To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

TSA Is No Cracker-Jack Operation

I have been flying all over the country the past couple of weeks and am amazed at how the TSA staff never once discovered my carry-on stash of toothpaste and moisturizer. More worrisome to me is the constant jovial banter in which the employees are engaged, as if they were working a summer job at a pizzeria.

The act (i.e. job paid for by the people to protect them) of screening luggage seems like a distraction from the employees' flirting and joking with each other, just like getting me a coffee efficiently at Starbucks is for the baristas of Chevy Chase. I doubt that sort of relaxed atmosphere prevails at Ben-Gurion Airport which, despite being the world's #1 target for fanatical terrorists, has not had an incident in decades.

There is something to be said for screening officials looking, and being, both professional and intimidating. We instead have employees at the checkpoint who miss all sorts of potentially dangerous items because they are having so much fun as they look away from my bag as it rolls through the machine so that they can continue their conversation.

On this subject, the Wa Post today has this:
A business executive said he always traveled with hand sanitizer in his pocket because he worries about germs on planes. He has made about 10 trips since the restrictions went into effect and hasn't been caught.