Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm back

Apologies to all five (or is it three?) of N&C's devoted readers for my month-long hiatus. One of my New Year's resolutions is to blog more often. So without further ado, the latest news of 2009 from those devoted public servants who keep us safe.

First off: well, let's just say it was inevitable. There's a new reality TV show about--yes, you guessed it--the Transportation Security Administration.* You can watch a few of the gag-inducing ads here, as well as a clip showing a TSA screener doing his duty--protecting an innocent nation from belly dancers.

I've never blogged about my own experiences with the intrepid protectors of the American public. They've generally been uneventful (if annoying), but I do think they're falling down on the job. At least in Jackson, Mississippi: I was actually allowed to check in without showing ID. Seems reckless to me: after all, considering the plane was a US Airways puddle jumper, it had enough fuel to do some serious damage. You think destroying the World Trade Center was a blow to the American psyche? I could have hijacked that puppy, flown straight north and taken out Graceland--or maybe headed East and destroyed the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta.

Either one would have been striking directly at the nation's soul.

But fear not: if Euro-looking guys can still board planes in the Bible Belt without so much a cursory show of ID, it appears flying while brown (or at least brown and head-scarved) still makes the TSA sit up and take notice.

On January 2, Atir Irfan and his family (including females wearing hijabs) boarded a TransAir flight at Reagan National. Inayet Sahin, Irfan's sister-in-law, began wondering aloud which seats on the plane were safest in conversation with another family member. They were put off the plane, questioned by the TSA and denied the chance to re-book. For good measure, another passenger seen talking to Irfan's family was thrown off the flight as well.

A family group wondering out loud about the safest place to sit on a plane? Yeah. Hijackers. Gotta be.

But I have to give the TSA some slack: it's probably been a little harder for them to think clearly in recent weeks: their new uniforms give them skin rashes and bloody noses.

*I spelled it out to avoid confusion with that other TSA, the Textile Services Administration.


3goodrats said...

I can't help but feel that you just insulted Graceland. Shame on you! Have you actually been there? It's awesome.

Desdemica said...

Thanks to a recent TSA experience of my own, I began to post a comment here--but it grew into a blog of its own. Feel free to link up to it at

kt said...

Welcome back! I'm very glad we will be hearing from you more frequently this year...

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