Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Hitting Close to Home

I'm begging my reader's indulgence for going through rather a slow phase right now. It's weird that some days I've got all the feverish thoughts that have to be written down, and I'll put four or five stories here on my blog, or post on forums -- then there are other times when I just don't feel like saying much or talking to anybody.

But this story deserves my attention: Basically, an al-Qaeda cell has been found in the relatively small town of Lodi, California. (Yes, that's the Lodi that CCR sang about getting "stuck in, again".)

Now, those of you that know me, know that I'm a small town girl, making no bones about my rural roots and lack of sophistication. And, while I am horrified by violent events and the rise of the terrorist threat, they have always been rather distant. It's like crime; I live in a place where I don't bother to lock my front door, or my car. Oh, it's not paradise; we have our criminals -- but if there really is any safe place in the world, I feel like I live in it. Even Shasta Dam, although I heard that they stepped up security there, were it hit by a place like the trade center was, would escape major damage, leaving those of us downstream quite safe. And what other possible target could there be way up here in the upper reaches of California?

Lodi -- San Joaquin county. I was born in Stockton, and still have family there. Some of my cousins used to live in Lodi, which is just a few miles north. I grew up in little towns around that area -- except for the years I spent up here, where my mom's family comes from, about 2-3 hours northward.

Grandma used to always say that if terrorists really wanted to scare Americans, they'd dispense with hitting big symbolic targets and make the hits random -- big cities, little towns, government buildings, and private -- so that nobody could feel like they were safe.

Well, at least these guys were arrested. While affiliated with al-Qaida, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that any specific attack was being planned. But, it's a little too close for comfort.

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