Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The TSA Run Amok

Sometimes the Libertarian position of eliminating all forms of government seems somewhat reasonable. Recently in The Courant a geology professor from UCONN, wrote an op-ed about his experience at Bradley.
I was traveling to Hood River, Ore., to attend the annual meeting of the Stone Foundation, an international organization of architects, sculptors, stonemasons, geologists, engravers and engineers united by their love of stone.

To enhance my speech, I nestled one of my favorite specimens between my underwear and shirts in a carry-on bag because I never check luggage on business trips. My banded chunk of the Hebron Gneiss (pronounced "nice") resembled a broken slice of layer cake composed of licorice and cream cheese.(Source: The Courant )
Now that liquids, in the 3 oz sized variety, are somewhat allowed, sort of, if the container is 3 oz, because if you have an 8 oz container, but only 3 oz of hair gel... well you get the idea. Anyways, having restored limited amounts of liquids to the allowed items on board, the TSA must have had extra time to consider other devious ways that an airline could be hijacked. I'm sure it was a surprise for this geology professor to find out about dual-use items.
In retrospect, I suppose I could have put the grapefruit-sized specimen inside my sock, swung it around my head like a mace, charged the cabin and attempted to hijack the flight. This, of course, never occurred to me until the zealous inspector declared my rock a "dual-use" item.

"What, pray tell, is a dual-use item?" I asked. I'm afraid I chucked just a little, causing her to glare, withhold a satisfactory answer and call her supervisor. He hefted my rock, scrutinized it for a moment, and agreed that my specimen was indeed a dual-use item, meaning a potential low-tech weapon. (Source: The Courant )
It makes you wonder how these people fly.

The Courant, No Stone Unturned by Robert M. Thorson, October 5, 2006


Anonymous said...

I read this article and was actually glad they stopped him from carrying on this speciman. Give me a break - we are trying to get a handle on all of the items that the terrorists may use to overtake the crew and passengers. A rock the size of a grapefruit would certainly fit the bill. Is he so important that he can't check his bags like everybody else carrying something that may be used as a weapon. My 12 year old son had to check his skateboard, I had to throw out eyedrops and lipstick and we all had to take our shoes and jackets off. And you know what? I am glad they are checking. Suck it up, check the jagged rock and move on to an issue that matters. Like how the feds just cut homeland security funding even though they heaped on a ton of requirements to cities and towns to protect the citizenry.

Chris MC said...

So I'm flying out of Lexington Kentucky or some other place in the middle of the country where terrorists dare not tread, and the line is backed up for like 90 minutes while Overzealous Patriots scrutinize every nail clipper and cuticle scissor they come across. People literally missing their flights because of this nonsense.

I get to the front of the line and say to the poohbah as respectfully as possible "Look, I understand y'all are just doing your jobs, but this is ridiculous." Bold, huh?

My French business associate had the misfortune of getting separated from me and when he got to the gate they practically strip-searched the poor SOB until I vouched for him.

Meanwhile a small thermonuclear device could be in a container in Elizabeth NJ, and we have nothing in place to detect it.

A rock is a dual use item? C'mon, it has at least three uses. As does a dead cat, y'know?