Thursday, March 8, 2012

The state of American civil liberties, an image macro series

So the latest civil liberties tragedy that no one cares about is Obama and Holder's non-justification for killing American citizens abroad*. They might as well have kept their mouths shut because we didn't learn anything.

My first piece is a straightforward assessment of the situation:

If that's too demotivational, then turn those frowns upside-down and get to work:

This one's my homage to the good folks at the ACLU. Now would be a damn good time to donate or join them. They're kinda busy right now:

 This last one is a more general approach. Ron Paul could use it; I don't care.**

*The "abroad" part is weird because-- it's like, duh, executing Americans in America without trial is bad, but if you allow for extrajudicial execution abroad, then what stops you from extrajudicial execution inside the U.S.? The Constitution? Please. You've already argued that if certain conditions are met, then you can proceed with an execution, but if those same conditions are met on U.S. soil, then you're not going to execute? Why? Aren't terrorists more dangerous to us when they're in the Homeland? You see what I mean here. That "abroad" clause has already been jettisoned at this point, believe me.

**I'm fundamentally opposed to libertarianism because it completely ignores and enables oppression by non-government actors like businesses, religious institutions, money in general, and all banks other than the Fed. Not coincidently, these actors have done most of the oppressing throughout history. See this spot-on analysis of what's going on at the Cato Institute right now. It's a perfect example of the blinders that libertarians always have on.

That said, I think the Ron Paul campaign is a good thing. It's not simply because Ron Paul is trolling the Republican primaries, although that's nice. It's mostly because he gives Republicans, and all the rest of us for that matter, something different to think about. Diversity of opinion is almost always welcome in our stultifying electoral system. What's most attractive about Paul is that he's against many GWOT policies that all liberals should be against and were against during the Bush administration. I'm referring to the full panoply of Bush civil liberties abuses that Obama has adopted: see the NDAA, FISA reauthorization, targeted killing of American citizens-- oh wait, that's a new one. Bush didn't do that.

Anyway, a debate was sparked a while back among progressives when some dared to suggest that Ron Paul was a welcome presence in the Republican primaries. Some morons interpreted this to mean that those progressives supported Ron Paul. Well, one can of course acknowledge the value of Paul's presence in the race and not support Paul. I am one.