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May 20, 2006 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Is this America's new meme? Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), May 18, 2006: "I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment and civil liberties. But you have no civil liberties if you are dead." (via) Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), December 19, 2005: "None of your civil liberties matter much after you’re dead." Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), responded to Cornyn: "Give me liberty or give me death." Good on that. First Amendment, Fourth Amendment (General Hayden's version), civil liberties.
posted by taosbat (89 comments total)

 
I think the new meme is that our corporate master's bottom line is too important to risk on fuzzy concepts like "liberty".
posted by 2sheets at 7:08 PM on May 20, 2006


But you have no civil liberties if you are dead

Really ? Astonishing ! Who would have tought ? Therefore the best way not to lose civil liberties is not to be born. Great pro-choice argument, Mr Roberts.
posted by elpapacito at 7:11 PM on May 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


We don't want the smoking gun to be in the form of a mushroom cloud...
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 7:16 PM on May 20, 2006


They're cowards. People who would disregard the Constitution are cowards.
posted by bardic at 7:19 PM on May 20, 2006


You can't disregard the Constitution if you're dead!
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 7:20 PM on May 20, 2006


i dunno. that all sounds like a direct threat to my person to me. I'm not a lawyer, but I'd probably have to kick some ass if they said that to me. hand em their constitution hatin' asses, dolemite style!
posted by durin at 7:24 PM on May 20, 2006


good on sen feingold, that's exactly how to answer this stupid statement

2nd choice - "it's better to die on one's feet, than to live on one's knees" -- pancho villa

3rd choice - "you can have my civil liberties when you pry them out of my cold, dead hands" - me
posted by pyramid termite at 7:26 PM on May 20, 2006


"Game set match" is the sound of the majority party introducing, debating and passing new laws.
posted by nervousfritz at 7:28 PM on May 20, 2006


It's a pretty safe rule that if someone has to say that they are a strong supporter/believer/proponent of something that the truth is the exact opposite. Those that are strong supporters/believers/proponents never have to state that fact because their actions speak for them.

America is an idea, not a place, not a people. You can't kill an idea. The only way for Bin Laden to win is for us legislate that idea out of existence. Yeah, if we have every person in this country under constant surveillance we will have a good chance of eradicating terrorism. But what will we have left?
posted by any major dude at 7:30 PM on May 20, 2006


From the 6th link (Good on that.), Henry Mayer (Historian), March 21, 1996:

The "liberty or death" speech (delivered, by the way, not in the capitol at Williamsburg, but in a church, in Richmond) resonates with Biblical references and cadences, but let's take another look at that famous concluding phrase--"I know not what course others may take but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death." What posterity hears is the devotion to liberty, but what his audience heard, and what we need to hear as well--is the emphasis, as in evangelical religion, on personal choice and individual commitment, here directed toward unorthodox and daringly original political ends. "You never heard anything more infamously insolent than P. Henry's speech," a Tory merchant wrote. "This creature is so infatuated that he goes about praying and preaching amongst the common people."

In the longest and most reliable texts we have for Patrick Henry, the hundreds of hours of heroic speech he offered in the 1788 ratifying convention in defense of the agrarian majority against the centralizing tendencies of the commercial elite, we see again the personal style at work. He portrays himself as an aged "sentinel" of liberty; he tries to imagine the effects of the proposed new government upon the ordinary folk whom he fears will "sip sorrow" in a consolidated government of implied powers, unrestricted by the traditional bill of rights: "I speak as one poor individual," he says, in that insistent, self-dramatizing way he had, "but I speak the language of thousands."

To Madison's reassurances that civil liberties were protected by implication, Henry replied, "If they can use implication for us, they can also use implication against us." Notice the identification with the majority, even as he sought protection for the minority. "We are giving power, they are getting power; judge, then, on which side of implication will be used!" Henry said he would be for modest increases in the powers of the central government. "If we grant too little power today, we can grant more tomorrow. But if we grant too much today, tomorrow will never come." This, in a nutshell, was Henry's traditional Whig skepticism, fidelity to the idea that the polis itself (the electorate, as it was coming to be understood) had a civic obligation to supervise the governors, and it is this sense of duty that is most difficult to exercise in the era of mass communications and the modern nation-state.

