Fasten your seatbelts. You can do it without any special instructions, right? I sure hope so because this post might cause a little turbulence. When I first saw the headline in the Review section of this weekend’s WSJ, I braced for impact. I thought there would certainly be something in it that would amaze me or possibly piss me off. After a cursory review, I quickly assessed it for what it was…BS. Upon closer inspection, I discovered the BS was quite deep. No surprise, it just made me laugh.
The former head of TSA, Kip Hawley wants us to know that he knows the folly that is TSA. It is clear to any reader who is properly trained to spot BS. Here’s how I detected it:
This first sentence of the article was a clue. It plainly states airport security in America is broken. This is not news to me and probably not to anyone who isn’t living in a stockpiled bunker. It goes on to say that not only did Kip suck at his job from July of 2005 to January 2009, but also that there hasn’t been a single competent person in that job since he left. No duh!
Kip has written a book all about his poor job performance and he wants us to buy it. Now let’s review for a moment; he was paid to oversee an agency supposedly vital to our national security, he sucked at it, the agency is a monumental failure, he knew it then, publicly acknowledges it now, and thinks Americans need to read his book to find out how to embrace risk and strike a new balance to fix the brokenness?
That is a load of BS with a capital B!
When the large and in charge decide to spend less time trying to win pissing contests and more time doing the jobs they are paid to do, that is when air travel security, among other things, will become more balanced. It will never be risk free. Hell, hurling through the air in a metal tube breathing a lean mixture of oxygen, jet fuel and farts from the guy who scarfed down a burrito just before boarding is risky. However, when you’re just hoping the flight attendants took their meds and the pilots aren’t stressed about their pension plan, the air quality aboard doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
Going through security at DFW, there are two lines separated by that ever-present retracting nylon tape that keeps the low-class cooties off the Priority Access travelers. However, when you arrive at Checkpoint Charlie to present your ID and boarding pass, the lines become blurred into alternating ridiculousness. No one gets priority at Checkpoint Charlie. Just hoist your bag of priority BS onto the conveyor belt like the rest of us riffraff. Not every traveler expects elite, platinum, diamond, priority service, but is it too much to ask for everyone to be treated like a paying customer instead of a threat to the one world alliance?
Wearing anything expensive for air travel isn’t a good idea. Placing a dry clean only jacket into a plastic bin that has held shoes with god knows what on the bottom of them makes no sense to me. I almost always wear flip-flops when traveling. Taking off flip-flops for a safety check is BS.
Having to purchase personal hygiene products when I arrive at my destination because I can’t carry a three week’s supply of toiletries in my carry on is BS. Being told by an agent at CAE that I must pay $25 dollars to check my bag if I want to carry a pint of homemade fig preserves on board even though my bag was to be gate checked anyway was total BS.
Please be advised that when you detect BS in airport security, there is nothing you can do about it. Even if you just want to verbalize your frustration, there is almost always some dumb ass standing between you and some other dumb ass who can’t seem to remove his belt, coins, nail clippers or assault rifle by the time it is his turn to get irradiated. These people must be contracted to shovel BS because they are on the ready to call you unpatriotic if you express ANY comment about the security measures that they mistakenly believe will protect their dumb asses in the event of an emergency. I cannot stand it when people say, “It beats the alternative.” Alternative? What, you mean like efficiency and personnel with the ability to reason?
I know the agents are just doing their jobs. Seriously! I see them standing in a posture of authority wearing their protective blue gloves. I hear them talking about their weekend plans while vacant security scanners sit unused because they are only trained to frisk passengers and shout, “Remove all items from your pockets and place them in the dog dish provided! MUSH!
You have a choice when reading and I appreciate your attention for the duration of this post. Please be careful when exiting and feel free to leave comments, questions or concerns.