Things I’d Pay A Lot of Money To Hear Again

It was sometime late in 1986 when Dave Elvin managed to book Country Dick Montana, the eccentric drummer of California cowpunk band the Beat Farmers, on the Don Vogel show.  It was one of the most hilarious interviews of all time.  We’d been using the Farmers’ classic “Happy Boy” as a bumper whenever we needed to cheer Don up, either literally or theatrically.  It always worked, of course – there are few funnier songs, ever.

I remember nothing about the interview except that Montana, who claimed to have just stepped out of the shower, kept Vogel in stitches for twenty minutes.

Atomizer pays eloquent tribute to Montana and the Farmers over at the Frats this morning.

Things I Never Care If I Hear Again

The song from that car ad – I wanna say it’s Mazda, but they’re all “zoom zoom zoom”, so it must be some other brand – with the jungle beat and the chorus of audibly-disheveled guys who are apparently chanting…

“Sky Cannabis – Green light.

Sky cannabis in-spi-RAY-shun…”

…or something like that.

And yes, it has been an earworm for the past two days.  Why do you ask?

A Leash Being Yanked

Getting an education for my children has been a beastly, awful business. The only break I’ve had in recent years has been getting my kids out of the St. Paul Public school system… …no. Let me rephrase that. The only break my kids and I have caught has been getting them the hell out of the sinking morass that is the Saint Paul Public Schools.

In the case of my daughter, I’d say the district, her various administrations, most of her teachers were merely incompetent; in the case of my son, it’s more akin to “child abuse”. I’ve written about this in my “Losing My (State) Religion” series, of which three more installments are coming soon.

(Note to all my friends and relatives in the education business – yes, I know you all do your best.  Yes, I know you don’t see things quite the way I do.  I’m not impugning your motivations, efforts or ethics. I know the vast majority of public school teachers really do do their best.  But I think the current system’s basic assumptions are largely wrong.  Beyond that?  Yes, my experience this past few years has been that awful). 

Charter schools were the lifeline – the way out of the cesspool that the public school system has become. Without charter schools – with private schools not a financial option, and homeschooling not personally available – I doubt I’d ever have come up with a way to get either of my kids through school.

For my part, I’ll leave Saint Paul before I put my kids back in that miserable, pathetic system. The best thing I can say about Saint Paul is that “it’s better than Minneapolis“.

And that doesn’t help a lot.

With that out of the way, let’s address Nick Coleman’s column from Friday.

If there remains a “sacred cow” in public education — an issue that can’t be criticized or challenged — it is not teacher unions, the failings of inner-city schools or the empty achievements of the No Child Left Behind Act. All those topics and more have been debated vigorously in the discussion over education.

No, the last sacred cow is the charter-school movement and the notion that charter schools will reform the schools and that no limit should be placed on their number, despite mounting evidence that they, too, are beset by problems.

Allow me to set aside, for a moment, my celebrated sense of manners.
Nick. You doddering old duffer. What the hell are you talking about?

Every time a charter school folds for any reason, your paper gives it breathless coverage.
Your newspaper has been fighting against charter schools from the very beginning of the movement.

Charter schools have never been a sacred cow. To some of us, they’re a ray of hope. To some of you, they’re a punching bag on which you vent your impotent frustrations – like observing the failure of the second-most-lavishly-funded district in the state and bellowing “our schools are burning!”.

Clear on that?

That last sacred cow just got gored. And high time, too.

The Minnesota Senate’s education spending package includes a long-overdue proposal to limit the number of charter schools in Minnesota to 150, a cap that could mean no more charter schools would be approved after 19 schools slated to open next fall or next year are added to the existing 131.

A cap may be gaining traction: Despite protests from charter-school supporters, an attempt to remove the cap from the education bill was defeated by voice vote in a Finance Committee subdivision Wednesday.

