July 30, 2005

The party's over...

Kiss the Constitution good-bye, keep your mouth shut, and don't let the door holding the your civil rights hit you on your way out. I thought I was through with politics for the month, but the New York Times, which I have frequently criticized, may, I fear, have reported the following paragraphs with precision:

From the July 30 edition: "The Senate voted unanimously on Friday to make permanent virtually all the main provisions of the law known as the USA Patriot Act, after Republican leaders agreed to include additional civil rights safeguards and to forestall any expansion of the government's counterterrorism powers.

"The House passed a bill of its own last week that would also extend the law's surveillance and law enforcement powers, which the Bush administration considers critical to combating terrorism. While the House and Senate bills are not identical, the differences are modest enough that Congressional officials said they were confident that they could work out a compromise."

While New York City cops have been given license to search bags (without a warrant, thankyouverymuch), the Metropolitan Transit Association is planning to cut back on conductors on trains. Safe riding, where? If your train doesn't derail or stop between stations due to a "police action." your boat's about to sink anyway.

Grab a drink, whether you're old enough or too thoroughly smashed to hold your glass. Smoke a joint for me. Last one off the Titanic, don't try to call me.

Whatever happened to the U.S.S. Constitution? Or don't I want to know? Should I ask the TSA? They can't know any less about water travel than they do about air.

I am reminded, sadly, of what a family friend who fled Germany in the late 1930s, said to me a good 25 years ago, when I asked her what she did for fun. "Fun?" she said. "I had all my fun before Hitler."

After swearing our allegiance to black, we New Yorkers may be forced to wear white. Even after Labor Day.


Post a Comment

<< Home