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Confessions Of an Ex-TSA Agent: Secrets Of the I.O. Room

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the ma'am-this-is-for-your-own-good dept.

Government 393

Jason Edward Harrington has seen some of the same frustrations, misgivings, and objections that have crossed the mind of probably every commercial airline traveler who's flown over the last decade in the U.S. One difference: Harrington got to see them from the perspective of a TSA agent. His description of the realities of the job (including learning the rote responses that agents are instructed to reassure the public with) is wince-worthy and compelling. A sample makes it clear why the TSA has such famously low morale, even among Federal agencies: "I hated it from the beginning. It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part of the post-9/11 airport security show. I confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security. I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots—the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying." It only gets worse from there.

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393 comments

well i'm reassured! (1, Insightful)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 3 months ago | (#46125431)

well it comforting to know that the same government that managed this program is now moving on to something as *truly* important as our and our childrens healthcare.

right?

Re:well i'm reassured! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125531)

the two having nothing in common. sounds like you are just anti-government anything.

Re:well i'm reassured! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125657)

Um, they have the Federal government in common. That's the point.

Re:well i'm reassured! (2, Insightful)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 3 months ago | (#46125891)

wrong.

i think the US government is incredible at building roads, and it's military seems rather well managed.

also, library's kick ass.

Re:well i'm reassured! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125941)

and it's military seems rather well managed.

Except for the fact that we keep getting into wars every two seconds, and the military costs us a fuckton of money.

Re:well i'm reassured! (2)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 3 months ago | (#46125985)

i said it, as a self-contained construct, is well-managed, and seems to be perhaps the most powerful military force in the history of the world. i stand by that compliment of the US government.

now, as how US politicians *use* that construct...well that really *is* off-topic.

Re:well i'm reassured! (1, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 3 months ago | (#46126007)

now, as how US politicians *use* that construct...well that really *is* off-topic.

As off-topic as health care, isn't it?

Re:well i'm reassured! (4, Informative)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 3 months ago | (#46126097)

no...i don't believe so.

the US government being involved in health care is a very new thing. it can be argued that the TSA was perhaps the largest new program that the US government created before the health care thing. that links the two in a very powerful and factual way.

the US government has been using the military for hundreds of years, and the politics of military use go back thousands.

Re:well i'm reassured! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46126113)

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how you polish a turd.

Re:well i'm reassured! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125993)

The military doesn't get us into wars. It just wins them. The military doesn't cost a fuckton of money. The wars it wins cost a fuckton of money.

Re:well i'm reassured! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46126023)

Oh yes, yes, it wins them. There should be many "Mission Accomplished" banners all around.

Re:well i'm reassured! (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 3 months ago | (#46126025)

Exactly! The military has lobbyists to lobby for increased funds, but that's kind of their job. It is congresses job to decide whether or not the increase is reasonable..which they aren't very good at.

Re:well i'm reassured! (1, Interesting)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46126017)

I gather you have never in your life been to a foreign country with a entirely different culture, like, say, the middle east. Yes it costs money. But then again, which would you like, you stuff, abilities, choices and opportunities or a roulette wheel spun before you were born. Depending on where it lands you could be pulling out busted toxic trash for a scrap of bread or you might have the opportunity to beat your wife because she drove your car. (You don't get a choice whether to beat her or not because if you opt to be merciful, you will be branded a heretic and killed in front of your children). Doubt me? I can post pics and lines from the religious texts.
IN America, our homeless are richer sleeping in the water conduit tunnels below Las Vegas than the middle class of India and China who have beds and warm meals. How? Because in America we have choice. We have that choice because of a military that gets into wars to scare the ever loving hell out every other nation. Yes, we spend money on it.
Please go try living without one. You will discover quickly that human nature still is dominate or be dominated.

Re:well i'm reassured! (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 3 months ago | (#46126073)

wrong.

i think the US government is incredible at building roads, and it's military seems rather well managed.

also, library's kick ass.

It's amazing what you can do when you spend as much on your military as the rest of the world combined.

Re:well i'm reassured! (-1, Offtopic)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 3 months ago | (#46125575)

well it comforting to know that the same government that managed this program is now moving on to something as *truly* important as our and our childrens healthcare.

right?

