Civil Liberties - History

Civil Liberties - History

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Civil Liberties - History

The notion that humans have natural, inalienable rights is the foundation of liberal democracies. Political philosophers – from John Locke to John Stuart Mill to John Rawls – argue that the foundation of the justice of the state is its respect for and protection of civil liberties, such as due process, freedom of speech, and right to privacy. In fact, civil liberties are so fundamental that some consider them as &ldquosacred,&rdquo and not to be subject to comparison or trade-offs.

However, when societies are faced with major crises, the trade-offs between individual civil liberties and societal well-being become acute and inevitable. On the one hand, the state&rsquos ability to weather the crises often hinges on mobilizing resources and imposing restrictions. On the other hand, as Friedrich Hayek puts it, &ldquo&lsquoEmergencies&rsquo have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.&rdquo Crises may become the excuse for permanent erosion of civil liberties and even a backsliding of civil democracies.

As the world confronts the global health threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, what are citizens willing to sacrifice and what are they steadfast in supporting no matter what the circumstance? How do citizens&rsquo views vary across countries and across demographic groups within a country? How do such views change over time in relation to the evolution of the pandemic? Given the scale of the pandemic and the extraordinary measures adopted by governments to curtail it, the COVID-19 crisis provides a unique and tragic opportunity to understand how citizens view the trade-offs between civil liberties and improved public health conditions.

While COVID-19 represents one of the largest and in many dimensions unprecedented crises in recent history, the debate about trading-off civil liberties during crises has been age-old. Similar discussions have repeatedly arisen in the past: for example, after the terrorist attacks in 2001 and the US government&rsquos surveillance of the population after many devastating natural disasters when various governments move to restrict freedom and after the Great Influenza in 1918 when many states imposed bans on public gatherings and enforced face masks in public space – much like what we are witnessing today, more than a century later (see Figures 1 and 2).

In order to study how citizens view the trade-offs between civil liberties and improved public health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, my collaborators and I administered a large-scale representative survey during the past 7 months to more than 400,000 people in 15 countries – Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. By focusing directly on citizens&rsquo evolving attitudes toward public-health policies and civil liberties, we can see how people navigate the trade-offs brought on by the pandemic, as well as the factors that shape public preferences.

Several conclusions emerge from the study. First, a large fraction of people around the world reported being willing to sacrifice their own rights and freedoms in order to improve public health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, about 80% of respondents were willing to sacrifice at least some of their own rights in times of crisis, and citizens from the countries surveyed ranked the importance of core civil liberties similarly. For example, people tend to be least willing to give up rights to privacy or cede power to a central figure, and most willing to endure personal restrictions or significant economic losses.

However, the differences between countries are substantial (see Figure 3). For example, a mere 5% of respondents in China expressed an unwillingness to sacrifice any of their own rights during times of crisis, whereas four times as many respondents in the US did. Moreover, almost half of US respondents said they would not give any ground on freedom of the press, compared to under 5% of respondents in China. The citizens of Japan and the United States, for instance, tend to be among the least willing to sacrifice civil liberties in exchange for improved public health conditions. Conversely, the citizens of China and India seem to be among the most willing to. EU citizens tend to fall somewhere in between.

We also find that, in democratic societies, individuals who have stronger connections to countries that historically did not provide extensive protections of civil liberties are less willing to sacrifice their own rights and freedom for the sake of public health. Specifically, we find that individuals who live in regions that belonged to East Germany before reunification, and individuals who have relatives from North Korea reported being less willing to give up their rights than their co-national counterparts.

Second, we document a strong and robust pattern of individuals with greater exposure to health risks exhibiting a stronger willingness to give up civil liberties in the name of public health. Citizens more prone to COVID-19-related health complications and residing in COVID-19 hotspots are more willing to sacrifice individual rights and freedoms than are those who have a lower risk. Exposure to COVID-19 risks is associated with greater acceptance of policies to relax privacy protections, greater willingness to suspend democratic procedures and to delegate decision-making to experts, and greater tolerance of policies that curtail economic activity and mobility.

Third, we find that citizens&rsquo willingness to sacrifice civil liberties reflects more than just health concerns. People with less education and weaker attachments to the labor force, or (in the case of the US) who are members of racial and ethnic minorities, are less willing to trade off their rights than are other groups, even in the face of heightened health risks. Perhaps being able to accept restrictions on civil liberties is a &ldquoluxury&rdquo that members of these groups, who may have a long history of exclusion and abuse, cannot afford, so they view any such restrictions as a threat to their lives and livelihoods. It also is possible that those who are more economically advantaged already have their interests well represented by policymakers, and don&rsquot necessarily have to rely on free speech and assembly, much less worry about state surveillance.

Finally, we find that in most countries, people&rsquos willingness to give up civil liberties in exchange for improved public health conditions closely tracks the extent to which they are worried about the pandemic. As shown in Figure 4, between March and mid-June 2020, people became less worried about the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and their willingness to sacrifice their rights decreased. After a plateau period in the later summer, worries picked up again and so did people&rsquos willingness to sacrifice civil liberties for the sake of public health.

This study paints a complicated picture of how citizens trade-off civil liberties during major crises. While many do not consider civil liberties as &ldquosacred,&rdquo their willingness to sacrifice rights and freedom during crises is shaped by different exposure to the health risks, diverse socioeconomic background, and distinct perceptions of the potential long-term erosion of civil liberties.

The policy responses adopted by governments, especially democratic ones, should be responsive to the preferences of the citizenry. The extent to which citizens comply with policies enacted in times of crises likely depends on whether they agree with the restrictions imposed by the policies, which could ultimately determine the efficacy of these policies against the pandemic. Moreover, providing safeguards that ensure restrictions are lifted once the crisis subsides would be instrumental in citizens&rsquo willingness to sacrifice rights and freedom during the crisis, and critical to the protection of the core values, rights and freedom that humanity fights for and cherishes dearly.

Some History

The English phrase "civil liberty" was coined in a 1788 speech by James Wilson, a Pennsylvania state politician who was advocating the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Wilson said:

But the concept of civil liberties dates back much further and most likely predates that of universal human rights. The 13th century English Magna Carta refers to itself as the "great charter of the liberties of England, and of the liberties of the forest" (magna carta libertatum), but we can trace the origin of civil liberties back much further to the Sumerian praise poem of Urukagina at around the 24th century BCE. The poem which establishes the civil liberties of orphans and widows and creates checks and balances to prevent government abuses of power.

Notable ACLU Court Cases

In one of the ACLU’s earliest court cases, The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, the ACLU defended a high school science teacher, John T. Scopes. The Scopes trial is often referred to as the “Scopes Monkey Trial.”

Scopes was charged in 1925 with violating a Tennessee ban on teaching evolution. The ACLU considered the state ban on teaching evolution unconstitutional, because it violated academic freedom. The jury convicted Scopes of violating state law and he was fined $100.

The ACLU was a friend-of-the-court participant in Brown v. Board of Education, a landmark 1954 Supreme Court case that declared racial segregation in schools unconstitutional. While they were not party to the case, the ACLU filed legal documents in support of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in its challenge of “separate but equal” schools for black and white children.

The ACLU defended American boxer Muhammad Ali after he was accused of draft evasion in 1967. His conviction was overturned on the grounds that he was a 𠇌onscientious objector” whose religious beliefs prohibited him from fighting in the Vietnam War.

