Friday, January 19, 2007

Fredo and the Buffet: A Morality Tale

There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there’s a prohibition against taking it away. . . . the Constitution doesn’t say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended. -- Alberto Gonzales

Once upon a time, immediately after the glorious days of King George I, a court jester known by the name of Fredo found himself out of a job. He examined the various opportunities available to him and decided to open a restaurant.

In The Free World, there was no better guarantee of success with consumers than to allure them with the promise of plenty. So Fredo made a sign advertising an "All-You-Can-Eat Buffet: Only $9.99."

The night of the grand opening, more than a hundred eager customers arrived, paid the cashier, and seated themselves at their tables, awaiting the unveiling of the buffet tables. When the gold-woven linens were lifted, the guests were astonished to see that the trays were empty.

"Where is the food?" they asked Fredo.

Fredo responded, "You all paid to enter so that I would let you have all you can eat. I did not say that I would provide the food."

And they all lived hungrily ever after.