I'll bet your Thanksgiving dinner table is a real barrel of laughs. What is it with you mad hatters that you have to turn every discussion into an anti-government / anti-Obama rant?

Mods, mark this moron as off-topic and let the rest of us discuss the actual topic.

Re:well i'm reassured! (2, Funny)

icebike (68054) | about 3 months ago | (#46125743)

Did he mention Obama, or was that a revealing slip on your part?
I'm assuming the latter, and its good to know you understand where the problem is, even if you can't bring yourself to admit it in public.

Re:well i'm reassured! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46126047)

Did he mention Obama, or was that a revealing slip on your part?
I'm assuming the latter

Then you might try reading OP's post again. Here, I'll highlight the relevant part.

well it comforting to know that the same government that managed this program is now moving on to something as *truly* important as our and our childrens healthcare.

Now unless you'd like to argue that the government stopped managing the TSA once Obama took office...

Re:well i'm reassured! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46126117)

Now unless you'd like to argue that the government stopped managing the TSA once Obama took office...

You made an unfounded assumption to come to the conclusion he was talking about the Obama administration. "The same government" could simply refer to the system of federal government that has been in place for both the TSA and ACA, regardless of who was in what office or when.

At least that's how I read it. I'd have to agree with the GP, it's pretty knee-jerk of you to assume some slight against Obama.

Re:well i'm reassured! (4, Insightful)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 3 months ago | (#46126143)

uhhh..just FYI i wouldn't give a damn about your meaningless partisan politics...i'm so over that crap i can't stand the words "republican" and "democrat" anymore.

i'm talking about EXACTLY what the FTA's author is really saying behind his rant...which is the TSA ( which i believe was created under Bush BTW ) is a fucking joke, and the people in charge ( US government bureaucrats ) of the ideas and implementation of it are idjits.

how could anyone think that the two programs, run by basically the same set of bureaucrats, won't eventually share the same basic outcomes?

Re:well i'm reassured! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125845)

Mods, mark this moron as off-topic and let the rest of us discuss the actual topic.

Seems like you have a desire to control others.

The question is, are you man enough to back up your shit talking in person ?

We both know the answer is no.

So shut the fuck up, you self important little faggot piece of shit.

Re:well i'm reassured! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125935)

I'll bet your Thanksgiving dinner table is a real barrel of laughs. What is it with you mad hatters that you have to turn every discussion into an anti-government / anti-Obama rant?

Mods, mark this moron as off-topic and let the rest of us discuss the actual topic.

I think you having terminal cancer would be a barrel of laughs.

And you will, this year.

Just wait and see.

Re:well i'm reassured! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46126037)

Nah I'd rather mod you down instead. Your more offtopic than he is.

Re:well i'm reassured! (0, Offtopic)

icebike (68054) | about 3 months ago | (#46125729)

Seriously, who modded this troll?

If you can't see the parallels, you are willfully blind.

Re:well i'm reassured! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46126063)

Seriously, who modded this troll?

Some dimwitted hack blinded by partisan politics who has a chip on his shoulder because he'd rather not deal with his cognitive dissonance. Possibly one of the "editors".

Re:well i'm reassured! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46126079)

Then I guess we are blind. Care to tell us why this is somehow different from the other things the government handles that they actually manage to do right? Or are you just going to keep insulting, thereby ensuring that we dig ourselves in even deeper on "our" side?

....unless you are insulting us because you don't want us to join "your" side (which in actuality is the side you are also against). Very clever..

and the TSA exists because... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125437)

The TSA exists because Americans tolerate it.

It's that simple.

We hold the purse strings AND the votes. Either one alone is enough to eliminate the TSA. But we have said, en-mass, that the TSA is acceptable in our society. So it will continue.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125485)

That's not necessarily true. There are numerous fundamental phenomena which subvert the notion of democratic rule as its commonly understood, and that's excluding all the cynical drivel that people toss around.

Here's one of the most well known of such phenomena: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow's_impossibility_theorem

Re:and the TSA exists because... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125505)

If the whole country stopped any non-essential travel for 3 months... and made it clear why... and that the travel would not start again until the TSA was gone - not changed, not lip service given to "improvements" and "hearing the public voice", but actually GONE - the TSA would be eliminated within a month.