Kill the Espionage Act, an American Abomination to Civil Liberties

Reality Winner is free, but the law that saw her imprisoned should be struck from the books.

This is unqualified good news from the Guardian. A towering idiocy has been corrected. And, if we&rsquore lucky, we&rsquoll all be more well-informed about our recent past.

God knows, we can&rsquot know what she knows. It was the NSA&rsquos election, not ours. We can&rsquot frighten the children or scare the horses or prompt a mean email from the Crackerpot Palace down in Florida. Well, here&rsquos one thing we can do: We can get Congress to kill the Espionage Act really, most sincerely dead. It is a meat-ax abomination to civil liberties born in one of the worst periods for civil liberties in our history: the days of A. Mitchell Palmer and that prince of fools, President Woodrow Wilson, who said while pushing for the bill&rsquos passage:

And Mexico is not sending us their best people, either.

In October of 1917, Fightin&rsquo Bob LaFollette, the great Progressive senator from Wisconsin whose birthday we celebrated on Monday, rose in front of a hostile Senate to inveigh in defense of free speech during wartime. It is one of the greatest defenses of free speech ever delivered by an American politician, and it was delivered by a man who had so stubbornly resisted the drive toward American involvement in World War I that people seriously called for him to be hung, shot, or at least expelled from the Senate. (It was a federal judge who called for him to be shot.) He also was the enemy of all the enabling legislation, including the Espionage Act, that makes Wilson such an indelible canker on the presidency. LaFollette, a man whose bag of fcks was pretty small to begin with, emptied them all in the faces of his war-drunk tormentors.

I think Bob LaFollette and Reality Winner might get along. I hope her life is everything she wants it to be. And I hope one day her truth will be revealed.

Tucker: Most basic questions of civil liberties are in the balance


In January, Israel became one of the first countries in the world to give the new coronavirus vaccine to young people. At the time, Israel's Education Ministry said the vaccine was necessary so that students could sit for in-person exams. So, schools mandated the shot, kids got it. What happened next?

This week we found out. Israeli health officials released a report showing that vaccinated young people, particularly young men, were developing a potentially fatal complication, a heart inflammation called myocarditis, and they were developing it at extremely high rates.

Researchers determined that the incidence of myocarditis in vaccinated young men was fully 25 times the usual rate, some of them died.

In Canada, at least one public health official observed the same thing. Dr.

Peter Lu is the Chief Scientific Officer at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He's an expert in myocarditis. Lu began to notice heart inflammation in patients who had received the vaccine. "It is more than coincidental," he said.

In Germany, authorities concluded the same thing. The German government just announced that healthy young people should avoid the vaccine. It's too dangerous. This is a serious development for us in the United States. If statistical trends observed in Israel hold here, as many as 150,000 young Americans will develop a potentially fatal heart disorder because of the COVID vaccines.

That's not alarmism. It's not some kind of anti-vaxxer conspiracy theory.

Just this afternoon, the C.D.C. confirmed what appear to be dangerous side effects. The country's two biggest vaccine monitoring systems, the Biden administration's Vaccine Adverse Reporting System known as VAERS and the C.D.C.'s Vaccine Safety Datalink both show strikingly high rates of myocarditis in young people who have been vaccinated.

"We clearly have an imbalance there," a C.D.C. official announced today.

Imbalance is one way to put it, potential emergency is another way.

Given these numbers, it is possible that healthy young people in this country will be much more likely to be harmed by the vaccine than by COVID itself. That would be a disaster, in fact, it would be the definition of a preventable disaster.

How are institutions responding to these new numbers? Well, mostly by ignoring them completely. In fact, in just the last week, many American colleges and universities have announced they will require proof of vaccination, an official vaccination card, before they allow students to return to campus. At some schools, the mandate applies only to students.

For reasons no one has explained or could possibly defend, it does not apply to faculty and staff. They are not required to be vaccinated.

As for the huge number of young people who have already recovered from COVID, and therefore, likely have robust immunity, at least as robust as they could get from any vaccine, they will be required to get the shot, too.

These are big numbers. They're close to 20 million college students in this country. And in the end, most will have no choice, but to take a drug that other governments have concluded is dangerous for them to take.

Yesterday, Virginia State University system announced that vaccine exemptions will be nearly impossible for students to get. An exemption, quote, " . will not be granted based on a philosophical, moral or conscientious objection." In other words, your conscience is irrelevant.

Personal autonomy means nothing. It is no longer your body, it is no longer your choice.

When it comes to this vaccine, there is no escape.

You wonder watching this how it could happen in a free country, it's hard to believe it is happening. As a medical decision, it is reckless. What are the long term effects of forcing these drugs on millions of young people, many of whom don't need it? Well, we don't know the answer. We don't know what the long term effects are. Anyone who claims he does know is lying. At this point, there's literally no way to tell.

Just today, the F.D.A.'s advisory panel met to discuss the rise in cardiac emergencies in healthy young people who have received the vaccine. So far, the rate of myocarditis is more than twice what authorities anticipated. As one Tufts Medical School Professor who sits on the panel put it, quote, "Before we start vaccinating millions of adolescents and children, it is so important to find out what the consequences are." Well, you think it would be important to find out, but Joe Biden doesn't want to wait. Biden promised universal vaccination whether we need it or not and he plans to get it done. Here he is last week telling you to shut up and take the shot.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know some people have questions about how quickly vaccines were developed. They say, they've been developed so quickly, they can't be that good.

The bottom line is this. I promise you, they are safe. They are safe. And even more importantly, they are extremely effective.

CARLSON: "I promise you, they are safe. They are safe." If the numbers out of Israel turn out to be real and applicable to this country, our population, the clip you just saw will live forever as one of the most destructive things a sitting President has ever said from the podium.

Maybe the worst part is the administration should have known this could be coming. Pfizer's own clinical trials of the vaccine showed disturbing effects on young people, you're seeing some of the results on the screen right now.

Pfizer gave the vaccines to one group of children between the ages of 12 and 15. The rest got a placebo, as is common. Among children who received just the first dose of the vaccine, rates of serious symptoms were higher across the board, including symptoms consistent with myocarditis.

Just few weeks ago, though, the F.D.A. approved the vaccine for 12 to 15- year-olds anyway. And now the age threshold for vaccination may be dropping. "The New York Times" is reporting that drug makers, including Pfizer and Moderna are gearing up to vaccinate children as young as six months old this fall.

As a scientific question, none of this is necessary. Studies in medical journals around the world, "The Lancet," for example, as well as "The Journal of the American Medical Association," have shown that COVID is not a grave threat to children and that young people do not play a significant role in spreading COVID.

But that has not stopped the Biden administration. Here's Joe Biden's personal COVID adviser demanding that all college students in addition to millions of other people get the shot.

DR. ZEKE EMANUEL, SENIOR FELLOW, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: There are clearly places where you're congregating people that we should have mandates. Students in universities, my university, for example, faculty and staff healthcare facilities, every healthcare worker ought to be vaccinated. I shouldn't have to worry, has my doctor been vaccinated? Has that nurse been vaccinated?

And I think employers ought to take this very seriously and consider mandating and requiring their workers to get vaccinated, especially if they're going to come back to the office.

CARLSON: You must get vaccinated. Okay, what's the risk? It tells you something that no one in authority ever seems to assess that or even mention the potential downside of vaccination. Every drug has potential side effects, every drug from Advil to chemotherapy. That doesn't mean we don't take them. It does mean, however, that we have a right to know exactly what those drugs could potentially do to us.

