Friday, December 31, 2010


Well, I made it from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD) airport and then on to London, Ontario, Canada (YXU) for the Christmas holidays. I was able to once again witness our transportation system operating at its finest and, unfortunately, at its most dismal. Security via the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) was the most able and impressive aspect of my travel experience. Again, well done.

The trip from Dallas and into O’Hare went smoothly. Lots of people were flying this 2010 Christmas holiday season so I was prepared for even more stringent security measures than my most recent Thanksgiving journey. TSA did seem a little more intense though no more scanning or “enhanced pat downs” than normal. The TSA security folks at the United Airlines terminals at DFW and O’Hare were like the rest of their comrades – professional and thorough. No hissy fits or even the hint of a complaint from any passenger was evident. Likewise, the CATSA staff at the London, Ontario airport were equally professional and courteous.

The flight from O’Hare to London didn’t go as smoothly. We experienced a long delay (about three hours) because of some ambiguous “mechanical problem” with the aircraft. All the passengers could see the aircraft through the lightly falling snow for hours on end as planes around our aircraft came and went enduring what seemed to be endless deicing procedures. Finally our seemingly disgusted desk agent derisively announced that they think they may have discovered the problem and were, “going to take the plane up for a test run.” Yes, they really said that… Shortly thereafter, voila, there goes our plane taxiing out to the runway where we understood later, the plane took off and did several circumnavigations of O’Hare before showing up about an hour later.

Another announcement was forthcoming that they were continuing to work on the problem but had also decided to change the tires on the aircraft? That prompted a deer in the headlights look by many passengers who wondered out loud where United’s regular maintenance schedule may have gone? Finally the announcement was made to board the plane with many passengers deliberating whether engaging this flight was advisable. We reluctantly boarded the aircraft (sheep to the slaughter?) which included a long parade outside into the snowy weather and eventually into the aircraft where the flight crew offered apologies and further explanations as we endured yet another deicing. The flight took off and proceeded without further incident to London.

Several days later found me returning to O’Hare and the United States via T5, their international terminal and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) folks, yea, those few, those happy few. That’s all there were to handle an estimated one thousand-plus international passengers that descended on O’Hare. Half the ICE booths were empty and the crowd started backing up even further out into the dark corridor almost to the terminal escalators. Management seemed breathtakingly oblivious or just flat incapable of controlling the situation. Many people missed their connections and this crew seemed totally insensitive to that reality. After an hour of standing in an immovable mass in the approach corridor (there were no real lines) someone came out an announced that all bearers of US passports and green cards (their words) “come with me.” We squeezed though the packed crowds and eventually (20 minutes later) made our way along the left wall to the main engagement area – a huge bull pen where folks are queued up (blue for US citizens and black for foreign nationals) and arranged for proper examination by ICE staff. Our line went fairly quickly (1½ hours) though some Russian speaking ICE agents (they never spoke English around us) who looked more like prison guards started depositing some of our foreign guests in front of us… much to our chagrin and disgust. Did the Russians win and we weren’t told?

We finally made it through and reclaimed our baggage which we had to recheck through equally large crowds. Given some urgency and question whether I would make my flight I was directed to leave my bag with a group of rather large snarling, head bobbing behemoths that seemed incapable of intelligent speech – at least in English. There went my luggage thrown unceremoniously and indiscriminately onto a conveyor with scores of other bags with no response to my questions about the bag’s final destination. I wondered if they spoke Russian.

Like the London, Ontario flight several days earlier though with a slight delay, the flight went smoothly and without incident. I slept almost the entire trip to DFW despite a very upset, screaming one year old boy immediately next to me and his twin, equally distraught, brother several rows back. That was heaven compared with the long wait before the sacred ICE at O’Hare. I did sleep like a baby and did not snore

Lest I feel sorry for myself I was followed back to Dallas by a wonderful young couple who decided on a Delta – London, Detroit, Atlanta to Dallas connection that went terribly, terribly bad. The flights went OK, but they arrived at DFW without their bags - one of which hasn’t surfaced as of this writing. Seems that because of the small aircraft out of London no carry-on baggage was allowed. Couple that with an almost onboarding announcement that because of problems with the fire detection system (yikes!) they were not going to allow any baggage (carry on or otherwise) on the flight. I, of course, immediately wonder about their human cargo as that would be considered by most as the most precious?

