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Rand Paul Has a Quick Fix For TSA: Pull the Plug 1051

Posted by Soulskill
from the might-increase-their-efficacy dept.
suraj.sun quotes from Politico: "Rand Paul has a reform plan for the Transportation Security Administration: Scrap the whole thing. A personal message from Paul (R-Ky.) came atop emails this week from the Campaign for Liberty Vice President Matt Hawes, asking for readers to sign a petition in support of Paul's 'End the TSA' bill. A Paul spokeswoman said that legislation is being finalized next week. 'Every inch of our person has become fair game for government thugs posing as "security" as we travel around the country. Senator Rand Paul has a plan to do away with the TSA for good, but he needs our help,' reads the petition, which also asks signers to 'chip in a contribution to help C4L mobilize liberty activists across America to turn the heat up on Congress and end the TSA's abuse of our rights.' 'The American people shouldn't be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane. As you may have heard, I have some personal experience with this, and I've vowed to lead the charge to fight back,' Paul wrote at the top of a C4L fundraising pitch, according to blogs that received the email. 'Campaign for Liberty is leading the fight to pressure Congress to act now and restore our liberty. It's time to END the TSA and get the government's hands back to only stealing our wallets instead of groping toddlers and grandmothers.'"
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Rand Paul Has a Quick Fix For TSA: Pull the Plug

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  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:34PM (#39893489)

    The government only has the powers given to it by the People of this land. If I can not touch your breast or crotch, neither can the government.

    BTW there's already a law that allows airports to remove TSA from their buildings. So far I've only heard of one airport that considered evicting them. (And the government responded by saying that airport would be removed as a travel destination, if it followed through.)

    Government is not eloquence or reason: It is force and intimidation. See the medical marijuana users who, even though they followed California law, were arrested anyway by U.S. police violating the 9th and 10th amendments.

  • by suutar (1860506) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:40PM (#39893585)

    The TSA has no jurisdiction over you in a private car, and for that matter they don't have jurisdiction over you when you are using a private airport.

    Yet. (Though remember their parent DHS claims jurisdiction and the right to search anyone freely at any point within 100 miles of the US border, which covers 90ish percent of the population, if I recall right.)

  • Re:Sad Day (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:43PM (#39893649)

    Nice FUD.

    I've been listening to Rand since 2009 (when he first announced his intention to run). His ideas are more "calm" than those of his father. I have yet to hear any Rand position that I would object to.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:44PM (#39893685)
    What is wrong with repealing it?

    Are you benefiting from racial quotas or something?
  • Political reality (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sjbe (173966) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:50PM (#39893777)

    Can we get a non-extremist pol who thinks TSA is a bad idea and has the power to do something about it?

    No. Next question.

    Seriously, the TSA is going to have to do something horrendous to get reformed. (I mean like killing babies horrendous, not their usual baseline horrendous) Otherwise any politician who tries to change it will be accused of coddling terrorists. Sad but that's the political reality we live in.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:52PM (#39893811) Journal

    Nearly everybody thinks that at least some kind of security measures are necessary for airplanes.

    Yes, and we had some kind of security measures for decades before 9/11. Let's go back to that. The only security measures we need to take to address the problems that lead to 9/11 are 1) locking the cockpit door, and 2) tell passengers to fight back against hijackers. That's it.

    The TSA has already killed more people than Al Qaeda has, by encouraging them to drive instead of fly. Why shouldn't they be treated as anything other than terrorists?

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:52PM (#39893829)

    Every inch of our person has become fair games for government thugs

    "thugs" might be a little far, but there is at this point pretty much no point they are not allowed to inspect. Remember these guys are not even real law enforcement.

    I would even argue that at this point "thugs" is not that far off the mark; I was made to wait at a security checkpoint as punishment for forgetting a water bottle held in plain sight on the outside of a laptop bag. Instead of them just saying "I have to throw this out" which I've had happen before and am OK with, they held my bag until they found some other winner in the "forgot I had water" sweepstakes, then we had to wait until an officer came over to snarkily ask us if we understood that we were not allowed to carry water through security, where merrily forgetting was not good enough an answer. Basically to him we were three year olds.

