Not really quoting you, sorry if it came off that way
Hey Levi, I wasn't really quoting you, just extending, by way of paraphrase, what I took to be the gist of your comments, and throwing in the Kerouacian/Buddhist idea that "life is a dream". Sorry if I wasn't clear, or if it seemed that I was putting words into your post, my bad.
I hear you, too, about the useless & unsophisticated name-calling and juvenile mudslinging that creeps into these discussions, particularly from many of us on the Left who, for better or worse, are incensed by the supercilious blatherings of Bush & Co. You're right, it's pretty useless and does nothing to advance the discourse.
We are certainly in need of "deeper thinking and longer term goals". And, I would add, progressive & compassionate alternatives to the current war-without-end approach to life in the 21st century.
I do disagree with you though when you lump in effigy burning with the useless name-calling and bickering. Burning effigies, while not exactly contributing ideas to the discourse, IS a viable act of political street theater and, as such, has its place in the process. Sometimes it's important to create a spectacle to get the attention of a society as enmeshed in & devoted to the Spectacle as this one is.