Ten Years Gone

September 11th, 2011

But not forgotten. Never forgotten. This post is an update of the one I wrote last year on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It’s been ten years. And yet the blink of an eye.

I was on my computer that fateful day, reading email. When, a little before 9:00 Eastern time, my mom came and told me a plane had flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I changed over to one of the news channels just in time to see United Flight 175 strike the South Tower. Shock. Horror. And then immense pride at how our citizens pulled together to help one another.

The horror continued at 9:37 when American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. United Flight 93 was slated to strike either the United States Capitol or the White House, but thanks to the incredibly brave efforts of the passengers on that plane, they crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03.

At approximately 9:59, the South Tower pancaked after burning for nearly an hour. It was the most chilling scene I’ve ever seen in my life. And the intervening ten years hasn’t changed that. It was followed by the collapse of the North Tower at 10:28. Its collapse brought about the eventual collapse of 7 World Trade Center, an adjacent building.

We lost 2,977 people that day. Some were foreigners but they were all ours. They will always be ours.

To my friends who lost loved ones, my heart goes out to you today. And I leave you with this moving tribute video.

And furthermore….

November 22nd, 2010

I thought of some additional things I wanted to say about the TSA’s power-mad searches. They keep using the underwear bomber as the reason for these measures. Fine. But….

    1) the underwear bomber did not board a flight in the United States
    2) he paid cash for his ticket
    3) he had an English visa which should have been revoked but it fell through the cracks
    4) he bought his ticket at the last minute
    5) he had no luggage
    6) his own father tried to warn people but was ignored

He’d have been caught if people had just done their jobs and noticed the red flags he was waving!!!!

So don’t tell me everyone now has to go through these invasive procedures because of him. He’d have been stopped if anybody with a brain cell had been paying attention to his behavior.

The TSA (aka the Totally Stupid Administration?)

November 21st, 2010

So, the big thing in the news the past week or so has been the ever-increasing brouhaha over the new scanners that see through your clothes and take naked pictures of your body and the, now infamous, “enhanced” pat-downs which a large number of people consider nothing short of sexual assault. In fact, if anyone OTHER than the TSA did it, they would most likely be arrested!

I’ve heard from several people that they’re okay with being felt up by a complete stranger since it keeps them “safe.” They’d rather have the pat-down than be blown to smithereens. So… if the government decides terrorists might be hiding explosives in body cavities (and you know which ones I mean), you’ll be okay with that kind of search too? You, your kids, your spouse? You say that’ll never happen? I bet you didn’t think a year ago, you’d be getting felt up by the TSA like this either. Have you heard about these incidents?

That’s just a small sampling of abuses. As for the rude, insensitive clods in that first example? They need to be fired immediately. Though maybe public humiliation for them would be more appropriate. Then firing.

I didn’t even get into the reported cases involving children. Rough pat-downs, strip searches. It’s disgusting and if anyone else did that to a child they’d be popped into prison so fast it would make their heads spin. Lest you think I’m exaggerating, just google “TSA” and “child” together. I hope you’ll be as appalled as I was.

Here’s the thing…. from what I understand, the scanners don’t necessarily show plastics or even liquids. So, what’s the point in getting a virtual strip search? Plus there’s the radiation issue. Some scientists claim it’s perfectly safe, but others just as adamantly disagree. The machines are insanely expensive. Do you know why they’re being pushed? Back room deals by politicians. Former Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff pushed for getting the “porno scanners” as some call them when he was still the director. What no one seemed to know at the time was he apparently got a cut of the profit from the sale of them! I think that’s a conflict of interest.

Consider this: Israel has lived with terrorism a lot longer than we have, and they have yet to resort to these invasive, humiliating procedures. Do you know what they do? They TALK TO PEOPLE. Their security people are college-educated, very well-trained (far, far better than our own TSA) and all former military from what I’ve heard. They’re also tested frequently and if they miss something, they are fired. IMMEDIATELY. Here? They get a slap on the wrist and sent back for more apparently useless training. Sure, what Israel does might be considered profiling, but you know what? I find that a lot less troubling than I did once upon a time. Back before our own government decided to treat us all, even children, like criminals.

The terrorists don’t have to get on our planes now. They can just make threats and sit back and laugh at how we run around like chickens with our heads cut off. I’d say they’ve already won this round.