Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Al Gore Speech: libertarian wariness of "unchecked power"
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, January 16, 2006

I've disagreed with Al Gore long and hard in the past, and I'm sure I'll do so again. Not today, though; not on the important stuff. In today's Liberty Coalition-sponsored Al Gore speech at Constitution Hall — transcripts at Raw Story and Drudge — there's a lot with which libertarians can agree. The most incisive passages — a good reduction of the entire speech, really — are as follows...
Whenever power is unchecked and unaccountable it almost inevitably leads to mistakes and abuses. In the absence of rigorous accountability, incompetence flourishes. Dishonesty is encouraged and rewarded.
[...]
It is often the case that an Executive Branch beguiled by the pursuit of unchecked power responds to its own mistakes by reflexively proposing that it be given still more power. Often, the request itself it used to mask accountability for mistakes in the use of power it already has.

I'd feel a whole lot better about the Democratic Party if I thought they really believed that. Sadly, what is so easy to recognize in an opponent-Party President is less easily recognized when the power — the function and purview of government itself — is being exercised by members of one's own Party.

Al Gore is right to urge sharp limitations of power. If only the Democratic Party were so cautious about the role of government in general; if only they were as modest with the Legislative branch as now wish Republicans were with the Executive Branch.

Nonetheless, this caution is correct...
Moreover, if the pattern of practice begun by this Administration is not challenged, it may well become a permanent part of the American system. Many conservatives have pointed out that granting unchecked power to this President means that the next President will have unchecked power as well. And the next President may be someone whose values and belief you do not trust. And this is why Republicans as well as Democrats should be concerned with what this President has done. If this President's attempt to dramatically expand executive power goes unquestioned, our constitutional design of checks and balances will be lost. And the next President or some future President will be able, in the name of national security, to restrict our liberties in a way the framers never would have thought possible.
Indeed, this concern ought to be a bipartisan issue, and Al Gore concedes, "I cannot disagree with the Liberty Coalition when it says that Democrats as well as Republicans in the Congress must share the blame for not taking action to protest and seek to prevent what they consider a grossly unconstitutional program."

Checks and balances are vital to a government balancing the sometimes-competing demands of security and liberty. Libertarians, especially, ought to welcome that check on potential overreach. For that reason, I'll endorse this call by Al Gore...
We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive Branch and the President's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.

I endorse the words of Bob Barr, when he said, "The President has dared the American people to do something about it. For the sake of the Constitution, I hope they will." ... Republican as well as Democratic members of Congress should support the bipartisan call of the Liberty Coalition for the appointment of a special counsel to pursue the criminal issues raised by warrantless wiretapping of Americans by the President.
If the warrantless wiretapping was necessary and legal, we ought to know that. If it was illegal, we need to know that. An investigation is the only proper way to find out where the truth lies. Anything less is an abdication of our "duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right" to liberty and to a limited government.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Perhaps, given Mr. Gore’s long and rich history, the question that we ought to be asking ourselves is is Mr. Gore speech indicative of a strongly held belief, a principle, if you will, or is he simply making the noises he thinks will do the Republicans the most damage? Given that history, I strongly suspect the latter.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Al Gore is right to urge sharp limitations of power. If only the Democratic Party were so cautious about the role of government in general; if only they were as modest with the Legislative branch as now wish Republicans were with the Executive Branch.
You see,
This is why I love Jon. The ability to see light through the tunnel. The ability to see the potential through the cloak of partisanship.
Yes, of course the Dem’s are combative for the sake of opposition. And we all should piss on them for it, but to totally discard a great portion of the voting public as bathwater…, well, not very optimistic is it?

Checks and balances are vital to a government balacing the sometimes-competing demands of security and liberty. Libertarians, especially, ought to welcome that check on potential overreach.
Be still, my beating heart. I don’t care if others I know call you an asshole, you’re right by me.
If the warrantless wiretapping was necessary and legal, we ought to know that. If it was illegal, we need to know that. An investigation is the only proper way to find out where the truth lies. Anything less is an abdication of our "duty as Americans to defend our citizens’ right" to liberty and to a limited government.
Oooooh, COME ON. Now you’re just teasing me.
;)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Gore’s speech was refreshing in that it felt true, even if I’m sure he practiced it a hundred times. I’ve gotten so used to terribly-obvious lies for the camera. This speech felt powerful. And had a lot of truth to it. Our country is being hijacked by one party, and neglected by the other. Who will step up?
 
Written By: McQueeir Finagle
URL: http:/www.qando.net
It would make me feel better if he had added...

"And I oughta know, just look at the record of the administration I was in..."

to
Whenever power is unchecked and unaccountable it almost inevitably leads to mistakes and abuses. In the absence of rigorous accountability, incompetence flourishes. Dishonesty is encouraged and rewarded.
While I wholeheartedly agree that proper checks and balances need to be in place, this is sorta like listening to the reformed fox, with chicken feathers still fresh in his teeth...

http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200510250904.asp
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
I wholeheartely agree with Gore and the Democrats. The Executive Branch shouldn’t focus on Islamist terrorists. It instead should focus on burning up Christian compounds (as it proudly did at Waco) and using stormtroopers with machine pistols to forcibly arreest seven-year-olds (as it proudy did with Elian!)

The Democrats are truely the libertarians of the 21st century...if you are a Islamfascist planning a terrorist attack.
 
Written By: Bah Humbug
URL: http://
Re: your comment.

I’d feel a whole lot better about the Democratic Party if I thought they really believed that. Sadly, what is so easy to recognize in an opponent-Party President is less easily recognized when the power — the function and purview of government itself — is being exercised by members of one’s own Party.

Al Gore is right to urge sharp limitations of power. If only the Democratic Party were so cautious about the role of government in general; if only they were as modest with the Legislative branch as now wish Republicans were with the Executive Branch.

Excuse me, but who’s been in the majority of both Houses for the last 5 years? Obviously not the Democrats.

 
Written By: Michael Hetz
URL: http://www.quorumcomm.com
Who was it, just a short time ago, who was remarking that they would feel an awful lot more comfortable about these democrats and their newfound civil libertarianism, if they hadn’t spent the last 80 years glibly taking rights away from the average American?

That’s not a beach you’re walking on, cowboy, that’s quicksand.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Bithead: Democrats taking away rights from the average American? Oh really?

Who signed the Civil Rights Act - knowing full-well and accurately stating that the Democratic Party had lost the Southern vote for at least a generation? Democrat LBJ.

Who integrated the Army? Democrat Truman.

Who created programs like Social Security that drastically reduced poverty among the elderly - a problem that private industry had failed to solve for hundreds of years? A Democrat, FDR.

Who lobbied (albeit reluctantly) to enfranchise half the population of America? Democrat Woodrow Wilson.

Which party has pushed to strip rights from gays and lesbians? The Republican Party. Which party is fighting to strip women of their right to control over their own bodies? The Republican Party.

Is the Democratic Party perfect? No. But their meetings are open and you’re welcome to participate. There’s loads to criticise and complain about, but how about lending a hand and pitching in to fix it?
 
Written By: Kevin Lyda
URL: http://
Who created programs like Social Security that drastically reduced poverty among the elderly - a problem that private industry had failed to solve for hundreds of years?

And you’re proud of that Ponzi scheme? Sheesh.

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Al Gore and Bob Barr on Independent ticket in 08.

Man what a mess that would make of the election.

I honestly think that would make it a 3 way horse race that would be fearful to watch.



 
Written By: retired military
URL: http://
Is the Democratic Party perfect? No. But their meetings are open and you’re welcome to participate. There’s loads to criticise and complain about, but how about lending a hand and pitching in to fix it?
That’s very funny! Too bad you do not seem to understand that property rights, no speach codes, free association rights, gun rights, and unwarrented government intrusion are also important.
OH BTW, something your lefty Proffs probably didn’t tell you. It was the DEMOCRATIC party that opposed all civil rights to blacks since before the civil war.
http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
 
Written By: Kyle N
URL: http://
hich party has pushed to strip rights from gays and lesbians? The Republican Party
You apparently do not understand the difference between taking rights away and not granting extra rights that nobody has.
Who created programs like Social Security
Thus taking away my right to property, and creating a lot of for older folks along the way. Yup, that sure is something to be proud of. Not.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Re: your comment.

