Gear used by people tearing up cities during street riots – hockey sticks and golf clubs – are allowed as carry-on luggage under a new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policy announced Tuesday.
Ski poles, billiard cues, certain types of pocket knives and plastic Wiffle ball bats are also permitted, according to news reports. The rule reverses a ban on sporting equipment and small knives that was put into place for safety reasons following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Talk show host Alex Jones has repeatedly called out the TSA for its invasive pat-downs of the elderly, terminally ill, children and government critics. It’s part of a control grid designed to let the government manhandle people and treat them like slaves, he says.
During an aviation conference, TSA Administrator John Pistole said the policy, which takes effect April 25, falls in line with international procedures. It was also justified as a way to allow TSA employees to focus their efforts on detecting bombs.
But here's the big "safety" move. The TSA is relying more on background checks to screen passengers.
“Pistole, the former No. 2 official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has stressed the use of intelligence and ‘risk- based’ security during his tenure leading the TSA," Bloomberg news reported. "The agency is moving away from uniform procedures that apply to every passenger and toward efforts to perform background checks on passengers before they arrive at an airport.”
Before they arrive?
Looks like we can expect an expansion of the highly secretive and error-riddled No Fly List maintained by the FBI. Stated differently, passengers could need government approval to fly.
In November 2012, Pistole refused to speak before a Congressional hearing on how TSA policies impact the public and the airline industry. For some people, the policies have had quite an impact.
Melissa Melton of Infowars.com reported in October that Wade Hicks of Mississippi was apparently placed on the No Fly List for being a "prepper," a person who stocks up on food and other supplies in anticipation of a societal or economic breakdown, for example. Hicks was tailed by a representative from the Mississippi Department of Homeland Security who was posing as a fellow prepper, according to the report.
Hicks was left stranded for days after his flight stopped off in Hawaii to refuel. Upon attempting to re-board the plane, he was whisked away by armed military guards. And all of this happened even though he held a valid passport and "classified clearances as a defense contractor for the U.S. military. " Hicks was on his way to Okinawa, Japan where his wife, a Navy lieutenant, was stationed.
Following the TSA announcement on sporting equipment, flight attendant unions were upset about the prospect of opening up employees and passengers to being batted around like hockey pucks.
Stacy Margin, president of Transport Workers Union Local 556, for flight attendants at Southwest Airlines, told Bloomberg News: "This policy was designed to make the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer. While we agree that a passenger wielding a small knife or swinging a golf club or hockey stick poses less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit, these are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin."
Southwest Airlines’ current policy on sporting equipment allows passengers to place one item of up to 50 pounds in the cargo section of an airplane at no additional cost. Other airlines have similar policies, raising the question of why it is suddenly important for sports equipment to be in the cabin instead of cargo.
Golf clubs were used by protesters and vigilante groups during the 2011 riots in England. And angry fans used hockey sticks in 2011 to bash up the city during a riot after a playoff game in Canada.