BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Vigilance is not vigilantism!

One of the things that has been alluded to over in the the big dust-up post (and subsequent threads and re-posts) is that I have on more than one occasion encouraged folks to carry with them the number for the FBI terrorism tip line. Heck, I have suggested that folks carry small digital cameras, cell phones AND that phone number ... to be able to stop stuff like the Seattle ferries being "cased" (since "nothing happened" most folks don't know about this, but some of the major ferries in the Seattle area ... which happen to be how my cousins get to and from work every day ... had instances a number of months ago where groups of young middle-eastern males were actively checking out, photographing, and diagramming stuff on the ferries, not the beautiful Puget Sound views, but stuff like access points to the bridge, engine rooms, etc. Vigilant people out there took pictures of these guys, alerted the authorities, and very likely prevented some sort of an attack. Were I to observe something similar, say around the John Hancock Center's loading dock, or down in the El tunnels, you BET I would have called the FBI to have them check it out. THAT is "vigilance" ... that's watching out for what's around you in these times of conflict.

What I have NEVER done is say "hey, look at these folks ... SOMEBODY should get them!" (which is, of course, what I'm being accused of now!) ... which is vigilantism. Of course, the same "P.C." mind-set that calls legitimate profiling "racist" probably can not process the difference between the terms.

See ... after all this, the poems seem MUCH nicer ...

                    ZONES OF FOREBODING

                    knocked out of time
                    by illness,
                    we can not grasp
                    the handles
                    of any task,
                    we can not merge
                    with the gears
                    of activity
                    all things fade,
                    the tide pulls out
                    before tsunami blasts;
                    we await destruction,
                    unable to do,
                    unable to reach,
                    a stasis here
                    where something works
                    all our pasts
                    are wrapped in anguish
                    of dear things lost,
                    never to be found again;
                    all our present
                    is locked in grey,
                    not being, not having,
                    not synching with life
                    and our futures,
                    once set so bright,
                    now are shadows,
                    dark pits of danger,
                    zones of foreboding
                    where horrors lurk
                    and all nightmares
                    await to come to be
                    what madness drives us
                    to continue to live
                    within such sorrow, pain and dread?
                    what flame yet burns
                    unquenched amid the soul
                    to press on battered
                    into each successive morn
                    despite the dire costs?

                             - Brendan Tripp

                    Copyright © 2002 by Brendan Tripp

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