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Fighting TSA Harassment of Disabled Travelers

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the protecting-you-from-yourselves dept.

Government 525

An anonymous reader writes "A man with a neurological disorder is currently pushing the TSA to release a full list of its policies and procedures after a series of incidents in which he was harassed while trying to fly. His condition requires medical liquids and causes episodic muteness, and the TSA makes his encounters very difficult. From January: 'Boston Logan TSA conducted an illegal search of my xray-cleared documents (probably motivated either by my opting out or by my use of sign language to communicate). They refused to give me access to the pen and paper that I needed to communicate. Eventually they gave it to me, but then they took it away in direct retaliation for my using it to quote US v Davis and protest their illegal search (thereby literally depriving me of speech). They illegally detained me for about an hour on spurious, law enforcement motivated grounds (illegal under Davis, Aukai, Fofana, Bierfeldt, etc). ... TSA has refused to comply with the ADA grievance process; they are over a month beyond the statutory mandate for issuing a written determination.'"

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My answer (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year ago | (#43323041)

I haven't traveled to the USA.

The exchange rate makes it a reasonable destination, but I don't want to be treated like dirt.

Re:My answer (4, Insightful)

thephydes (727739) | about a year ago | (#43323055)

Agreed, there are places in the US that I'd like to visit, but frankly I'd prefer to wait for hours in Nairobi (yes I've done that) than have some officious asshole abuse me or my family. Thanks TSA you have really enhanced the world view of your cuntry oops ..... country.

Re:My answer (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323107)

Same here - my family actually used to own property in the US but we all sold up and left due to the actions and policies of the TSA and DHS.

One thing though: I find it very tricky to search for flights between Europe and America while excluding all hits that require a transfer in the US. Currently, I have to do it "old-school" (ie: visit a human travel agent who does the search for me) but it would be a lot easier if there was a search engine that allowed this kind of filtering.
Does anyone know of a flight search engine that allows you to do this ?

Re:My answer (4, Informative)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year ago | (#43323135)

The U.S. is America.

Re:My answer (-1, Flamebait)

Dekker3D (989692) | about a year ago | (#43323177)

The US is the united part of America, while there's also this continent called.. you guessed it.. America. It can be subdivided into North and South America, but if you just call it America, it's the whole you'd actually be talking about.

Re:My answer (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43323397)

Not in American English. There is North America and South America, but "America" unabmiguously refers to the United States of America. Australian English is the same, but with less of a stake in the confusion, are a little more lax. The only ones I've seen who insist that "America" refers to "The Americas" are those who learned English as a second language, most commonly those who speak Spanish run across the "false friend" and presume equivalence.

Re:My answer (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about a year ago | (#43323399)

Considering that the guy you're replying to is named "theshowmecanuck," I imagine he was satirizing the tendency of the US to dictate a great deal of Canadian policy, and to regard everything south of its borders as Mordor.

Re:My answer (-1, Troll)

Cwix (1671282) | about a year ago | (#43323447)

You are an idiot.

This fight has been waged on Slashdot before, the side you are taking lost. The sad part is the only reason you would phrase it that way would be to cause confusion, and piss off your listeners. I can only assume that you are related to either Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck.

Re:My answer (3, Insightful)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year ago | (#43323191)

Then what are Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama?

Re:My answer (1)

GPierce (123599) | about a year ago | (#43323243)

Use the dictionary of your choice and check the words "continent" and "country".

Re:My answer (3, Informative)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year ago | (#43323281)

What are you trying to say? Those are all "countries" in the "continents" of North and South America.

Re:My answer (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#43323349)

Those are countries. Some reside in North America and some reside in South America. If you couldn't figure ou they were countries then maybe you shouldn't participate in adult conversations.

Re:My answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323365)

In the opinion of many: mostly colonies, except French Guiana wich is an exotic part of the dirty frog eating surender monkeys...
for others of course French Guiana is the only left over colonie in the list, but these must be frigging liberals...

Re:My answer (1)

gomiam (587421) | about a year ago | (#43323201)

Not anymore, it seems :)

Re:My answer (4, Interesting)

umghhh (965931) | about a year ago | (#43323179)

tricky this.

Indeed a friend of mine traveling from NL to Mexico with transfer in US was asked to produce transit visa in US (this was in 1998 I believe so even before TSA). He is Polish so the traditional friendship between the great nations of Poland and US cost him hours of stress and missed flight to Mexico. He also needed to buy a new ticket to Mexico and arrange for a new no-US transfer flight back to Europe because he was put on some sort of special list for terrorists and other persona non grata. This was as said before TSA and I see the situation 'improved' a lot since then.

