Send in the Clowns

One of the many reasons so many have abandoned the Buckley Right in the last two decades can be seen at the nation’s airports. Immediately after 9/11, Progressives were out screaming for a new Federal bureaucracy to run airport security. The bodies were not even cold and the Democrats were proposing bills for a new Federal security force. You got the sense they had these bills ready to go, just waiting for the right moment.

Of course, that new agency would hire tens of thousands of dues paying union employees, who could be counted on to vote Left. Millions in union dues would flow into Democrat coffers and Democrats would work hard to expand the agency in the future, thus guaranteeing themselves another revenue stream. Like with the schools, any useful activity coming from this new agency would be coincidental.

A sign of just how awful the Bush years were going to be was in the response to this craven attempt by the Left to exploit the death of Americans. Instead of fighting they proposed an even bigger government agency. We not only got the Transportation Safety Administration, we got the staggering monstrosity called the Department of Homeland Security. Fifteen years later, our airports are grinding to a halt because TSA can’t perform its one job, which is to molest people before they enter the terminal.

With mounting delays around the country being blamed on Transportation Security Administration cutbacks and increased passenger traffic, airports are turning to musical performers and free sweets to keep travelers’ tempers in check.

And some airports are getting a little more creative.

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is now inviting miniature therapy horses and their handlers from the non-profit Seven Oaks Farms Miniature Therapy Horses program in Hamilton, Ohio to visit the terminals several times a month.

“Animals help reduce stress and anxiety levels and put smiles on people’s faces,” said Mindy Kershner, a spokeswoman for the airport.

“Unlike service animals, who are working and should not be touched, therapy animals can be patted and hugged.”

And while many other airports have therapy dog programs in the terminals, “We figured this is Kentucky, after all, so we need horses,” Kershner said.

This is how third world bureaucracy works. Instead of fixing the problem, they use the problem as an excuse to expand the department. It will not be long before we learn that some Senator slipped in funding for a new division of miniature horses and clowns at the TSA, along with its own director and staff. That also means expanding maintenance budgets to pick up after the horses crapping all over the terminal.

It’s not just miniature horse keepers who will benefit. Senator Chuck Schumer, a well regarded airport engineer and security expert, is demanding dogs be unleashed on the people standing in line. You’re standing in-line and a miniature horse just took a dump on your sneakers and then a pack of hounds trailed by fat guys in blue shirts starts chasing the horses through the terminal. Maybe that’s where the clowns come in. Like at the rodeo, their job will be to distract the animals.

In all seriousness, Chuck Schumer is a genius, but he does not know the first thing about running an airport or running airport security. In fact, no one in the TSA has the slightest idea how to do any of this stuff. The proof of that is this bit from a CNN story on the subject. The TSA has 45,525 employees and they claim an additional 768 people will alleviate the problem. That’s roughly adding half a person to every airport the TSA covers. There’s simply no way that a 2% increase in staffing can have the claimed benefit.

Inevitably, we will learn that this is a carefully choreographed slowdown by the TSA so they can get more money. The media will play up the lines and people will write their congressmen. This being an election year, everyone will want to be the solution so that means a boost in funding for more hack jobs and more miniature pony rides at the airport, while you stand in line hoping the pervy looking TSA guy does not put his hand in your daughter’s pants.

This is, of course, anarcho-tyranny. The self-serving security bureaucracy is only good at harassing honest citizens. A trip to the airport involves at least three glaring apparatchiks giving you the business. That’s the tyranny. Standing in line for half a day to take a one hour flight to Philly is the anarchy. In the managerial state, the basic functions of government grind to a halt or are simply abandoned.

The obvious solution is to let the airports run their own security like they used to do before we lost out minds. TSA never would have stopped the 9/11 hijackers. Private security firms have much better training and methods. Augmenting this should be restrictions on travel to and from Muslim countries. Sensible limits on letting Muslims travel to America would cut threats by 99.9999999%. No system is perfect, but I’m willing to take that chance for the ability to walk unmolested in an airport.

36 thoughts on “Send in the Clowns

  1. Pingback: Back when I was a real person, I had two serious airport security line oopsies. | The Ultimate Answer to Kings

  2. “Augmenting this should be restrictions on travel to and from Muslim countries.”

    No, white Americans are able to determine for themselves, through freedom of association, where to travel to, for business or for pleasure. Major fail on your part.

    Sensible limits on letting Muslims travel to America would cut threats by 99.9999999%.”

