As anyone who’s faced the misery of flying commercial in the last four years knows, the federal government thinks that terrorists will be thwarted by bureaucratic rules enforced without the complication of common sense.
That’s why, for example, the Transportation Security Administration, enforces a rigid caste system during air travel: There is to be no movement between the first-class and coach cabins, for example, by passengers looking for a vacant bathroom.
It’s why, until recently, passengers flying into or out of Reagan National Airport were not allowed to leave their seats, for example, to go to the bathroom, during the 30 minutes before landing or after take-off, respectively.
Apparently, these TSA people are very threatened by passengers who use bathrooms.
They’re also threatened by old people. Ever notice how many senior citizens, unable to stand up, much less hyjack an airplane, are held up in those obnoxious searches?
Calgary Sun columnist Ian Robinson was recently in an airport security line behind a frail-looking old man. In his column, Robinson describes himself as “a man of swarthy complexion and indeterminate race … whose nickname is ‘Osama’ … sweating nervously because he has an intense dislike of air travel because he is a control freak and when you’re strapped into a metal tube going 500 miles an hour through the sky at 35,000 feet, you are not in control”.
Guess who the guardians of your safety selected for extra harassment? Robinson notes that they did uncover a deadly-looking bottle of Metamucil in the old man’s bag.
As Robinson points out, this idiocy is dangerous:
“The last time a 90-year-old white man with a couple of cerebral hemorrhages under his belt hijacked a plane and flew it into a big old office building in a major North American city was … never.
“It was guys who sort of looked like me.”
But acknowledging that would mean making politics subordinate to thinking. And we can’t do that.
As I pointed out in my speech at Accuracy In Academia‘s 20th anniversary dinner, which occurred on the very same day that I was selected for a random airport groping, homeland security takes a back seat to the demands of not thinking.
And that’s scary. Because not thinking, critically and creatively, about clues like young Arab men signing up for flight school, is what cleared the way for those horrific attacks of September 11, 2001.