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Sunday, November 21, 2010

TSA Song "Comply With Me"

Leave it to Iowahawk. After he wrote the song, somebody helpfully recorded it:

I'm a little bit nervous about all this because the Chief is flying tomorrow. It's important to know that people are getting arrested for balking and even for filming the process. That's a report from San Diego (opens pop-ups):
Powell also stated that there was another arrest of a woman who was allegedly illegally filming the x-ray, and TSA screening process with a video camera. The young woman’s camera was confiscated and she was given a citation and released from Harbor Police custody.
The guy arrested for stripping to his underwear (he wanted them to handle his clothes instead) had his iPhone confiscated also.

Reddit has "Operation GrabAss" covered.

A medical cartoon:

I thought that was funny, because you know those gloves they wear? Those are for their protection, not yours. They're not supposed to touch skin, but of course they do sometimes - it's inevitable. So there is risk that say, lice or a more unpleasant skin infection can be transmitted. Like HPV or staph. And don't tell me that's not going to happen sooner or later.

I don't think this will fly. It is a reasonable security procedure given what they are trying to protect against, but it is not reasonable from the point of view of the passengers, it does entail some risk to the passengers, and in the end, only profiling and very thorough baggage searches will really work, and that will entail other problems and cause more offense.

I would imagine frequent fliers are the most supportive, because of course their risk of being in a plane with a nutcase is higher - but also, their risk of radiation exposure or contact infections or infestations is higher. Sooner of later some poor old lady who got the under-the-waistband treatment is going to end up at her doctor's with crotch crickets, and then the whole thing will blow. This is a major public-relations issue.

I've been wondering how they do the pat-down on people wearing skirts (or kilts, since the funniest anti-patdown thing I've heard is the plans to go commando underneath a kilt). But you're totally right-- well before the first cancer victim blames his disease on the scanners, we'll see some contagious disease spread by TSA gropes.
I am a frequent flyer. I would gladly pay $500 for a one time background check that would provide a biometric ID allowing me to go through a speedier check-in process. (Trained screener scans my ID, asks a couple of questions ala Israeli security and sends me on my way or selects me for more screening.) My impression is that I'm not alone on this issue. Had they begun this after 9/11, most people who wanted/needed such an ID would now have it.

Access to the gates must still be restricted to ticketed passengers only, but the screening procedure could be speeded up a lot by:
1.Profiling elderly men/women, small children, and most women as needing minimal screening. (Routine metal detector and bag x-ray)
2. Most men ages 15-60 could be profiled as to the need for more careful screening. (Direct any suspicious types for the body scan/patdown. Probably less than 20%.)
3. Muslim men age 15-60 should be profiled as requiring close screening. (Body scan/patdown and luggage search.)When they complain, explain that they must endeavor to do something about controlling their co-religionists who are giving them a bad name.

Some facts:
1. There will never be another hi-jacking because the passengers will fight back.
2.98% of the passengers are not a threat.
3. The biggest threat now is a bomb in checked baggage or cargo. That is where more effort should be spent. Not on searching/patting down bodies.

The procedure the TSA is using is the equivalent of the Napoleonic Code. Everyone is considered guilty until proven innocent. With the huge numbers of guilty, ah, er, passengers that need to be processed it has always been an unwieldy and inefficient process. It is now starting to be so intrusive that the stupidity of it is obvious even to casual observers.

I am hoping that this may foster more debate about how political correctness is adversely affecting our ability to deal with the terrorist threat.
Yes, they are going to spread some communicable disease. If fact, it could be a good Hollywood plot, infect your clothing with something, board a plane and the TSA causing a troublesome outbreak in those who follow.

But someone will also make it onto plane with something. So what happens when all this groping proves to have been for naught. Are people really going to take it up the ... after that?
The government keeps doubling down on all this, Sure, they hav exempted pilots and children under 12, but they are so fighting any major scaling back, heads will roll if they do scale back. At this point, both Napolitano and Pistole are the faces of this mess, but Biden and Obama have weighed in, too. The administration is showing no signs of backing down, but the roar is getting pretty loud.
Megan McArdle has a post on this, too:

"crotch crickets" - HILARIOUS! I never heard that one before.
None of the actions of the TSA are about making America safer. They are simply getting us accustomed to the fact we have lost our rights,with a bit of theatrics added. This is extremely offensive to me. Happy Halloween...
As of March 9, 2010, CDC states that 16.2 percent of Americans are infected with HSV-2 (genital herpes).

The virus can shed in the infected areas at any time, not just during outbreaks.

I remember my first thought on hearing of TSA thugs going inside the undies was that I was willing to bet that they didn't change gloves between passengers.

Yechh. I'll take the body scanners or I won't fly. Those thugs are coming nowhere near me.
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