Category: Quote of the Week

The Responsibility of Freedom

Bob Dylan finally accepted his Nobel Prize

Quote of the Week:  I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom. –Bob Dylan

Freedom is not supposed to be easy.  It is not a gift.  Freedom is a responsibility; the responsibility to take part, actively, in the government of man and society, and in the amelioration of the evils and inequalities that surround us.  Freedom is the responsibility to understand what power is, who wields it, and how to take it for yourself and empower yourself and those around you to protect our mutual community, our resources, and our rights.  Freedom does not mean sitting idly by while hoping the government keeps off your back; freedom means being a governing power in and of yourself, being a politician as well as a private citizen, and respecting others’ rights and responsibilities to do the same.  Freedom is work; hard work.  If you think you do not have the time to do this, because you work for a living and have a family to take care of, imagine how you would work for a living and take care of your family if others came and took all your rights away – your rights to do the very things that you say keep you from being an actively engaged citizen.

The increasing divide in our political system is in part a result (among frankly many other things as well) of citizens ceasing to be citizens, preferring simply to be private people with no need to engage politically.  This is in part how we let political parties control our conversation, extremist politicians move us away from the center and from consensus, corporations to take our power and voices away while paying the government for the right to disenfranchise us.

Freedom means being an adult; taking time out of your busy day to understand that it is up to you – yes, YOU – to make our society better, our government better, our laws better, our corporations better, our community better.  It is a lot of work, and takes time that you could use to relax with your family and friends, and to watch television.  Just imagine how relaxing it is to live in a dictatorship, how relaxing it is to wonder if your neighbor overheard your innocuous snarky comment and is now informing on you to the secret police, how relaxing were the Holocaust and the Soviet purges – mass slaughters that devoured millions of non-political, private people who just wanted to be left alone by their government.  Being an adult is not about relaxing; it is about facing your responsibilities and moving forward.  Freedom expands those responsibilities to include being aware, active, and engaged in politics and in power.

Headline image of Bob Dylan by Getty Images, used in RTE, “Things have changed. Bob Dylan finally accepts Nobel Prize,” updated 3 April 2017.


After a Rough Week, A Joke

It’s been a rough week in the political world, so before we dive back in and examine the unpleasantness of it all, for this week’s Quote of the Week, we give you just a little joke. Have a good week.

Heaven Is Where:

The French are the chefs

The Italians are the lovers

The British are the police

The Germans are the mechanics

And the Swiss make everything run on time.


Hell is Where:

The British are the chefs

The Swiss are the lovers

The French are the mechanics

The Italians make everything run on time

And the Germans are the police.

The original author of the joke is unknown.  There have, by the way, been some modified versions (for example, having the French and Italians exchange their roles in “Heaven”), but you get the point.

The Real Soldiers of Political Struggle

Quote of the Week:  Ethics, decency, and morality are the real soldiers. -Kiran Bedi

The first woman to join India’s Police Service (and a police advisor in the Peacekeeping Forces of the United Nations) reminds us that how we struggle is just as important as the values for which we struggle.  This election year has seen an escalation in violence, and in angry and invective rhetoric, which discredits all those who use such tactics.  Not just between the two parties, but even within both Democratic and Republican parties, the ugliness of attacks on candidates and their supporters by supporters of opposing candidates has muddied the moral battleground of political struggle.

The methods that political actors use in their struggle for power are not merely tools for achieving power; they are indications of what said actors would do with power if they achieve it.  That Sanders supporters (and, according to one Politico report, the Senator himself) have used tired Republican attacks on Hillary Clinton (including the nonsensical nothingness of the “emails” controversy, about which even Sanders said he was “sick and tired of hearing”), shows what a Sanders “revolution” would have looked like had it gained the nomination.  A Sanders campaign in the general election may well have turned from the morality of making our nation a better place into a more anger-laden, “holier than thou” crusade that would have turned our American conversation on the role of government into a scorched ruin.  While Clinton usually did speak with reserve about her rival for the nomination, her supporters often attack “Sandernistas” and the values of democratic socialism.  Such attacks ignore the fact that the leftist goals that have made America a better place (union-based power for the workers in their relations with their employers, controls on working conditions, minimum wages, Social Security and Medicare) all derive from socialism and are primary goals of socialism.  We on the Left need to get more comfortable with citing and embracing our socialist heritage as a uniquely American heritage.

