God help the skeptic. We are vilified as troublemakers whose suspicions about our institutions are unpatriotic and subversive. We should show some respect, dammit.

Like respect for our military leaders. The ones, for instance, who managed to lose track of some nuclear armed missiles, only to find they were attached to bombers flying over the United States. There were enough "to destroy several cities," and the mistake, which we've always been assured "can't happen," did happen. No one knows why. 

Then we have Iraq and reports from various esteemed sources that the claims of reduced violence in that country are misleading. The military and administration have been barraging us with statistics that show the numbers of attacks markedly decreasing in the wake of the "surge" in forces. But now we hear they've been cherry-picking favorable data to paint the rosiest picture in support of the continued military presence. Gee. What a surprise.

And of course, there are the politicians. There are many who are public service who really want to make a difference. But quite honestly, they operate in an institution, meaning Congress, where some of the most sanctimonious members are laughingstocks, who bring ridicule down on all of them.

So when we think of the Senate these days, we think of that restroom in the Minneapolis airport and Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who says he might not resign from office after all. RESIGN? Hell, he ought to run for president. Now wouldn't that make the debates something to watch?

Here's the point. The naysayers shouldn't be ostracized. We should be celebrated as the ones who are willing to state the obvious, even when it means taking a whole lot of cra — uh, flak for it.

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