Saturday, November 04, 2006

Fly the Friendly Skies

In case you have to fly any time soon, rest assured our domestic airlines are safe as Fort Knox. Last night the Sole Heir was pulled out of line while waiting for her flight and subjected to the full “there better not be a bomb stuffed down your jeans” search.

I’m not complaining about the search so much as much as what it represents. Ethnic profiling can be offensive. There’s no reason to pull every swarthy-looking individual out of line, just because the insidious enemy du jour is Arab. Current policy bends over so far in the other direction, they’re frisking middle-class teenagers and retired Norwegian-American schoolteachers. Aside from being stupid, it’s a waste of time.

Someday someone’s going to get a bomb or a gun or a utility knife on a plane, because some TSA employee is going to figure he’s over his quota of swarth searches for the day, or has done so many random searches the line is backing up and the natives are getting restless. Meanwhile, certain designated individuals (read: not you) can buy their way out of passing through checkpoints altogether if they’re frequent flyers. I guess the Powers That Be assume a busy and wealthy businessman willing to pay for the privilege of jumping the line must be a Republican and not a terrorist.

The logic is dubious. Catching Osama bin Boogeyman has been the GOP’s Job One for 1,881 days, and they aren’t any closer to finding him than they are to finding Amelia Earhart, Judge Crater, or Ashlee Simpson’s talent. They have to be “in” something. I just can’t make up my mind whether it’s incompetent or in cahoots.

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