The Lack of Common Sense at the Airport


Stand back... I've got fingernail clippers, and I'm taking this plane to Cuba!

Is it really necessary to frisk a Congressman?
Ron Paul Family Detained by TSA Again.  For the second time this year, the Paul family has been harassed by the Transportation Security Administration.  Rep. Ron Paul, his wife, and granddaughter were stopped by eight TSA workers at a small airport in Clearwater, Florida, and told they must be screened.  According to the agents, the screening was necessary because Mitt Romney "might be nearby."  Observers say the implication was that the Paul family poses a threat to the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

TSA detains, interrogates Ron Paul's family and aides.  TSA agents did not cite any specific threat, but insinuated the Paul family was a threat to Mitt Romney, claiming the nominee "might be nearby."  The pilot reminded agents the plane itself, filled with fuel, was a bomb.  Agents persisted with demands that the passengers be thoroughly examined, but Carol, Paul's 76-year-old wife, has a pacemaker.  She refused to submit to a search while an aide began recording the event.  Eventually, the agents relented.  Private aircraft are not subjected to the same rigorous security screenings of commercial aircraft, leading some to believe Paul's family was targeted by the agency.

When political correctness collides with political correctness.  [Scroll down]  In fact, service dogs routinely fly with their disabled masters.  Lately miniature horses have shown up on planes and, last November, ABC News reported a 300 pound pot bellied pig on a flight from Philly to Seattle. [...] Airlines are required to allow these animals on board at no extra charge, and any rejection of a service animal on a flight must be documented in writing for the DOT.  Airport owners are also required to provide "relief areas" for service animals.  Americans are indoctrinated to accept any special accommodation for the disabled. [...] But what about the average Muslim passenger?  What happens (and it will happen) when the Muslim traveler demands the removal from the flight of the "unclean" dog or the (Allah help us) pig?

Plain incompetence?  Law authorities and major media, including Fox News, are apparently shocked at TSA agent Alija Abdul Majed's "stunning error" committed while manning his metal detector in lane 1 of JFK Airport's terminal 7 Saturday morning [6/23/2012].  Alija Abdul Majed allegedly did not realize his metal detector was unplugged while screening passengers.

The Editor says...
Why is a guy with a Muslim name doing passenger screening in the first place?  Maybe he didn't want to find anything suspicious.  How many other airports have mice inspecting the cheese?

Henry Kissinger subjected to TSA pat-down at New York airport.  The man who once advised U.S. presidents on foreign affairs — Henry Kissinger — became the latest passenger to trip the Transportation Security Administration's radar, when he was subjected to a pat-down at New York City's LaGuardia airport.

FAA rips Delta passenger for filming bird strike with iPad.  Grant Cardone, 54, became a viral hit after posting a video of birds being sucked into the engine of his Los Angeles-bound Delta flight on April 19.  The plane was forced to turn back to the airport and landed safely, the New York Post reports.  Soon afterward, Cardone received an official letter from the FAA complaining the video was taken illegally because he used his iPad to film the strike, and use of portable electronic devices is prohibited during "critical" phases of a flight, such as takeoffs.  Electronic devices also cannot be used during an in-flight emergency.

The Editor says...
Really?  I would think that an in-flight emergency would be the best time to start taking pictures.  And if the plane is in a Muslim-induced tailspin, there's no reason to stay off the phone.

Dying St. Pete man says airline won't refund his ticket.  Jerry Meekins says he is dying.  The St. Petersburg man says he has been battling esophageal cancer for some time, but doctors recently told him the cancer has spread and his condition is terminal.  So he was surprised when he tried to explain his situation to a customer service representative at Spirit Airlines.

Why Airport Security Is Broken — And How To Fix It.  More than a decade after 9/11, it is a national embarrassment that our airport security system remains so hopelessly bureaucratic and disconnected from the people whom it is meant to protect.  Preventing terrorist attacks on air travel demands flexibility and the constant reassessment of threats.  It also demands strong public support, which the current system has plainly failed to achieve.

Obama Dances the Jizya.  Formally, the jizya is a "tax" paid by kafirs already living under Muslim domination.  It is a tax that must be paid at risk of losing one's head.  Moreover, the jizya is not just a "head" tax; it is also intended to be a form of humiliation. ... Every time you go through security at an airport, you are in effect paying the jizya.  You are also being humiliated.  This is the price we must pay in order not to be blown up.

Frightening frosting? TSA confiscates cupcake.  An airport security officer confiscated a frosted cupcake amid fears its icing could be a security risk, according to reports.  Rebecca Hains said the Transportation Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas took her cupcake Wednesday [12/21/2011].  According to Hains, he told her its frosting was enough like a gel to violate TSA restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives.

Tea Party Leader's Gun Arrest Highlights Tyranny of Law.  Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler was arrested on a firearms violation for declaring a locked, cased, unloaded gun at LaGuardia.  Don't you feel safer?

Officials From Terror-Sponsoring State 'Exempted From Enhanced Screening' by TSA.  While six-year-old girls and retired school teachers with bladder cancer were subjected to intrusive pat-downs by Transportation Security Administration officials at U.S. airports after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate his underwear on a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas 2009, officials from Sudan — one of just four countries the State Department lists as a state sponsor of terrorism — were "exempted from enhanced screening" at airports, according to a State Department cable obtained by CNSNews.com.

We All Have Something to Hide.  [Scroll down]  Nonetheless, visiting the loo when your seatmate does is now terroristic.  And the hysterical fool who "saw something and said something" unleashed the entire "homeland-security" apparatus on our unsuspecting trio in Row X:  "A military escort kept track of the Frontier Airlines flight as it neared Detroit.  On the ground, the plane moved away from the gate to a remote part of the airfield.  A SWAT team then stormed the plane..."

Donald Rumsfeld gets a TSA pat down.  They have subjected babies and the elderly to controversial full body searches at airport security.  And now the TSA has shown that no one is immune to the probing hands of its agents including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Napolitano: No "Logic" In Profiling Muslim Men Under The Age Of 35.  "You're not using good logic there.  You've got to use actual intelligence that you received.  And, so, you might — all you've given me is a kind of status.  You have not given me a technique for tactic or behavior.  Something that would suggest somebody is not Muslim, but Islamic, that has actually moved into the category of violent extremists," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at a forum on U.S. security and preventing terrorist attacks.

