Lazy TSA Agents Let Thousands Of Bags Through Unscreened (But They Gotta See Us Naked)

from the feeling-safer? dept

While the TSA and the US government continue to insist that it's absolutely necessary to see passengers naked before they can get on a plane, it appears that not everyone in the TSA is so committed to such thorough searches. Apparently, the feds are investigating a group of 27 TSA agents in Hawaii who apparently just skipped over the part of their jobs where they were supposed to screen luggage. Instead, they just tagged the luggage, saying it was screened and let it go on planes.


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  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 4:50am

    And the ACs wonder why it's called "security theatre". Because it's all an act to get you out of your pants and into the pods.

     

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  2.  
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    Rick Falkvinge, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 4:54am

    Laziness or civil disobedience?

    I wouldn't be too quick to write it off as laziness. If I had a governmental job like this, I would consider it my duty to put the rights of citizens before the orders of my superior, and leave the private stuff of ordinary people alone (note: all luggage has gone through X-ray already, this is about actually opening the suitcases).

    There is something in the US constitution about unwarranted searches. I'm pretty sure it would apply if tested. In the meantime, I have to applaud these people if driven by motivation of civil disobedience.

    If driven by laziness, well, it still shows surveillance doesn't work.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 4:56am

    http://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=tsa

    Nice track record they have going on there. Corruption, passiveness, incompetence and ineffectiveness.

    What are they good for again?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:09am

    It is incredibly easy to find faults like this in a huge system. A small group of workers, who really are suppose to "self-check" each other while working, decide to avoid the work altogether. While it is disappointing, it isn't unusual in a work force of 40,000 to have a few bad apples.

    It is also incredibly easy to stand on the outside taking potshots. Mike, would you care to take the time to elaborate your security plans for flying in the future?

     

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  5.  
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    Michial Thompson, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:25am

    Re:

    A/C I will Gladly elaborate in place of little mikee...

    Return Airport Security to pre-9-11 status. And insteady of treating terrorists like world powers and "going to war" against them, treat them like the common criminals they are.

    There was nothing wrong security then and there was no need for Americans to be turned into common criminals who pay to be treated as such.

    90% of the pissants screaming for better security at the airports RARELY get on airplanes. Maybe 4 or 6 times a YEAR tops. BUT those pissants scream for better security so those of us who used to fly 2-4 times a WEEK are now forced to waste time and money to feed an industry of perverts and criminals called the TSA.

    If the TSA had any serious intentions of increasing security they wouldn't be harassing the business traveler that they see 2-4 times a WEEK, they would be concentrating on the guys they have never seen or rarely see. The guy there twice a week is obviously there for his JOB. The guy that they rare or never have seen before is more likely to be that "terrorist" they are looking for.

    NOT one of the 9-11 bombers, NOR any one of the morons that have attempted since 9-11 have been frequent flyers. ALL of them have been idiots that fly 4-6 times a YEAR.

     

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  6.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:26am

    Re:

    mockery.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous American, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:31am

    Re: Re:

    I can think of a lot cheaper comedy that the TSA that's a whole lot funnier, too.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re:

    So what you are saying is that they should stop checking checked bags, and carry on security should be limited to someone with a wand randonly running it over some parts of your body? We should be allowed to carry on anything to the plane (including hunting knives, etc) and it just shouldn't be an issue, right?

    Would you feel safe knowing the rest of the people on your flight weren't checked at all?

     

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  9.  
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    beckerist (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:36am

    Re: Laziness or civil disobedience?

    I'm pretty sure the US constitution wouldn't apply in this situation because of the private nature of the airline. You basically give up your right when you buy your ticket. If you choose to not give up your right, you have to find a different means of transportation.

     

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  10.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    Mike, would you care to take the time to elaborate your security plans for flying in the future?
    I'd hope they would be the same anyone who doesn't just want the theatre:
    A cost/benefit/risk/drawback analysis for each system or process coupled with a basic understanding that there is no way to make any system or combination of systems 100% effective.
    Also an understanding that you can easily a/ Go broke and b/ Turn into the very thing you're supposed to be defending against by trying and that those are a far greater risk than (barely mathematically distinguishable from zero) risk of an "incident".
    Then an implementation of systems and processes that prevent and/or discourage as much as possible without having egregious effects on what the US tout as the very basis of their country and most of the west consider equally to be basic rights and ideally without raising taxes sky high.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous a-hole, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    It is incredibly easy to find faults like this in a huge system.

