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Poll Finds Americans Think the TSA Is 'Doing a Good Job'

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the also-think-whoppers-are-healthy dept.

Government 523

OverTheGeicoE writes "Why is it that airport security never seems to change in the United States? Perhaps it's because most Americans think the TSA is doing a 'good job,' according to a surprise Gallup poll, allegedly commissioned by no one but the kind editors at Gallup. The poll found that 54% of Americans believe the TSA is doing a good or excellent job, and that 57% have a good or excellent opinion of the agency. So why all the criticism? According to the article, criticism of the TSA comes primarily from 'Internet sites, where reporting standards are generally not at the same level as newspapers, where reporters are taught to consider what is told to them with skepticism and to seek responses to charges.' Furthermore, 'the TSA is put into a difficult situation when such charges are posted with little or no fact checking by reporters.' Other sources, of course, have different interpretations of Gallup's results, including questions about whether the poll was biased. If Americans secretly do love the TSA, that could explain why the recent whitehouse.gov petition failed to gather enough signatures for a 'response.' In fact, you'll find so little information about the petition remains on whitehouse.gov that you'll wonder if my link is correct. And these are not the droids you're looking for. Move along."

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$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946043)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, She is Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.

Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

I am Alexander Peter Kowalski (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946169)

I am Alexander Peter Kowalski, and I claim my $10000.

Re:I am Alexander Peter Kowalski (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946221)

I am Alexander Peter Kowalski, and I claim my $10000.

NO!

I am Alexander Peter Kowalski, and I claim my $10000.

Re:I am Alexander Peter Kowalski (0)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946405)

No, I am Spartacus! Wait, I think I am in the wrong movie!

Re:I am Alexander Peter Kowalski (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946435)

I am Alexander Peter Kowalski, and I claim my $10000.

NO!

I am Alexander Peter Kowalski, and I claim my $10000.

Liars, both of you. For I am the one true Alexander Peter Kowalski, and the $10000 is mine, mine, mine, I tell you.

Re:I am Alexander Peter Kowalski (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946493)

NO!

I am Alexander Peter Kowalski and I claim my $ 100 00 .

Re:$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski (4, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946259)

Oh shit, Time Cube Guy's into computers now...

You Don't Invalidate Basic Rights (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946535)

With a popularity poll. A significant portion of that 54% of Americans, when read the Bill of Rights, believe you are describing an antithetical, Socialist manifesto.

How can you judge if the TSA is "doing a good job", if you are among the 44% of Americans who are unable to define the Bill of Rights? [thedailybeast.com]

I for one DO believe the TSA does a good job. That job is one of eroding fundamental protections of basic rights while enriching cronies.

Re:You Don't Invalidate Basic Rights (5, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946569)

  • Many more Americans remember that Michael Jackson sang "Beat It" than know that the Bill of Rights is part of the Constitution.
  • 60 percent of Americans can correctly identify the number of children in reality-TV show couple Jon and Kate Gosselin's household (eight), but more than one-third do not know the century in which the American Revolution took place (18th). Half of those surveyed believe the Civil War (1861-1865), Emancipation Proclamation (1863), or War of 1812 occurred before the American Revolution (1775-1783).
  • More than 50 percent of Americans surveyed wrongly attributed the quote, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" to George Washington, Thomas Paine, or President Barack Obama, when it is in fact a quote from Karl Marx, author of "The Communist Manifesto."

-- "83 Percent of U.S. Adults Fail Test on Nation's Founding"
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/83-percent-of-us-adults-fail-test-on-nations-founding-783 [prnewswire.com]

Real reason (5, Insightful)

gander666 (723553) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946051)

Most of the people either don't travel by air, or travel very infrequently. Those of us who are road warriors are vastly more likely to hate the TSA with vehemence.

Re:Real reason (5, Funny)

kthreadd (1558445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946141)

So you're saying TSA don't do a good job?
Then tell me how many buildings terrorists have flown airplanes into recently. Name one!

Re:Real reason (4, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946247)

..as a proportion of such incidents in countries without that kind of security theater?

Re:Real reason (5, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946293)

How many terrorists has the TSA caught?