I’d feel a whole lot better about the Democratic Party if I thought they really believed that. Sadly, what is so easy to recognize in an opponent-Party President is less easily recognized when the power — the function and purview of government itself — is being exercised by members of one’s own Party.

Al Gore is right to urge sharp limitations of power. If only the Democratic Party were so cautious about the role of government in general; if only they were as modest with the Legislative branch as now wish Republicans were with the Executive Branch.

Excuse me, but who’s been in the majority of both Houses for the last 5 years? Obviously not the Democrats.

 
Written By: Michael Hetz
URL: http://www.quorumcomm.com
Look, both parties have had their fair share of ripping off civil liberties and stepping on the privacy of Americans, but when the truth is spoken we must do everthing possible to spread the news even when the Traditional media won’t do it.

Today the Democratic and Republican parties are just a two headed monster bent on feeding this beast we call the Federal government for the sake of accomplishing different goals. What we desperately need is a CHECK and Balance on the this two party system. The Libertarians offer the best choice IMO.

This two party bickering is bullshit and it’s not working either. We need more voices in our government and a strong force to reign in the spending and the abuses on our rights.
 
Written By: Chico Towner
URL: http://www.chicotown.com
Look, AlGore, there is no controlling legal authority that says the NSA program is illegal. And, ALGore, we all know that the applicable standard for whether an elected offical has committed an illegal act is whether there is controlling legal authority.
 
Written By: A.S.
URL: http://
Gore says:
A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government.


Does that also apply to Vice Presidents? And does it apply to violations of 18 USC 607?
 
Written By: A.S.
URL: http://
It’s about time someone spoke up and said " Yea, this guy in the white white is breaking the law, again!
If you’re an American get a grip before you loss your right’s too. Quit picking little fights with every one who does’t agree with your point of veiw, like picking a sore on your body, that can only lead to scarring.
The framers of the Constitution inserted that little bit about "Checks and Balances" for an important reason.
We need to stand up, with Al Gore, on this important issue. After all, our Constitution has been working fine for quit a while. Don’t let someone else tell you what it means without someone checking and someone balancing what it really means.
Thank You and Al Gore.
 
Written By: crayfish
URL: http://
I’m getting confused. I thought that the only reason people were concerned about Presidential power was the Domocrat’s need for an issue in the 2006 elections. Gore’s speech changes that?
“For that reason, I’ll endorse this call by Al Gore...
An investigation is the only proper way to find out where the truth lies. Anything less is an abdication of our "duty as Americans to defend our citizens’ right" to liberty and to a limited government.”
An investigation is the only way to advance this routine concern about a President’s exercise of power in time of war into a campaign issue for the Democrats. Pious statements of only being concerned with what is good for the Republic don’t disguise the motivations behind such calls for an investigation. How about we have the most complete investigation possible; beginning the day AFTER Election Day? Any particular reason to rush it before that?
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
One who gives up "freedom" for "security" has neither.
 
Written By: crayfish
URL: http://
“One who gives up "freedom" for "security" has neither.”
I shudder to think of losing my freedom to speak with a member of Al Qaeda overseas without people whose sworn motive in listening in is to protect me from terrorist attack. I am not scared of those listening in nearly as much as I am those who are foaming at the mouth about this issue. No doubt in MY mind which one is the bigger threat to my freedom.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
A.S. wrote:
"And does it apply to violations of 18 USC 607?"
It applies every bit as much as he meant what he said that was posted about here.

Not a damn bit at all.

To Chico Towner.

I agree for the most part, but I am sure of this—the Libertarian Party has no chance in the foreseeable future of even demonstrably throwing a national election to any candidate in particular, let alone electing people under their own banner.

The sole chance libertarian principles, even the ones consonant with the Constitution the major parties may not be, is for the Libertarian Party and people with libertarian principles to cleave to the Republican despite its flaws, and force the rupture and dissolution of the Democratic Party.

The duopoly is stable, one major party must go before we can hope to have strong influence in events, and the Democratic Party is the weak one now and for the foreseeable future.

Deadlock, means at best a slower trip down the path we’ve been on these past 100 years, and deadlock means no improvement.

If you want improvement, kill the Democratic Party. Pick up what remains you can. Without the duopoly to prop it up, shortly, the Republicans will fracture—the extremes of either party will not contain their mutual hatred to unite against a center/liberty, and then libertarians may see the improvement their ideals promise.

Glad to see Kevin Lydia’s idiocies got jumped on right away. The Democrats never went with the Civil Right Movement because of principles—principles are why the Republicans wrote and voted for the first two civil rights acts. The Democrats saw an ethnic group they could buy off with unconstitutional favors that was better distributed electorally than the Southerners, so they pushed the last civil rights act is purely cynical move. That’s the only reason they ditched 120 years of association with the once and would be slave holding class in the South. Oh some Democrats might have believed in civil rights, but don’t think that’s why it happened. It was the backroom bosses counting flippable Electoral College seats, that was all.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
center/liberty, and then /= center/liberty party, and then Yeeesh! TDP
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Again, it astounds me that you would ever give any credibility to this idiot by agreeing with him about anything. And this topic is laughable, especially given the actions undertaken by the administration he was part of...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I think the comments section of this article serves as a small microcosm of what exactly is wrong politically with this country. Instead of simply agreeing with words that should be self-evidently true to all of us and seeking to right what is wrong with the country, the messenger is ridiculed and dismissed as a function of their party affiliation.

At least Jon and some of the other writers here are actually true to their libertarian beleifs, rather than simply their overall party inclinations. Unfortunately that dosent seem to be case with many of the individual commenters here.

Sometimes I wonder how many of you would jump of a bridge out of spite if a Democrat told you not to...
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Gore’s fiery speech told it like it is— The current Fascist regime is highjacking America and all our liberties, and if you people cannot see that, you need more than eyeglasses—you need a brain transplant.

Only wish that Gore had mentioned the deceptive and Naziische scheme called REAL ID ACT that passed last May 2005, which will strip every American and everyone else in the USA of *all* our privacy— unless you people get off your high horses and get out there and fight to REPEAL the damned Real ID Act.

How many of you even know what the Real ID Act is? If you don’t, please visit some of the growing anti-Real ID websites and learn what’s happening to your freedom and privacy and right to vote, while you’re in here typing smart-a*sed replies in these blogs.

Start at sites like:
http://www.unrealid.com
http://www.realidrebellion.com
http://abolish.atspace.com
http://imprivate.atspace.com
http://xsorbit29.com/users5/abolishrealid/

and look up more such sites in google.com.

Take the time to educate yourselves on what is REALLY going on in the USA today, and you’ll see why Al Gore and many others are truly upset and determined to turn this monstrosity around.
 
Written By: justme
URL: http://
You people are starting to get on my nerves. Al Gore making sense?

Here is the skinny: Al Gore needs to be hospitalized for mental disease, not hailed they way you did. He is a sick, sick man, whose moral indignation that a "special counsel" should be named is equivalent to the KKK being pissed off that cross burnings are increasing.

Mr. Gore broke every conceivable campaign finance law in 1994, 1995, and 1996, and yet when he was asked about it he said there was "no controlling legal authority."

Well, to inform you, there is actually legal authority for President Bush to surveil foreign terrorists without a court warrant. It is in the authority to go to war in Iraq, it is in FISA, and the US Supreme Court has held that it is legal.

So stop giving Mr. Gore any credit. He is a loon who should be jailed, not hailed.
 
Written By: Alexander Alt
URL: http://
OK let’s assume, just for a moment, that Bob Barr agrees with Gore here. I think it’s a safe assumption considering he introduced the guy. Now you all have two choices:
(1) relentlessly slaughter Barr’s credibility, or
(2) actually argue the issue here.
Ignoring the messenger, Bush is against every single thing a libertarian stands for — you cannot support this administration and simultaneously be a Libertarian.

BTW to actually suggest that Gore should be imprisoned is a truly anti-American "loony" statement, Alex — repugnant to the very idea of free speech and the Bill of Rights itself.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
"I think the comments section of this article serves as a small microcosm of what exactly is wrong politically with this country. Instead of simply agreeing with words that should be self-evidently true to all of us and seeking to right what is wrong with the country, the messenger is ridiculed and dismissed as a function of their party affiliation."

Gee whiz Rosensteel, you don’t think it might have something to do with distrusting Al Gore do you? Just because someone I have zero respect for occasionally utters the truth, and undoubtably for partisan reasons, doesn’t mean he deserves my gratitude. I could care less what he thinks and says; he’s lost all credibility with me.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Imagine the meeting of Democratic strategists:
Chairperson: “I have a great speech here. Properly delivered, it will finally give us the campaign issue we need. I think we need someone with appeal to both sides to deliver it, so that there will be calls from both sides for a special counsel. Whatever the ultimate finding, we can then add “Bush was investigated by a special counsel!” to the mix.
Reply: “I love the speech. Two things: 1) leave out the call for a special counsel. Let someone who is just a listener call for it. 2) Have someone like Gore deliver it. Then when someone points out that it is just a calculated attempt to raise a campaign issue, they can be painted as partisan Democrat-haters, not willing to hear a good message because they dislike the messenger.”
Chairperson: “Having Gore deliver it will be so great we won’t need your other suggestion! See if you can get him.”
Later, after the speech:
"Hahahahah. Wheee! Look at the press we’re getting. And get this! Even the professional middle-of-the-roaders are going for it. Look at this comment by some guy named Rosensteel on the libertarian internet magazine. Geez, Ed, your suggestion of getting Gore for this... it hit this one out of the park!"
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
Rosensteel wrote:
“I think the comments section of this article serves as a small microcosm of what exactly is wrong politically with this country.”
I think the inability of the audience to muster the good sense and moral courage to laugh the idiot off the podium shows what’s really wrong with this country politically. His first problem, Gore’s a man who was elected to high office who said out loud that the laws did not to him. Second problem, he’s a Democrat. No party has done a tenth as much to destroy the liberty of the American public than the Democratic Party—and over the course of history, that’s over both sides of at least one issue. In their current patronage configuration, the Democrats are the party of gun control and inflation of the commerce clause beyond all bounds. People complaining otherwise are obsessing over Republican caused hangnails and ignoring Democratic caused hemorrhages.
“Instead of simply agreeing with words that should be self-evidently true to all of us and seeking to right what is wrong with the country”
It is not self evidently true, sir, that the current administration has done anything that needs correcting which has gone uncorrected.
“the messenger is ridiculed and dismissed as a function of their party affiliation.”
Absolutely, in part. It is both the man himself and his admitted crimes and his party affiliation that make his proclamation ludicrous. The Democrats have no and should have no credibility on the topic of preserving or protecting American freedom, as a party, they have taken the lead party in disrespecting it.
“At least Jon and some of the other writers here are actually true to their libertarian beleifs, rather than simply their overall party inclinations. Unfortunately that dosent seem to be case with many of the individual commenters here.”
There is no deviation from libertarian principles in hewing to the most productive course, unless pragmatism is not on the libertarian list of virtues. If it is not, they should fail.
“Sometimes I wonder how many of you would jump of a bridge out of spite if a Democrat told you not to...”
Then you ARE dumb, Rosensteel. Too dumb to understand what’s going on over the sweep of the last hundred years. The Democratic Party is the enemy of our freedom which has it’s teeth at our throat. We should deal with them first.


Justme wrote:
“Gore’s fiery speech told it like it is— The current Fascist regime is highjacking America and all our liberties, and if you people cannot see that, you need more than eyeglasses—you need a brain transplant.”
Let’s run a little Q & A:
1) Current Regime has put into place a command economy?
NOPE.
2) Current Regime is preventing elections?
NOPE
3) Current Regime is using intelligence to damage political opponents?
NOPE (Say, to what degree di Gore distance himself from the FBI files scandal?)
4) Current regime is claiming surveillance powers that are unprecedented?
NOPE, it all been done before under similar and entirely mitigating circumstances.
5) Current regime is breaking any laws to any known degree?
Well, other than continuing unconstitutional programs which such a large proportion of the public wants that it should be given a bye at least as much past administrations have, NOPE, it isn’t breaking any laws.

You seem to want to have a fit over the REAL ID act. Let’s see, it worse than a driver’s license how? Oh, wait, it isn’t it. Virtually every complaint that can be made about REAL ID act has a direct parallel in state driver’s licenses? Check. From the standpoint of resistance, it has all the vulnerabilities of state driver’s licenses? Check, with the added benefit it is further centralized, and therefore more vulnerable.


Alexander Alt wrote:
“So stop giving Mr. Gore any credit. He is a loon who should be jailed, not hailed.”
And Tom in Texas had problems with that.

Let’s see. Did Mr. Gore admit to breaking campaign finance laws? Yes. There any reason that admission should be inadmissible in court? No. With the turncoat RINO McCain excepted, the last batch of “campaign finance reform” primarily benefited and was supported by Democrats. Yes.

So yes he should be given no credibility and he should be jailed for his actual, admitted crimes.

Or, since the crimes were politically motivated and the laws offended against are unconstitutional, then any candidate should be able to ignore such laws, which laws are best respected by their bipartisan breach.


Tom in Texas wrote:
“OK let’s assume, just for a moment, that Bob Barr agrees with Gore here. I think it’s a safe assumption considering he introduced the guy. Now you all have two choices:
(1) relentlessly slaughter Barr’s credibility, or
(2) actually argue the issue here.
Ignoring the messenger, Bush is against every single thing a libertarian stands for — you cannot support this administration and simultaneously be a Libertarian.

BTW to actually suggest that Gore should be imprisoned is a truly anti-American "loony" statement, Alex — repugnant to the very idea of free speech and the Bill of Rights itself.”
If Mr. Barr thinks the sum of Gore’s statements are actually heartfelt comments by Gore, then no, Mr. Barr has lost credibility with me. Christ, for purposes of redemption, can be friends with criminals. That grace is not extended to politicians.

And if you can’t tell it his admitted crimes and not his political posturing for which Gore should be jailed, then Tom, you’re more than a little loony.
“Ignoring the messenger, Bush is against every single thing a libertarian stands for — you cannot support this administration and simultaneously be a Libertarian.”
Let’s revisit this, this administration is using perfectly constitutional powers* to prosecute a war on an enemy who would if they could produce a 9/11 scale attack every day and twice on Sunday. If essentially left to their devices as previous administrations have done, then AlQaeda could easily manage such an attack every couple of years—that is what you ask us to tolerate instead of these minor and well-precedented intrusions on our liberty.

*And on the few grounds it’s acts have been ruled unconstitutional, they have yielded to the courts and there is no evidence that those breaches were conducted in anything other than good faith.

Better to attack the intrusions that can’t work on prudential grounds than on your made up constitutional ones while ignoring Democratis sins, but then people suffering BDS are not prudential people.

And I submit that if prudence is not a Libertarian principle, then Libertarians deserve all their current success.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Then you ARE dumb, Rosensteel. Too dumb to understand what’s going on over the sweep of the last hundred years. The Democratic Party is the enemy of our freedom which has it’s teeth at our throat. We should deal with them first.
And we will slit our own throats with the Republican knife, if it means getting the Democratic teeth out, wont we?

There is no deviation from libertarian principles in hewing to the most productive course, unless pragmatism is not on the libertarian list of virtues.
Pragmatism is to support libertarian ideals regardless of the letter that follows the name of the person espousing them. Likewise, we should oppose anti-libertarian policies regardless of that same affiliation.

The notion that steadfast opposition to Democrats and fanatical devotion to the Republican party will result in a more libertarian ideal has proven to be a complete disaster. It defies the entire notion of checks and balances that our system of government is based upon. Any party that is given complete dominance will NOT trend towards restraining its own power, but will seek to expand it.

