Monday, June 17, 2002

My printer isn't working. It's an HP Color Laserjet that always makes a big production out of getting itself started in the morning. Lots of whirling, grinding, calibrating, honks and whistles and groans -- before it finally flashes its little "ready" sign. The whole production is too drawn out and pretty annoying. But this morning, no production at all. Dead silence. No lights, no whistles, no printer.

I've got a ton of stuff in the work day ahead of me that requires its cooperation. But its down for the count, out on strike. I've explored all the options I can think of to get it to wake up and get to work. I'm hoping that when the rest of our tiny crew wakes up and turns up for work they'll have some more ideas. I do not want to buy a new printer today.

My thoughts have been taken up with my personal, family and work life recently. My feelings about what is going on in the broader Republic have been, in some ways, too overwhelming for comment.

What is America anyway? What do I think it is? In what ways have I been wrong?

Why does what America is matter so much to me?

On a different note: Mickey Kaus and Josh Marshall have been objecting to the concept of "Homeland Security" as vaguely Germanic and unAmerican sounding. And Kaus has been soliticiting alternative names for the government's new department. What's wrong, I wonder, with the term "civil defense." It's a term that's served us well for as long as I can remember (and that's a fairly long time.) Why not Department of Civil Defense? (I not only object to "Homeland," like Kaus and Marshall do, I object even more to "Security." It's a term, it seems to me, for wishful thinkers and weenies.


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