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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

TSA Crushes First Amendment

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Well, not really. There's a huge discussion going on over at FlyerTalk about a traveler that wrote "Kip Hawley is a Jerk" on his plastic bag and got detained for 25 minutes by the TSA. Read it if you can stand it. The Cranky Flier has picked up on the story as well.

I'm going to go out on a limb and express my doubts that this incident even happened. I guess if the media picks this up we'll get some confirmation of the facts, but for now this is just an internet rumor started in a forum that loves to bash the TSA. Posting this story was like throwing a lit match into a bucket of gasoline. But we'll assume for now that the one side of the story we've heard is correct.

My take on this is that everybody was wrong. The guy writing "Kip Hawley is a Jerk" on his quart bag did it for one reason only: To initiate a confrontation. If he just wanted to voice a political opinion it would have been far more effective to stand outside the security checkpoint with a placard. But no, he had to jump into the line and hold things up for the people behind him just trying to get on their plane with the minimum of hassle. He's looking for fame and a chance to be belligerent with the TSA officers.

And the TSA officer and supervisor that decided they needed to get local law enforcement involved were way over the top. The TSA officer should have just rolled his eyes at the stupidity of some people, swabbed the bag for explosives, and called for a secondary. Making a big deal out of it just wasn't professional.

But the crowning achievement in all this are the FlyerTalk people who have jumped all over it in a TSA bashing orgy. One poster even compared this guy to Rosa Parks.

All of this because a few people are peeved that they can't bring a full tube of toothpaste on board an aircraft. Given the state of the world, you'd think they could find something more worthwhile to protest.

I just wish the stress level in my life was low enough that something like this could be at the top of my list of things to be upset about.


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  • At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hmm, FlyerTalk is down this morning. Maybe the TSA had enough of them?

  • At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My concerns regarding TSA have nothing whatsoever to do with FlyerTalk or bringing a full tube of toothpaste on board.


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