The TSA exists because it is tolerated by the public.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125625)

Nobody would need to do that. If everybody opted out of the scanners, the same effect would be achieved. However, you'd be shocked (or maybe not, given that your premise is 100% correct) at how many Americans think the TSA in its current form is good and necessary for safe air travel. Slashdot and the like might be a circlejerk of anti-TSA sentiment, but that's absolutely not public opinion - reinforced every day by the people that choose to put up with that shit.

In the past, I opted out 100% of the time, for three reasons: 1. I don't trust the safety of the scanners, as the test data is not public; 2. I think the scanners are overly-intrusive; and 3. I WANT that TSA morale to stay low, to have employees bitching about the 1000th guy they had to feel up that day, while doing my part to slow down the line and hope that the delays in aggregate piss people off enough to all be sick of it.

In my old age (read: parenthood), the TSA and I have struck a compromise with some help from CBP and CBSA - we joined NEXUS and now get Pre-Check almost 100% of the time. That, to me, is a fair compromise. It's almost pre-9/11, with the theatrics minimized, and all I really gave up was data the government already had on me and my family anyway - I mean that pessimistically in the sense that it was going to be collected with or without my knowledge, and also in the factual sense that my past employment with the government resulted in far more thorough investigations than anything CBP was going to do for a trusted traveler program.

I can live with this arrangement if TSA is relegated to "hands on" screening of high risk (actual high risk) passengers and letting the rest of us get to where we're going. The pre-check program is a step in the right direction, but I'd also argue that my existing tax dollars should cover it and people shouldn't have to pay to enroll. For something like NEXUS that's cross-border, yeah I think the $50 I paid is reasonable, but for pure domestic it needs to be part of TSA's existing budget. /incoherentrant

Re:and the TSA exists because... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125757)

I always opt out. Midway in Chicago the TSA agent got really really mad at me, of course there was an hour line for the checkpoints. Everywhere else they didn't seem to care. I keep threatening to shoot my black powder pistol just before going to the airport one day, see if their residue checker actually works (I would think black powder would be the first thing they check for).

Re:and the TSA exists because... (4, Funny)

trout007 (975317) | about 3 months ago | (#46125915)

Traveling is stressful. If you opt out you get a free message. What's not to like?

Re:and the TSA exists because... (4, Interesting)

spasm (79260) | about 3 months ago | (#46125983)

I always opt out. And usually loudly announce it's because I'm a medical researcher and I don't think they're safe (I *am* a public health researcher; and I have no idea if they're safe - which is kind of the problem). Which sometimes results in one or two others in the line behind me suddenly opting out, much to the disgust of the TSA folks. Although I'm always polite to the TSA people themselves - like Jason Harrington, 90% of them are just there because they needed a job and don't have many other options.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (2)

uncqual (836337) | about 3 months ago | (#46126013)

And you're also helping reduce unemployment. If everyone opted out, we would need more TSA agents. True grassroots stimulus!

Re:and the TSA exists because... (4, Interesting)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 3 months ago | (#46126031)

I can live with this arrangement if TSA is relegated to "hands on" screening of high risk (actual high risk) passengers and letting the rest of us get to where we're going. The pre-check program is a step in the right direction,

I'm pretty sure this is exactly the response the government is banking on.

"We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal unless a classified government algorithm determines otherwise"

From a security perspective the security of a system is only as good as its weakest link and the feedback channel afforded to potential adversaries in obtaining pre-check status is such an enormously ridiculous concept I find it hard to believe anyone who thinks groping + irradiation is necessary for security would have any difficulty with a conclusion that TSA is grossly negligent for implementation of pre-check.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46126149)

So instead of making things harder for tsa to infringe on your privacy, you chose to explicitly allow them to collect even more info about you.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125645)

That's the problem. What do you consider non-essential? I'm thinking that a majority of people flying commercially need to do so, either because their job dictates that they be there quickly (as in, not enough time to drive across country), or they need to travel internationally and a boat is out of the question in today's world.

