Dictionarypalooza

Bluntly put,  most of the people who bleat and whine about their loss of “freedom” and “liberty” have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. Having lived their entire lives in a country that is almost completely free, these disingenuous Obama-haters have seldom-if-ever experienced a genuine loss of freedom at the hands of a state actor. They have no concept of what “totalitarianism” means, no idea what a dictatorship is, no concept of just how unfettered by state intervention their lives are as compared to other countries – and that’s even with gun control, cell phone handsfree laws, and whatever clumsy, propagandistic NSA revelation Glenn Greenwald publishes each week

So, naturally there will be a disingenuous and propagandistic “Freedompalooza” that Carl Paladino promoted to his entire safe-for-work email list Wednesday. No joke. Freedompalooza is a real thing, in the state of New York, that exists in real life. It will star two country music people I’ve never heard of, will be taking place at Altamont Fairgrounds, (no, not that Altamont), and here’s why it exists: 

Will there be a no-troop-quartering exhibit? A trial by jury display? An establishment clause diorama? What about a Article 2 ride or a Commerce Clause snack bar? You know what this is about – it’s about Obama and guns. It’s about Cuomo and guns. And maybe taxes. There was one libertarian think tank you probably never heard of that decided New York was “least free”, and the Dakotas are the most freest ever.  That’s ok. I’ll take New York because I have a comparative first-hand knowledge of what freedom and liberty mean, and the Dakotas’ freedom relative to New York’s is an infinitesimal difference, in the broader scheme of things. Tickets to this thing are $35.  I wonder who’s collecting on this? 

But here are the constitutional scholars who are going to be learnin’ you on liberty. 

Not re-enactors. “Enactors”. They will enact the Revolutionary War and they will enact “other American History”. This means that they will actually commit American History and war. Someone should call the authorities. Or their 6th grade English teachers. 

19 comments

  • Moral of Alan’s blather: If we’re “more free” than anyone else, we should just shut up and take what comes because *he knows* what freedom really means. Got it.

  • I’ve always heard that ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’, but who knew it only costs $35?

  • Too many of their ilk a erroneously evoke “freedom” as a call to arms for wanton consumption of the rights and freedoms of everybody else. Like the rants of spoiled children, I’ve grown weary of their diatribes.

  • Totalitarian Dictatorship? Nazi Germany and Tito’s Yugoslavia (closer to home for Alan) spring to mind. Does the FBI or DHS have thousands of files on Americans and resident Aliens? So did the Geheimstaatspolizei. And the dreaded Stazi made a science of it. Are our phone conversations, e-mails etc being monitored? Indeed they are. Do you need a special pass to be near the frontier? That’s what an “Enhanced Driver’s license” is. Do you now require a passport to leave the country for say, a cruise? Now you do, didn’t 10 years ago. “Are your papers in order?” If you don’t live on the frontier and you’re looking to cross, they better be. If you go over to Canada for a funeral, better tell DHS if you just had a cardiac stress test, or when you come back ICE will tear apart your vehicle looking for a bomb (yes, their sensors ARE that good, it’s already happened) Are your rights to ownership of a weapon being infringed? Of course, dictatorships don’t care for armed resistance. Does the dictator pretty much either get a rubber stamp from the puppet legislative body or proclaims “Special Emergency Powers” (aka Executive Orders) to accomplish the aims of the Regime? Happens here every week.
    Alan’s known me long enough to know I’m not a libertarian. They take things to some serious extremes—for example I realize that proof of knowing how to drive and traffic laws make sense for the safety of all citizens.
    I’ve studied National Socialism most of my life, and not because I’m some kind of closet Nazi. We currently do not live in a 100% totalitarian dictatorship, Alan’s right about that. But the end game gets a little closer every month.

    • Totalitarian Dictatorship? Nazi Germany and Tito’s Yugoslavia (closer to home for Alan) spring to mind. Does the FBI or DHS have thousands of files on Americans and resident Aliens? So did the Geheimstaatspolizei.

      The difference? The FBI and DHS don’t knock on your door at 2am to disappear you because of what you believe or think.

      And the dreaded Stazi made a science of it.

      So did all of them. Securitate, Udba, KGB, etc.

      Are our phone conversations, e-mails etc being monitored? Indeed they are.

      No, they aren’t.

      Do you need a special pass to be near the frontier? That’s what an “Enhanced Driver’s license” is.

      No, it isn’t. It’s an optional add-on to your driver’s license that enables you to cross the border with Canada without the need for a Passport. I don’t have one.

      Do you now require a passport to leave the country for say, a cruise? Now you do, didn’t 10 years ago.

      Depends on where the cruise was going.

      “Are your papers in order?” If you don’t live on the frontier and you’re looking to cross, they better be. If you go over to Canada for a funeral, better tell DHS if you just had a cardiac stress test, or when you come back ICE will tear apart your vehicle looking for a bomb (yes, their sensors ARE that good, it’s already happened)

      Your doctor gives you a note to use. Your papers have to be in order because, among other things (a) you have no Constitutional rights when entering Canada; and (b) you are subject to inspection when entering the US, just like you do when you need to get to your gate at the airport. You just need better paperwork now than some easily forged and cumbersome birth certificate.

