Letter to Management re TSA

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Forumname

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Sep 25, 2008
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1,101
WOW after seeing that picture i can not even imagine how parents would let their children through those machines. They have no idea what kind of sexual deviant is on the receiving end. I am sure the traveling public has no idea that the images are that graphic. WBI machines are literally just short of what convicted felons deal with in jail. the only missing element is the cavity search.
 

elcajonblvd

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Nov 19, 2006
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794
Look the airport needs to be secure...so stop thinking...you have done too much of this lol.........lives or an x-ray pic....really??........maybe some of you need to look at some pics of dead people to get it
 

CommonSensePilot1

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Aug 22, 2010
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Well, after years of just reading the pipe, I finally feel compelled to take a real "hit" and chime in!

SpatialD -

What really was the purpose of posting your letter?

Regardless of what you claimed, what exactly were you hoping to gain? I am sure that you know that management reads this forum; was this just an informal "sneak attack" to see if you could instigate some reaction from the pilots? Or just a heads up to George that an official "polished" version would soon show up at Subhash's desk, certified mail?

Maybe you were you hoping to gain some type of respect from the pilot group for taking action?...Hmmm....

But what would a guy like you want respect for, especially from ExpressJet Pilot's or management?

Despite my curiousity, I have to compliment you on the quality of your letter. Your command of the English language is commendable, but I would have deducted a few points for wordiness. Perhaps being a bit more succint, clear, and simple would have been more effective. Even your simplified version was too complicated.

How about, "Dear ExpressJet Management, I am letting you know in advance that I will not subject myself to full body scans at security checkpoints. This may disrupt our flight operation, but I am unwilling to compromise my morals. Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further." Wouldn't that get your point across? C'mon, the first rule in communication is to know your audience. You are not exactly dealing with scholars... (And you, having been involved in a few different facets here, know this!?)

In all honestly, I do not mean to directly attack you, Spatial, but this certainly is not the right battlefield for this war. Forget the formal letter; you can now consider managment "notified" of your beliefs, just don't expect them to support you. (Reference the multiple threads on Terminal E security. Clearly, the details surrounding how we get to the airplane is not of their concern.)

So what of the Union? Though I cannot deny that there are some good, hard working folks involved, the organization itself is useless; paralyzed by its own structure. So, no luck there either.

So, boys and girls...what have we learned? Only fight the good fight if its worth a few bruises...In our cases, we work in an organizational structure that prohibits us from being anything other than gas for the engine. Accept this like most of your "brothers and sisters" already have, pay your useless dues, and swim in the sea of mediocrity. OR, leave! Its that simple.

Now for you, Codename...

Flight Attendants are the most visible part of our company to the paying passenger. Before you get all up in arms about respect, remember that it (respect) has to be earned. How many of your colleagues look, act, and behave like serious professionals? Yes, I know, some pilot's are not any better, however they atleast have years of training and qualifcations under their belts. What's sad, Yam, is that assuming you are one of the few FA's at our company that are mature and professional in their actions and appearance, you ARE in the MINORITY.

Just some common sense.


PS - Those pictures are quite graphic. Working those machines must be the most covetted position at TSA these days, especially during Spring Break.
 

Forumname

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1,101
Your naked body is just not that Important, precios,.or special.or bla bla bla
It is so much more than just being about the virtual strip search. It is a constitution issue. Does a person have a sovereign right over his or her body or does it belong to the government? Must we be subjected to give up our privacy and dignity whenever some bureaucrat deems it prudent for "safety". I fear this more than terrorist. You can show me pictures of dead bodies all day long and I will still feel the same way. It is a principal issue.
 

