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You're paying to help spread terrorism

By G. Michael Dobbs, Managing Editor

Once again my head is full of stuff I'd like to share.

So did you hear about the American taxpayer-funded Arabic language television station that is supposed to win over the hearts and minds in the Middle East, but has been actually presenting pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic messages because the Americans who run it can't speak Arabic?

ABC News has the story on its web site (ttp:// dated May 22.

It seems the Bush Administration has allocated $63 million a year to the station but doesn't have a clue what it's broadcasting.

Amazing, isn't it?

How would you use $63 million a year? More cops on the street? More recovery efforts for New Orleans? More teachers?

And what about the border patrol guard on the Canadian border who apparently ignored the message he was to detain and isolate that idiot attorney running around the world with damn near incurable tuberculosis?

Which one of them has the least regard for public safety?

Do you wonder why we are so paranoid about the Mexican border, but the Canadian border gets scant attention from a homeland security status? Maybe it will now.


How well is that cell phone ban working in Springfield schools? One 15 year-old told me she brings in her phone all the time. She doesn't use it, but then her bag isn't checked even when the metal detector starts ringing. That's more alarming no pun intended. It seems the bag checks at her high school are random instead of required when the metal detector does its job.

Why put the kids through all of this in the name of security if they can easily circumvent it?


I hope someone is going to do a sociological study of the baseball cap soon as I find it amusing that on one end we have guys who carefully preserve the metallic stickers on the bills of the hat, while on the other we have kids spending $40 or more getting a hat that is pre-worn.

Can you imagine the sweatshop in China where they make perfect hats in one section of the factory and then another unit takes a sander to them? What the heck do you think those workers think of us?

For that matter I wonder what these folk think as they make all of the "decorative" stuff one finds in dollar stores or the Christmas Tree Shop? What are they thinking as they spray painting garden gnomes?


You know I've been wondering if people who watch local television news really want to be scared all the time? Everything on their tease commercials is somehow a threat or an answer to a threat.

Life is scary enough just with day-to-day stuff. Do we really need more fright?

Conventional wisdom is that sex sells, but if you're afraid of FCC fines, then I suppose the next best thing is a little homegrown terror.

In the spirit of cooperating with my electronic colleagues, allow me to make some suggestions when a slow news day threatens:

"Is your dog thirsty? We'll tell you how a filled water bowl can make a difference."

"Experts say pasting a $20 bill on your forehead and walking through an urban center at 2 a.m. is asking for trouble. We'll tell you how to avoid that danger."

"Looking both ways before crossing a street saved this local boy's life. Find out how turning your head and looking could save your life, too."

The opinions expressed here are only those of the author.