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Aphelion Editorial 053

November 2001

The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...

by Dan L. Hollifield


Hello and welcome!

Interesting times we're living in, aren't they? The war on terrorism is already a month old, so the price of gasoline has started to inch back up. Is it just me, or is anyone else outraged by the fact that it took a mass murder to drop the price of gas fifty cents? Suddenly I've got a little bit more cash in my pocket, but the news people tell me that the economy is in trouble... Airlines lose customers because people are afraid, and the telephone company starts laying off workers. The police are furiously searching for the anthrax mail-poisoners, and my mailbox is stuffed with mail-order catalogs. These are the Crazy Years, folks.

Doomsday cultists are ecstatic, conspiracy theorists are in nirvana, and people are buying gas masks they don't know how to use. The hate groups are simmering, but too aware of heightened security nationwide to do more than that at the moment. Grocery stores are selling lots of canned goods. Charities are collecting record donations, and con-artists are bilking more victims than ever. But also, the police are catching more of them than ever. Airlines are installing the greatest leaps in onboard security since D.B. Cooper invented air-piracy. And every level of US law enforcement agencies are co-operating like never before. I'd really hate to be a crook right now! {8^)

So what am I trying to say? "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." pretty much sums it up. Life is tougher, so we adapt. People can adapt to almost anything. But remember, there is a difference in being alert and in being paranoid. Don't give the craziness a chance... Think it through. There are sensible precautions that anyone can take to lessen any reasonable risk. Take those which seem right for you. You cannot live in fear, or the terrorists have an edge. Be careful, but don't be afraid.

I do have to say that I'm proud to see we've pulled together so much. Americans have divided themselves in the past, but our greatest strength is in standing together.

As for the future? Spies and saboteurs is an old game- one that Governments have been playing for centuries. So this is not a new thing. We will prevail even though it'll cost us a bit more personal freedom. Security will become even tighter, more clues to the anthrax poisoner/s will be found, air travel will become safer than ever, and the war will go on. Everyone will become accustomed to the heightened security and soon learn to cope. Just as everyone has done in the past when similar things have happened. History really does seem to repeat itself sometimes. This war isn't going to last forever, but it may last a long time. The scars will last far longer, as will the lessons we learn.

The real test is not to go too far.

Thanks for your time.

Dan

THE END


2001 Dan L. Hollifield

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