Monday, July 21, 2014

Time Traveling Via Google Search Engines (and Leaving the Terrorists Behind)

I constantly tell people that the way I grew up, the way most of us grew up, made many of our modern problems not a problem. I grew up in the suburb of Cleveland Hts, directly east of Cleveland. Today I have used Google Maps to map my home and everywhere I used to go as a child and teenager to make my point easier to follow. It is post 1970s lifestyles which have yielded present day problems. These problems did not just "arrive". Of course, few of us are now in a position to reclaim those easier to navigate lives. In many cases, the places I mention no longer even exist which makes them impossible to resurrect. But follow along here and you'll see what I mean if your sons and daughters and grandchildren are commuting several hours a day far away from you for just about everything they do. And I will indeed reach those terrorists by the time I reach the end. (Click on images to see giant versions.)

My home was at 3452 Edison Road in Cleveland Hts, Ohio. We moved here in 1953 when I was 5. Like most kids, my world was made up of my daily activities which I traveled to from my family home. Behind my house was both my school and my church. So every day I just went through a gate in my back yard and I was at school. Likewise, I walked to church. There also were sidewalks throughout the city which were well maintained. No one ever walked in the street as they do today. My parents both worked as real estate brokers. They started their business in the home, in a little office to the extreme right on the first floor front. Then they got an office but no more than five minutes away from home by car. Next to their office building were: a gas station, drug store, restaurants, shops and two big supermarkets. They did not need to commute anywhere else between home and work.  It was all there.

My point here is that in a very short period of time we went from my parents living in small towns which had one set of schools and a small set of people, all of whom you knew, to close in suburbs. In those close in suburbs everything was a bit further apart than the small towns but they were obviously put together by people trying to adhere to that model of a community. And then we moved to sort of an "anything goes" system of living and did so in a shockingly short amount of time, from 1970 to present day. Let's just say that for many people their cars became their new best friends and they certainly spent enough time in and with them to earn that designation.

But here's my biggest point of all: we would not be in the fixes we are in now if we still lived like that, either in those small towns our parents grew up in or the close in suburbs to the cities in which we grew up. First, we would use much less in utilities straight across the board, of every type, and not be veritable hostages to interests like oil, natural gas and water (if you are in the West). But closely related to this is info the government recently released. Despite all the increases in Homeland Security, NSA, CIA, FBI, etc., the most likely way law enforcement will nail a terrorist before he strikes is if people in their local communities report something they see which is suspicious.  It trumps everything law enforcement can do.

I submit to you that if you put a terrorist cell back in what we used to know as our neighborhoods we would spot them in nothing flat and report them. Very few places could make that boast today. Indeed terrorist cells exist in just about every large city in America. It is easy for them to hide in America where everything and everyone are now so distant. One could almost say that we enabled the terrorists with our very own lifestyles post 1970.

Don't believe me still? Then study the places which are free of terrorist cells and then compare them with the below map. You will quickly ascertain that people in Bismark and Fargo, North Dakota; Pierre, South Dakota; Helena, Montana; Cheyenne, Wyoming and so forth, have no terrorist cells. Why? Because those places are small yet vast, the frontier spirit prevails and a terrorist would be taking way too big a risk to try to insert himself into those communities, which most closely resemble the earlier modes of small town living in this country.

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