Tags: real world crap

Karen Andresen and her son Ryan inducted into the Pantheon of Anti-Douchebaggery

I'm tired of it, y'all. I am sick of people beating up on kids because of who they are and how they were born. Aside from just the general meanness of the stupid, lumpen populus, what really pisses me off is when such unfounded prejudice and jackassery emanates from the vaunted institutions of America. This is why I wish to draw attention to a petition by one Karen Andresen in defense of her son Ryan who, after 12 years of devotion  to the Boy Scouts, is being denied his Eagle status because he is gay. Here are the details.

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What really touched me in Ms. Andresen's appeal was her description of her son's final project toward earning  his Eagle rank:   

A Boy Scout gets his Eagle by earning many badges, completing all lower Scout rank requirements, and carrying out an approved final project. So Ryan decided to build a "Tolerance Wall" for his school, to show bully victims -- like Ryan -- that they are not alone. Ryan worked countless hours with elementary students to amass a wall of 288 unique tiles, all illustrating acts of kindness.

I wonder why exactly it is (other than idiot prejudice) that any organization would oppose a kid like this. I wonder if they sleep well at night knowing that their current behavior reinforces the bullying and bigotry that Ryan and millions of kids like him have been made to endure for no reason. But I am not really interested in hearing their reasons. Their day is done. Society is moving on. They have lost. And that is in no small part due to the courage of kids like Ryan and moms like Karen Andresen. For that reason, they are inducted into the M-Brane SF Pantheon of Anti-Douchebaggery.

Note: Don't bother commenting about how the Boy Scouts are a private club and can have whatever rules they want, like a church. I don't give a damn. This kid was 6 when he joined. Also, my web-space is also a kind of private club with its own rules--set by me--and opinions contrary to what I expressed above are, under those house rules, wrong.

It's the platform, stupid

Because I am very busy professionally, and because life is too short generally, I don't have time to research into what the rightwing media must be making of things like this:

Screen shot 2012-09-25 at 2.20.40 PM

This image, pulled from Huffington Post, shows in map form a running compilation of state and national polls that indicate the direction the Presidential race is headed today, and it updates constantly. There are many other poll aggregators online--I just happened to choose the Huff Post one because it's better-looking and easier to read than most. But its conclusions are in line with all the rest. It shows Obama leading with a likely electoral vote total of 332 to Rom's 191 with only NC's 15 votes still in the toss-up category (but, amazingly, with a 76% probability of an Obama lead even in that state that he won but just by the slimmest of margins, in 2008). 270 is the winning number, so Obama even has a lot of room to decline from this and still pull out a victory. 

I assume that the rightwing mediasphere is doing two predictable things: 1) blaming the leftwing mediasphere for distorting the whole thing in Obama's favor; and 2) turning its guns against its own candidate for not running a crazy enough hardline wingnut Teabagger-style campaign. Because, as you know, being a huge crackpot wins you elections, right? That's exactly the case that Bachmann and Santorum made for their own candidacies against Romney earlier this year, and...oh. Nevermind. They lost, totally humiliated by a dull and patrician Mormon who, not that many years ago purported to be pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights. Hmmm. While I don't go directly to rightwing media sources for insight, I have recently heard rightwingers quoted elsewhere making assertions that should be rather alarming for the GOP going forward, if not for the Rom crew this year. Some GOP wonk whose name escapes me said on NPR a couple weeks ago that this would be the last election where their candidate could try to base victory solely on the white-guy vote because demographics will make that impossible very quickly, which is probably some part of why VA appears lost to them for the second time in a row and why NC might be lost a second time. An appeal to new voters is prescribed. But Senator Graham of SC made the eyebrow-raising remark recently that there are not enough "angry white guys" to keep the GOP in business nationally much longer. Oddly, his implicit solution to that problem seems not involve appealing to news kinds of voters but rather literally generating more angry white people by stepping up the reproduction of the white race. In other words, stick with the strategy of being the angry-white-guy party but just increase that share of the population somehow. Then I also heard someone else say that if this Rom thing doesn't pan out this year and goes the McCain way, then this is the last time the GOP is going to fuck away its Presidential chances by running a "moderate." Next time, they're uncorking the serious craziness! 