Henry's sustained attack was silenced only once, ironically, by a thunderstorm that rattled the windows of the building so noisily that the session had to be adjourned. The convention was closely divided, but despite his willingness to accept consolidation if only a bill of rights were added before ratification, Henry could not prevail. Virginia ratified the Constitution by ten votes and Henry had to accept Madison's promise that the new Congress would consider Virginia's list of suggested amendments along with those from other states. This was a process that the redoubtable Henry would not leave to chance, and he applied some formidable political pressure to ensure their consideration, forcing Madison to run for Congress in a largely anti-federal district and to make a campaign promise (significantly accomplished ina latter to a Baptist minister) that he would work for amendments. It was the mobilization of public opinion that underlay Henry's first great triumph in the Stamp Act protests, and it was this novel, popular constituency-based politics that formed his last, for I will leave to you the beguiling question of apportioning the credit for the Bill of Rights between the man who drafted the first ten amendments and the man who made him do it.
posted by taosbat at 7:31 PM on May 20, 2006




Why does Senator Pat Roberts hate America?
posted by euphorb at 7:53 PM on May 20, 2006


This is reprehensible. However, I'm constantly amazed at how many new-found friends the constitution gets when crap like this is pulled. Maybe we (I, at least) should pay some attention to it *before* the fan-based fecal distribution programs are employed.
posted by mecran01 at 8:08 PM on May 20, 2006


Hey everyone dies, not everyone lives though. Ya know what I mean?
posted by j-urb at 8:11 PM on May 20, 2006


Yes! Finally, we have a culture of discrimination against dead people! When do we get derogatory slang?
posted by po at 8:14 PM on May 20, 2006


How does he know whether or not we have civil liberties after death? Isn't he the religious type? Is he saying the afterlife is a rigid/unyielding/fascist totalitarian state? Or are the true atheistic underpinnings showing?
Wow, so heaven is really more like hell.
posted by IronLizard at 8:18 PM on May 20, 2006


Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto: Yes, it is not great to necessarily hear they're collecting our phone records, but it's a heck of a lot better than collecting our remains.

link to video (via The Daily Show via Crooks & Liars)
posted by pruner at 8:19 PM on May 20, 2006


these links (QT/WMV) are directly to Cavuto's comments, for those who don't wanna watch the 4+ minute Daily Show segment linked in my previous comment.
posted by pruner at 8:23 PM on May 20, 2006


pruner: 2¼ & Ah...
posted by taosbat at 8:32 PM on May 20, 2006


taosbat : 2¼ & Ah...

I have no idea what that means.
posted by pruner at 8:51 PM on May 20, 2006


as I hit the post comment button I noticed the name of the thread.

now I get it.
posted by pruner at 8:52 PM on May 20, 2006


I think the response is obvious: give me liberty, or give me fucking death.

How did losing 3000 people turn us into a nation of pussies? You'd think we never fought Hitler, or the Cold War.

Pathetic.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:57 PM on May 20, 2006


Indeed, if I have a choice between being killed in a terrorist attack or living under the thumb where my govt can just decide to arbitrarily ignore various parts of the constitution, I'll take death and future generations will thank me.

It would be nice to live and have my government follow the constitution but it doesnt seem like it can be done under GW (despite their spin, I doubt all the warrantless spying is legal).
posted by SirOmega at 9:06 PM on May 20, 2006


In the Cold War, we were prepared to obliterate all life on Earth in a nuclear holocaust, including all 6 billion people... so that we would not have to live under a totalitarian state.

Now, please tell me again how "everything has changed" and how "the rules are different" since 9/11.

The rules are exactly the same. Either a person is a coward who would rather bow down to tyrants out of fear, or they are a patriot who will defend the Constitution of the United States.

If you would throw away your own freedoms, then you're just sad and pathetic... but if you start trying to throw away MY freedoms, then you and me are gonna have a little problem betweeen us.

America didn't propser because the majority of the immigrants were white-skinned Europeans. There are plenty of crappy countries with white inhabitants.

America didn't prosper because the majority of immigrants were Christians. There are plenty of crappy countries with Christian inhabitants.

America didn't prosper because we had a strong military. Many militaristic societies have existed throughout time... Sparta, Prussia, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union. They all failed in the end, while America prospered.

The bottom line is that America has prospered ONLY because of the Constitution, and in fact America *IS* the Constitution.

Without the rights and freedoms of the Constitution, we're not even Americans. Without the Constitution, we're just a gaggle of ex-English colonists with funny accents.

