A Cautious Man
August 23, 2005
 
Family Values
Hey, Pat Robertson sure made a splash in the news today -
Conservative U.S. evangelist Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but top U.S. officials denied on Tuesday that any such illegal act was being contemplated.

Venezuelan officials said Robertson's remarks were "a call to terrorism," and demanded President George W. Bush condemn his political ally and fellow Christian conservative. But Chavez, who was winding up a three-day visit to communist ally Cuba, told reporters he didn't care about Robertson. "I don't even know who this person is."

Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition and a presidential candidate in 1988, said Chavez, one of Bush's most vocal critics, was a "terrific danger" to the United States and intended to become "the launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said during Monday broadcast of his religious "The 700 Club" program.
He made the remarks on his daily program, "The 700 Club". That show is carried during the day, and at night, on the "ABC Family Network".

I guess the "Family" in "ABC Family" is the Corleone family. Seriously, though, isn't there some way to get this offensive person off the public airwaves?

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August 18, 2005
 
Candles Lighting The Way
The Cautious Wife and I attended a peace vigil last evening. It was held in support of Cindy Sheehan. Here in our town, we also remembered Corporal Augie Schroeder (see previous posts, below). Here are some pictures, courtesy of our local peace organization, South Mountain Peace Action -





It was very simple, with a silent reflection on those who have lost their lives. A local folk singer led the crowd in a few songs, such as "This Land is Your Land", and also the following -

Lo yisa goy el goy cherev
Lo yilmedu od milchama
Lo yisa goy el goy cherev
Lo yilmedu od milchama


A participant stepped out of the crowd, to join in with the translated lyrics (from Isaiah Chapter 2) -

And every man ‘neath his vine and fig tree
Shall live in peace and unafraid
And every woman ‘neath her vine and fig tree
Shall live in peace and unafraid

And into plowshares beat their swords
Nations shall make war no more
And into plowshares beat their swords
Nations shall make war no more

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August 17, 2005
 
Next Stop
The other day I remarked about the parents of a young marine who graduated from my local high school, and who was killed recently in Iraq. His father had asked a friend to pass this on to the community through a local internet message board - "Also, we want them to know that the question is not why, but what next." It seems that "next" has arrived. From the Associated Press comes this story -
The day after burying their son, parents of a fallen Marine urged President Bush to either send more reinforcements to Iraq or withdraw U.S. troops altogether.

"We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out," Rosemary Palmer, mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II, said Tuesday.

Schroeder, 23, died two weeks ago in a roadside explosion, one of 16 Ohio-based Marines killed recently in Iraq.

The soldier's father said his son and other Marines were being misused as a stabilizing force in Iraq.

"Our comments are not just those of grieving parents," Paul Schroeder said in front of the couple's home. "They are based on anger, Mr. President, not grief. Anger is an honest emotion when someone's family has been violated."

...

The Ohio couple have long opposed the war and tried to dissuade their son from joining the Marines, but have made their views public only since his death. On Tuesday they urged Americans to voice their opposition to the war.

"We want to point out that 30 people have died since our son. Are people listening?" Palmer asked.

More than 1,800 U.S. servicemen and women have been killed in the war.

On Monday, dozens of people, including several holding large American flags, lined the streets leading to the funeral for Schroeder, known to friends and family as "Augie" based on his middle name, August.

"Yesterday, it was Augie's day and we didn't want to intrude upon his day with politics," Palmer said. "We have to move on and keep his spirit alive by helping to protect his buddies who are still out there."

The couple applauded Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier who has camped out in protest near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, for bringing the war to the public's attention.

"We consider her the Rosa Parks of the new movement opposing the Iraq war," Palmer said.

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August 14, 2005
 
Built Her Straight Out of Scratch
As I've mentioned here before, I drive a Prius. For those who don't, sorry about those gas prices.

From Jeff Jarvis, I learned about these guys hacking their Prius, taking fuel economy to another level -
It looks like a typical Toyota Prius hybrid, but in the trunk sits an 80-miles-per-gallon secret — a stack of 18 brick-sized batteries that boosts the car's high mileage with an extra electrical charge so it can burn even less fuel.

Gremban, an electrical engineer and committed environmentalist, spent several months and $3,000 tinkering with his car.

