In a general sense, insanity has ruled this week. The very essence of America is about to be rewritten in the form of a bill charging first through the House and now through Congress. The Commander in Chief sez that this bill will help define his powers and responsibilities regarding detention and torture in federal cases, but bipartisan critics decry it as nothing more than an attempt to legally heap more power on the executive branch (one of the major goals of the NeoConservative movement).
The bill provides a green light to legal black holes for people the government describes (ever so vaguely) as threats. Considering the post 9/11 climate of federal surveillance and harassment of Americans involved in peaceful movements and protests, how long do you think it will be before we see citizens plucked off the streets or from their homes only to vanish into thin air for a few years? This is sickening and so fundamentally against the very essence of what America has stood for since our war of Independence from the English monarchy. These are indeed very dark times.
As if all that political and social angst wasn’t enough, how ‘bout some existential ennui? On my way into work today, an apparently despondent woman ended it all by jumping in front of the train I had just gotten off.
I got off the Brown line and was waiting for the Red when an announcement was made about a medical emergency at the next stop (only a couple hundred feet from the one I was waiting at). I was able to walk up the stairs to the overpass and look down the tracks after a few minutes. Firemen and track workers were busy fishing under the train with long poles. I still wasn’t sure what had happened a this point, but after seeing that it became pretty obvious. Pretty goddamn gnarly.
Anyone care to join me for a drink tonight? I’ll be at Chicago’s Horseshoe Bar digging the sounds of The Outlaw Family Band and trying not to mix my tears and my beers.