Thursday, May 22, 2008

Orange Alert...55 degrees and raining

I am home from in Portland. A 50 degree drop in temperature overnight and I am cold.

The trip home was uneventful. We arrived at the Phoenix airport in plenty of time and for the first time, didn't even have to wait in line to go through security. On the way into the security area a sign was posted with today's security alert level--"orange"...that means "High."

What are we supposed to do with that information? Nothing tells us why it is "High." No one tells us what to do differently. What? We are supposed to be a bit more worried today than usual? I am supposed to be more somber and smile less lest someone mistake me for a ne'er-do-well who is up to no good, looking joyful because I am about to do something bad to someone?

Puh-leeze. Does someone's 4 year old pick the color of the day?

If my taking off my shoes and not carrying my shampoo and deodorant on the plane really made air travel safer, I would be delighted to oblige. If the person behind me taking off his belt and putting his chapstick in a quart sized plastic bag truly improved National Security, he would cooperate joyfully and I would stand by in salute, cheering him on.

I will cooperate. I do cooperate. I must cooperate in order to get where I want to go.

But until they can show me how these requirements make a difference, I continue to believe that this is a crock designed to wear us down and erode our civil liberties using fear as a weapon against us. That is the Us v. Them mentality that concerns me the most.

So far, all this type of security requirement has done is lock up an entire day to take a 2 or 3 hour flight and ensure that we all eat lots of bad airport food and buy plenty of bottled water on the other side of the security gate. The vendors are making out like bandits.

Despite is all, I am glad to be home wearing my sweats and slippers, staying in out of the rain instead of the sun. The fireplace is burning and I am going to go watch a movie.

That's what I'd do...

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