If the number is large, then your question is relevant. Otherwise they are the magic rock that keeps the tigers away.

Re:Real reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946345)

"So you're saying TSA don't do a good job? Then tell me how many buildings terrorists have flown airplanes into recently. Name one!"

The TSA is just stealing the credit. We're actually all safe because of the rock I started carrying in my pocket on September 12th! If only I had started carrying it just one day earlier...

Hello! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946395)

Can you contact us at TSA?

We would like to discuss the possible acquisition of your rock.

We'd also like to know about possibility of mass production of aforementioned terrorist-repellent devices to secure all transport terminals once and for all.

Re:Real reason (4, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946467)

You think the creation of the TSA is the only thing that has changed? What about increased cockpit security or the willingness of citizens to fight back? You seem to be assuming that it's all because of the TSA, but the other things that have changed seem to be vastly more effective than simply molesting people airports.

But even if they were effective, I believe they must be opposed. Violating people's privacy and freedoms for safety is not acceptable to me.

Re:Real reason (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946489)

So you're saying TSA don't do a good job? Then tell me how many buildings terrorists have flown airplanes into recently. Name one!

Oh no the TSA has done an excellent job. Mind, their job has very little to do with terrorists or safety, and everything to do with making Americans feel safe (with a nice side order of funneling money to certain congress/senatorial districts), and they have done a quite good job at that. After all, very few people want a government that looks like it isn't doing anything (Democrat or Republican), no matter what it actually should be, or is, doing.

How Many Terrorists Have They Caught? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946495)

You think that they are doing a good job? Many people beg to differ:

Adam Savage from Mythbusters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqoiifBZD4E
Chidren in Wheelchairs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNO-AzPxS4U
Molested Women: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwvcpS5iLjI
Lactating Mothers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwvcpS5iLjI
Drug Dealers: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/26/news/la-trb-tsa-drugs-20120426
TSA Agents: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgZZeBpZAnM
The TSA Itself: http://articles.cnn.com/2008-01-28/us/tsa.bombtest_1_airport-screeners-airport-security-fake-bombs?_s=PM:US

Exactly how many "Shoe Bombers", "Underwear Bombers","Chemical Terrorists", and "TSA Screeners" have they caught?

Re:Real reason (4, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946143)

Pollsters always seem to be sampling or over sampling the wrong people.

They evidently polled AMTrak passengers for this one.

Re:Real reason (-1, Troll)

not already in use (972294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946161)

I've traveled a fair amount and have had no issues with the TSA. "The internet" loves having things to be indignant about, and TSA was the golden child in that regard for a long time. Apparently, some of you are still holding onto it.

Re:Real reason (5, Insightful)

thelexx (237096) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946361)

Unlike you, for whom the threat of a jackboot on your neck for trying to go about your business as a free citizen has become comfortable.

Re:Real reason (-1, Flamebait)

not already in use (972294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946523)

Oh, I get it. Your life (understandably) is so boring, drab, and uneventful that you convince yourself that you're living in a dystopian novel. You then go on the internet trying to convince anyone who isn't needlessly indignant that they should be, and if they arent, then SHEEPLE, blah blah blah. You guys crack me up.

Re:Real reason (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946443)

I travel often as well and have not had any specific icidents where the TSA caused me any problem, but I do see them as a massive waste of time and money in that they add little real security. I'm not someone who was reared in a way that left my ashamed of digital representations of any of my appendages or of my general silhouette. Then, on the other hand, I don't expect there is any threat being addressed by one being made of me, apart from the threat of someone in the security industry not being able to make his mortgage payment.

Though the few times I've flown internationally have raised my personal hassle level to High (high risk of my saying 'fuck' a lot). I expect if we make it that hard for an actual citizen to get back in the country, it must really be awful for those visiting.

Real reason is it depends on how you phrase it (5, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946229)

The article has a significant bias that's expressed in the spin it puts on the result. Data showing 54% of Americans think the TSA does a "good or excellent job" is not "Americans secretly do love the TSA." It could just as accurately be summarized "Nearly half of Americans think TSA is not doing a good job."

