Retrieving Ranting

We learned from the movie Ratatouille that anyone can cook. Even a rat. But can anyone rant? There seems no shortage of rant-like behavior, but how often do we witness an example that does justice to the original Ranters (see 17th-century radicalism, England). Justice Antonin Scalia, to give credit where it is undeniably due, may or may not be able to cook, but he delivered a fabulously compelling rant/dissent Monday that left Anthony Kennedy wearing just a dungbeetle-chewed leaf. When everyone from USA Today to The New York Times to The American Spectator thinks Justice Kennedy is either acting in bad faith or clueless (clueless seemed the consensus in re Citizens United), there are grounds for hope that the dissent was not merely a fine rant, that our cultures and our “the culture,” our pluribus and our unum so to say, are not utterly desensitized to the blessing, costly as it is, of presuming innocence. The four voices in the minority Monday may find allies in interesting places. Scalia’s often troll-like rhetoric hit the mark this time, in keeping the wound caused by these 21st-century general warrants rubbed raw.

Sobering update re general warrants via Guardian: Verizon and quite possibly all the other carriers are giving the NSA metadata on “millions” of customers

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