From the other side of the partisan divide, the apocalypse of scorched-earth rhetoric is still looming, as Trump supporters care nothing for courtesy or accuracy in their attacks, and openly attack (verbally and even physically) those who show up to their rallies for reasons other than supplicating the candidate with worshipful adoration.  The Republicans’ flirtation with a totalitarian cult of personality is truly disturbing and threatens the final degeneration of the Republican party’s remaining moral reserve.

Now that the contest is moving past the primary phase into a general contest between the achievements, values, and vision of Hillary Clinton and her Democratic allies (including, it should be hoped, Senator Sanders); and the empty rhetoric and pep-rally antics of Trump and his Republican enablers; Clinton has the chance to demonstrate her leadership superiority through a more reserved and policy-driven campaign.  Such a campaign will speak nothing at all to the base of Trump’s supporters; who are not going to be moved by anything short of a racist vision of 1950’s America as their rallying point.  Instead, a campaign of ceaseless supremacy over Trump’s policy immaturity can work to build an alliance with the forces of conservative moderation, who cannot see in Trump anything resembling a conservative vision of controlling taxes and government expansion, or making government an effective area for dialogue and coordination with private markets and personal initiative.

Conservatives need to be reminded (as do some of the less experienced of Sanders’s supporters) about the values of the American City on a Hill, a society respectful of its members’ values, diversity, and faith; a society striving to build the community into a greater whole and more perfect union.  These values are the ultimate soldiers who will win an American political contest, if the victor is to direct the nation forward in accordance with our traditions and our historical legacy.  Otherwise, a resort to spite, distrust, paranoia about government conspiracy, and a weakening of governance and infrastructure will push the nation backwards, into poverty and global impotence.  If our nation is to survive and to protect both its own people and the disenfranchised of the world, we must empower the real soldiers in the fight: ethics, decency, and morality.

Headline image from, Inspirational story of Kiran Bedi – India’s first IPS officer.


On Fools and Their Chains

Quote of the WeekIt is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. –Voltaire

The problem with short, pithy one-liners is that they do not delve deep enough to spotlight the complexity that underscores a seemingly simple reality.  Voltaire’s oft-quoted contribution can be (and is) used by holders of any political viewpoint to attack all others, decrying each other as “fools” revering their “chains.”  A Nazi could have used the line against a Communist or democrat; a Communist would eagerly see a connection between the “chains” and Marx’s exhortation to workers to break their chains.  American Democrats can use this line against Republicans, and Republicans against Democrats.  Clinton supporters could use the line against Sanders supporters, and vice versa.

The truth, however, is that it is not adherents of any single ideology who “revere” their chains.  Instead, fools end up on all sides of political questions; each with a different set of chains that they revere, each convinced that the rest are the fools.  The trick to not being a fool is to notice the chains around you; and to push yourself, your politics, your community, and your candidate to help you to free yourself from your own chains.

We find fools revering their chains behind all sides of the 2016 American presidential election.  Those advocating for Senator Bernie Sanders are fools for failing to see in their enthusiasm that Sanders is neither an ideal candidate who could beat an energized Republican attack on his socialist beliefs, nor is he the perfect Leftist.  Like that of his chief rival, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Sanders’s legislative record is liberal, but shows a willingness at times to compromise with conservatives.  There is not quite the universe of sunlight between the two Democratic finalists that Sanders supporters believe there to be.

Furthermore, by threatening to break up the liberal polity, or to take their votes to third parties or waste them away on writing in Sanders, they do not have the numbers to get what they want but they do have the numbers to keep the Democrats from defending the powers of the presidency from the Republicans.  Despite their attacks on establishment Democrats, Democrats have consistently pushed and continue to push a liberal agenda forward, eking out a moderate construction of our City on a Hill despite the conservatives’ attacks on the City.  A failure of Sanders supporters to unite behind the Democratic flag will hurt their own interests and goals more than those of any other group, ushering in a firmer shift to the Right and away from Sanders’s vision of a progressive society.  In their enthusiasm, Sanders supporters are threatening to solidify their own and our nation’s chains.

