institutional frailty

‘One or Two’ Passengers Can Wreck Entire TSA, Apparently

You're gonna need a smaller plate.You might think a nationwide workforce so well-trained in stealing iPods and loose change would be able to withstand a few “nah I don’t want to get cancer” opt-outs, but that is not the case! The government’s finest child-molesting force is so fragile and worthless that “just one or two recalcitrant passengers at an airport is all it takes to cause huge delays,” according to the American Society of Travel Agents. Gosh, sounds like this country is screwed.

The TSA is in the midst of a full media blitz this week as it prepares (?) for millions of air travelers being faced with porno-scanners and aggressive ass-grabbing and vaginal probes for the first time. The Obama Administration’s top airport security guy has “urged passengers angry over safety procedures not to boycott airport body scans,” according to the AP, and an airline travel trade group is saying that basically one or two people choosing not to be sprayed with cancer waves is enough to cripple America’s airports.

“Just one or two recalcitrant passengers at an airport is all it takes to cause huge delays,” said Paul Ruden, a spokesman for the American Society of Travel Agents, which has warned its more than 8,000 members about delays resulting from the body-scanner boycott. “It doesn’t take much to mess things up anyway — especially if someone purposely tries to mess it up.”

Body scans take as little as 10 seconds, but people who decline the process must submit to a full pat-down, which takes much longer. That could cause a cascade of delays at dozens of major airports, including those in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. nationwide security programs, “there is a continual process of refinement and adjustment to ensure that best practices are applied.”

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Ha ha, right. So when the rules are completely different from day to day and especially from airport to airport — a baby bottle is Osama bin Laden at one screening line, coffee cups full of whisky and hand grenades are welcome at others — that’s just the “continual process of refinement and adjustment to ensure that best practices are applied.”

Also, for the brown-nosers in the comments who want to encourage everyone to be Good Germans, it should be noted again that these porno-scanner machines aren’t even used in Israeli airports, and that the peculiar idiocy of shuffling shoeless through a conga line of gropey security slobs is restricted to America. [Associated Press]

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About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne

Hola wonkerados.

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147 comments

  1. qwerty42

    But Ken, if we don't get groped while shuffling shoeless through the pornoscanners, the terrorists win. nevar forget.

  2. SnarkoMarx

    I hope lots of people opt out and cause huge delays in airports so my goddamned relatives can't make it here for Thanksgiving dinner.

      1. BeWoot

        The holidays are times when we want to be with those whom we love most, who love us most and know us the best. But no. Instead, we spend holidays with our families.

  3. el_donaldo

    I'm staying home this holiday season where I can have my coffee cup full of whisky in peace. But if anyone has handgrenades, bring them over. I've got a big ravine we can throw them into so long as you wait for the hunters to get out of the way first.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      Why wait for them to vacate?

      Fuck it. Pats-Lions, Saints-Cowboys. Buncha tequila, rum, and whiskey in the sideboard. Gourmet frozen pizzas in freezer. I ain't even gonna drive anywhere for Thanksgiving.

  4. MARCdMan

    Ken, you do realize that doing one of these opt-out gropings requires somebody in the TSA to actually get up out of their chair? That kind of inconvenience it guaranteed to cause delays.

  5. horsedreamer_1

    the peculiar idiocy of shuffling shoeless through a conga line

    So, Gloria Estefan is the brains behind 9/11?

    1. anniegetyourfun

      Everybody gather 'round now
      let your body feel the heat.
      Don't you worry if you can't fly
      let the scanner move your feet.
      It's the rhythm of the airport
      and like security, so sweet.
      If you want to do the conga
      you've got to hand over your meat.

      Come on, shake your body baby,
      do the conga
      I know you can't control yourself any longer
      Feel the rhythm of the groping getting stronger
      Don't you fight it till you've tried it
      Do the conga beat

  6. bitchincamaro2

    Uh so, where's the scanner that will detect the guy wearing the body-bomb who's prepared to blow himself up and everybody with him whilst waiting in the security line? It's going to happen, and when it does every airport in America will come to a standstill.

