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Old Aug 8, 12, 7:05 pm   #76
 
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Originally Posted by barbell View Post
You are one sick puppy.

Seriously, for your own sake, and that of those you love, please seek help.
+1 to that.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 7:44 pm   #77
 
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Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
I'm going to try to take a somewhat different position on this thread- because it's like so many other Internet threads I've read that have nothing to do with travel.

1. Taking this discussion to extremes, Godwinning, etc. helps NO ONE. Not the individual affected in the OP, NO ONE. Making statements in forums like this that "I think we can all agree......" are ridiculous. No, we can't all agree on the basis of a thread, at least I can't.
1) You're right. Ridiculous extremes help no-one. That's exactly what we're discussing here - TSA has taken their "security" measures to ridiculous extemes. Cupcake in a jar is a threat? Running fingers inside peoples' pants and collars? Feeling up peoples' genitals and running fingers through hair? Ridiculous.

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Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
2. Anyone who thinks they have been abused and their rights have been violated should by all means pursue complaints and all other avenues of redress. That CANNOT be done on an Internet forum.
2) While complaining in a thread may not have any immediate, direct, measurable impact on the gubment, it DOES have immediate, direct, measurable impact on the public - how many people have now heard OP's story and are outraged by it? Public opinion is a mighty powerful force, and complaining in threads like this help to sway public opinion. That CAN and IS done on internet forums. In fact, in this day and age, it is done MORE in internet forums than in just about any other forum.

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Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
3. As far as our experience (we usually travel by air twice a year or so, and have for around 15 years), we've never seen, heard of, or had anyone in an airport mention any problem with security.
3) In part 5, you mention that They are still finding guns in people's carryons after 11 years, folks. Have you ever seen one found?

Just because you've never personally witnessed something doesn't mean it isn't happening on a regular basis. These complaints are real. These abuses happen. They've happened to politicians, celebrities, and of course, to average people.

By the way - you read here, they you HAVE heard of people having problems with security. What you really mean is that you haven't heard any complaints to which you give any credence. But if you don't believe it when someone complains here on FT, why are you even bothering to read TS&S?

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Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
4. A while ago, I read a lengthy thread (not on Flyer Talk) about the alleged abuses of the TSA, and consulted with my brother about this. He has worked for the TSA (at a major airport which will not be named) since about a year after its inception. While he has heard some second or third-hand stories, neither he nor his wife (who also works for TSA in the same airport) has ever been involved in an incident where a passenger evidenced discomfort with the process, or complained about the process.
4) Your brother and his wife are biased. They work for the agency. Their opinions cannot be trusted to be objective or unbiased, particularly if that opinion is that "everything is okay, nothing is wrong", because even if you don't believe that TSA is inherently broken, EVERY large agency occasionally has something wrong with it.

In other words, saying, "these reports are overblown, there are way fewer problems than they say" is believable, but saying, "there is never a problem, nothing ever goes wrong, we're 100% perfect" is just not believable. At all.

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Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
5. No system is perfect. The TSA was instantly brought into being post-9/11, and for very good reasons. I want them there, and I want them to do their job. They are still finding guns in people's carryons after 11 years, folks. Are there going to be abuses? Yes, and stating that these things shouldn't happen ignores that reality. Our system of law guarantees redress of grievances, and those abuses should be pursued by the persons affected. The rest of us can't do anything. A basic rule of our law system, since the year one, involves "standing to sue." If we personally have not been injured or affected, the court will simply rule that we have no "standing to sue." And the vast majority of people who have a legitimate complaint....never do anything about it. This guarantees the abuses will go unchecked. So- the OP should by all means pursue every avenue open to them. The rest of us should move on.
5) No system is perfect, but some systems are less perfect than others. TSA's system needs a massive overhaul.

I want them there, and I want them doing their job, too. Right now, they're NOT doing their job properly.

There are going to be abuses. When they happen, shrugging and saying, "well, that's reality, deal with it" is the WORST possible reaction. It's called "tolerance". And when it comes to abuses of peoples' civil rights by the government, and violations of the US Constitution, we should have zero tolerance. None. Not even a little bit. None at all. Ever.

Right now, the system of redress of grievances you mention is broken. It's not working. Standing by and not saying anything when someone else is abused means that the system is not accountable to anyone - and the abuses will continue, unchecked and unabated. The only way to fix that system is with public outcry - which means that we must ALL voice our opinions. Remember the old saying, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Standing silently by while others are abused, merely because "it's the responsibility of the abused person to speak up for themselves and the rest of us should stay out of their business", simply means that good men are doing nothing. And evil is triumphing.

