April 29, 2013

"Sadly, we have been conditioned to believe that the job of the government is to keep us safe..."

"... but in reality the job of the government is to protect our liberties. Once the government decides that its role is to keep us safe, whether economically or physically, they can only do so by taking away our liberties. That is what happened in Boston."
Three people were killed in Boston and that is tragic. But what of the fact that over 40 persons are killed in the United States each day, and sometimes ten persons can be killed in one city on any given weekend? These cities are not locked-down by paramilitary police riding in tanks and pointing automatic weapons at innocent citizens.

96 comments:

Pogo said...

They can only keep us cowed, not safe.

Moo.

EMD said...

Ron Paul for Presid...

Leit Bart said...

Will this become routine? It happened again this weekend, in Calaveras County, California. Here's one resident's description:
_____________

"I was working on my tractor and a (California Highway Patrol ) copter kept flying over my house," area resident Roger Ballew, 35, told the Associated Press.

A SWAT team showed up at his house Saturday night and told him to stay inside, Ballew said.

"It was nerve-racking, I didn't sleep well," he said.
_______________________

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/28/girl-stabbed-california-manhunt/2119639/

bpm4532 said...

I wonder when the Democrats will realize that they are frogs in a pot of water on the stove and it's starting to boil? Frog soup for the elite.

Revenant said...

Good points from Mr. Paul.

EMD said...

Police states are all the rage these days.

Æthelflæd said...

We have always been at war with Eastasia + soma. Best of both worlds.

Beorn said...

This statement falls within the 70% of Ron Paul's statements that I agree with. It's just that the other 30% is so damn kooky.

LilyBart said...


The government cannot keep you safe. But it can take away your liberties. So - bad bargain to trade liberty for safety.

john said...

That's what happened in Boston? How about New York in 2001?

To Krauthammer, safety is a feature to be praised, not a bug. He's like most republicans, sadly.

Levi Starks said...

AMEN

Kirk Parker said...

Beorn,

You speak the (sad) truth.

Coketown said...

Isn't life a liberty? Or is Paul only concerned with 1/3 of our unalienable rights? Maybe even less, since the three enumerated where only among those rights--not all of them.

I would say it is A job of the government to keep us safe. Not THE job, as Paul forces us to either accept or reject. But fine: say the government only had one job, and that job was to protect our liberties. Protect them from whom? Just itself? Or each other?

It seems that having my feet blown off by ball bearings from an exploding pressure cooker is an egregious violation of my liberties.

Does Paul believe we can have either our feet or are liberties intact, but not both?

Is this false dilemma as uncharitable as the one he offered?

John Lynch said...

You cannot have liberty without security. It's meaningless. Being able to speak your mind does little good if you can be killed at any time.

Gov't can go too far in the name of security, but private individuals cannot protect themselves from mass terrorism or all out war. It's easy to complain while protected by the most powerful military ever created.

I accept the point that paranoid overreaction can be worse than whatever triggered it, but surely gov't has a role protecting its citizens.

stlcdr said...

"Sadly, we have been conditioned to believe that the job of the government is to keep us safe..."

Who is 'we' Kemosabe?

edutcher said...

If the job is keep us safe, they ain't doin' it.

Dante said...

For better or for worse, the surveillance society is coming. Americans will demand it, especially if Boston types of attacks aren't prevented.

Libertarian idealism has the problem that "You can't get there from here." Rand Paul's ideal of letting in illegals is such an example, in which the welfare state costs of the illegal amnesty program will further entrench Americans in involuntary servitude.

The problem with Libertarianism is that "You can't get there from here."

Rusty said...


I would say it is A job of the government to keep us safe.

Basically it is to police us-keeping us from denying other citizens their rights.
Mediate our disputes
and
Protect the country from foreign invaders.
Oh
And Protect our currency.
Basically that's it.

You will never get rid of people who simply want to watch the world burn.

Humperdink said...

From my perspective, the only job of the Feds is to defend me from foreign enemies. No roads, bridges, schools, parks, food stamps, unemployment bennies .... those are the roles of state and local gov'ts. Period - end of story.

Aridog said...

Sadly, we have been conditioned to believe that the job of the government is to keep us safe, but in reality the job of the government is to protect our liberties

Tell me how our liberties are protected if we are not safe? Just more of Paul's usual utter nonsense....he is a master at saying nothing verbosely. He takes away enough votes to keep Democrats in office, so he does serve a purpose...just not the one he says he does.

So we got a taste of martial law, eh ... as if we'd never had it before ... Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, et al...never did it. I love history revised, facts modified, manure as perfume.

100% of that article is pure Pollyanna horse-crap.

St. George said...

And all those policemen, security officers, etc. have jobs, and they vote, and my guess is both political parties will pander to them, thus creating an interlocking and self-reinforcing government/security structure that will be impossible to reform. Meanwhile, taxes will continue rising, thus impoverishing the economy and citizens.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

If you accept that we are each ultimately responsible for our own selves, the rest pretty much follows.

You can delegate authority but not responsibility - and delegation without supervision is foolish.