Arrival at DFW predictably was without any baggage and later inquiries noted one bag in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and another – perhaps it didn’t leave London? Two retagged bags arrived the next day and belonged to disparate parties and fellow passengers from their London to Detroit flight. A gentleman from Louisville, Kentucky later called indicating possession of one of their bags.

The gentleman of the offended and bag less London to DFW party delivered the errant bags to Delta baggage at DFW and requested a further, more aggressive search in order to locate their baggage. They were then astonishingly notified by the Delta agent that they had closed the case and file and that nothing further could be done as the bags had been delivered! Yes, he really said that. Delta soon changed their mind when a motivated and especially convincing entreaty was made. The bag from Fort Lauderdale was delivered shortly after midnight the next day. The other bag from Louisville has yet to be delivered.

If possible, I will never fly Delta Airlines again and at least promise to never recommend what I once proudly and objectively perceived and as an Atlanta resident declared to be the best airline in the US. My experience at O’Hare did, however, validate the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport though busier than Chicago as probably the most efficient and friendliest airport in the world.

As for ICE, I am truly embarrassed and feel that these representatives of the United States treated every person in that room badly and with a lack of respect and dignity. With the powerful storm and snowfall in the east they knew that flights were going to be diverted to the Midwest yet failed to properly prepare themselves and manage the situation. As for the rude, dismissive ICE agent who loudly and vociferously complained that he had to work during the Christmas holidays I suspect that you will eventually get your comeuppance. You earned the enmity of many folks in that room (foreign and domestic). We at Might of Right wish you a Merry Christmas and the notification that I will be flying with Santa in 2011 and will let him know that you have been a bad boy this year…

And for all that it was worth it to be with loved ones and Friends this 2010 Christmas. Hope you and yours have a safe and prosperous 2011!


Ned Buxton

Monday, December 20, 2010


2010 is the year to clear out or pack up the old, refresh and reorganize my surroundings and put my house (it is not a home) up for rent or for sale. For months I have been going through old papers and books and trying to figure out what to do with items that have mostly Family or sentimental value. The Family materials will mostly go to son Geb and I guess I will retain the rest. Ah, storage. I have thrown out scores of trash bags of these materials and having been mostly diligent in this effort have kept the garbage folks busy in Richardson…

Among the items I pondered was about ten years of those extra Christmas cards – you know those few left over from each year. Like most folks I didn’t have the heart to throw them away rather put them away for another year in case I needed extras. Well I always ended up with a surplus every year and this year I counted about 150 cards of assorted Christmas Greetings in my stash. Most of them are pathetically and archaically dated to previous style and sentiments, but all wishing generic Holiday Greetings or a blatant and now seemingly politically incorrect Merry Christmas!

In these austere times the decision was quickly made to use them! Along with some really neat Sierra Club cards I also had some ghastly blue to turquoise cards with flashy silver glitter with the hope for Peace properly emblazoned. While I embrace the sentiment I can’t figure out why I bought them unless they were all that were left that year. All those cards were sent this year and I am sure that it had some folks scratching their heads. At any rate, whatever the response, it was my way to say hello and express my gratitude to those folks for being my Friend and sincerely wishing them holiday greetings and my hopes for a great 2011.

My 2010 Christmas will find me once again in Canada with Friends but also wondering if there will be a repeat of last week’s disastrous snow storm that paralyzed southern Ontario and especially that section of the 402 near Sarnia. It was a parking lot where snow plows feared to tread (too dangerous) and where food and supplies had to be air dropped and then 150 occupants of the stranded and frozen in 360 trucks and autos evacuated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on snowmobiles. The others decided to wait out the storm in their cars/trucks in the subzero weather? The Canadian Government declared that portion of highway 402 a national disaster area. It was a miracle that there was no loss of life on that highway and, yes, unless I was in some big self-contained rig with heat, shower and all the comforts of home, I would have opted for that snowmobile ride out.

Well, we’re not going to get caught in any repeat of that storm as we are flying directly into London, Ontario. We hope not to draw some crop duster though the Canadian pilots do generally accommodate worrisome Americans by engaging those long, barely descending landing patterns though that is surely not the case in Europe (price of fuel – ya ken).

So anticipating being out of pocket – I have been warned not to turn on my cell phone when out of country – for the Christmas Holiday I wanted to again reiterate especially to those folks that follow Might of Right a safe holiday and a prosperous new year. You are the reason I write this blog as you give me my voice.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and, aye, for auld lang syne and remember Ye nivver dee'd o winter yit. So, what are ye going to do for Hogmanay?

