I think one of the more interesting aspects was looking at how someone from outside the US viewed the post 9/11 American government. "It will be legal by the time the AG's ruling comes out," was a surprisingly common refrain. I find that attitude incredibly alien; it just doesn't fit into my view of how the US works. Sadly, I think I'm the one who is out of touch, not Stross. Every time I'm reminded of the abandonment of freedom and our ideals that we've taken recently in the name of security, I am newly depressed.
In related news, we have a new president. A lot of people I know are really excited by President Obama. I've never managed that. I voted for him, but the best I could say is that he seemed better than the other guy. I listened to a good chunk of his speech, and there were some nice things there. It would be nice to find myself truly supporting an American government again some day. So far, though, it seems like more of the same. Admittedly, the same with more alignment to what I believe in, and that's certainly good. Even that might be enough to end the sham that our justice system has become lately. That would certainly be good.