This all suggests a lot of worry on their part about why they just can't manage to beat Obama. After all, they have spent most of four years building an image of the President as a socialist demon, a Nazi, a radical Muslim, someone born in Kenya with "post-Colonial" views, and other kinds of monsters. This they have compounded with specious claims about Obama's legislative and economic record, and they have arrived at a picture of an incredibly vulnerable, more-vulnerable-than-Carter, incumbent President that is easily beatable. But their problem is that they appear to actually believe their own cartoonish picture of the President. This is the problem with True Believers. Political calculation is one thing, and political hypocrisy is another, and I can respect both as strategies when deployed by people who know that's what they're doing. But people who actually believe crazy shit are dangerous to themselves and others because they can't recognize their own lies anymore. This time, it's totally backfiring on the Republicans and will continue to do so for a long time unless they start to understand this fact: it is not the liberal media and it is not even your douchey, lame-ass Prez candidate who is undoing your electoral prospects this year. It's your cynical, bleak, lousy, depressing, prejudiced, jaundiced, hate-based, and totally suck-ass platform of dumb policy ideas and antiquated attitudes that is failing to win you this election. Go ahead and run with that next time, too, if you don't believe it. In fact, go ahead and make it even worse next time!

I'm a gay Democrat and I like seeing those losers lose! Especially this year!  

What up with the weird spam comments?

At the "top" of my journal, there's a post-dated post that I put there when I started it, as a sort of headline or statement for the reason for this existence of this journal. It just says that it's my personal journal, as distinct from the M-Brane SF site, and it's where I go to make random observations. This little nothing post attracts comments by the score, all of which get automatically screened as spam and never appear on the site. Obviously I know that spammers try to spam within blog comments all the time, but they generally seem to be trying to direct readers to something by placing a link in their spam comment. But on my LJ, I get tons of comments like this:

Subject: Test, just a test

 I do trust all the concepts you have introduced for your post. They're

 really convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too

 short for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a little from

 subsequent time? Thank you for the post. 

 You could certainly see your expertise in the paintings you write. The

 sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren't

 afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart. "If you

 feel yourself falling, let go and glide." by Steffen Francisco. 

Or this:

Subject: Hello I think you're wrong

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Take care.


What the fuck is that about? What is the purpose? These comments contain no links nor provide any clue as to the posters' intentions. The first is obviously a botched translation into English from some other language. One can glean the sense of it, but why was it written and posted? There is no link to anything, no evident agenda. It's plain weird. The second example could almost be read as a commentary on commenting on stuff on the internet: Hello, I think you're wrong!

Does anybody have any idea what's behind this sort of spam? There has to be a reason for it.

Umm. WTF? Weird Tales? Really?

This will be an intellectually lazy post, largely devoid of cross-references, just an off-the-cuff reaction to a big old Fail that I just now happened to detect on Twitter. It seems that Weird Tales, that on-and-off venerable institiution of speculative fiction, which had apparently been having a halcyon age under the editorship of Ann VanderMeer, had at some point changed ownership and editorship, and--bafflingly--its current editor decided they'd print a chapter of Victoria Foyt's novel Save the Pearls. Did you click that link in the previous sentence? If not, go ahead and do it. Never will you see a douchier author pic. 

Anyway, the reason for much brouhaha is that Foyt's novel is heavily larded with racist tropes and language. Unfortunately, I have read more words of it than I'd have ever liked because I read this entire good and damn-long post on Requires Only that You Hate, a vivisection of Foyt's book complete with many quotations from its tedious prose.

Which is what befuddles me about the Weird Tales editor wanting to publish this (they have since backed down, cancelled the plan and sort of apologized, by the way). Its language and concept is so fucking tiresome, even if it weren't also so offensive. I hate, Hate and HATE stories where they "cleverly" flip the real-world convention, such as: women are now the dominant oppressive sex, blacks are now the dominant racist overlords, homos are now the norm and str8s are oppressed. It's trite on its face, it's always more offensive than it intends to be, and it's always a big epic fucking fail. Combine a big trite failed cliche with an author who poses like a poseur on a bunch of leather couches and add Foyt's dead-tired prose, and you got that dumb "Pearls" book. 

So why would Weird Tales, of all venues, want to fuck away their rep on this shite? It boggles. It ain't even "weird" and it's not of pro quality either. I guess to hell with that zine.

