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Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Grandma Socialist Club

I'm reading the Sunday paper at a local java joint consuming vast quantities of my second favorite beverage in the world, hot black coffee, when two elderly grandmotherly types seat themselves at a table two down from where I'm sitting.

I wasn't eavesdropping, spying or wiretapping their conversation, but it was easy to listen in on what they were saying. They had just come from the Gary Keillor movie of which I do not care to name or publicize, but the two Grandma's apparently thought the movie was the greatest thing since two-ply, quilted toilet paper. I wonder if they're as happy that the very wealthy Keillor gets taxpayer money to fund his pointless and lame Public Radio program? I suppose they are, for an aging Socialist Grandma is still a Socialist at heart.

Their conversation then turned to politics and my hearing went to high alert! They discussed last week's PBS program, "The Dark Side", that was critical of Vice President Dick Cheney. (A PBS program critical of Dick Cheney? Yeah, hard to believe, isn't it?)

And in a move that could only have been orchestrated by DNC Chairman Mao Howard Dean, the two blue-gray haired ladies hit every Lefty talking point imaginable: Cheney is evil, President Bush is Cheney's puppet, the Iraq War is all about oil, Bush stole both presidential elections, Bush hates the poor, Bush is responsible for the devastation caused in New Orleans by hurricane Katrina, the minimum wage hasn't been increased because of Bush, global warming is Bushs' fault, the price of gasoline is Bushs' fault and all the programs that the Bush Administration is using to combat terrorism are illegal.

Whew...I thought as you grew older your priorities centered more on the location of the nearest bathroom and what to eat at the casino buffet.

Then their conversation switched to the Miami Seven, the seven men arrested on terrorism charges of plotting to attack and cause havoc in Miami and Chicago's Sears Tower. The Grandma's said there's no evidence against any of these men and no indication that they were planning or plotting anything destructive.

I wondered if the Grandma's knew that the Miami Seven were trying to procure hardware to carry out their planned attacks from a government informant posing as a member of al-Qaida?

The intent of the Miami Seven was to cause destruction and kill and maim as many people as possible - they said as much. People are convicted as law breakers all the time based on only their intent to commit the crime.

Child predators, thieves and sex offenders are convicted and jailed all the time based on only their intent. They do not need to succeed in breaking the law or completing their intended crime in order to be found guilty. Established intent is often all that is needed for conviction. I guess Chairman Mao Dean didn't include that item in his daily talking points e-mail to which the Grandma's subscribe.

And had the Miami Seven accomplished their goal of blowing up the Sears Tower and FBI buildings in five cities - killing and maiming hundreds or thousands of people - I can only guess the Grandma's would have said that "Bush isn't doing enough to combat homegrown terrorism."

Yesterday a syndicated newspaper story from Cox News Service, by Julia Malone and Bob Deans, lists the following examples of "homegrown terrorist groups":

* A group of radical Islamists indicted for planning terrorist attacks after gas station robberies in Torrance, CA, to finance attacks on military recruiting offices;

* A Lodi, CA, man convicted of supporting terrorism for attending an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan three years ago. His father pleaded guilty to charges of lying to customs agents about smuggling money to finance the terrorist training.

* Two men from Atlanta - linked to the Toronto suspects - arrested after videotaping the U.S. Capitol in alleged surveillance for possible terrorist attacks.

U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the other day, when speaking to reporters, that Local Cell Terrorists were responsible for:

* 191 people killed in the 2004 Madrid, Spain train station attack;

* 52 deaths in the 2005 London subway and bus bombings;

* the 17 men arrested in Toronto last month who were planning to behead Canada's Prime Minister.

All three of the above situations are examples of Local Cell Terrorist Groups that are not tied to the "official" global al-Qaida network.

The Grandma's agreed with each other that Bush is "the worst president ever." I wanted to say to them, I bet you think Bill Clinton was the best thing since two-ply, quilted toilet paper, don't you - but I didn't. Their conversation reached the point of political absurdity where I knew that I'd get more objectivity and neutrality by talking to a rock or a tree.

A short time later the Grandma's left the building to - I am sure - bring their superior driving skills to the roads and highways of the neighborhood. God Bless 'em, I wish they'd make me some chocolate chip cookies! I'm betting they make a mean and tasty batch.



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