Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 1001 - 9/11

I wonder why the bad memories are the most indelible? While many of my most pleasant memories have faded away, I'll never forget the day the dogs and I were attacked by another dog and Dash was almost killed. I still vividly remember hearing six shots right outside my front door back when Janet and I were first dating, as police shot and killed an intruder in the neighborhood. Although it was many years ago, it seems like yesterday when I sat alone for 45 minutes in the mortuary with my Dad shortly after he died. 9/11 is like this for me. On a Tuesday morning eleven years ago the unthinkable happened and I will never forget it.

That fateful day changed our lives in ways that most of us still don't fully appreciate. An innocence was lost that morning that I don't think will ever be recovered. That was the day that privacy became an anachronism as well. We don't even question the cameras on every street corner now. We don't question being poked, prodded and scanned at airports. These intrusions have just become part of life as we know it. The two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan didn't really accomplish much, but they did set the stage for something much more effective.

Robotic drones were developed that quietly observed everything and just as quietly eliminated the bad guys one by one. Nobody seemed to mind the drones. They have been so successful that they are starting to be used domestically. The border patrol uses them. So do some police departments. As technology improves, these drones will continue to get smaller and more sophisticated. There will be a day when the drones are as small as mosquitoes and will be used to quietly poison their victims. No bombs required. I have mixed feeling about all this. I like the idea of being able to selectively and almost invisibly eradicate evil, but it puts a huge responsibility on the folks flying these things. We are still human. One day, a distraught controller will go rogue and use a drone to kill his ex-wife and then everything will start to unravel.

When I took this picture of the New York skyline looking out my hotel window at the UN Plaza in the mid-1980's, the world was a simpler place. I wish I could go back to those days. I was much less cynical when the twin towers were full of life. I couldn't afford to go to Windows on the World, but I liked to ride the elevators to the top of the towers and look out over the city. The last time I was in New York, I just looked down at a deep hole and mourned.

Shadow is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day