A Cautious Man
November 26, 2004
The Times
Two memorable columns in the NY Times yesterday (If you click the links, you can log in as "Cautiousman", with the password "Cautious", if you don't want to register with the NYT). The first, by Maureen Dowd, discussed the indignities of travel, before addressing the issue of whether the government is really keeping us safe:
First you have to strip, unzipping your boots, unbuckling your belt and unbuttoning your suit jacket while any guys standing around watch. Then you have to walk around in some flimsy top and stocking or bare feet. Then you have to assume the spread-eagled position. Then a beefy female security agent runs her hands all the way around your breasts, in between, underneath - again with guys standing around staring.

Flying on business, I've gone through this embarrassing tableau two dozen times in airports all over the country in the last couple of months. I've been searched more than Martha Stewart.
That column will no doubt find its way into Zell Miller's personal erotica collection.

In the second, Tom Friedman unburdens himself of some less-than-kind thoughts about some of his fellow men, as he goes through a litany of who it would be "great" to be:
I at least want to be the owner of a Hummer - with American flag decals all over the back bumper, because Hummer owners are, on average, a little more patriotic than you and me.

Yes, I want to drive the mother of all gas-guzzlers that gets so little mileage you have to drive from gas station to gas station. Yes, I want to drive my Hummer and never have to think that by consuming so much oil, I am making transfer payments to the worst Arab regimes that transfer money to Islamic charities that transfer money to madrassas that teach children intolerance, antipluralism and how to hate the infidels.

And when one day one of those madrassa graduates goes off and joins the jihad in Falluja and kills my neighbor's son, who is in the U.S. Army Rangers, I want to drive to his funeral in my Hummer. Yes, I want to curse his killers in front of his mother and wail aloud, "If there was only something I could do ..." And then I want to drive home in my Hummer, stopping at two gas stations along the way.
Although Mr. Friedman still hasn't redeemed himself, for sitting idly by while the country blundered into war, there's still hope for him.



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