Dumb enough to work for the TSA, too dumb to understand satire

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by TSA News Blog, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. TSA News Blog

    TSA News Blog News Feed


    Wearing the above shirt, designed by BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow, caused a “brown” man to be abused (even more than the rest of us usually are) by TSA thugs and then yanked off a plane.
    Arjit blogs at Storify:
    My wife and I arrived at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport to fly home to Phoenix after attending my wife’s grandfather’s funeral, flying via a layover in Atlanta on Delta #1176.​
    While at the gate, a Delta supervisor informed me my shirt had made numerous passengers and employees “very uncomfortable.”​
    I was then questioned by TSA about the significance and meaning of the shirt (“It’s mocking the security theater charade and over-reactions to terrorism by the general public — both of which we’re seeing right now, ironically.”) and was told I would be able to board the plane, but only after acquiescing to an additional security check of my and my wife’s belongings and changing my shirt (“It’s not you, it’s the shirt,” as noted in a tweet below). We would then be the very last two people to board the plane. I agreed to these stipulations.​
    Soon afterwards, the Delta manager pulled me aside again, this time accompanied by not only three TSA agents, but also multiple Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority transit police. I was questioned some more, our bags were searched, and the TSA agents were satisfied we had nothing suspicious and posed no threat. At this point, however, the Delta manager informed us the pilot had decided, regardless of the outcome of the multiple TSA screenings and my willingness to change shirts, that due to the discomfort my shirt had caused, my wife and I would not be allowed to board the aircraft.​
    Apparently, the fact that I was deemed not to be suspicious and we had no threatening objects in our baggage was irrelevant to Delta. Instead, the fact that someone had used their imagination to make the determination that I posed a threat was paramount. And appeasing those bigots by preventing us from flying was their preferred response.​
    . . . At this point, the transit police began to aggressively question us. I was asked where my brother lives (he was the one who gifted me the shirt). A bit surprised by the irrelevant question, I paused for a moment before answering. “You had to think about that one. How come?,” I’m asked. I explained he recently moved. “Where’d he move from?” “Michigan,” I respond. “Michigan, what’s that?,” she says. At this point, the main TSA agent who’d questioned me earlier interjects: “He said ‘Michigan’.” Unable to withhold my snark, I respond, “You’ve never heard of Michigan?”​
    This response did not please her partner, a transit cop named Mark. Mark grabbed his walkie-talkie and alerted his supervisor and requested that he be granted permission to question me in a private room. His justification?: “First he hesitated, then he gave a stupid answer.” Michigan, my friends, is a stupid answer. (As a lifelong Ohio State Buckeye fan, I suppose I could’ve already told you that.)​
    And then, he decided to drop any façade of fair treatment: the veil was lifted, this was about who I was and how I looked:​
    Tweet from Arjit:
    Says Buffalo-Niagara transit police officer Mark, in requesting authority for additional interrogation: “He looks foreign.”
    Another Arjit tweet:
    Did I mention a Buffalo-Niagara transit cop aggressively asked me why my wife didn’t take my name? “WHY wouldn’t she?” Yeah, that happened.
    In the world of NFTA transit police, women are the chattel of their husbands. And to indicate such, they must take their husbands’ names! My wife’s unwillingness to give in to this convention is clearly a sign of my swarthy suspicious character.​
    Eventually, after more questioning and being sniffed by drug-seeking dogs, we were rebooked on a flight the following morning at 7 am.​
    Delta enabling this treatment is icky stuff.
    And a call to action: If you’re traveling, consider going as Arjit did, with this emblem front and center. The shirt’s no longer on sale, but you can print out the design and tape it to your back or chest. If we all use our First Amendment rights, they’re less likely to be yanked from us.
    Perhaps also print this out and bring it for the dummies at the TSA checkpoint so you can board your plane on the day you’re supposed to.
    via @Popehat
  2. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member


    This man and his wife were searched and questioned at least twice by some of the dumbest goons on the planet. It seemed it was time to move on, but no:

    I don't personally know any people stupid enough to feel uncomfortable over an anti-TSA protest T-shirt, so I reject the premise any actual "frightened passengers" existed. That being said, I could be mistaken. Opinions?
  3. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    I agree, Elizabeth! Bruised egos were the only factor in this scenario, and the pseudo-smurfs got the others to play along. :mad: The sad thing is that they don't realize that most people (the ones who have the ability to reason) can see right through their proported reason for violating the couple's right to travel within the contenental borders of their own country. They also don't realize how badly they damaged their already soiled reputation by doing so. I hope this couple sues the pants off of everyone involved!!!
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  4. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

  5. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    I think this is a freedom of speech issue, actually. Not sure how that plays out though, since the pilot is not a government employee.
    jtodd and Elizabeth Conley like this.
  6. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    I know how I HOPE it plays out.