As much as it would be great to boycott the industry, it just isn't feasible for those that do most of the traveling. Personally, I've never flown (commercially, anyways) and never intend to, exactly because of the bullshit hurdles, but I'm also not in a position where it matters at all.

We can keep making excuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125727)

because its easier. I guess its back to signing Justin Bieber petitions because that's the type of effort I can get behind.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 3 months ago | (#46125655)

so you want me to quit my job for 3 months? I already scaled back flying as much as possible, riding my harley for any trip under 400 miles (regardless the time of year, or the weather). Yes, I could get another job...guess what though - someone else would take my place, and still be flying.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (2)

Mr0bvious (968303) | about 3 months ago | (#46125717)

"non-essential travel for 3 months"

I think that flying for your work/job qualifies as essential.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46126137)

so you want me to quit my job for 3 months?

I'm guessing your job does not involve reading comprehension.

Yep You're a Bunch of Bitches (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125913)

I can't believe you've all devolved in such a bunch of cowards. Any idiot knows you can't fight terrorism. But you still try. Like a bunch of pussies. GG.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125527)

BS. What government program has ever ended?

Re:and the TSA exists because... (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#46125831)

BS. What government program has ever ended?

Mobilization for the Civil War
Reconstruction in the South after the Civil War
Mobilization for WW1
Prohibition
Federal poisoning of alcohol [slate.com]
CCC - Civilian Conservation Corps
CWA - Civil Works Administration
FSA - Federal Security Agency
PWA - Public Works Administration
WPA - Works Progress Administration
Mobilization for WW2
The Marshall Plan
Mobilization for Korea
The draft
Mobilization for Desert Storm
Cash for clunkers

There are more.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125899)

The draft

Really? When did that happen? Because I seem to remember having to fill out a nice little card when I was of a certain age.

As for the majority of what you've listed, you're grasping at straws. Military conflicts and Federal bullshit are not even remotely comparable.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (1)

akgooseman (632715) | about 3 months ago | (#46126095)

The draft ended. The requirement for 18 year old men to register for a draft that might exist in the future did not end.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (1, Flamebait)

Libertarian001 (453712) | about 3 months ago | (#46126099)

You do realize that you proved *his* point, not yours, right? Being able to name a dozen programs that ended, out of THOUSANDS that were created, does not help your cause. Congratulations on you Pyrrhic victory.

the US stopped preparing for war? stopped FDA? (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 3 months ago | (#46126129)

Five of the items you listed are "mobilization for ___ war". You're far too smart to actually believe the US has stopped getting ready for war. The NAME of the war has changed, the activity has not.

Similarly for most of the other names in your list. FSA was the FDA, Social Security Administration, and a few other things. Has the FDA stopped? SSA? No, they moved the program from one department to another. Nothing stopped .

I'm kind of disappointed, cold fjord. You normally think before you post, but you're off your game on this one.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (2)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 3 months ago | (#46125535)

I don't think you can say I hold the purse strings when my taxes are withheld before I even get my paycheck.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125549)

You hold the purse strings over the airlines. If everyone stopped flying for a while, and let them know why, the TSA would disappear before the airlines all went bust.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (2)

AuMatar (183847) | about 3 months ago | (#46125597)

Claim 500 deductions. Withholding is a thing because most people find it a convenience- the majority of people have poor planning abilities and wouldn't be able to pay the bill in April. But you can just claim an insane number of deductions and have basically 0 withholding. You'll just need to write a big check each April.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125611)

It's must simpler than that.

You just have to stop flying. Yeah, yeah, some people HAVE to, but a huge part of it is discretionary. Vacations, places you could drive to, etc.

When the revenue stream dries up, and people make it clear why they are not traveling by air any more, the airlines will go lean on the government.

But it has to be enough people to hit them where it hurts: the pocketbook. And they're not even slightly afraid of that possibility, because Americans are sheep.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 3 months ago | (#46125803)

It's must simpler than that.

You just have to stop flying. Yeah, yeah, some people HAVE to, but a huge part of it is discretionary. Vacations, places you could drive to, etc.

When the revenue stream dries up, and people make it clear why they are not traveling by air any more, the airlines will go lean on the government.

But it has to be enough people to hit them where it hurts: the pocketbook. And they're not even slightly afraid of that possibility, because Americans are sheep.