Let’s try to be clear on our terms here. Charter schools are booming – else why would they be slated to grow a full 15% next year? The better ones have long waiting lists, because parents – especially inner city minorities, sick of the fourth-rate education their children receive in their benighted inner city schools – are taking their kids there in droves.

Minneapolis’ public school system has lost 25% of its enrollment in recent years – lost to charter schools, private schools and open enrollment. Groups are starting new charter schools at a pace that just keeps accelerating – so clearly the concept of the charter
school is what’s “gaining traction”.

There is no traction, at least on the streets of the Twin Cities.

No, Nick, what’s happened is that the DFL-controlled committee structure in the legislature is doing what their major benefactor – the Minnesota Federation of Teachers – tells them to.

Let’s not confuse the two. It tends to mislead your readers.

Logically, a cap makes sense. It wouldn’t mean charter schools couldn’t grow or accept more students; it would only mean that 150 charter schools are enough.

And…why?

Up next – one of Coleman’s patentied “Flurries of Obfuscation”.

The need for a cap is clear: Charter schools, authorized by the 1991 Legislature (and limited, at first, to eight schools) have wildly outgrown their original intent,

Rubbish. There was nothing about their “original intent” that said “let’s succeed in the marketplace of ideas, and then stop cold!”

suffer from a lack of rigorous financial controls (several have gone bankrupt, others have been robbed by their managers),

Question: How do you think any public school would fare by that standard, if they weren’t treated the same as welfare and the military in terms of funding?

Fact: Charter schools get much less than their fair share of state funding per-student. And yet the likes of Coleman are forced to deploy weasel words to say they…:

…have not significantly outperformed traditional public schools

In other words, for less money, and under the constant harassment they did perform better!

Oh, and it all depends on who you ask. For my daughter? Try “going from a 1.2 to a 3.+ GPA” almost immediately, while doing much more rigorous work under vastly more committed teachers.

Significant outperformance? You be the judge – unless you are Nick Coleman, and are the stooge of the teacher’s union, and have had your judgement written for you.

…(according to the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools, 44 percent of the state’s charter schools did not make adequate progress last year, including the school where Minneapolis City Council member and public school critic Don Samuels sends his children).

Leaving the ofay ad hominem against Samuels (who committed the unpardonable sin, for an inner-city African-American politician of crossing the DFL/Teacher’s Union (pardon the redundancy) – so what? “Significant progress” at what?

Whatever the MACS says, answer this, Nick Coleman – why do all of us dumb parents keep yanking the kids the hell out of public schools and putting them in charter schools? Because we’re stupid?

Look at my kids’ results in charter schools, and then explain that to me.

“There are too many of them that suffer from really bad management, financial improprieties or sweetheart deals” involving charter-school sponsors who contract for services to their schools, says Charles Kyte, executive director of the MinnesotaAssociation of School Administrators.

Did you catch that?

Coleman quoted from an official from an “association” who has always opposed charter schools, and who justifiably sees charters as a threat to their livelihood!

This part got me angry – not only Mr. Kyte’s statement itself, but the assumptions that Coleman operates under:

Kyte spent 20 years as a public school superintendent in Northfield and Eden Valley-Watkins, and helped get a charter school off the ground. He does not oppose charter schools in principle. But he says charter schools are costing public school systems millions in education funding and that they are increasingly drifting towards micro-experiments in neo-segregation that turn the old notion of a meltingpot on its head, with schools aimed at Hmong children or Muslims or smaller subcategories, such as a school for Somali girls.

“We have all these laws to try to integrate society, and now we’re creating all these segregated little pots,” says Kyte.

Did you catch that?

After twenty years of pushing “multiculturalism” and hammering on “diversity” – at the expense of teaching children the skills they need to actually become part of the “melting pot” that so many in public education so despise! – parents are taking matters into their own hands.
If the public schools can’t handle the job of helping immigrants and minorities assimilate into the larger society – and they clearly are failing miserably, as you can tell any time you visit a large, factory-model high school, like my daughter’s former school, St. Paul Central, where kids seem to gather in the halls in ethnically-homogenous groups – then why should parents not look for a solution that does both jobs better?

