Sweating the Small Stuff

When Patrick Henry declared, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” he was totally talking about his freedom to drink corn syrup and caffeine at a volume vastly in excess of the average human stomach in one sitting

He would have totes ignored things like warrantless wiretapping, baseless airport harassment, indefinite detention, and drone kill lists

Forward, Randian masters! Return from the gulch and save us from big government and its job-killing cup regulations!


  • Hey Alan, I know how much you loathe liberty-minded people as being stupid and unrealistic, but claiming that people like us are ignoring the depredations being taken of our civil liberties is fallacious at best. Do a quick search, the google will help you.

    The real question is why Democrats like you and the AV crew completely ignore “things like warrantless wiretapping, baseless airport harassment, indefinite detention, and drone kill lists.”

    It’s your man Obama who’s in charge. When are you going to stop ignoring that fact and take him to task for those things?

    • BlackRockLifer

      I am very disappointed that Obama has continued some of the practices initiated by the Bush-Cheney administration. Of course it is Republicans that have a solid record of  attacking liberty and continue to be on the wrong side of history (and decency) on so many issues. In my life I have witnessed Republican assaults on civil rights, gay rights, and the rights of workers.  Republicans also brought us  the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs, and the latest round of voter suppression efforts. Why do Republicans hate liberty?

    • Well, I think by writing this post, I’m not “completely ignoring” anything. However, I’ll note that the outcry has been significantly louder and stronger about the requirement that the parched buy three 20 oz bottles of soda instead of a single 64 oz Big Gulp, a somewhat idiotic “issue”.

      • Oh, no doubt it’s idiotic. It’s idiotic to propose it, as if it’ll actually stop anyone from getting fatter, and it’s idiotic to piss and moan about it while ignoring (in any way) the real issues.

        Let’s try this tack: I completely agree “that the outcry has been significantly louder and stronger”. No doubt.

        So why the f*** is that? Why are you progressives ALLOWING this outcry to be louder? You guys are enabling it, you guys are responsible for leaving the existing depredations in place. It’s time to stop blaming the right and Bush for PATRIOT, the failed drug war, fast & furious, and drone assassinations. Where is the outcry?

        (the only places I hear ANY outcry on those things is antiwar.com and various libertarian outfits. Look at blackrock right below – he just can’t wait to deflect it back on the right wing when HIS GUY is the one ordering drone strikes that blow up kids)

        Oh that’s right, Obama’s your guy. Just look away, shuffle your feet, and pretend no one noticed, while writing one blog post now and then mentioning that you’re a little disappointed. I’m sure that’ll slow O down.

        • You should probably start paying attention to Glenn Greenwald, Cenk Uygur, Jane Hamsher, and other liberals who have been agitating about this stuff for several years. Just because you’re ignorant of it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened/isn’t happening. 

          How I’m supposed to prevent something from happening, is beyond me, but in my own mind I think the issues surrounding anti-terrorism efforts that we’ve undertaken since 2001 are far, far more complicated than just calling for it all to stop immediately. The solution to these issues is something that requires thoughtful deliberation and discussion – something that our politics and our society have proven themselves to largely be incapable of. 

          What I think has happened in the last 20 years – with much of it being dramatically accelerated – not uncoincidentally – since the election of America’s first half-black, Muslim, Kenyo-Indonesian Marxist-Nazi. The very foundation of our checks & balances was designed to demand compromise and consideration. 

          When one side – here it’s the Republicans – decides to stop doing that, the system breaks down completely. When compromise is dead, the result is stasis and failure. In this case, the Republicans’ singular policy is “Obama’s failure”, and they’ll do everything – up to and including the second global financial meltdown in 5 years – to see that happen. They’ll do everything including harming our credit rating, scaring the markets, ensuring that hiring won’t happen through uncertainty, that the American body politic makes the Balkans look downright splendid by comparison. 

          By unilaterally de facto amending the Constitution so that any legislation that passes Congress automatically needs a supermajority in the Senate to pass, our system of representative Democracy has been broken. (And don’t cry to me about how the Democrats did it / do it, too, because the facts don’t bear that out – the 110th Congress turned something that had been rare or occasional, into a routine matter).  Democrats routinely compromised and did business with Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. Obama even tried to do what Clinton did post-Contract with America and compromise with Republicans so that his programs were significantly smaller and less effective than they could have been. The Republicans refused to compromise and have acted entirely in bad faith during the time that Obama has been President. 

          So, turning back to the issue of detention, TSA searches, Guantanamo, and drones – where do you think we’re going to have this discussion? Where will it be meaningful? In a broken Congress? In an entertainment industry masquerading as “news”? In struggling newspapers with shrinking circulation and readership? 

          The routine use of filibuster to stall Congressional action, paired with the complete legalization of unlimited money in political speech is turning this into a dysfunctional banana republic. A t this point, our Founding Fathers would likely look at this place and consider that maybe that whole Independence thing wasn’t such a good idea, after all. 

          People like the Queen, and the parliamentary system in use in the UK, Australia, Canada, and elsewhere has been quite successfully used in current form since the late 17th century. 

  • Back from the gulch and feeling feisty!

  • While we’re at it, Henry would have ignored the consequences of the actions of mineral extractors, who plunder and ravage the landscape in their individualistic, entrepreneurial endeavors. 

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