If you support the dismantling of the Constitution, you are a traitor to everything that America is and ever will be. - General Zang
posted by tgyg at 9:22 PM on May 20, 2006 [3 favorites]


Oh, come on. This is nothing.
Just wait for the follow up:

"It's better that you let us collect your information, than having your relatives collect your remains from us."
posted by spazzm at 9:30 PM on May 20, 2006


"Give me liberty or give me..... something of equal or lesser value from your glossy 32 page catalog!"

Slightly OT, but does anybody know where that came from?
posted by weston at 9:32 PM on May 20, 2006


Current US population = 295,734,134
Number of people killed in 9/11 terrorist attacks = 2,752
Days since 9/11 = 1,712
So... the average percentage of Americans killed by terrorists daily since the morning of 9/11 = 2752/(295734134*1712) = 0.0000000054%

Average percentage of Americans whose civil liberties are violated daily by illegal wiretapping and monitoring of phone records = ...?

I think I'll keep my civil liberties and take my chances on the terrorists, thank you very much.
posted by Nquire at 9:38 PM on May 20, 2006


Has the number of americans killed in the war on terror surpassed the number of americans killed by terror yet?
posted by spazzm at 9:59 PM on May 20, 2006


we've killed far more innocent Iraqis and Afghanis than were ever killed by terror against us, and the body count rises daily.

We don't want the smoking gun to be in the form of a mushroom cloud...
This is exactly right--they're falling back on fear and they have nothing else, except hatred (which is next).
posted by amberglow at 10:07 PM on May 20, 2006


Supposedly, a lot of nuts move to New Hampshire just for the license plate.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:21 PM on May 20, 2006


As of 5/19, 2455 US soldiers killed in Iraq, and 17,869 wounded in action. As of 5/7, 281 US soldiers killed in Afghanistan, and 843 seriously injured. Also, casualties in Afghanistan & Iraq: at least 245,464 killed, and 521,750 seriously injured. "More than six times as many people have been killed in these wars, than the 36,869 people killed in all terrorist attacks worldwide since 1968."
posted by Nquire at 10:27 PM on May 20, 2006


Unfortunately, this type of scare tactic is exactly what works on the idiot public of this country. Ours is a country full of cowardly sheep.
posted by puke & cry at 10:28 PM on May 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Give me liberty, or give me as close as you can, as long as I'm not in danger.
posted by thanatogenous at 10:50 PM on May 20, 2006


I understand that P. Henry didn't mean it this way, but I suspect a lot of people these days read that as the populace being "given" some degree of liberty by the government. So the government can go ahead an take some back if they believe doing so to be necessary for the people's security. Which is of course completely back-asswards if I remember Locke correctly and all that.
mecran01: ...reprehensible.
fourcheesemac: Pathetic.

Yes and yes. I see that this "reasoning"(?) may be effective because of our national pussitude, but I have to wonder if these guys actually believe their own rhetoric or not. And I'm not sure which would be worse.
[batshiteinsane tag indeed]
posted by zoinks at 11:22 PM on May 20, 2006


give me liberty or... something i dunno, what kind of name is P. Henry lol? oh man american idol is on
posted by blacklite at 11:47 PM on May 20, 2006


A nation of people who think that cheap gas is a fucking RIGHT doesn't have the intellectual equipment to comprehend the concept of liberty in any case.
posted by slatternus at 2:07 AM on May 21, 2006


So... ummm...

What exactly is the point of living if you don't have the liberty of doing something with it?
posted by Talez at 2:28 AM on May 21, 2006


We're all gonna have to switch to the D.C. license plates...
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 2:48 AM on May 21, 2006


How did losing 3000 people turn us into a nation of pussies?

It didn't. You've been a nation of pussies for most of the twentieth century.

The only difference is that this time your leaders want to control you, rather than some other poor fucker.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:43 AM on May 21, 2006


This, coming from a Senator from Kansas. Kansas. Surely the front line in the GWOT, with it's whopping 1% of the total US population.

But you have no civil liberties if you are dead.

Tell that to the Founding Fathers and every soldier that died in the Revolutionary War so that we could have civil liberties, you f*cking coward.
posted by moonbiter at 5:31 AM on May 21, 2006


I've said it before and I'll say it again: anyone who voted for the PATRIOT act will never get my vote or support again. Dem or Repub. They are traitors to the constitution and to the idea of America.