Not sure what does it do except proves that US authorities behave like assholes towards anybody because they can - it certainly does not improve security. I guess US is a federation i.e. there are really progressive states nice to visit and maybe even work but I would never know because at this time even if I personally do not have to have a visa to travel there I would only go if they really pay well say with the rates used when you travel to war zone which is unlikely. Even if they paid well I would consider twice before going. I am considered conservative and pro-US by majority of my friends so go figure.

Re:My answer (3, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year ago | (#43323353)

The exact same thing happened to me, just replace Poland with Croatia, Mexico with Finland and USA with Belgium. The asshole border police at the Bruxelles airport let me fly to Finland finally, but admonished me that "I am not allowed to come to Belgium for the next 10 years". This was 15 years ago and I now have a Finnish citizenship and have traveled all around the world, visited four different continents. But funnily enough, by pure chance I never went to Belgium again. Maybe it wasn't chance, maybe the bad experience made me put Belgium in the "fuck that country"-category.

Re:My answer (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323379)

Direct flight to canada, preferably avoiding British Airways and Air Canada, you should be ok with Swish, KLM or Air France (if you come "close" to the US border the Canadian accepted to submit to US flight conditions, so you'd prefer an airline that takes the flights as north as possible.

If you go to South america you will find direct flight to brazil, and for any other south american country use the Argentinian LAN, Buenos aires is quite a good hub, and LAN tries do be cheap (not always the most reliable in timing though, but then ... it's kind of a regional thing).

For Central America you can use Mexico city as an hub, and AeroMexico goes direct from europe to Mexico.

And finaly you can use www.amadeus.net and filter out: all american airlines, and prefer direct flights, this should enable you to find your flight quite easely and even if you might see now and then a share code flight that goes through some US hub, it will be clearly marked, and you'll be able to compare the price difference, and decide if in the faster/cheaper/less hassle criteria one or two trumps three ...

  Cheers, and happy flights

Re:My answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323263)

Where are you going? Try Air Canada to avoid a US transfer.

Re:My answer (1)

slashdyke (873156) | about a year ago | (#43323387)

It is not a search engine per say, but if you look for flights from companies in countries that are not the US, but are on the continent, you can find lots. Being Canadian, Air Canada is the obvious choice... lots of flights to/from Europe, connect in Cnaada and continue onto countries in Central and South America. I am sure Aero Mexico offers some European flights direct to Mexico and then connect again.

Re:My answer (3, Funny)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#43323467)

Having spent 3 hours in 4 lines in Caracas getting documents stamped, checked, restamped, rechecked, etc I'd much rather travel in the USA.

Re:My answer (2)

skegg (666571) | about a year ago | (#43323493)

Giddy-yup !

I've said it here before:
I would absolutely LOVE to go to the U.S. ... but I refuse to go while such conditions exist.

The Australian / US exchange rate makes Hawaii a particularly attractive destination for me, but it ain't happening. I'll instead go to another, if slightly less desirable, destination.

Re:My answer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323073)

Already been there two times. I did not feel treated like dirt, but like others airports screening process...

Re:My answer (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323161)

Already been there two times. I did not feel treated like dirt, but like others airports screening process...

Don't know what "other" airports you have been to, but I have been to airports in both Asia and Europe in the past few years (India, Japan, Germany, UK, etc), and NONE, no even a single one, had a screening process that is even remotely close to TSA.

For the past decade, I refused to travel to the US for the same reason, even though there are quite a few places I would like to visit.

Re:My answer (4, Interesting)

longk (2637033) | about a year ago | (#43323283)

Try Schiphol, Amsterdam. I found leaving Amsterdam much more tedious than leaving Dallas (both recent flights.) Same silly body scanners and security procedures but in Dallas I didn't have to wait and staff was reasonably friendly while in Amsterdam the lines were long and staff arrogant. They actually called a little girl stupid for forgetting to remove her water bottle.

More to the point: how can you know the TSA is so horrible if you didn't go there for a decade? I don't want to defend the TSA, I'm sure incidents happen and some airports in the US suck, but I get the feeling most people at many airports experience no real issues.

Finally, I do totally agree with regards to Asian airports. People still treat you like the well paying customer that you are instead of cattle that needs processing. Very refreshing.

Re:My answer (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323391)

Tel Aviv is also quite creative ... but to be honest although the process is extensive, long and obviously boring it always felt more or less reasonable
I think the main reason being that on one hand the agents really feel they are personally responsible for the security of their country
and on the other hand seem to have enough autonomy to be able to use their brain.
For example, once I was detained, looking nervous, haggard, sweating a lot, in short looking very suspicious, but when I explained the agent that I just ran all the lengh of the aeroport with a heavy carry along bag because my flight had be rescheduled, and was worrying that I would miss it because I was expected at an important business meeting in two hour after my landing... he said: yep that seems coherent: have a nice flight and let me through, even assisted me to jump part of the line to make sure I would be in time for boarding...

