Pointless meanness, (dis)courtesy of the TSA

A journalist recounts a routine little nightmare out of Kafka, courtesy of our own Heimat Sicherheitsdeinst.

Bad things happen when petty people have arbitrary power. Any part of the U.S. government that deals with foreigners (foreigners without lobbyists, to be precise) is likely to become abuseive because the foreigners don’t have Congressmen to complain to. The only solution is vigorous inspection and high-quality public management, starting with a President who throws a well-publicized tantrum every once in a while to remind the civil servants that civility is part of their job title.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com