Tips for the TSA
by Becky Akers
US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) both consider us nitwits who can’t pack a suitcase or travel about the country, let alone the world, without their supervision. And so after hopelessly mucking up travel with such nonsense as the “Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative” and “3-1-1,” they now “Provide Reminders and Travel Tips to Summer Travelers.” Yep, those are nouns you hear shrieking as bureaucrats force them into adjectival stress positions.
Plenty more such screams rend the “reminders”: “Monitor border wait times for various ports of entry. … During periods of heavy travel, border crossers may wish to consider alternative, less heavily traveled entry routes” and “Passengers can help speed up the screening process [sic for ‘warrantless search’] by packing their carry-ons in an organized manner. This helps our officers [sic for ‘busybodies’] efficiently see what’s inside to quickly process it through screening [sic for ‘warrantless search’].” Forget about making things easier on yourself by choosing the “port of entry” closest to your destination or by packing in the “manner” you prefer, however disorganized: a serf labors to ease his masters’ burdens, not his own.
Indeed, “reminding” us to do so has become something of a semi-annual tradition for the TSA. You might think an agency this hated would learn some humility and seek rather than give advice. But no.