To no one will we sell, to none will we deny or delay, right or justice.
December 19, 2007 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Ross Perot auctions Magna Carta. Winner: The Carlyle Group

Lead up to the auction in September at this thread.
posted by butterstick (58 comments total)

 
Well, the winner is the founder of the Carlyle Group, but in that Guardian article he sounds like he's got the right idea and isn't just going to lock it in some vault.
posted by patricio at 11:41 AM on December 19, 2007


It's still just a goddamned piece of paper.
posted by psmealey at 11:41 AM on December 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


Advantage: Evil
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM on December 19, 2007 [7 favorites]


It was not purchased by the Carlyle Group. It was purchased by David Rubenstein individually.

But I'm guessing you don't give a shit about accuracy and were hoping to make some broader point.
posted by dios at 11:50 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


obligatory.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:52 AM on December 19, 2007


dios writes "But I'm guessing you don't give a shit about accuracy and were hoping to make some broader point."

You've gotta admit: that headline is like crack for conspiracy theorists.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:53 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


It was not purchased by the Carlyle Group. It was purchased by David Rubenstein individually.

But I'm guessing you don't give a shit about accuracy and were hoping to make some broader point.


Yes. The irony would just be too rich for you to take wouldn't it?
posted by Skygazer at 11:54 AM on December 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


It probably has the map to Merlins secret stash of Weapons of Magical Destruction on the back of it in invisible ink.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Previously
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:55 AM on December 19, 2007


You've gotta admit: that headline is like crack for conspiracy theorists.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:53 PM on December 19

I'd say "morons" but if you want to call them "conspiracy theorists" that's fine too.

All the more reason it shouldn't be on our beautiful front page. Makes us look like morons/conspiracy theorists too who can't distinguish between individual people and our little political archetypes.
posted by dios at 11:56 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


The joke's on them, you can download it from the internet!
posted by mullingitover at 12:01 PM on December 19, 2007 [5 favorites]


I thought the Magna Carter was a boat the pilgrims flew to Plymouth Rock.
posted by doctorschlock at 12:15 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


From the Guardian article: "...adding that he had arrived just minutes before the sale and very nearly missed out"

Maybe I'm just uptight and need to relax more, but I usually allow some extra time for any of my 21.3 million dollar purchases. You know, just in case traffic's bad.

I was actually hoping that it would be bought by somebody that wanted to keep it on display at the National Archives. I'm a sucker for original historical documents and am glad to see another one still in public view.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:16 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was determined to do what I could to see that the National Archives can continue to display this," Rubenstein said, noting that the 1297 document was the basis for both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
"I am really just a temporary custodian of it," said Rubenstein, adding that he would not have to travel far to see the document as his office is just a few hundreds yards from the National Archives.


Yup, sounds like evil to me.

Aside from what dios said, can I point out that the format of this post is stupid? There's no need to toss in superfluous links to explain who Ross Perot is (in case we didn't know) or what the (completely irrelevant) Carlyle Group is. It's a one-link newsfilter story; if you're afraid to post it as such, don't post it.
posted by languagehat at 12:22 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


You can point out whatever you like. See, watch this:

"It's kinda weird to see such an historical document getting traded between millionaires. Noteworthy even. Ironically, it may even be MORE accessible to the public now."

Fun!
posted by butterstick at 12:32 PM on December 19, 2007


Needs a link for Winner.
posted by Floydd at 12:40 PM on December 19, 2007


ahem, the real Winner
posted by patricio at 12:45 PM on December 19, 2007


I willing to bet they just burn it--they've already decided the country and the world shouldn't have habeas or other rights--only they and their corporate/industrial/political cohorts get rights.
posted by amberglow at 12:56 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was determined to do what I could to see that the National Archives can continue to display this," Rubenstein said, noting that the 1297 document was the basis for both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
"I am really just a temporary custodian of it," said Rubenstein, adding that he would not have to travel far to see the document as his office is just a few hundreds yards from the National Archives.

