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  • Forrest asked repeatedly, in a variety of different ways, for the
    government attorneys to give her some assurance that the
    wording of section 1021 could not be used to arrest and detain
    people like the plaintiffs. Finally she asked for assurance that it
    could not be used to sweep up a hypothetical peaceful best-selling
    nonfiction writer who had written a hypothetical book criticizing
    US foreign policy, along lines that the Taliban might agree with.
    Again and again the two lawyers said directly that they could not,
    or would not, give her those assurances. In other words, this
    back-and-forth confirmed what people such as Glenn Greenwald,
    the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the ACLU and others have
    been shouting about since January: the section was knowingly
    written in order to give the president these powers; and his lawyers
    were sent into that courtroom precisely to defeat the effort to
    challenge them. Forrest concluded: ”At the hearing on this motion,
    the government was unwilling or unable to state that these plaintiffs
    would not be subject to indefinite detention under [section] 1021.
    Plaintiffs are therefore at risk of detention, of losing their liberty,
    potentially for many years.

    Naomi Wolf

    Surfer Dude and I are doing the ranch errands.

    I ask him how he liked the fresh Halibut he bought last week.

    “You know,” he says, “At $18.00 a pound, half price, I decided it would be better to just swim out and spear one.”

    “I forgot about that, “I reply. “You go out spear fishing when the waves are not happening, don’t you?”

    “There are some epic fish out there,” he says, getting into it. “Not just Halibut, but White Bass and Calico Bass. And there are lobsters, too, big ones.”

    I ask if the lobsters are dark green, and he says no, they are red, which helps to find them.

    He proceeds to tell me how you find lobsters, pick them up, and take them in to shore. Then he tells me about one time when he swam into a deep cave, and saw two huge antennae waving, and caught one of the biggest lobsters he had ever seen.

    I am impressed with the fact that this is all free diving, no air tank, and that he actually picks up live lobsters.

    “How did you get the big one back to shore,” I ask, and he tells me that he held it against his wet suit.

    “Urk, “ I say. “Urk.”

    And then I have a flash of revelation which was my humble equivalent of Sir Isaac Newton's discovery of gravity.

    “Oh my God,” I say, knocked out by the truth that has just exploded in my brain. “Oh my God! This means that if we ever have severe food shortages, you can go out spearfishing, and we can all eat!”

    I am both excited and strangely comforted by this, and realize that there are substantial benefits to living by the sea, especially in hard times. I start thinking about taking up spear fishing myself.

    Surfer Dude then changes the subject, and asks: “Got any new heroes or heroines?”

    “Sure do, “ I reply. “Real heroes and heroines have been in short supply lately, but there is this woman in New York, Katherine Forrest, a Federal Judge, who struck down the “indefinite detention” provision of the National Defense Authorization Act. Did you read about that.”

    Surfer Dude is not familiar with the NDAA, so I explain: “It means that at any time, with no warrant, for no cause, with no due process, you or I could have a black bag thrown over our head, be thrown into an unmarked van, and shipped out of the country for an indefinite period of time, with no right to counsel, no right to anything, and possibly tortured for no reason.”

    “You’re kidding,” he says, visibly stunned.

    “Google it,” I say. “You need to know.”

    We are quiet for a few moments. Then he breaks the silence: “Wow. Is it really that bad?”

    “Well,” I say, “This brave Federal Judge has declared it unconstitutional. She wrote a 68 page Opinion which the Government lawyers are going to have a hard time contesting.”

    “No wonder she is your heroine,” Surfer Dude says. And then we are quiet again.

    I break the silence: “Tell me again some of the fish that are out there. Did you say White Sea Bass and Calico Bass?” I am already thinking of some exceptional meals if I learn how to use a spear gun.

    The lobsters sound as though they would be in the Too Hard Department, but Halibut and the Sea Bass sound awesome.

    “You know,” he says reflectively, “We could probably eat the seaweed too, if things got really bad.”

    “Sounds good to me.”

    We finish our peanut butter cookies, and head on over to a nursery, to find out if they have organic tomato plants, wire trellises, and organic potting soil for a new project.

    “Never hurts to have some fresh veggies on hand, just in case,” I say.

    “Never hurts,” Surfer Dude says from a semi-dream state.

    I know he is already swimming out offshore, dreaming about a 20 pound Halibut lying on the sand, half hidden in the sea grass.

    (Illustration by Alex in Adobe Photo Shop)

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