    It's true that not ALL of them are thugs, I've met a lot of nice TSA people as well. But the structure in which they operate is one build to enable and protect true thuggery and that is why his statement is not as far off the mark as you would think.

    It's much less vitriolic than it is accurate.

  • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:57PM (#39893903)

    Other methods of transport don't require a two hour line and an anal probe to use. Hijacking: yeah a problem but eventually they'll run out of fuel and have to land. Suicidal idiots: like an idiot couldn't switch to a restaurant or train instead.

    Metal/exploisive detectors and no carry-ons might be a solution: you can scan cargo much more thoroughly and since people aren't carrying stuff all they can carry for weapons is what they can hoop. I say terrorists need all the hooping the can get in preparation for Gitmo.

  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:59PM (#39893937)

    Agreed. I lost a lot of respect for him when he opined that Universal health care is equivalent to slavery [latimes.com] last year, but I'll be the first to cheer him on in this regard if he can do something about the ridiculous waste that is the TSA.

    I actually proctored the TSA tests off and on from '06-'08. Besides the fact that the questions themselves were a joke (I remember one in particular being "Have you ever lived in a house you thought was haunted?"), the majority of the people sitting for them looked like they were either under the influence of narcotics, or at least had more than a passing familiarity with them, not to mention gang tats and other evidence that these people were not the best and brightest by any stretch.

    I haven't traveled by air since, and barring a death in the immediate family that makes such a trip completely unavoidable, that's not going to change anytime soon. I honestly can't understand how parents can let their kids be patted down by these animals...although I'm betting if they were as familiar with the types of people that sit for the tests, and how ridiculously worthless the tests were themselves, that the airports would either be completely empty or full of rioters...

  • Re:Sad Day (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:01PM (#39893973) Journal

    No one is saying we don't need airport security, so just simply eliminating the TSA is not a rational solution. And since the Pauls would kill a huge number of Federal agencies, some that do a considerable amount of work keeping Americans safe, hitting on a nearly universally loathed department and saying "It should go!" is not a sign of sanity or good sense, but simply consistency.

  • Re:Sad Day (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chill (34294) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:14PM (#39894235) Journal

    I'm not 100% sure about Rand, but his father has frequently spoken in support of:

    1. The legalization of drugs
    2. Same-sex marriage. (He isn't for it, but he is vehemently against the government being able to have a say in whom you marry.)
    3. Racial integration/equality. http://www.therightperspective.org/2011/12/24/ron-paul-no-racist-naacp-austin-president/ [therightperspective.org]

    Abortion is a nuanced issue. And as doctor who has cared for numerous pregnant women and delivered dozens of babies, he has a right to his opinion.

    You seem to be confusing "libertarian" with "anarchist".

  • Re:Won't happen (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@aoMONETl.com minus painter> on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:40PM (#39894687) Journal

    They are 58,000 jobs that subtract from GDP. People don't travel because of them. They don't produce anything. They cause delays and lost productivity for anyone who does travel by air.

    GDP would actually go up if those 58,000 blood-sucking jobs were lost, and those people had to go out and get real, productive jobs like flipping burgers or picking lettuce.

  • by lgw (121541) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:49PM (#39894839) Journal

    Ron Paul has filled the same role in politics as RMS has for free software: sure, he's a creepy impractical nutbag, but we need someone in the game articulating the philosophically pure position. I wouldn't want to live in a world where either of those guys was in charge, but we should be moving closer to both than where we happen to be right now.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Friday May 04, 2012 @04:00PM (#39894993)

    Not that you will have a choice, as the debt is on a course for total government collapse and replacement with God knows what horrible dystopian system.

    I disagree. Things will be better after a total collapse. We won't get a "horrible dystopian system", but the country will simply break apart, as happens with all empires when they grow too large and unworkable. No, things won't be great everywhere afterwords; some regions might indeed become "horrible dystopian" places to live, but other regions will prosper by not being weighed down by all the other screwed-up states and the resultant infighting. The People will have a lot more control over their government, since they won't be fighting against 300+ million other people in the polls, but instead will be voting along with a much smaller population of more like-minded people.

