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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oh, for a slow news day

Two or three choice moments in my cheerful daily reading, today:

The FBI, under the Patriot Act, was issuing 30,000 “national security letters” a year, 100 times as many as it has issued historically. The letters, which recipients are ordered never to discuss, often demand the release of banking data, credit reports, and other private information.* [Washington Post]

Vice President Dick Cheney was pressuring Republican senators to grant the CIA an exemption from a proposed ban on torturing terrorism suspects. [The Seattle Times]

A poll found that 58 percent of Americans doubt President Bush's honesty, and another poll found that 53 percent of Americans want Congress to consider impeachment if it turns out that Bush lied about his reasons for going to war. [The Guardian]

So, we're harassing our own citizens 100 times more than ever before. We're torturing people all over the world, and arguing for the right to do it more. And we don't trust the people who are making the decisions to do these things.

Should either the Republicans or the Democrats be in the market for a new platform, but are scratching their heads for inspiration, here's my radical platform of fresh ideas for the United States. Any party that wants to can crib them: Stop treating Americans as suspects; treat them as a free people. Stop torture; start building alliances. Stop lying; start trusting the American people so they might trust you.

These ideas would be dramatic innovations, apparently.

About the two polls: I don't put much stock in them, even if they were fairly conducted. Theoretically, we hate how incumbents abuse power. In reality, we vote for incumbents overwhelmingly. Still, the numbers in these polls surprise me: not because they are high or low, but because of the sluggardly pace at which they have risen. For seven years, the Republicans harassed Clinton with the fiction of his involvement in Whitewater. They ended up nailing him for lying about a blow-job. Here we are, in a war that has killed tens of thousands, a war that, it is now obvious to everyone, was sold on a promissory note of lies, and no one is being nailed for nuthin'. Except, of course, Scooter Libby, who apparently betrayed America's security apparatus. I wonder if he got one of those letters from the FBI that is intended to weed out the baddies in America?

*The letters are issued by FBI field supervisors and do not require the signature of a judge, as does a search warrant. [ Washington Post]

Comments on "Oh, for a slow news day"


Blogger Jenie said ... (6:27 AM) : 

wow. no stress, there.


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