    1. Ken Layne

      And then somebody will put a car bomb on the freeway at the airport exit, and all the interstates will be closed down … and then, eventually, it will be bombs in the trash cans at shopping centers. That's what the IRA did, without ever having to go through a metal detector or porno scanner.

      1. DCValleyGirl

        When I lived in Paris, they didn't have any outdoor trashcans for this very reason (bombs in trashcans, just not IRA-placed ones).

  7. SorosBot

    TSA, do you what else causes huge airport delays? Ridiculous time-consuming security theater, that's what.

  8. facehead

    What's more embarassing? Getting the full body scan (reduces the spread of cooties), getting the rub (sans tug) down, or knowing that diaper sales in Afghanistan are rising because Terrorism can't stop shitting itself from laughing at us?

    1. twogoats

      You know if Cheney was still President, TSA would announce that actually these devices were put in to stop the spread of bed bugs which has been revealed (via "enhanced interrogation") to be part of another THreat to Our Freedoms, for which they hate us, and the LSM would say, "oh" and go back to sleep, the sheeples would stop bitchin' and problem solved.. But no, you god damned libruls wanted a President with a pulse. So, we got airport delays and bedbugs. And the FLOTUS making us eat healthy.

      1. DebC2

        No, baby, if Cheney was still Prez, we'd be getting a face full o' buckshot if
        we didn't want to play porno scan. Then after we submitted to the cancer
        rays he'd shoot us anyway!

  9. kenlayisalive

    What's important here is that millions of dollars worth of these machines are purchased by the government so that Michael Chertoff can continue in the lifestyle he has grown accustomed to.

    Forget about your withered, usefless "junk" and think about this man's passions for the finer things in life people. Are you so selfish?

      1. kenlayisalive

        I'm not sure about the owner of the company, but the Times was saying Chertoff was traveling the country talking up these things without disclosing he was a paid spokesman for the makers.

  10. OneYieldRegular

    My apologies for any holiday delays any of you might experience on my account, but the current lack of physical attention in my life pretty much requires that I opt for the pat down.

    1. Darthhippy

      They way I figure I would rather scream the first person to touch my junk in a years time is going to be a TSA person but if I can donate the money and have a choice in pat down tsa agents I would gladly continue.

    2. RedneckMuslin

      Don't worry bout it. I'll balance it out by walking thru the checkpoint buck naked. While TSA is puking, it should allow many to slide by.

    3. An_Outhouse

      I just bought a plane ticket. Getting molested at the airport sounds like the most fun I'm going to have for awhile.

    4. imissopus

      I went through LAX on Sunday and was disappointed there were no porno scanners/pat-down options, as I was looking forward to getting some action after a long dry spell.

  11. the_onceler

    "for the brown-nosers in the comments who want to encourage everyone to be Good Germans"

    Ken: if you actually have a brown nose and body, objecting might get you shipped off to Gitmo!

    1. PublicLuxury

      You won't go to GITMO. You'll be shipped to the 'Merican tearist camp, The Palin Family Compund in Wasilla, AK. Pack your bags mutherfucka.

      1. V572625694

        Wait a minute…did you pack these bags yourself? Did anyone else have custody of these bags since you packed them? Are there locks on the suitcases?

      2. slappypaddy

        you ain't gonna be bringin' no bags. the only bag you'll need is the one they ship you out inside, and they'll provide that.

  12. Come here a minute

    My Wonkette tells me it is miserable to be alive in America, I have no argument with that. So why would I care about the cancer scan? To quote our greatest president, "Bring it on." Or as Al Qaeda might say, "Please sir, I want some more."

  13. Pragmatist2

    Great! The American Society of Travel Agents has now scared half the nation into not TRAVELING. Way to read your mission statements, guys.

  14. OC_Surf_Serf

    They might as well make these seXray scans useful for everybody involved and tell me if I have testicular cancer or spots on my liver or something informative

  15. FNMA

    A wise man once said that those who trade liberty for having their junk fondled by strangers deserve neither.

    1. BeWoot

      I don't mind having my junk fondled by strangers, provided the price is right. But driving all the way to the airport and standing barefoot in a long line for it is just too much to ask.

