This time it’s Atlanta. With the two hour time differential between Denver and here, I got here too late to go exploring. Yelp tells me there’s a highly rated barbeque joint not far from the hotel, perhaps tomorrow night. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here enjoying a “local” IPA – Sweetwater Brewing, I think – and contemplating the soul-crushing inhumanity that travel in the United States has become.
We start with the post-911 security kabuki that is the TSA. Every time I travel it seems the professional paranoids in Washington have come up with another indignity to foist on all travelers in the name of absolute security. I reflect on TSA Pre, the program that apparently takes travelers at random and lets them go through a lower level of security, laptops in, shoes remain on, belts on, takes seconds. Now understand, statistically Richard Ried, the “Shoe Bomber” is the most successful terrorist ever. Through his hapless shoe bomb, he takes the equivalent of 29 lives per year at US security checkpoints just through the time people spend taking off and putting on their shoes. I also travel in Europe and for some reason, they’ve figured out how to do security screenings without people taking off their shoes. Clever, those Germans. If some terroristic organization were taking 29 lives per year, we’d be incensed, wouldn’t we, demanding Somebody Do Something. Yet we tolerate it from our own government in the name of security because it is taking those lives seconds at a time.
My Shrimp Po Boy has arrived and because of an ordering foul-up, I’m getting a Jekyl Brewing Amber on the house. And Denver is beating up on San Francisco. Digressions back to a happy place….
The wait time for security today was over 20 minutes while randomly-selected lucky travelers were spared the indignity of a full-body scan. Sorry, I can’t wrap my brain around this: Randomly selected individuals can go through the fast lane while the rest of us expose ourselves electronically to some Government functionary? So why isn’t the fast lane the default? Because the grand apparatus we call airport security looks like we’re doing something. I watched two elderly passengers pulled from their wheelchairs to stumble into the scanner. Why?
Enough. This is supposed to be a happy place. Tomorrow I’ll ask the office here where there’s good microbrew to be found, then report.
/* end rant */