Newswire: Amtrak vs. TSA

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Posted by Dave - from Minnesota on Monday, March 07, 2011 4:58 PM

Hi, I have been staring at a screen to long today, so I need a better font. Hope that doesn't bother anyone. I hope the Savanah cops can prevail. The TSA thugs get the ear of goverment agencies. Amtrak might, or might not get listened to.

 I  call them TSA thugs from experience, less than some, but bad experience. I had a gold watch my mother gave to my father on their 50th taken by the baggage checkers. This was while someone told me he could drop the $1200 CPAP on the floor (CPAP = sleep apnea device). By the time I noticed what was missing it was to late. The usual stunt is to tell you can fill out a form, miss your flight, but you can complain. I've also got a titanium plate in the head and use a cane. I'll give in and buy a can not held together with a metal screw (the best way), but must have my skull and the CPAP. 

 The TSA can usually find someone to say they are fine as long as it helps be secure. PROBLEM: The airline procedure has next to nothing to do with security of passengers. The bigger problem might be: When any group of people is allowed to trample over people, well they do. It's well known and kind of a suprise it is allowed. Also, those scanners that can't transmit, UH-UH by their own contact, they DO have that ability. They are creeping more and more into other areas. I'll have to find out what 'rules' are. For instance, the TSA posts regulations on their website. Course, that has nothing to do with their actual behavior. I'm just thinking of when they get to cars. Just a thought, the TSA was founded by BUSH and continued with OBAMMA, Saying the only change will come when citizens stand up and say, like hell that is going to happen in my country, to me. THANKS 

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Posted by SShoreBuff on Monday, March 07, 2011 11:41 PM

kolechovski
However, that blog got it at least half wrong. The TSA did not, as the blog said, funnel people who arrived by train into the station for a search. Instead, the TSA took over the station and posted notes outside saying that anyone who entered would be “subject to mandatory screening.”

A first person report says "When we got off in Savannah, there were TSA agents out on the platform that told us to go inside to get our (checked) luggage." So the story could be even odder than Don Phillips reports.

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Posted by tsmithe on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 12:59 AM

Despise TSA, and love Amtrak.  I have taken many trips on Amtrak before trusting any airline.  Now my distrust involving any airline has come true, and I would rather keep my feet on the ground while having dinner on the starlight route enjoying the scenery.

Speaking operational from a government point of view, Citizens are the fourth and final branch of government solidified by the 9th article to the US Constitution.  Yes, I know that some would like to substitute the word "amendment" but that is NOT what is expressed by it's founders involving "rights" of the People that goes far beyond mere civil duties to society.

As for the Teraherzts body scanner program, yes, it does damage DNA and is meant for the sole detection of materials that threaten society, BUT it should NOT be used on an innocent and a law abiding public that simply would like to travel from one place to another that is solely embodied and protected as an expression by the 1st article (amendment) to the U.S. constitution, or also known as freedom of expression in travel. 

I pray that the Citizens of this country take upon themselves to behave and conduct themselves as the forth and final branch of part of our republic envisioned by our country's founders and I would challenge each and every one of you to at least read our constitution and its guarantees embodied in the articles (amendments) further informing yourselves about your powerful rights explained here... www.fija.org.

THANK YOU for your time and consideration involving this response. 

Tags: Amtrak , TSA
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Posted by Norm48327 on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:28 PM

Just my opinion, but I think TSA has the distinction of being the most despised agency of the federal government, and especially by those of us in the aviation industry. Even airline pilots who are authorized to carry firearms have to put up with the humiliating screenings.

TSA also wants to screen corporate executives boarding company planes and is trying to get authority to screen every pilot and passenger of privately owned single engine aircraft. Yeah, like we could do as much damage with a Cessna 172 as with a Boeing 747.

Some major changes in their method of operation are needed before they are actually doing any good.

Norm


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Posted by coborn35 on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 7:16 PM

Paul_D_North_Jr

 

 erikem:
  [snipped] It is much harder to hijack a train train than an airliner and even more difficult to use it as a weapon as three of the four planes hijacked on 9/11.

 

The least flexible form of transportation save the seesaw.
from Trains December 1972  p. 66
I'm not sure if this is the article or not - there might have also been a similar column by the late hunorist Art Buchwald or similar - but the modus operandi was to board the locomotive dressed in a suit and tie and introduce oneself to the crew along the lines of "I'm J.C. Kenefick, President of the Union Pacific, and this is a special test . . . "  Smile, Wink & Grin    

I would say  "Show me your identification and papers signed by Manager of Operating Practices, Division Superintendent, Road Foreman and Terminal Trainmaster, or get  off my engine"

Mechanical Department  "No no that's fine shove that 20 pound set all around the yard... those shoes aren't hell and a half to change..."

