Congress is gone, President Obama is still campaigning as opposed to leading, lobbyist and lawyers have fled, school is out, traffic is light-- so Washington is normal for August.
Last week I took a break for a few days. I flew from the Baltimore airport to a small airport in New England. The plane was about three times the size of my car. Of course, I had to endure the indignities of “airport security”. This meant waiting in line, taking off my shoes, emptying my pockets and removing my belt. I also had to show my photo ID (which I must do to board an airplane but do not have to produce to vote) and have someone root through my carryon bag.
I have to say, these procedures are annoying. They are demeaning and intrusive. As a society we have relinquished our privacy and freedom because madmen changed all the rules. So-be-it.
However, this is the interesting part. Once at the gate, the 30 or so passengers were informed that TSA officials would be making searches of the passengers again. There were two blue-clad TSA men and one woman. Their uniforms looks like some third world militia all deck out with braids and epaulets. Comical in nature as they are not police or soldiers. I have nothing against people who do this job as they are just like the rest of us, trying to make a living.
The two men had set up a table by the gate. It was stainless steel and about the size of a banquet table. The women TSA person, who was in her 50’s and looked like an old frau, selected a woman out of the group. The woman she selected was about 85, could barely walk and was accompanied by a man of similar age who was probably her husband, a retired teacher by the looks. It took so long for the woman to walk to the table, it was embarrassing. Once there, the men unceremonious emptied her bag that as best I could tell contained some lipstick and about 500 used Kleenexes. At the end, she gathered her things from the latex gloves wearing band of blue shirted men and hobbled back.
Was the flight safe now? Apparently not, the next person selected was fat kid of maybe 14 traveling with his short, stout sister and rotund parents. He was wearing long, baggy shorts down to his ankles and an oversized t-shirt. He carried a small backpack which when dumped on the table contained a music player, candy and some sort of small spiral notebook. The kid was only a danger to himself.
By the time this was all done, the passengers were boarding.
Common sense is something that is allusive to government at all levels. I would have bet the farm and its crop that these two selected individuals were not going to be grave security risks on my flight. The fact they were rousted after they had passed the initial screening is just insulting and stupid. What a waste of effort.
I have heard all the stuff about profiling and random selection, blah blah. It is bunk.
We often get what we deserve but as citizens, taxpayers, travelers and people with more than a room temperature IQ we do not deserve this kind of treatment. The TSA and its procedures, rules (and silly uniforms) are a gross example of government at its worse and a gullible sheep-esque public.