Like all hybrids, his Prius increases fuel efficiency by harnessing small amounts of electricity generated during braking and coasting. The extra batteries let him store extra power by plugging the car into a wall outlet at his home in this San Francisco suburb — all for about a quarter.

He's part of a small but growing movement. "Plug-in" hybrids aren't yet cost-efficient, but some of the dozen known experimental models have gotten up to 250 mpg.
Kewl.

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By Some Kind Of Magic
This post will start with the "blinking statue" from Hoboken, NJ, but eventually get around to "Intelligent Design". Bear with me ...
HOBOKEN, N.J. - For more than 25 years, Julio "Sly" Dones tended his cobbled-together collection of religious relics at Third and Jackson Streets, unknown to all but those who had reason to happen past.

But this week, people who had no business in Hoboken, let alone a gritty section of this North Jersey city, were steering down Jackson in search of a miracle. Hundreds of them - a constant flow - at all hours of the day and night.

What they came to see was a crumbling plaster statue of Jesus - with wires poking skyward where fingers once were - that Dones, 52, said he fished a year ago from a Jersey City trash can. They came because the plaster Jesus' right eye, once not visible, can now be seen.
The pastor of my Catholic church had an interesting observation about phenomena such as this, along these lines - For some reason, many people who consider themselves to be religious, react more to these stories, than to the everyday existence of their Church, their community of believers, or their sacraments. Even Mr. Dones of Hoboken, who apparently spent decades trying to bring a little bit of hope to a seedy area of his town, does so without being noticed until his "miracle".

And, that makes me think of these "Intelligent Design" people. Instead of considering that the God they believe in could have created a universe where natural processes come together to result in intelligent life (an amazing thing if you think about it), they insist that there's some "trick" that had to have taken place. They insist that somewhere we can see the "seams", where creation came together, where something not "natural" can be seen and therefore "prove" the existence of God. And, they argue that opposition to them is somehow opposition to people of faith. They even managed to get a Catholic Cardinal to write a piece which implied that their view was correct.

I have some folks who would disagree. For example, Kenneth R. Miller, Professor of Biology at Brown University, and a Catholic -
Words matter, and they matter most of all in the context in which they are to be read and understood. On July 7, 2005, the New York Times published an opinion piece, "Finding Design in Nature," purporting to offer “The official Catholic stance on evolution.” The author of that piece, my fellow Catholic Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, got the theology exactly right, but erred dramatically in his take on the science and the politics of the “design” movement as it exists in the United States. Knowing how the good Cardinal's words will be misused by the enemies of science in our country, it is important to set the record straight.
...

Science is, just as John Paul II said, silent on the issue of ultimate purpose, an issue that lies outside the realm of scientific inquiry. This means that biological evolution, correctly understood, does not make the claim of purposelessness. It does not address what Simpson called the “deeper problem,” leaving that problem, quite properly, to the realm of faith.

Cardinal Schönborn also errs in his implicit support of the “intelligent design” movement in the United States. The neo-creationists of intelligent design, unlike Popes Benedict and John Paul, argue against evolution on every level, claiming that a “designer” has repeatedly intervened to directly produce the complex forms of living things. This view stands in sharp contradiction to the words of a 2004 International Theological Commission document cited by the Cardinal. In reality, this document carries a ringing endorsement of the “widely accepted scientific account” of life's emergence and evolution, describes the descent of all forms of life from a common ancestor as “virtually certain,” and echoes John Paul II's observation of the “mounting support” for evolution from many fields of study.
And (and I love this one) George Coyne, S.J., the Director of the Vatican Observatory -
There appears to exist a nagging fear in the Church that a universe, which science has established as evolving for 13.7 x 1 billion years since the Big Bang and in which life, beginning in its most primitive forms at about 12 x 1 billion years from the Big Bang, evolved through a process of random genetic mutations and natural selection, escapes God’s dominion. That fear is groundless. Science is completely neutral with respect to philosophical or theological implications that may be drawn from its conclusions. Those conclusions are always subject to improvement. That is why science is such an interesting adventure and scientists curiously interesting creatures. But for someone to deny the best of today’s science on religious grounds is to live in that groundless fear just mentioned.
...

