George R. R. Martin demonstrates his membership in that portion of America that has not, in fact, gone stark raving mad:
Step by step, year by year, the TSA and its predecessors have taken away more and more of our freedoms, subjecting millions of perfectly innocent travellers to searches and interrogations and other hassles in the vague hope of catching hijackers (in the old days) and terrorists (these days). Even if it worked, the price would be too high, but of course it does not work. It has never worked.
The mindrot that leads to where we are is on full display in one of the comments to George’s post, where someone writes “I think it’s ironic that people say that these security measures aren’t helping, after a terrorist plot is thwarted.” As if the British had caught these guys by confiscating their toothpaste at Heathrow. In fact, from what we’re told, it appears this plot was rolled up by the traditional method, which is to say, weeks and months of hard slogging police work. And yet somehow this means the rest of us now have to submit to yet another expansion of intrusive, degrading security theater. Here’s a clue: the intrusiveness, the degradation, are the point. That hopelessness you feel? It’s what your rulers want.