Ponderings from a Procrastinating Prognosticator

Travelling

Posted by samatwitch on July 11, 2008

I’ve been home with a cold the past two days – not a bad one, but sore, scratchy throat, slight temperature rise, fuzzy and dizzy feeling and generally blah – so I erred on the side of caution.

While I was home, I did some more planning for my trip, which involves measuring my backpack, my purse/bag, my suitcase, etc., to make sure they fall within the new baggage regulations for the airlines.  Air Canada still allows even economy passengers to check one bag free and that’s all I plan on having.  I may buy a smaller backpack because I think mine is too large for carry-on, if they decided to be sticky about it, and it certainly is too big for me to have on my back while walking around a convention hall with 40,000 other people.  I’m not even sure it’s the best plan for me, since putting a backpack on and taking it off actually make my back worse!

I have to make sure that any liquids I’m carrying are less than 100mg and can fit in a Ziploc bag of certain dimensions!  That apparently includes toothpaste.  What on earth do they think you can hide in a toothpaste tube?  I’m all for being safe and doing whatever we can to protect ourselves, but I think we’re becoming a totally paranoid society.

I read an article yesterday about an electronic bracelet that has been developed with the possibility that every airline passenger will have to wear one in place of a boarding pass.  In case of a hijacking, they can be activated to paralyse – yes! paralyse – the person or persons involved.  Of course, the manufacturers said that only the hijackers’ bracelets would be activated – by a laser pointer from the flight attendant at a distance of 10 feet!  I don’t thinks so!  There are so many things that can go wrong there, I don’t even want to speculate.

Is this really how we want to live our future?  Being so afraid of everything and everybody that we arm ourselves with tasers and pepper spray and electronic bracelets?  I admit that I am not the most courageous person in the world, but I am not going to believe that every person around me is a possible terrorist.  Defensive and reactive actions are not a solution.  We have to solve the underlying problems – or at least admit that they are there, which would be a start.

There is such a discrepancy between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in the world – between countries and between people in countries who can actually claim ‘haves’.    We have millions of people in the world who go to bed hungry, a good number of them children.  And yet, the world produces enough food for everyone in the world to have enough to eat.  I think that’s worth repeating.  THE WORLD PRODUCES ENOUGH FOOD FOR EVERYONE IN THE WORLD TO HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.  So how are we going to get food produced into the hands of people who really need it.

I don’t know.  I don’t have a solution, but maybe if we keep thinking about it, we can come up with one.

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