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And Another

Take a look at this pdf of Sen. John Cornyn’s letter to the president concerning this snitch line. It’s only a page long and worth the read. I wonder if there will actually be a response? If you’ve the time, I’d urge you to do a little snooping around yourself. This deliberate attack on first ammendment rights is worth investigating… just a little, hey?

Cheers all.

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  1. August 13th, 2009 at 06:09 | #1

    I listened to the conservative talk show “Grandy and Andy” on the way in to work. The dissenters attending the health care reform town halls were described on this “conservative” show as a fringe element with white supremacist tendencies. I wonder what the Skald thinks about the “fringe right” and the handling of dissent.

  2. Jeff
    August 13th, 2009 at 16:14 | #2

    …and I’ve commented on the wrong article.

  3. August 13th, 2009 at 19:45 | #3

    @Neospooky

    I’m going to assume that whether we’re talking about the “fringe right” or “fringe left” that we’re not talking about people in berets wielding billy clubs. If it’s a matter of public discourse, then my views are pretty simple. It seems that some of my favorite and most cherished writers on our liberties are liberals. It seems perfectly reasonable since they have the same root. One of my favorite essays is J.S. Mill’s On Liberty, and it would really do most liberals a world of good to read the whole essay.

    I think Mill was an arrogant *&^%$, but I’ve been accused of the same thing. Mill considered conservatives idiots. While I agree with most of Mill’s arguments in support of liberty, like many other liberals I admire, I disagree with nearly everything else that ushers from his mouth. 😀 One of my favorite quotations from On Liberty, where Mill is commenting on whether we should silence dissenting opinion, he says the following:

    I answer, that it is assuming very much more. There is the greatest difference between presuming an opinion to be true, because, with every opportunity for contesting it, it has not been refuted, and assuming its truth for the purpose of not permitting its refutation. Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion, is the very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for purposes of action; and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any rational assurance of being right. J.S. Mill

    However, Mill discusses times and places where control can and should be justifiably exerted, BUT concerning areas of life that are NOT subject to control are also discussed in this essay. In fact, right in the introductory remarks… which makes me think that most liberals and progressives that quote this when the “time is right” are just parroting a quote and have never read their own great saint. Up front, Mill lays out a premise that many should heed, both inside and outside the government:

    The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him, must be calculated to produce evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

    I love that quote. And again, I probably should have made this a post 😀 It seems long for a comment. This works if one is up for my long winded replys. Anyway, I do believe that there are times and places for dissent, I even believe direct action activism is good and right in its place. Moreover, unlike many people, I also believe a good poke in the nose is the only reasonable response to some kinds of old fashioned “fighting words.” Sometimes, those on the fringe are so far out there, that they hide in the anonymity of the online environment. When they do show up where I’m participating in public discourse, whether right or left, I still don’t tolerate fighting words. Virtually everything else, I participate, ignore, or walk away. If what I do, or the fringe does, is against the law (i.e., civil disobedience) then honour and freedom both demand we accept responsibility for our actions.

    Best regards Neo,
    Steven

  4. August 13th, 2009 at 20:00 | #4

    @Jeff

    That’s ok, I’ll answer anywhere – and anytime I have the time 😉

    Cheers!

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