Sunday, June 27, 2010

Protecting the Skys, One 6-Year Old at a Time

The TSA is there to protect us. They are working hard to stop terrorists everyday. In fact, there are a whole host of stories where the TSA has prevented bad things from happening. There was that one time that they stopped a terrorist from detonating a bomb in his underwear ... oh wait, that was passengers on the plane. But there was that other time that they stopped someone from passing a note that said there was a bomb onboard ... oh wait that was the stewardess. Well, there have been a couple of unruly passengers that they stopped from boarding the plane ... oh wait, no they didn't airline employees identified them and had them removed.

So what has the TSA done? Well, they have strip searched amputee's traveling with their small children. They steal money from wheelchair bound passengers. They subpeona bloggers who re-post their security directives. They can't keep their hands off of 3 year olds. And they force mom's to drink their own breast milk.

But remember, this is the agency that is sooooo much more professional and better trained than the screeners we had before 9/11 who basically were minimum wage employees that left you alone. You know, the one's who let the 9/11 hijackers onto the plane as opposed to the one's now who let the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber onto the plane.

But we have the restricted fly list of those people who are so dangerous we won't let them fly. They haven't actually been convicted of anything, or even charged with anything, but we will only let them roam around shopping malls and have access to gas stations because large crowds are immune to burning gasoline, but we wouldn't want them to get onto an airplane with 200 other passengers and 3 ounces of hair gel.

So who is on the no fly list? Well to start with, some of the 9/11 hijackers on are the no fly list - yes, those ones who burned up in the plane crashes. We can't be too careful. Afterall, someone else may use that dead person's identity. There are heads of state (Bolivia and Lebanon - but not Iran and Venezuela). Robert Johnson is also on the list - not exactly the most common name, but pretty darn close. Ted Kennedy was on it, but he was allowed to rent a car without further scrutiny. Recently, it was discovered that a 6 year old girl was on the list. I thought it was just Iran that executed 7 year olds as spys. In America, we are much more civilized. We just subject suspected 6 year olds to strip searches and prevent them from traveling with their families.

The change in airport screening has done NOTHING to make air travel safer. The only thing that has made air travel safer is 1) reinforcing the cockpit doors and 2) passenger awareness that terrorists are going to blow up the plane. Surely if all of the Orange Alert Levels, 16 weeks of TSA training, and confiscation of nail clippers actually made an impact, then the TSA would be able to tout at least one example where a terrorist plot was thwarted. Afterall, there are millions of flights a year.

chirp ... chirp ... chirp

Don't hold your breath.

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