I'm still moving around a bit, sorry for the spotty blogging (or "spogging," I guess). I'm actually sitting in the Denver Airport right now, listening to a large group of people waiting for the Frankfurt flight who are yelling at each other in German. It's an even more charming language to listen to when it's loud. (My aversion to German doesn't actually have that much to do with the Shoah; there are languages that grate, and languages that don't. German, to me, grates.) I have a couple of hours here because Frontier Airlines has real difficulty making its planes get to and from the correct airports on time. (Maybe it's just me, but I've never bought a ticket on a Frontier flight that wasn't late, or canceled.) I know, bitch and moan, bitch and moan. I still have a job in journalism -- what right do I have to complain about anything? My apologies.
I'm happy about two things right now, though -- one, I found, via Seth Lipsky, a new hero -- a commercial pilot who is willing to risk his job in order to let the world know that the Transportation Security Administration is providing the American flying public with security theater rather than with actual safety:
A Tennessee pilot who says he's tired of being manhandled by security agents is waiting to see if he will lose his job because he refused a full body scan.
ExpressJet Airlines first officer Michael Roberts was chosen for the X-ray scan Friday at Memphis International Airport. The Houston-based pilot says he also refused a pat-down and went home.
The 35-year-old Roberts told The Commercial Appeal newspaper he wants to go to work and not be "harassed or molested without cause."
The simple fact that pilots -- men and women in charge of flying enormous missiles at tremendous speeds over American population centers -- are subjected to the same onerous security procedures as the average 87-year, wheelchair-bound grandmother (who pose obvious threats to air travel) means that our current security systems are idiotic. Does it make any sense at all to deny a pilot with proper identification the right to carry a Swiss Army knife, or a bottle of shampoo, onboard an aircraft he commands?