Friday, April 14, 2006

As they say in my country, the only thing that separates us from the animals are mindless superstition and pointless ritual.

What a strange day.

First I got a call from an acquaintance in Turkey I hadn't talked to in a couple of years. He's just written a book and will be in the states later this year. If I wasn't on the NSA watch list for domestic spying I am now.

Then I ran into a good-sized immigration protest downtown over lunch:

This is just the first part of the march which covered about eight blocks altogether. Despite the rain it was a crowd that seemed very upbeat with lots of cheering. I marched along for a while but had to get back to work and as I got a couple of blocks away I heard the crowd chanting something new and stopped dead in my tracks.

They were chanting "USA, USA, USA!"

I can't even begin to describe how touching this was. As much as I bury myself in politics I sometimes forget that America isn't just a geographically fortunate lump of land but it's also an idea. Despite all the crappy stuff that we've done it's still an idea that people are willing to risk their lives for, fight for and take to the streets for.

Would that those of us who were blessed to have born into that idea had the guts to get off our fat asses and do the same.