Re:My answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323419)

FYI, AMS and (at least some) UK airports were among the first to implement this madness with nude scans and no-water rules started. But those seem to have remained an exception in Europe. Therefore, better to avoid those too.

Re:My answer (0)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#43323461)

Amsterdam / Schiphol! What a laugh!
Don't you know they're the most horrible low-lifes that you
might think of -- kiss-up to American asses out of free will?
In that regard, indeed you might find an airport or two in the
US that's less worse, but it's a silly comparison.

Re:My answer (2)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a year ago | (#43323417)

I travel a lot. US TSA is bad, but not worse than the UK. A lot of other airports are pretty bad, some are much better.

I think airport security is a big problem, but not unique to the US.

Re:My answer (5, Insightful)

heypete (60671) | about a year ago | (#43323421)

I'm an American living in Switzerland and fly fairly regularly out of the major Swiss airports (Geneva and Zurich), as well as several other big European airports (London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Frankfurt, etc.). I also fly (or have flown) fairly regularly to/from major US airports (Washington-Dulles, Chicago, Atlanta, the New York airports, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.

While each country and airport has its own different quirks for airport security and border controls, I've never really had a "bad" screening process with any airport -- including those in the US. The TSA's asked me to go through the nude-o-scope once (every other time has been the standard metal detector), I politely opted-out, they did a quick pat-down, and I was on my way faster than many people who went through the scanner. One time my wristwatch set off the metal detector in Zurich and they gave me a similar pat-down, only it was slightly faster as they weren't explaining exactly what they were going to do like the TSA guy was. Both were of similar degrees of "invasiveness" (that is, not unusually invasive for a standard pat-down search). The screening of carry-on luggage has been pretty much the same for decades and hasn't given me any hassle.

Even when taking unusual electronics in carryon luggage, such as scientific equipment to Oman, there hasn't been any issues.

The only difference I've noticed between the US and European screening is that the Europeans don't require that I take off my shoes. A minor thing and something I find fairly stupid, but hardly the end of the world.

To me, the big difference is at border checkpoints: the Swiss checkpoints are, as you might expect, quick and efficient. The British seem to hire cheerful, pleasant people to staff their checkpoints and I've never had any issues with them at all. Lines have been minimal, even leading up to the Olympics.

The American customs and border patrol people are dressed like street cops (including body armor) at the checkpoint. They routinely have drug-sniffing dogs and will randomly pull people out of line for additional searches. Even as a US citizen, they scrutinize my passport as if it were a fine work of art and take a moderate amount of time to do so. Evidently non-citizens from visa-waiver countries need to do some pre-travel background check online that costs $15 or so (but is good for 5 years), get fingerprinted, and have their photo taken. That's definitely a hassle and I think it's unnecessary and way more uptight than the European passport control process. Still, the whole process takes just a few minutes and you only need to go through it at the border; once inside the country it's not an issue.

Re:My answer (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#43323487)

I travel a few times a year. "Screening" for me is about a 10-15 minute process, including waiting in line. Compared to getting to the airport, getting checked in, spending 6 hours in cattle class in the plane, paying extra for the privilege of bringing luggage, etc, it's just not that big a deal. And having traveled thru Britain during the IRA era, I'd say it's also not that unprecedented.

Re:My answer (5, Insightful)

Aethedor (973725) | about a year ago | (#43323113)

I totally agree. The TSA consists of a bunch of mindless idiots following stupid rules. There is nothing that those TSA idiots did that ever stopped a terrorist attack. The only thing the TSA is good for is wasting money and pissing of Americans and foreigners.

Re:My answer (5, Interesting)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about a year ago | (#43323127)

I totally agree. The TSA consists of a bunch of mindless idiots following stupid rules. There is nothing that those TSA idiots did that ever stopped a terrorist attack. The only thing the TSA is good for is wasting money and pissing of Americans and foreigners.

Wrong.

The modern TSA is a way to legally funnel government funds to contractors in the United States.

In addition, it gives the airlines and government a shield in case anything DOES happen. "Well, we at least TRIED to stop it."

The combination of the two means that it will never stop, and it will never get better.

Re:My answer (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43323323)

If it had a measurable effect on tourist numbers or very large numbers of Americans started to reject it then something might happen. If your rail network didn't suck so much one of the companies could run an advertising campaign along the lines of "Don't like getting your balls checked for explosives or your children sexually assaulted in public? Take the train!"

The problem is that people flying tend to either have no realistic choice or are willing to put up with a little T&A to get to Disney Land.