GOP lawmaker: I saw TSA pat down 'little old lady,' child, but not Arab man.  The Transportation Security Administration is too worried about "political correctness," according to a Republican lawmaker.  Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said TSA is too politically correct when it chooses which passengers to search at airport security checkpoints.

Will an FAA Budget Cut Reduce Safety?  Each Boeing 747 costs $317 million, its 777 goes for $284 million and its 737 sells for $80 million.  Airbus' giant 555-plus passenger A380 sells for $375 million.  Here's a true or false statement:  If it weren't for the FAA, airline company CEOs would not take the necessary measures to ensure that their aircraft took off and landed safely.  I'd say the statement is false.  Even if CEOs didn't give a hoot about passengers, I'm betting that they do care, without FAA edicts, whether billions of dollars worth of aircraft landed and took off safely, and they will spend enough on maintenance to ensure that.

A People's Approach to National Security.  Airport security did not stop a single attack on September 11.  And despite the assorted humiliations and rules imposed in the decade since, it has yet to do any better.  Time after time again, when the terrorists are challenged, it is by the passengers who rise to do battle with them.  It is not governments that stop terrorists, but people who do.  The TSA model of airline security which says that everyone is a suspect, stands in stark contrast to what really works.

PC Airport Safety is an Oxymoron.  What's going on at airports around the nation is not, repeat not, for the protection of the flying public.  This odious system is set up to protect one thing and one thing only:  political correctness.  In this particular incarnation of PC, it is the willful and calculated determination to ignore the reality that virtually all terrorist acts are committed by radical Muslim males between the ages of 17 and 45.  If that were the extent of it, it would be problematic enough.  But it is precisely the same PC which countenances that radicalization in American mosques, madrassas, prisons and on college campuses, even as those who point out such realities are labeled "Islamophobic."  It is the same PC which erodes the common sense and common decency of a public becoming "accustomed" to getting scanned and groped by government strangers in order to "feel a little safer."

FAA chief suspends dozing air traffic controller.  The nation's top aviation official says he's suspended a control tower supervisor while investigating why no controller was available to aid two planes that landed at Washington's Reagan airport earlier this week.

Air controller caught sleeping on the job.  Two airliners landed at Reagan National Airport near Washington without control tower clearance because the air traffic supervisor was asleep, safety and aviation officials say.

FAA Wake-Up Call.  In the past few weeks, there have been at least four cases — that we know of — where flight controllers have fallen asleep while they were supposed to be guiding planes safely to their destinations.  The latest happened in Reno Wednesday while a medical plane was trying to land.  In response to this outbreak of sleepiness, the FAA ordered extra controllers to a couple of dozen airports and suspended those caught napping, while Air Traffic Organization chief Hank Krakowski resigned.

FAA executive quits over sleeping controllers.  The head of the Air Traffic Organization, a part of the Federal Aviation Administration that oversees the nation's air traffic control system, resigned Thursday [4/14/2011] after disclosures of air traffic controllers who were caught sleeping on the job, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt announced.

Adding 2nd air traffic controller will likely mean two people nodding off.  The Federal Aviation Administration has fired its air-traffic division chief after controllers were found sleeping on the job for, amazingly, the fifth time in three weeks.  The snoozing happened at Reagan National Airport in Washington as well as in towers in Reno, Nev.; Seattle; Lubbock, Texas, and Knoxville, Tenn., where the guy bedded down, complete with blanket, for five hours.

Feds Have Long Known of Sleepy Air Traffic Controllers.  There is growing evidence that the FAA has known about the threat of sleeping air traffic controllers for decades.  The agency commissioned a study as far back as the 1970s on fatigue among controllers.  More recently, in 1997, the publication, "Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine," concluded there was a likelihood controllers were, indeed, falling asleep on the job.

Airport bans toy soldier's three-inch rifle from plane.  The crouching, camouflaged figure is most certainly armed.  But few would say he was dangerous.  Security officials disagreed however when he passed through a scanner at Gatwick Airport.  His three-inch, plastic toy gun was branded a 'firearm' and banned from a transatlantic flight.

Stupidity at the Top.  Our current airport security system is based on the stupid idea that every human being about to board a plane is assumed to be planning to commit suicide by blowing up the plane.  This includes seniors in wheelchairs, toddlers, nuns, pilots, flight attendants, businessmen, movie stars, legislators, teachers, and everyone else.  It should be easy enough to pick out of a group of passengers the one or two persons who look like they are planning to commit suicide by blowing up the plane.  Especially if they've bought one-way tickets and have no luggage.  But stupidity reigns in our transportation security department which would rather subject all passengers to groping pat-downs rather than select those who look and act like terrorists.

What Do the 'Holiday Terror Warning' Targets Have in Common?  All are places where some states have outlawed concealed carry, which has saved plenty of lives in Israel and elsewhere.

Profiling: American as Apple Pie.  Profiling is an essential part of organized life, and it is accepted as normal in most circumstances.  It all depends on who is being profiled and who is protesting.  Selwyn Duke recently discussed demographic profiling in an [American Thinker] article where he correctly pointed to the fact that police for years have had a much keener interest in young people, particularly males, than in any other demographic group.  Duke's premise — that the process is purely and simply demographic profiling grounded in the legitimate stereotype of the reckless, risk-taking young male — got me to thinking that such profiling (yes, even racial profiling) is rampant in our society.  In fact, such profiling is practiced daily throughout the country by the risk managers and actuaries of insurance companies for a variety of coverages.

TSA: a profile in cowardice.  At the TSA political correctness trumps security, meaning that it's okay to intrusively inconvenience 100% of travelers, so long as that small percentage of potentially aggrieved followers of a death cult aren't singled out.  As result more and more people are giving up flying, which very likely is one of the outcomes that Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki are looking for.  It's clear that we have lost the will to prevail, given our responses to being attacked by an alien philosophy.

