Thursday, January 12, 2012

Are outbursts at the airport okay?

A friend posted the following status to her Facebook profile today:
Can't believe that some lady just made a HUGE scene and got super, visibly mad that the TSA made her throw out all her liquids over the allowed size. She even admitted that she knew about the rule, but said they had always "let it go" before.
She later updated to say the woman was still complaining loudly in the boarding area. I responded in a comment to her, but it led to a rash of ideas that I wanted to elaborate on.

I am sympathetic to both sides here. Let's face it: flying sucks. Many people are in a rush. They don't want some moron - or someone with a protest agenda - holding them up. Frequent fliers are oftentimes just commuting. They want to get this mundane part of their day over with. Get to the gate or on the plane and get settled in so something productive can be done. Occasional fliers are often flustered by all of the rules. They are aware that they are the hold-up in the line and don't want to inconvenience others, but are also understandably confused by the process.

It's quite obvious that the TSA, at a minimum, exacerbates and, in some cases, even creates these problems. Before I elaborate, I want to relate a story that occurred to my family (my sisters and parents) and posit that something like this may have occurred to the lady making a scene in front of my friend. It will also tie into some issues that the TSA can take the blame for.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bleg: Android and Blogger

I have a mobile Android device now (Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus - love it so far!), which I hope will help me stay more current on this blog than has been possible for the last several months. But, I'm having trouble with the Blogger app, which leads me to this bleg: Do you know of any good apps for posting to blogger on Android? Please respond in the comments or email me.

(If you want to know, I can't embed links or preview posts, so I've been saving my drafts and then posting them on a PC later - hence the flurries of postings you've been seeing.)

From a police state to a military state (with help from the TSA)

Even I find this surprising. I've not been to Boston, but have been in several cities and rode on mass transit in each recently. I did not notice a police or TSA presence and did not have to undergo any warrantless searches.

TSA's successes

Straight from the horse's mouth. But, as the first commenter noted: "You will look in vain on this 'top ten' for any terrorist threat."

Excellent expose of the TSA

12 ideas for the TSA

I'll add one more to Chris Elliott's list: Go away, TSA!

TSA skeptic illustrates security theater

Jeff Goldberg points out that if scanners were so essential, then they'd be in more locations more quickly if the airport in question has a lot of flights to Reagan airport. Just another example of the theater.