What a bunch of wusses we have become. Like any schoolyard bully, we picked out someone we could beat up after the 9/11 attacks because getting the real perps would be too hard, and offend the Saudi friends of the Bush family. We spend enormous amounts of national treasure to upgrade our hardware and build the new Great Wall of Bush because it makes us feel better and allows politicos to line the pockets of their contractor friends. Five percent of the price of a stealth bomber would finance the education of a dozen arabic speaking agents and pay their salaries for life. Which do you think will really catch more nihilist Islamist? Which brings more work into states producing bombers?
Here's a list of people and things you fear, but shouldn't:
1. Mexicans. There were American Indians and Spaniards here, especially in the Western US, long before any Northern Europeans showed up. Don't have un vaca, hombre. The Irish, Japanese, Chinese, Italians, Germans, Jews and African Americans have had their turn as the Great Alien Menace. All have blended into the tasty mix that makes for 21st century America.
2. Socialists. All of our Western allies are socialist states by our standards. You wish you had the family benefits and vacation opportunities of a Frenchman.
3. The Gays. Man! What would our cities look like without this important minority? Some are upset that it is no longer socially acceptable to "roll queers", and some feel threatened by the social acceptance of homosexuality. Get over it. I've known a lot of gay guys, and none of them were recruiting. Some lesbians are very male hostile, but that is generally rooted in extreme abuse by males. Gays drive up property values better than any other ethnic group.
4. Arabs. Problematic. As a culture these desert loving folk are a good millennium behind the West, but people don't live their lives as a culture, especially in the USA. We are painting a big bull's eye on the back of thousands of Iraqis and their families by hiring them to work for us. When we leave they are going to have to come out with us. Look at all the little Pho and Thai joints that make our lives better. All the result of our war in Southeast Asia. We need more Arabs in the USA, and our unfortunate adventure in Iraq will bring them in.
5. Da Bomb. Yup, nukes. Al Qaeda isn't getting an A Bomb. Not even a cheesy little Hiroshima nuke. If you don't think we have the location of every former Soviet weapon and Pakistani weapon you don't understand what a lot of those hundreds of billions we spend on intelligence goes for. Anything less would be dereliction of duty.
6. Crime. Crime, as we fear it, is a function of drug abuse. Crime victimhood is sort of like being hit by lightening. Don't stand on a hilltop during a storm, and you'll be OK. Keep things locked up and your personal information behind some sort of firewall you'll probably be OK.
7. Republicans. These are yesterday's villains. In the greater scheme of things, I'm surprised they have held together as long as they have. The incompatible ideologies that call themselves Republican cannot hold together just as the anti Democrats. They are out of gas, obsolete and irrelevant.
8. Drugs. If we really wanted to destroy drugs, we would take all the dope we seize, and give it away to the users. The federal government knows how to screw up markets, and the drug market is no exception. Authorities as luminary as The Economist Magazine have endorsed this idea of legalization. Marijuana should cost no more than alfalfa hay; $9.00 per sixty pound bale.
9. Genetic modification. "Natural" life is genuinely a compromise of adaptations of dead ends. Rice didn't evolve with the purpose of being human food. It probably came about in the wild state as an answer to procreation and domination of an unoccupied slot in the environment. As a grass, it colonized shallow waters, and produced a starchy head tempting enough to wildlife to have its seed spread. Now we have modified rice to add vitamin D to the crop, and save the sight of hundreds of thousands of third world subsistence farmers. With the economic model we chose, designs become property, at least in the short run. Now we sit on the edge of developing truly artificial life. Turkey meat bearing trees are in your future.
10. The iMob. The decline of authority is inevitable in the age of the Wiki. The great unwashed have a line input into the base of human knowledge, This has so far led to the notorious unreliability of internet available information. It will not be so forever. Already an editorship class is arising from the ashes. As traditional libraries fade, the need for the abilities of librarians is becoming acute. We just have to develop a certification system that will assure users with the reliability of content.
I'm a person who fears the dizzying array of pancake syrups available at the IHop, but there is no cure for that.
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