TCS Daily

The Real Enemy

By Arnold Kling - May 12, 2006 12:00 AM

"The American left is where the American far right was in the 1950s -- besotted with anger, boiling in conspiracy theories."
-- Austin Bay

"Enemy sighted, enemy met, I'm addressing the realpolitik"
-- R.E.M., Exhuming McCarthy

Most of America is ready for a change of government. Except possibly the Democrats. I want to remind them that in addition to their internal enemies -- the Bush Administration -- they might want to pay some attention to America's external enemies.

This November, I am looking forward to seeing the Republicans lose control of Congress. I would say to the Republicans, as Oliver Cromwell reportedly said to the Rump Parliament, and as Leo Amery reprised during Neville Chamberlain's final crisis as Prime Minister, "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

The whole oil-company-baiting, education-centralizing, entitlement-expanding, earmark-loving lot of them can be tossed out, as far as I'm concerned. Then we can start over.


Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi plans to use control of Congress to launch an investigation into the Bush Administration. For those of us who have not been drinking the Kos Kool-Aid, this seems like a questionable enterprise.

In the late 1940's, the Republicans finally took control of Congress. Seething after years of the Roosevelt Administration, one of the things that Republicans did in the late 1940's and early 1950's was launch investigations into the "treason" of the Roosevelt-Truman State Department, as well as former Communists in various professions. When I was three years old, one of the investigating committees decided that my mother, who had joined the Communists in the 1930's and left the Party in the 1940's, was of sufficient national security interest to be hauled before the Grand Inquisition. A few of the people that these committees investigated did turn out to be foreign agents or traitors. However, most of those investigated, like my mother, never did anything wrong.

In the 1950's, the Republican Right saw the investigations into "un-American activities" as a way to righteously smite down the Democratic Party. They wanted to expose their opponents' scandals and treason. Instead, they wound up exposing their own bad judgment, radicalism, and incivility. In the long run, the investigations damaged both parties. Certainly, the Republicans gained nothing. Apart from the war hero Eisenhower, their electoral fortunes sagged -- they lost control of Congress from 1958 until 1994. It seems rather odd that Democrats should want to try a similar strategy today.

The most famous of the inquisitors was Senator Joe McCarthy. In American politics today, McCarthyism is an epithet. I am not sure why the Democrats want to turn Pelosism into its synonym.

Some Basic Differences

For the Democrats in 2006, and more importantly in 2008, I would like to point out that there are some fundamental differences between America and its radical Muslim adversaries. You will forget these differences at your -- and our -- peril.

  1. Many people have fled radical Muslim regimes to live in the U.S. Hardly anyone has fled the U.S. to live under radical Muslim regimes.
  2. In the United States, women are allowed to choose whether or not to wear modest clothing. Radical Muslims deny them that right, as well as others.
  3. Americans who abuse enemy prisoners cower in shame and are prosecuted. Radical Muslims celebrate war crimes, proudly display photos and videos of war crimes, and honor the criminals.
  4. More Iraqis would like to see the terrorists give up tomorrow than see the Americans leave tomorrow. (If there is any doubt about that, we can put the issue up for a vote in Iraq.)
  5. Americans see negotiations as a way to resolve differences. Radical Muslims see negotiations as a sign of weakness.
  6. When Muslims come to live in America, we provide them with safety, tolerance, and equal rights. Jews and Christians do not enjoy equal rights -- or even safety -- inside countries run by radical Muslim regimes.
  7. The American military is trained to try to minimize civilian casualties. For radical Muslims, civilian casualties are a measure of success.
  8. Americans go to war reluctantly, when other means fail. Radical Muslims accept cease-fires reluctantly, when other means fail.
  9. Americans desire the approval and support of the European people. Radical Muslims desire the intimidation and submission of the European people.
  10. If radical Muslims would renounce violence, then we would not disturb them. If we renounce violence, then we will be conquered and brutalized.

Sooner or later, a party that wants to govern in the modern era has to pay attention to the real enemy.

Arnold Kling is a TCS contributing editor and an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute. His most recent book is Crisis of Abundance.



A word from RN
Republicans have got to remember the famous words of Richard M. Nixon:

"Never try to kill someone who is committing suicide."

