Rand Paul and the TSA Scanner Conspiracy

A chip off the Ron Paul block
Wingnuts • Views: 21,966

On his way to a religious fanatic anti-abortion hatefest, Sen. Rand Paul was detained today by TSA agents in Nashville after a scanner went off, and he then refused a pat down.

Now, in true Paul family fashion, Rand Paul is planning a formal Senate investigation to find out who’s behind the TSA scanner conspiracy.

Paul walked into the main terminal at Reagan National hours behind schedule, thanks to an incident at the airport in Nashville he said included him being “detained” by TSA agents for refusing a pat down after a scanner went off as he went through it. Paul said he was held “in a cubicle” at the Nashville airport and told he was not allowed to make any phone calls. Eventually, he told a gaggle of reporters at the DC airport, he left the screening area and was allowed to be re-scanned. The machine didn’t go off, and Paul caught his flight to DC.

The difference between those two scans — one triggering an alarm and one not — will lead to a formal Senate inquiry, Paul (who has been a strong critic of the TSA’s pat down policy) told me in the airport.

Paul questioned why the machine would go off once and then not a second time. He said he suspects the equipment is rigged to set off false positives that then allow the TSA to conduct random pat downs without having to pull a passenger aside.

“I think was mine probably random, I doubt I was picked on,” he said. “But I would like to know: does the screener have the ability to push the button and randomly get someone to set off a screener?”

Sure, that makes sense. Everyone knows TSA agents don’t have enough to do; they’re probably rigging the machines to avoid boredom. Whatever the reason, I’m sure Inspector Paul will get to the bottom of it.

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134 comments
1 Interesting Times  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 11:55:56am

Twitter take:

iboudreau Ian Boudreau
TSA will release Sen. Rand Paul as soon as they determine whether the creature he's smuggling on his head needs to be quarantined.

2 jamesfirecat  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 11:56:00am

Wait was there really hours between scanning him once and scanning him a second time or did they scan him and have him set it off a number of times to start with and then again a few hours later when he turned up clean?

3 Obdicut  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 11:56:28am

Those machines are so goddamn random. Sometimes I walk through and then realize I've got a flask or something on me. Sometimes they go off for my belt, sometimes they don't for steel-toed boots.

I don't like the ridiculous situation we've gotten in with TSA stuff-- if someone wants mass casualties, an airport is still a good place to do it, just before security instead of on the other side of it-- but they need no conspiracy to be irritating.

4 Obdicut  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 11:57:16am

Also: Some people hate the TSA agents touching them. I'm sure the TSA agents hate touching some of the people. It's not a one-way street.

5 erik_t  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 11:57:24am

I'm very rarely in the rabble-rabble-throw-a-wrench-into-the-system camp, but I wouldn't mind a little bit of bluster towards the Security Theater Administration.

6 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:02:34pm

Funny, I thought the Pauls were not big on needless government spending.

7 Kragar  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:02:42pm

WE MUST DO EVERYTHING TO FIGHT THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR EXCEPT THAT WHICH IS A MINOR INCONVENIENCE TO A US SENATOR!
/

8 Altermite  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:04:27pm

:D

That is all.

9 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:04:37pm

After 9/11, everyone was screaming for better security. Now we have better security. So there are people screaming we have too much security? I have no problem with "false positives."

If you want to fly, than freakin deal with it and stop whining like a baby. Or take a train or a car if you don't like it. We deal with this every year. It is what it is.

Up until last year, I had a boss who flies 2 weeks out of every month. If he stopped to whine about every inconvenience, he'd never get his job done.

Achem...

10 lawhawk  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:05:33pm

re: #3 Obdicut

Not necessarily random - if one screening checkpoint has equipment set at a higher scan threshold than another, you'd find stuff that other checkpoints would otherwise miss. Add time and day of week, and you get permutations of how alert screeners might be (to say nothing of how long an individual screener may be on their assignment). Heck, for all we know, in this case the equipment was recalibrated?

You're absolutely right about checkpoints and the possibility of a terror attack coming before you go through screening. That's the thought that came to mind last week when there were issues at the PATH WTC; thousands of people unable to get out of the station due to a crowding situation and screening of passengers going into the station occurs only once you get down the escalator bank to the mezzanine.

11 pinkbunny  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:05:39pm

Yeah it's annoying, and sometimes you have inconsistent rules, but what can you do when you need to fly? But I feel like after so many years, they've gotten a rhythm down, or at least I have! The only time I've had a problem in the past was with my bra, but that's about it.

Everyone get's pulled aside one time or another, Rand Paul just doesn't like being treated everyone else.

12 Winny Spencer  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:05:44pm

Paulturd logic from the son.

13 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:05:45pm
I’m sure Inspector Paul will get to the bottom of it.

Go go gadget tinfoil!

14 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:06:41pm

Zedushka has triggered the alarm almost every time he goes through one of those machines. Not to mention his portable CPAP always gets him tagged for a secondary inspection.

You just can't trust those elderly bearded rabbis.//

15 Kragar  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:07:56pm

One thing about most security scanners, they're usually predisposed to deliver false positives. The idea is that if the machine isn't 100% sure, it will send up an alert for a user to take a closer look and make the judgement call. Seems to me the system worked just fine.