    When the system has been shown overall (and not just the random fuck up) to be completely worthless for stopping, it's no longer nit-picking to find fault.

    For my part, I don't hate the TSA. They could be a force for preventing additional plane-based bombings. They could be a lot of things, but what they're doing in the name of security is intrusive, unnecessary, demonstrably not effective and possibly unconstitutional.

    For what it's worth, I rarely fly, and I see it as a huge problem. It's one of the reasons I try to take the trains in the dense Northeast corridor rather than get of a jet anywhere - not because jets are dangerous (they're not) but because I've no desire to be gate-raped for the crime of having bought a ticket.

     

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  12.  
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    Black Patriot (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Would you feel safe knowing the rest of the people on your flight weren't checked at all?

    Funnily enough I probably would.

    We should be allowed to carry on anything to the plane (including hunting knives, etc) and it just shouldn't be an issue, right?

    I'd certainly feel better knowing that my fellow passengers were armed instead of helpless victims against any terrorist smart enough to get a weapon through "airport security".

     

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  13.  
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    Black Patriot (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Laziness or civil disobedience?

    Is there another reasonable method of transport to/from Hawaii?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Laziness or civil disobedience?

    Boat

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:59am

    Re: Laziness or civil disobedience?

    Or maybe there were assisting with a terrorist plot or drug ring. Where's your cynicism?

     

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  16.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Laziness or civil disobedience?

    That would be true if it was the airlines that were searching your bags, but it's not. It agents of the Federal government. Not saying you are right or wrong about the constitution applying just that because it is the government you by law can't sign away your rights.

     

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  17.  
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    V, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 6:15am

    Silliness

    "It is incredibly easy to find faults like this in a huge system. A small group of workers, who really are suppose to "self-check" each other while working, decide to avoid the work altogether. While it is disappointing, it isn't unusual in a work force of 40,000 to have a few bad apples."

    I assume you are jesting, otherwise we simply have to assume you are naive or stupid... or both.

    Other instances have been pointed out and this is simply the tip of the iceberg. I suspect even more instances and corruption will come out.

    It's naive to think that this is an isolated instance.

    "It is also incredibly easy to stand on the outside taking potshots. Mike, would you care to take the time to elaborate your security plans for flying in the future?"

    I suspect Mike's version of security wouldn't include unconstutional searches, invasive systems proven to be ineffective and lack of legitimate profiling.

    We should be spending more time searching travelers who fit the profile and less time searching old people with urine bags.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 6:36am

    Why does the TSA want to see people naked?

    Why does the TSA want to see people naked? Is there a 25-words or less, adjective-free sentence officially from the TSA about why they want to see people naked?

    I mean, those semi-metallic images from the Nudatrons seem like they'd appeal only to a very narrow audience of perverts, a subset, perhaps, of the tight-vinyl fetishists.

     

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  19.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re:

    Michial....did you just stand up for "little mikee" and his position on the galactic stupidity of the TSA?

    What the hell? What world did I wake up in this morning?

     

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  20.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What the hell? What world did I wake up in this morning?

    I'm sayin. Usually I never get much past the "little mikee" part, before my scroll wheel is rolling, actually read the whole post today.

     

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  21.  
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    Joe Adonis, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 6:55am

    I was thinking they called it theatre because a physique like mine could allow for charging admission.

    To think those TSA goons are getting a show for free? Where's my right to make a profit off my performance art works. Why does the government hate Art so much?

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re:

    That would be a fairly vapid answer. Lots of buzzwords, lots of "risk assessment" noise, but nothing practical on the ground.

    We know the risks: Carry on weapons, carry on bombs, bombs in checked luggage. Those are the major issues. Now, knowing the issues, what do you propose? Try to answer without a buzzword.

     

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  23.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "We know the risks"

    Let's just stop right there. Because that's a lie. Everyone does NOT know the risks. They know what they hear bandied about with the same "buzzwords" you're upset about.

    So, since you apparently DO know, what is the risk of being harmed by a weapon/bomb on a plane? What were the risks pre-9/11 and post-9/11.

    And when your research ends up confirming that we all should have better freaking things to think about than the miniscule threat of terrorism, try REALLY hard not to start spouting off bullshit to cover up your mistake....

     

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  24.  
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    keiichi969 (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Re: Why does the TSA want to see people naked?

    Because the TSA is secretly not the Transportation Safety Administration, but is in reality, the Turing-compliant Sexuality Association, and they are creating a database of human body types and features to for their android and gynoid army. They're slowly phasing out any "potential terrorist" human travelers in favor of non-terrorist android versions.

    One must welcome our new robot overlords. OR ELSE.


    Alternate version:


    Why does the TSA want to see people naked?


    THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

    Actually that would explain a lot...

     

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  25.  
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    Atkray (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:19am

    Re: Laziness or civil disobedience?

    Based on my contacts with the TSA I think you are giving them way too much credit. Putting the rights of citizens before orders is a thought process well beyond the capabilities of the TSA staff.

    If it wasn't laziness it was because it interfered with a conversation, or a break, or a shiny object.

     

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  26.  
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    Joe Adonis, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:20am

    Being the day before Mardi Gras, maybe he started early. Or who knows, maybe folks on the internet can be more complicated than we thought.

    Like me, I'm freaking DEEP.

     

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  27.  
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    Jeremy7600 (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How comfortable are you walking down the street? Has everyone else on the street been security checked? for knives, guns and other items, possibly bomb making elem ents? Why are you more concerned about the people on the plane? How many incidents with a knife have their been on a plane recently? Or any weapons? And how many muggings, robberys, assaults with a weapon, have their been on the streets of america or stores or other public places? Sure, the security has stopped all that from getting on the planes so it doesn't happen. Bullshit.

    I don't care if anyone else has been checked befolre boarding. I worry more about getting killed on the ground by stray gunfire (from anyone, anywhere at anytime) than I would worry about anything happening to me on a plane. Why is it so important to you that people on a plane are checked but not people everywhere else? Is it only possible for people to use a knife on a plane but not anywhere else? WTF?

     

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  28.  
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    JackSombra (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "So what you are saying is that they should stop checking checked bags"
    Most country's in the world were checking checked bags well before 9/11

    "and carry on security should be limited to someone with a wand randonly running it over some parts of your body?"
    Yes combined with metal detector gates

    "We should be allowed to carry on anything to the plane (including hunting knives, etc) and it just shouldn't be an issue, right?"
    No, but then again most country's would not let you carry weapons on a plane before 9/11 either

    Notice the "most country's" in all the above, because before 9/11 USA did not do many of these things where rest of modern world did.

    You see the one thing America does not want to admit, for years they put profits and convenience first and thought about safety and security...well never

    Now to "make up" for it they have gone the other way, basically bolting,nailing and welding shut the barn door after the horse has fled

    The only rules that really needed changing were

    * Locked, reenforced cockpit doors (ffs forget the terrorist, worry about the wackos getting into the cockpit, it was much more likely)
    * Banning of all weapons like gun's/knives from flights unless in cargo hold (and no nail clippers are not a weapon)
    * Standard metal detector scan on people
    * Standard scanning of all luggage, carry on or hold


    Some people think pilots should also be armed, but to those i ask the follow, armed terrorists suddenly try to take over a plane

    You have two choices,

    a) Have a pilot, with a small amount of firearms/combat training, try to be hero at 30,000 by starting a gun fight in narrow pressurized cabin with you stuck between him and the "terrorists" (and remember, even if he only gets himself killed, he is the pilot of the plane you are currently on, hope you took flying lessons)

    b) Have a pilot, safe behind a locked, reenforced door that he will not open under any circumstances, bring the plane to the nearest airport where the professional's can attempt to end the attack

    Which do you pick?

     

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  29.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    We should be allowed to carry on anything to the plane (including hunting knives, etc) and it just shouldn't be an issue, right?
    Other than firearms/explosives, sure.

    Taking over a plane with a box cutter just isn't going to happen again.

     

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  30.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (Tag fail. Must remember to preview!)