Yes Amtrak's better (2)

DABANSHEE (154661) | about a year ago | (#43323423)

For domestic travel anyway. I've traveled with Amtrak in California & across the South, coast to coast, no complaints at all. Actually I think there are still trains between Montreal & NY. What about Windsor & Detroit, Seattle & British Columbia, etc? From what I understand only freight trains run between Mexico & the US, but I assume there was passenger train travel between Mexico & the US in the past, say the late 1800s to the 1950s?

Re:My answer (2)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about a year ago | (#43323363)

It's not the contractors. It's the bureacrats who manage them. I've known several people in the job: they're underpaid, overworked, given stacks of conflicting policies and procedures, and practices change from particular site manager to site manager with every shift. There are places that do it very well, politely, helpfully, respecting the passengers and the needs of the elderly and children and frightened, tired people. But those careful agents and agencies tend to be at smaller airports.

Re:My answer (5, Insightful)

zequav (2700007) | about a year ago | (#43323153)

Yep. I'm a university professor and have visited USA before (conferences), but I'm not doing it again. Several years ago I decided not to send papers to any conference there.

Re:My answer (2)

longk (2637033) | about a year ago | (#43323291)

Please do tell us why. Was your decision based on stories you read in news papers? Experiences of friends and colleagues? A personal experience?

Re:My answer (3, Insightful)

zequav (2700007) | about a year ago | (#43323361)

Stories I've read about harrasment. Mainly those with videos proving it was not an invention. Also, NOBODY is going to confiscate my laptop/phone/whatever just because. At least this month (after how many years?) a federal court ruled that what happened at the borders was going too far: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/8/court-limits-feds-ability-search-laptops-border/?page=all [washingtontimes.com]

Re:My answer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323443)

You're a university professor who cares about civil liberties yet you read the washington times?

Re:My answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323337)

Oh, I know of one very distinguished German prof who ended up three days in jail while traveling to a conference. He is 78 years old.

Re:My answer (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323373)

I had a very bad experience a couple of years back. I went to the US and on the way out the airline did not pull the green card that they
staple to the passport. I did not think anything of it. When back a couple of months later (flying into LA). They pulled me out and said
that the fact that the paper was still in my passport was proof that I had left the country without using an official exit and that I would have to
prove that I had left the country in time. It took a monstrous amount of paperwork over a year to get back to normal status- copies of
paychecks, proof that I gave my classes back in Europe. Major headache due to a mess by the airline.

Re:My answer (5, Interesting)

purnima (243606) | about a year ago | (#43323473)

I'm an Arab professor. I look like an Arab and have an accent. I travel to the US all the time. Aside from my experiences in 2002, I have never had a problem getting into the US for conferences. The TSA/border control people are always very nice and polite. Maybe I've been lucky.

Re:My answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323199)

Same thing. I have friends in the USA I wish I could visit and have had the money to do so for a bunch of years now, but no, I'd rather go to China, I'm sure I'd deal with smiling security staff there instead of thugs that would irradiate me or feel my junk.

Re:My answer (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43323297)

Oh, come on. I don't believe that they would feel your junk on every trip. Not more than 35% of TSA is gay, are they?

Re:My answer (5, Interesting)

longk (2637033) | about a year ago | (#43323261)

I did travel to the USA last year and experienced no unfriendliness by TSA officers. Near the end of my trip my visa was extended without hassle so I could complete medical treatment after I had an emergency hospital visit. I was quite impressed and pleased with the US authorities really.

Regardless, do you really make a trip decision based on the few minutes of interaction you may have with the border authorities? I've been traveling extensively the last 7 years and most problems I encounter occur once I'm inside the country, not at the border. I'd rather have someone ask me the purpose of my visit and send me on my way than deal with hotel staff about a broken airco or having to return a rental because they gave me a car where one of the tires needs inflating every 3 days.

Re:My answer (5, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43323311)

You had a good experience. Either that, or you're more tolerant of invasive scanning, searching, and questioning.

I'm terribly intolerant of being questioned, felt up, irradiated, or justifying my presence and/or my travel plans. Meeting just one asshole who thinks it his right to grope me, or to push me around, or even to be overly disrespectful could cost much, much more than the trip is worth.

I've not flown since before 9/11/01, and probably won't again.

Re:My answer (2, Insightful)

mfh (56) | about a year ago | (#43323267)

I too have suspended travel to the USA. They need to change their ways and learn some customer service before they'll get my tourist dollars.

Re:My answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323277)

Exactly the same here. Corrupt at best legal system and horny security guards to the entire country is a huge turn-off.

I've blacklisted myself from America.

Re:My answer (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year ago | (#43323477)

I have been to the USA, but well before 9/11. I now refuse to travel there, I work freelance I have refused work that would have required me to go there. The root cause of the TSA harassment is: power + lack_of_accountability = abuse.

