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A Baby Watch List

     Yogi Berra says that “you can observe a lot by watching”.  I guess that’s why I can’t help myself. I keep an eye on the Traffic Safety Administration because it seems that I keep seeing some amazing items pop up in the news. There is now another good reason to make sure that you are in a good mood when you travel.

      USA Today reports that  airline passengers who kick a wall, throw a suitcase or make some feisty remark to a security screener, could be placed on a little known Homeland Security database. Being “on the list” could subject them to more stringent future screening and cause them to be regularly pulled aside during future flying trips.  According to the uncontradicted report, the TSA is keeping record of people where screeners report some interaction that caused feeling of being threatened or  aggression.

     This “Baby Watch List”  can include names, birthdates, social security numbers, home addresses and phone numbers of those that are put on the list. The list was started in 2007, about the same time that screeners were outfitted with new uniforms that included police style badges pinned to the shirt, to convey authority. So far, no word on whether hats that look like a crewcut are in the making.

     The TSA says that the list does exist but that it really is for people that display violence or some form of verbal threat.  In their words, it is just meant “as a focus on prevention”.  Of course, it seems to me that it grants authority to any one screener who now has the power to put any person on this watch list, which can then be disseminated to other government agencies, airports, airlines, rail and bus systems. If they don’t like how you eye ball them, then you probably need to get used to those words, “Step aside”. Those words probably would start to sound like the policeman who says, as he hands the ticket, “Press hard, three copies”. 

     All states have unique laws on their books that date back many years. In many instances, no one really knows that they are still on the books or they simply have not gotten around to change, modify or remove those laws. For instance, in Oklahoma,  It is against the law to make “ugly faces” at dogs. Such action may subject the offender to fines or even being jailed. I guess you would be well advised to smile at all dogs in Oklahoma and continue to wear that smile to the airport.

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