Another TSA Non-Story in the News

OK I acknowledge that I have no idea what the fuck this picture even is. It’s fake, for one thing: three TSA supervisors in one place that *isn’t* a podium is impossible.

It sometimes seems as though my job here should be to point out why most of the TSA-related things that make the news don’t deserve to make the news.

This “news story” recently ran on CNN.com, among other sites.

From the story:

“In a statement issued July 2, the TSA said it has ‘reminded its security workforce that traveling passengers may be observed at various areas in the airport – including security checkpoints or on aircraft – engaged in religious practices and meditations during Ramadan.’ The public, as well, should know that they might see Muslims observing Ramadan rituals at airports, the TSA said.”

Well stop the fucking presses! The TSA told its employees about Ramadan!

The TSA spokesperson/puppet very correctly pointed out that the TSA issues similar advisories about Jewish holidays, and as a former employee, I can tell you that he or she is correct. In fact, the first thing that came to mind when I started reading the story was this:

That’s the Megillat Esther, otherwise known as the Book of Esther. See, every year, at airports around the world, orthodox Jewish passengers come through checkpoints with versions of that scroll in their luggage. The TSA issues an alert to its employees to allow the Megillat Esther to pass through all checkpoints without incident. Know what the left part of that picture basically is? That’s right: a fucking rolling pin. Know what is often– though not officially– confiscated from most passengers? Rolling pins.

Hey, TSA: I used to stand on the checkpoint and let the above scroll go through security after asking my supervisor, “Isn’t this the same thing as a rolling pin?” I was repeatedly told that it was OK on religious grounds. So why not cut the shit, TSA? If anybody reading this knows of a single rolling pin being confiscated from a passenger, e-mail me, because we’re calling bullshit. It’s the TSA’s fault for not allowing rolling pins that are no different from religious scrolls to go through the checkpoint, not the other way around.

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