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Originally Posted by Carl Johnson View Post
The TSA does deter attacks. Why hasn't anybody come up to a checkpoint with a couple of AK's and sprayed the line? Ahmed Ressam wanted to blow up a passenger waiting area at LAX. Why hasn't anybody done anything like that? The TSA causes large concentrations of passengers that could be attacked, but the existence of the TSA deters such attacks.

Terrorists want to harm America, and leaving the TSA in place harms America more than any single attack possibly could. An attack on an airplane - or, even more, an attack on a checkpoint - would highlight the uselessness of TSA, and possibly lead to changes. Terrorists don't want any changes to the TSA, so they don't attack.
There is no TSA at Arundel Mills Mall or Harborplace. There is no TSA at the Udvar-Hazy annex in Dulles. There is no TSA at Oregon Ridge Park when it's packed with thousands of people for fireworks on July 4. And there is no TSA at Walt Disney World.

Why haven't The Terrists opened up with AK's at those crowded venues, without TSA's deterrence factor?

I'll tell you why - because real terrorists are practically non-existent in the US. It has nothing whatsoever to do with TSA's presence.

TSA is a deterrent only to the free and unrestricted travel of law-abiding people. Law-breakers are not deterred by minimum-wage pizza box clerks in the slightest.

What's TSA going to do if they actually DO detect a real terrorist? Hit them with an $11,000 fine? Send them to a private room for a resolution pat-down? Bark at them to remove their shoes? "Do You Want To Fly Today?"

The very idea that TSA deters actual terrorism is ludicrous on its face.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 7:57 pm   #78
 
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Originally Posted by nachtnebel View Post
I think you're not using your imagination sufficiently. What do people do who are interested in acquiring illegal drugs? I suspect they sniff around obliquely, til some word of mouth points them in a successful direction. One could do the same thing wrt bribe-taking clerks.
I disagree with that analogy, for a number of reasons. First, in the case of acquiring drugs, there are people on both sides of that transaction putting feelers out that they're looking for people to transact with. And, more importantly, there's an established "community" within which that information can be shared. If somebody who wants to buy drugs goes to a major city they've never been to before, there's a fairly good chance they'll be able to link up fairly quickly with somebody willing to sell them because they know how to contact that community.

But there's nothing similar with those who want to blow up planes. Even if a TSO, airport worker, or shipping company employee were willing to accept a bribe, what would be the analogy to the drug dealer? Where would they find a community in which to spread the word "if anybody wants to blow up a plane, find me!"? Any such "community" would almost certainly be composed of undercover law enforcement.

Secondly, terrorists, especially international ones, aren't going to fit in very well. They'll appear strange or be "off" in cultural or societal ways and stand out. It'll be that much extremely harder for them to "sniff around obliquely".

As I said, I believe a national intelligence service, despite the difficulty of getting around the first issue, could do it because they have sufficient resources and communications and sufficient training to get around the second issue. I don't think any terrorist organization can come close.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 8:05 pm   #79
 
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
TSA is a deterrent only to the free and unrestricted travel of law-abiding people. Law
Well, I agree with your reasoning here and in the rest of what you wrote, but take another look at my post, because you misunderstood it if you think it expresses any disagreement with your views.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 8:48 pm   #80
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Originally Posted by RichardKenner View Post
Or possibly because the emphasis changed from weapons (which are mostly metal) to IED to components (which are most non-metalic).
Or drugs.

The system seems designed to make it easier to catch druggies. It's not going to catch the properly-prepared terrorist.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 9:02 pm   #81
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Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
2. Anyone who thinks they have been abused and their rights have been violated should by all means pursue complaints and all other avenues of redress. That CANNOT be done on an Internet forum.
Complaints get circular-filed. The courts generally throw out the cases on inadequate grounds and even when they try to do something the TSA just thumbs their nose at them. We have no recourse against the TSA.

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3. As far as our experience (we usually travel by air twice a year or so, and have for around 15 years), we've never seen, heard of, or had anyone in an airport mention any problem with security.
We've never had any serious problems but my wife has gotten a couple of unjustified pat-downs (although not the sexual-assault grope of a retaliatory)--their inability to resolve something on the x-ray doesn't give them any justification to pat her down. Just open the bag and have a look, morons!

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4. A while ago, I read a lengthy thread (not on Flyer Talk) about the alleged abuses of the TSA, and consulted with my brother about this. He has worked for the TSA (at a major airport which will not be named) since about a year after its inception. While he has heard some second or third-hand stories, neither he nor his wife (who also works for TSA in the same airport) has ever been involved in an incident where a passenger evidenced discomfort with the process, or complained about the process.
Most of us know better than to give bullies any indication that they are succeeding. Thus even when the agents are out of line there usually won't be any complaint. To complain is to ask for a missed flight and a sexual-assault grope.

