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Long story short 

Earlier this week, I found myself among a gathering of area residents, listening to an expert describe his views on America's financial outlook.

His message was largely positive, emphasizing the stock market's history of always rebounding from downturns. He pointed out some causes for concern, such as the coming flood of adjustable-rate mortgages that will "reset" in the next 18 months, which could lead to a massive new wave of foreclosures.

As the audience began asking questions, though, it was clear many blame this president and Congress for everything that's wrong in America. It's a stretch to think of these people joining any militia, but their anti-government feelings were palpable.

The experience convinced me that we're doing the right thing with our cover story this week (starting here), exploring the danger of how all the extreme rhetoric over the past year could inspire and enable almost anyone to "take action" on behalf of the lunatic fringe.

So many among us are tossing aside civility, and tolerance for those with a different philosophy or point of view. We realize that many of our readers aren't that way, but many others are. For both sides, we suggest reading what David Bernstein has to say. And if it makes you feel a little scared, that's a good thing.

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