Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Let's Get Greenwald On This

As Snowden finds his Shangri La (Venezuela?  Best possible outcome for him.), I'd like to point out that there are a lot of civil liberties issues that I do care about and more than whether the NSA might, hypothetically, abuse its data mining capabilities and do something something tyranny.

We have militarized our police.  Watch the video above.  The attitude of these officers is not that of public servants insuring that there are no drunk drivers on the road.  They have the power to harass this kid simply because he didn't roll his window down enough.  He was driving down the road, not breaking any laws and was subjected to THAT.  As I said on the Facebook post by Tom Horne that alerted me to this thing, thank God the kid was white.

When James Madison looked at the state of his country in 1786, he saw the greatest venality at the state level.  Here is where petty prejudices and personal politics created the tyranny of the majority that he so feared.  His entire argument for a national government was its ability to dilute faction over a large area.

At our states - and I'm looking at you Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio... - we are seeing consistent efforts to intrude into women's vaginas.  That is not hyperbole.  The legislatures and governors of these states want women to have mandated vaginal ultrasounds.  They want to close Planned Parenthood because every once and a while, PP provides an abortion.

And they empower their police to do crap like in that video.

And the Robert's Rump is empowering them to do it.

I still don't know exactly what the NSA did in excess of its legal mandate.  I hope they untangle that.  Frankly, the Robert's Rump is not going to rule it unconstitutional, so that's out of the question, because even if Scalia rules against it, Breyer probably holds for it.

But we've got to start edging away from the new police state we've been building for the last thirty years.  It has reduced crime.  I realize that and understand that this is a trade off that was made.

But police aren't gods.  They aren't all powerful.  And we should be able to drive down the a road without getting a police dog sniffing our car because we didn't roll our window down far enough.

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