More than that start taking the train as amtrack has been adamant in their refusal to allow the TSA to harass their customers

Re:and the TSA exists because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125631)

And hit with an under payment penalty - speaking of poor financial planning.

Re: and the TSA exists because... (3, Insightful)

bmxeroh (1694004) | about 3 months ago | (#46125763)

Let me know how that works for you. Protip: your tax payments aren't due in April, they're due the day you get paid. For practical reasons, they let you pay them quarterly if they're not withheld by your employer, buts rest assured you'll have penalties to pay if you wait until April.

Extra protip: Don't take tax advice from someone on Slashdot.

Re: and the TSA exists because... (1)

fplatten (588351) | about 3 months ago | (#46126003)

Bad advice. If you don't have enough tax withheld and owe more than $1000 when you file your taxes, you have to pay a penalty with interest on the amount.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125691)

I've already done that, years ago. I have not flown in a plane since 2005, and I won't, until the TSA is gone.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125865)

Depends on who you consider "we"... The dumbass idiotcracy, sure, they don't even think about these things because Survivor's Last Wife Swap Road Rules EXXXTREEEEEME teen baby momma testicle smash, now with more Kardashian! is on in 30 minutes.

The general population are lemmings that follow whoever can shout the loudest and make the most colorful presentation. Unfortunately these people make up the majority. That doesn't make them right though. In fact the majority are almost always wrong.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (2)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 3 months ago | (#46125997)

The TSA exists because Americans tolerate it.

It's that simple.

We hold the purse strings AND the votes. Either one alone is enough to eliminate the TSA. But we have said, en-mass, that the TSA is acceptable in our society. So it will continue.

wrong, WRONG, WRONG!. there are good reasons that there is a 91% incumbency rate. one reason is unfettered gerrymandering [google.com] which completely subverts democracy.

democracy is dead [washingtonpost.com]

Senator Tom Coburn described the situation well when he said, "In several election cycles in recent history, more incumbents died in office than lost reelection bids."

Re:and the TSA exists because... (-1, Flamebait)

Bartles (1198017) | about 3 months ago | (#46125999)

No, it's only acceptable for the TSA to grab children's crotches and make women drink their own breast milk because we have a Democrat in the white house.

Greetings from your new foe.... (3, Interesting)

rts008 (812749) | about 3 months ago | (#46126141)

So, your saying that Senator Obama was responsible for the formation and implementing the TSA when Bush jr. was the President?

Hint for the uninformed:
The TSA was put in place by a Republican George Bush jr., during the first of his two terms in office.

I marked you foe NOT because I'm an Oama fan, but because I see you as too stupid to even describe in words, and because of the whole TSA, PATRIOT Act, DHS, and all of the other unconstitutional crap turning me fiercely anti-Republican.

Bush jr. and company all need to be lined up against the wall and shot for the traitors they are.
And while we're at it, Obama and co. can join them for not correcting this crap.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (1)

dead_user (1989356) | about 3 months ago | (#46126015)

The TSA exists because Americans tolerate it.

It's worse than that. It exists because those in power know it is a powerful tool to exert control over those without. It is a sickening propaganda tool much like the duck and cover drills during the Cuban missile crisis. If someone in Cuba had launched a nuke at Miami, hiding under your desk would not have helped. It DID make the public feel like there was something they could do to mitigate their personal damage. The TSA is there to make us feel like something is being done about airline security. It's just a bonus that campaign contributors get paid billions to put on the show. Sad.

Re:and the TSA exists because... (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | about 3 months ago | (#46126091)

The TSA exists because Americans tolerate it.

It's that simple.

We hold the purse strings AND the votes. Either one alone is enough to eliminate the TSA. But we have said, en-mass, that the TSA is acceptable in our society. So it will continue.

Brave words from an anonymous coward!

Please tell me who I can vote for to eliminate the TSA?

he was only following orders... (1)

schlachter (862210) | about 3 months ago | (#46125459)

don't want our gov officials of citizens to be on the bad side of that statement. TSA sucks.

Put this government in charge of your healthcare!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125543)

Yeah, that's a GREAT idea.