Dictatorships control their population through fear. Democracies control their population through ignorance.

Americans are controlled by both.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 5:50 AM on May 21, 2006


Hmmm, why do I have the feeling that if the dicussion was about the Second Amendment, those terror warriors wouldn't be taking the same line?
posted by Skeptic at 6:52 AM on May 21, 2006


ROBERTS: The fact we have not had another tragedy like 9/11 is no accident.

How about this meme? I've heard this too many times cited as foundation for the success on the war on terror, like it's unshakeable scientific fact.

"Since 9/11 I've been making daily child sacrifices to the great almighty, therefore, this is proof that my child sacrifice program is a success in fighting terrorism."
posted by iamck at 7:04 AM on May 21, 2006


Thank you, iamck, I was just about tp post the same thing.

What zoinks said, "...I have to wonder if these guys actually believe their own rhetoric or not."
posted by jaronson at 7:08 AM on May 21, 2006


I think responding to this meme with "Give me liberty or give me death." is missing an important point: there's no reason we need to choose between liberty and life. They are in no way mutually exclusive, as arguing over which is more important would suggest. I'll take both, and can I get a side of truly representative democracy while you're at it? Thanks.
posted by scottreynen at 8:29 AM on May 21, 2006


sic semper tyrannis, ah the irony, and all that
posted by matteo at 9:00 AM on May 21, 2006




every organization, including government organizations, has a mission statement. What is the mission statement, paraphrase.d, of NSA?

It is easy enough to declare that we must do such and such because of possible terror attacks. But we are in a "war without end" so that what brush aside as constitutional rights will never be restored. Which means: the terrorists have largely won in shutting down our way of life
posted by Postroad at 9:31 AM on May 21, 2006


Perhaps Bin Laden is an administration operative. Sure would explain a lot.
posted by squirrel at 9:46 AM on May 21, 2006


The Colorado Democratic State Assembly got busy yesterday:

The state party's platform committee restructured its nine priorities in this order: Ending the Iraq war; protecting civil liberties; investigating, censuring and perhaps impeaching President Bush; campaign reform; the environment; immigration; education; health care; and reproductive rights.


Sad news from Kentucky:

When The Courier-Journal's 2005-06 High School Round Table recently took up the discussion, members generally supported the intentions of the Patriot Act, though a few were worried about its implications or vague language.

Many felt safety from terrorism outweighs an individual's right to privacy.


A variation on the meme:

Our Constitution and the rights we have, those are not a suicide pact.
posted by taosbat at 9:57 AM on May 21, 2006


Ann Coulter says liberals only honor the rights of serial killers and child molesters.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:32 AM on May 21, 2006


We don't want the smoking gun to be in the form of a mushroom cloud...
posted by amberglow This is exactly right--they're falling back on fear and they have nothing else, except hatred (which is next).


Hatred's already here. It's the illegal immigration debate.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:42 AM on May 21, 2006




It didn't. You've been a nation of pussies for most of the twentieth century. The only difference is that this time your leaders want to control you, rather than some other poor fucker.>
posted by PeterMcDermott
Are you writing from Europe, sir? If so, we "pussies" saved your asses big time oh, sometime around 1944 or 5 or so.

Yes, the US has long had imperialist ambitions and has acted with cowardice on the international stage on many occasions. No, this is something different. The citizens of the US have not been pussies until recently. Assholes, yes. Bigots, absolutely. Ignorant, without a doubt. Many citizens, anyway. But pussies, no. No, what's precisely pathetic here is the way the citizens of the US are acting the way Europeans acted in the 1930s. Like pussies.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:53 AM on May 21, 2006


Hatred's already here...
posted by fandango_matt


Check out kirkaracha's link.
posted by taosbat at 10:56 AM on May 21, 2006


...The unspoken monsters in the room are the questions about just what the Bush administration thinks it is doing. Experts say such a massive collection of phone, and perhaps Internet, data is overwhelming and almost impossible for an agency to digest without advance targeting of identifiable individuals.
That, the administration says, is not being done. No personal information, only the phone numbers. But everyone knows that if you have the numbers the rest is easy to discover in today's information-overloaded world.
ABC News is reporting that as part of a widespread leak investigation, the FBI is tracing calls of its reporters and those of other news organizations.
...
Are we expected to believe that collecting this phone-record information has no political dimension whatsoever?

