The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I recently traveled to the Midwest to visit family. Our flight out was on my birthday. I woke up at 5:30, made coffee, checked my email, and saw that Delta had cancelled my SFO-to-Detroit flight and replaced it with:

An afternoon flight to Las Vegas
A flight to Salt Lake City
A redeye to Detroit

Happy birthday! At least I was now awake. I called Delta to scream my head off, but the replacement flight was computer generated -- a human being had corrected it before I called. Instead we flew through Seattle, and had a nice view of the Space Needle, some indifferent Japanese food, and five additional hours spent in airports.

(I don't know if some terminals at SeaTac have better food than others, but based on my limited experience you can get *much* better Japanese food in Detroit's airport. Which is odd, as Seattle views itself as Japan's gateway to America, and its airport has signs and spoken instructions in Japanese.)

Of course I had to endure airport security, and there is no comparing Delta with the TSA. In another line to my left, running the gauntlet of Homeland Security's finest gropers, was a old lady in a wheelchair who had a straw hat with figurines all along the top. My guess is that old ladies with little statues on their hats are not heavily recruited by Al Qaeda.

The depressing thing about the TSA is not that it's a creation of the Democratic party. (Remember, after 9/11 Democrats shouted from the rooftops that it was an outrage that airport security was conducted by private contractors. These are the same people who complain that 9/11 is cynically used by politicians.)

The depressing thing is that the Republicans will do nothing about it. They *want* government to fail, to be obtrusive and idiotic, so that they can have a platform to campaign on, and a reason for people to vote for them.

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