Some plays are born strange, some achieve strangeness, and some have strangeness thrust upon them (or upon their characters, at least). We consider one of each type herein.
Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’
Judge Feldman tried to draw comfort from the fact that Windsor did not employ the magic phrases “intermediate scrutiny” or “heightened scrutiny.” I would liken that comfort to saying that it’s anybody’s game with two out at the bottom of the ninth inning when the score is 20-0.
True, we have always known that the outside of any envelope we place in the mail can be seen. We have always known that the phone company had access to “pen register” information, and that the bits and bytes that make up our e-mails are “known” to the various providers transmitting them. But we also did expect that the keepers of the media would take no interest in our metadata, would in fact be bound by rules of confidentiality, and that they would not only safeguard the contents of the communications, but also, to the extent practical, the fact of the communications too. We certainly didn’t think that the metadata would be analyzed by a government agency.
Catholic turf should not be the bishops’ to rule in the first place. The hospitals and the universities were built with the funds and the blood, sweat and tears of generations of all Catholic believers, and should by all rights belong to all of their successors, the entire body of the faithful. Instead of acting like the in-title-only trustees of these institutions, accountable to those who built them and their successors, the hierarchy behave like the equitable owners. And if you think these would-be owners are in favor of religious freedom for the rest of us in the Catholic fold, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you.
Even if you think it’s a good thing to be trying to unseat Kadafi, you ought to be discouraged by the thinly-veiled mutiny Obama is waging against the law. Me, I had this naive notion that the president was supposed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Silly moi! Nothing faithful about this bit of execution.
So basically Obama is out of compliance. He has made a calculation to ignore what the written rules say, because history is on his side. Unfortunately, as far as the law goes, that bet is almost certainly right.
One has to ask what kind of country the Tea Partiers desire, though. Clearly it is a big step away from a commonwealth. In Tea Party Utopia, it seems, the Partiers would get maximize their personal wealth, at whatever cost to the well-being of their fellow-citizens, even, or perhaps especially the poorest. It’s a country where there would be no planning or direction of economic activity from Washington, apparently in the faith that an atomized economy could avoid obliteration by the better-organized economies of other nations. And a faith as well, in the teeth of historical evidence, that privately-funded economic forces undirected by government, would give us an adequate infrastructure. And in Tea Party Utopia, cultural elites would be denied the support and recognition that even the tiny sliver of the national budget dedicated to edifying them conveys.
It is easy to imagine now, if TSA had leveled with us about what it proposed to do, what members of the public would have said what they felt about government official using radiation to take revealing pictures of them, and, as an alternative, literally groping their “privates.” TSA would be expected to respond with arguments about the recent attempted “underwear bomber,” and how these searches would make us all safer. And then a policy calculation in which the public was involved and invested could have been made, by an agency better advised about how the public felt.
Political Correctness is an antibody that attaches itself to your diseased discourse and protects the American immune system.
The role of the leakers and the press and bloggers who disseminate what the leakers share is not institutionalized, and there is little or no quality control. But as a result of their actions, things that need to be made public, like torture and illegal wiretaps, often are publicized. The Leakocracy serves as a valuable if not vital safety valve in our society.