“The advocates of charter schools are relentless, and we’re going to have 500 in five years, if we don’t pause.”

So?

And why are they – we – relentless? Because of the full-court press on the part of the establishment (of which Nick Coleman is a smug, barbering part) to destroy what is, for some of us, the first good thing that’s happened to our kids’ edutation.

I think the word he’s looking for is “motivated”.

The “experiment” is out of control and having the opposite effect of what was intended: Instead of reforming public schools, it is damaging them.

And so Coleman wants…what?

To call off the experiment, which is highlighting the irredeemable weaknesses of the public school system?

Nick Coleman; always right there, with the real solution; tell the emperor his clothes are fabulous!

NARN Today!

On Volume II, Ed and I will be talking about the Democrats’ pork-laden political whoopie cushion “Defense Appropriations” bill.  We’ll also be talking with St. Paul School Board member Tom Conlon about the move to exclude military recruiters from Saint Paul schools.

The Volume I guys – Chad, John and Brian – have a guest, while the “Final Word” guys will no doubt talk about the complaint filed against Secretary of State Ritchie.

Best Wishes

One of my great inspirations has to be Tony Snow.

Two years ago, he came down with colon cancer.  Like a lot of people (of all political walks), I sent him a “get well soon” email; I’ve long respected Snow’s chops as a radio guy. 

His email in response was truly a gift of insight into dealing with difficult times.  I’ll find it and share it one of these days, if it survived the last couple of system crashes.

It’s a shock to see he’s apparently going back for more surgery, to remove another abominable abdominal growth.

And it’s good to see that good people still know what comes first:

“The biggest problem you have sometimes with cancer is flat-out fear,” Snow said. “When you see an Elizabeth Edwards saying, ‘I’m going to embrace life and I’m going to move forward,’ that is a wonderful thing.”

After hearing the news, John and Elizabeth Edwards called Snow, during a refueling stop on their way to Los Angeles, to express their support and concern, said Edwards adviser Jennifer Palmieri.

Snow’s news is by no means necessarily bad – they don’t know it’s a relapse - but please keep him and his family alongside the Edwardses in your prayers, wishes or what have you.

Continue reading

24 Scenes I’d Like To See

SCENE:  In CTU.  The heat is on.  Clicking, beeping, whirring all about; barely-controlled pandaemonium reigns. 

BAUER:  “Chloe, I need those grid maps overlaid with the week-old satellite photoes and the differentials called out, and I need ‘em now

CHLOE (irritably):  “Back off!  I’m running  a back-streamed IP subnetwork mask through the HTU turborouter with a full set of up-ticked cryo-semantic filter to crossmatch with Division, LAPD and Homeland Security databases!”

Noises off:  Stop.  Silence.  Everyone looks at O’Brien.

BAUER:  “What on earth are you talking about?”

Overpowered By Meme

Today’s meme – unmet expectations.

1. What, in your experience, was the most overrated movie of all time?

I may get shunned by my arty friends, but Eight 1/2 by Fellini left me totally cold.

2. What was the most overrated album?

That would have to be Sweet Baby James by James Taylor.  I never quite figured out what the attraction was supposed to be with Taylor.

3. What is the most overrated  book?

Catcher In The Rye.  Yeah, I know, Salinger, important, seminal, blah blah blah.  Left me very cold both times I read it.  Gank.

4. What is the most overrated blog?

Left-wing:  Why does anyone pay attention to Pandagon or Jesus General at all?

Right-wing:  Gotta say that the Rottweiler wore thin on me very, very fast.

5. What was the most overrated television show? 

Bet you thought I was going to say West Wing, right? 

Probably I Love Lucy.  “Gee – do you suppose Lucy will try to get a job with the band?  Five bucks Ricky doesn’t react with blustery machismo…DOH!  Lost again!”

6. What would you call the most overrated magazine?

“George” was desperately awful.