  16. kenlayisalive

    So weird, I feel like we're trapped between the meaningless competition of the two stupidest groups of people on the planet.

    One thinks they can make us "safe" by rubbing each of our genitals or putting us in a cancer box, while the other thinks they are being really, really scary when they fail to blow up some packages of toner they sent in the mail.

    Face it, the TSA can never catch these guys – they get on the planes, they send stuff in the mail, they park a car in Times Square – but the terrorists NEVER are able to make their bombs go off. TSA success rate 0%, AQ success rate, 0%.

    I'd just like to say to both the TSA and the AQ: Leave us alone, you fucking feckless morons. Both of you.

  17. donner_froh

    A new fantasy game to put a spark back into your boring sex life: gropey but strangely attractive TSA screener and innocent but knowing recalcitrant passenger, behind the Death X-ray Machine.

    1. DebC2

      Yes, meet your TSA dwarves…..Feely, Gropy, Dopey, Masher, Fuckwit, Carcinogen,
      and Chertoff. Assume the position, bitches!

  18. freakishlywrong

    the peculiar idiocy of shuffling shoeless through a conga line of gropey security slobs is restricted to America

    Other than leaving off "bacon mouthed", that's my new email signature.

  19. the_onceler

    My wife and I were traveling in India and we did a long train trip and we were joking about how slow it was (hahaha, India is so backwards). Then I did a quick calculation and found that it was actually quicker than Amtrak's "high speed" Acela train on the northeast corridor between DC and Boston. It also cost $8 per person.

  20. LionelHutzEsq

    So, if Al Qadea was smart, instead of trying to get people to blow themselves up or stuffing toner cartridges full of C4, they should just get a few people to go to every airport in Muslim garb and declined to be irradiated to scare the heck out of Juan Williams and bring the system to its knees.

  21. jim89048

    Remember the last time you rode a roller coaster and got your picture taken, and someone at the exit line tried to sell it to you? This could be a real small business bonanza for someone at the airports, since most Real Americans® fat slobs haven't seen their own junk in 10 or 20 years.

    1. LionelHutzEsq

      That's Glenn Beck's thesis…, or, to put it more accurately, that is what the voices in his head keep saying.

  22. V572625694

    Travel agents are readily available to give quotes to newshounds because what else have they got to do?

    Seriously: do they still exist? I'm an Old and I can buy tickets on-line.

    And Ken's right about Israel. They don't use the scanners because they don't work. They don't profile either, because in Middle-Eastern airports, everybody "looks like" a terrorist!

      1. V572625694

        I think he was one of Henry Ford's nine Jews who secretly rule the world, wasn't he? Along with Einstein, Freud and Marx…

    1. slithytovesss

      Actually, they do profile, but it's not about profiling people's ethnicity, it is about profiling their behaviors and dress.

      1. HistoriCat

        That sort of activity requires skills, intelligence and training. We're too damn cheap in this country to pay for that.

    2. UmThatOne

      But they do take every single thing out of your luggage and carry ons as soon as you enter the airport…and question you for 10 minutes or more until they can figure out whether you are a threat or not.

  23. DoctorAwesomus

    No no, you're only allowed to show sympathy to the poor, the working class, and barely-scraping by if it allows you to indulge in A Wonkette Entry About How Much Things Suck in America. In other threads, they are to be ridiculed and made fun of as the dumbshits that are Making Things Suck in America.

    Your cheatsheet:
    Poor dumb fucks having to beg for turkeys on Thanksgiving — objects of sympathy
    Poor dumb fucks working a terrible job that inconviences you — cretinous slack-jawed thumbstumpers
    Poor dumb fucks angry about shit but who can only articulate by voting Tea Pary — the worst thing in the entire world

    Please use Poor Dumb Fucks according to whatever feels good as an outlet for whatever blog-empowered rage might be churning inside you at the particular moment.

