See, that’s the thing about rules…

I am at Spokane International Airport today and going through the security line always makes me reflect on the nature of airline security in the United States…

I am at Spokane International Airport today and going through the
security line always makes me reflect on the nature of airline security
in the United States.  I got the extra pat-down today (extra fun when
you are a chubby guy) and I received a couple of questions today about
my external hard drive , which I will admit must look a little suspicious wrapped up in its USB and power cord.

hate airport security.  I hate the extra steps I have to go through
just to bring shampoo or subscriptions aboard.  I hate the smug
attitude of some (not all) of the TSA employees that seem to take their
job not seriously, but with a sense of vengence.  I hate that I have to
walk barefoot, beltless and with my laptop under my arm due after the
security just to find a place to sit down to put myself back together. 
Worse of all, I don't feel a bit safer.

Ironically, there was an interesting article going around about a lady that is angry because she was told that she couldn't go through a security line
at National airport in DC because of her son's sippy-cup with water. 
After an argument, the water was spilt and she was detailed "against
her will" while the argument continued.

Is this silly?  Yup. 
Should we let the lady go through with a sippy cup for her kid? 
Absolutely.  But, I am not going to argue "poor lady" here when the
reality is that she apparently violated the rule.  There seems to be a
lot of outrage about this story as it circles the blog rules as
commenters say the rules are going too far when a lady can't bring
water on an airplane for her kid.  The reality is that the rules go to
far anyway.

You'll remember that the inspiration for these rules
is that we thought that terrorists might board planes with dangerous
liquid and try to blow them up.  So, for a short while, we we said no
liquids.  Then the TSA (or Department of Homeland Security or whoever
makes these rules) drew the line that, well, if you have less than 3.5
ounces and you pack them in a plastic bag and you have them out, then
they must be okay.   Of course, the rule is also silly because in
reality, you can ADD liquids together to make more plus there are some
liquids that 3.5 ounces is more than enough to create problems.

Worse, the version of the story at BoingBoing
says that some poor guy at PDX witnesses a family that was clearly
violating the rules but was waved through because it was OBVIOUSLY okay
because kids.  Huh?

If these rules are silly, let's get them off
the books.  But rather than bemoaning how enforcement of the rules is
AWFUL, we should spend more time directing our criticism at the rules,
not the enforcement of the rules.


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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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