Well, “Mom”, if flying is a “privilege, not a right,” it’s because over the last century we have gradually accepted the proposition that anything the government tells us it can regulate, it can regulate.
Throughout my career – both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney – I’ve observed a consistent inverse relationship: the more petty a government officer’s authority, the more that officer will feel a need to swagger and demand that you RESPECT HIS AUTHORITAH. Your average FBI agent might search your house based on a crappy perjured warrant, invade your attorney-client emails, and flush your life down the toilet by lying on the stand at your mail fraud trial. But he doesn’t feel a need to vogue and posture to prove anything in the process. He’s the FBI. But God above help you when you run into the guy with a badge from some obscure and puny government agency with a narrow fiefdom. He and his Napoleon syndrome have got something to prove. And he’s terrified that you’ll not take him very, very seriously. When I call FBI agents on behalf of my clients, they’re cool but professional and nonchalant. When I call a small agency – say, state Fish & Game, or one of the minor agency Inspector Generals – they’re hostile, belligerent, and so comically suspicious that you’d think I was asking for their permission to let my client smuggle heroin into the country in the anuses of handicapped Christian missionary orphans. They are infuriated, OUTRAGED, when a client asserts rights, when a client fails to genuflect and display unquestioning obedience. They are, in short, the TSA.
Megan says she is (partially) boycotting flying, but I am surprised by this decision. In relative terms it is the driving experience which has deteriorated, largely because of traffic congestion. Imagine what flying would be like if they were not allowed to charge you a proper price for the experience.
When it comes to airports, some high MU of money users will be better off as a result of TSA abuse; it will lower the price of flights. Personally, I'm happy to put up with the practices if it means less congestion in the airport security line.