Quote Originally Posted by rob19 View Post
Being indefinitely detained is not an ethereal concept though, itís a tangible reality.
It's an ethereal concept to anyone who considers themselves a normal, law abiding citizen.

Suppression of journalism, activism, protesting, & free-speech, are all corporeal realities. Do you recall what Rand Paul said about the possibility of a government that could detain citizens over disagreements? No one wants that. No one should even want that mechanism to be in place.
Yes, I remember him saying that. I've seen no evidence he is being accurate, though.

The way the Occupy protesters were treated was horrible. But I'm not sure you can blame the Patriot Act or the NDAA for it. Sad as it is, it's not very far out of line with how large scale protests have been treated throughout American history, no matter how centralized the power of the federal government at the time. Have you ever heard of the Bonus Army?


Iím sure you personally though donít believe the government is spying on us in order to protect us; that is such a crock of **** notion. In the words of Stephen Fry; ďThe riotous, chaotic freedom we enjoy, which causes so much of a headache for all of us, is infinitely better than the rigidity of tyranny & controlĒ.
I don't buy the notion that it actually protects us, but I do think that's the motive. Perhaps I'm just naive, but I don't buy this notion that we're on the way to becoming Eurasia with cameras in our houses watching us every second. I don't buy, in other words, that it's control for control's sake. Many do, but far more people reference 1984 than have actually read it, I've found. It's one thing to believe that John Ashcroft deliberately manipulated the terrorism readiness status for political gain in 2004 (which I think has merit), but it's a whole different thing to believe 9/11 was an inside job, which is just stupid.

I think what we have is a bunch of people in power extremely concerned about our safety and not so concerned about our freedom. And up to a point, I think the public is behind them. It doesn't speak for where I draw the line but I can empathize. I do have the feeling a sort of critical mass is being reached with the TSA, though. For the first time in years the ratio of drivers to fliers on Thanksgiving actually grew, despite high gas prices.

I'm with Fry, though, on his general point... though I think he squeezes it somewhat to tilt to his side of the argument. Take it back to gun control, for example. It's inarguable that it's a form of tyranny, yet why do I think Fry is likely to support it? Because it's one thing to be in favor of "riotous, chaotic freedom" when it's all fun and games but quite another when you look at how often guns in the home purchased for "protection" end up killing the people who live there, either purposefully or accidentally, rather than intruders. It's one thing to be glib about it and another to support a freedom knowing how many people will die as a result of it. Seat belt laws are a perfect example of this, the very definition of a "nanny state" kind of law. But how many people would die every year if those laws were repealed?

The only sensible way to look at these issues is to go one at a time and argue them on the merits. But that also means dropping the sloganeering and notions of adamantine overarching principle I see coming from libertarians all too often.

Hereís my feeling on this; why even have a constitution if we find ourselves not abiding by it, disregarding, or contradicting it in terms of our policy? Do I personally believe persons with schizophrenia or armed assault charges should be able to buy firearms? No. Does it prohibit this in the constitution? Also no. Should we amend it more frequently to address some of these issues so thatís itís no longer a point of contention or interpretation? Absolutely. I believe it should be respected more than it currently is, & I believe it should be modified to reflect modern concerns with far more frequency.
It should be easier to amend but beware a Constitution that's too easy to amend. One of the virtues of an independent judiciary and a set of bedrock principles are the check they represent against the mob mentality.

The appeals process is long and doesn't stop or change the initial act, but once the heat of the moment has passed justice is eventually done. Look at the Korematsu case, which I've referenced before. He was arrested as a fugitive from the internment camps and lived long enough to have the governement apologize to him and die a civil rights hero.