Wednesday Forum

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TSA

Joey Jones  @Johnny_Joey  previously served in the US Marine Corps in Afghanistan as a bomb technician, surviving two combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He lost both of his legs as a result of a bomb detonation while fighting in Afghanistan. He is a commenter on Fox News. He posted this experience on X (formerly Twitter):

I was going through the @ATLairport pre-check this morning.

I wear loose-fitting shorts whenever I fly to pull them up and expose my entire prosthesis on each side. After being scanned, I did just that. The agent hesitated, then began to pat me down. He was incredibly respectful. I asked, “This is not a criticism or complaint, just a question… if I show you my entire leg, do you still have to pat them down?”

He said, “Unfortunately, yes”.

Then I smiled and said… “Do you know why?” He laughed, but before he could get “no” out, a “supervisor” chimed in and said, “He’s supposed to take you to a private room,” to which I replied, “Nah, I’m good here.”

Wearing two masks, she got defensive, “No, that’s the right way to do it!”

I said, “Well, I’ve flown more than a million miles through a hundred airports and never been to a private room.”

Of course, she had to clap back, “Well, they’re doing it wrong.” So I asked, “Is the TSA that bad at following policy?” She was noticeably bothered and began walking away while still talking, saying, “I’m a supervisor, and he’s doing it the wrong way,” to which I responded, “The common sense way?”. The agent actually working and screening me could barely keep it together and not laugh.

This is on the heels of an agent in West Palm Beach using a hand metal detector on me a few days ago where he’d hold it to a spot on my leg, then pat it. Over and over again. Folks, these people are trained to do an activity. They have no idea why; they aren’t taught how these techniques are supposed to detect bad things, they have no understanding of the mechanism they’re using, and if you ask simple questions, they get beyond defensive.

The TSA does very little to keep you safe; as a bomb tech, I could circumvent all of their detection measures pretty easily, but what they do is keep you comfortable with a government that trains its agents to intimidate you and harass you. If you’re mad at government authoritarianism after COVID, you’re (at least) 20+ years late.

__________

I had a separate but similar experience. Flying armed, presenting credentials and documentation that allowed me to do so, a TSA diversity hire wanted to pat me down for weapons. I showed my holstered Glock 21 with two spare magazines. “I’m carrying a .45 with fifty rounds of ammunition.”

TSA: “I still need to pat you down for weapons.”

“Are you asking if I am carrying an additional backup weapon? The answer is that I am, and I’m authorized to carry that on the airplane, too.”

TSA: “I need to pat you down for weapons.”

A uniformed Chicago Police Officer also at the checkpoint, shaking his head, speaks to TSA: “Let him through, you f-ing moron.”

TSA: “But I need to pat him down for weapons.”

Chicago PD comments on the TSA diversity hire – “He has the IQ of a wet rag.”

TSA means Thousands Standing Around

*** ** ***

Bullet Points:

** If Africa had more mosquito nets, we could save millions of mosquitoes from dying of AIDS.

** The single most pervasive characteristic of the woke is projection.

** CDRSAL is wargaming the PRC’s invasion of sovereign Taiwan (Nationalist China)

** SECDEF Austin, who some believe to be a diversity hire despite his Army career, returned after having his part fixed at Walter Reed Army Hospital. We all breathe a collective sigh of relief and feel safe.

** LaLiv Labs discusses the behavior of iron under extreme circumstances – interesting read. “Earth’s core consists primarily of solid iron with some lighter elemental impurities, surrounded by a layer of mostly liquid iron. As the Earth cools, the core grows over time through recrystallization at the liquid-solid boundary between the outer and inner core. The process of recrystallization releases heat, which contributes to the convection currents in the outer fluid core. This convective flow of liquid iron has long been thought to power the Earth’s geodynamo — the process responsible for generating the Earth’s magnetic field.”

** Experimental results confirm that the photon’s polarization, or axis of spin, remains in superposition until observed, challenging the notion of an objective reality.