Al Qaeda Excuse is Wearing Thin
Conservatives Shocked by NSA Phone Program
Scripps Howard News Service, May 12, 2006

..."I have no doubt it is troublesome and I would think the clear majority of conservatives and for that matter liberals would be quite troubled," said Marion Edwyn Harrison, president of the Free Congress Foundation. "It needs expansive justification, or REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO JOIN DEMOCRATS AND INDEPENDENTS IN DIMINISHING SUPPORT" FOR BUSH.

Bob Barr, the former Georgia congressman and CIA official who has become an outspoken conservative advocate for privacy rights, took to radio and television questioning the legality of the program.

At the libertarian CATO Institute, Tim Lynch said of the president's previous NSA statements, "People were giving him the benefit of the doubt even though they had doubts. But now that they know something else is going on, IT'S JUST GOING TO LEAD TO MORE SLIPAGE IN SUPPORT for the president.

The president keeps saying, 'I'm doing this because I'm trying to stop al Qaeda.' That is wearing thin."

"This spreads across ideological bounds," said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. "To the extent that every member of the public thinks their habits are being screened and their things are being looked at, THIS CREATES A GREATER AND GREATER CONCERN."

It's probably time...
to apologize to the mullahs, lay down our arms, convert to Islam, establish Sharia Law, free the Gitmo prisoners, tuck our heads between our legs and kiss our asses goodbye. But, it was fun while it lasted.

A change that is no change at all
I doubt the change in parties will result in much change in US policy. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have any interest in controlling the flood of illegal immigrants, slowing the expansion of Government, or reducing the burden of taxes, duties, and fees every American must pay to support the privileged life style elected individuals have created for themselves.

Congressional districts are so gerrymandered that the outcome of almost every congressional election is virtually preordained. Elected individuals demand an investigation and tax increase when a public or private company makes “excess profit,” yet the same people say nothing when they mandate the spending of over $29,000,000,000.00 (29 billion dollars) on pork projects such as ... $13,500,000 for the International Fund for Ireland – to help finance the World Toilet Summit; $6,435,000 for wood utilization research; $1,000,000 for the Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative; and $500,000 for the Sparta Teapot Museum in Sparta, N.C. (

The vast majority of our elected officials spend public monies to maintain and expand their own power base. They have no concern beyond the next election. They are so involved with maintaining and expanding their own power and are spending so much effort attacking one another; that I truly believe America will have to suffer major damage from external enemies before our Government officials wake up to the fact that this country has external enemies. Radical Muslims do not want to negotiate, dialog, or cooperate, they only want to eliminate the secular nations of this world and establish a single theocratic government.

Watergateism . . .
This time Kling says that all congressional investigations are the same as McCarthyism and that holding honest oversight hearings will get us overrun by radical Muslims.

Republicans do not fear McCarthyism, they invented it. They fear Watergateism -- hearings that use the power of subpena to overcome White House stonewalling and uncover criminal activities of the President and highest advisors.

As for: "Americans go to war reluctantly, when other means fail." That may be true of most of us, but not the President. Without Iraq he never would have been re elected.

Sunshine the best disinfectant?
They say 'Sunshine is the best disinfectant'.

Corrollary is: 'The truth shall set you free.'

Perhaps I am becoming more cynical with time, but I am seeing less and less of a reason to believe either of those statements to be really true.

First, even with Kilng's good intentions, he is apprently operating from the liberally-mandated point of view that the pursuit of infiltrating and subversive communists in the 50's was somehow the wrong thing to do. It was not. Whether people want to admit it or not, the communists were a very real threat to our country, they were making very real and concerted efforts to destroy this nation. They knew it would be impossible to destroy us from without, so their preferred tactic was infiltration, subversion, poisoning us from within.

If anything, McCarthy (who was by no means a pleasant person, admittedly) was not able to go far enough, and by dint of his unpleasant demeanor, and failure to remain his composure under constant assault from the press, has subsequently been battered not only into mere obscurity, but into 'epithet'-land (as Kling says), almost completely obliterating the fact that he was actually fighting a genuine threat.

This is why I have become cynical regarding 'truth'. For anyone who cares to actually look, the truth is there. Look up Project Venona. Extrapolate the very small percentage of actual decoded information versus the entire amount that was never successfully penetrated, and if your blood does not run cold at the thought of just how deeply the communists had dug themselves in, then there is something wrong with you.