The Democratic party is not going anywhere, deal with it. Likewise, neither is the Republican party. We can either work to ensure that libertarian ideals are as closely represented in the two mainstream parties as possible, or we can trade one type of anti-liberty for another.

If we allow unchecked government power, so long as its executors have the letter (R) following their names, we deserve whatever fate it is we have secured for ourselves.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
I’ll attempt to respond to everybody in one comment:
Excuse me, but who’s been in the majority of both Houses for the last 5 years? Obviously not the Democrats.
Obviously not. Nor is my comment restricted to the past five years.
What we desperately need is a CHECK and Balance on the this two party system. The Libertarians offer the best choice IMO.
I wish that were so. Unfortunately, as I’ve discussed in great detail elsewhere, the Libertarian Party is fundamentally incapable of fulfilling their goal. 30 years of the Libertarian Party has actually left the libertarian movement weaker.
How about we have the most complete investigation possible; beginning the day AFTER Election Day? Any particular reason to rush it before that?
Yes. The voters would be well served to know the facts going into the election. You assume what Bush did was legal, right? So you ought to want the public to know that and take the issue away from the Democrats come voting day.
One who gives up "freedom" for "security" has neither.
That’s the quote that launched a thousand libertarians. It sounds good and it’s a perfect encapsulation of libertarian idealism. Unfortunately, it’s also nonsense. People make that trade all the time.
I shudder to think of losing my freedom to speak with a member of Al Qaeda overseas without people whose sworn motive in listening in is to protect me from terrorist attack.
Strawman. Nobody is suggesting we don’t conduct such surveillance.
Again, it astounds me that you would ever give any credibility to this idiot by agreeing with him about anything. And this topic is laughable, especially given the actions undertaken by the administration he was part of...
Ad hominem remains a logical fallacy. My opinion of Al Gore is independent of my opinion of the ideas presented.
Here is the skinny: Al Gore needs to be hospitalized for mental disease, not hailed they way you did.
I am unqualified to make a psychiatric diagnosis of Al Gore. I can only tell you whether I agree or disagree with his facts and conclusions.
Ignoring the messenger, Bush is against every single thing a libertarian stands for — you cannot support this administration and simultaneously be a Libertarian.
I’d disagree to some extent. People may still see it as a lesser of two evils, depending on their basket of values. However, I’m having a lot of trouble seeing how somebody can be libertarian — i.e., extremely skeptical of government — and not want this stuff investigated extensively.

I won’t want investigations to occur — and perhaps people to leave office, if necessary — because I distrust Bush or Republicans. I want that to happen because I distrust government. There are no "Great Men" who necessarily rise above the structural problems of government.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

One who gives up "freedom" for "security" has neither.

That’s the quote that launched a thousand libertarians. It sounds good and it’s a perfect encapsulation of libertarian idealism. Unfortunately, it’s also nonsense. People make that trade all the time.
I think the quote is much more accurate and effective in its complete form:
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin
"essential liberty" and "temporary safety" are relevant framing, IMO. If we expand government power for temporary safety, that government power will generally remain long after the threat has passed. It can also be argued that long term, the expanding reach of government is a far greater threat to our life and liberty than any ragtag group of terrorist could be.

There can, of course, be endless debate about what "essential liberty" entails. I would think that the rights gauranteed by the consitution should at least serve as a reasonable baseline minimum.

Although yes, in essence you are correct. We give up some amount of liberty simply be operating in society, and living by the rule of law. My personal view on this has always been a matter of an investment. We will invest some small amount of our liberty, our ability to harm others for example, because it ultimately yields an overall benefit in the amount of liberty that an individual can enjoy. The goal is to find the perfect balance between more conservative and more liberal investment strategies.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
NO MORE IRAQS AND AFGANISTANS! NO MORE NSA!

WE DEMAND WACO AND RUBY RIDGE!

LET’S GO AFTER THE REAL TERRORISTS, RED STATE BIBLETHUMPER REDNECK WALLMART-SHOPPING GUN OWNERS!!
 
Written By: Libertarians for Democrats
URL: http://
Rosensteel prattles on:
"And we will slit our own throats with the Republican knife, if it means getting the Democratic teeth out, wont we?"
That might have relevance if the administration were holding anything more threatening than a dull butter knife which is A) solely pointing at AlQaeda, unless you have evidence otherwise and B) doing something new or unprecedented, it isn’t, at least it’s not more unprecedented than say, the Internet or other technology growth is.
"Likewise, we should oppose anti-libertarian policies regardless of that same affiliation."
And the most damaging policies—the ones which can literally destroy this society—those should be concentrated on first.
"The Democratic party is not going anywhere, deal with it. Likewise, neither is the Republican party. We can either work to ensure that libertarian ideals are as closely represented in the two mainstream parties as possible, or we can trade one type of anti-liberty for another."
What an ahistorical and pessimistic statement. Of course they can go away. They can vanish as did the Whigs or so change their character—as the Democrats have about three times—that there is no relation between a party of today and it’s platform of a decade or two ago.

Votes by people of libertarian ideals, when split between parties, do nothing, they cancel each other. With the LP as small and geogrpahically distributed as it is, either party would be insane to throw them a bone and thereby piss off their base, especially the Republicans at this time.
"If we allow unchecked government power, so long as its executors have the letter (R) following their names, we deserve whatever fate it is we have secured for ourselves."
The Administration has been bounding its so-called unchecked power, to be within the purview of the AUMF, a declaration of war. Said declaration of war is as total and full as any power granted to Congress is—it can no more declae war halfway than the President can have a line item veto. They can declare war or not, they did, the Administration has acted so far in keeping with precedent and keeping with the declaration.

The things you feel are unconstitutional tragedies are that as much as a stop sign is arrest without probable cause.
"I think the quote is much more accurate and effective in its complete form:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin

"essential liberty" and "temporary safety" are relevant framing, IMO. If we expand government power for temporary safety, that government power will generally remain long after the threat has passed."
There is no essential liberty to have AlQaeda and it’s hangers-on on speed dial.

AlQaeda is not the loyal opposition whom the Constitution is intended to protect.
"We give up some amount of liberty simply be operating in society, and living by the rule of law."
Well, as much as I like Locke, that’s not really possible, is it? Or just following orders would in fact be a valid defense, wouldn’t it?

Jon Henke wrote:

"However, I’m having a lot of trouble seeing how somebody can be libertarian — i.e., extremely skeptical of government — and not want this stuff investigated extensively."

The trouble is, having been briefed on the situation without complaint and in accordance to the laws, there is no one in either party in a position to call for any investigation with credibility that they have anything but the most crass political haymaking motives in mind. That is a bipartisan problem.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Thank you Rosensteel. I’ve been reading that quote mutilated continuously and finally came to your comment which shows the correct quote and some sense surrounding it.

People should be concerned with the issue. I would like to know the information as to the legality of the actions actually taken, not those thrown into conjecture as has been seen in the past few months. IMO Algore is fanning a fire without evidence. His "compels the conclusion" statement really does have a sour odor of politics as usual. But then, politicians rarely get benefit from providing reasonable statements in speeches.

Here’s a question, If members of both parties in the congress were notified and brought no objection forward, is there reasonable doubt to believe that the wiretaps may have had some basis in legality? Of course, this doesn’t eliminate the checks and balances argument. Especially if the activities were not all reviewed for legality.

Of all the legal reviews I’ve seen, there appears to be no judicial review of anything like this. Though there does seem to be some reasonable legal reasoning as to why this could be legal. Unforturnately, without the full context of the activities, I doubt we’ll be able to make an informed judgement.
 
Written By: Nylarthotep
URL: http://chaosinmotion.blogspot.com
It looks like our nation’s political parties are joined iin a war over the Libertarian center.

The Dem’s public utterances in Senate hearings and speeches, and the fight over the GOP’s house leadership are renewed attempts to "own" the Libertarian message.

