Editor’s Scratchpad

Sunday, November 25, 2001

Mixed messages
from Dubya

"Iz eet zafe?" Laurence Olivier's Nazi character asks Dustin Hoffman in the movie "Marathon Man." That is the question these days.

For Dubya at the White House, the answer apparently is "yes" and "no."

Yes for Americans to go about their "normal" business, fly on airliners, go to work, and to shop until their wallets are empty. But the answer is no to tours of his temporary residence and no to the uninvited public for the lighting of the national Christmas tree.

So iz eet zafe? Apparently not for the president, which is disconcerting because he has at his disposal thousands of Secret Service agents, FBI types and the secret squirrels of the CIA and other intelligence agencies to watch over him. He may be more of a target for "evil-doers" than us regular folks, but if all of his security resources can't protect him, then off with their heads.

Iz not zafe.

--Cynthia Oi

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