Behold! The astonishing mental gymnastics of TSA apologists explaining why rich people don't need to be screened


Originally published at:


Because a millionaire would never commit a terrorist act like orchestrate the crash of an airplane or shoot up a defenseless crowd, obviously./s


This is the only one I know of -


I was going to ask here, “who the sam fucking hill supports the TSA anyway? I don’t know of any one left or right who sees it as anything but pointless”

Then I decided to duckduckgo that exact question and found:

Read it and weep, peeps.


As time advances, the experience of flying gets shittier and more expensive. What other industry allows their customers to be treated so poorly?


The TSA is just one of the ways we are conditioning people to accept that they don’t have enough money to not be treated like a criminal.


Spot on Cory. As someone who is a chemist, an engineer, and who flies a ton, as long as they allow the passenger to bring laptops, phones, or baggage on the plane and that person has some tech background TSA won’t stop the kaboom.


Ironically, the most successful terrorists in recent history (in the US anyways) were well-funded, well-dressed, well-mannered and well-educated.

And there’s plenty existential angst in upper-middle class White America. It’s probably never occurred to them to recruit there.


It’s simply consistent in a country where you can legally buy politicians, healthcare and legal protection that you can bypass security for money.

Late stage capitalism.


not gonna kid ya - i fly a lot for work - i did the Pre-Check and I paid for CLEAR

it STILL sucks. – it just sucks a little less. - every airport - every TSA exam - is a little different
sometimes shoes off, sometimes not - sometimes laptop out, sometimes not
and being a but spectrum-ish - with huge anxiety? every check in is an adventure

total theater - and the article points out the issue so clearly

We must DO SOMETHING - - “oops, we did the wrong thing, but now it’s a profitable institution”

we - are - screwed


Isn’t this just a natural extension of the creation of contrived awfulness in the experience of air travel so as to force everyone who possibly can to upgrade?


See, that’s why Paul Ryan is trying to bring private aviation into reach for everyone by allowing private jets to be written off for tax purposes.


To be fair, the TSA Global Pre-check is mostly paid for by employers who need to make sure their employees aren’t missing flights (more and more difficult, especially now that TSA recommends showing up THREE HOURS before your flight due to how slow security lines have gotten with employee attrition) and the pre-check process isn’t just shelling out some cash, it involves an in-person interview and a thorough background check.


a sizable fraction of Americans live in food poverty and precarious housing and will never fly, not even once in their lives

So right away you can be sure that a sizable fraction of Americans don’t care at all what happens at airports.

I think where you lose me is saying the programs are for the rich. I did PreCheck and I think it was $75 for 5 years. That’s about what it costs for two people to eat at Sbarro in the terminal before their flight.


Not sure why the point about TSA being absurd had to be wrapped in the “rich people suck” crap. NEXUS costs $50 for 5 years. Not exactly 1% territory. It includes TSA-Pre, Global Entry etc.


This, in a nutshell. If it were really about ending pointless, ineffective security theater, you could gradually phase out all of the nonsense security checks. It would be “boiling the frog” for a less-awful / more-positive outcome.


I used to wear shoes with laces. Had to take 'em off. Switched to slipons for air travel. Not required to take 'em off.

OK, so it’s just an anecdote.


it involves an in-person interview and a thorough background check

What can these reveal that are good indications that a person is actually a security risk? The Total (later Terrorist) Surveillance Program could not find any useful signals to indicate whether someone is the type to hijack or sabotage an airliner. You can’t synthesize such an indicator from a credit score, an employment history, an arrest record, a zip code, and a stern look into their eyes.

The background checks are meaningless bureaucracy to justify the application fees. The interviews (which are difficult to schedule) are a throttling mechanism to prevent too many people from getting their hands on the free passes.


Not just every airport, every trip through the same airport can be just a little different. It’s really annoying when you go through the security line several times and then get stopped for something that was not a problem in all of the previous trips.

For example, I have a dumb Ethernet switch I pack in my bag because I’m often setting up ad-hoc networks where I go. Except for one time in South Carolina I got stopped because I didn’t pull my “computer” out of the bag and put them in a basket. They lecture me on how it’s policy to check computers and how I need to make sure there is nothing on top of them in the tray and so on. Sometimes I think the TSA agents don’t know either and are just making it up as they go along.


And it doesn’t take a terrorist mastermind to read the reports in the news that the TSA misses 95 percent of weapons and explosives.