JIAFDB

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Jul 12, 2010
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107
I guess I would agree with you if you can show me in the Constitution that commercial air flying is a constitutional right. You can always take the bus, train, or boat. That being said, I do agree those machines are crossing the line.
 

kniltej

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Sep 22, 2007
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2,085
Look the airport needs to be secure...so stop thinking...you have done too much of this lol.........lives or an x-ray pic....really??........maybe some of you need to look at some pics of dead people to get it
Dude... you're a dumba$$ if you think these body scanners are doing anything for added security at airports. This is an invasion of privacy plain and simple and needs to be stopped. Again these body scanners do nothing in the way of detecting any metal so a would be terrorist can now just easily accept a whole body scan and walk right in with 5 lbs of C4 up his a$$.

This is a short article quoting an Israeli Airport Security Specialist on how Whole Body Imageing scanners are waste of money. The most secure airport in the world (Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion) doesnt use them. Hmmm... wonder why?

http://www.gadling.com/2010/04/25/israeli-airport-security-specialist-full-body-scanners-are-a-w
 

SpatialD

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Dec 19, 2005
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2,951
Well, after years of just reading the pipe, I finally feel compelled to take a real "hit" and chime in!
Considering all the controversial, infuriating, idiotic, impassioned ranting that has taken place here over the past several years, I feel honored - or touched, or guilty, or something - to know that it was one of my threads that drew you into the fray. Now, may God have mercy on your soul.

SpatialD -

What really was the purpose of posting your letter?

Regardless of what you claimed, what exactly were you hoping to gain? I am sure that you know that management reads this forum; was this just an informal "sneak attack" to see if you could instigate some reaction from the pilots? Or just a heads up to George that an official "polished" version would soon show up at Subhash's desk, certified mail?

Maybe you were you hoping to gain some type of respect from the pilot group for taking action?...Hmmm....
I put this on the pipe for several reasons - primarily two: First, I wanted to start the conversation that we are now having in this thread, and I wanted it to take place in a tangible, relevant context as opposed to the passive indifference of a merely philosophical debate. This is a real thing that is happening in the real world where we all live and work, and every one of us must respond to it in some way sooner or later.

Also, to be quite honest, while I was and am firm in my resolve about all this, I'd prefer not to be a lone voice crying out in the wilderness if I don't have to be. I know there are some folks around here who see this much the same way I do, and their support and unity is much appreciated and of great value to me. And I wanted to offer what I could to those who share my views and values, but who may not be as naturally at ease as I seem to be when it comes to articulating their sentiments and upholding their convictions while still maintaining the level of care and calculation that this sort of thing probably requires.

So I wouldn't exactly call posting my letter here an 'informal sneak attack' so much as a call to attention and action to those on the crack pipe who love their liberty - pilots, management, passengers, and anyone else who might happen to give a shart. Part of my intention is also to inform as many people as possible of what I have learned in researching all this, which partially accounts both for the high word count of my letter, and for my decision to post it here.

And yes, I know management reads the pipe, and on some level I probably did want to give them a heads up, although I'm not sure exactly why. But no, I do not yet consider them 'notified', as you suggest. Whoever you are, something tells me you know as well as I that nothing exists in this business, and most others, until it has been documented - and posting it on the pipe doesn't count. So, for posterity's sake, I will be making sure it lands on their (your?) desks very soon. Does that trouble you?

I don't know how you think I would hope to gain respect from the pilot group with this. Knowing the culture around here as I do, I frankly expected a lot more flame to be thrown my way, and a lot less friendliness than I have actually received. The only impression I'm trying to make is on the hearts and minds of thinking people about the issue itself - not about me.

But what would a guy like you want respect for, especially from ExpressJet Pilot's or management?
This seems a little snarky to me, but I'm really not sure what you're getting at. Please clarify your question.

Despite my curiousity, I have to compliment you on the quality of your letter. Your command of the English language is commendable, but I would have deducted a few points for wordiness. Perhaps being a bit more succint, clear, and simple would have been more effective. Even your simplified version was too complicated.