Re:Real reason (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946319)

I swore off air travel before the rape scans were ever considered. Being treated worse than cattle by the airlines was enough for me. There is absolutely nothing that could ever happen that would get me on an airplane again. The airlines can fuck off and die as far as I'm concerned.

Not Applicable to all. (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946411)

Some of us would like to see friends on other continents from time to time.

Re:Not Applicable to all. (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946557)

Take a boat.

Re:Real reason (2)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946389)

That was my thought. 20% of Americans used air travel for business, and 48% have used air travel for leisure. That is for an entire year and doesn't say how many times. If you are like me, I only go for work maybe once a year. I am too cheap to fly for shits and grins. So in that once a year I go, I think the TSA bit has been different every time I went through. My general impression is it's a grossly bloated and mostly ineffective federal agency. Security theater so to speak. It plays well with the rubes and lines a lot of pockets with federal dollars though, so it will continue.

Re:Real reason (0, Flamebait)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946441)

i've traveled on airplanes since the early 1990's and security is mostly the same. we still had metal detectors and wands back then too

big differences now are more scrutiny of electronics that most people simply didn't have back then and taking off your shoes. otherwise i would get rid of all the metal before the metal detector back then too because i got the wand

advertisement (4, Informative)

nazsco (695026) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946055)

how do you prove to potential clients that you can skew every public opinion survey?

release one saying TSA is loved!

Re:advertisement (5, Funny)

BigT (70780) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946117)

Sample question from the TSA survey:

Do you think the TSA is:
a) Doing an excellent job
b) Doing a great job
c) The best thing EVAR!
d) The reason I hate America, children, and puppies.

Re:advertisement (4, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946325)

I think that in people's minds it was more like:
a. they're doing a good job
b. they're not doing a good job so when they see people vote for this option, they will step up their security to even more ridiculous levels

Seriously, I don't think it's outrageous to say that people realistically thought if they voted no, security would get more intrusive

Wrong question (4, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946517)

It's not that they're not doing a "good job"--most interactions with them are fine. It's that they're doing the wrong job.

There are enough horror stories that they get a bad rap, sure. But the bigger point is that they are doing a job that it is stupid for us to be paying for. It inconveniences every traveller in the US and it does not make us significantly safer. Secure the cockpit doors and stop worrying about bombs--if you secure the cockpit doors, all they can do is blow up the plane, and they can blow up a bus so it's a ridiculous waste of money and time to be providing absurd security.

9/11 was (1) an attack that could only work once and (2) about flying the planes. Take away the ability to fly the planes, and the plane is no longer a particularly useful terror target, it's just a target.

Don't get me wrong--I'm happy that there are people working to make terrorist attacks on the US harder. I just don't believe that the TSA is a useful way to spend those resources.

Re:advertisement (0, Troll)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946125)

how do you prove to potential clients that you can skew every public opinion survey

Get George Bush elected?

(Sorry, that wasn't fair.)

Proof the system works! (5, Insightful)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946059)

> Most Americans think the TSA is doing a 'good job,'

Of course they do. That's the whole point of security theatre:

Security theater: term that describes security countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to actually improve security. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_theater [wikipedia.org]

Re:Proof the system works! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946233)

and tsa thinks that somewhat is good when interpreting the results.

and polled mostly people who hadn't flown and just miniscule amount of people who could compare with other countries..

54% is considered a good grade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946063)

WTF.

Re:54% is considered a good grade? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946103)

WTF.

It's 'better than average' - It's the Lake Woebegon way.....

Re:54% is considered a good grade? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946225)

That's good or excellent job. It'd be like 54% of a class getting an A or B. Of course, if the other 46% gets an F, then it's bad. However, if the other 46% is C's, then it's pretty decent.

within margin of error, survey says... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946507)

half of americans do NOT think the TSA is doing a good job

Re:54% is considered a good grade? (3, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946537)

I deposited a check recently. The next day, I was surveyed on my banking experience. They wanted to know how helpful the teller was at selling financial products not related to check depositing; whether she smiled, and so on. Each grade less than a 10 was followed up on-- as if her job depended on my unwillingness to cakk her stellar.
It's like ebay--anything less than a five star rating results in financial penalties.

Using that standard, 54% is a flunking grade.

