Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I'm fighting terrorism as hard as I can...

As always, the Simpsons have made my point far better than I ever could. Here's a verbatim quote as best as I can remember it of Homer discussing the new anti-bear patrol the city enacted in a fit of hyperbolic fear after a single sighting of a bear in town. (Let it be noted this occurred long before 9/11. They're just prescient that way.) Anyway, the following conversation took place between Homer and Lisa (from the seminal 7th-season episode "Much Apu About Nothing"):

Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is working like a charm!
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: [clearly not understanding the term "specious"] Thank you, honey.
Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Hmm. How does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work. It's just a stupid rock!
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But you don't see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: (pause) Lisa, I'd like to buy that rock of yours.

The point, to ram it home even more ham-fistedly, is that just because something is not happening does not mean that what we're doing is preventing it. Take homeland security, for example. We've had no terrorist attacks since it was created, but a logical person could argue that this is because terrorist attacks against America are extremely rare (there are really only 3-4 such acts in that past 100 years).

But you'd be wrong to think they're doing nothing, for our homeland security forces are busy at work protecting us from promotional stunts for trippy late-night cartoon shows.

This reminds me well of a situation my pop was forced to endure only a few years back. In the super-afraid-of-our-shadows year or two immediately after 9/11, my father, humble local high-school chemistry teacher in No Where, IA, was forced to take three days away from teaching to undergo Homeland Security training on how to recognize a nuclear weapon.

It's simply impossible to list all of the reasons why this is fucking ridiculous, but they range from the fact that most people in Iowa don't even know where Fort Dodge is to the fact that I know for damn sure no one in that town has the wherewithal to spell the term "nuclear" correctly, let alone build such a device.

But in the end, I suppose this should make us all happy, for it proves that we have no starving children, or uninsured workers, or any other cause that we need to use that money for. Meanwhile, I have this rock that I think Homeland Security officials would be very interested in purchasing...

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