Transparency is the essence of medical ethics.

So, what is the harm rate from the COVID vaccines? What's the harm rate?

You're not allowed to ask? Have you noticed that? They'll shout at you if you ask.

Several weeks ago, we quoted numbers from the administration's own reporting system, VAERS, that showed a massive increase in deaths from this vaccine. Now, even if you believe the VAERS system is profoundly flawed, and it seems to be flawed, it's hard to explain the jump in fatalities in relative terms -- same system, different results.

Between July 1st, 1997 and the end of 2013, that's five and a half years, there were 2,149 deaths reported in the U.S. for all vaccines combined on the VAERS system. Yet, in just six months, the last six months, there have been more than 5,160 deaths associated with the COVID vaccines as reported to VAERS. That's more than double the number of deaths in less than one- tenth of the time.

What does that mean? How do you explain that? Oh, but those numbers are wrong, said the usual liars with maximum hysteria. Okay, let's say they are wrong. What are the real numbers? How many people have been killed or injured by the COVID vaccines? Does anyone know the answer?

More to the point, is anyone in authority making a good faith effort to find the answer? To figure out who is being hurt and how? Would they tell us if they knew?

Honestly, it is outrageous. If you're going to force people to take a drug, you have a moral obligation, an absolute moral obligation to understand exactly what the effects of that drug might be, and then be honest about what they are. But they're not doing that. We can say that conclusively.

The people closest to these decisions have a pretty good sense of what's going on. They know transparency when they see it. They also know lying when they see it.

You may have noticed the other day that the heads of N.I.H. and the C.D.C.

admitted that up to half of their employees have not been vaccinated. Why is that exactly? You would think that people who work at N.I.H., or the C.D.C. would be first in line. Why aren't they? It's not because they're ignorant. Maybe it's the opposite.

In Texas, one group of healthcare workers, these are some of the most informed patients in America are revolting in public at the thought of being forced to take this vaccine. Watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Houston Methodist Hospital requiring all staff members to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or be fired.

JENNIFER BRIDGES, HEALTHCARE PROVIDER. HOUSTON METHODIST, BAYTOWN: Right off the bat, I pretty much decided like I was not going to do it. Everybody in America should have the right to decide what they put into their body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Jennifer Bridges has worked at Houston Methodist in Baytown more than six years.

BRIDGES: I planned on staying with Methodist for the rest of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): She spent the last year and a half treating coronavirus patients and even got sick herself.

BRIDGES: I just had an antibody test like a week ago, I still have antibodies in my system. But it doesn't count for them. It doesn't work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): More than a hundred coworkers have joined Jennifer with this lawsuit against the hospital. It claims Methodist is forcing its employees to be human guinea pigs.

CARLSON: The most basic questions of civil liberties are in the balance here, and at some point, they will be resolved. At some point, the courts will decide whether it is legal under American law to force adults to take medicine they don't want to take.

But for millions of college students, time is running out. They don't have the luxury of waiting for a court decision because in just weeks, they will have to show their vaccine passports or they will be barred from school.

What should they do? How should their parents respond?

Dr. Hooman Noorchashm is a surgeon and a scientist who has taught at Harvard Medical School. He's thought deeply about these questions and assembled a lot of science to bring to bear on. He joins us now.

Doctor, thanks so much for coming on.


CARLSON: So, I want to ask you specifically about college students, because I know that you have a number of children, including some I believe in college, but also because you've done work on the question of vaccinating people who have recovered from the virus and have high levels of antibodies in their system.

Does it, from a medical perspective makes sense, to force kids, young people to get the vaccine when they have already recovered from COVID?

NOORCHASHM: Well, Tucker, that's a really great question. You know, I think in the recent months, and most recently, in the past week, it's becoming increasingly clear that people who are COVID recovered are equally protected from SARS-CoV-2 infections as compared to people who are vaccinated. And this is obviously something that many of us were predicting, even before the evidence emerged.

So no, I believe, as we've discussed before extensively, that vaccinating people who are COVID recovered in this emergency situation where we've basically very rapidly approved this new vaccine is a colossal error in public health judgment.

I mean, you know, we're basically overriding the principles of medical necessity. So, in other words, if a person does not need or stand to benefit from a vaccine, or any medical treatment, they should not be given it because it only opens the door to harm.

In addition, we're doing something unprecedented during this pandemic, which is that we're vaccinating people in the middle of an outbreak where a lot of people are either asymptomatically infected or have had recent infections. And that's just a recipe for disaster as the data is bearing out.

CARLSON: So, as someone who has studied this extensively, and I think has the credentials to speak authoritatively on it, how strongly do you feel about this? I mean, if you were a parent without getting into your own specific situation, but if you were a parent of a child, who had recovered from COVID, and had high levels of antibodies present as measured by blood test, how would you respond to the demand that that child has to get the vaccine before returning back to campus? Would you allow that?

NOORCHASHM: I'll tell you that I'm happy to share my own personal experience with you. In fact, I'm exactly in that position, I have two kids who are going to college, one of them is going to be going to a great college in Boston, starting this fall. She had no antibodies, so she went ahead and got the Moderna vaccine, uneventfully, and now has good antibody levels.

My son who is a sophomore at the University of Chicago, well, you know, he had COVID in November, and he has a really a whopping amount of antibodies.

And so we are in the process of asking for a vaccine exemption on the basis of medical necessity and potential harm.

I mean, you know, I think this is really, you know, from a medical perspective, and from a medical ethical perspective is a no brainer. And frankly, you know, if we start forcing these kids at risk of loss of their educational opportunities and opportunity to be in-person to get vaccinated, then they get end up getting harmed, you know, this is the liability that the institutions will have to absorb.

You know, I mean, this is really not an approved vaccine. We're rushing this through very fast in an unprecedented situation where many people are already naturally infected. It's a horrible idea and I think it's a colossal error.

CARLSON: I've got ask you -- I think you make a compelling case. Very quickly, if you don't get -- if I can be personal for a second, if you don't get that medical exemption, if your son doesn't, what then?

NOORCHASHM: Well, it's a good question. You know, we will cross that bridge when we get to it, but you know, I certainly plan on having his serologies measured again, and I would not be opposed if his antibody levels drop, to recommending that he get a booster shot. Now, a part of this is also going to be his own decision because he is an adult, but you know, yes, he has been following my recommendations so far.

CARLSON: I think they're pushing the population into a difficult spot here, a lot of parents like you, Dr. Noorchashm, thanks so much for coming on tonight. I appreciate it.

CARLSON: So, a new study on hydroxychloroquine, the forbidden drug has just been conducted by researchers at St. Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey.

They found that hydroxychloroquine actually can increase survival rates from COVID by up to 200 percent.

Now, you aren't allowed to say that last year for reasons that aren't exactly clear, but apparently it's true. Alex Berenson likely knew that all along. He is the author of "Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and the Lockdowns, Part 4: Vaccines." He joins us now.

Alex, I want to ask you about hydroxychloroquine. But very quickly, what do you make of these numbers out of Israel, the response by Germany, the notations by physicians in Canada and now, our own C.D.C. that suggests that young men taking this vaccine might be at risk for heart inflammation, how big a story is this?

