We have nothing to fear but fearmongering itself.

Busted out for pushing the panic button again. They gonna bomb Wall Street! Close the Holland Tunnel!! Fear! FEAR! TERRORTERROR!

But wait…

Much of the seized al-Qaida intelligence that led to the current raised security alert at US financial targets was three or four years old, US newspapers reported today.

US officials quoted anonymously by the New York Times and the Washington Post said a significant part of the information recovered after the arrests of two militants in Pakistan last month pre-dated the September 11 2001 attacks.

We should have a color-coded Republican diaper alert system. Whenever Kerry’s numbers climb, we can raise the Diaper Index. This week: Brown! Nearly Full!

Birth of the “Security Mom”

I think that I have finally discovered the unified field theory of the screaming paranoia that produces women like Little Annie Panic and certain other unnamed weblogs, now on hiaitus. This phenomenon of hysteria and rage dubbed the “Security Mom” may have a very simple explanation (and a convenient 12 Step Program to help get the afflicted into a healthier and less xenophobic way of life).

Perhaps some of you are familiar with Metabolife. Essentially, it’s just speed dressed up as a diet pill. This stuff saw its ascendancy into American ubiquity around 1999. Over 12 million people were using it at its peak.

So.

12 million American speed freaks.

If you don’t know what speed feels like or how it makes you act, go drink an even dozen cups of coffee and then report back here, if you can stop grinding your teeth and twitching long enough to sit down at your computer. You probably feel pretty good, for the most part, just really, really edgy. Confident, but restless. And maybe a little impulsive and crazy. Now do the 12 cups of coffee every day for a couple of weeks.

You’re going to reach a condition that we call “strung out,” also known as “restless, irritable and discontent.” But a little more of that stuff takes the edge off, makes you feel energized again. AND you’re SKINNIER, the gold standard of measures of American Quality of Lifeƙ.

But you’re getting kind of jumpy. Edgy, Irritable. Capable of deep and profound rage and mistrust. Now imagine two airplanes just crashed into the World Trade Center all over again.

12 million speed freaks are watching this on TV. Suddenly this ground swell of rage-filled moms advocating the wholesale slaughter of muslims everywhere doesn’t seem like such an out-of-the-blue phenomenon, does it?

But where are they all going? Why are there so many “gone fishing” signs hanging on sites where just last month, there were cries for the scalps and ears of Mohammedans?

Well, you can’t do that shit forever, maaaaan. It’ll burn you out. Your eyes dry up and your teeth get sore. Time to go work in the garden and “Chiiiiiiiill, Winston…

There is hope for a bright future without National Guard troops on every corner and dietary supplements in every cabinet. The first step is to admit that there’s a little problem…

I am not sure how I feel about this

What if everyone talks the same? What does that do to culture?

What if we’re talking about Latin American television?

For the past year, Telemundo has been employing on-set dialogue coaches to “neutralize” the many national and regional Spanish accents of the network’s actors. The network is aiming for the Spanish equivalent of the English-speaking local news broadcaster sound — a well-paced, accent-free patter that’s pretty much the same, whether the anchors work in New York, Ohio or Los Angeles.

Accent-neutral Spanish is the sound of a coming media culture. Spanish-speakers make up the fastest-growing group of minority media consumers in the United States, according to Nielsen Media Research. Univision encourages accent-free Spanish among its actors, even if it does not enforce it as Telemundo does. And neutralized Spanish can be heard elsewhere, as well: Both presidential campaigns employ it in their Spanish-language television ads targeting Hispanic voters.

I do get some grim satisfaction from the apparent victory of the forces of plurality and inclusion over the “English Only!” honkies. The hue and cry is not longer “You’re in America, speak ENGLISH!” Now it’s “You’re in the Americas, speak Spanish like WE DO!”

I don’t get it

I finally fixed the horrifyingly annoying “locaized string not available” bug on Safari, only to find that it is still causing my side nav to wrap underneath the entries. I don’t have this problem in any other browsers. Thoughts, anyone?

::update:: YAY! I figured it out! One has to close one’s tags, y’know.