Category Archive 'American Civil Liberties Union'
22 Jun 2013
Mencius Moldbug, photo: NSA
The incredibly prolix, but always rewarding Moldbug is back with a terrific rant savaging Roger Baldwin and the ACLU, which dismisses with Olympian contempt all the faux libertarian dramatics about automated data-mining surveillance.
We live in a country in which being supposed to have the wrong opinions on equality will lose you your career (Paula Deen) and cause you to be cast right out of respectable society, and in which the heroic struggle for freedom and personal autonomy consists of defending your electronic communications from automated searches for phrases like “Durka, Durka, Mohammed Jihad” and connections with known conspirators.
[T]he American system of government [is] communism, ie, rule by the party of civil service. As Americans, we can at least be thankful that communism has done less damage here than elsewhere. It’s great to be an exporter, especially when your product is dioxin. It gives you the comforts you need to worry that someone is grepping your emails.
Thus, while I am not really one for purges, I’d be dismayed to see anyone who calls himself a real reactionary worrying at all that Obama is reading his email. Or whatever.
First of all, a reactionary is a gentleman (or a lady). A gentleman (or a lady) doesn’t whine. If he finds himself whining, it will be because his leg has been crushed by a truck and he’s in enormous fucking pain. It won’t be because some meanie is denying him his universal human right to rule the country, or his 1/10^8 share in that right, or whatever.
My son actually thinks he has human rights. It’s because he’s 2. This morning he asserted his right not to take his amoxicillin – with some success, but not much. I expect the critics of the NSA to have about the same luck. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.
For a man or for a community of men, the right to rule is a function of the might to rule. If the sound competent Midwest can get itself euchred out of its democratic right to rule by a bunch of slick Harvard men, the sound competent Midwest cannot maintain its authority and will get euchred by someone someday. If it’s not Harvard today it’ll be Yale tomorrow.
As for your right to “privacy,” as if having your emails grepped affected you in any way, it is by accident. Forget about the opponents of the government being persecuted. If they are persecuted, which is not their decision of course, (a) it will not be by means of grep, and (b) they’ll have to learn to deal with it, like men, rather than whining like little girls.
Obviously, almost all of those complaining are complaining because they are better communists than the Obama administration. A remarkable achievement, though it owes more to the complainees. Power does season a man – maybe only Nixon could go to China, but only Eric Holder could crack down on the Associated Press. (Hey guys – I know you’re big fans – don’t you like the way that red lightsaber feels in your hand? Swing it around a little. Well-balanced, isn’t it? Nice test cut you’ve taken – maybe it’s time for some real rail-splitting? Take it home, use it for a week, bring it back if you don’t like it? You’ll really enjoy working out with this little baby, I can tell you.)
But unfortunately, America is a communist country and Americans are not persecuted for being too communist. Au contraire – they are petted and lionized. They appear daring while taking no risks. It’s perfect. It’s true that there were a couple of periods where as many as ten or twelve communists suffered mild professional consequences for cavorting too openly with the Soviet mass-murder cult. Surely ten Americans a day are fired for racism. Hitler has been dead for 70 years, and the Brown Scare rolls on – at a thousand times the maximum intensity of “McCarthyism” or the Palmer Raids.
So if you’re a good communist, you have only symbolic worries about your privacy. These worries are simply a projection of your political penis envy. You react the same way to having your emails grepped as if someone said you weren’t allowed to vote in 2016. In reality, this loss would not affect you at all. Symbolically, however, it would represent a profound Freudian castration. In fact, if you fail to express your symbolic political masculinity, preferably through a Facebook update, you will feel castrated by default. But gross public outrage restores your hypothetical testosterone.
Read the whole thing.
24 Dec 2007
Al Knight on the left’s political crusade against the Boy Scouts.
Some topics are best left both out of sight and out of mind. The American Civil Liberties Union’s war on the Boy Scouts is not one of them.
The ACLU, in a rational world, might well have been expected to champion the First Amendment rights of an organization like the Boy Scouts. After all, the First Amendment to the Constitution (so dear to the ACLU) protects both speech and the right to associate.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 upheld the right of the Boy Scouts to select members and leaders without regard to state laws that bar discrimination based on sexual orientation.
That ruling hasn’t stopped the ACLU. It has simply shifted tactics away from the courts and focused its energies on local and often mean-spirited campaigns to deny the Scouts places to meet and the ability to raise funds.
Sadly, the campaign appears to be working. Earlier this year, the Philadelphia City Council caved to pressure from the ACLU and gay and lesbian groups to end a 75-year-old, $1-a-year lease on the Boy Scouts headquarters. The lease was originally granted to run “in perpetuity.”
But now, the Scouts will have to pay almost $200,000 a year in rent. Not only that, but the city’s Cradle of Liberty Boy Scout Council, after years of resistance, gave in to pressure and essentially agreed to the demands of gay and lesbian groups. And more bad news: The left-leaning Pew Charitable Trusts and the United Way in Philadelphia have stopped funding the Boy Scouts.
The youth of Philadelphia need the Boy Scouts as much as ever, but the City Council is too cowardly to stand up to the unreasonable and vindictive demands of special interest groups.
These campaigns against the Scouts can no longer be disguised as efforts to end discrimination. They have only one purpose: to punish an organization that has performed countless good turns for a century.
At this point, it is unclear what can be done to convince the American public that actions like those taken by the Philadelphia City Council pose a risk to the nation and to the common good. Today, the Boy Scouts may be the target, but tomorrow the same shabby tactics could be aimed at the Rotary Club or any other private civic group.
After all, what this country really needs is an active self-affirming homosexual presence in an organization for boys.
05 Apr 2007
Urban prosecutors and police departments ignoring state law in Texas has led to the unlikely alliance of the NRA and ACLU, reports the New York Times.
Like many other states, Texas bans the carrying of concealed handguns without a license. Obtaining a license requires a background check and a gun-safety course. By long-established law, however, Texans can cite â€œtravelingâ€ as a defense to possession of an unlicensed handgun. But while traveling was widely understood to denote a journey of some distance, it was never defined. (Travel on planes and other interstate conveyances banning weapons falls under federal jurisdiction.)
In 1997, the State Legislature tried to clarify the law by removing unlicensed carrying of a weapon as an offense while traveling. But it left unresolved whether traveling required making an overnight stop, crossing county lines or other conditions.
In 2005, lawmakers sought to remove the ambiguity by declaring that anyone in a private vehicle who was not engaged in criminal activity or otherwise barred from possessing a firearm was â€œpresumed to be traveling,â€ and thus exempt from restrictions on concealed handguns.
Terry Keel, a former member of the Texas House of Representatives who sponsored the bill, explained its intent in a statement entered into the record: â€œIn plain terms, a law-abiding person should not fear arrest if they are transporting a concealed pistol in a motor vehicle.â€
But the measure hardly ended the controversy.
Almost as soon as it became law in September 2005, the Texas District and County Attorneys Association signaled its displeasure by advising members that the act did not rule out arrests of otherwise law-abiding drivers carrying weapons. The association said it was up to the courts to determine whether a person was, in fact, traveling. â€œTherefore,â€ it declared, â€œofficers are still acting within their lawful discretion if they arrest a person who might qualify for the traveling defense or the new traveling presumption.â€
Or, as Charles A. Rosenthal Jr., the district attorney of Harris County, which includes Houston, argued, â€œThe presumption of innocence does not make the person innocent.â€
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