Mandatory opt-out from TSA screening for Alaska airports

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Sharon Cissna's pending legislation would make opting out of TSA screening mandatory for Alaska airport. :)

    News Tribune: Lawmaker who rejects airport pat downs challenges TSA rules


    Just give the bums the boot!
    TravelnMedic likes this.
  2. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    And if we're nice, the boot will be in the butt and not between the legs.
  3. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Being a realist I know that Cissna is fighting an uphill and possibly impossible battle. The up side is that she is keeping this in the news and drawing unwanted attention to TSA practices. It was smart of her to parcel this into four bills to improve the odds that one gets through.

    What surprises me is that no politician has bothered to use the amendment process to attach these provisions to legislation that has a better chance of passage.

    For example, if there is a necessary road improvement bill, she could tack on limited searches as an amendment and write it such that it was vague enough to get it into law.

    Once in place, it would be relatively easy to ratchet up the restrictions to handcuff TSA actions in subsequent sessions.
    KrazyKat likes this.
  4. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    While I understand that the removal of TSA is a goal of many of the (ok, probably almost all of you) people here, isn't the best way to go about that fostering change at the source (read - at the congressional/senate level)? I read quite a bit here about governmental intrusion (at federal and state levels) into the everyday life of the masses, isn't this another step in that direction? I am not trolling here, I am trying to understand the difference - is there so much hatred of TSA, that you are willing to promote and (in some ways) push for a bill that will yield absolutely no difference in the screening process for the passenger? The only differences will be at an administrative level, and in the pay/benefits the individual TSOs recieve - maybe some difference in the response to passenger feedback, or maybe not. That being said, the private screening forces would be subject to the exact same SOP, the exact same certification procedures (and in many cases, it will be the exact same people working for the private contractor after the conversion), and there will be no discernable difference to the flying public transiting those checkpoints. To me, this seems like the wrong way to change the policy of the agency, simply because if it goes through this way, and privatized screening takes over, she would be subject to the exact same protocols if she were coming through a federal checkpoint. I believe she is seriously trying to change what is going on in her state for the better, but she is either using this as a political ploy (less likely at this point), or she is missing the bigger picture (more likely at this point IMHO) of what will actually happen - which for the passengers will be...nothing. The other bills sponsored, make some sense to me, they are likely to have problems in court (or maybe not), but they make more sense to me, as they are aimed at stopping what she states she is against, this particular bill does not help address her stated concerns in a viable fashion.
  5. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    The hope is that with private screening, even though it might use the same people, there will be ACCOUNTABILITY, which is sorely lacking with the TSA. If screeners are abusive, retaliatory, or incompetent, those issues would be acknowledged and addressed, not swept under the table as now happens.
    FaustsAccountant likes this.
  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Accountability is #1.

    Anything that reduces TSA's footprint is #2.

    Plagues like TSA should be fought & resisted on all levels.
    FaustsAccountant likes this.
  7. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I can understand those points - I have harped on the accountability angle since I can remember. Footprint makes some sense as well, if you oppose TSA at a fundamental level. Thank you for honest answers without snark.
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I would suggest that you are missing the TSA vs public issue Rugape. The problem with airport screening is about how TSA treats people. We are not criminals, not in boot camp, nor stupid little children and that in my mind is how people are being treated by TSA. Telling us that we can't take a bottle of water or what have you through security only to have you (TSA) toss that item into a common trash bin right at the checkpoint demonstrates the items are known to not be a danger.

    We're told we have to comply with the TSA rules but those rules are not made available to the public. Even if they were any one screener can do something different and we have no recourse. We complain about abuses at TSA Checkpoints but are told "procedures were properly followed". Add on to those things the lack of any kind of response to complaints and pretty soon people from all areas of the country are voicing their concerns about TSA.

    The complaints are not limited to just this blog, but any time something about TSA is mentioned comments are almost all anti-TSA. It is not just a few people dissatisfied with TSA but the whole damn country and we have had enough of TSA.

    TSA leadership is an utter failure. TSA screening methods are a close second. The public is demanding change, change WE can believe in.

    I want screening to revert back to the airports and airlines because those are the concerns who should be responsible. Government does not have a role in providing security to private business. The benefit of private screeners are that they will be forced to be responsive to the public.

    I am a firm believer that government can never do anything as well private business excepting the military and even the armed forces have issues with waste. I think airport security managed by private business will be less expensive and more responsive to the traveling public.

