Communicating with the TSA — updated

sal-tsa“I have a neurological disorder that causes episodic muteness and muscle spasms,” says  Sal.

“I always require medical liquids (namely, juice) at hand, and sometimes I require paper to communicate.

He continues »»»

I’m currently pursuing administrative & civil action against the TSA for these incidents below. If you know any good lawyers admitted to California, Massachusetts, or Federal practice, who are knowledgable in the ADA / Rehabilitation Act, §1983 or Bivens actions under the 1st and 4th amendment, and/or FOIA litigation, please email me.

I believe that the public has a right to know what the TSA’s rules are. Therefore, I’ve submitted a FOIA for essentially all of the TSA’s policy & procedures documents on public interest grounds. If these are of interest to you, please fill in my simple 3 question survey; it’ll help me a lot in pursuing this.

Right now, the TSA’s “recommended but not required” stance encourages agents to violate travelers’ rights by forcing them to disclose their disability and encouraging someone with no medical training decide whether something is “medically necessary” or not.

Instead, I think that the TSA’s policy on liquids should be simple: if it’s over one quart, it gets tested. The end. No questions, no having to out yourself as disabled. They have dedicated machines for doing this, called liquid container screening devices, that take only about 30 seconds to use — but they simply refuse to. If you agree with me, please contact your senator or representative and ask them to support this change in policy.

There’s a lot more, including a video.

I, too, have a brain problem which sometimes causes communications difficulties. I have a photo ID card  issued by the Victoria  Brain Injury Society  (VBIS ) which I can produce any time trouble looms —  and not only with travel authorities;  if I’m in a bank  where the teller is from another country, for example.  Or any other occasion  where the ability to speak clearly is necessary.

Sell tells  me he has a card from his neurologist,  but,“I just object to unconstitutional invasion of my 4th amendment right to privacy, and I refuse to give medical info to the TSA which they have absolutely no right to know and no ability to assess”.

I used to be horrified at the idea that I was brain-damaged.  Now I couldn’t care less.

In fact, tomorrow  I’ll be going to my first VBIS music jam  with similarly disabled people, one of whom is an amazing bass player.

I’m slowly recovering my  previously lost ability  to play guitar, something I thought I’d never do again

I knew exactly what Sal means, but my feeling is: it’s better to let people know (educate them) about disabilities  to avoid these kinds of complications; ignorance breeds contempt.

In the meanwhile, following open-heart surgery,my breastbone is literally wired together  and I wonder if it it’ll set alarms off  if and when I’m go through one of those airport security screeners.

But that remains to be seen   (or heard, rather ;))

Anyway, Sal,  good luck with the TSA — you’ll definitely need it.

Jon Newton — myblogdammit

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