Missouri Legislators Too Ignorant to Know that Road Signs Are the Same Everywhere

One of the downsides of listening to two hours of NPR's Morning Edition every morning while I am getting my workday started is that they break periodically for local station news updates, which here in St. Louis means news of the alternately deadly dull and utterly enraging shenanigans in our state capital. This week, our heavily GOP-dominated state house of representatives passed a dumbass piece of legislation requiring all driver license exams to be administered in English only. As it stands now, such exams can be administered in eleven different languages. This is just one manifestation of the English-only craze that GOP bigots have added to their stock-in-trade in the last decade or two, but it's also one of the very dumbest, and this is the very dumbest justification for it: To paraphrase the bill's  proponents, "it will make the roads safer because if we know that everyone can read and speak English fluently then we will know that they can read and understand the road signs."

What most Missouri Republican state reps (most, not all: 11 of them crossed over to oppose the bill) and five Democratic reps obviously do not know is that road signs are pretty much the same everywhere on the planet! And pretty much anyone who knows at all how to drive a car--even functionally illiterate drivers in any language!--can read and understand them. I have been to a bunch of different countries in my life, and I have driven cars in some where English was not the native language. And I am not fluent in any other language. Yet I was somehow able to master the feat of safely driving in this scary furr-eign language environment, in part because all the goddamned signs looked pretty much like all the equivalent ones in the Good Ol' You Ass of Ay.

I don't know much about the history of traffic control, but evidently at some point after the advent of the automobile, most of the planet agreed on the same basic concept for road signage. Also, the very fact that a lot of new Americans in Missouri--the people from Vietnam and Bosnia and Mexico and Honduras and Afghanistan and many other places who do a lot to make my city a diverse and interesting place to live--have been able to pass driving tests and get licenses while taking tests administered in their native languages proves that the other side's argument is legless. It's about bigotry and political opportunism, using a disfavored group of people--in this case, recent immigrants--to trump a phony threat and use the law the "correct" it and, in doing so, drum up voting fervor among their base and driving wedges between people who otherwise have no reason to quarrel.

It's so obvious, it's almost a cliche to even say it, but almost everyone here is the child of an immigrant. But in Missouri in particular I wonder where the hell any of its white-folk get off bringing up language when so few of them are more than a generation or two or three away from foreign-speaking forebears. This city is chockablock with Euro-descended Catholics, not one of which likely had grandparents hailing from England. And there's plenty of them in the neighborhood in which I work who speak English--when they choose to speak English--with a lovely and obvious Italian accent. And they drive just fine, too. (Well, at least as well as most people in this town do.)

As state rep Chris Kelly D-Columbia said, “This bill has no purpose, except jingoism. I hope the body will rise above its lowest common denominator and defeat this ill-advised piece of legislation.” But the body did not defeat it. Now it rests with the Senate, which will hopefully end it. And if not, our Governor will probably veto it. But even if so, and it dies there, what a waste of time and what an exercise in exposing our state's ugliest underbelly. They do it to the immigrants, they do it to the gays--they are bullies. I hate bullies.

By the way, that image up there is a Chinese stop sign. I have no idea what it "says" but I sure as hell know what it means.



9/10/2002 Redux...Deux

On this 9/11 anniversary, something did change for me. I realized how (perhaps) permanently different our country is now as opposed to then (day before, on 9/10/2001). Most of the differences I see are not good. I'm not going to elaborate on it. No one cares. What follows is what I remembered two years ago, and nothing has changed since then. I suspect I will re-post this same item one year from now.

"9/10/2002" (posted originally on 9/11/09)