** Jules weighs in on Wednesday’s topics in Old Blighty.

Jules recommends the series Slow Horses. I’m in the middle of 3 months free on Apple TV, so I gave it a go. I’m only on S1 E1, but so far, so good.

Slough House is an administrative purgatory for MI5 service rejects who have bungled their job but have not been sacked. Those consigned there are known as “slow horses”. They are expected to endure dull, paper-pushing tasks, along with occasional mental abuse from their miserable boss, Jackson Lamb (Gary Oldham), who expects them to quit out of boredom or frustration. Life in Slough House is defined by drudgery. Yet the Slow Horses somehow get involved in investigating schemes endangering Britain.

** (h/t Claudio) The People’s Liberation Army’s Navy continued its massive construction projects in 2023, including the expansion of its naval platforms. They have a massive war fleet. Can they fight? That has yet to be tested, but why build a navy like that unless you plan to fight?

** Bribing Kari? Listen to the clip — how it’s done. Kari mentions that she doesn’t want to meet Hillary’s sanction crew or cartel-funded cowboys from south of the border.

 

Consolidating territorial gains in Gaza

The IDF has made minor expansions to their areas of operations in Khan Yunis, though expansion is slower than in previous weeks. Although combat operations have reduced in the north, satellite imagery confirms that the IDF remains present and active in the area.

Speculation runs that the operational tempo has slowed to ensure that the underground complexes are either degraded completely or are buried in such a way to render them ineffective and catacombs for the Philistines.

 

Where do you Belong? (80’s revisited)

 

Identify the Tank/Tank Destroyer

1

2

 

Identify the Aircraft

3

4

5

 

Parting Shot

Today’s parting shot arrives over the transom from PaulM.

38 thoughts on “Wednesday Forum

  1. Identify the Tank/Tank Destroyer:
    1. M551 Sheridan
    2. Marder III

    Identify the Aircraft:
    3. Vickers Wellesley
    4. Zveno project Tupolev TB-3 carrying Polikarpov I-5
    5. RFB X-114

  2. LL

    I’ve had similar experiences with airport security in Australia and with the TSA in LA.

    I was wearing an all airports security badge while being escorted by the Border Force duty officer and duty NCO at an international airport in Australia to look at the electronic lock on one of the most secure areas there is. Security is supposed to check my tool bag and record details. I have a printed, laminated sheet with spare copies so I can just say here and keep a copy. Mr diversity hire guard starts writing it down anyway then counting individual screws and cable ties etc. NCO came over and politely (public area) said stop wasting our time, look at the prepared list, keep a copy etc.

    The security pass (highest level for Australian airports) should have been enough to be waved through but there are special people everywhere.

    Had a similar experience to the bomb tech several times as I have one stainless steel knee. Similarly I also wear shorts or loose pants where I can and tell them I have metal inside me. At a federal prison, a blonde female grabbed some scissors before her boss I had meet plenty of times said you do realise it’s the knee he told you about your scanning. I actually think she had ideas of opening up my operation scar or equal stupidity.

    TSA I might tell another time but just as dumb.

  3. Gentlemen, horrible as your TSA experiences are, those are the conscientious ones that (apparently) were trying to do their jobs. (I know, this makes it worse, not better. I’d rather have no “security” rather than the pretense of security.) Think of all the ones that are as stupid or stupider, but too lazy to try (not the worst thing, actually) or actively malicious. And we won’t even get into the rapists and perverts at TSA. And by the way, I call bullshit on the lead photo. Out of that many, you’d expect at least one morbidly obese porker. There IS Androgynous Thing on the far right (hah! there’s irony for you) with the ridiculous hair, but I expect a porker. “Where’s my porker? There was supposed to be a chair-shattering porker!”

    Projection. Yes, certain kinds of people, who tend to be leftists, are about projection. Always with the projection. But it’s less an inherently political position than a personality type. The (defective) personality is the cause of both the projection AND the political stance. What causes the defective personality? It might be genetic, but I’m putting the bulk of my money on cultural factors*. Also, it was a very “safe” article that Godwin’d itself on the first screen. Hitler and Rwandan genocide? Who could possibly defend those? Gosh, projection is bad! No shit, Jack. Would have been much more valuable to give examples of how our cultural “elite” engages in projection. (And of course reversing victim and offender. Always with the DARVO.)