The Delagatee will *always* put their own interest ahead of your own.

If two persons contract out or delegate to the same agent for the same service, there is additional dilution and conflict of interests.

This is called Government.

Colonel Angus said...

It's guys like Ron Paul who give libertarians the kook label. As others have said, liberty is meaningless if you can't enjoy a marathon without being blown up. This is not to advocate for a police state but I'm also not advocating for anarchy either.

A core function of government is in fact, security which is why we have a military and police force and the expectation that they will protect society from the Tsarnaev's of the world. It's not a perfect world and I think the Boston police and FBI acted appropriately based upon what little they knew.

Ron Paul needs to drink a nice cup of stfu.

Tibore said...

Paul, as usual, has found a nugget of truth yet taken it too far in the wrong direction and turned it into something practically unrecognizable. As is the standard practice with political libertarians, he chooses to take that nugget and magnify it beyond rationality. It's a ludicrous proposition to conflate a police order to stay out of the way with "martial law", especially when the boundaries of the case are apparent (chasing a pair of bombers on the loose). It's also ludicrous to make it out as if the police activities were a hindrance to actually capturing the remaining suspect. What does he think was making them flee in the first place, the plethora of citizens with cellphone cameras?

That's benighted thinking.

It's true that the dance between citizenry and government is the trade of liberties for the uses of power government can wield, and it's also a pertinent and very valid point that you must take care with continually assigning things to government and growing the beast's power. And I am in particularly deep agreement with his charge of "security theater" (..."so that the government can pretend to protect us."). But Paul, as his wont, finds a way to turn a continued negotiation and renegotiation implicit in electable government and turns it into a warning of virtual, citizen implemented totalitarianism. Using the Boston Marathon tragedy as a launching point for that is just silly and superficial. Most people are able to look at real world events in a practical light, but political libertarians seem unable to do this, Ron Paul most especially included. It's not an implementation of Cuban style police stating for police to warn people to stay where it's safe while they chase dangerous criminals. It's also silly to posit that it was citizenry who did all the work prior to arrest (the citizen who called police didn't "discover" the brothers as much as stumble across them and get carjacked. Painting that as anything else is ludicrous).

I don't know why Paul uses the real world as a starting point for idealistic fantasy, but it seems to be a continued practice with him. There are times I admire his dedication to limiting government power, but there are also times I feel like he's more Ivory Tower in his thinking than many university professors (our blog hostess excepted, of course). That's not a good thing to be.

Scott M said...

It's easy to complain while protected by the most powerful military ever created.

Irrelevant. Were any members of that military deployed in Boston during that manhunt? We're talking about cops wanting to play military.

AprilApple said...

As long as we feel good about ourselves, with our liberal cash for terrorists programs.


Scott M said...

In the same vein as helicopter parenting (which has ruined an unhealthy chunk of kids these days), has anyone coined the phrase "helicopter governing"?

Maybe not quite as pithy given that actual helicopters are involved, I grant you, but still...

Æthelflæd said...

Asking an honest question here, because I have jumbled thoughts on the matter....Is there a difference between providing for the national defense and "keeping us safe"?

My kids are much more likely to drown or die in a car accident than get hurt by terrorists. As a society, we have tried to ban trampolines for kids and guns for adults. Everyone is helmeted and belted.

I think our society has a warped desire to be safe atevery turn. Might not this zeitgeist affect us in our search for protection against terrorism?

Mitchell the Bat said...

Friendlier looking uniforms for the SWAT teams is something we could all agree upon.

Æthelflæd said...

Maybe they should wear superhero capes and tights. They obviously like costumes, so maybe they would be willing to give up the wannabe military look if offered something even more awesome.

Jay said...

The state comes along, orders you to stay in your home, searches other homes without warrants and at gun point and the people of the city chant: "Boston tough"!!!

We are truly living in Orwellian times.

Jay said...

I think people are conflating two issues here.

"Safety" - which would be an agressive, competent security apparatus regarding terroism.

And the state, composed of FBI, ATF, National Guard, State & Local police, acting in a paramilitary action.

The latter is Paul's point.

I wouldn't go on criticizing the former, because that isn't what he's saying.

EMD said...

The real question is the response commensurate with the danger/threat posed by a 19 year old.

The 19 year old who ESCAPED from and EVADED police?

bgates said...

It's a ludicrous proposition to conflate a police order to stay out of the way with "martial law", especially when the boundaries of the case are apparent (chasing a pair of bombers on the loose)

What were the physical boundaries of the case? How far could they have gotten in the four days between the bombing and the end?

It's also silly to posit that it was citizenry who did all the work prior to arrest (the citizen who called police didn't "discover" the brothers as much as stumble across them and get carjacked. Painting that as anything else is ludicrous).

Wrong guy. The person who called the police after finding the surviving brother in the boat isn't the one who got carjacked.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Is there a difference between providing for the national defense and "keeping us safe"?"

-- Yes. Large sodas are not a threat to our nation; crazy people with tanks and nuclear weapons are. This is the extremely short-hand way explanation.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Aethelflaed said I think our society has a warped desire to be safe atevery turn. Might not this zeitgeist affect us in our search for protection against terrorism?

