The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘TSA’

The jackbooted thugs of United Airlines

Posted by keithosaunders on April 10, 2017

You would think that by now that the frustration and degradation levels of airline travel would have peaked and nothing they could do would be able to repel is any further.


Today United Airlines, because they were overbooked, forcibly ejected a paying customer, bloodying his head in the process.  This was to make room for a United employee.  The man, a doctor, refused to relinquish his seat so the crew called in a policeman who dragged him off the flight.

There was video of the ejection (Of course:  Puke-faced millennials video everything) and the story has blown up on Twitter, eliciting a boycott United movement.

But here’s the thing:  United isn’t doing anything that any other American-based airline would do.  In the aftermath of the September 11th, 2001 attacks flying has systematically become more and more of an ordeal in which passengers are considered criminals until proven otherwise.

I am here to say that it isn’t United that we should be boycotting, but the entire airline industry.  Unless you have to fly somewhere on business, you know what?  Stay home.

If you live on one of the coasts and want to take a vacation then get in your car and drive to a beach town or some nearby mountains.  There are a myriad of good vacation spots within driving distance.  If you’re in the middle of the country I’m sure there are plenty of places you can get to.  You’ll save money and your dignity.

You’re probably going to tell me that you have to take the kids to see grandma.   I say have grandma come to you.  That way the airlines get only get one fare instead of four or five.  Here’s an idea:  Have grandma move closer to her grand kids.

Enough is enough.

Posted in life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

My Christmas Hate Post

Posted by keithosaunders on December 23, 2015

Some people send Christmas cards, I write Christmas hate posts.


When I was a boy I believed in Santa Clause. Then one day, when I was 9, I found out he wasn’t real. Oh, I thought, the world is based on a lie. Santa did not, in fact, create the earth in 6 days. Global warming is a hoax, 9/11 and the moon landing were staged, and vaccination causes blindness.

Let me tell you something, people, you’re getting all cheery-eyed, and spending willy-nilly, driving in traffic while singing your Burl Ives at the top of your lungs. WELL STOP. Have a holly jolly MY ASS!!

You want to take a trip? You want to take a trip? Oh boy, let’s all go to the airport.  That full cavity search sure goes down smoothly when the TSA agent wears a Santa hat!

And now that you’ve spent 12 hours travelling 200 miles you can have your family gathering. Commence humble-bragging in 3…2…1 GO! Oh look, Uncle Steve went too heavy on the nog and now he’s lecturing us on the gold standard!

The only thing good about the holiday season – THE ONLY THING – is figgy pudding. Where’s my figgy pudding?! Where is it?!



Posted in life, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Looking forward

Posted by keithosaunders on September 12, 2011

What a relief to have all the September 11th sensationalism behind us.  I found the media’s coverage, be it sports, or “news” related, to be utterly repugnant.  It was another excuse to show the burning buildings — a celebration of death.  That old rallying cry, never forget, always sounded like a threat to me, but never so much as this past week.  We may not be able to fund schools or health care, but thanks to the deeds of a few dirtbags with box cutters, we have an open-ended excuse to go to war.  

Our reaction to the attacks of September 11th incited a killing spree, the likes of which has not been seen since the invasion of Japan.  Its result, besides the hundreds of thousands of murdered civilians, is that the U.S. is practically bankrupt and will soon be cutting medicare and social security.  This reaction played into Al Qaeda’s hands.  They knew they couldn’t win a war against the U.S.  What they could do, however, was play havoc with our economy.  The eroding of our constitutional rights was a bonus.  
It makes perfect sense that the sports worlds plays up the tragedy of September eleventh with endless tributes and military fly-overs.  What better showcase for our militaristic policies than the black and white, statistics laden world of sports?  The reaction to the attack was childlike, so perhaps it’s fitting that it should be featured in a kids game. 
I saw a little of the Mets/Cubs game at the bar I was working at last night.  I don’t know who was announcing, (Buck?) but when he gave a “shoutout” to Homeland Security for keeping us safe I nearly threw up in my mouth.  HOmeland Security has done a tremendous job keeping us in a constant state of anxiety.  From the asinine color coded security threats, so expertly exploited by the Bush administration during election season, to the security theatre run by the TSA, they have succeeded in breaking our spirit while draining the federal budget.

Who came up with the name Homeland Security?  It sounds like the work of Cheney or Ashcroft.  Am I the only one that thinks this name sounds fascist?  Substitute “Fatherland” or “Rhineland” and you’d have a more apt title.

I only hope now that we have passed the ten-year mark we can begin to put it behind us.  It was a horrible, horrible day — the worst day ever in New York City.  Even now it’s difficult to recall it without choking up.  But if we’re never to forget, I believe we should look at the entire picture.  Rather than play the victim, or the bully, we must look at our own house and see what can be done to improve it.

Posted in media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Just say no to air travel

Posted by keithosaunders on November 20, 2010

Enough is enough.  The TSA has made it clear to us that they will have their way with our bodies, whether it be by radiation exposure or excessive groping of genitalia.  Let’s face it, the experience of air travel has long ceased to be anything approaching glamorous, let alone tolerable.  Let’s exercise our last line of recourse and vote with our pocket books.  

If enough of us refused to fly the airlines would feel compelled to offer incentives as a way of drawing us back.  Number one on their priority would almost certainly be expunging the TSA from the airports and replacing them with private security.   

Since that alone would not be enough to entice this jaded traveller to return I am offering my own list of incentives.

1)  Elimination of charges for checking luggage. 

2) Ability to fully refund my ticket up to 7 days prior to flying

3) A guarantee that when I purchase a ticket that I will have a seat waiting for me.  This means that when I purchase my ticket I immediately have an assigned seat.

4) Price of in-air food decreased by 50%.

5) Two in-air drinks for the price of one.

6)  In case of flight delays exceeding 30 minutes passengers receive a $50 voucher which can be used towards future flight purchase.

7) In case of delays upwards of 60 minutes passengers receive $80 in airport VIP lounge script and lunch with John Elway. 

I’m negotiable on point 7.

Posted in life | Tagged: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Fear of flying

Posted by keithosaunders on November 17, 2010

Just in time for the holiday rush the TSA has rolled out the nude body scanning machines, allowing security officials to see through clothing.  Passengers may opt out of the scanners, but up to this point less than 1% have done so.  This is not surprising since opting out means enduring an invasive  pat-down complete with genital groping.  You get the feeling that if the TSA  had the technology to do it fast enough they would go ahead and submit us all to full cavity searches.

There is nothing easy about airline travel, which is an ordeal on par with root canal.  For me, the biggest indignity is being made to feel like a criminal simply by my possession of an airline ticket.  With every security breakdown we travellers are subjected to more and more nonsense.  From taking off our shoes and belts, not being able to bring water into the terminal, to having to endure groping by high-school graduate, would-be jack booted thugs.  Can that retina scanners be far in our future?

Today I read of a passenger named John Tyner who opted out of the scanners.  During the pat-down, when it became clear that the agent was about to touch his groin he said, “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.”  This kicked off a series of consultations with supervisors that resulted in Tyner not being able to fly and being ejected from the airport.  His ordeal is detailed in his blog post and is worth reading. 

Most disturbing of all is what I read yesterday in Salon in Glenn Greenwald’s column.   He wrote,

 …the TSA called a news conference to announce that it was formally investigating Tyner to determine whether to impose $11,000 in fines on him.  

Nothing about Tyner’s protest was threatening, violent, or belligerent.  This kind of reaction makes me wonder if we are living in a proto-fascist state.  The message is clear:  Do not make waves if you know what’s good for you.


Posted in life | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »