Ok. I know I may not be the most objective person when it comes to assessing the TSA. After all, I have averaged about 150,000 miles of air travel a year these past three years.
That being said, what the heck are these guys smoking? The latest proclamation from the morons at TSA is the banning of cigarette lighters on board aircraft. I really don't have a problem with this since you can't smoke on the plane anyway. (I know, I know. What about the people who want to grab a smoke during a layover? Still, most people agree that we must give up some liberties in order to be safer and having to bum a light in a smoker's lounge doesn't seem like such a great hardship.) However, the stupidity of this regulation is that they aren't banning matches because they have no way to detect them!
Where the TSA regulations get positively Kafka-esque is in the banning of cigarette lighters in checked luggage! You read that right. Not only does TSA not trust us to carry a lighter on a plane, they also want to prevent you from putting one in your checked bag. Can someone please explain this to me? Just where is the threat in a BIC locked in my Briggs and Riley suitcase, safely tucked away in the cargo hold of the aircraft where no-one can get to them anyway? (Actually, anyone stowing away in the cargo hold of an airliner would probably need a BIC to keep them from freezing to death.)
Folks, this is exhibit 4,672 as to why the federal government should be kept out of our lives to the greatest extent possible: they just don't do most things well.