The Rant 

As a proud Son of the South, I have been totally obsessed and worried sick over the past few years that we here in America might get attacked by some Islamo-Fascist crazed terrorist madman flying an airplane into a building and causing it to burst into flames. I should have known all along; I should have been worried about those damn Yankees! Okay, okay. Bad joke. And not even original. Stolen from a twisted friend. But sometimes you have to make light of something that absolutely leaves you incredulous. When New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle smashed his plane into a condo building in Manhattan last week, it was a sad event, especially for his family and the family of the flight instructor in the plane with him, Tyler Stanger. Not to mention the person's condo into which it slammed -- Kathleen Coronna -- who had already had a bad enough time of it when the giant Cat in the Hat balloon fell on her head during a Macy's parade and caused her to spend a month in a coma. It was strange, to say the least. But it wasn't nearly as strange as the fact that Lidle, or anyone else for that matter, would be flying up the East River around Manhattan at a low altitude. Maybe I am slow on the uptake, and maybe this question has been answered in the national media and I just missed it, but what in the hell is going on here? On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan were hit by commercial airlines and demolished. According to almost anyone you ask, that event "changed America forever." It was the darkest day in our history. It changed the way we live our lives. We went to war -- albeit against a country that had nothing to do with the attacks -- and are still there and may never get out. It has caused the deaths of more than 2,700 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, many of them women and children. Because of the commercial airliner attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan and the hysteria that followed and the ongoing life-or-death struggle against terrorism that permeates every breath our commander in chief takes, the United States has reacted in a way that has put its international reputation in serious jeopardy, and we here in the States are supposed to be living our lives in fear, fear, fear, and more fear of attacks on "Amurkan soil." Hell, you can barely get on a flight now with a tube of toothpaste because it might be used as a bomb. You have to stand there in front of stone-faced security people and sample your own baby's formula before taking it on a plane because you might be able to make it explode with your cell phone. And the majority of the lemmings flying think this is fine. It makes us safer. But until Lidle crashed his private plane into the building on 72nd Street in Manhattan last week, pilots flying private planes in and around Manhattan didn't have to check in with air-traffic controllers before they hit the building-crowded skies? DID NOT HAVE TO CHECK IN WITH AIR-TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS BEFORE FLYING AN AIRCRAFT AT A LOW ALTITUDE IN MANHATTAN? Are you kidding me? Can this be for real? Doesn't a substantial portion of the income tax I pay every year go toward homeland security? Is it somewhere in a vault collecting dust? I want my tax money back. I read one joker's response to the question of how safe it is to let these planes just fly around, and his idea was that since the planes didn't contain substantial amounts of fuel and it would be hard to coordinate detonating a bomb upon impact of a building, it wasn't such a big threat. Hard to detonate a bomb upon impact of a building? Didn't someone orchestrate a plan for four planes to get hijacked at once on 9/11 and hit both World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and most likely would have hit another major site if the passengers hadn't brought it down in a field in Pennsylvania? I would think if one had the will to put a bomb on a small plane and fly it into another building in Manhattan, that person might be able to figure out how to detonate the bomb at the right time. I bet Osama bin Laden is kicked back in a cave somewhere laughing like crazy at us, thinking that he doesn't even need to plan any more attacks because we are stupid enough to do it ourselves. I really don't understand this at all. Was this some perk of living the life of the rich and famous? If you are rich enough to have your own plane, you can just do whatever you like? Help me here. Who in the hell is on first base?

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