Saturday, January 09, 2010

Note to TSA, DHS, et al


TIME TO GET A GRIP

Case in point #1: Horny dude ducks "security" rope to neck with girlfiend. TSA personnel panic, shut airport down for seven hours.

Case in point #2: Gardener from Milwaukee decides to bring home some honey from a visit to California. TSA personnel panic, fake chemical-induced illness so they can get away from stuff they think is going to explode, shut down airport.

Case in point #3: TSA dog panics, TSA shuts down airport for 90 minutes.

Case in point #4: Dazed stoner passenger fills comment card with Bizarre "Gilligan's Island" references. Pilot panics, summons fighter escort, flies 90 minutes back home instead of finishing trip.

Case in point #5: Passenger "bec[a]me belligerent and refused to leave the restroom. ... appeared to be intoxicated ..." Pilot panics, summons fighter escort, lands in Denver instead of San Franciso.

And that's just this week!

Disclaimer: No, I don't advocate ducking "security" ropes, sticking Gatorade® jugs full of honey in your luggage, rubbing your luggage with a Milkbone® right before leaving for the airport, writing Bob Denver inspired notes about your pteromerhanophobia, or getting drunk and hogging the Great White Porcelain God's airborne confessional.

BUT!

Any or all of those things are weird annoyances at worst and require mild on-the-spot correctives at most. It's the reactions to them that are the real problem.

There's no nice way to put this: Those reactions objectively aid and abet al Qaeda. Every time some over-caffeinated donut shop commando frightens, irritates and delays hundreds or thousands of travelers because he can't tell the difference between a garden variety nuisance and a real threat, Osama bin Laden has a nice long laugh at America's expense.

TSA goons, airplane crews, and DHS middle managers (or whomever is running around dispatching expensive military aircraft for no discernible purpose) need to pull themselves together, strap on some friggin' brains, and stop imagining a wild-eyed jihadi behind every tray not properly locked in the upright position. For God's sake, who's in charge over there -- Barney Fife and Pamela Geller?

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