I started off having a nice enough day.

Work was fairly dull until, as usual, it picked up at the last minute. After having my usual lunchtime meal of a bottle of orange juice (I've been put on a low-sodium diet, and there's nowhere within walking distance of my office that serves food that hasn't been salted, cured, salted again, soaked in brine, and salted one more time before being served on a bed of salt), I was plenty hungry.

I went over to visit my brother right after work, and we set up his new floor fan while listening to Rob Zombie's new "House of 1000 Corpses" soundtrack. Rob's remake of "Brick House" (with Lionel Richie and a rapper named Trina) rocks your socks off, but I suspect that's mostly because there's never been a version of "Brick House" that didn't rock your socks off.

After that, I got home and was told by someone who I thought was my friend that he considered me one of the "anti-USA camp." I don't like screaming rage at my friends, so I told him I'd talk to him when I cooled down.

Well, I haven't cooled down yet. I still don't want to scream rage at him, but I'm certainly reevaluating whether I want to call someone a friend who holds me in such ridiculously low esteem. Quite frankly, what I'd like to do is considerably worse than just screaming. I'm afraid I wished I could do very rude, very violent things to him. Is that wrong? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. The New York Post recently published an editorial wishing for another Kent State Massacre. People in Massachusetts, Washington, North Carolina, Alabama, Arizona, and Louisiana have received death threats, been attacked, and been harassed by pro-war protestors, often encouraged by the media. In some cases, the police have helped out the attackers. I remember in the mid-1990s, lots of people had bumper stickers on their cars asking "Where's Lee Harvey Oswald when we really need them?" I don't remember any of them being arrested; you think I could expect such treatment if I gave in to my thuggish impulses?

I'm sure some of you don't know why being called "anti-USA" would make me mad. Hey, I'm against the war, right? Wolf Blitzer says that means I'm against America. Aaron Brown says that means I want the troops dead. Bill O'Reilly says anyone opposed to the war is guilty of treason. Andrew Sullivan says I want Saddam to win. Rush Limbaugh says I'll only be satisfied when all Americans are dead. Ann Coulter says I deserve a bullet in the back of the head. What's to complain about, huh?

See, I vote in every election they have. I file my taxes on time and with enthusiasm. I write polite letters to my Congressmen and am nice to children, the elderly, and friendly dogs. I got madder'n spit after 9/11, and I was all in favor of the campaign to get rid of Osama bin Laden. I'm rooting for the war to be over in a hurry, with minimal loss of life on both sides. I am, by every worthwhile yardstick, an excellent American. So what've I done that makes me one of the "anti-USA camp"? Criticized the president during wartime? If that were actually treasonous, Rush, O'Reilly, Tom DeLay--and my friend--would've been strung up during Clinton's bombing campaign in Kosovo. Criticizing the president--criticizing any president--is protected speech. It's not seditious. It's not in bad taste. It doesn't strengthen America's enemies.

Here, take a look at this, a'ight?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Now, point out to me where it says "except during a war, when you should agree with the president and his policies." Can't find it, can you? Ya know why? Because it's not there. What's that mean? It means that if I say I dislike the president or his policies or his ever-expanding War on Iraq, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Maybe Eventually Al Qaeda--that's not illegal under any possible interpretation of the Constitution. It isn't treason. It isn't a death-penalty offense. It doesn't mean you hate America.

You can call me "anti-war". You can call me "anti-Bush". But you call me "anti-USA" and I'm gonna bash your fucking teeth in. I'm against this war; that doesn't mean I'm pacifistic enough not to bash you if I gotta.