This is all fuelled by the need to have an enemy, now that the ''red commies'' are no longer a threat another boojums have to be found to provide excuses for government spending and keeping the population under control. Terrorists and paedophiles are two of the current ones. I am not saying that they don't exist, but the threat is vastly exaggerated. It is more complicated than I have time for ...

It's the TSA. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323071)

Security guards that the government for some reason decided were federal agents. If this were any kind of public servant (apart from police of any kind), you could expect adherence to some kind of professional standard, but you're looking at the mall cops of the state security apparatus. A joke from top to bottom.

An important lesson (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323079)

The importance of stories such as these, are that they open peoples eyes to a fundamental truth: The protections you think you have as an American, are only in force so long as it is convenient to those who are in power. In reality, we live in a state every bit as totalitarian as the USSR or North Korea...only that totalitarianism is selectively, and irratically enforced.

Re:An important lesson (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323431)

state every bit as totalitarian as the USSR or North Korea

Oh fucking please.

WHERE IS NEWS FOR NERDS? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323089)

What the fuck is up with slashdot stories ranging from crank projects (like bitcoin) to political ocmmentary?

Yes, I'm sure this is a serious issue, or maybe not. At best, it's a US problem. Either way, this isn't news for nerds. It's yet another infotainment article repeated on slashdot, where it doesn't belong. Jesus, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

Re:WHERE IS NEWS FOR NERDS? (2)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year ago | (#43323131)

Why does some idiot like yourself always make the comment "hurr durr, this isn't news for nerds".

Even if it isn't "news for nerds" (and I don't see how it isn't), it's still "stuff that matters".

Re:WHERE IS NEWS FOR NERDS? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323175)

no it isn't

Re:WHERE IS NEWS FOR NERDS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323213)

OK, well maybe its news for trolls,but there are plenty of those here. At least trolls are not as bad as the TSA.

OK, so it isn't then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323217)

but who gives a shit? Don't like it? Don't come here. Start your own slashdot.

Re:WHERE IS NEWS FOR NERDS? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323313)

> Why does some idiot like yourself always make the comment "hurr durr, this isn't news for nerds".

A better question, why can't you do better than a specious argument?

> Even if it isn't "news for nerds" (and I don't see how it isn't), it's still "stuff that matters".

In that case, why even pretend you can filter information into categories? You're not very bright, and it's painfully obvious for anyone who cares to see. I suspect nobody cares about your opinion all that much, so it's not news to most. Probably should go on the /. frontpage, since it's stuff and it matters, eh?

Re:WHERE IS NEWS FOR NERDS? (2, Insightful)

umghhh (965931) | about a year ago | (#43323219)

Some geeks have interests reaching beyond IT. This is expression of both i.e. their geekismo and their broad interests. I do not see a problem here albeit I admit the amount of IT or broader technology related articles is rather low or late. Maybe this is sign of times. The basic technology is offshored to Zamunda and the rest is too complex to be understood by an average geek and/or discussed in a popular thread. Quite frankly the others social sites for nerds are either populated by aggressive indihviduals with agendas or are bloody boring. For the geek from old good times when we were writting applications in the house and could understood how they worked within limited time that is too bad. Considering all this I think /. is still not that bad.

Yawn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323091)

He did make the situation worse by being an obnoxious asshole. I don't work for the TSA and would give this guy a hard problem too.

Re:Yawn (4, Insightful)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year ago | (#43323133)

Yeah, where does he get off having a neurological condition rendering him unable to speak?

That bastard.

Re:Yawn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323173)

and being informed of his god given rights, no less! shoot him on the spot!

Re:Yawn (5, Interesting)

docmordin (2654319) | about a year ago | (#43323223)

I'm normally not one for coarse language and insults, but, given that the atypical neurogenic tic disorder that the individual suffers from can lead to both life-threatening asphyxia and tachycardia, I would have to say that you are a massively apathetic twat. I hope that you never become afflicted by any debilitating condition, let alone wind up in a similar situation and encounter someone insouciant who denies you access to medicine or necessary sustenance, as I doubt you'd have the fortitude to stand up to your ilk.

Fortunately, your pococurante attitude served some purpose beyond broadcasting your own inadequacies: it spurred me to pledge several thousand dollars for this guy's legal fund.

Re:Yawn (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#43323273)

it spurred me to pledge several thousand dollars for this guy's legal fund.

Glad to see some people actually being willing to stand up for others, consider yourself gaining a +1 charisma from me :)

Re:Yawn (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year ago | (#43323367)

He did make the situation worse by being an obnoxious asshole. I don't work for the TSA and would give this guy a hard problem too.

There are only 1-2% psychopaths in the world - psychopaths like you. This place would be heaven if your kind were removed.