Re:54% is considered a good grade? (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946575)

Any service agency that gets a ~50% approval should be looking to improve or disband. That level of satisfaction is poor! If you are a seller on eBay with a 97% rating, that is considered pretty bad. I think the IRS would not be pleased if I paid my taxes 54% of the time.

Biggest load of crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946071)

This survey has got to be the biggest load of crap I have heard in a long time.

Re:Biggest load of crap... (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946329)

How do you figure that?

I think that what a lot of the slashdot crowd forgets is that the reason all these things we hate go on is because the public in general is ok with them. We care about these issues and are baffled by the fact that others don't.. but they care about stuff we don't. If everyone _really_ hated the TSA, or was upset about the ongoing errosion of privacy, or patent insanity, or IP nonsense.. it would be stopped immediately. Truth is there is only a small group that care about these things.. we just perceive it as a huge thing because we hear about it constantly in our chosen circles.

A lot of what the TSA does is not designed for security, but to provide the illusion of it. We get this. The illusion however is effective to those who either don't get it or don't care.

This isn't just specific to us either. It happens in most areas. I'm sure there are groups who feel passionately about other things that we really should be paying attention to but could give a shit about. That's just the way this stuff works.

At the very minimum, we have to accept that we represent a minority opinion on issues such as privacy and security.. and move from there. Assuming the public would be outraged and fall in behind us if we could only explain it to them correctly is not gonna get us anywhere.

Re:Biggest load of crap... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946483)

You are assuming that democracy is functioning for us. If we have no real choice on th e matter, then an option can be unpopular but still remain. Even them, there it's skewing for demographics with higher turnout.

not that surprising to me (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946075)

I don't think it requires assuming the poll was biased or that "internet sites" are posting un-vetted charges. A simpler explanation is that, even if the TSA does suck, most Americans either don't know or don't care. In particular, a significant percentage of Americans don't fly regularly, and they tend to support whatever air-security measures some official claims are necessary. To them, something that sounds like security is good, and who cares if someone's inconvenienced, because it's not them anyway. For example, a 2010 poll [nytimes.com] found that x-ray scanners and new pat-down procedures were more popular among non-fliers:

Among Americans who fly at least once a year, 58 percent support the new x-ray scanners, versus 70 percent of Americans who fly less often than that. Support for the new pat-down procedures is at 44 percent among fliers, meanwhile, versus 52 percent among those who do not fly regularly.

Re:not that surprising to me (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946239)

In other words, people like it when bad things happen to other people but not themselves.

Re:not that surprising to me (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946509)

In other words, people like it when bad things happen to other people but not themselves.

No, people are INDIFFERENT to bad things happening to strangers far away.

TSA does some good (-1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946085)

Why have would-be terrorists resorted to increasingly bizarre and ineffective weapons - the shoe bomb, underwear bomb, and chemical cocktail? If they thought they could, obviously they'd just bring some hand grenades, and you can be darn sure those would work every time.

A lot of TSA criticism comes from people who want stringent security for "those people" but not for "us" - meaning white people, grannies, etc. But if you think about it for a few seconds you know where that leads.

Personally I would scale back the TSA and the nekkid scans, but as a value tradeoff, knowing it would come at some cost to security.

Re:TSA does some good (5, Interesting)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946215)

Pre-911 security would detect hand grenades just fine. And 911 hijackers used freaking boxcutters, not guns or grenades.

And I have a boxcutter, scissors and a screwdriver in my backpack right now. They are never detected by airport's scanners because my backpack has a nice carbon plastic compartment that reduces the contrast of items within it. I've been flying with them for several years through tens of TSA theater checkpoints by now. So I'm "better armed" than a 9/11 hijacker all without trying to do it specifically.

Re:TSA does some good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946549)

dat meens ur a tururist!

Re:TSA does some good (4, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946281)

Or the shoe/underwear/toner cartridge bombers could be what they were before 9/11 - crackpots; and the TSA could be using them for the "See? We told you so, terrists - but we're keeping you safe!" publicity value.

