TSA Rolls Out "Cool Strangers With Candy" Program

Politics & Current Events

WASHINGTON, D.C. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, held a press conference today to announce a new program designed to make kids and their parents more comfortable with the TSA's new enhanced pat-down procedures.

"Domestic extremists have been trying to portray TSA agents as ogres," said Napolitano. "Our 'Cool Strangers With Candy' campaign will help our children see TSA workers for what they are: friendly, funny, cool strangers who will give kids great candy in exchange for touching their breasts, buttocks, and genitals."

The TSA's approach to enhanced pat-downs of kids has come under fire recently after TSA Regional Security Director James Marchand described the TSA's method of encouraging children to comply with being touched in their private regions by government officials. "You try to make it as best you can for that child to come through. If you can come up with some kind of a game to play with a child, it makes it a lot easier," said Marchand, who said that the "being touched is a game" program is now part of TSA training.

Stung by criticism that this "game" approach makes children more vulnerable to abuse, Napolitano and other TSA officials vowed to use all of the good judgment and scientific expertise of the the Department of Homeland Security to come up with a new program.

"We used the same scientific know-how we previously employed in the behavior detection program and in employing body scanners," Napolitano said. "'Cool Strangers With Candy' was the result."

The TSA is planning aggressive advertising to promote the "Cool Strangers With Candy" Program, including internet, television, radio, and magazine campaigns, as well as community relations vans.

A TSA Community Relations Van on patrol.

Napolitano also announced that the TSA was accelerating hiring of employees interested in working in the new child-related programs. "We've accepted many applications from people with lots of experience working with children," Napolitano confided. "They've found themselves on the job market because of the economy, or for various reasons that we can't ask about because of federal privacy laws or TSA Policy." The TSA is advertising for new suitable employees at anime conventions, camera stores, and parks.

But the TSA is not relying on the "Cool Strangers With Candy" program alone. Napolitano previewed a number of other programs calculated to make children more comfortable with TSA measures, including "We Can Make You a Star!", a program to encourage children to comply with the TSA's Rapiscan machines. "We're going to show children that it's perfectly natural, healthy and beautiful for awkward, overweight middle-aged men to use high-tech equipment to take naked pictures of them," said Napolitano. The TSA is reportedly negotiating with Miley Cyrus to be the program's spokesperson.

Napolitano is also working with TSA security experts to find ways to prevent parents and children from slowing down the security process with complaints, questions, or hysterical screaming. "If you have kids, you know that most of their complaints are just about getting attention from their parents," said Napolitano. "That's why we're working on a policy requiring kids to be patted down outside the presence of their parents. Then we can hit them with our new kid-friendly slogans 'This is Our Little Secret' and 'Do This Or Scary Men Will Kill Your Parents.'"

Asked whether parents across America might view these programs as intrusions into their relationship with their children, Napolitano smiled broadly. "No, no. Not in America. If there's one thing you can count on about Americans — whether they're liberals or conservatives — it's that they understand that the government knows what's best for their kids. And now TSA agents have a shot at using their few special minutes with kids to teach them what it means to be a good American: unquestioning compliance."

Last 5 posts by Ken White

37 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Brian  •  Dec 4, 2010 @12:23 pm

    Mother of Zeus, I was apoplectic for about four paragraphs until I realized it was really good satire.

  2. Patrick  •  Dec 4, 2010 @12:26 pm

    This is pretty damned great. What isn't funny is that the TSA really does instruct its agents to tell kids that being body-groped is "just a game."

    Rope.

  3. john  •  Dec 4, 2010 @12:49 pm

    I LIKE it, great idea in keeping with the high standards and creative solutions that we have come to expect from the DHS and TSA.

  4. Ken  •  Dec 4, 2010 @1:33 pm

    Yeah. Brian, you saw that part of it wasn't satire, right?

  5. RLMullen  •  Dec 4, 2010 @2:28 pm

    That was a finely woven piece Ken. I see-sawed on the satire or not decision about four times.

    When you're on, you're ON!

  6. Brian  •  Dec 4, 2010 @2:32 pm

    Yes I saw the part that wasn't satire. I think it's a nice blend. Like the Meritage wines from California.

  7. Al  •  Dec 4, 2010 @3:47 pm
  8. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 4, 2010 @4:46 pm

    The problem I have, Ken, is that I really can't tell 100% which parts are satire, and which aren't. I can guess, but with the TSA and DHS, you just can't be sure.

    There's a whole lot of stupid floating around there…

  9. cybrus  •  Dec 5, 2010 @8:17 am

    Hot damn – that satire is weapons-grade!

  10. SPQR  •  Dec 5, 2010 @5:15 pm

    Satire? What satire?

  11. Ken  •  Dec 5, 2010 @10:59 pm

    Well, the TSA might write about this post, since apparently now they are angrily defending themselves from satire.

    Poor Blogger Bob. What a pathetic existence.

  12. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 5, 2010 @11:26 pm

    Do you think they picked that moniker intentionally, or is it just delicious unintended irony?

  13. Dave (ND)  •  Dec 6, 2010 @8:03 am

    Seriously, I have no idea which is satire and which isn't.

    Brilliant. And scary.

  14. Ken  •  Dec 6, 2010 @10:02 am

    Hi, visitors from the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security! Nice of you to stop by!

  15. FireTiger  •  Dec 6, 2010 @10:08 am

    You missed beginning of the quote,
    "Despite the efforts of our partners within the press to convince parents and children the proper way to respond to youthful searches domestic extremists ….

  16. Ken  •  Dec 6, 2010 @10:33 am

    In retrospect, I can't believe I missed the opportunity to end this with Obama saying he opposed the new programs — but would support them if the TSA agents handed out carrot sticks instead of candy.