16 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:08:54pm

re: #9 marjoriemoon

After 9/11, everyone was screaming for better security. Now we have better security. So there are people screaming we have too much security? I have no problem with "false positives."

If you want to fly, than freakin deal with it and stop whining like a baby. Or take a train or a car if you don't like it. We deal with this every year. It is what it is.

Up until last year, I had a boss who flies 2 weeks out of every month. If he stopped to whine about every inconvenience, he'd never get his job done.

Achem...

And a lot of those now making noises about how security is "too obtrusive" and "too paranoid" were suggesting at one time that we adopt El Al's security measures, which put the TSA's to shame.

17 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:08:54pm

re: #11 pinkbunny

Yeah it's annoying, and sometimes you have inconsistent rules, but what can you do when you need to fly? But I feel like after so many years, they've gotten a rhythm down, or at least I have! The only time I've had a problem in the past was with my bra, but that's about it.

Everyone get's pulled aside one time or another, Rand Paul just doesn't like being treated everyone else.

I generally leave my metal bra at home when flying, but that's just me :)

18 ProGunLiberal  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:09:03pm

re: #9 marjoriemoon

I always thought the issue was the issue was that the security measures supposedly didn't do much to stop attacks and stuff.

Though they certainly are good for other things. Such as stopping animal smuggling.

19 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:09:35pm

TSA Guy... Hey! That guy just set off the scanner!

Other TSA Guy... Oh, hell... that's one of those 'Paul' guys... let it go... won't be worth it.

20 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:10:30pm

re: #17 marjoriemoon

If it's brass, don't you have a broom?

21 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:10:30pm

re: #16 Targetpractice, Worst of Both Worlds

And a lot of those now making noises about how security is "too obtrusive" and "too paranoid" were suggesting at one time that we adopt El Al's security measures, which put the TSA's to shame.

LOL Oh please. The process starts when you purchase your ticket. Rand Paul's head would explode.

Hmm.....

22 lawhawk  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:10:32pm

re: #14 Alouette

I used to trigger secondary bag searches all the time when I was lugging around all my film camera gear (particularly dozens of rolls of film). That's gotten somewhat less when carrying around digital gear, but they'll still stop me when they see all the cable dongles etc. Nature of the business I guess.

Never really had to deal with any kind of secondary patdown though (we'll see what happens when I make aliyah later this year though).

23 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:11:28pm

re: #20 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

If it's brass, don't you have a broom?

Dude, did you just call me a WITCH???

24 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:11:36pm

re: #15 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

One thing about most security scanners, they're usually predisposed to deliver false positives. The idea is that if the machine isn't 100% sure, it will send up an alert for a user to take a closer look and make the judgement call. Seems to me the system worked just fine.

Exactly. That's why they have human agents still there, to make sure that any "false positives" are exactly that. As noted above, those folks probably are no more thrilled to be giving you a pat-down than you are to be receiving it. You may think you're special, but to that agent, you're probably #105 on the list of people that day who've been frisked.

25 Sinistershade  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:11:41pm

The most terrifying, unbelievable part of the whole story?

"Sen. Rand Paul"

26 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:11:53pm

re: #22 lawhawk

A "cable dongle" sounds dirty.

27 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:12:00pm

re: #18 ProLifeLiberal

I always thought the issue was the issue was that the security measures supposedly didn't do much to stop attacks and stuff.

Though they certainly are good for other things. Such as stopping animal smuggling.

Well no, I think they do a lot to stop attacks. They've stopped many since they've been implemented.

28 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:12:10pm

re: #23 marjoriemoon

Moi?

29 Kragar  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:12:34pm

Would you rather fly on a plane where:

A) security detected a problem, took the guy aside and gave it the all clear.

B) Security detected a problem and waved the guy through because they didn't want to cause a fuss or be intrusive.

30 ProGunLiberal  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:13:01pm

re: #18 ProLifeLiberal

To elaborate, you would not believe how many people smuggle animals in large numbers in suitcases and other places, usually on their person.

In the the second group, those people who smuggle animals down their pants (or worse) should get additional punishment.

31 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:13:35pm

re: #16 Targetpractice, Worst of Both Worlds

And a lot of those now making noises about how security is "too obtrusive" and "too paranoid" were suggesting at one time that we adopt El Al's security measures, which put the TSA's to shame.

El Al's security is based on profiling they do beginning when you purchase your ticket. Although when I fly to Israel it's on one of the discount carriers, everyone gets a "customized" interview entering and leaving the country. For some reason one thing they want to verify about me every single time is my fluency in Hebrew. Even though we begin the conversation in English, they always manage to turn it around so that we're speaking Ivrit.

32 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:13:48pm

re: #29 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Would you rather fly on a plane where:

A) security detected a problem, took the guy aside and gave it the all clear.

B) Security detected a problem and waved the guy through because they didn't want to cause a fuss or be intrusive.

They want C) Security detects a problem and waves the guy through because he doesn't "look like a threat."

You know, that simple-minded logic that goes "A terrorist looks like a terrorist, while a white guy carrying a briefcase is totally legit."