This stress on our scientific knowledge is not to place a limitation upon God. Far from it. It reveals a God who made a universe that has within it a certain dynamism and thus participates in the very creativity of God. Such a view of creation can be found in early Christian writings, especially in those of St Augustine in his comments on Genesis. If they respect the results of modern science and, indeed, the best of modern biblical research, religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly. Perhaps God should be seen more as a parent or as one who speaks encouraging and sustaining words. Scripture is very rich in these thoughts. It presents, indeed anthropomorphically, a God who gets angry, who disciplines, a God who nurtures the universe, who empties himself in Christ the incarnate Word. Thus God’s revelation of himself in the Book of Scripture would be reflected in our knowledge of the universe, so that, as Galileo was fond of stating, the Book of Scripture and the Book of Nature speak of the same God.
The point of this post is not to convince anyone that God exists (or, that God does not exist). The point of this post is just to note that, in my opinion, it is the "Intelligent Design" people who need to think about how much faith they actually have. Do they need a "blinking statue" to prove that God exists? Maybe they could consider that, for a religious person, the evolution of the universe, from random atoms into intelligent life, is a pretty neat miracle after all.

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In Which A Cautious Man Finds Evidence of Intelligent Design ...
That is, an unseen hand guiding creation in the world around us. No, I am not talking about evolution and creationism - I'm talking about the Internet. Specifically, I'm talking about the Unseen Hand that "scrubbed" Senator Rick Santorum's official Senate web site. Recently, it has been observed that Senator Santorum made a statement in an NPR interview that he disagreed with the President's position, that "Intelligent Design" should be taught alongside evolution -
Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, a possible 2008 presidential contender who faces a tough re-election fight next year in Pennsylvania, said intelligent design, which is backed by many religious conservatives, lacked scientific credibility and should not be taught in science classes.

Bush told reporters from Texas on Monday that "both sides" in the debate over intelligent design and evolution should be taught in schools "so people can understand what the debate is about."

"I think I would probably tailor that a little more than what the president has suggested," Santorum, the third-ranking Republican member of the U.S. Senate, told National Public Radio. "I'm not comfortable with intelligent design being taught in the science classroom."
He had a different opinion in an Op-Ed he wrote for the Washington Times in 2002. That piece is hard to find online, since the Senator removed it from his Senate web page. But, the Google cache shows that the article was there as recently as December 4, 2004. This was the Senator used to tell people about "Intelligent Design" -
The theory of intelligent design, which predates ancient Greece, contends that nature shows tangible signs of having been created by a pre-existing intelligence. This is in contrast to Charles Darwin's theory, which assumes all physical and material reality has gradually evolved through pure chance and natural selection, whereby the fittest members of each species survive and reproduce.

Critics of intelligent design, such as the newly formed Ohio Citizens for Science, claim that intelligent design is not a viable scientific theory and should not be taught in the classroom. They fear it is creationism in disguise, and hence, propagates religion in public schools. Despite a recent poll that shows overwhelming support for including the theory in the new teaching standards, these critics continue to resist its adoption.

This opposition to intelligent design is surprising since there is an increasing body of theoretical and scientific evidence that suggests an alternate theory is possible. Research has shown that the odds that even one small protein molecule has been created by chance is 1 in a billion. Thus, some larger force or intelligence, or what some call agent causation, seems like a viable cause for creating information systems such as the coding of DNA. A number of scientists contend that alternate theories regarding the origins of the human species - including that of a greater intelligence - are possible.

Therefore, intelligent design is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes.
Now, all the Senator allows on his website is a more stealthy, "teach the controversy" opinion piece -
Darwin’s theory of evolution should not be taught as absolute fact in the science classroom. Instead, it should be taught as the leading and dominant scientific theory explaining the origin of species, but also as a theory subject to significant limitations, failed predictions, and important criticisms. We should encourage schools to teach better science and to teach more about evolution, including the gaps and controversies surrounding evolution. We should not be afraid to teach children what we know and what we have not yet discovered in science, and we should certainly not deny our children the truth about controversies surrounding science. By teaching the controversy, we remain true to science and yet sensitive to the ideas and interests of many parents and children.
Although, in both his "pro-Intelligent Design" piece, and the more slippery "teach the controversy" piece, the Senator invokes the name of Ted Kennedy as somehow supporting his position. That claim is based on a vote on what is known as the "Santorum Amendment" to the No Child Left Behind Act. It had that innocuous sounding, "teach the children well" sort of language, but has been used as a justification for trying to drive the Intelligent Design bandwagon into science classrooms. The "Santorum Amendment" was not made part of the final NCLB act, by the way.

What is the Senator up to? I don't know. But, I do know that thoughtful people need to be on the watch for stealthy attempts to sneak fake science into our science curriculums. I leave you with the words of author Chris Mooney, whose book "The Republican War on Science" will be published this September -
ID proponents have also teamed up with conservative Republican legislators to further advance their agenda. ID’s most significant supporter has been Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. In 2001, Santorum teamed up with ID supporters to slip “teach the controversy” language into the No Child Left Behind Act. Singling out evolution in particular, Santorum’s amendment to the Senate version of the bill stated that “good science education should prepare students to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science.” This may sound innocuous enough, but when you learn that the language comes in part from ID movement progenitor Phillip Johnson, who believes that “Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence,” you see where Santorum is headed.
Read the whole thing.

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August 13, 2005
 
Young Lives Over Before They Got Started
From my local paper -
For years, the war seemed so far away. Since March 2003, when American forces invaded Iraq, the communities of South Orange and Maplewood have managed to survive without having to make the sacrifices that others around the country have been making.

Although they may have felt the pain of war very close to their heart, or were deeply affected by every headline or television segment on the war, still, members of the community remained somewhat sheltered.

But things changed last week. Lance Cpl. Edward "Augie" Schroeder, a former South Orange resident and a 2000 graduate of Columbia High School, was one of the 14 Marines killed in Iraq on Aug. 2, when a powerful roadside bomb destroyed their amphibious assault vehicle near the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Schroeder's parents, Paul Schroeder and Rosemary Palmer, moved to Ohio from South Orange after Schroeder's graduation from Columbia.

He attended Ohio State University before joining the Marines in 2002 in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

"It was hard to go home and tell my son that the little boy he used to play with isn't here anymore," said Cindy Espersen, family friend of the Schroeders and CHS guidance counselor. Schroeder and her son were childhood friends.

Any bright, loving child growing up in a community the size of South Orange and Maplewood will touch the lives of many people in it. Schroeder seemed to be special, however, touching so many and so deeply.

The impact of his life, although painfully short, was evidenced at a memorial service in his honor at Morrow Memorial Church in Maplewood on Aug. 4.

The chapel overflowed with people wishing to recall memories and pray for Schroeder. They said he was funny, loving, creative and devoted.
And, from the Associated Press -
CRAWFORD, Texas - The mother of a fallen U.S. soldier who is holding a roadside peace vigil near President Bush's ranch shares the same grief as relatives mourning the deaths of Ohio Marines, yet their views about the war differ.

"I'm angry. I want the troops home," Cindy Sheehan, 48, of Vacaville, Calif., who staged a protest that she vowed on Sunday to continue until she can personally ask Bush: "Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?"

Jim Boskovitch, father of slain Cpl. Jeffery Boskovitch, 25, of North Royalton, Ohio, is supporting the U.S. military action in Iraq.

"I firmly believe, and I would echo my son's feeling on this, it is very, very important for our country to remain steadfast and complete the mission that they set out to accomplish," Boskovitch told ABC on Sunday.

Boskovitch is among several families mourning Ohio Marines who suffered heavy losses in three attacks starting July 28, when two were killed in a gun battle. On Monday, five were killed in an ambush. Nine were killed Wednesday when an armored vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

Rosemary Palmer, the mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder, 23, another Ohio Marine killed in Iraq, sided more with Sheehan. If the United States continues its current course in Iraq, the death toll of U.S. troops, now at more than 1,820, will only grow, she told ABC.

"We either have to have more people there to do the job and better equipment, or we have to leave — one or the other," she said.
I don't know if Corporal Schroeder's mom is now considered "fair game" by Bill O'Reilly, Michelle Malkin, or anybody else who thinks that it's socially acceptable to call Cindy Sheehan nasty names. In any event, this is what his dad asked a friend to pass along, on the local Maplewood and South Orange internet message board -
I want people to know how much they are appreciated by us. In the last 48 hours we have learned more about Augie than we knew. He now seems larger than life to us (though it isn't easy to forget the dirty socks stuffed under the couch).

