TSA terrorizes the homeless!

Old May 13, 07, 1:02 pm
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TSA terrorizes the homeless!

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/05/13..._potentia.html

TSA donates potentially explosive liquids to homeless

A couple weeks ago my family came to New York, where I live, from my hometown near Salt Lake City. Before leaving, my mother had purchased a small tube of lotion and put it in her purse. When she got to the security checkpoint at the airport, she realized she still had the lotion. She handed it over to the TSA worker who told her that it would be donated to a local homeless shelter. Could it be that the FAA ban on liquids is really a plot to rid the country of homeless people, through the use of explosive liquids?
Okay, TSAers, tell us what you really do with the liquids that are confiscated. This is it, right?
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Old May 13, 07, 1:45 pm
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If this is true then it's just yet more proof that this liquids ban is pointless.
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Old May 13, 07, 3:30 pm
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This is so ridiculous I am almost at a loss for words. Who is at fault here - the TSA for enforcing a stupid set of regulations which are based on nonsense, or the general public for lapping it up and never questioning strongly enough even when faced with evidence that outs the TSA as liars?

Actually, I blame a third group - the media, who would never investigate something like this and expose it.
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Old May 13, 07, 3:53 pm
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It's sort of stealing, isn't it? Seized items should not be allowed to go anywhere except for disposal as hazardous waste if they're too dangerous to get on the plane. Once we get into handing out pies to servicemen and toiletries to the homeless, we give the TSA an incentive to re-distribute our possessions to others in order to get credit for the charity. Then individual agents may err on the side of taking our possessions away, since after all, it's all going to a "good cause" instead of going to waste. Very bad idea. There shouldn't be any outside influences on an agent's decision to confiscate or not to confiscate. No one should be profiting from a confiscation. No one.

Again, I understand that a questionable item may have to be confiscated from time to time. However, the questionable item must be destroyed, not given out elsewhere, to prevent abuse of the program. TSA is there to provide security, not to provide pies to servicemen or shampoo to homeless guys. They should not be able to buy good-will with our goods and money. They should buy good-will through keeping hazardous items and individuals off the airplane. Period.
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Old May 13, 07, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by peachfront View Post
It's sort of stealing, isn't it?
Sort of? If the items are truly contraband, they should either be logged as evidence or destroyed. In either case, a written accounting of what was seized and what the disposition was should be made. TSA will fall back on the Patriot Act and "implied consent." In any case, this behavior would never be tolerated in any legitimate law enforcement organization in America. This activity flies in the face of several Constitutional guarantees afforded United States citizens.

But after all, we are "at war" and many citizens are choosing an erosion of civil liberties in return for a feeling of security.
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Old May 14, 07, 6:12 am
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Wow -- the government redistributing wealth -- How quaintly Communist...
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Old May 14, 07, 6:26 am
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i hope no tax deductions were issued.

I think the liquid ban is essentially a blanket ban when it could be targeted but to assist the frontline people, someone made the rule that no liquids whatsoever beyond a certain amount. Its basically the same with the shoe being x-rayed. In the past, only shoes 2 inches or so, now all shoes.
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Old May 14, 07, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by whirledtraveler View Post
Okay, TSAers, tell us what you really do with the liquids that are confiscated. This is it, right?
Maybe all that's required in being Hazmat-certified with the TSA is to know where to deliver the potential bombs.
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Old May 14, 07, 9:18 am
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hmmm

A couple of things about this. First there is the fact that a lot of the things that are not allowed on the airplane are not considered haz mat because of the quantity. For example if you had a 5 oz container of gasoline in your bag, it would not be allowed because it is over the 3.4 oz limit but by ground rules it isnt considered a haz mat because of the amount in respect to (DOT) regulations.
The second thing is that once TSA has acquired your liquids, TSA has nothing more to do with it. The local airport takes over to decide what to do with it.
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Old May 14, 07, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by browserden View Post
If this is true then it's just yet more proof that this liquids ban is pointless.
Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where they sold the "muffintops" since that's where all the flavor was, then tried to donate the remainder of the muffin to the homeless, but they didn't want it either.
Couldn't even get the "muffin-bottoms" to the dump, they didn't want it either!
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Old May 14, 07, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by eyecue View Post
...The second thing is that once TSA has acquired your liquids, TSA has nothing more to do with it. The local airport takes over to decide what to do with it.
Which proves yet another flaw in the process. The TSA is claiming that liquids/gels in excess of 3.4oz represents a significant danger to aviation - that any of those items could be explosives.