If You Wanna Get Through Security.  It looks like the only way we can avoid having our wedding tackle filmed or fumbled is to wear a burka because the DHS doesn't hassle Muslims who, pardon my redundancy, happen to be the only one's who're attacking us.

Multiculturalism Hits The Wall.  To avoid the taint of profiling, the TSA adapted what amounted to a policy of absolute mathematical randomness, in which airline passengers were halted and searched according to no rational pattern.  This led to searches of small children, elderly women, the visibly ill and crippled, nuns, and numerous other menaces to national security.  The result was open public contempt and the reduction of the TSA to sheer ineffectuality — of recent major airline attacks, not a single one was countered by the TSA.  All were curtailed by airline passengers.

Muslim Brotherhood Front Group Trains Airport Screeners.  The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has completed training for 2,200 Transportation Safety Officers (TSOs) at the Los Angeles International Airport according to a press release found on the MPAC website.  The MPAC release notes that the two-month training course informed officers of "the diversity of Muslims around the world from cultural dress to language to tenets.  The four trainers taught the TSOs how to properly handle a Quran and discussed the different ways Muslim women and men choose to cover or dress.

Security Screening and Probability Denial.  The Transportation Security Administration's controversial passenger screening policies demonstrate just how distorted our priorities have become.  We have maneuvered ourselves into being more terrified of being accused of racism than we are of death. ... The TSA is behaving as if there are no outward signs of a passenger's likelihood of committing a terrorist act.  Our policy makers are pretending that probability is irrelevant in making choices and designing policies.

Profile Muslims or Pat Down the Masses?  With all the bad press the TSA has received recently, we can't be sure if the acronym stands for Transportation Security Administration, Touches Sensitive Areas or Truly Scandalous Attention.  But, for sure, its pat downs and sci-fi radiation screeners give many of us another good reason to avoid the increasingly unfriendly skies. ... It's much like treating a cancer:  If you cannot target just the affected tissue, the only other solution is to treat the whole body.

Forget Body Scans and Pat Downs — Let's Get Busy Profiling.  Why don't we start profiling for terrorists and stop trying to put everyone from toddlers to granny through the same security procedures at airports?  We're wasting money, time and the people's patience in an effort to be politically correct.  In the end, it's not keeping us any safer; if anything it's making us less safe since it's diverting resources that could otherwise be used on better intelligence gathering, or developing screening devices for cargo on commercial and civilian aircraft, or checking containers before they enter U.S. ports.

TSA 'groping' procedure a result of administration blindness to terror threat.  At long last, a newspaper editorial hits the nail on the head regarding the TSA's new groping polices:  Stop humiliating innocent airline passengers and do what Israel's security-conscious El Al does — profiling.

I'm fed up with the TSA.  How many bombers has the TSA thwarted since its inception?  The answer is zero.  Contrast that figure with the gallons and gallons of hand lotion the agency has confiscated.  As bags pass on the conveyer belt, agents stare intently at x-ray screens.  What could they be looking for?  Could it be that one of these passengers standing in line could be attempting to smuggle a bomb on board?  Of course not!  The agents are looking for yogurt!  They are looking for baby formula!  They are looking for deodorant larger than the allowable three ounces.

TSA Security Measures Show Insanity of Government.  So, let's see what we've got here... A man who has made multiple trips to terrorist training camps is credibly alerted as a potential threat — by his own father, no less — and yet we somehow let him get on board a U.S. flight anyway.  Meanwhile, the millions of travelers who pose no credible threat whatsoever get to see their trips made more miserable for reasons that make no sense.  Tell me again why we want to put government in charge of anything?

TSA "Security": Yet Another Federal Disaster.  In view of the fact that we just can't seem to get away from terrorists bent on blowing us to smithereens, perhaps we should ask ourselves:  what is the safest airline in the world to travel, and the safest airport in the world to travel out of?  If we can answer these questions, and study what those people do, perhaps we can learn how to do it ourselves.  And those answers are...

Airport Insecurity.  [Scroll down]  The bottom line to all of this is that the way we go about airport screening in the US is not effective.  We're screening for potential weapons instead of potential terrorists.  Instead of being proactive, we're reactive. ...We put our faith in more and more machines, which are more and more expensive.  Now they're installing new machines that can see through your clothing.  So the bad guys just shift tactics and do things like implanting explosives into their bodies.  I keep saying this, but we need to learn from the best — Israel.  Nobody hijacks their planes.  Nobody sets bombs off on their planes.  Nobody messes with Israel.  Why?  Because they're not afraid to do what the politically correct weenies who run our airport insecurity services are afraid to do.  Israel profiles.

The Unfriendly Skies.  We take risks each and every time we step out of our homes and don't need the government to decide for us which risks are acceptable.  So why, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, must our seats be in their original and upright position as we begin our descent, a full 20 minutes before we land?  What are the actual risks to unclipping our seat belts seconds before the plane has come to a full and complete stop?  Why can't we use our cell phones while taxiing at LAX, but can do so at Heathrow?

On US no-fly list:  An 8-yr-old called Mikey.  "Meet Mikey Hicks," said Najlah Feanny Hicks, introducing her 8-year-old son, a New Jersey Cub Scout and frequent traveler who has seldom boarded a plane without a hassle because he shares the name of a suspicious person.  "It's not a myth."  Michael Winston Hicks's mother initially sensed trouble when he was a baby and she could not get a seat for him on their flight to Florida at an airport kiosk; airline officials explained that his name "was on the list," she recalled.

The Ethics of Profiling.  In the wake of al-Qaeda's failed Christmas Day plot to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 253, several security discussions, once thought closed, ought to be reopened.  Among them:  this nation's aversion to "profiling" our adversaries. ... Profiling our enemies wherever they may be — most imperatively, at the location and moment of attack — is not only logical, but ethical.

Profile or die.  My name is Ted Nugent, and I profile.  And it is good. ... I profile my daughter's dates.  I profile my children's friends.  I profile my band mates and employees.  I profile the fruit I am about to purchase.  I profile the sky in order to ascertain my potential need for rain gear.  I profile the cleanliness of dining establishments and smiling all the way, I profile the general public as I pleasantly stroll the not-so-mean streets of America.  Conditional and environmental awareness is a powerful survival tool.

