I Don’t Understand the TSA

This came down yesterday from the TSA:

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will let people carry small pocketknives onto passenger planes for the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, along with golf clubs, hockey sticks and plastic Wiffle Ball-style bats.

The agency will permit knives with retractable blades shorter than 6 centimeters (2.36 inches) and narrower than 1/2 inch, TSA Administrator John Pistole said today at an aviation security conference in Brooklyn. The change, to conform with international rules, takes effect April 25.

So pocket knives and, um, wiffle bats (yeehaw!) are allowed on airplanes now, but I still can’t bring a full tube of toothpaste or a bottle of water on a plane and I still have to remove at least two clothing items before I’m permitted into the gate/boarding area. Last week, I both endured the body scanner (now with less nudity) and a pat-down at the gate. But pocket knives are permissible now? Not that I’m opposed to it, but aren’t these security measures appearing a little weird and arbitrary at this point?

  • mhr52

    Its not like Obama or his appointees are in charge of these decisions or anything.

  • D_C_Wilson

    The TSA has never been about stopping terrorists. It’s about creating the illusion that they’re stopping terrorists. Because otherwise, people would stop flying. Given that the airline industry is the only business that actively makes using their services as unpleasant as possible, they need all the help they can get.

  • LK3

    Who the heck travels with a wiffle ball bat? I wonder if I can travel with my curtain rod.

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    This is freaking ridiculous! Are they drinking hallucinogenics???

    I can’t take a decent sized bottle of shampoo on a plane OR, more imph

    I can’t take a decent sized bottle of shampoo on a plane OR, more importantly, a pair of manicure scissors, we’re subjected to all kinds of invasive crap, and they are allowing knives, wiffle bats, billiard cues in the cabins???

    The cabin attendants are protesting and I don’t blame them one bit!

  • gescove

    Pointless, stupid Security Theater. Has any of this ridiculous ritual ever done ANYTHING to stop a terrorist? No. If it had, we’d be treated to endless video loops of ever vigilant, blue-gloved TSA personnel hauling off the scores of nefarious criminals thwarted in their attempts to do evil. It’s all I can do to not go berserk enduring the stupidity of those insufferable checkpoints. Remove your shoes, your belt (?!), your coat, your hat, get your stuff x-rayed and yourself (not your junk, we promise!) photographed. Must. Control. Fist. Of. Doom.

    • muselet

      Dilbert reference for the win.


  • Christopher Foxx

    but aren’t these security measures appearing a little weird and arbitrary at this point?

    At this point? When were the TSA procedures ever NOT weird and arbitrary?

  • Username1016

    Well, yay! I won’t have to remember to take my 1-1/2″ itty bitty girlie pocketknife out of my purse and leave it in the car every dang time I fly. Or are they still going to take it off me because it’s not “retractable”? (The blade goes in a slot…)

    Next, maybe I could stay completely dressed?

  • http://twitter.com/tlavely Tony Lavely

    They’ve always been arbitrary, and one could make the weird argument, too.
    At this point, their actions have far less to do with security… well, except for the security of their paychecks, than their budgeted appropriations and calling out the sequester as a lessening of American safety so their unending flow of money continues unimpeded down the rathole. My opinions may be showing…

  • 1933john

    When will the NRA demand to have guns on planes, so as to have a shootout with those white guys playing video games or dark guys with bombs?