    <– servicey

  24. jus_wonderin

    Having had a rural up bringing, I can atest to the fact that, yes, "one or two" recalcitrant cows can muck up the farmer's objective. The cows get all testy if the line of sight is not clear, if you push them too fast, if you don't let them go through with their cow-friends and a host of other cow percieved obstacles that take their little cow brains off the cow journey. In the end, they'd be all hyper and happy about having been wormed or washed or vacinated and you'd wonder what all the fuss had been about.

    I just thought my recollections of the farm fit in here, somehow. Also.

  25. CapeClod

    I understand that the American Society of Travel Agents will be sharing convention space this year with the International Brotherhood of Ice Delivery Men.

  26. SorosBot

    Then can I have Mr. Fantastic's powers, please? I figure the stretchable and bendable penis would really attract the ladies.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      I predict that the next giant evolutionary leap forward for humans will indeed be the prehensile penis.

  27. sati_demise

    Guess you dont travel by plane much here. I can tell you these 'securty' people have stolen shit out of my suitcase, deliberately picked people to frisk who were in danger of missing their plane (one pathetic example being a very old man who was confused and late), and they laughed when they threw away my expensive body lotion. ha ha

    My boyfriend travels with precious metals and he gets searched every single time. these TSA agents have no common sense….. they have broken & fucked up his goods by mishandling them—even when we calmly say, 'please, dont do that'..they act like they are shopping at QVC.

    forget the fact that I inadvertently smuggled a deadly pocket knife through x-ray three times before putting it in my check on-then they stole it out of my check on bag. If there was some 'system' in place it only seems to cause problems for travelers instead of catching teh terrorists.
    Lets see the score:
    TSA- 0
    terrorists-2
    (underwear & shoe bombers-not exactly scoring, but they did manage to get buckled into their seats on the plane)

    1. XOhioan

      It's Theatre, for sure. I was allowed to board with an X-acto knife in my carry-on. (It was for an art project, and I forgot to remove it) In contrast, my husband's plastic dental scraper, which is about as sharp as a #2 pencil, was confiscated.

      1. babyeinstein

        last thanksgiving i got on board with – unknowingly! – a piece and a little less than an eighth in an inside pocket of my purse. when i opened my bag on the plane and saw it i nearly had a heart attack.

        i've never known whether to chalk that up as yet another example of TSA incompetence or a rare example of a TSA employee going "eh, she's harmless, let's not unnecessarily cause a scene here."

  28. SorosBot

    It's a great strategy to help our ailing economy, by putting everyone through this no one will want to travel, so foreign tourists who don't have to put up with this shit anywhere else won't be traveling to and spending money in America, and Americans won't travel to other cities and spend money. Oh wait, did I say help? I meant hurt, hurt our ailing economy.

    1. bitchincamaro2

      I don't know. I thought foreign tourists would revolt when fingerprinting at customs became mandatory, yet they haven't stayed away. I think people will put up with shit until it's coming out their ears.

  29. Radiotherapy

    So glad to see a government bureaucracy, created by the Cheney Administration, as an overrreaction to a bogieman threat, considered all the options and had contigency plans whilst mandating a profitable, unproven new technology. All the while, the wingtards are blaming it on Obama. Brazil lives.
    I am still considering wearing a Speedo when I fly next time.

    1. Boredw/Gravity

      I'm taking the kids to Disney at Christmas — I'm wearing mouse ears and flip flops and that's about it through the security line.

    2. weejee

      Hope are aren't flying out of/in to Bemidji or Fairbanks soonly as you might look like a Smurf on arrival and give new meaning to Elvis' Blue Christmas.

      1. Radiotherapy

        I'll put the cyanosis in cynic and the shrinkage in Xmas wrap.
        OK, if its northern climes, how about a Speedo and a Snuggie?

  30. Badonkadonkette

    these porno-scanner machines aren’t even used in Israeli airports

    I'm pretty sure that's because Israel has a very robust racial profiling system, which involves strip & cavity searching everyone who isn't a card-carrying Israeli.

    I'm personally OK with the porno scans, both because (a) I don't like having to choose between being blown out of the sky and furiously rubbing down a Nigerian stranger's crotch with a wet towel, and (b) enjoy the show, bitches.