33 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:14:37pm

re: #22 lawhawk

I used to trigger secondary bag searches all the time when I was lugging around all my film camera gear (particularly dozens of rolls of film). That's gotten somewhat less when carrying around digital gear, but they'll still stop me when they see all the cable dongles etc. Nature of the business I guess.

Never really had to deal with any kind of secondary patdown though (we'll see what happens when I make aliyah later this year though).

Oh my! Congrats!! (on the aliyah)

34 Girth  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:14:56pm

re: #23 marjoriemoon

Dude, did you just call me a WITCH???

She turned me into a Newt!

Image: Newt_Approved_Headshot.jpeg

It got better...

35 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:14:58pm

re: #28 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Moi?

Kiss kiss hug hug (Or I'll turn you into a toad.)

36 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:16:48pm

Appropriate to the conversation.

This is a current Facebook post from a friend of mine.

Bah found out I can't take my straight razor for shaving in here cause they consider it a weapon... think sweeney Todd
Like · · Unfollow Post · Share · 31 minutes ago ·

And I thought he was a fairly intelligent guy.

He deserves a full cavity search.

37 Kragar  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:16:58pm

re: #32 Targetpractice, Worst of Both Worlds

They want C) Security detects a problem and waves the guy through because he doesn't "look like a threat."

You know, that simple-minded logic that goes "A terrorist looks like a terrorist, while a white guy carrying a briefcase is totally legit."

Looking at the state of the US today, the white guy with a briefcase is the bigger danger.
.5/

38 lawhawk  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:17:11pm

re: #33 marjoriemoon

Not permanent, just a not-quite-long-enough vacation. Still, it will be my first time back in 19 years, and Mrs. lawhawk's first time.

39 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:17:23pm

re: #35 marjoriemoon

Scared me at first... I was continuing the joke that I thought you started.

Whew!

40 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:19:17pm

re: #37 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Looking at the state of the US today, the white guy with a briefcase is the bigger danger.
.5/

"Look out, he's got an investment portfolio!"

41 Achilles Tang  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:19:30pm
the ability to push the button and randomly get someone to set off a screener?

It is not random if someone pushes a button; dickhead.

42 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:21:22pm

re: #38 lawhawk

Not permanent, just a not-quite-long-enough vacation. Still, it will be my first time back in 19 years, and Mrs. lawhawk's first time.

So very exciting. I'll await pictures from your blog.

44 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:23:47pm

re: #36 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Appropriate to the conversation.

This is a current Facebook post from a friend of mine.

And I thought he was a fairly intelligent guy.

He deserves a full cavity search.

I can't take a rotary cutter, either, although I only use it for sewing.

Rotary cutters are wicked sharp.

45 Girth  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:25:35pm

re: #40 Targetpractice, Worst of Both Worlds

"Look out, he's got an investment portfolio!"

Better not piss him off, he's a Job Creator.

46 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:25:43pm

re: #16 Targetpractice, Worst of Both Worlds

And a lot of those now making noises about how security is "too obtrusive" and "too paranoid" were suggesting at one time that we adopt El Al's security measures, which put the TSA's to shame.

Ben Gurion - 13,000,000 passengers in 2011.

Atlanta - 89,000,000
Chicago -76,000,000
LAX - 59,000,000

In 2008, United States had 809,611,003 air passengers.

47 lawhawk  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:26:00pm

re: #36 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Thing is, blades of various types are allowed as part of checked luggage. You just can't include it in carry-on (for obvious reasons).

48 Jack Burton  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:26:45pm

re: #7 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

WE MUST DO EVERYTHING TO FIGHT THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR EXCEPT THAT WHICH IS A MINOR INCONVENIENCE TO A US SENATOR!
/

If it was some other Republican than the spawn of Luap Nor this would fit... but these clowns are people who think the War on Terror is invented as an excuse to turn the US into a police state and 9/11 "might have been an inside job" by GWB, the Carlysle Group, the Bilderberg Group, Zionazi Joos and/or Freemasons... or some shit.

49 erik_t  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:29:17pm

re: #47 lawhawk

Thing is, blades of various types are allowed as part of checked luggage. You just can't include it in carry-on (for obvious reasons).

Shitty disposable razors are okay in checked luggage. I don't remember how long that has been the case.

50 makeitstop  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:29:25pm

I'd bet ten bucks that when they flagged him for setting off the scanner, Randy pulled that 'Don't you know who I am?' line on them.

51 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:29:33pm

Remember when Senator Kennedy was on the "No Fly" list?

52 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:29:59pm

re: #50 makeitstop

I'd bet ten bucks that when they flagged him for setting off the scanner, Randy pulled that 'Don't you know who I am?' line on them.

Very likely. "I'm a US Senator, you can't search me!"

53 Decatur Deb  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:32:09pm

If a US Senator or an 8-month old, or an 80-yr old sets off an alarm do they belong in the seat next to you at 30,000 ft?

54 erik_t  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:34:01pm

re: #9 marjoriemoon

After 9/11, everyone was screaming for better security. Now we have better security. So there are people screaming we have too much security? I have no problem with "false positives."

If you want to fly, than freakin deal with it and stop whining like a baby. Or take a train or a car if you don't like it. We deal with this every year. It is what it is.

Up until last year, I had a boss who flies 2 weeks out of every month. If he stopped to whine about every inconvenience, he'd never get his job done.