Given this history, is it such a stretch to think the White House might find this information useful in helping Republican candidates hold on to national power in 2008?

You really think it would never occur to Bush or Karl Rove that private knowledge of which Democratic supporters were contributing to which candidates, or which campaign advisers were leaking to which reporters, would be an advantage in a tough campaign? Or that a little listen-in to their conversations might produce a few votes?
We don't know that this thought ever crossed their minds, but there's so much we don't know about what they are thinking. So we just have to trust the integrity of the administration's public statements. Oh, goodie. Do you feel safer now?
...

posted by amberglow at 11:02 AM on May 21, 2006


sic semper tyrannis

Those are the words John Wilkes Booth yelled after shooting Lincoln and also the words Ted Kazinsky had written on his shirt (along with a picture of Lincoln) as he killed 168 people in Oklahoma City. You might want to clarify what exactly you mean by that in this particular context.
posted by scottreynen at 11:06 AM on May 21, 2006


Really? Ted "Kazinsky?" In Oklahoma City?
posted by EarBucket at 11:10 AM on May 21, 2006


Really? Ted "Kazinsky?" In Oklahoma City?

Doh. Timothy McVeigh.
posted by scottreynen at 11:13 AM on May 21, 2006


ROBERTS: The fact we have not had another tragedy like 9/11 is no accident.
So, uh, what would have happened if they tapped the National Weather Service's phones around, say, August 29, 2005?
posted by Skwirl at 11:19 AM on May 21, 2006




PeterMcDermott: What's up in GB, anyway?
posted by taosbat at 11:32 AM on May 21, 2006


Death before tyranny. Also on the seal of the state commonwealth of Virginia, if I remember correctly.
posted by nofundy at 11:34 AM on May 21, 2006


Roberts and Cornyn are pathetic cowards.
posted by caddis at 11:37 AM on May 21, 2006


ROBERTS: The fact we have not had another tragedy like 9/11 is no accident.

I guess we're just going to forget about that Anthrax Killer fellow.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:42 AM on May 21, 2006


...I suspect a lot of people these days read that as the populace being "given" some degree of liberty by the government. So the government can go ahead an take some back if they believe doing so to be necessary for the people's security. Which is of course completely back-asswards...

I see that this "reasoning"(?) may be effective because of our national pussitude, but I have to wonder if these guys actually believe their own rhetoric or not. And I'm not sure which would be worse.
[batshiteinsane tag indeed]
posted by zoinks


I think you hit that nail on the head. Did you see the Courier-Journal's 2005-06 High School Round Table link?
posted by taosbat at 11:46 AM on May 21, 2006


...there's no reason we need to choose between liberty and life. They are in no way mutually exclusive, as arguing over which is more important would suggest. I'll take both, and can I get a side of truly representative democracy while you're at it? Thanks.
posted by scottreynen


Well...sure...but I should remind you: you may have to pay for that side dish with your life...probably not...but just so you know that sometimes gets figured into the bill.
posted by taosbat at 11:52 AM on May 21, 2006


Thus always to tyrants
posted by taosbat at 11:57 AM on May 21, 2006


Not sure why nobody, even the dems, mentions the failure to capture the anthrax guy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:17 PM on May 21, 2006


taosbat: No, hadn't seen that before. I like this one:
Jordan: I feel safer knowing that people who are abusing their privileges as Americans are being prosecuted or checked out. I don't have anything to hide.
Their privileges as Americans. Yeah that's it.
For the most part though, those kids sound like they're at least thinking about it a bit. Maybe if they were taught a few things re: history and thought behind it all they would come back with more concern. Maybe not. But anyway, these are high school kids. The real scary thing is the elected representatives who should (do?) know better.
posted by zoinks at 12:48 PM on May 21, 2006


Thus always to tyrants

Right, that's the literal translation. But with all the history, the connotation is more like "death to tyrants," or a more general call to murder political opponents.

After Timothy McVeigh was photographed wearing the shirt on the day of the Oklahoma City bombings, a company called Southern Partisan started selling the same shirt like hotcakes, presumably to racists who sympathized with both McVeigh and Booth. In 2001, none other than John Ashcroft praised the Southern Partisan for "defending Southern patriots."

