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So I leave you alone to your posts and rants for just a few days (or weeks?) and so many interesting things happen! I am thoroughly exhausted after a long day at work and then traveling to the in-laws house, so I may or may not make sense. Either way, does it really matter?

First, I see that Alienist has stirred up the usual waves of political rancor and agreeing “atta boys” (my thesaurus broke) that I love to read. I must say that I was growing tired lately of the reiterations of the same political opinions, attacks, and themes that this site has been inundated with as written by the faithfully opinionated (I say that with love). Even so, I loved the discussion that arose out of Alienist's rant, though! Excellent! I cannot pretend to carry anything more than a dutiful interest in politics. Oh, the groans that must be pouring from those readers that view politics as an essential, like air or chocolate! “How, oh how, can you not be entranced by the machinery that runs the country and, I dare say, the WORLD?” you ask woefully. Oh well, my dirty secret (one of them) is that I hate politics. I won’t try and defend it. I try and stay informed. I voted. That’s all I have to say on that...

….or not. Maybe I’m just a lazy American. I sometimes wonder if our country is another Empire waiting to fall. Will we eventually become so complacent, so self-absorbed, so wrapped into prime-time TV, and so full of our own self-importance that we will eventually create our own downfall? Hmmm…that’s not a new thought, but definitely one that remains interesting.

I love America. I love that I am 28 years old, female, and a supervisor over two males (older than me by 10 and 1 years respectively) and that I am responsible for products worth millions of dollars. I love that I can drive my own car to work, the store, the mall, or Wal-Mart and that I don’t have to worry about border guards, militant groups, suicide bombings (for the most part) or other such horrors. I love my freedom. I love these things, these rights, this safety (or illusion thereof), but do I appreciate it? Do I recognize the sanctity of my freedom to choose which path I will take in my life? I sometimes wonder…

Okay, so SECOND, I read that comment that has been called most “vile” and that sparked the flames of debate (I’m tired and getting cheesier by the minute). The comment was basically condoning killing people of other faiths. I hope that the author was a young person who is speaking from ignorance. LilMystic posted a comment that related their own similar experience as a youth that said something insensitive and offensive and then related the growth that occurred in the aftermath of such a remark. I can only hope that the author of the vile comment can now recognize the folly in her comment (I assume gender from the avatar). Life is valuable. Any life. Blindly hating anyone for his or her religion, race, hair color, or other characteristic or belief is just wrong. Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you…

People are stupid individually for different reasons and no matter what set of categories you put people in (e.g., Muslim, Jewish, black, white, blonde – again with the hair color. Maybe I have some sort of latent hair-ism against blondes?)…I got sidetracked with the hair color thing. Where was I? Oh, yeah. So, no matter how you categorize people, there are stupid people in every category you place them in along with smart people, good people, bad people. There is no category, no matter how you slice and dice the traits, that contains all good, smart, perfect people.

Maybe you are looking for a common enemy to make you feel like you “belong”. Maybe you are looking to blame someone for your problems or to distract yourself from hard times. Maybe life is just hard. But life is also too short to spend hating.

Phew. That was a toughie. I’m not even going to re-read it. My hubby is saying that it is time for bed, so I need to wrap this up. (no “hubba hubbas” from the peanut gallery, folks. I gotta get up early and he doesn’t want me to be cranky. You hubbies can relate!).

Third, Demeter posted the following comment in response to Ogg’s post regarding the aforementioned distasteful comment,
"Proud to be an American
Comment on writing: Honest & thought filled rant.

I'm so glad I live in America where I am free to say and think whatever I want without the thought police stepping in.

I'm so glad I'm not in the business of playing God and that I do not have to go around judging others.

I'm so glad the inquisition & witch trial tribunals are now a thing of the past.

Oh, wait a that the gag police I hear?"
I found that so interesting. This comment would seem to be saying that because folks chose to express their revulsion at the horrible comment of a fellow author then they are somehow acting as the “thought police”, or are “playing God”, “judging others”, or acting in accordance with the precedent set by Tortuous Inquisitors and the proponents of the Witch Trials. I think that is fascinating. So many people seem to confuse “freedom” with “lack of consequences”. Just because you can say anything you want does not mean that others have to sit idly by and listen. I can tell you all day long what to say, what to think, and what to feel. That’s my right. You have the right, all day long, to listen to what I say, think what I tell you to think, and feel what I tell you to feel. You also have the right to turn off the computer and go to bed.

Good night!

God Bless America!

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
H. L. Mencken

The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish.
Robert Jackson

Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?
George Carlin

Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting.
Alan Dean Foster

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The following comments are for "Where ya been?"
by Shel

Have to admit
I do let myself get a bit overheated at times, but as you say, I feel I've the right to be harshly critical of such a foul statement.
'So many people seem to confuse “freedom” with “lack of consequences”.' excellent response, you found words where I struggled.
Don't think I've read anything by you before, a mistake I intend to rectify right now.
Take care
Paul the Ogg

( Posted by: ogg [Member] On: November 7, 2004 )

tee hee
"….or not. Maybe I’m just a lazy American. I sometimes wonder if our country is another Empire waiting to fall. Will we eventually become so complacent, so self-absorbed, so wrapped into prime-time TV, and so full of our own self-importance that we will eventually create our own downfall?"

Tee hee, you said eventually!

( Posted by: capulet [Member] On: November 7, 2004 )

Demeter - Thanks for setting the record straight! Also, good point where you said, "Why do people feel that everything is always about taking sides?" Interesting topic...makes me think of more than just politics. Hmmm...I think that would make a good rant. Like, whenever I utterly oppose something trivial, my mom always takes the opposite side. Always. And now I find that I do that to my husband. Why do we think we have to take sides? Very interesting.

Everyone - Thanks for your comments!

( Posted by: Shel [Member] On: November 8, 2004 )

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