Monday, June 20, 2011

Another traveler comes around

A blogger writes of inconsistent and unclear procedures at airport security checkpoints on a recent trip. There is nothing particularly notable about this man's experience, but I have a couple of things to say about the general themes...

First, Pistole, et al, have repeatedly referred to their "multi-layered" "unpredictable" approach to security. This is sold as a way to make sure that security is, well, secure. I don't buy this at all, but - to the blogger, RG Edmonson's questions ("Shouldn’t there be standard protocols?... Would it be too much for TSA to post clearly-written instructions at the security checkpoint?") - I would just say that the TSA's answers are "No" and "Yes." Not that the TSA would ever give such a straightforward answer. But, they don't want mere civilians to be able to feel too comfortable while traveling, and they need to cover the butts of their workers when they mess up. They want us in fear and submissive - that's the whole point!

Mr. Edmonson concludes:
When people began complaining about TSA’s security last year, I felt like they should stop whining and get with the program. No more. People have legitimate complaints. Add mine to the list. Maybe TSA will read it and take note.
which brings me to my second comment. Those of us who have spoken up about TSA abuses are regularly dismissed as "whiners." Americans' mentality regarding this is certainly part of the problem. If a person goes around being a doormat their whole lives, with coworkers, friends, family, and romantic partners walking all over them, do we applaud them for "not whining" and "getting with the program?" Of course not! But, for some reason, when we stand up to our abusers, it is us - not the doormats - who are making things out of nothing and whining. Good grief!

In any case, I'm glad Mr. Edmonson seems to be coming around on this. Listen when people complain and continue to think for yourself about whether the "program" is one that we should want to join.