How about, "Dear ExpressJet Management, I am letting you know in advance that I will not subject myself to full body scans at security checkpoints. This may disrupt our flight operation, but I am unwilling to compromise my morals. Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further." Wouldn't that get your point across? C'mon, the first rule in communication is to know your audience. You are not exactly dealing with scholars... (And you, having been involved in a few different facets here, know this!?)
First, thank you for the kind words and insightful commentary. You're right, I framed this thing a few grade levels above the head of the average USA Today reader, and probably over did it in the current version. Like I said above, I wanted to be as informative as I reasonably could both to explain myself and to bring the matter itself to light. But I also took pains to be as thorough and precise as I could, knowing that, along with my fellow pilots and management, some judge or lawyer might possibly have occasion to scrutinize my words, at which point, I sort of would be dealing with scholars.

That said, I will definitely take your editorial advice into account and see if there might be an adjective or two I can cull out of the final draft.

In all honestly, I do not mean to directly attack you, Spatial, but this certainly is not the right battlefield for this war. Forget the formal letter; you can now consider managment "notified" of your beliefs, just don't expect them to support you. (Reference the multiple threads on Terminal E security. Clearly, the details surrounding how we get to the airplane is not of their concern.)
The battle showed up in my inbox, in a formal letter (FIL 10-050). Why are you so adamant that I "forget the formal letter" in my own response? What's bothering you here?

I don't have any expectations, really. But I do know that 'management' is really just a bunch of human beings like you and me. I know some of them well enough to believe that, independent of their role at the company, they will give due consideration to the larger issues at stake (and I also know that some of them won't). How they reconcile those issues with the business of running ExpressJet Airlines is a question of their conscience and character, as it is for each of us. There's no harm in inviting and encouraging them (or you) to stand with us, is there?

Just some common sense.
You know, speaking of 'Common Sense', there was this guy named Thomas Paine - a contemporary of Benjamin Franklin, quoted above in this thread - who wrote a little pamphlet by the same name. It may be a bit wordy for your tastes, but I highly recommend it nonetheless. ;)
 

SpatialD

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I guess I would agree with you if you can show me in the Constitution that commercial air flying is a constitutional right. You can always take the bus, train, or boat. That being said, I do agree those machines are crossing the line.
Where does it say that taking the bus, train, or boat - or even walking, for that matter - is a constitutional right?

The real question is where does the Constitution empower the State with the right to impose these measures? It doesn't. Not only that, but the Fourth Amendment clearly forbids this very sort of thing.

Then there's the Tenth Amendment, which states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." That means, if the Constitution doesn't give the Federal Government dominion over your physical body and freedom of movement, and if your own state's constitution doesn't give it that power either (which would amount to slavery in either case by any reasonable measure of COMMON SENSE), then it belongs to YOU.
 
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JIAFDB

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Where does it say that taking the bus, train, or boat - or even walking, for that matter - is a constitutional right?

The real question is where does the Constitution empower the State with the right to impose these measures? It doesn't. Not only that, but the Fourth Amendment clearly forbids this very sort of thing.

Then there's the Tenth Amendment, which states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." That means, if the Constitution doesn't give the Federal Government dominion over your physical body and freedom of movement, and if your own state's constitution doesn't give it that power either (which would amount to slavery in either case by any reasonable measure of COMMON SENSE), then it belongs to YOU.
I never said it was a constitutional right to use any form of transportation. I was merely suggesting there are other options. And as much as you may not like it, Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution DOES give the power to the federal government to provide for the common defense. Isn't that what we are talking about here? Again though, like I said before; I think this crosses the line. There has to be a balance between protecting our freedom and liberty, and invasion of privacy. This leans too much toward an invasion of privacy.
 

Unverified

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Spatial, I'm on your side, these scanners are the dumbest thing that I have ever seen, now focus. :)

Where does it say that taking the bus, train, or boat - or even walking, for that matter - is a constitutional right?
Just like with air travel, it does not. You DO however, have the right to stay home, or walk. The constitution is not being violated in THIS case, IMHO. You do have a legitimate grievance, but you are using the wrong logic to build your case IMHO.