I wish us neo-libs were better organized to capitalize from all this attention. But we have no organization to ratchet up and lock-in these pledges, nor a fund-raising mechanism to finance our own version of our message.

This matters, because, when a liar tells the truth, the truth suffers. And from the comments on this thread, it is clear that Al Gore just isn’t a credible messenger for a modernized Libertarianism.
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
I don’t agree with every position Bob Barr is posting...

I don’t think the Bush Administration is nearly as bad as his opponents want to paint it.

Am I concerned with abuse of power, and loss of liberty, certainly. And the courts are still functioning, and even while they decry they were not informed, the Congress has been informed, even if only in part.

War and broad declarations gives the President a lot of leeway. I agree that carefull consideration needs to be given to the issues of the day.

I don’t believe the Democrats can be trusted with our national security. And, no matter what they mouth on a political platform, I am not going to trust the Democrats to restrain the Executive Branch out of some noble cause. They would just as soon strip me of my right and ability to defend myself, as they would strip away the Republican President of his right and ability to defend this nation. And then cry, why didn’t you do more, when we are attacked again.

Neither would I trust the "Libertarian Party" to bend it’s principles one iota in order to give the President the leeway needed when the law is unclear. I think they would rather go down with the ship, then make choices that cause them to bend in order to keep us safe.

I’m with Tom Perkins in his opinion that sinking the Democrats, and causing a center/right majority to be formed is a more practical course of action then asking the Democrats to change their nature.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
Steve wrote:
"It looks like our nation’s political parties are joined iin a war over the Libertarian center."
Well, no. There is a libertarian fringe of about 0.25% of the voters, and they’re not even on the same political axis as the center.

A lot of people across the extremes of the parties have some libertarian tendencies, but for example the Republican libertarians are economically liberal and prepared to let the majority of the party enact socially conservative measures, where the Democratic libertarians really want to smoke pot and not get rid of, say tarriffs or welfare.

That’s a fair a simplification as any 54 words are going to be.

By and large, the center is just the people in the middle—people who don’t want freedom or even constitutionally limited government—they want a little of the poison each party has to offer.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
"want freedom or" should read "want freedom to a greater degree than they have it now or"

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
At least Jon and some of the other writers here are actually true to their libertarian beleifs, rather than simply their overall party inclinations. Unfortunately that dosent seem to be case with many of the individual commenters here.”

Why do you assume everyone posting here is a libertarian?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Tom you make good points that demand I clarify:

The binding philosophy of religionists, capitalists, and secularists is "Freedom to Practice." In fact, I view all of our enumerated civil rights (freedom of speech, freedom to associate, etc.) as simple restatements of our basic "religious rights."

This unifying philosophy is the target ’center’ I speak of. It is not a demographic, it is a concept that unifies disparate factions of America’s electorate, and our political parties are in a "tug-of-war" over the "ownership" of this unifying theme.

As unapologetic, liberal practicioners of both Capitalist economics and the established religions, the Republicans have a head-start in this race. The Dem’s renewed attempts to co-opt the unifying libertarian theme during the Alito hearings, and in concert with the NYT’s NSA leaks, indicate they are desperate to catch up.

But they’ll have to jettison their anti-Capitalist hand-maidens like the AFL-CIO first, and stop berating the religious electorate to credibly claim this unifier.
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
At least Jon and some of the other writers here are actually true to their libertarian beleifs, rather than simply their overall party inclinations. Unfortunately that dosent seem to be case with many of the individual commenters here.”

Why do you assume everyone posting here is a libertarian?
I dont. There do seem to be those who at least claim that title, at least in name, and yet continue to follow party deference in some vain beleif that the party will eventually come around to its libertarian base if only it is supported long enough.

Obviously, that does not encapsulate everyone here, but for quite a few it does.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
"There is no essential liberty to have AlQaeda and it’s hangers-on on speed dial."

"Al-Qaeda is not the loyal opposition whom the Constitution is intended to protect."

Both of these statements are refuted Tom Perkins, by the verifiable fact that the NSA was using this program to spy on Quakers. I find it hard to believe that a pacifist group that’s been a part of our republic since its founding has AQ on its speed dial. The Quakers are the type of loyal opposition that our founders sought to protect, and their rights, as well as thousands of others, were unconstitutionally curtailed. While I do agree that very few people are "true" libertarians, whether you believe in less government control over guns, drugs, suicides, or markets, the actions of this executive branch have to give you serious fears. They do not hold any Libertarian ideals central to their ethic. They believe in the absolute unchecked power of the president, and this is a precedent that, while argued before, we have to reject, if we intend to hold any checks whatsoever in our government.

In order to discuss this issue reasonably, we have to dismiss with false arguments that are tangenital to the issue. Al Gore’s actions 10 years ago, for instance, are incidental to the issue at hand — whether or not our constitutiional right to due process is still available. The argument is not whether or not we should tap AQ — EVERYONE believes we should, including the courts Bush ignored. The argument is whether our constitution still applies in time of war. I submit that it does, and always has.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
Texas Tom,
1. If I pretend to be a Quaker, but am a terrorist, should this cover protect me from governmental inspection?

2. Did the Quakers receive phone calls from Pashtuni cell-phones?

3. Does it matter?

Wondering...
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Tom in Texas wrote:

"Both of these statements are refuted Tom Perkins, by the verifiable fact that the NSA was using this program to spy on Quakers."

No it is not refuted. To whom were they speaking? Are you saying that Quakers are allowed to fraternize with enemy agents but no other religious groups are? Religious discrimination! Tom in Texas supports religious discrimination!

"They do not hold any Libertarian ideals central to their ethic."

Neither does anyone else except maybe Ron Paul in governemnt and maybe the guy in the purple latex glitter suit (you LP conventioneers no doubt know who I mean).

And in most cases that’s good, since to hear the LP tell it, neither prudence nor pragmatism is important to Libertarians anymore. Rom Paul manages for the most part to hold both dear, although I sometimes disagree with him.

"They believe in the absolute unchecked power of the president"

No they don’t, they believe that the Congress can’t declare half a war—and the Constitution backs them up—and they believe the President has unimpeded the powers to prosecute a war which his predecessors have held themselves to have—an assumption having about 200 years of precedent behind it. They claim nothing new for the President at this time. You are welcome to demonstrate otherwise if you can, I believe I can find counter examples while restricting myself to this century.

"this is a precedent that, while argued before, we have to reject, if we intend to hold any checks whatsoever in our government."

I feel a little bit bad for you, I really do, that you lost 2000 and 2004, but this President hasn’t been rejected, he’s been adopted.

"whether or not our constitutiional right to due process is still available."

Oh absolutely they are, with very narrow exceptions, and I’m not sure if those few exceptions the administration asserted haven’t already been overturned, so they would be available. Was it Padilla or Hamdi(Hamadi) who was arraigned in open court they other day? Outside of the terribly cumbersome procedures to get off the "no fly" list if you shouldn’t be on it, I’m not sure how you might say due process for example is being abrogated by this administration—at least to say it and be reasonable. But then you aren’t reasonable.

"The argument is whether our constitution still applies in time of war. I submit that it does, and always has."

