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A Question of Style

I thought about calling this post “What Kind of People,” because the real question here is “What kind of people would do this sort of thing?”

But the truth is, we all seem to be the kind of people; it’s just a question of style.

What am I talking about?

Over the last couple of weeks, at least, there has been a lot of discussion of things like government-sponsored perverts who ogle naked children in airports and aggressively fondle, or otherwise harass, people who complain.Or maybe it’s photographing naked women and fondling children.

And if TSA can’t fondle our children, they’ll just terrorize them.

But it’s not just the TSA. Over the last few days, there’s talk — mostly in the form of complaints — about the Wikileaks exposure of government-sponsored crimes and criminals. Today, Scott Greenfield writes about the government-ensconced criminals who wish to leave ordinary criminals sitting in feces for days on end without proper medical treatment. And a couple of days ago, a California court approved the idea of unshackling those criminals in a case that pretty much eliminated whatever was left of the Fourth Amendment.

The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court says that he believes the United States has an obligation to follow the law, to enforce constitutional rights. “But,” he asks, “what is a state supposed to do?”

After all, just because you believe the United States has an obligation to enforce constitutional rights (and you’re the leader of one branch of the government of those United States), well, that doesn’t mean that you should actually enforce constitutional rights.

Hell, no! There’s “safety” to consider. A noisy clothes-dryer in a house you really should not be entering in the first place bothers you? Open it up and look inside to find the cause of the noise. Quickly! Before some government agent gets hurt! Or maybe a child!

After all, if something happens to the children, who will TSA ogle? Who will they fondle?

The truth of the matter is that the United States is no longer a nation where the Law is King. It’s not even really anymore a Nation of Men. What we are is a Nation of Whiny Allegedly-Scared Crybabies who need to search anyone, anywhere, anytime for potential dangers.

Here’s an interesting question, though: when we’re no longer safe in our persons, houses, papers, and effects, how can we continue to argue that it’s really about safety? When we are sexually assaulted by our own government in public, how can we say we’re safer? Our “public servants” say the magical words as they violate all of our rights: “it’s for safety reasons.”(In courtrooms across the country, rights violations are routinely excused as being for an even more narrow purpose: “officer safety.” We don’t even pretend much anymore that it’s for safety generally. It’s just for the safety of the very people who are trampling the Constitution.)

It would perhaps be one thing if the goal of safety were actually achieved. Or real. But it’s not.

Ordinary criminals, they commit their crimes without bothering to explain.

When it comes down to it, the difference between sex offenders behind bars and sex offenders in government, between thieves in prison and thieves in the State Department, between criminals from the oppressed classes and criminals from the ruling class — well, it’s just a matter of style.

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