    1. Lazy Media

      Nope. What they do in Israel is ask you where you're coming from, and where you're going to and why, and IGNORE YOU IF THOSE ANSWERS ARE INNOCUOUS. You know how many terrurists are going to get on a domestic flight between Des Moines and Atlanta? That's right, exactly none. Ever.

      1. brosephgoebbels

        They only ignore you if the answers are innocuous and your name sounds like Abramowitz. If you look like Habeeb, you get shuttled away from the nice parts of the airport for a level 6 interrogation. If you're an American, they ask you intense questions about why you're visiting, who you're staying with, and how Jewish you are. If you pass the quiz, then they scan your underwear with a 3D luggage xray.

        Sadly, I didn't get a pat down from the hot female soldiers with big guns and a thousand yard stare.

    2. Radiotherapy

      If I go with the grope-a-dope, I'd love to time a day old turkey and molasses granola fart on this mess. Reverse aromatherapy, if you will. Reconsider, bitches.

  31. Extemporanus

    This holiday season, I encourage everyone to prove they are Good Germans by giving the gift of one way train tickets to hell.

  32. bitchincamaro2

    Snark off and only slightly o/t, but one of the brightest and most brutally honest and brave American thinkers died over the weekend. Chalmers Johnson wrote, among other things, "Blowback", a classic foretelling of 9/11 and one could safely argue, the current hubbub with porno scanners. Well done, sir. You're in a better place, now.

  33. Wilcoxyz

    Can we get the wingnuts lathered up that many known child molesters have applied for airport security jobs? I have now typed it onto the Internets, so it's pretty much true.

  34. thefrontpage

    I was travelling this past weekend, and I looked at the name tags of some of the TSA screeners at National Airport. Here are some of the names of the TSA screeners at National Airport:

    –Mark Foley

    –Larry Craig

    –Don Sherwood

    –D. Vitter

    –K. Kilpatrick

    –E. Spitzer

  35. PublicLuxury

    "lemons into lemonade" When the TSA guy gropes me and then does the body cavity search and then somehow I just end up pregnant… Tell me Sharron do I have to have the TSA guy's baby?

    The entire system is fucked.

    If Israel can go without scanners and gropings and probes than so can we.

  36. the_problem_child

    Skirt, no underwear. It's okay, they're wearing hand condoms, so it's not like they can give you AIDS.

  37. finallyhappy

    So when I travel tomorrow- can I ask for the results of my mammogram and dexascan-I mean why go through those tests later on- can't the TSA just do it?

  38. slithytovesss

    But they won't let you carry on anything bigger than a large purse, either.

    You say this like it's a bad thing. I have seen very few carry ons that could actually be carried on. It seems like most people are wrestling their life possessions onto the plane so they can squash my modest briefcase or backpack. Honestly, why do we fly?

    1. slappypaddy

      "It seems like most people are wrestling their life possessions onto the plane so they can squash my modest briefcase or backpack."

      have you seen the homeless these days? long gone are the days of a bundle of goods tied in a kerchief on the end of a stick. they all push shopping carts loaded with crap they fish out of garbage bins.

      "Honestly, why do we fly?"

      to slip the surly bonds of earth, reach out a finger and touch the face of god? no? that's not it?

      1. slithytovesss

        Your avatar and my avatar should get together. They would make beautiful babies if my avatar were not snipped, and if yours were of opposite sex.

          1. HistoriCat

            Do what I do and just lick yourself down there. Sure, humans look at you funny but what do they know?

          2. slappypaddy

            oh, humans, those poor things. they think they know so much, but they know so little, and the only critters they're fooling are themselves.

            time to play the cello.

  39. Ducandy

    I bought a one-way fare to Phoenix for the 24th out of LAX. When I am being felt-up my the obese, probably black, illiterate dip-shit "officer" I am going to do my best imitation of a ground-breaking, ball-exploding orgasm!

    "Yes. Oh, yes. YES! YES!!! YES YES YES! OH MY GOODDD!!! YES! YES! YES!

    Thanks for the free semen-release, pal."

