What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
I flew into Phoenix last night on Delta. As I waited in the TSA security line, I realized that I had my pocketknife with me. My useful, trusted friend that I carried everywhere. Everywhere.
As the front of the line approached, I realized that I had to ditch it. I rode the bus to the airport, so I couldn’t go put it in my car. I wasn’t checking any luggage, so that wasn’t an option. Time was somewhat short, and so I threw it in the garbage can.
I was upset. Very upset.
It’s not about the knife. I can buy another knife. It’s about the draconian TSA security measures in place that impinge on personal liberties. I am inconvenienced in the elusive name of “security”, all in an effort to assure my fellow passengers that I’m not a bomb-strapped terrorist.
The incident was only compounded by the screener asking me to remove my shoes and place them on the conveyor belt. I was wearing flip flops, for crying out loud. What, did she think that in the 1/3″ of material I had inserted C4 explosives or something? Good grief. Flying can be quite irksome when one has to strip off half of one’s clothes.
Why don’t we have a similar invasion of privacy in other methods of transportation? Terrorists can use cars and trucks, can’t they? Should that be an excuse for having a gestapo-like police task force randomly stopping people on the streets? The UK already does…
I miss my pocketknife.