Posted On: Saturday - August 15th 2020 11:18AM MST
In Topics:   US Police State  Americans  Liberty/Libertarianism  Healthcare Stupidity
(Note: Not taken of our line. We had a more convoluted path, everyone wore masks, and then there was the
We ask the reader to please skip to at least the 2nd portion of this post if you've read this before (somewhere?), as this is basically an addendum to COVID / TSA twin peaks of stupidity post from over 2 months back. This post describes our experience at the TSA line in a different location from that at which we encountered the pleasant experience described 2 days back in Thank you, TSA guy!. Instead of just our family and the one guy (that was the beauty of it, as I think nobody was nearby enough to watch him), there were thousands.
Let me digress just a bit to inside the airport terminal, by which I mean on the flying side of the security lines. (Actually some of this is outside too.) Go back about 20 years, and, yes, one would hear about "the FAA advises this" and "the FAA requires that" when it came to luggage handling, plenty of rules on-board the airplanes, of course and this or that procedure. I want to mention 2 things:
1) I do know that much of the Nazi/Commie-like behavior of gate agents and flight attendants (especially) is due to out-of-control FAA rules, making these (wanting-to-be) customer service type individuals into cops. I can tell you from experience that were a F/A to know there are no company, FAA, or any other tattletales in the cabin, she would be much more relaxed and congenial. "Don't want to put the seat-belt on. Fine, I'm not gonna make a Federal case out of", she might think, not say, on occasion.
2) The FAA, being involved in actual, real, sometimes acute safety issues, with plenty of technical decisions to make, are a group composed of fewer AA/Dieversity hires than most government agencies. They've got lots of White men, in other words, making decisions. This is a good thing. Since I mentioned that, I'll note that I have actual high regard for the NTSB, a different outfit, because they are engineering/technical types. I have personal experience even.
OK, but that's going back 2 decades, almost. Go back 1/2 a year, or slightly more, through 18 years, and you will remember that you'd hear "the FAA this/that" AND "the TSA this/that" around the terminal, telling you what you must do to "be safe" and "for your own good". Yeah, I guess we are used to that enough to where our brains completely block it out. (I wish I could say the same for CNN in the terminals. )
Here's the latest agency we may hear from forever, the way the Kung Flu Panic-fest is going - the CDC. "The CDC recommends...", "The CDC requires ...", etc, is what you have blasting at you along with the commands from the other two organizations. Yes, put your money in noise-cancelling headsets, people! That's my stock tip. I sincerely hope it will make up for the tip that most readers hopefully missed in February to "get all your funds out of the floor sticker sector! It's going to bottom out!" Hey, this is not a financial-advise site, and (due to, cough, cough, our following our own stock tips, cough...) WE ARE NOT WORTH SUING! [Thank you - PS Legal]
Because there are these twin peaks of stupidity at the airport terminal, the War on Terra and the War on Germies, the American experts and authoritahs have worked out a system. We need to screen EVERYBODY because, fairness and shit. We also need to keep everyone 6 ft apart and not spreading germs even through the face masks that we require them to wear, because pandemic! Therefore, there was a long, long stretch of cattle-pen type line, bordered by 8 ft sections of ~ 7ft tall plexiglas with metal support. Let's not worry about any Covid-cooties going up and above or below, or through the breaks. We hope they have not mutated to be that smart yet.
Subtract the expected throughput (yes, that's the terms they use, as in a production line - you are the input and you minus your toothpaste, gerber tool, and bottled water are the output) from the rate of entrants to the terminal during the peak times, multiply that by 6 ft, and you get an idea of how long the line must be. There were multiple hundreds of sections of plexiglas that wound around like the line to the best E-ticket ride in Disneyland. Hey, we didn't mind the walk actually. It was only about 5 -10% of the number of steps we'd done on our long hike*.
No, it's the indignity of it all that really pissed me off. Some may reply to me that, yes, that's what we have to put up with, but I say that firstly, it's NOT a necessary indignity. The Kung Flu healthcare theater is ridiculous and the security theater is ridiculous. Both are for show, and I don't like being turned into a cattle/sheep-like creature for this show. Both of these worries could be better handled by individuals and private companies (the airlines in the case of both worries).
Lastly, and this is the point that'd I'd asked readers sick of this TSA-posting to come read. The problem we got, as described by some blogger who I can't recall many years ago, is this: Americans come from an organized people. The British Founders especially, but also Germans, Scandinavians, etc. are good with organization. OTOH, we have this unConstitutional and Police-State type behavior out of governents-gone-wild.
Now, you do down to S. America, and yes, they have lots of stupid, arbitrary rules too, and lots of hype too. However, they are not good at organization. So, the rules are in place, but people are too lazy and/or incompetent to really enforce them correctly**. There is the corruption aspect (that could probably get your pocketknife through the line, because, "hey, my Dad works for ...")
Our people do the best they could to comply with all recommendations by the experts and the letter of the law. So, you've got your floor stickers, your plexiglas sections by the hundreds, your face shields on the TSA guys (that's gotta suck, I don't care who you are, and no, if you work there I don't care who you are.***) so that we can all be SAFE when they ask you to take the mask off to match your face with your ID card, your touching of the ladies behinds by ladies only and little kids by ....
Oh, as a last thought here (I promise), when the cattle chute got within 100 ft or so of the entrance to finally get screened, well, people get anxious, you know, so ... they all bunch together. At that point we were back at normal, or what is now "non-social" distances apart. A lot of damn good this all does!
* Totally off-topic, but thanks to the nice backpacker who lent our 9 y/o the toilet paper! We were 2 1/2 hours from anything resembling a bathroom, and, though I used to have a pack with the required and emergency stuff for day hikes that might turn into overnights, we don't have a family of preppers exactly, right now. That needs to change. The wife is FINALLY catching on that thing are getting worse here. (The kid wouldn't have gone another 5 minutes, much less 2 1/2 hours!)
** The bad thing that comes from this is that anyone not in good standing with any authoritah can be taken in for any one of these rules that's only enforced when said authoritah damn well wants to.
*** Actually, I shouldn't be so harsh. A post coming sometime will be about that "I just work here. I don't make the rules" business.