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Monday, March 20, 2006

How the Worm Turned on Interstate 95

Published on Sunday, March 19, 2006 by
by Steven Laffoley
"Tread on a worm," goes an old proverb, "and it will turn." This bit of ancient folklore - which suggests that even the most humble of creatures will eventually react to brute force - came to my mind recently, just two days before another dark anniversary of Bush's war on Iraq. I was driving along a car-filled stretch of Interstate 95, just outside Portland, Maine, on a cool, cloudless Friday, and around me, a seemingly endless river of cars and trucks crowded the dark asphalt road, all madly racing south towards Boston and points beyond.
For two decades now, I had traveled this same stretch of highway in northeastern America once or twice a year, to see family and steep in the region where I was born and raised. The repeated experience of this particular highway travel had given me, over the years, a tangible litmus test of physical progress - the wealth and population of southern New England, moving sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly, north through Portland and up to Bangor.
But so too, this repetitive travel experience - after 2000 and the dubious election of George W. Bush and his subsequent Wars of Unreason - had provided me with a peculiar political litmus test against which I judged the ebb and flow of America's trials and tribulations, of prescient patriotism and protest.
What do I mean by a "peculiar political litmus test"?


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