Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Calling All TSA Bootlickers: Justify THIS

Ever since the TSA adopted its mandatory molestation policy for anyone flying in American airspace, the agency’s apologists have trotted out the same timeworn excuse: “If you don’t like it, don’t fly!”

Now it looks like they’ll have to update it: “If you don’t like it, don’t travel on any public roadways!”

Last week, on the day before Good Friday, the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with TSA’s snakelike VIPR squads held a mass checkpoint on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (also known as “the stretch of Interstate 64 connecting the cities of Hampton and Norfolk, Virginia”).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch noted
The Homeland Security exercise that slowed traffic at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel on Thursday morning was a routine sweep and not a response to any perceived threat or danger, the Virginia Department of Transportation acknowledged Friday…. "These exercises happen a few times a year in our region," [a VDOT spokesman] said. "Unfortunately, we are not permitted to let the public know ahead of time when it is going to happen because of the security involved, but it is an exercise that is done on a regular basis to make sure all the safeties and securities are met."
The paper didn’t say how long the backup lasted, but local commenters at the Travel Underground forum reported delays of 90 minutes.

Old conventional wisdom: get to the airport two hours early, to give TSA sufficient time to violate your constitutional rights before boarding.

New conventional wisdom: drive to any location 90 minutes early, to give TSA sufficient time to violate your constitutional rights en route.

I grew up in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, and when I was a kid, my dad crossed the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel every day to get to work. When I was in college, I did the same thing. And now, TSA-style checkpoints will be the norm for everyday commuters like us? Employees in Hampton Roads are supposed to accept that they’ll be late for work, college students in Hampton Roads must expect to miss the occasional class or final exam … and for what? Not because any “perceived threat or danger” justified closing the bridge, because some DHS flunky wanted to conduct a random search for no reason, no suspicion, fourth amendment protections against unreasonable search be damned.

And, of course, commuters must be polite and respectful to the TSA, no matter how stressed out they are over things like “Dammit, my boss will fire me for being late!” or “Crap, my final exam starts in ten minutes and I’ll fail the class if I don’t take it!” If you’re rude to the TSA, you’ll be arrested on some catchall charge like “disorderly conduct,” and the Supreme Court has already ruled in favor of mass strip-searches of all people arrested for even the most minor of offenses.

So, even though the charges against you will most likely be dropped, you’ll still undergo the humiliation of being forced to strip, squat, spread ’em and show the emptiness of your various orifices. The consequences for disobedience grow harsher every day.

Can I call the USA a police state now, without being accused of hyperbole?


Blogger Peyton Farquhar said...

Yes, you may refer to the U.S. as officially in a police state and I will second the motion.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean NAZI style checkpoints.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Scott C. said...

I keep wondering what will jolt the people into consciousness, or if that's even possible anymore.
You'd think SOMEone or some people would gather, politely remove the checkpoint from the road and go on about their business. It's just nuts, the laws they've passed that completely go against our natural, inherent rights and hardly anyone seems to give a damn. Too afraid of The Man.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I know, we have had no incident such as this in California....I wonder why..

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calling the "unorganized militia"... Citizen's arrest. TONS of citizen's arrest. Arrest them for violating the law, and dismantle the barricades on grounds of the fourth amendment. Someone needs to roll up on these guys with a paddywagon, and since you KNOW they'll think they're "above the law", clearly the citizenry will need to be armed so they're not dismissed like everyone else.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon: you certainly do have such things at your eastern borders of California. The "fruit Nazis"...

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Brooke Lorren said...

I WILL NOT comply, even on the freeways. I don't go out of my way to make a scene (I don't fly commercially as a result), but if they give me no choice, I will peacefully confront them. I cannot guarantee that they will respond peacefully, but I cannot do what they ask.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes citizens of America, please wake up now as more and more of your rights are being taken away right in front of our eyes. Why is this acceptable? Another is the IRS, the biggest criminals in our country. Our "servant" government has now become a terrorist over it's citizens. We have got to stand up to these bullies.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous 1amWendy said...

Totally with Brooke Lauren on this. My first sentence would be "Please send over an LEO" (if it was a TSA clerk). If the clerk was being a total jerk about it, my second sentence would be "I am not comfortable continuing this conversation." If an LEO ever did appear, I would ask first "Officer, am I free to go?" To an LEO, that's the cue that he/she needs to be able to verbalize the law you have supposedly broken. If the LEO starts acting like a jerk, I would repeat my second sentence, ask if there was somewhere I could turn around, and if all else failed, I would lock my doors, roll up my windows, shut the car off and just freakin' sit there.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they were truly "on a regular basis", the times of the searches would be predictable, but that sounds better than saying "We'll conduct a search any damn time we feel like it." That "regular basis" makes it sound like it's not a 4th Amendment issue.

