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Just now, on one of my morning walks, I happened by a police car stationed at an inconspicuous corner, presumably positioned there as part of the heightened — and now indefinite — state of alert against potential terrorist attacks. Seated in the car, slouched back and clad in a bullet proof vest, was a DC Metro police officer playing Microsoft Solitaire on his patrol car’s on-board computer screen.

It’d be easy to have some fun at the guy’s expense. And Lord knows, the DC Metro police have their problems.

But it seemed more than anything emblematic of the hurry-up-and-wait tempo of DC’s now perpetual anti-terrorism preparedness. Perhaps we’re about to be hit by a massive and catastrophic terrorist attack. On the other hand, it’s a beautiful day out and would you like to go hang at Starbucks?

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