John Kass: Pay no mind to that man in your bathtub

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What if you woke after a night of uneasy dreams to find a strange man standing in your bathtub?

Don't be alarmed. The strange man isn't some stark naked psycho. The strange man is fully clothed. Polite, even, efficient, neat and obviously well-educated.

He has a camera pointed at you. And the camera is rolling.

So what would you do?

"Hey, don't mind me," says the filmmaker, gesturing for you to keep on with your normal routine. "I'm just here to protect you in case some criminals try to attack when you're at your most vulnerable."

Would you shrug and say you always figured there was a filmmaker in your bathtub the whole time anyway?

Would you say you had nothing to hide, and seek to make the filmmaker welcome in your bathtub, perhaps even trot downstairs to fetch him an anisette biscotti and a nice hot cup of morning joe?

Or would you just stand there, confused American that you are, unable to process the cameraman-in-your-bathtub thing, frantically searching for a reason not to have a violent confrontation (because who wants confrontations when at your most vulnerable)?

And then it hits you:

He's right! He's just protecting you and other Americans from evil.

The human mind works this way. When confounded, we seek refuge in recognizable patterns. And for so many of us, trained for generations to studiously avoid confrontation, it solves so many problems, doesn't it?

So rather than become upset and risk an actual conflict, you just go along, because that's how we roll these days in America.

You bow politely, exit the bathroom, sigh a deep sigh, and begin repeating:

"I really have nothing to hide. I really have nothing to hide. I really ..."

Whether you have something to hide or not isn't my concern. Although I do hope when that you read this column that you have the decency to be fully clothed. But sadly, I have no control over that, either.

This might sound subversive -- and given what's going on in our country, it is absolutely subversive -- but what you do in your bathroom is your business.

What you do on the Internet, or on the telephone, should be your business, too.

Not my business.

Most definitely not the National Security Agency's business.

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THE EDITORIAL BOARD


Andy Green, the opinion editor, has taken the "know a little bit about everything" approach in his time at The Sun. He was the city/state editor before coming to the editorial board, and prior to that he covered the State House and Baltimore County government.

Tricia Bishop, the deputy editorial page editor, was a reporter in the business and metro sections covering biotechnology, education and city and federal courts prior to joining the board.

Peter Jensen, former State House reporter and features writer, takes the lead on state government, transportation issues and the environment; he is the board's resident funny man and capital schmooze.

Glenn McNatt, who returned to editorial writing after serving as the newspaper's art critic, keeps an eye on the arts, culture, politics and the law for the editorial board.

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