So when matteo says "sic semper tyrannis, ah the irony, and all that" in this thread, it's not entirely clear to me whether matteo is calling for the assassination of people like Sen. Roberts and Sen. Cornyn (the irony being that they're talking about preventing death by restricting liberty and they would be killed as a result), expressing support for people like McVeigh and Ashcroft (the irony being that the "anti-tyranny" American racist demographic is approaching tyranny itself), or something else. Assuming, hopefully, that it's something else, I'm missing the irony.

For these reasons, I wouldn't personally use the phrase without being absolutely clear what I meant.
posted by scottreynen at 1:00 PM on May 21, 2006




...these are high school kids. The real scary thing is the elected representatives who should (do?) know better.

I bothers me more that the kids might never learn better but may instead "sip sorrow" and mistake it for America.
posted by taosbat at 3:10 PM on May 21, 2006


For these reasons, I wouldn't personally use the phrase without being absolutely clear what I meant.

I never really looked at that T-shirt before. Perverse isn't strong enough nor is traitor. For that multiple association alone, I agree: "I wouldn't personally use the phrase without being absolutely clear what I meant."

It's clear that "Thus..." is not supposed to be a death threat; rather, it's properly an affirmation of the dead done:

"Virtue, sword in hand, with her foot on the prostrate form of Tyranny, whose crown lays nearby...The phrase is attributed to Brutus at the assassination of Julius Caesar."

If matteo meant sometinhg like "the tyranny of the citizenry lays vanquished..." or "the electorate doesn't know, doesn't understand & couldn't care less..." I would understand the irony.

I'd enjoy a clarification if matteo will.
posted by taosbat at 4:13 PM on May 21, 2006


"we "pussies" saved your asses big time oh, sometime around 1944 or 5 or so"
When you say "we" I hope you are including the russians in there, Captain America.
posted by 2sheets at 5:31 PM on May 21, 2006


I'm late to this thread, but I wanted to share this. We took our kids to the Statue of Liberty today. I had never been there before, and I was surprised by my emotional reaction. I am the descendant of white folks who've been on this continent for a long, long time, so I don't have a personal connection to the whole "lady of the harbor"/immigrant story, but I got misty eyed as the ferry approached the island and she came into focus. I felt a great swell of patriotism - patriotism, that is, in the best sense of the word, inspired by the likes of Patrick Henry et al. Then I stood in line for an hour in a soul-sucking processing facility waiting to go through a security procedure that involved blowing jets of air at me to dislodge and analyze any dangerous chemicals that might have adhered to me. When I finally made it up to the pedestal and looked out at the WTC-less skyline, I was sour and irritated at the current state of America.

Liberty Enlightening the World? Not so much, these days.
posted by Biblio at 9:36 PM on May 21, 2006


Hrm. I wonder. How many folks that believe in the Constitution and tout "First Amendment" when the ACLU comes around are actually the types that support the whole Constitution - including the Second Amendment.

Sadly, I've been running into way too many people that only care about the parts of the Constitution that they feel suits them.
posted by drstein at 9:42 PM on May 21, 2006


When you say "we" I hope you are including the russians in there, Captain America.

Arguably, without the Lend-Lease program, the Russians might have been forced out of the war. Quite a few American merchant mariners died on the way to Murmansk delivering that aid.

I don't think that "a nation of pussies" is a useful description of any nation, though.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:50 PM on May 21, 2006


Sadly, I've been running into way too many people that only care about the parts of the Constitution that they feel suits them.
posted by drstein


I believe in upholding all of the Constitutioin because this haunts me:

"Game set match" is the sound of the majority party introducing, debating and passing new laws.
posted by nervousfritz

posted by taosbat at 11:35 PM on May 21, 2006


Yeah, I have to say, in the last 5 years I've seen a lot of the left warming to the idea of an armed populace. Interesting times we live in...
posted by knave at 3:22 AM on May 22, 2006


When you say 'we' I hope you are including the russians in there, Captain America.

Not to mention that the folks the 'we' were fighting against were, well, Europeans (i.e., the pussies). Isn't the measure of a hero the difficulty of the tasks he has to overcome?

But me & my monkey is right though, the description is useless when applied to nations. When applied to the good senator from Kansas, however ...
posted by moonbiter at 8:22 AM on May 22, 2006


A little late, but a hopeful rebuttal to the notion that civil liberties will lead to our demise (via the Huffington Post) : Only cowards are afraid of losing against a small band of terrorists and criminals; instead of living in fear of them, we can choose to be strong, defend ourselves, and protect our liberties. It would be nice if some Democrats got the message...
posted by purple_frogs at 11:52 AM on May 22, 2006


Speaking as part of the armed populace, I'm ready to defend the Constitution and our liberties, if necessary. I felt the same way even when I wasn't armed.

