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December 22, 2003

OK people settle down now

Last night I apparently hadn't had enough of the outdoors, so I went down to the National Mall after my workout to eat my after-workout meal. Still in birdwatching mode, I spotted the peregrine falcon that lives on the FBI building. I looked out over the DC cityscape, and I wondered what disaster could hit the city next. I envisioned the Old Executive Office Building blowing up. It's not that I want such a thing to happen, but I think some visualization of what could be helps deal with the reality of living in this nation's Capital. However, I'm not freaking about it 24/7. You just can't worry about such things all of the time. For the most part, it's really out of my control. In the million-to-one chance that a terrorist is on my Metrorail car with a dirty thermonuclear bomb, I will certainly kick some ass for my country, but I'm not going to be all bug-eyed about it all the time. A person just can't live at that kind of level all the time.

Which is why this picture from Reuters kind of bugged me. It was on page 3 of this morning's Washington Post Express paper for Metrorail riders. It's of a guy putting up a terror threat level flag in Country Club Hills, Illinois. An obnoxiously large technicolor terror threat level billboard is in the background.

Now, I'm not saying that Country Club Hills, Illinois is immune to terrorist attack, but putting up an ugly-ass billboard and accompanying tacky flag is overkill. Come on people, you don't need to whip youselves up in a tizzy. You see no tacky billboard in downtown DC do you? More importantly, get over yourselves...Abdul Jomamma Yeharref is not targeting Country Club Hills, Illinois. I'm thinking either there's a Dept. of Homeland Security office in Country Club Hills, Illinois, or there is a very McCarthyist bastard on their city council who enjoys stirring up hysteria, probably with some political gain.

In a nutshell, while vigilance is important, like a lot of things terrorism is mostly out of your control. You'll burn yourself out if you freak out about it all the time. And terrorism is certainly no excuse to dirty any vista with a tacky flag and dorky billboard. All caps and inconsistent font leading? The nerve of those people.

Posted by jimbo at December 22, 2003 10:07 AM

Comments

more than anything, i'm upset about the fonts. Seriously, though, the image that came to me this morning in the shower was a large gaping hole in the White House, from some kind of bomb. And it's at those moments that you remember how small and concealable WMD's are. i'm no scaredy-cat, but i'm thinking about this threat more than the other threat level announcements.

Posted by: Todd at December 22, 2003 10:26 AM

Well, I'm not sayin' anyone is a scardey-cat, I'm sayin' is we can't worry about it so much or the only hole is gonna be the one in yer stomach lining.

Posted by: jimbo at December 22, 2003 1:59 PM

>>but i'm thinking about this threat more than the other threat level announcements

maybe I'm too blase (I've lived my entire life in either NYC or DC, so go figure), but I think that it's just so much easier for them to go after American/British interests abroad in places like Istanbul, Saudi Arabia, and Africa, that the chances of something huge happening here just don't appear that great. Bang for buck, and one would consider that terrorist resources can't be unlimited and should have been quite disrupted in the past couple years, it just seems more logical that something spectacular could be more easily done elsewhere.

That's kinda funny about the fear level in Country Club Hills - do they really think that rich white Republican golf players are the natural targets of Arab terrorists? Actually, my map shows me it's part of Chicago - which probably is a terrorist target but not nearly as sexy and symbolic a target as NYC or DC.

Posted by: Andy at December 22, 2003 3:04 PM

One day al Qaeda will parachute on Country Club Hills, Ill. and the Mayor will go: "I told you so!"

Posted by: Airchinapilot at January 9, 2004 7:00 PM