Thursday, June 28, 2007

Supreme Court

To all those who thought changing a few Supreme Court justices wasn't going to change the tone of the court much -- you've been taking a few too many hits off the bong.

'Bong hits' decision a step backwards for free speech

Oops! I guess that I can't say that. I'm only allowed to have free speech if I'm a rich special interest group:

At Supreme Court, two big GOP wins

... Five years ago, Congress passed the McCain-Feingold Act, part of which banned preelection ads that mentioned a candidate's name if they were paid for with corporate or union money. The court's decision Monday went most of the way to striking down that ban.

The ads involve "core political speech" that is protected by the 1st Amendment, Roberts said. "We give the benefit of the doubt to speech, not censorship."

... The second ruling will allow more federal money to flow to church groups and religious organizations that do charitable work or provide social services. Bush set up a special office in the White House to give seminars for "faith-based" groups to show them how to apply for federal grants ...

The contention that "money is free speech" is the most asinine thing that I've ever heard. These new Supreme Court justices and the tool that appointed them are nothing more than little bitches for big business. A judiciary that should be a check to the power of the executive branch is instead a rubber stamp. And how Roberts can say, "We give the benefit of the doubt to speech, not censorship.", with absolutely no sense of irony is unbelievable.

The second part of the ruling is yet another blast to the wall between church and state. Seemingly, those that should know the Constitution the best have conveniently forgotten one of it's most basic tenets.

Welcome to the modern conservative movement. It's a vacuous ideology that stands for nothing that can't be bought. What kind of convoluted logic says money is free speech but free speech isn't actually free speech?

Many think the enduring negative legacy of this administration will be the Iraq war. But we shouldn't forget that what this Bush-loaded Supreme Court is doing now could affect our country for an even longer time. It's ironic that those who most loudly complained of "judicial activism" are doing exactly what they criticized.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Reunion Reflections

- Time tempers the annoying characteristics of your classmates while not completely subduing their endearing ones

- After 20 years, it's obvious that those nerdy, bookish types may have had the right idea in high school

- Conversely, if they had tried to enjoy themselves just a bit more then, they may have had more fond memories of high school

- Not everyone is as jaded and cynical as I am ... and that's a good thing

- You still seem to care what the "popular kids" think of you ... and that's annoying as hell. But it doesn't change the fact that you feel that way.

- People reach their defining moment - that moment where things start to fall into place - at vastly different times

- The preconceptions you had of some people in school tend to greatly underestimate or overestimate what they end up doing. Some of those quiet types end up having the most daring, adventurous lives.

- Skanky, smelly small-town bars may not be the height of sophistication but they make up for it in entertainment value and $1.50 beers

I had a great time despite my low expectations going in. Like most of the things I've been afraid of in my life, I've found the best way of handling them is head-on. If I felt nervous about the reunion, it was obvious to me that I should go. Hopefully I exceeded expectations (or at least changed people's perception). I believe I did that. And suprisingly, everyone exceeded my expectations.

I really get stuck in a rut where the only people that I meet are my clients. I don't really have co-workers any more. The friends that I do have are ones I made at my previous job over 10 years ago. Reconnecting with friends from long ago before any of this is not such a bad thing. And that's all that I'm going to say about that ...

Monday, June 25, 2007

"The Little White Town"

Heathen -- these are for you:

Heathen said, " ... Stanton's nickname is "The Little White Town." Supposedly the nickname refers to the fact that all the houses are painted white, but I think there are some other reasons for this nickname as well (My mom was born in 1941 and remembers that there was a big stink when she was a kid and a Catholic family moved into town and one of their kids started dating a kid from the town)."

Yep, you pretty much have it pegged. They might as well be the "little white bread town".

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Reunion Night #1

Ah ... high speed Internet connection. We're now at my brother's place in Red Oak and he works for the local cable provider. So, he gets really cheap high-speed Internet.

Night #1 of the Reunion was an informal get-together at one of the local bars. I figured I should go to it so that I could get out of the way the awkward first meetings where everyone is trying to guess who the other person is. I was terrible at identifying most of the women in my class. Most of the men look pretty similar -- maybe just a little heavier with a little more hair on the chin and a little less on top (not unlike myself).

I probably looked the least like I did in high school, which provided much amusement and surprises. But, my showing up seemed to be well-received.

