Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Disturbing News

Via The Young Fogey two pieces of regrettable news...
WASHINGTON – The House on Monday agreed to a 10-month extension of three key law enforcement powers in the fight against terrorism that some privacy advocates from both the right and left regard as infringements on civil liberties.

The House measure, passed 275-144, would extend authority for the USA Patriot Act-related provisions until Dec. 8. Common ground must be found with the Senate before the provisions expire on Feb. 28.

At issue are two provisions of the post-Sept. 11 law that give counterterrorism offices roving wiretap authority to monitor multiple electronic devices and court-approved access to business records relating to a terrorist investigation.

The third "lone wolf" provision of a 2004 law permits secret intelligence surveillance of non-U.S. individuals not known to be linked to a specific terrorist organization.

Last week the House, in an embarrassment for the new GOP leadership, failed to pass the same bill under an expedited procedure requiring a two-thirds majority. Twenty-six Republicans joined 122 Democrats in voting against it. Monday's vote drew 27 Republican no votes.
Read the rest here.

The conservative group Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) announced Saturday that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) would be expelled from the group's National Advisory Board because of his "delusional and disturbing alliance with the fringe Anti-War movement."

"It is a sad day in American history when a one-time conservative-libertarian stalwart has fallen more out of touch with America’s needs for national security than the current feeble and appeasing administration," YAF’s Senior National Director Jordan Marks said in a statement.

"Rep. Paul's refusal to support our nation's military and national security interests border on treason, aside from his failure to uphold his oath to the United States Constitution and defend our country and citizens against all enemies, foreign and domestic," Marks continued.
Read the rest here.

So, a principled opposition to a war of aggression (Iraq) and another war that although I believe justified (Afghanistan) seems to be more and more in support of a corrupt regime is now TREASON? The GOP and its neo-con acolytes throw that term around far too casually for my comfort. God save us from those who would hang or shoot a man (the customary sanction for treason) because he says we are wrong to wage aggressive war and at least some of our problems in the world are of our own creation.


Visibilium said...

I supported both wars and made no bones about it. In fact, I used the term "visionary" to describe the pre-emptive strike against Iraq, and I still do. Paul's foreign policy sucks, but he's not a traitor. His superb economics proves that.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I also supported both wars. I still back the campaign in Afghanistan though I have some growing reservations. But I was wrong about Iraq. I was sold a bill of goods by George Bush. There was no moral or legal justification for invading Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Visibilium, you got that exactly backward: Paul's fondness for the economic equivalent to the phlogiston theory of fire and the whole alter-world of the Bircher-Liberty Lobby wingnuts undermines his rather moderate to conservative foreign policy stands.

Yes, I stole the phlogiston thing from Krugman. It's too good to pass on.

Visibilium said...

Anon, labels really should have some kind of referent to make them witty. Using the phlogiston label is about as meaningful as saying that Paul's economics is like coloring the sky pink. Didn't your mother teach you that thievery is worthwhile only when you steal something valuable?

Anonymous said...

"Paul's economics is like coloring the sky pink" is actually pretty good. I may use that from here on out.

Seriously, I encourage everyone to read Human Action and Man, Economy and State, starting from the beginning. Pay special attention to the epistemic and ontological claims that are being made. The whole thing is built on a house of cards.

Second, if you don't have the patience to do that - and like Marxists, very few Austrians have slogged through the basic theoretical material in its primary sources - at least read Kagan's piece politely pointing out that the theoretical models deduced are also wrong.


Three things I don't debate anymore: austrian economics, holocaust denial and creationism. They seem to attract the same personality types. In fact, the funnest conversations are with the non-negligible set of folks that hold to all three.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Caplan's critique of the Austrian school is extremely narrow, and often picayune, when he doesn't engage in outright straw-manning.

Anonymous said...

On matters of faith, the faithful will acknowledge no legitimate critique. Rely on that.

For those seekers who are not yet illumined - read the damned primary sources. Seriously, just read them with an open mind, carefully asking yourself if there are flaws in the methodology or step-wise deductive logic. And ask yourself if you accept any model non-provisionally in dealing with other disciplines.

M. Jordan Lichens said...

Anon, can you please sign your name? It's annoying as hell when people troll a blog and start throwing the absurdum ad hitlarum argument about, but just ridiculous when they lack the courage to sign their names.