Look around you today. Look at our 'entertainment' industry (filled with second-generation children of communists and sympathizers), look at our universities (where some institutions actually have an honorary Alger Hiss *CHAIR* ??), look at the mainstream press, where they came from and who taught them. The communist strategy was to gain control of our entertainment, our news, and the education of our youth. In large part, the communists succeeded; even after the failed ideology which spawned them is long gone, the fruits of their evil labors continue to thrive to this day here in America.

Anyone who cares to look can see that this is so. Kling is either unaware or doesn't care, so his rallying cry for people to wake up and fear this new external threat rings a bit hollow. Because the truth, sunshine, whatever you want to call it, should have long ago scattered the liberal socialist cockroaches out of our country, our of our government, out of our newsrooms, out of our books and movies. But it hasn't, because our communist-poisoned culture refuses to raise children with the cojones to either kick the vermin out, or even to elect anyone who will.

The islamo-sickness will have an even easier time of infiltrating and subverting, because of the groundwork laid by the communists.

Does anybody still think this is going to end well?

Why I'm still voting GOP
So we toss out the "the whole oil-company-baiting, education-centralizing, entitlement-expanding, earmark-loving" Republicans, and replace them with...... what, exactly? A bunch of oil-company-baiting, education-centralizing, entitlement-expanding, earmark-loving Democrats?? That is starting over??

Me, I'm going to hold my nose this fall and vote Republican. Pre 9/11, I used to get all worked up about the things Mr. Kling mentioned. They are important, yes, but we have a much bigger threat before us. Have the Republicans become a bunch of power-hungry schmoos with their hands in the cookie jar? Yep. And Reid, Pelosi, Schumer, et. al, would be any different? I want the Republicans in power because of the one critical difference between the GOP and the Democrats: The GOP sees the greatest threat before us as a real threat, and they are willing to fight it. And Mr. Kling even puts the threat very clearly: "If radical Muslims would renounce violence, then we would not disturb them. If we renounce violence, then we will be conquered and brutalized". I do not want the country run by folks who pretend the threat doesn't exist (or that it is not really all that big, or that it is somehow our fault), who will leave the threat to the UN (a stellar group of decisive, enlightened, pluralists....) or who will cut and run at the first sign of hardship or slipping polls.

We are at war. I don't care about the impacts of 'Pelosism' right now. This is no time to play triangulation politics. I want the folks running the country to be focused on the total annihilation of the threat we face, and I will support any party, no matter what their other faults, if they show me they are serious about fighting it to win. Abraham Lincoln faced a barrage of criticism when he promoted U. S. Grant, an ill-mannered, intemperate, alcoholic, to serve as the commander of the Army of the Potomac. Lincoln's reasoning: "He fights". Good enough for me.

It's rare for me to see a comment that is composed nearly entirely of Democrat slogans. But here is one.

show me the reference
I'm soooo dissappointed. I thought "Watergateism" was original with me and was hoping it could become a Democratic slogan. If you've read the phrase somewhere, please let me know where.

The Real Enemy
A Democrat controlled Congress would not mena the end of "oil-company-baiting, education-centralizing, entitlement-expanding, earmark-loving." It would result in even more of the above. Forget about confirming judges who believe that legislating is the function of Congress. They would use the investigative power of the Congress not to get at the truth, but to examine such "issues" as whether or not Bush conspired with Al Quaeda in the 9-11 attacks and as an aid in their campaign to recapture the presidency.

Arnold has allowed his frustration with negative aspects of GOP governance to get the better of his judgement.

Drink the Kool-Aid
The Dimocratic Party has been at Jonestown for several years now. The Kool-Aid is flowing.

Rev. Jones says: drink up, and we'll all BE SAVED !!!

As usual, LG assumes things that aren't there
All of these issues have already been investigated.
There is nothing there.
Of course to those consumed by BDS, the lack of evidence is just evidence of how strong the conspiracy is.

Bush didn't lie.
The NSA programs are fully in compliance with the constitution.

I'm guessing that either LG is totally ignorant of recent history, or he hopes that the rest of us are.
Bush spent over a year trying to convince the UN to follow it's own resolutions.
If it weren't for Iraq, Bush's relection never would have been indoubt.

