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January 30, 2004

To: Homeland Security Guys.

Urgency: Seriously

Re: Take a chill pill.

I don't think you should be able to walk into any business in this country and demand that everyone in the building produce their identity papers and you sure as heck better not be acting like jackbooted stormtroopers* while you're doing it.

It's a uniform, okay? It's not an extension of your Manly Organ and you're not the Terminator or Rocky, or any other fantasy superhero you've been dreaming about.

(Lest we all think the agents' attitudes began and ended with immigrants, consider my daughter's welcome Saturday upon arriving in Portland by bus from Boston: After she gave a border agent her license, he demanded her passport. She correctly told him that U.S. citizens don't need passports for interstate travel. "Let me give you a word of advice," he replied tersely. "You need to learn to watch your mouth.")

You know what I need? I need to live in the kind of country where she could tell him he'd better watch his ass because it was about to wind up in a sling.

What the hell country is this, anyhow? Is this still a democracy or did someone sign a new Executive Order I'm not aware of?

Bennett calls such fears unfounded. If confronted by a federal agent, he said, all anyone has to do is "be friendly, be straightforward and answer their questions."

They can 'kiss that shit good-bye.' How on earth can they pretend you have to be "friendly" when approached by armed and, from the sound of it, hostile men? I'm more than happy to be straightforward, and I'll answer any question where I think the answer is any of their business, but not otherwise.

I'm quite the potty-mouth today, aren't I? Sorry. I was aggravated by the story until I got to the "watch your mouth" comment, then I started seeing red.

Write your representatives and inform them they'd better stand firm on striking down more than just a few of those so-called 'Patriot Act' clauses or start polishing up their resumes.

* Okay, in retrospect, I regret those two words but on the off-chance someone already read this and sent me a (rightfully) chastising message, I'll leave them there. I'm sorry I wasn't more temperate, though.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:37 PM


I think we should sic Mary Beth Williams on 'em, she's a local and she won't take no crap from no one...

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at January 31, 2004 06:36 PM

I think that's a good idea.

Posted by: Anne at February 1, 2004 11:07 AM