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5. No system is perfect. The TSA was instantly brought into being post-9/11, and for very good reasons. I want them there, and I want them to do their job.
Why don't you move to Russia, then? Their "job" is to destroy the 4th amendment and get us used to living in a police state.

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They are still finding guns in people's carryons after 11 years, folks.
So? People make mistakes. The old metal detectors/x-rays caught them fine.

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Our system of law guarantees redress of grievances, and those abuses should be pursued by the persons affected.
Except it doesn't.

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The rest of us can't do anything. A basic rule of our law system, since the year one, involves "standing to sue." If we personally have not been injured or affected, the court will simply rule that we have no "standing to sue." And the vast majority of people who have a legitimate complaint....never do anything about it. This guarantees the abuses will go unchecked. So- the OP should by all means pursue every avenue open to them. The rest of us should move on.
Most people don't have the money to put into a court case that will probably be circular-filed by some judge without the brains to understand that his government is in the wrong.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 9:05 pm   #82
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Originally Posted by RichardKenner View Post
Have there been many (or any) knives and guns found on people? I thought that nearly all (or all) have been found in carryons?

Also, as has been said before, the most important part of checkpoint security is the deterrence factor, so saying that something hasn't been found isn't that meaningful: in almost all cases, something that is found isn't a threat, but somethign forgotten.
Find knives on a person? Nope. One of the Mythbusters guys accidentally flew with a couple of saw blades in his pocket. TSA didn't notice.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 9:11 pm   #83
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Except that there's a significant risk of being caught unless the first TSO is bribable and that's hard.
1) The druggies accomplish it.

2) "Let our guy with the coke through or your daughter spends what little of her life remains being raped." Of course it's not coke.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 9:15 pm   #84
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Originally Posted by Ysitincoach View Post
Would he have better luck just taking them to Municipal "small claims" court and getting a sympathetic judge to rule in his favor for $3-5k depending on state.
You can't bring non-economic damages in small claims, can you?
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Old Aug 8, 12, 10:49 pm   #85
 
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Originally Posted by RichardKenner View Post
I disagree with that analogy, for a number of reasons. First, in the case of acquiring drugs, there are people on both sides of that transaction putting feelers out that they're looking for people to transact with.
And the clerks who took bribes were not looking for a chance to score? Someone knew these people would deal. Someone knew how to contact them. Why do you suppose terrorists couldn't make use of the same network? Yes, agree with you that it is probably a smaller circle than just drug dealers, but it is something that can be tapped into using the smuggling rubric.

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But there's nothing similar with those who want to blow up planes.
Sure there is, as per above. Not as prevalent, but it exists all the same. Unless you're claiming that the many known smuggling schemes were impromptu.

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Even if a TSO, airport worker, or shipping company employee were willing to accept a bribe, what would be the analogy to the drug dealer? Where would they find a community in which to spread the word "if anybody wants to blow up a plane, find me!"?
Are you deliberately not understanding my post, or perhaps I didn't make it clear. Nobody in their right mind would approach this as "wanna help me smuggle a bomb?" To everyone involved, it would be a package, say a few kilos of drugs. Only people out of the direct transaction would know what it really was.

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Secondly, terrorists, especially international ones, aren't going to fit in very well. They'll appear strange or be "off" in cultural or societal ways and stand out. It'll be that much extremely harder for them to "sniff around obliquely".
You're not thinking this through, IMO. If a dodgy character has money to hand out, nobody will care. The right introductions will be made. The right intermediaries will take care of the rest. Of course nobody is going to know what's really going on til its too late.

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I don't think any terrorist organization can come close.
That is a gamble. Precisely the same type of gamble the TSA won't accept when it insists on random groin searches of people who are under no suspicion.
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Old Aug 9, 12, 2:50 am   #86
 
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Originally Posted by serioustraveler View Post
I suspect her OD'ing on the pills is what caused her to go to the ER...

All pro/anti TSA arguments aside, since when did vomiting and stress mean rushing to the ER?

Did this really qualify as an EMERGENCY?

I've met people that get stressed or can't cope with day to day life, and while I sympathize, how can the TSA know whether she's faking it or telling the truth? If the "terrorists" find out they'll make an exception for victims of sexual assault they'll groom victims of sexual assault to carry out attacks.

