Let's just kill the whole industry off and be done with it

I, like Patti Davis, already have issues with flying--I enjoy the actual flight, but I hate all the crap that goes along with it these days. I didn't much like it before September 2001, so you can imagine how I feel about it now.

And it's not just the delays, the canceled flights, the missed connections and lost luggage, the skimping on snacks and meals that bug me, though they're a large part of why I'm ready to start refusing to fly anything but a nonstop on those rare occasions when I do board a plane. It's the ridiculous "security measures" which fail to offer any security whatsoever that rankle most of all today. And what Patti Davis describes is just the next stupid step in a long line of stupid steps.

“Specially trained security personnel” will be watching passengers for “micro-expressions” that will reveal treacherous agendas and insidious intentions at airports around the country. These agents, who may literally hold your fate in their hands have been given a lofty, Orwellian name: "Behavior Detection Officers."

That's just what we need--some schmos who sat, bored out of their collective minds, in a darkened room watching a crappy video about micro-expressions for a couple of days, suddenly reading our faces for signs of general disgruntledness and fantasizing about catching the next shoe bomber. Davis provides plenty of scenarios for why passengers might have fear and disgust on their faces, not the least of which is simply having to fly in the first place, but it seems to me the real worry here is that the cure (such as it is) is worse than the disease.
Apparently, these Behavior Detection Officers work in pairs. One scenario is that an officer might move in to “help” a passenger retrieve their belongings after they’ve been screened. And then the officer will ask where the passenger is headed. If the passenger’s reaction sets off alarm bells in the officer’s well-trained mind, another officer will move in and detain them. Let’s be really clear here. If a stranger moved in on me like that, I’d tell that person to go to hell, throw in a few other expletives for good measure and probably give them the finger as I stomped off. Of course, I wouldn’t be stomping very far.

You betcha. Now, where's that train schedule? And is Greyhound really that bad?

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