Eight years ago today, I was executive chef and restaurant manager at the Saint Louis Art Museum. The phone rang that morning, and it was my co-worker Sharon calling from our corporate office, where she was attending a meeting. She said, "Bring the TV upstairs and turn it on. Something's going on. It looks like a plane crashed into the World Trade Center." We kept a TV in our storage area for the purpose of renting it to clients who needed A/V for meetings in our private dining room. I looked at online news first and saw the initial story on one of the news websites. I clicked to another page and saw the updated news stating that a second plane had hit the second tower.  I brought the TV up into the cafe's kitchen and for the next couple of hours all work stopped as my staff and I learned of the third plane crashing into the Pentagon and the fourth one whose fate was unclear for a while, and watched the Trade Center towers crumble to the ground. There were rumors and misinformation moving about as well: perhaps military aircraft had shot down a hijacked plane, perhaps there were many more planes en route to suicide collisions. Someone said that there had been a car bomb at the State Department. 
The Art Museum shut down at noon that day as a security precaution, as did similar venues around the city such as the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Arch. Some of my colleagues and I, not knowing what else to do with the rest of the day, met at a bar and drank away much of the afternoon, peering at TVs occasionally, waiting for more news. What we all noticed that afternoon, and what I will never forget, was the strange quiet that resulted from no aircraft in the sky.  In St. Louis, as in most cities with big airports, there is a constant, faint underlying drone of air traffic. It's unnoticeable until it's gone, and that was the first time it was ever gone.
Almost one year later, on the tenth of September 2002, I was still in that job at the Art Museum. A disagreeable customer, a lady who was one of a group of six ladies, started raising hell over our policy of not providing separate checks. It was bad enough that I was summoned by their server to try to smooth it over. With great, dripping disdain, she said to me, and I shit you not, "I can't believe that you would put everybody through this, and on the anniversary of 9/11, too!" And she sneered at me. For putting them "through this." Of course, I am a total professional in customer service situations, so I held back and did not reply thus: "Put you through what, you dumb disgusting ghoul? You think your sad-sack piece-of-shit little problem is somehow worth mentioning in the same breath as 9/11? Because you didn't get a separate check for your six dollar lunch? Well, fuck you. And look at a calendar. Today is nine-TEN!"
I'm sure there are still douchebags all over America trying to form self-righteous and ridiculous connections between their stupid, petty problems and 9/11, and the anniversary itself is certainly the day of days for it. But I'd ask those folks to instead show a little goddamned respect. And maybe consider for just one day that the whole fucking world isn't all about them. And when they get their lower lips all a-tremble about 9/11, how about shedding a tear or two for all the thousands of our soldiers and the tens of thousands of other people worldwide who have had to die in this endless war that we have fought ever since that awful day and will probably never quit fighting during the lifetimes of anyone alive today.

On Wisconsin!

People should read this sensible post about the political situation currently ongoing in Wisconsin. But before you leave to do that, let me say a couple things:

1) Though I haven't lived in Wisconsin for 21 years and would probably never move back (because I find its climate to be entirely inhospitable), I grew up there and am a son of a blue collar labor union family. My dad and his dad before him got to raise their kids in a dignified, reasonably middle-class manner because they were part of organized labor, because they had collective bargaining rights, and because they could say "Fuck no! I am NOT working for minimum wage! I am NOT working without health insurance! I am NOT working like a slave!" We weren't rich, but we didn't live in abject poverty either.  I don't have many friends who have that background, and even those who are normally big liberals on everything else somehow think unions are icky or have outlasted their purpose. I have politely explained to several of them that they don't know what the fuck they're talking about and that they need to get their big  elitist heads out of their asses. Were it not for organized labor, there never would have been an American middle class, and this country would now more closely resemble some of our South American neighbors where a tiny rich class lives in gated compounds surrounded by armed guards to protect them from the masses who would happily cut their wealthy throats.

2) The new Wisconsin governor concocted this so-called budget "crisis" himself by giving away a bunch of tax-break gifts to his political masters. The state was due for a budget surplus this year but, as Republicans always do, he erased it with gifts to his friends, and is now using his "crisis" to beat people who actually get shit done. Fuck him and his deficit. If it's that big a problem, go get the money back from all the plutocrats and kleptocrats who have been living high for the last three decades. 

3) My mom, who still lives in Wisconsin, is a supporter of the teabagger movement. Wisconsin teabaggers look with admiration to the supposedly "booming" Southern states where they don't have much in the way of "liberal" things like labor unions. Yet they'd be the first people to scream bloody murder if public services and the results of public services in Wisconsin actually declined to the appalling levels that are normal everyday life in the South. Vast swaths of the American South aren't even "First World" on the human development index. Wages for laborers who actually make stuff are way lower on average than in what remains of the industrial north. The five states that don't let teachers collectively bargain are all Southern and they all rank in the 40s (of the 50 states) in academic achievement (as measured by test scores, which Republicans normally love). Yeah, the South is "booming" all right, but it's on the backs of poor people and what little remains of a middle class, and an ever-growing permanent undereducated, underemployed underclass. Is that something that Wisconsin should admire? Fuck no. Wisconsin used to lead  or nearly lead the nation in almost every quality of life measurement (save for its horrid weather). 