Achem...

That doesn't follow. Paulian crybaby nonsense notwithstanding, it's entirely reasonable and rational to evaluate the costs and benefits of these security measures. There's been precious little of this, or even indication that it's taken place behind closed doors. Any threat, no matter how trivially unlikely, must be defeated by ever-expanding banned-item lists and chemical sniffers, backscatter X-ray machines, trained frown-reading monkeys, etc etc etc.

55 Ming  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:35:03pm

I wonder about the health effects of radiation emitted by those scanning machines. Of course, the effects on any one individual should be infinitesimally small. But I wonder if a billion scans will have some tiny public-health impact. And we must assume that every machine has zero risk of a malfunction that would increase the radiation emitted.

I suppose this is almost literally the definition of "tinfoil conspiracy thinking" (the tinfoil being used to block radiation, I believe?), but I hope that the radiation emitted by these machines is thoroughly understood.

The above has nothing to do with Rand Paul's inability or unwillingness to behave appropriately in an airport, and his father's eagerness to spend my tax dollars to "investigate" all this (maybe bad parenting is the culprit?). It's just something I sometimes wonder about. Lots of radiation scans are done by our federal government, every day, to ordinary Americans. What could possibly go wrong?

56 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:36:12pm

re: #55 Ming

That's why I always wear the conical aluminum foil hat.

57 The Mountain That Blogs  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:37:38pm

Senator Paul obviously believes that no one has the right to invade someone else's body for any reason at all, right?

58 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:40:25pm

re: #54 erik_t

That doesn't follow. Paulian crybaby nonsense notwithstanding, it's entirely reasonable and rational to evaluate the costs and benefits of these security measures. There's been precious little of this, or even indication that it's taken place behind closed doors. Any threat, no matter how trivially unlikely, must be defeated by ever-expanding banned-item lists and chemical sniffers, backscatter X-ray machines, trained frown-reading monkeys, etc etc etc.

I'm not saying that the system is perfect. Or if you got the impression that's what I meant, it's not. I realize it's a work in progress.

But I think we should all realize it's a work in progress. They're trying new technologies and new methods all the times and we just have to be patient about it. That's if you're going to fly.

59 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:41:09pm

re: #55 Ming

I've been told a person is exposed to more radiation by simply flying in a plane than they are by these scans.

60 erik_t  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:41:34pm

re: #58 marjoriemoon

I'm not saying that the system is perfect. Or if you got the impression that's what I meant, it's not. I realize it's a work in progress.

But I think we should all realize it's a work in progress. They're trying new technologies and new methods all the times and we just have to be patient about it. That's if you're going to fly.

From where I sit, 'work in progress' could be accurately rephrased as 'what more can we add?'

It's a profoundly incomplete methodology.

61 Decatur Deb  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:41:42pm

re: #55 Ming

Who is at risk, the fliers who get a couple seconds per flight or the operator staff around the things 2000 hours per year?

*Mandatory disclosure--our generation made frequent trips to the shoe-store for recreational views of our feet on the mahogany/vacuum tube xray machines.

62 ProGunLiberal  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:42:35pm

re: #61 Decatur Deb

How old were you when you were doing that?

63 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:43:32pm

re: #61 Decatur Deb

I see that you conveniently left out that fact that all your children have webbed feet.
/

64 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:44:45pm

re: #63 Slumbering Behemoth

I see that you conveniently left out that fact that all your children have webbed feet.
/

Don't knock it! They're great swimmers!

65 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:45:54pm

re: #55 Ming

I wonder about the health effects of radiation emitted by those scanning machines. Of course, the effects on any one individual should be infinitesimally small. But I wonder if a billion scans will have some tiny public-health impact. And we must assume that every machine has zero risk of a malfunction that would increase the radiation emitted.

I suppose this is almost literally the definition of "tinfoil conspiracy thinking" (the tinfoil being used to block radiation, I believe?), but I hope that the radiation emitted by these machines is thoroughly understood.

The above has nothing to do with Rand Paul's inability or unwillingness to behave appropriately in an airport, and his father's eagerness to spend my tax dollars to "investigate" all this (maybe bad parenting is the culprit?). It's just something I sometimes wonder about. Lots of radiation scans are done by our federal government, every day, to ordinary Americans. What could possibly go wrong?

It's a good question and concern. Although pilots and airline attendants have a much higher risk that the rest of us.

[Link: blogs.discovermagazine.com...]

That article is over a year old. I don't know if there's something out there more recent.

Of the 68 airports scanning for explosives, 30 are using millimeter-wave scanners that don’t use X-rays at all; they hit the surface of the body with safer radio waves. If the TSA committed to using only this type of equipment, it could avoid the safety concerns regarding the X-ray full body scanners completely. [Ars Technica]

There's always a choice of pat-down v. full body scans.

66 Decatur Deb  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:47:03pm

re: #62 ProLifeLiberal

How old were you when you were doing that?

6-7. The kids got a few milliRoentgens, the shoe salesmen picked up some big body burdens.

*Mandatory disclosure--my HS Physics bunch built and operated an unshielded xray from a Crooke's tube.

67 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:48:09pm

re: #66 Decatur Deb

Acquiring super-human abilities: Ur doin it rong.

