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02/26/2003 Archived Entry: "Day One: Drive Safely..."
On the Political Front:
I have vigorous contempt for most airlines because of the rapidity and eagerness with which they embraced the totalitarian measures imposed on travellers who should be under their protection, not their oppression.
The airlines wanted to hyper-inspect ID because that eliminated the selling and transfer of tickets that was a booming industry. They wanted to hyper-restrict and discourage baggage because they "lost" money on the "free" weight they shipped. If United Airlines faces liquidation in the event of war with Iraq, as is rumored, then I will applaud. Airline industry spokesmen, like Leo Mullin, the chief executive of Delta Air Lines, can debate the wisdom of the renewed push to impose a $10 fuel surcharge on flights each way but he never mentions what I believe is the major reason airlines are veering toward bankruptcy: people don't want to fly anymore. And safety isn't their main concern. Some won't fly because of the inconvenience of arriving two hours early, being searched, flights being cancelled at the snap of fingers...they'd rather drive, especially for shorter trips like L.A. to Las Vegas. Other passengers, like me, refuse to co-operate in the defecation upon civil liberties and human dignity that is current airport "security" -- a misnomer if there ever was one. How about a $10 additional fee to any airline that respects me as a human being and a customer? -- *that* fee I'd pay.
I am heartened that there is some light on the horizon. At least one major airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, is objecting to the Code Orange policy of police pulling over drivers as they approach airport terminals for random searches of their vehicles. Of course, in addition to searching each car as it enters airport parking. (What is it with these multiple searches -- they don't get it right the first time?) As the article of Sea-Tac comments, "First, air travelers had to submit to an electronic wand waved over the body. Then they were asked to remove their shoes. After that, their checked luggage was opened and searched." At least, random police searches are being criticized as running counter to Washington state laws that prohibit police from searching a vehicle without a specific reason.
On the Personal/Movement Front:
Brad left on a necessary trip an hour ago and the house already feels "empty" despite the two dogs and five cats, all of whom are particularly rambunctous from being confined inside due to the weather. (Not terrible weather, just bitterly cold despite the clear-sky sunlight -- good driving weather, I'm relieved to say.) The house will feel empty and off-center -- like I've forgotten to do something important or misplaced something I really need -- until he returns in a few days. A tremendous amount of work gets done whenever that man goes out of town because words and books and ideas are the second place that means *home* to me, and I bury myself in work when the first place needs to leave on business.
Thanks to Miss Liberty for this link... Erika Holzer, a long-time associate of Ayn Rand, has published a suggested and fun cast list for "Atlas Shrugged," should it yet be made into a movie. She also discusses some of Rand's ideas for such a cast. Also on-topic, the following is a list of objectivist bloggers, courtesy of Joshua Zader.
Best to all,