There's nothing unconstitutional or illegal in the new program

congressional investigations
every time this president goes to the bathroom, Democrats demand a congressional investigation to make sure he whipped himself and washed his hands properly.

It is not a new program.

The Brits wished they had done more surveilence.

"But let there be congressional inquisitions to assure all that the government is not prying and prying into the lives of citizens, and that data mining is done with sufficient respect for privacy, as President Bush promises. In Britain, meanwhile, you'll be hearing outcries that domestic surveillance wasn't sophisticated enough to stop the transit bombers. Yesterday's parliamentary report, please do note, made a point of faulting the intelligence people for failing sufficiently pre-7/7 to appreciate that some terrorists are homegrown."

Well said Marquis3
Neither party has any interest in how their constituents live or think beyond what is necessary to get them re-elected.
Trey Parker (or Matt Stone--can't remember) said it best: "I hate conservatives, but I really hate liberals."
Gerrymandering is despicable. In CA we had a special election last year. One of the ballot measures was Prop 77 which would have eliminated gerrymandering. No clear thinking individual could have possibly been against it, regardless of your political affiliation. Of course it failed to pass. The reason was the Dem/Union machine turned it into "a vote for prop. 77 is a vote for the Rove/Bush agenda." Apparently the majority of the voting public took that at face value without any further though on the matter.
Yet, we muddle on each day. The sun's out and the weekend is upon us. And when the sun sets the USA is still a pretty good place to live--despite the Pelosis among us. And we can always move to New Hampshire and join the Libertarian movement to take over the state by sheer numbers

Wesley, check out this link
if you haven't already. It goes into detail the influence the commies of yesteryear have over our institutions today. The tone is a bit too conspiratorial for my tastes exactly, nevertheless a lot of validity remains.

NO to Demsheviks!
The demshevik take over of the House or of the House and Senate would be a disaster to the country, as the demsheviks are TRAITORS, exactly like the communists mentioned in this article.
What we need is a conservative administration, unlike the liberal-Republican one we have now.
The country can not take more socialism from Demsheviks, as the fruits of their treason are everywhere to be seen.

OH NO! I saw in the USA Today that the NSA has gathered phone records of millions of Americans, but did you know that the IRS has gathered tax records on millions of Americans and even knows how much money they make and what their social security numbers are and what their mailing addresses are and even has copies of their W2 forms! Oh no, what a huge blowup that is waiting to happen and oh no I can't wait until Pelosi hears about this and then the USA Today blows it wide open!!! Oh I'll bet Bush is scared!

Quite the Contrary
LG has it EXACTLY right. Nixon was trying to get us out of Viet Nam, a war dem president Johnson fradulently escalated, and what did the dems do? Undermine him with watergate. Which is not to justify Nixon's actions.... it's just that the WAY the democrats did it then, just as they are doing it now, is hurting the country.

The analogy today is not perfect of course. Bush is trying to fight a war against islamic radicals that probably should have been started after the collapse of the soviet union. A war that seems will go on forever. If the far left wasn't undermining him, undermining the military, would they be free to use more extreme measures, thereby shortening the war? I suspect so.

But I suppose that's ok, as long as you're trying to eke out some minor partisan advantage. God help us all.

the difference is . . .
The difference is that one is legal and one is not.

One we know about and have approved. The other we were told does not happen.

There are rules about who has access to IRS information and how they get it. The Bushies have no rules.

One is necessary for the government to function and the other is based on a paranoid fantasy.

And people say the Democrats are angry, unhinged. It seems there is anger and loose tethering in both parties.

You don't have the foggiest idea what you are talking about. You're just repeating what you heard.

"The difference is that one is legal and one is not.

One we know about and have approved. The other we were told does not happen.

There are rules about who has access to IRS information and how they get it. The Bushies have no rules.

One is necessary for the government to function and the other is based on a paranoid fantasy."

Congress is legally allowed to do 17 things. Can you name what they are? I'll give you a hint. They are in article I of the constitution.

Now, please take a look at (I realize this is just the discretionary budget, it does not include the major entitlement programs covered by the payroll tax). Can you find anything in there that isn't specifically authorized by Article I of the constitution? I can.

Now that we've established that a large portion of income tax is not in fact *required* for the government to fucntion, let me address your second point.