68 sagehen  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:48:16pm

re: #55 Ming

I wonder about the health effects of radiation emitted by those scanning machines. Of course, the effects on any one individual should be infinitesimally small.

Assuming you're past reproductive age, you don't fly three or four times a week, you only use airports where the machines are properly calibrated and maintained (OMG a qualified technician checking them every day is so expensive, must cut costs!!), and nobody's accidentally hit a button or lever or something that multiplies the dose... and of course, I'm sure the company that makes the machines has a 100% quality control record... and nobody's printing out the pictures...

There's lifetime limits on how many MRI's or cat-scans a patient should have; the dental assistant wears a lead apron when my teeth are x-rayed every few years. My doctor doesn't like it that the imaging center wants her to urge annual mammograms for everyone over 30, she thinks every two years starting at 45 is safer for those with no family history of extra risk factors -- she's convinced that getting too many mammograms will cause as many cancers as it detects.

I'll take the patdown.

69 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:48:19pm

re: #60 erik_t

From where I sit, 'work in progress' could be accurately rephrased as 'what more can we add?'

It's a profoundly incomplete methodology.

That's a feature, not a bug. We don't stop, review our methods, and refine them to deal. No, instead we let a lobbyist sell us on a new tech "guaranteed" to stop terrorists in their tracks, then slap them on like so many patches to a poorly operating machine. At the same time, we treat the people actually running the machines and doing the searches like shit, pay them poor wages, then get worked up when they demand more and unionize to bargain for such.

70 dragonfire1981  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:48:27pm

I don't know why but this just screams "publicity stunt" to me. Conveniently this happens just a few days after the SC primary and at a time when his father desperately needs something to boost his campaign.

Hmmm....

71 pinkbunny  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:49:17pm

re: #32 Targetpractice, Worst of Both Worlds

LOL - coffee spewing on screen

72 Political Atheist  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:50:12pm

re: #55 Ming

Just a little reading will show you this is kind of a micro power scan. So little it bounces off skin.


"The radiation exposure is pretty darn small," she said. "You'd have to go through the scanner 200,000 times to get the dose of one CT scan."

73 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:52:36pm

re: #60 erik_t

From where I sit, 'work in progress' could be accurately rephrased as 'what more can we add?'

It's a profoundly incomplete methodology.

Not really. Ben Gurion has not had any incidents, zero, in over 50 years. I know we aren't willing to have that much security, but we should be taking cues from our Israeli friends. They know how this works.

The methodology is accurate if you use it properly and efficiently.

74 iossarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:53:30pm

re: #70 dragonfire1981

I don't know why but this just screams "publicity stunt" to me. Conveniently this happens just a few days after the SC primary and at a time when his father desperately needs something to boost his campaign.

Hmmm...

The only piece of the puzzle remaining is what "package" he used to deliberately trigger the pat-down request.

Helpful suggestions only please.

75 ProGunLiberal  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:53:42pm

re: #66 Decatur Deb

Can't fault you on the shoe thing. Too young to know better.

The other thing however...

76 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:54:45pm

re: #72 Rightwingconspirator

I don't care what she says, I'm askeered!
/

77 Decatur Deb  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:54:58pm

re: #75 ProLifeLiberal

Can't fault you on the shoe thing. Too young to know better.

The other thing however...

Shoe store xray:

[Link: www.museumofquackery.com...]

79 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:55:59pm
80 iossarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:56:25pm

re: #78 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Arkansas Democratic Campaign Manager Comes Home To Find Child’s Cat Murdered, ‘LIBERAL’ Written On Dead Body

Haha "compassionate conservatism".

Fuck the right.

81 erik_t  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:57:01pm

re: #73 marjoriemoon

Not really. Ben Gurion has not had any incidents, zero, in over 50 years. I know we aren't willing to have that much security, but we should be taking cues from our Israeli friends. They know how this works.

The methodology is accurate if you use it properly and efficiently.

What in the devil does an Israeli airport have to do with the US TSA?

And frankly, I literally do not give one tiny tenth of a crap about any ostensibly-good safety statistic that is not presented with a corresponding set of cost data.

82 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:57:25pm

re: #78 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

I really hope they catch the POS scumbag who did that.

83 engineer cat  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:57:36pm

Mitt Romney landed here Sunday with a simple message: Newt Gingrich is a failure and a fraud. And a disgrace

this is like accusing your opponent of being a pig - to an audience of pigs

84 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:58:31pm

re: #73 marjoriemoon

Not really. Ben Gurion has not had any incidents, zero, in over 50 years.

I seem to recall the Japanese Red Army attack in 1972.

85 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:58:40pm

What Israel can teach us about security (2009)

[Link: www.thestar.com...]

"You can easily do what we do. You don't have to replace anything. You have to add just a little bit – technology, training," Sela said. "But you have to completely change the way you go about doing airport security. And that is something that the bureaucrats have a problem with. They are very well enclosed in their own concept."

86 Girth  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:59:38pm

re: #78 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Arkansas Democratic Campaign Manager Comes Home To Find Child’s Cat Murdered, ‘LIBERAL’ Written On Dead Body

Queue Breitbart claiming false flag operation in 3...2...1...

87 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:59:51pm

re: #80 iossarian

That's not "compassionate conservatism". That's sociopathic partisanship.

