The Star-News


A pubic mea culpa

Sat, Sep 03 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Carlos R. Davalos

Last week I wrote an advisory column. The goal was to alert readers to the fact that, by the Department of Homeland Security standards, they might be unwitting terrorists.

One reader emailed to say he agreed with the points I made. He did, however, need clarification on one item:

"...you lost me for a second at the end of your 10th paragraph. It reads: 'Doing some research and need access to pubic records? You might be a terrorist.'

"I believe you meant to write 'public' rather than 'pubic' since I tried frantically to search for a number of celebrities' and friends' 'pubic' records online and only came across lots and lots of pornography. Anyway, keep up the great work!"

Uh, yeah.

I suppose if you were to catch someone conducting a pubic records search on you, the incident might be considered terrifying. Especially if it was a stranger. So, in that context I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone to follow law enforcement's advice: If you see something, say something.

Unfortunately, however, last week's reference to the nether regions was a gaffe.

Even though Mr. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka 'The Underwear Bomber" did momentarily draw attention to the possibility that one's most private spaces could be used as a weapon of mass destruction, he wasn't on my mind when I wrote what I did.

I goofed. And this is my public apology.

* * *

Holidays mean different things to different people at different times.

Back when movies were only seen in theaters, Washington's birthday and Lincoln's birthday meant two separate days off from schoolwork in one month.

Memorial Day seems like it would be an especially poignant day for veterans and their families while for the rest of us it's the unofficial start of summer.

And Labor Day, a holiday created to recognize the efforts of blue collar workers and labor unions, gives most of the working class a day off - I have to wonder if the Republican legislature in Wisconsin will observe the holiday - while marking the unofficial end of summer.

But if you're a recent college graduate looking for a job, or a laid off employee who has been without work for years, is Labor Day a reminder that, at the moment, you don't have a place in life?

For many of us, our identities are tied to what we do for a living. Our job titles. And when you don't have one, well, then who the hell are you?

To all the unemployed grads and laid-off workers who want work but can't find it: Hang in there. You matter.


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