Saturday, March 22, 2003

Liz is out of town again this weekend, visiting a friend in Atlanta, so once again I'm on my own for entertainment. I had to be up at 5 AM this morning for a test of my office's disaster recovery plan, so after that was all over I slept until 1 PM. After I got up, I sat around the apartment for a while, watching the NCAAs, then decided I had to ge out for a while. I had hoped to avoid all the war protests in my neighborhood, but I had no such luck. There were hundreds of protesters literally right outside my doorstep. I saw a large group of police in riot gear hustling two protesters down Macdougal Street; the crowd rumor was that they were burning the American flag. After that, I headed uptown and spent some time browsing in Best Buy and Barnes and Noble. On the way home two hours later, I saw more riot squad police jogging down 8th Street, as the helicopters continued to hover overhead. Checking NY1 News' web site, I read that the police are still encountering trouble dispersing the crowd. It's a beautiful day but I'm glad I decided to come home when I did. I'd hate to get arrested just for trying to get into my apartment.

Witnessing all of this makes me think about my opinion on the war. I'm still opposed to it, but not enough to take to the streets and shout about it. I support the protesters' right to assemble and demonstrate against the war; it's the right to this sort of protest that we're supposedly fighting to provide to the Iraqi people. As an American, I also support our troops and the job they're doing over there. I don't think we should have started this war, or even provoked it by our military buildup and strong-arming in the UN, but now that we've started shooting, we need to finish it as quickly as possible. I'm scared of the threat of terrorist reprisals, but I'm reminding myself that the September 11 attacks were not in response to any direct actions by the US, but in response to our way of life. Another attack could come because of the war, or could come even if we hadn't invaded Iraq. I don't think that there will necessarily be a connection between the two (though if there is another attack, the press and the government may try to influence popular opinion one way or the other).

My Final Four picks are Pitt, Maryland, Wake Forest, and Arizona, with Wake losing to the Wildcats in the final. I'm not sure how I came to these conclusions, but they made sense at the time. I've lost several Sweet 16 teams from my bracket already, including the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a piss-poor effort against Butler last night. I enjoyed watching the game with other State fans at a bar uptown, but the game just sucked. There's always next year, of course. And my team, Georgetown, is still in the NIT, so I've got that going for me. How long is it until football season?

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