Friday, November 19, 2010

Tsk, Tsk, TSA

I know it's been such a long time since I added a new post to this blog but we were so busy with selling our house and getting moved. It has been a few months of non-stop activity; packing, moving, cleaning, unpacking, working on the new place, etc. Plus, a trip to the cabin to winterize it and then once back home I discovered I had brought back a stow-away.... a cold. Or flu. Or a combo. Not sure but it left me feeling weak and tired. I'm hoping to get back into regularly posting and sharing my frustrations with you about how our America is slipping away, ever so slowly, from what our forefathers could ever imagine. 

I have copied a posting from by Erick Erickson which I think will sum up quite easily how far the government can go to show their stupidity. The TSA is an agency made up by government officials in an attempt to provide checkpoints and security at our airports. A lot of people are saying that it would be better ran by private companies because once you have the government in charge of something it pretty much turns into incompetence and stupidity rather quickly and anything remotely resembling common sense is no longer a part of the picture.
 I won't go into the new body xrays or the physical groping searches in this post, except to say Israel has had way more reason to expect terrorist activity at their airports and their security teams don't use either one of these tactics.
Below is the reposting of a perfect example of how insane our security measures have become. 

A friend of mine sent me this about his TSA experience. He, unlike most of us, was coming back into the country from Afghanistan on a military charter.
As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan, I witnessed the following:
When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched, the whole nine yards.
Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis, Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. That’s where the stupid started.
First, everyone was forced to get off the plane–even though the plane wasn’t refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.
It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.
The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it reinspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to reinspect our Cargo–just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, reinspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.
This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.
So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:
TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.
Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.
TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.
Soldier: Why?
TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.
Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.
TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.
Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?
TSA Guy: [awkward silence]
Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.
Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]
This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns–but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

There you have it folks, another U.S. airliner made safe by the great security work of the TSA. The plane made it safely to its destination with no one getting  a scratch from a fingernail or even one hangnail. Thank you Uncle Sam.

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