"Slippery slope" is a pretty lame argument in the face of grannies in wheelchairs having their colostomy bags searched, and toddlers having their sippy cups taken away, and a thousand other stupid anecdotes we've all heard. The REAL problem with TSA isn't necessarily the screening itself, which could be done pretty inconspicuously, but the sheer ostentation of going through a glacially slow-moving "security" checkpoint run by thugs and bullies.

Re:TSA does some good (5, Insightful)

ibwolf (126465) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946425)

Why have would-be terrorists resorted to increasingly bizarre and ineffective weapons - the shoe bomb, underwear bomb, and chemical cocktail? If they thought they could, obviously they'd just bring some hand grenades, and you can be darn sure those would work every time.

A lot of TSA criticism comes from people who want stringent security for "those people" but not for "us" - meaning white people, grannies, etc. But if you think about it for a few seconds you know where that leads.

Personally I would scale back the TSA and the nekkid scans, but as a value tradeoff, knowing it would come at some cost to security.

And planes were routinely hijacked with "hand grenades" prior to 9/11??? The simple truth is that pre 9/11 security measures were more than adequate to prevent a hijacker from bringing guns or powerful, easy to use explosives on board a plane. What they could do (and did) was bring smallish cutting implements (e.g. box cutters).

The problem with 9/11 wasn't in what the hijackers brought on board, but that they changed the rules of airplane hijacking. Prior to 9/11, if your plane was hijacked, you cooperated. That was the best way to ensure that you would survive.

The 9/11 hijackers changed the rules, but the passengers couldn't know that. On one of the four flight the passengers did learn this, sadly too late to prevent the takeover of the plane, but they did prevent the hijackers from killing more people on the ground.

An attack like 9/11 could only ever work once. Now we have reinforced cockpit doors and passengers will not cooperate with hijackers. Any attempt to hijack a plane, without using firearms at a minimum, will be stopped by the passengers who will assume that the hijackers mean to crash the plane.

All this means that the myriad of additional security nonsense on the ground is almost entirely security theater. Initially, this was mostly a case of ass covering (something needs to be done, this is something, ergo this must be done) but lately (as with the 'porno' scanners) this seems driven by a desire to line the pockets of private enterprise with taxpayer money.

tl;dr It is possible to scale back the TSA without sacrificing actual security.

54% is LOW (5, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946111)

If 54% think it's doing a 'good job', that means that 46% of Americans DON'T think it's doing a good job.

Fifty four percent is incredibly bad performance - it's a failure at a high school test.

What if I were to tell you that 55% of Americans think the IRS is doing a good job? It's certainly something I could believe - as the IRS audits less than 1% of Americans each year. Give something to compare it to. Otherwise, this is a puff article designed to make the TSA look good without any evidence WHATSOEVER.

Re:54% is LOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946253)

If you look at it from the perspective of having a 9/11 style attack. Then yes they are doing a good job.

Re:54% is LOW (5, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946503)

But is the TSA actively preventing a 9/11 style attack, or is a 9/11 style attack prevented by reinforced cockpit doors and general passenger awareness that following a hijacker's demands no longer leads to a safe landing? Seriously, what kind of terrorist post 9/11 is going to get on a plane with a box cutter and not be torn asunder by a mob of angry passengers?

I traveled abroad for the first time recently to Japan. When I left for home, I didn't have to take off my shoes or my belt, didn't have to go through a full body scan, didn't have to be groped or fondled and generally humiliated. After we landed in LAX and I went through security again, I was standing around with a bunch of guys from my flight as we put on our belts and our shoes, generally redressing in the middle of a crowded airport terminal, and the one said to me "Welcome back to America." Indeed.

I see nothing strange here (5, Insightful)

theRunicBard (2662581) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946113)

Most Americans think that evolution is controversial, that Algebra is too hard for them, that FOX is informative, and that the Earth revolves around Oprah. Indeed, nothing strange here. Move along.

Re:I see nothing strange here (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946223)

Evolution is controversial. That's a fact. There's a great deal of controversy over it.
I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Re:I see nothing strange here (0)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946381)

"trickle-down" is also a theory, in the same way that evolution is.