Clinton supporters instead savor the comfort of chains to their at best minimally left-leaning progressivism.  While Clinton, as Secretary of State, did push a number of progressive issues forward (women’s health and emancipation, the freedom of gender identity, the voices of non-governmental advocates for democratization like Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, etc.), she also wavered on trade deals which threaten to increase globalization and decrease American job growth and economic independence.  There is a dangerous tendency in Clinton and her supporters (and to Sanders as well, even if his supporters fail to see it) to settle for what progress we can sneak past the corporate establishment, while empowering that establishment further with greater wealth and status at our own expense.  Clinton needs to be pushed often and fiercely to remember her liberal credentials (which are just as legitimate as those of Sanders, even if she has connections pushing her in other directions).

Between the Democratic varieties of fools, Clinton supporters need to embrace the more progressive vision of Sanders, cease deriding “Sandernistas” and “socialists,” and remember that socialism is ultimately about empowering workers to fight for their rights – a message that the Democratic Party often at least pretends to espouse.  Sanders supporters need to realize that they are of much the same ilk as are Clinton supporters; and that as such, both candidates’ supporters lose out if Trump is elected in November.

Trump supporters are their own unique type of fool, many (like some Sanders supporters) new to the field of spectator politics.  Trump’s supporters have failed to read Trump’s own statements (conveniently available on his website), which promise both to hurt their political interests and to raise their taxes for the pleasure.  An alleged billionaire who shipped jobs to China, lost fortunes of his inherited wealth, and profiteered off of those losing their homes in the housing market collapse, is nonetheless convincing the uninformed that he is a populist who will fight his business partners and friends on Wall Street, bring back jobs to the US (now that it has become politically correct for him to be interested, and despite not having any actual plans for doing so), and will help them now instead of profiting off of their losses as he has always done in the past.  The people most hurt by Trump’s business practices and lifestyle are the very ones building his movement.  They do not merely revere their chains; they worship the man who made those chains, and shout that he is now going to set them free.  One could almost love them for their optimism and simplicity, were it not for their vehement racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and anti-intellectualism.

A final type of fool likely to play a role in November is the one who will withdraw from the whole process and just avoid voting entirely.  The republican (small “r”) ideal depends on citizens taking responsibility for themselves, for their families, and for their communities, by ensuring that elected officials are responsible to them through the electoral process.  Those who leave the thinking and decision-making to others are the first ones to complain that their schools are “failing,” that the US goes to war at the drop of a hat, that their income is stagnating, that their government is corrupt and unconcerned about their issues.  We expect adults to care for themselves, we expect parents to care for their children, and we expect citizens to care for their cities, states, and nation.  Those who do not vote are largely responsible for the disappointments of all of us, voters and non-voters alike.  These fools have failed to recognize their own responsibility for undoing their chains through the electoral process and through civic action.  They wear the chains of convenience instead of assuming the inconvenience of civic responsibility.

Which type of fool will you be?  This list is clearly not exhaustive, but simply recognizes that all of us ultimately are fools of one sort or another (especially in the eyes of the other fools around us).  Try to recognize that your own brand of foolishness helps you to revere some form of chain or another; and remember that we are all of us fools in chains together.

Headline image, Voltaire, by William Blake (c. 1800) from Wikimedia Commons.

Labor: the Source of Capital

Quote of the Week:  Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.  – Abraham Lincoln, December 1861.

Abraham Lincoln reminds us of the labor-based and socialist origins of the Republican Party (something that would make current Republicans shudder, were they to own up to the ideological origins of their organization).  Horace Greeley, who had helped push the socialist agenda in the US during the 1830s, later served as a formative leader of the early Republican movement; and the party’s platform through the 1860s was solidly pro-labor and generally distrustful of the growing power of corporate wealth, which was then beginning to transform American economics and social structure.

Lincoln’s words also remind us that capital, and capitalism, were products of labor transforming from artisanal and agricultural work into paid industrial service to business owners.  Humans have always labored; but capital was a new growth from the industrial revolution.  Capital is not always evident or strong; as we can see in the difficulties that Russia has had transforming itself from a communist economy into a capitalist one.  For there to be a strong capitalist economy, there first needs to be capital as the centerpiece for the organization of production.

