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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Monday, December 22, 2003


DefCon: Ernie

(If you don't get the joke, check the right column.)

Tom Ridge came out of his hole yesterday to tell us there would be six more weeks of winter is an increased threat level of terrorism on US soil. Nothing to kill the holiday spirit like a hefty dose of irrational panic, no? And I wonder who's getting duct tape and plastic sheeting in their stockings this Christmas?

The most damaging effect of this elevated terror alert will be further depletion of state and municipal budgets. Even though Homeland Security is slated to reimburse local agencies for additional costs incurred (because the feds have so much money!), short term, cities, couties, and states will be faced with a tab that they cannot pick up. Just think of the holiday overtime, for example.

It's not that I don't think that there may be a threat of terrorism or that I don't want everyone at home and abroad to be safe. It just seems like there has got to be a better way, something that involves not so much panic and "threat levels" here at home, but concerted efforts at cultivating and using allies to help us find and dismantle terrorist networks here and abroad. Attacking Iraq and capturing Saddam Hussein has not made us safer (and that's not just me talking). Treating this like a holy war has not made us safer (remember that Ashcroft, Ridge, and the Whopper only tout busts of terrorists if they are not Christian). Reelecting the Whopper in 2004 will not make us safer.

I want my country back.

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