Re:I see nothing strange here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946393)

No shit, sherlock. That was his point. That evolution is controversial because Americans are willing to cling to the comforting believe in an invisible and immortal sky-daddy, and that evolution is inconsistent with the Christian belief that humans rode dinosaurs.

Of course, you're just another American idiot, and living proof that elitist socially-retarded aspies with 3-digit I.Q.'s can be as equally as annoying and useless as inbred bible-thumping, FOX-watching, 2-digit IQ hicks.

Dumbfuck.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:I see nothing strange here (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946497)

Not for any good reason.

You knew what he meant.

Just goes to show... (1)

robnator (250608) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946119)

polls don't reflect, well, anything but the pollster's spin.

Re:Just goes to show... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946197)

A poll walked into a bar....

Survey finds 54% of Americans are dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946137)

Surprising, I would have thought the number would be a little higher.

I wonder (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946139)

I wonder who paid for this survey? Because I'm sure it'll come out someday.... I started driving everywhere since 9-11 anyway. Saw the writing on the wall, etc. Gonna have to keep up the pressure re TSA, because frankly the TSA makes me feel very unsafe, simply because they even exist in the first place. And guess what, I happen to *live* in NY...

HAHAHA! (5, Funny)

TorrentFox (1046862) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946153)

'Internet sites, where reporting standards are generally not at the same level as newspapers, where reporters are taught to consider what is told to them with skepticism and to seek responses to charges.'

I haven't laughed so hard in months. Thank you, PR lackey, for brightening my day.

Biased question no matter how you answer it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946157)

If 100% of people had said not effective then it would be taken as a need to increase TSA funding. So what the poll questions really boil down to: "I think the TSA is doing great", and "I think the TSA needs to be even stronger".

Bullshit (0, Troll)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946171)

It's bullshit. The poll is an outright conniving intentional lie. All the well known polling organizations are corrupt and involved in multiple conspiracies.

Anyone who believes this shit believes in the tooth fairy and Santa Clause, has bought the Brooklyn Bridge multiple times from the same scruffy guy in rags pushing a pram full of possessions down the street, denies that American elections are rigged, and really believes Hitler and the North Korean prick got 99% of the vote in their respective elections.

Let me tell you about my last encounter with TSA.. (3, Interesting)

Brewster Jennings (2642639) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946187)

I accidentally left my sunglasses and jacket in one of those tubs that you put through the scanner last Christmas while rushing to a last minute flight after some genius wearing more chains than Mr. T snarled up the security queue for 30 minutes at a regional airport.

Upon returning a week later and checking in with TSA agents, I found out they had itemized and bagged my stuff and got both back to me in less than 15 minutes.

Not everywhere is Dulles.

Lies, damn lies, statistics, opinion polls (1)

cocotoni (594328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946191)

And in related news billions of flies around the world prefer shit to honey, but I don't take their preference as a nutritional suggestion.

I travel and I don't *hate* the TSA (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946199)

I do a fair bit of flying and while I don't particularly like the TSA, I don't hate them, either. They have a job I wouldn't care to have myself. They haven't made my life any worse than that of any other guy (or gal) in the line; I'd say I like them as much as I like the average cashier at WalMart.

From my experiences with TSA at a lot of different airports in this country, I would say they are doing their jobs as said jobs are prescribed to them. That, in a lot of cases, qualifies as a "good job". Not outstandingly good or bad, just "good".

Re:I travel and I don't *hate* the TSA (1, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946383)

Is it a good thing to do a good job at violating people's privacy? The cashier at walmart at least provides a public service. A TSA agent has no legitimate reason to exist.

Long Lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946205)

I'm always amazed by the long lines to get through security at large airports. They know how many people bought tickets, so why do they rarely seem to be prepared for the volume of people coming through?

The Polled the Wrong People (1)

weiserfireman (917228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946235)

If they didn't screen for people who actually have flown commercially since 9/11, then they got a lot of ignorant people without any experience to base their opinion

If they didn't screen for people who had flown commercially before 9/11 and then had flown after 9/11, they got a lot of people without the experience of what it used to be like vs what it is like now

Where did they look? (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946241)

>> Poll Finds Americans Think the TSA Is 'Doing a Good Job'

I suspect they mean pole.