ALEX BERENSON, AUTHOR: It's an enormous story, Tucker. It has enormous public health implications. It has enormous political implications. And it has enormous implications for parents and kids. And I think we should remember, it was barely a month ago that the C.D.C. said kids 12 to 15 could get this vaccine.

Now, we don't have very much data on that population yet, but there have already been two cases of myocarditis after the second dose. And remember, you can't have gotten the second dose more than a few days ago, if you're in that population.

So the fact that there are already two cases popping up is worrisome. And the other thing that's very, very clear, when you look at the data is this is totally age-stratified. If older people do not seem to have an excess risk for myocarditis after they get the vaccine, younger people do and the risk appears to get worse the younger kids are, and so why you would push

12 to 15-year-olds to be vaccinated when we know worldwide when you look, the risk of death from COVID in healthy people under the age of 18 is so low, you almost can't measure it, okay.

In a lot of countries, it looks like it's like one per a million. And so, there is a real -- I don't understand what the public health authorities were thinking and are thinking, but the one thing I'll say it seems good to me right now that the C.D.C. seems genuinely concerned about this. They've called for this emergency meeting next week, and we'll see what they say.

But you know, you and I, and other, you know, sort of voices in the wilderness have been warning about this, just the way we were talking about the lab leak last year and nobody wanted to listen. And now the chickens are really coming home.

CARLSON: Scary, and at great cost to people and their kids. Tell me about hydroxychloroquine. We haven't been allowed to use that word for some time.

I think it was illegal. Now, what is it now? What do we know?

BERENSON: Very quickly. I mean, I think this is just part of this bigger puzzle where, you know, Donald Trump last year, you know, liked hydroxychloroquine, so you weren't allowed to say anything positive about it.

The study you're talking about out of New Jersey, it's an interesting study. It's observational. It's what you'd call hypothesis generating. In other words, it should be confirmed if it's true with bigger studies that are actually randomized controlled, which they haven't done. They did make one very interesting observation, which is that maybe hydroxychloroquine was under dosed in heavy people. And so if you dose them higher, you might have a better chance of showing the results that, you know, that you'd like to show, that the drug actually has benefit, which we really haven't done yet.

But here's what you really should remember about HCQ. We don't know at this point, I would say whether this drug works or not. What we know is that the medical establishment last year once Donald Trump said he, you know, liked it was on a Jihad to destroy it. And "The Lancet" published a paper that it had to retract. That's how much it wanted to prove that hydroxychloroquine didn't work.

And so this is another piece with the vaccines. I mean, I will say if Donald Trump were President right now, and we were talking about the Trump vaccines, I can promise you the medical establishment would be looking much harder at what they should have been looking at for the last six months.

CARLSON: Oh, man, we've shut down previous vaccines with a much smaller reported harm rate. I mean, tiny fraction of what VAERS is showing now, so yes, no, I think you're absolutely right. Alex Berenson, I appreciate your coming on. Thank you.

BERENSON: Tucker, it's a pleasure.

CARLSON: So, for a White House that stands on the side of women -- women -- it's interesting to note that the Biden administration has now banned the word "women" and "mother," that's totally out. Mothers are now "birthing people."

I am not making this up. We've obtained a new document from the administration that illuminates all the different words being banned from the English language, and you might want to write them down for when they become illegal. We will be right back.

CARLSON: They used to say it's as American as mom and apple pie, can't say that anymore. Both are banned. We first noticed this a few weeks ago when maybe the single dumbest Member of Congress, a member from St. Louis called Cori Bush used the term "birthing people" rather than mothers, that sounds like something out of a dystopian science fiction novel.

But now, in just a few weeks, it's gone mainstream. Now, the term "birthing people" has the endorsement of the White House.

At a hearing yesterday, the Deputy Director of Joe Biden's Budget Office explained, you really have to be a bigot to use the term "woman."

REP. JASON SMITH (R-MO): The budget request $26 million to reduce maternal mortality and eliminate race-based disparities and outcomes among, quote "birthing people." I've never heard the term before, can you explain what it means?


Absolutely. There are certain people who do not have gender identities that apply to female or male. So, we think our language needs to be more inclusive and how we deal with complex issues.

CARLSON: This is maybe the least complex issue ever addressed. Mothers give birth, fathers don't. Children are the product of the mother and the father. That's not politics, it's biology. And if you're forcing the rest of us to deny it, then you are a totalitarian who seeks to control reality itself, which is beyond your purview, by definition.

And it is not just the Budget Office that is doing this. This show has obtained a document from the Federal Reserve, the internal website at the Fed, its employees read, it's a memo on bias-free language. But of course, it's very biased. It instruct staffers not to use words and phrases that may be considered offensive. What's offensive? Founding Fathers, manmade, and singular pronouns like he or her.

Now, the Fed is controlling monetary policy. It is also totally destroying the economy, in case you haven't noticed, but right or wrong, it is supposed to be apolitical. Why are they trying to control our language?

Because they want to control our minds. But the Fed?

Victor Davis Hanson, one of the few people we know smart enough to see what this really means. He is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and we're honored to have him tonight.

Professor, thanks so much for coming on. What should we take from this?


Well, you know, I think it's characteristic of all bureaucracies that when they can't solve an existential problem, they always go to the triviality, as if they've done something.

HANSON: Because look at the Federal Reserve, you know, we may have six to seven percent inflation right now per annum, and we have 2.8 mortgage rates. That's a gap. And what are they doing? They are looking at the pronouns. And the same thing is true with the O.M.B.

HANSON: We have a $30 trillion deficit -- debt and a trillion dollar annual deficit -- they don't have a clue how to handle that. But they do want to focus on these trivia. And you know, it's also characteristic, I think, Tucker, of the left. They always want to be a cultural revolutionary.

So, they want to go back in the past and cancel people out and rename streets and buildings and universities and topple statues, and change the language. That's what the Soviet Union did. And then they think in the present, starting in Year Zero, and then here we go in the future according to our plans, so the Biden administration believes that after a thousand years of usage in the English language, they and their infinite genius, have invented new words that nobody ever thought of, and therefore, this is the beginning of a new -- I don't know, paradise or a utopia.

It's also, I think, Tucker, it's sort of giving an answer for a question that doesn't exist or a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. It's kind of like the Jussie Smollett syndrome. There is no victimization rampant, so they have to come up with these psychodramas, so they can feel that wow, we're a polarized society and we're not -- we don't have equity, or fairness.

But these words were here for a reason. They're specific, I think it's very important that people realize that while the Founding Fathers, their achievement was not because they were male, but they transcended their sex.

They weren't just chauvinist or racist, they created ideas, all the Enlightenment, that meant that you would have the women's suffrage or you would have Civil Rights, because that was the logic of all men are created equal. They didn't have to do that.

There's nothing in the Constitution that mentions race, or gender, and so that they were male is, you know, incidental, but it is important to see how they did it. I think it's important for us to not say that Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, or Madame Curie or Helen Keller, was a woman, and that's who she was.

But I'd also think that it enriches history to know that they were women, and they transcended their situation.

So, I don't want to go and we create language, and then in an Orwellian fashion, and make us all just sort of nothing, collective blah, and that's what they're trying to do. And is there really a problem? Do we have a lot of transgender people, you know, pouring into hospitals that are pregnant and saying, you know what, I'm going to have a medical crisis if you get the wrong pronoun.

Pronouns are helpful, they enrich the language, they distinguish reality.

That's what language is for.