    Praytell, how many Muzzie terrorist attacks have occurred on American soil within the past six months?

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  4. Why not go back to the way it was? Before 9/11 we were able to pay cash for a ticket, show no ID to travel anywhere in the US, etc. This worked for decades and decades with no baggage inspection, no passenger grouping, etc.

    After 9/11 the new ‘security’ hasn’t stopped any hijackings. However civilian passengers have.

  5. Could they walk some TSA staff on a leash and invite passengers to pet them or throw them some food? Might be better than clowns and dogs.

  6. I really hate to stand up for a government organization, but I know lots of TSA agents and can say with confidence that the long delays at TSA are not primarily the fault of the TSA. A more accurate depiction of the sequence of events is:

    1. The price of jet fuel tanked from $3/gallon in 2014 to about $1/gallon in 2015/2016:

    2. Lower jet fuel prices allowed low-cost airlines to lower fares, increasing demand for flights, particularly among non-business (read: inexperienced and clueless) travelers:

    3. Those same low-cost airlines instituted fees for checked baggage, encouraging travelers to take carry-on luggage rather than checking bags. We’ve all seen the lines of families with 2-kids, strollers, and a carry-on and a separate backpack for each person, plus a purse for mom–that’s 10 or 11 items that have to go through the scanner. Or women with a carry-on, a handbag, and a purse. These travelers are overwhelming TSA checkpoints.

    This video from Chicago recently went viral. Notice how many people in the line have 2-3 carry on bags. (What’s with the moron at 0:56 with two backpacks and two skateboards???). Check your damn luggage, people.

    4. TSA can’t hire and train new officers fast enough to catch up with increasing demand. The starting pay at the TSA is approximately $15/hour so you are hiring from a pool of high school grads and/or college drop outs. It’s a terrible job–officers are on their feet all day, and they are constantly dealing with belligerent assholes. The turnover rate at TSA is outrageous and they lose their best officers–they have a hard time hiring fast enough to keep up with attrition.

    There’s no quick fix to this problem, but the following actions would make a big difference:
    1. Prohibit airlines from charging for the first checked bag.
    2. Require airlines to charge a fee for a carry on
    3. Implement a hard and fast rule of ONE and ONLY ONE carry on. No exceptions. Put your computer in your carry-on bag. Check the stroller.
    4. Implement express lanes for travelers who have no carry on luggage (i.e., only a computer bag or backpack stowable under the seat).
    5. Immediately send passengers who failed to remove liquids or other prohibited items from their bags back to the end of the line.

    Separately, Americans should understand that while you do have a right under the 4th Amendment to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, you do NOT have a constitutional right to board a commercial airplane. If you are not comfortable with TSA search procedures you are perfectly free to gather your belongings, leave the airport, go back to your car, and drive or take a train or bus to your destination.

    And finally, the vast majority of TSA agents are just run-of-the-mill, blue-collar, working people (dirt people in your vernacular, which, btw, is why the elites hate them) who are doing their assigned job. They don’t want to touch you any more than you want to be touched. If you get selected for extra screening either cooperate with the agents and go through the process or gather your stuff and leave. Douchebags like this raging bitch who pick fights with TSA agents can shut down an entire lane for 10-20 minutes–two or three of them at the same time can shut down a checkpoint.

      • Excellent response to a substantive post–not. Idiots like you are why I finally gave up on the libertarian movement for being full of thick-skulled morons incapable of processing information.

        Look, dumbass, airport screening is not going away. The September 11, 2001 attacks caused hundreds of billions of dollars in immediate economic damage, prolonged a recession, and led the US into wars that have lasted almost 15 years and created the political climate which led to an Obama presidency. The NYT tagged the cumulative economic impact of 9/11 as high as $3.3 trillion dollars in 2011.

        Buy by all means keep dwelling in you libertarian, utopian fantasies about eliminating entire federal security agencies. Snarky comments rule on the net.

        • You made a lot of valid points, Guest. I can’t say the TSA is any worse or any better than your typical government behemoth (Post Office????…..DMV anyone?)

          But one would think they have reasonably smart people to helm the ship, anticipate what we have been seeing lately, and implement some of the reforms you suggested. But they have…and are…failing miserably, after over a decade to work out kinks (And it’s not as if they had to form the thing from whole cloth……..airport security already existed pre-9-11. I think THAT’S the part that rankles us civilians.

          • Thanks. In my experience at the airport in my city (one of the busiest airports in the nation) wait times have been reasonable until the past year, when they began climbing rapidly. My original post explains why this is happening now. It’s really a confluence of factors, most of which are not within the control of the TSA.

            I forgot to mention one other factor. Airlines “bundle” flight arrivals and departures around adjacent gates and time their arrivals/departures to make more efficient use of the ground crews’ time. This is great for the airlines but results in a situation in which groups of aircraft are taking off from adjacent gates within minutes of one another, which in turn produces a “wave effect” in which all the passengers on those planes are forced into the same checkpoint at the same time. Contemporaneously releasing six aircraft with an average of 250 passengers from adjacent gates throws a wave of 1500 passengers through the checkpoint for those gates at the same time. This “wave effect” is why a checkpoint line is massive at one point in time and minimal 30 minutes later.

            Most of the technocratic solutions outlined in my original post require the cooperation of the airlines, which they are not giving because the solutions would cut into their margins. TSA is certainly not without blame, but there are constraints on what the TSA can fix without the cooperation of airlines, and passengers. I’ll say it again–know the rules and check your damn bags, people.

            And the idiots who scream that the TSA never finds anything are simply wrong. The TSA finds and confiscates 50-100 guns every week plus lots of knives and other assorted weapons. This is all documented on the TSA blog.

            And again, the overwhelming majority of TSA agents are hard-working, decent, honest people with high-school educations who are doing the best they can at a low-paying, thankless job interfacing with the general public. Many of the agents in their 40s had much better jobs before but became victims of the great recession. A little empathy goes a long way with TSA agents. Take a damn shower, wash your hair, brush your teeth, and put on clean clothes and deodorant before you go to the airport (you would be astounded at the hygiene stories I hear from TSA agents at the bar). Get the to airport on time. Read and follow the rules. Be organized and ready when you approach the checkpoint. Smile. Say please and thank you. This is all basic civility, which for some reason goes out the window when they go to the airport.

  7. I missed the whole report last night, but it seems that one airport has decided to entertain those stranded in lines and missing their important flights with ….. clowns. Costumes, full makeup, red noses, the works. Some on stilts! Wowser. I would be incensed at this additional insult.

  8. Recall that Senator Charles Schumer (D, NY) scolded us that when airline security personnel were federalized they would be more “professional”. Thank you Senator Schumer.

    • I recognize your point and agree with the sarcasm. However, I take umbrage at the persistent use of the title “Senator” with this ass-hat of a commie traitor. The word “Senator” to me is reserved for those who represents not only their constituents but the Constitution, and do so with integrity, honor and wisdom that begets his years in life and public service. To me he is none of those things and only occupies a position through corruption and a political machine that is the result of no term limits for this class of politician.

  9. The bit about the dogs, horses, and clowns was priceless. Add a few animal rights activists to the mix, and you will be near theoretical maximum lunacy.

    • In most of nature the theoretical limit can only be approached, but not achieved. In this case the theoretical limit seems to be a lower bound. It will not only get more lunatic than you imagine, it will get more lunatic than you CAN imagine.

  10. The weird thing is, individual Lefties know all this. When behaving as individuals, you’ll never find a more conservative bunch than liberals (I fondly recall the Mach 3 mass exodus of the “moar diversity in schools!” crowd when their little section of the faculty ghetto got rezoned). No one gripes louder about bureaucracy when he’s standing in line at the DMV than a liberal, or about taxes on tax day. And yet, they keep voting the same way, and never make the connection. I always thought liberals would abandon liberalism when the cost became punitive — that’s what happened with me — but I guess not. Any thoughts as to why not?

    • Same reason I couldn’t believe “conservatives” had anything to do with creating the TSA; it simply did not register. Such an idea was so unthinkable I couldn’t think it. Liberals are sure their motives are pure, therefore how could anything negative be the result? It just doesn’t compute.

      It took me years to realize that the “conservatives” in the Republican Party didn’t go ballistic over the TSA because, wait for it…they didn’t really object in the first place. That is so astonishing it freezes the brain.

    • The most egregious violations of the Bill of Rights came under the Bush Regime.
      You have to be seriously deranged to imagine that in terms of repression, there is any difference between the “left” and the “right”.

      The are the two wings of the one bird of prey.

