Sunday, November 28, 2010


It is hard to believe nowadays, but the words libertarian and liberal both have roots in the word liberty. 

Roger Cohen is the rare American liberal who still stands up for our constitutionally protected rights, while casting a jaundiced eye on the government that is supposed to protect them.

Mr. Cohen has written an excellent article criticizing airport security, big government, and the damage they are doing to our society.  All excerpts are from his NY Times article, The Real Threat to America:

Like most of us, he doesn't see government as evil, but more as a blundering behemoth that tramples our rights while trying to "save" us.

He also displays an understanding of human nature that our founders displayed when they crafted our divided and limited government...
Give a bureaucrat a big stick and a big budget, allow said bureaucrat to trade in the limitless currency of human anxiety, and the masses will soon be intimidated by the Department of Fear.
More ominously for America, even to those of us who think the fascism charge is thrown around a little too loosely...
Lavrenti Beria, Stalin’s notorious secret police chief, once said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” The T.S.A. seems to operate on the basis of an adapted maxim: “Show me the security check and I’ll find you the excuse.”
Cohen understands where the strength of America lies:
America is a nation of openness, boldness and risk-taking. Close this nation, cow it, constrict it and you unravel its magic.
To those on the left who scream about conservatives not caring when it was Bush trampling our liberties, I concede the point.  But we conservatives are waking up now; the very illiberal "liberals" are falling asleep.

The lefties won't listen to conservatives or libertarians, but I pray they listen to Roger Cohen.

NY Times - Roger Cohen, The Real Threat to America


WomanHonorThyself said...

lets pray we still have some liberty left after Hussein is done with us! HOPE ya had a fabulous holiday weekend..I'm still

Always On Watch said...

All this TSA intrusiveness has resulted in a big win for Islamic terrorists -- with regard to our rights and our financial well being, too.

Sadly, the conservative Americans I know are still flying instead of boycotting the airlines and the TSA.

Pamela D. Hart said...

Silverfiddle: Excellent article! I've been talking with a lot of people about these pat-downs and scanners and 90% are okay with them! It baffles me! What people are willing to give up for "safety" is astonishing. Trust me, I don't want to be blown up...but I'm NOT willing to give up any MORE freedom or any more liberty to FEEL safe!

Get the government out of my wallet, out of my pantry and out of my friggin underwear! I can NOT take anymore and if we don't take a stand against this infringement on OUR liberty, it WILL get worse! Or be gone altogether!

Trestin said...

He is a dying breed. The new liberals/progressives are much closer to Lenin.

Finntann said...

Let me make a rather harsh observation on the difference between Islamic Jihadists and supporters of the TSA.

They are willing to die for their principles, you...are not.

And as the Franklin quote on trading liberty for security is a little, and rightly so, overused... I leave you with the words of Sergeant Major Daniel Daly, two time winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor:

Come on you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

An honest question here and keep in mind I am no big fan of Bush 43 (or 41 for that matter) but please explain exactly what rights he trampled on?

Now if you are going to go on about phone calls you had better find something else due to the fact that changed a 'law', not a 'right'.

Jersey McJones said...

Once again I see we have a conservative who simply has no clue what liberals think. Most all liberals I know would completely concur with Mr Cohen. We hate the poice state. What's ironic here is that you are implying that somehow the police state is a liberal invention! The gall! I guess anything conservatism does that fails becomes liberalism, huh?


Maggie@MaggiesNotebook said...

Before the latest TSA procedures, I WAS seeing the government as evil. When I realized that our Congress can be effectively purchased by the Executive Branch, hot on the heels of learning that the DOJ had quashed the New Black Panther case, the evil became clear to me. I'm still of that same mind.

I think you are talking about the Patriot Act with Bush 43. I really was against it, but did not know how we would accomplish finding out what we had to know. The problem for me came from it passing on to another administration, and that's exactly what happened. Now a rogue DOJ is in charge.

I don't know what advantage we would have lost in the War on Terror without the Patriot Act - and with that question unanswered, I know we should never have allowed it to happen.

Silver, I didn't get around to visit my friends on Thanksgiving. Had a houseful of family that left yesterday, but I hope you had a wonderful one.

Silverfiddle said...

Nothing like getting sandwiched! Jersey from the left, Christopher from the right.

Jersey, this is not specifically a liberal thing. It is a bipartisan progressive thing. Both parties have cooperated in trampling our freedoms.

Christopher: The very notion that a president could authorize a raid on the treasury to refill the pockets of wall street bankers is indeed a great trampling of our rights.

Anonymous said...

Give me liberty or give me death!

Bastiatarian said...

>It is hard to believe nowadays, but the words libertarian and liberal both have roots in the word liberty.

That reminded me of a colleague's (an anthropologist) helpful distinction between the three "lib" words: "liberty," "liberation," and "liberality" (in the current sense).

Liberty: Each individual has the inalienable right to his or her life, liberty, and property, and government is limited to protecting those rights.

Liberation: The freeing of a group of people, often a relatively distinct ethnocultural or bioracial group, from oppression (real or imagined) by another such group.

Liberality: Government confiscation of property and/or services from one person to give to another person.

The last is liberal only from a certain standpoint, in that the government is liberal with other people's property. To the victim of such legal plunder, there is nothing "liberal" about it.

>you are implying that somehow the police state is a liberal invention!

It may not be, but totalitarian collectivists sure have perfected it! Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, China, etc...Nobody does it better! Congratulations!

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