

      …People eager for TSA workers to unionize ought to familiarize themselves with what the California prison workers’ union…

      Suppressing my immoderate responses to this is difficult, but I’ll try.

      Federal unions are different from state unions. All the crap that’s blamed on state unions for being money pits, doing too good a job of negotiating, etc., etc. are bound up in the fact that state public unions can often (though not always) strike. That gives them the power to push for things that might not be in the public interest. Bad situations have developed.

      *Federal* employee unions CANNOT strike. Some folks would say that a union that can’t strike isn’t even a union. I say that federal unions, neutered though they may be, are a good mechanism for preventing the return of any sort of spoils system and a good brake on general government douchbaggery. Their relative weakness led to the resolution of potential excess pensions, for example, over a quarter-century ago when the Civil Service Retirement System was replaced with the Federal Employee Retirement System.

      Now, I agree that it’s arguable that the TSA should exist at all. That’s another argument.

      But if they exist, they should be able to unionize.

      Anyone who says “A union for set Y of FEDERAL employees is a bad idea because of all the crap that set Z of STATE employees caused when they formed a union” is so far off in red-herring land that I fear they can never find their way back.

      Please don’t do that. It’s downright painful to watch.

    • EH says:

      SFO TSA workers are already contractors due to SF’s requirements for collective bargaining. That is, in some airports they are already unionized.

    • Neon Tooth says:

      Fantastic gigantic red herring aside, I imagine collective bargaining would result in better pay for TSA workers as well as a bigger say in disputing some of the policies you all are complaining about.

      Do many of you really honestly feel that workers are really looking forward to having to search you? Are you that delusional? Entitled?

      • Avram / Moderator says:

        It’d also give them more power to impose new oppressive policies. I don’t imagine they enjoy groping me, but I also don’t imagine they’re too opposed to the scanners. Like most people in their position, they’ll be in favor of whatever ever makes their lives easier and their jobs more secure, and won’t really care if that means longer waits and more inconvenience and humiliation for passengers.

        • Neon Tooth says:

          So you believe this is the fault of lowly TSA workers, not policy makers? You believe that ‘anus touching’ is a real problem? Or is this all a bunch of b.s.? I think we know the real answer. Are you the kind of big man who screams at a McDonald’s employee because they don’t still serve breakfast in the afternoon? There’s a full on class/entitlement aspect of this that’s really being successfully exploited by anti-government narratives. It’s pretty sickening really.

          • bja009 says:

            “Are you the kind of big man who screams at a McDonald’s employee because they don’t still serve breakfast in the afternoon?”

            Now who’s being childish?

            That aside, I’d like some clarification. Is it your position that the entire anti-TSA ‘movement’, if you will, has been drummed up by anti-labor right-wing groups? Or do you believe that there are also TSA opponents who are motivated by a belief in privacy and the value of the 4th Amendment, who would oppose TSA procedures whether or not they unionize?

          • Neon Tooth says:

            Judging by the comments usually on display in these threads the latter group that you describe is pretty elusive. It seems like a nice dash of class entitlement issues with a heaping helping of unreasonable anti-government/right wing rhetoric/hysteria. Are you one of the *many* people who’ve supposedly gotten their anuses touched? I can’t help but think that there are a vast number of other occupations that have worse records when it comes to ‘anus touching’. It’s funny that there’s a story about police sexual assault on the front page now, but nobody’s suggesting that all police are molesters or that there needs to be specific legislation against police sleeping with drunk women……

          • Anonymous says:

            Dismissing any concerns about privacy as entitlement because it only really impacts a few people is an easy way to race to the bottom.

            It’s as simple as this, Neon: the TSA policies are inappropriate and oppressive. The right-wing slight-of-hand is to treat the workers as if they were the policy makers, and so blame them for this problem; but you are accepting the same equivalence, if you really think that defending the former means excusing the latter.

          • bja009 says:

            Well, I’ve never had my anus touched *by a TSA agent*…

            But actually, I would identify myself as part of the second group, and I don’t think we’re terribly elusive, but that could just be sampling bias. I don’t consider myself to be hysterically anti-government either. I just happen to think the 4th Amendment is a pretty good one – probably my second-favorite behind the 1st. And I also happen to think that making exceptions to the 4th for the TSA is not something I can support. When I balance the value of personal privacy and bodily integrity against the security value of the TSA, the TSA loses. Feel free to disagree – a lot of people do.