51% of readers think this was a good article (1)

sacdelta (135513) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946243)

Why is it, if a poll shows an approval of over 50%, the media takes that to be overwhelming support? Taking into account that many polls are biased to provide the answer they are looking for, a narrow margin is not really something that major decisions should hinge upon.

Petitions (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946251)

The petition failed to gain enough signatures because everyone knows that they won't get a real response from the administration. Case in point, there was a petition that got 75,000 signatures (3 times the threshold) where the President was asked to explain why Cannabis should not be regulated by alcohol. The response was written by the Drug Czar, and failed to mention alcohol once.

This was the great hope for change we elected in 2008. This was what was supposed to be the most transparent administration in history. And he can't even answer a simple question about his policies honestly.

Doesn't surprise me at all (4, Interesting)

ax_42 (470562) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946273)

Look at the comments below any newspaper article criticising the TSA. Filled with comments along the lines of "Stop whining about security, I don't care if I have to strip nekkid, as long as the evil ragheads don't blow up my airplane". No concept of relative cost vs risk, no realisation of the fact that this is all theatre, no understanding of the loss of liberties involved. Even the previous head of the TSA (Kip Hawley) by now says that most of the scanners etc are useless, but Joe Sixpack, he reckons the security will keep him alive.

Wrong question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946279)

I wonder who at the TSA asked Gallup to do the poll. It's completely biased. Adding the word "job" makes the question very personal. I would describe the person who checks me out of the grocery store as "doing a good job", but if I later found out that it added 50% to my food cost, I'd think that I'd be better off without them and that the self checkout lane was fine. The biggest argument isn't about how the indivduals do their job at the TSA, or if the agency is good or bad. It's whether or not the TSA is effective or worth the cost.

Let's see the result of this poll.
Do you think that the TSA has been worth the $60,000,000,000 we have spent on it?
Or how about:
Do you think that it is fair that in this economy, 4000 people at the TSA headquarters make an average salary of $103,000?

Ugg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946297)

And FEMA is doing a spectacular job preventing earthquakes and hurricanes this year...

A view from a non-American (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946313)

I actually hadn't been to the US in the last couple of years, and reading about the whole new set of scanners, privacy violations, draconian attitude by the TSA, and some scandals, I actually was concerned about what the experience would be for myself and my family.

I have to admit, it was not a big deal. Flying from Toronto was painless and we went through the usual metal detectors there. The staff (usually grumpy Canadians working on behalf of the US) was okay. I found the Americans at Pearson airport tend to be quite friendly and professional. They represent the US well.

Flying out of the US (a SW Florida airport) was a breeze and fairly pleasant. I had to submit to one of the scanners, and my family went through the metal detector only as we have young children. The TSA staff was very friendly and quite accomodating. We even had one incident where my wife had left a water bottle full of liquid in her purse. They were nice about it, chatted with us and then ran it through the X-Ray again.

So it sounds that many of the complaints and scandals have forced the TSA to make changes. There's still a lot of security theatre in place and I think 9/11 will leave us with that forever unfortunately.

All in all, I'd say that the American airport security and customs staff were friendlier and more competent than their Canadian counterparts.

Of course I'm generalizing and being Caucasian, I'm sure my experience may differ from other folks.

TSA (2)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946315)

I would like to see some evidence that the TSA is doing a horrible job and that the people who think otherwise are obviously deluded fools as the summary suggests.

Not saying that it's not, but I'm just a little bit suspicious that such hostility towards the TSA comes from the anecdotal evidence of few unnecessary searches of grannies and such and personal experiences of relatively minor inconvenience and not from a thorough and impartial analysis of the security procedures based on deep knowledge of what it takes to secure airports.

Re:TSA (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946469)

I would like to see some evidence that the TSA is doing a horrible job

Easily done [go.com] .

According to one report, undercover TSA agents testing security at a Newark airport terminal on one day in 2006 found that TSA screeners failed to detect concealed bombs and guns 20 out of 22 times. A 2007 government audit leaked to USA Today revealed that undercover agents were successful slipping simulated explosives and bomb parts through Los Angeles's LAX airport in 50 out of 70 attempts, and at Chicago's O'Hare airport agents made 75 attempts and succeeded in getting through undetected 45 times.

