Chapstick, chocolate eggs and vinaigrette

Mon, August 21, 2006


Venice was wonderful, once we all got there, notwithstanding the fact that we left the day after the British uncovered a plot to blow up planes headed to the U.S. with a deadly cocktail amazingly concocted with gels, pastes and liquids.

I figured the day after the plot was discovered was probably the safest day to fly. But the thing that disturbed me the most was the seeming overreaction by Homeland Security to what we could and could not bring on the plane with us. Don’t get me wrong, I was more than happy to hand over the bottled water and lip gloss, but, just as when they were confiscating our nail clippers and eyebrow tweezers a few years ago, I had to wonder — Why does it seem that we are reactive rather than proactive when it comes to security, both in airports and around our country?

On the way home, we were not allowed any carry-on luggage and had to put the few items we were allowed to have with us on the plane into clear plastic bags. While I was allowed to have lipstick on the way to Venice (there’s nothing I hate worse than chapped lips and I already had packed the forbidden lip gloss), on the way home it was taken, as was my stepdaughter’s pre-packaged salad dressing that came with her take-out salad she was going to eat on the plane, and my six-year-old daughter’s cream-filled Kinder Eggs. I’m the first one to want to have a safe flight, but I wonder where the common sense is? Or, have we reached the point where we can’t afford to have common sense when it comes to safety in international air travel? Are these “precautions” really faux safety? Are we really any more secure today than two weeks ago?

One thing is for sure — the new boon to the economy will be clear plastic purses and carry-on luggage, at least until the next plot is uncovered, which I pray it will be. And here’s hoping that Snakes on a Plane doesn’t give anyone any overly-creative ideas for future plots.

For me, the larger question is this — While we’re worrying about Chapstick in a grandmother’s handbag, who is worrying about the trains of hazardous and, potentially lethal, waste that track within a few miles of the Capitol every day? Who’s worrying about who can gain access to our nuclear power plants? The list of potential targets that, if focused on by the bad guys, is a long one. But little or nothing has been done to secure those and other potential targets here. I think I’d like to see some of the money being spent on TSA screeners and those “protecting” our border with Mexico to keep out immigrants who will do the jobs Americans won’t, be given to those who can really make our country more secure by thinking about how to prevent our infrastructure from becoming actual targets in the future. Then, I might sleep more soundly and really feel more secure.

Oh no, does that mean I’ve become a “security mom?!”

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2 Responses to “Chapstick, chocolate eggs and vinaigrette”

  1. Mom101 Says:

    Sing it!!

    It’s so much easier for people to freak about water bottles on planes than the nuclear reactors a few miles from their homes. The same as it’s easier for people to freak about a stained blue dress than an illegal occupation causing thousands of deaths and costing billions of dollars.

    Another post for another day?

  2. PunditMom Says:

    Indeed, mom101. You and I are kindred spirits.

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