Monday Edition

Angry electorate helps sustain Tea Party,” CNN.com proclaims on its front page. I have long since accepted that the Tea Party is no true friend to libertarianism or civil liberties (TP Express co-chair Amy Kremer’s assertion that the Republican party isn’t providing its base with “true conservatives”–by which she presumably means folks like Christine O’Donnell, whom Kremer championed last year–is but the latest indicator that the Tea Party is on a bobsled to looney right-wing hell and Perot-style irrelevancy). That said, why is it only right-wing protesters who are depicted as angry and presumably emotional and prone to irrational decisions? To be clear, Kremer and co. are angry and emotional, as most leaders of political parades tend to be; I just want CNN to write the same thing about socialists or members of the Green Party for a change. Surely they can find some angry leftists somewhere on this planet.

Forever 21 is at it again. Whereas the sympathetic Barbie who proclaimed that “math class is tough” was subject to scads of illegitimate scorn (multivariable calc was tough, you preachy demagogues!), these shirts deserve every ounce of outrage they’ll receive. What sane parent would pay to have his/her daughter advertise her resignation over mathematics and reinforce misogynistic stereotypes? Next up, Little League uniforms proclaiming that the wearer is allergic to hitting a breaking ball. “Curveball, bats are afraid.”

Radley Balko out-outrages me once again with this link to a Tactical Response article  encouraging SWAT commanders to hone their team’s skills by deploying unnecessarily. “Make SWAT familiar to senior police staff,” Officer Ed Sanow writes. “Everyone fears the unknown. Don’t let SWAT be that unknown. Make deploying SWAT something that is routine, not something only done after much hand-wringing.” A glib hint for SWAT team commanders everywhere: kicking in more doors, shooting more family pets, and terrifying more children with shows of overwhelming mortal force won’t make civilians fear or hate you any less. The reader comments following Ed’s article are an excellent tonic to the cynicism he elicits.

Paul Krugman opines that we mourn not only the lives lost on 9/11, but also the subsequent actions of our government. “The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.” You won’t see these words here very often, but Krugman is right. Yesterday, for every second that I spent recalling the horror of couples leaping hand-in-hand from the WTC roof, I spent two more thinking of the lives thrown away in Iraq and the hastened erosion of our civil liberties. When I think of 9/11, I can’t contain my memories to a single surreal and terrible day, and it is as unreasonable to expect that of this generation as it was to expect our forebears to separate Pearl Harbor from the greater war. For many of us, 9/11 stands as the day that security and surveillance became watchwords within the halls of power to the detriment of all.

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