Thursday, September 20, 2007


Common themes.

Example #1: Nalini Ghuman. Musicologist. Lives in California. No one seems to have accused her of anything. No matter. She's had her visa revoked anyway.

Example #2 Andrew Meyer. The University of Florida student who was tasered in a doomed attempt to get John Kerry to stop being boring. Seems to have a good deal of exhibitionist in him. And no doubt even attendees who agreed with him would have appreciated him not pushing ahead of him. Still, this was a case for a good sergeant-at-arms, not potentially deadly force. That's not an exaggeration. If Meyer had been epileptic, he'd likely be dead.

In Homicide's reunion movie, Frank Pembleton comes back to investigate the shooting of his much-admired Lieutenant, Al Giardello. Captain Walt Gaffney, who has always hated Pembleton and is a major all-round tool, orders the no-longer Detective Pembleton off the case. Another ex-Detective, the long-retired Bolander, says that he'd better get out too. Gaffney replies, "No, you can stay. See, that's the great thing about power. It's arbitrary."

Very honest. You very rarely hear those words. But you see the actions. And the underlying message is there. "We can do this. We don't have to prove that we're justified. Maybe you'd be better off not asking. Power is arbitrary, bro."

If our country is to survive as any kind of democracy, citizens will have to recognize that this is what's being said. But not accept it as the truth.

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