Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Don't You Feel Safer?

The TSA shows evidence that some of its agents have gone full-blown fucking nuts. Fox:

TSA Confiscates Boy's Play-Doh at New Orleans Airport
Tuesday, January 05, 2010  Associated Press

ST. LOUIS, Mo. —  Extra security at the airport in New Orleans has cost one small boy a Christmas gift from his grandma.

On a post-Christmas flight out of New Orleans last week, the TSA confiscated young Josh Pitney’s Play-Doh.
Play-Doh. Somebody please explain to me how Play-Doh is indistinguishable from, say, C4. Play-Doh is NOT on the TSA list of prohibited items and substances; the parents checked before they departed. TSA asserts that this places the matter at the discretion of the TSA agents on the line. It seems that rules are meaningless, and there is nothing you can reliably take with you when you fly. Is this what you expected in the United States of America in 2010? Welcome to our brave new world.


  1. You'd think that fact that Play-Doh is always a color that doesn't occur in nature...

    ...oh, hell, never mind.

  2. Constance, it is unreasonable to expect reason of people whose entire enterprise is based on unreason...

  3. If they can confiscate chocolate pudding for 80+ year olg women, Play Doh from a child isn't that big a stretch.

    Actually I used Play Doh to simulate C4 for an in-service training class. The colors will blend nicely. It definitely looked realistic with some plastic wrap around it.

    I seriously doubt Josh knew what color C4 or Semtex is, and it isn't something you are apt to produce by accident. I also doubt that the screeners actually know what either of those plastic explosives look like, but they should be able to recognize Play Doh.

  4. Bryan, you're right, of course... but is anything that looks remotely like a plastic explosive to be excluded from your carryon on that basis? If this is a common problem, shouldn't either 1) Play-Doh be added to the prohibited list, or 2) people who bring anything remotely C4-like onto an aircraft diverted immediately? It's the futzing around, the nominal acceptance of Play-Doh but in-fact rejection of it, that bugs the hell out of me. I want to KNOW what I may, and may not, carry onto an aircraft.

    Not that I'm going to fly until all this fucking shit comes to some sort of resolution... I don't have to, and it doesn't amuse me to put up with the crap just to be in the air.



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