This may come as a shock, but your opinion on politics is probably incredibly uninformed and the primary reason you didn’t know is you live out your existence in a pseudo-intellectual echo chamber of people whose experiences, privileges, and sociopolitical makeup is remarkably similar to your own. You aren’t an expert. You’re a fanboy. And that’s okay, but you don’t get to feel morally or intellectually superior to others by virtue of having an opinion.
"not all cops are bad"
Freedom is never more in peril than when politicians feel the pressure to ‘do something.’
This morning, October 29, 2012, the Supreme Court denied certiorari to an appeal by Ghassan Elashi, a defendant in the Holy Land Five cases, who was convicted of providing material support for terrorism when his non-profit Islamic charity, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, sent money to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories.
Leaving aside the bogus nature of such charges, the appeal in this case was grounded on the fact that, for the first time in US history, the government’s witnesses were allowed to testify anonymously and under aliases. The petitioner, Elashi, sought to have his conviction overturned on the grounds that this violated his 6th Amendment right to confront witnesses testifying against him.
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right…to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”
It is not difficult to see the importance of the right to confront and question witnesses whose testimony could change your life forever, and this Due Process right has been a fundamental feature of our criminal justice system for, like, ever. But as with all of our rights in post-9/11 America, nothing is sacred anymore.
By declining to hear this case, the Supreme Court has effectively given license to the Department of Justice (and likely to local prosecutors) to ignore the Confrontation Clause, just as it has allowed them to ignore the 4th Amendment, 5th Amendment, and parts of the 6th Amendment. Elashi will now spend the rest of his life in a cage for the crime of being a Muslim in the US and sending money overseas, and the rest of us may have just lost yet another of our Due Process rights.
It is worth noting, for those who would be inclined to believe the government’s charges, that the very same recipients of these donations also received aid from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), proving once again that it’s not “terrorism” when the US government does it.
Millions of Iranians are struggling to afford basic food necessities thanks to a spike in food prices caused by US sanctions. Those sanctions continue to be implemented despite the fact that "Washington admits Iran has no weapons program and has not made the decision to start one."
In short, these sanctions:
- Hurt average Iranians,
- Have increased Iranian unemployment,
- Do not hurt Iran’s leaders,
- Punish a nonexistent wrong,
- Are not effective, and
- Could be construed as an act of war
And yet, we’re still sanctioning.
When I finally realized Ron Paul won’t be president
At first I was like:
And then I was like:
But then I remembered Rand Paul and was like
You have to remember: rights don’t come in groups. We shouldn’t have ‘gay rights’; rights come as individuals, and we wouldn’t have this major debate going on [if we understood that]. It would be behavior that would count, not what person belongs to what group.
Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.
Yes they did.
David Boaz—The other day I saw a bumper sticker with an Obama logo and the words YES WE DID. This was hardly a surprise, as Obama got 67 percent of the vote in my neighborhood and 72 percent in my county, home to lobbyists and bureaucrats. And the embattled Republicans don’t flaunt their dissidence on their bumpers. But I began to wonder just what the driver was proud of.
Yes we did increase the national debt by $4 trillion? Yes we did create a national health insurance program passed in such haste that it’s full ofgross errors and requires restrictions on telling the media about it? Yes we did continue the wars a lot longer than we promised? Yes we did launch a third war in the Middle East without congressional authorization? Yes we did exercise presidential power more aggressively than George W. Bush? Yes we did laugh at the very idea of not arresting people for smoking pot? Yes we did ratchet up regulatory costs in a weak economy? Yes we did create the slowest recovery in postwar history?
Soon even my Republican neighbors may be sporting bumper stickers reading YES YOU DID.
Yes, the President is the Commander-in-Chief, but he’s not the KING.
Christians in American politics have argued for years that God endorses the political agenda of Republicans or Democrats, but is there a third way to think about the relationship between God and government?
Christians from the left and the right are increasingly turning to libertarianism not because it is a “middle ground,” but because it is an entirely different way of thinking about government and power.
The core of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle: that the initiation of force against person and property is immoral, and it is in many respects a kind of political corollary to the Golden Rule. Thus, Christian libertarians think that government power should be limited, sound money and truly free markets should return, aggressive war must cease and civil liberties must be preserved. Despite objections raised by other Christians, many Christian libertarians have found a friend in Texas congressional representative, presidential candidate, and lifelong Christian Dr. Ron Paul, because he also believes in these important principles.
Andrew Sullivan gets it exactly right on the Ron Paul “newsletters” story.
“This issue comes up again and again. Paul has taken two stands on it: the first was to take formal responsibility, even though he claims he didn’t know about the contents; the second was to insist he didn’t write them or know who did. Some of his early responses cited by TNC do seem defensive and cranky. But the notion that he has been actively seeking victimology in all this or that he is defined by these isues seems unfair to me. I think the papers (and comments almost two decades ago) should definitely be considered, in context, when judging his candidacy, and not because the neocons are determined to smear anyone challenging their catastrophic record. But compared with Rick Perry’s open bigotry in his ads, or Bachmann’s desire to “cure” gays, or the rhetoric around “illegals” in this campaign, these ugly newsletters are very, very old news. To infer from them that Paul is a big racist is a huge subjective leap I leave to others more clairvoyant than myself.
But ask yourself: you’ve now heard this guy countless times; he’s been in three presidential campaigns; he’s not exactly known for self-editing. And nothing like this has ever crossed his lips in public. You have to make a call on character. Compared with the rest on offer, compared with the money-grubbing lobbyist, Gingrich, or the say-anything Romney, or that hate-anyone Bachmann, I’ve made my call.”
-Andrew Sullivan, the Daily Beast