Joseph Duemer after his wife's knitting needles are confiscated by the TSA screener:
But of course the point of the regulations is not, as in the nauseating cliché, to “keep us safe.” No, the TSA regulations are intended to keep us obedient. In the most recent entry in his NY Times weblog Jet Lagged, Patrick Smith comes as close as anyone in the media to laying this fact before the public. He does not quite draw the final political conclusion — that obeying the airport screeners is intended to be practice for obeying any absurd regulation — but he gets everything else exactly right. The purpose of having to take your shoes off & go through a search of your belongings is to teach you to swallow your rage. Try this thought experiment: Imagine the whole enterprise transfered to a psychology laboratory & all the passengers turned into rats.
Imagine a train and the TSA Agent asking you and your family to enter: "You will be safer where you are going." Hope is a virtue too. We hope this is not going to be too bad. We hope they will back off soon. We hope there will not be another crisis, followed by God knows what crackdown now being scoped out in some think tank, and kept in reserve, just in case. Well, there is nothing we can do about it. The pacification of the population is the new normal. Better to keep our heads down and mouths shut. A person could get hurt. Or on the wrong list. Things happen. Unless you have friends in high places it can be hard to get things straightened out. We all have heard stories of friends. It is better to just do as you are told. You know, Lucy, the biggest philanthropy buzzword of 2007? You know what is was? Silence.