If these are truly administrative searches, doesn't the "officer" have to prove that one is an immediate threat to himself or others? I guess we are all threats simply by existing. The People have become the enemy of the government.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should check out "indefinite detention" their pulling with anyone, even a U.S. citizen within borders, who is even /suspected/ of being a terrorist. They literally no longer need a charge except "he has the physical capability of being a terrorist".

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TSA is merely security theater and a jobs program for unemployable misfits. After sixty billion dollars over eight years they can't cite one success. In two separate GAO tests in 2011, TSA failed to detect weapons 70% of the time while 60% of the freight in the cargo-hold remains unscreened. They confiscate items their website says are allowed but four of their screeners were caught smuggling drugs, which could have as easily been explosives, through security,

There have been 13 TSA screeners arrested this year including one this week for child pornography. Another 72 TSA screeners were arrested in 2011 for crimes, including eleven sex crimes involving children. TSA can’t prevent crime within their ranks but want us to trust them with airport security.

It’s also pretty creepy that the wholesale sexual assault of groping women and children is being sponsored by a blatantly gay woman. Napolitano claims empathy for the breast cancer victims being felt up at the checkpoint but she conveniently doesn't have to endure it, although she may enjoy watching.

Based on the $8.1 Billion TSA budget and 712 million screenings, each one costs $11.38. Since the security fee is only $2.50 the other $8.88 is taxpayer funded whether they fly or not. This works out to a taxpayer burden of $43.86 per household to fund the cost of TSA not paid for by the airlines or fees.

So those of us who have stopped or heavily reduced our air travel are forced to pay for TSA despite being driven away from flying by them. Since this security circus is free to the airlines, subsidizing the industry with free security to the tune of $4.8B per year, they will continue to accept all of the security antics that TSA dreams up. After all, it's free!

Currently there is no pressure to make TSA efficient or effective and the bottomless taxpayer pocket will allow TSA to continue to expand ad nauseum. If those who still fly want all of this intrusive security them make them pay for it and leave the rest of us alone.

This agency is a national disgrace and complete failure. The lack of responsible management enables many abuses, crimes and failures to continue to occur. TSA is too broken to be reformed and must be replaced with something that actually works.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas Jefferson would call it "Absolute Despotism".

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Susie said...

OH Yeh! You can call it a police state. . .because it's the truth. Great piece - thank you.

I've been ranting about this since it started - and prior to the full on groping by these jackboot losers. Incensed is an understatement. . .and I stopped flying, period.

Geez, now I'll have to take the back roads - not that I have anything to hide - at ALL - but I don't want my rights also violated on the highways and byways.

To the person who posted all of the great information. . .only your last line bothered me - it needs to be "replaced" by FREEDOM - nothing more, nothing less. The TSA, et al, needs to simply GO AWAY.

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A "routine sweep" is when I remove errant cheerios from my kitchen floor. This affront is another irreversible click of the ratchet deeper into corporate totalitarianism.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous AVoiceFromAmerica said...

Okay, so no-one enjoys having to deal with the TSA. That's no surprise.

But what is surprising - happily so - is that since 9/11, there hasn't been another foreign terrorist attack on American soil.

Considering how much the world changed on that day, the minor annoyances and petty inconveniences of checkpoints and the like are hardly impositions on our freedom and personal liberty.

Sorry, folks - there are plenty of more worthwhile things to whinge about than the TSA. Ours is a big country with big problems. This isn't one of them.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

And there haven't been any tiger attacks since I started carrying my anti-tiger rock, either. Wholesale mass violations of the fourth amendment are a very serious matter indeed.

11:46 PM  
Blogger David said...

Police State? Oh yes, and it will just get worse. DHS just ordered 450 million rounds of hollow points - what do you suppose that is for? Between our much more advanced technology and the dumbing down of the American people I think in a few years we will surpass anything seen before. Move over Stalin, we're Number One!

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Artor said...

How can this be a routine sweep when they've never done shit like this before?

Uh...can I buy that anti-tiger rock from you?

12:47 PM  
Blogger Don said...


Baaaaaaaaahhhhhh!! Baaaaaaaaahhhhh!!

Fraking sheeple.

Minor annoyances?? Petty inconveniences?? This is my country and I'll be damned if I'll be told when and where I can travel unmolested. This is not the Soviet Union!

Your kind of stupidity is what has gotten us into this mess. Let us grownups sort things out while you go play in your pen. Here's a juice box; we opened it for you so you wouldn't hurt yourself.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Early Light said...


Destruction of our Constitution is destruction of our country. It is the biggest problem we have right now. If you really were a voice from America, you would understand this.

8:30 PM  

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