Monday, January 18, 2016

Double-speak: When "surrendered" means "stolen"

A friend writes:
I was flying from SBA [Santa Barbara airport] to SFO [San Francisco airport].  I only had carry on since I was just going away for 2 nights to a friend's.  I absentmindedly packed my full size (5.2oz) Tom's toothpaste instead of a smaller tube because I had run out of the small tubes and I didn't think the 3oz liquid rule applied to toothpaste any longer.  
I have TSA pre-check, but - for some reason I haven't quite cleared up - United isn't recognizing me as that so my boarding pass didn't have it noted that way and I had to go through the song and dance of taking my shoes off, and going through the scanner. At SBA they require you to remove your liquids from your suitcase when putting luggage through the x-ray no matter who you are.  As a side note, if I had gone to the ticket counter to insist on Pre-check on my boarding pass (because SBA is so small) the only change would be that I could leave my shoes on and I would go through the old school metal detector.   
After I passed through the full body scanner and was waiting for my luggage and bags to come through they pulled my bag of toiletries aside and said the toothpaste violated the 3 oz rule.  I right away said, "Since when is toothpaste liquid? And, by the way, I've gotten that size tube through in the past."  (I may have fibbed there; not quite sure to be honest.)  They then said I could check my luggage if I like.  At this point who wants to get dressed again to then go downstairs, check in a bag (which is going to add 30 minutes to my trip by waiting for it on a carousel in SFO), then come back up to then just get undressed again and go through security again?  In hindsight I should have said OK, then just went back to my car to put my toothpaste in and still done carry-on.  But, I get so annoyed I can't think straight.  
So, after refusing and saying no, the TSA agent advised that I was surrendering my toothpaste.  That is when I lost my cool.  Hell no! I'm not surrendering anything.  I then accused her of stealing my toothpaste and she said, again: no, she was not; that I was surrendering.  I then decided to school her on the difference of surrendering (doing something voluntarily in my book at that point) vs the TSA taking my toothpaste without me agreeing to it (stealing).  I then grabbed my stuff in a huff and went over to a bench to put everything back on and back together.  Then to the bar to have a stiff drink.  
I just want to pause here and look at a couple things.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Journalism student at UC Irvine gets it right

I love this editorial by Roy Lyle. He asks, " Isn’t the better answer, though, just not to scare so easy?" after exposing TSA's security theater.