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Congress to Smack Down TSA?

I would guess that somewhere around 99.9% of legislation passed by the United States Congress is detrimental to individual liberty. But today the Senate will have the rare opportunity to vote on a measure that actually increases our liberty, at least when it comes to travel. In what would surely be a blow to the TSA monopoly on airport "security" (security theater would be the more appropriate term), the meaure would allow U.S. airports to replace TSA workers with screeners from private companies. And while this would not automatically remove the TSA from airports, it would certainly be a move in the right direction towards ridding ourselves of the TSA, an agency currently tied with the IRS in the battle for least popular federal agency. Which is sorta like ranking the least popular serial killers. My pick? John Wayne Gacy. Because it's a known fact that everyone is afraid of clowns.

From BusinessWeek.com:

The law that created the TSA put it in charge of security while requiring five airports to have private screeners under a two-year pilot program. The number later grew to 16. Pistole halted new participation in January 2011. Pistole had said he wouldn’t allow more airports to convert to private screeners unless there was a “clear and substantial advantage to the federal government,” said Greg Soule, a TSA spokesman.

Well that about sums it up! The only thing the TSA is concerned with is an advantage to the federal government, not the individual citizens that reside within it's boundaries. Federal government control of aviation security is about just that - federal government control. Not about what keeps us the most safe or the most logical and efficient methods of security, and certainly not about our 4th amendment rights that are violated every time someone is patted down or shuttled through a radiation-spewing "body scanner".

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wolfe's picture

Insane to think that this is a good thing...

So now it will be private companies to insult you and steal your privacy.

This is part of their game... It isn't really privatization if the private companies have to follow government procedures, are not directly controlled by the airlines, etc etc.

Be wary of this type of switch up, it only has the appearance of being slightly better and is in fact, not.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

I don't think it's a perfect solution, but

I don't see how it can be seen as anything other than a step in the right direction. Sure I'd prefer outright ending of the TSA but that won't happen overnight. Any step towards less centralization and less direct government control has to be a step in the right direction.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

It is OBVIOUSLY a good thing.

You can sue the airlines if they humiliate you or violate your rights.

You cannot sue the federal government for any reason.

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wrong. no one is successfully

wrong. no one is successfully suing any war contractor right now for taking taxpayer funds, torturing and murdering innocent people, because they are granted immunity. so will 'private' airport security rent seekers who monopolize on state privilege. i highly doubt any congressman's favorite lobbyist he awards the auction to is going to be held accountable either. cases like that are lost every day because the funding is conflated with the government operation. you have to remove the funding and mandates first.

wolfe's picture

If you sue them...

And they were behaving according to government policy, and acting as an arm of the federal government... Well, you won't get any further than if it was the federal government.

As we all know, Blackwater has been held accountable because it was a private contract firm, right?

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

So you would

So you would argue that this is actually bad thing. This would mean the power structure of the TSA is cracking.

It's not ideal. Obviously, abolishing the TSA is what we all want, but some privatization is not going to make the TSA more totalitarian. Saying that it's insane to think this is good is a bit of a stretch.

the structure is not

the structure is not cracking. it's just getting more fascist. if a private company takes the funds of the tsa, then "privatization" is arbitrary, and it doesn't break the monopoly privilege of funding.....only the monopoly on the name, which doesn't matter much. the private companies then have the ability to use their cash obtained by the public to do everything the tsa is doing plus some. they will team with the dept. of homeland security and it will be even worse, especially when it comes time for these 'private' companies to lobby congress even more. also, it's another mandate for airports. it's crazy to think this is any step in the right direction.

wolfe's picture

lol...

It's not cracking... They are outsourcing the police state, like they always do...

That doesn't make it any less of a police state.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

you can sue

You can sue a private company or press charges if they molest your 6 year old daughter. Good luck taking the government to court.

wolfe's picture

No, you can't...

If they were acting "lawfully"...

And of course you can sue the federal government...

Neither one will get you anywhere...

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Got into a lively debate

Over this on our Facebook Page, if anyone wants to jump in. You probably have to "like" Lions of Liberty on facebook first, but here's a link to my post and subsequent convo.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=3384859528...

Keep in mind the guy posting is a friend of mine AND likes Ron Paul, so he's very open-minded. It's just hard to teach liberty fully to people who have spent their whole lives in the statist world.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Step forward but not ideal

It's better than having TSA, and it's better than having ONE private company replace TSA nationwide (coz that would be pretty much the same). But it still falls short of airlines implementing their own security and offering us choice about what kind of safety/ticketcost ratio customers prefer on the individual level.

I'll take any step toward

I'll take any step I can get towards the free market. At least private companies have to consider customer service and lawsuits. They can't bully you around like the government.

Agreed

But at this point I'll take any steps forward possible. If a few airports did this successfully it might open the door to ending the TSA all together. One can hope!

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

The TSA must be abolished!

And it must never be allowed to return.