I Think, Therefore I Profile.  Two recent events have propelled the issue of profiling to the forefront.  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an immigration bill that "requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect that they're in the United States illegally."  And on May 1, a Pakistani-American failed to set off a car bomb in Times Square.  In both situations, Americans are exhorted to refrain from profiling.

The runway to Flight 253.  To believe that restricting lavatory use and keeping blankets off the laps of grandmothers will make air travel safer is to believe in a myth that should be insulting to every law abiding air passenger.  All passengers are not the problem, and not all passengers pose a threat to air travel.  To make air travel safer, we must identify potential threats before they board an aircraft.  To do so, we must first break free from the bonds of political correctness and admit, without feelings of guilt or reservation that the threat is originating from Islamic terrorists and those who facilitate them.

Security Theater Now Playing at Your Airport.  [Scroll down]  Worse yet, consider the panicky Mickey-Mouse, and embarrassing steps the U.S. Transportation Security Administration implemented hours after the Detroit bombing attempt:  no crew announcements "concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks," and disabling all passenger communications services.  During a flight's final hour, passengers may not stand up, access carry-on baggage, nor "have any blankets, pillows, or personal belongings on the lap." ... The TSA engages in "security theater" — bumbling pretend-steps that treat all passengers equally rather than risk offending anyone by focusing, say, on religion.

Bombs Don't Take Down Airliners — People Take Down Airliners.  Anyone who has flown since 9/11 knows the effects of airline terrorism on airport security — remove the shoes and belt, laptops in the bin, no liquids, and on and on.  Everyone is subjected to these protocols.  Businessmen, mothers of toddlers, toddlers themselves, grandmothers, foreigners, citizens — we all endure the same drill.  Most amusing are the "reaction checks."  After 9/11, sharp blades were the rage (the rage of airport screeners' scrutiny, that is).  After the shoe bomber it was shoes, then it was the 3 oz. limit on liquids — as if 2.5 oz. of liquid is safe, but 3.5 oz. is a threat.

Groups Say Screening Invites Bias.  Twenty-seven organizations on Friday [1/8/2010] asked the Department of Homeland Security to change newly tightened airport-security rules that they say will result in racial and ethnic profiling. ... Among the groups are the Muslim Advocates, the Arab American Institute, the Muslim Bar Associations in several states and the Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee.

Profile Away.  In the wake of the "underwear bomber," why is it still politically incorrect to talk about profiling?  The TSA makes all of us remove our shoes and surrender our shaving cream.  Shouldn't they also keep a profile of what potential terrorists do and aggressively screen people accordingly?  Not just obvious things like screening people whose parents have reported them as possible terrorists, but also people buying tickets with cash, buying one-way tickets, traveling with little/no luggage (oh, wait, the underwear terrorist did ALL of those things).

Profile Me if You Must.  I don't want to be profiled at the airport.  It has happened before, and I hate it.  Volunteering for more isn't what I feel like doing right now, but our airport security system is so half-baked and dysfunctional it may as well not even exist, and flying is about to become more miserable anyway.  So rather than doubling down on grandma and micromanaging everyone on the plane, we might want to pay as much attention to people as to their luggage, especially military-aged males who make unusual and suspicious-looking travel arrangements.

In Defense of Profiling.  Let's get one thing straight right up front:  Profiling is an effective tool. ... I want airport security personnel to discriminate between terrorists and non-terrorists.  The reason discrimination has gotten a bad rap is because we, the silent majority of clear-headed, right-thinking Americans, have permitted the American Left to control our language.  We have allowed the Left to imbue certain words with so much negative connotation that we have, in effect, added them to the ... list of words you can never say.

Being Serious about Airport Security:  A couple weeks ago I was at the airport going through security at about 6:00 AM.  I was sleep deprived and in a rather foul mood when the Transportation Security Agency decided that they had to confiscate my keychain.  You see, my keychain was a rounded piece of metal resembling a bullet with Charlton Heston's signature engraved on the side.  It was a membership gift for joining the National Rifle Association some years ago.  The artifact was silver in color and somewhat cartoonish in shape.  It bore little resemblance to a real bullet.  You can imagine my annoyance when the TSA agent refused to allow me to bring it through because it "resembled a weapon."

Whistleblowers punished for warning of aviation security lapses.  They've been frantically trying to warn America for the past six years:  Aviation security is a joke, and it's only a matter of time before terrorists destroy another airplane full of innocent passengers.

TSA Dodges Congressional Investigation of Breach.  Osama bin Laden has approximately 53 half-siblings.  Last week, ABC reported that 12 of them have FAA pilot's licenses, making them "eligible to fly aircraft anywhere in the United States."  While this is indeed an eye-opener of a headline, Osama bin Laden's high-profile siblings and the FAA are a small concern compared to the threat posed by thousands of would-be foreign pilots routinely granted pilot licenses thanks to the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).

Are Some Passengers Safer Than Others?  After its dogged insistence since 9/11 that objects with points or sharp edges (regardless of size) were a threat to aviation security, the TSA is now considering reversing itself, and recognizing that the mountain of pen knives and scissors it has confiscated were never really a hijacking threat.

[No, but it made really good TV news footage.]

 Excellent:   Flying Blind Against Islamic Terrorism.  A 9-year-old boy carrying a "Going to Grandma's" bag, with a stuffed animal "Beanie Baby" hanging out of it, is pulled aside, told to take his shoes off, and searched.  An 82-year-old man who can barely walk because of arthritis is told to stand and raise his hands and is patted down.  Females undergo "enhanced" or "more intrusive" screening as their breasts, genitals, and buttocks are subjected to "pat-down searches," even as hundreds of thousands of airport workers with access to planes undergo no screening whatsoever.

FAA Suspends 2 Air Traffic Controllers Over Deadly Midair Crash.  [Scroll down]  The two employees, who were not identified by the FAA, were placed on administrative leave with pay.  The FAA said it has begun disciplinary proceedings against the controller, who was handling the small plane that collided with a tour helicopter, and against the supervisor on duty at the time.  The FAA said the controller at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey was involved in "apparently inappropriate conversations" on the telephone at the time of the accident.

