Abolish the TSA

Forbes is recommending it and I second the motion. The TSA has never caught one terrorist. It has, however, harrassed millions of people every year. And made them jump through absurd hoops that are pointless. As the terrorists always figure out something else. We should go back the the pre-911 security screenings and stop this insanity which is gone way past the point of reason.

The media and government have been preying on people’s irrational fears. We shouldn’t let them do that as they use it as an excuse to take away our liberties. The very idea that you can’t bring your own shampoo or toothpaste in a certain size in your luggage is ridiculous.

Bipartisan support should be immediate. For fiscal conservatives, it’s hard to come up with a more wasteful agency than the TSA. For privacy advocates, eliminating an organization that requires you to choose between a nude body scan or genital groping in order to board a plane should be a no-brainer.

But won’t that compromise safety? I doubt it. The airlines have enormous sums of money riding on passenger safety, and the notion that a government bureaucracy has better incentives to provide safe travels than airlines with billions of dollars worth of capital and goodwill on the line strains credibility. This might be beside the point: in 2003, William Anderson incisively argued that some of the steps that airlines (and passengers) would have needed to take to prevent the 9/11 disaster probably would have been illegal.

The odds of dying from a terrorist attack are much lower than the odds of dying from doing any of a number of incredibly mundane things we do every day. You are almost certainly more likely to die or be injured driving to the airport than you are to be injured by a terrorist once you’re in the air, even without a TSA. Indeed, once you have successfully made it to the airport, the most dangerous part of your trip is over. Until it’s time to drive home, that is.

The TSA has been a joke since its inception and it is a huge drain on the tax payer. Enough.

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  1. I like the idea, but I doubt it will ever happen. What politician wants to be the man to abolish the TSA, because if they do, and another terrorist/plane incident occurs, they will certainly be the people blamed for it. Which is sad, but not really an unreasonable thing to be worried about.

  2. Abolishing the TSA is like missile defense. The Democrats are agin it and always have been, but when there was even a small possibility that a rogue state would drop a nuke on us, a “CYA” sort of working system was funded – only because IF it happened the Democrat’s would be dead. The same for TSA. Since they’re unionized and federalized, they’re the Democrat’s creature. If the Republicans cut them and there’s a hijack or bomb explosion bye bye GOP. IOWS, as much as I’d like it, it ain’t going to happen.

    The answer to airline security is simple and well tried. By Israel. No electronic strip searches, no patdowns. They profile. They look for high risk passengers and take them asside and interview them. So far, no Israeli plane has been hijacked or bombed since I can’t remember when.

    So the bottom line is that the government is fondling your genitals and laughing at your chubby thighs because they’d prefer that to being accused of being “racist”.

  3. Oh, I know. But people need to hammer on this nonsense until they are reminded of their place. This so called free country is resembling a totalitarian state more and more. When I went to Belarus in 2008, the airport security in this socialist dictatorship was like 1980s America. We’ve let fear mongers and terrorists destroy our rights. And people are letting it happen without a fight.

  4. The problem with all this crap they are doing is they offer “opt-outs” for certain people. For example, 3oz of liquid to avoid liquid explosive bombs (ignoring the fact that top chemists have shown such a bomb is essentially unmakeable onboard an aircraft)…but quarts of fluid if you call it baby formula or saline solution for contacts. No tennis rackets or pool cues…but a cane if you have a “knee problem” Patdowns to find underwear bombs…unless you’re a Muslim woman.
    See what I’m saying? If all the terrorists have to do is avoid the “security procedure” is take one of the acceptable opt-outs, then the whole thing is kabuki.
    What’s infuriating is these TSA goons have an insane amount of authority and no accountability. And like any other “small people” who get that sort of power, instantaneous abuse follows. They KNOW you don’t want to miss your flight, so you’ll cave to damn near any request, and ignore abuses of power. Because god help you if you so much as utter a squeak of complaint. They don’t respond reasonably–they go from 0-60 in 0.5 seconds.
    My TSA story. I dive a rebreather, a kind of scuba gear that uses a CO2 scrubber to extend the time you can dive by recycling your exhaled breath. The material used in the scrubber is harmless while granules. The TSA rules used to say you could carry it on board a flight if you had unopened containers, attached a MSDS, and declare it so the containers can be tested for explosives. (This is no longer true, but was last time I flew with some.) I made several flights without significant incident (thanks to carrying a printout of the TSA web page discussing this). Then at SFO, this guy said I couldn’t take it. “Why?” “Because I say so.” So I asked for a supervisor. It took almost 30 minutes for one to show up. He didn’t talk to me or look at anything, just spoke to the agent and then left. I was then told that he would be allowed to “use his own initiative,” and that was “You’re not taking that stuff on MY airplane.” Your airplane? But that’s how these guys think. Once he’d made up his mind, he wasn’t about to change it and look like he screwed up, despite all evidence to the contrary.
    I might also add that I once accidentally left a large leatherman tool in my regulator bag, and it was missed in both SFO and Miami…then caught on Grand Cayman. They just laughed and threw it in the contraband container. In SFO I’d probably been arrested.

  5. This TSA nonsense is a TEST and the American Sheeple are failing miserably. The police state pushers are seeing how far they can go. Irradiate us, feel us up at the airport – then at bus terminals, sporting events and schools. We have to RESIST and we’re not. So sad that we lay down for false security when are elders and fallen have given their lives for the CONSTITUTION and the BILL OF RIGHTS. Freedom isn’t free, fellas. Time to raise arms against tyranny!

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