The real question is where does the Constitution empower the State with the right to impose these measures? It doesn't. Not only that, but the Fourth Amendment clearly forbids this very sort of thing.
This is not a fourth amendment issue, as you have the right to ask for alternative screening. You also have the right to stay home, or seek alternative transportation. I think of it this way... If the fourth amendment applied here, so would the second, correct? In this case, if I have a CHL, why can't I just bypass all together, and exercise my CHL rights on the plane?

Then there's the Tenth Amendment, which states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." That means, if the Constitution doesn't give the Federal Government dominion over your physical body and freedom of movement, and if your own state's constitution doesn't give it that power either (which would amount to slavery in either case by any reasonable measure of COMMON SENSE), then it belongs to YOU.
Here is where I have to take deep breaths to control the blood pressure (mandatory health care comes to mind). Personally, while I am not a fan of the scanners, there HAS to be some security. Where do you draw the line? Air travel IS multi-jurisdictional. IMHO, the feds DO have a say.

Now you are really on a slippery slope. I agree about the Israeli's. They know how to do things. At the same time though, many of the American public would not like being treated that way either. When it gets to the point that Americans revolt by STAYING HOME, THAT'S when you will see change.

This is like everything else in this country right now. Money talks. When the TSA truly crosses the line, people will just start staying home. This will cost Wall Street money, and the policy will change. Sadly, I think it will have to come to random body cavity searches first, but I can honestly see it going that far in the not too distant future. I don't mean the "prison" type cavity search, but perhaps a REAL X-Ray like customs uses could be possible. :mad:

In the mean time, I'll see you in the alternative screening line, AFTER I cut to the front if in Terminal E. Have a great day. :cool:
 

SpatialD

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I never said it was a constitutional right to use any form of transportation. I was merely suggesting there are other options. And as much as you may not like it, Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution DOES give the power to the federal government to provide for the common defense. Isn't that what we are talking about here? Again though, like I said before; I think this crosses the line. There has to be a balance between protecting our freedom and liberty, and invasion of privacy. This leans too much toward an invasion of privacy.
No, I don't believe we are talking about the common defense here. As you said yourself, this crosses the line. But why has DHS/TSA crossed that line? Is it because they are so mission-focused that they forgot to preserve our civil rights and privacy in their zeal to keep us safe?

Want to know what I think? I think it has nothing to do with keeping anybody safe and everything to do with the multi-million (tax) dollar price of those machines and the manpower required to put them into service. As I mentioned in the letter, the original plan was to use WBI as an alternative to a 'pat-down' during secondary screening.

Now, all other issues aside, if you were the guy allocating the budget for these systems, how would you justify several million dollars for some gadget that's only going to be used on the tiny percentage of travelers who can't make it through primary screening and, of those, only the tiny percentage who opt for it over a standard frisking? Under the terms of the test program, those machines would have sat there and collected dust in the tradition of good ol' fashioned wasteful government spending - just another day at the office till somebody eventually pulls the plug on the program and you have to come up with some other scam.

But, if you could sell the powers that be on the idea that these machines are absolutely necessary to provide for the common defense, or, more importantly, that this idea could be sold to the public and thus justify an all-out campaign to really go the fu*k crazy spending exponentially more tax dollars than they ever dreamed possible on this little program - with the added bonus of further desensitizing the sheeple to the ever growing reach of absolute, authoritarian control over their lives - well now you've just boosted your career into the ozone. The President himself will probably appoint you the next czar of something, and you can feel all nice and smug about how you're protecting your fellow citizens as you bastardize Article 1, Section 8 into oblivion.

I'm not buying it - and I don't think you are either, really.

This is not a fourth amendment issue, as you have the right to ask for alternative screening. You also have the right to stay home, or seek alternative transportation. I think of it this way... If the fourth amendment applied here, so would the second, correct? In this case, if I have a CHL, why can't I just bypass all together, and exercise my CHL rights on the plane?...

When it gets to the point that Americans revolt by STAYING HOME, THAT'S when you will see change...