The bird (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125547)

Glad to know the only two times I ever went through the scanners (I travel for work frequently) that maybe somebody did see me flipping the double bird. Even happier that the on last several dozen trips my wife and I live by the words 'opt out'. Several agents have commented to me readily while feeling me up and violating my privacy that what they were doing was completely useless. In one case I was told by an agent that he felt up the CEO of the company that makes the current machines, who refuses to use them for himself or his family.

Time to get rid of the TSA, the only organization that can still get funding with a 0% success rate.

Confessions Of an Ex-SLASHDOT BETA user (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125561)

Confessions Of an Ex-SLASHDOT BETA user

Day 1: It wouldn't stop, the redirecting. At first I thought it was malware. Had my first drink in a long time.

Day 2: Barely had the strength to carry on as the BETA REDIRECTIONS continue.. trying not to talk to hallucinations at the bar and in the bathroom which laugh at me about these redirections.

Day 3: Discovered the BETA redirections were random, and while at first they looked somewhat usable, when I looked at me and my monitor screen in the mirror, a horrible woman with flesh hanging off of her body looked back, trying to lead me into a dance as the word BETA appeared across her rancid breasts.

Day 4: These BETA corridors go on FOREVER! On the plus side, I've taken up disassembling vehicles to corner this BETA beast and sacrifice myself rather than lead others to discovering it. I ate some red snow.

Day 5: Finding it harder to concentrate. I've ate some more of the red snow. The taste is starting to grow on me.

Day 6: This typewriter is the only entertainment I have, apart from throwing things at the walls, trying to get some response from the BETA which is now taking over my mind.

Day 7: Hahahahahha! Would you believe it? I'M STILL BEING REDIRECTED TO SLASHDOT BETA PAGES! AHAHhahahaah! Type, type, ding, ding! Wooo!

Day 8: The hallucinations are actually real! Would you believe it? They have offered to help me if I agree to work for them. I'm thinking about patenting this delicious red snow, the taste is unreal!

Day 9: Having black out sessions where I cannot remember large passings of time. Found some makeup, thought I'd paint a joker smile on my face to amuse the people only I can see!

Day 10: Productive today, part of what I wrote for my new screenplay:

I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slas

(drops of blood on paper)

Re:Confessions Of an Ex-SLASHDOT BETA user (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125789)

Mod parent up. Fuck you Taco.

Re:Confessions Of an Ex-SLASHDOT BETA user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125817)

You can edit the URL from "beta.slashdot.org" to "www.slashdot.org".

And yes, the beta thing sucks.

Re:Confessions Of an Ex-SLASHDOT BETA user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125847)

it shouldn't redirect at all! it shouldn't auto-load at all!

i'll have one red snow cone from the Snoopy cone maker, please.

http://shitforbrains.slashdot.... [slashdot.org]

Re:Confessions Of an Ex-SLASHDOT BETA user (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125819)

mod parent up!

wish i'd been stoned when i first read it - funny shit!

THE BETA NEEDS TO GO! NOW! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125925)

I can't believe this. We've been subjected to the Slashdot beta site against our will now for probably a month, if not longer. The hatred for it is unanimous.

EVERYBODY WHO HAS HAD TO USE THE BETA HATES IT!

Why can't those running Slashdot see this?

I see comments expressing EXTREME HATRED for the Slashdot beta in the discussion of nearly every story I read here.

NOBODY LIKES THE BETA SITE BECAUSE IT IS TOTAL SHIT! THIS HAS BEEN EXPRESSED TIME AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN!

Please, this failed beta project needs to be canned. Put an end to this total stupidity now. The beta site is a failure in ever respect, and it cannot be saved.

This surreal drawn-out failure is absurd. How long do the users here have to point out how completely awful this beta site inherently is? How long until somebody at Slashdot clues in about how everybody absolutely hates the beta site?

Breach of secrecy (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 3 months ago | (#46125567)

Be careful Mr. Harrington. Gitmo isn't closed yet. You wouldn't want some guys in a van to stop by and take you on a "trip" would you?

In All Fairness (4, Funny)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 3 months ago | (#46125585)

... confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security.