The Editor says...
If you ask me, "administrative leave with pay" means "unscheduled vacation."  In any other industry, someone who had even the slightest appearance of negligently causing a fatal accident would be fired on the spot.

TSA detains official from Ron Paul group.  The Transportation Security Administration is investigating the detention and harassment of a Ron Paul organization official by airport screeners, an incident that was caught on tape at a St. Louis airport.  Steve Bierfeldt, director of development for Campaign for Liberty, was selected for additional screening after officials spotted a metal box in his luggage that contained a large amount of cash and checks made out to the campaign.  Mr. Bierfeldt was attending his organization's regional conference in St. Louis and said he was keenly aware, as the situation unfolded March 29, of a controversial report issued to Missouri law enforcement officials intended to identify members of radical militia members.

Man detained and harassed at airport for carrying CASH!

Don't burden us all for fear of terrorism.  I lost count of the number of hours of my life wasted away in queues to weedle out illicit nail-clippers, cigarette lighters and baby milk from the luggage of obviously law-abiding passengers.  And then, two weeks ago, I arrived in New Zealand and almost immediately boarded an internal flight from Auckland to Nelson.  What a joy.  It was no more complicated than getting on a bus.

At last!
Green Light For Profiling.  Nearly seven years after the 9-11 attacks, the Bush administration is finally reconsidering its opposition to one of the most effective counterterrorism weapons at its disposal.  In the months ahead, FBI agents may be able to profile potential terrorists on the basis of suspicious traits and activities, including their ethnic and religious backgrounds.  Those most likely to commit acts of Islamic terrorism will no longer be able to hide in plain sight.

Muslims may not have to undergo sniffer dog checks in UK.  Muslim passengers may not be touched by sniffer dogs of the British Transport Police after complaints that the practice is against Islam.  According to the religion, dogs are deemed to be spiritually "unclean".

Update:
Sniffer dogs to wear 'Muslim' bootees.  Police sniffer dogs will have to wear bootees when searching the homes of Muslims so as not to cause offence.  Guidelines being drawn up by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) urge awareness of religious sensitivities when using dogs to search for drugs and explosives.  The guidelines, to be published this year, were designed to cover mosques but have been extended to include other buildings.

You may also want to read about The Religion of the Easily Offended.

Regurgitating the Apple:  How Modern Liberals "Think".  At the airports, in order not to discriminate, we have to intentionally make ourselves stupid.  We have to pretend we don't know things we do know, and we have to pretend that the next person who is likely to blow up an airplane is as much the 87-year-old Swedish great-great-grandmother as those four 27-year-old imams newly arrived from Syria screaming "Allahu Akbar!" just before they board the plane.  In order to eliminate discrimination, the Modern Liberal has opted to become utterly indiscriminate.

Air marshals' names tagged on 'no-fly' list.  Some federal air marshals have been denied entry to flights they are assigned to protect when their names matched those on the terrorist no-fly list, and the agency says it's now taking steps to make sure their agents are allowed to board in the future.

The Airport Security Follies:  Six years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, airport security remains a theater of the absurd.  The changes put in place following the September 11th catastrophe have been drastic, and largely of two kinds:  those practical and effective, and those irrational, wasteful and pointless. ... We are content wasting billions of taxpayer dollars and untold hours of labor in a delusional attempt to thwart an attack that has already happened, asked to queue for absurd lengths of time, subject to embarrassing pat-downs and loss of our belongings.

Airline Captains Do What, Again?  About two years after 9/11 I was selected at random by a TSA agent for additional security screening at an airport checkpoint.  I was asked to remove my hat, shoes, belt, and jacket, after which I was told to spread my arms and legs for electronic "wanding".  When I asked why I had been chosen for the extra attention, two more agents quickly appeared, and their unsmiling faces emphasized that airport security was, indeed, very serious business.  "We need to be sure you don't have anything you can use to take control of an aircraft", the screener told me.  I will never forget the absurdity of his words.  You see, I was, in fact, about to take control of an aircraft, an Airbus A320 to be precise, and fly it up the Potomac River to LaGuardia.  That's what airline Captains like me get paid to do.

Methanol Fuel Cells Cleared For U.S. Planes.  Methanol fuel cells are now allowed on airplanes.  This paragraph sums up the inconsistency nicely:  "So now, innocuous gels/liquids/shampoos are deemed too hazardous to bring inside the airplane cabin, but a known volatile liquid (however safe it may be) is required to be stored inside your carryon baggage?  I'm not criticizing the technology here, but I have a feeling that that this DOT logic is going to be questioned repeatedly by frazzled flyers."

Airport admits installing foot-washing benches.  Kansas City International Airport officials have acknowledged installing foot-washing benches in a restroom at the airport, but deny they're intended for Muslim cab drivers.

[Who else would use them?]

Sinks for Muslims at airport are up in air.  Special floor-level sinks that would make it easier for Muslims to wash their feet before prayer are part of the current plans for restrooms that would serve taxi drivers in a new airport terminal due for completion next year.  But airport officials, who last week said the sinks were needed to solve a potential safety hazard from wet floors and to make the restrooms more sanitary, said Friday [9/21/2007] that plans for the foot sinks were "only preliminary."

How Muslim footbaths threaten America's social fabric:  There's an uproar in the U.K. over recent comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury that, given the country's growing and restive Muslim population, it is "unavoidable" that certain aspects of Islamic law would, at some point, have to be accepted in Britain.  What many Americans do not realize is that there's a concerted effort by some in the American Muslim community to move slowly in a similar direction right here in the United States.

Muslim sensitivity training for 45,000 airport workers.  The Transportation Security Administration — created after 9/11 to safeguard America's airports — is providing Islamic sensitivity training to 45,000 airport security officers so they'll know what to expect when Muslims fly from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia to participate in the annual "hajj," or pilgrimage to Mecca.

[If Mecca is so great, why buy a round-trip ticket?]

