Man forgets ammo in carry-on bag — turns himself in

It is becoming obvious that the TSA isn’t asking for new technology because of smart terrorists — they need all these new machines because they are incapable of doing their job.

A passenger boarded a plane at Milwaukee General Mitchell airport, but realized he had left some shotgun shells in his bag. Being a good citizen, he reported this to the flight attendant, who informed the pilot.

The plane then returned to the gate so the passenger could turn the ammo into the local police. The man was re-screened, and allowed back on the plane.

After the failed terror attempt on Christmas day, one would expect TSA agents to be extra vigilant. The agency has been asking for more money to invest in full body scanners, and other detection equipment. But at the end of the day, even the most impressive piece of equipment in the world becomes another useless gadget when staffed by idiots.

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Video shows the cause of Newark Airport shutdown – a couple in love

On Sunday, thousands of passengers ended up stuck at Newark airport for several hours, forced to evacuate the terminal, go through security again, and wait for the many flight delays and disruptions that happened as a result.

Some passengers tried to make the best of the situation. Many probably expressed frustration with the TSA employee who allowed a mystery man to walk the wrong way through a security checkpoint. And others may have wondered who the man was who caused them to suffer through the ordeal.

Was he a terrorist checking out the security system? Was he a man who made an Innocent mistake? No, as the just-released video footage of the incident suggests, he was a just a guy in love, looking for a few more minutes with his sweetheart. On the video below, you can see him hanging out by the security desk. He’s asked to move and does so, but when the guard leaves his post just a few seconds later, the guy takes that opportunity to duck under the rope and join his lady friend.

Ah, love. Cute, right? No. Not even a little. As a result of this guy breaking the law, and of the TSA employee’s failure to do his job, thousands of people were needlessly evacuated from the terminal. Time and money were wasted. And a few hundred people probably missed important connections or meetings, or at least had their vacation get off to a really bad start.

This guy wasn’t a terrorist (just an idiot), but the next person who tries and succeeds in getting past security could be. More than just frustrating travelers going through Newark on Sunday, the incident exposed just how insufficient TSA security is. What good are X-ray scanners and full-body pat-downs when a guy can simply breeze past an empty guard desk? It looks like our biggest threat to security may not be underpants bombs, but rather the lax attitudes of some employees within the TSA.

The TSA employee has been placed on administrative leave. The man who slipped past security has not been identified.


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DOH! – TSA takes Play-Doh from child at airport checkpoint

We live in a very scary world – a world where anything and everything could be a bomb. At least in the eyes of the folks manning the airport security checkpoint.

When young Josh and Nathan Pitney tried to take their Christmas gift of Play-Doh past the checkpoint., an overzealous agent confiscated it. Of course, as is often the case with the TSA, Play-Doh is not on the list of prohibited items, though agents can use “their own discretion”.

Never mind that we taxpayers invested millions on explosive detection equipment, this agent was too damn lazy to test the compound, and decided it would be easier to annoy two young children. Running Play-Doh through the explosives detector would have taken under a minute.

TSA to extend and expand random security measures

The “special security directives” put in place by the TSA after the attempted bombing of a Northwest Flight last week expired last night (yes, the same directives that got several bloggers in hot water with the feds).

To keep our skies safe, the TSA extended the directives into Wednesday, and will be issuing new directives later this evening.

What this means to us travelers is that we are in for a new batch of random security measures, and that we’ll once again be left in the dark as to what those measures are (unless someone has the balls to leak them again).

The measures are put in place to allow airlines to implement rules and regulations that may prevent terrorists from trying to assemble or ignite another bomb. The first batch of measures was downright pathetic – some airlines turned off the inflight entertainment system, as a way to prevent terrorists from knowing where the plane was heading. This obviously only works if terrorists have not yet discovered the wonders of the wrist watch. Other parts of the directive allow for the full pat down of all passengers boarding planes bound for the United States.

It will probably take several weeks till everyone settles down, and the TSA tweaks the new rules enough that they find the right balance between real security, and the illusion of security. Until then, get to the airport on time, and be prepared for new security measures to pop up.

Man demands half a million Dollars for airport checkpoint foot injury

The shoe carnival that is the “airport checkpoint” has long been one of my biggest annoyances. Apparently I’m not alone, because a Cooper City, FL man is taking the TSA to court over a foot injury he suffered after stepping on a piece of glass at the checkpoint.

In his case, he blames the TSA for failing to make sure the floor at the checkpoint was sufficiently cleaned. Apparently the injury was severe enough to send the man to hospital, and miss out on an extended period of work.

His wife is also part of the lawsuit, claiming an additional $100,000 for the loss of “service, society, consortium and companionship of her spouse”. That is probably lawyer speak for “couldn’t have sex”.

It’ll be interesting to see how the lawsuit proceeds, or whether the TSA just avoids the embarrassment of having to tell a jury why they demand people remove their shoes, without making sure the floor has been kept clean.

Half a million is a lot for a foot injury, but publicity and costs like this are apparently what it takes to get the government to make sure the traveling public is kept safe.