A Blythe Yule, Aye

Ned Buxton

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Many of our heroes are folks who have responded by their own admission mostly spontaneously to circumstances that are thrust upon them – reacting intuitively and mostly involuntarily to those conditions without forethought or reason like diminutive Texan Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier of World War II. They all demonstrate an uncommon courage and bravery generally at great risk to their person and without the promise of reward. Words that conjure heroism include, among others, courage, daring, selflessness, bravery, nobility, valor and yes that old 20th century standby - guts.

As an aside I guess that we can now also include Bay City, Florida School Board member Ginger Littleton who inexplicably whacked gunman Clay Duke on his gun arm with her purse as he threatened the school board the other day. Duke brushed off the hit and Littleton fell backwards onto the floor. Duke cursed her, pointed the gun at her head though did not shoot. Littleton instinctively did what she could to prevent a further tragedy the only way she knew and it’s a miracle she survived that episode. Perhaps her action had an effect on Duke who after being shot by a security guard mortally wounded himself. Littleton could be the real hero in that whole tragic episode.

No doubt that there are also those that act deliberately and with forethought engage situations that are clearly dangerous with the calculated intent to benefit others and right a wrong. Those individuals represent a different class of individual and heroism. One such person was Stephen Hall and scores of other OSS agents in WWII. Another was William Schiff of Dallas, Texas and originally of Krakow, Poland who passed at age 91 on December 10, 2010.

William personally and intimately experienced the horrors of the Holocaust and did the unthinkable so that he, wife Rosalie and Family and Friends too numerous to count could survive. He walked that one step further and clearly put himself in harm’s way every minute of every day in that period. From the few conversations that I had with William, I am positive he was never really afraid of anything, save not performing to his expectation and concerned about meeting the life and death needs of his charges. He was the ultimate go-to and caregiver. There was no one else…

William was an intense individual and, sadly, there was seemingly never a casual conversation in the itinerary of this Man who lived his life experiences every second of every day. His legacy was also his nightmare… The Holocaust to William was the day before yesterday, not sixty-five years ago. He lived those years and terrible tragedies every day of his life. It became part of him and seemingly always pained and in angst, he made it his life’s work to pass on the knowledge of those terrible genocide years to any who would listen. That meant all his neighbors on Golden Creek, those folks and groups that invited he and Rosalie to relate their experiences and, frankly anybody, one or more in number that would stop and listen. He celebrated life with an equal fervor with Family and Friends being the epicenter of his life. The week before his passing he was partying hearty - dancing and celebrating Hanukkah at the Dallas Holocaust Museum.

That opportunity to celebrate was his great reward for probably without his heroics, none of his Family would be alive today. William’s wife of almost seventy years, Rosalie, gave testimony many times that were it not for William, she would not be alive today – hence there would be no Schiff Family.

Now, I certainly studied the Holocaust in school and was horrified at the concept let alone the capacity of any one group to conceive, plan and then execute ethnic cleansing. The Holocaust never got really personal for me before William Schiff though I do remember gripping and horrific testimony from Mentor and Good Friend (and off and on again Sergeant) Bob Swanson who served with the Fourth Armored in WWII. Bob was one of the first Americans who unexpectedly discovered Ohrdruf, the Buchenwald sub-concentration camp which turned into a slaughterhouse when the Nazis retreated. The Fourth Armored literally stumbled upon hundreds of starving Jewish prisoners and piles of corpses. That experience changed Bob, haunting him for the rest of his life.

The sacrifices and heroics of William are forever documented in "William and Rosalie: A Holocaust Testimony," (University of North Texas Press) written with author Craig Hanley. It not only told William and Rosalie’s story but retold the horrors that the Nazis rained down on European Jews. Had the Nazis won they would have expanded that effort to the rest of the world. This is no fiction and written through the courageous eyes of William and Rosalie.

What scares the Hell out of me now are the inexplicable, illegitimate attempts to distort the historical record not only of the Holocaust but other events of great import by ignoring extensive historical evidence, patently rewriting the record or flat out denying that it ever happened – all to meet some new political agenda.

Fortunately Germany and fifteen other countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Switzerland have literally criminalized Holocaust denial (explicit or implicit) and punishable with imprisonment and have been successful in their prosecutions. Why is the United States not in this group? In our zeal to protect our free speech rights we are willing to allow everybody the right to express their opinion, however heinous and deviant. That same constitutional right ironically allows neo Nazis to organize in the United States.

