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Friday, July 02, 2010
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I have long allowed off topic comments. However, after many complaints from folks who would understandably like to stay on the subject, I am providing this post as a place to comment things that are way off topic with the current post.

I’ve added a link to this post on our sidebar so people will know to post off topic comments here.

You now have the option of subscribing to posts, so you’ll be able to keep up with the comments here if you so choose. So it’s not as if your comment is being exiled to the land of forgotten comments. We’ll be paying attention, and you can stay up to date with an RSS feed.

As much as we’d like to hear about your synchronized swimming club, I ask that all comments posted here remain TSA focused and adhere to TSA’s comment policy.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Is it off topic to ask for the name and contact information of your supervisor, to complain about this and your many other unprofessional behaviors?

Submitted by Randy on

First?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"So it’s not as if your comment is being exiled to the land of forgotten comments. We’ll be paying attention,"

ROTFLMAO! You owe me a new keyboard!!!

So when are you going to comment on the 6 year old on the NFL and the horrendous treatment of amputees by the TSA?

Are you paying attention?

Submitted by Marshall's SO on

TSA must really be feeling heat about all the unanswered questions. That could be the only possible reason for this change.

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

You can subscribe to comments here: http://tinyurl.com/2d23ovy

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Is this your plan to avoid addressing Nature's evisceration of the BDO boondoggle? It won't work.

Submitted by Thomas on

TSA was terrific in finding and returning my lost passport. The main phone # put me in direct contact with Detroit TSA lost & Found. Officer Tanisha had the passport and told me exactly how to arrange its return. She is polite, professional and competent. Hurray for Officer Tanisha and TSA Detroit. Thomas W. Stoever

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

@Anonymous - The last I checked, the issue with the 6 year old was resolved. As far as the amputee mommy post, I'm currently looking into it. It would be easier to investigate if I knew which airport the alleged incident happened at.

@Marshall's SO - Not the case at all. I posted the exact reason why I'm doing this in my blog post.

@Anonymous - I'm not avoiding the Nature article. I have several e-mails out to subject matter experts. I can't promise a blog post out of it, but I'm not ignoring it.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

@Thomas - Thanks for letting me know. I'll forward your comment to Tanisha's airport.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thank you for doing this.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob said:

"The last I checked, the issue with the 6 year old was resolved."

So were/are children on the NFL, in contradiction to TSA assurances or are there problems with Secure Flight?

"As far as the amputee mommy post, I'm currently looking into it. It would be easier to investigate if I knew which airport the alleged incident happened at."

Ever think to ask the person involved? She has a blog and a website for god's sake. Apparently you aren't paying attention.

" I can't promise a blog post out of it, but I'm not ignoring it. "

Classic.... "I'm not ignoring it now, but I may later"

Submitted by RB on

Since TSA engages in the illegal censorship of political speech even when on topic it is little wonder that an effort is being made to hide comments not supporting TSA.

Why not let the dialog take the discussion where it needs to go?

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

@Anon - I'm checking to make sure we haven't already reached out to her or she hasn't already reached out to us. If somebody is already handling this, I don't need to step in the middle of it. Thanks for your concern.

@Bubba - I read your comment at FT. It doesn't matter if you posted as Bubba or Anon. I would have answered you the same either way.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob said:
"I'm checking to make sure we haven't already reached out to her or she hasn't already reached out to us."

Her blog says TSA has been informed. If you were paying attention you would know that.

"If somebody is already handling this, I don't need to step in the middle of it. "

Based on when the situation occurred, the fact TSA hasn't taken action already is disgusting.

But go ahead and wait longer to see if someone else will "step in"
That is how problems get solved, by waiting.(sarcasm)

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

Anon, your sarcasm is noted and yes, I did see that she had contacted somebody. Hence the reason for me checking in to see who that contact might be.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Hence the reason for me checking in to see who that contact might be. "

And how are you doing that? Have you contacted her? No, that would be the logical thing to do. What would be wrong with you reaching out to her to find out who she talked to and then trying to expedite the process? Based on her blog posts she isn't expecting the TSA to do anything. Why don't you prove to her that someone at the TSA actually is paying attention.

The situation is disgusting and TSA needs to step and take action.

Submitted by Flight_medic on

Bob

care to comment?

TSA employee in jail for theft of schedule II narcotics.



Professional, Highly Trained???? I dont think so.

