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Paul's Call To Abolish the TSA, One Year Later

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the inconsistency-every-single-time dept.

Government 353

A year ago today, we noted that Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky called for the abolition of the Transportation Security Administration. It's now nearly 12 years since the hijacked-plane terror attacks of 2001; the TSA was created barely two months later, and has been (with various rules, procedures, and equipment, all of it controversial for reasons of privacy, safety, and efficacy) a major presence ever since at American commercial airports. "The American people shouldn't be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane," wrote Paul last year, and in June of 2012, he followed up by introducing two bills on the topic; the first calling for a "bill of rights" for air travelers, the other for privatizing airport screening practices. Neither bill went far. Should they have? Libertarian-leaning Paul did not succeed in knocking back the TSA, never mind privatizing its functions (currently funded at nearly $8 billion annually), though some of the things called for in his bill of rights are manifest now at least in muted form. (Very young passengers, as well as elderly passengers, face less stringent security requirements, for instance, and TSA has ended its prohibition of certain items aboard planes.) Whether you're from the U.S. or not, what practical changes would you like to see implemented? What shouldn't be on the bill of rights for airplane passengers?

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why not ban capitalism? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629299)

In a world where people aren't encouraged from a young age to compete, but instead to cooperate, you'll have neither the warmongers who encourage relaliatory action, nor the sort of petty dictators who staff the TSA.

Oh, it does mean you'll have to use your skills to help others rather than beat them, though. So, if you're a cunt then this might not be an option.

Re:why not ban capitalism? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629359)

Agreed.

Re:why not ban capitalism? (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629573)

In a world where people aren't encouraged from a young age to compete, but instead to cooperate, you'll have neither the warmongers who encourage relaliatory action, nor the sort of petty dictators who staff the TSA.

Wow, that just substitutes the past 9000 years of history for pop psychology that wouldn't survive a 101-level course. Since I can't say it better:

Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man.
- Walter E. Williams

Re:why not ban capitalism? (4, Insightful)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629639)

Thats a beautiful sentiment, but is it really true? =)

Re:why not ban capitalism? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629767)

Not even close.

Success in capitalism is directly correlated with a distinct lack of morals, self-centeredness, sociopathic behavior, and of course inherited dynastic wealth. None of those serve anybody. Yes, there are edge case examples of successful people who don't exhibit these traits, but for the most part successful capitalists do exhibit them, and the most successful ones manage to hide that fact from a lot of people.

Now, if you want to tell me you can get relatively wealthy running your own business, employing people, and selling stuff that people want to buy to people who want to buy it, more power to you. That's free enterprise, but it's not modern capitalism. In the modern capitalism version of that story, you start a business, employ a bunch of people, then sell the business quickly to get a bunch of cash while the purchaser either moves the business to China and/or tries to eliminate as many of the employees as possible in order ot pay off the leveraged debt that was used to buy the business in the first place. That's the "captial" part.

Modern capitalism also makes looting, pillaging, and economic slavery legal. It even turns a blind eye to actual slavery, as long as the customers don't find out about it and as long as it takes place in some country with people of a different skin color and all. Actual looting and plundering? You outsource that to purchased government leaders. Financial looting and plundering? That's still a bit of a DIY operation, primarily handled by Wall Street investment banking firms.

Re: why not ban capitalism? (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629875)

Ignoring the millions given to charities around the world by nearly all wealthy individuals and organizations it sounds.to me like you may have a case of sour grapes. Yes, it would be great if you could come up with a great idea and profit from it, but you can't, so you want to throw the baby out with the bath water and let the state take care of everyone. Like it's never been tried before.

Re:why not ban capitalism? (2)

RedDeadThumb (1826340) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629931)

Yes it is true that it is possible. But there is no -ism that can overcome human nature in the long run.

Re:why not ban capitalism? (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629795)

Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man.

Sounds like a great idea. So why don't we do that?

Re:why not ban capitalism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629947)

But "How to Serve Man" turned out to be a cookbook!

Re:why not ban capitalism? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629841)

LOL. Seriously. If your believe that you are quite mad or seriously gullible.

Bush caused two wars and conquered, the Halliburton Corporation, owned by him and Chaney, made 50 billion with this wars.
The Banks are serving no one except themselves and when they royally fucked up, society was needed to save them.
No one can nowadays become really wealthy by "serving your fellow man". Do nurses get rich? Or police officers? Or the sanitation worker? No. never. The only getting rich (I mean rich) are either already rich, criminals or both. Or win the lottery. Ordinary people starting their business and getting rich are a rare exception not the rule. And they don't serve. They just make money. Many people have two or more jobs. Not to get rich, but to survive.
Capitalism ensures that a few have as much as possible to rule above the rest and keep them dependent. Slaves with wages. Nothing else

BTW : WHY should one amass great wealth? Why should one have more than his fellow man?