    * I once read something to the effect of “the Order meditated exclusively on Christ’s suffering. But they took the wrong lesson from it. Instead, their minds became full of torture and cruelty.” I’m not qualified to argue the philosophy or theology of this, but it seems to play out in the real world. Those who daily recite to themselves the list of all the wrongs done unto them (claimed to have been done; onto them or people “who look like them” or their supposed kin, distant in both space and time) are like misers counting and crowing over not gold, but anti-treasures that poison their souls. Like Gollum, but instead of the One Ring, their treasure is their (claimed) victimhood. By “claimed” I don’t imply these are individual cases of willful fraud. It’s genuine belief. But that almost makes it worse and not better.

    1. Yes, there are always plus-sized TSA people (ample may be a more correct term) but they use the same philosophy as other government agencies I’ve interacted with. You don’t want anyone ambitious or clever enough to take YOUR job.

    2. “Nurture” or “Nature”, the age old question. I do have to agree that my experience tends to support your idea of “cultural factors” i.e. nurture. Not that I fly a bunch but it seems as if when I fly out of conservative areas the TSA seem much more reasonable. I will say that I will never fly out of SeaTac again. I’m 3 for 3 for getting pulled aside for additional screening by some hijab wearing TSA agent despite being TSA Pre and, at the time an ID carrying government civilian.

  4. TSA- Joey Jones’, yours, and Mike_C’s “observations” are the norm when the lowest common denominator hires are foisted upon the public (DMV, Post Office…), I’ll add two from MrsPaulM’s million mile flyer solely on United:

    1) Giving a veterinary talk in Stockton, (yeah, that bastion of crime, call the Police Station and they put you on hold). She was helping the sales guy carry in the snacks and gear, parked right out front, left her briefcase in the back seat footwell for literally two minutes, came out…yup, smash and grab. She had nothing, purse,,phone, ID …all in there. Gone. (I tracked the reprobates – guess the race – and Pfizer tracked the laptop via software. Cops did nothing). Gies to the airport to get home, she was Pre-Check. TSA put her thru 4 hours of “little room” interrogation just to get on a flight home because she didn’t have an ID (I had emailed a copy of her DL)… they had to make sure she was who she was despite documentation and blond hair indicating she wasn’t a Middle Eastern 19 year old terrorist. Unreal..

    2) She broke her arm, has a titanium plate in her wrist. Again, Pre-Check. Mentioned this to TSA, who then moved her from Pre line to some other super long scanner line “with the wheel chair and cane folks”…10 minutes of bravo sierra, demanded “a doctors note”, wanded her relentlessly…all to make sure the plate and screws were legit. I’m standing there getting seriously frosted once I realized “agents” were not allowed to use common sense because they weren’t the sparest knife in the drawer.

    Austin, Mr. Double Masker & Face Shield Covid Panicker… Will he wear a Sporran to protect the now sensitive tackle? Yeah, the guy did a virtual “I’m okay folksy” chat to let everyone know he’s alive (some thought he was dead, but the virtual aspect could be AI generated). Just another DEI/DIE hire putz.

    I’d add that the two creatures are not only more believable than Squinty-Eyed Joe, but they are seen more often that him…in fact, we’re not even sure the man is actually him when released from his basement to make an appearance.

    1. Ps. Kari Lake should sue this corrupt clown for all he’s worth…but pretty sure the Lefty judge would say she “has no standing” because she didn’t actually take the bribe, ala Rittenhouse when the moron prosecutor said – in open court no less – that he couldn’t claim self defense because he had to let the paroled reprobate scumbag shoot him first!

  5. Contract military cargo flight from a joint use east coast airport to the sandbox with classified cargo and armed courier with everyone having to use the TSA line to get to the plane. Not me.