Hillary rules
"There are rules about who has access to IRS information and how they get it. The Bushies have no rules. "

I heard of several critics of the Clinton administration who were audited, several times, by the IRS.

Most prominanatly Bill Orielly.

I'm still waiting for LG to prove the program is illegal
There are at least half a dozen Supreme Court rulings that say this type of program are legal.

It's probably beside the point...
to mention that they're not patrolling the streets of our country, we're patrolling the streets of several of theirs-- and are threatening a couple of others.

Aree you really living in fear that if we let up for one moment hordes of wild eyed Mohammedans will be here, putting clothes on our womenfolk and burning our DVD's and rap music videos? That's a very odd belief, IMO.

Some agreement here
Don't knock the Sparta Teapot Museum, sir. Federal moneys spent in North Carolina are always moneys spent toward the end of spreading goodness and light. We are still spending the Tobacco Settlement money our government so generously bestowed upon us a handful of years back.

In many of the other points you raise, we are in agreement. It's obvious that congressional districting should always, always be done by a nonpartisan board with no interest in the outcome. Let's hold our breath until that happens.

However I'll have to fall by the wayside over your last point. Are you certain there are enough radical Muslims about to seize control of this country and administer it under their one theocratic government? There are, after all, 290 million of us. Assuming even conservatively that one radical Islamist could control forty of us, that would require the undivided attention of some 7,250,000 Wahhabis to keep us under their heel.

I've read that (a) there are no more than 15-20,000 of these chaps in Iraq, and that (b) they have flocked to Iraq from around the world. If they come here-- let's say, across the Arizona border-- don't you think they'll be spread a mite thin?

And for that matter, will this government they impose on us be Arab, Pakistani or Iranian? Sunni or Shiite? Naqshbandi or orthodox? How will they determine which Caliphate is going to lord it over us?

Required Disclosure of Customer Communications or Records
Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18

Section 2703. Required disclosure of customer communications or records

U.S. Code as of: 01/06/03

(c) Records Concerning Electronic Communication Service or Remote Computing Service. -- (1) A governmental entity may require a provider of electronic communication service or remote computing service to disclose a record or other information pertaining to a subscriber to or customer of such service (not including the contents of communications) only when the government entity -- (A) obtains a warrant issued using the procedures described in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure by a court with jurisdiction over the offense under investigation or equivalent State warrant; (B) obtains a court order for such disclosure under subsection (d) of this section; (C) has the consent of the subscriber or customer to such disclosure...

(d) Requirements for Court Order. -- A court order for disclosure under subsection (b) or (c) may be issued by any court that is a court of competent jurisdiction and shall issue only if the governmental entity offers specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the contents of a wire or electronic communication, or the records of the information sought, are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation. In the case of a State governmental authority, such a court order shall not issue if prohibited by the law of such State. A court issuing an order pursuant to this section, on a motion made promptly by the service provider, may quash or modify such order, if the information or records are requested are unusually voluminous in nature or compliance with such order otherwise would cause an undue burden on such provider.

Sunshine certainly helps
I'm in favor of bipartisan investigations, whenever there is a suspicion of wrongdoing. Certainly there is such a suspicion now, in that we have an imperial presidency that has become contemptuous of the separation of powers. The question has been raised. Should we now just forget about it?

A fine case in point was one episode that was contemporaneous with the McCarthy Era, when we were undeniably under some sort of threat from Soviet infiltration and subversion-- particularly among our left-leaning intellectuals. Hearings were a good idea.

(Hearings under a bully who used them to destroy careers by innuendo was not. It was an ugly time in our history. We could have used the hearings to shed light on the extent to which the rumor was actually true.)

But there were no hearings about the degree to which our intelligence efforts in the Soviet Union were inspired and led primarily by a high ranking Na zi, Reinhard Gehlen. I think it would have been quite useful for the good people of the late forties and early fifties to have known that the conclusions they were being led to believe in were actually self-serving fictions spread by a man who wanted to remain powerful and well funded.

It was Gehlen's organization who fed the CIA a steady diet of fictions they could not readily confirm except through the verification of others among Gehlen's battalion of agents. We didn't know much except what he wanted us to know.

I would have enjoyed following hearings on that.