Yup, sounds like evil to me.


posted by languagehat at 3:22 PM on December 19

Fooled again languagehat, according to the financial times:


The news that David Rubenstein, co-founder of the private equity firm Carlyle, has bought a rare copy of the Magna Carta raises some concerns for the future.

People will be understandably worried at the thought of key human rights falling into private equity’s hands. Carlyle is a serious money-making machine and Mr Rubenstein will surely be looking for a good return on his £10.6m investment. After refinancing the debt and taking a £14m dividend he will set up a new management fees structure before rationalising the dozens of articles – many of which are overlapping. He is also understood to be exploring the acquisition of the US constitution, which would offer valuable synergies and cost savings.

After this, analysts expect that a number of the human rights will be spun off and sold separately. A consortium led by KKR and including Bain Capital is said to be interested in the property rights and common law entitlements.

Mr Rubenstein is also understood to be studying other cost-saving initiatives including outsourcing habeas corpus to China.

The Carlyle chief is expected to hold on to Magna Carta for about five years before “flipping” the deal, selling it on to Amnesty International for around £20m.

posted by shothotbot at 12:59 PM on December 19, 2007 [12 favorites]


People realize that just owning the piece of paper does not give the owner control of the laws written on it, right?
posted by Pastabagel at 1:04 PM on December 19, 2007


They got to you too, didn't they Pastabagel?
posted by shothotbot at 1:06 PM on December 19, 2007


I thought the Magna Carter was a boat the pilgrims flew to Plymouth Rock.

That was the el Nino, the Pinto and the Santa Marina. Get your facts straight.
posted by psmealey at 1:07 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


I was just going to say, Pastabagel. While obviously the document itself is a huge part of our history, it isn't written on some sort of voodoo parchment whereby, if it were to be burned, feudal lords would arrive out of nowhere and force us to till their fields.

Or IS it???

Oh wait, no it's not. Although voodoo parchment would be pretty cool.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 1:11 PM on December 19, 2007


At this special time of year, when we all join together in a spirit of peace and unity to celebrate the birth of Santa, can't we just all get along?
posted by blue_beetle at 1:21 PM on December 19, 2007


psmealey : That was the el Nino, the Pinto and the Santa Marina. Get your facts straight.

Oooh, I remember reading about that in school. The Santa Marina was the one that exploded if it was in a rear end collision, right?
posted by quin at 1:24 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


No that was the Ford Pinto. I don't think it floated too well either. Columbus hated it.
posted by Skygazer at 1:28 PM on December 19, 2007


"It's kinda weird to see such an historical document getting traded between millionaires. Noteworthy even. Ironically, it may even be MORE accessible to the public now."
posted by butterstick at 2:32 PM on December 19


See, that might have been an interesting post then, butterstick. Why didn't you make that instead of this steaming pile of shit you did make?

Because, see what happens is, when you editorialize like you did in order to make some dumb ass referential political snark, you end up with bullshit like this in your thread:

I willing to bet they just burn it--they've already decided the country and the world shouldn't have habeas or other rights--only they and their corporate/industrial/political cohorts get rights.
posted by amberglow at 2:56 PM on December 19


Because see, butterstick, a loud portion of Metafilter is incapable of doing things like reading the article and making distinctions and instead choose to run into the flames and play with hyperbole.
posted by dios at 1:31 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


That fapping noise, it's the sweet sound of Liberty.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:35 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Secret History of the Magna Carta
posted by homunculus at 1:37 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


The Financial Times: The news that David Rubenstein, co-founder of the private equity firm Carlyle, has bought a rare copy of the Magna Carta raises some concerns for the future.

People will be understandably worried at the thought of key human rights falling into private equity’s hands. Carlyle is a serious money-making machine and Mr Rubenstein will surely be looking for a good return on his £10.6m investment.


Dios: All the more reason it shouldn't be on our beautiful front page. Makes us look like morons/conspiracy theorists too who can't distinguish between individual people and our little political archetypes monsters.

Yes fixed that for you, because some people are so obtuse they fail to make any connections and see the deeper correlations of an issue because they go through life with their heads up their ass refusing to see that they have been used and lied too and continue to be apologists for political monsters and war criminals.

posted by Skygazer at 1:37 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I willing to bet they just burn it--they've already decided the country and the world shouldn't have habeas or other rights--only they and their corporate/industrial/political cohorts get rights.

