Flutterby™! : Fire the TSA

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Fire the TSA

2009-12-29 17:24:06.589785+00 by Dan Lyke 13 comments

President Obama: It's Time To Fire The TSA

The TSA isn't saving lives. We, the passengers, are saving our own. Since its inception, the TSA has been structured in such a way as to prevent specific terror scenarios, attempting to disrupt a handful of insanely specific tactics, while continuing to disenfranchise and demoralize the citizens who are actually doing the work that a billion-dollar government agency—an agency that received an additional $128 million just this year for new checkpoint explosive screening technology—has failed to do.

[ related topics: Politics moron ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-04 20:22:37.69532+00 by: ebradway

As of Dec 30th, 2009, when we put my sister-in-law on a plane, you do not need a passport to travel into Canada by land or air. You do need a valid driver's license or some similar ID.

Returning to the US is a different matter. By air you have to have a passport - period. And it has to be a passport book, not the new passport card. By land or sea is a different story. All you need is photo ID, like a driver's license, and proof of US citizenship, like a birth certificate. You can also use the new passport card.

Since I assume you are talking about driving to Montreal from the Berkshires, you'll probably only need the driver's license and birth certificate. Of course, a valid passport makes life easier if you have one.

The reason I know the differences is my sister-in-law let her passport expire and had to take a bus from Saskatoon to Fargo, ND and fly to Denver from there. She was able to fly back directly from Denver to Saskatoon.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-04 18:39:26.268249+00 by: jeff

I believe that you do now need a passport for travel to Canada. You'll love Montreal!

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-04 18:31:10.44039+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Charlene flew out Saturday night. Nobody in line. She went through no problem despite having her quart bag of 3 oz liquid containers maxed out.

What is the rule re: Canada and passports? We're looking at Montreal as a possibility in March, and knowing what all hoops we'll have to jump through is good (we'll probably both have passports just because "having our papers in order" makes things easier).

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-04 17:53:28.534073+00 by: ebradway

Picked up a friend at DIA last night flying in from Frankfurt, Germany. He said the security line was terrible - but he couldn't tell if it was the new regulations or the fact that Frankfurt is now the European hub for Air India and he was stuck behind three flights worth of Air India passengers who were being processed through customs there.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-31 02:42:44.175167+00 by: ebradway

FYI: Just dropped my sister-in-law at the Denver International Airport. She was flying to Canada sans passport. Check-in took seconds. The security queue was so short that we decided to sit down together and have a drink before she went through. In fact, they had every scanning station manned and running. Either everyone has freaked out and decided not to fly - or there is no real change in the TSA procedures other than adding more people - which means it's faster to get through security.

Next week I fly to Washington, DC. So I'll get to see first-hand how recent events impact air travel.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-30 14:31:29.722993+00 by: jeff

The TSA is nothing more than another manifestation of the military-industrial complex. Something HAD to replace the lost fuel for the Cold War, and it is "terrorism."

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-30 01:13:04.582876+00 by: Dan Lyke

"I've gotten used to the hassles at the airport" is exactly the point.

So far as I can tell, the guy didn't have detonators to actually explode the PETN, so he could have done more damage by lighting up the Sky Mall catalog. The real terrorists here are the TSA, who are spreading the fear and terror through misinformation, and who are using that terror to continue funding hair-brained pork and jobs for people who'd be better off on public assistance.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-29 23:21:10.554268+00 by: ebradway

Schneier chimes in on the recent new act in Security Theater

He also mentions something I've always felt - terrorism is very, very rare. I don't actually view the TSA as protecting me from anything...

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-29 21:33:15.709283+00 by: ebradway

46 hours of driving: You have a guaranteed stop-over in Denver!

I guess I travel more than most on Flutterby (usually about once a month). I've gotten used to the hassles at the airport. And the idea of spending four days on a train for a two-day meeting in Washington, DC, seems like a huge waste. And as I mentioned in the other thread, I deal with security-related hassles all the time.

If Amtrak had workable internet, it might actually be fun to take the train. At least, the ride from SFO to Denver should be pretty nice. Also, if two of you travel you only pay one upgrade for a bedroom. The "bedroom" with en suite toilet and included meals seems like a nice way to go.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-29 21:20:19.87649+00 by: JT

From the point of view of a former policeman who worked all the security details/etc right after 9/11. On Tuesday, there were utter morons who worked for private security companies around the country who didn't know their asses from a hole in the ground. Every single one of those wanna-be security guards across the nation were subsequently fired from that job since they were completely useless. Each and every one of those people, including the ones who physically let the bombers on the plane, were then hired on as TSA Agents and were somehow magically transformed into competent government employees... with the same training and experience they had when they were deemed useless and incompetent.

When I brought this up to the brand new TSA supervisor at the local airport where I was working, I was given the response "Welcome to America..."

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-29 20:54:26.902371+00 by: Dan Lyke

Eric, I'm not actually all that worried about the extra time involved. Although Charlene and I were talking about how nice it'd be to have a car out there for our vacation, and all of a sudden 46 hours of driving is looking less bothersome.

The problem is that watching the TSA and DHS deal with security is like watching a car take out two light poles and a stop sign, jump a curb and crash into the building next to you and then have the driver jump out and announce that he'll be your pilot for this flight. These idiots make the guys who think that lighting PETN with a match will cause an explosion look downright competent.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-29 20:31:35.613513+00 by: ebradway

I was disappointed. I actually thought this was a quote from Obama until I read the rest of the article. I mean, if W. can create the TSA, Obama can fire it.

BTW, I deal with this kind of security BS every day. I just finished dumping some tables out of Oracle into ASCII for a colleague. It took me 2+ weeks to get a login to the Oracle databases which turned out to be useless because I can't access the database via the DOI VPN (the port is filtered). Instead, I spent a few hours yesterday installing Oracle on my personal machine and loading the data from a backup. This morning, I spent 45 minutes writing some Python to pick the right tables, ignore unnecessary columns and generate 50 text files from the tables.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-29 19:04:38.470207+00 by: TC

So much vitriol for the TSA Dan? Did you fly during that recent holiday clusterf*ck this Christmas? You know TSA is the new DMV? Right? If we don't continue this program we will have to build a "B Ark" and getting one of those funded would be dubious since most of the Senate would be required passengers.