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Fear of Flying

January 15, 2010 by  

Fear of Flying

To everyone who flew somewhere during the recent holidays, please accept my sincere condolences. You paid a hefty price to spend some time with family and friends. And no, I’m not talking about the cost of your ticket. I’m bemoaning how what used to be a grand adventure has become a test of your patience and endurance.

A friend of mine, flying home for the holidays, forgot to put his permitted three ounces of shaving cream, toothpaste and mouthwash in a one-quart plastic bag. When he finally made it to the front of the line going through security he was told he could throw the items away or return to the airport concourse, purchase the proper see-through container and re-enter security.

“Why do I need to put them in a plastic bag?” he had the temerity to ask.

“So we can examine them,” was the reply. “It’s for your protection.”

“Well, here,” my friend said, as he tried to hand the offending items to the guard. “You can examine them even better outside a baggie, can’t you?”

“No, sir, they must be placed in a plastic bag. It’s for your protection.”

“But couldn’t you protect me even better by actually examining them? Shouldn’t you squirt a little shaving cream, or take a sip of mouthwash, to make certain the bottle actually contains what it says it does?”

“No, sir, they must be placed in a plastic bag. It’s for your protection. I really must insist that you return to the terminal and get the appropriate container. Or dispose of them here (pointing to a nearly full trash barrel).”

By now the line behind my friend was getting noticeably restive. Mutterings of “C’mon, for God’s sake, we’ve got a plane to catch,” could be heard. But my friend tried once more to apply some common sense to the situation.
 
“If a plastic bag is so essential, why don’t you have them here at the checkpoint? Why should I have to return to the terminal to buy one and risk missing my plane?”

The security guard had clearly been taught the one magic phrase that she was to use whenever she was questioned: “Sir, it’s for your own protection.”

My friend finally acquiesced to the inevitable. He deposited the offending items in the barrel provided for that purpose and—to the relief of everyone in line behind him—was finally allowed to clear security.

Frankly, my friend got off easy. Ms. Security Guard could have ordered him to step aside while every article in his carry-on luggage was pawed over. Heck, he could have been ordered to take off a lot more than his shoes and his belt. It’s been known to happen.

And all to accomplish what? Is there anyone anywhere who actually believes that the demeaning inconvenience of airport security is actually making us any safer?

Before you raise your hand in the affirmative, please consider this: No airline employee—not a single pilot, flight attendant or even a mechanic—has to endure the same security procedures that you and I do. In many airports they have their own private entrances where all they need do is to flash some ID and, presto, they pass through their own private portal. I’ve been told that they never even have to take off their shoes.

How difficult would it be for a potential terrorist to steal or forge some airline ID? They’d be waved through security in a second, while some 80-year-old grandmother has her denture cream checked. (We can’t be guilty of “profiling,” don’t you know.)

Let’s be honest here: Airport security has become the biggest boondoggle since Franklin Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has given jobs to tens of thousands of people who would barely qualify to flip burgers at McDonald’s. And don’t some of them just love the authority they’ve been given to boss us around? Talk about creating several thousand petty tyrants.

Another issue that really rankles me is the millions of productive man-hours that are being lost every year, as we shuffle through lines that are longer, slower and far more degrading than anything you have to endure at Disney World.

Is there anything worse than being herded like sheep by people you probably would never hire at your office—all the while knowing that none of this is really making you any safer?

And worse than all of the individual indignities is the effect on us as a people. We are being conditioned to be docile and obedient… to never question authority, no matter how unreasonable or abusive it becomes. And that’s what frightens me the most.

Thanks to the ridiculous rules and their degrading enforcement by Homeland Security we’re becoming afraid to speak out, to protest when some low-level employee abuses his authority, to stand up and say, “This is wrong.”

I’d do it, but I don’t want to risk missing my plane.

While I’m on the Subject

When I try to tell any of my children how enjoyable flying used to be they look at me with bored disbelief. (It’s sad when someone has heard all of your favorite stories a dozen times—as my wife would quickly agree.)

But by golly, in those golden days of yore, flying was fun. It was a grand adventure that you looked forward to for weeks. When the big day finally arrived, you dressed up a bit for it. You certainly didn’t want anyone to think you were a slob.

When I first started flying between Boston and Los Angeles on a regular basis there was actually a cocktail lounge in the back of the plane. After takeoff you could stand there with a Bloody Mary in hand and feel incredibly fortunate—especially if you were leaving the northeast in the middle of winter and knew warm breezes and palm trees awaited when you landed. (And let me remind my nicotine-addicted friends that yes, you were actually permitted to smoke on an airplane back then.)

A few years later, when airline economies forced them to replace those cocktail lounges with additional seats, they still bragged about their “champagne” flights. Soon after takeoff the flight attendants brought bottles of bubbly (to the folks flying coach!), compliments of the captain. And if you stayed awake long enough they’d be back with a piping-hot meal.

Contrast that to a recent trip where the only “snacks” were a package of stale peanuts, the only free drinks were carbonated and you had to pay five bucks if you wanted to hear music or watch the movie.

To top it off, we were packed in so tightly we could barely move. The gentleman to my left, in the middle seat, planned to do some work on his computer during the flight. But as he was pulling the computer out of his briefcase the fellow in front of him dropped his seat back as far as it would go. My seatmate found a dandruff-flecked scalp inches from his nose. His laptop couldn’t be opened far enough for him to turn it on, much less look at the screen or strike any keys.

With a few exceptions, airline personnel on the ground aren’t nearly as friendly and helpful as they used to be. (And, while a gentleman shouldn’t say so, the ladies in the air aren’t as young and comely as they used to be, either.)

