'The Only Thing We Have to Fear…'

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Our valiant defenders scored another huge victory in Gainesville, Florida, last week when they saved the homeland from "apparently abandoned" luggage. Now if only someone would save us from nitwits who’ve abandoned common sense, we’d be all set.

Moises Banrevy is an 18-year-old kid who missed his flight the Monday before Christmas. Heck, I would have, too: it was departing at 7 AM.

Failing to catch your plane in the cuckoo’s nest that passes for American aviation is akin to missing Nurse Ratched’s role call: both unleash disproportionate disaster. If we lived in a world where airlines tried to please customers instead of Congressmen, the industry would not only make allowances for a mishap this common, it would actually help stranded patrons. But governmental bankrolling has turned passengers from aviation’s raison d’tre into a necessary evil: airlines must "serve" them or lose the subsidies, bail-outs, and loans flooding their coffers. Meanwhile, they despise customers as so much inconvenient and demanding freight, rather like a friend of mine views tourists to New York City: they keep his clients in business, which keeps him in business, but they certainly clutter the sidewalks. Pushing through the crowds at Rockefeller Center, he sniffs, "Why can’t they just stay home and send us their money?"

Likewise, it would be easier for high-flying corporations if Congress dispensed with the silliness of passengers and simply deposited our taxes directly into the airlines’ accounts. But until that halcyon day dawns, aviation must continue transporting us trouble-makers from Point A to Point B. Nothing says it has to do so courteously and kindly, however. And so when Moises scheduled another flight for later that day, he asked "an airline employee" if he could leave his bags someplace in the interim. Naturally, "the employee told the man that he should not leave his bags unattended, according to Michelle Danisovszky, the airport’s public relations manager." Wouldn’t it be nice if a public relations manager actually managed relations with the public sometime rather than spinning an employer’s abuse as ordinary or even commendable?

Moises did what many kids would who’ve yet to discover how larcenous — or ridiculous — their fellowman can be: he chose an out-of-the-way place "near the terminal’s new concession stand" which had been "recently renovated" and parked his three bags there. Then he left the airport for whatever 18-year-olds with time to kill in Gainesville do.

Alas, "an airport employee" noticed the bags at 8:15 and "reported" them. Leviathan can’t teach kids to read but it excels at training serfs to snitch. Ten minutes later, Our Rulers were busily saving the nation by hopelessly snarling traffic. "Gainesville Police blocked non-travelers from entering the Gainesville Regional Airport as a precaution and called in" — yes! — "the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad." That particular hysteria resulted "’because we didn’t want to second-guess ourselves,’ said GPD Captain Bart Knowles." Good call, there, Bart, given that the second guess would probably have been as boneheaded the first.

Not to be outdone, "the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] took control of the scene." Oh, I’ll bet they did. Did Alexander Haig just pop into your mind, too? These drama queens evacuated the terminal. Fortunately, they didn’t have many victims to hassle: only "about 30 people were working" at that hour, and there were "few passengers or other members of the public…" In so small a group, it seems likely that the "airline employee" with whom Moises had discussed leaving his luggage heard about the "abandoned" bags, connected them with his earlier conversation, and mentioned it. If so, did the cops and the TSA ignore him so they could rescue an airport in absolutely no danger?

Evacuating the terminal didn’t satisfy Our Rulers; they also forced drivers to move their cars from an adjacent parking lot. "…[T]here was concern that if there was a bomb inside the luggage, its blast could be powerful enough to blow out the wall of windows on the south side of the terminal building…." Yep, and meteorites could strike the earth tomorrow. All this "concern" cancelled one departing flight and delayed an incoming one.

Moises may have missed the evacuations, but plenty of excitement still waited when he returned to the airport around 11:30 that morning. He "was escorted by police back into the terminal to open his bags" and "answer questions…" I wonder whether the poor guy immediately came clean about why he packed four pairs of jeans or if he ‘fessed up only after some "alternative interrogation techniques."

Regardless, "it was unknown whether then [sic] man would face any charges." Imagine the deliberations at the station house over that one: "F–, nothing in the f—— statute book against leaving your f—— bags at the f—— airport. Wait! He bought a f—— plane ticket! Oh, f—, that ain’t illegal yet. What about f——u2018creating a public nuisance’! Yeah, that’ll work, long as no one f—— figures out it was us that created it."

Back at the scene of the crime, Our Rulers declared the homeland secure after all. “We determined that there was nothing suspicious in his luggage,” Bart announced. “We’re happy it turned out to be poor judgment and not something worse.”

Poor judgment and then some. But not on Moises’ part.

Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.

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