Profile in sanity.  Osama and his pals must take great joy at watching 80-year-old grandmothers being patted down and their creams confiscated by jumpy security people. … Of course, the sane way to protect Americans in the sky is to stop looking for nail files and begin profiling people who might actually cause terror damage.  That is not "racial" profiling, that is "terror" profiling.  Most of the recent terror activities have been perpetuated by young Muslim men.  So it is these people who need greater scrutiny when they check in for a flight.

Airport Idiocy:  Five years after 9/11, our air-security system still misses the main point.  We screen for things, but largely ignore the obvious:  Terrorists are people — so we need to be examining people, not just what they carry on board.

Airport Insecurity:  The only downside to the trip was my having to deal with airport security.  In Burbank, I was pulled out of line, not because, God forbid, I was trying to sneak a bottle of water or a jar of hair gel aboard, but because my can of deodorant and my tube of Crest were deemed too large.  The two items were promptly confiscated.  Fitting the terrorist profile as I do — being a bald 67-year-old American male — it made perfect sense that they'd want to separate me from those potentially lethal toiletries.

Flying the Politically-Correct Skies:  Political correctness has harmed our nation's aviation security, as common-sense measures have been attacked by the left.  For example, the American Civil Liberties Union was very critical of the Computer Assisted Passenger Profiling System (CAPPS II), because it was "secretive, lacking due process protections for people who are unfairly tagged."  Any attempt to screen Arab-Americans and foreign nationals has led to charges of profiling and racism.  The left seems to have no problem with grandmothers and babies being searched, but insists we leave young Arabic men alone.

Hand over your toothpaste.  I was standing in the security line at the airport in Atlanta.  I removed my shoes and my belt, emptied the change from my pockets, discarded my water bottle and placed my tote bag on the belt that would carry it through the X-ray machine.  Suddenly, I was pulled aside.  "Sir, do you know that you are not allowed to carry on board more than a 3.2 ounce tube of toothpaste?"  Asked to explain my blatant breach of security, I sheepishly responded that I had brushed my teeth a number of times with the toothpaste, and surely there must now be less than 3.2 ounces.  At that very moment, the assistant head of security for the airport walked by and inquired what the problem was.

Our Carry-On Luggage Is Not the Real Problem.  If termites are weakening a home's foundation, what do we do?  We call the exterminator and eliminate the problem.  If armed robbers are at our doors trying to break their way in, what do we do?  We defend ourselves to the best of our abilities until the authorities arrive to eliminate the threat.  If Islamic totalitarians come close to murdering hundreds of people by mixing common household materials to blow up airplanes, what do we do?  Apparently, we stop carrying liquids and gels in our carry-on luggage.

Screening for terrorists as nicely as possible.  One of the frustrating reasons the U.S. government feels compelled to spend all of this time and energy coming up with computerized lie detectors is that civil libertarians can't trust airport security personnel to do the same thing.  Why?  Because it's possible for humans to be racist.  The TSA's more established security system, Screening Passengers by Observation Technique, or SPOT, relies on human intelligence instead of the artificial kind. … This apparently is unacceptable for civil libertarians.

Man threatened with arrest at Heathrow for wearing Transformers T-shirt.  An airline passenger claimed that a security guard threatened to arrest him because he was wearing a T-shirt showing a cartoon robot with a gun.  Brad Jayakody, 30, from London, said he was stopped from passing through security at Heathrow's Terminal 5 after his Transformers T-shirt was deemed 'offensive.'

Veils to be lifted at British airports.  Immigration officers at British airports will begin lifting the veils of passengers to verify identity, The Scotsman said Sunday [12/24/2006].  The order came after it was revealed that suspected killer Mustaf Jama flew from London's Heathrow airport to Somalia using his sister's passport.  He is believed to have worn a woman's niqab, which has just a slit for eyes, and was not required to lift the veil.

Drawing a veil over common sense.  Mustaf Jama and his younger brother Yusuf, were Somali asylum seekers with a string of criminal convictions.  But it has been reported — according to 'police sources' — that Mustaf may have managed to escape justice by fleeing back to Somalia using his sister's passport and dressed as a woman in a niqab, a veil that covers the entire body leaving only the eyes visible.

NJ Muslim group tracking airport run-ins.  A New Jersey Muslim group is launching a nationwide effort to record complaints about Muslims being wrongfully detained or questioned at airports to determine where the worst problem areas are.  The goal is not to file lawsuits, but to get to the source of problems and correct it, said Sohail Mohammed, a lawyer for the American Muslim Union.

[Don't forget, Mr. Mohammed, it is the Muslims who are the reason for all this airport inconvenience.  The Muslims are the source of this problem, not the victims of it.

If Cattle Flew:  This is a flying nation.  We fly.  And everyone knows airport security is an increasingly sad joke, that TSA itself often appears to have forgotten its mission, if it ever knew it, and taken on a new one -- the ritual abuse of passengers.  Now there's a security problem.

Airport Secrity Nixes Heisman Trophy.  Troy Smith's Heisman Trophy was shipped home because airport security would not allow the Ohio State quarterback to take it on the plane Tuesday [12/12/2006].

Pumpkin Pie:  New Threat in Sky.  Apparently pumpkin pies are too dangerous to allow to fly.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:  "Overall, operations at Hopkins [Airport in Cleveland] were smooth, [TSA functionary Rick] DeChant said, but there was at least one unexpected hiccup this week.  'In the last two days, we have taken a dozen baked pies,' he said.  Pie filling apparently is banned from carry-on luggage, too.  But the pies didn't go to waste.  They were taken to the airport's United Service Organizations lounge, where soldiers passing through can relax and eat."

The Editor says...
This is an obvious shakedown.  If the pies are dangerous, why are they feeding them to the soldiers?  Here's another obvious scam:

Even the Guards Are Confused.  My brother ... had to go through security and wanted to take a bottle of (unopened) water.  He was prevented by the guard and was told he could buy bottled water inside.  He asked why those bottles were safe, to be told that those inside had been 'screened'.  He offered to hand his bottle over to be Xrayed, to then be told that they could not detect explosives with xrays.  He then asked how they screened the bottles of water inside, to be told that every item goes through the xray machine.

