Glenn Reynolds’ Fox News column on airport “security” hits the nail on the head, elegantly and incisively. Particularly since March, when I had a horrendous encounter with a megalomaniacal, misogynistic law official, I have stayed out of airports as much as possible without hampering my career.
Glenn’s headline could have said “Revenge of the Tweezer, and Nail Clipper, and Knitting Needles People”. Yes, I’ve been traveling with a stamped self-adressed envelope in case I have to send my knitting home to myself; thankfully, using bamboo needles means that I’ve not had many problems, although more than a few flight attendants have questioned me. The FAA took knitting needles off of the restricted list in February, but according to stories I’ve heard from fellow knitters, that change has not been universally adopted by “security officials”. And that’s just one example of the absurd, mindless rule-setting and rule-following with not a whit of common sense in sight. For example, I have a computer backpack with a nylon interior bag for my laptop. This has been extremely convenient in the current environment, where passengers have to remove laptops from their bags — I simply grab the top loop, pull out the nylon bag, put it on the tray, badda boom badda bing. But NO MORE! Now the security agents require me to remove the laptop from its protective nylon bag, which just adds to my fumbling, confusion, and delays for me and other passengers in line. Just pathetic and brainless.
Gary Leff’s website and bumperstickers put it well: “Liberty and Security … Not Bureaucracy”. Thanks to Glenn and Gary for being courageous in pointing out these absurdities and failures of policy and common sense.