DAILY BRIEFING
The Moron's Daily Briefing

May 7 - I was looking at my logs the other night and I realized that although thousands of visitors come to this website every week--sometimes as many as a thousand per day--far too many turn around and leave without getting past the front page.

This is disappointing in a lot of ways, not least of them the fact that I don't have any content on my index page and therefore have no idea why they're leaving so quickly.

And yet their short attention spans suggest they're part of my target audience. (Life is hell when your target audience consists of people smart enough to acknowledge their own foolishness but foolish enough to expect something better from you.)

In the hopes of guiding some of these mercurial morons into actual content--I can trash talk them because by definition they're not reading this--I'm going to be reworking the front page of the site over the next week or so.

So bear with me.

* * *

It was on this date in 1915, by the way, that a German submarine sank the Lusitania, killing 1100. There were no star-crossed young lovers aboard, however, so instead of making a movie about it the U.S. had to enter World War I.

* * *

I need to get something off my chest.

I noticed in the news this morning that a senior German diplomat speaking in a diplomatic setting called America a "police state."

This is irritating stuff. Within America, I'd say about 10% of our population shares that belief, but I'd also say this is a pretty clear indicator that 10% of our population wouldn't know a police state if it dragged them out of bed in the middle of the night and marched them off to work in a gulag.

Within America, you can usually write that kind of talk off as partisan rancor or fringe lunacy (after all, if you're a true anarchist at heart, we really do live in a police state). I have friends who talk that kind of crap all the time.

Ironically it's usually the same friends who think the government has too much control over our lives that want to give it more power. . . more of our money, more of our well-being placed into its "fascistic" hands.

Are there concentration camp survivors who think Nazi Germany would have been a better place if they had only had a better prescription drug plan, or Soviet gulag survivors who think Stalin could have turned the thing around if only he'd raised taxes a smidge?

If America were truly a police state, would the columnists currently calling it a police state (and worse) really be published? By whom?

(Aha!, says the true paranoid fanatic, that just proves how sinister and sophisticated this police state is... it leaves us the illusion of liberty! The true paranoid fanatic is a lot of fun at parties.)

So it's hard to take that kind of rhetoric seriously within the United States and as a rule the vast majority of the population doesn't. (Which only infuriates the fringe even more--why isn't anyone listening to them? Because we're too stupid to see that they're right! Only they have the wisdom to see through the terrible machinery of the state--the rest of us are mere sheep.)

Outside of the country it's harder to know what to make of such talk, especially in "diplomatic" circles. And to hear it from a German. . . sigh.

Never mind.

* * *

Erstwhile pornstar Traci Lords turns 35 today. She shares her birthday with the late, great Johnny Unitas (1933), as well as Janis Ian (1950), Eva Peron (1919), Gary Cooper (1901), Gabby Hayes (1885), Peter Tchaikovsky (1840), and Johannes Brahms (1833).

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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