Perhaps this is the intent, preventing expats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323119)

Does anyone consider that Americans are being trained with fear and paranoia to not travel to foreign lands and not become familiar or dont make human and work contacts in order to prevent a South Africa or Russia style exodus when all of the Dollars come home. With the many trillions of dollars hyperinflation as in printing presses is nearly impossible to create, see Japan, but if the dollar fails as the world currency of exchange, ie: petrodollars, the mountains of repatriated currency will probably end up creating $100k loafs of bread, need based fuel rationing, and no pizza at all unless you can barter for the cheese and tomatoes or you are in charge of rationing.
So remember that you are being constrained from making the contacts needed for escaping especially with any wealth when that day comes. They killed the M3 numbers before 2008 we have no idea what is sloshing around now. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_supply [wikipedia.org]

Re:Perhaps this is the intent, preventing expats (-1, Troll)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year ago | (#43323155)

Don't have to consider. It's pretty well known. Mind you, they probably have as many people traveling to other countries as people from Europe visiting other regions (if you look at the 'countries' of Europe being akin to 'states' in the U.S.). Compare apples to apples. The U.S. is as big or bigger than Europe and has as many or more people. Traveling between states there is the almost the same as Europeans traveling between countries. Certainly the distances are the same and often more. Average Europeans I am sure don't look beyond Europe since it doesn't affect them; the same reason many Americans don't pay attention to what happens outside America.

Re:Perhaps this is the intent, preventing expats (0)

Alioth (221270) | about a year ago | (#43323203)

Whole of Europe population: About 700 million
European Union (which isn't the whole of Europe) population: About 500 million
United States: About 350 million

Travelling between states in the US is quite a bit different than travelling between European countries since the culture is a lot more homogenous in the US (no, not all states are the same culturally, but they are close enough; I've visited 25 of them), and everyone speaks English. Go from Spain to Greece and not only is the language different, but you can't even read what the road signs say unless you've already spent some time learning Greek - they use a different character set. Go from Britain to Spain and you go from a place where people eat stodgy well-cooked roast beef to somewhere where they eat cow's stomachs and pig's ears.

Re:Perhaps this is the intent, preventing expats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323471)

Go from Britain to Spain and you go from a place where people eat stodgy well-cooked roast beef to somewhere where they eat cow's stomachs and pig's ears.

Isn't that the other way round..? Oh, no, wait, it's *sheep* stomach in Britain...

Re:Perhaps this is the intent, preventing expats (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#43323475)

"where they eat cow's stomachs and pig's ears" I think you are confusing Scotland with Spain...

1/3 more people in Europe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323241)

The usa is not the number 1. Please stop thinking that just because it's the usa, it must be number 1.

Re:Perhaps this is the intent, preventing expats (1)

umghhh (965931) | about a year ago | (#43323295)

this is all of topic of course. M3 is interesting of course but I looked at it once and I was surprised to see that neither there is one definition of it (Switzherland, ECB, US & UK have all different definitions and other countries have own ones too I guess). I was also surprised that ECB measured M3 as sum of money and investments with maturity up to 2y - obviously they make certain assumptions when they calculate this. I guess the theory is also that the the link between inflation and money supply (of which M3 is just indication) weak and depends for instance on the speed the supply is increasing and money is circulating in the economy. I also found it quite interesting how this all converted from creating huge inflation by printing press in Weimar Republik and now when money is largely created by a click of a mouse (or other pointing device). It is all a fake but that is oversimplified view - there are different fakes and they all have different properties, benefits and risks. I suspect how that really works is understood by nobody - there are only more and less brave individuals that operate the system. It is scary.

Vacation Destination (1)

deskjet (2766693) | about a year ago | (#43323121)

In the short term, don't worry about putting anyone off visiting the USA, the idiot dollar spending vacationer will still come, there is lot's to see and do. I'd be more worried about business and academic visitors, though only a small amount of revenue is lost per individual or event canceled, 20 years of finding somewhere better for that conference or supplier meeting or University to study/endow/partner with will make for interesting outcomes. Even the cattle class visitors will notice in the end.

ATTENTION USA CITIZENS !! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323129)

Do NOT fuck with the man !! The man will chew you up and spit you out like the chicken gristle you are worth to it !!

TSA RULEZ !! Submit now !! And get those stinking shoes off grandma !!

methinks he doth protest too much (-1, Flamebait)

Sad Loser (625938) | about a year ago | (#43323147)


IANAL but IAAD and there are things in this story that sound a bit odd, and looking at his web page it sounds like he has a bit of an agenda
it sounds like he has this condition

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_paralysis [wikipedia.org]

I am cynical about this situation from experience. Like the most anti-gay republican senators, the most vocal 'disabled' people I have met have turned out to have an interesting secret - in their case some a complete absence of disease (including one member of a paralympic team!).
For the avoidance of doubt, I am not suggesting that this man has anything other than a genuine neurological condition. Just sayin'

Re:methinks he doth protest too much (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323185)

>For the avoidance of doubt, I am not suggesting that this man has anything other than a genuine neurological condition. Just sayin'

Bullshit, that is exactly what you are suggesting, and your awkward attempts at backpedaling are ugly at best.