4) I'm a kid who graduated from the public schools in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I got a great education there. Not all the teachers were great, but most of them at least did their jobs as well as anyone in the vaunted private sector does, and many of them with a lot more dedication and love of their mission. And for a fuck lot less money than a lot of private sector losers that I can name. If the Republicans actually complete their mission of destroying public education, then this country might as well just cut the shit, accept reality, and decline into its destiny: total second-rate has-been status. While all our international competitors pour more and more resources into education, science, research, industry and infrastructure, we pull back and back from all of that. Wisconsin's douchebag governor personifies this trend. 

For these reasons, and many more, I stand with the people in my ancestral homeland who are sticking up for what's right and fair and who are reviving and relighting that state's great old progressive fire.

Three V-Day contemplations

1. My boyfriend and I passed the 10-year point in our relationship a few months ago. The one and only time we ever commemorated Valentine's Day in the way that our straight counterparts are expected to do was on our first V-Day together, and that only happened because I was being a dick about things, letting work get in the way of personal considerations, and so on. So the bf made a big point out of it, made me feel bad that I was late getting to his house to make dinner, acted like he wanted to call the whole thing off, and so on. It all turned out well by the end of that night, and we have never since "celebrated" this date and have generally considered that to be one of the few benefits of our status, that we are exempt from such commercially-mandated behaviors as buying cards, candies, flowers and other such nonsense on February 14. This morning on NPR's Morning Edition, I heard a short segment anticipating how possibly very soon even Hallmark, the staid greeting card creator of the entire holiday (in alliance with chocolate-industrial sexist complex), might one year soon start having a line LGBT Valentine's Day cards. While I believe that my people deserve to be able to do all the same things our str8 counterparts get to do--even give each other sappy Hallmark cards--I sure don't plan to ever buy any of them myself, and J would probably puke if I ever gave him one. 

2. It strikes me as criminally stupid that grade school-age children are made to participate in V-Day activities. Does this still go on? Or is that a thing of the past, dead with my generation? I hope so. I was reminded of this by one of my Twitter pals who recalled how mortifying and miserable it was to receive Valentine cards from girls who clearly wanted nothing to do with him. I had this same experience. I specifically remember this ordeal from third grade, in Mrs. Martin's classroom, because a couple of the kids specifically refused to give certain classmates cards (it was required that every kid give every other kid a card). And it was a big fucking ugly scene with shouting and tears. Here's the thing: Valentine's Day is supposedly a day about "romance"--by which they might mean "fucking"--and therefore is probably not age-appropriate for 8-year-olds. Mrs. Martin, though, laid down the Valentine's Day Law on us 8-year-olds, and soon enough the hold-outs handed over cards to the reject kids, me included. [An aside, this same Mrs. Martin--her real name, she's dead, she won't care--also made my perceived queerness a focus of lengthy class discussion one day and decreed that henceforth I was to play kickball at recess like a proper boy, and then subjected me to further sanctions when that did not pan out...so you might imagine that I harbor a bit of resentment from that year.]

3. If you are in love, newly in love, or oldly in love, or just plain comfortable in love, and if it makes you happy to celebrate this heart day with all its trappings, then do please enjoy it (I'm not that big a jerk!).

Civility

Some random thoughts that come to mind in light of the public conversation after the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords:

1) Everyone seems to agree to that more civility, a more measured tone, is called for in our political culture. This evidently means that progressives must accept most of the share of blame for the deterioration in our public discourse even though it is primarily personalities in the formerly fringe/now mainstream right wing who promulgate hysterical rhetoric. While I find this to be an odd development--that we must accept at least the half the blame for their douchebaggery--it has made me consider my own speech. I've decided that for the time being I will refrain from some of the more negatively-toned political statements that I make from time to time here and elsewhere. I will, however, still periodically identify closeted homos (like Bryan Fischer of Focus on the Family) when they advocate their homophobic agenda, and I will still maintain my stance that everyone who voted for any Republican for any office in any recent election cycle voted, in effect, for bigotry.

