Living In Interesting Times

It’s the Chinese curse, right?  Right?

One could probably gather by the tone and indeed the content of much of what I post here that I am rebellious.  Dissenting.  An outlier.  An iconoclast.

That is certainly not my self-image.  If I can say so without being considered grandiose, I would consider myself, while of humble station, one of the keepers of civilization.  I think all lawyers are that more than they are anything else.

Keeping civilization requires a certain amount of stability and continuity.  Not too much, and of course neither should be artificially manufactured through propaganda or force.  

Or what have you.  

So in the abstract I’ve often wondered whether the FBI should even exist.  A standing federal police force would have horrified the founders of the United States.  But the FBI’s been around a long time, it’s part of the culture and lexicon of the nation, and when it gets down to it I’m not sure I would vote to abolish it willy-nilly, or all at once, even though I lean towards the argument that it should eventually be shut down.

In other words, I think the continuation of a questionable law enforcement agency is preferable to the upheaval of abolishing it.  At least for now.  Of course I think there should be a conversation about these things.  Without people getting too emotional about, I should hope.

In any case, since even people like me consent to the FBI’s existence for the foreseeable future, I’d hazard a guess that the new Director of the FBI nominee – James Comey – is about as agreeable a choice as we can expect.  There is certainly nothing about him to offend notions of continuity and stability.  He’s got the usual pedigree.  Probably has more in the way of conscience than most, though with these lifelong Washington insiders it’s often hard to tell.

Chinese wisdom or no, I prefer uninteresting times, for myself and my children, and my children’s children.  Beyond that I am unwilling to speculate.


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