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Notes on notes

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Glenn Greenwald (Huffington Post image)

Twice this week, the U.S. Postal Service delivered handwritten notes to me from a former news room colleague. I thought the first note was a scam, but the contents included information only he would know.

The notes were recommendations about books he had read recently that gave him fresh perspectives on what the hell is going on with the president, who seems to be accountable to no one; the ongoing assault on the Constitution, particularly our First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights; and the awful fact that Orwell's Big Brother finally has arrived.

As for that last item, he apologized to me for turning me into a Glenn Greenwald reader.
(Bookmark him.) "Hey, I was excited about my anti-NSA letter campaign until I realized the optical readers at the Post Office have already linked our addresses and found our mutual respect for Greenwald emails. Sorry for getting you on another government watch list."

That last line would be funny if it weren't true.

Speaking of the NSA, one of the defenses heard for the government's treating us all as crime suspects is that if we haven't done anything wrong, we don't need to worry about the fact that the government has collected and stored our blog posts, our comments on others' blog posts, emails, telephone calls, text messages and the like.

Nothing to worry about? Then read this:
(An innocent man)

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Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”

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