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A penny for your thoughts indeed. Around here that would be a raise.

What makes a good blog? I think thematic consistency, a little exhibitionism, and honest writing. I can promise you the last one.

Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

Oh-- and please welcome God to the APW team. We're thrilled and humbled to serve as His earthly vessel.

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Location: NYC

I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.

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Terror Alert Level

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Are We Safe Yet?
Saturday, August 12, 2006
The talking heads will tell you that a major terrorist threat was foiled this week, but if you were with me Thursday morning, trying to get through security at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, you'd know different. Because the goal of terrorism is to terrorize, and it sure looked to me during my 2-hour jaunt through security-- watching TSA agents wasting time separating 80-year-old white ladies from their chapstick-- like we have been successfully terrorized.

Feel safer?

George Bush took office in January 2001. Eight months later, after he'd shrugged off Clinton's warning about Al Qaeda, after ignoring a security briefing which warned that terrorists planned to use commercial air crafts as missles, Bush became the first president to preside over a massive and successful terrorist offensive on US soil.

Feel safer?

In response, of course, we summarily, overwhelmingly attacked Afghanistan, overthrowing the Taliban, who were Al Qaeda's hosts. I don't know about you, but that sure made me feel a lot better. Yet 5 years later Afghanistan is a mess, the Taliban is creeping back into power, and Al Qaeda is stronger than ever.

Feel safer?

Eighteen months after 9/11 we were at war with Iraq, a country that had absolutely nothing to do with that heinous act of terrorism. How's that going?

Feel safer?

In the wake of 9/11, Bush created the Department of Homeland Security, the huge beaurocracy charged with assuring the safety and security of the nation. Then a big hurricane hit the gulf coast, and we all saw how FEMA (a major part of Homeland Security) snapped into action. As we watched that agency's capable handling of Katrina, watched as they reinforced the levees before the hurricane made landfall, watched as they evacuated New Orleans in time to avert real catastrophe, we were all made to feel confident that we were safer now, safer from the cold, dangerous world.

Feel safer?

Iran and North Korea, two countries singled out by Bush as part of the axis of evil, are taunting us with their forays into the WMD business; Iran is puppeting Hezbollah as they attack our democratic allies Israel. And that whole Israel-Hezbollah-Lebannon thing is going swimmingly, no?

Feel safer?

The world is getting more and more dangerous, and the current administration is wholly inept at managing our safety in that world. They boast a terrifying combination of self-righteousness and sheer boneheaded stupidity that comes damn close to evil. They interpret their inability to navigate this complex and dangerous world as a mandate to stay the course. Our no-winning-play war in Iraq drones on, invigorating and energizing Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations; somehow the fact of this invigoration becomes all the proof the administration needs that they must have been right about Iraq all along.

Our government works like this: they mess up. Their mess exacerbates our problems. The gravity of our problems emboldens them to make the mess worse. And so on. It is a horrific cycle. If this was a movie, you'd walk out on it; it would be too implausible, even for a Tom Cruise movie. But you can't walk out on life (although like movies, you can just watch it on cable.)

Feel safer?

Whenever the Democrats try and mount some sort of dissent-- let alone challenge-- they are labelled "soft on terror." Let's get over it. No one thinks Bin Laden needs a hug. NO ONE is soft on terror. What the Democrats-- and the American voters-- have to realize is that it isn't about tough or soft on terror. It is about smart or stupid on terror. It is that simple. And surely, it is impossible to argue that this administration's policies are anything but stupid on terror.

The Dems need to sieze the agenda. Instead of being defined by the Reps as soft on terror, they need to define the Reps as dumb on terror. There is a simple question they need to ask the American voter.

Feel safer?

George W. Bush has been president for five and a half years. He started off with a bang-- 9/11 happened on his watch. And the world has gotten progressively more dangerous in that time.

So I have a message for the Republicans and conservatives who read my blog (and I know you're out there; some of you are my friends. And brother.) Do you feel safer now than you did five and a half years ago? Do you? Look deep within yourself and decide. Because if the answer is no, then perhaps that ought to color the way you vote this November. And for a lot of Novembers to come.


Posted by: --josh-- @ 12:31 AM  

At 8/13/2006 1:08 PM, Anonymous Annie said...   

As we have mentioned before, there's very little real evil in this world. Mostly there's inertia. I won't re-think the way I vote. I won't re-visit the tenets which make me believe as I do. You're talking to Republicans in vain. After all, they think Ann Coulter is (intentionally) funny. They can't possibly be paying attention.

At 8/13/2006 4:50 PM, Blogger --josh-- said...   

Hold the phone. Are you telling me Ann Coulter ISN'T being intentionally funny? She believes the things she says?

Can't be.

At 8/14/2006 2:54 PM, Anonymous Annie said...   

Oh, I don't think she BELIEVES them, because who could? But she is trying to make other people believe them.

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