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A Rant – Quickies



The world according to Rick.

  • Secret police? What secret police? I don't see any secret police. Never heard of 'em.
  • Those who use the words "terrorist" or "terrorism" to condemn someone are often unable to accomplish their agenda without resorting to those words. Their only hope is to enlist the aid of others who react to the word "terrorist" in fear. At this point, we have a mob mentality. Look up the word demagogue.
  • Military personnel are not attacked by terrorists, but are instead confronted by other armies, insurgents, and guerillas. Though casualties are of course tragic, fighting is what they're trained to do; it's their job. Terrorist activity is directed against civilians, not military. It makes no sense to defend a National Guard base in the US against terrorist attack: they're not a target. The only possible reason for such security is to prevent the bad guys from walking in and stealing weapons. That doesn't seem like a difficult thing to do: keep things locked up; you don't need to have all the guns at the ready while on the base.
  • I rarely, if ever, use the phrases "America," "Americans," "the American People" or "Our great country" in my daily speech. This does not mean that I consider that our country is not great. It just means that I don't have to use these words to attempt to gain anything from the listener.
  • Not having a flag on your car doesn't make you a traitor. Conversely, flying the flag doesn't make you a better patriot.
  • There are no such things as cyber-terrorism, economic terrorism, or most of the other so-called "terrorisms" that people speak about. These are just made-up words, modern expletives designed to evoke a response, when the speaker hasn't got a good enough argument. Terrorism, as defined by most dictionaries, implies violence against people (usually civilians) to coerce societies or governments. Usually, terrorists are motivated by ideological, religious, or political goals. Thus, the hacker who writes a computer virus is not a "cyber-terrorist," because his goal is only notoriety. He isn't blackmailing anyone with his actions. The Mexican immigrant who enters the U.S. illegally is not an "economic terrorist," no matter what anyone says. The woman who steals a credit-card number via computer is also not a "cyber-terrorist." Her goal is to steal money: the crime is still just a form of larceny.
  • Some airports now have armed soldiers guarding everything, I'm becoming concerned that they may pose a danger. Suppose they're not ready/willing/able to open fire on the bad guys. In that case they wouldn't be helping the situation: they would literally be providing a false sense of security. (But it works great in the movies – the good guys always take down the baddies with a single shot, and nobody else gets hurt.) And we aren't keeping our eyes open because we expect the guards to spot everything. They can't. I'm sure it's possible to train guards to instantly spot trouble, shoot immediately, and carefully take out the problem. Has every guard been expertly trained like this? It seems unlikely, unless they've all been trained by the Israelis. How do we know a guard won't overreact in the moment of crisis and shoot at everyone in sight, even us?
  • Now this web page is liable to pop up on some watch list because of the words in the prior paragraphs...
  • I love the administration's accounting practices, so perhaps I can use them myself. We see claims of "creating X new jobs this month," but they choose to exclude the number of recently unemployed workers. Isn't it the net number that counts? So it's Enron-style accounting at the highest levels of government. Maybe we shouldn't have punished Enron at all, but instead rewarded them for upholding the new American values. Perhaps I should just add up all my income and exclude my expenses, so I can tell people I make tons of money. When it comes to tax time, of course, I'll do just the opposite — exclude the income. In fact, maybe everyone should do that to the IRS. Tell 'em you're just following the leaders.

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