Sunday, March 03, 2002


I have yet to put a lot of my thoughts about life post-9/11 into print of any sort, including quick e-mails to friends. We've personally been very lucky; people we know who worked in the World Trade Center weren't there at the time, or got out before the buildings collapsed.

Since then, we've been considering all sorts of "homeland" security measures.

First off, let me point out that "homeland" reminds me far too much of "fatherland." The latter was a nation that used intimidation and the perceived threats of ordinary citizens to perpetrate all manner of hideous crimes.

Poor nomenclature is one thing. But consider, if you will, some of the other things proposed in the wake of Osama bin Laden's September attack on the US, and think -- really think -- about whether they make sense.

For starters, a national identification card. How dumb an idea is that? Giving the US government -- does anybody remember Waco or Ruby Ridge? J. Edgar Hoover? Nixon's enemies list? -- a weapon by which to maintain a database of our photos and important information is just scary, and I'm one of the six Americans left who still thinks government is capable of doing more good than evil.

If we want something that will let people get on an airplane without being subjected to an intrusive search, then perhaps the way to do that is to have some reliable third party create a special air ID card.

And remember, kids: Next time someone who won't have to report your income to the IRS asks for your Social Security number DON'T GIVE IT OUT!

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