A Canadian friend and colleague, a person well known in academic and political life in Ottawa, recently quit an organization to which we both belong. He said he would no longer be able come to meetings because he refused being continually hasseled at the USA/Canada border. At a gathering last fall he sighed, "I'm deeply puzzled. You Americans seem completely addicted to entertainment."

Today I read Margaret Atwood's, "What Happened To America?  A Letter, A Lament," that comments on America's strange, sad slide into the abyss.

"You're gutting the Constitution. Already your home can be entered without your knowledge or permission, you can be snatched away and incarcerated without cause, your mail can be spied on, your private records searched. Why isn't this a recipe for widespread business theft, political intimidation, and fraud? I know you've been told all this is for your own safety and protection, but think about it for a minute. Anyway, when did you get so scared? You didn't used to be easily frightened."

For Atwood's entire letter see: