TSA: another week in the news

Packing peanut butter, ca. 1915. Photo: Detroit Publishing Co (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. )

Those rascals at the TSA haven’t updated their Week at a Glance feature yet (I think the unfortunate individual responsible for the task is out sick or on vacation or something), so I did some searching and discovered that the agency has indeed been busy lately.

Not only is the TSA still protecting us from cupcakes, they’re also on the lookout for another banned substance, peanut butter, as a man from Vacaville discovered when he tried to smuggle pot hidden in a jar of creamy-style Skippy onto a Delta flight in Oakland. (This is the second time recently that someone has tried to sneak pot on a flight using Skippy–I’m sure there’s a joke there.)

An alert TSA screener at Newark Liberty International Airport confiscated the 21-inch spear gun and utility knife an Antigua-bound scuba diver had in his carry-on. The agency is touting that as their latest “good catch” on their homepage.

A plan to reorganize the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) was announced in response to recent reports of personnel problems.

A TSA inspector general’s report last month said some managers have created a hostile work environment for air marshals through their insults toward women, minorities, veterans and gays.

The report also said the air marshals’ management did not cooperate well within the organization and found a lack of compliance with directions from their headquarters.

The inspector general has denied that there was a widespread pattern of actual discrimination in FAMS even though many employees expressed fear of unfair workplace practices. Proposed new training procedures are supposed to end all those problems.