Bit of an off-topic one link for today, but I wanted to highlight “The Airport Security Follies”, a great blog post by Patrick Smith over on the New York Times blog site.
As a frequent flier I probably find myself subjected to airport security once or twice a week. Patrick riffs on a number of the hypocrisies that I’ve mulled over myself whilst waiting in line to empty my carry-on of it’s two laptops, take off my belt, empty my pockets, take off my jacket/hoodie, take off my shoes – usually 5-6 trays worth of stuff, urghh.
Here’s just two of the many thought provoking points Patrick makes in his piece:
“The three-ounce container rule is silly enough — after all, what’s to stop somebody from carrying several small bottles each full of the same substance — but consider for a moment the hypocrisy of T.S.A.’s confiscation policy. At every concourse checkpoint you’ll see a bin or barrel brimming with contraband containers taken from passengers for having exceeded the volume limit. Now, the assumption has to be that the materials in those containers are potentially hazardous. If not, why were they seized in the first place? But if so, why are they dumped unceremoniously into the trash? They are not quarantined or handed over to the bomb squad; they are simply thrown away. The agency seems to be saying that it knows these things are harmless. But it’s going to steal them anyway, and either you accept it or you don’t fly.”
“But of all the contradictions and self-defeating measures T.S.A. has come up with, possibly none is more blatantly ludicrous than the policy decreeing that pilots and flight attendants undergo the same x-ray and metal detector screening as passengers. What makes it ludicrous is that tens of thousands of other airport workers, from baggage loaders and fuelers to cabin cleaners and maintenance personnel, are subject only to occasional random screenings when they come to work.”