    We should be allowed to carry on anything to the plane (including hunting knives, etc) and it just shouldn't be an issue, right?

    Other than firearms/explosives, sure.

    Taking over a plane with a box cutter just isn't going to happen again.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    Next time I travel, I bring a suitcase full of TSA agent crotchshots.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:11am

    Funny thing is it's Hawaii that's fighting the naked body scanners...

     

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  33.  
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    someone (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:16am

    Why search for what is not there?

    So where are all the aeroplanes that got blown up by the terrorists who got their bombs past these lazy TSA agents?

     

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  34.  
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    Ha Ha Ha, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    Re:

    Just have everyone fly naked. That way you know where everyone stands (or doesn't stand) and you take the joy out of the scanners. (You would get a better picture without the scanners.)

     

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  35.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Why does the TSA want to see people naked?

    They're slowly phasing out any "potential terrorist" human travelers in favor of non-terrorist android versions.
    I think they already made that film :-)

     

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  36.  
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    MAC, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It might be nice to have a guy there with a Buck knife to teach the terrorist why you shouldn't pull a box cutter...

     

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  37.  
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    Haapi, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Pre-9/11 security already handled hunting knives with xray and metal detectors, and we are handling them no better today.

    The boxcutters used by the 9/11 hijackers were plastic (still lethal) but enough to intimidate people playing by the "just comply" script in place then.

    Between 9/11 and those damn snakes on the plane :-) no plane full of people would simply "comply" any more.

     

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  38.  
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    CJ (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    "what are they good for again?"

    stealing your stuff. There has been so much of it going on around the USA, it's not even a "IN YOUR FACE" article in mainstream news. Your lucky to get a small paragraph.

     

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  39.  
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    velox (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Laziness or civil disobedience?

    "You basically give up your right when you buy your ticket. If you choose to not give up your right, you have to find a different means of transportation."
    The TSA is not acting as a private security contractor for private companies, i.e. the airlines. The TSA policy has the force of law, and if you recall, people have been arrested and threatened with criminal charges for resisting these search procedures.
    So explain again to me how the US Constitution doesn't apply.

    Also, if someone blew up a boat and the same search procedures were subsequently applied on piers and docks, what will you say then?
    I have the right to swim if I don't like it???

     

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  40.  
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    Shawn (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re: Why search for what is not there?

    Over there --> Right next to all the bombs the TSA has found

     

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  41.  
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    Bryan (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 9:39am

    So many unscreened bags, so many lost planes. . . wait, where are ALL the downed planes? Hmmmmmmm. . .

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Kansas Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 10:07am

    Hmmmm....

    I wonder how long it'll be until an airline gate is the setting for a porno?

     

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  43.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    hell, id feel safer if the airlines forced a hunting knife into your hand as a requirement to board the plane then what we have now....

     

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  44.  
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    Ron Jeremy, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 11:58am

    Re: Hmmmm....

    Like yesterday. Haven't you hear of rule 34?

     

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  45.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Why search for what is not there?

    Lost in translation?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Please notice that Mike hasn't shown up to answer the questions. It is easy to bitch about the system, it is incredibly hard to put your own ideas on the table. Mike?

     

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  47.  
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    Black Patriot (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Laziness or civil disobedience?

    That's not exactly reasonable from a time or cost perspective. In fact given the volume of passenger traffic to and from Hawaii I'd say that flying by plane could be considered an essential means of movement and invalidate some of the private protections afforded to airlines.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Re:

    It's also incredibly easy to try to shift the conversation in the manner you are attempting. Why does it matter what Mike would do? We aren't talking about Mike, we're talking about yet another failing of an organization that has yet to prove they are more than a money pit and theatre for the entertainment of the rich and powerful (who are not subjected to such indignities).

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:17pm

    I propose we arm EVERY person who boards a plane. Good luck to you Mr. Hijacker.

     

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  50.  
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    Alex Austin (profile), Mar 9th, 2011 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Would you feel safe knowing the rest of the people on your flight weren't checked at all?"

    Yes. Most civilians who carry knives know how to use them effectively. Therefore, if someone with nefarious intentions does get on the plane, they're more likely to be put down/apprehended.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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