Wednesday, April 09, 2003

And so the missus has departed. She's in Texas for a week to do research for the book sh's writing, leaving me here to hold down the fort. As a consequence I am tired, cranky and overcaffienated...not because of her absence, but because before she departs we engage in a ritual packing at the last possible minute the night before, get to bed around 4am and then get up way too early. I've discovered that this ritual is mandatory, regardless of which of the two of us is doing the travelling--I suspect it is one of the ties that bind us together.

I heard on the radio this morning that it is 26 degrees below normal for this time of year, which I am actually thankful for--if I should discover that this is normal weather I think I would simply give up entirely. I did my news roundup, and it's interesting--with the war component of the Iraq campaign drawing to a close, today was the first day that war didn't entirely overwhelm the morning papers, leaving room for discussion of other issues.

That's fortunate, as this piece of horrible news rose to light--the GOP, led by Orrin Hatch, would like to make the anti-terror legislation they passed last year permanent, rather than letting it expire under the guidelines in the original laws.

I'm just appalled--because I've been supportive of a lot of elements of the war on terror, and of the Iraq campaign, I feel personally humiliated by this move on the part of the GOP. It plays directly into fears that rights are vanishing in this country, and I have to admit that my principal defense has been the time limit the legislature sensibly installed. Now they want to kill the time limit, expand police powers further under the guise of protecting us, apparently in eternity. If their concerns were legitimate they would lobby for a further extension--instead they want a blank check. I am absolutely outraged that I gave these guys a foot and they predictably are trying to take a mile. It reads like a bad draft of Episode 2.

Proving I can throw my cranky, overcaffienated bile (eww) in any direction, here's a lovely expose on our friends at the Ministry of Truth, known by some as the BBC. It speaks for itself, really--the writer was thorough, and does a smashing job discrediting them. As though they needed discrediting--I heard Peter Jennings gently mocking them on air a little while ago. You know that if you've lost Peter Jennings on the left, you've lost the war.

It's sad, because I love the BBC World Service for a lot of things--often, like last night, when I'm up all night packing or cleaning I listen to their droning, which isn't is very soothing, and they always have these strange, twenty minute opinion pieces done in "BBC voice"--a flat, downflected and clipped British speech that softly paddles its way into your head as you desperately help your wife choose which socks are warm enough for Texas.

It's sad that when I do listen to them in the future, I won't be able to accord them the same instinctively American respect I generally accord all things that come from Britain.

That infantilism I'll explore another day. I need some more coffee.