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Soon after 9/11, the term “new normal” came into use to describe activities that before that cataclysmic event would have seemed strange if not downright weird but are now regarded as routine.
In advance of the holiday travel crush, the Transportation Security Administration has launched a program called SimpliFLY with such tips as organizing your carry-on bag in layers — “a layer of clothes, a layer of electronics, more clothes, and then other items like toiletries.” The Web site has a helpful video and a picture of a well-packed bag versus where the stuff was just thrown in. It also cautions against wearing bulky coats and sweaters and clothes with metallic trim.
In the context of the times, this makes perfect sense, keeping the lines at airport-security checkpoints moving efficiently by making the screeners’ jobs easier.
But think about it in another way. The government is telling you how to pack your suitcase and what to wear. Talk about the nanny state. The new normal.