      1. Ducandy

        I'm sure I will have a lot of interesting company. I haven't been arrested since I marched with my "negro" friends at Ohio State in '68.

  40. TimeCubist

    porno-scanners and aggressive ass-grabbing and vaginal probes

    Really, this sounds like my ideal budget weekend getaway.

  41. mrblifil

    Actually all the hand jamming into orifices and down articles of clothing will be defended as "pre-Turkey Day turkey preparation practice" on the part of the elite crew of security specialists making top dollar saving us from terrism. Make mine Cornbread and Scallion Stuffing please!

  42. GOPCrusher

    Personally, I would find it hilarious if someone went full Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally in the airport security line while getting a pat down.

  43. Redhead

    "Body scans take as little as 10 seconds, but people who decline the process must submit to a full pat-down, which takes much longer. That could cause a cascade of delays at dozens of major airports, including those in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta."

    So before the use of porno scanners (six months ago), when everyone walked through metal detectors and some (brown/large-boobed) people were "randomly" selected for additional screening and pat downs on a regular basis, did it cause a cascade of delays and a break down in TSA functioning?

    I mean yeah, they don't really function at any kind of workable capacity ever, but shouldn't they at least have practice by now?

  44. AntonovBureau

    I can confirm that Putin's communist Russia currently has those scanny things. And, you don't want to know what happens to you if you do not submit. It ain't no simple anal probe.

    1. Ducandy

      And based on what they do in fucking Russia we should be glad we aren't being raped with barb-wire wrapped bats?

      1. AntonovBureau

        Oh, no, you got me all wrong. Russia is too light-weight. Being raped by barb-wire wrapped bats is only a simple next step in Cheney's master plan.

        The TSA, being government-run, is socialist. Therefore, we should create a market based system for security screening which is exclusively awarded to Blackwater on a 100-year non-cancellable contract. Only then can we acheive full waterboarding and other more effective tactics for proving who is a terrorist on airplanes

  45. Ducandy

    OK, new plan: Approach men in the terminal before they enter sekurity. Offer them a Viagra and a swig of water. Can you imagine the havoc a half-dozen men with raging-boners would cause?

    I may be on to a movie script here. Hey, my idea first!

  46. angryspittle

    The republic is fucking dead. It died on December 13th 2000. We are now just realizing how fucking insane we have become. I said in 2001 that 9/11 knocked the sense out of the whole damn country.

  47. pbasch

    Well… Israel has a very different situation – ONE major airport, and passengers are delayed for HOURS with interviews. It's effective, and called for, for not a model we could probably institute. And Americans, used to be given lollipops just for sheer existence, wouldn't tolerate being questioned for a half hour, just to get on a plane.

  48. lochnessmonster

    With flu season upon us, will they be changing their gloves for every grope? I don't want someone else's germs wiped all over me. Where is the sanity in this? This is as stupid as the terror alert color scale no one talks about anymore. And, as a breast caner survivor, I don't want the porno scans either. Can we get a note from our doctor that it is against our health both physical and mental to be subjected to such invasion of our private-cies? Like the guy said, Tiffany's has security but you never see it.

  49. luke_warm

    No problem with the pat downs or the concept of the scanner, because at least they protect us from the crazy fuckers who plan poorly, but I'm a long way from trusting the morons in the TSA to properly calibrate radiation dosages when similar machines are delivering erroneously high dosages in doctor's offices.

  50. AKMark

    Folks, remember credit where credit is due (and blame where it is due).

    DHS/TSA is a cabinet level department, and the head, Janet Napotalano reports directly to Obama. He is allowing this abuse of our constitutional protections less than two years after swearing to uphold and protect them.

    The TSA agents are not even allowed a union and do not make decisions, that is entirely at the whim of management, and changes not only airport to airport, but shift to shift..

  51. AKMark

    Sure, it might draw attention, but the agent is still unemployed and there is still a line of new applicants to take the job.

    The net 'public' result is nothing, The agent is just replaced by someone new who may not care at all about rights. New hires are remarkably more … compliant.

    The public should be pressuring Obama, we should not need TSA agents to carry the battle by becoming unemployed in this job market.

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