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Fritz Feds

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Morality in Government

[Suggested Soundtrack: Gilberto, Gilberto, and Getz, "Aguas de Marco" (accounting for the somewhat calm state I'm in right now after watching a great National Championship game)]

The NSA thing is the latest thing to pop up. Everything I read seems to suggest to me that this was a monumentally bad idea, whether it was illegal (perhaps), unconstitutional (probably not), or immoral (deep waters). Let me just point out a perhaps unoriginal observation. All of a sudden, the constitution is the most important document out there for those on the left. "No latitude must be given to government to overstep its bounds! We will never get those freedoms back!" & etc. Interesting in that those liberals are often those most in favor of a "growing and living" constitution, that stretches to allow governmental growth. Last time I checked the liberty to possess a firearm, worship freely, and have control over my own property were at least as essential as the liberty to talk on the phone with nobody listening, but I digress. Lest I offend the two other bloggers who visit us, I must also point out that I'm rather disgusted with the Republican party right now as well for this whole matter. Corruption, the natural end of government, has infected the Republican party who originally campaigned as new brooms, but have ended up as dirty as anyone else.

However, I'm going to bypass this whole excrement-flinging donnybrook, and go to what I consider the heart of the matter. Because legality is a nebolous concept, and easily twistable. Constitutionality shouldn't be, but is, about the most easily ignored concept in government. But is (as the inflamed rhetoric claims) "the person who is willing to give up liberty for security deserving of neither" (a claim that seems facially stupid), or is "the life of man outside of the protection of government nasty, brutish, and short" (which being hobbesian, I also detest). I think there does need to be a balance here, and that's where a balance of powers is absolutely essential. Certainly we were attacked, and the attackers still pose a threat. Barring the executive from any secretive actions such as these out of hand/condemning them as high treason, seem to me to be overreactions of the first order. Sometimes danger does necessitate a strong hand at the helm. Then again, some checks are definately necessary, even in today's highly politicized environment. The simple truth is that some liberties must be given up, but only with the highest degree of cynicism. Sure, some will argue that Lincoln suspended habeas, FDR basically used the constitution for toilet paper, and we seem to have come out all right. But the problem is that both of those situations concerned easily definable wars, and the liberties (especially in FDR's case) didn't come right back, or in some cases, didn't come back at all.

My basic idea is this. Cut some of these illegality. The courts would probably have granted warrants if these were as slam dunk as is said. I think most of the terrorists, citizens and non-citizens need some element of due-process. The government would be better served to simply clean up its legal spy networks, cut way down on illegal immigration by suspected terrorists, and then simply get some deterrence working. Once convicted, why not waterboard, break thumbs, and arrange the pyramids. I'm one of those that think you give up almost all of your societal rights when you commit a crime (so don't let felons vote). But anyway, back to my screed. Yes, I'm suggesting some torture. But I do think it could be done a better way. People are in awe of Al Qaueda and its peers right now. "They can't be deterred! They're bent on death!" Therefore, the pacifists suggest mollifying them to procure "peace in our time". Give 'em Palestine. After all, Spielberg says the Israeli's and Palestinians are morally equivilent. And hey, we hate the "neo-cons" anyway, because they're good at making money, cry the Left. (And yes, I am accusing the left of possessing an undercurrent of anti-semitism, explaining why they are "suprisingly" in line with Pat Buchanan on many foreign affairs matters). So, the grunts aren't easily deterred. They've been brainwashed into coming here. But here's where we go with the double threat. We reach out with one hand to the grunts (expanding trade and "western imperialist consumer culture") while pimp slapping the leaders with the other. Go Ronald Reagan, and scare the leaders. No Quarter! Blood and Guts! YEARGH!!! Sorry, must have been channeling Howie Dean on that one. Except it would have to be a somewhat more intelligent and articulate Dean. This post is pretty much blowing off steam at 123 in the morning. But I still advocate more violence. Because violence solves problems, like the problem of the neighbor's dog barking till all hours of the night. By the by, anyone know of a good way to warm the ground? It's hard to dig when it's frozen.


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