Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July, Wissahickon Park (Scalia)

We have it in our power to begin the world over again
Thomas Paine, 1776

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Reality has a liberal bias
Stephen Colbert

On the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I've been totally in agreement and support of President Bush
John McCain

Lesley Stahl interviewing everybody’s favorite Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia on 60 Minutes:
STAHL: If someone’s in custody, as in Abu Ghraib, and they are brutalized, by a law enforcement person — if you listen to the expression “cruel and unusual punishment,” doesn’t that apply?
SCALIA: No. To the contrary. You think — Has anybody ever referred to torture as punishment? I don’t think so.
STAHL: Well I think if you’re in custody, and you have a policeman who’s taken you into custody–
SCALIA: And you say he’s punishing you? What’s he punishing you for? … When he’s hurting you in order to get information from you, you wouldn’t say he’s punishing you. What is he punishing you for?

Freedom’s just another word for...nothin’
Paraphrase of Justice Scalia’s comments, with apologies to Kris Kristofferson and Janis Joplin

Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither security nor liberty
Benjamin Franklin

Happy hour is now enforced by law
Jello Biafra

The first time I got arrested isn’t worth talking about, much. I was outside of a Dead show in San Francisco—in a state of mind that certainly made it seem significant at the time, though it might’ve been anyway, except that it wasn’t. We got set up by this older guy who handed us something and promptly disappeared, mere seconds before somebody else grabbed me, saying “guess who.” I answered “I dunno,” then saw the little blue earphone. A quick search showed we weren’t worth their trouble, but the story was enough to get me rejected for a jury twenty years later. More interesting was the second time, maybe a year later—standing or crouching along the fence, joking, probably, enjoying the desert sun and each other’s company—me, Hilary, Don, Jeff P., Mel, maybe Elyse and Tom—until we heard the sound of the drum—some hippie kid who’d been picked the night before around the campfire to give us the signal—and, as somebody started raising the strand of barbed wire, I thought ‘shit we’re actually doing this,’ and climbed through. Then we were walking across the desert, trespassing on government property, hand in hand, spotting the biggest jackrabbit I’d ever seen. Up somewhere way ahead, where we certainly didn’t expect to get, was Mercury—name of a planet, in honor of a Roman trickster god—where scientists toiled, building devices and testing them underground to make sure they worked—and that was exactly the problem—they worked way too well, and there were way too many of them, and yet more were being built and tested, and here we were, crawling through barbed wire and trudging across the desert, trying in our feeble all-too-theatrical way to say no...please...stop. That was all we could do, perhaps, but it was something. There has to be some value in simply saying no, even if no one listens. After a while, tired and simultaneously hot and cold as hot desert sun wrestled with icy winds, we saw the Wackenhut up ahead—back then, in the mid-to late 80’s these armies for hire were already a growth industry, if nothing like what they are today. We decided to at least make a token effort to walk away, but didn’t cause him too much trouble. Casually approaching, he let us know we were under arrest, herded us together with a group of others, and politely asked us all to stick out our wrists for plastic handcuffs—they were easy to slip out of, though one poor guy learned not to do so too blatantly in front of them. From there it was a three hour bus ride north, to Tonopah, where they put us in an auditorium, told exactly what statute we’d violated, then said we were free to go but would have to find our own way back. Good one, State of Nevada. And so we packed every bar and restaurant in that little town until enough cars made it there to drive us back down to camp, some to be arrested again the next day, some, like me, to drive up in support. One of my releasees was kind enough to treat everyone in the car to a dip at a hot spring on the way back down. The day after that, a bunch of us headed to the bay area for another Dead show, where this time I managed to stay out of police custody.

Well, boys, I reckon this is it — nuclear combat toe to toe with the Rooskies. Now look, boys, I ain't much of a hand at makin' speeches, but I got a pretty fair idea that something doggone important is goin' on back there. And I got a fair idea the kinda personal emotions that some of you fellas may be thinkin.' Heck, I reckon you wouldn't even be human bein's if you didn't have some pretty strong personal feelin's about nuclear combat. I want you to remember one thing, the folks back home is a-countin' on you and by golly, we ain't about to let 'em down. I tell you something else, if this thing turns out to be half as important as I figure it just might be, I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions and personal citations....
Slim Pickens as Major T.J. Kong, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

freedom won through non-violence will mean the inauguration of a new order in the world. There is no hope for mankind in any other way
Mohandas K. Gandhi

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