2001-10-14 02:55:24 (UTC)

A Really Bad Science Fiction Movie

Sometimes, when I read or watch the news, I feel like we've
all gotten stuck in the middle of a really, really bad
science fiction movie. Planes hijacked and then slammed
into high rise buildings? People sent mail which contains
anthrax spores? The FBI issuing warnings of possible future
attacks? It's all surreal. And at the same time, it's very
real. Too real.

I worry about the world my sons and, someday, my yet-to-be
grandchildren, will live in. How much security will there
have to be? How much real security will there be?

I think about trains a great deal because we live near a
rail line and I hear their whistles constantly. It's
impossible, for example, to prevent attacks using trains.
It would be so horribly easy to cause mass destruction. All
one would have to do is park a truck, and it wouldn't have
to be a gasoline or propane truck but that would be the
worst,aross any track at any crossing just before a train is
due to go past. There is no way the train could stop in
time and if it's an industrial area or if it's an
Amtrak train there could be a horrendous loss of life. It
wouldn't even require suicide drivers. There could be
dozens of them at the same time across the country. There
is no way in the world to prevent people intent on causing
terror and destruction from doing this.

Even the airport security isn't good enough. Big deal you
have to show that your cell phone works, for example. How
hard would it be to put a razor blade behind the battery?
No one would ever see it. It wouldn't be caught on x-ray
and they're certainly not looking behind every battery door.

Then there's the mail. They're carrying mail on commercial
airliners. The mail is not screened for explosives
or bombs or chemicals which means it could easily get on
planes carrying passengers.

I don't know if I want Jack to fly across the country to
visit at Christmas. I want to see him but is it worth the
risk? The airports at Christmas time will be much more
crowded. Add to that that it is a Christian religious

The employees will all be exhausted from weeks of being on
"high alert". How safe will it be? Should he fly non-stop
from Baltimore or change planes? Where? Chicago?
Denver? Houston? San Francisco? Then again, how safe would
he be in Baltimore?

My mother used to tell me I was blessed with an active
imagination. Sometimes I'm not sure that it's a blessing.
The world seems very unsafe to me right now.