Thursday, March 30, 2006


The Erosion of Civil Liberties

...or, in this case, the voluntary decisions of people to give them up, getting nothing whatsoever in return for them.

A poorly-proofread article by Ethel C. Fenig in The American Thinker begins:
The liberals were right: our civil liberties are slowly disappearing now that George Bush is president.

Of course most of the liberals not only seem to approve of these infringements on our freedoms -- they initiate them...
(formatting added)

Have a look... and, next time you shop at Borders, check out where their Korans are located.

UPDATE: On the subject of bookstores voluntarily -- and even pre-emptively -- surrendering without a fight (refusing to stock a magazine that published the Mohammed cartoons, moving the Korans to the top shelf so as not to offend Muslims, etc.), Stephen Green had this to say:
President Bush isn’t a fascist, and I can prove it.

We’ve seen what American bookstores and publications and universities do when confronted with real fascists: they knuckle under. You might not be able to find those Danish cartoons anyplace respectable, but you’ll sure find lots of anti-Bush stuff.
A good point. When was the last time you heard the Bush administration tell anyone not to publish anything?

(Well, the NSA wiretaps are an example, I suppose: the White House asked the New York Times not to go public with their story on it, and they did sit on the story for a year... before going public, over the government's protestations. Has the New York Times suffered in the slightest for doing this?)

Compare that, if you will, to the frightened delight with which Iraqis defaced Saddam portraits in 2003. (One can only imagine what the penalty would have been while Saddam was still in power.)

I'm reminded of comments made about the much-hyped "Iraqi civil war". As the bloggers at Powerline put it, we know what a civil war looks like, because we had one of our own... and one of the first things that happened was that half of the commissioned officers of the US Army resigned, en masse, so that they could go fight for the South. This has not happened in Iraq, nor is it expected. "Civil war" is therefore grand rhetoric, nothing more.

Similarly, we know all too well what fascism is, having fought it in WWII and sacrificed a great many brave young people in that fight. But one of the classic hallmarks of fascism is a leader who cannot stand being criticized... and we most certainly do not have that here. (Bush may well hold the unenviable title of "American politician compared most frequently to Hitler". I don't know how he stands it, but he does.)

Civil liberties are being violated and threatened, certainly... but because we're voluntarily giving them up, not because they're being taken away from us.

A friend once commented to me that "an education is the one thing Americans are willing to pay for and not get". Perhaps Security should be added to that list -- we grudgingly pay for homeland security and a strong military, so long as they don't actually protect us from anything.


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