Homeland "Security" Questions
Probably not. If they checked out my house, the government would have discovered what my mother always told me. I am a slob. If they bothered to snoop through my email, they would discover I get an enormous amount of spam, including a lot of ads to enhance body parts I don't have. My reading list might be more fun. Mystery writers read things that could raise an eyebrow or two in government agencies. Learning all that would take a lot of time and overall be a giant waste of money that could better be used to...say, refund the COPS program that put more officers on the street in places that needed them? Wouldn't our homes be more secure with adequate numbers of well-equipped first responders?
My wife and I were in route to Florida last fall and ended up spending three days in Cleveland (don't ask - it is a long and dull story). How does homeland security play into this? When we were finally allowed to leave, we discovered we were considered potential terrorists because we were taking off from an airport outside our home state. I don't mind the vigilance at the airports, or having my luggage searched. I don't even mind taking off my shoes. The other passengers might have had to hold their noses - my stinky feet were probably the most toxic thing we had with us. Thankfully, the enhanced security exposed them.
Maybe you think I am not taking the threat of terror seriously enough. Not so. I think it is very serious that our chemical plants are still unprotected. All talk of protecting them died away after Karl Rove paid a visit to the White House. I think it is deadly serious that the government refuses to allocate funds for protecting nuclear plants. It stinks much worse than my feet that our ports and borders are not equally protected. I have to hold my nose when I think of the six locations in "landlocked" Arkansas that have received funding intended to protect ports. Would that have anything to do with a former chief of border security running for governor there?
Then, there is the issue of the District of Columbia having to foot the bill for the president's inauguration. Some people have suggested that this was punishment for the amazing majority of residents who voted for Kerry. Others argue that this is the sort of event what DC should expect to host. Did I mention that the money for the inauguration was taken out of the Homeland Security funds the city had just received? It doesn't look like our president or legislators really believe there is any true danger; after all, wouldn't you be worried about the city you work and live in if you were Congress, the Pentagon, or the President? It's not like DC wasn't attacked by the terrorists.
It is time we all looked a little closer at what it really means to have a secure homeland. It is not living in a police state, nor is it complaining every time we have to go through reasonable security at airports, ports, and border crossings. We must get serious about where the danger lies and how we can protect against it without losing the freedoms we are trying to protect. We do not want to move back into the internment camps of WWII or the big brotherism of Orwell's novels. Giving up liberty for safety is not an acceptable solution. We need to ask the hard questions, and insist upon better answers than we are currently getting.