ATTN: Tom Ridge

Hail the mighty Protectorate of the Motherland,

I must thank you for doing your part to ensure my God given right to a free and open democracy governed by the people. It is comforting to know that we have collectively appointed a benevolent despot such as yourself to sit atop the capital's hill to look down upon us with your satellites and surveillance bugs and packet sniffers and what not. A kind emissary of goodness, ensuring that we are safe from the terrorist threat. The terrorist threat whoever they may be. It could be me. It could be you. It could be Henry Kissinger. It could even be Joseph McCarthy. Oh wait, he's dead. It couldn't be him, but it could surely be the person that lives two doors down from me. She keeps stealing my paper. About every third day she takes it. I never have seen her take it, but I know it's her. But don't worry, you don't need to investigate. I'm already keeping an eye on her. I have her on a list. And I have that list on another list. A meta-list per se. And these meta-lists are meta-referencing each other all over the meta-place and I think I am starting to see real links between people and events in my meta-database. You wouldn't believe me if I told you, and for good reason I suppose, you shouldn't believe anyone these days... but anyway, I'm beginning to realize that except for myself, I am not so certain that anyone else isn't a terrorist. As such, I am writing to you to propose that we have public tribunals in which every last man, woman and child in this country must stand in front of a court of law and plead their case as to why they're not a terrorist. As a concerned citizen, I would be more than happy to precede as judge over this spectacular showing of American justice, truth and patriotism. This is the only real feasible solution for weeding out what I like to call the "bad thinkers" amongst us. These "bad thinkers" are a bad problem because they are always thinking "bad thoughts" that might be interpreted as an un-American. In America, we simply cannot think anything that might be considered un-American. Un-American thoughts should put us on lists. Lists that put us on trial. Trials that deport us to Afghanistan. Yes, anyone found guilty of harboring indecent thoughts towards America should be deported to Afghanistan. It may cost a bit of money to send them all that way, but I suppose we could just cut more funding from the security at the national monuments. The funds we could divert from the long existing public protection programs would more than fund this new offensive action against the terrorist threat. Besides, do we really need anyone protecting our national monuments? Probably not. Who would actually want to strike such sacred landmarks? Clearly, since we are looked upon by a benevolent God in a perfectly ordered and rational world, such terrible things could never happen to America's national treasures. As such, ideally we would fire everyone but one single park ranger and we would send this park ranger a memo in which we inform him, not her, that he, not she, should do everything in his power to mislead and confuse the American public into believing that there hasn't been anything in the way of budget cuts or decreases in security. Yes, he would tell them that all is well, while meanwhile all the funds that would have went to protecting the Motherland will be quietly diverted to our mass deportation to Afghanistan. If you don't believe that it could work, look how successful such maneuvers have been in terms of Iraq. Budget cuts. Mass layoffs. The national monuments are virtually unprotected. Iraq got a teeny tiny bit more funding. We're still massively in debt, but that's beside the point. We were massively in debt in the fifties and that was a decade of great economic prosperity. Look at all the stuff we had then. Tons of stuff. Oodles of stuff. We bought stuff in the fifties because quite frankly, any moment could have been our last. Any moment, those God hating Reds and their evil nuclear arsenal could have rained down like the four horsemen of the apocalypse and annihilated us all. For a while it didn't look like we had to worry about such nonsense anymore with the fall of the Evil Empire and the resulting transparency of an economic boom. How foolish we were in the late nineties. Yes, what innocent and silly little lambs we were, making our websites, trading our stocks, getting blow-jobs in the oval office. But we were awoken from our dream one fateful morning. Yes, we were awoken. And now we know that we have to worry more than ever because at any given moment some crazy fool could walk into any good 'ol American fast-food restaurant with a secondhand twenty-ton nuclear warhead under his coat and vaporize us all. This idea of an instantaneous, vaporized, nuclear death has been worrying me a tad bit lately, so I went ahead and did some research on the subject. After some investigation, I now feel confident about the preventative measures I could take in case of a nuclear attack. Thanks to a very informative filmstrip called "Duck and Cover," I now know that when I see a bright flash, brighter than anything I've ever seen before, brighter than the sun, I should duck and cover. I've been practicing ducking and covering with my friends and classmates. Sometimes, when we're walking down the street or to our next class, someone says incoming and we all dive for the nearest wall and put our hands over our head and wait for an atomic aid worker to come and tell us that the radiation has passed and it's now safe to get back on our bicycles and continue playing. Needles to say, this preventative technique is quite comforting. Almost as comforting as the color-coded terror alert system. Thanks to the God given miracle of modern science, I have the color-coded terror alert system coming in on a direct feed to my wristwatch so I can check for updates approximately every three and a half minutes. I wait fervently for the little colored bars to go from red to orange and orange to red. I act accordingly as well. When the color-coded system goes to red, I make it my business to be even more vigilant and watchful. I investigate everyone within eyeshot with a tad bit more of a suspicious glare. Yes, I scan and patrol my field of sight and vigilantly make note of anything that may not seem one hundred percent normal Americana. I try to revolve my whole day around the color-coded terror alert system as well. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do, before anything else, is check for the days color forecast. Lets say, for instance, on this given day the threat level is pulled high. Well then, the first thing I would do is panic and think of things I could buy that would make me feel better about my miserable, temporal, blip of an existence. Then, like all good Americans, the next thing I would do would be to relieve my bladder to prove to myself that I am not a terrorist. After urination is done and through with, I get dressed. Since the threat level is high I will wear my red Coca Cola Classic t-shirt, my Levi jeans and my red Nike sneakers. All American brands through and through and through. I then take out my extra-elevated, extra-vigilant, threat-level high, list of lists, red spiral notebook. Of course I have to search my messy room for a while until I find where I left my red felt tip marker. On my way out the door I grab a nice red McIntosh apple for breakfast. Not to be confused with the computer. They're not computers, they're apples and they're quite juicy and sweet. Just like the people at Motherland Security. Anyway, I get on one of the red-line trains and go to class. The red-line is actually out of the way, but the alert level is high, so we must all be vigilant and do our part to color coordinate. For lunch I eat spaghetti with red sauce and for dinner generally I eat the same thing, but maybe with meatballs. I am a picky eater and have a limited menu. I have considered trying new foods, but I like what I like and it would be wholly un-American to try something new or change my mind or possibly even try something that might even be considered ethnic food. Besides, there are only four ethnicities after all; those being, American, British, the coalition of the willing and terrorists. British food is wretched, the coalition of the willing probably only eats McDonalds hamburgers and I wouldn't dare eat terrorist food. So, on that account, I'll simply just stick with good ol' American spaghetti and meatballs. And then after dinner is done and through with, I check the color scheme one last time before bed and change my sheets accordingly to match the nights forecast. Finally I go to sleep. Yes, sleep... where my ethereal thoughts are filled with an endless assortment of consumer grade goods and blood curdling images of doomsday scenarios. Come to think of it, this is not that different from my waking reality, except in my dreams I am not being vigilant for suspicious individuals that may potentially be terrorists. Is that wrong of me? Should I be looking for potential terrorists in my dream state? The Department of Motherland Security has never really been clear on that point. And if I am supposed to be searching for potential terrorist's in the recesses of mind as it free associates, if I were to find one sneaking about in the deep dark crevices of my cranium, does that make me a terrorist? Maybe the Department of Motherland Security should start monitoring my dreams at night. It would probably be more productive than your current drive to investigate nonexistent patent infringement concerning generic rubrics cubes in the mid-western United States. At the very least, monitoring my sleep would be far more productive than the current nonexistent monitoring of the countless multitudes of shipping containers that pass unchallenged through American ports every day. However, I think I have a solution to your problem. Maybe the Department of Motherland Security can reassign the one remaining national monument park ranger to inspect all of the incoming international shipping containers. I'm really just tossing around potential solutions for you. I suppose, in the end, you know best. I mean, after all, terrorism is the biggest threat to the stability of the world today... unless you ask the pentagon, of course. Their reports seem to indicate that environmental destruction is the biggest threat to the stability of the world today. Then again, what does the Pentagon know? They clearly don't have the track record and know-how of the Department of Motherland Security. We all know its far more important to guard our rural Canadian borders than it is to protect the forests from being chopped down within our borders a couple of miles down the road. It's not as though the planet is a limited resource or there's delicate ecosystems of which we're an integral part of that are being destroyed under our own watch. We'll be just fine regardless of what the radical, left wing, tree hugging, anarchists at the Pentagon may think. Anyway, I was thinking that maybe when we're done cutting down the forests, we can dig into our deficit and subcontract the logging companies to construct a large-scale wooden post-fence to keep the terrorists out of North Dakota. Once again, it's just a suggestion, but I do hope you take the time to consider it. I know you and your coworkers are all busy people and your time is of the utmost importance, so I won't bother taking up any more of it. I just wanted to contact you and inform you of the state of my grassroots campaign against terror, suggestions I had for the improvement of your monumental campaign against terror and congratulate you on rooting out the bad seeds amongst us. So, atta boy, a job well done. Keep up the good work in making the Motherland a secure G-rated nation suitable for little American children to play hopscotch in the streets at night. May God bless you.

Randy Sarafan
259 West 12th Street Apt. 5D
New York, NY 10014