I’ve read the books in my room so many times, it was starting to get boring. Recently, I found Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress in the table outside the editing lab, so I picked it up and read it. So, now I’m done with that and need something else to read. So, I’m changing my perspective a bit. For a long time now, I have tended to limit myself to science fiction and fantasy books, and while I’m definitely not done with them, I’ve decided to take a break from them. Thus, last night I ordered two non-fiction books by a couple prominent authors.

The first book is Culture Warrior by Bill O’Reilly. Yea, yea, I know what you’re probably thinking, but I’ve been watching his show for some time now, and would like to see what all the (mostly self created) hype is about. I know I’m not going to agree with a lot of it, but I’d like to see what’s going on in his mind. But, you can’t make up your own mind without reading and learning other views. So, to do that, and partially to repent for my sins, I also ordered The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. So, I’m going to have fun reading those books for a while.

The second topic of the day is one concerning yet another book series, Harry Potter. For those of you who don’t follow news regarding these books, Laura Mallory, a mother from Loganville, Georgia, has been protesting the addition of these books to her children’s school library, claiming they promote and teach kids witchcraft. She hasn’t read the books, but that’s not stopping her from going on a crusade. She’s lost her case with the county board of education, and state BOE, but she’s still going to appeal. I guess I admire her perseverance and her ability to stick to her convictions, but I still think Laura Mallory is an idiot. The Harry Potter books teach witchcraft about as much as your friendly card-flipping magician (I wonder if she keeps her kids away from them, too). She’s clearly using religion as a reason for censorship. Harry Potter teaching witchcraft? Come on. Really, now. GET A HOBBY. Stop your mission to bar kids from reading arguably one of the greatest book series of this generation. You want to stop kids from reading good books? Insanity.

And last but not least, I am starting to get really sick of the whole, “If you don’t support the war, you don’t support the troops” rhetoric I’m seeing from some conservatives. There is also the idea that if you’re bashing the administration or Congress, it means you’re bashing the troops as well. And the nonsensical rhetoric that somehow you can’t speak out against the war, because the troops are the ones who are fighting to give you the ability to speak out against the war. (Inset Tim Taylor questioning grunt here). So, lets go one by one. I support the troops, I do. They’re doing their jobs, and if they support the war, fine by me. That’s their right. I also support the War on Terror, in principle. Maybe controversially, I also support the taking down of Saddam. It had to be done eventually, either by an uprising by the Iraqis, or an international coalition, or an assassination. But, it would be done, and the world is better without people like him. What I don’t support is the way this has been handled, and the misappropriation of our priorities over there. But, you cannot tell me that to speak out against this war is to weaken the troops’ positions, or put them in danger, or embolden the insurgents. Fuck the insurgents. They can get bolder all they want, but our men and women are still bolder. The insurgents are mince meat. They haven’t a chance. Now, how’s that for supporting the troops? Do I still think the administration is mishandling things? Yes.

Umm, covered the second one, I guess, so on to the last one. From what I understand of this one, apparent I must shut up with my political free speech because we’re in a war? Well, under that misguided belief, lets just impose a dictatorship now, with no speech, no freedom, no…anything. The ability to speak out about a mishandled war was one of the ways the government finally realized the nation wanted to get out of Vietnam, and eventually it worked. But, fine, lets just be good little drones. No bad things about the war or the President. Lets eliminate political parties as well, and have a supreme leader for life. Oh, wait. That won’t work, we’re fighting to stop this kind of thing, right? See where I’m going? Telling people to not use their free speech just because we’re in a war makes little sense. Are we fighting for our way of life? Debatable, but perhaps. So, if that’s the case, should we not continue to live our way of life, no matter the circumstance? Seems to me that if we censor ourselves just because we’re fighting a war means the terrorists have scared us into becoming like what they want in their part of the world. If we don’t use our free speech regardless of circumstance, they will have won…Ah, crap. That’s the reasoning I seen used for other things, like the idea that if you bash Bush, you bash the troops (see above).

Do you see what I mean? Ideas like those could be ridiculous. Well, I think I’ve ranted enough for one day. Until next time…use your right to free speech, or by golly, the terrorists might win.

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