a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Sentences of the day

Posted by Thomas Nephew on September 24th, 2009

In a fitting metaphor, the most recent experiment with social darwinism resulted in mass extinction.

Survival of the Kindest, Eric Michael Johnson, SEED Magazine, describing former Enron executive Jeff Skillings’ “rank and yank” management method based on Skillings’ understanding of books like “The Selfish Gene.”  Johnson summarizes the result: “This system of ruthless competition advanced just the type of personalities that one would expect: crazy people.”

With the notable exception of handing over $700 billion to Wall Street last year, the United States Congress is not known for quick, decisive action. […] The disparity in the treatment of Blackwater et al. and ACORN is part of a larger American problem, what might be called the Inequality of Accountability. We diligently apply the principle of accountability to the poor and the powerless, and the principle of forgiveness to the wealthy and powerful.

ACORN and Accountability — Chris Hayes, The Nation

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fourth Amendment

That’s pretty explicit language.

Senator Al Franken, D-MN, asking Department of Justice official David Kris how the Fourth Amendment can be reconciled with roving wiretaps.  (The Obama Justice Department is seeking reauthorization of PATRIOT Act provisions for such wiretaps.)

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that turning around the huge secret empire built by the National Security State is a hard, perhaps impossible, task. […] Nonetheless, some of us entertain a fondness for the quaint old Constitution. It may be too late to return to its ideals, but the effort should be made. As Cyrano said, “One doesn’t fight in the hope of winning” (Mais on ne se bat pas dans l’espoir du succès).

Entangled Giant — Garry Wills, The New York Review of Books

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