Monday, February 21, 2011

Are We Protected?

Remember this picture? It's from the White House files, The President signing the new health care bill last year.  This post is not about health care per se. It is about health, safety and homeland and national security. My mind is exploding just thinking about all the things I want to relate to you this morning.

But, if you check out Michelle Obama's fashionable look, you too will swoon over her flawless taste! (Sorry, my digressions are very appropriate, as a matter of research now that I'm down here in buybuybuy land.) Oops, I should have made that my topic, so much to say about shopping habits that never die. (Again, sorry, for another time, perhaps.

If you have not read America The Vulnerable by Stephen Flynn you don't know much about our security/safety status here in the Land of Oz.  Remember the report that came out of the 9/11 Commission? No? Well, neither do I.  I only know what I must do when I get to the airport. The airport in America is the only place where we are reminded that Terrorists lurk at every corner; that Terrorists hide in every body; that Terrorists look like you and me. 

I'm not complaining about the pat-downs and what-nots. My Hubby has to go through a special one because his pacemaker sends off all kinds of strange alarms. If you have knee replacements, you too know the drill.  I get to watch my shoes and stuff, and his shoes and stuff, while breezily moving through that special door and giving up my special shampoos, creams and jells even before I reach the conveyor belt.

Wait. Don't we want to be secure? That is not the question.
Are we any more secure now, with all that we know?

What about all the hazardous materials on our shelves? On our highways? In our factories? Are we protected when our fire-departments are not equipped properly; our police and first responders do not have the protective gears to respond to any and all calls; when chemical and biological attacks are probably being planned as we sleep easily after our pat-downs at the airports?

We are hearing our government is taking over! What kind of thinking is that? I want my government to be alert, responsive and forward thinking. I want my government to prevent me and my neighbors from harms I don't see and wouldn't recognize. I want government to do what governments do: Legislate, Regulate, and Protect!  An Alert and Vigilant government that does not sway with the political winds.

With so many people in economic turmoil, we just want to be able to pay our bills and keep our houses.

Let the government worry about the big things. Isn't that why we have governments? 


Maggie May said...

Yes.... all those high expectations.
I'm afraid that its the same here too.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Brian Miller said...

amen. i am with you on this...

Lisa said...

We are all vulnerable.

Jo said...

Here in Canada, we are not quite as paranoid about security as in the U.S., but it's all smoke and mirrors anyway.

Also, we have universal health care here in Canada, and we rank above the United States in health care, according to WHO's ranking of health care systems.

It sounds like I am bragging about Canada (sorry ... I don't mean to). It's just that there are so many more things for governments to concentrate on; terrorism should be way down the list. We are really only as secure as the airlines decide we will be.

Roberta Warshaw said...

Yes, we need our government to protect us.

Unknown said...

I 100% agree!

Wendy Lu said...

I completely agree with you on this. The government is indeed meant to protect its citizens, and to listen to them. Thank you for this post, it was well-written and you mentioned some really good points.


NormalToEatPB said...

i agree with what ur saying, but before we increase security measures - can we get the ones we have enforced properly. Then maybe there will be no need for an incredse in way too personal searches. many of these tsa people aren't trained well to begin with and several of them just dont give a crap - i know, my brother was one and the stories he would tell!

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Donna said...

Agree, agree, agree!!!

#1Nana said...

The security is an illusion. Billions of dollars wasted on searching my cosmetics. My last trip they confiscated my almost empty toothpaste tube because it was more than 3 oz. I pointed out that the tube was almost empty. Obviously my "highly trained TSA agent" didn't learn what an ounce looks like when he studied for his GED. The tiny amount left in the tube was much less than an ounce. I think I wouldn't be so irritated if I felt that the intrusion was really making us safer.
Government isn't making us safer, but creating the illusion of safety. I don't want an illusion. I want real change. I want universal health care and an end to poverty in America.

The Broad said...