    I'll leave the snark for my signature line.
    DeafBlonde and barbell like this.
  9. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I understand the policy disagreements, I also have policy that I do not agree with, and voice that opinion through the proper channels as often as I can.

    I have almost always disagreed with the non-disclosure of rules for screening - to a point. The basics should be out there along with what responses can be expected if certain situations arise (such as an alarm of one of the machines), but certain steps past those basics do not need to be in the public forum. I feel that anything you can learn by observing the checkpoint area while standing in line should be public info, as it is already out there anyway.

    I agree that people coming through our checkpoints are not someone under suspicion, merely someone trying to get from point a to point b in an efficient manner. Treatment of passengers is my number one pet peeve, there is simply no reason to not be professional at a minimum, and polite and friendly should be the goal.

    One of my other pet peeves is interfering with someone taking pictures or video (as long as they aren't interfering with the screening process, or filming the screens of the machines), I mean seriously - holding a bin up in front of a camera? What are you 3 years old again? Do the job, smile for the camera if you want, and if you don't wish to be filmed or photographed, ask them not to - if they decline to stop and it bothers you that much, find another job. The rules are just as clear as day, get over it and do the job.

    Complaints should be handled in a timely and organized fashion, I do not know enough about the inner workings of our complaint systems to know what goes on past the initial process, but I underestand that not all complaints are handled as well as they could be. I see stories on several sites about the lack of responses, but I also have had contact from several people that at least were contacted back and communicated with - even if they didn't get what they were after, they were at least addressed in some fashion.

    I can understand both sides of the argument over private v federal arguments, so I don't really comment on that much unless there is something I do not understand (like this thread for instance).

    There is always waste in any government venture, it is a sad byproduct of having to hire 5 sets of bean counters for the same contract just to satisfy tons of red tape. I think that the military had plenty of it, every other governmental organization I have ever worked with had it, and TSA is no exception. TSA leadership has some things that are being put in place with the RBS, and there are some other programs they are working on other programs and such, but I will say again that I think some changes are coming, but they are going to be much slower than you will like (again because it is government which almost always moves at the speed negative).
  10. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Rugape, I appreciate your point of view.

    TSA Management has in 10 short years created the most distrusted government agency in all of federal government. It's not just me or others here on TUG but the sentiment seems to be pretty universal and growing more anti-TSA daily. A responsible manager would be asking themselves why this is. Pistole, from what I can discern, isn't doing such.

    Invasive screening technology has been rolled out without TSA complying with federal regulations and compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act. Even after both public and congressional concerns have been voiced and Pistole stated he would have the Strip Search Machines tested for safety he didn't do so and in fact reneged on his promise. A Federal Court has ordered TSA to conduct a Public Comment period on the Strip Search Machines but Pistole again has not complied with the courts findings.

    With Pistole heading up TSA I have no reason to believe anything will be done to answer public concerns. Pistole has shown himself to be not only a liar and his refusal to obey the findings of a lawful court marks him as unlawful to boot.

    Tell me how you as a TSA employee can place any trust in a person who is dishonest in testimony to Congress and ignores a courts order.

    In my opinion he should be held in contempt of court and jailed.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  11. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    no it's not. the federal apparatus (congresss, president, judiciary compliance) is what got us in this mess and continues to fund it. The federal apparatus has been pretty much co-opted and no longer represents the interests of the people. That's why you have forced, federally mandated Obamacare and yet thirty states suing against this at the Supreme Court. There is a massive disconnect between federal power and even the STATES in the union. F*k the federal apparatus and those who work in it; it is beyond hope and redemption. The only way forward is through the individual states. As far fetched as this would have seemed a short while ago, this movement is picking up speed, and as the power of the federals continues to collapse thanks to its own financial excesses and overreaches, this movement will gain the power the federals are losing. Cissna is on the right track, although she may be premature.

    Is that all you know about this, what you read here? The reality is, folks like you are strip searching and touching people's private parts with NO provocation. You are intimately connected with this, my friend, so don't play the innocent here.

    We are all subject to hundreds of thousands of federal laws and regulation, and we could easily and unknowingly violate any number of them on any given day, like a farmer grading the ruts out on his own road on his own land if, horrors be, he lives within 30 or 40 miles of a river.

