Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Airport Security: So the airport security thing has basically come down to two choices. First, they could grope you to feel if you have any dangerous things on you. Second, they could put in giant X-ray cameras that would let them see if you have any dangerous things on you.

So the debate has become whether people would rather have their private parts seen or felt.

Count me firmly in the category of, "People should have a choice." Why does the federal government get to decide which is best for everyone, when clearly both have advantages and disadvantages? Security should just be left to the airlines, who would get to chose their security measures, and then customers could decide which airline to fly based on which held the particular balance between personal privacy and public safety they were most comfortable with.

One airline could be the "We're safer than staying at home in bed" Airline, and subject all passangers to a strip search and psyciatric evaluation before boarding. Another airline could be the "Techno Savvy Safety" airline, where they used bomb sniffers and other such sensitive equipment to get you onboard safe, but with your dignity intact. Another could be the "Quick and Dirty" airline, where they didn't have any equipment, but they gave you rudimentary pat-downs and did thorough bag checks.

For the Federal Government to step in and not only mandate, but take over the entire security process of airports--look, am I the only one here who feels that the most ridiculous and pointless parts of their job and/or day were implemented at the behest of the Federal Government? Don't you think the Airlines could, if their survival as an industry depended on it, come up with easier, less intrusive, more effective measures against terrorists than a bunch of Washington beaurocrats?

I think they could in a heartbeat. So why not let them?

Because the Federal Goverment isn't interested in their answers. Like all government agencies, this one is interested in only one thing--being as intrustive as it can. Like all government agencies, the more in-your-face and blown up it is, the less likely it is to get cut out of next year's budget. The last thing you want to do, as a government organization, is operate quietly, effectively, and at a low cost. If you do that, it makes you a real easy slice to cut off come budget time.

So you have to run your roots as deep as you can into everything you can, so that cutting you would be more like emergency surgery than an outpatient procedure. Never mind that this means you're really the most deserving of being cut and trimmed. We're legislators, and we need to get back on the campaign trail. What can I do that will look like it's doing the most. Don't bother with what actually gets anything done.

So to the CEO of the future "Techo Savvy Airlines," count me in for your frequent flyer program.

No comments: