And it doesn’t end there…

We’re really pushing it now. Here’s what I read on the wire just a minute ago…

RUETERS GENEVA– Iran probably has germ warfare weapons, North Korea may have developed them and Syria could have carried out research into such banned weaponry, the United States told an arms control conference yesterday.

Let’s start with the second word in the sentence: probably.

I’m sorry, I guess I forgot that the United States has worked in “probably” for the last 5 years.

Osama is probably in Afghanistan, Iraq probably has WMDs, we probably need more troops in Iraq, and now…Iran probably has germ warfare weapons.

Brilliant. F***ing brilliant. Let’s start another gutter war that we couldn’t hope to win, even if we had double the resources and money we do now. It’s PROBABLY a good idea.

I’m too angry to be writing this right now, without a doubt.

A Message to our Leaders.

You’ve managed to take the house. You’ve managed to take the senate. Let’s just get one thing crystal clear:

You will not be going to the US Capitol because we love and trust you. You will not be going because we have 100% faith that everything is going to solve itself simply because you all have a (D) next to your name. You will not be going to the Capitol to have a nice big blue ribbon party.

You’re going to come to power in January because a cross-section of Republicans decided they were going to pull the wool over America’s eyes. And indeed, they succeeded in the task. I say a cross-section of Republicans because there are still Republicans out there that remember that, once upon a time, being Republican meant spending LESS. Being Republican meant tasting one’s own bile when the degradation of individual liberties was at hand. Being Republican once meant a WEAKER centralized government. Being Republican once meant DEFENDING the constitution.

Bigoted as Pat Buchanan is, the man understood the moment his former party became a swirling mass of idiocy–a playpen for children wielding military power and forked tongues.

So did I.

Make no mistake, I am not a Democrat. Sadly, nor can I call myself a Republican.

Like Joe Leibermann, the fence-sitting weasel who changed his tune to fit whatever it was the big
band was playing, I call myself an independent now. But I digress.

You are not in power to listen in our hollowed halls to the echoes of your own victory. You are in power because we believe that you are frightened enough now at the state of our Nation to begin healing us. We believe that you’ve seen the real terror in this country, the terror that echoes back half a century to the age of McCarthy.

We do not trust you; we simply abhor what we’ve become under the alternative.

So now, restore our faith. Restore the promise of this country. Restore, under our guidance, the brilliance that Alexis de Tocqueville once saw when he wrote about this nation over 150 years ago.

De Tocqueville’s insinuation in Democracy in America was that after our empire grew–after we became the kings of the economy and the princes of world affairs–we would languish in our victories, becoming fat, sedate, and indifferent. That prophecy has been fulfilled.

But we can heal. We can restore ourselves to the good of our people. We can recreate ourselves, not to leading the world under fear and greed, but to becoming the example of tolerance and goodwill in the developed world.

The odds, it seems, are stacked against you. We lean on the brink of a quagmire more dangerous than economic strife, abuse of military power, or corruption. This is the quagmire of public disinterest, of short-sightedness amongst the people who lifted you up to defend our rights.

Lead us. Restore us. Help us see that we can make a difference with our minds, hands and hearts. If the vision of democracy should fail now, at this most significant of turning points in the history of our culture, we may as well turn ourselves over to an Orwellian horror far worse than the one dipicted in any dystopian nightmare.

Prove your strength under this difficult time, and you may win a victory greater than any election.

You hold my hopes and prayers. Do well, and you may yet hold the hearts of every true American.

DREAM: Fight at the Mall

My sleep was chock full of dreams last night.

Zombie politicians, a giant storm, a cast of 20 people who I seemed to know the names of (though none of these people had analogs to real-life people), and a fight at the mall.

The fight stood out the most for me. The location looked kind of like a combination of Eastview Mall back in Victor and The Galleria in Middletown. Big glass wall behind me (like the food court in both places) and I decide to take a load off on one of the benches. I’m dressed kind of nice, as if I just had an interview at a department store.

I’m on one side of the bench, and three guys come by and sit down next to me. Crowding me, actually. The dude next to me basically shoves his elbow into my side. I slide over a bit, and he follows. He digs me with an elbow again. I look over at him, getting irritated.

“What are you, 16?” He says to me.

“23, actually.” I’m looking right at him the way a male mammal challenges another. I’m not looking to fight here, but I’m certainly not going to back down. It’s his move.

“You got your little goatee, you’re dressed for church…” he shoves me and laughs. The two others follow. I decide this is going to be ugly if I don’t leave now. I stand up, and as I start to step away, I’m tripped. Now I’m pissed.

When I stand back up, he’s already standing and sneering at me. “Gonna do something?” He asks.

I’m nervous now. I haven’t been nervous in my dreams for a while. I’ve fought zombies and crimson cats, but I haven’t had to go up against a human in a while. Because this felt so real, I wasn’t even sure that I could defend myself. This kid was big…a few inches taller than me, for sure.

My confidence wasn’t shaken completely, but this felt like a real fight. I wasn’t a warrior without the god-like terror that guides me through my superhuman fights with zombies.

He shoves me. I take it and stand my ground. “C’mon, pussy,” he says. I don’t want to hit him, but this is accelerating so fast. Now he comes in with a big swing. I put an arm up. He’s half-blocked and half-connected, but it doesn’t hurt at all. I don’t feel a thing.

The nervous feeling subsides and my confidence returns. If that’s all he had in
his punch, it’s not going to take much for me to end this. This fight is unique among the dream fights I’ve had lately. I’m not fighting a monster or an undead minion. This little scuffle isn’t a matter of life or death. I’m not getting the same surge of adrenaline that I had in my previous dreams, which is probably a good thing.

I don’t want to tear this kid limb from limb. I don’t even want to hurt him. As annoyed as I am by this sneering macho archetype, I don’t want to fight at all. There’s no anger or vengeance in me. That’s a very calming feeling–knowing that in a confrontation in my dreams, neither fear nor rage are my first instincts. I just want the fight to be over.

He’s right on top of me now, and he takes a wild swing at my face. Too wild. No power at all. I actually catch the punk’s fist and hold it while throwing a single punch from my left.

This one connects, and when it happens I know it’s the only one I’ll need.

Now he stumbles back, holding his cheek. No blood. I’m relieved by that; I’ve never thrown a punch at a person in real life, so I don’t know how much damage I can actually do. The kid falls over and starts to heave.

Apparently I made him puke. His friends aren’t helping him at all, so I lean over, turn him to his side, stand up, and grab some nearby napkins. I help him clean up a bit and pat him on the shoulder. He looks up at me, glassy-eyed.

“You alright?” I ask him. “I didn’t hit you that hard, man.” He looks okay, but he’s certainly ashamed.

I’m satisfied with the outcome…I didn’t hurt the kid, but I embarrassed the hell out of him in a mall food court. Next time he’s going to think twice before picking a fight with a stranger.

The best part about the whole situation is how I felt in the dream–before, during, and after the confrontation…

Before the fight, I wasn’t quick to temper. I was irritated, but I tried to avoid the fight. I didn’t want it to happen.

During the fight, I was calm. Certainly kind of pissed, a little nervous, but not scared to death and not looking to tear anyone’s spleen out. I felt balanced. I wanted the confrontation to be over with just enough force to end it.

After the fight, I felt bad for the kid. Yes, he chose to pick on me; yes, he had a few chances to let it go, but when it was over I felt more like his big brother than his enemy. I helped the kid clean himself up; I was concerned about him; I wanted to make sure he was okay.

So for a dream about a fight, I exhibited some very wonderful and noble qualities in the heat of the moment. It was a very cool experience. Very cool.