And yet… and yet… when business requires me to fly across country I’m struck by the fact that I can do it for the same price I paid 30-some years ago: sometimes even less. That’s amazing.

Granted, the planes will be bigger and more crowded. They often won’t take off or land on time. And getting through security and into the boarding area has become an incredible hassle and the risk of your luggage not being on the same flight with you has increased dramatically. But it is remarkable how far and how fast one can travel these days on very little money.

Maybe it’s not as much fun anymore. But it sure is efficient.

Still, forgive me for a few moments of nostalgia, as I remember the days when you looked forward to the trip as much as you did arriving at your destination.

Until next time, keep some powder dry. (But don’t say it out loud at an airport.)

—Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of PersonalLiberty.com. He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.

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  • David Forde

    I travel to and from the USA and UK It’s an unbelievable pain,as described. NO common sense is used at all!!That were it applied, would with proper profiling, cut the queues in half! I seriously doubt if they really checked all the visa pre boarding requisites;and hence permission to fly.I doubt they would find, any caucasian person over the age of 60, who had a death wish!! Not impossible but highly unlikely. Secondly by looking at their records they would find fellows like me who own property in America and have been going to and fro for over 30 yrs or more. I don,t think I fit the profile!!I am sure there are many like me as well now you could take those out of the long time wasting process.

    • Paul

      As the Quanity Of Anti American Zionist Jews Increase,Their Lobbys to Change our Laws, Money, and Morals increases the Quality and Quanity of Manufacturing Life and Freedom Will Decreases,as well as Finacialy and Spirtualy.
      The Solution Dump the Favored China,Israilie Nation and it’s Forghin Policy, and their terrorist activitys in the Middle East and elsware
      Bring Back All Mercinary Troops for the Middle East,Charge all Bankers and Financeiers with Crimianl Fruad,Return the Bail out money When Found Guilty,either Deport them or Jail them Starting With All the Banker, Bernake Greenspanand put them in Jail with Bernie Madox &John Gottie, Confiscate all their Personal,PrivateAssets Bank Accounts Homes and Vihicles as well as Corpoate assets and Return it to the United Staes Treasury, The Same as is Done to Drug Dealers and Racketeering under RICO,and 1929 Picora CommitieInvestigation, Dump their Unlawful (Private) Federal Reserve I.M.F and World Banks. and Obey the Law that NEVER WAS AMENDED. Only gold and Silver is the Money of Account of the United States Treassury Not ths Fruadlint Congerss allowed Conspiracy, To Issuing Toilet Paper with Green, that destroys the value of Toilet Paper. A Note is only Legal, Never Lawful, as Long as it is Redemable Basck To Gold and Silver Coin, If Not,THEY then are Unlawful and Illegal… Congress Can only Coin Money
      MOST OF ALL Stop Flying the unfrendly Zionist Jew Controlled Airlines and Going thrugh these Anti American Irailie Security Check Points. Just Like in Their Hollywood Propaganda Movies Showed in Nazi Germany,Let me SEE YOUR PAPERS
      Remember we had NO Problems untill Balfor Declration who conspired to make Israil a state in Palistine, and Put a puppet, Shaw of Iran to Change their religion as the Same is Happing in Once Christin Nation America
      AGAIN Stop Flying the unfrendly Skys and Save our Nation. These Airline are only managers, and they don’t own them .So untill we change the people and our Forghin Policy With Israil and their Lobbys. when you stop complying to ALL this UnAmerican Tyeroney they will lose their Income, and the put these So Calld TSA Americas who are Willing to Violate your Privacy Out of a Job, They NEVER Should Of Been Hired.
      This Is Not The Country Your Founder Fought For
      You WERE Not To Have A Forghiners Rule Over You

      • Viktor Leben

        Paul,

        I got to disagree with you about the Zionist. I’m all for Israel. We ought to arm Israel to the teeth (free of charge). That land belongs to them, God gave that land to the Jews. Those foreigners need to move out. Israel land should extend all the way to the Euphrates….

        I don’t support the dismantling of Jewish settlements. The Arabs should leave Gaza and Jerusalem and it ought to be handed over to the Jews…..

        • Teresa

          I think you mis-understand the Bible. The Israelites were given the land with “strings”. They were to serve God and recognize His Son when He came. They did not do this and so “lost” their land. The New Testament replaces the “law” of the Old Testament. ALL are to comply withthe N.T. The Bible itself confirms this in Hebrews. Thanks for sharing your mis-guided thoughts though. We are still in America and we still have our God given rights (health care is NOT a right)

          • http://Yahoo Dee D

            Sorry Teresa – Health care is a God given right to all human beings. God created us equals and my God is a Liberal. He breaks bread with the lowest in our ranks and he believes we should love, respect and help all that we can during our short trip through life. He gave us a very short list to live by and to do the best we possibly can is the secret.
            No not one is above another. We are human and we are weak. But trying to do the very best with what we are given is the Alpha and the Omega of life.. God Bless America and her misguided souls.

          • Curtis S

            “ALL are to comply with the New Testament.” Gee Teresa, you kind of sound like a jihadist Imam. A little fanatical isn’t it? Why is the new testament more believable than the old testament or the talmud or the qu’ran?

          • Jana

            Teresa,
            Actually we are to read and understand the Old Testament. Jesus said He did not come to change the Law, but to fulfill it. He did not come to change one jot or one tittle.
            There are many prophecies that are still relevant for us today in the Old Testament.
            The New Testament does not replace the Laws of the OT. The Ten Commandments are still relevant today. The only one now is Jesus became the sacrifice for sin and we no longer have to slay the fatted calf. The sheep and goats were their calves.