Also, we want them to know that the question is not why, but what next.

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August 10, 2005
 
Jersey Girl?
Michelle Malkin, a feature performer on Fox Bigotry News, has a post on her blog (entitled N.J. & SLEAZE: PERFECT TOGETHER) about some political doings in my state of New Jersey. She notes two items - the steering of 9-11 funds to Democratic districts, and a loan (converted to a gift) from Senator Jon Corzine (now the Democratic candidate for Governor), to a woman who he used to date (and who heads a state workers' union).

As to the former, it should be investigated. Although, it just so happens that the "Democratic districts" are the places which have the international airport, the seaport, the oil and chemical plants, the financial areas which the Administration identified as targets last summer, and the immigrant neighborhoods which are of more interest to the FBI than the typical suburban cul-de-sac. Query - where else would this money be spent?

As to the latter, the Repubican gubernatorial candidate has jumped all over this. Despite the fact that one may wonder why a candidate giving money to someone qualifies as "sleaze" (I thought it was supposed to work the other way around), the Senator apparently reported the gift on his taxes, didn't keep it a secret, and had no dealings with the woman or her union during the time they were dating. I know Republicans love a sex scandal (or, as the Capitol Steps would say, "a skex sandal"), but this particular item may have some "skex", but not really any "sandal".

Normally, I would not bother to address a tawdry subject such as this, but I was drawn to Ms. Malkin's approach to these stories. In addition to the obligatory "Perfect Together" reference, she adds in her post -
They don't call my native state the Armpit of America for nothing.
Now, let's leave aside the fact that the "Google" search she links to produces sites which question, make fun of, or otherwise treat ironically the title, "Armpit of America". Her reference brought to mind what I believe was the last time Ms. Malkin focused on her "native state" - the murder of an Egyptian Christian family in Jersey City. Before the perpetrators were arrested, Ms. Malkin gleefully stoked the flames of racial and religious hatred, asserting that this Christian family was the victim of Muslim assasins. In fact, while during the investigation local officials cautioned people not to jump to conclusions, she mocked them and accused them of some sort of "political correctness" for not pursuing the "jihadists" who she concluded had committed the crime. Even when the truth came out, she continued to imply that there were legitimate unanswered questions.

The discredited story line in the tragedy of the Armanious family, was consistent with Ms. Malkin's whole body of work. Her book last year, in which she attempted to justify the unjustifiable race-based internment of Japanese citizens during World War II, is simply the most extreme example of an obvious attempt to gain the favor of the bigots of this world in exchange for a paycheck.

In any event, she seems ashamed of her Jersey roots. Fortunately, I am a Jerseyan born, raised, and now resident by choice. Therefore, by the power vested in me as a True Jerseyan (or is it "Jerseyite?"), I hereby relieve Ms. Malkin of any connection to the Garden State. Believe me, we're much better off without being associated with her brand of opportunistic bigotry.

And, if she ever stops by here - "You're welcome!"

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August 09, 2005
 
Souls Of The Departed
Among the Marines from Ohio who were killed in Iraq last week, was a kid named Edward August "Augie" Schroeder. He grew up in my community in New Jersey. He graduated from our high school in 2000; my own son graduated from that same school last year. I did not know him or his parents personally, but many of my friends and neighbors did. Like my own son, he was a Scout, a town pool lifeguard, took part in assorted extracurricular activities, and was active in his church's youth group. In his yearbook portrait (at this AP online profile), he looks just like a lot of the kids of our friends, and like our childrens' classmates. Heck, my son has a similar haircut in his yearbook picture. A lot of us see our own children, when we look at his picture.

He died while riding in a lightly armored, amphibious vehicle in the middle of the desert.

Whether they knew him personally or not, his death has profoundly grieved the people of our community.

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August 06, 2005
 
There's A Joke Here Somewhere ...
... but maybe it's not that funny.

I kid you not, but the other day the charming Administration-supporting website WorldNetDaily.com posted a come-on for one of their subscription letters (the "G2 Bulletin") which claimed that August 6 is a favorite day of Osama Bin Laden. WND claims that is because that was the date of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. But, can't we think of another reason why August 6 holds a special place in OBL's heart? -
... the day President Bush received a President’s Daily Brief (PDB) entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” There are many eerie similarities between now and August 6, 2001. Chief among them is that the threat of terrorism remains high, President Bush is at his ranch in Crawford, and Osama bin Laden is on the loose looking to inflict greater terrorist damage.

Bush candidly acknowledged that he was not thinking about a terrorist strike on the U.S. during the hot, pre-9/11 days at his Crawford ranch. He told Bob Woodward: “I was not on point…I have no hesitancy about going after him. But I didn’t feel that sense of urgency, and my blood was not nearly as boiling.”
See the rest of the post at ThinkProgress.org. Then think about how lucky the 9/11 planners were that the U.S. President was so detached, that we lost the chance to possibly prevent that horrific attack.

Yeah, August 6 sure is a red letter day on OBL's calendar.

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August 04, 2005
 
"For It Means Destruction Of Innocent Lives"
Something to ponder regarding wars past and present, from the U.S. Catholic Bishops -
At this time of remembrance, we solemnly recall the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These bombings, like other acts of total war in that conflict, brought indiscriminate destruction and death to civilians and soldiers alike. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are permanent reminders to the entire human family of the grave consequences of total war.

No matter how noble the ends of a war may be, they cannot justify employing means or weapons that fail to discriminate between noncombatants and combatants. As the Second Vatican Council declared, “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 80)

In our day, the threat of global nuclear war may have receded, only to be replaced by the prospect of nuclear terrorism. Terrorist attacks on innocent civilians are a crime against God and humanity and merit the same unequivocal condemnation of all acts that fail to discriminate between combatants and noncombatants
(Found via Bill Cork's Tischreden)

[Edited on August 9, to add the following] Just one detail from a news item about the 60th Anniversay Commemoration today in Nagasaki -
Tuesday’s remembrances began just after sunrise, hundreds of Catholics joined in a special Mass at Urakami Cathedral, which at the time of the bombing was the largest in Asia with 12,000 parishioners — 8,500 of whom are believed to have been killed.

When the cloudy sky lit up in a sudden flash at 11:02 a.m. in 1945, two priests were hearing confessions inside the cathedral and 30 faithful were inside. Everyone in the church died and the statues around them turned black because of the intense heat.
I'm not pointing this out because I think it was worse to drop the bomb on Catholics in church. But, maybe a detail such as that helps to remind people that the victims of that bombing (no matter what their race or religion) were really not so different from ourselves. They got up in the morning, and went to work, to school, or to church, and in the ordinary details their lives would have been similar to an American's.

In a war, there is a tendency to view the enemy as the "Other", as someone who is not like us. It happened in World War II (so much so that American citizens of Japanese origin were herded into camps), and it happens today in the War on Terror (or whatever its called). Listen to some of the characters on the Fox Bigotry Channel if you need further proof.

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August 03, 2005
 
Back In The U.S.A.
Hey, we're back. London is an amazing city, and its people are wonderful. Given recent events there, residents could be forgiven for being on edge. Nevertheless, the city and its people carried on, even working around the closures of some lines and stations on the extremely essential Underground. We had a great time.

Now, I read that today our U.S. Department of State has decided to issue a travel advisory about London -
This public announcement is issued to alert Americans to ongoing security concerns in the United Kingdom. This public announcement expires on November 3, 2005.

National and local authorities in the United Kingdom continue their investigations of the London bombings on July 7 and the attempted bombings on July 21. The London Metropolitan Police made several arrests, but also stated “the threat remains, and is very real.” The police have increased their uniform and undercover presence on the London public transportation system.

U.S. citizens are advised to maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, and exercise caution in public places or while using public transportation.
Between that warning, and the "be scared of everything everywhere" warning of the State Department's "Worldwide Caution", you'd think that they didn't want us to go anywhere, but just cower at home and watch the latest "news" on the Fox Bigotry Channel.

I think it was better to go to London, ride the Underground, and carry on with life.

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