if big brother is stupid, then what does it makes us?

I am glad that I don’t have any travel plans in the near future. I need to recuperate. Not from jet lag nor sore shoulders (my back seems to be fine, not that it was a problem), but from indignity.

Yesterday, I spent another day involved in travel, back and forth to pay a shiva call in the old hometown. I’m not planning on talking about that, but it might slip in, who knows. What I wanted to talk about was my frustration with the level of stupidity of airline security outside of Israel.

Let’s count the ways that I am aware of how I change my behavior and yet, it’s not enough:

  1. I wear my clogs so I can easily slip out of them in line and I try to make sure my socks don’t have holes in the toes.
  2. I make sure not to carry my scissors.
  3. I put all my liquids into my little baggie. (Does Ziplock sponsor the program? Let’s start a special advertising/sponsorship just for airline security! Magellan! Travel Smith!)
  4. I have resigned myself to be prodded and poked and scanned by strangers, who could be prosecuted as sex offenders, if New Hampshire legislators have their say, which I know they won’t.
  5. Anything else? Oh yeah. I resign myself to add hours to hurry up and wait.

And for what, I ask? Stupid stupid reactions, not proactions. Shoes? Oh that’s so 2002…

After coming off the plane in Philadelphia and waiting for our luggage and reloading our luggage for our connecting flight and having to go through security again, I couldn’t disguise my disgust. I know, I will never play poker successfully. And wouldn’t you know, the guy points at me to get patted down, I’m not sure if it was my belly that looked suspicious  or anti-Semitic (plane full of those Jews), or he was just having fun at my expense, but the woman who got the pleasure of patting me down (just my bottom half, not my hat this time–that I’m used to) said to the guy, “You know they had a bad flight.”

That’s what made me think it was my attitude he was checking.

But please tell me what is the logic of not allowing you to carry liquids over 3 oz through security, and then allow you to buy drinks of any size once you get through the line? Oh wait! Let’s add Dasani to the sponsors, too!

I can’t forget when I was traveling Iberia a few years ago the way the Spanish authorities made these eastern European fellows throw out a large amount of liquor that they had bought in the duty-free shop because they had no idea that this was not allowed. Can you imagine how much they paid for that and how they had no idea what was going on? Oh, and what about US Airways, who has a second security line in the Philadelphia airport for going to Israel, and they do allow you to take liquids on this one, but they don’t tell you you can beforehand.

And of course, in Israel, they let you take liquids through security, but they don’t let you take liquids over 3 oz onto the plane, since that’s where people could take the powders or whatever and mix it to be a problem. Now that is sensible, if any of this is. And they don’t make you take off your shoes and they don’t make you put your liquids into a little baggie.

Yes, Israel. Yes, longer lines and perhaps that awful sounding “profiling”. Not racial. You want to throw that in against Israel? Be my guest. But I’d rather be questioned by smart Israelis than any dumb universal soldier any day.


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