The President of Iran is a very odd fellow.
I doubt one moment would be sufficient, but 8 years with 1 or 2 wrong presidents could be enough. I have very little interest in "why they hate us" or how we could "just get along". Since they have sworn to kill as many of us as possible, I just want them dead. Then we won't have to be concerned about that "one moment in time".

The New Totalitarians
Duff-- Thank you for this link! A lot of the oxygen-deprived rhetoric I've been hearing lately is starting to make a lot of sense.

For instance, our informant says the three great threats to the survival of our civilization are "first and foremost, the threat of decay and dissolution from within (characterized by the 'culture war' that Balint Vazsonyi wrote about in his prescient book ('America's 30 Years War: Who is Winning?'), state sponsored terrorism (which became a reality the morning of 11 September), and China."

1)"Indeed, America has produced and still harbors terrorists of an earlier age, the counter-culture revolutionaries of the mid-1960s and 1970s, who attacked the same type of targets - and they are still at large in America. Indeed, they are even now, celebrated, admired, and revered by those who harbored them. They, their sympathizers, and those who have extended their counter-culture revolution into the 1990s and beyond by political means are America's 'enemies within.'"

It sounds like he means hippies. Wow. The end of civilization. I must have missed it.

2) "State sponsored terrorism, (which became a reality the morning of 11 September)."

Tell me again-- which state sponsored 9/11? Are they militarily capable of taking on the United States?

3) China.

Look what these dastardly dastards are doing. First they sell us cheap stuff and take all our money. Then when we're on the cusp of being all out of money, they loan all our cash back to us, so we can buy more of their stuff! What kind of capitalism is this??

Further, if they wanted to, they could just pull the plug on all our overextended, deficit spending ways just by refusing to roll over their T-bills and asking for all their money back-- thus forcing a run on the US Treasury. Yet they don't do it. This business is keeping us in a lot of suspense.

You're right. The combination of aged hippies, states bent on destroying the United States by converting all the true patriots to Islam-- and of course our creditors the Chinese-- will be the ruin of us all. It's unstoppable! :)

Kling equating Pelosi to anyone is insulting
MCCarthy has been vindicated by the Venona tapes. Pelosi has been vindicated by Michael Moore and Liberal Goodman.

Shame the Supreme Court Wasn't
But then Hampton is too stupid to be swayed by something like a Supreme Court ruling. Poor ditumns. More mock outrage to follow.

You can count on the commies to beat a dead horse!!
All the readers here realize your outrage applies to people like Chuckie Schumer who employ people to illegally gather information to use against their political opponents, haven't we? But then again this nonsense seems to overlook the fact that the US government has been doing this since WWII with the blessing of the Supreme Court.

By the way tell us about evil folks like Chuckie Schumer and what you'll do to the eveil bastards that seek to subvert democracy aqs he did?

Oops and who can forget the mortal outrage, yes the outrage when those two Florida democratic appartcheks just happened to record the phone calls of Newt Gingrich about ten years ago for the Democratic Party.

And we can all guess where commissar Hampton stands on the prosecution of people who disregard their sworn duty not to aid the enemy during times of war, do we?

Commissar Hampton's outrage are sooo many crocodile tears.

Well said sir!
Its unfortunate that so people cannot understand that actions that aid the enemy are neither patriotic nor legitimate dissent. They are sedition.

Thanks for demonstrating why you're everybody's favorite pinata Roy
Its hard for anyone to paint such a complete and devastating picture of a failed and useless life. You've managed it with this comment Roy.

Spoken like a true Clintionista
Pass me another FBI file will you Liberal Goodman. By the way saw another unhinged dhimmicrat float by. Hot air is really the dhimmicrats main resource having renounced common sense years ago.

Libertarians are NOT Communists
Libertarians Blame Two-Party System
CNSNews, May 12, 2006

The Libertarian Party says both Republicans and Democrats have failed the country, and it points to the NSA terrorist surveillance program as another example of government abuse.

"It is clear that the NSA's domestic spying program, a program that should not legally exist, is far larger than originally anticipated," said Michael Dixon, chairman of the Libertarian Party.

Dixon was reacting to Thursday's USA Today report, which said the National Security Agency has been secretly gathering the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans and compiling them into a federal database. It's part of an effort to track which numbers call which numbers.

"The fear of terrorism was used to create this database shortly after September 11th, just as it was used to pass the Patriot Act and ignore the rule of law with increased domestic spying," Dixon said...

