The deadliest enemies of nations are not their foreign foes; they always dwell within their borders. And from these internal enemies civilization is always in need of being saved. The nation blessed above all nations is she in whom the civic genius of the people does the saving day by day, by acts without external picturesqueness; by speaking, writing, voting reasonably; by smiting corruption swiftly; by good temper between parties; by the people knowing true men when they see them, and preferring them as leaders to rabid partisans or empty quacks. – William James, Oration Upon the Unveiling of the Robert Gould Shaw Monument.
The James quote (Robert Gould Shaw was a white Bostonian who led an African-American regiment in the Civil War, a story fictionally told in the movie Glory) would have brought me to tears at any point in our history. Today, though, we should all sob over it, soaking the words in salt. Here’s yet another reason why:
I wish there were a mythological character with a better sense of humor than Cassandra. But Cassandra is the only one who crops up in my head today, when I go back to my awfully predictive post about the search warrant law deskbook. I thought I was more or less kidding around when I mocked the search warrant laws in various states.
Still, here was my caveat about that deskbook:
[W]hat follows is from the 1996 deskbook; maybe the laws have changed in the past fifteen years. But maybe not. So if you’re traveling in these great United States, be advised. Very advised.
…Wherever you travel in the United States, it’s foolish to lug along drugs, guns and money. (Although things have so changed since 1996, that maybe if you’re lugging only one gun you’ll get into trouble.)
I got a few prickles down my back when I read a couple of related and scary stories in the New York Times last week. The laws have changed. They’d be comically stupid, if not so frightening. Read Lizette Alvarez’s article, but be warned: read in a sufficiently insulated room because you’ll be screaming in fury.
And the Supreme Court (those intrepid Supremes!) are marching with Orwellian purpose—Supreme Court to Rule on GPS Surveillance, Addressing ‘Big Brother’ Claims – NYTimes.com.
I should run book on how they’re going to decide.
But no. What I will do is open a category here on where we should not bring and spend our money. We’ll already know we’re not going to Arizona. So let’s add Florida to the list.
If I get a lot of suggestions, I’ll start another blog.