Blame the internet (1)

tatman (1076111) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946337)

I always love how its the "internet's" fault when there is criticism. The complaints aren't valid or worth consideration because the internet is just a wild uncontrolled forum where anything can be said. Unless it comes from the god of a journalist it doesn't count. Right.

Seriously?!? (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946343)

I don't know a single person out of my entire family, friends or co-workers who think the TSA does a good job. There is something seriously wrong with this poll.

Duh! Obviously the font (4, Funny)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946355)

Yesterday's article showed how it's done: Poll printed in Baskerville font!

Uhwut? (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946397)

Of the three times I've flown, my shoes were dismantled because of a gel sole once, and my sack lunch had to be re-scanned to be certain it was safe.

Roast beef sandwiches: the NEW national security threat!

This poll shows one thing... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946403)

...how clueless most americans are.

Difficult to know, barring a catastrophic event (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946407)

I have this rock which repels tigers...

hmm... (1)

fullback (968784) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946419)

It's ironic that almost the exact same percentage of Americans sponge off, uh, work for the government or are paid as a contractor or supplier to the government.

WTF TSA (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946433)

If they are doing such a good job, then how did a man named Adam Savage manage to board the plane with a 12in blade...Accidentally - not even trying to hide it!

TSA more frustrating than anything.... (3, Interesting)

Kit Cosper (7007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946453)

The inconsistency of their agents has to be the most annoying thing. In Dallas a few weeks ago they were uniformly polite and efficient. In Oklahoma City they tend to be pretty good as well. In Charlotte they like to pretend they are Gestapo agents and in In Fort Lauderdale they are crass and unobservant (had a new bottle of gel toothpaste in my carry-on that went unnoticed because they were too busy bitching about the phone charger and camera clumped together) in smaller airports they tend to fumble around a lot. I flew out of Washington National a few years ago with my 8 inch dive knife in my carry-on (by accident.)

I think TSA satisfaction would increase if the airlines hadn't turned the security checkpoint into a baggage checkpoint. The volume of luggage going through the system slows everything down and creates more hassle, which is communicated to the passengers. Flying is no longer a luxury in most cases, it's a necessity. As such the airlines really don't care about providing customer service, they only try to avoid liability. This touches everyone who participates in the system.

uhh....no... BULLSHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946457)

Who the fuck are these people? And what the hell is wrong with them?!?!!?
No... i know we're morons in this country... but i still don't believe anyone supports the TSA.

This is some made up bullshit.

yuo fAil it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946499)

TSA Logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40946541)

Average Joe: Why are you scattering around this yellow powder?
TSA: To repel the elephants...
Average Joe: But there's no elephants here!
TSA: Aha, you see, good powder!
Average Joe: Good job!

Breakdown by age? (3, Interesting)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946543)

I'd be very interested to see a breakdown in these poll results by age. I would not be at all surprised to see younger, more Internet-connected respondents have a more negative view of the TSA, while the Fox News generation (average viewer age 65 [hollywoodreporter.com] , average age for Bill O'Reilly viewers 71 [huffingtonpost.com] ) tends toward a more positive view. We see the same thing with numerous other issues where pretty much everyone on sites like Slashdot agrees, but the actual politics seem to be lagging behind. For instance, 50% of Americans now favor legalizing marijuana [gallup.com] according to recent Gallup Polls, but while 62% of people in the 18-29 age bracket are in favor, only 31% of senior citizens do. And those seniors vote at a MUCH higher rate than young people. This is why issues relevant to old people are discussed endlessly, while issues important to the young are simply ignored. It's why college funding keeps getting cut every year while Medicare and Social Security remain untouchable.

Get out there and vote this November! Even if it's just for the lesser of two evils, vote anyway. The only way this imbalance will be fixed is if young people start voting at the same rate as older Americans.

Wut? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946551)

generally not at the same level as newspapers, where reporters are taught to consider what is told to them with skepticism

Bah ha ha ha ha ha! Good one!

Good Job (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946565)

The TSA is doing such a good job that they've also prevented hijackings and bombings in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica.

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