10:44 a.m. - August 10, 2006
In 2001, Liz went to visit her friend, the attorney, in Los Angeles, for a while. Somehow, we both looked at her itinerary crossways and she missed her flight, but went to the airport, put on a sob story, and got rerouted, somehow, and was only a couple of hours late.
That year as well, as I was leaving a conference in DC, I was running a bit late for a flight (I had decided to take an earlier one and they changed it without a hitch) and they basically whisked me through security with only a cursory check and got me on the plane.
Also in 2001, I drove to Alaska and except for the US customs looking at the containers I was storing my CDs in, I had no trouble moving in and out of the US and Canada.
Of course, that was all before September 11.
And now, there is news out of the UK that some terrorists were plotting to blow up some planes bound for the US simultaneously, using liquid explosives.
From what I have read, they have banned all carry-on bags at Heathrow, and have banned liquids in the US, except for some exceptions like baby formula and medication.
I can flash back easily to Monday. We were laden with liquid. We had water bottles, and Kristin had two sippy cups full of milk (she’s well past formula) in her diaper bag. Many times I have decaf in my hand as I am boarding the plane, or a soda, or something.
Though if these bans were in place I probably wouldn’t have spilled milk on the conveyor belt the other day. So there’s that then.
If we were trying to catch a plane now in London, we couldn’t go. I assume we couldn’t carry on a diaper bag even. Especially our diaper bag, which is the super deluxe model with a place to store keys, cell phones, sippy cups, bottles, pacifiers, a diaper changing pad and has about 29 other pockets, thus always causing commotion when Liz asks me to get something out of said bag.
“Look in the outside pocket.”
As you may have guessed, I have severe disagreements and reservations with the way that the current administration is handling foreign policy, and I disdain the decrease in freedoms and civil liberties that have resulted from some earnest but misguided attempts at thwarting terror.
I do believe, though, that we need to give as much support and money to the FBI and other agencies who are trying to stop these terror attacks. However, this should not be done in the face of our freedoms or liberty, because without them, we’re not the United States of America.
Instead of throwing money at silly pork projects and being held hostage in the Senate by a blowhard from Alaska who thinks the internet is a series of tubes (and not a dump truck), budget money should be used for true danger zone targets of the States. Money should be made available for disaster recovery and relief efforts as well. Money should be made available to shore up our infrastructure and our communication.
And of course, we need to figure out energy alternatives. Oil won’t always be around. The less we are dependent on oil, the less we are dependent on the Middle East, which has been a mess since World War I and I seriously doubt that we’re going to be the cowboys that herd those dogies into the corral.
There are people that will always hate us, hate the UK, hate the West and hate Europe. This has been the case for centuries, thanks to a litany of factors. It would be naïve to think that we will eliminate terror completely, or eliminate fear and loathing of what we stand for.
Yet these groups are all independent. Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaida all have different goals, objectives, beliefs and means. As you all know, the factions of Islam are basically at war with each other in Iraq, and in other places there is oppression by the dominant sect. So trying to deal with all of these groups and factions as one movement is misguided and shortsighted.
Don’t be too smug, though. You do realize that there is hatred and distrust of several Christian groups by others. There are people who still don’t think Catholics are Christians. Thankfully, our form of government doesn’t allow for repressive measures to be taken against religious groups for their beliefs or non-beliefs.
So today, I thank God for my freedoms, and thank God that these plotters were found. But this says to me we need to worry about our home front, and after Afghanistan we should have concentrated on the home front. There will always be tinhorn despots around the world, but there is only on USA, and the care and security of this country, to make sure everyone here is as safe and strong and secure as possible, to make sure everyone is fed and clothed and educated, should be our number one priority.