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01/07/2003 Archived Entry: "The Crazy Years"
The INS is planning to collect data on all travellers, including U.S. citizens, who are leaving or entering the United States. The data will be used to detect terrorists and "other criminals." In short, it will be turned over to the IRS, the FBI, Homeland Security...
I have been calling this period of time (and the foreseeable future) "the crazy years" -- a term gleaned from a story by Robert A. Heinlein. My friend Gordon reminded me of how the story ends. America's craziness leads into theocracy, which increasingly isolates it from the world because no one wishes to immigrate to such a repressive society, to visit there, or to conduct business under unfavorable laws. And, so, the world spins on...leaving the United States behind at atrophy. I hope what happens in the next ten years is that benevolent. After all, in the Heinlein story there is a relatively non-crazy "outside" world that is able to spin on of its own momentum.
I am still surprised at how America has become a police state almost without protest from the person on-the-street.
On a more personal note:
Yesterday, both Brad & I required an evening of extreme R&R. This translated into an extended dinner out, a repeat viewing of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets -- complete with over-buttered, over-sized, over-priced popcorn -- and DVD shopping, which led to the "capture" of a movie we both love: The Stunt Man.
Today...it is back to work, work, work.
I will end with a quote from Baltasar Gracian, one of my favorite "advisers."
"There is an art in being fortunate. There are rules of fortune, so that it is not all a matter of chance with the wise man -- he can help himself with diligence. Some content themselves with waiting cheerfully at the gates of Fortune, and watching for her to open them. Others, better, go quickly, advancing themselves with sure audacity, wooing her with their courage and virtue. But it is a good philosophy that there is no expedient to Fortune other than virtue and attention, because there is no good luck or bad luck other than prudence or imprudence."
I wish you prudence...