            Yes, Dee D, God is a true Liberal, it is too bad the Leftists have distorted Liberalism for the rest of us. But you are correct in what you say.

          • Viktor Leben

            Teresa,

            I respectfully disagree with your intelligent viewpoint. Your logic is valid but your premise is not sound. I just finished reading the Epistle to Hebrews …..THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME READ THE BIBLE !!!

            Is their a Jewish State – Yes !

            Are they in the Promised Land – Yes !

            Has the nation of Israel recognized their Messiah yet ? – No ! (some have….)

            So I can only conclude that Jesus is interceding for the return of Israel to the Promised Land .

            Your premise requires they could only return if they accept the Messiah (Jesus).

            Scientifically, by OBSERVATION and reading Hebrews your premise in my opinion is wrong.

            I must conclude that in this New Covenant Israel is returning to their land without recognizing the Messiah. Talk about a merciful God ! This could only be possible because of the “New Covenant”.

            Will Israel recognize their Messiah someday ? I think we know the answer to that one ….

            I think Wesley said something about “Preveniency” in his writings ? Could this apply to Israel ?

            Is Israel’s return to the Promise Land Prevenient Grace ? It would be great to discuss this on the “McLaughlin Group” ….

            Also don’t forget Daniel’s final week ….

          • Meteorlady

            Hey DeeD – what about my right to give to the charities of my choice and not have the government take my money by force and give it to lazy, non-productive people? If I had the taxes I paid for these failed social programs I could have supported 10 more houses for Habitat, paid for lots of food for the local food bank and done really a lot of good in my community where I know good people need help. Instead I contribute to the government programs that are full of waste and fraud. Not a good trade-off and I’m sure your God would agree with me.

    • http://www.deltacrownsearch.com LaurenLV

      You know…To fly from Las Vegas (where I live) to Tucson…I ‘showed my irritation’ with the TSA people. I was polite, but I’ll admit they weren’t happy…and do know what happened? I got ‘felt up’ by a female TSA agent who JUST HAD to make absolutely certain that the under-wire in my BRA wasn’t an explosive device. My shoes were taken, all of my jewelry was removed, and my carry-on WAS pawed through…so efficently, in fact, that they couldn’t close it again…I had to practically re-pack it before I could walk away. And FYI…I’m a 39 year old white woman with red hair…with a ‘bad attitude’. And yet these ‘bombers’ can waltz onto these planes with a friendly wave and a smile. It’s disgusting.

  • J C

    The exercise is one of training, not security. This is painfully obvious as the security measures in place are reactionary and completely inneffective. A plastic bag for security? What moron came up with that? No good people, what we’re seeing here is an exercise in compliance. The more ridiculous an item you will comply too, the better trained you are. Sadly, unless you comply, you’re not flying.
    The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave….is becoming a distant memory.

    • DaveH

      JC,
      I do think that is a part of it, but I think the major portion is what Government specializes in, that is the illusion of protection. If the people feel like they are safer (whether they really are or not) then the Government wins.
      I have logged over 200 flights in my life and I have had enough with the bull, so I will only fly when there is no other reasonable way. The scary thing for me, though, is the fact that they will probably not stop at airport security. I envision the US becoming like so many other tyrannical countries with dignity-robbing checkpoints scattered throughout the country.
      We have gone from a country created by rugged pioneers to a country being torn down by wimps in just a few hundred years.

      • JC

        I envision the US becoming like so many other tyrannical countries with dignity-robbing checkpoints scattered throughout the country.

        Go to:CheckpointUSA.org
        Click the youtube tab on the left

        • DaveH

          I guess we should start practicing our “sieg heil”.

          • JC

            Further to:

            December 15, 2006
            Using data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the ACLU has determined that nearly 2/3 of the entire US population (197.4 million people) live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.

            The government is assuming extraordinary powers to stop and search individuals within this zone. This is not just about the border: This ” Constitution-Free Zone” includes most of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

            http://www.aclu.org/national-security_technology-and-liberty/are-you-living-constitution-free-zone

          • DaveH

            Yep, they always have an excuse to trample our rights. The Drug Wars are a good example. And they don’t even work.

            Does anybody think they didn’t have equally dangerous individuals and groups when our forefathers created these Constitutional protections?

            Here is a list of some of the Victims that got caught in the middle of the Drug Wars:
            http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/drug-war-victim/

  • JD Maples

    The free enterprise system is a wonderful thing when it is aloud to work. If you pay for something,and you enjoy it. The people that sell it do well. If not,buy from someone else,and they do well. How many millions has our government spent to bail out the airline industry, while at the same time making it a real hassle to fly? Think about it!

  • Mrs. Kim Mack

    Your most poignant written statement in the whole of this article was one very profound statement… The only exception to this is faith. For true faith, holds the individual accountable to question themselves, their thoughts, words, actions and deeds. All the rest are all “big” bureaucracies which individuals expect for “them” to take care of “us” when dealing with mass common wealth. However, anymore this means getting swallowed as an individual to in the end having a marginalized voice. Examples of this would be current houses of government, the health care system, the HMO Insurance Power System, large pharmaceutical powers, ridiculous paced School mandates and quotas for learning standards like a puppy meals, unionism… or the individuals who leave their medical decisions in the power to others in health care system to make those major life choices of self. What was that one poignant statement of yours…..
    “We are being conditioned to be docile…obedient to never question authority, no matter how unrealistic or abusive it becomes,and that is what frightens me the most….Me to.