Yes. Seems also that we are always expecting the next war to be fought the same as the last. It rarely is.

Synova said...

For whatever reason, I was thinking about this this morning. Not the Boston bombing, but that so many people don't want liberty and don't want freedom. They want to be taken care of. And they view not being taken care of as other people taking away their liberty to be taken care of.

(Oh, I remember... for whatever reason I was thinking of one of my friends in the non-traditional students club I'm in at school who really despises Ayn Rand.)

In any case, the problem with demanding that government take care of you and seeing this as liberty to be governed in the way you chose is that it only happens with other peoples money taken by force. My "freedom to be taken care of" exists only in concert with my ability to force others to take care of me.

Jay said...

Tibore said...
It's a ludicrous proposition to conflate a police order to stay out of the way with "martial law", especially when the boundaries of the case are apparent (chasing a pair of bombers on the loose


timeout.

There was no order to "stay out of the way" - the order was stay in your home.

Said order applied to the city of Boston when the manhunt was in Watertown.

The "boundaries" were not clear at all.

cubanbob said...

While Ron Paul might be pushing the envelope lets not lose sight of the fact that very same government that is charged with keeping us safe is also the same government that let them in in the first place then fed, clothed, housed and educated them. Maybe if they had done their job right at the beginning this would not have necessitated the heavy handed security after the fact.

Synova said...

So... We're not complaining about the Patriot Act any more? We're not complaining about wiretapping anymore? We're not complaining about the Feds requesting lists of who took out library books any more? We're not complaining about being groped by TSA agents or having nudie pictures taken of our 12 year old through her clothes any more?

Really?

And para-military police shooting up people, no-knock raids, turning a whole city into a war zone... complaining about that is just crazy talk?

We're doomed. Bottom line, we're doomed.

Scott M said...

crazy people with tanks and nuclear weapons are

You forgot high-speed internet access.

Big Mike said...

Forced lockdown of a city. Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down.

My question for you liberals. Are you okay with all this? Do you regard the 4th amendment with the same contempt you feel for the 2nd?

I guess the ACLU is too busy chasing down nativity scenes to stand up against such self-evident violations of the Bill of Rights.

Synova said...

What does anyone think that the push to remove guns from our society is about? (And no pretending that isn't the ultimate goal.) It's about being SAFE.

We're really at the point where we can't stand up to that and chose liberty over safety?

Big Mike said...

Forced lockdown of a city. Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down.

My question for you liberals. Are you okay with all this? Do you regard the 4th amendment with the same contempt you feel for the 2nd?

I guess the ACLU is too busy chasing down nativity scenes to stand up against such self-evident violations of the Bill of Rights.

Colonel Angus said...

My question for you liberals. Are you okay with all this? Do you regard the 4th amendment with the same contempt you feel for the 2nd?

Much like the anti war movement, its fine when their guy is in charge.

Mitch H. said...

Igh. Lew Rockwell? I've never felt comfortable with anybody named Rockwell, I'm sure there are quiet, Dorothea Rockwells out there, on their virtuous ways to some future unvisited tomb, but the ones that cavort in public all seem to be American Nazis or minarchist jerkwaters.

And I don't think I agree with Paul's statement. There was some talk over on the Ewok's site about whether a guy, who managed to take smartphone pictures of the big shootout in Watertown, if he had a rifle, ought to have plugged away at the brothers. Consensus was that it would have infinitely complicated matters, and resulted in a badly shot-up neighborhood. Posses are notably undisciplined, and without the authorities to keep them in check, are essentially vigilantes one step away from the mob.

SMGalbraith said...

Our liberties aren't just threatened by government, Congressman. It may be the main threat - the modern state can be - but it's not the only one.

Government was created, in large part, in order to secure our liberties.

Freedom and order, liberty and security.... they will always be in tension. But both are needed.

Shanna said...

This statement falls within the 70% of Ron Paul's statements that I agree with. It's just that the other 30% is so damn kooky.

Yep. He starts speaking and you're nodding along for a bit and then it's like Woa. And that 30% is pretty important too.

I do agree that these 'don't go outside your house because we're hunting someone' thing is a little creepy and should not become widespread.

Rusty said...

Synova said...
For whatever reason, I was thinking about this this morning. Not the Boston bombing, but that so many people don't want liberty and don't want freedom. They want to be taken care of. And they view not being taken care of as other people taking away their liberty to be taken care of.

There is a quote somewhere. I forget who said it, but it is something along the lines of; The left wishes nothing more than to be relieved of the burden of liberty.

Brew Master said...

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...
If you accept that we are each ultimately responsible for our own selves, the rest pretty much follows.


This is the core of the problem, it defines the difference between the two camps in American society.

I am responsible for my own safety, the government cannot provide for my safety. It is absolutely impossible for society to be made safe. You cannot prevent a person bent on murder from commiting murder. You cannot ban guns to stop people shooting each other. You cannot ban bombs to stop people blowing up others. It just cannot be done. You can try to make everything that could possible kill you illegal, and people will still get killed.

