Quote of the Day - Handjob or Cancer?

Today's QotD comes from a video by Rebecca Watson, of Skepchick, titled F the TSA:
My main concern at this point is deciding which I prefer the TSA to give me: a handjob or cancer.
She continues:
Now, of course that's a joke. ... First of all, yes I'm kidding. I don't think that I'm going to get a handjob. As I understand the term, handjob is generally a pleasant experience and usually involves, I don't know, a glass of wine before hand. What the TSA is planning to do is something more akin to sexual assault.

Cancer? I probably won't get cancer from the TSA. But, of course, what I'm referring to are the backscatter x-ray machines. However, there is a group of concerned scientists out there who think that the FDA's science is not exactly sound.
And also, I don't think that it's protecting anyone. I don't feel like I'm any safer because people went through these machines. A few people took issue with my joke about cancer because they felt that I was sort of fear-mongering in a way. I don't think that's fear-mongering to make a joke about the potential real effects that these machines could be having. What I do think is fear-mongering is forcing people to give up their privacy and go through machines that force them to be photographed naked basically. And if they don't do it you threaten them with a public groping. That, to me, is using fear to reach your ends.
Well said, Ms. Watson! As I've said previously, the TSA is nothing but security theater designed to make the general public think they're safe.

TSA: Incompetence Redefined (Yet Again)

Authorities Investigate Stun Gun Found on JetBlue Plane
An image of the Striker 1800 stun gun was obtained by Fox 5 News. It was found by a cleaning crew inside the back pocket of a seat on board Jet Blue flight 1179.

The plane had just arrived from Boston and all of the passengers were off of the plane when it was found.
I'd say that the incompetence of the TSA is stunning. But they fail so often and so easily that it's really just a mundane story. I'm guessing they were too busy searching the underwear of wheelchair-bound grandmothers and feeling up six-year-olds.

It almost seems like they're being a bunch of ass-clowns on purpose - considering the "security" they provide is just badly-produced security theater, that's not surprising.

Massachusetts - Stupidity Wins Again

Looks like Zero tolerance Intelligence wins again: Massachusetts Boy Charged With Bringing Toy Gun on Bus
Police say a 9-year-old elementary school student from Palmer, Mass., will be summoned to juvenile court to face charges for bringing a toy handgun on the school bus, MyFoxBoston.com reports.

Chief Robert Frydryk says the school district has a "zero tolerance policy" regarding weapons. Even though the gun was a toy, it is considered a weapon because it shoots soft plastic projectiles.

The boy told police he forgot he had it in his jacket when he got on the bus on May 5.

Frydryk says there is no indication the elementary school student wanted to hurt anyone. The student's name was not made public.

Superintendent Gerald Fournier says that the school took appropriate action "based on the policies and procedures we have in place," MyFoxBoston reports.
I remember when I was in elementary school and brought a NERF gun to school for show and tell. All the teacher did was ask me not to shoot it in school. No cops were called, no media were alerted, and certainly no charges were filed.

Quote of the Day - Commander Zero

For me, there is no victory in the ‘war on terror’ until I can get on a plane with an unopened 20 oz. bottle of Coke in my pocket and no TSA fingerprints on my crotch.
- Commander Zero, Roosevelt dying didnt cause us to lose WWII, so why would........

Off-broadway Security Theater getting more expensive

Looks like the cost of forced hoop-jumping is growing faster than expected.
Choosing to carry your luggage onto a plane instead of checking it with an airline might save you a few bucks at the ticket counter but it's costing taxpayers about a quarter-billion dollars a year.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress this week that luggage fees have prompted more passengers to hold onto their bags, which means more items for Transportation Security Administration officers to inspect at security checkpoints at a cost of about $260 million annually.

"When you have to pay to check a bag it increases carry-on luggage and that means there is more to inspect at the gate and so forth for passengers to get on planes," Napolitano said during testimony before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security.

Napolitano was addressing a question from Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat and chairwoman of the subcommittee, who asked whether airlines should help make up for some of the extra costs.

"Checked bagged fees are increasing, it looks like, the cost to TSA because people don't want to pay the fees so they are not checking bags and putting more on the planes," Landrieu said the hearing Wednesday. "My question is, do the taxpayers have to pick up this fee? Or should we be looking at the airlines for some of the profits that they make from these fees to offset the cost the taxpayer."
Source: More Carry-On Luggage Costing Taxpayers, TSA Millions a Year

Arvada PD Gone Wild

Way to go Arvada PD!
ARVADA, Colo. -- Arvada Police are defending the way they handled the arrest of an 11-year-old boy. The Arvada boy was arrested and hauled away in handcuffs from his home for drawing stick figures in school - something his therapist told him to do.
They say "Tim" is being treated for Attention Deficit Disorder and his therapist told him to draw pictures when he got upset, rather than disrupt the class. So that’s what he did.

