(Page 2 of 2)
The music started again, and I took that as my cue to leave. At the subway station, I waited on the platform next to a young woman in a Hip-Hop Summit shirt. She was on her cell phone.
“I know I said I’d be back in an hour,” she said. “No! When do I ever call in? The show started late, Banks just rhymed just now, and some beef went down and now I got to fill out a police report. I’m gonna be awhile. I’ll explain later.”
“Do you feel safe in Boston?”
Over and over again I am asked this question. The answer is, of course, “Yes.” How could I feel anything but safe here? There is a heavily armed police presence on every corner. It would take DNA testing and eye scans to make event security any tighter. There are WMD sensors deployed along most roadways, military MPs at subway entrances, and armored vehicles full of SWAT teams just out of sight.
When I went to the Hip-Hop Summit, I walked through Roxbury, one of the most violent sections of Boston, without fear. Wearing a suit and tie, I was eyed suspiciously, like I was about to serve an unexpected subpoena, but with cops continuously circling in cars and helicopters, and on foot and on bike and on horse, I couldn’t work up any worry. I had no fear of getting lost, never mind being hassled.
But there is something unsettling about being in a city where so much is expected to go wrong. The most troubling thing about all the security may be how unremarkable it has become. The Democratic convention looks like a Gaza Strip checkpoint, and we barely hear a peep about it. This is the new reality, we are being told. This is what the future will look like.
I can’t argue. What’s the alternative? Leave ourselves and our leaders unguarded and open to attack? I am much happier to feel a bit caged but safe, than to be the free bird in a room with a hungry cat.
But this does not mean we should not mourn this loss of autonomy. We should keep a careful eye on how far all of this goes and be ready to scream bloody murder when that invisible line is crossed.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?