As mentioned in the previous entry, I was on the road yesterday. As usual, lots of AM/FM channel surfing. After I got tired of the hype from the right, I found Air America and caught the end of Franken’s show. But he was on good behavior and actually giving Murtha a ration of shit. Then I found Pacifica, which is about as commie as you can get — although what I caught before it faded out was a history of habeas corpus and its abuses and I really couldn’t find much to complain about. Then I listened to NPR for a while.
Amongst it all — and plenty of news stations in-between — the prevailing thing was the holiday air travel: how you need to baggie your personal hygienic products, how you need to be to the airport at least three hours ahead of time, how you have to be patient, and on and on. And then there are the sound-bites from those interviewed. Never do you get a real cross-section of what people really think, but you get the better-safe-than-sorry crowd and those who are just grateful to feel safe.
I guess those whom the Transportation Shadenfreude Administration (TSA) aren’t agitating are at least content in the belief that mind-numbing procedures and policies are the price of safety.
Yea, yea, I know: "safety is freedom."
Know what? If we lived in a rational society in love with justice, there would be no American Airlines or United Airlines, anymore. Their customers would have held them accountable for allowing their planes to be overrun, and once overrun, for having no ability to prevent them from being used as bombs against specific targets. Can you excuse them? Sure, but why pay them?
In their place, we’d have airlines competing on the basis of providing both convenience and safety; each individually responsible and accountable for their own security; each customer making his own decision about what level of safety/convenience tradeoff he wants to make.
Of course, that’s all ridiculous. We could never trust the airlines with safety. Why, if it wasn’t for the FAA, planes would be falling from the sky. The airlines couldn’t kill their paying customers fast enough. And then there’s boarding security. Can’t leave that up to them either. Before you know it, you’ll have guys commandeering airplanes and flying them into buildings.