I note that you, for example, say that there "are things in this story that sound a bit odd", while not actually providing any examples of odd-sounding things.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am suggesting that you man up and write actual accusations if you harbor them, instead of using innuendo and "Just sayin'" to try to make them without appearing to.

Re: methinks he doth protest too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323233)

What are you talking about? He already stated IAAD (I am a douche). What more from do you need?

Re:methinks he doth protest too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323245)

Yeah he probably just went and got himself a prescription for funsies.

Who are the real terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323157)

I hope the American people will start to find out, and use their Consitutional rights to do something about it soon.

Reigning in the TSA (3)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year ago | (#43323193)

The TSA has had almost free range to infringe on US citizen's rights without consequence (increasingly so since the terror-pocalypse).
Publicizing these type of stories is good, but how can we best see their powers reigned in and actually enforce respecting our rights?

Re:Reigning in the TSA (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year ago | (#43323227)

Someone tell Ray Bellasario - it would make a great plot for a TV program.

It's the TSA. (2, Interesting)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about a year ago | (#43323205)

What do you expect from the Terrorist State Agency?

9/11 was the final battle against the terrorists. The terrorists won.

Re:It's the TSA. (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43323413)

9/11 was the final battle against the terrorists. The terrorists won.

Actually, I think it was the shoe and underwear bombers who sealed the victory of fear. Now every personal item that you dare to take with you on a plane is evaluated as to its weapon potential. Case in point, a colleague of mine got questioned at the Frankfurt airport about his Kensington lock for his SchtinkPad. The reason? He might be able to use it to strangle someone.

Soon we won't be allowed to take anything on a plane, including clothing: we will be flying buck naked . . . without any luggage. As to sick folks in wheelchairs? They will be banned altogether. I dream of a US administration that would have the wisdom to hire Bruce Schneier as a security advisor.

I have never had any problems with the TSA myself, although they have every reason to grill me. I have a US passport issued in a foreign country, and plenty of stamps that could raise alarms. I just always answer the question succinctly and politely, and then they are satisfied. As much as I disagree with the whole TSA shenanigans, the place to debate their policies is not in the security line. If you start arguing with them about your constitutional rights, you will just hold up yourself and the rest of the line.

Unfortunately, as long as this fear is there, the US government is not going to overhaul the TSA:

"Angst frisst Seele auf."

This proves why TSA is failing (3, Insightful)

Aethedor (973725) | about a year ago | (#43323211)

Good security is not about making clever rules. It's about dealing properly with the exceptions of those rules. Banishing liquids from airplanes is nothing more than a rule. Its level of security depends on how you deal with the situations in which you must, or at least should, allow a bottle of liquid on an airplane. If you don't have rules for that, if your personel is not trained and aware for those situations, your whole security setup is vulnerable for social engineering and it becomes nothing more than security theater.

Re:This proves why TSA is failing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323483)

Good security is not about making clever rules. It's about dealing properly with the exceptions of those rules. Banishing liquids from airplanes is nothing more than a rule. Its level of security depends on how you deal with the situations in which you must, or at least should, allow a bottle of liquid on an airplane. If you don't have rules for that, if your personel is not trained and aware for those situations, your whole security setup is vulnerable for social engineering and it becomes nothing more than security theater.

You are absolutely right. However, according to the TSA, you couldn't be more wrong. They are not failing. Ever. That is their point. Zero tolerance. No exceptions. And no, they don't give a shit if you bitch, piss, moan, yell, scream, get offended, lose your flight, get put on no-fly lists, or get arrested in the process, for they will know, no matter the cost, that they are right in their mission, duties, and actions.

And yes, you run across that exact same kind of mentality with religious zealots, just to give you an idea of just how far off the map this "business" operates.

Security is now a religion, and they're called the TSA. If you step into their church, bend over, and get used to it.

And if you think that's a bit too far-fetched, give it another decade and watch it spread like religion, in cost, size, and manipulative control.

So do something about it. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323229)

This is what I don't get about people these days.

None of you are willing to sacrifice ANYTHING or inflict ANY kind of inconvenience upon yourself to deal with the issues that need to be dealt with. You just sit there and whine and complain about everything, you make up excuses from thin air and say you've got no choice. Well, news flash, you do.

You want to get rid of the TSA?

Don't fly.

