Monday, May 2, 2011

A Mickey Mouse Agency

UPDATE: 9PM, Sunday, 5/8/11. I have written a new posting on this topic here.


I haven't posted for a while about the Transportation Security Administration, even though they have been in the news recently over more of their grope searches of a 6-year old girl (story here ) and a former Miss USA (story here).

As a friend of mine recently stated, "if flying is so dangerous we have to be groping six year olds, then nobody should be flying." Good point. 

Another point it seems to me is that if flying is so dangerous we have to be groping people, why are they allowing children to do their job of checking travelers? When I was checking in for my flight in State College, PA Thursday morning, I presented my ID and boarding pass to a young man I would guess was about eight years old. You can see him with the "magic flashlight" in the photo below. 

They also had children manning the conveyor belt that lead into the X-ray and on the other side of the X-ray and metal detector. Look closely at the photo below.
Children? Really?!

This is an agency that routinely violates our rights, hassles innocent people, and is unprofessional while doing it. 

My question: Why doesn't Congress do something about this increasingly out-of-control agency? Now that Bin Laden has eliminated maybe we can have an intelligent look at airport security.

Welcome Pilots of America and AOPA members. Please feel free to look around the rest of the blog which is primarily about weather. 

Welcome Smart Money readers. 


  1. As a Disney shareholder and Disney Vacation Club member, I'm offended at your title. Mickey Mouse is a very profitable, safe-for-kids character, unlike the characters at TSA.

    Seriously though, I'm planning on flying with my 10 year old daughter in September and I'm not sure I want to do that. I don't want her to undergo searches like those described above.

  2. Mickey Mouse is marketed to children. This appears to be a case of the TSA trying to ingratiate itself to children, thus the title.

  3. The fact that there were children helping on Thursday might have had something to do with "Take Your Child to Work Day". Not quite sure how TSA would handle that, being security and all. Just a thought that might explain it!

  4. I'm not a lawyer type, but personally, you might want to consider filing a privacy rights violation against the TSA. It appears that they shared your personal information with persons outside of the agency without following the required aspects of the law that governs the information you are being required to share with them.

    Yes, it can seem a bit petty to file a complaint over that. But, if we are being forced to follow some type of secret law we have no access to just to fly, then they should definitely be forced to follow all of the ones we do have access to that they note on their website they are required to follow.

    Refer to

    To quote them directly: "We will disclose your information only with your consent, by statute or pursuant to a routine use established in a published system of records notice."

    And coerced consent is not consent.

  5. The privacy comment is interesting. Yes, it would be petty, but strictly speaking, that would appear to be a violation of the policy.

    Also, I have to take issue with the question of "why are they allowing children to do their job of checking travelers?"

    The children are not DOING the job. They screener is standing directly behind the child and, PRESUMABLY, is actually doing the job (ie. reviewing the information they would normally review if the child was not sitting right there).

    This is very much like the kid in the control tower, where people were up in arms saying that the kid was controlling traffic. No, he wasn't....and similarly, these kids are NOT really screening passengers.

  6. Keith,

    I was instructed to hand my DL to a child, not a member of the TSA. If you don't have a concern about that, fine. I do. I consider the information on the DL to be confidential.

    Thank you for the comment.


  7. If I happen to do open heart surgery as my profession is it alright to just monitor my child while he does the surgery? How about if he just scrubs in but doesn't actually hold the aorta . He would be under my direct supervision. People wouldn't even be happy if I let an intern do the surgery under my supervision. This whole issue of bring your child to work is absurd. Let children be children where in the world of make believe a simple oversight is not critical. It only makes a sore subject, TSA actions, searches,pat downs more controversial.

  8. Whether or not the child is doing the job, the child has no right to look at people's IDs and personal things. It's totally inappropriate and highlights what a laughing stock this process is. Pathetic. Even more pathetic than the US public allows it.

  9. Wait, I thought that the screeners were putting their lives on the line in their extremely dangerous bomb-detecting and weapons-confiscating workplace? How could a place like that be safe for children? Could it be that the whole charade is just security theater and everyone including the screeners knows there is no danger at all? Hmm, makes me think. The screeners know checkpoints are a safe place to bring their own children. Yet, I'm supposed to believe checkpoints are such a hugely risky place that sexually abusing passengers becomes the only rational response to the overwhelming danger. The cognitive dissonance hurts.

  10. Could be the seven Harry Potter Books are training manuals for TSA implementation (but very...very..gradually)through a "feel good" program like Take Your Child to Work Day. According to these very popular books, today's children are going to right the wrongs of the previous generations. (Just a thought).

  11. The USA is doomed. The terrorists have won unless we wake up and grow up and take back our rights and our dignity. END THE TSA.

  12. You are so worried about your privacy? What about the privacy of the young man whose picture you posted? Do you think HE should have some privacy too? Did you ask his parents to post his picture?

  13. Sorry about the young man but he was doing a PUBLIC function in a PUBLIC place. Since, according to the TSA (I'll be doing a separate post on that later tonight), he was the child of a TSA employee they never should have put the young man there if they didn't want him "in public."

    The difference here is that I was COMPELLED by a federal agency to hand private info to the child.

    No one made the child be in that position except his parent(s).

  14. why dont you ppl grow the F@%*% up TSA is protecting your A&& so you F#@%&($ crybabies dont ever get in a jam like the ppl from 911 on all the planes if you dont like the way TSA does the job DONT F^*$@#& FLY

  15. MIKE SMITH you mean you have nothing better to do with your life then bash TSA. That last person is right grow up.

  16. You seriously have issues if you believe that an 8? year old is going to take your so called personal information and run with it. Do you think he will remember your address and stalk you? Remember your name and purchase video games with it?
    How many times have you handed your ID to your local Wal~Mart employee? I'd trust a child over them any day!
    As far as children being in harms way; when they walk out there doors every morning, ride the bus to school, ride thier bike in the park, they are in harm's way. It's up to God to make the all encompassing decision. Not Congress, John Pistole, not you, and not even thier parents.
    Take Your Child to Work Day is meant for parents to spend quality time with thier children and for the children to learn about thier parents job. I doubt in anyway did the child make any decisions on the ID verification.
    Plain and simple.... GROW UP!


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