August 8th, 2006

Voted for Dean

Just a quick note

Not even quicktakes right now. I say, with some consternation, that sometimes my neurochemistry baffles and surprises even me. I went to bed at a reasonable time (by my standards) this morning, the same time I usually do. I had a couple of odd dreams, woke up completely exhausted, and looked at the clock and said, "Well, of course I'm still exhausted, I've only slept for about 2-1/2 hours." And only then did I notice that the sun had gone down. Try fourteen and a half hours, and I feel as if I haven't slept a wink.

I haven't even had time to do any detailed reading of the news, but thanks to BoingBoing I did see one thing that made me feel a little bit vindicated. If you go back through the stuff I've written over the last five years about the so-called "War on Terror," you'll see one recurring refrain, which is that we won the War on Terror almost five years ago, on December 7th, 2001, when the Taliban surrendered Kandahar and fled to the mountains, when their terrorist allies al Qaeda lost their state sponsorship. What I've said all along, ever since then, is that everything we've done since then has been a gigantic waste of time and money better spent elsewhere -- and since the war criminals currently occupying the White House invaded Iraq, a waste of over 2,000 American soldiers' lives, as well.

To this very day, George Bush and nearly every mainstream politician in America or Europe has said that our number one priority has to be preventing terrorist attacks. We've been constantly assured that the single most important thing that they think about isn't stem cell hair-splitting, or how to slide money to their war profiteering campaign contributors, or gay marriage, or creating a huge permanent tax break for the heirs of multi-millionaire stock manipulators; no, we've been assured that every single dollar of the hundreds of billions of dollars they've spent on it and every life we've lost and the all the liberties we sacrificed were to protect us from another 9-11 type attack. They keep assuring us that even though only two such terror plots have been taken to trial, and the government lost on all the terror charges on those their two "best" cases, that they've prevented thousands of attacks. Even in the absence of that minimal standard of proof of a criminal conspiracy charge (an overt act to further the conspiracy, as opposed to so much blowing hot air or batting the breeze), they keep reassuring us that it's so important that we continue to fight and win a War on Terror that anybody who takes it less seriously than they do is obviously unqualified to so much as have an opinion in public, let alone run for office.

I call bullsh_t. And so, thank prime, is a policy journal published by the think tank wing of the Libertarian Party (and darling of the Republicans), the Cato Institute. It was published in their journal Regulation back in the fall of 2004; I just hadn't seen it until now. It's by professor John Mueller of Ohio State University, and it's entitled "A False Sense of Insecurity?" (PDF link, sorry, it's what I have.) If you won't believe my case, please, take a good look at this short, 5-page article. Check his facts, verify his math. And then do some good, hard thinking and see if you don't come to the same conclusion that BoingBoing did, in the title of their article referring to it: "Only traitors try to make us afraid of terrorists." Or, for that matter, my opinion which is that the only reason we're having this discussion is that ever since 9-11, America has been a nation infected with a horrific disease, the same disease that killed dozens after Hurricane Katrina: gutless cowardice.