Jewish man removed from airplane for praying.  Some fellow passengers are questioning why an Orthodox Jewish man was removed from an Air Canada Jazz flight in Montreal last week for praying.  The man was a passenger on a Sept. 1 flight from Montreal to New York City when the incident happened.  The airplane was heading toward the runway at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport when eyewitnesses said the Orthodox man began to pray.

Qantas Boss Cool After Being Detained on Suspicion of Being a Terrorist at LAX.  Qantas chairwoman Margaret Jackson has declined an offer by US authorities to lodge a complaint after she was detained on suspicion of being a terrorist at Los Angeles airport last year.

Airport security shook down the wrong guy.  So I'm on my way to Vegas and I'm at the Calgary airport going through the ritual, post-9/11 nonsense that makes everybody feel better about air travel, when the people in charge of keeping us safe decide that the best way to fight international terrorism is to roust a 90-year-old man.  I am not kidding.  And he's not a healthy 90-year-old either.

Stupid airport security:  Americans who fit no terrorist profile — mothers with children, blind and disabled people, elderly couples — are frisked, groped and hassled.  What's even more stupid is that pilots and flight attendants face similar screening.  Here's my question to you:  If a pilot is intent on crashing a plane into a building, does he need to carry anything on board to do it?

Stupid airport security II:  The Transportation Security Administration behaves as if all passengers and all baggage pose an equal security threat, and that's stupid, because not nearly all passengers and baggage pose a security threat.  They've seized articles such as tweezers, toy soldiers, hat pins, sewing scissors and other items they deem as threatening to flight security.

Stupid airport security III:  While my focusing on all possible threats wouldn't be smart, it would make me a prime candidate to become a TSA official.  Their vision of airport security is to focus on the possible as well as the probable.

Who (And What) Is Flying On Your Flight?  Recent events have once again highlighted our concern about who and what are flying aboard our commercial airliners because there is still no reassurance from the government that the issues raised are under control.  To many of us, it appears we continue to be probed and tested for aviation security vulnerabilities.  In short, we still don't seem to have a handle on whom and what is aboard our commercial airliners despite almost three years of federal control over aviation security.

Are Educated Screeners Too Much To Ask?  The $6-per-hour airport security screener, arguably the main reason cited for the federalization of our nation's airport security, is about to rise like the mythical Phoenix from the ashes of 911.  Disguised as federal officers, they will become our first line of defense against aviation terrorism.

Clipper Class:  A pair of nail scissors and a one-way ticket to airport-security hell.  Running the airline gauntlet can turn into a protracted private struggle, as you arrive the now-prescribed two hours early to inch through long domestic check-in lines that seem designed to enhance security mainly by offering incentives for attrition.



Infants Among Those Caught Up in "No-Fly" Confusion.  Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the United States because their names are the same as, or similar to, those of possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly list."  Because of these screenings, parents have missed flights while scrambling to have babies' passports and other documents faxed to allow them to board.

Same story:
Even Babies Aren't Exempt From "No-Fly" List.  Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the United States because their names are the same as or similar to those of possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly" list.  It sounds like a joke, but it's not funny to parents who miss flights while scrambling to have babies' passports and other documents faxed.

 Editor's Note:   According to this story,
The Transportation Security Administration, which administers the list, instructs airlines not to deny boarding to children under 12 -- or select them for extra security checks -- even if their names match those on a list.
... So why didn't the screeners know this?



Baby is sent through X-ray machine at LAX.  A woman going through security at Los Angeles International Airport put her month-old grandson into a plastic bin intended for carry-on items and slid it into an X-ray machine.  The early Saturday accident — bizarre but not unprecedented — caught airport workers by surprise, even though the security line was not busy at the time, officials said.

Woman Puts Grandson Through Airport X-ray Machine.  The Spanish-speaking grandmother apparently did not speak English, and she and her grandson were later allowed to board a flight for Mexico City.

Child caught in baggage X-ray.  A child between three and five years old managed to slip away from distracted parents and wander onto a baggage check-in ramp at Oslo's main airport at Gardermoen.  It wasn't until the child passed through luggage X-ray equipment that officials reacted.

Michael Smerconish has written a new book, "Flying Blind":  How Political Correctness Continues to Compromise Airline Safety Post 9/11.  In a post-9/11 world marked by constant threat of terrorism, why do the Department of Transportation and the Transportation Security Administration continue to jeopardize airline security by enforcing outdated screening regulations that cater to political correctness?  The policy in question - disallowing airline security screeners from using profiling to target young Arab males for secondary screening - goes against the basic police investigative strategy of using pertinent information to pinpoint suspects and prevent further terrorist attacks.

ACLU Opposes Safe Air Travel.  Unlike President Bush, the American Civil Liberties Union is not interested in air security.  Like Senator Kerry, they prefer sensitivity to safety.  [In November 2004], the "nonpartisan" ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging Logan International Airport's "behavior pattern recognition program" on the grounds that it "condones" racial- and ethnic- profiling.  The suit alleges that Logan's safety procedures are unconstitutional, and the litigants are asking for monetary damages.

Counterterrorism in Airports:  It may be less secure to have a computer decide who to wand, or to have random chance decide whose baggage to open, but it's easier to pretend that prejudice is not an issue.  "It's not the officer's fault; the computer selected him" plays well as a defense.  And in a world where security theatre still matters more than security, this is an important consideration.

The Terrorist Profile – Political Correctness Is Deadly.  Nationality, race, and criminal background make up a good terrorist profile.  One other characteristic should be added to the profile and that is religion.  Without exception every terrorist has been Muslim.  If you just add males and an age of twenty-something to the nationality, race, criminal background, and religious characteristic you have a pretty solid terrorist profile.

U.S. Plane Wrong On Airport Security.  As you travel through our nation's airports this summer, take note of those who, after walking through the metal detector without incident, still get pulled for what's called random secondary screening.  If your experience mirrors my own, you'll see plenty of 85-year-old ladies with aluminum walkers, and young kids get the treatment.

What Are You Smiling At, Traveler?.  The fight against terrorism has wiped the smile off the face of British passport holders.  The UK Passport Service said Friday [8/6/2004] it would forbid open-mouthed smiles on passport pictures, one of several rules introduced to comply with strict new U.S. standards.

