What to Do in A Terrorist Attack

Should our fears be realized and terrorists attack New York one more time, there are non-paranoid preparations that may be helpful. In the immediate aftermath, government will focus on maintaining or restoring public services, so we should be prepared to remain self-sufficient.

A “go bag” at work and in the home, should contain items like essential medications, bank account and telephone numbers, perhaps copies of essential documents, such as insurance, birth certificates, and deeds. A change of underwear, socks and shoes, water, a regional map and spare cash are recommended.

Take the time to learn the exits in your place of work and at home, and the routes that will take you out of your neighborhood.

The most practical thing to do is make arrangements with your friends, neighbors or partners about where to meet after an emergency. One location should be near your home, another outside of the neighborhood. Also identify someone who lives outside of the city who will take messages. Give out this number to your friends, neighbors and relatives.

For more information, this subject can call 311 and ask for the Ready_NewYork brochure.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is such a champion communicator, unhappily for him when he puts his foot in his mouth, everyone in the United States knows it. By calling the Democratic majority in the California Legislature, “girlie men,” he exposed his flaws. The mean-spirited homophobia grabbed everyone’s attention, alerting the world that he had failed to reach a budget agreement with lawmakers. This must be distressing. The “Terminator” won a special election ousting a weak Democrat who could not negotiate a budget. Now the super hero faces the same problem.

This is the first blemish on the new governor’s record. Thus far, he has had a long honeymoon becoming the most popular governor in California’s history, even surpassing Ronald Reagan who has fallen to the number-two spot on the adulation scale.

Schwarzenegger’s ambitions are as big as his ego. He has coyly intimated that he wanted supporters to lobby for eliminating the provision in the Constitution prohibiting the foreign-born from running for president. This may not be a good idea. He dominated the Legislature by threatening to introduce a referendum that would put his policy before the voters in a plebiscite. These techniques are used more by dictatorships than by republican governments.

July is the first full month of the Iraqi-sovereign government since power was handed over by the United States. The Boston Globe notes, nevertheless, that U.S. military fatalities are averaging two a day, an unusually high rate. It is a bad sign. U.S. soldiers have stopped the offensives in Iraqi cities that caused most of the deaths in previous months. The Pentagon has raised its estimate of Iraqi rebel strength from 5,000 to 20,000 insurgents.

The Sydney Morning Herald carried a story saying the new Iraqi prime minister, Iyad Allawi, had executed six prisoners, “just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government.” The suspected insurgents were lined against the wall and Allawi, in front of witnesses, shot them in the head. The facts are under investigation, but what seems certain is that Allawi wanted the world to know he did this.

The two witnesses, interviewed by the Morning Herald, “were enthusiastic about such killings.”

One witness drew this lesson: “Any terrorists in Iraq should have the same destiny. This is the new Iraq.”

As we have mentioned, democracy in Iraq will not be democracy as we know it.

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