One interesting thing that happened this weekend involved a little dip into the crazy world of CNN. They were covering helicopter rescues from the flooding in Oklahoma City, and on Sunday morning I watched a couple being rescued by being forced to cling, one by one, to the skid of the rescue helicopter.
To be clear, there were no rescue harnesses in evidence, nor even any ropes. People stranded in flood waters were waved onto the skid at the base of a helicopter, where a rescuer perched, and were then flown to higher ground. Unsurprisingly, they kept falling off and into the flood waters.
This got me thinking about the billions we've poured into Homeland Security measures over the last few years, and the stupid priorities that emphasize the extremely unlikely over the very, very probable.
For instance, flooding. Flooding is a far more likely threat in nearly every place than biological, chemical, or nuclear attack. But what do you want to bet that the state of Oklahoma, thanks to the Department of Homeland Security, is the proud owner of hundreds of radiation detectors. Hell, it's even possible that the rope-and-harness-free helicopter on the teevee on Sunday had one of them in some kind of emergency preparedness kit.
But ropes? Harnesses? How boring! Ropes and rescue harnesses are for suckers. In the 21st century, radiation is sexy!