Accepting this fact is almost impossible for many people. If you cannot accept that you are responsible for yourself, you delegate your responsibility to others. Combine this delegation of responsibility with the lack of acceptance that a 'safe' society is impossible to create and you have people who will gladly vote for a police state. They will happily extend more and more power to a controlling authority that promises to make the world safe.

Those that would trade liberty for security deserve neither.

Matthew Sablan said...

I think it would've been unwise to take a shot in that case because -- well, the good guys with guns don't know you're also a good guy with a gun in that situation.

Colonel Angus said...

I am responsible for my own safety, the government cannot provide for my safety.

During colonial times that was typically how it was and many a frontier family was hacked to death by Indians because, well, you can only do so much by yourself.

It seems many comments here deal in absolutes in that its impossible for everyone to be kept safe. There is a balance between securing liberty and safety. I don't have much liberty if roving gangs of thugs routinely threaten my existence when I leave the house. Again this isn't a call for a police state but there must be some semblance of security otherwise it seems like many are just advocating a free for all.

Brew Master said...

There was some talk over on the Ewok's site about whether a guy, who managed to take smartphone pictures of the big shootout in Watertown, if he had a rifle, ought to have plugged away at the brothers. Consensus was that it would have infinitely complicated matters, and resulted in a badly shot-up neighborhood.

Had I been in the position of the guy taking pictures of the shootout, I most definately would have taken aim at the bombers. I have a wife and child to protect, and the house had already taken fire (there are pictures of the bullet holes through the furniture/walls).

Yes, it would have to have been a clear shot, not some random spray and pray, but I would have taken it if it were presented. I would not have run the risk that a protracted gunfight right in front of my house would send a random bullet to kill my wife or baby daughter (whether fired by the bombers or police).

If the state chose to prosecute, I would happily do the time.

Brew Master said...

Colonel Angus said...
It seems many comments here deal in absolutes in that its impossible for everyone to be kept safe. There is a balance between securing liberty and safety. I don't have much liberty if roving gangs of thugs routinely threaten my existence when I leave the house. Again this isn't a call for a police state but there must be some semblance of security otherwise it seems like many are just advocating a free for all.


Nice strawman you've built there. No one has advocated anarchy, or a free for all.

Everyone recognizes that there is a need for a government to protect the structure of society. Common defense, policing, and upholding law and order is not in dispute.

What is in dispute is the growth of the state to protect from all threats, which cannot be done.

Police cannot protect me from a break-in at my house, or a carjacking, drunk drivers, or a random bomber in a public sphere. My fellow citizens who think that the government can protect them from everything are the ones that vote to take away my liberties.

I can protect myself by securing my home against invasion, secure my car against carjackings, drive alertly to protect against getting hit, not much I can do about terrorist bombers.

I don't think that the possibility that I will get blown up by a terrorist bomber is large enough that I will abdicate responsibility for my own security to the state.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

IF you die you lose all your rights.
Thus, keeping your safe may take away some liberty but not being safe may take away all liberty.

If you lose your life, you also lose your liberty.
I'd love to see a president run on a NO SECURITY platform.
He'd be laughed off the stage.

jr565 said...

John wrote:
To Krauthammer, safety is a feature to be praised, not a bug. He's like most republicans, sadly.


Hmm, so you would say that safety is a bug to be damned, not a feature? IT's better to be unsafe then safe?

That's pretty dumb. And you wonder why Ron Paul never set foot in the white house.

jr565 said...

Do all the libertarians on this board have locks on their doors?
Then you too believe in some security at the expense of liberty.

Writ Small said...

It's a little sad when you see normally smart people accept arguments based on the false dichotomy fallacy. There is nothing inconsistent with a politician being both a nut and a phony.

jr565 said...

Brew Master wrote:
Everyone recognizes that there is a need for a government to protect the structure of society. Common defense, policing, and upholding law and order is not in dispute.

What is in dispute is the growth of the state to protect from all threats, which cannot be done.

No one said you can protect form all threats. What is "common defense" in your mind? ANd how does that play out with Ron Paul's asinine statement. How much liberty is lost with commmon defense? Have you thought about that? would you give up common defense if it meant you lost liberty? How much policing is done at the expense of liberty. Would you give up policing?

It's an absolutist position based on sound bytes that are full of shit.

prairie wind said...

During colonial times that was typically how it was and many a frontier family was hacked to death by Indians...

Whoa! Are you talking about mass murder and terrorism...without guns?? Say it isn't so.

Larry J said...

If it's the government's job to keep us safe, then they're coming up short. The didn't keep the people at the Boston Marathon safe from attack. The didn't keep that man safe from being car-jacked. They didn't keep that MIT police officer from being killed. When they had the shootout with the suspects, they fired a lot of rounds but one suspect was still able to get away. Their perhaps unprecedented lockdown of a major city with forced searches didn't find the remaining suspect - a man who went outside for a smoke did.