Included in this cesspool is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has frequently denied the Holocaust earning him the enmity of all rational human beings. Scores of other Arabs including the Palestinians continue to deny the existence of the Holocaust costing them credibility that may ultimately keep them mired in their present plight – literally between the rock and the hard place…

Comes now the Texas Board of Education (TEA), notorious for its past efforts to undermine the teaching of evolution in Texas public schools and is apparently intent on keeping our students well behind the national curve, which has now moved to revise the Texas social studies curriculum to portray conservative ideas and movements in a more positive light in a myriad of issues even including the attempt to morph slavery under the more palatable and innocuous “Atlantic triangular trade”.

It would certainly appear that no real debate ever occurred at the board level as the individuals involved would have to be educated and knowledgeable (gulp) on the topics being addressed. There is no scholarship here only a blatant political attempt by TEA to “correct” history (their words).

So where am I going with this post which started off as recognition of William Schiff as a hero of the Holocaust? Well, with all this rewriting of history in the world theater and the State of Texas trying to rewrite (“correct”) history I just wonder if The Holocaust might be next on their list? If we don’t like something or it becomes an embarrassment or perhaps inconvenient, then just rewrite the textbook and within a few generations all will be a fading memory. All students of history (or any subject) require an objective, accurate curriculum and textbooks chosen for their educational merit, not politics or ideology.

That said the Internet and an incredible repository of historical data about The Holocaust within our own borders including the United States and the Dallas Holocaust Museums should not allow that to happen – unless, of course we consent. We need all confront bias and prejudice and surely stand as sentinels ready to challenge those who would rewrite our history. We need to remember William Schiff, honor his memory and heroics and his noble attempts to keep the rest of us educated on this sad chapter in the history of Man. Please all be upstanding and raise your glasses high…

Yes, what we do matters.


Ned Buxton

Friday, December 10, 2010


Being out here in Texas literally puts one in the hinterlands, far from civilization and the presence of many Family and Friends who reside mostly in the southeast. Texas is good, mind you, but it’s just that distance makes it difficult to be there for the rites of passage and the rhythms of those special folks – and yes, the wants and needs of this writer. Sometimes that old telegraph line breaks down and it surely did last week when I was out of country.

Yesterday Kingdome of Räknar Queen Mother Helga aka Jeanette Swanson and Brother Colin Grant-Adams broke the news to me that an incredibly special human being, one Earl Legbittr of The Kingdome aka Rege Malady had peacefully slipped away whilst sleeping in his recliner at his home in Charlotte. Consistent with Rege & Wife Barbara the Barbarian’s sense of humor, Rege’s last entry on his Facebook page notes, “Passed on while Barb was shopping on Nov 26, 2010. I will miss everyone here, but there are many Friends and Family I will be glad to see again.” God bless you Barb – You Rock…

As I approach my ultimate maturity (the last second of the last minute of the last hour of the day I die) I note that many of my Friends are now claiming their ultimate reward and leaving me behind to document the rest of our/their lives and ponder my remaining time. I also understand that while I will be joining them soon enough and will have to fess up and be held accountable for my life, my charge and challenge is to be forthright and tell it like it was/is in that interim. That has always been the motivation of my postings and the Might of Right and Rege’s passing has all the more punctuated that reality.

We have lost an indispensible and absolutely irreplaceable Champion in the Celtic music scene and the Scottish-American Community – an absolutely good guy. I knew Rege for going on thirty years through the Scottish Highland Games and mostly through his business enterprise of twenty years, The Celtic Trader. Even following my transfer to Texas we got together at the Texas Scottish Festival in Arlington and otherwise talked on the phone and swapped occasional e-mails and cards. Now, Rege wasn’t just another vagabond/gypsy vendor marching around to games, festivals and fairs around the country. He was here to make a buck, yes, but to also make a difference and create interest in music and its history.

Rege embraced an eclectic taste in music that included Celtic, Bluegrass, Hillbilly, Country (that Appalachian and sometimes Cajun connection) and everything in between and the preservation of those genres for future generations. He lived and breathed the national and international Celtic community and amassed an incredible and unequalled body of knowledge about Celtic music, the sounds of Appalachia and then forthrightly, painlessly and joyfully educated the rest of us. He was mentor (and as some put it “Midwife”) to individual musicians and groups in those genres and helped them take that next logical step to success for their and the community’s benefit. I daresay I was but one of many where Rege was an important Friend, guide and supporter over the years offering sincere, honest counsel and advice from music to myriad personal issues.