Re:why not ban capitalism? (0)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629937)

You are going to have a ton and a half of various AC posters commenting that you are insane and delirious for that quote. You also may have a number of moderators come in at any moment in time and mod it down, then somebody may mod it up, then it will go down again, if you want to be able to keep commenting on /. more than 2 times a day, you better don't keep making comments like that, it's not taken well by the mob nowadays in the Socialist-Fascist States of America and the mob and government cohorts are moderating as well :)

Re:why not ban capitalism? (2)

foobsr (693224) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629977)

that just substitutes the past 9000 years of history for pop psychology

At least what I know from my father, who was a POW during WWII, the US resembled the requested state to quite some degree back then.

Anecdotal evidence is that the American guards in his prisoner camp (Roswell, 14 miles SE of Roswell, New Mexico) were replaced by German officers due to the fact that things were too loosely handled.

I also was very impressed by the stories that conveyed that people left their keys in their cars without fear of theft.

I suggest that your arrogant statement regarding "pop psychology" on a sub 101 level may be questioned.

CC.

Re: why not ban capitalism? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629721)

Name one society that band competition in all forms and has flourished. One.

Re: why not ban capitalism? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629895)

Plenty of indigenous peoples in the Americas, Africa, Polynesia, and Australia had extremely uncompetitive cultures, although the notion of banning all competition is silly and probably impossible outside of Harrison Bergeron [wikipedia.org] . They survived because it allowed them to maximize the utilization of their resources. Flourishing (developing an advanced society), on the other hand, is a result of competition amongst inventors, reformers, and their proxies, although it doesn't need to be nearly as savage as it is in the world today.

We waste a lot of resources because progress is only an indirect goal of modern capitalism, and most people view it as their goal in life to accumulate personal wealth. No one truly benefits from keeping up with the Joneses.

Nice typo, by the way.

Re: why not ban capitalism? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629897)

Band competitions are a joke. I can like Emmet Otter's Jug Band and the Riverbottom Nightmare Band without having to choose one over the other.

Re:why not ban capitalism? (3, Insightful)

Ellie K (1804464) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629843)

Since someone else already responded to the second sentence, decisively, I'll do the first sentence:

In a world where people aren't encouraged from a young age to compete, but instead to cooperate, you'll have neither the warmongers who encourage relaliatory action, nor the sort of petty dictators who staff the TSA.

I'm not a libertarian, nor GOP, nor male. I can tell you this, though: It is contrary to human nature not to be competitive. Some competition, starting from a young age, is good! It increases self-esteem, pride in family, school and country. Yes, cooperation is necessary too, e.g. a group of people aligned to achieve a common goal, which (usually) can be accomplished only through competition with those whose goals are different. Regarding "warmongers who encourage relaliatory [retaliatory?] action": Retaliatory action doesn't mean you are a warmonger. There are many ways to retaliate such as tariffs, embargoes, intermarriage. The latter is even a form of cooperation!

The TSA is a pathological bureaucracy. We had security and screening prior to boarding flights at airports for 20 (30?) years before 9/11. Those people didn't behave like the TSA. They searched and screened, but not in the TSA's rude, distasteful manner. They weren't privatized, and they didn't cost $8 billion per year to fund.

Bad for us = Good for gov't (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629321)

Every time some disaster hits the US, we're going to see a big growth in the size and reach of government. In fact, I believe there are many politicians who salivate at the thought of catastrophe so they can go cry about the children on camera and create a new 3-letter tumor on our already unconstitutional government.

Re:Bad for us = Good for gov't (5, Insightful)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629561)

There is a saying in Washington "Never let a good disaster go to waste".

If people haven't already spoken out in outrage "Never let this happen again!" it's easy enought to get polling data to justify a new power grab.

Before 2001 nobody ever hear the US Govt use terms like "homeland". Now it's in everyday use. Homeland Security. I've always thought it sounded facist.

Re:Bad for us = Good for gov't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629627)

There is a saying in Washington "Never let a good disaster go to waste".

Go re-read the fundraising solicitations you just got from the NRA. They use that saying in their HQ too.

Re:Bad for us = Good for gov't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629647)

There is a saying in Washington "Never let a good disaster go to waste".

Actually this was a very common term used by the Obama administration... Rahm Emanuel was the king of this.

When did the democratic party go from "power to the people" to "power to the establishment"? Seriously, they make the republicans looks like the best choice anymore.

Re:Bad for us = Good for gov't (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629967)

If you actually hear the quote in context [youtube.com] you'll realise Rahm Emanuel was primarily concerned with policy reform. He was pointing out how the 2009 financial crisis was proof that regulation needed to be fixed. In the same interview he also said "it's not an argument about big government versus small government, but about more effective government, so you actually are getting the bang for your buck that the taxpayers and all those who are putting money into it expect, whether that be in the area of education or healthcare."

But, hey, go ahead and take things out of context. I bet you can even make this [wikipedia.org] look bad if you try hard enough.

