Friday, 7 June 2013

We are not right in the head

There is something demented going on: Obama has just gone public insisting that having the NSA and the CIA snoop around our private emails, telephone records and other electronic behavior is urgently necessary because nothing must stand in the way Keeping America Safe. Congress, that non-entity down the lane, claps its flippers and honks, ‘Safe! Safe!’ on cue.

This is added to the unlamented demise of habeas corpus, application of torture (unpunished), permanent legal limbo for dastardly ‘terrorists’ (half of whom are known to be innocent) and all the rest. The message is: civil liberties be butt-fucked, them’s are fer na├»ve gadflies in the ACLU who don’t know how tough you have to be in the Real World.

Simultaneously, real, active threats to our collective safety are allowed not only to occur but to flourish. Any hint of restrictions on firearms possession or use brings out the choruses of constitutionalists quoting from the holy writ of the Second Amendment. In this and only this case, personal liberty must trump all, and if defenseless citizens get shot by the tens of thousands—well, tough luck, it’s the price of Freedom.

So which is it? Do Americans have the right to be safe from violence, or don’t they? The answer must be, Which kind? If dark-skinned people from foreign lands are up to no good, then we throw out the entire, 200-year-old rulebook to get at them. But if the guy next door is a violent nutbag, we can’t lay a finger on him or his arsenal until he blows away half a Burger King.

No wonder half the adult population is on anti-depressants: this is nuts.

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