Crazy Times

The times, they are a’changing….

Gas prices have gone up about 30 cents a gallon since we got back from Jamaica ($1.169 just after Thanksgiving to $1.449 today at lunch — almost 20 cents of that just last night). That’s not quite a 25% increase over about three weeks. What’s up? Do the gas companies know something we don’t?

I can remember living in Omaha during the Gulf War, and seeing the gas prices nickel and dime upwards as the sabre rattling went on. The gas prices skyrocketed (although not as much as 9/11 made them skyrocket here — $1.30 gas went to $4.95/gallon!), and then gradually inched down as the outcome of the ware looked more sure.

This pattern of increase is looking very scary to me.

Add to that Bush’s announcement that Star Wars (kids meal sized) will be deployed by 2004, the continuing saga of captures and arrests based on evidence of impending disaster to be wrought by those incarcerated…. well, it’s all a little frightening to me.


Well, watching the network news reminds me of seeing the news in the film 1984 (the later version) — much disinformation, a great deal of the feel of “we’re doing great things on your behalf — pay no attention to the spycams”. I just get the sense that much of the terrorist news is “feel good”, designed to help justify broader powers of search, investigation, seizure and arrest.

OK, so now that I’ve ranted about all that, it behooves me to say that I do not want another 9/11. I want the bad guys caught. I want the world to be a nicer place. I want my daughter to grow up in an environment where I don’t have to worry if she will be abducted by a stranger, poisoned for an ignoble cause, murdered from afar, or tempted by illegal substances. I want her to have a good education. I want her to be able to accomplish whatever her skills, talents and hard work will allow.

I want the bad guys taken down. I want them taken down badly. I simply don’t want to watch our country turn into a police state in the name of anti-terrorism. Ill-defined “wars against terrorism” with no real endgame, the apparent merging of many of the police powers at the federal level, and an overzealous Attorney General all frighten me.

So, do I like what’s going on in America right now? No. Is there anything I can do about it? Not really.

I’ll do the same things I’ve always done: watch over my shoulder, try to be prepared for the worst, and ensure that my family is taken care of.

My world has changed. I suppose every adult’s world changes as they grow up. Why, oh why, did mine have to have such a dark, dark underbelly to it.