88 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:00:27pm

re: #81 erik_t

What in the devil does an Israeli airport have to do with the US TSA?

And frankly, I literally do not give one tiny tenth of a crap about any ostensibly-good safety statistic that is not presented with a corresponding set of cost data.

Israelis are kings in this field.

89 lawhawk  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:01:29pm

re: #72 Rightwingconspirator

CT Scans are several magnitudes higher than a standard dental x-ray or chest x-ray. Not necessarily a good comparison.

Fact is that cumulative exposures do lead to cancer development - the question is the threshold levels and balancing the risks.

90 Kragar  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:01:45pm
91 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:02:32pm

re: #84 Alouette

I seem to recall the Japanese Red Army attack in 1972.

Ok, once in 50 years? Considering where we're talking about, I still think that's exceptional.

92 BishopX  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:04:29pm

My thoughts on air plane security is that we've become wedded to this idea that a secure airline means no terrorist attacks. I think that's pretty much stupid, a secure airline is one where the it's impossible to do more damage than anywhere else. To that end the only really crucial security features are hardened cockpits and explosive detection. Everything else is cultural sensitivity. When you look at the costs to the nation in terms of time and manpower required to prevent someone taking a box cutter or a straight razor or a rotary cutter on a plane, I fail to see how it could be more expensive to simply screen for explosives and post a pair of armed guards in front of a hardened cockpit door.

93 Four More Tears  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:04:37pm

re: #90 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Santorum To Rape Victims: ‘Make The Best Out Of A Bad Situation

Fucktard.

I just wish they would use that advice when a Democrat wins the White House...

94 Alexzander  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:04:40pm

re: #90 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Santorum To Rape Victims: ‘Make The Best Out Of A Bad Situation’

Fucktard.

When life gives you lemons!!! :D

95 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:04:43pm

Was watching some Brian Regan stand-up earlier. He said;

"Wouldn't it be terrible to be of Arab descent, living in America with an real interest in crop-dusting?

"Here's my application for flying lessons... Now you have to go make a phone call, right?"

96 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:04:52pm

re: #90 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

"I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you."

Your god is an evil god, Rick.

97 lawhawk  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:05:04pm

re: #91 marjoriemoon

And that incident highlighted the problem of profiling - they weren't focused on potential terrorists being from a group outside their projected threats (Arabs/Palestinians). So when the Japanese terrorists began opening fire, it came as a shock to the security contingent there.

Since then, they've tightened up security considerably and give a more thorough screening to all passengers.

98 erik_t  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:05:34pm

re: #88 marjoriemoon

Israelis are kings in this field.

Which has what to do with the fact that we're talking about an American politician at an American airport finding fault with the American TSA?

Great, Israel has good airport security (depending on how you define 'good'). Gold star for them. We should study what they do and see what lessons we would like to take away from it.

In the meantime, the American system seems constructed entirely to add new and obnoxious regulations and requirements, and this is idiotic, and I would really rather not "freakin deal with it and stop whining like a baby". I would like to politely request that the Department of Homeland Fearmongering remove their collective head from their collective ass and work to create a system that strikes a reasonable and prudent balance between safety, efficiency and cost.

99 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:06:20pm

re: #90 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Santorum To Rape Victims: ‘Make The Best Out Of A Bad Situation’

Doing a bad impression of Bob Wilson?

100 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:06:28pm

re: #94 Alexzander

When life gives you lemons!!! :D

//

101 pinkbunny  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:07:05pm

re: #78 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

That is just disgusting and somehow in the mind of this sick individual, totally justified! Right wing idiots always competing to see how low they can go!

102 Atlas Fails  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:07:26pm

Hate to nit-pick, but I don't think I'd call the March for Life a hatefest. Sure, there are some kooks that attend, but I have friends who have gone, and I know they're not hate-filled or misogynistic, mostly just ill-informed or naive about the consequences of outlawing abortion.

Oh, and Rand Paul's a twit. How long will it take someone to connect this to

The Mossad?

103 Political Atheist  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:07:52pm

re: #89 lawhawk

I know the difference, if the dental X-ray had been the comparison I think we get a number in the millions. Even the most frequent flyer would have more radiation concerns from the flight than the scan.

[Link: www.airspacemag.com...]

You can opt out of the scan for the pat down but ya still got the altitude and cosmic rays etc.

104 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:08:00pm

re: #95 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Was watching some Brian Regan stand-up earlier. He said;

"Wouldn't it be terrible to be of Arab descent, living in America with an real interest in crop-dusting?

"Here's my application for flying lessons... Now you have to go make a phone call, right?"

LOL Sorry, but that did make me giggle.

Wasn't the issue with the terrorists that they had no interest in learning how to land? I seem to recall, but I imagine any Muslim person would have a hard time becoming any kind of pilot today in the U.S.

105 Decatur Deb  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:08:50pm

re: #97 lawhawk

And that incident highlighted the problem of profiling - they weren't focused on potential terrorists being from a group outside their projected threats (Arabs/Palestinians). So when the Japanese terrorists began opening fire, it came as a shock to the security contingent there.

Since then, they've tightened up security considerably and give a more thorough screening to all passengers.

