Thursday, May 10, 2007
I knew this would happen.
After 9/11 when there was an imperative to do something, Congress and especially the Democrats did what they knew how, hire more government employees. Never mind that the existing security screeners had not failed and any weapons that might have been used were within the rules established by government employees.
I distrusted this original assertion. I was certain that eventually TSA employees would try to organize union when political climate was prospicious. All of this in spite of the civil service protection these employees enjoy including the generous benefits. I was sure that eventually TSA employees would strike.
As soon as the Democrats took over Congress there started to appear stories that TSA employees were beginning to organize, something Congress specifically disavowed when TSA was established, due to the importance of the duties of the TSA.
None of this matters.
The transition of TSA from a security service to a Government Agency has already begun. Over the last several months during my frequent travels through Atlanta I have noticed that TSA employees are no longer attempting to serve the traveling public. They are beginning to see the public as a product to be processed like cattle in the stockyards.
As I go through an airport I am seldom addressed as "Sir" (not that I deserve it) but common courtesy is diminishing. For example TSA employees are no longer promptly returning the plastic tubs to the beginning of the waiting line, requiring passengers to retrieve their own tubs. Often many security screening stations are closed while passengers wait 45 minutes to clear security. I also see more "supervisors" standing around doing nothing apparent. Passengers are increasingly bombarded by announcements from seated functionaries directing the cattle toward the stocks and defining appropriate behavior.
I think my freedom is far more threatened by the Government Employee than by the government contractor.