You still haven’t spelled plausibly—or really even at all—how its being abridged. Maybe you should start there.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
What’s the name of the guy who used to/still does run around the LP convention in a purple outfit? I never can rememeber that guy’s name.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Well Tom I suppose it makes sense that I live in Paul’s district and vote for him every two years then eh? I voted Bednarik in 2004 because I thought that, since my state was never in doubt, a message needed to be sent to the establishment in power about what I sent them there in 2000 to do. I am not, and never have been, a Democrat. I disagree with virtually every platform they have ever introduced. But to allow this type of unchecked abuse of power because you don’t like the people who should be preventing it is self-defeating to a dangerous extreme.
And as for the assertion by Steve that these insidusous AQ spies must be shaving their footlong beards, bleaching their skin, and dropping the "Allah" stuff so they can pass of as Quakers, this is simply ludicrous. I can understand, and defend, wiretapping of Muslim charities, church groups, etc. when there is sufficient evidence to request a warrant, because that is where they will, and have, infiltrated. The whole point is to blend in as much as possible. We don’t know if the Quakers were actually getting these phone calls, of course. You are correct there. Al we have is the executive branch saying they must have, because they would never invade our personal privacy otherwise. And of course the lack of any evidence such as a phone record or name of infiltrator in said group. We do have that.
As to my argument that our constitutional rights are under assault, we are protected from unreasonable search and seizure, no? It’s pretty high up there on the list of amendments. We are protected from recrimination based solely on our political/ideological leanings, are we not? I think that might even be the first amendment to the thing.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
To preempt the argument that will inevitably be made, I am aware that fanatic extremists will shave their beards in attempts to infiltrate a society. I submit that they do not go out of their way to join groups that they will stick out in that simultaneously have an extremely high profile with the organizations the terrorist is hiding from. It is, quite simply, an idiotic strategy for a terrorist to attempt this. It seems just slightly more plausible that, like every other leader that has ever led, the current executives are pushing their powers to an extreme in an attempt to squelch dissent.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
"But to allow this type of unchecked abuse of power because you don’t like the people who should be preventing it is self-defeating to a dangerous extreme."

Here’s what gets me, you keep on saying it’s unchecked like it’s true. In fact it’s checked.

Start making a good case for that point. Please. And go from there.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
How is it checked when the executive branch bypasses any judicial oversight? How is it checked when the executive branch cites their ability to ignore whatever parts of a law they like upon signing it? These are abuses upon our checks and balances built into the constitution. The entire purpose of our judicial branch is to ensure that both the lawbreakers and arresting officials comply with the law as written — and to sentence those who do not comply. Bush’s argument vis a vis the NSA scandal is that he has the right to ignore both branches of government during times of war, that they are not equal, and that there are no checks upon the executive branch since Sept. 11th. I have now answered both your request to explain how this program violates American’s constitutional rights and your request to explain how Bush bypassed both Judicial and Congressional oversight. Any other requests? Or will you answer my questions now?
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
Ted Kennedy’s comments as regards Samuel Alioto belonging to a group in college that "discriminated against women" and that thereby a lead a while was a sexist, works posed as just so much tripe when some alert blog are figured out that Kennedy was still a member of the titles you also discriminate against women. And further that Kennedy knew about that; he drafted legislation in 1984 to put the clamp on such groups. And yet he was still a member... and further yet to go all the com after Alito on loose membership in a similar group. Kennedy apparently has not learned that being stoned in a glass house doesn’t help your brainpower.

Then, we have Al Gore, Who in his rant yesterday came up with comments as regards President Bush and his supposedly of breaking. Just about every statement he made during that rant yesterday is bogus, but all focus my comments on one specific passage. Therein, he made the statement to the effect that lawbreaking in the White House undermines our system of government. The Aldrich Ames case comes to mind as an example of the Clinton administration doing precisely the same thing that Mr. Gore take such offense to now. Further there are other matters as regards the Clinton administration and lawbreaking. For example, lying under oath, For which Mr. Clinton was impeached and disbarred, temporarily.

Consider the parallels in both these instances. Neither of the Democrats in question have any credibility whatsoever on the subject of their chosen attack. But of course, that didn’t stop them from making it. It has become blatantly clear that Democrats are willing to say anything to damage their opponents even if it runs directly in the face of their own recorded history.

It is a constant source of amazement to me, that anyone, wherever they happen to be on the political spectrum Is willing to take seriously either one of these men, or for that matter, any Democrat at all..... Particularly one who calls himself any brand of libertarian.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
It is a constant source of amazement to me, that anyone, wherever they happen to be on the political spectrum Is willing to take seriously either one of these men, or for that matter, any Democrat at all..... Particularly one who calls himself any brand of libertarian.

His ideas either stand on their own or they don’t.

The fact that he may or may not be a hypocrite isn’t relevant as it doesn’t change the fact that much of what he said is true and important to anyone who’s concerned about individuals and their liberty ... and that would include one who calls himself any brand of libertarian.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
How many times need we be lied to by these people before we start questioning their motives as a matter of course? Gore and his fellows don’t give a hot crap about anyone’s ’liberty’, Bruce. All they’re interested in is power, and their history indicates exactly what I’ve said... they’ll make any claim to get it.

Consider, please...Much of what Adoph said was true, as well. And yet....

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Ah, Godwin’s law!

Sorry Bithead, ideas either stand on their own or they don’t. It really doesn’t matter who utters them, the truth will out.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Bithead: What makes you so confident that anyone in the Republican party gives, as you so eloquently put it, a hot crap about anyones liberty?

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. When politicians on either side of the aisle come out in support of liberty, that position should be reinforced. When politicians on either side of the aisle come out on the opposite end, that position should be ridiculed.

I imagine we would be far better off with two parties that are a little bit more libertarian, than two parties which have abandoned the very concept entirely.

Here’s what gets me, you keep on saying it’s unchecked like it’s true. In fact it’s checked.

Start making a good case for that point. Please. And go from there.
So long as you continue to make the point that some authorization of force acts as a blank check on executive power in perpetuity (remember, Bush said this war will last our lifetimes), I dont see how any amount of contrary logic could dissuade you.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Sorry Bithead, ideas either stand on their own or they don’t. It really doesn’t matter who utters them, the truth will out.
OK, Screw Godwin’s crutch.

The devil himself may quote scripture, Bruce. That, however does not make him more trustworthy.
What makes you so confident that anyone in the Republican party gives, as you so eloquently put it, a hot crap about anyones liberty?
Well, that’s hardly the point is it?
once again you try to operate my strings is if I’m some kind of Republican operative. The bottom line is is that at the moment I support Republicans because I think them the best tool to hand to defeat the biggest danger we have right now; Democrats.
When politicians on either side of the aisle come out in support of liberty, that position should be reinforced
McQ this one’s for you, too;

There is a major difference between simply mounting libertarian platitudes, and actually operating within libertarian principles. The Democrats have never, never, never, never, never done the latter. I have no reason to think they’re about to start now, nor do you.

Did I say never?

Do you really consider that the moveon.org crowd was there cheering libertarian principles, or were they rather cheering anything that attacks GWB?

If you really believe that Gore is operating from libertarian principles I’d like to talk to you about a few gallons of real estate I’ve been trying to sell. Oh.... and this watch.

We’ve been to Laughlin fold the four by people mouthing the platitudes and then finding out differently once they get into office. Example; How many months did I spend telling this group that GWB was no conservative? I said he was a satirist. And yet for the last year and I have been longer we’ve seen endurance and realization that the man is no conservative. And of course, certainly no libertarian. He was simply better than the alternative. and yet there are many examples in this blog alone much less across this fear complaining about bush and is false advertising as a conservative.

Now along comes to Al Gore making noises like a libertarian. Well, I haven’t we played this scene out once before?

It’s as I said, Rose, that’s not a teacher toes are in, that’s quicksand.
So long as you continue to make the point that some authorization of force acts as a blank check on executive power in perpetuity (remember, Bush said this war will last our lifetimes), I dont see how any amount of contrary logic could dissuade you.
Tell me something; what to the words "any and all" mean to you?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
satirist: Centerist.
(Ah, well... Jay Leno would be proud)

Teacher:beach.
(sigh.... back to the training tapes)

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
The devil himself may quote scripture, Bruce. That, however does not make him more trustworthy.

Good lord man, how many times do I have to say it and how many times do you try to change the subject.

The words and ideas stand on their own. This isn’t about whether the speaker is trustworthy. It’s about the idea or principle which he presents.

Are you telling me that just because Al Gore said it that this idea ...
Whenever power is unchecked and unaccountable it almost inevitably leads to mistakes and abuses. In the absence of rigorous accountability, incompetence flourishes. Dishonesty is encouraged and rewarded.
... has no validity and shouldn’t be a concern of ours if we’re freedom loving people?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
ideas either stand on their own or they don’t. It really doesn’t matter who utters them, the truth will out.
And if this were simply a matter of ideas, there would be no argument.

