Asshats On Parade

Well, it's been a rich couple of days. I was out of the office yesterday, attending to imaginary events. One of the downsides of my job is the occasional travel involved. Blackfive gets to go to New Orleans and Vancouver for his job. I go on business trips to places like Tatum, Texas and El Reno, Oklahoma. Oil wells just aren't located in interesting places. I'm going back tonight, on the theory that something will actually happen tomorrow.

I see while I was gone, the usual suspects were bloviating mindlessly again. Sean Penn is being condescending and arrogant because someone dared voice an opinion that contradicted the Sacred Writ of the Holy Vote. It's okay for Sean Penn to have and voice an opinion, no matter how vapid and deformed it may be. Everybody else should just shut up. Guess what, Sean? Trey Parker and Matt Stone are right. If you are an uninformed clueless twit (a state Sean should be familiar with), stay home come election day. Don't clog up my polling place with your idiotic self. If you have no idea what the issues are this election cycle, stay home. If you're an undecided voter at this late stage, stay home. If you do not know and cannot articulate your reasons for choosing a candidate, stay the fuck home.

Of course, my reasons here are partly selfish. There are the larger issues about the informed citizenry, voting being a responsibility and a privilege, and blah, blah, blah. I agree with all of those larger points, but I just don't want to put up with the empty-headed mouth-breathers come election day. I do not want to endlessly repeat to people "The voting machine is not a touchscreen". I do not want to have to help people who are unwilling to read the instructions prominently affixed to each voting booth. I do not want to have to listen to endless rants about how the voting machines are too complicated or too expensive or too confusing. I also don't want to deal with the people who spend hours dithering over who they should pick for the 34th judicial position on the ballot. So all the idiots need to stay home and make my life easier.

John Kerry has also made yet another asinine statement. Now he's talking about reducing terrorism to a nuisance and equating it with prostitution and illegal gambling. More precisely:

''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' Kerry said. ''As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.''
I'd attempt to disembowel this, but I find Professor Volokh has done it admirably. Kerry is implying there's a certain acceptable nuisance level of terrorism. The problem with this analogy is the obvious one: while prostitution does not threaten someone's life every day, terrorism does. Terrorists kill people. An acceptable level of terrorism leads to dead bodies. Or is there a more complex and nuanced version of this I'm missing?



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