Re:Bad for us = Good for gov't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43630101)

Before 2001 nobody ever hear the US Govt use terms like "homeland"

And it's not just the government. The news lately has been referring to the U.S. as "the homeland" ("protecting the homeland"). When Obama declares himself President for Life, everyone will be referring to "the homeland".

Re:Bad for us = Good for gov't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629887)

Elaborate why it should be unconstitutional.... It isn't.

Nothing in Government ever gets Abolished (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629337)

I mean, come on, this is a government that still administers polygraph examinations for its employees, eight decades after the guy [wikipedia.org] who sold it to the government admitted he made the device up to support his other lifelong work, the Wonder Woman [wikipedia.org] comic book.

The TSA isn't going anywhere folks. Look all the fighting it took to force sequestration, and then take a step back and view it from a different perspective [youtube.com] .

Re:Nothing in Government ever gets Abolished (3, Insightful)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629435)

Not to mention the TSA now has mandate over much more then airport security. Wan't to work on a boat? Not as a U.S. Citizen, and not without much TSA paperwork. While I'm not going to say that the TSA grabbed this position, it was lumped onto them most likely by the Coast Guard who still has some involvement administering safety certifications.

The bureaucracy this country has put into so many fields is ridiculous and the TSA is simple another part of it. Someone commented below that Rand wanted to privatize the TSA and not abolish it. This would be fine, if they didn't end up in the same monopolistic situations that telecoms, radio, music, movie (face it many fronts, few faces) and defense has.

Re:Nothing in Government ever gets Abolished (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629445)

*note that a privatized TSA would have to have as many or more legal restrictions or protocols then standard mall security guards which still have conflicts with civilian constitutional interests.

And then there's the comic factor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629565)

Whenever I read news about the TSA's "Vipr" team, I just imagine David Hasslehoff with an eye patch. [google.com] .

I mean really - "Viper" - come on!

"Security Theater" is sooooooooooooo accurate in describing those people!!

Re:Nothing in Government ever gets Abolished (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629459)

Wrong. Freedom is being eroded away by knee-jerk reactions to events and corporate interests. The people of America are the weakest on the planet when it comes to sticking up for themselves against their government, despite their gun fixated bravado. Fast forward a century and the USA will be both broke and living like the old USSR, when the East will be the world's power base.

Re:Nothing in Government ever gets Abolished (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629731)

I mean, come on, this is a government that still administers polygraph examinations for its employees, eight decades after the guy [wikipedia.org] who sold it to the government admitted he made the device up to support his other lifelong work, the Wonder Woman [wikipedia.org] comic book.

The TSA isn't going anywhere folks. Look all the fighting it took to force sequestration, and then take a step back and view it from a different perspective [youtube.com] .

I'm interested in this. The current wikipedia article doesn't say anything about this, do you have any more history behind this?

His own strawman (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629363)

Rand Paul is the worst thing to happen to libertarians. Just as Communism became conflated with Stalinism, Libertarianism runs the risk of becoming known through the lens of Paulism, which is a horrible bastardization of their ideals. He opposes same sex marriage, opposes the right to choose and supports foreign intervention by the US military.

Please don't let him claim the libertarian mantle or hold him up as an embodiment of your ideals - he's more destructive to the libertarian movement than all the political opponents there are. His position on the TSA is one of populist convenience, not one of principle.

Re:His own strawman (5, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629465)

Your ideas are the worst thing to happen to civil discourse.

I do not have to agree with everything someone believes in order to agree with them on some things. So we should find the things we agree on and work to enact those changes.

I do not like the TSA, so when Paul says "let's shut that mother down," I say, "good idea, Rand-o! Lets do this shit!" And when Paul says, "drone strikes?! Blowin up Americans and shit? That ain't right!" I say, "I'd go further than not just blowing up Americans, and we should talk about not blowing up anybody, but it's a start. I'm with you on that!" But when he says "boooo gays!" or "abortions?! For legals? In hospitals and shit? Pssssh! Coat hangers and alleys for you!" I'd say, "naw, gotta disagree with you there buddy."

It doesn't have to be all or nothing. On different topics, you can fully agree, partially agree, or disagree with no contradiction and maybe actually get some stuff you agree on accomplished! Or you can wait until only representatives you agree with on every last issue get elected. Which won't happen. So in the meantime I'm still getting groped every flight.

Re:His own strawman (4, Insightful)

JimMcc (31079) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629553)

I do not have to agree with everything someone believes in order to agree with them on some things.

Well stated. If only we could somehow move there as a nation we'd be a lot better off. Unfortunately we're stuck with the Bushism "If you're not with us, you're against us."

Re:His own strawman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629737)

Way to miss the point completely. I simply stated that you shouldn't hold Paul up as your libertarian ideal because that runs the risk of conflating his anti-freedom standpoints with libertarianism. He's doing this because it's an easy populist appeal and has no chance of passing.

