I'm on vacation this week. A "staycation." Hate that word, but I'm staying in town this week so I guess it fits. Anyhow, a friend was going to join my last night for a visit to the gym in my building. It's not a fancy gym, but it has what we need: an elliptical thing for her, an exercise bike for me, and various machines to tones legs, arms, and other bits. But we couldn't use the gym last night because, well, because of what follows:
As my friend was nearing my place, she noticed a lot of cop cars, fire trucks, and ambulances around my building. There was a cop in my building lobby, and he asked her where she was going. Thinking that there was a crime scene somewhere nearby, she told him she was visiting a friend and asked where she should go in to the building and whether I should leave. Oh, no problem, he said, and said something like "have a nice visit."
So she comes up and tells me about the scene outside, which I missed because I had the blinds drawn. We stop at the lobby on our way to the gym to see if we can learn anything. Another tenant walked in after talking to a cop, and he told us that he was told that there was "an investigation going on." My friend wondered if it was some nasty domestic dispute. Still, we went down into the basement because we assumed that it was safe or the cops would have closed it down. I wondered whether it could be a drill--they have these regularly in New York City to prepare for the unpreparable and to scare the citizenry who may have forgotten to be afraid.
In the basement there was a cop in uniform. Near him were four full red bags with the words "Infectious Materials" written on them. And then I knew it was a fucking drill. I asked him whether I was correct, and he had to concede it (but you could tell he didn't want to) when I pointed out the four potential dangerous if true bags o' pretend impending death. And no, we couldn't go into the gym because some cops had changed in there and left their civilian clothes on the equipment and they didn't want us in there with their things.
I know that the police, firemen, and EMTs have to drill to prepare for various possible scenarios. But while gobs of money are spent on the security state which has institutionalized the continued violation of our 4th amendment rights through dataminging (because no one has said that it ended, have they?) and TSA genital gropings, there apparently is no money to investigate and prosecute bankers, provide health care to unisured Americans, or encourage the use of alternative energy, which are real and present dangers that the political class and their uber rich masters ignore on purpose.
Maybe I shoud move to a small rural community and unplug.