Thankfully, More WNYers Listen to Country Music

A few weeks ago, I criticized Buffalo’s worst Brian Griffin impersonator for asserting that the United States government is a greater threat than al Qaeda. This coming from someone who was a big supporter of Bush-era, post-9/11 fearmongering, who was a huge supporter of the Patriot Act, an Iraq War backer, and who enjoyed labeling opponents of Bush-era policies as traitors. The irony is delicious. 

Now, this: 

Anyone who disagrees with Bauerle’s weltanschauung is, nowadays, simply a member of the “lunatic left”. More irony, as he posts a link to an idiotarian birther website to “prove” his point. But what is actually shown at that WND link? Is there some confirmation there that Americans tend to agree with Mr. Bauerle’s conclusion that Islamic jihadist terrorist organization al Qaeda is a more desirable master than the participatory representative democracy of the United States? 


What’s shown there is something that -for – is uncharacteristically reasonable and completely believable. 

Now admittedly, the author at WND has reading comprehension skills that are as poor as that of the AM morning zookeeper who is #2 to country music in the nation’s 56th largest market

According to a pair of recent polls, for the first time since the 9/11 terrorist hijackings, Americans are more fearful their government will abuse constitutional liberties than fail to keep citizens safe.

Even in the wake of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing – in which a pair of Islamic radicals are accused of planting explosives that took the lives of three and wounded more than 280 – the polls indicate Americans are hesitant to give up any further freedoms in exchange for increased “security.”

Wait a minute. Being hesitant to give up freedoms doesn’t equate with “fear” of government. 

A Fox News survey polling a random national sample of 619 registered voters the day after the bombing found Americans responded very differently than after 9/11.

For the first time since a similar question was asked in May 2001, more Americans answered “no” to the question, “Would you be willing to give up some of your personal freedom in order to reduce the threat of terrorism?”

Of those surveyed on April 16, 2013, 45 percent answered no to the question, compared to 43 percent answering yes.

In May 2001, before 9/11, the balance was similar, with 40 percent answering no to 33 percent answering yes.

But after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the numbers flipped dramatically, to 71 percent agreeing to sacrifice personal freedom to reduce the threat of terrorism.

To me, it doesn’t mean that Americans fear government. Instead, it means people have lost their fear of terrorism. It means that America is growing up and understanding that one’s constitutional liberties must be preserved, protected, and maintained even in the face of occasional mayhem, death, and cruelty. It means that the terrorists have lost if we no longer fear them to the point where we agree willingly to sacrifice our liberties and our way of life. 

Not everyone lost their minds when Obama was elected and then re-elected. 

It takes an especial kind of intense hatred and ignorance to draw the conclusion that WND and WBEN’s shining star make here, but it’s what you get when you live in a country with the freedom to speak even the most rank stupidity – so stupid that it reveals your prejudices and your inability to engage in logical thought.

By not “fearing government” and instead fearing terrorism after 9/11, we let too many things go. Patriot Act, overdone security porn at airports, billions to equip police with military equipment, and a detention center in Cuba that is nothing more than an air conditioned, extralegal death row. Americans indeed need to take back our liberties – liberties that were deliberately and systematically abused and withdrawn by the prior administration Mr. Bauerle contemporaneously adored. 

We don’t win the war on terror by indefinitely detaining bad guys – we make more bad guys. We don’t win the war on terror by raining ordinance on remote Pakistani or Yemeni villages using drones – we make more bad guys. Ultimately, we need to understand that there will always be bad guys who want to do us harm, and we can do what we can to keep us safe, but not to the point of fundamentally changing what America is. 

That police power vs. safety debate is an important one to have, but when dishonest cretins misapprehend what it’s all about, and use lies to inflame the hatred and fear of people too dumb to click the link and read, then there’s no debate to be had. They just need to be told to go to hell


As it turns out, Boston Marathon bombing suspect #1, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was indeed influenced by an enigmatic, extremist hate group. 

Alex Jones’ “infowars” – the go-to radio show and website for ignorant, disaffected lunatics who see conspiracy everywhere. To call Jones fans the lunatic fringe would be unfair to the comparably responsible and informed members of the lunatic fringe. It would be funny if it wasn’t so frightfully bellicose and didn’t incite violence.


Humanity and Society

Yesterday, unknown person or persons perpetrated an unspeakable and senseless crime against innocents in an American city.  Three people are dead, over a hundred injured – people who got up yesterday morning, got dressed, went over to Boylston to watch people finish a marathon. People like you and me. Videos showed timed, coordinated bombings going off along the Boylston Street terminus of the Boston Marathon, designed to inflict massive carnage in crowded groups of celebrants. 

There’s no sense in trying to speculate who might be behind it until there’s actual news reported about it. For instance, one would have been dramatically misinformed had he relied on the horrible Murdoch rag the “New York Post” for news about the attack. 

Some people are insufferably horrible – especially those cynical vampires who make their living by being conspiratorial, paranoid idiots. 

Boston was my second hometown, and I’m sick over this. We live in a dangerous world with a lot of crazy people, and there’s absolutely no way that we can always prevent bad people from doing horrific things, no matter what we do. 

But if you’re one of those people who see a tragedy and immediately speculate – without any proof, evidence, or information – as to the perpetrators or cause of a horrible terrorist act like this, you’re just a horrible person. Is it hillbilly militiamen protesting tax day? Is it brown-skinned people with accents? If those are the questions you’re asking right away, you’re an idiot.

If, like conspiracy salesman Alex Jones, you’re suggesting that the government is behind it, you deserve nothing but scorn and humiliation.  If, like newly minted glibertarian but former Bush supporter, Patriot Act backer, Iraq War microphone belligerent, and security-porn enthusiast Tom Bauerle, you warn against “liberties” being taken away, you’ve missed the point of anything important about humanity. When you think about how a tragedy such as this affects your personal comfort, while 400 miles away an 8 year-old dies and people struggle with catastrophic injuries, you’re sort of a monster.  

Humanity makes me sick when innocent people are murdered or attacked without cause or provocation, but also when it worries about how others’ misfortune might affect their individual political prejudices.