Tuesday, January 25


I was amazed and confounded today when a couple of our IT guys came up to investigate a problem I was having with my PC (I'm primarily a Mac person, one of only a half-dozen of 17,000 employees but of enough stature to command some limited support -- suffice it to say, I have both a PC and a Mac in my office). My password had been "johnkerry" but when prompted today to change it, I selected "democrat." When I defiantly explained the change, I was delighted to find that both IT guys were themselves Democrats, one formerly a Lithuanian national (now a U.S. citizen) and the other a born-and-bred American.

The Lithuanian, interestingly, was initially cautious in his support for my politics. He was obviously very frightened of being out of the mainstream or majority of American political thought. But when his superior said he also was a Democrat, he became (by his standards, I would suppose) bolder. The two of them spent quite a long time trying to solve my minor problem, interspersing it with mild comments upon the state of the nation.

I relate this because the Lithuanian guy finally delivered a short but compelling statement about "freedom" and "liberty" re Bush's inaugural speech. "How does he [Bush] mean to stand by those seeking freedom?" he asked. "Is he going to wage war against all the countries in the world who don't encourage it? There are so many nations where people are fighting in the name of freedom. Some of them use that word to disguise their true motives, which are freedom from the current government, but not liberty for those who oppose their own doctrines. Who decides what is freedom, and from what?"

A good question. It's my own.


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