Here is a great quote, lifted from The Week (my favorite magazine*), which lifted it from David Iganatius in The Washington Post. It points out that we have gotten so used to thinking in terms of preparing for the very worst, the very least likely scenarios, that that we don’t realize how overbearing (and often dumb) our safety measures have become. I was thinking the same thing today as I struggled to open the super-tamper-resistent seal on my can of whipped cream. I really was not that worried about someone tampering with my whipped cream. — L
This September, as we mark the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, let’s resolve to dial the paranoia meter back a notch. The Transportation Security Administration is so pervasive at airports that we forget how bizarre it is to see old ladies and pregnant mothers and 8-year-old kids frisked and searched as if they had just arrived from Waziristan. Does this really make sense? Every Cabinet secretary seems to have a security detail; so do governors and maors and prominent legislators. What are all these secruity officials protecting our officials from? Al Qaida? Hezbollah? Aggrieved constituents? Or is it something more ephemeral — a nameless, pervasive sene of danger? Surely, we have reached the point of diminishing returns for the fortress mentality.
Right on! Sometimes we get so concerned about safety that we forget what we are giving up. Like freedom. And resourcefulness. And using our common sense. Or even believing that common sense has any value at all. — Lenore
*I also write a humor contest in The Week. But I was a subscriber long before they hired me!