Gun rights advocates correctly point out that "when seconds count, the police are minutes away." Court rulings have established the precedent that the police have no obligation to protect you. Their main function is trying to find out who committed a crime so they can arrest him in the hope of preventing future crime. It's a rare crime that is stopped in progress or prevented from happening by the police.

jr565 said...

upholding law and order is not in dispute.

Upholding law and order is not in dspute? C'mon! IF there is a law in place it deprives you of liberty. So how about if we made the argument that passing laws deprive you of liberty,therefore govt shouldn't pass laws.

It's a ridiculous absolutist position. It sound great in theory Who wont stand behind liberty. But when you start making arguments like Safety OR liberty or if you try to keep people safe you deprive people of liberty you get to the ridiculous argument that trying for some degree of safety is somehow a flaw.

When if you acept upholding the law, and common defense, you've already built into the equation that govt will be trying to maintain some degree of safety. Common defense and upholding the law requires it.

jr565 said...

Larry J wrote:
Gun rights advocates correctly point out that "when seconds count, the police are minutes away." Court rulings have established the precedent that the police have no obligation to protect you.

Why can't it be true that you have to protect yourself and that its also govt's job to keep society safe? It doesn't have to be an either or. Libertarians seem to want to pit one virtue against another beucase they somehow think that to not do so disproves their point. It doesn't.
What does disprove their point is people like Ron Paul uttering the imbecilty and people then saying "Yeah that's so true'.

Colonel Angus said...

Nice strawman you've built there. No one has advocated anarchy, or a free for all.

When you make generalized statements such as I am responsible for my own safety, the government cannot provide for my safety. you supplied the straw. Perhaps a better phrased statement such as, government cannot protect against every conceivable threat.

I actually agree with you but again, the fact government can't protect against everything doesn't mean it should not try within the parameters of the Constitution. One of the main reasons a government exists is to provide for the security of its citizens. I think the 2nd Amendment mentions something about that.

Brew Master said...

jr565 said...
Do all the libertarians on this board have locks on their doors?
Then you too believe in some security at the expense of liberty.

4/30/13, 10:00 AM

No one said you can protect form all threats. What is "common defense" in your mind? ANd how does that play out with Ron Paul's asinine statement. How much liberty is lost with commmon defense? Have you thought about that? would you give up common defense if it meant you lost liberty? How much policing is done at the expense of liberty. Would you give up policing?

It's an absolutist position based on sound bytes that are full of shit.


4/30/13, 10:03 AM


Your reading comprehension is lacking:

Brew Master said...

I can protect myself by securing my home against invasion, secure my car against carjackings, drive alertly to protect against getting hit, not much I can do about terrorist bombers.

4/30/13, 9:50 AM


Can you please explain to me how putting locks on my doors decreases my liberty?



To answer your other questions:

Common defense is done at the federal level, protecting us from aggressive foreign states, to wit, military invasion.

Ron Paul is a nut, try to find where I've advocated his positions.

Liberty is gained with common defense, not lost.

Policing can help secure liberty, but only to a point. When the state is trying to strip me of my fundamental rights to protect myself and my family based on a false notion that for me to be disarmed protects me, then they have gone around the bend.

The state cannot protect me by disarming me. They cannot post an armed guard at my house 24/7 to protect against a home invader. I am best able to protect myself and family, the state can help by allowing me the ability to do that.

Your absolutist position comment is a strawman. No one here has said to get rid of the state, or the police, but is only pushing back against the trend to view the government as the provider of safety.

jr565 said...

edutcher wrote:
If the job is keep us safe, they ain't doin' it.

So, suppose it's your job to keep your family safe, only you are killed in a home invasion? does the fact that you are unsuccessful in defending your home mean that we should abandon the idea of people protecting their home?

Colonel Angus said...

If it's the government's job to keep us safe, then they're coming up short.

I suppose if you look at it in absolutist terms sure. On the other hand there is a number of terrorist attacks that have been foiled in the planning stage because of the government. It's like the IRA quote, they only have to be lucky once.

I suppose if the police stopped patrolling and just sat in the donut shop everything would be fine. Perhaps another way to look at it is how much security do we wish to forego for liberty?

SMGalbraith said...

These were extraordinary circumstances - exigent circumstances it's called - and I see no serious (serious, not none) problem with the government taking extraordinary measures during those times.

Paul can give much better examples of where the government has expanded its powers in a dangerous way.

This isn't a good one.

jr565 said...

Brew Master wrote:
Liberty is gained with common defense, not lost.

Except you're arguing an abstraction. Protecting against a terrorist attack, many would consider "common defense" and yet that is the very thing that Ron Paul is saying would deprive us of our liberties.

jr565 said...

The state cannot protect me by disarming me. They cannot post an armed guard at my house 24/7 to protect against a home invader. I am best able to protect myself and family, the state can help by allowing me the ability to do that.

Your absolutist position comment is a strawman. No one here has said to get rid of the state, or the police, but is only pushing back against the trend to view the government as the provider of safety.

THe police ad the state ARE govt. They are part of the common defense.
As would having safety measures in place to deal with terrorist attacks. So, therefore, what the f is Ron Paul talking about? ANd what are you talking about?

Æthelflæd said...

