Sunday, May 13, 2007

Random Thoughts From the Hoosier State

I’m writing this from my folks’ house in rural Indiana, but I won’t get to post until I return to the Des Moines metro. My mom’s internet service provider is a guy named Merle, who comes to your house when you’re online and loads each pixel by hand. Mom’s still waiting for Merle to load the page with the 2004 election results, and I don’t have the heart to tell her.

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There is no platitude so banal that pseudopatriotic Pharisees won’t put it on a bumper sticker. On the way here I was passed by a late-model car with one of those “Freedom Isn’t Free” stickers on the trunk. You know the one I mean: big bold font, eagle head, flag waving in the background. That sticker reminded me of a major difference between liberals and the sort of people who elected President Poor Dope: Liberals would be happy with a sticker that simply said “Freedom.” The people who sport “Freedom Isn’t Free” bumper stickers are really saying “I’ll define what freedom is for you.”

I think we’re all aware that eternal vigilance is included in the price of freedom, and that military service and sacrifice are certainly necessary when various forces conspire to take it away. But despite what the poor dope and these bumper sticker owners might want you to believe, the events of 9/11 were not an attack on freedom. They were cold-blooded murder by a number of religious fanatics, at least one of whom is still at large. Americans did not become less free when the World Trade Center went down; we became less free when Bush and Cheney decided to take a long pee on the Constitution.

So yes, I agree that freedom isn’t free. If we want to stay free, we have to be on constant guard against stupid people with stupid bumper stickers who keep voting for stupid warmongers.

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I was reading one of my dad’s back issues of Sports Illustrated and found a little sidebar where various sports figures explained why they chose their uniform number. Some NBA player said he wore number 7 because it was “God’s number.” Asked to elaborate, he said seven was God’s number because God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh.

Using that logic, I want to wear the number “umpteen billion” because that seems to be how many consecutive days this alleged world-creator has been resting ever since.

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Actually, no one has ever asked, but I wear the number 56 in coed softball in honor of Jim Bouton.

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I wish I’d waited a few more days before posting the goofy Nigerian scam post, mainly because the Leonard Peltier post was more indicative of what I want this blog to be. On the other hand, does anyone really care?

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