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04/23/2003 Archived Entry: ""

The latest Mark Fiore cartoon entitled "Looting" is worth checking out...but ignore the panel on SUVs. (I have to say that! because Karen de Coster -- the SUV Queen -- knows my home address.) Aaron Mcgruder's latest is also worth a glance and a grimace.

On the Political Front:

What does Red Alert mean on the US terrorist thermometer -- its color-coded terror alert system? It pretty much means a police state. It means that you, as an individual law-abiding citizen are being 100% stripped of your civil rights by the government because a 3rd party is threatening you. Or is said to be threatening you -- said by politicians. As Sid Caspersen, New Jersey’s director of the office of counter-terrorism stated of code red: "You literally are staying home.... What we’re saying is, ‘Everybody sit down.’ If you are left standing, you are probably a terrorist'." EPIC executive director Marc Rotenberg phrases it somewhat differently, "Red is somewhere between Gattaca"—the science fiction movie in which the state uses genetics to dictate people's lives—and George Orwell's 1984. Red means Big Brother's in charge." Halted immigration. Closed borders. Commercial and civilian air traffic banned from the sky. Government buildings closed or access severely restricted. State troopers searching trucks on freeways. Hospitals imposing airport-style security... these measures and many more would be enforced under Red. In fact, "A red alert would also tear away virtually all personal freedoms to move about and associate. 'Red means all noncritical functions cease,' Caspersen said, 'Noncritical would be almost all businesses, except health-related'." Again, because a 3rd party is threatening you, you and your family lose all your civil liberties, your constitutional rights... Many people think this is a fair trade and it is their perogative to trade whichever of their own liberties they consider disposable for the "promise" of security. But they have no business trading yours or your childrens. Especially since the security is illusory.

To follow-up on yesterday's blog regarding my favorite rant-topics -- the airlines and new user fees -- here are two items. 1) Rebecca Gordon and Jan Adams, co-publishers of War Times, are suing the government "saying that they and hundreds of others have been placed on an FBI "no fly" list that resulted in police detaining them for questioning at airports." The list appears to be a weapon by which the government discourages and punishes those who express concerns over political issues, such as First Amendment rights. 2) School districts in some states -- notably California and Massachusetts are charging fees for letting children ride the school buses for which taxes are supposed to pay. Expect to be nickeled and dimed to death in the next few years.

On the Personal Front:

My email pal, Pat, writes, "Have you heard this?! (from The Atlas Society, read by Paul Meier, Professor of Theatre and Film at U. of Kansas) Ordinarily I read the book to get back to my basic lib. roots (like when too many nitpickers get in my head), and it always settles me down. So I started reading along with the CD, but had to put the book down, put my head back and JUST LISTENED with eyes closed. Between the reading and my imagination, I felt like I was watching a stage play; in fact I got goosebumps listening to Chapter 11 (I am...I think...I will), just as I did the first time I read it. The blurb on the back calls it "an electrifying performance" - it is indeed! This guy TRULY does it justice." By the way, The Atlas Society is an interesting site in and of itself.

Best to all,

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