Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – I have to tell you that this round through the TSA, I guess since they are now unionized and it means they can’t be whacked, they are impervious to scrutiny, have now turned the Transportation Security Administration into an arrogant, bullying outfit. I wasn’t the only one that was making this observation. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: The last time I flew, I actually thought that there was maybe some hope for the Transportation Security Administration, and that maybe because there had been threats in some states to basically either secede from the Union to avoid having to use the TSA, or to kick the TSA out, that maybe they had straightened their act up or they had changed just a bit. I have to tell you that this round through the TSA, I guess since they are now unionized and it means they can’t be whacked, they are impervious to scrutiny, have now turned the Transportation Security Administration into an arrogant, bullying outfit. I wasn’t the only one that was making this observation. [mocking] “Just your right-wing sour grapes.” No, it’s not.
I’m standing in line on Friday. There was a woman that decided she was going to go through the — I told the story that I refuse to go through the porno scanner. I had to yesterday because I only had five minutes to get to the flight. On Friday I did what’s called an opt-out and I let them pat me down in front of the entire planet. Before I got to the opt-out, there was a woman that had forgotten to take her shoes off. This was her crime: she forgot to take her shoes off. She was getting ready to go through the porno scanner. You’d have thought that she was the actual shoe bomber as the TSA guard was: Stop! Stop! Stop! You can’t come through here! Stop right where you are! The woman is just standing there in shock wondering what she did. She goes: There’s a sign that says you don’t have to take off shoes. He goes: Read that sign again! It says if you’re over 75! He’s yelling at her. Everyone is standing there watching this as all the other TSA goons or incompetents are just standing around watching all this going on. This woman is embarrassed and ashamed and has to go back into the line, take her shoes off, then suffering the ignominious fate of having some TSA goon look at her naked in the porno scanner.
Yesterday I’m going through this. There are TSA guards, TSA agents out in front of the place where you go to get checked in to go through the security. The line is an hour and 15 minutes long. I go back to the U.S. Air kiosk and I know you can buy an upgraded pass to get through this. I go all the way back and buy an upgraded pass so I can go cut through the line. You don’t really cut the line, you cut the maze part of the line where you line up and get herded through this. An hour and 15 minutes, this is just to have the privilege of stripping yourself damn near naked to go through this unbelievably inconvenient and inhumane process. Folks, we often look for political rallying points to accomplish something. It seems that almost always it has something that people wanted to accomplish in Congress. Just forget about Congress unless you’re talking about Congress doing its job and abolishing this God-awful, inhumane and inhuman agency known as the TSA.
This particular guard is standing there barking out orders about how no one is going through his line if you have anything in your pockets. There is no please. Here are foreign words for the TSA at Reagan National. There’s not an agent there that knows the use of the word “please.” They don’t know the use of the word “thank you.” They do not seem to comprehend the use of the words “do you mind.” Any kind of mannerism has just been completely scrubbed and cleansed from these bullies and their dialogue as they shout at you and bark orders at you, tell you to stand where they want you to stand, do as they want you to do.
Now it’s gotten to the point that you can’t even get through the damn porno scanner. You’ve got to take your shoes off, which I still have no clue as to why, and neither does anyone else, that you have to do this. Now you have to take your watches off. You have to take everything out of your pockets, including a dime. If you’ve got a dime in your pocket, take it out because that porno scanner is going to pick it up and they’re going to ask you if it’s a detonating device. I went through and had my St. Joseph lucky bean in my pocket. [mocking] ”What is this? I don’t know who St. Joseph is!” Take your belt off. If you have a belt that has a belt buckle on it, take it off. If you have a watch, take it off. If you have a necklace on, take it off. You’re basically stripped down to just bare essential clothing, and that’s just for the privilege, after waiting over an hour, to get to the porno scanner. Why this is being tolerated is beyond me.