Most of the spouses (including my own) looked a bit like deer caught in headlights. It's tough to come into a situation where you really don't know anybody. Add on to it the fact that the bar was having karaoke that night and it was loud as hell. So, it wasn't very easy to have conversations. But all of the spouses that we met were very nice. An interesting side note - one of the girls in my class is married to Dr. Jerry Punch, ESPN NASCAR and college football reporter. Early in his career, he was instrumental in saving several racers' lives because of his medical training. He was a genuinely nice guy and didn't have any of the airs that you would fear that someone who is a little famous might have coming to a small town.

I had to suppress a laugh when I was talking with one of my best friends from high school. He's a very avid hunter and certainly leans to the right on the political spectrum. He's not really political, but you know where stands. Anyway, I asked about his sister who was a few years younger than us and that I knew pretty well. She's working for the Department of Natural Resources for the state of Iowa. He commented that she was definitely liberal and that he sometimes clashes with her on environmental issues. He said that she's out there "trying to save the planet". Inside my head, I'm elated at what she's doing. But I didn't want to make this weekend into a forum for my world views.

We had a good time and I was genuinely pleased to see everyone. As I suspected, there didn't seem to be a lot of extra baggage. I'm looking forward to the official Reunion tonight.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

High School Reunion

Here goes. We're flying out tomorrow to Iowa for my 20 year high school reunion this weekend (Red Oak). I don't know what to expect. I'm sure I'm going to stick out like a sore thumb ... the hippie long-haired liberal among a bunch of restrained midwesterners. But I could be wrong.

My internet access will be spotty, but I should get a chance to post a few times while I'm gone.

Police - Concert Review

It finally happened. I got to see the Police last night. Despite our local paper's columnist's tepid review, it was a good show. Blessed with the luxury of perhaps seeing 100 shows a year, he can afford to be picky. I'm only lucky enough, however, to see maybe 2 shows a year. So, I have to be choosy. I loved the show. I've waited my whole life for it. (more pics from the show here)

A child of the 80's, my 2nd album ever was Synchronicity. It was a refreshing alternative to hair metal crap and bad pop of the time. Reggae beats, literate lyrics - I was hooked. Who sings about Nabokov?

I never got to see the Police the first time around. I became acquainted with them in about '83, just as they were winding down. I was too young to go to concerts then. By the time I was old enough, they had been broken up for several years. I pretty much figured my shot had passed. So ... when the news that the Police were going to reunite for a tour, I decided that I would beg, steal, even kill to get tickets. And I got pretty good lower level tickets at US Airways Center. It's not an ideal venue for acoustics, being a basketball bandbox, but it's not bad as long as you are in the lower level. We once saw Metallica and Korn there, with upper level seats. Imagine spending 3 hours inside a large metal pail with your close friends Metallica and you get some idea of the tinny, distorted cacophony that ensued.

This was much better. Sting's vocals were clean and the guitar and drums were fine. If there was any complaint acoustically, it would have been the way in which bass moves around in the arena. It had a tendency to get muddled. But that's a shortcoming of the venue, not the band.

I found myself concentrating on Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. I've seen Sting a couple of times and felt that I should enjoy the two in this probably fleeting incarnation of the Police. A lot of people thought that Sting was the Police but seeing this dynamic 3 piece in concert gives you an appreciation of how much of virtuosos each of them were. Stewart Copeland is simply amazing. I think the Police are THE definitive 3 piece band. People could make arguments for Cream, Jimi Hendrix's band, even Rush. For me, it's not even close.

I cannot think of a single song that I wanted to hear that I didn't. Being a reunion show after 24 years, they probably correctly surmised that they should hit the highlights of their career. Most of the renditions were straightforward, but several allowed them to show off the jazz chops that each have developed over the years. From regatta de blanc (white reggae) to modern jazz, their virtuosity was in evidence. My favorite performance was So Lonely with a great extended solo by Andy Summers.

The opening band was Fiction Plane. I didn't give them much thought. They sounded pretty good. I thought the lead singer kinda sounded like Sting. But I was out getting a beer and a t-shirt during most of their set. After I get home after the show, I go online to see people's reviews and pictures of the show and someone comments about Sting's son being pretty good. What the hell? So, I go to wikipedia and discover that Fiction Plane is fronted by Sting's son, Joe Sumner. Ah, I say. That would explain it.

Here's the set list:

Message in a Bottle
Synchronicity 2
Walking on the Moon
Voices Inside My Head
When the World is Running Down ...
Don't Stand So Close to Me
Driven to Tears
Bed's Too Big Without You
Truth Hits Everybody
Every Little Things She Does is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking in Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You
First Encore:
King of Pain
So Lonely
2nd Encore:
Every Breath You Take
Next to You

If this is the only chance that I will have to see the Police, I will be content. By all indications, a lot of the friction that caused the original break-up (The Police: A Fragile Truce) is still there. But they lasted long enough to make it to Phoenix. And they kicked ass. For that I am happy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

On the Road

Some long overdue picture updates on my excursion blog, On The Road, showing what we've been up to the last few months.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Be Patient

I upgraded the blog to the new templates so that I could have a little more control. As you can see, it stripped some of the template hacks that I had put in. I'm slowly trying to reincorporate my customizations.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

One Day You’re Gonna Wake Up

One Day You’re Gonna Wake Up
by David Michael Green

One day you’re gonna wake up, America.

And, like every other one since last you can remember, it’s gonna be an ugly morning.

One day you’re gonna wake up and go to your lousy job with its lousy salary and non-existent benefits. You might even remember the good job you once had. Or that the government you once supported gave tax breaks to companies like the one that exported that good job of yours to the Third World (which is what they’re now starting to call your country). Or that that same government undermined the labor unions which fought to get you your good wages and benefits.

One day you’re gonna wake up and be furious at the monstrous tax burden you are carrying, a tab which accounts for fifty of the seventy hours you must work each week just to eke by. You might even figure out why your tax bill is so high. You might remember that the government you once supported shifted the tax burden from the rich onto people like you, and from the taxpayers of the time onto those of today. And that they borrowed money in astonishing quantities to fund their sleight-of-hand, so that you work thirty hours a week just to pay the interest on a mountain of money borrowed decades ago.

One day you’re gonna wake up in anger at the absurdly poor education your children are receiving. You’re gonna remember that it wasn’t always that way, that even after the military’s voracious appetite was temporarily sated, your country still managed to find a few bucks to at least educate a workforce. No more. And you’re gonna remember how you applauded when your educational system was twisted in to a test taking industry that is careful, above all, not to teach children how to think.

One day you’re gonna wake up literally sick and tired. You’re gonna want treatment for your maladies but you won’t be able to touch the cost. You’re gonna wonder what you were thinking when believed your country had the best healthcare system in the world, even though it was the only advanced democracy in the world that didn’t provide universal care, even though it devoted fifty percent more of its economy than those other countries to pay for a system that left fifty million people uninsured, and even though there were massive layers of unnecessary and harmful private sector bureaucracy skimming hundreds of billions of dollars of profits out of the system in the name of free enterprise.

One day you’re gonna wake up too tired to go to work anymore. You’re gonna want to retire in dignity but will be left instead to laugh bitterly at the cruelty of that joke. And you’re gonna wonder what in the world you had been thinking voting for a president who’s primary goal was to allow Wall Street to raid Social Security, destroying what had once been considered the most successful domestic program in human history.

One day you’re gonna wake up and wish that it wasn’t so bloody hot, and that there weren’t so many diseases and species eradications and violent storms lashing the planet. And maybe you’ll even remember that you once supported a government that lied about the very existence of global warming - back when it might have been curtailed - a government that scuttled the barest remedy for the problem in order to protect oil company profits.

One day you’re gonna wake up and wish you had a government that could simply and competently do the basic things it was designed for. A government that could protect you from foreign attack, that could come to your rescue after a devastating hurricane, that could properly manage a new program or other people’s security. An administration that didn’t pervert the purpose of every agency within the government to its opposite, using civil rights lawyers to fight civil rights, for example, or the EPA to protect polluters.

One day you’re gonna wake up and cry out for simple justice, blindly applied without bias. And perhaps you’ll remember when that principle died. When your country stood by and watched the politicization of its judicial system for purposes of partisanship, and said nothing. When it stood by and watched its highest law enforcement officials in the land lie about their failing memory of events and pretended to believe that was acceptable.

