Blogs > Liberty and Power > Standing Up to the TSA

Dec 27, 2009 10:31 pm

Standing Up to the TSA

The TSA has apparently put into place new rules for international flights headed to the US, including requiring passengers to stay seated the last hour of the flight. Aside from yet another attempt to stop the last attack, this will be a major inconvenience (buy some Depends stock!). To what degree have these various efforts at social control made us too passive in the face of such inconveniences? At what point do we say "enough is enough" and make it clear that the best defense against aggression in the air are alert passengers ready to come to each other's aid and not searching shoes, keeping water bottles off and making the bathrooms off limit for the last hour?

We could write various bureaucrats and politicians, but that will do little. Choosing alternatives to flying is fine, but punishes the airlines more than the TSA and isn't always possible. It seems to me some mild civil disobedience is called for. Here's my suggestion, which folks can take or leave:

If you are on a flight where it is announced that you must remain seated with nothing in your lap for the last hour, wait for the announcement to finish then unbuckle your seat belt and stand up silently for 10 or 15 seconds. Then sit down and rebuckle.

Imagine what it would look like if something like this caught on. Imagine half a plane or more doing this. What exactly could anyone do about it? Are the flight attendants going to identify everyone's seat and turn them in? Are thousands of innocent Americans going to go on no-fly lists? (Imagine how the airlines would feel when their regular passengers are not able to fly anymore.)

I'm just so sick of what is really a kabuki theatre that has little to do with real safety, and so sick of the costs it involves, that I think it's time for some sort of message to be sent that says we don't think this works and we aren't going to be treated like cattle anymore.

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