Or alternatively they might want to burn it in order to raise the value of the others that they own by a factor of three.

The Carlyle Group: cornering the market in Magna Carta since 1066.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:39 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is it worth noting at all, that this is only one of several copies still in existence, and it was the only one in private hands? That Rubinstein is claiming that he will lend it to the National Archives is actually a step away from some of the axe-grinding going on here.

Nothing against axe-grinding in general, just on this topic, there's just not much to see here.
posted by psmealey at 1:41 PM on December 19, 2007


Yes fixed that for you,
posted by Skygazer at 3:37 PM on December 19


Do you realize that the Financial Time article you just quoted was a slanted op/ed screed?

Didn't think so. But good job looking like more of a dolt quoting it as fact.

The copy (some of you think this is the original and only written version that will be lost to history once its destroyed by the evil ones) was bought by a private individual (not the flipping corporation) and will be maintained at the National Archives. In other words, not a fucking thing just changed other than the fact that Ross Perot just got more money.

The fact that our readers are so dense and unwilling to think beyond their political passions is the reason why it is a disgrace to this site when someone posts some editorially inflamed post like this... and its the reason why it should certainly be deleted.
posted by dios at 1:45 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Take it to Metatalk already.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:48 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Things I could do with £10.6m.
* learn how to convert £ into $.
* pay bills
* donate at least ten percent to charity.
* help friends, family, neighbors, strangers.
* get drunk and have a party.
* get a laptop
* get my own server(s) and convince NCsoft to install City of Heroes on it. Or I could just buy Triumph off of them.
* buy art made by Val cuz she's teh awesum.
* go to Disneyland
* support this cuz these guys are cool.
* buy a house for my sister.
* move out of Texas.
* see a performance of the Royal Shakespearean Company in London.
* ask Janeane Garofalo out on a date and get turned down.
* be out of money in less than a year's time.
* end up in jail cuz, like Rich on Survivor, I woulda forgotten to pay my taxation without representation.

Things I could do with an old beat up copy of the Magna Carta.
* take notes on the back.
* fold it into a plane and fly it across the room.
* make a hat.


Wealth is wasted on the wealthy.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:53 PM on December 19, 2007 [5 favorites]


dios, I'm not sure what exactly is a "steaming shitpile" about the post, but feel free to take it to MeTa.

The only editorializing done in the post was the implication that The Carlyle Group was the winner of the auction. (Maybe the placard at the National Archives will read "Courtesy of David Rubenstein", but I suspect it could likely say "Carlyle Group" as well.) In fact, I like to think that the post is remarkably free of opinion, so I will not be assuming responsibility for whatever insecurities you would like to project on it.

Because see, butterstick, a loud portion of Metafilter is incapable of doing things like reading the article and making distinctions and instead choose to run into the flames and play with hyperbole.

Well said.

But on preview, deletion? Really?
posted by butterstick at 1:54 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


It is such a subtle shift from defending the rights of owners to defending the owner of the rights.
posted by srboisvert at 2:08 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


In fact, I like to think that the post is remarkably free of opinion

Indeed it is Butterstick. Seems to me you're not at fault here. This thread could've gone in any number of directions yet some people instantly percieve what a thread will look like, and then proceed to make it a self-fulfilling certainty with their rudeness and laughable sense of superiority and then as if that wasn't enough focus in on certain others they've bullied before (AG) just to get a rise out of them or a cheap shot and then they scream like little spoiled children when they get called out on it and stamp their wittle foot and demand that a post they fucked up get deleted.
posted by Skygazer at 2:08 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Howard Shultz should have bought it. Then we could all dump on him without anyone getting too upset.
posted by Artw at 2:13 PM on December 19, 2007


I hear you, dios. It's threads like these that will eventually make me stop visiting Metafilter. Not quite there yet, but darn close.
posted by saslett at 2:50 PM on December 19, 2007


So in essence: The Manga Carta! Boom! There it is! Boom! There it is!
Buy a Ford today in the USA! Ahhhh the Ford Pinto! Corinthian Leather!
BooM! w00T! Troll out....
posted by doctorschlock at 3:13 PM on December 19, 2007


MetaFilter: our readers are so dense.
posted by ericb at 4:37 PM on December 19, 2007


I'm having trouble understanding if it's a big joke or are there people that actually believe The Carlyle Group now owns the basic human rights listed in the Magna Carta? That has to be some horribly dry sarcasm I'm totally missing right? Because no one could be that fucking stupid, right?
posted by puke & cry at 4:45 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dios, I've found that Celexa really calms me down. Perhaps it's the season that's got you riled up, I don't know, but you've got to take a great big deep breath, remember that you're a warm little pumpkin seed of life living on a warm blue living planet, and just, y'know, chill.

The Carlyle Group can defend itself for a little while without you.
posted by John of Michigan at 4:49 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, I had to flag this post because you said the Carlye Group bought it, which isn't true. Also you do seem to be making a political point with your post title. The whole selling justice thing. And yes, I know thats from the Magna Carta but given your inaccuracy in the post it's pretty obvious the slant you were going with. That's how I read it anyway, could be wrong.
posted by puke & cry at 4:56 PM on December 19, 2007


I read it as a tongue-in-cheek bit of topical irony. But whatever.

What I really wanted to say, though, was:

"I, for one, reject our feudal voodoo overlords..."
posted by darkstar at 5:56 PM on December 19, 2007


My god, what has gone wrong with everyone's humor detection circuitry? Wankers, all of you.
posted by intermod at 6:23 PM on December 19, 2007


[a few comments removed - any more name calling needs to go straight to metatalk]
posted by jessamyn at 6:49 PM on December 19, 2007


Speaking as a humor detection circuit, I would please ask that you continue the petty bickering. Here or MeTa. Doesn't matter. I find it most entertaining.

[resists the urge to call jessamyn a doodiehead cuz she's only doing her job, tho he should outta principle, cuz it woulda been funny.]
posted by ZachsMind at 7:26 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


This isn't how I would've chosen to word the post, but vive la difference. Now, if I give everyone a free fedora, will they stop fighting?
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:30 PM on December 19, 2007


MetaTalk
posted by puke & cry at 3:03 AM on December 20, 2007


Do you realize that the Financial Time article you just quoted was a slanted op/ed screed?

It most certainly was NOT a slanted op ed!

It was satire.*

Also, unless amberglow is actually retarded I'm fairly confident that's what that comment was tongue in cheek as well.

Personally, I think no one is focusing on the real threat in this story:

not a [darn] thing just changed other than the fact that Ross Perot just got more money

We must keep money away from this scary, scary little man!

* If anything, it was slanted in the opposite direction, suggesting that anyone upset about this sort of thing was a total idiot, and dismissing the concern of many that corporations exercise too much control of people's lives. I don't think this event (the purchase of a collector's item) is an instance of Evil Corporations™, but I do believe that in this political climate corporations may end up having more rights than people.
posted by Deathalicious at 3:09 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Now, if I give everyone a free fedora, will they stop fighting?

Only if it's a Borsalino. I'm not wearing one of those Bush-electing Stetsons.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:18 AM on December 20, 2007


This is all fine and good, but will it blend?
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:15 AM on December 20, 2007


It will blend well, my son.
posted by Mister_A at 6:58 AM on December 20, 2007


It will blend well

It won't Wendell though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:13 AM on December 20, 2007


But I'm guessing you don't give a shit about accuracy and were hoping to make some broader point.

a bit like Bush and the invisible WMDs!
posted by matteo at 4:23 PM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


you see, man....

they want the magna whatsisname so they can like change it right? and then when they like own it and every other history shit you know we have they can say "nah man it weren't like that, man, you got like no rights man. we ownz you, right?"

so yeah good call out on this carlyle fella! yeah. is he the one from trainspotting?

ahem

sorry i just fail to care :(

posted by monkeyx-uk at 10:03 PM on December 20, 2007


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