America. Land of the free. Protector of free speech. The place where you have freedom of the press, to write as you see fit; your Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are all mediums for you to express yourself. Yes, you are free to talk about the weather, political unrest, television shows, classroom discussions, etc. just be careful about your vocabulary because it may cause you to be flagged by the government.
Remember Hurricane Sandy? I mean talk about being caught off-guard. We may have been prepared, but were we really expecting to need major disaster management? We need to work on our prevention and national preparedness. Sure some people took initiative but the widespread electric failure, black outs, breaks in power lines and the power grid, tree and house collapses, rampant communication and service disruption, not to mention the major flooding and overall storm damage that led to the destruction of our state infrastructure and put us in a state of emergency. The extreme weather is getting out of control. The recent typhoon in the Philippines should serve as a reminder that we cannot ignore the warning of Mother Nature. We cannot simply send aid and relief to help with the recovery of those stranded by disasters of such magnitude. Recovery takes years. Just ask the people who were affected by the tsunami in Japan; those made homeless by the constant tornadoes and twisters in the south; the communities coming to a standstill due to ice, snow, and blizzards. How about those wildfires and forest fires? We must change our response and work on prevention not just fixing the response delays to these increasingly common natural disasters.
Can you catch me up on Breaking Bad? The show ended recently and I do not have the time to watch the show so please catch me up. It’s about a teacher who builds a meth lab in his basement, right? He gets into the drug trade and gets into a drug war with various drug cartels; is he is being tracked down by the police? I hear that there is lots of gun fighting and shootouts. Does it involve any other violence such as smuggling drugs or maybe the border with Mexico? Does it involve any narcotics, cocaine, marijuana, or heroin? Every television show seems to feature some sort of drug trade or gang violence now.
On second thought, I think I will skip Breaking Bad; we have enough violence in real life. It makes me sick to think about all of the incidents within the past year resulting in emergency response by law enforcement, more specifically the police, SWAT, and other authorities. Aurora Shooting, Sand Hook, Boston bombing, Garden State Plaza Mall, the list goes on and on. Just once I would like to open the newspaper without reading about the latest shooting or domestic security threat where a person breached security and there were shots fired resulting in evacuations, a standoff, and deaths. Why should people, more importantly school children, need to spend their time practicing lockdown procedures or undergo drill exercises for armed intruders, and worry about bomb threats? Doesn’t that say something about our society?
If you want to discuss society, my genetics, evolution, and human health class would be a great place to start. We discussed society’s creation as based on human health and diet. At the beginning of every class we discuss a new public health issue be it the Center of Disease Control, outbreaks of deadly diseases, or how detox foot baths are scams. We recently started discussing bacterial resistance. We had an entire class devoted to H5N1, N1H1, avian flu, and other viruses that are caused by exposure to infected animals where the virus mutated from animal to animal, to animal to human, to human to human, and back from human to animal. Not to mention our class on infectious diseases where we discussed small pox, plague, influenza, and Tuberculosis. Pretty much any toxic or other aspect of human health we discussed. Even food poisoning, salmonella, and Ebola got attention. By the way, not all E. Coli and Ebola are bad for you.
Yes, feel free to talk about all this and more; simply avoid the potential trigger words. Homeland Security was kind enough to post a list online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/82701103/Analyst-Desktop-Binder-REDACTED (pages 21-23). So remember, you are completely free… if you are okay being branded as a potential security risk by the government. Have exercising your freedom!