  • Ann

    Try getting through with a knee replacement…that is degrading! If you would like to be man handled this is the way to fly. Personally I hope they implement the full body scans, I would much rather take the time for that and have it over with than be subjected to their pokes and grabs!

  • http://N/A reeves

    Chip Wood’s article on the hassles of flying these days is right on, but missing alternative solutuions. Why doesn’t the industry simply isolate the pasenger sections from the piloting section by an inpregnable wall without a door, or any other way to connect the two, other than cyber communication? A second boarding door is easy and cheap enough. The pilots are part of the mechanism that operates the craft, same as the engines. Once airborne, access to the mechanical parts of the craft is verbotten under any circumstances. Why not include the pilots in this security measure? Their sole function is the operation and safety of the plane and the flight? This way any terrorist activity could not include flight control or direction. How many terrorists would simply want to blow up a plane and its few hundred passengers, without being able to take control of the aircraft? As for further scrutiny of personnel, boarding passengers should be told they are boarding at their own risk, and let it go at that, while all pilots should be strip searched, fingerprinted and eyeprinted before boarding, no matter how long they have been in the business. This just might bring to an end the “glory” of terrorist-infected flying. reeves, gerco@pacbell.net.

    • http://Don'thaveone Sally

      I like this one very much. Plus, USA citizens, born in the USA could receive a card from the government like a driving license that they could present to fly. No middle eastern names to get such a card. I think that your friends name must have been Smith. They wouldn’t dare do this to a Mohammid, Machmoud, Obama or the likes. By the way, I was appalled when I found out that Osama’s relatives lived here in the US especially after the hearing which was open and televised by the way, of Oliver North. Does anyone know who the Senator was that interrogated Oliver North? I’ll give you a hint he was from Tennessee.

      • chuck b

        sally

        and another thing that jerk almost became potus, he also during the hearings (attempting to destruy north) stuck his foot in his mouth, which is normal for him. i believe he was more disgusting than nancy pelosie

      • JC

        Al Gore interrogated Oliver North. North warned him about Osama.

        Osama grew up pretty much in the Bush household and their parent are business partners to this day…in a munitions distribution co.
        Go figure!

        • http://Yahoo Dee D

          JC – Check into the linage — interesting to say the least. Bush’s Cheney’s, Kerry’s, Clinton’s and the Obama’s are all related. If you think the game is anything more than a political farce to see to it, not only the OWO is forced down our throats and the game plan is being exicuted on schedule. Look out kid, they have their toe in the door.

          • JC

            Interesting and not all that unexpected. Thanks Dee.

  • http://www.hasllc.net EPH

    1) the TSA trains to their lowest common denominator like all government programs. “Sir it’s for your protection” is like the counter person ad MCd’s asking if you want fries with that? However the clear plastic bag-it’s more for their protection-imagine the countless unknown chemicals personnel would be exposed to at a single checkpoint in just 1 day at a busy airport. 2) your point on crew screeining and taking their shoes off is pointless, thousands of airline ground workers at every major airport in the US pass into the secure side with no screening at all every single day 3)However that being said background checks for all airline employees are now a serious thing that get repeated frequently as well as multiple fingerprint checks to verify your identity are required before you ever get a security badge that grants entry into secure areas.
    4) Airline ID thefts do happen however all personnel prior to getting onto an airplane for a flight have to be verified and listed on the company generated paperwork, it’s not as if a person could show up randomly and gain access to a flight. 5) When traveling most flight crews actually get the same if not more scrutiny than the rest of the flying public, shoes off etc,. Those pilots with flashy badges bypassing security perhaps they are part of the a new program called Crewpass which allows access with no screening whatsoever (even the TSA has come to pass the common sense test) that being –”perhaps screeing those who are directly responsible for passengers lives and passenger safety really are not a terrorst threat afterall” or perhaps they are FFDO-trained and carrying a firearm for your protection-also rather pointless to screen them -think about it.

    The TSA procedures may seem to be a “boondoggle” but it may be also be multi-layered attempt at security that acts as more of a deterant than thought. Just smile and comply. Yes flying is not the same as used to be before deregulation and 9/11. But 1 thing is correct the fares still are and that is amazing.

    • TSC

      EPH … you have just voiced the root of this problem. You are compliant. And your compliance with the ludicrous is what this article is about. You are willing to give in to the illogical and ineffective routines. We are not safer. We are compliant. We the non threatening people are being subjected to knee jerk solutions that do nothing but give someone the appearance of “doing something” without benefit. Let’s face it… we the people who pay taxes and receive no benefits from those taxes are being treated like 6 yr olds… everyone is being punished for the acts of a few. I am old enough, and retain critical thought capabilities, to know when a solution is ineffective and destructive. It is what I do for a profession. If you want to give up all your rights for the illusion that you are free to live your own life … you are free to be one of the sheeple. But I for one do not want to forgo the rights that caused me to want to live in this country… what this country offered and stood for.

  • James

    The solution I would suggest is to stop flying, most international business could just as well be carried on over the phone or internet. When the CEOs of GM, Chrysler, etc. flew to Washington, in their multi-million-dollar jets, for their multi-million-dollar save-us handouts, most Americans threw up. My son just left for Saudi Arabia yesterday, for a two-day conference. I asked him why not do it over the phone and he said It’s a prestige thing.

  • Anthony

    I refuse to fly any longer. If they start this on the train, I’ll refuse to move out of my house.

