Feel Any Safer Yet?

The Washington Post has a front page story about the TSA’s wet work. No they’re not going around offing people, just trying to keep all the liquids off the planes. If the Washington Post is right, TSA doesn’t seem to be very effective.

What I find interesting is that this is making many Americans federal criminals. If you get caught, you could get fined, land on a watch list and your life otherwise made miserable. Did that inspector get laid last night? No. Wrong day to smuggle that hair gel, better to suffer the bad hair day.

Now, as most of us know by now, the myth of binary explosives is a Hollywood legend or at least not as realistic as various governments would like you to think. This doesn’t matter because you still need to check those evil liquid or semi-liquid substances if you want to fly the friendly skys. Although according to Wonkette, your sex gels personal lubricants are safe.  Whipped cream and cattle prods on the other hand are no-no’s. That’s nice to know – PLAN ACCORDINGLY. Maybe the TSA didn’t want the work to get too wet. (Sorry)

For me, the take home lesson in the WP article came in on the second page.

Gary Boettcher, a pilot and president of the Coalition for Airline Pilots Association, a trade group that closely tracks security issues, said he constantly sees people drinking from illicit bottles of water or putting on lip gloss when he walks through the passenger cabin. Most of the time, he said, it doesn’t bother him.

“They are just doing their routines like they always did,” Boettcher said. “An old woman drinking a bottle of water doesn’t concern me. . . . The whole screening process is a facade to make the public feel safe, to show that the government is doing something.”

Passengers said they didn’t feel any safer after reaching their destination and realizing they had inadvertently left a banned item in their carry-on bags. [emphasis mine]

So we have a make-believe threat, passengers who aren’t worried and overworked security people. Well the government thinks passengers feel safe, the passengers feel annoyed and the TSA has a long, wet winter ahead of them.

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5 comments so far

  1. Gary Goldberg on

    Still unreported — homw many travelers stopped flying when they don’t have to because of the security pains and how much tourism income was lost as a result. For instance, I’d like to go to Las Vegas (I was going once a year) but I’m not going this year.

  2. Helen on

    If a person is spending this much on cosmetics, perhaps we are paying teachers too much. Shame on her, shame on the taxpayers. Signed, a former teacher of over 40 years.

  3. blc303 on

    Gary,
    I don’t know. Americans are know world wide for being extremely passive in airports. It’s almost a truism that one notices the Americans because they are the ones getting undressed at security checkpoints.

    On the other hand, the attractiveness of flying does drop with every new security measure. Still, most people will probably just put up with whatever comes. Humans are extremely adaptive.

  4. blc303 on

    Helen,
    You assume she bought the cosmetics herself. Perhaps she has a sugar daddy 😉

  5. Harry on

    What we ALL should be questioning here is WHY the Editor’s of The Washington Post (any ALL other newspapers) are so lax in allowing these kinds of stories to be printed?? Think about it. Is there any BETTER way we can tell a potential terrorist where the “holes” are in our security? They read Newspapers and Watch News Braodcasts too. Why not publish INSTRUCTIONS on how to Bypass the Security that we do have in place.
    This is what is happening everywhere. High School AND College graduates are being hired (in ALL industries) to do a variety of jobs that they May or May Not be trained for, but the in-place Management is NOT adequately overseeing their preformance (or Lack of)… so the finished product suffers and us consumers pay the price, while Management gets their Promotions, Raises, Bonuses, Stock Options. etc. etc. It appears we’re raising a whole generation of Americans who “Don’t Have a Clue” and who’s ONLY concern is their own success – measured in dollars.


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