A timely article on TSA:
"The railroads also confronted a real enemy. They neither lied nor exaggerated the risks because that would cost them customers. Contrast that with the bureaucrats at the TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security. They depend on taxpayers’ fears of ubiquitous, magically lethal terrorists for their jobs and cushy offices. (The TSA’s headquarters boasts $500,000 worth of silk plants and artwork, a 4,200-square-foot fitness center, and seven kitchens.) So does their army of 45,000 airport screeners. Indeed, the government’s incentives are not only perverse but directly opposite the railroads’: the bigger the threat, the more government passengers “need” and the more eagerly they cede their freedom. The TSA has every reason to overstate the number of terrorists. And does: the notorious “No-Fly List” topped out at 325,000 names. Can there really be that many folks living in caves while dreaming of sky-high suicide? Even the TSA tacitly admitted that this was nonsense last November when it claimed to be pruning the roster by half. Still . . . 162,500 explosive cavemen?
The TSA can espouse such balderdash because neither passengers nor markets influence it. That frees it from common sense and rational decisions. It responds solely to the politicians who created and sustain it. And as long as they profit from voters’ fears, the TSA will pretend passengers are pathological."
It's timely, because of this article in USAToday:
"Security screeners at two of the nation's busiest airports failed to find fake bombs hidden on undercover agents posing as passengers in more than 60% of tests last year, according to a classified report obtained by USA TODAY.
Screeners at Los Angeles International Airport missed about 75% of simulated explosives and bomb parts that Transportation Security Administration testers hid under their clothes or in carry-on bags at checkpoints, the TSA report shows.
At Chicago O'Hare International Airport, screeners missed about 60% of hidden bomb materials that were packed in everyday carry-ons — including toiletry kits, briefcases and CD players.
San Francisco International Airport screeners, who work for a private company instead of the TSA, missed about 20% of the bombs, the report shows. The TSA ran about 70 tests at Los Angeles, 75 at Chicago and 145 at San Francisco."
Hat tip to David McCleary....