Actual job posting
from the Transportation Security Administration, which is looking to hire agents to fondle airline travelers at Boston's Logan International Airport:
TRANSPORTATION SECURITY OFFICERS
About the Job
A CAREER WHERE X-RAY VISION AND FEDERAL BENEFITS COME STANDARD
Logan International Airport Is Now Hiring
Transportation Security Officers
See yourself in a vital role for Homeland Security. Be part of a dynamic security team protecting airports and skies as you proudly secure your future.
[Dates, addresses and phone numbers for various hiring fairs listed]
Federal Benefits * Paid, ongoing training
X-ray vision, ha ha ha! Since fondling travelers at Logan is only part-time work that can't possibly pay enough to live on in a hyper-expensive city like Boston, maybe TSA hoped calling attention to the X-rated X-ray fringe benefits would offset that among the sort of people craven enough to consider working for TSA.
In other news, last Sunday the Texas-based site The Statesman ran a puff piece about a government surplus store
, discussing the nifty profit the state makes (and the nifty bargains ordinary people can find!) at surplus stores selling items TSA confiscates from travelers. The article specifically talks about all the beautiful snow globes for sale, all confiscated because they contain too much potentially dangerous liquid.
A beaming girl's picture is encased in the snow globe, which is about the size of a grapefruit and rests atop an expensive-looking wooden base proclaiming, "Congratulations, graduate!"
Alas, the graduate never received this gift. It rests amid a sea of San Antonio snow globes — and a few globes from Denver, Chicago and Disney World — on the shelves of the Texas State Surplus Store at 6506 Bolm Road, off U.S. 183.
Because it's filled with liquid, you can't carry a snow globe onto an airplane. But some travelers haven't gotten the message, or maybe it slips their minds during their harried packing for summer vacation. Thus, rows and rows of snow globes sit at the surplus store, which gets its inventory not only from state surplus but also from items that were left behind or confiscated — "We say willfully surrendered," said cashier Roberta Siller — at airport security checkpoints in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Waco, El Paso and other small airports.
In the five years this store has been open, its plane-related inventory has soared because of heightened security, according to director James Barrington. The airport stuff takes up most of one small room at the store. In 2010, the state's general fund was enriched $300,000 by the storefront's sales.
It's never a good sign when the government actively profits from violating people's rights. And I would gladly bet my life's savings that the snow globes, confiscated on the grounds "They might be explosive or poisonous or something" are sold without first being tested to ensure their contents aren't explosive or poisonous or anything.
And there's similar tales, too: back when toiletry confiscations were first introduced, there were feel-good stories about TSA donating confiscated shampoo and soap and the like to homeless shelters. Then, as now, there's only two possible conclusion to draw from TSA's behavior:
Option one: they know damned well the stuff they confiscate on safety grounds is perfectly harmless, yet confiscate it anyway; or,
Option two: they honestly believe the stuff they confiscate might be dangerous, yet have no qualms about foisting potential poisons onto the homeless or bargain-shopping public.
I still haven't decided which option on TSA's part demonstrates the most contempt for the American public it allegedly serves.
(Dubious thanks to Lisa Simeone for letting me know about the job listing. I don't know why I even try affecting a good mood anymore.)