Again Bob after repeated incidents like this why should i trust TSA at all or ever?? or is this another case, that is "isolated" and doesnt reflect on the " xxK other employees".

that line of side stepping responsibility doesnt work because this seems to be a reoccurring basis. And TSA employees wonder why i ask for a LEO if my bag with my medications gets checked, its examples like this and having stopped a attempted palming of meds more then once.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, this post should be pinned, permanently, as the second story on the front page at all times. Otherwise, your unstated goal here is clear -- push all the off-topic posts to somewhere they'll be unseen and easily ignored.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Why don't you prove to her that someone at the TSA actually is paying attention."



Then Blogger Bob posts:

"Have a great weekend! See you on Tuesday!

Blogger Bob"

Another fine example of a professionalism......
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

This just feels like an effort to push criticism to lesser viewed parts of the blog.

Submitted by Bubba on

@Anonymous - I'm not avoiding the Nature article. I have several e-mails out to subject matter experts. I can't promise a blog post out of it, but I'm not ignoring it.

@Bubba - I read your comment at FT. It doesn't matter if you posted as Bubba or Anon. I would have answered you the same either way.

___________________________________

Let me start by saying I posted only as Bubba. If you are getting other posts from an Anon, it is because there is more than one person around who won't let you forget that Nature article.

It's hard to accept your statement that you are not ignoring it when it has been over a moth since it was printed, and this is the first time you mention it since then.

A blog post would be WAY TOO LITTLE as an answer to that Nature article. The TSA itself should have a full statement on this point. They should have submitted this to the journal, in fact. We are, after all, talking about the most respected scientific journal in the World. But no, keeping your lips shut and hoping the dirty laundry will clean itself is a strategy much more fitting of your organization.

As for the statement directed to me above, I don't understand what you are alluding to. I am referring to "artfully disguising" my post as a "see something, say something" post, not to posting as anonymous.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Another fine example of a professionalism......"

You can't win with these people Bob. You should turn into the monster they make you out to be and delete all of their posts.

Submitted by RB on

Blogger Bob said...
@Anonymous - The last I checked, the issue with the 6 year old was resolved. As far as the amputee mommy post, I'm currently looking into it. It would be easier to investigate if I knew which airport the alleged incident happened at.


....................
Bob, you have stated any number of times that NO children are on the NO FLY LIST so why would anything need fixing?

Are you going to retract the NO Children on the NFL statements and admit that DHS has place defenseless children on these list?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I'm not avoiding the Nature article. I have several e-mails out to subject matter experts. I can't promise a blog post out of it, but I'm not ignoring it."

-----------------------------------------
Two points:
1) I would hope that the "subject matter experts" include independent scientists who have not directly profited from the sale of SPOT training to the TSA. I don't expect that this is the case, but I'll hold out hope.

2) Why are you still waiting for the information that you need to offer a simple justification for the existence of a program that you've boasted about repeatedly in the past? Do you really have no evidence on hand besides your conviction that used-car salesmen can't pull one over on you? This article was published over a month ago. Stop waiting for answers and get them.

3) Why did you promptly pass along Thomas's post praising a TSA employee who treated him with basic human decency while completely ignoring the comment I posted regarding the agent at Logan who was doing literally nothing besides shouting something along the lines of "DISPOSE OF ALL BEVERAGES OR WE WILL DISPOSE OF THEM FOR YOU!"? Would it be so hard to let a supervisor at Logan know that it might be a good idea to issue a reminder about appropriate behavior and demeanor at the checkpoint?

Submitted by Anonymous on
RB said...
Bob, you have stated any number of times that NO children are on the NO FLY LIST so why would anything need fixing?
Are you going to retract the NO Children on the NFL statements and admit that DHS has place defenseless children on these list?

I'm not Bob, and I hate the TSA with the blinding passion of 1000 suns, but, This Has Been Answered. The Q&D version:
The NFL contains names of suspected terrorists. That's it, names. Since names are not unique, some non-terrorists may share their name with a terrorist, and that name might be on the list. That does not mean the non-terrorist is "on the list", just that they share a name with the terrorist who is on the list. In some cases, these non-terrorists are children. The TSA has a policy in place that says the airline can use their common sense when the traveller with a NFL name is a child.
Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
RB said...
Bob, you have stated any number of times that NO children are on the NO FLY LIST so why would anything need fixing?
Are you going to retract the NO Children on the NFL statements and admit that DHS has place defenseless children on these list?