CARLSON: Quickly, do you find it interesting that they are so offended by fertility and nature and the idea that people reproduce and that's okay.

You know, that we -- men and women come together and create new life, like the whole thing is repulsive to them. Why is that?

HANSON: Well, I think it's because it started with the feminist movement that they felt that that impaired a woman's future, but I think it also reflects reality, Tucker, that the age when people are getting married, having children, buying a home, buying a house has gone from mid-20s to mid-30s. And our crisis right now is that we're not reproducing ourselves, we're about 1.8 rather than 2.1 or two. And we're suffering from what -- prolonged adolescence.

These children or they have adult bodies, but they have the minds of children. They don't want to grow up. AOC is a good example of a person who is suffering from prolonged adolescence. And she said she doesn't want to have children because of climate change. So it's a phenomenon.

I don't know if it's because of $1.7 trillion in student debt or the economy, but they just don't want to take off their training wheels and go out and experience life and its adventures and dangers.

CARLSON: Yes, it's sad, even sad for Sandy Cortez, you know, kind of missing the best part. The fun part.

CARLSON: Victor Davis Hanson, I appreciate your coming on tonight. Thank you.

CARLSON: So, Joe Biden has said he is going to investigate extremism in the military. It's a hotbed of extremism. Now, we are learning who is in charge of that investigation. And of course, it's extremists. Are you surprised?

CARLSON: It's kind of weird that at the very moment that most of the country lives in terror that anything you say can be twisted into the "R word" and you get fired and canceled and never heard from again, we're all exquisitely sensitive, trying to step over boundaries that change every day. Some small group of people seem to be able to attack anyone they want on the basis of their race and they're celebrated for it. That's accelerating. It's getting more intense.

Trace Gallagher has the latest example for us tonight. Hey, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey Tucker. For context, you should know the Dr. Donald Moss is an author and faculty member at both the New York Psychoanalytical Institute and the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, where he tells his students that whiteness is contagious, and can be passed on by other infected people and that you are more prone to contract whiteness if you are white.

So now, Dr. Moss has published a report that calls whiteness a quote "malignant parasitic-like condition" that enables the host to have, quote, "power without limit, force without restriction, violence without mercy,"

and a drive to quote, "hate and terrorize" and quote "target non-white peoples."

But there's good news bad news. Good news, parasitic whiteness is treatable, he says -- phew -- with quote, "psychic and social historic interventions," including methods of redistribution and reparations. The bad news is whiteness has no cure.

As you might imagine, some are calling this psycho nonsense quoting here, "How do my colleagues consider this scholarship? Anyone actually take this seriously?" And this quoting, "I was skeptical, so I looked it up and yes, this is real. And now I want to throw my Psychology degree in the garbage."

Not only is it real, Dr. Moss's report was published in "The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association," one of the most trusted publications in Psychology, most trusted, essentially Tucker, it's the CNN of psychoanalysis.

CARLSON: An analogy we can all understand. Trace Gallagher, great to see you tonight. Thank you.

CARLSON: Does anyone take that kind of stuff seriously? Yes. The answer is, yes. And if you keep talking like that, what are the consequences? How is this going to wind up? Where are we going exactly?

It's dangerous. That's obvious.

Well, in January, the new Secretary of Defense and a former defense contractor vowed to root out extremism in the military.

LLOYD AUSTIN, THEN NOMINEE FOR U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: And if confirmed, I will fight hard to stamp out sexual assault, and to rid our ranks of racists and extremists.

The job of the Department of Defense is to keep America safe from our enemies, but we can't do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.

CARLSON: Some of those enemies are within our ranks. Well, he's right about that, probably thinking of a different group, though. We're now learning that as part of its hunt for extremists, The Pentagon has partnered with Islamic activists, including one attorney who has called for the release of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

We're also learning -- the things we're learning never really end -- that a U.S. Army battalion commander at Fort Carson reportedly told troops and we're quoting now, "white people are part of the problem." Well, that's healthy? Daniel Greenfield is an investigative journalist who's been on these stories. He joins us tonight.

Daniel. Greenfield, thanks so much for coming on. What picture of the U.S.

military and its leadership does this paint would you say?

DANIEL GREENFIELD, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: It paints a very unpleasant one from the top down. Bishop Garrison who is running the CEWG, which is the Countering Extremism Working Group. This is the organization that Austin has set up in order to create a new definition of extremism, because there's so much talk about extremism. How do you define extremism?

This group is going to define that extremism. It is going to screen where recruits into the military. It's going to punish them if they lie about their past activities. It's going to be a point of contact for veterans warning them about extremism, and it's obviously going to regulate who gets into what kind of national security positions.

They've actually gotten 18 experts to come in and coordinate with this Countering Extremism Working Group on this definition. Only one of them has a military background, only two of them have a law enforcement background.

The vast majority of them are partisan Democrats who have supported Biden.

And then strangely enough, about a third of them are Muslim or from Islamist groups, two of whom appear not even be United States citizens but have worked with the United Nations.

CARLSON: So these sound like political commissars to me.

GREENFIELD: That's very much the case. They are going to create a definition of extremism that fits a particular political agenda. Bishop Garrison has already said that we're not going to have any tolerance for this ideology, then they quickly corrected themselves and he has corrected it to behavior. But you know, once you start talking about ideology, beliefs that people in the military can and can't have, that is very much a political commissar.

That's the kind of thing that the left was accusing McCarthy of doing in the Army McCarthy hearings. They're going to tell people in the military what kind of beliefs they can have, what they can think, not just what they can do.

CARLSON: You know, maybe at some point, someone in the Congress can hold up the military budget over stuff like this, like you can't have a politicized military. That's the one thing you can't have.

In one sentence, have you heard of any Member of Congress who is like, no, you can't have any more defective fighter jets if you keep talking like this. Is anybody pushing back?

GREENFIELD: Or for that matter, defunding the actual money that's going to all these critical race theory, diversity programs, because that's really a huge financial center.

CARLSON: Maybe Dick Cheney's daughter can get on there. She cares about the troops.

Daniel, I appreciate your coming on. Thank you so much.

GREENFIELD: Thank you so much.

CARLSON: So we talked about a lot of long term problems on this show, and probably some will be resolved, kind of on their own. Here's one you might want to worry about -- fertility rates, the reproduction of the species, declining dramatically in this country. No one is talking about why and what effect it is having on people.

We will speak to someone who has taken a serious look at this, and she joins us next.

Also, a new episode out tonight of our documentary series, "Tucker Carlson Originals" on right now and highly recommended.

CARLSON: So, we have a documentary series called "Tucker Carlson Originals." The newest episode is out tonight. It's called "Hunting MS-13"

on FOX Nation. We want to know what MS-13 is, why it's such a threat to us here in this country, so we visited where it came from El Salvador and met with members of MS-13 who were being held in prison for murder and talked to them.

CARLSON (voice over): To understand just how tough prison in El Salvador has become, we took a tour.

CARLSON (on camera): We are Izalco Prison, an hour and a half outside San Salvador. This is part of the President's anticrime effort. I think this is the first prison in the country to mix gang members in the same facility.

Quite a controversial decision. We're about to walk in with the Director of Prisons.

You can tell by the radioactive stickers on the wall, this is some kind of high tech x-ray machine where you stand on a conveyor belt and are fully exposed. That was after going into the back room for a full forensic pat down. So, security here is pretty tight.