I know that the Paulites will mod this down as they did the OP. Civil discourse requires honesty, and Paul is simply wearing the clothes of the libertarian whilst they fit his purpose here, and will dump them when they don't. I know it isn't what you want to hear, and I know it isn't what you want to be true, but we don't get to vote on issues separately - we pick a politician as a package, and supporting Paul on this will give him a mandate to follow his repressive agenda.

Re:His own strawman (5, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629927)

I don't care about 'libertarianism.' I care about getting the TSA abolished. So when Rand says "let's abolish the TSA," he gets my support on that issue, and I will gladly write my representatives to tell them I'd like them to work with Paul on this topic.

That does not explicitly or implicitly express support or opposition to any of his other positions. As far as "voting for the package," it's too late for that. He's already been elected. After they've been elected, we absolutely do vote on issues separately (except in the all-too-frequent cases where irrelevant riders are attached to important bills).

Politicians are trainable, and react to incentives just like anybody else. When a politician says something you like, cheer. When he says something you don't like, boo. Do this often enough and they'll learn to do the things that earn them treats instead of swats with a rolled-up newspaper. But if you just keep smacking him no matter what he does (or still cheering him on even when he wets on the carpet), he'll never learn.

Coincidentally, Paul needs some corrective action right now. A few months back he did a really good job with that filibuster about drone strikes on US soil. Good boy, Rand, good boy! But, a week or two ago, he came out and said he'd have no problem with a drone killing the Boston bombers, or a 'robber running out of a store with a sack of money and a gun.' Boo, Rand, boo! No, that's bad Rand! In this house we respect due process, and the right to a fair trial by a jury of your peers before you get a missile shot at your face. But, if you can see what you did wrong there and learn from your mistake, we might scratch you behind your ears again.

Re:His own strawman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43630011)

well i'm probably what one would consider a "paulite" but that doesn't auto-extend to rand paul. that's ron only as default. rand appears to be more of a true republican, which by that nature and his raising means some libertarian priciples. If he's running against someone less american/libertarian than he is i will support him. if he's fighting an american/libertarian fight than i will support him. If he's trying to tell people how to live "in the name of God" i will not support him.

i agree largely with your post as the story was framed like rand is just ron part II when that is obviously not the case. we wanted the sequel but all we got was product placement.

Re:His own strawman (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629665)

opposes the right to choose

Opposes the "right to choose".... what? Anything? Is he somehow against free will? Please elaborate on this for those not involved with your particular special interest.

Wrong, hockey sticks, etc are not allowed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629371)

This is simply wrong. In the face of opposition from airline employees, the TSA backed off allowing any new items onto plans - no hockey sticks, no knives, no change whatsoever. There has been no movement on this front and will be none for the foreseeable future.

September 11th Could have been prevented. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629403)

If there was a reasonable amount of people on the planes that were armed.

Re:September 11th Could have been prevented. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629633)

and, had they survived the damage from the pressure tearing apart the plane due to shitty aim making holes in the fuselage (as well as unlucky passengers), they should be tried to the full extent of the law. i don't trust the aim of even the highest trained police officers, and i think the whole gun-toting hero fantasy is just that, a fantasy. anytime something happens, and 10 people whip out their guns and fire on the suspect (or maybe just another wannabe hero, heat of the moment and all), they up the overall death odds tremendously. "well, not me, i practice shooting everyday!" is what some guy would say, but that is not the majority of gun owners. i feel if something like this ever happened, murder charges all around for anyone killing an innocent passerby, but not for the first responders who fire on all the armed lunatics.

Re:September 11th Could have been prevented. (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629697)

They probably would have crashed long before reaching the towers. I realize aircraft are robust objects, and a bullet through the hull is not going to result in explosive decompression, and I'm even all for gun rights (or at least opposed to needless, ineffective laws), but I'll be damned if I'm going to let the average yahoo take a gun onto an airliner. The only reason to carry a gun on your person is because you might have the need to fire it, and I don't want anyone without special training using one. There's a whole lot of lightweight materials up there that a bullet will sail right through, and there is often sensitive, vital equipment installed behind it.

No call made to abolish (2, Informative)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629411)

He made no call to abolish the TSA. He made a call to privatize it. There is a world of difference. There would be even less oversight of the TSA if it were out of government hands. It's bad enough as it is. Privatizing it would just remove all accountability, not that there is that much now. If it really were a call to abolish the TSA, that is something that many freedom lovers could get behind.

Re:No call made to abolish (5, Insightful)

Zimluura (2543412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629467)

iirc he made a call to abolish the tsa and privatize airport security...like how it was before the tsa.

consider this though: if it were privatized, and their employees did something that violated your rights, you would have some realistic hope of legal recourse.

Re:No call made to abolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629645)

Yeah, like the privatized security in Iraq? Where, if it had been American military, there would be some sort of recourse, but so much for the Blackwater -types?

Re:No call made to abolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629685)

Wow! It's like the contexts are completely the same!