Rege was a macro thinker who always saw the big picture though with his incredible intuitive people, communication and insightful mentoring skills he was also able to drive down to the lowest common denominator. Through Celtic Trader and working with and through organizations like the Charlotte Folk Society he organized spontaneous and well planned ceilidhs and jam sessions where amateurs could showcase their musical talents, further develop their skills and preserve the traditions and music of our ancestors. Some of those folks have even moved on to the professional level. He appreciated, championed and was Friend to many groups and individuals including Clan Na Gael (Seven Nations), the now retired Maggie’s Fancy, The April Verch Band, Mint Hill’s own Stirling Bridge, Carolina Gator Gumbo, Jed Marum & Lonestar Stout, Alex Beaton, The Edinburgh Rambler - Ed Miller of Austin, Texas, Celtic Lark Margaret Gravitt, The Tannahill Weavers, the Texas-based group Clandestine, Runrig, John Whelan and the legendary and ever evolving WBT Briarhoppers and many, many more.

Rege was fully committed to the arts and music community serving for many years with other luminaries such as Tom Paxton, Fiona Ritchie, Tommy Sands and Dougie MacLean (among others) as an Advisory Board Member for The Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, NC. Rege supported NPR (Thistle & Shamrock, Celtic Connections, Car Talk & Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me), WFAE, WNCW, Redbird School of Irish Music, The Celtic Exchange, Levine Museum of the New South, Bill Reid & East of the Hebrides Entertainments and any Scottish/Irish music gatherings including the North Texas Irish Festival (NTIF) here in Dallas’ Fair Park, the Texas Scottish Festival in Arlington, the Loch Norman Highland Games and the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Rege’s sense of humor put him squarely in the sights of Terry Foy aka Zilch the Tory Steller and his spoonerisms and musical talent at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Rege loved and supported all pipe bands but his two favorites had to be the Loch Norman and Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Bands.

Rege wasn’t shy about his Pennsylvania roots and his rabid enthusiasm for the Pittsburgh Steelers (a Steel Curtain Fanatic), the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The most recent Sunday night NFL football game appropriately pitted the 8-3 Pittsburgh Steelers against the equally high flying Baltimore Ravens. I thought there no doubt that Rege was watching and reveled at this incredibly brutal, physical contest that saw the Steeler’s star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger while already playing with a broken right foot, suffer a broken nose courtesy of a blow to/through the facemask by Baltimore Raven’s defensive tackle, Haloti Ngata (no penalty but a $15K fine?).

Roethlisberger despite a new nose with a strong right turn didn’t miss an offensive snap and the Steelers came from behind to defeat the Ravens 13-10. Roethlisberger stoically stated after the game, “…the broken nose took some of the pain away.” That performance conjured memories of football legends – Hall of Fame Quarterbacks Charlie Conerly (Ole Miss), Y. A. Tittle (LSU) and Bobby Layne (a Texas Longhorn) who along with all other players initially wore no facemasks and got clobbered all the time. It was a Rege kind of evening – you know all that character, integrity and perseverance stuff. Rege was the wind under the wings of the Steelers that night with the good guys triumphant in the end.

Rege’s love of the Boston Red Sox seems to go sideways with his Keystone mentality but he did live in Springfield, Massachusetts for a while fomenting that relationship. We never discussed the Red Sox even given my enthusiasm and years growing up in the shadow of Ted Williams in nearby Providence, Rhode Island though we did discuss the ins and outs of college athletics. Rege was a student athlete at Duquesne University (class of 1964) in Pittsburgh where as a Duke he used his almost 7 feet to great effectiveness on the basketball court. The storied Duquesne basketball program was most notable and dominant in the 50’s and 60’s so his selection and participation speaks to his prowess on the court (two NIT appearances).

With as mild mannered an exterior persona that one can muster Rege wasn’t at all tolerant of folks that couldn’t or wouldn’t pull their own weight and phonies that cared more for post-nominals and self-aggrandizement. He wasn’t afraid to engage political and humanitarian causes witness his support for organizations like Grassroots Leadership, Chase Community Giving and Samaritan House, NC. I saw him essentially give away CDs and other product from Celtic Trader to those who couldn’t afford to buy if he thought the customer worthy or if he could make a difference… I suspect that Celtic Trader never really provided Rege and Barb with a handsome living or any substantial payoff. It was always more of a labor of love.