To "provide for the common defense" is a legitimate function of government. The question is, at what point does the government become the entity we need protecting against? The AG of the United States could not be brought to abjure hitting american citizens on American soil with drone strikes. On a local level, the police are increasingly militarized. There is cause for concern.

Colonel Angus, you are correct that to a certain extent, terror prevention is a victim of its own success. We aren't too worried about it, because we haven't had much happen since 9/11. However, in my own locality, I worry more about the police than terrorists. I worry about my teenage daughters getting pulled over for traffic violations after dark, because cops are so jumpy and all about their own safety these days. That was on grand display in the L.A. Dorner case. To serve and protect doesn't seem to be the watchword for most anymore, unless it means "to protect myself and my fellow policemen". We watched the local popo have a high speed chase through our small town , speed limit 30, and draw out shot guns and their entire arsenal over one man in a supposedly stolen vehicle, which turned out to not be the case. Sure was exciting for them, though! Last week, I watched a constable speed through the local Walmart like a bat out of hell, with little kids with their mamas walking around everywhere.

In so many cases, the cops have developed an us vs them mentality. Combined with our safety-first culture, it is not a healthy place for our republic to be in. I think questioning this is a good thing.

EMD said...

These were extraordinary circumstances - exigent circumstances it's called - and I see no serious (serious, not none) problem with the government taking extraordinary measures during those times.


This time was fine by you — it never involved you. What about next time?

jr565 said...

"Can you please explain to me how putting locks on my doors decreases my liberty?"


A long time ago,our apartment got robbed. I told my mom she should put bars on the window since they got in through the window.

She responded that she didn't want to live like that, with bars on the window as if she was in a prison.

We got robbed again, and she put bars on the window.

The liberty lost at the expense of security was her having to live in a way she didn't want to live.
But she gave up that "liberty" because it was more important to keep our house safe then to stick to principle about not living in a house with bars on the windows.

Cedarford said...

Libertarians discredit themselves everytime they make the "your lives, your security is trivial next to the Sacred Liberties of the Holy Parchment of our Divine Founders" argument.

All laws and operating manuals (all any state or nations Constitution actually is, not some Holy scroll passed on by Jesus through the lawyers writing it) .....arise secondary to the creation of a Social Contract.

All social contracts are between the people and the rulers. Ideally, it is the People that are the prime movers of the Social Contract, and not a conquerer listing all the rules the conquered now have to obey or they will be assailed by the conquerers forces.

All Social Contracts involve security and latitudes the people have, and the Ruler has - as a premise of creation. Then the paperwork follows, along with a listing of laws and rights.

Idiot libertarians think individual Rights! and Freedoms! happened before the 1st cave tribe then subsequent state entities organized for the sake of security and collective effort, and set down rules and norms. And only when society was organized, and security was in place were "rights and freedoms" brought into the conversation and weighed as allowable or not allowable in the tribal "operating manual" - based on positive or negative impact on the group.

Simply put, there is a good reason the Bill of Rights was not created before the Revolutionary War was won, and why the Preamble (Goals) of our operating manual and its organization structure was devised. Why the Rights came after the other stuff. And why even one operating manual had failed and was discarded by People and Rulers (Articles of Confederation - a libertarians dream)

Its the same sequence of events as it always has been. Band together for common purpose. Survival, security, ability of the group to compete and prosper against other human groupings. Then with those assured, rights and liberties are discussed. If the goals fail, then the rules and rights are altered. Or the whole social contract is thrown out and and the cave group or "higher level" society reorganizes - not infrequently at the spearpoint of a new ruler or as slaves being told the rules and rights of the conquering people if their own security failed to safeguard the tribe from submission.

If things are going well, yes, we do have the luxury of discussing rights of enemy and criminals or discussing the costs of excess security or just "security for show".

And in Mass, we do have that luxury - we are safe enough we can talk about enemy rights as turncoat citizens - we still have some surplus wealth that can create a warrior show for the masses of Americans - of the 9,000 Heroes with their shiny new toys and feathered caps preening about saying they will find an unarmed "evildoer".


SMGalbraith said...

"This time was fine by you — it never involved you. What about next time? "

If terrorists who want to blow me up - and have blown people up - are running through my street with bombs and are shooting police, yes those are exigent circumstances that I believe allow the government to take actions that during normal times they cannot.

It's like the police stopping me from entering my bank because there are bank robbers robbing the place. Like, like, like - not an analogy.

In instances like this my liberty is more threatened by the terrorists than by actions by the government.

None of our rights are absolute and none of our rights are ONLY threatened by the government.

jr565 said...

Synova wrote:
So... We're not complaining about the Patriot Act any more? We're not complaining about wiretapping anymore? We're not complaining about the Feds requesting lists of who took out library books any more? We're not complaining about being groped by TSA agents or having nudie pictures taken of our 12 year old through her clothes any more?

Really?

And para-military police shooting up people, no-knock raids, turning a whole city into a war zone... complaining about that is just crazy talk?

Maybe you and the lefties were complaining about that but maybe some of that was crazy talk.
For example the issue of library books.