In all fairness, if I got a job as a TSA agent, and my bosses told me that jars of homemade apple butter could be a threat, I for one would take their word for it. I might post on slashdot hoping some educted chemists could debunk the issue, but I wouldn't presume to know that apple butter didn't happen to be a great masking material for some other explosive material.

Re:In All Fairness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125695)

Sure. That's true. But the same thing could be said about anything. It's irrational at best.

Now, I'm not trying to be a dick to you, but lets consider some other completely asinine things just for the fun of it. Water could possibly be highly toxic if you drink enough of it. We're not scientists, so we can't really counter that argument. Furthermore, there's been several cases of people dieing as a direct result of drinking too much water, and over 99% of drowning victims die while exposed to large amounts of water. Would you stop drinking water after hearing this argument? No, of course not. Critical thinking needs to be applied to both cases, not just selectively because of the very remote possibility of terrorism.

Re:In All Fairness (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 3 months ago | (#46125829)

that was a pretty harsh response considering I did work in " I might post on slashdot hoping some educted chemists could debunk the issue" as about a third of my comment. Why don't you more constructively work with me on that third, rather than AC ripping me for the other 2/3 as if I hadn't had the qualifier in their.

Re:In All Fairness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125869)

Again, my goal wasn't to be an asshole. I was simply stating that the same argument that apple butter could be considered dangerous can be literally applied to anything. The burden lies on them to provide some evidence for their claim. Such a vague claim is nearly non-falsifiable, so without more information, there's nothing to debunk.

Re:In All Fairness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125725)

Unfortunately they're also telling you that fatass x-ray generator they want you to stand next to is totally safe.

Re: In All Fairness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125833)

of course you would. after all you are a gov't worker. nobody expects you to think for youself. what we expect is that you'll be too busy looting the warehouse or our luggage to actually carry out "government regulation" whomever came up with gov't jobs as a welfare substitute got us. i would prefer you go back to your regular inner city low income social democrat lifestyle of theft and murder because statistically it's more pallatable.

Better ideas anyone? (2)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 3 months ago | (#46125633)

Wouldn't be easier to put a security guard on each flight and instruct them to shoot to kill? Bullet holes? How about special hatches in the floor so they could just drop the MFs from the plane? Projectile extremists destroying property and endangering people on the ground? Tasers. Give every adult on the plane a taser. Boom! Done! Sure, there will be a few injuries every year. But, it would be a much better experience (and perhaps a little fun) for everyone. You would really need to hang new signs though. Like: "Please, do not taze the aloof parents of crying babies"

For the love of god, could we please try something else? The TSA is truly embarrassing.

Re:Better ideas anyone? (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 3 months ago | (#46125679)

uhh...a hole to the outside, suddenly depressurizing the plane while at 30k feet, would be a really, really bad thing. What we should "try" is metal detectors and dogs - you know, the stuff we were using /before/ all this, and which worked substantially better.

Re:Better ideas anyone? (2)

davidannis (939047) | about 3 months ago | (#46125731)

You surely realize that all of his suggestions were sarcastic, don't you?

Re:Better ideas anyone? (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 3 months ago | (#46125791)

seemed like he was building to insanity. A guard on every flight is already being done, and isn't far-fetched. But sure, does get a bit crazy at the end ;)

Re:Better ideas anyone? (4, Informative)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 3 months ago | (#46125837)

uhh...a hole to the outside, suddenly depressurizing the plane while at 30k feet, would be a really, really bad thing. What we should "try" is metal detectors and dogs - you know, the stuff we were using /before/ all this, and which worked substantially better.

I could empty an AR-15 w/30 rounds from inside an airliner flying at 30K feet, reload, do it again, and still not depressurize the cabin to any serious extent as long as no windows were blown out. I serviced/repaired aircraft for a living. (note: this assumes one doesn't carefully aim to enlarge a single hole.) You'd need a hole at least a foot or more across to be in any immediate danger.

An airliner is not a spaceship, and movies are not reality.

Strat

Re:Better ideas anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125947)

Actually, a small hole would not be that bad and that is all you would get - a hole the size of the bullet.
Of greater worry would be that a missed shot would hit someone else or the bullet would go completely through your intended target and hit somebody else.

They do make pre-fragmented bullets that are unlikely to penetrate a person and hit somebody else, but then they might not penetrate your intended target either.

