Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Funnies: The TSA is Jeff Foxworthy

Recently leaked documents have revealed that the TSA has been employing what they call "behavior detection" (what the rest of us would call "make believe") as a tool in attempting to thwart potential terrorists. As is the case with most forensic science, there is, of course, absolutely no evidence this kind of profiling works, and every reason to believe it doesn't work.

Like all profiling programs, this one mainly consists of innocuous behavior which has no connection to terrorism or crime of any kind. Instead, it simply substitutes what someone deep in the bowels of the TSA feels like is probably related to terrorism. Things like carrying an almanac, or too many pre-paid calling cards. The fact that such profiling programs are laughably ineffective is so obvious I'm not going to even do the minimal work necessary to provide citations (fun challenge: find a single citation supporting any profiling program!), because these programs are basically putting a slight, psuedo-scientific sheen on what is basically a Jeff Foxworthy routine.

So the next time you're flying, remember that if you do any of these things, you just might be...a terrorist.

Yes, you're reading that correctly (this comes straight from a TSA powerpoint). If you complain about the screening process, you're a terrorist (or a hacky comedian at an open mic). If you've recently shaved, you're a terrorist (or trying to look presentable). If you comb your hair, you're a terrorist (, I have to agree here. What do you need to look so fancy for?). But by far my most favorite is that if you whistle, you're definitely a terrorist hiding something. Because everyone knows, the only reason anyone would ever whistle is to rub everyone else's face in how nonchalant they're trying to be...

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