When I was a kid library books had cards on them and the name of all the people who had taken out the book was written on the card. So, the idea that somehow the library was protecting our privacy prior to the patriot act, is ludicrous.

In the case of the current terrorists. We were supposed to know that he was a terrorist because we were warned, but we didn't heed the warning. Shoudn't we have been monitoring this guy at this point to see who he was meeting? That requires some program, like a Patriot Act to monitor his movement.

SMGalbraith said...

Did the police and law enforcement go too far, take too extreme measures?

Probably. We can debate that.

But did they fundamentally have the power and authority - legitimately so - to take their actions? Yes.

Cedarford said...

Brew Master wrote:
Liberty is gained with common defense, not lost.

========================
The common defense is premised on the simple fact that for the common good, we can force men to pick up arms, shed most their "rights" and fight or die against their will.

True of all societies. Common defense cannot work if only 35% of able bodied men want to fight while 65% want to hang back and let others take the risk of fighting the leopard at the caves entrance or fast forwarding 4,000 years to Amercan Freedom Lovers! having to risk all by going out and fighting Japs and Nazi German troops.
Even in WWII, attacked and war declared on us - the libertarian idea of "let each man decide if he wants to fight to save our rights and freedoms" utterly failed. We only got 6 million volunteers...and needed to draft 9 million others and force them from their saftey behind other men and "full enjoyment of their "inalienable rights and liberties" in the Rear.

jr565 said...

SMGalbraith wrote:
"Did the police and law enforcement go too far, take too extreme measures?

Probably. We can debate that.

But did they fundamentally have the power and authority - legitimately so - to take their actions? Yes."



What measures are taken can be debated. Maybe some go too far, maybe some don't go far enough. But libertarians like Paul are questioning any measure taken. That's why he's taking an absolute position rather than discussing an individual measure.
If we are discussing an individual measure then maybe he has a point. And maybe he doesn't.

But making a blanket statement about liberty and security or freedom and how adding to security or safety decreases our freedom, leads to the conclusion that it's better to have no safety measures in place. And,again, that is beyond stupid.

SMGalbraith said...

"But making a blanket statement about liberty and security or freedom and how adding to security or safety decreases our freedom, leads to the conclusion that it's better to have no safety measures in place"

Agreed.

As I stated above, our liberties aren't just threatened by government. Private individuals (or groups of them) threaten our freedoms too.

Madison put it pretty well:
"You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself."

Paul rejects the first part almost completely.

But admittedly others reject the second part nearly as completely.

jr565 said...

EMD wrote:
This time was fine by you — it never involved you. What about next time?


Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures?

jr565 said...

SMGalbraith wrote:
As I stated above, our liberties aren't just threatened by government. Private individuals (or groups of them) threaten our freedoms too.


Good point. And lets take the idea of the govt setting up cameras and how that's a deprivation of our liberty. The plain fact is, that even without govt cameras, every person in the crowd had a cell phone with a camera and we found the bombers because of those images.

We can't expect privacy on a public street anymore (and we probably never should have expected that),

Cedarford said...

SMGalbraith said...
Did the police and law enforcement go too far, take too extreme measures?

Probably. We can debate that.

But did they fundamentally have the power and authority - legitimately so - to take their actions? Yes
===================
In a way, the black and white ideological extremes of libertarians, the puffed up Hero Head Cops, and enemy rights Advocate Eric Holder derails reasoned debate.
Much as the abortion debate has one side that thinks a morning after pill is 1st degree murder wave their Holy Parchment highlights against the extremists that say their Holy Parchment spin allows doctors to snip the spines of delivered babies as a "Sacred Freedom!".

There should be reasoned debate. On security, questions should be raised.

1. Did we do enough to monitor the Islamoid Brothers?
2. How did it become our Sacred Duty to take in any Muslim "refugees" that want in to America and give them a plethora of benefits that citizens and illegals do not get?
3. Why was the Government impulse so stage a security theater for the masses so instant - 9,000 armored and armed cops and paramilitary milling about in a shut down city looking for a single suspect that was seen fleeing a car unarmed?
4. Why do we insist on the President helicoptering in as our God anytime anything goes wrong in America? Where we expect by our and media expectations that he will be the Consoling Father to Us ALL? The Daddy who will protect us from the Mean People? The Grief Counselor in Chief?
5. Why didn't cops just grab a couple of dogs and follow the scent and leaking blood trail that led from the abandoned car to the boat?
6. Why has no one asked WTF happened when the Hero Cops arriving at the boat and an unarmed suspect - lost all fire and target discipline and put 40-45 rounds into the boat and nearby houses - in a way that would have a squad of Marines in Afghanistan pulled to base, stripped of weapons, and investigated?

jr565 said...

I wrote:
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures?


That too is an absolute statement. and While true, it can be taken too far, just like the libertarian position. So, I don't want to make the argument that extraordiary times call for ANY measure. Only that if we are dealing with extraordinary times (like a war for example) the usual rules don't apply.

If we were living in Europe during WWII when they were dropping bombs on cities, it woudl be kind of silly to argue points of order about how society is supposed to function.

