I had a minor rant about the TSA in March (see my previous post, Back in the USA). TSA, the people who have taken what little joy there is in these days of Greyhound-Bus-programs-the-sky, and wrung its neck. They add inconvenience, without the value added plus of security, to a dreary travel experience. It’s Kabuki security, style and elaborate costumes.
I’ve also carried, at various times: pocketknives, matches from hotels in Beirut and Peshawar, dust masks, lengths of rope, cigarette lighters, nail clippers, eight-ounce tubes of toothpaste (in my front pocket), bottles of Fiji Water (which is foreign), and, of course, box cutters. I was selected for secondary screening four times—out of dozens of passages through security checkpoints—during this extended experiment. At one screening, I was relieved of a pair of nail clippers; during another, a can of shaving cream.
To be fair, the TSA has brought some humor into our lives. As an example, we now know some of the funnier things that people bring as carry-on. You can enter Vanity Fair’s Sex bomb caption contest.
I do take TSA’s point that most bad guys are not brain surgeons. This from the TSA’s blog:
…the person agreeing to carry [the bomb] may not be super smart.
Except when they are brain surgeons (or at least highly educated doctors) as they were in London.
From what I’ve read, the smartest things done for air security are the locked doors for the pilot’s cockpit and air marshals.