Wednesday, September 17, 2008

#75 Wednesday Words--Justice Brandeis and Sarah Palin

Here's a quote that I finally tracked down apropos of the GRAVE DANGER of someone like Sarah Palin ever getting even a little pinky finger involved in the government of our country--a fortiori and forfend the heart-beat-away HEAD OF STATE! Turns out to be from the distinguished jurist Louis D. Brandeis (though it sounds a lot like Marcus Aurelius):
  • Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect LIBERTY when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to FREEDOM are naturally alert to repel invasion of their LIBERTY by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to LIBERTY lurk in insidious encroachment by men of ZEAL, well-meaning but without understanding. 1928. [emphasis mine]
Make that women of zeal, too, like the G.O.P. V.P. candidate. Instructively, Brandeis happened to be a Jew, whose ethnic ancestry bore the brunt of centuries of Christian discrimination and repression that still goes on. Just check with Mel Gibson. Haven't we had enough of the "God-told-me-to-do-it" mentality of Bush and echoed by Palin in her "task-from-God" speech about the war in Iraq to her cult-like church? I've covered enough of that in earlier posts, but like Bush/Cheney too, she'd like to peddle/meddle her "well-meaning" ZEAL right into our very lives. After all she's an definition a proselytizer/dogmatizer. Even from her scant position of power in Alaska, she has pushed for prayer back in public schools, creationism back in science classes, and for a continuation of "faith-based" abstinence-only sex-ed health classes. Look where that last one got her daughter. And she wanted to BAN "un-Christian" books from the Wasilla public library.

I consider the so-called Christian Right (once repudiated by McCain himself as "agents of intolerance"--how's that for cynical flip-flop) a clear and present danger to our personal and political freedoms. Hell, and I approved that word, the second-place candidate in the G.O.P. primaries for President, Pastor Mike Huckabee, wanted to amend the Constitution to more "conform with God's word." Scary. Theocracy stalks. And no doubt the wannabe VP supports the up-dated FISA (but now she'll have to be in favor of the even more radical Bush/McCain version that was luckily defused in the compromise amendment that--full-disclosure alert--Obama misguidedly voted for. See post 7/18)--which allows unwarranted eavesdropping on American citizens, not just foreigners, using the internet.

With that, we're back to Brandeis, believe it or not. For in his dissenting opinion (excerpt above) to Olmstead v. U.S., he was writing against a 5-4 decision in favor of unwarranted (telephone) wiretapping. (This decision was later overruled by the same Supreme Court, and stayed that way till the FISA update reared its ugly head.) How prophetic was that?


jdmiii said...

you have yet to come back to umberto eco as promised in late june.

I have enjoyed your comments on the political race/war between the obamanation and the guns and bible crowd.

jdmiii said...

also you might want to add snopes and to your list of favorite websites