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Monica Emmerson: "First, they came for the sippy cups ...

Sarah's picture

So Monica Emmerson tried traveling with a child whose sippy cup held too much water (and, horrors! not "nursery water or bottled water" either, but just plain water). Apparently some TSA supervisor at Reagan National (and it galls my soul to type that) took exception -- and the rest is the stuff of Oprah/Springer marathons.
What I want to know is, why hasn't St. Rush of the Limp Bough weighed in on the side of the oh-so-holy Transportation Security Agency? Where are the valiant defenders of airport security?
it's like this:

all the bloviating in the world won't change the fact: a grownup in a uniform took a child's drink away just to prove the TSA is always vigilant, and no proto-terrist tot can smuggle unauthorized H20 onto an airplane in the US of A, by George -- we don't tolerate that kind of behavior.

What really fills me with revulsion, though, is the huge number of ordinary citizens who want the woman hanged, deprived of her children, sterilized, or otherwise punished for "thinking she's above the rules."

If they can apply that logic to one mom with one kid trying to get on one plane, why in the name of the seven bald steers can't they apply the same logic to W?

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Tinfoil Hat Boy's picture
Submitted by Tinfoil Hat Boy on

While I am not unsympathetic to this woman's plight, I have learned that St. Ives Apricot Scrub (great for exfoliating pre-shave, BTW) and Tom's of Maine Toothpaste could potentially take down a plane.

Listen, in 2004 there were almost 580 million going through screening, or 1.6 million a day. If they make exception for even 1%, that is 16,000 exceptions a day. You just cannot do it. She should have had the sippy cup empty and filled it, for free, on the other side. It's not like they're keeping it a secret about what the rules are, or that they are applying them haphazardly or capriciously.

You see mob mentality - well it is a 1.6 million person mob. They have feelings, too.

You see over-reach by jack-booted thugs; I see people from first class to standby playing by the same rules.

"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Because, she's asking for special treatment. If this policy is wrong, and it is, you rescind a policy. Yuo don't just make an exception for one well-connected woman. That's called corruption. The only way they wealthy will ever oppose wicked laws like this is if they have to feel the sting and pay for it. Even if it's unfair, it's unfair for the rest of us too.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I have heard, and I like to think even contributed to, some fine and mighty oaths in my day, and I have never heard of an invocation of the Seven Bald Steers as a testament to the speaker's veracity. Christ on a Soda Cracker, the Brazen Balls of Buddha, these I have heard called to witness a statement. Seven Bald Steers, never.

Inquiring minds want to know. If you made it up for the occasion that's fine too, but in that case i just want to know what's going around the cattle in your part of TX. :)

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

('cause a google search for the phrase now comes back to ... me.)

and with my luck the damn thing's out of print and probably not even available via Amazon ... if I could remember the author's name, it would help... I stole it, when I was in 7th grade, from a book I read as part of Texas History class. I read all Tanner Laine's books that year and several years later had the privilege of working at the paper that used to publish him; but by then it was no longer locally owned and Texas lore was no longer treasured by its ad-sales-hungry management. I won't claim the story's true, but here's what I know of "the seven bald steers":
It's an old trail drovers' exclamation, not necessarily an oath, that goes back to some Andy-Adams era (think early post civil war) trail drives. There were stories about "the murder steer" and ghost-cattle in the books, but the one that stuck with me was ... an early bunch of cowboys were gathering a herd somewhere in the vicinity of what is probably now Copper Breaks State Park, back in the days when the Red River used to flood pretty free between March and June. They had pulled up on top of a little three-sided mesa for the night and got the cattle bedded down, and about a quarter after midnight the St. Elmo's Fire started playing on the horns and the smell of ozone came into the air. This was late March or early April, so night time thunderstorms were part of the deal when you lived on the range. They probably had 200 head of cattle on that little tabletop patch of land, but Longhorns are nothing if not ready, at the drop of a pin, to bolt and run; and cowboys fear nothing so much (to this day) as they fear a stampede. So, when the first bolt of lightning and crack of thunder split the night, run they did -- in all directions, including some of them over the cliffs; come daylight, the cowboys found a lot of crippled (broken legged, broken necked, broken backed) cattle at the bottoms of the mesa's sides, piled up (watch that distressing scene where the Ozzies run the Aborigines over the cliff in Quigley Down Under for a general idea of the results) pretty deep, dead and dying. In among them were seven steers, according to the story, with most or all their hair worn off from the tumbling down the sides of the mesa. These "seven bald steers" became the core of the herd the cowboys did eventually gather and drive to Sedalia for sale.

So. There you have it.
Tanner Laine's books are around; I'll have to see if I can get my hands on the right one, and then, by golly, I'll see if I can't send you a copy of the story verbatim.
But you'll have to find out about the rodeo cowboys' turtle association from somebody else besides me.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

This so-called airport security has nothing to do with making air travel safe. The primary purpose it to train US citizens to submit to authoritairianism and accept a totalitarian police state.

Anyone that still has a memory for Critical Thinking can debunk these arbitrary rules in a second.

Unless every single passenger is strip searched and has their cavities probed (my wife can certainly hide more than three ounces of liquid in her vagina), then all this 'security' is useless.

Which proves that this has nothing more to do than to have supposedly 'free' citizens submit to petty dictators from the TSA.

Ruth's picture
Submitted by Ruth on

Though Balderdash may not be suitable for the seven steers, I throw it in as well about the newly discovered dangers of liquid. In 1993 the World Trade Ctr was attacked with liquids. [see Wiki: 'The 1,056-lb (680 kg) urea nitrate-fuel oil device' and the perpetrators included Ramzi Yousef, an al Quaeda member. So all of a sudden, liquids in sippy cups are taken from babies. It's a huge publicity gimmick, and we're not being kept secure, we're being messed with. You can have my sippy cup when you wrestle it from my cold dead hands.


Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

She was not trying to be an exception to the rules. If you read the full story, she offered to drink the water so she could keep the sippy cup which security was trying to confiscate. When she went to drink the water, she was so upset that she spilled it. Then they made her get on her knees, clean it up, and apologize to the officers for spilling it. They detained her for 45 minutes and made her miss the flight.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

I thought of it as more of a guild -- but yes, it was the forerunner of the PRCA today.

And the PRCA is as close to a union as any cowboy could stomach.