Jihad Jane

Image: paulin_ramirez_1596731c.jpg

106 ProGunLiberal  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:09:16pm

Well, this is simple and easy to understand. Found on a campus somewhere. Couldn't find more specific information.

About Lamar Smith

re: #86 Girth

This makes my blood boil.

107 Decatur Deb  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:09:44pm

Grandkid duty--BBL

108 abolitionist  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:10:03pm

re: #15 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

One thing about most security scanners, they're usually predisposed to deliver false positives. The idea is that if the machine isn't 100% sure, it will send up an alert for a user to take a closer look and make the judgement call. Seems to me the system worked just fine.

I've been flagged due to the mag stripes on my debit/credit/other cards. It was at a graduation ceremony, not an airport.

109 wrenchwench  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:10:08pm

re: #98 erik_t

Which has what to do with the fact that we're talking about an American politician at an American airport finding fault with the American TSA?

Great, Israel has good airport security (depending on how you define 'good'). Gold star for them. We should study what they do and see what lessons we would like to take away from it.

I think you answered your own question.

110 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:10:18pm

re: #107 Decatur Deb

Grandkid duty--BBL

Heh... you said doodie...

111 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:11:07pm

re: #105 Decatur Deb

Dear Gravel! Put that niqab back on!

112 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:11:31pm

re: #90 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Santorum To Rape Victims: ‘Make The Best Out Of A Bad Situation’

Fucktard.

Santorum's not the first dipshit I've heard spout such "logic." Apparently to some, the idea of abortion is so heinous, that they think forcing an rape victim to carry their rapist's child for nine months is a small price to pay. Not only that, but the victim should be "thankful" that God has "given" them a child.

In Santorum's case, he no doubt then thinks that the victim should, rather than being a single parent, immediately go out and get hitched so that that child can have a mommy and daddy.

113 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:12:55pm

re: #112 Targetpractice, Worst of Both Worlds

Santorum's not the first dipshit I've heard spout such "logic." Apparently to some, the idea of abortion is heinous, that they think forcing an rape victim to carry their rapist's child for nine months is a small price to pay. Not only that, but the victim should be "thankful" that God has "given" them a child.

In Santorum's case, he no doubt then thinks that the victim should, rather than being a single parent, immediately go out and get hitched TO THE RAPIST so that that child can have a mommy and daddy.

114 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:13:52pm

re: #112 Targetpractice, Worst of Both Worlds

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
-Benjamin Franklin

115 wrenchwench  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:14:02pm

re: #112 Targetpractice, Worst of Both Worlds

Santorum's not the first dipshit I've heard spout such "logic." Apparently to some, the idea of abortion is heinous, that they think forcing an rape victim to carry their rapist's child for nine months is a small price to pay. Not only that, but the victim should be "thankful" that God has "given" them a child.

In Santorum's case, he no doubt then thinks that the victim should, rather than being a single parent, immediately go out and get hitched so that that child can have a mommy and daddy.

Or, if she and the rapist are both white, give the child to some Christian couple who God apparently did not see fit to give a child to.

116 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:14:51pm

re: #98 erik_t

Which has what to do with the fact that we're talking about an American politician at an American airport finding fault with the American TSA?

Great, Israel has good airport security (depending on how you define 'good'). Gold star for them. We should study what they do and see what lessons we would like to take away from it.

In the meantime, the American system seems constructed entirely to add new and obnoxious regulations and requirements, and this is idiotic, and I would really rather not "freakin deal with it and stop whining like a baby". I would like to politely request that the Department of Homeland Fearmongering remove their collective head from their collective ass and work to create a system that strikes a reasonable and prudent balance between safety, efficiency and cost.

You made a statement that it's an "incomplete methodology". It's not. It's very complete, scientific and it works pretty much 100% of the time, but is not employed in our country. I don't know if it should be done exactly the same way because we certainly don't have the same issues as Israel, but I think where we lack mostly is in training, moreso than equipment - seems to me. I agree more could and should be done, but I'm willing to cut the DHS far more slack than you are.

117 Kragar  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:15:09pm

re: #114 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
-Benjamin Franklin

"We come into the world naked, screaming and covered in blood, and there is no reason for the fun to stop there!" - unattributed

118 ProGunLiberal  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:16:03pm

Interesting Story out of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka orders 161 foreign Islamic clerics out
AFP Jan 22, 2012, 11.46AM IST

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has ordered a group of 161 foreign Islamic clerics to leave the country, for flouting visa regulations by preaching to pockets of Muslims around the country, an official said on Sunday.

Controller of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera said the clerics, who were mostly Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Maldivian and Arab, had travelled into the country on tourist visas.

"We have ordered them to leave the country by January 31. They have violated immigration laws. A tourist visa is to have a holiday or visit friends and family and not to preach Islam," Perera told AFP.

He said the group, which belongs to the Tabligh Jamat group, arrived in Sri Lanka last month in small batches.

Perera said he acted on several complaints by the Muslim community, that the clerics were not preaching the moderate Islam practiced on the Buddhist-dominated island.

"Foreign clerics wishing to preach Islam in Sri Lanka, must first apply for permission through the religious affairs authorities," Perera said.

In January, Sri Lanka launched an online-visa application system, scrapping the one-month visa on arrival for foreigners, except Maldivians and Singaporeans.

