Wednesday, May 02, 2007

With a spring in my step

May flowers do tend to spread the pollen about, don’t they? After the late snow and hard winter, everybody else I know (excepting one good friend), is eager for the sun and warmth and the blatant attempts of nature to get back to living greenly. I, however, am the Scrooge of Springtime. As the temperature and the pollen count continue to rise, I say, “Bah! Humbug!” Occasionally, I also squeal, “Eek! Squash bug!” But, mostly, I grouse in a voice roughly (very roughly) an octave lower than usual, about allergies and the cost of living with them.

This spring is a little different, though. I’m actually happy to be where I am, when I am. Not that the allergies are any easier than usual -- quite the contrary. My post-nasal distress is at its seasonal high, my sneezes come frequently and with great force. But I’m happy to be living in a place where I can blow my nose without having to get half-undressed to reach the darned thing.

It seems that those nice people that the Speaker of the House wants to sit down and chat with have started arresting women who don’t cover themselves sufficiently. In Ahmadinejad’s Iran, women who are covered from head to foot, with scarf, loose-fitting pants under loose-fitting coats, heavy stockings, gloves, and sunglasses can still get a warning ticket for public indecency, if their trousers ride up too much when they sit down (heaven forfend a man should see a tiny bit of bare ankle!). Men, too, can be arrested for trimming their beards incorrectly, or for plucking their eyebrows, or for wearing short sleeves on a hot day.

But let me not dwell upon that centerpiece to the Axis of Evil. Just because they’re imprisoning people for owning satellite dishes doesn’t make them the scourge to end all scourges. In fact, some of our allies might be applying for the title, soon.

Egypt, for example, recently sentenced blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil to four years in prison, for the crime of “insulting Islam and the Mubarak government,” simply for disagreeing with some of their respective and joint policies. One can only imagine how crowded our own prisons would get, how empty our universities, if our current administration were to start the practice of jailing those it decides have insulted it or, say, Christianity. Blessedly, we’re still free.

So, as long as we’re permitted to insult our own, let me ask one question: what kind of idiot government sends roughly two billion dollars annually in foreign aid to a state which eagerly hunts down and imprisons its own unarmed scholars? What kind of idiot government pays two billion dollars a year in foreign aid to a country where islamofascism is encouraged? What kind of idiot government -- to the tune of billions of dollars per year in foreign aid -- supports its own enemies, not only in Egypt, but in Palestinian territories, in Venezuela (yes, we sent money to all of them)? We’ve even sent cash to Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s prime thug, as if we believed he would use it to actually help the very people whose suffering he is causing.

And, yet, our government, for all its idiocy, means well. Even when Ninny Pelosi snubs our allies and seeks out our enemies, the rest of the people believe we are in this game for more than just ourselves. Even when moonbats Reid, Murtha, Durbin, et al. insult our troops, we still have a restrained, honest, virtuous people’s military, by and large. This is a darned fine country, even with the idiots and their hijinks in high office (perhaps I should say, despite the idiots at the top). We Americans are not always the most adept at fixing problems, but we are usually the first ones on the scene, the last ones out after clean-up, and the most enthusiastic to help some more. After all the times we’ve been slapped silly, we still come running when crisis arises.

Some may think it quaint, or childish, the way Americans strive to please so many others on this jaded planet. I think it’s awesome. We have all the resources we would need to become an isolationist nation, closing our hearts and borders to all, and yet we’re open to honest folk, and, more importantly, we are free.

That’s nothing to sneeze at.

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