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November 20, 2006

We Must Recognize Jim Henley's Contribution To The Proletarian Struggle

When Alberto Gonzales said this on Friday --

Some people will argue nothing could justify the government being able to intercept conversations like the ones the Program targets. Instead of seeing the government protecting the country, they see it as on the verge of stifling freedom.

But this view is shortsighted. Its definition of freedom - one utterly divorced from civic responsibility - is superficial and is itself a grave threat to the liberty and security of the American people.

-- I thought, well, that sounds exactly like a speech by a member of the Soviet Politburo. I was going to go dig up some appropriate comparisons, but it turns out Jim Henley has already done so. Let's nominate him for an Order of the Badge of Honor.

Posted at November 20, 2006 02:15 PM | TrackBack

With all due respect - not a good example. Saying that the rights come with responsibilities is much more reasonable than declaring that someone's definition of freedom is a grave threat to liberty and security.

Posted by: abb1 at November 20, 2006 03:09 PM

Ha ha!! That's a great one, abb1. Ha ha!! Our attorney general has a more totalitarian outlook than the Soviets!! Ha-- oh. Uh, oh...

We are in deep doo doo.

Posted by: Church Secretary at November 20, 2006 04:00 PM

Damn those freedom loving people! They are out to destroy the United States because they hate us for our

Posted by: DBK at November 20, 2006 04:02 PM

I have to side with Jonathan on this one, abb1. I think this:

Enjoyment by citizens of their rights and freedoms must not be to the detriment of the interest of society or the state. . . .

Pretty much makes the case. The focal point is subservience of the people to the state.

Posted by: SPIIDERWEB™ at November 20, 2006 04:52 PM

Gonzales is using the "rights go with personal responsibilities" point to mask a fundamentally totalitarian argument. Yes, freedom of speech comes with a personal responsibility to use it wisely -- no libel, no "shouting fire," etc. But the right to due process doesn't mean we have a personal responsibility to let the government take away the right to due process.

If this is really the way he thinks, Gonzales shouldn't be teaching an introductory college course on constitutional theory, let alone serving as the highest legal official in the land.

Posted by: Whistler Blue at November 20, 2006 05:46 PM

Egad! Don't tell me the Republicans are becoming Civic Republicans!

Posted by: RobW at November 20, 2006 06:07 PM

Whistler Blue is correct, methinks.

I can't remember if it was Janis Joplin or Dick Cheney who said that "freedom's just another word for how we keep you rubes quiet while we clean up."

It must've been Cheney, because it's not that catchy.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at November 20, 2006 10:52 PM

OK, SPIIDERWEB, compare:

1. Citizens' rights are not to be exercised to the detriment of society.


2. Your definition of freedom is itself a grave threat to society.

I think these two statements pretty much demonstrate the difference between authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

The first statement could be made by Lenin, the second by Stalin; or Mussolini vs. Hitler, if you prefer.

Posted by: abb1 at November 21, 2006 09:39 AM