All week I've been sitting, hours after I wanted to be asleep, looking at words and pictures that make me sad and mad. I want some rest. I want this surging inside me to subside. But all I'm able to do is stare at the screen. I know it's wrong to make the 9/11 analogy. Yet my feelings are a mixture of how I felt back then, how I felt after the Rodney King verdict, and how I felt after the Loma Prieta quake of 1989. This disaster has so many sides that you can make analogies until you pass out from exhaustion and still not come close to exhausting the depth of the madness. Something needs to change in the United States and soon. Because even trusting people who go out of their way not to think too hard are going to be thinking hard about the fact that they can no longer trust their leaders to perform even the most basic of governmental tasks: protect its citizens from harm from which they are not able to protect themselves. The right-wingers have been rebelling against the profligate use of their tax dollars since the 1960s. Now, though, even progressives -- see samifo for one example -- are questioning whether it makes sense to pay one's taxes. What do those District of Columbia license plates say? "Taxation without representation." And they aren't the only Americans for whom that applies.