The Missabe Road: Safety First

 

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 9:32 PM

Yep - that's today, though.  Notice the date of the original article - over 38 years ago, when the worst hijacking was usually a short unscheduled trip to Cuba . . . Smile, Wink & Grin  The other evidence of authority and identity mentioned in that article was a Masonic ring . . . find a copy of that issue or the article if you can, and read it.  

- Paul North.

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 5:08 AM

What's "today, though"?

No one has tried to hijack an American airliner in almost ten years.  How long are Americans going to hide under their beds?  You stand a greater chance of being struck by lightning than you do of being harmed by a terrorist.

If TSA brings their abusive security play to AMTRAK I will stop using the trains, too.

Dave

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Posted by CNW 6000 on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 6:03 AM

Norm48327

Just my opinion, but I think TSA has the distinction of being the most despised agency of the federal government, and especially by those of us in the aviation industry. Even airline pilots who are authorized to carry firearms have to put up with the humiliating screenings.

TSA also wants to screen corporate executives boarding company planes and is trying to get authority to screen every pilot and passenger of privately owned single engine aircraft. Yeah, like we could do as much damage with a Cessna 172 as with a Boeing 747.

Some major changes in their method of operation are needed before they are actually doing any good.

Agreed, something along the lines of they need to not exist.

Dan

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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 7:14 AM

TSA needs to be replaced by a police type organization that patrols transportation facilities and only confronts individuals or searches baggage when they have a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity.

The East German style checkpoints are unAmerican and a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Dave

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 9:35 AM

Phoebe Vet
  What's "today, though"?  [snip] 

  As in train crews having a lot more moxie, procedures, and company and government support for getting unauthorized 'apparent' officials or those merely 'throwing their weight around' or others off their train - wasn't there something of the sort involving an FRA or state railroad inspector up in Wisconsin or Minnesota a couple of years ago ?  

I'm not at all current on Fourth Amendment law - and anyway, I'm of the opinion that as it is now, it's an "Alice-in-Wonderland" crazy-quilt of arbitrary, inconsistent, and irreconcilable ad hoc judicial opinons that is badly in need of simplification, rationalization, and clarification.  But with that said, I don't see a huge difference between what the TSA did here, and what happens at a typical weekend-night DUI checkpoint by the state and local police on the highways around here, which are even more of a 'public' thoroughfare than a train station, it seems to me . . . Whistling

- Paul North.    

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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 9:54 AM

I agree with the traffic checkpoint argument.   Reasonable suspicion should be required.  But that said, DWI checkpoints don't require every person passing by take a Breathalyzer test or submit to a thorough search of their person and vehicle.  The vast majority of people through at most are asked to produce their license and registration. Unless the officer observes something unusual, the inspection of the car and person are limited to what the officer can see in plain sight that could be observed by any person standing there.  Impaired drivers account for many more deaths in this country than terrorists.  Unlike TSA, traffic check points actually find and arrest violators.  TSA has never caught a terrorist.

Dave

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Posted by jmkruzelock on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 10:35 AM
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Posted by zardoz on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 10:41 AM

Phoebe Vet

TSA needs to be replaced by a police type organization that patrols transportation facilities and only confronts individuals or searches baggage when they have a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity.

The East German style checkpoints are unAmerican and a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The 4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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Posted by Dakguy201 on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 11:33 AM

jmkruzelock

I'd like to believe there is more to this incident than the Nebraska Patrol spokesman is saying.  Except for ICE doing checks on trains near the border, I'm unaware that law enforement generally pays any attention to passengers already on a train except to respond to a specific incident.  Moreover, the spokesman indicates they didn't hold the train up, but unless it was early at Omaha, the train exceeded its scheduled 15 minute dwell time there.

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Posted by Zwingle on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 12:28 PM

Phoebe Vet

TSA needs to be replaced by a police type organization that patrols transportation facilities and only confronts individuals or searches baggage when they have a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity.

Like the Gestapo.  Confused   Reminds me of that railroad station scene from Von Ryan's Express.

I remember growing up in the '70's learning about the Soviet-style roadblocks, and how wonderful it was to live in a free country where police can't just stop a whole highway.  How times have changed.

It's crazy because if terrorists wanted to destroy a train, they could blow up a bridge or park a cement truck on a crossing.  If they wanted to destroy a station, they sure don't need a train for that.  There would be so many more efficient ways for terrorists to do damage to a railroad or kill.

