TSA Watch: Is the TSA’s 10th birthday cause for celebration?

Happy birthday, TSA.

The federal agency charged with protecting the nation’s transportation systems turns 10 Nov. 19. And although its supporters will probably spend the coming days talking about its apparent successes, including the absence of a 9/11 sequel, the question of whether we’re better off with this fledgling $8 billion-a-year federal agency remains very much unanswered.
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TSA Watch: 10 things the TSA should do on its 10th anniversary

No one was surprised by this week’s report that the Transportation Security Administration glossed over the health risks of its airport X-ray scanners.

The investigation found that anywhere from six to 100 U.S. airline passengers each year could get cancer from the machines — a hazard critics have warned about ever since the devices were quietly deployed in many airports almost two years ago.
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TSA watch: Exploiting 9/11 for fun and profit

Here we go again.

With just a few days before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, everyone who stands anything to gain from the day is amping up the rhetoric.

Let’s start with this curious travel advisory issued yesterday by the State Department, which warns American travelers of “threat” posed by al-Qa’ida and its affiliates.

But read closely.
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Shut up!

On the seventh anniversary of 9/11, there’s lots of blabbering and bloviating about the the terrorist attacks. To most of it — if not all of it — I have a two-word response: shut up.

Although this isn’t a political blog, it is a travel blog. And 9/11 affected our transportation infrastructure first and foremost. So I feel somewhat qualified to comment.

Let’s start with a post from The Seminal, which noted that 9/11 has expanded to 9/11 week, which the blog describes as “political opportunism” that’s become “little more than Vegas-style spectacle, stripped of the majority of their meaning.”

To those of you turning 9/11 into a sequel to Shark Week, I say: shut up.

Then there’s the Transportation Security Administration, which is marking the occasion by changing the color of its screener — uh, sorry, Transportation Security Officer — uniforms.

The most striking change is the color of the shirt – from white to blue – and a gold metal badge will replace the embroidered patch. This will better align the officer’s uniform with the other security professional positions in the Department of Homeland Security.

The costume change will cost taxpayers $12 million.

Hey, TSA — shut up.

The Air Transport Association — the airline trade group tirelessly lobbying against the basic needs of its own customers — couldn’t help itself, either. Here’s what it had to say about today’s anniversary.

The Air Transport Association of America, its member airlines and their employees join all Americans today in remembering Sept. 11, 2001. We honor the memory of those lost and the service of those whose daily efforts advance the security of our nation.

Who cares what you think? No one believes a word you say, anyway.

Shut the hell up.

Perez Hilton apparently had nothing to say about 9/11 — but still got more than 100 comments on his non-comment.

Maybe they should just shut up, too.

Why should we keep a lid on it?

Because the only fitting way to remember Sept. 11, 2001, in my opinion, is to reflect and remember, quietly. And perhaps to ask ourselves questions that few people dare ask, for fear their patriotism will be questioned.

Excuse me. I’m going to take my own advice, and shut up.

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