This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
September 18th, 2006

Our Trip

We recently returned from our first real vacation in several years. We had a great time, met lots of wonderful people, saw some outstanding scenery, really enjoyed our adventure. There were some glitches, part of normal travel. We had two rental cars, the last one developed something which we never did figure out, a warning signal about air pressure in the tires. JC being the logical person he is found a good garage to check it out. The mechanic decided there wasn't a problem, but that the sensor had been damaged at some point. But it does make one wonder about being stranded in the middle of no-where with a sick rental car. The good news is the shop didn't charge for the inspection, but JC did tip the fellow anyway.

Down the road a little was an ice-cream/candy shop which soothed our nerves with an excellent Hot Fudge Sunday. And no, we don't do that very often, but you get to do those things on vacation.

The worse part of the trip was air travel. We left the Ste. Marguerite river a day early when the report of the new restrictions on flying after the terror threat in London hit the news. We would need to re-pack, and the driving time from the river to Quebec City was five hours. A 11:00am flight began to look like it might be a real problem - especially if security took even longer. Chris Chin recommended a place or two in the city, we made some phone calls and booked the last available room at a hotel near the airport.

I called the car-rental place at the airport and asked how long the lines were, and how early we should show up. The lady assured me there was no problem since it was a small airport. It really isn't that small, but we showed up when she said and everything went fine. Except the flight from Quebec City to Detroit had been delayed - and they suggested anyone who was within five hours driving time would be best to rent a car and drive there.

Of course, we have a connecting flight to make. Eventually we hit Detroit. We had to go through Customs, having been 'out of the country.' Our carry-on bags could have been sent through, without additional cost - except they didn't tell us that in Canada. So our carry-ons were searched, and searched, and searched. Yes, three times. Nothing was out of order and nothing removed. Opps, sorry, I did miss a tube of solid lipstick, old, used and not a gel, in my purse. Gone. I was prepared I thought. I had all our prescription meds in one ziplock bag. All were in their original packaging. No problem. I also had an Epi Pen in my purse. I always carry one in case I have a weird reaction to something. Then it dawned on me it was not in it's original packaging, and could it be used as a weapon? Yes.

In the three searches, (hands on, not just through the X-Ray machine) no one questioned it. I'm glad, it is very expensive and I didn't want to be without it either. But a used tube of lipstick?

Okay, so I understand the terrorists had given up how they planned on blowing up the planes, and certain products were then listed as banned. I found out later that if you had a container with four ounces of prescription liquid it 'may' be allowed. But in general, anything liquid, gel or resembling either was out.

A few days later while we were at the Michigan Fish-In, the television news carried a story about a British Muslin woman who said she was going to use her baby with in a suicide/homicide bombing. I fully expected to hear in the next report that babies were no longer allowed on airplanes.

Is this the way things are?

And if it is, it isn't just a matter of inconvenience to those who want to fly, or who must fly for business. It is much more serious.

I'm personally sick of all the political crap on television, especially the talking heads touting who is or would protect us best/more against terrorism.

It looks like it's a little too late, don't you think? How many billions of dollars which could have been spent to improve this country are gone? How many more billions will be spent in the name of 'protecting' us against terrorism?

We have already lost the war. ~ DLB

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