When protesting the TSA’s new screening policies…

Pic of TSA Logo…try to remember that the poor schlep in front of you is just doing his or her job. I say this because protesting the current screening policies at airports is becoming increasingly more common and some folks are being way too nasty about it.

It’s not that I think you shouldn’t protest in some fashion, but it can be easy to forget in the heat of the moment that the person in front of you isn’t the one who made the rules. He’s just the one who has to enforce them and he’s probably not any happier about it than you are. There are plenty of ways you can register your complaint without being overly abusive to the poor guy who’s standing right in front of you.

In fact, if you can get into the spirit of things, you could have all sorts of fun with it. ¬†One lady wore a bikini through the checkpoint and at least a couple of guys have done it in Speedos. If you’re really brave you can do like this woman did and strip down to your see-through underwear (NSFW video clip at that link).

There’s also plenty of products out there you can make use of if you want to get your message across in a more passive-aggressive way. Stuff like the 4th Amendment Underwear that has the amendment printed on it in metallic ink so it’ll show up if you decide to submit to the x-ray scanners. There are others too that will put fig leaves over your naughty bits among other things.

Try to have a sense of humor about it is what I’m saying. Just try not to bash on the poor slob who has to feel you up ’cause it’s not his fault.

19 thoughts on “When protesting the TSA’s new screening policies…

  1. While the lowly worker may not have made the rules, he is agreeing to enforce them which in my mind makes him just a culpable as his bosses. If he didn’t want to do it, he could leave. He could refuse. He could quit. He could basically do anything other than enforce something that should not be enforced. “I’m just following orders” doesn’t work in the military where you have no option to leave so it definitely does not work for the TSA.

  2. When protesting being herded into a room where they are preparing to gas you after having stripped you naked, should you also be respectful of the workers’ feelings?
    I think not. They have chosen to work there. It may not have been company policy when they were hired to herd customers into killing chambers, or to irradiate people with x-rays and grope them, but it is now. They have a choice.
    At what point do we hold people accountable for the shit they choose to do? At what point do we stop absolving them of evil, simply because they need to work?

  3. I think there might be a teensy difference between a PG-rated grope and gassing people to death en masse. I don’t agree with how my taxes are used either, but I don’t take out my frustrations on the guy who works in the assessor’s office.

    I agree with Les… the place to target your righteous indignation is at your elected officials or by simply voting with your dollars and not flying if you don’t have to.

  4. qwerty, the turnover rate for TSA agents is already two and a half times higher than any other Federal job and is likely to go up as a result of this new policy. That means a constantly changing and inadequately trained workforce which will only make the pat downs that much worse. The job pays fairly well for not needing more than a high school diploma so it’s rather unfair to expect people to give it up on principle with the state the economy is in.

    dveej, I’m stunned that you would even try to compare an invasive pat down as being equivalent to gassing the Jews. For starters, the motivation behind each act is entirely different. The Nazis were trying to exterminate an entire race of people whereas the TSA is trying to keep you safe while flying.

    These policies aren’t evil, they’re stupid. Let’s try to keep the hyperbole to a minimum if we can.

  5. The policies are stupid in that they are not achieving what they are supposed to achieve, but they also can cause various degrees of harm (think: previous victim of sexual assault, small children etc) depending on the person concerned. Yes there are in theory official mechanisms to change the policy, but Pistole’s already gone on record saying that the measures are pretty much here to stay. Sometimes an unjust policy (or law) is only changed because of grass-roots-level pressure (think Rosa Parks, to stretch to another extreme analogy). By making the lives of the (unfortunate) groping TSA agents as miserable as possible, the pressure for change may become insurmountable, in a way polite letters to senators can never be. Part of that pressure may even come from within the TSA itself when conditions become intolerable for their individual members, which may end up being the most effective force for change.

  6. @Les
    I am confused. They are government agents. They have the ability to arrest and detain. They might as well be the FBI for all the power they have. The fact that they are undertrained, highly paid, or anything else does not make the fact that they do not quit any less of a problem. To put it into perspective. Would you agree with a new law stating that to travel on a freeway from one location to another requires a body scan or pat down by an FBI agent? Would you say, “They are just doing their job. It’s not their fault they are violating my rights because they are highly paid and undertrained.”

  7. It seems to me that the most effective protests here would be those that are legal, attract attention, and make the point clear to all. I get what you’re saying about not being unnecessarily abusive of the TSA agents. At the same time, I wonder if one of the goals should be to make their jobs as unpleasant as possible until they stop groping passengers.

  8. And no matter how you are treated by TSA, please don’t take it out on the poor sap who works in the gift shop, which is usually an independent vendor that has nothing to do with airport security, ticketing, delayed flights, lost luggage, and so on.

