Sitting in the terminal waiting for my next flight, I watch the workers move baggage and service the planes; mechanics do their checks and repairs, pilots walk around before boarding, everyone doing their part so we can get to our destinations safely and, hopefully, on time.

As I take my leisure, comfortable in my surroundings and feeling safe, there are those who would claim that we should be thankful for the wonderful security our airports afford. I reflect on this too, as I watch people pass by. I assume most of them really don’t think much about these things, simply going about their lives day by day, largely unaware of how much more freedom their grandparents enjoyed than they may ever know. Most of them, apparently, embrace the line that this is all for our own good – necessary to secure the freedoms our country holds dear.

To be fair, my TSA experience went quite well. I departed from a small town with only a few daily flights. The staff at the airport were friendly and professional. Even the TSA agents were courteous and helpful. It was encouraging to see that there is some sense of humanity and dignity remaining in regions of the country. However, though I was encouraged, there is little hope that such consideration will remain for very much longer. Like a bag of apples, if there’s one rotten one it will infect the others. And the machine that’s eroding our freedom and dignity as nation is certainly rotten to the core.

I’ll also note that my bag was searched en-route. Of course, I really have nothing to fear. And, knowing that they routinely search bags, I put a zip-strip on my bag’s zipper rather than a lock. At least this way I’d know if someone had gotten into it. Sure enough, it arrived at my destination with a different zip-strip attached, my belongings moved around within and a note informing me that this is all for my own good as well.

So far it seems that everything is there, though we have had items stolen in the past. I suppose that was for our own good too. And the reporting process at the time made it clear that any efforts at restitution were likely a waste of time.

As promised, today we’ll hear from this dear woman who’s heart breaks for the country her family has fought and died for. She doesn’t face the horrors of scope and grope we hear so much about. But the indoctrination of fear of the state is clearly evident. And, for those who are sensitive to the reality of our past freedoms lost, the alarm bells are nagging our consciences. May we wake up before it’s too late.

Kind regards,
Another Joe

TSA encounter #2

New Hampshire has an intellectually intriguing state motto [Live Free or Die]. Upon reflection during the days of collapse, it will be what separates the men from the boys. I have no regrets leaving what, many, many years ago, used to be a free republic. However, to do so, there are prices to pay. We had to go through the TSA process one more time.

The rest of our pets were with us, and the inspection mirrored the one two weeks previous. This time a small, older white “gentleman,” oozing arrogance and sarcasm, was instructing a new-hire minority female. She seemed very uncomfortable and intimidated by her instructor.

I quickly assessed his bully personality and knew immediately that this would not be pleasant.

In his efforts to look and sound knowledgeable – and he really was a pompous ass – he spilled all the water that was carefully secured in the pet crates, turning them upside down, shaking them, etc.

One cannot purchase bottled water anywhere near international check-in, and the TSA “gentleman” would not assist. As a matter of fact, this “gentleman” retorted, with sarcasm dripping and a smirk on his face, while looking at the newbie, “that’s what happens!” It hit me that he was deriving great pleasure from the thought that these animals would suffer through approximately 15 hours without water, in a very dry environment, as I explained to him. He was also very much enjoying my escalating emotional state, mostly caused by his psychotic reaction.

He was a sadist, and I’ll never forget the look on his face.

In tears now, I turned to the nice LAN personnel who, once again, came with me to offer moral support – that’s about all TSA will permit, the bastards. Finally, I remembered I had a large water bottle in my bag that I had not yet discarded, and was able to somewhat refill their containers.

LAN representatives also promised to help them once they were situated on the aircraft, and they did.

After the animals and crates were patted down (!), and the chaos wreaked on their crates was restored to order, I had to go through my own TSA inspection.

Since the TSA took so long to ensure our animals would suffer, we had to step it up to make our flight. LAN personnel accompanied us through, radioing our status as we moved closer to boarding.

And what would a TSA experience be without confiscation? Nice lotions and personal items were removed, due to my inexperience with this nonsense, coupled with my inability to transfer the items to checked luggage because TSA wasted so much time…..

I was preoccupied with worry about the health and status of our animals, so I hardly noticed or cared.

The only bright spot at this point was that we avoided the backscatter machine and did not have to endure a pat down molestation.

Other than one young man who made eye contact, actually answered my questions and was very respectful, the rest of them reminded me of prison guards. The only acknowledgment of a traveler’s existence was to bark orders; always rude, always curt, always talking and laughing with their buddies and seemingly annoyed that we dared to venture into their world of authority. Isn’t it amazing how someone can be so incredibly dehumanizing while at the same time act as though they’re doing you a favor in the process?

Just as we were almost through, everything halted and all the TSA people froze in place.

Since no one would speak to me, I deduced it was some kind of security drill. There were at least 8 TSA clerks in our area, and I looked to each one for confirmation of what was happening, explaining that we were detained by the animal TSA agents (pun intended) and now may miss our flight.

Who cares? Not them. No one would answer me or look at me.

LAN cared, and once again they escorted us and ensured a gentle transition from TSA trauma and stress, into their welcoming aircraft, surrounded by smiling faces and excellent customer service, giving us regular updates on the status of our animals.

I don’t share these experiences as some fringe cult or zealous insurgent. Patriotism was drilled into me and embraced from a tender age. As the proud daughter of an Army Colonel, the sister of a Naval Commander and an Army Staff Sergeant, as well as the niece of a paratrooper killed in action and buried at Normandy, it pains me greatly to say I am more than relieved we have left.

The U.S. has become the opposite of what our soldiers fight and die for. It has come to the point in my life where I am persuaded that I must exercise one of the last remaining freedoms they helped secure – the freedom to leave.

The whole TSA process is one of desensitization by those with a very ugly agenda, perpetuated on a citizenry that permits it to continue.

Normalcy bias?

I don’t know, and I don’t care anymore, but I do know that people get the government they deserve, and this will not end well.

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