      Are your rights to ownership of a weapon being infringed? Of course, dictatorships don’t care for armed resistance.

      Actually, there isn’t a government on Earth that tolerates armed “resistance”. And your rights to own a gun aren’t infringed, in most cases.

      Does the dictator pretty much either get a rubber stamp from the puppet legislative body or proclaims “Special Emergency Powers” (aka Executive Orders) to accomplish the aims of the Regime? Happens here every week.

      Like what?

      I’ve studied National Socialism most of my life, and not because I’m some kind of closet Nazi. We currently do not live in a 100% totalitarian dictatorship, Alan’s right about that. But the end game gets a little closer every month.

      Absolutely and utterly false.

      • We obviously see the world through different sets of eyes. Obama has done more end runs via executive orders around the Congress than any President ever. If you have to ask “Like What?” the discussion’s over. Seen any cool cars lately?

  • Alan, you seem to be inclined to defend Obama from all criticism, but maybe it’s time to recheck your liberal creds when you find it necessary to hyperlink “Little Green Footballs” to bash Glenn Greenwald.

    Still, you might rightly suggest, “that’s an ad hominem argument,” so let’s look deeper. LGF’s argument is that Greenwald is dopey for objecting to anything done legally by the government, and for suggesting that they might ever actually do something illegally since they have the power to do so, in secret, and without oversight. By this logic, slavery was A-OK, and Watergate never happened.

    Note that, like you, the NSA defends itself against unnamed and unquoted statements, without ever showing exactly what they were, and where they are wrong. But it’s the NSA, not the GG, who says the NSA’s search of HTTP activity gives them access to “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet.”

    • Access to, just like a police officer has access to a gun.

      • Right–and that’s what Greenwald has said, so does that make you, too, “clumsy” and “propagandistic”?

        Of course, Greenwald has also said that the intelligence services have illegally stored and monitored and accessed this information. But so has Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, at least after his false testimony denying that they do so. Or is perjury not perjury if President Obama appointed you?

        The discussions of Marshal Tito and the Stasi, etc., are a distraction and beside the point. The question of whether Obama’s Administration is above the law is not.

        • Greenwald’s stories are propaganda, which is fine, so long as one recognizes them for what they are. Note how hard one always has to hunt to find the part of the story where he grudgingly has to acknowledge that Americans’ communications can only be accessed by warrant.

          I mean any cop has access to the means to bust into my house under color of law and search my house illegally without a warrant. But it generally doesn’t happen.

          • 1. “Greenwald’s stories are propaganda”; this is question-begging and name-calling.

            2. If Greenwald didn’t mention warrants, you’d pounce on him for that; he does, and you pounce on him for that. Exactly what is it that you and the fair and balanced folks at Little Green Footballs want?

            3. “Americans’ communications can only be accessed by warrant.” This is simply wrong. They CAN BE and they HAVE BEEN accessed illegally and without warrants, as James R. Clapper has admitted. They CAN BE and MAY BE accessed legally without a warrant if they are to or from a foreign target.

            4. You have a touching faith in the probity of the secret, warrant-granting FISA courts. They seldom or never deny a warrant. Uncooperative FISA judges tend to have short terms.

            5. The information is scooped up and saved for future examination, with or without warrants, so your analogy needs some work: how about cops busting into your house at will, staying there forever, but promising to keep their eyes closed until they get a warrant. Good with that?

          • 1. Jay Rosen, who knows about these things, says Greenwald is an opinion journalist. He has an agenda and he promotes that agenda. Promoting an agenda is the definition of propaganda – nothing wrong with it.

            2. If you read almost anything anyone writes about the NSA revelations, they say things like “the government is wiretapping everybody” or “the government is reading all your emails”. No, they’re not. In fact, they would never have the capability to do that, and also there are legal barriers to that sort of behavior if you’re an American citizen. The computerized analysis of metadata is, in fact, precisely to enable the NSA to pay attention to things that merit attention and ignore your call to your wife.

            3. Yes, power is sometimes abused. When it happens, there are consequences. Evidence is excluded from trial. People are fired. We have a system of checks and balances. We can’t prevent every abuse of power, just like NSA metadata analysis can’t prevent every terrorist attack.

            4. “Uncooperative FISA judges tend to have short terms”. Which is it – are they a rubber stamp, or are there “uncooperative” ones?

            5. Information is scooped up and saved for future examination if if there’s a warrant, assuming you’re an American citizen.

          • 1. Oh, I get it–when you refer to “whatever clumsy propagandistic NSA revelation Glenn Greenblatt publishes each week,” you mean that in the GOOD sense. And I see why “propagandistic” isn’t derogatory–it’s like when I call someone a “pedophile” and follow up by explaining, “oh, it just means ‘loves children,’ and everybody loves kids, right?”

            All my questions have been answered. Over and out.

  • The first paragraph isn’t referencing “Freedompalooza” specifically, and is dealing generally with the tea party mindset behind the Freedompalooza. I put it in quotes because my first involvement with tea party thinking came when Jim Ostrowski used that phrase to describe the handsfree law for cell phone usage a decade ago.

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