2) While it may be true that Giffords' shooter is "crazy," I find it odd that everyone seems to have agreed that his action had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with politics, no politics at all, no way, nothing to do with it. Instead, everyone has agreed with the bizarre premise that mental illness exists in a total vacuum, completely divorced from any possible influence or interaction with the "sane" world, a mental singularity into which no real-world considerations can possibly enter and propagate. Hence the point of view, which no one seems to have the will to dispute, that "crazy people are just gonna do crazy shit. End of story." But these are the uncomfortable facts: he was evidently preoccupied with crazy anti-government conspiracy theories; he was fixated on Giffords; Giffords is the most prominent member of the government where he lives; he went to a town hall conducted by Giffords and shot her. He did not just go to some random location and shoot a bunch of unknown civilians for purely "crazy" reasons. The shooting of Giffords was a political assassination attempt regardless how "crazy" the shooter was. The other night I listened to people on NPR fall all over themselves to make it clear that that no way, no how are there any politics entwined with this story. None. And this on NPR, the public radio network that the Fox News founder describes as "Nazis." If even the liberal, commie Nazis of NPR aren't going to identify an assassination as an assassination, then I guess no one will. A pattern is forming. We saw an example when that other crazy dude flew his little plane at that IRS building. Again: no politics, no terrorism. Because it's only politics if a leftie does it, and it can't be terrorism unless it's from a Muslim. And we have had for a long time the ugliest example, the OKC bombing, which has also been whitewashed of its political associations. Yeah, he was just crazy, not political. Not at all.

3) Progressives who are shocked and outraged that Olbermann is gone from MSNBC might want to reconsider how the political left ought to behave. I didn't watch Olbermann very much because I don't think that progressives ought to conduct themselves like right-wingers. I didn't like the Air America radio network either for the same reason, and wasn't sad when it folded. To rant and rave like a Limbaugh or a Beck is not going to advance our causes. Indeed, it creates the very situation we're in now where we somehow are being made to share the blame for the bad political culture that is the stock-in-trade of the right. While I probably share most of Olbermann's views and would acknowledge that he traded in facts rather than just making up shit out of whole cloth like his Fox counterparts, his act wasn't really any better than theirs. 

The TSA and the clash of competing hysterias

For some reason, I've had a hard time deciding how I really feel about the TSA's "enhanced" airport passenger screening procedures. On one hand, I agree with the sentiment that it's wholly ridiculous and laughable security theater that does nothing to protect anyone and is most probably a violation of our Constitutional promise of freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. Since when, after all, is simply traveling around the country "probable cause" for criminal investigation? On the other hand, the pragmatic part of me says, "If you don't want someone groping your junk, then just walk through the fucking scanner!" Here's a video from YouTube of a little kid getting patted down. It's pretty creepy and stupid, but why did it even happen? Why didn't he go through the scanner? 



Oh. That's right. Because the scanner is evil, too. I remember last year after the "underwear bomber" when these new scanners were introduced and there was a hilarious battle of the moral panics: puritan loons complained that images of little kids going through the machine would create a bonanza for the supposedly limitless child porn industry (yet we are forced to behold naked babies' asses on baby-related commercials on TV all the time and they say nothing about it--go figure). This was funny because these were probably the same people ideologically who were previously saying that absolutely everything and anything needs to be done to stop the evil Muslims in their plots to kill you, and you and YOU! 

So the scanner violates silly prudishness and the pat-downs TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHTS!!!! You know who we Americans have to blame for this ridonkulous situation? No one but ourselves. The entire point and purpose of the enemy's attack on us on 9/11 (now considered politically the Holiest of Holies) was to instill terror in this country and cause us to shed our liberal and democratic legal traditions and cultural openness. It was an attack specifically calculated to unravel the fabric of this country's former glory. I've noticed some people say, almost a decade later, in response to these airport security procedures, "The terrorists have won." Actually, they won a long fucking time ago and they continue to win as long as we continue to fight this stupid phony-baloney war against them by tearing ourselves down. And you know what else? A lot of the same people whining now about their rights being violated by the back-scatter machine or the pat-down will be among the first to clamor for fresh new rounds of fascism the next time there is a terrorist attack in this country.

Think the TSA and Homeland Security have gone too far? Look in the mirror, America. You asked for it.