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Old Oct 12, 13, 8:25 am   #1
 
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No Joking about Security Theater

TSA loudspeakers threaten travelers with arrest for joking about security
Federal propaganda messages echo through the airport, reminding citizens not to speak out against the blueshirts.

Posted on October 10, 2013
http://www.policestateusa.com/2013/t...king-security/

HOUSTON, TX — Travelers are reporting threatening messages coming from the loudspeakers of the Travel Security Administration. The TSA has been broadcasting warnings that people will be arrested for making jokes in the presence of the infamous federal checkpoint agents. Policestateusa.com has obtained exclusive audio of the threats.

Matt Miller said on the morning of September 20th, during his return trip from Colorado to Florida, he spent a few hours in Houston waiting for a connecting flight. Sitting at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, he repeatedly heard a TSA audio message on the intercom that disturbed him.

“…You are also reminded that any inappropriate remarks or jokes concerning security may result in your arrest.”
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Old Oct 12, 13, 8:50 am   #2
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First off TSA can't arrest anyone and local police would need a valid charge to arrest the joker. I don't see how this kind of thing makes the public perception of TSA improve and I would suggest it only continues to erode any goodwill TSA has remaining.

Here is TSA's problem in a nutshell:

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The TSA has never been bashful about violating people’s rights. The agency’s entire job description is to search travelers without probable cause or a warrant. Their intrusive searches, abusive treatment of travelers, ineptitude, and penchant for stealing have made them a source of disdain and a butt of jokes since the TSA’s inception in 2002.
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Old Oct 12, 13, 10:47 am   #3
 
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Originally Posted by yandosan View Post
“…You are also reminded that any inappropriate remarks or jokes concerning security may result in your arrest.”
or again....they may not. (nice idle threat there).

so who exactly is the grand supreme judge of what is "inappropriate" ?
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Old Oct 12, 13, 10:58 am   #4
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I'm not reading anything into this other than it sounds like the typical warning to not say "bomb" or "hijack" within earshot of a clerk. I think most of us stopped doing this sometime in 1975.
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Old Oct 12, 13, 1:42 pm   #5
 
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I'm not reading anything into this other than it sounds like the typical warning to not say "bomb" or "hijack" within earshot of a clerk


Well, it's intentionally vaguely worded so that stupid people think they now cannot make jokes about TSA and other airport goons.
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Old Oct 12, 13, 2:29 pm   #6
 
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Well, it's intentionally vaguely worded so that stupid people think they now cannot make jokes about TSA and other airport goons.
Well ... how would you word it more precisely, then? Because there's no limit to the number of sarcastic remarks that a passenger could make about the screening process, and cataloging them all would be folly.

Personally, I rate this very low on my objections to TSA's procedures. If someone comes up to a checkpoint and voluntarily says "I have a bomb in my backpack", do you really want a TSO to judge whether or not the statement is a joke?

And ... depending on the jurisdiction, they may be right. In Michigan, for example, joking about a bomb in your luggage might be a felony --- at least as I read Michigan law (disclaimer: IANAL):

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Originally Posted by Michigan Penal Code, 750.204a
(emphasis added)

A person who, with the intent to terrorize, frighten, intimidate, threaten, harass, or annoy any other person, possesses, delivers, sends, transports, or places a device that is constructed to represent an explosive, incendiary device, or bomb, or that is presented as an explosive, incendiary device, or bomb, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $3,000.00, or both.

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(4xb...e=mcl-750-204a
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Old Oct 12, 13, 3:57 pm   #7
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Well ... how would you word it more precisely, then? Because there's no limit to the number of sarcastic remarks that a passenger could make about the screening process, and cataloging them all would be folly.

Personally, I rate this very low on my objections to TSA's procedures. If someone comes up to a checkpoint and voluntarily says "I have a bomb in my backpack", do you really want a TSO to judge whether or not the statement is a joke?