Ultimately, the greatest weakness of capitalism lies in the weakness of capital.  Capital is subject to gross fluctuations which shock the economy and break the ability of the middle and lower classes to save money.  It took the federal government in the US until the 1930s to decide finally that it needed to manage these fluctuations to prevent further disasters like the Great Depression.  The American political landscape has wavered from its dedication to protecting the non-wealthy from the weaknesses of capital; and in that lack of dedication lie the roots of frustration underlying the vitriolic fights of the 2016 election year.

To restore confidence in both the economy and in our political system, the US needs to restore its faith in and dedication to our organized labor movement, and to a federally based, Keynesian management of the economy.

Headline image from open domain, via Google Search.

Will Edison, or Marx, or Both Prove Right on Big Energy?

Quote of the Week:  We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. –Thomas Edison

Over a century ago, the controversial technology developer (some would say, “inventor,” while others might hedge at that title) Thomas Edison evoked his hope that man would not limit himself to destructive and extracted energy sources when there was unlimited natural energy all around us.  His conflicts with Tesla over alternative energy schemes notwithstanding, and leaving aside the morality of some of Edison’s own approaches to business and corporatism, this specific Edisonian vision has been betrayed by the energy corporations that today live in his shadow.

Energy companies themselves should be at the forefront of green energy research and implementation, and they would be if they did not suffer from a myopia that afflicts most American corporations.  Corporations are all too wedded to the quarterly profits and the stock-market values of their stock shares, to look into the future and invest in their own success.  If and when green energy supplants oil and coal, those companies that today profit the most from extracted energy ought to have ensured their own survival by spearheading the transformation to green energy.  But that takes a corporate vision that is beyond the quarter-to-quarter profit motivation of American corporatism.  Instead of a steady transformation that protects the economy, the environment, and the corporations’ own stockholders, there will likely be a market disaster as coal and oil become suddenly too expensive and limited in quantity to provide the world’s increasing hunger for power.  Some forward thinkers will make a fortune; and some old money will disappear into the coffers of the new.  In the meantime, of course, those less wealthy people who had mistakenly invested their savings in old energy may find their retirement savings gone and their lives financially ruined.

The corporate myopia is also related to “financialization,” as major corporations worldwide invest fewer resources into research and put greater resources into stock buybacks to artificially inflate their own market share values.  Overall, business is becoming less enamored of research and more enamored of artificial devices to put greater stock values into the hands of the stockholders – and to concentrate those stocks into fewer, richer hands.  Karl Marx’s predictions for the potentials that capitalism has for destroying itself have outlived the communist movement that he helped create.  The fall of communism notwithstanding, corporatism is becoming ever more the corrupt, inefficient system that Marx criticized.  Capitalism’s increasingly apparent inability to solve problems, to create jobs, and to make people’s lives better may yet generate a new methodology for economics in the future.

Extracted energy suffers from a dilemma, in that increasing energy extraction competes with food and water resources (through environmental degradation and through the need for water to push resources out of the ground).  On the other hand, increasing food and water production require ever-increasing energy availability.  The world’s rapidly growing middle classes want energy, food, and water in ever greater quantities; and the only way to assure those needs in the long run is by switching our energy systems to non-extracted energy; to wind, sun, and other systems as hoped for by Thomas Edison.  Who will win in the end – Marx with his predictions for the end of capitalism; or Edison with his hopes for the transformation of energy?  Or will capitalism’s end help to finally enable a transformation to green energy?  The 21st century offers us both an opportunity to make our world better through innovative technologies like green energy, and a danger of what may happen if we do not.

Headline image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain images.

The Future of Religion and Bowling

Quote of the Week:  What I want to happen to religion in the future is this: I want it to be like bowling. It’s a hobby, something some people will enjoy, that has some virtues to it, that will have its own institutions and its traditions and its own television programming, and that families will enjoy together. It’s not something I want to ban or that should affect hiring and firing decisions, or that interferes with public policy. It will be perfectly harmless as long as we don’t elect our politicians on the basis of their bowling score, or go to war with people who play nine-pin instead of ten-pin, or use folklore about backspin to make decrees about how biology works. –PZ Myers

This week, Spark! is letting the Quote of the Week sit on its own, since there is no need to add further thoughts to this one.  Reflect, and have a good week!

