There is nothing quite as humorless and off-putting than a bureaucracy that lives strictly by its rules.  Consider this outrageous case that has been rocketing about the internet for the last week.  The Transportation Security Administration is defending its agents for their pat-down of a hysterical four-year-old child.  Technically, they did the right thing by the rules.  From a public relations perspective, they were dumb.  Making matters worse is the inability of the TSA to understand that what it did was inhumane.  There aren’t many four-year-olds who are terrorists.  There might not be any.  The child was acting like a child and the TSA like petty bureaucrats.  One can only hope that TSA agents will be trained in how to go about their jobs in a more civil manner.  It is understandable that they live by the book.  They have difficult jobs, and they are the spear point for defending American airways.  But there is no need to be Teutonic.  

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