Am I gonna actually be leaving on a jet plane?
By the time you read this, I’ll be in the system. By the system I mean, into the dark realm of despair known as airport security, and ruled by, the misleadingly named Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Whether I’m a victim or just a happy fellow traveler will remain to be seen — or at least known by me as of this printing.
I’m prompted to write this from what happened at our airport earlier this month, which was a unique — and as far as I can tell, brand new — experience in the quality safety systems put in place by your benevolent federal government and perpetrated on all of us via its brown shirted brigade, the TSA. OK, so they do have very cool, official-looking uniforms that aren’t brown. But that will not make me feel any better when I get taken into the private viewing chamber for the ultra-invasive inspection I’m sure to get one of these days based this article, or any one of many articles I’ve written or will write talking about just how inept and intrusive our federal government is.
So let’s get back to the story. After passing through security earlier this month and while sitting and waiting for a few thunderstorms to pass that were delaying her family’s flight, a friend was asked to pour some of her water into a special cup for an extra, random test of the liquid. Naturally, my friend objected, as any logical person would have, because she thought anything purchased inside the system should be deemed safe to buy and take on board the plane. Of course, the TSA thinks otherwise.
According to a spokesperson from the TSA in followup news stories, “TSA employees have many layers of security throughout airports. Passengers may be randomly selected for additional screening measures at the checkpoint or in the gate at any time.” The spokesperson added:
“So other than possibly taking a few moments of your time before boarding your flight, it’s business as usual.”
Finally, at least that last sentiment wasn’t a total load of BS. Because when it comes to making your travel more of a hassle, no entity on the planet is more qualified than the TSA. As for the other parts of the statement from the TSA, what should have been said is this: “We know none of this stuff really works, it just looks like we’re doing something for your safety. And the more we can make a show of it, the better. So we’ll keep making your many inconveniences seemingly as small as possible, all while we’re busy feeling up 4 year olds and stripping off little old ladies’ Depends.” As history will show, that while there are people are looking to light their wadded panties on fire on an airplane, none of them will be 85-year-old American ladies. As for playing with your kids, I don’t know what I’ll do when it comes time for someone in uniform to feel up one of my daughters. But it would not end well.
Many of you will say the following, “That’s what we have to do to be able to fly safely after 9/11. These are some freedoms we have to give up to ensure we don’t have another attack.” And then there’s my personal favorite: “Just look at the possible attacks they have thwarted.” Horse pucky. While I don’t mind our government stopping possible terrorist plots — after all, it’s one of the few jobs the Constitution makes clear it should be doing — I see no reason to bother everyday Americans as we exercise our privilege to fly about this great nation. Let’s face one undeniable fact. The sole reason we don’t have planes blowing up all over the skies or have planes flying into buildings all over our great cities is because 99.999999999 percent of the people on this planet have no desire to do those things (By the way, it’s also the reason these isn’t a mass murder every day, just as much as it is the reason your house didn’t get robbed last night). So why do we need the TSA? Good question. The answer is simple. We don’t.
Just like doctors weren’t licensed before the government stuck its nose into the medical business, airports were run privately in the same way. The reason the government is in the “airport” and “airport security” business is summed up in two words: money and control. Ask anyone who wants to buy a book or a bottle of water at the airport about how affordable the government has made its little monopoly. And while security was a hassle and not effective before 9/11; it’s even worse with the behemoth known as the TSA in charge.
You see, while I trust the folks who run our airport on the local end, because you know, I can get them on the phone, I have little to no faith in anything the feds design and force upon our airport authority and the good folks of Grand Junction who fly out of our airport. Here’s why. The government simply reacts to what happened and then creates a program to prevent what already happened. All that creates is an atmosphere where something bad will indeed happen again, just in a different way.
And then they’ll be taking your blood, and more of your freedom, before you board the next time.