First New Orleans and now Binghamton. All of my favorite cities are getting flooded these days. The NY Times has an article about how badly hit my alma mater’s city is right now which I posted after the jump. I wonder if the Sports Bar is totally and utterly under water…
What to Do? For Now, Sit Back and Watch the Water Rise
By FERNANDA SANTOS
BINGHAMTON, N.Y., June 28 — As the muddy, turbulent waters of the Chenango River rushed toward this city’s downtown, Anton Lucas knew exactly what to do: Move the furniture and tools from the cellar to the first floor, grab some wine and a lawn chair, and sit on a patch of grass some 50 yards away, watching the water rise.
Mr. Lucas, 54, left work early on Tuesday so he could prepare for the inevitable. His house, an elegant Tudor that sits just feet from where the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers meet, had been flooded once before, he said, in April 2005, catching him by surprise. He lost $50,000 in clothes and furniture then. This time would be different.
“I’ve been partying all day,” Mr. Lucas, a self-employed general contractor, said as night fell on Wednesday, still wearing the yellow T-shirt and shorts he had on the night before. “All I can do right now is wait. Then I’ll go fix the damage, just like I did before.”
Along the northern bank of the Susquehanna, from Binghamton to Johnson City and Endicott, two neighboring communities upriver, flooding spared hardly a home and thousands needed to be evacuated. In some cases, the water climbed front steps and flowed into kitchens and living rooms, looking like chocolate milk in a blender.
Outside an apartment building on Riverside Drive, a blue toy car bobbed in the water while a man in galoshes carried two boxes on his shoulder up the front steps of a tidy brick house across the street. At Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital to the west, two doctors wheeled a woman into an ambulance, which then whisked her away to a hospital on dry, higher ground.
Sharon Landon, 48, a nurse in the hospital’s oncology hospice, said the river began to creep into the ground floor of Our Lady of Lourdes early in the morning and slowly inundated the cafeteria, pharmacy, lab and the hospital’s power plant, which meant the electricity had to be shut down.
For hours, she said, doctors and nurses worked to discharge the patients who were well enough to go home and prepare those in need of care for a quick move. “I have water in my own cellar, three to four inches, I’m told,” Ms. Landon said as she slogged out of work around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, her face glistening with sweat, and carrying a raincoat and galoshes in a ripped plastic bag.
There was, however, a certain festive feel in the air, with children and adults biking and skating downhill, toward the river, just because that was the thing to do. Some people carried cameras and posed for photographs by the Memorial Street Bridge across the Susquehanna, which sat partly under water late on Wednesday.
Lt. John P. Shea of the city’s Police Department said that the city was no stranger to flooding, but that this was the worst he could remember. He predicted that the waters would rise until Thursday, and that more people might have to leave their homes.
Then, “just like last year, and in the years before that, the rivers will go back to their normal levels,” Lieutenant Shea said, “as if nothing this bad ever really happened.”
First New Orleans and now Binghamton. All of my favorite cities are getting flooded these days. The NY Times has an article about how badly hit my alma mater’s city is right now which I posted after the jump. I wonder if the Sports Bar is totally and utterly under water…
An article in today’s Detroit News details a study that simply states that the United States is losing its fight against terrorism and the Iraq war is the biggest reason why.
Before you start complaining about who exactly was intereviewed for this study, of the experts queried, 45 identified themselves as liberals, 40 said they were moderates and 31 called themselves conservatives. The pollsters then weighted the responses so that the percentage results reflected one-third participation by each group. So, it was a fair. Not Fox fair but really fair.
Asked whether the United States is “winning the war on terror,” 84 percent said no and 13 percent answered yes. Asked whether the war in Iraq is helping or hurting the global anti-terrorism campaign, 87 percent answered that it was undermining those efforts. A similar number, 86 percent, said the world is becoming “more dangerous for the United States and the American people.”
Lovely. Nothing I didn’t know but still. 2500 dead Americans and climbing with no end in sight. Just lovely.
Recently I posted my review about The Messiah of Morris Avenue, a great debut novel by Tony Hendra. Through the power of social networking and email, I recently had the opportunity to interview this author and greatly enjoyed doing so because I not only found the book interesting and engaging but he coincidentally is the creator of one of the funniest bits of television I have ever seen. Ka is a wheel. While my questions were relatively short, I found Mr. Hendra’s answers to be much more insightful, interesting and frankly lengthy than I ever could have hoped to receive. I guess that it is like how the essays written for an in-person exam are much shorter than those provided when given a take-home test.
