Nothing of late vexes me as much as watching Congress watch Attorney General John “Herr” Ashcroft eviscerate the Bill of Rights. Really, only the Second and Third Amendments remain. Do you know the Third? It prohibits the government from quartering troops in homes. Don’t think we won’t need it soon. Bush wants rollback on everything. He might even go after the 21st! Should he dare, our president can expect a cabal plotting his overthrow to demonstrate a cunning malevolence that would make Al-Quaeda look like a Cub Scout circle jerk.What is happening to this country? Where is the Constitution? Where is Wayne Morse? We are edging towards internment. We already have secret police. We haven’t hit civil liberties rock bottom—we’ve drilled to the center of the Earth. Make me wanna’ holler. What can a poor liberal arts boy do cept’ play for a Rock and Roll band? Is there a hole for me to get sick in? A vexation has infected every atom of my existence, and really, I can barely keep it together sometimes. What saves me is the touch of a naked body (not always my own), the Oregon Coast’s beautiful landscape, and Let it Pour drinking holes.On the subject of the latter, I want to say thank you. Thank you Tidewater Lounge near the Nestucca River in Pacific City.Thank you for the tables near the windows that look out to the Nestucca where I can check out the drift boats and incoming tides rushing up from Nestucca Bay. When a big winter storm coincides with a big minus tide, I love to take in these exciting physics lessons with a black beer and a brown shot.Thank you for the loyal clientele that loves to party and can sweep a visitor away in a cheap vodka wake. I love watching them down a little alcohol and transform to become a one-act adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story. On my last visit, a couple ate steaks and planned their wedding—which was scheduled the following week—in the Tidewater!Thank you for your sunken den-like annex where good drunk citizens play video poker near a fireplace and keep Oregon from total fiscal collapse because legislators are too chicken-shit or drunk on ideology to actually legislate.Thank you for the jukebox and its Brian Jones-era Rolling Stones.Thank you for the 16 canoe paddles hanging over the bar.Thank you for the stage that occasionally hosts country bands. (I forgive the karaoke.)Thank you for the shuffleboard table. (I forgive it being in the hall fronting the restrooms.)Thank you for the absurdity of a row of stunted palm trees that comprises the landscaping. I need farce these days.Thank you for the dreamy oil painting of a siren and her half-exposed right nipple.Thank you for being what this country should be all about.Thank you for providing a little drink and sympathy.