Wanna know something that pisses me off, and I mean really makes me just seethe?  People who "argue" about something, but have not done their research.  For example, when people spout off about the war in Iraq, either for or against, but have no clue what’s going on.

        I don’t care which side of the fence you are on.  Really.  If you can respectfully and tactfully present your side of the argument, good on ya’.  You may very well present an angle I had not thought about.  While you may not change my mind completely, you may change why I feel the way I do, or how I look at the situation. 

          When you, as a majority, place someone in power, from where I stand, you can only place so much blame on them when they make decisions you don’t care for.  *knocks*  Did you forget who put him there?  When it comes to war, let’s not forget that Congress has the power to declare war.  Even I remember that from US Government a few years back.  And while there was some debate as to whether or not Bush could declare war on his own based on the Gulf War Resolution, it wasn’t like Bush just got up one day and said, "You know, I think I’d like to start an armed conflict overseas."  Congress approved of his decisions and actions when this whole thing started.   

          It doesn’t count if you get all your information from one source, either.  You can find "facts" to support just about any view point – look at Michael Moore.  I could re-edit news reels and make an Anti-Fahrenheit 911 supporting the exact opposite side.  You can "tailor" things to suit any viewpoint.  That is much harder to do when you look at things like numbers, more than one news channel, newspapers, and on-line articles from various sources.  It’s not just about "the liberal media" or the "right wingnuts."  If I wanted to, I bet I could find "facts" that show that a fetus is not "alive" in the first trimester, and therefore, abortion in that time frame is not murder, etc.  I could then turn around and find "facts" that show that a fetus is alive from the moment of conception and that any tampering with that life is murder.  Again, when you look at more than one angle, it’s harder to have such a narrow view.

          Before I enter into a debate with someone, I ask myself if my arguments were a stool, would I be able to sit on it?  If I can’t support my side from at least 4 vantage points, I keep my mouth shut.  When it comes to things like the War in Iraq, I firmly believe that like the war in Vietnam, 10 years will give us a very clear picture of the "right" course.  Where does that leave us now?  Making the best decisions possible based on the information at hand.  Knowing that, I rarely say which "side" I support because there are too many things we just don’t and can’t know.  Even things like the president’s approval ratings are subjective.  People respond to things like that when they feel strongly.  I have never been polled, nor has anyone I know.  That’s a nice chunk of the 20-25 age demographic right there, let alone their parents and people they interact with. 

          Short of a homicidal maniac or another genocide-crazed madman, I will always support the President of our country.  I believe that a leader is only as strong as his weakest supporter.  Our country is only as strong as the front we can put up.  Rampantly expressed discontent makes us appear anything but united, and we all know a house divided cannot stand.  I have heard people say that American is another Rome and it breaks my heart.  If you truly feel that our country is that lost, why are you still here?  Why do you continue to bask in our freedoms when you do nothing but trash every thing else this country is doing? 

          I never realized I was such a patriot until I overheard 2 men in the mall.  They were talking about how dumb people were to continue to enlist or re-enlist when they knew they could be sent to a "meaningless" war.  As I was feeding Skeeter his yogurt, I casually grabbed a napkin and said just loud enough to be heard, "Those ‘dumbasses’ serve so that you can sit here and not fear prosecution for the things you have just said.  Enjoy your lunch, gentlemen."  I really wanted to haul off and belt those guys, but for many reasons, I didn’t.  For one, what kind of example would I be setting for my children?  For another, why debase myself by swearing or resulting to physical force?  When I sat back down, they looked at me and the boys for a few seconds, and they must have noticed DH’s dog tag around my neck.  They didn’t look in my direction again, and I didn’t hear another word for the last few minutes they sat there…

          This country is great for many reasons.  I believe one of the top reasons to be that we all have the freedom to express exactly what we feel as long as it does not hurt another person.  When you start lifting your voice in anger and frustration instead of something more productive, don’t you think you feed into some of the very things you protest?  When you stand there and yell about injustice and the frivolity of our government, what does that change?

          What’s the dumbest comment you have ever heard someone make about something you feel strongly about?

          (Mine was the one I heard at the mall, in case you were wondering).