Image from Wikipedia user Mark Schierbecker: “PZ Myers presents his talk,’You, too, can know more molecular genetics than a creationist!’ at Skepticon in 2014.

The Unmentioned Genius That Drives Our World

Quote of the Week:  Biographical history, as taught in our public schools, is still largely a history of boneheads: ridiculous kings and queens, paranoid political leaders, compulsive voyagers, ignorant generals, the flotsam and jetsam of historical currents. The men who radically altered history, the great creative scientists and mathematicians, are seldom mentioned if at all. –Martin Gardner

It is all too easy, as Gardner effectively warns us, to focus (in both history and in current events, especially of a political nature) on specific political actors, or on other individuals who represent a tiny minority of the people who manage to change the world in some way.  Mathematicians and scientists are lauded by their own institutional structures, like the Field Prize and Nobel Prizes, and are published in journals read mostly by specialists in the same field.  But few people outside the realm of science and mathematics are ever aware of more than a very tiny few leaders of these fields.  This, in part, helps to explain the “revolutionary” nature of modern technology.  People unaware of what our best minds are thinking only learn about such things when some shiny new toy can be ordered from Amazon that makes use of new science and new knowledge – and even then, we understand the device, but not the science behind it (and we then have detailed but inaccurate debates about our toys during moments like the recent fight between the FBI and Apple over iPhone encryption).

But besides not understanding our devices, our disconnect from everything that makes our modern lives possible also threatens our ability to impact and control our modern lives.  For example, conservatives pretend to “debate” on climate change, an issue that is far past the point of debate for those who understand anything at all about the science involved.  There is no debate; just people who understand what is happening, and people who do not but think that a coal company’s paid spokesperson “speaks the truth” in calming the voices of alarm about our increasingly obvious damage to our environment.  If more people understood science, and knew about more actual scientists and their work, there would not be any pretension to a “debate” between the knowing and the ignorant.  We would have produced and implemented policies now only envisioned by those who are close to the subject and cognizant of the basic facts and processes.

Although our schools need a much more diverse program, teaching not just STEM courses, but social sciences, culture, and languages, the focus on STEM does come from a need that is increasingly unfulfilled – the need for a 21st century labor force and citizenry that understand the modern world in which they live.  Part of that need involves teaching a greater awareness about the scientists and mathematicians who helped to make that world, and their ideas which are driving the technological revolution.  We need to focus our resources on education to a degree far beyond what we are doing now, teach science and math and an appreciation for the processes and pioneers leading our scientific and mathematical progress.  Those who have, and are, and will be radically altering our world need far more recognition – as do their ideas, their processes of discovery, and the results of the knowledge that they have given to us.

Headline image from BBC News; “How to stop the brain-teasers set by a top puzzle master,” 24 October 2014 (© 2016 BBC).

Politics and Hatred

Henry Adams seated at desk in dark coat, writing, photograph by Marian Hooper Adams, 1883.jpg

Quote of the Week:  Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds. –Henry Adams

Often, when working up a Quote of the Week, I see some obvious connection between the words in front of me and the latest outrage from Trump or one of his Republican competitors.  It is easy – and some readers may already have done so – to see the “systematic organization of hatreds” that is expressed by Trump’s “whites only,” misogynistic dreams for a pre-Civil Rights America.  However it is harder to realize the intent of the words of Adams (he of the family of John and John Quincy, Charles, and other politicians and intellectuals) – especially the words, “whatever its professions.”  Unfortunately, hatred is not an exclusively conservative or Republican “value,” tool, or reality.

As a new blogger trying to build an audience and readership, I have joined the Twitterverse, where I “follow” and am “followed by” many on, more or less, the same side of the partisan divide.  I am disheartened almost every time I open Twitter to see the hatred expressed not so much by the Democratic candidates for each other (especially considering how closely the two have been allied in the past), but by those supporting one candidate or the other.  There is ample hatred, and the organization of such by unofficial and unasked “voices” of the two candidates, by Clinton supporters against “BernieBots,” and by Sanders supporters against “$hillary.”  The #BernedOut and #NeverHillary pages are active indeed with vitriol directed against both candidates from those acting as voices for the other.

