Nitwits let the terrorists win anyway…

So, in response to the capture of around 21 people involved in a plot to blow up planes bound from the UK to the US the British, Canadians and US authorities have banned taking pretty much anything that can make air travel bearable on a plane.

As Boing Boing puts it:

The point of terrorism is to make us afraid. The UK response to a [tag]foiled plot[/tag] is to create an unspecified period during which fliers are arbitrarily deprived of iPods, novels and dignity.

And the point of ramped up, crazed airport security is to make us think we don’t need to be afraid. Sure, we’re miserable on that 11 hour flight without our bottled water, our iPod, our laptop, a book or magazine to read, etc., but don’t we all feel safe knowing that no one could sneak anything on a plane?

As [tag]George Carlin[/tag] once said (to paraphrase), the point of airport security is to lull us into a sense of safety while we’re doing something that any logical or sensible person knows isn’t safe. Flying is dangerous. You’re hurtling through the sky in a massive metal box that will drop like a stone if anything significant goes awry. The fear, on the part of the airlines and other folks who depend on us getting on planes and flying hither and yon, is that if we actually realized the hazards of air travel we’d stop doing it.

I say be done with it already. Enough of the charade. Ban all carry-on items. All luggage must be checked and extensively screened before boarding any airplane. The end. The only way, of course, to make that at all tolerable is for the airlines to make the flying experience a lot less miserable than it currently is. They’d all have to adopt the Jet Blue and Virgin Atlantic model of providing lots of entertainment options, enough to suit any individual, in your seat. They also have to stop being stingy with food and drink. Feed us real food that doesn’t make us ill and give us whatever we want to drink whenever we ask for it (oh, and please figure out a way to provide water that isn’t tainted and vile). And don’t stop there. Nope, time to give people a human-sized piece of room on the plane to stretch out in.

What this all means, should the air carriers pull their heads out of their asses and adopt this philosophy, is that they’re going to be transporting a lot fewer people and charging them a lot more money. The business model they’ve been operating is going to end and all the bottom feeders in the airline industry are going to go out of business. That means that the US government is going to have to abandon 25 years of the laisez faire attitude towards air transport. Time to re-regulate the industry.

Of course since re-regulating the airline industry would probably wipe out [tag]Boeing[/tag], [tag]United[/tag], [tag]American[/tag], [tag]Delta[/tag] and a host of other major American businesses it will never happen. Nope. All that will happen is, as Cory from Boing Boing says, you, the passenger, can kiss your dignity goodbye.

In other words, [tag]the terrorists win[/tag].

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