I'm not Bob, and I hate the TSA with the blinding passion of 1000 suns, but, This Has Been Answered. The Q&D version:
The NFL contains names of suspected terrorists. That's it, names. Since names are not unique, some non-terrorists may share their name with a terrorist, and that name might be on the list. That does not mean the non-terrorist is "on the list", just that they share a name with the terrorist who is on the list. In some cases, these non-terrorists are children. The TSA has a policy in place that says the airline can use their common sense when the traveller with a NFL name is a child.

July 3, 2010 8:44 AM
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
If what you say is true then why did it take intervention by a member of Congress to get this child off a watch list?

The NFL and other watch lists is a broken process.

No one should be deprived of liberty without due process.

Doing otherwise is un-American.

Submitted by TSORon on

RB Asked…
If what you say is true then why did it take intervention by a member of Congress to get this child off a watch list?

The NFL and other watch lists is a broken process.

No one should be deprived of liberty without due process.

Doing otherwise is un-American.
-----------------------------------
Well RB, since the child was never on the list it just makes sense to contact a member of congress. After all they are the one’s that should be consulted if you don’t want anything done. Congress is certainly the subject matter experts on that.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSORon said:

"since the child was never on the list"

So you are saying Secure Flight failed in this instance?

Something went wrong, and the DHS said a mistake was made.

Submitted by Ana C on

QUESTION: I'm looking to travel with a personal and business laptop. Does it matter, or will traveling with two laptops seem "suspicious"? Thanks

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

Ana,

Two laptops are just fine.

Thanks!

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by RB on

In TSA's efforts to keep important discussion hidden from the public will TSA finally answer some of the hundreds of questions that have been asked?

How about a list of rules that passengers must comply with to successfully make it through a TSA Checkpoint?

Or how about what happens if a person just doesn't want to show and identity document they have in their wallet?

How about a biggie; why are all of those dangerous liquids confiscated by TSA at checkpoints just tossed into common garbage as if they were not potentially dangerous?

Start on those and will get our list together for some others.

Submitted by RB on

TSORon said...
RB Asked…
If what you say is true then why did it take intervention by a member of Congress to get this child off a watch list?

The NFL and other watch lists is a broken process.

No one should be deprived of liberty without due process.

Doing otherwise is un-American.
-----------------------------------
Well RB, since the child was never on the list it just makes sense to contact a member of congress. After all they are the one’s that should be consulted if you don’t want anything done. Congress is certainly the subject matter experts on that.

July 3, 2010 11:24 AM
......................
The why was the childs travel plans interrupted Mr. Security Expert TSORon?

Submitted by Chris Boyce on

The Minister of Information declared: "As much as we’d like to hear about your synchronized swimming club, I ask that all comments posted here remain TSA focused and adhere to TSA’s comment policy."

First of all, it's not about "your synchronized swimming club."

I can only assume that unanswered questions such as:

1. Actual, unaltered body scanner images;
2. Questions about reporters being placed on the no-fly-list after publishing anti-TSA articles;
3. Amputees being forced to remove their artificial limbs;
4. Screeners stealing from passengers;
5. Screeners taking guns to work;
6. Mission creep and allegations of illegal searches;
7. Peer-review science concluding that the SPOTNik program is useless;
8. Screeners demanding answers to interrogations about passengers' travel plans;
9. etc...

are not "TSA focused"????? I'd like you to state your definition of "TSA focused" in plain English so the American People understand how Administrator Pistole will implement censorship on this blog.

By the way, is my post "TSA focused"???

Submitted by Phil on

Bob, what's the status of the project Paul at TSA started in November, 2008, to pull together a list of rules you require people to follow at your checkpoints? On November 12, 2008, in the "Family/Special Needs Lanes Coming to All Airports in Time for Thanksgiving Travel" post, Paul at TSA wrote, "Still working on the comprehensive list of regulations both definite and situational." Despite repeated requests for an update on his progress, we've heard nothing more about it.

-- 
Phil
Showing ID only affects honest people.
What if the people with the power to secretly put your name on a "no-fly" list didn't like the reason for which you want to fly?

Submitted by TSORon on

RB Asked...
The why was the childs travel plans interrupted Mr. Security Expert TSORon?
----------------------------------
Because another individual out there has the same name she does, and that person's name is on the list.

