Air Travel

It’s no big secret that air travel in general has become a lot less fun than it used to be.  Shrinking seats, escalating fees, and of course the ever-increasing list of ‘security’ procedures foisted upon us by the good folks of the TSA and the Department of Hopeless Stupidity.

The whole situation seems to have disintegrated long past the point of parody, with disabled toddlers being groped by TSA agents and holiday cupcakes being confiscated as contraband, but there we are.

What makes the ‘security’ edicts of the DHS and TSA so pernicious is that while it is fairly easy to add new restrictions, it is all but impossible to discontinue existing ones.  Any sane discussion of efficacy or utility is invariably shutdown at the first mention of ‘9/11′.

Aside from the casual dismissal of basic rights and common sense, air travel ‘security’ is also a ridiculously expensive endeavor, that has yielded no tangible returns.  When asked, the TSA is unable to point to a single case where its screenings have actually resulted in the apprehension of a would-be terrorist.  In the meantime, over $1 trillion has been spent on this security theater, which has been proven time and time again to be unable to catch even major security breaches (guns and explosives in carry on baggage, fake boarding passes and IDs, etc.).

The wasting of vast sums of money, the reflexive dismissal of legitimate concerns and the overall arrogance and unpleasantness of the whole arrangement leaves a very bad taste.  I’ve done my best to curtail my own air travel, and to seek alternatives wherever possible.  It doesn’t look likely that the situation will improve in the foreseeable future, but hopefully as more people vote with their feet and wallets, the alternatives will improve.

I’m not generally a ‘government has to go’ type, but the DHS and TSA are clearly examples of self-sustaining bureaucracies with no genuine value save perhaps to the people who it employs.  Accordingly, anybody who runs on a platform of ending them has my vote.

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