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Friday, August 05, 2005
Slacker cool pays off

Yesterday, the media was all fired up about the broadcast on Al-Jazeera of a videotape featuring al-Qaeda's #2 man Ayman Al-Zawahari (he's #4 in the CNN/USA Today poll, incidentally). He basically said that we infidels can expect more carnage along the lines of what happened in London last month.

Funny thing is, I don't care.

It's not that I am not sympathetic to the victims of terrorism. I sympathize with their families, and I would like to see the perpetrators and financiers of this mayhem jailed or killed. What I cannot generate any passion about is fear of it happening to me.

"What are you? Some kind of tough guy?"


Here's the thing: I'm nobody. No one is out to get me. I am a million times more likely to die in a car crash or be shot by a red-blooded American than I am to get within 100 miles of a terrorist incident. When the media, at the urging of this Administration, goes on and on about things like this, it is to instill fear in the citizenry. A frightened populace doesn't ask too many questions, except for, "can you protect us?"

"Of course we can! Just be prepared to give up some of your freedoms."

(And no, they can't protect you. If you've been to an airport recently, you know this.)

Once again, my great failing is that I simply decline to be frightened or intimidated. It's not really even an overt, conscious thing with me. A meteor may fall out of the sky and strike me dead, but I can't let myself worry about it. If I am in the wrong place at the wrong time, then I will die. This isn't bravery, it's just being pragmatic.

I've stated many times that I am no patriot, but I do love my country. And I would prefer to live in a nation that, while possibly less safe, still allows me every one of my Constitutionally protected rights and freedoms. I know you can't exercise them if you're dead, but I still must insist that the liberty of human beings is a more important thing than the life of any one, hundred, or even a million Americans.

I wish we didn't all believe that we are so important and special that we are being hunted down by madmen. And I, unlike most Americans, am not religious. My outlook and lack of concern are not made possible because I believe God will protect me. I was granted the greatest gift of all: Anonymity.

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posted at 3:54 PM

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