Its a pretty simple concept RB.

Submitted by RB on

TSORon said...
RB Asked...
The why was the childs travel plans interrupted Mr. Security Expert TSORon?
----------------------------------
Because another individual out there has the same name she does, and that person's name is on the list.

Its a pretty simple concept RB.

July 5, 2010 10:42 PM
....................

So the end result for the child is exactly the same for her, she is considered to be on the NFL.

Such a simple concept you seem unable to grasp.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSORon said:

"Because another individual out there has the same name she does, and that person's name is on the list."

So Secure Flight failed and the information recently provided about Secure Flight by Bob and the TSA cannot be trusted to be accurate.

Its a pretty simple concept.

Submitted by Anonymous on

In the true essence of being off topic, I would like to just bring up an issue I have had with the TSA. I applied for a TSO position in Mobile, AL a year or so ago and was rejected solely on the fact that I am diabetic. I passed every other portion of the interview process, all the test, the background check, even the physical. The TSA requires an A1C of 7.0 at the time mine was a 7.2, due to the fact that I was not working and was not able to eat properly. I am really lost as to why a .gov can discriminate against me for being diabetic.

Submitted by Anonymous on

More on the Amputee situation:

https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ATTrMgzHq7TuZGN3MmI0OGJfMGZxaDlzc3o5&...

The Amputee Coalition of America survey found:

• TSA agents are often confused about how to manage screening prosthetic arms and legs.

• Amputees are often denied the ability to have their caregivers accompany them into screening rooms.

• Amputees report being screened by TSA agents not of the same gender.

• 75 percent of respondents said they were unsatisfied with their most recent TSA experience.

• 50 percent said they were required to lift or raise their clothing during a procedure called “explosive trace sampling” with no explanation given by TSA personnel.

• More than half of the amputees who responded indicated TSA personnel exhibited a lack of training relative to disability populations – namely, amputees.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob said:
"I’ve added a link to this post on our sidebar so people will know to post off topic comments here. "

And when you click on that link, you are taken to a page that shows the comments, but does not allow you to add a new comment.

Submitted by 8675309 on

Thank god they've finally done something to keep the posts more on topic. I'm glad all the lunatic rants are being segregated here where they can be more easily ignored (or read) by those who choose to without seeing the same (answered) questions posted over and over again.

Submitted by Anonymous on

8675309 said...
Thank god they've finally done something to keep the posts more on topic. I'm glad all the lunatic rants are being segregated here where they can be more easily ignored (or read) by those who choose to without seeing the same (answered) questions posted over and over again.

July 6, 2010 2:37 PM
=========================

If repeatedly stated, reasonable questions have been answered, then it should be no problem for you to refer me to the post where Bob provided the name and contact information of his immediate supervisor. I mean, seriously, have you EVER been involved in a customer service situation where this information has not been provided upon request? I know I haven't, and I've had some pretty miserable customer service in my time. Not once has an employee refused to identify their supervisor.

Also, perhaps you could explain how the TSA is responding to the claims made IN THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL IN THE WORLD (!!!!!) that SPOT, a program they have spent enormous money on and about which they've boasted more than once, has no scientific basis. I'm not asking you to convince me that the program is a effective, but merely to point me in the direction of TSA's response, since these questions have, according to your post, all been answered.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Andrew said...
This is a neat idea ! Congratulations. I just want to say that it is a sad world where people just want to kill people for the sake of it. Who would ever have thought when aeroplanes were first invented that they would be used as weapons with innocent passengers sitting in them. Very sad. Who would have thought that millions would need to be spent on full body scanners, shoe searches, baby bottle searches etc... etc... Am I the only one who thinks the planet is suffering from some sort of collective insanity ? I guess it's good news for the private jet industry but apart from that it just all seems so sad and unnecessary.

July 6, 2010 1:22 PM
-----------------------------------

1. There have always been disturbed people who "just want to kill people for the sake of it." However, these people rarely enter into the debate regarding terrorism/aviation security. While there's a great deal of debate with regard to the motives of recent perpetrators, no one who has been paying the slightest bit of attention over at least the last decade would describe it as "kill[ing] people for the sake of it."

2. "Who would have thought that millions would need to be spent on full body scanners, shoe searches, baby bottle searches etc... etc... "

People who know absolutely nothing about the basics of cost/benefit analysis.