    The captain and crew dumped their goods on the conveyor belt and went through the shake down. The armed courier identified himself to the police standing by the TSA checkpoint, handed his pistol and belt to a cop and then followed the crew. TSA found a metal fingernail file in his bags and started lecturing the courier as to how that metal fingernail file was a weapon and would have to be confiscated. While the lecture was in progress, the cop handed the pistol and belt back.

    The captain started laughing and exclaimed that nefarious activity is easier with a pistol than a nail file. Of course that brought out more laughter from everyone watching the show. The result was that they eventually got to their plane and the rest of us got the memo: Don’t laugh at TSA. They don’t like it.

    1. I went to the range in the morning for the last day to qualify for blues and had to make a flight. I wiped down the handgun but didn’t wash my hands, and they swabbed me randomly at the airport, and the alarm went off. I said, “I’m flying armed and just went to the range.”

      Yes, we know that, but are you carrying a bomb?

      “No”

      Have you handled a bomb?

      “I’m boarding with a .45 and 50 rounds of ammo and you’re cool with that?”

      They were — but do I have a bomb? I missed the flight because they had to check my carry-on luggage for the eighth time, looking for a bomb. Finally, I got the DEA guy at the airport on the phone, and he walked over (about a mile walk) and told them to leave me alone and let me get on the next flight in two hours.

      1. Flew out of DTW once after a couple hours a the range. Scherie and I both reeked of gunpowder.
        No problem at all. Surprising.
        Checked my baggage with our guns inside and declared them.
        TSA opened the bag, opened the locked gun cases, asked me to remove the empty magazine from my gun, hers is a revolver. I dropped the mag, racked the slide to hand it back and a bullet ejects up in the air. We both followed its trajectory up and then down.
        He then calls the counter woman who took our bags ands asks if this lady asked me if I had cleared my weapon. I said no. She got upset, and I said, “You asked me if it was empty. I obviously thought it was.” He deliberates at his station for 5 minutes, then comes back and says we can go, warning us that he considered calling the sheriff.
        Flying back from Jax, they never looked in the bag. Tagged it and loaded it.
        Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, not the TSA.

    2. In the first year of TSA they were all excited about the little swing-out files on nail clippers. A surgeon of my (vague) acquaintance had clippers in her bag. The boys in white (back then) fished them out of her bag. “Oh, the file is a problem? Just take the clippers,” said the surgeon.
      “We are not thieves, ma’am!” the affronted TSA man replied. Using bolt cutters (which he had for some damn reason) TSA man cut off the file. This left a little stump that was exceedingly sharp. The surgeon said, “Really? NOW this is dangerous. I could take out your appendix with this! Just throw it away. It cost 99 cents at Meijers for goodness sake.” The appendix remark got her taken into a back room and sweated for “threatening a federal agent.” Needless to say, she missed her flight. This was DTW.

      The other hilarious thing (for values of hilarious) was that DTW fired a number of long-term security-checkpoint people because they were not citizens, but rather mere green card holders. Security risk, you see. Those dastardly green card-holders were replaced by hijab-wearing young Arabic women from nearby Dearborn.

      Sigh.

  6. TSA. A friend, Charles Sampson, was a professional bull rider and is held together with all sorts of metal and screws. His adventures going through security are nearly as lengthy as his bull riding career.
    One benefit of being retired is not having to fly commercial. Three day drive each way? Better than twelve hours (if lucky) with the terminal experience and metal tube.

    Hamas tunnel system. In future years, maybe they can be repurposed as sewers?

    1. My mother, 88 years old at the time, takes a lot of vitamins. Vitamin-a-holic was trying to board the airplane at Ontario, CA to fly home to Redding, CA. I dropped her off at the curb. TSA held her up for vitamins. I had to intervene with the police office at the airport who checked it out and told TSA to pull its head out.

      To be fair, I used to test drone aircraft at Stead Airport (former AFB) north of Reno. I flew in and out for a year or so. TSA at Reno, a small airport, were universally professional and helpful. So they’re not all turds.

