Wednesday, 9:00 AM. 9 degrees F, wind WSW, calm with occasional gusts. The barometer has risen to 30.18 and the humidity is 84%.
It is a cold and quiet morning, the sky overcast and leaden except for a splash of orange in the southeast, where the sun seems late in rising. The white pines have lost their mantles of clinging snow and stand alone, giant dark masses in the pervasive whiteness. But the branches of roadside willows are beginning to brighten, gay yellow and orange harbingers of a still very distant spring.
Remember high school days, and the Senior Class Play? Remember The Mikado? Remember the Lord High Executioner? He sang a little song entitled, “I Have a Little List,” which he sung with devilish, threatening gusto. The “little list” was a kill list of his enemies. He sang “And none of them will be missed, none of them will be missed” as he pranced wickedly about the stage.
We all believe that the Constitution and our legal system cannot give autocrats, present or future, the right to a take the lives of American citizens without due proceess, but President Obama evidently has that right even now, according to Erik Holder, his Attorney General. Of course it is only the right to kill us outside the borders of the United states, all very antiseptically with drones, and only if we are deemed terrorists (by whom or how is decidedly unclear). Now few of us have much sympathy for the terrorists that have been killed so far, citizens or not. However, we evidently now have in actuality a Lord High Executioner, and one who at one point or another has accepted the title with appropriate relish.
Now consider this; there are those among us, including many in Congress, who want to establish a federal list of gun owners, an interactive list that, given the power of government computers, could easily add any personal information to that list, such as political party, opinions expressed in various media, education records, travel plans and so on.
We already have, unless the present legal assumption is declared unconstitutional, a Lord High Executioner. Will we also allow him to have a Little List? The president and his coterie seem anxious to be endowed with both. Perhaps President Obama and Erik Holder will never go dancing about the stage singing of their intentions, and the United States will never become a perversion of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera.
But I for one do not wish to give this president and attorney general nor any that follow them the opportunity to turn what may seem to be remote and comedic into a real and modern tragedy, an American Mikado.