Who could mistake Commissar Hampton for a Libertarian?
Applying the term Libertarian to you is an oxymoron commissar.

Enter the Guardians
LG, your comment has engendered a priceless collection of responses this time. If anyone had a valid point to make, this would have been the place for them to make it.

The fact is, the prospect of a witch hunt sounds just fine for this crowd (those five). Any of them would gladly place themselves in service to sniff out witchcraft by writing down the names and contacts of people who had spoken to people who had spoken to people "of interest".

There were so many of this personality type in East Germany that half the population was reporting on the other half. Isn't it amazing that that was such a short time ago, and that that was the prototype of the kind of behavior that distinguished "them" from the Americans.

Thank God we now see the necessity for peeking through the neighbors' window blinds, eh? There's nothing to fear... the Guardians are here.

Roy admits being on Stasi payroll
Good of you to do that Roy. If you ever have a point to make and can do it without the usual inneudoes and fear mongering I'm sure everyone will be shocked. But to hear you proclaim yourself a "Guardian" of the public welfare, its too much even for a commissar like Hampton.

Right On
You have just repeated verbatum what two people very close to me told me when they came back from duty in the terrorist front lines. I agree with everything in this article. The opposition is shrill and fishing for flaws rather than suggesting solutions.

Libertarian support
This libertarian does support the NSA's efforts to find the enemies of liberty within our borders.

You either are for liberty or you are against it.
The hippies want all the personal hedonistic liberty, but do not want the consequences and oppose societal constraints. (Can't fool mother nature.)

Terrorists are afraid that if liberty was allowed, they could not control themselves and would degenerate into hedonists. Therefore, no one can have liberty.

As for China, they oppose liberty, yet believe,like you, that individuals are too irresponsible to be in charge of their lives. People need guidance.

An economic system is symbiotic. China could sit on all the dollars they earn from the world or they can reinvest those dollars so they can earn more. If China did as you suggest, they would be hurt worse than the USA.

Beware the hedonistic hippies!
"You either are for liberty or you are against it."

To me this is a ridiculous premise. Everyone enjoys such personal freedoms as they have been able to retain in their lives. They also cherish the security that comes from living within a society that enforces rules of behavior. If the rules chafe, maybe you need to move to another country. But in any case, the choice is never between a totally unformed chaos and an absolutely controlled order. It's somewhere between the two.

I except North Korea, of course. There there actually seems to be an absolute absence of personal liberty.

BTW didn't the last hippies die out in 1978 or so? I didn't think they were still a vital force in our society.

The Chinese put political liberty into perspective. I would think in their present situation probably 995 out of a thousand employed Chinese would tell you they were perfectly happy with the system they've got. Most unemployed Chinese would not. But in neither case would they be likely to go on much about personal liberty. It's not just secondary to them, it's an alien concept.

BTW I don't think anything like "individuals are too irresponsible to be in charge of their lives. People need guidance." That's something that your ideology requires that you think of me-- otherwise my comments make no sense to you.

Finally, it really doesn't matter much what "terrorists" think. There are so few of them in this country that any thoughts they may have are unimportant. Controlling their activities is a police matter, not fodder for the behaviorists.

Don't show it
"They also cherish the security that comes from living within a society that enforces rules of behavior."

If they cherish their security, they don't seem to want to do any work to keep it.

Maybe mistaken
"BTW I don't think anything like "individuals are too irresponsible to be in charge of their lives. People need guidance." That's something that your ideology requires that you think of me-- otherwise my comments make no sense to you."

It wasn't you calling the masses a gaggle of geese?

Maybe I have mistaken you for another socialist who thinks the government should have more control.

Living under the rules
I'm talking about the restrictions on your precious liberty that so frustrate you. Society has rules. I don't have to work to keep them, and it would be useless to work to overthrow them. They are a fact of life.

The extreme sort of libertarianism you're describing is so extreme in its conception there's no wonder it is so unpopular. Virtually everyone except your sect sees a value in having sets of rules governing financial behavior, ownership of property, what may be done with the land and so on. You probably hate the concept of zoning, for instance. I'd like to hear your thoughts then if a chicken factory or a rendering plant were set up next door.

Your liberty stops precisely where mine begins. I already live the way I like, and I suspect you do as well. So what's the fuss?

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