Re:No call made to abolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629913)

What makes you believe you know what Blackwater, now Academi LLC, did or did not do in order to compare them to American Military?

Re:No call made to abolish (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629745)

Likewise, if they allowed another 9/11-style hijacking to happen through lax security, I'm pretty sure they'd go out of business either from litigation or from boycott.

Compare to the TSA. Worst case scenario for the TSA is that they let some terrorists through and then can call for broader powers (rather than admit to their own failure).

Re:No call made to abolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629951)

iirc he made a call to abolish the tsa and privatize airport security...like how it was before the tsa.

consider this though: if it were privatized, and their employees did something that violated your rights, you would have some realistic hope of legal recourse.

How's that legal recourse against private AT&T employees for wire tapping private citizens without a legal court order working out?

Re:No call made to abolish (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629493)

. Privatizing it would just remove all accountability

No. Assuming the privatization meant that the airlines would once again be responsible for their own security, the airlines would either compete on maximum invasiveness (anal cavity searches for all), maximum privacy (likely pre-2001 screening to meet their insurance carriers' requirements), maximum security (say, pressure-testing luggage and allowing small arms aboard), or some hybrid that people liked. The airlines would be directly accountable to their passengers and those passengers would provide their feedback by way of ticket purchases and relative pricing. The exception might be remote areas where one carrier has a monopoly at a local airport and there is no actual choice in commercial aviation.

Re:No call made to abolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629683)

No they wouldn't compete on any of that. They would just charge extra fees not to get groped.

Re:No call made to abolish (2)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629519)

Except as a private company, the people doing the screening would be private citizens, and as such, subject to local laws and rules. There were quite a few Sheriffs and DA's who wanted to prosecute the people performing the enhanced screens for rape and sexual assault as defined by their districts.

Re:No call made to abolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629717)

And what's wrong with that? I shouldn't have to be subject to what is legally assault to get on an airplane.

Re:No call made to abolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629537)

Just like private restaurants and supermarkets. No government oversight. Stock market? No oversight. Nothing. Last thing we want to do is create an open and free system like the Internet when it got privatized.

Re:No call made to abolish (5, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629569)

How would returning airport security to private hands remove accountability? It would do just the opposite.

Notice how mall cops don't hassle anybody? Except maybe kids skateboarding in the parking lot? And why? Because if a mall cop stops you for no good reason and demands to search your bags or something, you call the management. The manager comes out, reprimands the mall cop for harassing the customers, apologizes profusely to you, Sir, and gives you a gift certificate to the food court.

When a government cop hassles you and you demand to speak to his superior, expect to get tased, beaten and charged with assaulting an officer.

I would much rather have private security personnel working for the airports and airlines than government officials. The rent-a-cops at least have an economic incentive to not treat you like shit. The government cops have no incentive to give a fuck, and so they don't.

How about... (4, Informative)

jon787 (512497) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629413)

I would like to keep my shoes on and be able to take a 2L through the checkpoint.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629539)

I'd like to be able to keep my shoes on AND my belt on. I wouldn't privatize the TSA, I'd make it a mandatory training for those wishing to become police officers, and pay them minimum wage during the training.

Re:How about... (3, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629785)

Why do you hate America?

Just remember that this is the actual defense is that people use if you are talking about stopping it. (And I am not even talking about the metric system.)

Change the name of the TSA (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629415)

Unless we quit being so sensitive about profiling, and admit certain groups are more prone to terrorism, and monitor them more closely, we are going to be more prone to harassing a lot of innocent people. Since it isn't politically correct to profile, and it's nearly impossible to kill a government agency, my vote is to change the name of the TSA to the Transportation Groping agency. Evidently that's politically correct, since that's what they're doing.

Re:Change the name of the TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629471)

It depends on how you "privatize" it. If it's easy to fire the contractor for abuses, then oversight takes care of itself -- too many complaints, the government money disappears and the company is probably liable in lawsuits as well.
  The usual problem with "privatization" is that what actually happens is crooked politicians handing over sweetheart deals to their cronies and allowing them to wallow in taxpayer cash regardless of their performance, with no one able to end the contract due to various clauses put in place as assurances for the crooked company's cashflow.

Re:Change the name of the TSA (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629829)

Unless we quit being so sensitive about profiling, and admit certain groups are more prone to terrorism, and monitor them more closely, we are going to be more prone to harassing a lot of innocent people.

I'd rather not have selective harassment, either. How about we just stop being so paranoid and keep cockpit doors secured?

Re:Change the name of the TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629985)

Yes. Instead if security theater for everyone, We need security theater for just the towel-heads. And they are so conservative that they will take Amtrak to avoid the groping.

Has the TSA ever caught a terrorist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629419)

As far as I know, the answer is no. Not the shoe bomber, not the underwear bomber, nobody. People have been prosecuted for forgetting a gun or knife or fake hand grenade, but they weren't intending to hijack or damage the plane. And now TSA wants VIPR teams to patrol highways, trains and buses? I say TSA, and the whole DHS thing is a huge failure.