But this is also an argument of who we trust to uphold and impliment those ideas. Not that I trust all Republicans to do this, but I do trust more Republicans then Democrats. There are good men and women on both sides of the aisle that have our interests at heart.

Putting words into action is what the argument is over.

I still think it’s like listening to the "reformed" fox just out of the henhouse saying, here’s where you need to change your security. While what the fox may be saying is true, that doesn’t make me trust the fox any more then before. The fox is still a fox.

***********

On a seperate issue, I’ve not found any proof that the NSA used wiretaps to spy on the Quakers. All I’ve found is that physical surveliance was done because there was a protest march on the NSA campus in MD.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
The words and ideas stand on their own.
No, they most certainly do not.
What matters is ACTION.

You of all people should know, that any pol can mouth words, and they usually do. Seldom, however do they put those words into action. Do you really plan to fall over for ever pol who mouths the words you want to hear? That way lies Bill Clinton, for example.

As Keith says, and correctly:
...this is also an argument of who we trust to uphold and impliment those ideas.... Putting words into action is what the argument is over.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. When politicians on either side of the aisle come out in support of liberty, that position should be reinforced. When politicians on either side of the aisle come out on the opposite end, that position should be ridiculed.

Hear, hear.

So long as you continue to make the point that some authorization of force acts as a blank check on executive power in perpetuity (remember, Bush said this war will last our lifetimes), I dont see how any amount of contrary logic could dissuade you.

Not only that;
If left unabated, rampant executive power will extend to all future administrations.
Remember, Hillary is in the waiting.

And I know that there are many reading this that shudder with anticipation. Imagine her unchecked powers.

(excuse me, I have to throw up now.)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Wouldn’t it make more sense to make sure Hillary and her ilk don’t get elected?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Bithead - I think their point is that we should applaude the speech, and we should. That doesn’t mean we should automatically change our opinion of them without actions to back up that speech.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
and by "them" I mean the speakers who are stating things contrary to their own history...
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
I think the quote is much more accurate and effective in its complete form: [...] "essential liberty" and "temporary safety" are relevant framing, IMO.
Good point.
There is no essential liberty to have AlQaeda and it’s hangers-on on speed dial.
Apparently, the vast majority of those swept up did not, in fact, have Al Qaeda on "speed dial". Or have any connection with them at all.
The trouble is, having been briefed on the situation without complaint and in accordance to the laws, there is no one in either party in a position to call for any investigation with credibility that they have anything but the most crass political haymaking motives in mind. That is a bipartisan problem.
(shrug) I’ll be satisfied with an investigation called for by a hypocrite. Meanwhile, I’m calling for an investigation, and I have no conflicts in my past that would make me a hypocrite by doing so.
The devil himself may quote scripture, Bruce. That, however does not make him more trustworthy.
Indeed. And nor does it make the scripture less trustworthy. And since we’re dealing with what Gore said and not who Gore is, your analogy would seem to detract from your argument.

Ultimately, ad hominem — I dislike the man, so I shall discount his ideas — is not just a logical fallacy. It’s lazy.

"I agree with Gore’s speech" does not = "therefore, I support Gore in general". Stop conflating the two.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
(shrug) I’ll be satisfied with an investigation called for by a hypocrite. Meanwhile, I’m calling for an investigation, and I have no conflicts in my past that would make me a hypocrite by doing so.
Leaving aside the validity of calling for an investigation at all, here, I don’t know as anyone here has called you a hypocrite for doing so, Jon. I certainly have not.
"I agree with Gore’s speech" does not = "therefore, I support Gore in general". Stop conflating the two.
I’m not, Jon. But (Thank you) your comment does help me focus more exactly on my objection; Gore for example would take it, and represent it, as support in general.... and use that perception of support against your interests in the bargain.

A voting machine is a binary operation... you either support someone, or you don’t.... there’s no qualification to it... and the elections process ends up being as near to that as no matter. Ask the people who ended up having their qualified approval of some of Bill Clinton’s programs on his promotion literature, pre-election. That history should give you a clue as to what you’re dealing with, with Gore, today.

The phrase "The words peak for themselves" are almost always bogus, Jon. Words don’t speak. PEOPLE speak. Both the words and the speaker need to be taken into account to get the true implications of what the speaker is saying. Clinton/Gore should have taught us THAT much, at least.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Whether you support or oppose an investigation, Gores calling for it should have no relevance to your arguments. The fact that the Democrats will use it for political purposes is also less than relevant, as not bringing an investigation will also be used for political purposes.

A quote for the media might go "While I’m glad that Gore is calling for an investigation, and wholeheartedly support that, I was disappointed that Gore didn’t take as much care during his tenure as VP..."

I support clearing up any ambiguity by whatever means doesn’t compromise national security.

The voting machine may be a binary operation, but the political process is not. Therefore, supporting a particular position, without regards to its political effects, is a perfectly valid plan of attack.

In the end, actions matter. If the Democrats use an investigation (or nomination hearing) to play partisan political tricks, the public notices. And I believe the majority of the public are getting tired of such tricks. What is needed is substance, not style. Action, not talk. We don’t need talk of reform, we need acts of reform. We don’t need talk of protecting our civil rights, we need acts of protection. And we don’t need talk of protecting our national security, we need acts of protection.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
Whether you support or oppose an investigation, Gores calling for it should have no relevance to your arguments
When Book came along a few weeks ago with his anti-jewish crap, I told him to do me a favor and not agree with me on anything.

When such a person takes up your position, it’s cause for you to seriously re-examine your position. If you still find nothing wrong with your position, that person is likely up to something... in Gore’s case, political purposes, as you suggest.

He and his party returning to power is a larger threat to liberty, I think, than any of the rest of this.
The voting machine may be a binary operation, but the political process is not
Clinton’s misuse of quotes as sign-offs of support should tell you otherwise.
I support clearing up any ambiguity by whatever means doesn’t compromise national security.
Ah, so now we come to it, then.
Keith, you’ve swered into the big problem. I submit all the noise being made over this has done more to damage national security than anything else, by drying up those sources of information.
If the Democrats use an investigation (or nomination hearing) to play partisan political tricks, the public notices
Not as much as you might think; If what you say were true, Kerry wouldn’t have gotten as close to the Wh as he did.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Leaving aside the validity of calling for an investigation at all, here, I don’t know as anyone here has called you a hypocrite for doing so, Jon. I certainly have not.

Unless I’m just drunk and don’t know it. (which is a possibility)
I believe the hypocrite Jon was referring to was Gore,

Not himself.
(Jon will, of course, correct me if I’m wrong)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Whenever power is unchecked and unaccountable it almost inevitably leads to mistakes and abuses. In the absence of rigorous accountability, incompetence flourishes. Dishonesty is encouraged and rewarded.
Now what I don’t understand, is when words are strewed together in such a fashion that professes an opinion, why anyone who reads the words are drawn to different conclusions on the subject matter by what the previous opinions of that whom wrote them were.
(!?)

This is, first of all, an appalling abuse of state power and an unjustified invasion of privacy, uncovered by any definition of "national security" however expansive.
When Al Gore speaks to the cause and effect of these wire taps, why does his ideology come into play?
And this is why Republicans as well as Democrats should be concerned with what this President has done. If this President’s attempt to dramatically expand executive power goes unquestioned, our constitutional design of checks and balances will be lost.
Gore’s political affiliation should not deter from the message, should it?

We are, in essence, being asked to trust the state to know best. What reason do we have for such confidence? The agencies entrusted with our protection have repeatedly been shown, before and after the fall of 2001, to be conspicuous for their incompetence and venality.
…wait a minute. I’ve forgotten my place.
Some of those quotes were from Christopher Hitchens.

Oh well. I’ve had a couple of beers.
You figure which one goes where.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
well, I wrote that as I did because I consider the idea that Gore is a hypocrite to be unarguable. He’s been caught at it too many times before 40 even be any kind of a question any longer. This most recent episode is merely one of many.

