It occurred to me that I might need to do a little preemptive splaining after this morning's post about the governing apparati of the city of Boston becoming totally unhinged by a bunch of Lite-Brites.
Knocking out the most simplistic stuff first: no, moron, I'm not in favor of terrorism, I didn't say I was, and I didn't advocate being in favor of it. I'm not advocating rolling over for it. I'm not advocating being a dumbass when you see a brown paper package wrapped in twine ticking away in the airport lounge. I'm not advocating cutting funding to local and federal law enforcement. Or not increasing it.
I'm advocating having a fucking brain in your head. The only reason the war in Iraq is about terrorism is because having a large, but too-small body of troops in a country undergoing a civil war (one we precipitated--not that I advocate having left Sadaam Hussein in power, since we went all that way to kick his ass and stuff) is, in fact, an invitation to terrorism. The original reasons for invading had nothing to do with terrorism, and leaving Iraq now would neither alter that country's strife-ridden path to a government that may or may not like us nor bring more terrorists to our shores.
It's like leaving your laptop on a park bench and boggling when someone steals it. It's like putting wooden barrels of gasoline in an old, dried-out barn filled with straw, and leaving matches strewn about, and expecting no one to burn it down.
I'm also not disrespecting the 3,000 or so mostly Americans who died on 9/11. Your view may be that the math disrespects them--they were, after all, only 3,000 of the 150,000 or so people who died of unnecessarily violent causes in 2001. But that would not be a real objective view, and it would be pretty disrespectful to the other 147,000 or so victims of violence.
And I am most assuredly not suggesting that terrorism deaths are unpreventable. I'm just suggesting that they should be viewed in the appropriate risk context. The rationale for preventing terrorism is the rationale for preventing any unnecessary deaths. AIDS kills far fewer people than cancer. Compare the amount spent on research into each. It's exactly the same thing. Exactly the same.
I saw the video of the two accused, wherein they would only entertain questions about 70s hairstyles. I think they've got it just about exactly right. They are effectively charged with giving the city of Boston an opportunity to look really, really stupid. Their attitude is what it should be.
The howls from the right are not as loud as I might have thought, although they're just as mean. And the howls that try to sound like sensible howling are real knee-slappers. I heard a Fox correspondent guest-bloviating on my local pound-news-up-your-ass radio station today; her take was that the Feds believe Boston did the right thing. When asked how that reflected on the other nine cities that managed not to panic over Lite-Brites, she took a trip to the Waffle House, but tried to edge in an assertion that the Feds thought Boston was right and nine other cities were head-up-ass.