    One word: Lawsuit.
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

  8. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    I hope the pilot is a FFDO. Then he can be nailed for 18 USC 241 while being an armed fed.
  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Turns out this wasn't just your average [black] Joe that they tried to nail for FWB ...

    Digital Journal: Op-Ed: Man and wife kicked off plane for T-shirt satirizing TSA
    A man and his wife were not allowed to board a Delta Airlines flight from Buffalo-Niagara airport because their satirical T-shirts supposedly made crew and passengers very uncomfortable. Arijit Guha, 31, is a doctoral student at Arizona State University. He has advanced colon cancer and has undergone extensive surgery and chemotherapy which ended up costing $118,000 more than the $300,000 cap on his student health plan, expenses that his insurer Aetna would not cover. Guha managed to draw the CEO of Aetna Mark T. Bertolini into a heated exchange on Twitter and as the video appended shows Guha won out in the end and even won a victory for the student health plan. The usually caustic and sarcastic Guha in the end had nothing but praise for Mr. Bertolini. Guha is no stranger to controversy and he seems to enjoy being provocative. He has no praise for the TSA (Transportation Security Agency) ...
  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Phoenix New Times: Was Delta Right to Kick ASU Student Off a Plane for His Shirt Mocking the TSA?

    Yesterday, we told you about Arijit Guha, the Arizona State University Ph.D. student who says his shirt mocking the Transportation Security Administration led to him and his wife getting kicked off his flight returning to Phoenix over the weekend.

    Guha told New Times it was a Delta pilot's decision -- not the TSA's -- to keep them off the flight from Buffalo, New York.

    In your opinion, was Delta right to kick him off the plane?

    Cast your vote below ...

    Be sure to help stack the cast your vote in the poll. :)
  11. MaximumSisu

    MaximumSisu Requiescat in Pace

    poll running almost even at this time, extremely disappointing to see how many people don't believe in free speech. Sometimes I feel like my whole career protecting and defending the Constitution was a waste.

    It's worse on the "other place" where nearly all the Delta fanbois are against free speech.
  12. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Is it being against free speech or rather that people just want to get on with their trip and not be bothered with "nonsense?" These are the same people who step right through WBI. They are more concerned about getting to where they want to go than the underlying and greater issues.
    FaustsAccountant likes this.
  13. MaximumSisu

    MaximumSisu Requiescat in Pace

    Maybe, but if you don't stand up for rights, you don't get them and don't deserve them. Everyone who is waiting for "someone else" to do something gets my professional scorn.
  14. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    I agree totally. You can't pick and choose when, where and who has rights.
  15. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    International Digital Times: Anti-TSA Shirt Seen As Legit Threat Because TSA Is Run By Idiots

    An anti-TSA T-shirt is all it took to get a PhD student from Arizona State kicked off a Delta flight in Buffalo, New York. Arijit Guha, the man involved in the incident, has a sense of humor. His shirt (pictured above) displays an eagle-type logo holding shoes and moisturizer in its talons, circled by phrases like "Bombs ZOMG" and "ZOMG Terrorists." It is, quite obviously, a joke.

    But the TSA isn't laughing.


    Why did Guha avoid the full body scanner? He has colon cancer. So, he naturally wants to avoid radiation. And he has a colostomy bag. So he naturally wants to avoid having his butthole probed.

    And there is the proof that the TSA is run by idiots. A 120-pound man with stage IV colon cancer with no terrorist affiliation or contraband on his person was deemed a safety threat because he looks foreign and wore a funny t-shirt.

    God Bless America.
  16. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Every article like this in a foreign paper with the reader of the UK Daily Mail only discourages additional large numbers of travelers from vising the USA ... why is it again that our tourist visits are way down & airline traffic obviously is declining?

    UK Daily Mail: Cancer victim's fury as pilot bans him and his wife from flight because of satirical anti-TSA shirt that read 'BOMBS ZOMG ZOMG TERRISTS'

    A university doctoral student with acute colon cancer and his wife were refused entry on a Delta flight because of his attire, he wrote on his blog.
    On August 18, Arijit Guha, who is working on his PhD at Arizona State University, was at the Buffalo-Niagara Airport with his wife waiting to board his Delta flight.

    However, the 31-year-old student said he was told by a Delta agent that his T-shirt which read ‘Bombs ZOMG ZOMG Terrists (sic)’ was making other passengers feel uncomfortable, and he was told he could not board the flight.


    Mr Guha wrote: ‘I was then questioned by TSA about the significance and meaning of the shirt. I politely explained that it was “mocking the security theatre charade and over-reactions to terrorism by the general public — both of which we're seeing right now, ironically.”
  17. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The poll is now running 62:38 against Delta.
  18. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Venture into the Delta forum itself some time -- it's true fanbois county. That thread started there, so it's early bias should be no surpise. But it was getting humorous towards the end:


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