Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fear and panic in Beantown

The panic generated in Boston by the authorities' over-reaction to a harmless advertising device illustrates why nothing endangers us more than unreasonable fear. From what I can see the "hoax device" is nothing more than a giant magnet of some kind that has lights embedded in it, similar to the sort of novelty item advertising Budweiser you might see at a local bar.

You would think once the bomb squad blew up the first one and nothing bad happened that they would have investigated a little further when the other "devices" were found before shutting down the city and throwing the population into a panic. Certainly it would be more appropriate to reprimand the bomb squad than to have arrested the hapless duo who were hired to distribute the electronic posters around the city.

Considering the posters have been up for two to three weeks in Boston and other cities including New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Atlanta; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; San Francisco; and Philadelphia without causing a major shutdown, one might conjecture that this whole debacle can be chalked up to the politics of fear so carefully cultivated by the Republicans in the "post 9/11" world. All it took was one alarmed citizen's report to cause complete chaos throughout the city.

Chances are that person wouldn't have panicked in the first place if we weren't being bombarded daily with dire warnings from the White House and its pet wrongwingnuts about how the terrorists are lurking around every corner just waiting to take over our country.
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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

So cynical have I become that my first reaction to the "breaking news" on CNN was that Bush was planting bombs with "made in Iran" stamped on them so that he could launch another war.

I don't blame the bomb squad though - a clever bomber will plant a dozen decoys and we would have been on their case if one of these things had been what they feared it was. I think it was extremely stupid to plant things with batteries and mysterious lights on bridge supports and places like that.

10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad I wasn't on the road. that would hav been a pain in the ass. Plus, the big dig is scary enough on it's own.

12:34:00 PM  

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