Bullet holes in the side of the plane are only a concern because they would need to be repaired.

Remember that they already have armed guards on some planes already.

It's a mixed bag. It depends on the TSA person. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125739)

It's a mixed bag. Some of the TSA people have their heads on straight.

I travel to Singapore a few times a year. The TSA guys know me at La Guardia, and treat me pretty well.

Once, a new guy didn't know me, and pulled me aside, because my carry-on was jammed with suspicious electronics, and he began to tear my carry-on apart.

When he found my civilian NAVSEA badge in my carry-on, with red stripes on it, he totally changed, and almost bowed and scraped, thanking me for my service, and he got me on my way as quickly as he could.

It's a lot about individual TSA people, and how they handle the situation.

Re:It's a mixed bag. It depends on the TSA person. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125979)

I don't know what's the worst part of your anecdote. How oblivious you seem to be at your privileged status and why that is a Bad Thing for the rights of all to be considered equal under the law, or how easy it would seem to be to join those ranks. One faked up official looking ID and maybe I could be treated like a free citizen like you.
Oh and using repeated exposure to relax the vigil of the guards is an old ninja trick, get a job as feeble sweeper of courtyards or emptier of chamber-pots until the guards know you, then strike your target. The guys who go easy on you because they know you are failing in their jobs. (no surprise there. Their jobs were failures from the beginning)

Then there is the servile response of the TSA agent and what it says about his mindset. He's trained and required to do things he KNOWS are useless, annoying and almost certainly infringing on the civil and constitutional rights of the citizens he searches. He's trained to say that everyone is subject to this, no exceptions, but he appears to believe that irritating a member of the bureaucracy may result in retribution in some form. A civil servant, in one of the crappiest jobs there is to be had in government service, was afraid of you and what you might choose to do if delayed. Do you really think that cringing, on the part of any civil servant, but security people especially is a good thing?

The moral of your story seems to be that the security theatre we all complain about is clearly something to be inflicted on the peasant masses, not members of the elite like yourself. You get a free pass on the bullshit the rest of us are being forced to endure and you attribute that to a few agents having their heads on straight. You are a functionary of what has become the ruling structure, you are getting special treatment as a result and you think that means the system works. You're an apparatchik and don't even know it....

He could not wait for the kids to come (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125769)

through.

Most people I talk to support the TSA (3, Insightful)

litehacksaur111 (2895607) | about 3 months ago | (#46125779)

Most of the people where I work feel the TSA is doing a good job. In fact their response reminds of the Simpson's clip where Lisa sells Homer a rock that keeps bears away. You cannot reason with people this ignorant. They actually believe that the TSA is preventing terrorism and that the only people complaining are brown people. The only way for people to question the TSA is if someone like Edward Snowden manages to get media publicity and expose a bunch of documents or expose some insider contract on those X-ray porno machines sold by Michael Chertoff.

Re:Most people I talk to support the TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125873)

... They actually believe that the TSA is preventing terrorism and that the only people complaining are brown people. ....

A good friend works in DC as a science advisor to Congress. Once I asked him how he dealt with that scene. His comment was telling, "Remember that the average IQ is 100". By definition.

capcha: calmness

Re:Most people I talk to support the TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125949)

In terms of security, they're useless. This isn't arguable.

In terms of doing their job - as useless as that job is - I'd have to say, yeah, they're pretty excellent. I've had zero problems with TSA personnel. Probably because I don't act like a self-righteous jackass.

Protip, kids: Taking a stand and giving the man what for, are you? You're only inconveniencing yourself, and making the "sheeple" irate at you. Now shut the fuck up, show up on time, and don't even pretend you aren't aware of the asinine rule preventing you from taking a normal sized bottle of shampoo on the plane. The terrorists hate us for our soft, manageable hair, and you damned well know it.

in today's anti-whistleblower climate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125793)

Given what's happened to other whistleblowers, I have to say this guy's got balls of titanium.

what are the names of the people who wrote those r (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46125811)

Als insisted they made sense. And why haven't they been reassigned by somebody with a common sense?

Nail clippers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46126021)

Why the heck does a pilot bring nail clippers to work? I don't.

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