One day you’re gonna wake up and wish that you weren’t being drafted to go fight wars you don’t believe in. You’ll remember how soldiers were sent to their deaths for lies. You’ll remember how badly they were treated when they came home maimed and twisted. You’ll remember how real, patriotic, former soldiers were mocked and humiliated by dress-up, unpatriotic, former non-soldiers. And suddenly you’ll understand why no one would volunteer for the military anymore, and why people like you had to be drafted.

One day you’re gonna wake up and want very badly to run outside and scream in anger about a government that long ago stopped serving your interests in favor of the narrow interests of a tiny oligarchy. But instead you’ll stay inside and keep your scream tucked safely in your belly. Because you’ll know that in your country dissent has long since been outlawed, on pain of torture and death. You’ll remember concepts like due process, limitations on government search, seizure and wiretapping, habeas corpus, trial by peers, legal representation and prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment as historical artifacts no longer even taught in schools.

On day you’re gonna wake up and want so badly to change governments. You’re gonna treasure the concept of democracy like no Soviet dissident ever did. You’re gonna crave the opportunity to own your own government, to make your own societal choices, to make a change of direction never before so desperately necessary. And you’re gonna wonder why you didn’t speak up as you watched first-hand the dismantling of the democracy you had been handed by previous generations of patriots. You’re gonna wish you had been patriotic enough yourself to demand, above all else, free and fair elections, and you’re gonna shake your head in puzzlement at how you stood by watching in silence those that patently were not.

One day you’re gonna wake up and want to get the hell out of your rotting, repressive country. You’re gonna remember a time when that wasn’t true. But, oddly enough, you’ll find that other countries remember too. They’ll remember your country’s arrogance, its unilateralism, its walls, its racism, and its politicized abuse of immigrants. And they’ll remember how your government undermined and violently replaced theirs whenever corporations from your country had their profits threatened. You’re gonna want to leave, but there will be nowhere you’ll be welcome. You’re gonna find out that walls can face both directions.

One day you’re gonna wake up in a hostile world where your country no longer has any friends. There will be governments of other countries - former long-standing allies - that cannot afford to have anything to do with you, lest their publics angrily remove them from office for collaborating with a country as hated as yours. Nor will those governments trust yours anyway. They will perhaps possess intelligence that could save your life, but they will not share it. They will possess forces that could help you survive real security threats, but they will not provide them. Your country will have become an international pariah, the South Africa of the twenty-first century.

And because no one will assist you, one day you’re gonna wake up fearing for your life as your country is brutally attacked by angry militants deploying weapons of mass destruction against your cities. Long dormant connections in your brain will resurface, and you will dimly understand why. On this day - perhaps March 20, 2023 - you might be assisted in your comprehension by the message of one of the attackers, someone whose family your country callously destroyed in its mission accomplished in Iraq, and who spent the next twenty years plotting this day’s revenge. And you will wonder again why you stood by as your country attacked Iraq on a completely bogus pretext. You’ll remember applauding when this mailed fist was long ago sent. And, just as it comes hurling back in your direction at a lethal velocity, stamped “Return to Sender”, you’ll wonder what you were thinking. And you’ll realize just how much you weren’t.

One day you’re gonna wake up, America, and you’re gonna find out what was happening while you were sprawled on the couch watching endless mind-numbing loops of CSI, Desperate Housewives or Dancing with the Stars.

One day you’re gonna wake up and realize that catching all the action during week seven of the 2011 NFL season really wasn’t so critical in the greater scheme of things after all.

One day you’re gonna wake up and wished you’d invested a little more energy into monitoring and choosing the people who made monumental decisions on your behalf.

One day, with a flash of remorse greater than you thought it possible that one human vessel could contain, you’ll remember the ignored warning shots across your bow. Moments later, you’ll discover the human capacity for searing remorse is actually even greater still, as you contemplate your inattention even to the shots that were fired right through the bow. With a fury you would yesterday have thought yourself incapable of, you’ll hurriedly attempt to affix Band-Aids to the tattered splinters remaining from your country’s once sturdy hull. But you’ll learn quickly the toll of those years spent wasted in a civic coma. You’ll find that no amount of patchwork can any longer save this sinking ship from its appointment with the dustbin of history.

