Those who know me well will tell you I am one of the most easy-going individuals you'll ever meet. But there is a point past which one does not want to go with me. I have postulated, and gotten confirmation, that the proportionate share of "nice" to "filled with rage and hate" is 95%: 5%. It's not easy to get to the 5%, and it's best not to try. I call it my Red Zone. As a defense attorney once told me after a particularly contentious deposition, "You're like a rabid golden retriever...you look pretty and seem so nice, and then you turn on people and you bite 'em." (Yeah. You're welcome. They call that my JOB, numb-nuggets!) Yes, he got me to the Red Zone. Happens when your physically and mentally disabled client gets raped by his male caregiver, and your opposition is so morally vacant that he asks if he didn't "like it."
Anyway, here's one of today's news stories that has me over the edge and into the 'Zone:
BERKELEY, Calif. — [<-- Ha! Go figure...] Local officials in this liberal city say it's time for the U.S. Marines to move out.
The City Council has voted to tell the Marines their downtown recruiting station is not welcome and "if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome guests."
The measure passed this week by a vote of 8-1.
The council also voted to explore enforcing a city anti-discrimination law, focusing on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
In a separate item, the council voted, also 8-1, to give protest group Code Pink a parking space in front of the recruiting office once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week.*
Marine Capt. Richard Lund of the recruiting office declined comment on the council action.
The recruiting office opened in Berkeley about a year ago, operating quietly until about four months ago when Code Pink began regular sidewalk protests.
"I believe in the Code Pink cause. The Marines don't belong here, they shouldn't have come here, and they should leave," said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates.
Code Pink is circulating petitions to get a measure on the ballot in November making it more difficult to open military recruiting offices in Berkeley if they are near homes, parks, schools, churches, libraries or health clinics. [Just don't try to put those same restrictions on sex offenders, 'kay? - Ed.]
Some employees and business owners aren't happy with the weekly protests.
"My husband's business is right upstairs, and this (protesting) is bordering on harassment," Dori Schmidt told the council. "I hope this stops." [because it hurts your business or because it offends your patriotic sensibilities, ma'am? - Ed.]
*Interesting. I wonder if the ACLU will spend millions to put a stop to the free parking space, like they did a few years back in San Diego to stop the city from leasing land to the Boy Scouts for a dollar a year, and forcing the cross on Mt. Helix at the Veteran's Cemetery to be removed after the County attempted to privatize that piece of land in order to preserve the cross. Same principle, isn't it? A governmental/municipal entity giving land at below-market value to a private organization? It is not to be borne! (And don't pull the free speech shibboleth out on me...)
Note to all terrorists: Invade San Francisco! They don't want the Marines there....yet.
Then there's this one:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Female suicide bombers blew themselves up Friday at two markets in Baghdad, killing at least 64 people and wounding more than 100, authorities said. [...]*
In both bombings, the attackers were wearing suicide vests, according to Qasim Atta, a spokesman for the Baghdad security plan. [...]
Atta told state TV that both women were mentally disabled and their explosives were remotely detonated.
*For the entire story: http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/02/01/iraq.main/index.html
Look. I am a huge military supporter - I have family and friends who are THERE. NOW. So for both selfish and philosophical reasons, I hate the fact that we are at war. I hate the evil that people are capable of in doing the things that precipitated and have prolonged this particular war. But these are not always necessarily Red Zone issues. However, NO ONE here at home better mess with our ALL VOLUNTEER members of the armed forces. The maxium period of military enlistment is 6 years. It has been over 6 years since 9/11/01. So these people are serving by choice in a time of war, knowing all to well what they risk by serving. Anyone who denigrates their service - their FREE SPEECH rights to express their patriotism by offering their very lives to serve - gets no quarter from me. Especially when 1) they use the intellectual chicanery of crying "Free Speech" and wrap themselves in the flag (which flag they'd just as soon burn) to do it, AND 2) are aided and abetted by local leftist governmental authorities as in the case of the Berkeley recruiters. And when the weak and vulnerable are used in this way (as weapons of mass destruction), when babies are cooked in microwaves, when you mess with the innocence of kids...you have hit the 5%!!!
UPDATE: Forgot to link this one (baby in microwave), in my red-haze frenzy this morning...
And now there's this (headline only):
Exxon Posts Record Profit on Oil Prices
HOUSTON (Feb. 1) - Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company - $40.6 billion - as the world's largest publicly traded oil company benefited from historic crude prices at year's end. [Wow...2 "rape" references in one post. Sorry! - Ed.]