CARLSON: MS-13 is among other things, a product of our broken immigration policy, a direct result of it. We talked to the President of El Salvador, he said that MS-13 has grown into something bigger than a gang. It's a threat to the integrity of the nation.

CARLSON: How would you describe MS-13?

NAYIB BUKELE, SALVADORAN PRESIDENT: Well, it's an international crime organization. It's not just a gang, like it was like most people will think. It's not a gang, it is an international criminal organization.

They have offices in New York and in Los Angeles, in Italy, in Australia, right here in Guatemala, and Honduras. I mean, this is a very big criminal organization comprised of hundreds of thousands of people.

CARLSON: Pretty amazing experience. The one thing you learn when you talk to people in MS-13 or being held in prison for murder, is that they joined it in LA. So, if you think our immigration policy doesn't have consequences, you ought to watch it.

By the way FOX Nation cannot be censored by the tech monopolies because they don't own it. They don't control it. It's on

So, total fertility last year in the United States mean the number of children Americans have was the lowest on record since the government began tracking it nearly a hundred years ago.

Total births were at their lowest rate since 1979. This has massive implications for the country, for all of us who live here. What are they?

Rebeccah Heinrichs is with the Hudson Institute. She just wrote a piece on this for "The American Mind." We're happy to have her on tonight. Rebeccah, thanks for coming on.


FELLOW: Thanks for having me, Tucker.

CARLSON: So apart from the obvious biological implications will cease to exist if we don't reproduce, what are the more subtle implications of a declining fertility rate?

HEINRICHS: Well, most people point to the economy as the driver of the problem, people don't have any kids because they can't afford it. And I think there's actually a cultural driver going on, Tucker. Really, there's this cultural dogma that's telling little girls that their greatest value in society is to the extent that they can maneuver to monetize their talents and abilities.

You saw this over Mother's Day weekend with prominent publications, prominent feminists, who were really denigrating motherhood, and extolling intentional childlessness. You can see it in the Biden plan to $225 billion to have nationalized daycare, to get bodies into the workforce.

It's essentially Tucker, you could say handmaids of capitalism that's being pushed, when the truth of the matter is, women still want to be mothers.

And they're essentially cauterizing their hearts to put off having children, put off having more than one child to go into the workforce, establish their careers at first, and they run at a time.

What we should be doing is the thrust of my piece is something that I tell young women is to get married, and have children, to continue to do good, continue to work, monetized or not. But to the extent that it works for your family, and that that's where you're going to find great happiness, and you're going to have a healthier society if you do that.

CARLSON: It's such corporate propaganda. I mean, is there any one on his deathbed or her deathbed and thinks, man, you know, I'm just so glad about the raise I got at Citibank. Does anyone from the H.R. Department at Blackstone come visit us you're dying? Like none of it means anything. It's so hollow, why doesn't anyone say that?

HEINRICHS: It is hollow, but actually it, this is something that people on the right and the left are actually really bad at. People are afraid to affirm to their children that their time, talents and abilities, and education are never wasted on their children.

And I love my work. I'm not saying that women shouldn't work. What I am saying is that they should prioritize what is most important before time runs out, and not just having children, but having children takes time, nurturing children takes time, and the self-sacrifice rings out great joy, and that children aren't just this burden on society, that this makes life worth living and the pursuit of happiness is constituted, is made in pouring into other people and relationships and self-sacrifice. It's something that all of us need to be better at encouraging young women to do.

CARLSON: Yes, it's also super fun. I mean, I'm a man with a job and nothing I've ever done professionally means anything compared to having children.

It's like not even in the same category and wasting your life trying to boost the next quarterly report, that's the saddest thing I've ever heard.

Why can't some Republican just say that? Are they all totally emasculated and just can't tell the truth about life?

HEINRICHS: We just haven't really exercise those muscles. It's all about GDP. But what is the point of a good GDP? The point of a good GDP is for a healthy society and polls show that more than 50 percent of married women prefer to have one person primarily at home for children when they're under the age of five and one person being the primary breadwinner because they don't just want to have children, they also want to be with them.

And so a lot of the public policy actually they ignore this. Elites just think that we need to get bodies into the workforce. But really, again, it's not just in producing widgets. It's not even in breaking glass ceilings, which can be good, but it's in these relationships. And so I mean, every grandmother, grandfather, mother, mentor, professor needs to be doing a better job of affirming this in women who do want to get married and have children and not to just waste their time.

CARLSON: Yes, of course. Boy, we've really been sold a bunch of lies. No wonder everyone is so unhappy. Oh, Citibank. It's so important.

Rebeccah, great to see you tonight. Thank you so much.

CARLSON: This show is not yet over, though, honestly, coming a little closer, but we'll be right back.

CARLSON: Look at that. We are out of time. I just kept talking and the clock ran out.

But we'll be back tomorrow. We will see you then. We'll also see you on FOX Nation. We've got a brand new episode of our documentary series. Of course, we are very excited about this and for good reason.

Sean Hannity takes over next.

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Civil Liberties

Civil liberties are freedoms that are guaranteed to people to protect them from an over-powerful government. Civil liberties are used to limit the power of a coercive government. Civil liberties are found in democratic states such as Great Britain but are not found in undemocratic states such as the Iraq under Saddam Hussein and North Korea.

Examples of civil liberties (some nations might refer to them as civil rights) are:

  • Freedom from arbitrary arrest
  • Freedom from arbitrary detention
  • The right to a fair trial
  • Freedom of association
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom of movement
  • Freedom of conscience
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of speech within the parameters of the law

Because these rights are part of the fabric of British society, we tend to take them for granted. On rare occasions, the government may take action against a small group of people which it could be argued, infringes on the civil liberties. Since September 2001, various anti-terrorist acts have given the police a far greater ability to ‘trespass’ on peoples’ individual rights. The government argue that this is necessary to ensure the safety of the country. Groups such as Liberty have argued that the government has overstepped the mark and has gone past the acceptable line of what a government can do and can’t within a representative democracy.

By banning Abu Hamza from preaching at the North Finsbury mosque in London, it could be argued that he and his followers are having their civil liberties infringed (freedom of assembly, association, religion etc). However, the government would argue that a higher purpose is being served and that the nation as a whole benefits more by he and his followers being banned from using the mosque.

Similarly, the unnamed Algerian who was released from Bellmarsh Prison in April 2004 after two years imprisonment without being charged. David Blunkett has called the judicial decision to release him a “mistake”. The man was being held under anti-terrorism legislation but was released due to a deterioration in his mental and physical health. But for two years, were his civil liberties being infringed?

The government wishes to introduce some form of ID card within years. In April 2004, it was announced that 10,000 people had volunteered to try the system out. Civil liberty groups have expressed their concern that it will lead to a ‘Big Brother’ society with the power of the government in office being greatly expanded at the expense of society as a whole. The government has defended its plan two-fold. Britain is the only major power in the EU that does not have ID cards and, more important, they are seen as a way of combating terrorism.

In the past, political marches/meetings of certain political groups have been banned for the sake of ‘public interest’ and ‘public safety’. Marches by the National Front were banned in the 1970’s out of the fear that they would cause public disorder. Ironically, the National Front was supported in its right to march by liberals who believed that it was a very dangerous road to go down when a government denied people the right of assembly simply because it might cause a public disturbance. Where would it end? Stopping people having the right to join the party regardless of its beliefs? Stopping that party putting up candidates at elections? Whilst deploring what the NF stood for, there was support for their right to march.

