This morning, as I woke up from an extended nap on a sofa in the firehouse, I heard one of my politically benighted colleagues– someone at a higher pay grade than me– say that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, he boycotted Dunkin’ Donuts. Why? Because at that time “you just didn’t know what was going on.” This reminds me of something I saw passing a firehouse on Chicago’s south side in those heady days: it was a large pickup truck– the kind with the flared fender and doubled tires on the rear– with the phrases “bomb Afghanistan” and “kill all ragheads” written in the rear window in soap.

This train of thought gets me to thinkin’. What kind of jamoke can earn enough to own and maintain a huge gas-guzzler like that pickup truck while being stupid enough to leap straight into that kind of eliminationist nonsense? What kind of schmoe can have the savvy and brains to command a crew of rescue professionals yet be unable to distinguish between a dead 9/11 hijacker and a harmless Dunkin’ Donuts employee?

But maybe the problem isn’t these two individuals. Maybe there’s something larger and more pathetic at work. Right now I don’t feel like examining it, except to say that there’s no excuse for us being this ignorant. More importantly, we can’t afford to be this ignorant right now. The fearmongering and scapegoating that jumped on the back of 9/11 helped to shove us into these dire straits, and its only going to get worse if we don’t wise up. Sadly, I have little confidence in the near future. I think we’re going to get a lot dumber before too long. The only thing in question is whether or not there will be anything left to salvage once the pain forces us to smarten up.

Visit the page below and watch the video for more delightfully pessimistic analysis.

Bill Moyers talks with actual socialist for an honest perspective on Obama

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