If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Airline restrictions

I'm packing for the rendezvous next week. Because it's in Florida, I sent the bulk of my gear ahead with my dad and will fly down so I don't have to waste half of my precious vacation time in transit. Most of the carry-on restrictions are well-known by now, but I checked the FAA website to see if there were any changes. I was quite dismayed to find that I can't take a cattle prod or tear gas! Drat!

Why would anyone think it's OK to take those on a plane? Also prohibited are meat cleavers, spear guns, fireworks, brass knuckles, and ski poles (although skis are not listed, so maybe they're OK?). Knitting needles are permitted, which surprised me, and so is whipped cream, as long as it's 3 ounces or less. Whipped cream is so expensive; it just makes sense to take it along instead of buying it when you arrive. Obviously, the (not-all-inclusive) list was compiled for the people who need warning labels telling them not to use a hair drier in the shower.

Nowhere on the list did it say anything about gingerbread loaves, so I guess I'll take a chance. If they can't go on the plane I'll just give them to the screeners for doing a job I wouldn't want.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Healing apologies?

Sorry for the absence. It's been rather mundane around here lately. I thought I would have something blogworthy on Saturday, considering we had three birthday parties--one of which was for nine 5-year-olds--plus regular business. The only thing of note was that the little girl's birthday party was calm and serene compared to the other kids' parties we've done. I have managed to get a load of sewing done, and for once I have five days' grace before the next rendezvous! I must be making progress; it's only my fourth rendezvous, and I'm not sewing until it's time to go.

I did find something in the news this morning that I'm genuinely curious about. There is a resolution in the Virginia House of Delegates which proposes that the state apologize for slavery. On one side are two delegates who are directly descended from slaves. On the other is a delegate descended from French Huguenots who thinks an apology is political correctness run amok; if slavery is apologized for, will they also apologize to the descendants of the Indians whose land was annexed by settlers?

Would an official apology would actually be beneficial to the people living today? Having lived in North Carolina for thirteen years, followed by two years in Virginia, I have met people who are still bitter about slavery. They were never slaves, many were born during or after the civil rights movement; they still hated white people because whites owned blacks two centuries ago. They didn't care that my ancestors didn't own theirs. I came to realize that they hated my skin, not me personally. They just chose not to see past the hate.

I don't know what to think about this. I'm a peacemaker by nature. If an apology would make things right, I'd say go for it. I'm also a realist. I don't think an apology is going to change racist attitudes. In fact, I think it would make things worse. An admission of guilt would justify the racism. Maybe I'm only seeing the white perspective. However, where would the two delegates who were descended from slaves be right now if there hadn't been slavery? It's a safe bet that they wouldn't 'be', period, but assuming their grandparents and parents had found each other, might they be starving or at war with another tribe somewhere in Africa? Would they rather be there instead of in the Virginia House of Delegates? I'm not trying to justify the slave trade. I think it was evil and unjustified human suffering. But I know that God makes good come from bad. What we do with that good is up to us.