 7. Who was the most overrated classical composer?

Stravinsky.  Genius, yes, but everything he ever wrote gave me a headache.

8. Who is the most overrated pop songwriter?

John Lennon.  Without McCartney to round off the edges of his boundless cynicism and self-absorption, he was just unbearable. 

 My commenters were right.  I was wrong.  The Doors – Morrison, Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore, singularly and as a group – have this coveted title all to themselves, in a league of their own.  I’m no Lennon fan, but let’s deny credit where no credit is truly due.

9. What is the most overrated genre in any form of art? 

Xtreem pantomime.

The Seed Painter

One of the annual treats of the trip to the Minnesota State Fair is the seed art exhibit.  The exhibit provides plenty of comic relief (not to mention easy material for the NARN broadcast), and of course the occasionaly “wow – didn’t know they could do that with seeds).

Most of the latter came from this woman, who died yesterday.

Lillian Colton spent the better part of 40 years immortalizing the likes of Kirby Puckett, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Rev. Billy Graham with wild rice, hay and timothy seeds glued to cardboard.

Colton, considered the Andy Warhol of seeds — yes, she did a portrait of him, too — died Tuesday of congestive heart failure at her home in Owatonna, Minn. She was 95.

“With her artistic skills she immediately made crop art into an elevated art form,” said Colleen Sheehy, education director at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.`

That must be a sign someone has made an impression – when someone can mention “The Kirby Puckett seed picture” and you instantly remember it.

Bummer.

Hello, Dave!

Calvert DeForest – AKA Larry “Bud” Melman from the David Letterman show - is dead at 85:

The Brooklyn-born DeForest, who was 85, died Monday at a hospital on Long Island, Letterman’s “Late Show” announced Wednesday.

He made dozens of appearances on Letterman’s shows from 1982 through 2002, handling a variety of twisted duties: dueting with Sonny Bono on “I Got You, Babe,” doing a Mary Tyler Moore impression during a visit to Minneapolis, handing out hot towels to arrivals at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

“Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself – a genuine, modest and nice man,” Letterman said in a statement. “To our staff and to our viewers, he was a beloved and valued part of our show, and we will miss him.”

Hard to even remember which Melman bit I liked the best…

Reinforcing Failure

One of the great legacies of the Bush Administration is further proof that tax cuts work.  They stimulate the economy.  They put people to work.  They are a just-plain-good thing.

Now, the Bush Administration screwed up, and badly, by not cutting domestic spending.  Those of us who supported Steve Forbes up until the end of the 2000 convention are justified in going “I Told You So”.  And so we shall.  But Bush’s tax cuts have given us an economy that, by any rational measure (except Lexus/Nexus hits) is one of the best ever.

Oh, the Democrats will barber than they starve the government of revenue – which, of course, exposes the central problem with their thesis; the role of our society is not to keep government afloat first and foremost.

The Dems have that wrong – aggressively so.   And they want to “fix” that – to put government at what they call its’ rightful place in the fiscal food chain, way up front.

Jay Reding on the Dems’ plan to gut the US economy:

 To [re-raise taxes] would be to erase the millions of jobs created in the past few years, introduce a huge amount of uncertainty into the market, and ensure that businesses would delay job-creating capital investments until they know what the tax consequences of those choices would be. The Asian markets had a massive sell-off because of similar fears, and the same would happen in America if there was a credible threat of a major capital gains tax increase…However, the worst thing that could happen is for the Democrats to raise taxes, spurring another selloff and then add more to the already burdened entitlement system. That is also precisely what the Democrats want to do — which is why the President should be prepared to veto any bill that raises capital gains taxes beyond the current level.

The economic reality is that capital gains taxes are economically wasteful — they don’t generate much revenue and they hurt economic growth, reducing tax revenues in other areas. Even if a 0% capital gains rate isn’t politically acceptable, neither is a return to a time when capital gains rates were acting as an anchor on economic growth.

