“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”—H. L. Mencken
It is an Australian TV comedy that will do more than keep you occupied while network TV in the US is on it’s summer break.
The concept is simple, yet bloody brilliant. Hamish and Andy, two Australian comedians, travel Europe and explore the cultures of various countries while also playing pranks on each other and poking a little fun.
The combination feels like a travelogue meets sketch comedy with a little bit of Jackass sprinkled in.
“I am afraid that the only lessons that have been truly learned In the whole Watergate business are to avoid such idiocies as tapes and illegal, unwarranted break-ins, and to restrict the operation of the fortuitous and the random to the smallest possible area. I would be astonished if the real lesson of Watergate - the Actonian principle that all power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely - were other than forgotten utterly once a crowd-pleasing President with the kind of luster a John F. Kennedy had for academy, press, and the world of intellectuals generally comes back into the White House.”—
In this section he was talking about what he called the “transpolitical” or, as he puts it, a political tool that “goes beyond what law or morality authorizes…”
Nisbet was using Watergate as an example because he wrote the book during the Watergate scandal. But, he also cites other examples that go back at least to the 1970s.
If this book were written today I think he might include George Bush’s extrajudicial wiretapping of American citizens and Barack Obama’s Fast and Furious scandal to his list. And these more recent abuses of power, particularly Fast and Furious, are perfect examples of what Nisbet was trying to say and that is that government is not good at policing itself. It is only through accident that these scandals are ever discovered.