Here are some points to keep in mind as the controversy about the TSA wends it way through our various news cycles and perhaps, let us hope, into a bill in the new Congress.

1. It does the old heart good to see people get riled up with government incompetence and . . . what’s the word I am looking for? Nincompoopery, I believe that’s it.

I do not say this as one who believes that the radical Muslim threat is tiny. I think that I actually take it more seriously that our government does. If they were worried about terrorists, they would be looking for terrorists, and not for my nail clippers. Their procedures are risible, their hubris astounding, their reasons justifying that hubris minimal, and their folly incandescent.

To illustrate: Remember the first phase of this imbroglio where the government had to back down — back when they were running pilots through their drill? They were checking pilots for excessive amounts of shampoo in insulting ways, right before said pilots sat down in the cockpits of the big, flying bombs? The takeway lesson here is that if you want us to believe that you are taking the war on terror seriously, you have to stop fighting it like idiots.

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