By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Nov 29, 2011 at 10:35 AM

If I was a fundamentalist Islamic terrorist who hated the United States and I was faced with questions about why I had such deep-seated hatred, I wouldn't have far to go.

I would just point people to Black Friday.

If there was ever a scene of ugly, out-of-control, materialistic greed it is Black Friday, and the videos that accompany it, playing hour after hour on the news channels.

The United States has great moments. When we reacted to the Challenger disaster. When we mobilized to help after Hurricane Katrina. When we stand for our National Anthem.

But then we have Black Friday, with crowds camping out and lining up to get into the neighborhood Walmart or Kmart or Stein Mart. We see the doors open and the crowd of cattle surges forward, shouting and grabbing everything in site.

People in pajamas and costumes. People pushing shopping carts that are much more dangerous than your average bumper car.

This is the ugly side of America. It has unbridled greed, disregard for personal safety, willful violation of rules and intolerance for others.

If that really was what America is about, I'd be tempted to be a terrorist, too.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.