It’s here, again, that elections matter.  It’s here that we pay for having the likes of Amy Klobuchar and Tim Waltz in Congress; their philosophy is “government comes first”. 

Attention, Minnesota Political Parties

Other states are moving up their primaries, so as to make them more influential in selecting the next president:

Hoping to muscle Florida into a pre-eminent role in picking next year’s Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, the state House voted Wednesday to leapfrog almost all the other states and set a Jan. 29 primary, with an option to go even earlier.

So here’s an idea:  keep our caucuses exactly where they are…

…but use them to endorse for the next presidential cycle!

That’s right!  Make Minnesota the most influential state of all by making our picks for 2012 right now!

Thanks for your consideration.

Man who dragged girl with his van is sentenced

Mauricio Sanchez was sentenced to 23 months yesterday for hitting 11-year-old Gladys Reyes, dragging her a third of a mile, and then running away when another driver forced him off the road.

Reyes lost an arm, and is in intensive therapy to teach her to walk again.  Maybe.

Margaret from Crime Watch quotes the judge, and comments:

Before imposing sentence Wednesday, Spicer said that he doesn’t think Sanchez “is an awful man, but he made an awful decision.”

The judge said the incident began as an accident, but escalated into a serious crime with Sanchez’s decision to flee.

“I wish I could do more for the Reyes family,” Spicer said. “But I can’t repair the damages. It’s a sad day for all of us.”
These quotes show exactly what the logic is behind liberal sentencing. These judges try to look into the soul of a person and see whether they are really “a good person” or not. They aren’t judging the crime or even the fact that somebody had to take several steps to even be in a position to commit a crime. In fact, they really aren’t treating the perp like a adult, more like a child or an irrational person, whose imputed motives matter more than than either the actual crime or even the consequences of that crime. Nobody was asking this judge “to repair the damage”– even if such a thing were possible. They were asking for this guy to be punished for his crime.

Which, ludicrous as 23 months is for such a crime, probably won’t happen anyway:

The judge said that he expects Sanchez will face deportation back to El Salvador as a result of the conviction.We actually don’t even know how long this guy will be in jail. The Star Tribune reporter speculates as little as 16 months.

16 months.

I can’t write anything more about that.  It’s the written equivalent of speechlessness.

Ugh.

My first thought, before  I turned the sound up – “Wow. Kim Thayil from Soundgarden is  back in the news!”

No such luck.  The guy is alleged to have killed a 41-day-old baby.

A bruised upper lip. Broken ribs. A severe skull fracture.

The head injury would kill tiny Delijahjuan Winden on Tuesday, after only 41 days of life. The infant died when his caregiver, Daniel Leikas, raised him over his head and threw him into a car seat, according to charges filed Wednesday. He was frustrated because Delijahjuan was fussy and had been crying all night, the court document said.

“This is the first time I’ve seen an infant this young beaten this badly,” Minneapolis Police Capt. Mike Martin said.

Not to pre-judge – but I know that when I was looking for “caregiver” for babies, “looking like Satan” was a big showstopper.

Simple Pleasures

This August it will be 28 years since I first started in radio.

There’s been a lot of water under the bridge – nine stations, huge hopes, big disappointments, and an entree into a life I loved.  Then hated.  And now kinda watch and take what I need and leave the rest.

And after all that, I gotta say it’s still a kick to drive down the street and hear a commercial with your voice on it on the air.

Don’t know that I’ll ever get tired of that.

You Might Not Be A Baby Boomer If…

Comment-section gadfly gadflea gadmite gadamecium RickDFL wrote:

On behalf of the younger generation can I just say that watching all you old baby boomers re-fight the war protests of your youth, only this time without the cool soundtrack and hot women, is really boring.

I pointed out that I’ve banned people for less than calling me a baby boomer. His response:

From wikipedia, “There is little agreement as to the exact beginning and end dates of the baby boom, but it is commonly identified as starting in 1946 and ending in 1964.” So, if you were 38 on 9/11 2001, you were born at the tail end of the baby boom. Hate to break it to you.

