Subcommittee Hearing: Rightsizing TSA Bureaucracy and Workforce Without Compromising Security

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Fisher1949, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    C|NET (26 Mar 2012): TSA asks congressional panel to uninvite critic Bruce Schneier: Agency accused of "security theater" provides some drama as it pushes Bruce Schneier off panel on body screening

    UK Register: TSA bars security guru from perv scanner testimony: Last minute excuse blocks Bruce Schneier

  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The only problem I see here is that they wasted money on them in the first place. Just crush them & send the boards to a toxic land fill in China ...,

    Seattle Times (26 Mar 2012): Airport body scanners go unused, waste millions, report concludes: Some of the body scanners that peer through passengers' clothing at U.S. airport checkpoints often go unused, wasting millions of dollars, a government report found

  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The Hill (26 Mar 2012): Rep. Issa recites Facebook TSA complaints

    According to The Hill, TSA responded with some customary mumbo jumbo about risk-based screening.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    It seems the hearings did not go well for America's most loathsome government agency. :D
  5. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    A commenter on Boing Boing says 350.

    OK, so if I don't have Facebook I just lost my First Amendment right to petition the government for redress?
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    So also says Issa -- see above, post #23.
  7. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    I recall hearings not going well for BATF a few decades ago and nothing changed. They all talk a good game for the cameras, but when the rubber meets the road they remember ABSCAM.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  8. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

    And you expect what changes exactly from this, or any other, hearing?
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  9. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    That's Wendy Thomson. She has written publicly about this at TSA News:

    TSA abuse has been going on for years – here’s my story
    by WENDY THOMSON on DECEMBER 29, 2011
  10. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Well, if this isn't damning I don't know what is.
    Fisher1949 likes this.
  11. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Is there any question of TSA being corrupt? The only question remaining in my mind is finding a new system of measurement to be able to demonstrate just how corrupt these people are.

    Sorry but I think all TSA employees fall into this barrel, excuses of trying to make positive change just won't cut it any longer.
  12. RB

    RB Founding Member

    "Democrats on the committees were more sympathetic to TSA than Issa and other Republicans were during Monday's meeting."

    A vote for Obama is a vote for TSA!
  13. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    I didn't vote for BHO in 2008 but was cautiously optimistic after 8 miserable years of Bush and his DHS/TSA-spawning administration.

    Now, bamboo shoots under my fingernails couldn't persuade me to vote Obama. Voted for Ron Paul in the primary, and if Jill Stein ever comes out as anti-TSA, she's getting my vote in November.

    Actually...the Greens, Libs, Indies, or other non-R/D parties are getting my vote if anyone but Paul gets the GOP nom (definitely if it's Mitt buddy-buddy-with-Chertoff Romney, and probably any other non-Paul candidate). No way will I endorse 4 more years of Obama and his allowing Pissy and Nappy to run rampant "for saaaaaaaaaaaaafetyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!"

    [EDIT: Now I don't want to get off on a rant here...]
    Shame, because he's done some other things I do definitely approve of. LGBT equality, secular rights, reproductive freedom and other such causes have had a comparably good run under him, but civil liberties and preservation of Constitutional rights against intrusive government agencies have to trump other initiatives. DHS needs to be reined in, wiretapping has to stop, police must be demilitarized and TSA MUST GO if this country is to continue to be considered anything remotely resembling "free." Reproductive freedom doesn't mean much if pregnant citizens are stopped 5 times on their way to P(lanned) P(arenthood) and asked for their P(apers) P(lease) by an armed and armored gov-thug. Secular advancement doesn't count for a lot when the same children who learn evolution by Darwinian natural selection in the classroom have all their activity monitored by their public-education nannies, even after they leave school, perhaps via school-issued webcam-equipped laptops. LGBT rights are a hollow victory if the phones people use to schedule dates (and sexytime) are open to NSA snooping whenever NSA damn well feels like it.

    It's been debated back and forth whether the founders of the US made a mistake by not explicitly mentioning personal privacy in the Constitution. Personally, I think it was indeed an unfortunate oversight - not because the other parts of the Constitution don't sufficiently imply it, but because the country is now run by a bunch of opportunistic slimebags who'll be as literal-minded as a C compiler if it means that ignoring the spirit of the law for the letter of the law can net them a nice, fat campaign check.

