Alert Level News

A couple things have gotten my attention since the terror alert was raised to orange yesterday. First, Hawai’i has raised its level as well, making it the first time we’ve been at orange since September 11th. This makes me feel a little more sympathetic to the fluctuations of the national alert.

What disturbs me, though, are the recent preemptive arrests in Los Angeles. I get uneasy any time Americans start revoking the civil liberties of others. If they’re terrorists, that’s an even better reason to make sure they get Constitutional protection. I would argue that if the government is doing its job, they should be able to make terrorism charges stick in a criminal (as opposed to military) trial with a jury of their peers.

P.S. I’m grateful to Bene Diction and James Robinson for their comments on my earlier post. Thanks, guys.

And Back to Orange

Threat Advisory - HighJust in time for the holidays, the U.S. again goes to orange. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge tried to reassure the public that this situation is unique: “These strategic indicators, including Al Qaeda’s continued desire to carry out attacks against our homeland, are perhaps greater now than at any point since Sept. 11.”

As usual, the government also reassured citizens, encouraging them to continue their holiday plans unencumbered. I have a question for Mr. Ridge and Mr. Bush: how are we supposed to be en guarde and continue our daily lives at the same time?

I make it a point not to discuss my personal life on this blog, but since my significant other is on an airplane right now, I’m understandably concerned by the news. It’s over the Pacific Ocean, so she’s probably not in too much danger.

Still, every time we go to orange, and some government suit tells us “We’re in danger, but go about your business,” and “Your government will stand at the ready 24 hours a day…” (the latter actually spoken by Tom Ridge), I get a little perturbed. Suspicious packages? Ala Moana is full of them this time of year. :mad:

(Image courtesy Department of Homeland Security.)

Reviewing Joan of Arcadia

I sat through my first full episode of Joan of Arcadia today. The verdict? Okay, but definitely not perfect.

Joan Girardi is a teenage girl whose family moved to Arcadia so her father, Will, could become the town’s new police chief. She is very much like a normal teenage girl, except for one thing: God appears to her as different people. An interesting premise, but I was a little concerned that the God the show portrays is often unfamiliar to me.

As could be expected, CBS makes no reference to Jesus Christ. However, the other attributes of God sometimes seem a little fishy too. I doubt, for example, that God would take the physical form of a person with more body piercings than I can count on both hands. Other factors ring alarm bells too. The episode I watched, “The Fire and the Wood,” contained some sensuality (mild, by today’s standards – at least it was between a married couple), and occasional profanity.

Cinematically, the show is first-rate, and the music is clean yet themely. The message of obeying God to bring positive changes into the world is also a good one. I just worry that like CBS’ other Christian targeted show, Touched By an Angel, the lack of focus on the important beliefs of Christianity may cause confusion among viewers.

Joan of Arcadia is probably one of the cleanest family programs on the air today, and it is also a first-rate drama. As long as you don’t make the mistake of supplementing or replacing the Bible with it, you should be fine.


In its infinite wisdom, the Hawai’i Department of Transportation is replacing the signs at Honolulu International Airport, according to News 8. Apparently, the old ones were too confusing. From the article:

Last year, the state replaced signs directing motorists to “arrivals” and “departures” with new ones pointing to “ticketing” and “bag claim.”

Now, they’re going to change them back. The bottom line? $140 thousand.

I don’t know if I feel sorrier for the tourists who are having their intelligence insulted, or for the locals who had trouble understanding the current signs.

Home Sweet Home

The server that hosts Waileia is now settled in its new home (and what a home it is). The total downtime was about three hours. Stuff seems a little slow now, but I’m sure that’s due to the rush of people checking on their web sites. I figure that it will pass by tomorrow.

Thanks, VO. You guys (and girls) rock :)!