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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Thank you for the Pat Down

Uploaded: Mar 22, 2016

Last January I visited my mother in Maine for her 100th birthday. On my return home to California, I was given a very thorough pat down before boarding the plane at JFK International Airport.

The female TSA agent at the Airport was thorough but respectful in checking me over before allowing me to go to the gate for my return flight to Oakland. I was glad she was so thorough. Too often the so-called security checks before boarding a plane seem perfunctory. This one wasn't.

I often wondered if weapons could be smuggled aboard a plane by someone wearing a fat suit, like Eddie Murphy wore in The Nutty Professor. My real fat could have been fake fat with a lot of room to smuggle stuff.

I thanked the TSA agent for being so thorough. She appreciated being appreciated for doing a good but often unwelcome job of checking out passengers for potentially smuggling something contraband or dangerous onto a plane. I asked if anyone had tried using a fat suit to smuggle stuff onto a plane. She said "You'd be surprised what they try to get away with." I didn't follow up on that because I really didn't want to know.

However with this latest airport bombing in Brussels any form of mass transit can be a target and anyone going anywhere can be a victim. So if anyone reading this is planning a trip, or has a loved one planning a trip, be grateful for the TSA agents and tell them to please be as thorough as possible in searching you and everyone else boarding the flight. The more thorough the pat down, the safer you and your fellow passengers will be.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Mar 22, 2016 at 12:11 pm

I think that talk of patting it down is a bit too personal...i rest my case

Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 22, 2016 at 2:52 pm


The TSA has failed test after test to do there job according to their own audits:
Web Link
This is NOT a one time incident. The TSA is a very expensive bad PC joke.

Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 22, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Meanwhile our President is eating hot dogs and watching a baseball game in Cuba, while the "JV" team of ISIS once again murdered huge numbers of innocent victims. Clearly, terrorist realize Obama is a weak, ineffective leader. Unless a Republican is elected in November, we can look forward to more terrorist attacks, including ones in the US where Hillary Clinton has said we should let in 65,000 Syrian refugees.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 22, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


The date on the article in your link goes back to June of last year. I was frisked in January of this year. The TSA agent who gave me the pat down was observed by a male agent who supervised her performance. She might have been in training, but at least the training was thorough.

They also had feedback cards on the inside of the gate. I took one but didn't fill it out. They are trying to improve and in my experience did improve.


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 22, 2016 at 8:41 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


What difference does the date make? Let's put this into perspective: 5% of illegal contraband was caught during tests of the TSA system. Do you think they improved their score since June of last year?

I fly at least once a month out of Oakland, I have Pre-TSA clearance on every ticket I buy and I can tell you NOTHING has changed. Same machines; same process; same people. If anything, there might be more TSA officers because now there seems to be one person that pushes bags into the X-ray machines. Big deal.

Greatful? We're darned LUCKY that we haven't had more hijackings with a 5% success rate.


Posted by seen it all, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 23, 2016 at 10:23 am

As an aircrew member I could frighten you enough to never fly again with stories of what we have seen. I worked a flight where a non-English speaker took something through TSA and when they asked what it was he replied (so they thought) "chinsa". No one knew what that was so they let him through! We found out is was a "chain saw", including gasoline, only after it tipped over in flight and caused noxious fumes in the cabin.
Last week an idiot in line made a big stink, really nasty, about the uniformed crew moving in front of him for screening. That earned him a complete body search and ultimately got him removed from the flight because the captain did not like his attitude.
TSA needs a lot of work but passengers without the brains to shut up and move along are a good deal of the problem.

Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 23, 2016 at 12:02 pm


You have no clue on how bad the TSA is. If you did you would not thank them. This is not a matter of opinion this has been going on a long time and if you bother to research you will see very recent as well as historic evidence of this

Posted by, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 23, 2016 at 3:04 pm is a registered user.

Well, I may be premature in complementing the TSA or even airline personnel. That old lady who likes to stow away on planes is at it again.

Web Link

It's amazing how easily she gets on planes without an inspection or even a ticket. It may be because no one thinks a benign looking old woman is any threat, and so far she isn't, but it is scary to think that anyone who looks ordinary or non-threatening can get on a plane without being searched.


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 25, 2016 at 9:17 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Recent TSA news:

Web Link


There are so many quotes that are apropos to TSA and, in general, government incompetence that it was hard for me to pick out my favorites. Here are some:

"It took until Saturday for authorities in Washington, D.C., to identify Reynolds from the database, according to a source with knowledge of the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a lack of authorization to discuss the case with the media."

"The difficulty in identifying Reynolds — and the ease with which she managed to escape the terminal Friday — highlighted serious security flaws at the nation’s second-largest airport, said Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn."

After running out of the airport, this lady was actually back the next day and was able to grab a flight back to NYC, even though she was scanned into the TSA system.

There are a lot of parallels to this story. But the one that I like is that nearly 45% of illegal immigrants here on a VISA have overstayed their visits. That's right, FORTY FIVE PERCENT of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS: Web Link

Bringing this back full circle, it is simply amazing to me that those who are aghast that Trump is winning the republican primary have yet to understand why. That he is where he is because a not-insignificant portion of the population are tired of politicians and government bureaucrats telling us how great they are, flat out lying, and failing time after time in doing their jobs efficiently and effectively.

The evidence of incompetence is so overwhelming that I wonder why more don't see it.

Ignorance truly is bliss, I guess.

Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm


It is not premature to compliment the TSA it is simply unwarranted. They are terrible and if they were allowed to have competition they would be let go.

Posted by Alan, a resident of California Somerset,
on Apr 12, 2016 at 4:23 am

Web Link

Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville,
on Apr 28, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Still thanking the TSA?

Web Link

Posted by WatsonZion, a resident of another community,
on Dec 16, 2016 at 12:49 am

The date on the article in your connection backpedals to June of a year ago. I was searched in January of this current year. The TSA specialist who gave me the search was seen by a male operator who directed her execution. She may have been in preparing, however at any rate the preparation was intensive. That earned him a total body seek and at last got him expelled from the flight on the grounds that the skipper disliked his state of mind.Web Link

Posted by WatsonZion, a resident of another community,
on Dec 16, 2016 at 12:53 am

It's astounding how effectively she gets on planes without an assessment or even a ticket. It might be on account of nobody thinks a favorable looking old lady is any risk, thus far she isn't, however it is frightening to surmise that any individual who looks conventional or non-undermining can get on a plane without being sought. They likewise had input cards within the entryway. I took one however didn't round it out. They are attempting to enhance and as far as I can tell improved. Web Link

Posted by wsappx, a resident of Diablo,
on Sep 11, 2017 at 4:36 am

[url=Web Link If you are a Windows 8 or 10 user, you might see a process called wsappx running in the background

Posted by Lena, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Sep 18, 2017 at 12:09 am

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this great Information! Keep it up dude.

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