The people on the other end of the line all sound so young and cheery. “NSA Public and Media Affairs, how can I help you?” the young woman says. “I’d like to know if the NSA has copies of my phone records,” I reply.
On a recent visit back to New Orleans I looked out onto Lake Pontchartrain. A dry breeze lifted the water into waves that shimmered in the sun: beautiful, despite the filthy floodwater the lake had devoured. Everything about the city is sad, including the beautiful parts that remain, because they make the loss of the rest of it so obvious.
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