What the...? When the...? How the hell?

Written by Gore Vidal for The Nation....

"Early in February, the Justice Department leaked Patriot Act II, known as the Domestic Security Enhancement Act, dated January 9, 2003. A Congress that did not properly debate the first act will doubtless be steamrolled by this lawless expansion."

"Some provisions: If an American citizen has been accused of supporting an organization labeled as terrorist by the government, he can be deprived of his citizenship even if he had no idea the organization had a link to terrorists. Provision in Act II is also made for more searches and wiretaps without warrant as well as secret arrests (Section 201). In case a citizen tries to fight back in order to retain the citizenship he or she was born with, those federal agents who conduct illegal surveillance with the blessing of high Administration officials are immune from legal action. A native-born American deprived of citizenship would, presumably, be deported, just as, today, a foreign-born person can be deported. Also, according to a recent ruling of a federal court, this new power of the Attorney General is not susceptible to judicial review. Since the American who has had his citizenship taken away cannot, of course, get a passport, the thoughtful devisers of Domestic Security Enhancement authorize the Attorney General to deport him "to any country or region regardless of whether the country or region has a government." Difficult cases with no possible place to go can be held indefinitely."

"Where under Patriot Act I only foreigners were denied due process of law as well as subject to arbitrary deportation, Patriot Act II now includes American citizens in the same category, thus eliminating in one great erasure the Bill of Rights."

Take me out to the ballgame....

Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green.....

Does anyone *really* pay attention to the terror alert level anymore? Each month the administration picks a new color.... let's move to orange, no yellow, no orange.

Let's be real for a second. The reasons I'm aware of level changes are because:

1) I'm forbidden to open my office window when the alert hits orange and the building engineers stroll the corridors searching for the rebels breathing in fresh air.

2) I live in D.C. and sometimes overhear hysterical alarmists on the metro, freaking out into their cellphones to relatives in Nebraska about how they've got to stop riding the metro because terrorist threats make it a prime target.

Does anyone out there know what the colors MEAN?


Savoring the unusual

Reading John's blog is a little like eating a square of Godiva almond toffee chocolate. It's delicious and even though it's just a little bit, the thought crosses your mind that maybe, just maybe, it really isn't good for you.

And if HE can find himself - hell, so can I!

[especially considering that my formative years were as normal as his were completely wacked out!] ---> IF it's true.

Keeping promises

This week flew by. The holiday is a blur of inactivity. The rain usurped my motivation.

I have lists of things "to do." I was supposed to clean....supposed to do laundry.....supposed to work out...... supposed to do some home repairs.

Instead I sat on my couch and read and thought about cycles and breaking promises.

Every five years, I take notice and realize that "Gee, I've been here before." Instead of growing and moving in a linear direction (which I optimistically perceive to be a ladder where I climb from down here to up there), I find that I'm actually moving in a circle.

Imagine if you will, a clock. I start off at 6:00, moving in a counterclockwise direction. Things start off well enough.... I make some decisions, radically change some aspects of my life that just aren't working for me, and progress quite smoothly. Opportunities present themselves and I'll pause to smile and laugh and hope that this time I've got it right.

And for about a year and half I'm on top of the world.... literally - I reach that 12:00 spot. And then *something*....

I'll reach that peak and go on cruise control. It'll take about a year before I realize - oops, I hit cruise control at the moment of my descent, only accelerating my decline. Instead of moving on up the food chain, I find myself back where I started.

I'll sit at a desk, scribble in a journal/type in a blog, and wonder "Hey - I was movin' on up, how did I get here AGAIN?" and why do I keep breaking the promises I make to myself.

I had an epiphany over the weekend - the promises stay the same. Each time. Read an entry I wrote back in 1988, you can be sure to find something similar in 1993, then again in 1998, and now in 2003 I find myself making the same promises or *goals*.

Scary thought that this is the first time I consciously noticed my quirky five-year schedule..... and I managed to sit still long enough to see the common denominator. Now all I have to do is fix this... fix me.

Easier said than done.