"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


tsa pr

You know, this morning as I was standing in the ridiculously disorganized security line (four lines on each side, but no dividers for each line, so everyone just kindof merges until a TSA agent yells at everyone to get back into your line that has no boundaries) at the Atlanta airport (motto: "The tenth circle of hell starts right here."), I started thinking about the fact that this is not what America is supposed to be.

Regular readers of this blog know that I am convinced that 98% of the TSA's work is a charade that does virtually nothing to make us safer in the air, and that we ought to redirect that budget money into human intelligence (things like training more people to speak Arabic and infiltrate terror cells) that actually prevent hijackings and the use of aircraft as weapons.

Watching an elderly, wheelchair-bound woman be forced to walk through the metal detectors just made me sad. Having a TSA agent grab the tray with my laptop in it out of my hand, not for a security search, but "to get it out of the way," and then being yelled at when I grabbed it back, I got a little mad. But I politely filed a complaint with the manager as usual and went on, because you can't make too much of a fuss about the ludicrous things the TSA does or they put your name on a list.

Anyway, in an apparent effort to improve their public image, the TSA has started a blog. Their first post had over 700 comments before they realized they needed to moderate those comments. (My favorite so far, concerning the liquids the TSA collects when they aren't 3 ounce bottles in a zip-lock bag: "Why just put them in a big garbage can? Oh, what was that? Right, because you know it's just a bunch of shampoo. Then, why confiscate it?" The scientific discussions about the pointlessness of the liquids ban is even better.)

So far they have posted some lame videos that don't really justify their policies, but at least it's an effort. Then again, I doubt there will be any real response to the public's concerns.


Blogger David McCullars said...

One thing I'll hand to Republicans is how successfully they've made their smear campaign over the past many, many years that Democrats "love to raise taxes." We know it's an over-simplification but it's a label that has stuck.

So I wonder why Dems aren't taking the opportunity to permanently label Republicans as folks that "love to take away liberties." I find almost every single one of the recent sacrifices to our liberties completely devoid of purpose or value, and that includes the idiotic new airport rules.

Saturday, February 02, 2008 5:31:00 PM

Blogger CharlieMac said...

When I was returning from a mission trip to Juarez, I was not allowed to enter with the hot cofee I had just purchased in the terminal. I had the choice of tossing it in the garbage can or drinking it right there. I chose to sit and drink it. Then the baggage scanner X-ray "saw" a large shadow in my rolled up "carry on" bag. I was pulled aside and made to unroll the bag. They discovered a large
(15oz) plastic container of baby powder. (heat rash you know) The screener twisted the top, squeezed a bit of powder out, and allowed me to re-roll the "One Night Stand" bag and proceed on my way.
Had it been shampoo they would have tossed it in the garbage. Had it been drugs or a bomb, I would have been successful. Go figure!
Mac McFatter

Saturday, February 02, 2008 6:38:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Mac, the sad irony is that it would have been easier for you to make a bomb with something that resembled baby powder than with 4 ounces of any liquid bomb making material.

David, you know I'm with you on that one. The problem is, criticizing security measures comes off as "unpatriotic," which the D's can't afford.

Saturday, February 02, 2008 6:48:00 PM


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