This post of yours has really got me thinking! I've lived now for a long time in western Europe -- In the UK, in France, and in Germany. One of the differences I've noticed is the sense of security people here feel in their daily lives. People here are, as a rule, very pro gun control laws. We don't have to worry about getting sick. Governments are designed to be able to function and still have debate. Insecurity in America did not start with 9/11. It has been part of the national psyche for a long time. I think it has something to do with the distribution of wealth -- many many have it, but too many don't.

SciReg said...

it is interesting information. thanks for entertaining post!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Our health care system is pretty much in shambles, despite Obama's good intentions. TSA does not make us secure - have they prevented anything yet? Are people with pacemakers terrorists? Ridiculous. What we're living through now is the fallout from 8 years of the bush administration, when torture and war and non regulations became the norm.

potsoc said...

I'm all for security but not for paranoïa. I know, we Canadians did not have 9/11 and our security services, poorly equiped as they are, have nipped in the bud the very few would be terrorist plots that were hatched by a few religious fanatic teenagers.
Nevertheless we have to abide by the U.S. rules and no fly list. We are being invaded and dominated not by miltary might, at least not yet, but by bureacratic red tape created by Mrs Napolitano and crouched to by our valiant prime minister who is slowly making us into your 51st state.
Maybe we Canadians should start waking up and marching on 24 Sussex Drive.

Cloudia said...

Wise conclusion!

Aloha from Honolulu,

Comfort Spiral


Miss Sadie said...

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

~ Benjamin Franklin

A Cuban In London said...

I read your post and the same word kept popping in my head: priorities. What are a government's priorities? To me it's to make sure that access to education, health and basic services is free for all. To ensure that there is legislation in place to safeguard people's safety. That also means that you're able to live your life in the way you want it as long as it doesn't harm your neighbour. To create a safety net for people who fall in hard times (we all do) so that they can get back on their feet as quick as possbiel and carry on contributing to society. Is that too much to ask? I read your post (and you digressions) and I know that we're in the same wavelength.

Many thanks for such a beautiful and passionate column.

Greetings from London.

RNSANE said...

I am worried that the whole world is going crazy. I support freedom for all from the tryanny of cruel dictators and hope that can be achieved without loss of more lives and senseless killings that leave families mourning. My own life is in turmoil but, at least, I feel better off than so many in the world.

I haven't traveled much since I retired so I've avoided the hassles with airport security. I know it's getting worse.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree with you: I never mind airport security as it makes me safer. But no one can protect us 100%. so we must worry about the things we can fix.

the walking man said...

That is one of the reasons we are supposed to have a national government but the political ideology of the members of that government have gotten in the way of their sworn mission.

It is well past time to remind them and let them know that they are failing in their duty to their constituents. Even the far right has failed in their campaign promises by gutting the very institutions that are supposed to ensure our safety.

NitWit1 said...

"Legislate, Regulate, and Protect! An Alert and Vigilant government" This line of your post is my greatest concern and fear. Whiling around valuabe time instead of solving problems,despite philosophical differences has so burned me out, and made me feel less safe, in just about every area.

Unknown said...

I so agree with you on this and don't mind airport security in the least, but wish there was more for our ports. However, our government does need to regulate, legislate and protect, as you so stated. We need to ensure they do just that; communicate with the people you voted into office... or get rid of them and get someone who will actually do what you want.

Bill Yates said...

A little award awaits you over at my place. I enjoy reading your blog very much.

Joani said...

Luv the post. Mrs. Napolitano.....I don't think so!
I'm from Arizona where she was governor & she says the Mexican border is more secure than it has ever been.....Please! Lots of things need to be changed....where do U step in front of the other but first U have to get rid of the ones making the rules because they R making the rules for themselves & not necessarily for the people. But, U get one person in there with the right idea & the rest of them turn on U. Somewhere it has to stop....I probably won't C it in my lifetime. But....maybe the Governor in Wisconsin has something 2 say. Stop financing all of these things that the middle class cannot afford and now there R no jobs & the housing market is in the sewer. I have never been out of the USA & don't know what the rest of the world is like to live in but I'm afraid the USA is going downhill FAST.