Because I am on the "no fly list" I have a regular Google news alert on those words. Mostly, at this season, what I read every morning is about fly balls that led to no hits despite the most creative efforts of managers to draw up strong line-up lists.
But today an interesting story floated through. It is an account of a meeting in suburban McLean, Virginia (yes, the home of the CIA) at which a roster of "experts" discussed "how safe America had become" since 9/11.
"This forum was intended to be for information purposes only," said Carole Herrick, president of the Dranesville District Democratic Women’s Club, which sponsored the event.
"We had all sorts of forms of security, like homeland security, home security, gang violence prevention, identity security, everything but Social Security because that’s too contentious of an issue right now," she said.
The club wanted to "present something to the public" that would get those who attended thinking about safety and security in a new way, she said.
New way? Throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the security category seems the opposite of reassuring to me.
US suburbanites are probably, realistically, some of the least threatened persons on the planet. What are we so ready to be frightened of? Terrorism, of course, though the likelihood that any individual in McLean will suffer from it seems pretty remote. But why so many anxieties?
What else? The 10 o'clock news? Unruly teenagers? Perhaps we have some atavistic need to get adrenaline flowing that isn't being fed by horror movies and the daily news?
As a member of the Office of Commonwealth Preparedness, Delegate Brian Moran (D-46) spoke about what Virginia is doing to keep its citizens safe. "We have 76 tasks we’re currently working on, and a lot has to deal with communication coordination," he said.
The group has created a line of succession, should the governor be killed or incapacitated in an attack or other event, Moran said. , , ,Additionally, he spoke about the need for people to become aware and protect themselves against gang violence, drunk drivers and other threats to their personal safety. . . .
Virginia has been in a state of elevated alert since the national warning system was created months after the terrorist attacks, which Moran said makes it even more important that the region have enough police officers and firefighters should another attack occur...."We are only as safe as our people are alert," he said. "We need to be able to respond to our ever-changing world. One year the hot issue may be gang violence, another year it might be drug use. There’s a myriad of issues out there" for citizens to educate themselves about, and forums like this one help to provide needed information, he said.
I don't get it. Note these were Democrats, not Republicans campaigning on Bush's record as commander in chief. Holding forums to ensure people are properly scared doesn't reassure me.