Grins banned from passport pics.  Travellers have been ordered not to look too happy in their passport photographs to avoid confusing facial recognition scanners.  Toothy, open mouthed grins are being outlawed from the tiny 35mm by 45mm photographs because they will throw off scanners used at airports.

Protect Us From Terrorists, Not Pilots.  Arming pilots is the only real solution, and not just from the standpoint of cost-efficiency.  The pilot is the commander of his craft in the same way a passenger liner's captain exercises authority over his ship.  Each and every day, commercial passenger and cargo airline pilots demonstrate the sound judgment and sense of responsibility required to fly expensive, technically complicated airliners.  They take their responsibilities seriously.  Pilots, in fact, have to undergo extensive psychological testing in order to fly commercially, and many have previously served their country in the military.

Arab hijackers now eligible for pre-boarding.  In June 2001, as Mohamed Atta completed his final "to do" list before the 9/11 attacks Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta was conducting a major study on whether airport security was improperly screening passengers based on ethnicity.  As Mineta explained:  "We must protect the civil rights of airline passengers."  Protecting airline passengers from sudden death has never made it onto Mineta's radar screen.

Jiving us about security:  It seems as though the Federal Aviation Administration's and Department of Transportation's operative assumption is that there's an equal chance that any person, including pilots and crew members, who boards a plane is a potential hijacker.

Airport Security:  The Idiots Rule:  While boarding a Midwest Express flight to Milwaukee, former Vice President Al Gore was pulled aside at the boarding gate.  He was frisked and his carry-on luggage searched.  How might we reconcile these security measures with any semblance of intelligence?  Could it be that security people think Americans will put up with anything, no matter how stupid, as long as there's equality in treatment?

Airline Security:  One Big Joke.  You never know what we short young women of Asian descent traveling alone with small briefcases stuffed with newspapers, Dramamine, chocolate chip cookies and store-bought beverages might be plotting.

Flying the Unfriendly Skies:  A friend of mine, who happens to be a police chief, was stopped before boarding a plane, and relieved of the deadly weapon he was carrying — a pair of apparently lethal tweezers.  Other friends tell similar stories about having been stripped of such dangerous weapons as nail clippers.  Not long ago, Lyn Nofziger raged about being told he couldn't board a plane with the small penknife he's been carrying around for years — even when going in and out of the White House when he worked there.

Wait Until the Feds Take Over.  As others may also attest, I have never viewed flying as particularly pleasant, and a recent cross-country trip I took with my family did nothing to change my thinking.  For those who have not flown commercial aircraft since the September 11 attacks, you are in for a rude awakening when you take to the skies again.  You have not faced the insanity that passes for modern airport security.

Search for a knife led to chaos:  Airport security screeners feared that a passenger had managed to walk through their checkpoint with a 12-inch knife.  They never found a knife, but by searching the bags of everyone who had boarded American Airlines Flight 596 to Boston, they discovered a pilot's pepper spray.

Don't arrest terrorists, INS tells airport agents:  In another example of the federal bureaucracy getting in the way of fighting terrorism, Immigration and Naturalization Service inspectors at Los Angeles International Airport — the nation's third-busiest — have been told by their superiors not to arrest terrorist suspects, even though they carry guns and have arrest authority, reveals an internal INS memo, a copy of which was obtained by WorldNetDaily.com.

Airport-security firm at mercy of Muslims:  EEOC case forced company to rehire Arabs, instate Islamic-sensitivity training program.

Bush pays homage to the rituals of liberalism:  Last week, [President] Bush's Department of Transportation required airport security to search former Vice President Al Gore.  There's a lot not to like about Al Gore, but he's not a terrorist.  Gore said he was glad he was searched.  Why?  So that a potential terrorist could be spared the trouble?  Searching Al Gore is a purely religious act.  It is the purposeless, fetishistic performance of rituals in accordance with the civic religion of liberalism.

Pilot's Job Threatened For Restricting Extra Lavatory:  An American Airlines pilot says his job was threatened when he restricted access to one of four lavatories on his Boeing 757 jumbo jet for security reasons.

Note:  Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 121.533, section "d" states that the pilot of the aircraft is, "during flight time, in command of the aircraft and crew and is responsible for the safety of the passengers, crewmembers, cargo, and airplane."

Ashamed to Be White:  All over the country, American citizens who fit no terrorist profile are being patted down in long airport security lines, their luggage rifled.  Young mothers with children, elderly couples, even flight attendants and pilots are searched.

INS to deport Arab aliens on airliners:  No handcuffs, no police escorts for 6,000 Middle-Easterners living in the U.S. illegally.

JFK illegally targeting Muslims, groups say.  Muslim, Arab and South Asian passengers are being profiled by Homeland Security officers at Kennedy Airport, civil liberties groups said Wednesday, citing a New Jersey family that was detained and interrogated after a flight from Dubai last week.

[It's a little late to ask questions after the flight, isn't it?]

Plane flies five passengers from US to London.  A major airline is under fire from environmentalists for flying an aircraft across the Atlantic with only five passengers on board.  The flight from Chicago to London meant that the plane, a Boeing 777, used 22,000 gallons of fuel.

British Airways flies empty jets 15,000 miles.  British Airways has been criticised for operating at least three long-haul "ghost flights" totalling 15,000 miles with no passengers on board in little over a week.  It flew empty 747-400s — the biggest planes in its fleet — to Hong Kong and Mumbai despite having nobody but the aircrafts' crews on board.

Why haven't they done this before?
Airlines May Start Treating Passengers `Like Freight'.  Imagine two scales at the airline ticket counter, one for your bags and one for you.  The price of a ticket depends upon the weight of both.  That may not be so far-fetched.

The Editor says...
This is one of the few new ideas at the airport that actually makes sense, because airplanes use fuel in a much more direct proportion to their payload than trains or buses or cars.

'Attendants too fat to fly'.  An Indian court has upheld the right of state-owned Air India to ground overweight flight attendants, a report said on Thursday [6/5/2008].  Lawyers for the airline told the court the attendants were moved from flight duty to ground duty when they failed to meet minimum physical fitness standards, the Hindu newspaper reported.

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