I just returned from a weeklong trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. In company was my wife, her parents, and my parents (yes, we all get along swimmingly). It was a great trip, all in all, not marred by one single unfortunate event.
But it was tarnished, nonetheless—purposefully and willfully—by a group of loathsome people with the effrontery to call themselves “public servants.”
The first incident came right at the start, leaving from San Francisco (SFO). I don’t travel a lot, per se, but I’ve made two business trips to Chicago and one to DC over the past few months. I try to block it out—the absurdity of it all—and typically I get through “only” moderately inconvenienced. I’ve never taken off my shoes, have never been compelled to do so, and have never set off the Citizen Inspection Device.
So, as I’m disassembling myself (belt buckle, watch, wallet, pocket change, laptop computer, etc.), a TSA goon walks up and asks about taking off my shoes (classic Converse All-Stars with 1/4” soles, at most). I ask if it’s mandatory. He says no, “not if you have lots of time.” Since I knew I wasn’t going to set anything off, I proceeded through the Citizen Inspection Device, and as typical, didn’t set it off. Notwithstanding, I am immediately pulled aside. My high-end laptop, leather Hartmann carry-on, and other valuables—including a very expensive watch—are just sitting there unattended, having come through the Property Inspection Device. I ask, “Is anyone going to attend to my valuables?” “Yes,” he replies, and then just looks away. Another half minute passes and other people’s stuff is stacking up against mine. Finally, I discreetly motion my wife, she gets the clue, and comes and collects my stuff.
I wait another three minutes, there, Temporarily Detained in Federal Custody, and in all that time, not once did any “Authority” look to make sure my property was secure from theft or damage. Finally, a Comrade Interrogator arrives with the express purpose of assaulting me, in person and in dignity, for the crime of Non-Immediate and Non-Cheerful Submission to the faintest suggestion or admonition of “The Authority.” This is where I get to endure the spread-‘em pat down in front of my family and the whole world.
Then there was the trip back. This time, like a Good German, I took off my shoes. But my dad, age 67, failed to heed the sign about putting his video-camera into a separate bin and was taken into Temporary Federal Custody for Search and Interrogation. My father-in-law, age 74, was taken into Temporary Federal Custody for the Crime of having a film canister and pack of gum (foil wrappers) in his pocket.
You know what? Fuck the TSA. Fuck George W. Bush for spearheading it. Fuck Norman “the moron” Mineta. And Fuck every last one of his goons, including even the TSA bitches currently out on maternity leave. Every last one of them can be God damned, and then they can Kiss My Ass. I’m serious.
There’s not one scintilla of a microgram of redeeming value in the TSA. Not one bit. Not for any rational purpose under the sun. Its sole reason for being is intimidation, and in so doing, the Gorillas make all the chimpanzees feel nice and “safe.”
Update: See TSA – Part 2