There's no justification for the need to grope travelers and search through their personal belongings.  And the scary fact so many people advocate this should be a reminder that what happened in Nazi Germany happened legally one step at a time.

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Posted by samfp1943 on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 4:42 PM

This whole situation[with the TSA and Govt ] is taking on a surreal quality to it.

      Seems to be a classic case of "give 'em an inch, and they take a mile". We are witnessing a case of the growth of big government. The bureaucrats seem to interpret 'authority' as a "right"  and soon the line gets blurred, and they push by not inconviencing large groups of individuals, but concentrate on single individuals in wide spread incidents.

  Bang Head  I guess that I could really rant on, but I will leave it there.SoapBox

 

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by RudyRockvilleMD on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 8:34 PM

Youmean the TSA is more despised than the IRS around tax time?Smile

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 9:56 PM

When the IRS starts showing up outside department stores to check your sales receipts against your tax return, they'll be on the same level...

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Posted by blownout cylinder on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 11:02 PM

I think basically the same thing as Tree does....there seems to be a lot of strange things going on..and, of course, some are a little more 'frightened' of the possibilities....

I suspect it will soon be 'paralysis by analysis' for TSA...

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Posted by harpwolf on Monday, May 02, 2011 7:32 PM

They cannot search a random citizen on the street without reasonable suspicion, or by intimidating you into consent.  Every patriot's watchword is: "I do not consent to this search!"

However the 4th Amendment does not force anyone to do business with you, for things which are not a basic right.   

"I do not consent to a full physical."  -> "Fine, I don't consent to give you a ride in SpaceShipOne". 

"I don't consent to be searched for outside food and drink." -> "Then enjoy movies elsewhere."

"I don't consent to a criminal background check." -> "We do not consent to employ you." 

"I do not consent in advance to blood alcohol testing." -> "We do not consent to license you to drive a car; enjoy bicycling."

"I do not consent to giving my Social Security #."  -> "Then you don't get an iPhone."  (BTDT) 

"I do not consent to giving my Social Security #" -> "OK, well, we will still hook up your electricity, because that IS a basic right, however, we may require some sort of other financial assurance like a deposit."   (BTDT)

Now this Amtrak TSA stunt is very interesting.  What happens if you do not consent for the search? 

What SHOULD happen is this.  "I do not consent to a search."  "Well, no train ride for you, then."   "HAHA, I already got my train ride, I'm done, hasta la veesta suckers!"  "Drat, we have no legal basis to detain them." 

The jackas^H^Hboots may say:  "Well, you consented for a search when you boarded the train."  To which you should properly say: "The train ride has completed. Searching me now is moot, ergo, both unnecessary and improper."  And that should stick. 

And if it doesn't, I can't imagine what would happen.  Their training at the airport says: If the customer declines a search, you decline them an airplane ride and send them on their way; and that is Constitutional since airflight is not a basic right.    However, in this case it's gonna dawn on the TSA grunt, that doesn't work on exit searches. Thus his team's plan is blatantly in contradiction with his other training, and I really don't know what he'd do.  

This is the part where freedom isn't free.   Would you pay the price or do you let other people do that? 

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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 6:25 AM

I agree with most of what you posted and that is why I do not patronize businesses that demand to search my person or record as a condition of doing business with them unless there is a valid reason for doing so.  An example would be that checking my credit worthiness is a valid condition for extending me credit.

My criticism has almost always been directed at the sheep who tolerate it, or even worse, who demand it.  It is a sad commentary on Americans that more people would be upset if the TSA check points were eliminated than are upset over their existence.

Land of the free and home of the brave...Yea, right.  LOL.

Unless the courts have ruled differently since I retired, there are a couple of errors in your examples.  A police Officer cannot search you or your car without your consent unless he is able to show cause similar to what would be required to get a warrant.  The search must be justified after the fact or any evidence found is not admissible.

If you think TSA is not doing unconstitutional searches, try this:  Walk up to the TSA checkpoint, refuse to be searched, then try to just turn around and leave.  When they do not permit you to leave unsearched that will invalidate your argument that the only consequence of refusal is not allowing you to fly.

Dave

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Posted by trainboyH16-44 on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 8:01 PM

Zwingle

It's crazy because if terrorists wanted to destroy a train, they could blow up a bridge or park a cement truck on a crossing.  If they wanted to destroy a station, they sure don't need a train for that.  There would be so many more efficient ways for terrorists to do damage to a railroad or kill.

And, apparently, it's fairly easy to get away with derailing a train into a canyon.

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