Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The Fourth Amendment is not so often quoted as the fighting words of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

but it is, in its own way, as strong as the First.

Southern political girl.

Like most native Arkansans, I watched yesterday's inauguration of George W. Bush with a mix of relief and sorrow. For at last, it is over!—and sadly, yes, it is over, and we will probably never see the likes of such attention again. That quiet, rural state has been in the limelight for the past eight years, and what an incredible time it was to be living there when Clinton was first elected.

The closing of this man's presidency closes an eventful chapter in my life, as well.

Greetings from Atlanta...

…southern home of urban sprawl, long commutes, and much Christmas shopping. The drive out here was a bit shorter than I thought it would be, which was a pleasant surprise. I'd have come out here more often in the past if I'd have known that it wasn't so terrible of a drive.

An answer from Brad

In the past six years I've come to count Brad Cavanagh as a friend. It's funny to think that someone I started chatting with because of my late shift in the computer lab and a two-hour timezone difference is now someone I communicate with on almost a daily basis.

I jokingly referenced him in an entry here a couple of days ago (regarding U.S. politics) but didn't really expect an answer. I was a bit surprised this morning when a thoughtful, full-fledged answer arrived in my mailbox. I asked him if I could quote bits from his letter to me, because it made me think, and he was gracious enough to agree.Originally I thought that I'd quote snippets of what he sent, but I think I'd rather quote it in a large chunks, so that I don't accidentally misrepresent his words:

Debates, political process, car worries, and rubber chickens

I'm starting to worry a bit about my car. I guess I should be celebrating; I got a call from the body shop this afternoon to let me know that they'd finished up the exterior repair work. They'd also taken the car by the machine shop and had the engine looked at. An explanation—a day after the accident, the 'check engine' light came on.

Suspicious, I asked the body shop to check that out to see if it was part of the problem.

The insurance won't pay for it. The car was rear-ended, and the sensor's up front, so they're not willing to pay for it; even though I'd had it replaced a few months before the accident. Granted, I understand their immediate position—since they can't see a direct correlation, of course they aren't going to pay for it.But it's still frustrating nevertheless, because I have trouble believing that the sensor would've been jarred loose if the accident hadn't happened. Either way, though, it needs to be fixed, and we've got to pay for it.

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