Friday, March 20, 2009

Quotable Quotes: Hang ‘em High

The lynch mob is out, the US Constitution be damned.

Who isn’t outraged by actions that reward big bonuses to those in failed institutions who caused the failure in the first place? Certainly, the politically tone-deaf selfishness of certain Wall Street types in a time of economic crises warrants a heavy hand. And most likely the political kabuki dance’s end result will be a self imposed clawback and a full recognition that the game has changed. However, all citizens should be concerned when an activist government exacts retroactive penalties targeted toward specific groups. For it's one thing to be responsive to the wants and needs of a constituency, quite another when a politician is willing to sacrifice principles (and potentially constitutional law) for politics. Therefore, a few words on lynching and mobs seem appropriate.

“Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob”
Oscar Wilde

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”
Thomas Jefferson

“The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led.”
Edgar Allan Poe

“There can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob”
Ayn Rand

“I was participating in my own lynching, but the problem was I didn't know what I was being lynched for.”
Gen. William Westmorland

Clint Eastwood (as Jed Cooper): Well, I don't care how you slice it - whether there's nine men out in the plains with a dirty rope or a judge with his robe on in front of the American flag - those boys are going to be just as dead as if they'd been lynched.
Pat Hingle (as Judge Adam Fenton): That's right, Cooper, just as dead - but they won't have been lynched. They would have been judged. And if you can't see the difference, you'd better take off that star right now!

Have a good weekend.

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