Well. Wikipedia says so. I guess that settles it!

Rick – didja catch that whole “there is little agreement” bit at the beginning of your pullquote? Slapping an arbitrary date on something that subjective is inherently unclear and lazy.

Fortunately, that’s why I’m here.

Baby boomers were the children of the World War II generation. While they largely started having their kids nine months after VJ day, and kept right on breeding into the early sixties, their Boomerhood was a factor of being children of the “Greatest Generation”.

On VJ day, my dad was nine and my mom was five. They might have been old enough to fight in the Volkssturm, but not for the US. Demographically, socially and morally, I am not a baby boomer. Never have been, never will be.

But – and again, with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy – here’s a little quiz to help you decide what generation you really belong to.

You Might Not Be A Baby Boomer If…: you have more Clash, Springsteen and Sex Pistols than Beatles and Stones in your music collection.

You Might Not Be A Baby Boomer If…: you have never used the term “Camelot” unironically to refer to anything after the 13th Century. Or if the word “Camelot” to you means dancing knights who push the pram a lot, rather than Jackie Onassis.

You Might Not Be A Baby Boomer If…: the Teheran Hostage Crisis is more prominent in your memory than Kent State.

You Might Not Be A Baby Boomer If…: you think Dennis Miller was a better Weekend Update host than Chevy Chase.

You Might Not Be A Baby Boomer If…: “Quadrophonic” and “Eight Track” mean the same thing as “Edsel”.

You Might Not Be A Baby Boomer If…: “Woodstock” was a bird.

Carry on.

Doh! It’s The Old “Kill Thousands, Get Captured, Talk Big” Trick!

With the release last week of the transcripts of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial transcripts, I started a countdown; how long would it be until the Mainstream Media turned him into either a benign figure, or even something akin to a clever folk hero?

The first bit was Saturday, on some NPR news show or another (you know – the one featuring the arid, personality-free anchors. That one.  They noted about KSM that he felt bad about killing children!  That he seemed to be quite the magnetic personality!

They were humanizing a person who has murdered thousands!
And now

WHAT TIMING! Just when the attorney general and the president were coming under fire for the politicized dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys, the Pentagon released a transcript of a March 10 hearing in which Guantanamo detainee Khalid Shaikh Mohammed confessed to masterminding the 9/11 attacks. Now we can get back to the Bush administration’s preferred topic: What a heck of a job it’s doing in the war on terror.

No, it’s not some fringe-left dolt like Cucking Stool or Jesus General. It’s a newspaper.

Question: When should the administration have released the transcripts?

Or are your attention spans that short?

Brutal Stifling of Dissent!

Ahem:

A NASA scientist [James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies] who said the Bush administration muzzled him because of his belief in global warming yesterday acknowledged to Congress that he’d done more than 1,400 on-the-job interviews in recent years.

Censorship?  Nah. 

However, the Administration would be justified in calling the guy a panty-waisted drama queen:

Mr. Hansen refused to denounce earlier comments he made referring to the White House as a “propaganda office,” and saying, “It seems more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United States.”
    ”I was referring to the constraints of speaking to the media,” Mr. Hansen said, when asked about his comments.

 1,400 interviews.

It’s like he’s got a number tattooed on his forearm.

Republicans questioned him about his ties to prominent Democrats. 
Mr. Hansen received a $250,000 grant from the Heinz foundation, which is controlled by Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat. Mr. Hansen was a vocal supporter of Mr. Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
    ”As far as I know, there’s no political connection to this award,” said Mr. Hansen, who has donated several thousand dollars to past presidential campaigns for Mr. Kerry and Mr. Gore. “It’s an environmental award.”

Mr. Hansen; you might have a future with the Minnesota Monitor.

Great Dane

Among the reporters taking early retirement at the Strib this past week is Dane Smith, dean of Minnesota political reporters.