One of the most complicated areas of civil rights is when a civil liberty that one person enjoys causes offence and trespasses on the civil liberties of another. This happened when Salman Rushdie published “The Satanic Verses”. British Muslims were incensed by what they considered to be blasphemy against their religion and asked the government to ban it. Rushdie claimed that he had a right to produce what his conscience supported even if it did cause offence. The government decided that a ban of the book would be the equivalent of censorship and, as a democratic nation, did not want to go down that road.

Further a field, in France the government has banned young Muslim girls from wearing the traditional garb of female Muslims stating that education in France is secular and has been for years and that the wearing of a uniform that is specifically associated with a religion goes against this. Other religious groups that wear clothing that is a specific sign of their religion are in the same situation.

Invariably, it is a truism that minority groups invariably suffer at the expense of the majority when it come to civil liberties.

In recent years, the government has also tried to address what it refers to as social rights. Some of these are:

  • Equal pay between genders
  • Rights against unfair dismissal at work
  • Protection against unemployment
  • The right to higher education
  • Rights against racial discrimination
  • Rights of the consumer against the large faceless corporations

Other issues that have made the headlines concerning rights and liberties are extremely complicated. In Britain, a woman has the right to an abortion. This has been so now for several decades. But in recent years, groups have grown that want an unborn child to have rights which would bring them into direct conflict with a woman’s right to decide.

More Comments:

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Heuisler, your endless hypocrisy is tiresome. Anyone plowing through your long litany of rants here, and over past years on any of hundreds of other HNN pages, could easily see that if Bush were a Democrat you would be choking on the torrent of accusations of totalitarian "leftism" against him which you would not be able to mindlessly regurgitate fast enough. When you will pull your head out and realize that your clown of a president is not Robert Taft, not Ike, not Goldwater. Even Nixon and Reagan seem like shining beacons of enlightened inspiration compared to him. His latest round of juvenile evasions and excuse-makings start to make even Dan Quayle look good. Of the 10,000+ rude insults you have hurled on HNN to date, why does Junior Chickenhawk Bush deserve zero ? What will you not sacrifice to the cause of your own incessant hypocrisy ?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. Heisler, you appear to again be operating under the common but fallacious fantasy that anything the G.W. Bush administration does is "conservative", and that any critic of them is "liberal". To the extent that such dichotomies have any validity at all nowadays, they are an indication of the foolishness of the American public and its infotainment suppliers in all too often failing to appreciate that honesty, fiscal reliability, national security, common sense, accountability, competency, etc. do not depend on which side of home plate people stand on when at bat.

If historians in the U.S. are occasionally able to burst these bubbles of intellectual laziness, the more power to them, no matter which political party they vote for.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

If you really think Saddam was significantly involved with the 9/11 attacks, then the brainwashing and/or mental damage has gone far deeper than can be explained by watching too much bad American TV. Such utter Rovian crap belongs historically with the Nazi lie that Poland started World War II by attacking German in September, 1939.

And before you get hot and bothered, I did not vote for Clinton, do not think the 2003 invasion was "all about Iraq", and if the docs at the nut house want to let David Horowitz run all over college campus, I basically couldn't care less.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

My comment #72572 above, was supposed to be (and go underneath) Mr. Heisler's #72563.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

RE: "It is impossible to have a serious discussion with you on anything related to this administration's policy/decision making or analysis/results/outcomes. "

Or on any other subject, unless you toe whatever the latest Republican line might be. Or want to sit and listen to a series of evasive, illogical, misattributing monologues.

If Cheney and the clowns were to decide tomorrow that, in order to continuing their achieving of never-ending victory over Al Qaeda, terrorism, and evil-doers generally, it had become necessary to restore Saddam to power, your "comrade" here would no doubt be ready to switch gears in a heartbeat, like any good lackey. What keeps these shell games going are the spineless and clueless Democrats who can't stop formulating grand theories of empire and neo-conservative ideology long enough to recognize that they, and faux Christian "core" of the Republican base are being conned, over and over again.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Nice that you, however inadvertently, are taking a position against repeatedly "one-sided" and unfair attacks upon "Christian White Heterosexual Males" . like George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and John Kerry, for example.

But why insist on promoting an "infantile belief system" wherein "all social problems are the direct result"
of a "cabal" of "the Left" and the "Politically Correct"?

Charles Heisler, it looks very much as though forty years of bitterness have hypocritically turned you into that which you have long despised. May I respectfully suggest (a) that you consider going back to basic principles, and (b) that "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" is a tactic not a principle?

If you could remove the massive chip from your shoulder (that has swung you into a 180 degree anti-anti-"Left" counterspin) long enough, you might stop to notice that the basic point of the article supposedly under discussion here is to debunk any naive sentiments that "liberal Democrats" in Washington are fundamentally any better at defending civil liberties than "conservative Republicans". What is wrong with that common sensical and amply demonstrated observation ? Unless your main object is to make the "conversation" "one-sided"?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. Heisler: My comment #72627 was in response to your #72624 (both of which should, but not easily be, viewable above). The blatant inconsistency in your #72624 cannot be excused by other comments elsewhere, yours or anyone else's, especially when the ability to move up and down the thread is somehow screwed up here.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Only a Nazi, Stalinist or Maoist would support spying on their own citizenry. what is your preference Comrade Heuisler schnitzel, borscht or fried rice?

This is just one more brick in the wall of the Bush administration's continuing assault on Americans' privacy and freedom in the name of his war on terrorism.

In 2002, according to The NYT, Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to intercept and keep records of Americans' international phone and e-mail messages without benefit of a PREVIOUSLY REQUIRED COURT ORDER. Bush then permitted the Department of Defense to get away with not destroying after three months, as required, records of American Iraq war protesters in the Pentagon's Threat and Local Observation Notice, or TALON database.

Both practices mean that a government agency is maintaining information on Americans, reminiscent of the Johnson and Nixon administrations' approach to Vietnam War protesters. The existence of those records as seen against a background of the Bush administration's response to criticism in the run-up of the Iraq war by retired Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson and the outing of his wife Valerie Plame who's career at the CIA was ended in revenge for the article Wilson wrote unmasking the dodgy intelligence that President Bush had used in a State of the Union message to seek to support his decision to go to war. This case is quite troubling, to not only for us Civil Libertarians, but, to all Americans who cherish freedom Comrade Heuisler.

It appears that the phone and e-mail messages of thousands of Americans and foreign residents in America have been or are being monitored and recorded by the NSA. Such action is not supposed to be taken without an application to and an order approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Mr. Bush issued an executive order in 2002, months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, secretly removing that legal safeguard of Americans' privacy and civil rights.

The Pentagon's action as part of TALON and the Department of Defense maintaining files on American war protesters, perhaps with easy cross-reference to the NSA's records based on the results of their monitoring of phone calls and e-mails of potentially those same protesters, makes possible a very serious violation of Americans' civil rights.

Without a serious leap of imagination, in your case a near impossibility, a list of those under surveillance not available to anyone outside the NSA and the Pentagon, makes it possible to project that political critics of the Bush administration could end up among those being tracked. The Nixon administration, a previous Republican administration beleaguered by war critics, maintained an ENEMIES LIST.

The administration must order the Pentagon to promptly destroy the records of protesters as required by law, within three months. It also needs to order the NSA to return to the protocol of rules for approval through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court before monitoring Americans' communications.