While it's unfortunate what happened to your wife, we have yet to have another plane crash or even come close to crashing thanks to terrorists on US soil.

That said I think the TSA could use some more training and be cut back significantly, but at the end of the day there are people out there that can't cope with even minor inconveniences to them when they're traveling and frankly they should avoid traveling especially by air where it is a giant cattle car in the sky.

Air travel is cheaper than it's ever been and as such expect the same quality of "service" that you'll get at any discount business, which means getting a cold shoulder when you feel disrespected.
I tend to differ with the perceptions of many people on TS&S, including on this thread. The post about patdowns in Italy for instance varies to the far end of the spectrum from what I have experienced and I suspect that I have had a much larger number of patdowns in Italy than the person who posted about it.

However, as others pointed out, the hospital did feel that the situation warranted a multiple night stay.

And vomiting and headache can be symptoms of migraines, which are often misunderstood by those who don't have them as simply a headache. Hemiplegic migraines can mimic stroke, and many people are admitted to hospital either during their first instance with those rare forms of migraine, or during episodes, because they or those around them (and often first responders) believe that they are having a stroke. The wife didn't appear to have such a situation, but others may well have had as a result of the stress, noise, lighting etc at a US checkpoint.

I discount the posts from several posters on TS&S based on their posting history, and their percpetion of situations. I also believe that a handful are detrimental to getting the American public on side against the TSA, and no longer refer people to TS&S as a result.

I don't however discount this poster, nor would I minimise the impact on his wife, especially considering the length of the stay.
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Old Aug 9, 12, 3:05 am   #87
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Originally Posted by exbayern View Post
I tend to differ with the perceptions of many people on TS&S, including on this thread. The post about patdowns in Italy for instance varies to the far end of the spectrum from what I have experienced and I suspect that I have had a much larger number of patdowns in Italy than the person who posted about it.
Like you, I fly in/out of Italy quite a bit. On my last trip there I wore suspenders which had small metal tabs. I was flying MXP-PRG-TLV and received the patdowns in both Milan and Prague.

They were just as invasive as in the US and the only difference seemed to be that nobody wasted my time by telling me, step by step, what he was about to do.
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Old Aug 9, 12, 3:17 am   #88
 
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That has not been my experience in various Italian airports.

Around the world at a large number of airport checkpoints, nobody has ever
- pulled down my underwear
- put their hands into my crotch
- lifted my skirt above the knees
- forced limbs to contort causing severe pain
- rubbed their hands along my bare upper thighs

That has only happened to me in the US, and occurred about 60% of the time I passed through a TSA checkpoint. (Add of course the other indiginities such as telling me that I am 'saying my name wrong', which has only happened in the US to that list)

The reports on TS&S are people's perceptions of what occurred. I can only use my past experience, combined with the nature of the reports and the reporter's history, as well as general observations and feedback to determine whether or not I will place much stock in the report.

And as I have stated several times, I do think that the perception is not always the reality. That of course also applies to my own reports, and our perception of the same situation vary greatly.

But I will gladly fly from any airport around the world over flying from a US airport, and I have flown from many 'bad' countries over the world.
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Old Aug 9, 12, 4:42 am   #89
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
Like you, I fly in/out of Italy quite a bit. On my last trip there I wore suspenders which had small metal tabs. I was flying MXP-PRG-TLV and received the patdowns in both Milan and Prague.

They were just as invasive as in the US and the only difference seemed to be that nobody wasted my time by telling me, step by step, what he was about to do.
The Italian patdowns are not as invasive as the touch-the-junk gropes done by the TSA. The TSA rubs against passenger penises and/or scrotums with far greater frequency and official mandate than airport security screeners in Italy or any other developed country in the world (primarily OECD countries).

The US is far more messed up in this area than any country in Europe or the Americas.
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Old Aug 9, 12, 5:54 am   #90
 
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Are you deliberately not understanding my post, or perhaps I didn't make it clear. Nobody in their right mind would approach this as "wanna help me smuggle a bomb?" To everyone involved, it would be a package, say a few kilos of drugs. Only people out of the direct transaction would know what it really was.

You're not thinking this through, IMO. If a dodgy character has money to hand out, nobody will care. The right introductions will be made. The right intermediaries will take care of the rest. Of course nobody is going to know what's really going on til its too late.
I still disagree with you. Yes, this exact scenario would be how a national intelligence organization could accomplish this task. But not a terrorist group. Drug undergrounds are even more suspicious of people and sensitive to those who don't fit in than society in general. There isn't a shred of evidence that terrorist groups have ever had, or even come close to having, the sort of capabilities and training to do what you describe.
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