Re:Has the TSA ever caught a terrorist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629733)

About the same odds as the FBI. Sting operations don't count, as the undercover people are wholly complicit. Conspiracies don't count; because you are just theorizing, therefore you can never be 100%. Catch them on the way to the bombing with their own weapons and we can talk.

No TSA is a place to start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629421)

Getting rid of the TSA sounds like the most practical change.
Get rid of security check points, no reason to give up your 4th.
Put ninja like air marshals on the plane who don't act like thugs
when a passenger gets upset or is loud. They only pull out the
whup-ass when there is an actual threat to the safety of the plane.
Also, have said marshals trained in hostage negotiation.

Why do we even need screening anymore? (5, Insightful)

smaddox (928261) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629425)

Why do we even need screening anymore? No one will ever be allowed into the cockpit again, even if they start murdering passengers. Bomb sniffers are still useful, but at this point, an attack on a football stadium during a game would be far more detrimental, both in terms of casualties and psychologically.

Re:Why do we even need screening anymore? (2)

gtall (79522) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629469)

Yep, what self-respecting suicide nut wouldn't want to go for a football stadium rather than blowing a plane out of the sky just as it approaches or takes off from a busy airport.

Re:Why do we even need screening anymore? (5, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629517)

Why do we even need screening anymore?

Did you miss that TSA costs $8B? That $8B goes to politically-connected friends of politicians who funnel some of it back into campaigns to buy votes and perpetuate their power.

I know, that's not a propagandist answer.

Re:Why do we even need screening anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629865)

Wait... why is this legal? This makes me want to punch myself in the balls.

Re: Why do we even need screening anymore? (1)

Brucelet (1857158) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629579)

Or an attack on the nice big crowd waiting in the tsa checkpoint line.

Rand Paul just flipflopped on use of drones in US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629427)

This was after the Boston Marathon bombings and police chase that led to the death of one suspect and the capture of the other.

He claims it's no flip flop [forbes.com] , it was his position even during the filibuster, it just wasn't accurately reported.

Re:Rand Paul just flipflopped on use of drones in (3, Insightful)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629559)

Ironically how would armed drones have been sane to use in a busy metropolitan city to catch TWO people on foot. Maybe if they had hijacked a passenger less bus or vehicle and were on a stretch of the interstate by themselves, but then your still blowing up civil infrastructure for something a good o'le fashioned barricade would have made much more sense for.

Drones are a military technology for war fighting with limited use in the civil arena. The problems were having as a nation is conflating terrorism with military action.

Re:Rand Paul just flipflopped on use of drones in (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629673)

Ironically how would armed drones have been sane to use in a busy metropolitan city to catch TWO people on foot.

Because drones have these things called cameras. Do you know what a camera does? It takes pictures, pictures from above. Police can use those to find where the suspect is hiding and more importantly see what's around him (fortifications, escape routes, accomplishes, hostages, etc...).

Re:Rand Paul just flipflopped on use of drones in (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43630113)

You missed an important word "armed". Which is the real deep issue. Before police helicopters use to barred from having arms. There's an entire movie done up about it from the 80's (Blue Thunder). I don't have a clue honestly what the legislation is, I wager in some jurisdictions we have armed police aircraft now.

I don't think the majority of people had an issue with the occasional "warrent" required or response to emergency use of survielance. Nor do I really.

Were most people (and me) get bothered is when the idea is to fly 24/7 subservience missions over designated area's just because you are maybe 100 miles inland from a border. The other issue is do we really have to assassinate suspects with drones? No. We can make an effort to capture them alive and bring justices.

In my humble opinion were really bad at justice now-a-days... last time I have seen a non-mock trial were the defendant wasn't completely drugged and had even an once to say in their case has been awhile. For example, even OJ's trial was nearly a joke, yet he at least could hire people to argue in his defense.

Before our legal quagmire (yeah I'm rambling off topic here) got so insane, it use to be considered that lawyers were for the infirm or un-fit. The original premise behind our legal system was that a lay man could defend themselves in most cases against the charges levied against him. The world is indeed very different now though.

nonsense question (5, Insightful)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629473)

What shouldn't be on the bill of rights for airplane passengers?

- nonsense question.

There shouldn't even be such a legal document as 'bill of rights', because it is completely misunderstood probably by all to mean that those are your rights and nothing else. Not true, the government has no authority to limit any of your rights, by default you have all of your rights intact.

Government can strip you of your rights temporarily or permanently depending on whether the Constitution authorises that power to government for certain situations (like taxing your transactions, it's loss of a right, but at least it's Constitutional).

Saying that there should be an "airplane passenger bill of rights" is like saying that there should be a "bill of rights for blacks" or "bill of rights for gays" or "bill of rights for women" or "bill of rights for employees", none of it makes any sense, you have all of your rights regardless of your group and association, you shouldn't lose your rights for reasons that are outside of the power authorised to the government by the Constitution, yet here we are.