        1. The regional airports that don’t adjoin inner city areas seem to be run well with polite staff, including TSA. Some of those smaller satellite airports seem to have the same problems as the larger metro airports, and I think they may serve as dumping grounds for unwanted people. I don’t disagree with WSF, with that caveat.

          During the Covid years, everything was insane and smaller airports struggled to keep up with changing arbitrary regulations. We travelers were all put upon by the federal government and it’s unfair to throw rocks at the people (downhill) who struggled to implement the foolishness. That we would even contemplate returning to that time is insane…but some are.

        2. I’ll second (or third?) that. In the Boston area Manchester, NH (MHT) is better than PVD which is better than PVD. At least pre-Coof. I haven’t flown in or out of MHT or PVD in years. Similarly, Colorado Springs was MUCH better than Denver.

  7. re “LaLiv Labs discusses the behavior of iron under extreme circumstances”
    if I take a 1½” inch magnet (from a kid’s erector set) at room temperature, attach it at ¾” to the center to a spinning shaft, and measure the magnetic field produced (at a reasonable distance with iron filings), why do I need the higher tamperatures to produce the effects of recrystallization (or didn’t I read this correctly?)

  8. “This study challenges fundamental concepts in physics and raises questions about the existence of an objective reality.”
    So you might really have your own truth apart from my truth?

    1. I’m not the oracle. I throw spaghetti against the wall, and you have to decide whether or not it sticks.

      Once you get to Plank length, the nature of physics seems to change. Thus, quantum mechanics is needed to explain things – and science is still learning. Truth is truth. And sometimes (see Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle), the question of “where did the electron go – oh, it’s back” remains mysterious.

    2. Experimental results confirm that the photon’s polarization, or axis of spin, remains in superposition until observed, challenging the notion of an objective reality.

      There’s an excellent rant in disagreement from physicist E.T. Jaynes found at https://bayes.wustl.edu/etj/articles/random.pdf starting at pdf page 7 heading “BUT WHAT ABOUT QUANTUM THEORY?”

  9. TSA, one more thing to than Palestineans for. Anyone remember the PLO? My story only involves sand from Siesta Key beach. Had to get it swipped down to make sure it wasn’t coke. While the guy was running the test I asked how many times they tested sand tourists were taking back up North. Four or five times a day he replied. Ten minutes of busywork, plus he had papers(!) to fill out. (job security). That was at least better than my co-worker a few weeks later. They had a double ziplock full in their checked luggage. Word to the wise, sugar sand gets everywhere in a suitcase. She did get a nice “inspected by TSA” paper for her troubles.

  10. “I was going through the @ATLairport”

    The ATL airport is a big, fat nope on the hail no train to no-freaking-way-ville as far as I’m concerned. There is filth in that place that a commercial hog farm could not duplicate. And it’s dirty too.

  11. Oh, I have TSA stories… sigh… Worst one- Classified courier, WITH all documentation, in uniform. TSA idjit was going to open the classified material. I told the cop at security to get the FBI agent on site there ASAP, as we were about to have a major security violation. He physically took the package and held it until the Fibbie showed up and he literally turned white when he was told what was going down. And yes, I missed the @#!$#% flight!

  12. Don’t know if it is still the case but, the last couple of times I went in and out through San Francisco, albeit a few years ago, they didn’t have TSA there. They employed a private company to do the job. Smart, polite, and efficient. No inner city people or hijab wearers. Through in no time, both in and out, with no problems.

  13. Jackson MS ,,,Evers airport security , seeing my granddaughter off to Africa. I made mistake of bringing my pocket knife really small 2 inch blade . A young black man was feeling up everybody , and I showed him the knife . I told him it was my grandfathers , was there anything he could do. He said see me when u come out , and dropped in his pocket. Saw my grandaughter off ,the last time for a year . He walked up to me as I left and handed me my grandfathers pocket knife .

  14. Your TSA employees always seemed like a miserable bunch of reprobates to me. Never mind knives or ammo, you want to try smuggling Marmite across states. That completely throws them.

  15. I have flown in and out of a lot of airports. The TSA at Hartsfield are some of the dumbest in the nation and they demand you respect their authority.

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