  11. Just me or does it seem like our security lines got a lot longer – right after terrorists blew up a security line in Brussels? Who’s side is the TSA on? (Dumb question – their’s)

    I’m trying to book a business trip right now and getting frustrated. The regional airports in the area seem to have dropped all their worthwhile flights. I am perfectly willing to drive further and pay a little more to avoid the madness of Newark or Philadelphia security lines but that seems impossible.

  12. Yeah, the creation of the DHS was when my innocence was lost. Last night I pondered that the TSA is the termite nest, planned long ago by the Left. It may have something to do with money on the surface, every participant is after their own good, but the anarchy it creates is blossoming into a summer we won’t soon forget.

    • You talking about the summer of total corruption, or should I say exposure of the oligarchy trying to survive their illegitimacy? Hey, I’m sitting on this 3000 ft ridge line in the WV mountains, the view is spectacular, watching the psychopaths and their sycophants and the circus of lap dogs running things, self destructing. Watching this insanity unfold defies succinct words. And every time I dwell on the ramifications of it all, my wife somehow always sums it up in simplest terms: Honey, we don’t have enough ammo.

  13. “we got a dog here that smells drugs”
    “Really? Looks to me like you got a dog so old he hasn’t smelled his own farts for the last five years”
    -Robin Williams
    Seriously, the one joy of flying to San Francisco is the private screening. Never wait more than ten minutes regardless of time of day.

    • SFO has private company doing screening instead of TSA? That’s priceless when you consider their elected US reps – Pelosi, Boxer, and great great grandma Feinstein.

  14. Street entertainment is essentially what the left is all about. The whole panoply of mime, face-painting, dressing up and its attendant cutting political comment (a man miming with a sad painted-on face trying to get past a glass wall is just the perfect criticism of capitalism, because sad silent figures who can’t get anywhere are unknown in socialism) so you airline travellers will be richly entertained while being frisked and groped.

    You might not even notice your luggage being pilfered if the mime is good.

  15. Don’t worry about the dogs. Someone will complain that Islam doesn’t like dogs and that bringing dogs in makes Muslims feel excluded, hounded even 🙂

  16. Yet, so-called “principled conservatives” continue to worship at the Bush Crime Family altar. Not only did Dubya create the DHS monstrosity, he also crafted the Patriot Act, which is the worst usurpation of constitutional right and authorities EVER! The whole Bush Family, starting with Poppy (on-site controller of the JFK fiasco for the CIA) and Babs, each deserve a “Liberty Jacket!

    • Dubya didn’t “craft” the Patriot Act, it had been written long before 9/11 and was sitting ready on the shelf for him to sign– all 363 pages of it. That kind of complicated legislation normally takes years to put together and refine, and doesn’t just materialize out of nowhere in a matter of weeks. A federal government that normally moves at the speed of molasses, suddenly moved at the speed of sound? Nope, not gonna buy it.

  17. Sharia Mosques preach sedition and hatred of infidels. Close them and send those unhappy with their closure back to more Sharia-welcoming countries.
    End immigration of Muslims. Close down TSA.
    Orange jumpsuit for Pres. O. and severe public censure of GWB.

    • Orange STRIPED jumpsuit for Dubya! He was in on 9-11, an enterprise run by his Saudi brother, Bandahar.

      • Nah, Dubya was kept out of the loop so he could have deniability. But there is no doubt that, at the very least, the Muslims who perpetrated the attack had help from somewhere on the inside. Read Mike Ruppert’s book “Crossing the Rubicon”, it’s an exhaustive investigation that makes a thoroughly convincing case that there was help from the inside. Ruppert goes on to make some educated guesses as to (1) how the plan was executed, (2) who helped perpetrate it and (3) what their motivations were. But he allows that beyond the certainty that the hijackers received inside help, any further details will probably never be fully known– and that ultimately, those details don’t matter; the only thing that matters is, the Federal government effectively declared war against the American people on 9/11. Certainly every action they have taken since then is fully consistent with that thesis. We are the enemy now.

  18. Maybe it would be better for the TSA to send in James Taylor to serenade the crowds with “You’ve Got A Friend.

  19. I really don’t think it will be resolved until we all can Visualize Whirled Peas…..

  20. “…You’re standing in-line and a miniature horse just took a dump on your sneakers and then a pack of hounds trailed by fat guys in blue shirts starts chasing the horses through the terminal. Maybe that’s where the clowns come in. Like at the rodeo, their job will be to distract the animals…”

    Visualizing this made me laugh so hard I lost my breath for a moment.

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