Sunday, September 11, 2005

Safety in Numbers

The world is a different sort of place than it was when I was growing up. That's true for anyone and I don't want to paint too rosy a picture of what it was like growing up in the 1980s because there were certainly plenty of problems then. But it's hard for me to believe that my daughter will grow up in a country where fear of terrorism is at an all time high. In our state, there are now telephones in every classroom, identification badges for students, locked and/or monitored doors. We don't travel on airplanes in part because we don't want to deal with the security headaches with a baby, instead planning fifteen hour drives to visit relatives. My husband and I grew up with only the simple maxim to never talk to strangers -- now we wonder how to instill in her the balance she will need to have between concern for her safety (and the safety of others) and a resistance to an overinflated sense of fear.

The thing is, like many other Americans, I feel less safe than ever in this country. This is due in part to incompetent and corrupt leadership, our policies both domestic and foreign, and the general perception that other countries have of the US. I'm angry that in spite of all of the lip service that's been given to making America more secure we've only achieved a flimsy, ersatz facade. Billions of dollars have been spent in the name of preparing for emergencies but too often that money has been put toward preparing for specific types of crises. This approach simply does not work. Especially in the last two weeks, Americans and the world have seen the results of not being legitimately and adequately prepared for the unexpected crisis that comes to our doorstep.

It's September 11, and the blogosphere is filled with stories of where people were four years ago, reflections on how we got to that point and what has happened since. These are a few thoughts that have been running through my head today. I realize that these are just words to add to the pile, but they are mine. My hope is that the more voices that speak out about this the sooner things in our country will really begin to change.


At 9/11/2005 10:39 PM, Blogger Carmi said...

I remain hopeful that the forces of evil and fear don't win out over our wish to lead free and fulfilling lives. At some point, limitless clampdowns on the everydayness (I know, I invented it) of modern life will convince the terrorists that they've won.

To a large extent, they already have.

Great, thought-provoking entry. I'm here from Michele's tonight.

At 9/12/2005 2:37 PM, Blogger Ciera said...

I have an overinflated sense of fear already and the terrorism stuff doesn't help!! If it were not for prayer and God and stuff, I'd be a basketcase!

At 9/12/2005 7:17 PM, Blogger utenzi said...

No worries, Laura. This country is one of the safest from outsiders around. It's our own citizens we have to worry about!

The terrorism threat is so overblown it'd be laughable if it wasn't that by the time George W is through he'll have spent nearly a trillion dollars on "keeping us safe". That's no joking matter. :-(


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