It interests me that Mr. Gore is busy whipping up fearful reactions to government actions, while claiming that the president "played on our fears". Funny how that doesn’t get noticed in some quarters.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Leaving aside the validity of calling for an investigation at all, here, I don’t know as anyone here has called you a hypocrite for doing so, Jon. I certainly have not.
No, you have not. You did say that, since they’d been briefed previously, "there is no one in either party in a position to call for any investigation with credibility" that they weren’t being, essentially, hypocrites. (by pretending to care about legal issues when they really just wanted to score political points) First, and leaving aside whether they’d been fully briefed on the nature of the program because that is in some dispute, I don’t care. I don’t care if their motives are entirely political and partisan. Sometimes, as with greed in a free market, partisanship gets things done. Secondly, though I’m not a Senator or Congressman, I have no such ulterior motives. Finally, it’s entirely possible that their motivations are both crass and noble. The two are not mutually exclusive.
A voting machine is a binary operation... you either support someone, or you don’t.... there’s no qualification to it... and the elections process ends up being as near to that as no matter.
This is a point I’ve been meaning to bring up with you for a long time, because I’ve seen you make this lesser of two evils point before. It is simply not true that voting is a binary operation.

Voting, in a static sense, is a binary operation. But elections take place in a dynamic world. The outcome of each election changes the dynamic of the next one. So long as Republicans can be 1 point less awful and win, we’ll have two parties determined to out-awful each other. The only way to reverse that decline is to reverse the dynamic that’s incentivizing the awfulness. Shorter: if there’s no punishment mechanism for bad behaviour, then the bad behaviour will continue. That’s precisely why partisanship can be useful; that’s precisely why losing elections can help a party; that’s precisely why investigations are important.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
"The words and ideas stand on their own."
No they don’t, because he doesn’t mean what you hear when he says them.

He’s mouthing the right words, but he has something else in mind.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
No they don’t, because he doesn’t mean what you hear when he says them.

He has nothing to do with them in terms of their validity. The idea or concept’s validity is not dependent upon who utters it.



 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
Finally, it’s entirely possible that their motivations are both crass and noble. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Given their history it’s my view there is no nobility in them.
Sometimes, as with greed in a free market, partisanship gets things done
It is at the least, however, arguable whether not what is getting done is a good thing, for this reason, and possibly more:
Shorter: if there’s no punishment mechanism for bad behaviour, then the bad behaviour will continue.
Consider that there are a cure is that are more damaging to the patient than the original disease. It’s as I said the other day on another topic;
So it’s down to conservatives deciding who is best going to move our agenda forward. Barring that, it comes down to who is going to damage it the least. With that equation in mind than, ask yourself: Is there really a viable alternative to supporting Republicans going into the next round?

Face it; The Libertarian party for all of its principle, is a long running joke. Voting for Democrats at this point is like pointing a gun at your head and pulling the trigger, at least in terms of the stated goals. So, what then are our alternatives?

I have said in these spaces often enough that I support President Bush not because he’s a conservative... (He’s not) ...but because he’s far better than the available alternative. I submit that the same is true for the remainder of the Republican party in large part.

Like it or not, the reality is that the Republican party of today, like Bush himself, is, in fact, a centrist party. It is certainly true, that as the critics charge, over time, that has not proven very beneficial to the conservative movement, except in fits and spurts. However, the only viable alternative at the moment is Democrats who have gone so far to the left politically speaking that they make today’s republican party look like extreme rightists by comparison. Putting the far leftist Democrats in power because the Republicans aren’t conservative enough is akin in logic to cutting off one’s own leg because you’re having trouble walking.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
There is a major difference between simply mounting libertarian platitudes, and actually operating within libertarian principles. The Democrats have never, never, never, never, never done the latter. I have no reason to think they’re about to start now, nor do you.

Did I say never?
The Democratic party is certainly far more Libertarian when it comes to various social issues, where the Republican party is without a doubt the more authoritarian of the two parties. It is hard to argue that Democrats are not more libertarian than Republicans are in terms of abortion, physician assisted suicide, and various other issues.

On those issues, the Republican party is most certainly no more libertarian than its Democratic counterpart. On other issues such as fiscal constraint and government expansion, Republicans have shown themselves to be just as bad if not worse than Democrats. Right now we have a Democratic party that is at least notionally libertarian on a small set of issues, and a Republican party that is libertarian on almost none of them.

The only issue where Republicans still seem to have mostly stuck to a course of libertarianism is with respect to gun rights. Even then, though, Bush had no problem stating that he would sign a renewal of the AWB if congress had sent it to him.

So you have entirely failed to convince me why the Republican party should somehow be supported in the name of defeating the Democrats, when it appears that the Republicans have become absolutely no better, if not worse, than their foes.

I think it would be far more productive to support libertarian values wherever they arise, whoever they are advocated by, and opposing things that are not in the same vein. Imagine how much traction Democrats could gain in rural areas if they simply dropped their ridiculous position on gun control, or conversely how much Republicans could gain in urban areas if they simply dropped many of their more socially regressive stances. I think we would all be far better served if this were the case, both parties being notionally more libertarian if not in entirety, rather than shooting ourselves in the foot in some vain attempt at defeating one party or another.

 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
How about the most basic right... that of property, Rose?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Don’t misunderstand me: the threat of additional terror strikes is real and the concerted efforts by terrorists to acquire weapons of mass destruction does indeed create a real imperative to exercise the powers of the Executive Branch with swiftness and agility. Moreover, there is in fact an inherent power conferred by the Constitution to the any President to take unilateral action when necessary to protect the nation from a sudden and immediate threat. And it is simply not possible to precisely define in legalistic terms exactly when that power is appropriate and when it is not. -Al Gore
Perhaps it’s best if Al sits down, shuts up, and lets the adults do their job.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
How about the most basic right... that of property, Rose?
I dont think this is neccesarily a strictly Democratic or Republican issue, although in many ways admittedly it is. There was afterall no shortage of Democrats who were just as upset as conservatives were with the Kelo decision. Conservatives approached it more from the private property angle, while Democrats concerns seem to stem more from the concept of taking property from individuals to distribute to corporate interest, but both sides seemed to take serious interest in the issue.

I support reform in the use and application of eminent domain, but I think the most effective avenue to do so is the legislatures of the various states. It is, afterall, the states which grant eminent domain powers to local governments. Many states have sought this type of reform since the Kelo decision, although I admit that I dont know which states and what types of reforms have been passed.

My other points still stand, however. Both parties have certain areas where they trend libertarian, and other areas where they trend more towards the authoritarian. I cant with any good conscience say at this time that either one is overall better than the other. They are both pretty horrendous at this point.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
I dont think this is neccesarily a strictly Democratic or Republican issue, although in many ways admittedly it is.

In today’s politics, purity of one or the other is almost never true. Therefore, that we are speaking in fairly sweeping generalizations is pretty much a given.
Conservatives approached it more from the private property angle, while Democrats concerns seem to stem more from the concept of taking property from individuals to distribute to corporate interest, but both sides seemed to take serious interest in the issue.
Well, there’s the rub, isn’t it? Again, we come back to the question of ideological pruity... Here’s the problem, as I see this, and why I keep harping on the things I do; As you suggest:
Conservatives approached it more from the private property angle, while Democrats concerns seem to stem more from the concept of taking property from individuals to distribute to corporate interest,
Full stop.
Period.
Whoa, camel.
Halt.
Cease.
Desist.
Alto.
Arret.

Once you’ve said that, your choice is clearly made, and no further discussion is needed... The Democrats are the one of the two viable parties, operating from the less supportable position from a perspective of freedom. Past that, it’s ideologial purity, and implimentation.

Alas, on the Republican side, these have been mucked up by the RINO crowd. The rest of my comments are built on that point....But, here’s the short version; The ideas behind the Republican party, and indeed, beyond that, Conservatism, ahve never been tried.. have never had a proper chance, because of the leftward bent of a goodly number of people who call themselves Republican. This is why I’ve been saying for years that a slim majority of (R)s over (D)s doesn’t get the job done.



The rest of my comments follow this line, then.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider