Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I Rarely Fly if the Drive is Five and 1/2 hours or Less

What has been a major effect of the TSA (Transportation Security Adminstration) on my life?

I no longer fly to St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland at the drop of a hat (and I miss the resulting reduced number of Cubs games I attend). If the drive is five and 1/2 hours or less, I am most likely to drive rather than fly now.

Why is this?

First, the TSA screening lines, especially during top travel periods, are too unpredictable and not an efficient use of my time.

Second, the government's security measures at airports are reactionary, ineffective and have limited value. Systems that "punish all" are usually less effective than a sieve is at holding water. Security measures that are targeted make more sense (if only the government had done so, a certain Nigerian might have been intercepted long before he tried to blow up a plane in Detroit as it was getting ready to land).

Third, the screening is too intrusive (guilty unless proven innocent comes to mind) without an effective cost/benefit aspect that overwhelms its intrusive nature.

Fourth, with the security measures, hassle, parking, etc. at the airport, I can get to my destination by driving in a comparable period of time.

Does the government realize that its programs for security, as represented by the TSA, is reducing air travel, has the potential to drive airlines out of business, is changing our lifestyles, promotes irrational fear and is showing to the world that we are afraid and reactionary? It is my opinion that these results are the goals of the terrorists. Therefore, the terrorists are winning.

When is the American government going to get tough with terrorists and not do things that allow the terrorists to declare victory? Our government has grown soft! Where is John Wayne when you need him?


wjt said...

You can add another disadvantage to your laundry list in your penultimate paragraph: These programs are encouraging people (like you) to travel less by air, and more by automobile. Because air travel is much safer than traveling in an automobile--there are far more deaths per passenger mile in an automobile than in an airplane--this has the consequence of increasing the mortality rate.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Points taken, Mark. I share your outrage expressed in this report.