Last October, he drew stick figures of himself with a gun, pointed at four other stick figures with the words "teachers must die."
The school was aware that the boy was in treatment, determined he was not a threat, notified his parents and sent him back to class. His mother, "Jane" was shocked when Arvada Police showed up at their home later that night.
They put him in a cell, took his mug shot and fingerprinted him. He says he thought he was going to jail and would never be able to go home again.
He's charged with a third degree misdemeanor, interfering with staff and students at an educational facility. The system says it's doing what's in the best interest of the child. But Tim's therapist says handcuffing an 11-year-old and putting him in a cell over something like this is "quite an overreaction" and does much more harm than good.
Source: Arvada Police defend arrest of 11-year-old over drawing
(h/t to the Geek Warrior)

According to the video of the news report, not only did they arrest the kid at his home, they tossed him in a holding cell, wouldn't give him dinner, and then shipped him via ambulance to a mental health hospital where he was evaluated for THREE DAYS before the shrinks admitted he posed no threat.

Now, some people (including one of the commenters on the KDVR facebook page) my make the argument that "if they hadn't arrested the kid and he had come back and shot the teachers, we'd be blaming the cops instead." Well, some may do that, but not me. I'd be blaming the parents first and the school second - the people who actually knew the kid and had determined he wasn't a threat.

Unfortunately, we now have a kid who was already seeing a therapist who will probably have even more distrust of authority in general and cops specifically. And, even better, he probably won't trust his therapists anymore considering that he was arrested for following their instructions.

More Like Zero Intelligence

Another "Zero Tolerance" occurrence. Just as stupid as all the others.

Lunchbox mix-up leads to charges for Sanford teen
Ashley Smithwick, 17, of Sanford, was suspended from Southern Lee High School in October after school personnel found a small paring knife in her lunchbox.
The lunchbox really belonged to Joe Smithwick [her father], who packs a paring knife to slice his apple. He and his daughter have matching lunchboxes.
This month, Ashley Smithwick, a soccer player who takes college-level courses, was charged with misdemeanor possession of a weapon on school grounds. She is no longer allowed to set foot on campus.
"When the principals conduct their investigations, what typically is fleshed out is the true intent," [Lee County Superintendent Jeff Moss] told the newspaper. "Bottom line is we want to ensure every child feels safe on our campus."

Ashley Smithwick is completing her coursework online through Central Carolina Community College. She said she worries the case will affect her college prospects.

"When you have a criminal record no school's going to look at you," she said. "I have a pretty nice talent. I'm good at playing soccer and that talent is just wasted now."

Jeff Moss, you are an absolute moron. Imbecile isn't too harsh. Do you honestly think kids will feel safe if they can get in trouble for something like this? Grabbing the wrong lunchbox and having a pairing knife inside?

Want Some Candy, Little Kid?

Ken, over at Popehat, pens some weapons-grade satire.
The TSA’s approach to enhanced pat-downs of kids has come under fire recently after TSA Regional Security Director James Marchand described the TSA’s method of encouraging children to comply with being touched in their private regions by government officials. “You try to make it as best you can for that child to come through. If you can come up with some kind of a game to play with a child, it makes it a lot easier,” said Marchand, who said that the “being touched is a game” program is now part of TSA training.
Of course, like all good satire, it's also loaded with a lot of truth - and that's what makes it so horrible. Hey, TSA, it's NOT A FUCKING GAME!

Quote of the Day

Fun fact, though, it turns out that photography – of all things – IS apparently allowed in the security area, making it officially less dangerous than deodorant.

- Mina From a comment on this picture post:

H/T to Breda

Attention Obama, Napolitano

Barack, Janet:


The arrest was the culmination of a long-term undercover operation during which Mohamud had been monitored closely for months as his alleged bomb plot developed, the Justice Department said. Officials said the public was never in danger from the device.

CNN: Teen suspected of trying to set off bomb at Oregon tree-lighting event
FOX: Feds Arrest Somali-Born Teen in Tree Lighting Bomb Plot


After removing prosthetic breast, flight attendant says TSA goes "too far".
Enhanced pat down leaves Grand Rapids airline passenger in tears
TSA Groin Searches Menstruating Woman
Woman: TSA Agents Singled Me Out For My Breasts
Lawsuit: TSA agents pulled down tank-top and laughed at exposed breasts