Re:nonsense question (-1, Troll)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629703)

Why are you against rights for black, gay, female employees?

Re:nonsense question (2)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629709)

are you for real?

Seriously? That's the level of your reading comprehension?

Re:nonsense question (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629791)

Why are you so racist against tongues, and the cheeks into which they are put?

Re:nonsense question (1)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629859)

I have no idea where your tongue is and how to be racist against cheeks, I am sure you can fill me in the details.

don't privatize the police (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629511)

Even my most radically conservative friend who wants to turn all highways and streets into private toll roads, wants government severely reduced in scope and have what's left of the government's budget be balanced no matter what, and believes that Climate Disruption is not caused by man, balked at the notion of privatizing the police.

Re:don't privatize the police (1)

buttfuckinpimpnugget (662332) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629589)

Ask your buddy why he's such a fuckin commie then. I agree though, why would you privatize tyrrany? You abolish it.

Re:don't privatize the police (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629635)

what was his reasoning? Most places that have private police forces have been some of the safest places there are.

Re:don't privatize the police (3, Insightful)

_Ludwig (86077) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629743)

Also the wealthiest. Coincidence?

Re:don't privatize the police (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629995)

In a word, corruption. Favoritism and graft. He was wary of those possibilities. Perhaps his fears were increased by having been ticketed a few times for traffic violations when there was some doubt that he did anything wrong.

Governments also suffer from corruption, of course, but at least in democracies they are formally accountable to the people. An example of the kind of abuse private policing routinely leads to are those red light cameras. Local governments have been too negligent, permissive, and trusting of these private camera operators such as Redflex. Giving these private companies a cut of the fines is a big conflict of interest, motivating them to find ways to cause more violations, rather than work towards the stated goal of improving safety. And they have responded with ways to generate more tickets even at the expense of the very safety they are supposed to be improving. Rear end collisions have increased. They've been caught using too short yellow lights, and even shortening them. They've been sloppy about getting license plate numbers correct, making sure that an incident is not actually a perfectly legal right turn on red, and other little nicieties like that that would improve accuracy but increase their expenses. So instead the public's expenses go up, in more mailings to and actions against victims who protest by refusing to pay or respond, more hearings, court cases, and the like. And if a few of the victims of such slop roll over and pay up without a fight, why not get even sloppier?

Can you imagine the havoc and hate that would ensue if a rapacious private company were given permission to enforce ordinances against home owners? Suddenly, half the home owners would not be able to keep a lawn, house, or car neat enough to satisfy them. We already have that here and there, with these HOAs. HOA horror stories are legion, and, seemingly more excessive on average than the typical horror story about government.

I thanK you for your time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629515)

The anti-TouriSm Agency (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629523)

The TSA is a very effective Anti-Tourism Agency. As for Anti-Terrorism, possibly not so much.

Re:The anti-TouriSm Agency (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629659)

A lot of the stuff discouraging tourism isn't from the TSA, but from other agencies under the Department of Homeland Security. For example, Customs and Border Patrol are the ones who run the ridiculous entry process, where non-U.S.-nationals typically have to wait in a line for 1-2 hours before they can be interrogated about their visit and eventually make it out of the airport. And the Office of Biometric Identity Management (formerly US-VISIT), another agency, requires all non-nationals to be biometrically recorded upon entry. And that's only for people in the visa-waiver program: if you're not from a visa-waiver country, there's a whole other set of hassles and delays [state.gov] to get a tourist visa. This process operates poorly enough that a number of academic conferences have started avoiding the U.S., because the delay is so long that speakers from countries like China and Egypt can't get a visa in time to attend and present their paper.

I hope the voters... (-1, Flamebait)

Improv (2467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629581)

I hope the voters abolish Ron and Rand() Paul at their next opportunity.

There's a term for this: Security Theater (4, Interesting)

SinisterRainbow (2572075) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629611)

Although effectually the TSA serves little to no purpose in actual deterrence, it may be left just to make people feel comfortable / safe. Tho I disagree with both having the TSA and theatrical aspects.

HA FIRST (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629613)

First by AC

Can we crowd-source activism? (2)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629649)

With the total inability of government to do anything that benefits the people, I often wonder if it's possible to crowd-source activism.

Suppose we had a web site where people could register discontent with selected issues. Something like "Fix It Or Else.com".

In the manner of We The People [google.com] , people could find or create petitions which demand actions from politicians on specific issues, and promise to vote against the incumbent if the issues are not resolved.

For example, you could petition your senators to abolish the TSA, and if that doesn't happen you promise to vote against them at the next election. Similar for other issues - end the war on drugs, legalize gay marriage, increase NASA's budget, and so on.

Many elections are decided by a thin margin - a couple of thousand votes is usually enough to swing the election. Frequently a couple of hundred will do. You wouldn't have to give up the belief that your party is better than the other party; just resolve to punish them for inaction this one time.

