More Dogs on Main Street
Until this week, I’ve never really given much thought to what kind of underwear a suicide bomber would wear. It’s just not something that came up until the world was stopped in its tracks by that failed attempt to blow up a plane on Christmas with explosives hidden in the guy’s underwear. But now that the dirty linen is out in the open, shown close up on CNN, I have to confess some disappointment in the tighty-whiteys. It was an uninspired fashion decision. The obvious choice would have been to go commando, aside from the logistical problem that the explosives were hidden in the underwear. Something in camouflage seems like a more appropriate fashion choice, though you have to wonder about the whole concept of camouflage underwear. Yes, it’s invisible, but it’s also inside your pants, which sort of defeats the purpose.
Anyway, the tighty-whiteys of mass destruction seem lame. They might as well have been Underoos.
Not all of the dirty laundry belongs to the bomber. The administration is admitting that all the information to stop him was all there, plain as day, and that the people we pay to connect the dots were just not connecting dots that day. Some of the proposed corrective actions seem so obvious that a third grader could have figured them out. Now, under the new, improved procedures, when somebody is added to a terrorist watch list, his U.S. visa will be cancelled. Wow, it takes a cabinet-level meeting to figure that one out?
I suppose, deep in the halls of government, there are plans being drawn up to require three forms of photo ID before purchasing underwear. Obama claims that somebody will be held accountable, but so far nobody has been fired. The public pronouncements on it are all sounding a little too Bushian for my comfort. But it points to the very real problem of what to do with these fanatics when we are lucky enough to have other airline passengers catch them for us. There are no good answers, and our whole system is based on the basic and universal (we thought) idea that people want to preserve themselves, no matter what they do to others. Take that self-preservation element out of the equation and I just don’t know what you do. Concepts of incentive and deterrence no longer work. We’re trying to apply a highly rational system to completely irrational behavior.
It’s too hard for me to figure out, so the only thing left to do is go skiing. If bombs in airplanes are scary, the ski conditions off the groomed trails are downright blood-curdling. The local resorts went to such extraordinary and amazing efforts to blow enough snow on the mountains that we had a tolerable product for the holiday crowd. Now that they’ve left, things are scraped off and rock solid. Without the snowmaking, the holiday would have been a real bust. Instead, things went pretty well by all accounts. So if you know a snow-maker, buy him a drink and say thanks. They only look scary.
It’s viewed as unpatriotic to speak ill of the ski conditions, but things are so grim that I actually considered taking up golf. A foot would help, but things are bad enough that it will really take more than that to get the upper bowls up to normal conditions. The bare spots and stumps, hidden behind huge, iceberg moguls, lend some excitement to the outing. There’s no snow on the horizon, other than what comes from a hose. They’ve been drawing so much juice that the power company actually did a robo-call to apologize for the lights being dim or out.
At least the air is clear. I’ve had to go to Salt Lake a couple of times recently, and when they say they have a red-alert air-quality day, they aren’t messing around. After spending a day down there, I’ve been coughing up charcoal briquettes ever since. But there’s nothing we can do about it. It snows when it snows. I’ve done my part. My 4×4 truck is in the shop for repairs, and it’s a repair shop that isn’t known for a quick turnaround. Normally, that brings on a big one.
* * *
We are all going to miss city councilman Roger Harlan. His sudden passing was a real jolt. Though officially retired, Rog worked at a lot of different jobs around town, all of them the kind that put him in contact with people. I think he knew everybody. Whether he was clerking at the liquor store, driving the city bus, or we had just a chance meeting somewhere, any day I bumped into Roger was a day vastly improved. Best wishes to his family at a very difficult time.
Tom Clyde served as Park City attorney in the 1980s and is the author of "More Dogs on Main Street." He has been a columnist at The Park Record for more than 20 years.
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Councilor Glenn Wright estimated that the ability to provide renewable energy sources for county power will cost the average Summit County resident $0.70 per year above current costs.