    This country is becoming tyrannical, as mentioned with the petty trolls at the airport; and 2010 is only a few month away. If we don’t dchange this stupidity and removed the garbage, “for the safety of us”; and demand change back to common sense, then we can kiss our country goodbye and welcome the great Marxist Socialist welfare totalitarian state with our new little “big brothers” with open arms, because that is where we are headed…TYRANNY

    • http://EARTHLINK W.HOMER CARLISLE

      MY MAIN CONCERN IS THE FUTURE OF USA==WE HAVE THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN ALL THE WORLD.HELP US IMPROVE NOT DESTROY== I AM 96 FEEL THAT I HAVE TO BE PROUD THAT MY GOD HAS SEEN FIT TO ALLOW ME THIS PRIVILEGE.MAYBE WITH OUR FAITH PEOPLE COULD LIVE TO BE 200=IF THIS IS TO BE WE ALL MUST TRUST AND OBEY FOR THERE ARE NO OTHER WAY==TRUTH MUST RAIN FREE==HELP US TO CORRECT OUR SYSTEM FOR SELECTING OUR LEADERS LOYLTY TO SYSTEM IS OUR DOWN FALL==LOVE TO OUR FELLOW MAN===WE MUST LEARN TO PURIFY THE LEADERS NOW IN POWER====I HOPE SOME ONE AGREES WITH ME==MY LOVE TO ALL

      • Karl

        I agree 100%

      • http://Yahoo Dee D

        W. Homer – We had the greatest country in the world – that was until the green eyed monster reared his ugly head and started making dasterdly changes all in the name of progress, that seems to benefit the patrons at the top of the pyramid. The rest of us are still the slaves.

  • Cap’nJim

    I started regularly and frequently flying for business in 1964. You left out one of the best amenities offered (United AL, I think). The early 747′s were equipped with a piano in the cocktail lounge for passenger use!

    RE the plastic bags: I think it is to speed the process and limit the total liquids brought aboard per passenger, by having them all in one small transparent bag. TSA should provide bags somewhere near the checkpoints.

    Thanks for the nostalgic look back in travel time.

  • Charles B

    In 1988 when security was not too bad, I flew to a wedding. On the way home, we had packed the wedding cake knife in my carry on. When we went through security the man asked me about it. I told him that we had been to a wedding and had the cake knife in the bag. He said OK. I guess that I did not meet the bad profile criteria. When we changed planes, the security was at each gate. They did not let me get on with my carry on, but I did check it. When I went back through the security check again, most everyone had already boarded. There was a man wanting to get on the plane that they found was carrying three Chinese throwing stars. The only ID he was able to produce was a mail envelope with a name and address on the front. He told them that that was him. They took him aside, but he DID NOT get on our plane.

    I recently flew between Christmas and New Years between Dallas and Tennessee. We packed our liquid items in the checked bag. On the return leg, we had packed a geode rock that was cut, polished and made into a candlo holder. That showed up on the x-ray and I was pulled aside for the security officer to check it out. I told him that I bet I knew what he was looking for and told him what I thought that he was looking for. After he found it, he was satisfied. He was very nice, friendly and courteous.

  • Taken

    I agree it is a “prestige thing”. That is why congress and the FAA continue to hand out our money for small General Aviation airports to nowhere except their districts. They not only make their getting around better but make us less safe also. The new airport to be Constructed here with AIP Money will have no tower, no monitoring yet cost us 50 million or more to build. Not to mention the local tax dollar that must maintain this waste of common sense.But is within 50 miles of 4 Nuclear Reactors. Now what is to stop some one from flying to the General Aviation airports and then into the nuclear plants? All so that the local business man and their political allies don’t have to wait and go thru the average man’s hassles. They put all of us at risk! They Congress even handed out stimulus money to corporations that purchase small planes with last year. Tea Partys can happen any where not just in Boston. If they are in, vote them out!!!

    • James

      Taken, my son said he would be in the air for 13 1/2 hours each way. That’s more time than he will spend at the Saudi meetings.

  • Happy

    When common sense is taken out. WATCH OUT.

    • http://Yahoo Dee D

      Yes sir Happy and a hearty AMEN.

    • TSC

      Happy … the problem is that common sense appears to be relative. True common sense has been dead for a generation now. Minds have been dumbed down to allow the changes we see today. Thankfully, or dangerously, a few of us still retain independent thought capacity!

  • Warrior

    I smell another bailout coming!

  • Marie

    I drive instead of flying whenever possible. Flying is hell. I absolutely dread it when I have to fly. (And I don’t care about the age or look of the stewards as long as they’re friendly and helpful. Yes, a hot young guy would be a bonus, but gheez.)
    Why don’t we do what Israel does to protect people by identifying the risks instead of looking at pictures of us practically naked, pictures that may eventually show up in the public sphere. I do not appreciate being treated like an enemy instead of a cherished customer. I have so many horror stories to share, I could bore you for hours.
    I am planning a vacation trip to a place across the country this summer and, yep, we’re driving there.

  • http://joblessearnings.com Penny Muckleroy

    I also drive insteat of flying whenever possible. I would prefer to spend hours in a car and have to stay at hotels along the way than subject myself to the hassles of flying. I will say the last couple of times I HAD TO FLY the security people were not rude. But, I have been subjected to some very rude people. One lady in Salt Lake City who got highly indignant because the sunglasses I forgot were on my head wasn’t immediately put in the right basket for thorough examination. What really gets to me is that when they change the rules (like the plastic bags) until you get to the airport and their going through your things. I refuse to check a suitcase anymore (how dare they charge me a fare and then charge me to bring my luggage with me). And all these demeaning rules has not detected one of the people who actually get on a plane and try to blow it up. Now they want to want to run you through some x-ray machine that shows your nude body. It’ll be a LONG TIME before I fly again.

    • DaveH

      And then when that doesn’t work (as it wouldn’t have for the underwear bomber) they will want to do routine strip and cavity searches.