Would this have an effect? Could crowd-sourcing bring accountability to the rulers of government?

Some details:

.) Issues would be addressed to specific politicians. Petitions could be addressed to the president, your senators, your governor, and so on - depending on the scope of the issue.

.) If a petition reaches a registration goal, a copy is sent to the addressed people.

.) Six weeks before the election, the system invites petition registrants to vote whether the issue was resolved

.) One week before the election, the system sends the voting results back. You would get an E-mail "95% of respondents feel this issue was not addressed, and will be voting against Senator Jack Johnson at the upcoming election".

.) The system will close petition registrations some months before the election (at the party convention?) to prevent paid shills from swaying the results.

Re:Can we crowd-source activism? (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629753)

1) you need to crowdsource lobbyist money, not votes. Politicians respond better to hard money right now than nebulous unverifiable voting threats in the future.

2) people have to get over the "all or nothing" mindset. Just look at the comments on slashdot. You've got people who hate the TSA, but won't voice support for Paul's efforts to abolish/change it because they disagree with other positions Paul holds about gay marriage or abortion that have nothing to do with the TSA.

" the hijacked-plane terror attacks of 2001" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629773)

Huh? I take it he means "9/11"...

You know, the 'terrorist' attacks which were only able to occur because of a military stand down. The 'terrorist' attacks where the security at the airports the planes took off from was all Jew owned... The 'terrorist' attacks where eyewitnesses clearly stated, on video, at the location they witnessed it, that the plane which allegedly hit the Pentagon was travelling in the wrong direction to be able to cause the damage path that occurred in the Pentagon - and the Pentagon explosion which just happened to occur in the section which contained all the accounting information on the lost billions of dollars which that piece of shit Rumsfeld 'couldn't explain' THE DAY BEFORE 9/11. How convenient.
And then the filthy Jews who run your Congress proceeded to take away YOUR rights in order to allegedly 'protect' you from muslims, without saying it was muslims. The same JEWS who have flooded your country with hate-filled, parasitic third worlders, who don't want to live around their own kind - hence you have a 'terrorist' problem to worry about.

Preferential Lines (1)

jas23 (2914833) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629805)

It has always bothered me that our tax dollars are paying for the security and allows first class passengers preferential treatment. It is one thing for airlines to give preferential treatment to those who pay more; that is a business decision. It is quite another for our government to provide it. Should we do the same for drivers licenses, etc? We could allow owners of luxury cars to go to the front of the line. It is one thing for airlines to give preferential treatment to those who pay more; that is a business decision. It is quite another for our government to provide it.

Re:Preferential Lines (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629839)

Please "upvote" parent

Relevant Comic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629811)

http://thedevilspanties.com/archives/7586

The TSA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43629835)

I say load them up on an old plane and fly them into a mountain. It's the only way to be sure....

Never mind the petty stuff (1)

Jay Maynard (54798) | about a year and a half ago | (#43629957)

Just give the whole thing to Bruce Schneier and stand back.

prison in my own country (3, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#43630015)

The tsa needs to be abolished. US Citizens should not be treated like prisoners in their own country. And visitors should not be treated this poorly either, it is embarrassing. And more importantly, it does not make anyone safer, distracts from focusing on actual security.

actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43630021)

the purpose of TSA is to make people accept tyranny (the groping and the dehumanizing treatment) and the deter travel from place to place (it's easier to watch a populace who is not moving around. Why are these things important? Because of what is coming next: martial law, more loss of freedom, gun grabs, etc. How do you resist against ZOG? There's probably no hope at this point. If you can afford it it might be wise to move to another part of the world, though the coming police state is most likely going to be global.

We're paying $8Bil/yr for security theatre so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43630083)

I want my money's worth. Yes I understand that federalizing airport rent-a-cops in 2001 didn't magically make them security geniuses. I can deal with that. But geesh, these guys can't act at all. For $8 billion per year I don't want TSA kabuki or a tired rework of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible." I don't want "Waiting for Godot" or some lame Andrew Lloyd Weber rehash either. I want a security rock opera that combines every Superbowl halftime show, Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, Circe-du-soile, blue man group, Queen, The best of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Broadway, Oberammergau and much much more. I want something that will make the audience laugh and cry and cheer with joy that we get such exceptional entertainment for a mere eight billion dollar per year subscription.

Accountability (1)

watermark (913726) | about a year and a half ago | (#43630135)

The general mindset on checked baggage today is you don't check anything that's remotely valuable. I've had a GPS stolen and a nephew had a handheld Nintendo stolen out of checked baggage by the TSA. How do I know it was the TSA? In this case, both were caught months later after stealing thousands of dollars worth of stuff. They were only caught because of the scale at which they were taking items. What if it was only an item or two? Why do I have cameras pointed at me at all times while they get to go through my stuff unchecked?

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