Have you ever “felt” like you were in trouble, even when you weren’t? I remember once, after my wife and I had discussed “cutting back” on some of the fatty foods, I lost control on a trip to
An interesting story came across the AP newswire last night. I read the headline at 7:32pm, literally three minutes after the story broke: “TSA Subpoenas Bloggers, Demands Sources.” Immediately I thought, “This can’t be good.” The first paragraph of the story said:
WASHINGTON – As the government reviews how an alleged terrorist was able to bring a bomb onto a U.S. bound plane and try to blow it upon Christmas Day, the Transportation Security Administration is going after bloggers who wrote about a directive to increase security after the incident.
Seriously, this couldn’t even be a “little bit” good. Fortunately, I wasn’t named in the article (yet). Should I be upset about that? I wrote about the rules the day after the incident too, why wasn’t I issued a subpoena? What a perfect forum for me to publicly air my grievances about the TSA circus! Perhaps I should be careful what I wish for… these two bloggers that were in the story will probably never travel again without a series of painful full body cavity searches every time they drive within a mile of an airport.
It bothers me a little bit though, after reading the story it seems that they got their information the same way I did… I “asked” a TSA worker who probably read an email about the new procedures. Don’t they know that after ONE DAY of travel, people will talk, write, blog, and spread the word of the new things they encountered while on their trip? I can’t imagine how they thought any of it would remain secret. The most ironic part of the story is that they STILL didn’t catch the guy prior to his attempt! So the world found out about some new secret rules about gate frisking and forbidden items in your lap, this guy still boarded with explosive chemicals and had the acidic activator in his syringe not eaten through the plastic, would’ve splattered plane parts and people all over the Detroit area metro.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the only way we’re going to stop these fools is with intelligence and observation. It takes everyone, certainly not the clown troop of TSA reps who are paid less than $30k per year to protect this country’s airports. Each one of us needs to be aware of our surroundings, and aware of whom we sit next to on an airplane. I always look two rows in front and in back of me to survey the passengers and to see what they’re up to. I’m not paranoid about it and I don’t intrude, I just glance and check them out; “Elderly man with book, check; Two young kids with parents, check; business man with laptop and spreadsheets out, check; lone middle-eastern man, sweating, with a Koran clutched in his hand and no luggage… let’s keep an eye on this guy!”
People seem to acquiesce too easily when the flight attendants tell them all to be seated. Sure, it’s a law to be in your seat while you’re on an active taxi-way but twice now, some overtly active Muslim men have behaved erratically on the plane and people just sat idly by. The recent story about two Muslim priests speaking to each other on their cell phones and screaming and ranting while on the tarmac, after the doors were closed and after the flight attendants had asked repeatedly for them to put away their cell phones… I can’t even believe that one single person didn’t stand up, get out of his seat, yank their cell phone away and respectfully announce, “I choose not to fly with this person, may we ask the captain for his opinion please?” Even if you’re the one escorted off the plane, at least you’re safe.
My heart obviously goes out to the bloggers who obviously intended to let the traveling public know what was in store for them. In that vein, I will continue with another article on Monday with some Q&A about the new rules (if I don’t get arrested first).
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please send an email! Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.