      • Tinwarble

        DaveH,

        No real comment, just thought, if you haven’t seen this you would be interested:

        http://www.thefoxnation.com/judge-andrew-napolitano/2010/01/11/judge-andrew-napolitanos-constitution-and-freedom-part-1

        • DaveH

          Yes, I like Judge Napolitano. I’m sure you know that he is Libertarian.

          • Viktor Leben

            Libertarian speaking,

            If we had allowed the airline industry to go under after 911 maybe the problem would have resolved itself.

            The airline industry should have 1)Armed their pilots, 2)Hardened the cockpit doors and 3) had more undercover Sky Chiefs on their planes.

            Instead the airline industries buddies in Washington got a handout plus subsidization of their industry by the taxpayer.

            We should charge the airline industry for all the cost of security and see what they will do …..

            T

          • Tinwarble

            Dave,

            Yes I like the Judge too, even though, I don’t agree with him on every issue, but I just thought that if you hadn’t seen this you would be interested.

  • alejandro

    I hate to saye this,but we are going in a direction to loose our rights and freedom over safety.the same hapened in germany in 1939 when the german parlament was set on fire by the same nazis and blaiming that action at the terrorist, they called it domestic terrorist and then that was the excuse to deprive the citizens of their rights and freedom over safety.I hope that history do not repeat it self again.

    • http://Don'thaveone Sally

      It will if we don’t take our country back. Next big item will be confiscation of gunds. Why do you think the Jews, Christians, and non plitically correct people were led to the slaughter by a handful of Nazis. They couldn’t protect themselves because they had been stripped and even their wealth confiscated!!!! We are almost there

      • Viktor Leben

        alejandro and Sally,

        There is a simple solution for gun confiscation – manufacture your own weapons. Store em in a secret weapons cache. You’ll be ready ….

        • http://Yahoo Dee D

          Viktor – Check your bullets. EVERY PIECE IS MARKED. Source of origin, amount of purchase, number of pieces from to ,to whom etc. etc. Next comes police state.

          • Viktor Leben

            Dee D

            Give a man a fish and you feed for a day, Teach a man how to fish you feed him for a lifetime ? Or something like that ?

            You could theoretically fabricate more advance weapons than any military have. MicroFabrication with precision Robotics , that’s the ticket ! You could build a better M-16 …. If your smart enough, who needs primitive projectile weaponry ? Why not a Phaser Rifle like on Star Trek ? All those small arms are outdated anyhow …..

            Hey, don’t worry – you still live in the freest country in the world. Why don’t you take some courses in Technology, like electronics or Mechanical Tech.

            I personally don’t own any guns, they make me very nervous ! But I joined the NRA so people like you can own a weapon …..

          • Tinwarble

            Viktor,

            Please, Please, Turn of the TV, not everything you see on it is real!!!!!

  • http://oathkeepers.org Red Hawk

    Profiling? Of Course they profile! If your a white, middle class, middle aged American Born, property owning taxpayer then your guaranteed to be disadvataged, harassed , searched, your personal items invaded and often stolen! On the other Hand if your a Muslim or in anyway fit the actual profile of a terrorist be assured you may safely escape most of this as we must be politically correct and not offend anyone!
    Come on America! You allowed a known racist who’s own books showed him to be Socialist who also will always have sympathy for Muslims since he was raised as one into the White House! What did you exspect?

  • eddie47d

    Good memories Chip,but I happen to like several of the WPA projects. They were built by strong hard working Americans . We do need a fast lane at all airports for frequent flyers. These business people ,ect. should’t be hassled at all. The should be pre screened once and given a card to fly at any American airport. Measures need to be made for the rest of us too. SALLY get a life!

  • Earl, QUEENS, NY

    If you think about it, airport security screening (specifically using x-ray machines) doesn’t have to be that bad. I have a great idea for the undergarment industries. Why not produce undershirts, briefs and boxers with messages? I.e. JUST SAY NO TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, or the Obama acronym: One Big Awful Mistake America!! I can think of plenty more…..

  • ONTIME

    FLying commercial airlines has become the most uncomfortable way to travel thanks to the way the airlines chince on every travel comfort and crowd you into a aluminum tube to endure stale air and bad manners. Were these airline companies required to treat you as humans instead of cargo the idea of making these trips around the country would be bearable, the thought of a terrorist is really not as threatening as that of going thru the boarding procedures and truth be known the terrorist stands to be mauled and maimed by the passengers should they become known. We are losing our fear of these disruptors and willing to vent our wrath from our mistreatment as passengers on the first available victim.

  • Marilyn

    I have not flown for the past 15 years and have vowed not to again UNLESS it is some kind of horrible emergency! I used to love to fly back in the days when the food was good, the flight attendant was a pretty, polite young lady, and the adjoining seat was usually occupied by an interesting person!

    As to the WPA! I laughed out loud at the description of those guys as being hard-working! I had to walk to school through the north part of down town every day for weeks. There were two guys who had made a hole through the sidewalk and were standing there with their shovels, actually leaning on them and smoking a cigarette. They were still there looking and doing the same thing after school and at night if you happened to walk to town that way there were barriers with DANGER on them and you could look down into the same hole! That went on for months! My Dad was laid off and one of the neighbors asked him why he did’nt get a job with the WPA? Dad said absolutely not, he wanted a job! He did get another job and all was well! There were other “holes” in town where the same thing happened as well!

  • Marilyn

    I got to thinking and the ones that made some beautiful projects here in town back then were the CCC guys. They were younger fellows and they really did work! Some of those projects are still around and still attractive!

