Friday, March 13, 2015

Scratching our heads about the shenanigans and incompetence of our putative guardians

The past few months have served up a rich assortment of examples that call to mind the question at the heart of all civic issues and raised by Juvenal in his Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–8).
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

Translated as: Who will guard the guards themselves? or as Who will watch the watchmen?
We have the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, making up rules for herself different from those she is enforcing on everyone else in her department, rules that work to her political and perhaps financial advantage. We have the President of the University of Virginia, Teresa Sullivan, using a made up article in Rolling Stone magazine to punish those on campus who have attracted her displeasure. Now we have the President of the University of Oklahoma, David Boren, expelling obnoxious students of whose speech he disapproves while retaining those that actually pose a physical threat to the community because they provide financial gain for his institution, Oklahoma U. Expels Racist Students, But Not Violent Football Players by Robby Soave. We have the IRS going after political opponents of the party in power with the Lerner scandal (among others). We have the Department of Justice selectively enforcing laws in general and mounting witch hunts in local criminal cases (Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, et al) to further political ends outside the law.

More ironically but perhaps as revealingly, you have this. Possibly Drunk Secret Service Agents Drove Through an Active Bomb Investigation by Margaret Hartmann.
The two allegedly drunk agents who crashed into a White House barricade last week weren't driving through some hours-old crime scene tape. The Washington Post reports that there was an active bomb threat at the scene, and the agents nearly ran over the suspicious package.
You can't help but recall the pertinent scene from The Other Guys.

Every system has noise and generates friction. There just seems a lot more noise and friction now than there needs to be. Some noise and friction serves as a signal for system adjustment. Other times, as it appears now, it is simply noise and friction. Much ado about nothing. And we, as citizen are left to scratch our heads at the shenanigans and incompetence of our putative guardians.

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