Saturday, May 31, 2008

First They Came For The Transformers

And I said nothing, because I was not a giant robot.

Go through security, get pulled to the side. I'm wearing a French Connection Transformers t-shirt. Bloke starts joking with me is that Megatron. Then he explains that since Megatron is holding a gun, I'm not allowed to fly. WTF? It's a 40 foot tall cartoon robot with a gun as an arm. There is no way this shirt is offensive in any way, and what I'm going to use the shirt to pretend I have a gun?

Now here's the stupid part. I was only taking carry on luggage, so my clothes were in my bag, so I said I'd get changed. So I stripped off at security and changed t-shirts, putting the "offensive" t-shirt in my bag. Now I haven't been a dick so far, I've done what they've said. No point in arguing with the drones.

The supervisor comes over and is now a dick to me, telling me if I put the shirt on I'll be arrested. I then told him that I wasn't going to waste time arguing with him and he wasn't worth the effort and didn't have any power to change anything anyway. With hindsight I should have said, yeah arrest me, great publicity for you guys to arrest a bloke wearing a transformers t-shirt.

It started like this in Nazi Germany.

The Gestapo had the authority to investigate treason, espionage and sabotage cases, and cases of criminal attacks on the Nazi Party and Germany. A law passed by the government in 1936 gave the Gestapo carte blanche to operate without judicial oversight. The Gestapo was specifically exempted from responsibility to administrative courts, where citizens normally could sue the state to conform to laws. As early as 1935, however, a Prussian administrative court had ruled that the Gestapo's actions were not subject to judicial review.

When do we get our class-action lawsuit against the TSA? Their entire reason for existence is unreasonable search and seizure. The entire organization is illegal and violates United States law all day every day.

And the real problem isn't the absurdity, nor even the violence and death the TSA has caused. The real problem is that the kids are getting used to it.

Just in case it isn't obvious, this is what the TSA is for. If you're going to introduce a big change, the best thing to do is to first spend a little time and warm people up for it. Every circus in the world sends in the clowns before the lions and the tigers.