  • C.Cannon

    I know about the hassle of flying and refuse to put up with it anymore. I live within easy driving distance of several large ports here in California, So we drive to one of them and catch a cruise that returns to the same port. No more flying for us. Last time we flew we went from Sydney to San Francisco on Qantas (21/2 years ago, B.O. (before Obama) and enjoyed very good service, however security was a real pain! The Israelis have the only really good security system. We have a mess of procedures, but unfortunately no system whatsoever. Profiling as Israel does, and we have gone through it at Tel Aviv and did not mind one bit as we were interacting with very intelligent people and felt totally safe). We need to get rid of the politically correct garbage and do intensive profiling! Under Obama our homeland security and TSA have both become a mess and I think we are in for real trouble on this front. Indeed we have a failed Congress and a totally failed presidency. I find out we can do very well without flying and until such time as we can return to sensible, intelligent and decent government we will avoid flying!

  • http://www.sjsratline.com Pat O’D

    I’ve flown twice in the past two months out of a small central California airport. Twin 3-year old boys in front of me had to remove their shoes before boarding a commuter airline in San Luis Obispo (to NC via Phoenix). We also were charged $25. each extra for checking two barely larger than carry-on bags ($100 round trip) on US Air to Charlotte. And the government doesn’t include that amount in their airline inflation index!

    On our three days trip to Salt Lake City in December we used our smaller carry-on bags, but my shaving cream can was too large, so they tossed it in the garbage and I bought a smaller can of jell at my hotel upon arrival.

    It’s there a way to give us natives some sort of counterfeit-proof National I.D. card? They could start with some of us whose ancesters arrived in the 19th century. (Mine to California in 1858), then work toward the 20th century natives. I know it’s possible, as my Schwab debit card dispensed 300 Euros cash whenever I inserted it in ATMs in France, Italy and Sicily four years ago!

    START PROFILING like the Israelis!

    • JC

      Don’t buy into the idea of a national ID card. That’s basically what the powers that be want you to do…that way when you travel (anywhere) they can always stop you and say “You’re papers Pleeeez”
      Your driver’s license or passport should be good enough. National ID…why not just tag us or chip us at birth? seems the next logical step…right? Don’t go there.

    • DaveH

      The problem is Pat that if man can make it, man can counterfeit it. Just like gun laws, the only people that will be stifled will be the honest people.

  • http://shortmaryann78@hotmail.com Maryann Short

    I am so glad that you brought up the low mentallity of the help at the airport today. I call them mental defects. I was checked twice for drugs in one day in the glass cage because I wouldn’t take my shoes off and walk on the bacteria infected dirty floor and then contaminate my shoes. While checking me twice the mental defect laughed and the other one who objected to my large hair spray can stood there and didn’t leave until I gave hime permission. Ever since that episode,
    I now wear two pair of socks with my slip on garden shoes. When I collect my shoes at the conveyer belt, I slip the outer sock off and throw it on the floor and slip my feet into my garden shoes and walk off bacteria free.
    MY NAME IS GRANNY

    • DaveH

      I was on a trip where I had to change flights (2 separate flights), so I had to go to baggage claim, get my bags, and go back through security. I was tired and pretty annoyed that I had to experience security again on the same trip. Anyway, I walked through the metal detector, the alarm went off, and the security person said “you have to go back through”. So I did, and of course it went off again whereupon I remembered that I forgot to take my keys out of my pocket. At this point I said “Oh, it’s my keys” and I took them out and showed her. The guard said it’s too late, you have to be wanded. I was just following her orders and remember I was tired, not thinking. So I went over to the wanding area and the agent barked orders at me which were kind of incoherent. I had the object in my hand (the packet of keys) the whole time he was wanding me, and I was raising my hands in the air as ordered. He never detected the keys because they were over my head the whole time. So I passed with them never even checking the packet in my hand. Doesn’t that make you all feel safer?

  • IAFARMER

    We didn’t fly over the holidays this year, but the last time we flew, we just boarded, taxied, got our clearance, and flew. It’s no where near the hassle of the airlines when you own the plane! Go out to your local airport, fellows and gals, and at least investigate getting a pilot’s license. I am by no means a man of means, and having a plane at my disposal certainly isn’t cheap, but it is at my disposal. The time and hassle that you save will put a lot of joy back into your travel.

  • Big D

    I little saying that I heard awhile ago that for some reason relates to everything that is going on: HERE’S TO THE ARMY AND NAVY, AND THE BATTLES THEY HAVE WON. HERE’S TO AMERICA’S COLORS, THE COLORS THAT NEVER RUN. MAY THE WINGS OF LIBERTY NEVER LOSE A FEATHER.

  • James

    What we need internally are high-speed trains. Spain has one that’ll do 250 mph, and is as smooth as glass, even on the curves. Congress is now considering this, so write to ‘em and encourage this. If they disagree, threaten ‘em with your hair-spray can.

    • Robert

      James. Very good idea. In fact that would be a real job creator if done solely by the private sector with no government money or interference. But something of that magnitude you can bet the farm this current administration and the controlling democrats would block it from happening. Just imagine this. Real American enterprenual initiave, real American workers, real American factories manufacturing the goods needed, real Americans showing that anything is possible, real Americans getting the job done on time and within budget. You think these politicans are going to stand by and let that happen. No way. What would they say to their Union and Lobbyist masters? “It’s how America was built in the first place!” They’d be castracized and replaced with SEIU, ACORN, Middle-Easterners, real Liberals, Special Interests and the rest of the ilk that is poisoning this country. Again, nice idea but I won’t see it in my lifetime or that of my children or grandchildren. And I don’t believe this comming November will change how Washington works. No matter who gets in, they’ll be corrupted faster than you can say, “How much did AMTRAK loose?”.