In trying to keep things to a nice round number, I asked Tony a total of 10 questions. 8 questions were about the book and his career and the last 2 were about some recent controversies to which he has been linked. Here is the exchange:
JL: First off: Do you believe in God? If so, how would you describe this higher power?
TH: I do believe in god but less as a person or presence than as than the inescapable conclusion to a couple of very fundamental questions: Why not just nothing? Or Wittgenstein’s ‘the question is: why does the universe exist at all?’ This is not to detract in any way from science, in particular astrophysics, quantum physics, relativity theory, string theory etc. I believe the science-religion face-off to be a totally phony one. On the other hand I think these disciplines don’t answer – and often dismiss – such fundamental questions as irrelevant or superstitious or semantic, when they’re not. They’re a profound part of human inquiry: questions that have always existed and always will. That said, the imminence of this force, reality or dimension, its presence in our lives once accepted is also inescapable – in the minute grungy details of everyday life as well as the vastness of the universe(s). As Jay says ‘we’re (meaning god) the architect of all existence but we’re also its super’ I find that idea exciting even comforting. If there is a god he she or it, is just as present in the pixels of this screen I’m writing on as in that nebulae a trillion light years away across the immeasurable reaches of space.
JL: I believe that Christianity took about 400 years to truly catch on from the time Jesus lived (Constantine the Great legalized the religion in the 400’s). How long would it take for a new religion to make its way into the mainstream these days?
TH: Historically I’m not sure about that. Christianity certainly took 300 years to sort itself out and find its way through the thickets of what it called heresy but were actually competing versions of Christianity or vestiges of other older belief-systems that had attached themselves to it. The Council of Nicaea in 325 called by Constantine might be considered some kind of watershed I suppose. As to the far more fascinating prospect of how long it would take now – well I sort of address that in my epilogue. If the Messiah is successful enough I would love to write a second volume taking as my starting point the epilogue: the development of a new Christianity in the mid-21st century and tracking it through say its first century. Could be fantastic.
There was a fabulous book in the mid-50s called Canticle for Lebowitz, which did much the same thing. After the nuclear holocaust which wiped out most of the world, a new organized religion begins, akin in many ways to the Christianity of the early Church but weirdly skewed; the author creates a grim and magical version of the Dark Ages but set in the future – and what’s more in the US not Europe. It’s a great model. I’d love to have shot at that.
JL: How realistic of a portrait does the book paint about what is going on in America and the rest of the world these days?
TH: Very close – I think this is fiction that might almost be considered non-fiction. The way the book came about was: in November 2004 as I watched these Republicans preening themselves over a victory they attributed to their ‘Christian’ values, I couldn’t help thinking how far it was from the Christianity I grew up with and was nurtured in by Father Joe. And the best way I could think of to do that was to have the real Christ showing up and revealing these people for the unholy thugs they were/are.
I had toyed with this idea – Christ returning or versions of Christ – before but always satirically. To make this premise stick I had to write it for real – create a credible Christ figure who however entertaining had to be convincing in contrast to the fundamentalists’ caricature of Christianity . It was quite a challenge but in another way a fascinating journey: because I was forced to consider at some depth what in fact I did believe or would like to.
Mark Twain I believe it was, said if Christ came back the Christians would crucify him. And in the Grand Inquisitor passage of The Brothers Karamazov, the Grand Inquisitor threatens to execute the returned Jesus. So the returned Christ is hardly new as an idea. Making it convincing in slightly future New York (Morris Avenue is in the Bronx one of the five boroughs – and the poorest – of New York City) was what made the book so intriguing to write. One of my favourite parallels to the Gospels is when Jay walks on the water – except it’s the filthy polluted East River. There are many darker parallels in the ‘Passion’ chapters in which the Messiah is tried, ‘scourged’ (tortured) and crucified (executed by lethal injection). I remember very clearly the day I first Googled an image of the lethal injection gurney and realized that when condemned prisoners are strapped to it, their arms and legs are in precise cruciform shape. As a writer it was an exhilarating discovery; as a human who loathes the whole notion of the death penalty it was chilling – not I suspect a parallel that had ever occurred to anyone, except maybe some sadistic fundo Baptist. So there are many realistic parallels to what’s going on in the US under the Bush gang.
As to the future I believe that at no point in the close to half a century I’ve lived in the States has the very nature of the US been so under threat. And I mean from within. Although I saw my book as set in a palpable future – 1984 was my working model – many interviewers and reviewers have barely noticed that – preferring to see my ‘parallel America’ as essentially modern, set now. And certainly I’m pessimistic that the theocratic pressures of the Christian right on the US are going to go away. On the contrary we’re going a lot further down that road, before true resistance sets in. One of the main reasons is that the liberal-center-left opposition – and I don’t mean only the Democrats – believes that the Christian right’s success is some kind of temporary aberration in the system, which will soon correct itself, without them having to put much effort into the process. Suicidal if you ask me.
JL: How would you describe the unique perspective that the English “bring to the table” when analyzing and writing about America and Americans?
TH: Well, as I said I’ve lived in NY for a long, long time – 42 years to be exact, far longer than I ever lived in England. I actually tend to be impatient with Brits who come here and start holding forth about the nature of America and Americans, after a whole month spent in NY and LA – however entertaining they may think they’re being. I learnt early on in my American life that you can’t really make people laugh (I was a comedian at the time) unless you’re inside the culture to a degree that you’re saying things from a shared subconscious, a shared set of assumptions and references no-one has to state consciously. In fact it was more of a problem when I went back to England in 1983 to write and produce Spitting Image and realized that in the twenty years I’d been away I’d lost touch with that shared subconscious in England.
That said I do think the tradition of satire I was born into is an immensely useful and solid grounding in both form and attitude. Brits do tend to be more sure of themselves – you might say more fearless – than Americans when attacking institutions and the humans responsible for them. And they understand more instinctively the fundamental irony of satire – that you are saying the opposite of what you actually believe, exaggerating it in fact, to get at how absurd or disgusting (or both) it is. I’m afraid a lot of Americans – at least younger Americans – have been inculcated with deadly literalism which makes them believe that when you’re saying the exact opposite of what you believe, you really mean it. Sigh.
JL: Throughout your career, why has your humor specifically focused on satire?
TH: Once again I’m not sure how true that is anymore. Most of my life I’ve been a satirist/humorist but I began to find that very unsatisfying about ten years ago. I’m proud to have been part of the creation of the Lampoon and Spinal Tap and Spitting Image, but as you get older, you realize that just getting laughs feels like you’re only firing on a couple of cylinders. The process of creating humor often means suspending your belief in the totality of life and reality, refusing to acknowledge the dark as well as the light. That doesn’t have to be the case – great satirists like Waugh Swift, Voltaire, Nathaniel West come to mind. And what-if is one of those forms of satirical suspension (I mentioned 1984 earlier, one of the most famous examples of what-if; another is Doctor Strangelove one of the greatest satires ever written).
I stuck to satire for so long though – what I believe to be true satire as opposed to political or topical humor (see 4) – because when it does work it’s sublimely satisfying, and once or twice in my life it really has. National Lampoon’s Lemmings comes to mind or The President’s Brain Is Missing aka Ron and Nancy on Spitting Image.
JL: How does this book fit in with other the bits of satire you’ve done on American society, specifically the “Spitting Image” series? (As an aside, my sister, father and I know most of the words of the entire “Spitting Image” White House themed episode, including the entire “Ronnie and Nancy” theme song. We believe that to be one of the best bits of satire ever produced and love it with a special love.)
TH: Following on from 5 really: this book is a satire in that what-if style – I have recently written pieces in the American Prospect and HuffPost that do this kind of satire also, taking on the voice and attitudes of my antagonists to do them in. But this premise is more complicated – at a certain point when the flesh-and-blood messiah shows up, the narrative has to becomes much less ironic in tone. That’s why I chose to have a narrator who would make that very tricky transition smoothly – he is a skeptic both towards the theocracy the Christian right has wrought and towards the teachings and spirituality of the messiah. That’s a good thing because as one reviewer pointed out (Jesse Kornbluth for bookreporter.com) satires can be a lot of fun for the first hundred pages but become very tiresome as they works they way out to a conclusion; whereas I shift gears into a much more passionate fiction at – according to Mr Kornbluth I hasten to add – just the right moment.
JL: Speaking of “Spitting Image”: Why where only four Spitting Image episodes produced in America? What happened? Did its humor not translate well to the American audience?