    Obama talks a fair game but he and his have done nothing to ameliorate the staggering degree of corruption and cronyism in government.
    [EDIT: But of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.]
    DeafBlonde, Lisa Simeone and Caradoc like this.
  14. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I did vote for him and was cautiously optimistic when he was elected. I worried that I didn't hear him discuss privacy and civil liberties when he was campaigning --- and then there was his unfortunate pre-election vote on FISA. It turned out that vote was a harbinger of things to come. :(

    I agree - to all.

    And speaking of kids being monitored at school (and thus preparing them for a lifetime of monitoring). Here's what one school is doing: High School Student Expelled For Tweeting Profanity; Principal Admits School Tracks All Tweets

    The school tracks all tweets? Don't principals have other things to do besides track each and every tweet made by each and every student?

    Privacy is alluded to all through the Bill of Rights (associational rights in the First Amendment, no quartering of soldiers in your house in the Third Amendment, The Fourth Amendment in its entirety, etc.), the founders surely thought of it. Maybe they thought that something so fundamental didn't even need to be mentioned.

    I really do believe that we need a constitutional amendment that protects our privacy. I don't see it happening in my lifetime though -- there's too much money to be made in datamining and surveillance.

    Assuming that he's not corrupt - how do you make a dent in the corruption and cronyism that has been going on for decades in just four years? I don't think it's possible.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  15. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Directly, no - I agree with you. I think the one thing he could have done would have been to shine a very big light on it and at least get people talking. Make it a point of discussion, make those involved feel uncomfortable, be a thorn in their side. He won the '08 election largely by way of modern media, becoming the first "Internet President." He and/or his campaign managers clearly had a grasp on the power of 21st-century communications, so he probably could have figured out a way to use viral or memetic media to his advantage and get people to start asking pointed questions.

    He'd have to be willing to sacrifice sacred cows in order to do it, though. Name names, mention specific details, etc. Not many card-carrying (D) or (R) politicos are willing, and he seems to have shown himself to be another card-carrying, run-of-the-mill (D) where his actions in office are concerned. He obeys the Things You Just Don't Do rules.

    That's why I'm so amped about the idea of getting an (I) or another third-party candidate in office - they have substantially less to lose by refusing to play by the D.C. In Crowd's playbook and shaking things up.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  16. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    And until he stops obeying those rules there will be no change.

    If I could have a pro-choice, pro-LGBT, pro-science, non-racist Ron Paul, I'd happily vote for that person.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  17. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    This is part of the arguments I see in favor of his reelection - that if he's given a second term, elective pressure will be off since he's out anyway after that, and he'll start making with the Hope And Change(TM) that he promised back in '07 and '08. We just have to Give Him A Chance(TM)!

    Personally I don't buy it, because if he really cared, he wouldn't have spent an entire term breaking promises so that he could have an equally-long term to fulfill them. The only way I can see it carrying water is if he did a lot of behind-the-scenes framework-laying over the past 4 years and is ready to act on it. As it is, I think he did lay a lot of framework, but it's not the kind that his supporters are thinking of. NDAA is a plank in this framework. SOPA and PIPA would've been as well, as I have no doubts he'd have signed them willingly.

    You and me both. I HATE that the one and only candidate who stands with me on my most important topic stands against me on so many others. It request a GOP ballot at the polling place last week. Surreal in a way. For a minute I considered requesting third-party instead, but TSA has to go and Paul is our best shot.

    Fortunately, online petition and activism efforts have made inroads in getting offenses against reproductive freedom likened to campaign suicide, so that's at least a small bit of bet-hedging should Paul take office and consider acting on some of his non-TSA policies. I just have to hope (god, why does that word sound so empty after 4 years of BHO?) that Paul is smart enough, and believes strongly enough in government boundaries, to realize that some of his ideas need to remain in his head. I think he's better about that than some of the other runners, but I know better to assume, especially when it comes to politics.
  18. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I was going to say that could be the next lawsuit, just like the girl in western MN who is suing over the abuse she received because of her Facebook postings, but it already is:

    Don't these principals & other school officials have any brains? At this point in time I would think that even folks living under rocks would realize that school students have 1st amendment right, especially off campus & not on school time. Maybe I should start turning some rock over & take poll.
  19. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Rightsizing TSA would require just one temp employee, need someone to turn out the lights when the (expletive deleted) are thrown out of the building.
    Doober likes this.
  20. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Of course, this would be reversed if a Republican were in the White House.

    Ditto for Romney, Santorum, take-your-pick. We all know Paul isn't going to get the nomination; that doesn't mean I'm trying to discourage anybody from voting for him.

    In sum, as I've said so many times, a pox on both their houses.
    Fisher1949 likes this.

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