15) Watching President Obama apologize for America's arrogance helped convince me that he has a deep-seated antipathy toward American values and traditions. His nomination of former Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh to be the State Department's top lawyer constitutes further evidence of his disdain for American values. Koh's "transnationalism" stands in contrast to good, old-fashioned notions of national sovereignty.

16) Eighty percent of Americans don't trust the federal government. We're seeing anger at all levels of our society. America is rapidly falling behind in education. We're attacking religion everywhere we find it. We're passing perverse laws. I believe that America, in going further and further away from religion, is making a horrific mistake. If a nation strips itself from having morals, then nothing — I repeat, nothing — will stop that nation from becoming a totally corrupt people over time.

Some passages have been edited for length. Prisoners' quotes come from letters and blog posts at betweenthebars.org and fromjail.com. To read the Talking Politics blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at dbernstein[a]phx.com. Follow him on Twitter @dbernstein.
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