I would just like to state here, for the record, that I am not in fear of another terrorist attack, I'd be happy if we cut the homeland security budget, and I'd be happy if we cut the national defense budget. Yes, still. The SCLM appears convinced that any substantive opposition to the elements of Bush's campaign theme - that we need stronger defense and greater security - is politically intractable; that while Democrats may be served by trying to refocus people's minds on the economy, they can't be served at all by saying Bush is wrong.
The fundamental thing is that I'm not convinced ANY of the homeland defense spending is anything more than a placebo. Not that I'm an expert, or that you should take my opinion too seriously, I just haven't been sold, ever. The absurd random airport searches (while undercover U.S. agents testing the system almost uniformly succeed in smuggling weapons aboard planes) are just the tip of the iceberg. Really, what can you do that's going to stop a determined terrorist? Going after them at the roots, yeah, I can understand that. Maybe even the legitimacy of invading Afghanistan (which I was originally strongly opposed to), on the grounds that finding and prosecuting Al-Qaida members in that country would have been impossible with the old regime in place.
But above anything, I think the best thing for us to do, as a nation and as individuals, is to say "Fuck these punks; the only thing to fear is fear itself, and we've faced far worse; let's get on with our lives here."
I've said it before, I know, but it just boggles my mind that I feel like no-one out there shares my attitude.
Onion headline proposal: "Volvo car accidents overtake the 9/11 attacks on the list of leading causes of death amongst 18-45 year olds over the last five years." Which is a statistic I just made up, but I'm sure is true. Checking . . . since about 41,000 people die in car crashes each year in the U.S., then if 1.5% of those accidents involve Volvos, my stat would be true.
Uh, so what I'm saying is all the homeland defense money should be spent on hiring highway cops to give speeders tickets and arrest drunk drivers? I dunno if I'd actually support that, but I'm fairly sure it would save more lives.