  • Robert

    Before 911 flying wasn’t too bad at airports. After that it seems to be more inconvenient, time consuming and frustrating. Before 911, the biggest problem once on board were the few obnoxious people who complained about everything or the few who had a wee too much to drink. Cying children on business flights were seldom but really pushed everyone to the edge. Now, you need to get to the airport if flinging out of a hub at least 3 to 4 hours before take off. Screening is boring and long. Especially if you have a number of people ahead of you that fly very infrquently. Then you have those that seem to be in outer space. No clue what they are doing and think there’re the only person at the airport. Then we have the Middle-Easterners. Never hear them talking in english, are rude and arrogant. So now it’s my turn to go through security. Shoes off, all metal objects in tray, laptop out and in tray, coat, sweater, belt in tray, boarding ticket and picture ID out, bingo, through security check in less than 30 seconds. Go to end of xray machine, gather all my stuff and get the hell out of the way. Walk about 30 feet beyond that and put myself back together and proceed to gate. But to get to that point I had to wait on line for over an hour and I was on the elite frequent flyer status line. I been fortunate to say that only one time was there a problem in flight. It seems a middle easterner believed that it was ok to flatuate throughout the flight. I summomed the stewardess, gave her a brief recap of the situation and then announced to all on board to make that person take their sorry A_ _ to the bathroom and get rid of the S _ _ T in him. Well, he had a few harsh words for me but I was lucky, everyone else on the flight were Americans and they helped drum his sorry A_ _ where it belonged. Unfortunately today, I would want him to go there again least he light a match and blow the S _ _ T out of all of us. Moral to this story, Beware of Middle-Easterns at Airports who fart.

  • http://vrusso51@aol.com Vinny Russo

    WE THE PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK,MERRY CHRISTMAS,HAPPY NEW YEAR,HAPPY EASTER,GOD BLESS OUR MILITARY PEOPLE…..”HOWS THAT FOR POLITICALY CORRECTNESS” MICHEAL SAVAGE IS RIGHT ON IN HIS QUOTE “LIBRALISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER” THANKYOU VETRANS FOR YOUR SERVICE, AND GOD BLESS AMERICA.

  • Meteorlady

    So my husband has to throw away his 3 oz bottle because they were not labeled. I asked if they didn’t by now know the size of the 3 oz bottle and had my luggage promptly searched. These people are underpaid and not very educated. As an American Citizen, I resent having to take off my shoes, unload all my stuff so they can see it when the Mexican/US board is a sieve. Anyone can get across it anytime they want. We spent billions on fences and they are now driving over them with light delivery trucks. We have drug wars going on our southern borders and the gangs cross at will. We have illegals protesting Sheriff Joe in Arizona enforcing the laws, and we have drug dealer growing pot on private lands within the United States. That leads me to believe that tons of bombs, even atomic, could make it into this country without anyone knowing. Where the heck is the Homeland Security on the border?

  • JC

    Here’s a piece of an article regarding the effectiveness of “terrorist watchlists”:

    But when the system is so unorganized that it cannot distinguish a kid from a terrorist, what’s going on here? Yesterday, the New York Times reported that for the last six or seven years, one of Lautenberg’s constituents — eight-year-old New Jersey Cub Scout Michael “Mikey” Hicks — hasn’t been able to get on a plane without being patted down like your average neighborhood hubcap thief with his palms on the hood of a police cruiser and a nightstick between his legs. Repeatedly mistaken for someone on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist since he was two years old, Mikey’s encounters with the federal government have consisted of, as his mother puts it, “Up your arms, down your arms, up your crotch, someone is patting your 8-year-old down like he’s a criminal.”

    http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Federal/Read.aspx?id=5302

    You can sleep easy now America, the DHS is making sure that 8 year old cub scouts are no threat to you…

  • Paul

    Pray to God Psalms 109 et all ,For Barry Oboma Sortoros the Democrats and Republicas who Conspired for Global Government and National Healt Care Al Gore,George Soros David Axelrod,Rhamm Emanuele Pray Especialy 109.8

    • denniso

      Are you sane??

    • Carmel Vella

      What is 109.

  • PhilDru

    Couple of points. Reference a previous entry about badges and Airline gate checks: personnel are checked prior to boarding. A pilot can be nude and still take out an airplane! As an aside, I worked for years as a cockpit crewman and carried a 2 D cell flashlight (Maglight) for aircraft inspections. After retiring, I carried it through security and it was relieved from me by TSA. Wasn’t on the list. A formal complaint brought no reply.

  • Carmel Vella

    Pre 911, I used to fly to Berkeley to perform service on instruments, carrying a tool box and parts. After 911, it was absolute hell trying to do the same. I even purchased TSA approved padlocks for my checked in toolbox. The TSA just snapped them them off and threw them away. It used to take me about 4 hours max from wake up to arriving at client site. Post 911 it was taking over 6 hours total with all the aggravations thrown in for fun . I now drive all the way, stop for lunch and to refuel, and get there with my own car in comfort. Thank you TSA, you are losing the airlines much business, I am very sure.

  • Sue

    A week ago,my son and his wife took a flight from FL. My son saw a few pieces of luggage with no one around them. He watched it for five minutes and then told Airport staff. They in turn,walked around,asking people if the luggage was theirs but no one said yes. After about ten minutes of this,the staff called the police. It took the airport police 15 Minutes to get there. The luggage actually belonged to a older woman who was in the bathroom but…What if it had a bomb in it????

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