If that theory is to hold water, then every bottle confiscated from a customer should be treated as a potential explosive and handled accordingly - otherwise, what is the danger that Kip is protecting us from??
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Old May 14, 07, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by eyecue View Post
The second thing is that once TSA has acquired your liquids, TSA has nothing more to do with it. The local airport takes over to decide what to do with it.
With respect to liquids, I often see the TSA toss it into a huge trash can setup near the checkpoints.

If these liquids are so dangerous that they cannot be brought onto an airplane, why are we tossing them into trashcans? Remember, we're still at an ORANGE alert level for aviation.

Assuming for a second the threat was real and imminent, doesn't common sense dictate that it is unsafe to dispose of potentially dangerous liquids in this manner?

For stuff that is tossed away into garbage cans (not hazmat bins), I'm sure the airport just puts into a dumpster for waste disposal. As for items that are disposed of in another manner (i.e. put into boxes at the checkpoint), with our current state of "orange" security and supposedly a high risk of a liquid bomb, isn't it negligent for the airport to be distributing such items to homeless shelters?

Looking at reality - I think it is safe to say these items are generally safe. Disposal to a homeless shelter makes good use of such items as long as these draconian BS security (er, make Ma & Pa feel good) measures are in place. However, as these items are safe enough that we could feed confiscated pies to US servicemen and distribute other items to the needy, could someone please tell me why they're being confiscated in the first place?

There is either such a high risk for liquid explosives that we're at orange and the draconian rules are in place for the safety of flyers --- OR --- there is no (or very limited) risk (other than what the government & some media outlets would like us to believe) that we should not be on orange alert, nor should we be confiscating such items.

Which one is it? Can't have it both ways. High Risk/Orange Status or an Extremely Minimal Risk?
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Old May 14, 07, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by SDF_Traveler View Post
With respect to liquids, I often see the TSA toss it into a huge trash can setup near the checkpoints.

If these liquids are so dangerous that they cannot be brought onto an airplane, why are we tossing them into trashcans? Remember, we're still at an ORANGE alert level for aviation.

Assuming for a second the threat was real and imminent, doesn't common sense dictate that it is unsafe to dispose of potentially dangerous liquids in this manner?

For stuff that is tossed away into garbage cans (not hazmat bins), I'm sure the airport just puts into a dumpster for waste disposal. As for items that are disposed of in another manner (i.e. put into boxes at the checkpoint), with our current state of "orange" security and supposedly a high risk of a liquid bomb, isn't it negligent for the airport to be distributing such items to homeless shelters?

Looking at reality - I think it is safe to say these items are generally safe. Disposal to a homeless shelter makes good use of such items as long as these draconian BS security (er, make Ma & Pa feel good) measures are in place. However, as these items are safe enough that we could feed confiscated pies to US servicemen and distribute other items to the needy, could someone please tell me why they're being confiscated in the first place?

There is either such a high risk for liquid explosives that we're at orange and the draconian rules are in place for the safety of flyers --- OR --- there is no (or very limited) risk (other than what the government & some media outlets would like us to believe) that we should not be on orange alert, nor should we be confiscating such items.

Which one is it? Can't have it both ways. High Risk/Orange Status or an Extremely Minimal Risk?
I find this frustrating also. The TSA seems to have it both ways: potentially hazardous until confiscated, and then magically "innocuous"!
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Old May 14, 07, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
I find this frustrating also. The TSA seems to have it both ways: potentially hazardous until confiscated, and then magically "innocuous"!
Yet another in a long line of reasons I find it increasingly difficult to take the TSA seriously, both the leaders and those who enforce such nonsense.

No real security here - just a huge expensive joke played on America.
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Old May 14, 07, 11:56 am
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All in all, though, its better to go to someone who can use it (the homeless) instead of just trashing it.

I agree that this does not make the liquid ban right, but at least they are doing something usefulwith the confiscated things.
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