And yet, when looking reasonably at the policy proposals of both Democratic candidates, there is (as in fact both have themselves said, multiple times – were anyone to bother to listen) more connecting their visions and solutions than separating them.  There is a difference more in how hard they want to hit the accelerator, than in which direction to turn the steering wheel.  But they both see the car taking much the same road, to the same direction – the construction of our “shining City on a Hill,” of a community of care and welfare, of a united community of diverse cultures and ideas.  And while, as the nomination battle deepens, both candidates (especially Sanders, on the losing end of the fight for delegates) have an interest in spotlighting their differences, they also (especially Clinton, already moving on to a greater contest with Trump and the other party) have an interest in keeping, as much as possible, those on the Left united rather than divided.  The candidates see, even if the less learned and more puritanical of their followers do not, that nothing will be gained for either of them if their two forces do not unite in November.

Nonetheless, there remains the problem of the “discomfort of thoughtful politics,” and the 140-character superficialization of Twitter politics definitely encourages sound-bite simplicity at the expense of thought, nuance, and depth.  The angry, unsure against whom to direct their anger, are on both sides of the political divide; and their anger and hatred are all too easily organized by political voices of both the Left and Right.  If we on the Left are to make a claim at being the more rational of the two sides, or to have the better solutions, we need to look past petty bickering and differences, and to redeem the greater vision of the City on a Hill, the goal of both traditional Democrats like Hillary Clinton and more radical voices like Bernie Sanders.  And if we are to unite the nation – and that means bringing the other side with us – we need also to look at real policy differences and solutions that recognize the fuller spectrum of American thought, and the realities of the American political landscape.  We need to organize, without organizing (or encouraging) hatred.

Headline image by Marian Hooper Adams (1843–1885) – Massachusetts Historical Society, Public Domain.

What Do Conservatives Understand About Gender? Not Much, Really…

Quote of the Week:  I’m not a woman / I’m not a man / I am something that you’ll never understand. -Prince

Hey, we’re back!  Spark! took a little break, but we’ve returned to ponder the connection between a couple of things that have been plaguing our world for the past few weeks.  The recent death of musician Prince (or “the artist formerly known as…”) gives us pause to reflect on his art and on his message while he was among those less Purple.  Specifically, notwithstanding a later more evangelical posture, Prince’s play on sexuality and androgyny draws a closer look at morally unseemly approaches to legislation enacted in North Carolina (“I’m looking at you, HB2!”), and being considered in other states like South Carolina, Tennessee, and Michigan.  Conservatives are once again attacking individual freedom by declaring the gender listed on people’s birth certificates to be permanent and mandatory gender identities for the purpose of using public restrooms.

Such squeamishness flies in the face (as with many things conservative) of actual science, particularly of recent research showing that the XX and XY chromosomes are not the only forces at work in determining biological gender.  In fact, gender has far more range when looked at from the point of view of genes like the masculine conditioning gene SRY (which usually but not exclusively attaches to the Y chromosome), or the sometimes feminine conditioning gene DAX1.  When someone with XX chromosomes has a strong attachment of SRY to their chromosomes, they may develop some male traits and some female traits (including a confusing mix of internal and/or external reproductive organs); and other confusing things can happen when DAX1 operates abnormally.  All of this means that there are, in fact, many “men” and “women” (so their birth certificates would have us believe) who, genetically (and sexually) are “not a woman/not a man… [but instead] something that you’ll never understand.”  However, the GOP now wants to mandate that whatever these people’s birth doctors or nurses jotted down in the “gender” slot on the birth certificate is now a permanent and unalterable gender identity, whatever may be happening to the contrary in their genes and chromosomes, inside their bodies or just on the outside.  And such birth certificates can be used to deny changes made by surgeons and hormones to help people to find their identity in a world where people are expected to operate within a predetermined gender-based role.

How about a better idea?  A hotel in Durham, North Carolina is simply bypassing the need to use a particular gender-identified restroom with signs like this:

21c Museum Hotel has posted new signs outside its public bathrooms in response to a controversial state law.

Headline image via Google Image Search.