    The truth is, Rugape, the federal government has us by the shorthairs and is never going to give up that control of us willingly. The pity of the situation is that either the federal apparatus dies or our freedom dies.
    Caradoc and phoebepontiac like this.
  12. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Have you ever said, "That's a stupid policy, and I'm not going to do it?"

    Or have you always "just followed orders" and complained about them "through the proper channels?"
  13. RB

    RB Founding Member

    The following sentences I picked up on a newsgroup discussing motorcycles. I am editing the persons last name since I did not ask permission to copy the post.
    I believe the person is a once a year type traveler and was able to discern that TSA procedures make no sense. Why can't TSA figure out something is just not right?

    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  14. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I have always complained about the inconsistencies, always - you should have essentially the same experience at every checkpoint you transit, but that is not the case in reality. The problem is with the way some of the entries are written in the regulations - the ID information did not match the ID, and with the newer programs in place, that means that the name entered into the system does not match the name on the boarding pass - and I know that makes no sense at all for something like Bill = William. IMHO there should only be a problem with folks that have different names and they do not match well - I have seen the exact same thing as above, and then I have seen folks with a name like "Steven David Franklin Johnson-Alberto" with a boarding pass that read "Jeff Alberto" (all names changed btw). The common sense doctrine should come into play with something like this - Bill is a normal shortening of the name William and should not (in a perfect world) result in a challenge.
  15. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I have always been a big "trust but verify" type of person, as such, I mostly place trust only in myself, or something I can reasonably verify. I have also always been told that I am a terminal optimist (which I find disturbing sometimes, considering how cynical I am about certain subjects). I think that changes are on the way - some will be positive, some will be negative (all relative of course). I like some of what I am hearing, and some of it I don't like. I kind of like the RBS, but coming from a physical security background, I also understand the problems it can create. I like the idea of using more of the screening style of Israel, but also understand that only certain aspects of their program should even be considered here. Almost daily, I read somewhere that we should profile (read that to be Middle Eastern looking folks that are Muslims) and that just has no place in our society, we have too diverse of a population in this country to penalize a specific subset based on perception. If we walk that path, then the next year we will also profile against Hispanics because we have some problems with "Illegals" crossing from the south - the year after that, we would have to add Canadians because they cross the border to the north... you get the idea, it just doesn't make sense with the diversity of people here (and it is wrong on a primary level before you even get to the common sense angle). Some here are making fun of the DHS college program, I am a big fan, it can only help the workforce to be better educated as a whole.

    I think that Pistole is in a no-win situation at this point, he has so many forces pulling at him in so many different directions, and none of them coincide. Of course, that is why he gets paid the big bucks, to navigate those situations and move forward. If he were to make major changes in any direction, the blowback from different segments of our society would be epic. Right now TSA is dealing with blowback from a small percentage of the public, admittedly an extremely vocal (and in many cases press members and politicians)percentage, but a small percentage relatively speaking. I have had discussions with JKHuggins (at that other place :)) indicating that the ratios of experience are probably close to 10% positive, 10% terribly bad, 80% neutral or unremarkable. Many here can argue those ratios up or down a bit, and you may be right, but that is a pretty good distillation of what I read and see and hear on a regular basis. The 10% bad, should never happen due to TSA, the experience should always be essentially the same, but that is not the reality, and I am continuing to try and make what changes I can to remedy that.
  16. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I never said that what I know about the subject only comes from here. I know where I work and what I do, and I work from my position to make what changes I can for the benefit of all that come through the checkpoints (mine or otherwise). If I quit every job that I had a difference of opinion on, I would never keep a job past a couple of weeks. I think that when all the people that want to make positive change leave because they disagree, we wind up with only the people that won't listen or work for positive change, so I stay and do what I can. Quitting would be just that, quitting, and I do not like giving up on something that I actually care about.
  17. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    And this is why you - you, personally - are part of the problem.
  18. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    If caring and trying to work for positive change for all involved is being part of the problem, then I will wear that hat.
  19. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    He brought this on himself. He initiated the gropes. He deserves every ounce of opprobrium being heaped upon him.

    I still want to know what his wife and daughters do when they fly? Do they always have him by their side so they can bypass the abuse the rest of us have to go through? Do they ever fly alone, where some clerk doesn't recognize their last name and therefore doesn't allow them to bypass the abuse? Is he okay with having his wife and daughters groped? If so, he's even more sick and twisted than I thought.
  20. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Positive change isn't possible as long as people like you are willing to do what you do.

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