I travel a lot for work, always by air, so I've gotten use to the routines and indignities of modern air travel. Shoes off, jacket off, laptop out, coins and keys in the bin, no liquids, no tooth paste, no shaving cream, no nail clippers. I've got the routine down to a science, and can generally get through the checkpoint in a jiffy, unless I'm stuck behind a family of tourists.
That doesn't mean however that I don’t realize what a farce this whole system is, and how ridiculous it is I need to take off my shoes, or that I can't bring a bottle of Fresca onboard with me.
And this story on the CP ticker, although this wasn’t its intention, illustrates quite clearly that, when it comes to airport security, the government and security authorities are perpetuating a giant fraud:
Air travellers' losses are charities' gains
Bruce Cheadle, THE CANADIAN PRESS
OTTAWA - Gary McCarthy, the operations manager of a foodbank distribution centre in the nation's capital, surveys the latest detritus from the war on terror with a practiced eye.
A jar of peanut butter, shaving cream, sunscreens, tubes of toothpaste - even a mickey of rum - nestle among four large cardboard boxes packed with items confiscated from travellers at Ottawa's international airport.
"Most of it has been opened," McCarthy said at the bustling food bank warehouse, which sends food and other goods to 128 member agencies in the region.
Now, I don’t have a problem with helping out the charities, let me make that clear. But let’s look at this whole thing for a minute. The reason why we’re not allowed to take much of this stuff on the plane, such as liquids and gels, is that the authorities say it could be a bomb. It might be explosives. It’s a potential security risk.
So, it this stuff is a potential security risk, if its potentially explosive, shouldn’t it be treated as such? Shouldn’t the bomb squad dispose of this stuff? Shouldn’t it be treated like hazardous material and disposed of properly, and not tossed in garbage bins for charities to rummage through and distribute or resell?
I’m glad the airports and CATSA want to give charities a helping-hand. However, if my Fresca is safe enough to donate to the homeless, why the hell are they seizing it from me in the first place?
Rather than implementing moronic policies to make the public FEEL safer, I'd rather the authorities actually implement policies that will MAKE us safer. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers