01 June 2013

There are days when it takes a lot of self-pinching to confirm that I don't live in ancien regime France.  This is one of those days:  a judge has apparently decided that her previous ruling against National Security Letters was nonsense and is ordering Google to give the US government user information without a warrant.

A little early modern history lesson:  the French kings were able to, and often did, imprison and banish their subjects without trial by means of lettres de cachet.  

It is going to take a real revolution, not just a president who pays lip service to civil liberties, before the United States can seriously claim to respect the rule of law.  We are teetering on the edge of imperial collapse, just as France was in the 1770s, but continue to pat ourselves on the back for being une Grande Nation.  Our federal "democratic" institutions function hardly any better than did the apparatus of monarchical rule under Louis XVI. 

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