And I'm definitely not the only one.

Also, I'm not scared of terrorists at all, and never was, even after 9/11. I knew then and know now that the odds of another successful terrorist action in the US are infinitesimal, near zero.

I'm much more worried about the government turning on us, and this kind of crap just fuels that worry.
posted by zoogleplex at 1:10 PM on May 22, 2006


I don't think that "a nation of pussies" is a useful description of any nation, though.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:50 PM PST on May 21


It would be insulting for the Amazon nation too.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:58 PM on May 22, 2006




I love the Ben Franklin and Patrick Henry quotes, but this is the one that should be shouted from the rooftops

"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." —Samuel Adams
posted by CCK at 4:20 PM on May 22, 2006


Thanks purple_frogs, your link is well worth reading.

...may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

Amen.
posted by taosbat at 6:18 PM on May 22, 2006


Thart would be purple_frogs.
posted by taosbat at 6:20 PM on May 22, 2006


Biblio

I talked to my sister about your post...my mom, too. We went up those long stairs in 1968. The WTC was only 2 years along and the observatory in the torch was closed as unsafe when we made our pilgrimage to 'The Lady.' Still, we climbed as far as we could.

Our family disembarked early on, too...wetbacks all.

We "don't have a personal connection to the whole "lady of the harbor"/immigrant story" either...except that we believed in all that 'The Lady' was supposed to represent. For us it was a pilgrimage.

An American pilgrimage...thanks for bringing it back. I remember how the smells of the ferry gave way to the great swelling experience of the idea of America.

I read your post and I think, "Osama has occupied The Lady, we must drive him out."
posted by taosbat at 10:34 PM on May 22, 2006


2½ & Ah...

May 23, 2006

Human Events Online
If we did not take steps to monitor terrorists, we wouldn't have to worry about "civil liberties violations," because we'd all be dead.

The Winchester Star
Roberts’ Speech
Words Every American Should Hear

This past Thursday, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., delivered remarks that cut to the heart on many issues critical to Americans, but most specifically the war on terrorism and the need for top-notch intelligence.

Mr. Roberts’ insightful comments came not at what might be called a public venue — on the hustings or at a college commencement, but at hearings held by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which he chairs. As such, they were not heard by a broad spectrum of Americans. Thus, we highlight them today — because they are words well worth hearing.

The senator’s task was to introduce Gen. Michael Hayden as President Bush’s nominee to lead the CIA. He dispensed with these niceties early, noting that the general needed “no introduction,” having served this country for the past 35 years. “We know him well,” Mr. Roberts said.

The rest of his speech served as a reminder about the perilous nature of things world-wide. Mr. Roberts, with a heartland candor reminiscent of his Kansan political forebears Alf Landon and Bob Dole, did not mince words.

“Al Qaeda is at war with the United States,” he said. “Terrorists are planning attacks as we speak. Through very effective and highly classified intelligence efforts, we have stopped attacks. The fact that we have not had another tragedy like 9-11 is no accident.”

The stakes, Mr. Roberts continued, are high. As such, “leaks and misinformation” about our intelligence cannot be tolerated, as they do little but endanger our cause in this global conflict.

“We cannot get to the point where we are unilaterally disarming ourselves in the war against terror,” he stated. “If we do, it will be game-set-match — al Qaeda.

“Remember Khobar Towers, Beirut, the USS Cole, the embassy attacks, the two attacks on the World Trade Center and 9-11 — and more to come if our efforts are compromised.”

Hence, the necessity, Mr. Roberts stressed, of seeking that fine line on which civil liberty and security can be balanced.

“I am strong supporter of civil liberties,” he intoned. “But, you have no civil liberties if you are dead . . . When people asked on Sept. 12th (2001), whether we were doing everything in our power to prevent another attack, the answer was no. Now, we are, and we need to keep doing it.”

Simple, clear, precise. This, in our mind, was about as fine an explanation as to why this nation must gather intelligence in such a way as to not inform our enemies of our efforts. It speaks to the need for covert surveillance operations — and against the leaks that sabotage them.
posted by taosbat at 1:09 PM on May 23, 2006


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