    Joe (a poor sap in an airport gift shop)

  9. qwerty, I never said I agreed with the current airport policies, but if such a law were passed I wouldn’t take my aggravations out on the FBI agent who is doing his job anymore than I take out my aggravations on the police who arrest people who smoke marijuana, which is another policy I don’t agree with. My point is that if the turnover rate is already two and a half times what it is for other Federal employees I seriously doubt that folks quitting over the policy is going to make the TSA change their minds on it. If anything we’ll just end up with a bunch of agents who get their jollies from it.

    Vjack, I don’t know how much more unpleasant you could make the job than it already is based on what I’ve heard about it.

  10. This new TSA standard still lacks the ability to detect explosives. It is however doing a good jog of lining the pockets of politicians who own stock in OSI. The only ( mostly correct ) way would be to use Smart search profiling. I travel a lot through border, military, and corporate check points. When they look (and by they I mean human and sometimes animal) They look for types of signs, for instance body language. In the use of canines the added benefit would be detection of explosives. Smart is a good word for this because it only uses the technology of human and animal observation. Yes they can search you, even detain you if they really feel the need. But this scanner and feel-up is just ignorant. There are also arguments that suggest the unchanged gloves of TSA agents are breeding grounds for several communicable diseases. There is a long list, but I only need one reason not to fly. I don’t allow myself to be touched by force. It amounts to being molested.

  11. “Those who would sacrifice essential liberty for a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

  12. The only ( mostly correct ) way would be to use Smart search profiling.

    Like Paul says. Then again, in my younger years I would have paid good money to get groped like that. Ahhh, decisions, decisions. I would certainly object less if there were some merit to the TSA policy. Unfortunately, as mentioned, it only serves to line the pockets of those who have stock in OSI and does nothing to keep us safe from terrorists. All of our policies have been a reaction to some acts of terrorism. Only Smart search profiling would be pro-active and effective.

  13. The main domestic terror threat that I notice usually involves a passenger being intoxicated, which results in an unscheduled landing. They serve alcohol in the airport itself, and then offer it on the plane. I am sure it is a large financial statistic , but it lacks common sense or benefit to safety.

  14. They serve alcohol in the airport itself, and then offer it on the plane. I am sure it is a large financial statistic , but it lacks common sense or benefit to safety.

    But it numbs you to the groping and makes the long flight more appealing. :lol:

  15. they’re following an illegal order. you have the right to place them under citizen’s arrest. also if you feel they’re sexually assaulting you, you have the right to physically defend yourself.

    so, i think a little sexual harassment on my part is the least they’re due.

    i think me saying “go deep baby…” is less offensive than someone grabbing my privates for non medical purposes (or for my consented pleasure).

  16. @fattie20xl………..
    I am a TSO. If u physically defend yourself, it would be my pleasure to physically defend myself by taking out all the anger and pistivity i feel towards the traveling public on you. Nobody has attacked me yet, but i wish they would. PLEASE, someone give me a reason.

    Anyway…..

    I can’t believe that a vast majority of you people would seriously take anything out on our lowely TSO’s because you dont agree with a law that was put into affect by the very same idiots YOU voted into office. I am tired of catching all the flak from ignorant passengers who think they are better than me or any of my coworkers. i do this job because there are no other jobs in my area that offer the same kind of pay/benefits. Here is the irony, i can’t even afford to fly. I have a fiance, a three year old, and another one on the way. Get off your high horses and find me a better job. Until then respect me and my coworkers like the bible, your parents, or whoever raised you said your supposed to. Is it really that hard to show a fellow human being a little respect. I show everyone that I HAVE to screen the same respect i want in return. Oh yeah, its my job to pat you down. I sure as hell don’t want to pat down a bunch of 50-60 year old men that are severly over weight and asign blame on the people that have no control over the situation. Here is a thought, don’t give me a hard time and you will get to your flight alot faster. The only power i really have is prolonging the screening process and making u late for your flight.

    In close, i hate TSA. I hate the people in charge at my airport. Unfortunately, my three year long search for a job that is comparable in pay and benefits has been fruitless. That is all. You may return to your complaining.

  17. drtymnky – You may want to start thinking of an explanation of why you came on here and posted this information. I can find out who you are, and I also know that the Media and the Government would be interested in the statements you just made. Congrats…! You may very well be on the news in the near future. Donald Trump has a favorite catch phrase, and you are about to find out what what it is, and what it means.

  18. Little people with big words. Saying stupid shit online. It is my opinion, that until u have worked a position, or been in that persons shoes, u shouldn’t say a Damn thing. People like u, Paul, r y the world is so screwed up. I can find out who you are……Really? Really? U have helped me lose the rest of my hope for humanity. The sad thing is, u have probably procreated already. God save us all.

  19. I could probably work for the TSA. But I object to an employment where the requirement is an unwarranted search of a 5 year old child’s genitalia. I hope to have some sense of honor on the day of my death. Things like the TSA, start by finding people who are willing to Kiss the Governments Ass to turn a buck, and apparently there is no shortage in this Country. And yeah ( REALLY ! )

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