Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Baking the Cake

Well, this AM I discovered from no less an authority than the Today Show's Ann "Not Good Enough to Replace Katie" Curry that this year's fashion inspiration, layering, is based on no less a luminary than Marie Antoinette

Okay, yes there's the movie (and, yes, I'd probably pay money to see Kirsten Dunst in a push-up bra) and no, the Real Marie did not tell the pesky peasants to "eat cake."

Still, does anyone other than me think that the lovely Marie, whose head ended up bouncing into the guillotine's catch-bucket on October 16th of that lovely year 1793, might be a bad choice of icon for that lovely year 2006?

There are currents moving just beneath the surface, and none of them are good. Iran is hell-bent on the bomb — you might want to read commentaries here and here — America's spectacular military is tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan; the Gulf Coast is still in shambles; the Democrats (read this), not noted for their intelligence or patriotism, are poised to take over the House and the Senate; Hillary Clinton, our very own Neville Chamberlain, is cranking up her White House machine, including the return of Bubbah, noted sex offender and gun hater; Homeland Security is steadily chipping away at what's left of privacy in the name of "combating terrorism..."

All one can do is sigh and buy ammunition in bulk quantities.

I fully admit that part of this is my inadvertant choice of reading material...inadvertant in the sense that I bought a bunch of books and stacked them beside my bed, and I've been reading my way through the stack. I just fininished The Traveler, an unsettling little S-F book by John Twelve Hawks. I didn't particularly care for the somewhat pedestrian plot...read the Amazon stuff...but the descriptions of the world without privacy rang 'way too true:
"Privacy had become a convenient fiction...The new electronic monitoring had changed society: it was as if everyone had been moved into a Japanese house with interior walls constructor of bamboo and paper. Although you could hear people sneezing, talking and making love, the social assumption was that you shouldn't pay attention to it. You had to pretend the walls were solid and soundproof. People felt the same way when they walked past a surveillance camera or used a cell phone..."
This from today's MSNBC:
The government needs broader access to airline passenger information to identify potential hijackers, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in an article published Tuesday.

“How do we thwart a terrorist who has not yet been identified?” Chertoff wrote in an op-ed article in Tuesday’s editions of The Washington Post.
Now let me get this straight...we're unwilling to "profile" young Arab men getting on planes, despite the fact that virtually every terrorism attack on the U.S. and her allies in the last 20 years has been carried out by young Arab men from a handful of countries — what in law enfprcement might be referred to as a "clue" — but we are willing to savage the privacy rights of every American who buys an airline ticket, because...well...we can!

I'm half-way through my pen pal and former SEAL Matthew Bracken's second of two projected sequels to Enemies Foreign and Domestic, Domestic Enemies: The Reconquista. This is a very good book, but it is less than cheery. I admit I haven't been paying all that close attention to the immigration debate, but this book certainly gives some compelling reasons why I need to wake up and smell the socialism. I'd class Reconquista this as a "must-read!"

I say go buy both books and prepare for a couple of long weekends.

And oh hell, let them eat cake!

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