It's that simple. No, don't tell me you have to. You don't. You get enough people together and you all refuse to fly until the TSA is dismantled, and you know what'll happen? The airlines will get things changed in a hurry and the TSA will evaporate in a puff of invalid logic. It's that simple!

"Oh but it isn't and I have no choice and I need to fly and-"...

Yeah, that right there, that's the reason why the TSA still exists. You're unwilling to inconvenience yourself. None of you are. So the TSA will continue to inconvenience you instead, because they've got you by the balls (sometimes literally) and they know it. They'll continue to squeeze and squeeze, they'll expand out into the rest of the world like a cancerous tumour and then, when you find yourself in a police state and the TSA controls all major forms of travel- you'll wonder why you didn't do something sooner.

The fact that you think you have no choice is precisely what they want you to think, because that is what gives them control over you.

Cue the endless stream of "I have to fly, you're wrong, if I wish really hard I'm sure the TSA will go away all the same" replies.

Re:So do something about it. (5, Informative)

skiminki (1546281) | about a year ago | (#43323259)

You want to get rid of the TSA?

Don't fly.

It's that simple.

No it's not. TSA is expanding to provide its services outside airports. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-elliott/the-tsa-wants-to-be-every_b_2393332.html [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:So do something about it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323389)

You want to get rid of the TSA?

Don't fly.

It's that simple.

No it's not. TSA is expanding to provide its services outside airports. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-elliott/the-tsa-wants-to-be-every_b_2393332.html [huffingtonpost.com]

We really should keep that on hand whenever someone posts that Slippery Slope or Scope Creep is a fallacy.

I'm hardly a Tea Partier or a even Barry Goldwater old style Republican, but those folks are right when it comes to limiting government.

War on Diginity (5, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43323315)

The TSA says they are all about the war on terror.
But their actions prove they are only interested in conducting a War on Diginity.

Groping children [techdirt.com]
soaking a man in his own urine [nbcnews.com]
Arresting people for wearing watches with exposed gears [tsanewsblog.com]
Arbitrary strip-searches [foxnews.com]
Detaining people armed with flash cards [forbes.com]
Forcing mothers to drink their own breast milk [usatoday.com]
Forcing a woman to remove her nipple ring with pliers [cnn.com]
Requiring women to remove their bras [sfgate.com]
Requiring a woman to remove the brace on her sprained ankle and then making her walk on it to prove it was sprained [gadling.com]

The list of abuses [travelunderground.org] is into the thousands. Every once in a while they get a taste of their stupidity. [nypost.com] But it isn't anywhere near enough.

Logan? Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323325)

Totally not surprised that it was the goons in Logan. They are the most unprofessional, ape-like dropouts that the TSA could find. I'm surprised they could read. The TSA needs to visit and observe how Heathrow or other large international airports handle security.

Its the USA! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323333)

The attitudes of the TSA are but a symptom of a disease in the land of the so-called "free"; one that has dictated that I will never again travel to the USA for any reason, much as I would like to.
My other worry is the rate at which the USA is exporting this disease to other countries, mine included....
A regime will only survive if it both treats its citizens fairly and is also seen to be treating them fairly. Otherwise it will fail and fall - that may take decades or centuries but fall it will.
To paraphrase Orwell: "Everybody is free, except some are more free than others."

Comment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323341)

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Why do federal employees act like dicks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323369)

Seriously. Why?

Re:Why do federal employees act like dicks? (3)

Angeret (1134311) | about a year ago | (#43323439)

Because...

          1. They are mandated to.
          2. They can.

Choose any 2 from the above list.

Blogs as News? (-1, Troll)

stevez67 (2374822) | about a year ago | (#43323435)

This is from someone's blog, not a reputable news source with fact checking. He's just another troll trying to get 15 minutes of fame to try to drum up his next consulting job.

Re:Blogs as News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323457)

nope.gif

popcorn.gif

Unpatriotic Act (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#43323459)

Sorry buddy, but the USA is under a limited state of emergency and the constitution is partially suspended. Until the Patriot Act gets repealed, you should walk, not fly.

Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43323485)

He's fighting against despotism so forget about getting justice except via arms.

Loopholes (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year ago | (#43323489)

It certainly sounds like this guy found himself quite a loophole to effectivly circumvent the 3oz liquid restriction.

If the TSA has no way of disambiguating a "tropical energy drink" from medicine and there are no medical documentation requirements plus other laws provide privacy and accessibility protections for medical conditions then anyone can use these constraints to get any soft drinks they want thru in any amounts.

I say don't be hatin on the loophole finder for expliotin. Loopholes are fair game. Certainly less morally objectional than expliots of the cherckoff group and others who have directly profited from TSA "security theatre" egrgiously wasting US taxpayer dollars.

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