June 10, 2013
Quotes, actually, as there are two from his latest post at NRO’s The Corner blog. Both, I think, reflect the way I’m leaning in the uproar over the NSA’s telephone record and Internet data collection program:
How are Americans supposed to rely on congressional oversight to keep the administration in check if the administration misleads Congress about what it is doing?
Which is a huge part of the problem the administration has defending these programs: having been shown repeatedly to be idiots at best and bald-faced liars at worst in scandal after scandal, how are Congress and the general public supposed to trust them now, even though they might actually be telling the truth about how the data is collected and used?
The fable of the boy who cried wolf endures for a reason, you know.
If politics were logical, we would say: “It is necessary to have awesome national security powers but they can only be trusted in the hands of honorable officials; since the officials we have cannot be trusted, we need to get new officials.” But politics is not logical: It is a lot easier to slash the powers we need than the officials we don’t. That is where this is headed, and I fear we’ll regret it.
As I’ve been saying, “baby, bathwater.” This is my fear, too.
PS: McCarthy is a writer you
should must have in your news reader. Even if you disagree with him, his arguments are always edifying and thought-provoking.
June 10, 2013
After observing that the US government issues so many security clearances that it couldn’t possibly properly vet them all:
One reason for the citizenry not to entrust its personal information to the government is that the big, bloated, blundering government is stupid enough to entrust it to Edward Snowden, as it was previously stupid enough to entrust it to Bradley Manning (the Wikileaks leaker). It’s only a matter of time before the halfwit leviathan entrusts it to a Major Hasan or a Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
(Do read the rest. Steyn is quotable in almost every paragraph he writes.)
March 23, 2013
In regard to the duty to serve in the militia and who might be exempt, James Madison said that members of Congress…
“…ought ever to bear a share of the [burdens] they lay on others in order that their acts may not slide into an abuse of the power vested in them.”
(cited in “The Founders’ Second Amendment,” Kindle edition, location 6281)
While Mr. Madison was talking about militia duty, it seems to me that his recommendation is applicable in many, many instances, and as valid now as it was then.
Wise man, that Jimmy M.
March 8, 2013
From Senator Ron Wyden, during Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster:
Mr. President, what it comes down to is every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them.
That’s liberal Democrat Ron Wyden (1), from the liberal state of Oregon.
Second term isn’t turning out to be as much fun as you thought it would be, eh, Mr. President?
(1) And good for him, too. Seriously.
February 13, 2013
“Time for a lesson, Barack.”
And I don’t mean Cicero, Illinois, but the great Roman lawyer and orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero (1):
“Whoever governs a country,” Cicero wrote in On Duties, “must first see that citizens keep what belongs to them and that the state does not take from individuals what is rightfully theirs. . . . Indeed, the chief reason we have a constitution and government at all is to protect individual property. Even though nature led people to come together into communities in the first place, they did so with the hope that they could keep what rightfully belonged to them.”
Smart people, those Romans.
via Roger Kimball
(1) And whose prose tormented me in Latin classes. Caesar, Livy, Tacitus, Virgil… no problem! But Cicero? That man broke every rule of grammar you ever learned and made you thank him for it. That’s probably the real reason Marc Antony had him killed.