Friday, May 18, 2007


Mrs. Gerbil and I have a bad habit of going to the corner store in the evenings for a pint of Breyer's A&W Root Beer Float ice cream. We indulged said habit last night. On the way out of the store, I pointed out the top headline on the Contra Costa Times, which read as follows:

Warming called security threat.

Mrs. Gerbil and I were both struck by the absolute absurdity of the story. But whereas my first thought was "Well, there's a way to get the federal government to pay attention to global warming," Mrs. Gerbil's was "Oh, my God. That's a real newspaper, isn't it."

(In Mrs. Gerbil's defense, here in Alameda County, the Contra Costa Times isn't a very popular paper. The same niche is filled here by the Oakland Tribune, which has made several aggressive attempts to court our readership. Alas, we are loyal to the San Francisco Chronicle.)

But still, the idea that global warming might possibly attract the attention of the current administration seems more appropriate for The Onion than for real life. On the other hand, if the powers that be predictably get their very powerful panties in a bunch about national security, then why not try to spur some action on social issues by fabricating connections to terrorism?

I've already pondered the connection between marriage equality and national security. I'm sure someone else can spin the United States' failing health care system as a threat to national security. And then there's the state of public education (not to mention the cost of higher education). It should be pretty easy to work in the future of Social Security--I mean, they already have a word in common.

Any takers?

(PS: The point of terrorism is to make people fear your next move. In a twisted way, it's kind of like panic disorder--which, at its core, is the fear of having another panic attack. I know I'm not the first to say this, but I think it bears repeating: declaring a "war on terror" means you've already lost. Food for thought.)

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