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

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