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Inside Looking Out

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During the yearly Pearl Harbor festivities, George W. Bush seized the opportunity to paint a rosy picture in Iraq. "In two and a half years, the Iraqi people have made amazing progress," Dubya said. "They've gone from living under the boot of a brutal tyrant to liberation, to free elections, to a democratic constitution."

Whenever I hear talk like this, I'm reminded of Steve McQueen in "The Magnificent Seven." Asked how things were going, he replied: "It's like that fella who fell off a ten-story building.

"As he was falling," McQueen continued, "people on each floor heard him say, 'So far, so good.'"


There seems to be more "anti-Christmas" talk than usual this year (e.g. Not content with a season utterly dominated by mangers, reindeers, dead trees, and conspicuous consumption, the Christian crowd is demanding even more respect. Bill O'Reilly is asking: "Will you shop at stores that do not say 'Merry Christmas'?"

To all of them, I offer some Bukowski: "Well, the amateur drunks have taken over and will hold this town until Jan. 2...driving on the wrong side of the street, running red lights, bellowing the same songs. Figs of people, twigs of people, shits of people...MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR. Christomighty, yeah."

For the rest of us, there's stuff like Xmas Resistance:
...and Green Xmas:


When slugging first baseman Carlos Delgado was traded to the New York Mets last month, his anti-war stance was suddenly thrust into the headlines. He had been choosing to protest the U.S. occupation of Iraq by refusing to stand during the playing of "God Bless America." What will happen when he plays in the Big Apple?

Fear not, flag wavers, Delgado assures you there will be no such problem at Shea Stadium. He's promised to behave. "I think the most important thing about integrity is to realize what your priorities are," Delgado said. "I'm a baseball player, I'm not a political activist ... I'm here to follow orders."

Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon summed up: "(Delgado is) going to have his own political views, which he's going to keep to himself."

Wilpon's comments did a nice job of encapsulating the "my country right or wrong" concept of patriotism. It seems what offends patriots (sic) most is when someone like Delgado actually makes use of the freedom they claim to adore. Somehow, he is ungrateful for his liberty if he has the balls to exercise it.

Patriot Logic: If Delgado makes the choice to not salute the flag, he is perceived as not worthy of having the freedom to make the choice to not salute the flag.


Last week in New York, an appellate court reversed a lower court ruling that would have permitted same-sex marriage. This got me wondering: How would the "700 Club" crowd feel about a lesbian marrying a gay man? It's a man and a woman, isn't it? If that "gay marriage" is accepted as legal, well, is a precedent for gay marriage thereby established? Just wondering...

Thank've been a great audience.

Mickey Z. is the author of several books, most recently "50 American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know: Reclaiming American Patriotism" (Disinformation Books). He can be found on the Web at
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