Doug Tice – an editor who is very rarely mistaken for a cliched liberal reporter – reminisces:

It seems that during the lead up to the Spanish-American War McKinley needed to get word to a rebel leader holed up somewhere in the Cuban hinterland. He called in his best agent and said:

“I need you to take this message to Carlos. I don’t know where he is. I don’t know how find him. I don’t know how you get back afterwards. And if you’re caught your government will deny ever having heard of you. I don’t want any questions. I just need it done.”

And with that the agent saluted, withdrew, and completed the mission.

That’s the kind of guy Dane is. Not much for saluting, to be sure. And a word of complaint now and then has been known to escape his lips. But he got the job done. No matter how elusive the story, or how half-baked the concept of his editors; no matter how long and late the hours; no matter how uncooperative and disagreeable the sources; Dane got the journalistic job done.

And he did it with style, skill, and a dry-eyed shrewdness about politics and politicians leavened with decency and humor.

Eric and I had lunch just last week with a long time political insider who lamented Dane’s departure from the newspaper business. He said it was Dane’s passion for fairness that would most be missed. He recalled the way Dane would patiently interview him on a tough, unwelcome story.

Smith – and, arguably, Black – by most accounts are the type of journalists that most journalists were taught to be, long ago; people who told the story and kept their beliefs, their histories and their politics out of it.

Something that, unfortunately, seems to be a dying art these days.

(Correction: It’s Doug Tice, not Eric Black.  I hadn’t noticed Doug was backstopping Black on the blog)

You Might Not Really Support The Troops If…

Almost three years ago, I wrote this piece, which generated a ton of traffic. 

The main part:

If You Believe: that America has problems – huge problems – then dissent is American.
But If You Believe: …that America’s problems make it an inherently rotten concept, then maybe you should think about whether you’re living in the right place.

 

If You Believe: …that America’s projection of power around the world is immoral – then dissent is American.
But If You Believe: …that any projection of American power is inherely unjust because it’s America, then maybe you should be living in, say, Sweden? Just an idea.

If You Believe: …that capitalism is wrong because its inequalities are inherely unjust, then dissent is American.
But If You Believe: …that the free market is inherently, irrevocably evil, perhaps China would be a better fit? Just suggesting…

If You Believe: …that invading Iraq was wrong, then dissent is American.
But If You Believe: …that our temporary administration of Iraq is worse than Hussein’s 30 year reighn of horrors, then perhaps you should rot in hell we need to have an attitude adjustment.

And I’ll reiterate – while I question those who dissent from the administration, I certainly will defend their right to do it (which is more than some of them will do for me, but then such is life).

But let me add to the above:

If you believe: …that the war in Iraq is wrong, and you want to pull out now and bring the troops home, then yes, while I think you’re wrong (and most of the troops clearly agree), but your dissent is certainly American.

But if you believe: that this isn’t deeply intensely sick, then no.   Your dissent is not “patriotic”, and you do not “support the troops”, and your opinion is worthy of scorn at least, but only if we’re in a really good mood.

That is all.

Stat!

Go to read Cathy’s account of her battle with cancer over at Cake Eater Chronicles.

Stated, in this case, in the form of a Battlestar Galactica story:

In my dream, Chief told me, in a very sympathetic way, that he was really sorry, but I was now obsolete and that it simply wasn’t worth it to the fleet to fix me. He walked away, shaking his head, and rejoined Callie (who annoys me to no end) who was shooting me sympathetic glances. I laid there, on a gurney, in the middle of the hanger, the funky lighting doing absolutely nothing for my already pale complexion, and I was stunned. I thought I was worth repairing. I thought Chief would think so, too, as he’s generally a pretty sympathetic guy when it comes to broken stuff. Alas, this was not the case. Then I woke up. In a sweat, but that’s another story entirely.

You could perhaps see where I would draw the conclusion that confession is good for the soul from that, eh?

Then send whatever form of Best Wishes your world view calls for.

(Via Chad)