People are gruffing about this, Andrew. For the first time, I noticed mass discontent with this process as I was overhearing the word “ridiculous.” I was hearing the word “unprecedented.” I was overhearing the word “preposterous.” I was overhearing the word “embarrassing.” This is what life in the United States has become if you would like to travel. The guy that was in line in front of me was pointing out that he could turn around, get out of the line, go drive to where he could find an Amtrak train, and there are plenty of places where you can jump the Amtrak in the Washington, DC area. Train transportation is easy to get to if you live on that part of the Eastern Coast. He could put his clothes back on, grab his bag, drive and time it so he had maybe 15 or 20 minutes to spare to go get on an Amtrak train. Once he got to the train — have you ridden on a train lately? You’ve trained in New York, haven’t you?
Mike: Did they strip you?
AG: Uh, not strip me but there are a bunch of security guards and dogs and all that stuff.
Mike: But it’s not like the airport, though, is it?
AG: No, but I could be naïve or a patsy, but I still look at it as the free market choice of how you want to travel.
Mike: What if they had non-screened airlines? We used to talk about this all the time. This used to come up and it seems to have died down or is not a big subject of conversation. It’s the airlines that are ultimately responsible for your safe passage. Let’s go through this. Speaking of free markets, let’s go through this. When I call US Scarelines — did you see the belly landing plane Friday? There was another US Airlines plane that lost its landing gear. It had to land on its belly in Newark. I think it was Friday or yesterday.
AG: We had that and we had the train jumping off the rails in Connecticut.
Mike: Didn’t see that one. I heard about that one. I’m watching the video right now on CNN of the plane belly landing. Let’s just go through the free market process of how you get on a plane and why you get on a plane. I want to go to Washington, DC, the XM satellite radio studios. So I’m going to go to Washington and work at XM. The fastest way for me to get there, the most convenient way for me to get there is to take an airplane. I can contract with numerous airlines. I can fly US Air, United, Delta, American, Southwest, although I think Southwest goes to Dulles. I know they go to BWI. I have a choice of airlines. The actual fare is almost identical across the board. What’s different is how much you pay for luggage or bags, what kind of cabin upgrades and classes you can sit in, closer to the front of the plane, expedited baggage service, etc., etc.
Somewhere along this path, if I were actually using this as a free market example, somewhere along this path, if I actually had to talk to a human being and I read the fine print when I clicked the “you agree to the terms and conditions” box if you buy your ticket online, just using US Air as an example — that’s the airline I fly the most to Reagan because it’s got a direct flight. What service is it that they are selling to me? They are selling to me the convenience and safety of air travel, both things. Implicit in the sale of the ticket is that our crew and our hardware, the plane, will take you through the skies, over and above the traffic, the terrestrial traffic, and get you from point A to point B faster and as safe or safer than you can if you drove yourself, took a train or a bus. Safety is part of this. Ultimately in the sale of the ticket, I am also purchasing a promise of safe travel.
It is the airline that is ultimately, and they ought to be because they’re the ones that are profiting from this and this is part of their business, part of their risk and part of your risk in doing business with them, safe travel. Ultimately it is their responsibility to get you from A to B safely. The safety of the passengers on the plane is their responsibility. It is not the responsibility of the federal leviathan. It is not the responsibility or should not be the responsibility of some unbelievable awful agency, as I said, inhuman and demeaning agency, like the TSA to accomplish this. They should be doing this themselves, and they used to do it. They used to do it. Of course, all that changed on September 11, 2001. I used to make the case: Why don’t we have US Air, guaranteed by Marshal Wyatt Earp’s deputies? Why don’t you have Smith & Wesson or Browning Airlines? In other words, airlines could sell the feature that we will get you through that gate faster when you go through our security lines because we have a screening process. Here’s what you’re looking for before you get on one of our planes. And if something were to happen in the air, we actually have a safety contingency plan to deal with that.
Mike Church Show Transcript: Intervention Is Arrogant And Unconstitutional Whether Foreign Or Domestic
In other words, if you had a free market competition for the kinds of safety precautions — you may have some airlines: You have to take everything off. Nobody is getting on our planes with a set of fingernail clippers. It would be up to them. You would know this going in in advance instead of the one-size-fits-all government bully agency screaming and barking out orders to the people as if they really are just a bunch of sheep being herded to get on the airplanes.
End Mike Church Show Transcript