Saturday, November 02, 2013

The Toilet-Paper Wedding Dress

     It's a staple of bridal showers, boys, and you've surely heard of it: you team up, you're issued a bog-roll or three, the timer starts and-- Go!  Whoever's assembled the best creation at the end of the allotted time wins.

     It's a way of defusing the scary-solemn occasion looming over the bride-to-be, a sea-change looming like a tidal wave, a thin defense against an onrushing future.

     It's also a metaphor for the Transportation Security Administration.  TSA, the boys and girls in blue and white who keep you safe when you travel -- and who have turned out to be just as much use when things go pear-shaped as a toilet-paper wedding dress in a tidal wave.

     I'm not blaming the TSA agents; they bore the brunt of the madman's ire, armed with their normal empty hands and  barely-adequate training and y'know what?  They did all right; by what I can find, they didn't flee or cower.  Nope, I blame the fools who decided the appearance of security was more important than the hard and dirty work of actually securing airports, who stuck unarmed "security" workers without arrest powers right out in the open,* who decided rope-on-sticks courtesy barriers were as good as solid walls--

     It was a three-names nutjob who did the harm but it was temporizing twits in Washington D.C. who made it possible, men and women for whom the appearance is as good as the reality, if not better, and who figured some updated Gilbert & Sullivan would play just fine at airports.  ...At least until reality showed just how unhappy a fake-policeman's lot could be.

     You may wonder at my taking the occasion of death and injury to editorialize.  I'm in good company -- an agency spokesman is using the death of TSA's Gerardo I. Hernandez to shill for bigger budgets and more personnel.  Classy.

     (As a matter of policy, this blog does not use the names of mass shooters.  I will not help make the sickies famous.) 
* Seriously, are they supposed to be sacrificial targets, or what?  If you want to see how cheapskate commercial outfits deal with unarmed workers in high-risk areas, visit the liquor stores and 24-hour gas stations in the tough neighborhoods.  The cashier's behind a locked door and a few inches of bullet-resistant plastic.  TSA agents can be damned annoying, officious busybodies who sometimes make up rules when they're not sure and push people around because they can, but that rates a letter to their boss and the editor of your local birdcage liner, not death.  Either make 'em cops or treat them at least as carefully as the low-wage cashier at the Quickee-Mart, the in-between stuff isn't working.


Bob said...

And, of course, criminals long ago found a solution to clerks in cages.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Unfortunately, I can see the Kalifornia Congress Critters (who HAVE to fly through LAX to get to those All-Important Campaign Fund Raisers) DEMAND that the TSA get all Armored Up and have their own Mall-Cop Trained onsite SWAT Team at the Airport.

After all, it might be THEM who gets shot next by some member of that Vast-Right Wing Terrorist Organization, the TEA Party. Can't have that happen!

Roberta X said...

Either up-armor 'em, stick 'em behind bulletproof plex or give 'em their own personal cop (which they did at LAX until recently, one per screening area, at least).

I don't *like* the TSA concept and I'm not much impressed by many of the screeners, but nobody deserves to be hung out as human targets.

(Tam's quoted the lines from Reservoir Dogs about, "...did you shoot any *real* people?" See, that right there's the problem.

Anonymous said...

They can quit if they like.

Roberta X said...

Yes, thank you; how could that ever have escaped my notice? That fails, however, to fix the flaw in the concept-as-implemented.

JohninMd.(too late?!??) said...

All they are, when crap gets SERIOUS, are human speed-bumps......

Drang said...

I foresee an increase in hiring for the Air Marshal program.

And calls to make illegal stuff illegal-er.

Roberta X said...

Drang: Probably. ...Supposedly, the po-leece (and Feebs, etc.) are "tracing the AR-15" from LAX. From the photos, it was a removable-magazine model with a pistol grip, which doesn't sound CA-legal to me, which means there may not be a real clear line between it and the shooter.

Matthew Carberry said...

They weren't targeted for being screeners, they were targeted for being -gummint- screeners.

Go back to private employees and the whole new world order/conspiracy rationale for shooting at them disappears with zero effect on "public safety."

Roberta X said...

Matthew: They were? It does?

Lunatic gonna loon. Airports have long been a prime choice to go stage crazy and/or political theater.

Even for a lot of nominally-sane folk, the only difference between Big Gov and Big Corp is one has the cops and courts on a much shorter leash.

markm said...

It's not only TSAs employees that their security theater puts at risk - it's also all the travelers waiting in line. We're fortunate that so far only two lone kooks* have tried to take advantage of that opportunity, and even more fortunate that they chose a so-called assault weapon instead of a backpack bomb.

[1] The first one was a Muslim-American convert that tried to shoot up the waiting line for security shortly after 9-11. But he picked the worst possible line for that plan. This was before TSA, and at least one airline was running its own security - El-Al. Naturally, the Israelis had marksmen posted, and the shooter didn't live long enough to empty his first magazine.