Chicken Little, the sky ALREADY fell

Mano Singham, my colleague "on the other side of the aisle", writes today about the Military Commissions Act. I can't disagree with him; it appears to be pretty appalling stuff. He overworks the torture angle (Abu Ghraib? There are frat houses that put their pledges through more.), but under the law, we won't KNOW what the government is using, will we?

But this is what got me going:

Last Thursday saw the day when the US as a nation formally decided that it no longer accepted the basic human rights that have been the foundation of its civil society since the time it adopted the Bill of Rights. In particular, the nation went on record as declaring that habeas corpus was expendable and torture was acceptable.

THE day? You just got your line in the sand crossed, Mano? Will you be emigrating, or will you be joining a militia? Please pick one.

The sainted Abraham Lincoln (another Republican; doesn't that make you smile?) suspended habeas corpus and freedom of the press, and rigged the Maryland elections. The 10th Amendment died around then too, if it was not mortally wounded earlier. We allegedly settled the issue of whether an individual has self-ownership and the right to the fruiits of his labor then, too, but that didn't stop the income tax or the draft. The first gun control laws come from then, too, designed to keep firearms out of the hands of newly-freed slaves, so there went the 2nd Amendment (to be mortally wounded in 1934 and killed in '68). That's just the score from "the man who saved the Union" (Sic semper tyrannis!). Since then, we've abused private property, the right of privacy (If you want to hide something, put it in a uterus; the cervix is the only sacrosanct barrier left.), the right to travel, created the War on Some Drugs, destroyed the jury system with voir dire...

Basic human rights and the Bill of Rights have been dead for some time, Mano. How is this law different from all other laws?

But I must congreatulate you for seeing through Shagrod Brown and Ted "half-a-debate" Strikeland. Will you be voting for Fitrakis, or Peirce?


Trackback URL for this entry is:


Hold on there. If gun control laws were introduced after the War Against the States, you can't quite blame *Lincoln* for them. And he wasn't the first to try to suppress the press: remember the Alien and Sedition Acts, passed in tempori Adams? OTOH, he is the guy who started us down the paper money road.

And given how much the jury system has evolved over the centuries, I don't think it's fair to say it's been destroyed; and if it has, then it would be better to pick on the issue of nullification by verdict.

BTW, has Billy Beck been arguing with his ISP or something?


Posted by: Jeffrey Quick
Posted on: October 4, 2006 08:28 AM

I didn't blame Lincoln for them, I just lumped them in the same time period. If Lincoln was responsible, it's because "he freed the slaves", and I'm not going to call that "blame". And even that wasn't really new; consider the circular reasoning of Dred Scott ("If slaves are citizens, we'd have to let them have guns. It's unthinkable to let slaves have guns, therefore they are not citizens.") But I wasn't even going to pretend that the Bill of Rights applied to slaves, so it wasn't germane to my point. And Alien and Sedition only reinforces that point: that the sky has been falling for a very long time...since the Articles of Confederation were ditched, maybe.

As for Beck: good question. I worry that this has something to do with the pissing match he's been having with du Toit, though to be fair, Billy's part in this has been to watch the (bit) stream and say, "Kim, you're pissing." I hope he's back soon.

Post a comment

If you have entered an email address in the box, clicking this checkbox will subscribe your email address to this entry so that you are notified if any updates or additional comments occur on the entry.