- Outfits like Al Qaeda and the Taliban haven't decided to stop trying to kill people they don't approve of.
- Every last passenger, every pilot, and all cabin attendants in the entire United States of America are not equally likely to try smuggling a bomb or some weapon into an airliner.
The second point may need some clarification, given assumptions I've run into from time to time. I don't think that everybody who gets onto an airliner is equally likely to be a terrorist. That is not the same as assuming that all Muslims look like they came from the Middle East. Or that all people who look like they came from the Middle East are terrorists. Or that Ron Paul supporters are terrorists. (You can't make this stuff up, folks. (March 23, 2009))
The TSA might do well to check out what Israel does to make commercial air travel in their country safer - unless there's some daft Federal regulation against doing that sort of thing.
John Tyler: He's a Suspicious One, All RightHere's what brought me back to the TSA's probably-inadvertent encouraging of RV sales and webconferencing. Actually, traveling overland or using webcams is my suggestion. (Apathetic Lemming of the North (November 15, 2010))
"TSA to investigate body scan resister"I'm pretty sure that the TSA will finally decide how much money they want from Mr. Tyner. I even think that there may be a reasonable excuse for their 'investigation' of the man who put their "pat down" efforts on the Internet.
SignOnSanDiego.com (November 15, 2010)
"The Transportation Security Administration has opened an investigation targeting John Tyner, the Oceanside man who left Lindbergh Field under duress on Saturday morning after refusing to undertake a full body scan.
"Tyner recorded the half-hour long encounter on his cell phone and later posted it to his personal blog, along with an extensive account of the incident. The blog went viral, attracting hundreds of thousands of readers and thousands of comments.
"Michael J. Aguilar, chief of the TSA office in San Diego, called a news conference at the airport Monday afternoon to announce the probe. He said the investigation could lead to prosecution and civil penalties of up to $11,000.
"TSA agents had told Tyner on Saturday that he could be fined up to $10,000.
" 'That's the old fine,' Aguilar said. 'It has been increased.'..."
Mr. Tyner might - possibly - be some kind of spy or something.
No, really: It's (remotely) possible that John Tyner deliberately got in trouble just to undermine America's confidence in the TSA. Or something.
On the other hand, investigating the man who 'made them look bad' reminds me - slightly - of Iran's various official responses to the on-camera shooting of Neda Soltan. (July 1, 2009)
And, much closer to home, what was done to Steven Hatfill and Richard Jewell.
Conspiracy? More Likely Clueless Bureaucrats and/or Uniformed NitwitsThere's hope that the TSA may learn something useful from the John Tyner's jewels caper. They seem to have drummed it into the heads of the folks working with passengers that nipple rings aren't particularly dangerous. (March 27, 2008)
As for the current mess? I've said this before, but it bears repeating: I have some sympathy with anybody in the TSA who's actually trying to keep American air traffic safe. This hypothetical individual is working against:
- A cultural disinclination to be 'unfair'
- 'Fair' defined as treating everybody exactly the same way
- No matter how crazy that is in a given situation
- Prejudiced louts who made 'fair' rules seem sensible, in decades gone by
- Real terrorists
- Not some fellow with a cell phone
Character Assassination: What I Hope Doesn't HappenMy concern right now is that whoever is calling the shots in the TSA will decide that John Tyner made the TSA look bad: and must be destroyed. Unlikely? I hope so.
On the other hand, we may soon be seeing 'leaked' accounts of John Tyner: how he doesn't pay his bills; cheats on his taxes; abuses rabbits; and burned down an orphanage.
'It can't happen here?' It'd be nice if Federal agencies never made mistakes, but we live in a world where really, really stupid, nasty things are done sometimes. (August 6, 2008)
I hope that John Tyner emerges from this with his life and finances intact.
- "TSA vs. Holiday Travelers: Radiation Exposure or 'Pat-Down' "
Apathetic Lemming of the North (November 15, 2010)
- "John Tyner at San Diego: $10,000 Fine or Groin Grope"
(November 14, 2010)
- "TSA's Latest Options for Air Travelers: Zap or Grope"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (November 13, 2010)
- " 'The System Worked' - Napolitano and an Unscripted Interview"
(December 28, 2009)
- "Northwest Flight 253: Near Miss on Christmas Weekend"
(December 27, 2009)
- "TSA: Our Tax Dollars at Work; Protecting the Public From Flash Cards"
(September 12, 2009)
- "Muslim Family Talks Safety, Gets Booted From Flight"
(January 2, 2009)
- "FBI: Bruce Ivins Worked Alone in Anthrax Attack"
- "Anthrax Suspect Dies as FBI Approach: Case Closed?"
(August 1, 2008)
- "Thanksgiving, the War on Terror, and the American Traveler"
(November 23, 2007)
- "Oakland Airport Apologizes to Detained Marines: as much as can be expected"
(October 5, 2007)
- "If You Hear Someone Speaking Arabic, GET A GRIP!"
(September 1, 2007)
- "T-Shirt Story 2: Civil Rights vs Common Sense"
(August 13, 2007)
- "Arrests, Doctors and Terrorists: Keeping a Cool Head"
(July 2, 2007)
- The paragraph starting with "Richard Jewell, the overweight white security guard who discovered an abandoned knapsack...."
- "TSA to investigate body scan resister"
SignOnSanDiego.com (November 15, 2010)