Hmmm. Our tax dollars at work?

TSA Seeks to Expand The Airport Experience Into Everyday Life

Seriously? Is it really going to help? Did searching my carry-on at the airport at Thanksgiving fill some sort of fucked-up quota the TSA has? Did it make them feel better to pull me aside, declare it was a random search, shine their goddamn flashlight into every pocket in my backpack, and be somewhat startled by my sonic screwdriver? And please, let me not forget my poor mother, who had no idea this was going on and when she realized I was not right behind her in the skyway, was a little confused and concerned.

FUCK YOUR RANDOM SEARCH…I’m sure I got pulled out of line because I was wearing a black cap and from the back, looked like a guy…in fact, when the TSA agent tried to get my attention, he addressed me as Sir. The look on his face when I turned around and was very obviously NOT A MAN was priceless.

What was even better was the look of shock-not when I related the story to my sister, but when I told her I’d walked away from the TSA table, muttering about the Fourth Amendment and her response:

“You didn’t argue with the TSA, did you, Mick?”

The Fourth Amendment states

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Some people will argue this random search was not unreasonable. If I had not put the bag through the screening process, I might agree. However, as everyone knows, that is simply not an option. One cannot opt out of having their carry-on bag, their computers, their shoes, their jackets, or even their very person scrutinized. My bag was put on the conveyor belt and examined as it went through the screening apparatus. I removed my computer and placed it in a separate bin and put that on the conveyor belt, as well. It is my opinion, then that the random search was unreasonable.

Here’s a little infographic I recently found on Tumblr. I didn’t jot down the link, unfortunately.

Also, both of our suitcases were rifled through by the TSA. At least they left a little love note behind. However, I think that had more to do with our actual checking-in process than anything else. My mom, who is not computer savvy in the least, thought she’d paid for the baggage charge online the day before we left, despite the fact that the link to pay did nothing but bring her to a white screen. She tried it two or three times (I told you, not computer-savvy), but finally gave up, certain that the charge had gone through. Well, when we got to the airport the next day and discovered she had in fact not paid for the baggage, she got into a discussion with the woman at the counter, claiming she had paid for it, blah blah blah…perhaps it raised a red flag with the airline employee and our bags got marked out for special attention. I don’t know if that’s the case, but on the return trip, the same thing happened: the link to actually pay for the baggage was bad. This time, I was in charge and didn’t even question the situation. When we arrived at the airport the next day, no mention was made of the bad link to the skycap when we checked our bags and we paid the charge.

Guess what? There were no love notes from the TSA on that return trip.

This entry was published on 12/22/2011 at 20:23 and is filed under blog. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Hmmm. Our tax dollars at work?

  1. Oh, Mick. I love you, but I just can’t be sympathetic to folks regarding their TSA annoyance stories. (I do feel sympathetic to the folks with medical issues who end up soaked in urine, though. That’s nasty.) Having one’s bags searched… I can’t even count the number of times that’s happened to me — and not at the airport, I mean having a cop car pull up next to me while I’m walking down the street and having an officer hop out and (albeit politely) ask to search my backpack for (literally) stolen bottles of liquor. Having store security guards insist upon searching my bags when I left stores to make sure I hadn’t stolen anything, whether I set off the alarm or not. (And in college, being stopped by campus security and made to show my ID was pretty much a routine affair.) It hasn’t really happened in the last year since I’ve been driving most places and haven’t been carrying a backpack to hold my purchases, but when I was walking? All the time, pretty much since I was a kid. And if I’d argued or resisted? I doubt things would have gone well — and I’d be willing to bet that at some point, long before we ever met, I’d have been shot and killed because some cop got nervous and assumed my resistance meant I had a gun in my bag.

    I don’t usually think along these lines, but every time I hear folks complaining about the TSA I’m like, “Heh, white people. WELCOME TO MY WORLD! At least you don’t have to fly every day.” 😀

    (But this was obviously very upsetting for you, so *huggth* :))

    • Actually, it was upsetting in a piss-me-off, make-me-angry way more than anything. And I’m upset in a piss-me-off, make-me-angry way reading what’s happened to you because of whatever fucked-up reasoning the authorities used to do it. I’ve recently read that if you are exiting a store and are asked to show your receipt for purchases made, you have every right to refuse and keep walking. Of course, in a store like Costco, that is not an option because when you become a member, the whole thing about showing your receipt is part of the agreement. But at a regular retail outlet? You are under absolutely no obligation. I’ve never tested it, I’ll admit, but I’d like to. =)

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