January 04, 2004

When did thinking for yourself become unamerican?

The war on terror has created a nation of cattle. Moo.

Suddenly, it is un-American to think for yourself, apparently. People I used to respect have jumped on this particular band wagon, and it sickens me.

Yes, it is in fact possible to support our troops without supporting the "war" on terror. The troops are doing a job that you and I wouldn't do for any amount of money because they promised to. And they are doing it for next to nothing. Less than minimum wage, in most cases, if you include overtime. Because they promised to. They don't care who told them to do what, they go ahead and do it anyway. They may be against the war on terror, but they do the job because they promised to. As an ex-sailor, I can tell you that 100% of the soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else would prefer they not be shot at or killed. But they're out there because they were told to be out there. I will support those men and women. I do NOT have to support the person who put them there.

I'm not being un-American. In fact, I'm being nothing BUT American.

Ben Franklin said "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." That is as true today as it was way back then. Over the past 200 years, Americans have been willing to give up their liberties in order to obtain the ILLUSION of security. It happens little by little, item by item. Lately, it's been more overt than usual. The Democrats are trying to court the "Safety Mom" vote for the next election, by promising better safety measures in everyday life. The Republicans (Herr Ashcroft, at the behest of our esteemed President) have started pushing all of the things they've always wanted under the guise of better security.


The Department of Homeland Security: This is not a new idea. Hitler had one. North Korea has one today. The only differences between the German/Korean versions and our version are these; 1) We agree in general on the need for this, and 2) We don't have a concentration camp. Wait, on second thought, Guantanamo Bay seems to fit the bill right now.

CAPPS2: Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System - This is the handy-dandy computer system that is supposed to tip off the airlines that you might be a security risk. How? Apparently, aside from seeing if you have an Anglo name that matches a short list used frequently by terrorists, it also checks your credit records. That's right, if you max out your Visa and Discover cards to buy a ticket to your grandfathers funeral, you have an unpaid parking ticket, and your name happens to be David Smith, guess what? You ain't getting on that plane.

The list goes on and on, but frankly, it's late and I'm getting bored. Besides, it sounds like I'm just picking on the Republicans. I'm not. The Democrats are trying as hard as they can to jump on this band wagon.

Let's get something clear here. If someone on an american flight stands up with a box cutter in his hand today, he's going to die at the hands of 200 other passengers. We don't need to screen passengers anymore. NOBODY is going to get away with anything anymore. Bring a gun, bring a Bazooka, bring a Mach 3 razor on board. I don't care. If you brandish any of those things on my flight, I will strangle your sorry ass with my shoe laces if I have to. You will die, even if I die trying.

The elevated levels of security at airports are a joke. They are there to make well-fed white people (voters) feel better. That's it. Nothing more. It is entirely useless anyway. If a guy can MAIL himself from the northeast to the Dallas area in a shipping crate, exactly how hard do you think it would be to mail a bomb? I guarantee you that without buying any special books (which are being monitored, BTW), any combustible materials (which the machines check for) or any equipment on any watch list that I could build a device which would go though screening at the airport without a second look, and surely take a plane down. All it takes is imagination and the desire to do so.

I live in Austin. If you've been to Austin, you've probably been up or down Loop 1, also known a MoPac. MoPac stands for Missouri Pacific, the railroad. The tracks go right through downtown Austin, and continue out to Houston, the Energy Capitol of the world. I haven't seen a single person check the trains that are always stopped on those tracks. How hard would it be to wait for an appropriate payload and attach a bomb to a train? You'd have a choice of targets: Houston or Austin.

Danger is everywhere. If a terrorist wants to do something, he will. Stop worrying about it. The danger is minimal. Almost insignificant.

Now, about the "War on Terror". What war? Is this like the War on Drugs, or the War on Hunger? No thanks. I've had my fill of "War on ...", thankyouverymuch. The War on Drugs has been so incredibly successful. I have to walk all the way downtown to get my drugs now. Before, the dealers used to come door to door, right? These "wars" are economic black holes from which we get no benefit at all. Trillions of dollars spent on the War on Drugs. How, exactly, has it been successful?

And, by the way; if the drugs are still making it into the country, how successful do you think they are at stopping biological weapons from coming into the country? Millions of illegal immigrants coming in every year. And none of them have any luggage at all. SUUUUURRRE...... Whoops, there I go, being un-American again and thinking for myself.

Willie Nelson put out a song just recently criticizing the war on terror. It's all over talk radio. "Is he right to do this?" Blah, Blah, Blah. I say "Bravo, Willie!" I may not agree with everything you say or stand for, but I'll be God-damned if I'm going to let someone call you un-American for voicing your opinion.

More later.

Okay, I am obviously NOT at Texan....

Here I am, living in Austin, and I am an alien. I'm not from around here.

This is painfully obvious by one simple fact: I own not one single item in "burnt orange". That is to say, I am not a Longhorns fan. I'm not a football fan at all, and if I watch football, it's the NFL, not college football. It most certainly is NOT high school football.

People in this state go nuts over football. Even high school football. They build multi million dollar stadiums for high school football here. One town in the eastern part of the state annexed 31 square miles of unincorporated land just to get one kid to have to go to school at their high school. The parents didn't ask for this. The town did it while they were on summer vacation. Why? Because they needed this kid to be a running back for thier football team. Madness.

UT changes head coaches more often than they change students. They get somebody to sign a contract for a gazillion bucks over a decade, and then can him two years later. Why? Because he didn't make it to the Rose Bowl, or the Nacho Bowl, or the Chicken Fiesta Bowl, or some such meaningless game.

Don't get me wrong - I can appreciate a good game just as much as the next guy. For example, I root for the New England Patriots every chance I get, but I do NOT bitch, whine and generally complain when they don't win. It's expected. My life does not revolve around a bunch of overpaid jackasses shuffling down a field, trying to move a brown ovoid and hurt each other. Or any other type of ball, for that matter.

When the Patriots won the Super Bowl (for the first time ever) on February 3rd, 2002, I didn't see a single throw, punt, grunt, hit or drop of the entire game. First time they've ever won the Super Bowl, and I didn't bother to watch it. Why? Simple. My son was born that morning. That is the ONLY reason I know what date that game was. It just doesn't matter.

Okay, so you've hung with me this far, and you're saying "what's his point?"

This past week, the Longhorns went to the Holiday Bowl. I understand they lost. From 6:00pm to 7:00pm every Monday through Friday, Jeff Ward and Ed Clemmens on KLBJ 590 talk about sports. Well, Ed was out and so another guy sat in. All Jeff and this guy talked about was whether or not Mack Brown (the Longhorns' head coach) should be fired or not.

Can someone tell me why it matters one lick what the performance of the Longhorn's football team is?
How does this affect the performance of the school overall?
How does having a winning football team improve the quality of education for it's students?
What, exactly, is it about the football team that makes it worth paying a coach $1.45 MILLION dollars over 10 years?
How has Mack Brown added $14.5 Million Dollars to the University's coffers?

Never mind the salaries of the other coaches, aids, team doctors etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum....

The University is still paying for John Mackovic's contract, and now people want to pay for Mack Brown's contract as well as a new head coach? Are they soft?

Somebody, please, explain it to me in terms I can understand......