  • Re:Depends (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Friday May 04, 2012 @04:17PM (#39895285)

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120405/04390118385/tsa-security-theater-described-one-simple-infographic.shtml [techdirt.com]

    The probability of death from an air travel based terrorist attack is 1 in 30 million. I think the airline insurance carriers are going to be just fine with the risks.

  • by lgw (121541) on Friday May 04, 2012 @04:22PM (#39895349) Journal

    Rand Paul has proposed legislation to ban abortions and end birthright citizenship. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/blogs/the-gaggle/2011/01/28/rand-paul-wants-to-ban-abortions-and-end-birthright-citizenship.html [thedailybeast.com]

    I'm fine with a senator having either of those positions. I don't really aggree with either one, but they both come from a rational place (just IMO wrong ones). We're in serious need of immigration reform, we need to as a country reach some sort of compromise on when "personhood" begins. I'm cool with politicians starting off with the ideologically pure positions on issues like these - that's where each side should start, so that we compromise to something practical.

  • Re:Depends (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @04:27PM (#39895437)
    Posting anonymously because of previous mods. THIS POST IS RIGHT ON!!! Do you want to know why we have all this security theater in place? Do you want to know why the government continues with it even though the TSA doesn't work? It's because insurance rates for airports and airlines would go through the roof if we didn't have this in place. After 9/11, insurers said that security measures had to be put in place or else they would refuse to insure airplanes and airports. It's the GAWDDAMN insurance companies who insure the flight industry who demand all this security theater. Our lives are governed by actuarial tables.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday May 04, 2012 @04:36PM (#39895569) Homepage

    I'd rather grope a toddler in a sad but well meaning attempt at keeping the public safe than listen to that raving asshole Rand Paul.

    What are you going to do when the fucking ragheads stuff an IED into their baby's diaper?

    They don't need to. They can put the C5 up their ass and walk right through security. There's nothing the TSA can do to detect it.

    it's no secret. Drug smugglers do it every day. People do it every day to get cellphones into prisons. etc., etc.

    The fact that they *aren't* doing this should tell you something, ie. there's no real terrorist threat. It's all scaremongering and theater to make a few people very rich and the rest of us a whole lot poorer (in spirit).

  • by tmosley (996283) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:26PM (#39896235)
    Not of the extent of ours. Ours compares with Rome and Yuan China directly, as in all cases, the empire was militarily unassailable until well after the economy had completely failed (the population of Rome had fallen to less than 50,000 by the time the barbarians, sponsored by the Eastern Roman Empire, finally took over), and extended across nearly all of the known world, with nothing but a few weak enemies and numerous client kingdoms which were allied with them. The Soviet example is probably our best hope, but the Soviets had, by the nature of their endeavors toward communism, enabled systems that would automatically provide for the most basic needs of the people, where we are fully dependent on the continued existence of the status quo. That is, most or all Soviet citizens had plots of land for growing food outside of the city, and free public transit to get there. We, obviously, do not.

    The second best case is to follow Yuan China, where a civil war erupted, but only a few tens of millions died (far fewer than during the establishment of the Yuan Dynasty), and a new Dynasty was established years later. The Ming Dynasty started off with total enslavement of the countryside, forming self-sufficient farming communities with zero social mobility allowed. This somehow lead to an agricultural boom. The literature is not clear as to how this actually happened. Peasant farmers do not as a rule produce large surpluses. But this was a boon to city dwellers, who experienced a golden age that lasted for many hundreds of years thereafter. I would posit that international trade had a lot to do with that, along with the adoption of a silver standard (vs the old copper cash system and the repeatedly hyperinflating fiat regimes of the last two dynasties).
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:28PM (#39897509) Homepage Journal

    Yes, they would.

    Flight 93.

    Of all the instruments of American power, the only one that saved lives on 9/11 was the action of average citizens.

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