When the TSA truly crosses the line, people will just start staying home... Sadly, I think it will have to come to random body cavity searches first, but I can honestly see it going that far in the not too distant future. I don't mean the "prison" type cavity search, but perhaps a REAL X-Ray like customs uses could be possible. :mad:

In the mean time, I'll see you in the alternative screening line, AFTER I cut to the front if in Terminal E. Have a great day. :cool:
When both 'alternatives' are an invasion of your privacy and physical sovereignty over your own person without reasonable cause or provocation or even suspicion, it most certainly is a Fourth Amendment issue.

And if the rights accorded by the Second Amendment had been reinstated to the American traveler and in effect on 9/11, most likely the twin towers would still be standing to this day. But I am NOT going any further down that road with you here right now. Just let it go, people. Unverified is right, we must focus.

I wasn't really trying to build my case in that last post necessarily - just responding to JIAFDB's comment.

I don't know whether staging a revolt by staying home will change anything or not, but that's pretty much where I am at this point. Not that I intend to stage anything, for that matter. It's just that some things - quite a few, actually - are of more value to me than this job or just air travel in general. And better men than I have sacrificed far more, preferring instead to preserve their liberty (and ours, by the way). This whole insane situation dishonors them. It's shameful that so many of us can't be bothered to even lift a finger to protect the liberty passed down to us at such dear cost to our forbears AND our jobs AND our freedom of movement with WHATEVER mode of transportation we choose. With a little solidarity and resolve, no one would have to choose from among these things to the exclusion of the other(s).

So unless they come up with a better alternative, then no, you won't see me in the alternative screening line. :)
 
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Alter Ego

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Well, in any case mad props to SpatialD for trying something, ANYTHING, since nobody else (company) seems to care, and NOTHING else has worked.
 

SpatialD

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Alright, I cut and rearranged a couple words, but nothing substantial that needs to be posted here. Will probably send the letter tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.

The number of people signing on with us in this is pretty skimpy as compared to the number who have been willing to express their approval and agreement in spirit here and off the pipe, and I know there are bound to be others out there who haven't said a word. I can understand that on a certain level, and it's pretty much what I expected. But this is the last call, and we could sure use all the real support we can get. Anyway, thanks for all the good discussion. For some reason, it makes me think of this:

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright --
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done --
'It's very rude of him.' she said,
'To come and spoil the fun!'

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead --
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand:
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
'If this were only cleared away,'
They said, 'it would be grand.'

'If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said,
'That they could get it clear?'
'l doubt it,' said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

'O Oysters, come and walk with us!
The Walrus did beseech.
'A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.'

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head --
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

Out four young Oysters hurried up.
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat --
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more --
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings.'

'But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,
'Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!'
'No hurry!' said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

'A loaf of bread,' the Walrus said,
'Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed --
Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.'

'But not on us!' the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
'After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!'
'The night is fine,' the Walrus said,
'Do you admire the view?'

'It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
'Cut us another slice-
I wish you were not quite so deaf-
I've had to ask you twice!'

'It seems a shame,' the Walrus said,
'To play them such a trick.
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
'The butter's spread too thick!'

'I weep for you,'the Walrus said:
'I deeply sympathize.'
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

'O Oysters,' said the Carpenter,
'You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none --
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

-Lewis Carroll


...along with the helpful commentary and interpretation:

"I like the Walrus best," said Alice, "because you see he was a little sorry for the poor oysters."
"He ate more than the Carpenter, though," said Tweedledee. "You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn't count how many he took: contrariwise."
"That was mean!" Alice said indignantly. "Then I like the Carpenter best—-if he didn't eat so many as the Walrus."
"But he ate as many as he could get," said Tweedledum.
This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, "Well! They were both very unpleasant characters—-"
 
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SpatialD

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Dec 19, 2005
Messages
2,951
Here's a letter I wrote on this that went out in my local paper today, in Section A, no less - finally some decent exposure with a mainstream audience.

The comments are interesting, even if they did make fun of my corkscrew... I still prefer the Crackpipe, though.
 
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