In shame, you’ll regret the callous arrogance with which you laughingly dismissed those who sounded the early clarion call. “We are destroying ourselves”, they tried to tell you. But even on the rare occasion when you roused yourself from your stupor long enough to learn the slightest bit about the very threats that jeopardized your life and that of your species, still you found it more reassuring to follow the blustering worst amongst us, with their patently absurd pretended confidence, and their ever constant resort to the cheapest of false solutions, and the rudest of demeanors.

One day, you’ll desperately search for hope of any sort, but none will remain. Nothing will be left to save you.

One day you’ll realize that once there were solutions, but that that day is now long past. You’ll see that human technological capacity ran its evolutionary race with wisdom, and the latter came in second. You’ll sadly realize that you stood by while your country led the once great tool-making species to its own destruction.

One day you’re gonna wake up, America, and realize how far it’s all gone. But if that day isn’t very soon, it won’t matter.

Because one day you’re gonna wake up, and it will be far, far too late.

David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Felt crappy this weekend, nursing some kind of creeping crud (allergies or cold) but we still ventured out. Saturday it was the Phoenix Public Market, a local farmer's market. We hadn't been to it before, but most of the other farmer's markets shut down during the summer, which is unfortunate since the weather here is conducive to growing fruits and vegetables year-round.

It was very nice. It starts early in the morning, has covered tents with misters and fans, so it's not so unpleasant. We picked up some outstanding jalapeno/cilantro hummus, some fresh herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. People think that it costs more to buy local, but the cost of not buying local is food being shipped in trucks thousands of miles. But if you live in a place that has a long growing season, the prices of local food are comparable to the prices at a grocery store. Nothing we bought was in more than it would be at the grocery store. I highly recommend buying local (for food or otherwise) as often as you can. Some good reasons --

Farmers’ markets are:

Good for farmers

- they’re a different source of revenue, often crucial in today’s difficult farming climate.
- they give farmers greater control over their economic lives.
- farmers can get higher prices - as the middle man is cut out.
- farmers diversify their skills - gaining marketing and business expertise.
- farmers get increased networking and learning opportunities with other farmers.

Good for the local economy

- more money is spent in the local economy, and it circulates in the locality for longer.
- there is high knock-on spending in other shops on market days.
- they provide an outlet for local produce, helping to start new local businesses and expand existing ones.
- they reinforce local job and business networks, maintaining local employment.

Good for consumers

- consumers enjoy the atmosphere and experience of farmers’ markets.
- consumers get fresh, healthy produce usually at competitive prices.
- they offer increased choice, and can offer extra fresh, affordable produce in areas with few such options.
- they strengthen community - a key factor in the quality of life.

Good for the environment

- food travels less far; there are less “food miles”.
- food has less packaging.
- they are an important outlet for farmers selling organic and less intensively-produced food.

Plus we checked out a few movies this weekend:

Ocean's 13 - Nothing's left on the table with this one. More flash, more disguises, more twists, more characters. It helps if you have seen the other 2 movies as it ties in characters from those movies (Andy Garcia, Vincent Cassel). The film is an apology of sorts for the shortcomings of Ocean's 12, which was just a little too in love with it's own cleverness.

There's a lot of made-up terminology and purposely obtuse dialog, and one guesses more than a little ad-libbing. It helps to create the thief's world ... one which we may not understand but can get humor out of the machinations. A lot of the joy in the movie is not that different that the original Ocean's 11 movie with Sinatra, Martin, Davis, etc. They were obviously friends, had an easy rapport and were obviously having fun making the movies. This movie is no different. Actors added for this installation include Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. Eddie Izzard, who was in 12, has a larger role in this one and is very good.

There are some funny inside jokes including the end where Pitt ribs Clooney's character for gaining weight between capers (in real life, he purposely gained weight for Good Night and Good Luck and Syriana). Clooney responded suggesting that Pitt settle down and have a few kids.