TH: A painful question in some ways. I was a co-creator of SI (with the puppeteers Luck and Flaw) and part of our plan was that in due course – once it was up and running in the UK – I would bring it to the US and put down SI roots there too. Of the SI team only I had the feel for American audiences (as described above in 3.) that would have made a show this extreme palatable to Americans. You would have to get it absolutely right to get away with it. On the other hand the declining Reagan years – not to mention the years of the unspeakable moron Bush 1 – would have been fertile soil. In the event TV politics intervened and I left the show long before I intended. The writers who wrote the HBO specials that were done here (as I recall there were only two), holed up in a hotel in NY for a fortnight with a pile of newsmagazines and tried to write material from that. Needless to say they didn’t have a clue what Americans thought funny or were willing to laugh at, and the specials bombed. Self-destructive these Brits. Had the original plan been kept to, we’d all be a lot richer than we are.
JL: Regarding your memoir Father Joe, Father Joe was obviously a very powerful influence on you. If that is so, then why did it take you more than forty years and two marriages to “straighten up and fly right”?
TH: An enormous question and one which I had to write a 250-page book to answer. Briefly put the world is a very attractive place and I lost my faith; perhaps we all do in a way even those who start with no formal faith. But few people are lucky enough to have so forgiving, and gentle and therefore immensely strong a person in their lives waiting for them when they’re ready to return. In biblical terms my Father Joe story was a modern version of the Prodigal Son; and I think it appealed to so many people because many men and women – even those without faith – feel themselves to be somehow prodigal children and long to return home and see a Father Joe waiting for them at the door. I owe whatever good I found in life – and myself – to him.
My last 2 questions were ones that Mr. Hendra declined to answer. I would be remiss however if I did not post them along with Mr. Hendra’s reasons for not answering them so here they are:
JL: First, in doing research about you, I was surprised to connect the dots and see that you are the same person that is involved with the controversy caused by the publication of your daughter’s memoir “How to Cook your Daughter.” How do you address its charges of sexual abuse, mental cruelty, explosive rages and exposure to danger that she suffered at your hands?
Second, why would Michael McKean accuse you of taking too much credit on “This is Spinal Tap?” especially as he made these accusations over 20 years after the movie came out?
TH: I don’t see the relevance of [questions] 9 and 10 to the current project (the messiah) which is a novel and whose content and thrust has nothing to do with my personal life. other than to reiterate that my daughter’s charges of sexual abuse are and always have been, utterly false, i cannot discuss any issues relating to her, as i have undertaken legal actions in the matter. Question 10 i will be happy to address – there are unaired issues here interest to spinal tap fans – but not in this context.
Seth MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy,” gave a speech at Harvard Day this year and it was fantastic. He does the voices of Peter, Stewie and Quagmire while giving some sage advice. It’s seriously awesome. Enjoy!
Thanks go to Fox Sports for posting this Babes of the World Cup photo gallery which greatly helped to improve my mood. I wish I grew up in Brazil.
The restaurant beneath my office opened early today just for the World Cup matches. I’m there, with a laptop, coffee, borrowed wi-fi, American Flag, heart in stomach, and will present the game as I see and experience it:
10.30 AM – I’m watching the US World Cup match and cannot believe the bullshit that I just witnessed. Claudio Reyna, known as “Captain America,” supposedly the best and most professional of all US players, just tried to dribble out of his own zone, lost the ball, gave it to Ghana and they scored. He was laying on the ground clutching his leg while it happened, weeping like a little girl, and I thought he was done, like he had torn his ACL. Then he got up eventually and is still in the game, which makes it even worse, because his leg should be broken if he gave up the ball that easily. So the US is losing. Great. Not only that, but 2 minutes later the Italians scored to take the lead against the Czechs. “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?!” Dreck! Merde! I’m so pissed…
10:40 AM – For the first time ever, Reyna comes out of a World Cup game. So he is hurt. Good. I feel bad about feeling this way but it’s how I feel – it was such a stupid, stupid play to get hurt on.
10:45 AM – GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL!!!! A take away by DeMarcus, a great cross to Dempsey who brilliantly strikes to finish and this game is tied baby! Their first “real” goal of the WC. Just now, a Czech player was given a red card. Things are looking up…
10:48 AM – And now they aren’t as more bullshit, this time thanks to the refs, has occurred. Ghana is awarded a penalty kick on a complete and utter senseless call. Although the striker looks nervous, he puts it away and Ghana is up now 2-1. I can’t believe this…
Half-time – Why is it that I feel as if only 3 penalty kicks have been awarded in the first round thus far? Figures that one would be against the US. I really feel that FIFA hates the US. I can’t even begin to go into it – one will think I’m a conspiracy nut. Plus, I don’t want to sound like Mark Cuban, the current “The Refs and League Hate Me” poster child. I do believe that the US can pull off an incredible comeback, but it’s going to be really difficult. They are re-reviewing the penalty kick and the announcer is saying “….not a penalty! In a game like this, you’ve got to really take a guy down, grab his hair…to get a penalty…” They report that Reyna’ injury is a twisted right knee, close to a torn ACL (which is what it looked like when he was flopping about on the ground). G-d, I hope the US plays out of their gourd and come back. “The next world cup is 4 years away – you don’t want to leave anything in the tank after these last 45 minutes.” I couldn’t agree more…and here we go – bon chance Les Etas-Unis!
11:10 AM – The US under Bruce Arena, their head coach, are 2-16-2 when trailing at half-time. Great stat. The announcer just complained about the grass not being match fit. I really hope the bitching doesn’t start already…who am I kidding, I’m bitching..
11:17 AM – The US has never won the 3rd game in the 1st round. Great stat. Thanks guys. The US has missed some chances and time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future.
11:26 AM – Its the 64th minute and I’m starting to get that sinking feeling. I know what the Aussie’s did against Japan but I’m not hopeful. Shot – POST! Damn it! McBride hits the post on a proto-typical McDiving header. Close but no cigar…
11:37 AM – Not much has happened of note. About 15 minutes are remaining in the match.
11:41AM – A hard tackle right outside the box. The US has a free kick and needs to capitalize on it. This is a very big play for them. What a crap ball! A horrible cross by Donovan and the ball sails out. Italy just scores again after a player literally dribbles around the Czech goalie. The Italians know how to get it done while Landon Donovan has not been a factor at all. So much for the “future of US Soccer.”
11:58 AM – Game over man, game over. The US had a lot of set pieces (corner kicks and free kicks) and had a lot of good chances towards the end but just couldn’t do anything with them which is what good footballers do – they convert those chances. It doesn’t matter what the FIFA rankings say, the US is not that great of a team. My ego has taken a bit hit here; I used to think we were so good and that we had really buiit on our success from ’02. They scored 1 goal in 3 games. Italy won but they lost. They are going home and hopefully will qualify for 2010 in South Africa. Damn it. My whole day is shot. All I say to say is, “3 Lions on the shirt….Go England!”
Recently I read Tony Hendra’s debut novel The Messiah of Morris Avenueand found it to be a quite interesting read that I would suggest it to anyone who is interested in religion and/or politics. The ideas presented, especially the idea that our world is not tolerant to the message of peace, really resonated with me. Religion in all aspects has forever fascinated me: the good that it brings, the mysticism, the hypocracy, the evil that is done in the “name of God;” all of these aspects utterly amaze me, particularly how religion often provides a way and an excuse for the wicked to act even more wickedly.
While I am not a deeply religious person, I believe and acts as if “Ka is a wheel” and that we are all human beings deserving of love and respect, regardless of race, creed or color, as long as we in turn show love and respect towards all. Things do come full circle and its best to act with kindness for you never know when you’ll need kindness in return. I enjoy when anyone challenges traditional religious dogmatic thought, whether it be Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series or Arthur C. Clarke’s The Light Of Other Days. The same way that The Master and Margarita plays with the idea of “What if the Devil came to Moscow but no one believed he was the Devil because they were all atheists,” this book plays with the idea of “What if Christ returned today yet no one believed that he was in fact Jesus?” I commend Hendra for putting down on paper such powerful ideas in such an entertaining manner. Hopefully this is just the start of good things for Hendra as he embarks on the novel writing part of his vast career.
Not only did I read the book, I spoke with the author which I find is always quite a treat. Coming later this week I will publish my expansive interview with Tony Hendra, the author of The Messiah of Morris Avenue. This is now the second WGTCTIP2 book review and author interview and I’m looking foward to doing this more often in the future.
I recently donated money to PBS and provided the operator who took my call with my email addresses. Now I receive weekly “This Week on Thirteen” email updates. Too often one only hears about what the broadcast and cable networks are doing, specifically about the relative dreck that they are airing on a daily basis. Although most people haven’t watched public television since they watched “Seasame Street,” the following three programs will probably make you realize that watching TV does not need to merely be an escape but that it can be educational and rewarding as well. Any program that features Salman Rushdie asking the question “What kind of a god is it that’s upset by a cartoon in Danish?” is something that I’ve got to watch!
Tuesday, June 20 at 9pm
Frontline: The Dark Side
Frontline examines the conflicts within the U.S. government regarding the war on terror, much of which is fought by the CIA and other intelligence agencies on what Vice President Cheney has called “The Dark Side.”
Thursday, June 22 at 8pm
Monarchy with David Starkey: The Early Kings
David Starkey hosts this series chronicling the power, politics, religion, and extraordinary lives of the English Crown. (Part 1 of 6)
Friday, June 23 at 9pm
Bill Moyers On Faith and Reason: Salman Rushdie
“What kind of a god is it that’s upset by a cartoon in Danish?” asks Salman Rushdie in the premiere episode of Bill Moyers’ new series. Moyers’ conversation with Rushdie illuminates the importance of the freedom of belief in what some are calling an era of intolerance. Repeats Sun, June 25 at 7pm. (Part 1 of 7)
It figures that it would take an egregious federal move to knock me off my footie soapbox. This bit of news happened sort of silently yesterday so here is the scoop: the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision saying that police officers no longer must “knock and announce” themselves before entering a private home. Not surprisingly, such a charged issue featured a close vote – the court voted 5-4 – and also unsurprisingly, W’s two new appointees, Roberts and Alito, voted to do away with a “principle that traces back to 13th-century Britain, and a legal doctrine that dates to 1914, to let the government invade people’s homes.”
As the NY Times said, “This decision should offend anyone, liberal or conservative, who worries about the privacy rights of ordinary Americans.” I myself am deeply offended and am worried about the future America that my children will grow up in. After the jump feel free to read the editorial from the Times and be prepared for your blood to boil.
The Don’t-Bother-to-Knock Rule
Published: June 16, 2006
The Supreme Court yesterday substantially diminished Americans’ right to privacy in their own homes. The rule that police officers must “knock and announce” themselves before entering a private home is a venerable one, and a well-established part of Fourth Amendment law. But President Bush’s two recent Supreme Court appointments have now provided the votes for a 5-4 decision eviscerating this rule.
This decision should offend anyone, liberal or conservative, who worries about the privacy rights of ordinary Americans.
The case arose out of the search of Booker T. Hudson’s home in Detroit in 1998. The police announced themselves but did not knock, and after waiting a few seconds, entered his home and seized drugs and a gun. There is no dispute that the search violated the knock-and-announce rule.
The question in the case was what to do about it. Mr. Hudson wanted the evidence excluded at his trial. That is precisely what should have happened. Since 1914, the Supreme Court has held that, except in rare circumstances, evidence seized in violation of the Constitution cannot be used. The exclusionary rule has sometimes been criticized for allowing criminals to go free just because of police error. But as the court itself recognized in that 1914 case, if this type of evidence were admissible, the Fourth Amendment “might as well be stricken.”
The court ruled yesterday that the evidence could be used against Mr. Hudson. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, argued that even if police officers did not have to fear losing a case if they disobeyed the knock-and-announce rule, the subjects of improper searches could still bring civil lawsuits to challenge them. But as the dissenters rightly pointed out, there is little chance that such suits would keep the police in line. Justice Scalia was also far too dismissive of the important privacy rights at stake, which he essentially reduced to “the right not to be intruded upon in one’s nightclothes.” Justice Stephen Breyer noted in dissent that even a century ago the court recognized that when the police barge into a house unannounced, it is an assault on “the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of life.”
If Justice Sandra Day O’Connor had stayed on the court, this case might well have come out the other way. For those who worry that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito will take the court in a radically conservative direction, it is sobering how easily the majority tossed aside a principle that traces back to 13th-century Britain, and a legal doctrine that dates to 1914, to let the government invade people’s homes.
The Onion’s recent World Cup related article Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team’s First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt is so satirically funny it just has to be read and shared. My favorite part reads:
It is estimated that over 85 percent of U.S. households were watching the USA–Czech Republic matchup. And going into the game that most Americans have been waiting for, analyzing, and all but living for during the past four years, schools, offices, shopping centers—everything, in fact, except vital services—closed their doors as the game began.
Say you were from another planet, or the Midwest, and you didn’t know that The Onion is a humor publication nad that the article was a humor piece, the 85% would have been the dead giveaway. I’m not even positive that eight-tenths of one percent of U.S. households watched the match, forget about 8.5%.
I for one have felt lately that The Onion just isn’t as funny as it used to be. Hopefully, this article proves that they are back on track. Either that or I am just in love with all things footie right now. I can say for certain that one or both of those two statements is correct.