3." Am I the only one who thinks the planet is suffering from some sort of collective insanity ?"

No.

Submitted by Kat on

Good enough. I'll post here. The TSA has signs at airports and announcements in airports about no amounts of liquids or gels over three ounces, when the actual, legal, authorized amount is 100 milliliters,or 3.4 ounces. The TSA, as stated on this blog, has no intention of correcting these signs which provide misinformation.

So, I asked before, and I'll ask again. What am I supposed to do when I show up at a TSA security check point with my food in LEGAL 3.4 ounce / 100 milliliter containers, and some ill-trained or officious TSO points to these incorrect signs and tells me I have to throw my food out?

Call the supervisor? Yes, and then what do I do when the supervisor points to those same signs and tells me to throw my food out?

Call the air port manager? Right, and when S/HE points to the signs and tells me to throw my food out?

My food is medically required. It cannot be replaced in the secure area.

I intend to follow the CORRECT INFORMATION AS POSTED on both this blog and the TSA web site.

But tell me, why do I have to print out half your web site and carry it with me, and jump through hoops because the TSA will not provide the correct information to the public and its own officers?

And, once again, how do I keep a TSO from endangering my health and endangering my freedom to travel because they don't know the rules and the TSA won't post the correct rules in the airports?

Submitted by Bubba on

8675309, please point me to where an answer to the extensive article posted in the top ranking scientific journal Nature regarding the SPOT program was posted within this blog, the TSA site, or any public correspondence whatsoever produced by this organization.

Submitted by Al Ames on

8675309, please tell us which questions were actually answered. Nonanswer answers don't count.

Al

Submitted by TSM, Been Here on

Quoted:
"Why did you promptly pass along Thomas's post praising a TSA employee who treated him with basic human decency while completely ignoring the comment I posted regarding the agent at Logan who was doing literally nothing besides shouting something along the lines of "DISPOSE OF ALL BEVERAGES OR WE WILL DISPOSE OF THEM FOR YOU!"? Would it be so hard to let a supervisor at Logan know that it might be a good idea to issue a reminder about appropriate behavior and demeanor at the checkpoint?"
-----------------------
Uh, maybe because that agent was actually DOING NOTHING WRONG!!! While I agree that we should strive to avoid yelling at passengers, I myself (as a Manager) will frequently stand at the front of the line and advise passengers (in an admittedly loud voice - to be heard) that they should remove all liquids from thier belongings and that anything over 3.4 oz must be declared or disposed of. And do you know what? I can gaurantee with absolute certainty (I have and do keep track) that at least 2 out of 7 passengers (usually more) will either have not removed thier "freedom baggie" from thier luggage or still have water / soda / large shampoos or other items in thier bag resulting in a bag check. We do not like the liquids ban either (we have to screen the bags remember) but we do enforce it.
These people have walked past 12 (actual count) signs, some as large as 36 x 48, detailing the liquids policy, have seen it in the newspapers, heard it on the radio / TV as well as the airport announcement system, ignored the posters on EACH airline counter, etc.
Believe it or not, when we don't make the verbal announcements on the line and hold up the baggies, we actually get almost double the number of bag checks.
So, sorry if you don't like the person at the front of the CP yelling. We don't like getiing hoarse and poking through filthy underwear while doing 3000 needless bag checks a day while passengers are yelling that they are going to miss thier flight.
Try opening your eyes and ears and following the rules and we won't have to yell!
Oh and by the way, while her choice of wording may not have been tactful, it's pretty accurate. If a passenger comes through with liquids over the limit and surrenders them, we will dispose of them for you!

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Try opening your eyes and ears and following the rules and we won't have to yell!"

So TSA is saying it is OK to yell at the "highly trained" TSO who don't know the rules

Submitted by Anonymous on

"These people have walked past (a heck of a LOT of signs and notices)"

We arrive at the airport and are bombarded with many, many, LOUD, (self)!!!IMPORTANT!!! messages!!!

We tune them out to keep out of overwhelm.

Why do you think shouting is necessary to get people's cooperation?

Could the document checker, or one of the many people who always seem to be standing around give a quiet, polite, non-imperative reminder?

Have you considered that yelling imperiously at people who have done nothing wrong creates an adversarial atmosphere instead of fostering cheerful cooperation?

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