Sunday, November 21, 2010

Prediction: TSA to scale back searches

My biggest regret for January 2009 was I never got around to making a video of me predicting President Obama was going to be the next Jimmy Carter; that he was hyped up by the public and had no idea what he was getting himself into, and would fail to meet his central campaign promises.

It's one thing to make predictions, it's another to publicly record them. Since I didn't make that video, I really can't take credit for being right. In that spirit, here's a specific prediction:

The search methods of Transportation Security Administration will be scaled down within a year. What's more, this is the peak of airport screenings, and there will not be an increase in the level of searches. If this prediction fails, and searches becomes more intense, then the public outcry will force it to be reversed within six months. In the first scenario, we will still be unable to bring liquids on board airplanes. If the second scenario occurs, that rule will be omitted.

Maybe I'm old fashion and believe the whim of the public can influence our laws for the good, but I feel we're at the breaking point of this issue. The TSA really has set itself up to lose by givings customers the ultimatum of being photographed naked or allowing a stranger to touch their genitals. People are standing up to this, and the TSA is foolishly making martyrs of them.

Hint: If you get taken to court by the TSA, ask for a jury trial.

We've silently accepted that flying is a privilege and not a right and that no cost is too high to be a little bit safer, but now the public is learning why that's wrong.

Let's examine that concept, that being safer is always better and costs don't matter. If that were true, I have an easy solution to improve automobile safety - drive a dump truck.

When you drive a dump truck, hitting a tree is a much safer occurrence - you might not even notice when you do it. Same with a deer or a tool shed. The safety of drivers and passengers go up when you're in a lumbering metal monstrosity.

But the costs would be high. Even a hybrid dump truck would be a gas hog, and finding a parking spot would be a real pain. In a typical accident between a regular car and a dump truck, the occupants of one vehicle walk away and the others get covered with a tarp. Hitting a house with a car can be deadly, but imagine what a a larger vehicle would do. Add on to that the horror of being too big to use the drive-through window at a Burger King and you can see there are some costs that just aren't worth additional safety.

Safety and freedom are on opposite ends of a sliding scale, and increasing one can reduce the other. Safety is a wonderful thing, but it's not the only thing that matters. You can be too careful, and we shouldn't just assume our current level of security is optimal. I'm willing to accept a little more risk in exchange for a lot more freedom and sensibility in our airports, and I believe America is learning that lesson right now.


  1. It's a good thing you made the prediction when you did. This morning they are already talking about scaling them down.

  2. With all the bad press they've been getting, do you think anyone would believe it wasn't staged?

    I mean anyone with an IQ above moonbat?