One of the places that we went while on our road trip was New York City. This was my first time there, and it was interesting. We spent three days there. For now, I want to touch on the attitudes of the people who live there. From my own observations, I can say that New York City residents are of the opinion that the entire world revolves around them, and that the rest of the country is a vast wasteland filled with hicks and people who wished that they could live there.
For example, while I was there, the discussion turned to 9/11. The opinion that I expressed was that the US response of creating the TSA and all of the laws that followed the event were far out of proportion to what actually happened: To put things in perspective, a few buildings were damaged, and there were fewer people killed in the attacks than are killed in auto accidents each year. In response to this, I have to take off my shoes everywhere I go so that I can be searched, the TSA is performing checkpoints on the highways, the NSA reads all of my emails, every other government agency gets to know what books I read, movies I rent, and everywhere I go via cell phone tracking. To find those responsible, we sent our military on missions that have killed far more than the number we lost that day. We effectively became a police state, and it was for nothing, because a 9/11 attack could never work again for one simple reason: Passengers will never again sit placidly in their seats as a terrorist flies their plane into a building. They WILL fight back.
The response that I got was twofold:
1 “It doesn’t matter that the terrorists were outnumbered by 10 or 20 to one. Aircraft are too cramped for effective resistance.” Even when it was pointed out that the 44 people aboard flight 77 were able to fight back and foil the terror plot to attack Washington, DC, they would not budge on this one.
2 “You weren’t the one who had to walk across the Brooklyn bridge to get home from work.” This one surprised me. What this statement boils down to, is that the inconvenience of having to walk home once outweighs the entire nation having to be inconvenienced with the Patriot Act, the TSA, the NSA, and all of the other post 9/11 power grabs. This, more than anything else, showed me how egocentric New Yorkers actually are.
Since I was a guest, I let the conversation die at that point.