A posting by Mark Cour reminded me of how much extremists, of all stripes, suck.
His particular post was about PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals...oops, I mean People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) reminded me that good intentions, if taken to an extreme, almost always result in asinine behavior. Yes, I do believe that animals should be treated fairly at the circus, and no, I don't believe that poor chickens should have their beaks clipped off. However, advocating a completely vegetarian diet (we are not designed for that by the way...just open your mouth and look at your teeth...we are constructed as omnivores) and throwing red paint on people who wear fur is more comical than anything else. Do animals have "rights"? I don't believe that the term "right" is the same when you compare me and, say, a naked mole rat. For me, it's more like the reverse: I have an obligation to not torture animals and to not encourage others to do so.
Extremists don't just exist on the left-hand side of the lunatic fringe. For example, on the far right you have the various sundry "Militia Movement" groups who carry lots-o-guns, stock up on MRE's & preach against the ZOG. Not familiar with the ZOG? Well that would be the "Zionist Occupational Government" to those not familiar with the terminology of the far, far, far right. No, these folks don't protest at the circus, but instead the sit in their camps, horde ammunition, and listen to circa 1992 Billy West impersonations of former Mayor Dinkins, inserting "Obama" for NYC's last black chief executive. Personally I think many Tea Party members are simply in the larval stage of being militia members.
I could go on, as you have various groups who...
...spike trees for Jesus (anti-logging environmentalists)
...advocate the murder of doctors who perform abortions
...advocate for state succession (Texas, Alaska come to mind)
...advocate for the sabotage of nuclear facilities (No Nukes man!)
...follow the band Fish around (sorry, I just wanted to stick that one in there for comic relief)
...all in the name of supposedly good intentions. All of these groups have at their core one central philosophy: they know better than we do, the unwashed majority of citizens who go to work, pay our taxes and just try and do our best. Oh well, I'll just wallow in the mire of my ignorance as I eat a chicken sandwich, praise the victory of the Union over God-forsaken rebels, and enjoy the benefits of both logging and electricity.