  17. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 6, 2010 @11:36 am

    Next time Ken… Next time…

  18. delurking  •  Dec 6, 2010 @11:42 am

    "Blogger Bob"? Remarkably, the search ("Blogger Bob" TSA "Baghdad Bob") turns up only 144 hits.

  19. dwbrant  •  Dec 8, 2010 @12:47 pm

    You really should consider writing for The Onion.

  20. Warren  •  Dec 12, 2010 @10:48 am

    Sick TSA Agents, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):[pimpage deleted]

  21. Fred54  •  Dec 12, 2010 @11:11 am

    I understand that TSA agents are now being trained to work with the new
    "Cool Passengers with Brass Knuckles" program. Right after giving selected
    passengers a full body pat-down, they will receive a full body beat-down..

  22. "80huohou"  •  Dec 12, 2010 @11:12 am

    [anti-Semitic sub-literate comment deleted]

    Edited by Ken: Go sell crazy somewhere else; we're all stocked up here.

  23. MK  •  Dec 12, 2010 @11:59 am

    Personally, I don't think that the government has any interest in making children safe. Bombarding them with ionizing radiation searching for fake terrorists is not good for them or the country. Napolitano refuses to test the machines on herself…what does she know that we don't? Or maybe she is a roboid and that's why she doesn't like the scans that she insists others be subjected to. I am sick of fascism.

  24. Ken  •  Dec 12, 2010 @2:27 pm

    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.

    Describing fenced free speech zones as "cages" is reasonable hyperbole, Warren. But I think you're molesting the word "banned" a little too much.

  25. Lou  •  Dec 12, 2010 @3:50 pm

    Wow I am coming to realize the Gestapo, KGB, and Chinese secret police were not so bad after all. Well except for the mass slaughter and a few other defects.

  26. Pete  •  Dec 12, 2010 @4:25 pm

    A few of you are still embracing the TSA tactics. Please take a moment to watch Full Disclosure. http://blog.fulldisclosure.net/

    TSA hires illegal aliens, felons, gang members and allows these employees to enter secure areas without screening. Gang tagging, cross outs, weapons stashed in cargo areas and theft are rampant. I think we need to all agree that TSA is not about security, rather it's about subjugation.

  27. "Mihail"  •  Dec 12, 2010 @7:49 pm

    [Another anti-Semitic rant deleted]

    Edited by Ken: Jesus Christ. What kind of nutbag bigot conspiracy site linked to this? Attention freaks, anti-Semites, and other twisted bigots of every stripe: fuck off.

  28. Ken  •  Dec 12, 2010 @7:50 pm

    Look, obviously I think the TSA's actions, and its attitude towards criticism, are outrageous. Obviously I think that people should be concerned, should voice there concerns, and should try to get their leaders to do something about it.

    But let's have a little perspective, for Christ's sake, and try not to sound like people making fertilizer bombs in the basement.

  29. X  •  Dec 14, 2010 @8:35 am

    I like satire, but I think Americans should face the fact that the US has become a combination of several things, part communist, part facist and part technocratic feudalism. And a reminder. One of the first things Michael Chertoff did as head of "Homeland" "Security" was to hire Marcus Wolf (now dead and burning in hell), the communist ex-intelligence chief of the HVA within the East German Stasi who was responsible for the disappearance and death of thousands and creator of the neighborhood snitch programs — spies and snitches; and also hired communist ex-KGB First Chief Directorate, Yevgeni Primakov (real name: Pinchas Finkelstein), who was also later appointed head of the organisation, which was renamed SVR to set up our newfound internal "security" system.

    So when you see a crying, unwilling child, gammy and grandpa and your teenage daughters and sons getting molested at the airport, and you stand by and watch and don't object, just remember you were warned.

    The coup de etat and bringdown of the US representative republic is almost complete. With all the unconstitutional bills that have been passed by the traitors, and all of the sheeple keeping their heads down grazing, all that is left to destroy the Second Amendment and our God given right to bear arms. BTW, there is a United Nations treaty waiting in the wings just for that purpose.

  30. Patrick  •  Dec 14, 2010 @8:52 am

    X,

    I only allowed your comment through to illustrate to our other readers that this is the sort of anti-semitic bullshit we've been receiving since this post was linked on some sort of John Birch / Alex Jones hybrid site on saturday. Your post is anti-semitic because it repeats a false tale about Yevgeny Primakov (i.e. that his real name is "Pinchas Finkelstein") which originated with Andrew McDonald (real name: "William Pierce"), the author of "The Turner Diaries," the holy text of the American Nazi movement.

    That you bothered to pluck this tale out of the air, when it adds nothing to your point, demonstrates to me that you're not just the paranoid nutcase you seem to be on the surface: You're also a Nazi sympathizer. Unfortunately, you've posted this drivel on one of the few sites where someone who can ban you from further comment knows what a reference to "Pinchas Finkelstein" actually means.

    All further such comments will be deleted. And you are banned.

  31. Ken  •  Dec 14, 2010 @9:21 am

    This illustrates a point well: the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. People may agree with us for demented reasons. And we should not let our justifiable opposition to government excess lead us astray into association with racist nutcases.

  32. dwbrant  •  Dec 14, 2010 @3:59 pm

    Holy shit, X, the US is part facist? When will it end? And what is a "facist"?

    Yeah, I know, don't feed or tease the trolls. Sorry.

  33. SPQR  •  Dec 14, 2010 @5:08 pm

    And I was just starting to enjoy the pot of crazy, was getting ready to stir, when Patrick showed up. Spoilsport.

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