Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Do what they will is already the law

By Capt. Fogg

Seems we're being advised from the peanut gallery that nice old Unca Sam isn't really tapping our phones, faxes and e-mails and we're all a bunch of deranged Bush haters. Well golly, whaddaya know! It's kind of hard to reconcile that idea with the news that even more of the information we thought was confidential is on file and is now being collected, mined and assembled by State governments to be used for whatever purpose they wish. Relax, it's worse than you thought.

State "fusion centers" now have information that includes unlisted cell phone numbers, insurance claims, driver's license photographs, credit reports and even have access to top-secret data systems at the CIA. The fusion centers also have subscriptions to information systems that provide information on Americans' locations, financial holdings, associates, relatives and firearms licenses according to Raw Story.
"There is never ever enough information when it comes to terrorism"
remarked Maj. Steven G. O'Donnell, deputy superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, in a comment to the Washington Post's Robert O'Harrow. There's also never, it seems, any limit to who we put on a list of suspects or how much prying we can do.

Terrorists are everywhere! Millions and millions of them. We're all suspects and that should be close enough to any definition of a police state to scare any real conservative or Liberal. If it doesn't scare you, you're neither of those, you're either a rank coward or an authoritarian or both. If there's never enough information, there's never any freedom. If there's never a limit to information collecting, there's never a limit to government power, whether it's the State of Rhode Island or the Federal Government that enables it.

I'll surely be attacked by some deranged Republican lickspittle for irrationally pinning it all on George Bush, but I'm not. I can't forget that the administration's attitude about probable cause or due process has been a breakthrough for Government authority, but I recognize that the buck never stopped with Bush. It never stopped until it was in the pocket of some foreign national or offshore corporation. No, I'm pinning it on the cowards who sold America and gave away the dream of liberty for a false promise of security. I'm pinning it on the anti-intellectual underclass looking for someone to pander to them, to the single issue religious mafia, to the people who just don't want to be bothered and think it's enough to put out more flags and cheer on the occupation. George Bush is only the symptom - you're the disease.


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Blogger QueersOnTheRise said...

All right, Fogg. You win. When it comes to national security issues, I'm afraid I am an authoritarian. And when Anon was no longer permitted, I used instigator and AAA to be a wise-ass. My best, of ourse, was forobama08 - that one had you all fooled.

One thing you have declared me to be several times is stupid. By any standard definition of intelligence, I assure you I am far from that. I'm actually quite intelligent, if I do say so myself. I also have no doubt that your I.Q. is quite high, likely higher than mine. Really, you and most all of the other contributors to this blog write extremely well and you vocabulary, in particular, is vast.

It would be pointless to tell you my actual name, because it would be, in any substantive way, completely non-revelatory.

I will only say this: like millions of other Americans, I am married with children. I have a mortgage and car payments. I pay private school tuitions because our public schools just can't suck enough, as Don Imus mught say. But no, I am not concerned if the government finds out that my child has checked out "Make Way for Ducklings" from the local library. I myself had the nerve to check out a biograpghy on Che Guevara a couple of years ago. No one came "a-ringin." Maybe it's because they knew I wanted proof that he was a ruthless, muderous bastard, very similar indeed to George Walker Bush. I'm very sorry, indeed, if I and countless millions of other Americans disappoint you.

I'm bored now and need to try to break this blogosphere addiction. A good 12-step program may help.

12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

You seem to be exactly the same kind of self centered, but well intentioned person who customarily supports dictators out of the love of security. It's a large group.

Yes the chances of you in particular being tossed in jail for reading abut Che are minimal. I do recall back in the 50's being refused access to Das Kapital by a librarian, but that was an authoritarian, McCarty era.

Of course that doesn't mean thousands of tourists, domestic and foreign aren't being hassled for no good effect and that doesn't mean that the very few and primitive attempts at attack haven't been stifled by ordinary law enforcement without need for special Executive powers far beyond constitutional limits. The old trope that the innocent have nothing to fear is far scarier than Osama ever could be, in my opinion. As a retired police officer I know once said "if we want to stop you we will always have a good reason." I'm not in favor of giving them even more reasons.

Governments tend to seek such things and to resist giving them up, and even if Bush isn't Hitler or Stalin or Mao or Mussolini nor even close, any step in that direction is a danger. Any weakening of the constitutional framework that has kept us out of the hands of dictators even when the people want a king seems dangerous to me. I wouldn't want a Democrat to have such powers as Bush has accumulated and I would resist that with the same anger.

It seems revealing that the party that has campaigned all through my lifetime for smaller government, less powerful executive branches and fiscal responsibility, has delivered the exact opposite while railing endlessly against "tax and spend" Democrats. I cannot understand why Republicans remain loyal in the face of continuous abuse.

I'm a diehard capitalist - big time - and an advocate of efficient government, balanced budgets and a fierce believer in individual rights in the face of the need of the State to investigate without limit. Our current administration is demonstrably opposed to all of that and I don't think I'm deluded or deranged for thinking that the only State that can provide perfect security is a police state and that it's better to take the tiny risk of some Saudi lunatic harming me than the bigger risk of the kind of fascism democracies often fall prey to.

1:42:00 PM  

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