Gee, if Britain had done this 20 damn years ago, we would not have a radicalization problem there. There's a point at which one starts preaching radical horsey-crap prone to or directly encouraging violence. Sri Lanka handled it well.

Britain didn't handle it at all.

119 Our Precious Bodily Fluids  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:16:30pm

re: #112 Targetpractice, Worst of Both Worlds

It also fails to take into account that your typical, oh let's say 11 year old* has no business carrying a baby to term.


* - the youngest mother on record was FIVE.

120 Girth  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:16:36pm

If the child born as a result of rape is a gift from God that the woman should cherish, then by that logic isn't the rapist doing to will of God and the woman should then give thanks to God for raping her?

WTF IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?

121 erik_t  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:17:38pm

re: #116 marjoriemoon

You made a statement that it's an "incomplete methodology". It's not. It's very complete, scientific and it works pretty much 100% of the time, but is not employed in our country. I don't know if it should be done exactly the same way because we certainly don't have the same issues as Israel, but I think where we lack mostly is in training, moreso than equipment - seems to me. I agree more could and should be done, but I'm willing to cut the DHS far more slack than you are.

My statements apply exclusively to the US Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security, as that was the topic of discussion at the beginning (and as far as I know, throughout) the thread. It does not apply to the Israeli Airports Authority, Interpol, or my friend's dog's preference for beef-based dog foods.

I am sorry that this could have somehow been unclear.

122 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:18:00pm

re: #120 Girth

If the child born as a result of rape is a gift from God that the woman should cherish, then by that logic isn't the rapist doing to will of God and the woman should then give thanks to God for raping her?

WTF IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?

By that logic, why jail rapists when they are simply carrying out God's will?

///

123 ProGunLiberal  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:19:13pm

re: #118 ProLifeLiberal

For the record, I missed a word earlier.

It's there now.

124 seawitch1261  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:20:33pm

Read this and thought of the epic mind-contortions Pamela Geller would have to go through:

Mosque helps Jewish congregation by giving space in mosque for Shabbat services.

125 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:21:17pm

re: #124 seawitch1261

TAQUERIA!!! Duh!
/

126 Targetpractice  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:21:53pm

re: #124 seawitch1261

Read this and thought of the epic mind-contortions Pamela Geller would have to go through:

Mosque helps Jewish congregation by giving space in mosque for Shabbat services.

She might need the Everclear for this one.

127 engineer cat  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:23:49pm

sam seder on msnbc just now:

"bain capital isn't in the business of turning companies around - it's in the business of turning companies into financial instruments"

128 What, me worry?  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:29:06pm

re: #121 erik_t

My statements apply exclusively to the US Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security, as that was the topic of discussion at the beginning (and as far as I know, throughout) the thread. It does not apply to the Israeli Airports Authority, Interpol, or my friend's dog's preference for beef-based dog foods.

I am sorry that this could have somehow been unclear.

I'm not trying to be difficult with you. I'm only saying the technology and knowledge is out there and we should use it.

My family flies every year and it's a huge inconvenience. I hate the procedures, but I believe they are helpful. In fact, even the illusion of it is helpful if it deters a would-be bomber.

129 makeitstop  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:29:20pm

I just heard a song on the radio, and the whole time I was thinking 'This guy sounds like a bad Springsteen imitation.'

Turns out it was the new Springsteen single.

130 Robert O.  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:35:58pm

Flying is a privilege, not a right. If Rand Paul refuses to abide by the law, then he can walk, swim, or find other ways to get to his destination.

131 sagehen  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:37:12pm

re: #129 makeitstop

I just heard a song on the radio, and the whole time I was thinking 'This guy sounds like a bad Springsteen imitation.'

Turns out it was the new Springsteen single.

Alyssa Rosenberg calls that single (and forthcoming album) "Springsteen's donation to the Obama re-election campaign."

132 Acemarilllion  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:37:16pm

One would think Ron Paul would be used to setting off metal detectors with his tinfoil hat.

133 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 1:38:38pm

Republican stunts are now exactly like shock jock stunts

134 djcelts  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 7:15:09am

re: #9 marjoriemoon

re: #9 marjoriemoon

After 9/11, everyone was screaming for better security. Now we have better security. So there are people screaming we have too much security? I have no problem with "false positives."

If you want to fly, than freakin deal with it and stop whining like a baby. Or take a train or a car if you don't like it. We deal with this every year. It is what it is.

Up until last year, I had a boss who flies 2 weeks out of every month. If he stopped to whine about every inconvenience, he'd never get his job done.

Achem...

This is the dumbest of the dumb arguments you hear from people who do not fly often. The TSA does not provide security, they provide security theater. The issues that allowed 9/11 were solved long ago by the secure door to the cockpit (NO ONE can get in the cockpit anymore) and the rest can be solved by the usual metal detectors and bomb sniffing dogs (which are MUCH more effective and infinitely cheaper). The expensive machines you now see are not there because they are effective, but because someone can sell them and get the gov't to buy them. BTW the failure rate of TSA is around 70%. Some lady got a gun on a plane just last week in TX and a few weeks ago a member of our military flew with 5 lbs of C4 in his bag. These are just the ones you hear about.


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