The Car Pool Lane of Airport Security

This is the ultimate admission that some flabby walrus from the Bronx inserting a magnetic wand inside your underpants, far from being a Valkyrie in the War on Terror, is accomplishing absolute dick. Remember, someone who
d be willing to pay 80 dollars to circumvent security couldn
t possibly have a Nike full of plastique.

Soon, first class may not just refer to where you sit on an airliner, but how you get on board.

The Transportation Security Administration is considering a plan to allow some frequent fliers to pay a fee and skip the time-consuming pre-flight security frisking.

The program, called Registered Traveler, would give passengers the option of paying an $80 a year fee and submitting to a background check. If they pass, they would be issued a card that would allow them to walk past the lines of people taking off their shoes and being patted down with an electric wand.

Swell. What
s most enraging about this scheme is that it tries to make money off of the ubiquity of an aggravating social placebo. We all know these pat downs don
t work—every week, some newspaper sneaks an intrepid reporter into an airport with a gun or a Swiss Army Knife, and with mild ingenuity manages to get them right past the bored minimum-wagers. Like most copyright protection, the only people these security checks thwart are those least likely to be doing anything wrong—except the guys doing something wrong here aren
t trying to rip off the latest insufferable Coldplay CD, but slit the pilot
s throat with an exacto knife. But instead of radically rejiggering an impotent system, it
s nice to see someone think to himself,
Hey, as long as the system
s not working, might as well make money off it not working.