And ... depending on the jurisdiction, they may be right. In Michigan, for example, joking about a bomb in your luggage might be a felony --- at least as I read Michigan law (disclaimer: IANAL):
Agree on joking about bombs and such but calling TSA a Band of Idiots or such isn't a crime.
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Old Oct 12, 13, 4:41 pm   #8
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Agree on joking about bombs and such but calling TSA a Band of Idiots or such isn't a crime.
Exactly. And given the wording of the PA announcement, and years of listening to TSA management whine to the National Security Staff about how the public was verbally abusing their personnel and not showing proper respect, I have no doubt some overeager TSA manager will someday exceed his or her authority and start suppressing the First A rights of passengers.
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Old Oct 12, 13, 5:42 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Agree on joking about bombs and such but calling TSA a Band of Idiots or such isn't a crime.
So "please don't joke about your luggage, but feel free to call us names." Yeah, that'll work as a PA announcement ...
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Old Oct 12, 13, 6:44 pm   #10
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
So "please don't joke about your luggage, but feel free to call us names." Yeah, that'll work as a PA announcement ...
If they can't do a better job of wordsmithing, they should either shelve it or make darn sure somebody with a chip on his/her shoulder doesn't use it as a basis for acting stupid.

After all, TSOs have been known to crack 'jokes' at the checkpoint that could get a pax in serious trouble.

That's the problem with 'zero tolerance - no common sense allowed'. If you're going to have a zero tolerance zone, it has to apply equally to pax and TSOs.
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Old Oct 12, 13, 7:25 pm   #11
 
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After all, TSOs have been known to crack 'jokes' at the checkpoint that could get a pax in serious trouble.

That's the problem with 'zero tolerance - no common sense allowed'. If you're going to have a zero tolerance zone, it has to apply equally to pax and TSOs.
I completely agree.
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Old Oct 12, 13, 7:29 pm   #12
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I completely agree.
Mind you, I'd rather see common sense prevail. If some first-time/dim bulb flyer gets told to remove his jacket and he (ill-advisedly) cracks 'What? You think I got a bomb in here or something?', it doesn't have to be escalated into something it's not (a genuine threat, setting off a panic, bla-bla).

Same reason I personally don't have a problem with an otherwise-professional TSO rolling his/her eyes as he/she confiscates my water because it's 'a potentially dangerous item'.
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Old Oct 12, 13, 7:35 pm   #13
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So "please don't joke about your luggage, but feel free to call us names." Yeah, that'll work as a PA announcement ...
I don't see a need for the PA announcement.

TSA either needs to toughen up a bit or learn how to do its job. As long as TSA comes across as a third rate comedy troup the jokes and names will continue.
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Old Oct 12, 13, 8:31 pm   #14
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
I don't see a need for the PA announcement.

TSA either needs to toughen up a bit or learn how to do its job. As long as TSA comes across as a third rate comedy troup the jokes and names will continue.
Somebody makes big $$ off those PA announcements -the equipment, updates to the content, maintenance contracts.

(I resent it as a taxpayer - I pay for these useless and annoying PAs. The worst offenders, in some ways, are the completely indefensible ones that assault you as you come in from the parking garage - a welcome message to the terminal. Please, I'm going to get bombarded soon enough!
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Old Oct 12, 13, 11:22 pm   #15
 
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Mind you, I'd rather see common sense prevail. If some first-time/dim bulb flyer gets told to remove his jacket and he (ill-advisedly) cracks 'What? You think I got a bomb in here or something?', it doesn't have to be escalated into something it's not (a genuine threat, setting off a panic, bla-bla).
The problem with that is how the rest of the country would react, not TSA. All you need is some other passenger observing the situation and shouting "he said he's got a bomb and you're letting him through?!?!?", and now you've got yourself a PR nightmare. Or, heaven forbid, the passenger joking about the bomb in their jacket actually has a bomb in their jacket ... and now you've got the TSA trying to explain why they didn't catch it when the passenger confessed to having a bomb at the checkpoint.

"Common sense" and "out of an abundance of caution" are pretty much polar opposites in this situation. Until you eliminate the latter phrase from the world of commercial airline security, you'll never see the former.
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