I've liked these movies because I've always been a little nostalgic for the Vegas/jazz/Rat Pack scene. These movies upgrade it and introduce better acting. Grade: B+

Yesterday, the wife and I checked out Knocked Up:

Knocked Up - From the director (and many of the actors that brought you 40 Year Old Virgin, comes a comedy about what happens when a stoner out kicks his coverage and gets the attractive (and successful) Katherine Heigl character pregnant after a drunken night. She decides to have the baby. They both want him to be part of the process and the movie revolves around the adjustments they have to make to fit each other's worlds. It's very real, very raw dialog, a lot like Virgin. If you are offended by repeated f-bombs, marijuana use, or blue humor, you probably should stay clear, But if you can see the role all of that plays in settings the scene and creating very funny situations, you'll like the movie. It's not really skit-based comedy like a lot of comedies are now. It's more funniness out of real life. As such, the movie has some dramatic and poignant moments. All of the lead actors are great but I especially liked what some of the smaller roles added: Alan Tudyk (of Serenity fame) as her boss, Kirsten Wiig (SNL) as a co-worker, and cameos by Steve Carrell, James Franco and even Ryan Seacrest (whose profanity-laced tirade will do a lot to loosen up a lot of people's image of him ... very funny stuff). RF's a big fan of this film and gives a much deeper review here Grade: B-

Other films I've recently seen that we've seen that I'm not going to take time to do extensive reviews of:

The Queen - A film that that shows in spades the important art of subtlety in acting -- something that British actors are much better at than Americans (though American James Cromwell does his usual great job). Check out RF's very good review here -- Grade: B

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - A film with a lot of obvious holes ... actually I'm not sure there's an actual plot. It's much too long. All that being said, I liked it anyway due to the obvious strength of the ensemble cast: Depp, Knightly, Chow Yun Fat, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, etc. The special effects are great. You are going to a Pirates movie to see swashbuckling and funny dialog and this delivers both. -- Grade C+

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Sky is Falling!

"Fear always springs from ignorance." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some recent events have been great fodder for those who get excited by perceived threats. For the easily cowed, stories of possible terrorist plots play right into their hands. They are almost gleeful at the prospect that their collective cognitive dissonance hasn't been for nought. See ... Bush was right all along for being in Iraq! It's like an after-the-fact affirmation. They are so starved for any bit of a terrorist plot, they will manufacture them where they either don't exist or they conflate them into something much bigger and much more sinister than they actually are.

In the first case (manufacturing terror), it's happened repeatedly:

Last year in Florida: Miami Bomb Plot

These were homegrown "terrorists" with no links to external groups and whose exposure (and continued operation) was largely due to FBI payments.

And just recently: Airport Fuel Pipeline Evaluated After Arrests

The reaction of government attorneys:
"... When the case was first announced this past weekend in New York, U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf spoke of "unfathomable death and destruction."

"The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable," Mauskopf said."

And the reaction of people who knew what they were talking about, weren't jacked up on caffeine, and didn't watch quite so many "24" episodes:

But Richard Kuprewicz, a pipeline expert with Accufacts, an energy consulting firm, says fears that an explosion at one end of the pipeline would set off explosions throughout the underground network are unrealistic.

"It's just not going to happen," Kuprewicz said. "You can have what we call a potential impact zone at the release site, but the flame front will not go up or down the pipeline."

One reason is that the fuel in the pipelines is not highly combustible. It needs oxygen to burn and there are shut-off valves to stop the flow in an emergency.

... Kuprewicz says that, for the most part, pipelines can be quickly repaired. His biggest concern is that people will overreact to the latest plot.

"If the reaction on national security is to not tell people where pipelines are in their neighborhood, that's probably a step backwards."

Public awareness is one of the best ways to protect pipelines, Kuprewicz says, because people are more likely to report anything suspicious if they know where to look.

Some even go so far as to wish for a terrorist attack:

Arkansas GOP head: We need more 'attacks on American soil' so people appreciate Bush
"At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country." -- Dennis Milligan

Dennis ... you ignorant slut!

I can forgive being stupid. What I can't forgive is being willfully ignorant. To be so deluded and to so completely buy into a certain screwed-up ideology that you would wish for an attack is beyond the pale. It's like walking around with a concealed gun hoping that someone attacks you so that you can use it. Wait ... that already happens. Especially here in Arizona.

I know we sound like a broken record, but as Laura pointed out in a recent post (14 defining characteristics of fascist regimes), you are seeing classic symptoms of a society moving toward fascism. The most obvious in this instance being the use of fear and the need to identify an enemy.

For a little more analysis of the use of fear and "terrorism", check out some recent posts by JA and Kvatch, respectively:

State of Fear

Terrorist Attacks are Good

"FEAR is an acronym in the English language for "False Evidence Appearing Real"" -- Neale Donald Walsch