            (And I’d recommend dropping the ‘other occupations touch more anuses’ argument. If thing A sucks, but thing B sucks worse, the existence of thing B doesn’t excuse the fact that thing A sucks. Nothing against proctologists, mind you.)

  50. Dewi Morgan says:

    If you run an airport, you don’t have to use the TSA. They’re just the “preferred provider”, and if you don’t use them, then you’re to blame if you choose bad people, so they’re the de facto only choice.

    So if the TSA “shut down the airports”, the airports would open the next day with another security company, and the TSA agents would be out of work.

    Bring it!

  51. Rob Knop says:

    A lot of liberals–myself included–would have been angry if the Bush Administration had done that. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be just as angry that the Obama Administration has done this.

    Thank you! This is where I am too. I’m seeing a lot of knee-jerk reactions above. Yes, there are some thoughtful reasons why this law wasn’t a good idea, but there’s also a lot of “this came out of the right-wing tea party, therefore it must be bad” sort of reasoning.

    I’m pretty horrified by some of the stuff that the Texas legislature does. The kind of shenanigans that go on with science standards in the state make me hurl. But just because I don’t like it in general doesn’t mean that it can’t do something right.

    We all bitch about the TSA. Here was a group trying to DO SOMETHING about it. If you’re going to call it “the wrong way to do it”, please not only say, but get moving with the **right** way to do it. The TSA and it’s complete and utter trashing of the fourth amendment is one of the most shameful things that the USA has done in response to 9/11. (The whole torture business leaves it in the dust, of course, but just because the torture business is worse doesn’t mean the TSA isn’t bad.) If we elect a presidential candidate who says that presidential authority went to far, who then turns into a president who does absolutely nothing about it (and if anything extends it), then perhaps we should say, shit, we tried at the federal level and that failed. So let’s start making noise in the states.

    Force the TSA to call that bluff and see how the world reacts. Force the courts to shoot down the law, and force us to admit out loud that the Fourth Amendment is dead. The only way the TSA will stop doing their invasive security theater is if it starts to hurt the bottom line of large congressional campaign donors. If they really did shut down Texas airports, that’d cause an economic stir that would finally get people in Congress and our president to notice. As it is, I suspect they don’t really know how angry a lot of people are about this, because it doesn’t affect their campaign donations.

  52. jetsetsc says:

    I would think it would take one or more people groped without apparent probable cause to sue. That could ultimately end up with the Supreme Court reviewing the constitutionality of the TSA procedures – were the plaintiffs 4th amendment rights violated? Isn’t that how checks and balances are supposed to work? IANAL so there may be issues about grounds to sue a Federal agency that would prevent this.

  53. Marcelo says:

    I’m not saying that the ONLY reason this bill exists is because they’re anti-labor and anti-government rightwingers.

    But there’s a HELL of a lot of that subtext in this particular bill.

    We can both have what we want here. The TSA can suck balls on its own AND the bill to ban them in Texas can be fueled by an effort to demonize government employees in general as part of Wisconsin-esque right wing bashing of anyone who works for the government, especially at the federal level.

    The people who say “fix this at the federal level” aren’t saying that the government isn’t being overly intrusive or that the TSA is a-ok. But frankly people who want to reform the TSA without turning a bunch of federal jurisdiction over to the states are playing with fire by joining up with the folks who pushed this bill. As soon as they beat the TSA they’ll go for some other branch of the fed government or their state government. They’ve already come for the teachers.

  54. Anonymous says:

    There are already laws on the books which make the activities during a typical TSA gropefest illegal. All it takes is a local cop stationed at each checkpoint with a camera. Arrest a few dozen (or a few hundred) TSA gropers and hold them for trial on the highest feasible bail and your problem will be simplified — the worst of the gropers will be out of the way and the remaining ones will probably see the light.

  55. Heisenberg says:

    Y’all seem to be taking the “conflicts directly with federal law” bit at face value. While fed law does trump state law, there is no federal law mandating sexual assault of airline passengers.

    It’s nothing but a talking point. The TSA can carry out their federal mandate without sexually assaulting passengers. They did so for several years prior to the current policy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. Why were the new TSA groping guidelines implemented when there hadn’t been a problem with the old screening methods?

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