When Rege and Barbara decided to retire from the Celtic Trader a huge vacuum was created in the music community though both remained supportive thereafter. Those who had jammed at Rege’s place wrote, a jig, Farewell to the Trader in honor of Rege and Barb on the occasion of their final jam session on July 27, 2006 at the Celtic Trader in Charlotte. It turned out to be an Irish wake of epic proportions where all raised a glass to the tall guy, and I know it was Glenmorangie and then some. We assume those same sentiments and actions will be once again expressed and embraced at a memorial session for Rege to be held in Charlotte on December 15, 2010. By the way those sessions which now continue roughly every six weeks are still known as the Celtic Trader Sessions… We are reminded of a now legendary 1998 Celtic Trader Hogmanay fete and music session where Rege later lamented distributing 30 semi-drunk musicians slide whistles. James Galway would have been proud…

After attending many Kingdome of Räknar Raids at Grandfather Mountain where he and Barbara consorted and partied with many other shakers and movers in the Scottish Community, Rege decided in 1990 to come out of the closet and was created Knight Legbittr at the Great Glasgow, KY Highland Gathering. He and Barbara the Barbarian became an indispensible and integral part of this fun loving and talented group.

Rege would not want us to mourn, rather to celebrate with Family and Friends a life well lived and the legacy of a lifetime of work that brought many of us together. I look around my home and he lives in every fabric of this dwelling. Rege hasn’t left us, rather lives on in us.

Rege has passed from this mortal plane and joined in Valhalla those sage and august members of the Kingdome of Räknar who constitute our pantheon of heroes including the iconic Hägar aka Bob Swanson, Fat Duncan, Ed Manson, John Morrison, Bill Wright, John MacLeod of MacLeod, Ralph Payne, Tom Raisbeck, Jamie MacKenzie-Frye, George MakGill, Danny Potter, Bill Matthews, Kenn Maxwell, Gary Morrison, Tom Dowd, Richard Gammon, Bob Southerland, Mad Max, Yes-Tad Sims and Jan Pennington Gray, My Friend Carl and all the other heroes of Räknar, perhaps like his predecessors being offered some mead by a Valkyrie - or two… Barb says it’s OK…


Ned Buxton

Saturday, December 4, 2010


On a recent trip to Canada via Dallas/Fort Worth and Detroit over the United States 2010 Thanksgiving break I experienced what I have always dreaded and avoided – holiday travel in the United States! With all the ruckus about the new scans and enhanced pat downs and the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) “fiendish mission to make flying safer” we were all braced for long waits, snarling and privacy-obsessed travelers intent on disrupting the security process and TSA “goons” salivating at the prospects of feeling us up or viewing our private parts (junk?)…. It never happened.

Apparently some saner personas amongst those who threatened to disrupt the transportation security system held sway and we never heard or saw any disturbance or Speedo® clad passengers though we heard about the two yahoos in Salt Lake City. Sanity and cooperation seems to have mostly prevailed – at least for one huge travel weekend, one brief fleeting moment in time… So noted.

There were no long lines and the always professional TSA staff managed the process well seemingly intent on being personable and making the passage from our cities and towns through their/our security gauntlet to our transportation systems as quickly and efficiently as possible. Indeed it would appear that duty-bound TSA folks while not at all enthusiastic about having to engage this process are doing their part to protect us all - Patriots all.

The one phrase that seems to characterize this last travel weekend was "tempest in a teapot" (works for me) with recent surveys indicating that 80% or more of Americans perceive our security processes as necessary, however inconvenient they may be. Tea Partiers please take note…

I want all my fellow passengers on any plane, train, bus – any public transportation - to have to potentially undergo the same stringent and ever evolving security measures. The key here is deterrent and the processes of that system, at least up to now, have kept us safe. Those that would disrupt this system are potentially putting us all at risk.

We need to aggressively engage ever evolving and sustainable security measures that will far exceed the capabilities of those that would do us harm. That will require the cooperation of all in government, domestic and foreign, and a motivated and cooperative citizenry properly educated on the potential risks.

So, for those of you that will drive a lot more and use the airlines a lot less……… Thank you very much. I feel so confident in our system that I am going to travel again by air over the Christmas holidays. Might become a habit… Well done TSA…


Ned Buxton