SMGalbraith said...

"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures?"

Yes with limits of course.

Remember the debate we had after 9/11 about the ticking bomb?

Can we torture people - Americans - to defuse that bomb? It will save thousands of people.

So, we debate within some guidelines that government can take emergency actions in emergency situations but they can't take ANY and EVERY action. It can do A but not B, et cetera.

Paul, and his supporters, don't seem to want to have this discussion. It's all absolutes.

That's not realistic.

EMD said...

Good point. And lets take the idea of the govt setting up cameras and how that's a deprivation of our liberty. The plain fact is, that even without govt cameras, every person in the crowd had a cell phone with a camera and we found the bombers because of those images.

It's not the cameras. It's how they may be used.

jr565 said...

Paul, and his supporters, don't seem to want to have this discussion. It's all absolutes.

That's not realistic.

Back during 9/11 it wasn't just the Paulians who were arguing this position. THe anti Bush liberals suddenly became libertarian for exactly the duration of Bush's presidency (coincidentally)

jr565 said...

9/11 after it was determined that planes were hijacked, all planes flying were forced to land. That's a pretty extraordinary measure. yet, was it warranted in that particular circumstance?
Would it be warranted in all circumstances?


jr565 said...

EMD wrote:
It's not the cameras. It's how they may be used.

NOt really sure how to answer that. Since I don't know how the cameras are being used. Would it be wrong for cameras to be used for things like traffic violations?

jr565 said...

Ron Paul said:
"Three people were killed in Boston and that is tragic. But what of the fact that over 40 persons are killed in the United States each day, and sometimes ten persons can be killed in one city on any given weekend? These cities are not locked-down by paramilitary police riding in tanks and pointing automatic weapons at innocent citizens."


The simple answer to this is that those murders are not exraordinary circumstance and so are treated the way we treat normal occurances in society. Whereas, a bomb that blows up at the finish line if the Boston Marathon is. Whereas 9/11 is.

Rand Paul had to walk back his earlier statement about not using drones on citizens by making the caveat that of course if it's a war situation the govt can use almost any means their disposal. He was talking about using drones in a circumsntance that wasnt extraordinary.
But who has argued that drones should be used for ordinary crimes (and I'm talking about drone strikes, more so than drone surveillance). no one is going to blow up a citizen with a drone attack leaving Starbucks simply because.
Libertarians have to recognize that the extraordinary circumstance sometimes requires different rules.
Abe Lincoln had to suspend habeus corpus during the Civil War. If it wasn't the Civil War then it would be horrific to suspend habeus corpus. But the two circumstances are completely different.

THe ends don't always justify the means. But sometimes they do.

Aridog said...

Æthelflæd said...

The question is, at what point does the government become the entity we need protecting against?

Just about the time the collective "we" begin to think "liberty" in a Republic is equivalent to absolute freedom in all aspects of life. Then we elect statists to insure it.

Look at it another way....simpler terms....just about the time our police discovered they had to wear more than a cloth uniform and a badge, due increasing violence against them and the rest of us...but while we hide we expect them to protect us...and there you go.

EMD said...

NOt really sure how to answer that. Since I don't know how the cameras are being used. Would it be wrong for cameras to be used for things like traffic violations?

Keep acceding jurisdiction and power to the government, and find out how they can be used.

EMD said...

Or just watch The Lives of Others, and figure it out on your own.

Tibore said...

"bgates said...

Wrong guy. The person who called the police after finding the surviving brother in the boat isn't the one who got carjacked."


My mistake. But it doesn't matter, my point still stands. That's still a case of someone stumbling upon the criminal, not seeking them out. The implication Paul was making was that the police were essentially ineffective at capturing the criminals, and if it weren't for the work citizens did, the remaining bomber would've been caught. It's conflating serendipity with citizen investigation, and as such is silly hyperbole.

But thank you for the correction. Paul's statement didn't make sense the way I was thinking he meant it. Now it does.

"Jay said...
timeout.

There was no order to "stay out of the way" - the order was stay in your home.

Said order applied to the city of Boston when the manhunt was in Watertown.

The "boundaries" were not clear at all.
"

The boundaries were perfectly clear. There were dangerous criminals on the loose, stay where it's safe. As I said before, that's light years away from the sort of totalitarian oppression common in societies like Cuba, or any other communist dictatorship in the Iron Curtain days.

I do not like excess zeal by officers or any other member of government either, but I'm hard pressed to accept Paul's conflation of the Boston orders with "police state tactics". He's engaging in hyperbole. Excess degrades his case. I'd agree in full and with enthusiasm had he merely warned of excess, but he's engaging in excess himself. And as such, is undermining his own argument.

jr565 said...

EMD there is a large distance between cameras used for traffic stops and The Lives Of Others. And in he case of traffic stops, IF you are going to have speed limits you need to have things in place that determine the speed you are going.
In the case of The Lives Of others scenarios, I have no problem with govt using such tools on people like the current bombers. We should have been on top of that situation. That is a far cry from monitoring people who are not engaged in terrorist activity.