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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Un-American Activities -- Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!

Pick pretty much any moment from any day, and you'll find a group of highly-paid Congresspeople sitting in a room and wasting their time and our money.

And that's fine.  I long ago reconciled myself to the notion that government is the well-dressed equivalent of a dog's breakfast.  Nothing of note ever gets done, but the messes left behind are always epic.

But there are days such as today, where even my abysmally low expectations are set far too high.

I speak of course of Representative Pete King, and his hearings on the subject of Muslim radicalization within the US.

You'd think these imbeciles would learn something from the asinine antics of their brain-damaged forebears.  Joseph McCarthy, anyone?  Communists hiding behind every shrub, every fountain, every comic book?  Except of course there weren't any.  McCarthy ruined lives and careers but his army of hidden Communists never materialized because they never existed in the first place.

Sigh.  Pete King probably has a brass bust of Joe McCarthy on his mantel.  Or full-length nude photos of McCarthy in his desk.  Because King is determined to not only follow in McCarthy's footsteps, but actually exceed the man's dedication to the ideal of finding monsters hiding in every corner.

This time around, it's not Communists, but....<gasp> Muslims.  Or, as Joe King doubtlessly prefers to pronounce it, moo-slims.  They're radicalized, infers Pete.  Radicalized and ready to throw down some jihad any second now!  Blood and apple pie will run in the streets! Hide the wimmin and grab yer guns, boys, 'cause the mooslims is a' comin!

So what does Pete do?

He drags Muslim Americans onto the Hill, and grills them, ostensibly in the hope that they'll get distracted by the cameras and blurt out their sinister plans to blow up the nearest Dunkin' Donuts before nightfall.

That's what outrages me.  No American citizen -- be they Muslim, Baptist, Hindu, whatever -- owes Pete King or anyone else an 'explanation' of their beliefs or their patriotism.

That's supposed to be one of the central perks of being an American -- that you don't have to explain your beliefs to anyone, least of all a bunch of jackbooted government thugs.

I've worked in a university setting all my life.  I've worked with Muslims.  I've worked with Hindus.  With Buddhists.  I've even worked with members of even more exotic sects, such as Methodists and Presbyterians.

According to Pete King, I should have been blown up years ago.  Or if not blown up, converted to radical Islam.

Oddly enough, neither has happened.

Not even close.

Okay, I have developed a fondness for Indian food.  Maybe that's the sinister gateway to terrorism.  From Chicken Korma to radical Islam, in five easy steps?

Want to know about the people I've worked with, laughed with, talked with, over all these years?

They're just people.  The Muslims wanted to go home and see their kids like everyone else.  The Hindus, ditto.  Aside from differences in lunchtime preferences, and who drank coffee and who didn't, I didn't see any significant variations in behavior.

Just what am I supposed to be afraid of?

These 'hearings' are ridiculous.  Ridiculous and insulting.  And as far as I can tell, the only people engaging in overtly un-American activities are Pete King and his cronies, who are obviously engaged in demonizing Muslims as part of a painfully transparent effort to revive the post-911 paranoia just in time for the 2012 elections.

To my Muslim friends out there, I apologize.  Fat lot of good that does, huh?

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