bunt sign

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

It was a bad decision. "I'll just watch Nightline and then go to bed." Ted Koppel has such a soothing way about him, even when he's mercilessly grilling people on both sides of an argument. But last night it was all about John Ashcroft and his defense of a government policy that I despise. I couldn't sleep well at all after watching that.

Unlimited detention without being charged. Roundups of individuals rumored to be involved in suspect activities. No public access to information. And summary justice by secret military tribunal. This is not the America we're defending, is it? This is close to the police states we're fighting against. This is a poor model for the Afghan leaders trying to create a new government.

It's a "different world" since September 11, they tell us. Well, it surely is, if the government is promoting ethnic profiling, blacklisting and the suspension of civil liberties. Even if we accept that during "wartime" some freedoms must be surrendered, how do we know when we'll get them back if the "war" is as open-ended as this one is?

If the ultimate goal is undefined (or unattainable, which is even worse), does the war keep going as long as Ashcroft and his boss can milk it? It's not as if there's a chance they'll ever run out of potential enemies. They have enough plates to keep them spinning forever.

To me it looks like the ultimate hypocrisy to defend freedom by suspending it, and to commit deliberate injustices in the guise of protecting our values. If we believe in fairness, we have to believe in it for everyone, because applying it selectively is unfair and inequitable by definition. We can't logically hold up a beacon of justice to the world, and then tell the world that it doesn't apply unless you're on the "A list."

Since when are we afraid of the truth? How did a fair trial become a luxury? Our way of life is threatened, all right, and not just by terrorists.

I was just thinking. If I didn't live alone, I'd just spew about these kinds of things to my roommate (or whoever) and my journal would be all about ... well, something else, I guess. I could complain to this imaginary person about how MSN insisted that I upgrade my connection software today, after which I had all kinds of new problems connecting. Then nobody else would have to hear me whine about it.

Seriously, though, I now have the little flapping butterfly icon in my browser window, and everything, but everything, seems to take twice as long. Plus I had to reconfigure my email program (okay, so it's Outlook) to get it to retrieve messages without hanging up and redialing first. What's up with that? (Rhetorical question, don't bother.) And every time I log on, I get sent back to my home page, whether I want to go there or not. Sheesh.

And besides ... did I mention the butterfly?


Last night's sunset. No sun today = no sunset.

I finally took the Annie soundtrack out of the CD player. I love singing along with "Little Girls" and such, but I'm pretty sure I'd lose my bottom dollar betting that tomorrow there'll be sun. Besides, it's been the only thing I've listened to for the last two weeks or so. A little variety was in order, so I put in the O Brother soundtrack. Lord, lord. There's a dark and a troubled side of life.

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