The idea that all of this is being done in the name of national security doesn't wash. This is the behavior of a police state and I for one, do not need or want the government to protect me, thank you very much. I can protect myself, quite adequately, from evil war protesters or weaklings the likes of Jose Padilla.

Comrade Heuisler, for some ungodly reason you are a biggest proponent of Big Brother I've ever run across. Really, it's not a healthy mentality. You need to quite suckling off the governments teat and start defending your rights as an individual and begin to think for yourself.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

You needn't be on the left or right to be a jackboot. If you would prefer to be Jacobin instead of a Nazi so be it.

Spying on one's own citizenry and fellow countrymen is a direct violation of Civil Liberty especially, against those whose only perceived crime is that they disagree with questionable government policy.

It is a fact that Mr. Bush approved warrant-less wiretaps and surveillance to compile a list of enemies of the realm. He has openly admitted to this heinous action.

You better double-check to make sure that your name is not on that list of subversives Comrade Heuisler.

Now think about that last sentence. How did it make you feel? Did it make you feel the least bit uncomfortable? Did it make you feel violated that a fellow American would even consider that a person of your moral standing would be on such a list? Now imagine yourself being spied upon.

Mr. Bush issued an executive order, IN SECRET, to carry out this attack on Civil Liberty. If we are fighting a war on terror, as Mr. Bush insists and constantly reminds us in a ploy to frighten and kowtow weak minded individuals such as you, why issue the executive order in secret? Is it because true Americans would not condone this action just as we did not tolerate this activity under Nixon?

Harry Reid did not become Minority Leader until 2004. Why would Bush go to Reid 2002, to seek consultation on a matter as questionable as the authorization of warrant-less surveillance. It is reported that Nancy Pelosi knew of Bush's actions. However, it is totally unacceptable to secretly spy on law biding citizens and fellow Americans. This is one of the issues that drove Nixon to resign. One can only hope it has an equal impact in removing an unfit and unethical GW Bush from office.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Of all our Presidents I believe "King Lincoln" to be history's worst violator of US civil liberties. That being said.

Although, I tend to agree with Mr. Alvarado that it is far too early to judge President Bush I think that 'cabal' is a better term than 'regime' when describing the current administration.

Regime- A form of government: a fascist regime.
A government in power administration: suffered under the new regime. A prevailing social system or pattern. The period during which a particular administration or system prevails.

At the very minimum regimes have somewhat coherent, politically grounded, defined strategic and end game objectives fairly visible to a sizable contingent within a governed populace.

Cabal-1: a clique (often secret) that seeks power usually through intrigue 2: a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot) engage in plotting or enter into a conspiracy, swear together "They conspired to overthrow the government"

The Bush administration is more typical of a cabal. questionable electioneering, subversive & treasonous actions/strategic leaks/smearing of opponents, camouflage/ ever changing reasons to justify policy, dominated by a few/monied concerns, advancement of self/select interests over that of the whole.

Civil liberties have eroded more rapidly as the religious right came to the forefront in the early 1980's. Fortunately, the Bush administration appears to have only squelched civil liberties when expedient to the direct needs of their inner circle. This administration doesn't really care about, or for, the American people all that much so our concerns may be much deeper than preserving what few civil liberties we have left.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

This issue seems to have grown legs over the past (24) hours as the administration is really scrambling for cover. As you and I continue to banter back and forth the Bushies are five gears in reverse trying to spin their way out this little faux pas. Remember, this type activity helped topple Nixon.

I agree with you 100% and fully understand that we need to do whatever it takes to stop any future attacks on US soil. Also, without any doubt Mr. Bush deserves a great deal of credit for preventing attacks since 911 but, spying on Americans doesn't sit well with some of us. I realize it may be purely psychological but, it does leave a bad taste in the mouths of some.

While GW Bush claims his wiretaps were vital to the national security, they came at a time when the FISA court was approving a record number of warrants for secret surveillance. According to FISA’s annual report for 2004, there were a record 1,758 applications for spying authorization that year and none was denied by the special court. My question to you is why then would the President need to order secret surveillance?

The administration would have to know that if it was found out a fire storm was likely. Why jeopardize your presidency/ legacy, with all that is currently at stake and on the table, through some questionable activity when it could have all been carried out quite freely utilizing the FISA?

Could it be that Mr. Bush is so high on unchecked power that he believes that he is above the law and unaccountable to the American people?

I watched the Presidents speech last night and he looked a little more shaky than usual. What was with those Tourette like hand gestures? Do you think the pressure of it all is getting to him? Remember, this is a former alcohol abuser and cocaine addict. even if now sober drugs and alcohol have proven to cause irreversible damage both physically and psychologically. Do you think he is back on the bottle or God forbid, something worse? If you recall Nixon too was drunk quite often.

What is it about history repeating itself eh, Comrade!

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Benchmark FYI. I am neither a leftist nor rightist. I believe left/right ideology to be the domain of the weak minded.

You write, "detrimental to civil liberties with their political correctness than the religious right could ever imagine."

Your correlation of political correctness with Civil Liberty is a total disconnect but, if you believe that there is some sort of leftist conspiracy or perceived movement toward political correctness that is an infringement of Civil Liberty you're either surely confused, seriously uptight or weak minded from your years of veering too far to the right.

Political Correctness is an effort to make broad social and political changes to redress injustices caused by prejudice. It often involves changing or avoiding language that might offend anyone, especially with respect to gender, race, or ethnic background.

Civil Liberty is the First Amendment right granted by the Constitution, Common Law or through legislation that enables us to be free to think, assemble, speak, organize, worship or petition without interference or restraint. Asking one to be PC does not not interfere with this right unless you are a proponent of ills such as racism, feminism/sexism, hate speech or church burning. Also, there are no laws that regulate/ require political correctness. If so, name one?

It is now reported Mr. Bush referred to US Constitution as “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!” It is the President's number one duty to protect, defend and uphold the US Constitution and consequently, Civil Liberty. His oath of office is contingent upon this preamble. Mr. Bush is either unaware or unsure of his duty to this nation or as stated in my previous post just doesn't care unless it serves the best interest of his handlers.

Further, you state, "I can give you five examples of restriction of free speech by the left for every half example you conger up that has been the result of conservative thought."

Here are a few full examples.

1.) The Bush Administrations repeated use of "Free Speech Zones" and pre-screened audiences at speeches/appearances to isolate those with differing views. (Score 5-0)

2.) FCC v. Pacifica or numerous other cases involving the right leaning FCC and regulations of speech in broadcasting. See also FCC v. Infinity Broadcast Corporation. Remember, Michael Powell was to the a right of center. (Score 10-0).

3.) NYT v. Sullivan or Abrams v. US (Right leaning OW Holmes and Brandies dissenting. Later overturned by the left leaning Warren Court) or Texas v. Johnson. Just a few of numerous SCOTUS cases brought on by right leaning ideologues in an effort to stifle free speech. (Score 15-0)

4.) Ulysses, Candide, Fanny Hill, Family Limitation, Catcher In The Rye, Fahrenheit 451, Grapes Of Wrath, Lord Of The Flies, The Pentagon Papers, Portnoy's Complaint, Satanic Verses and many more. All banned books courtesy of Joe McCarthy, The Meese Commission, RC Church/right leaning religious organizations, GA Governor Talmadge and US Postal Inspector Anthony Comstock. (Score 20-0)

You owe twenty examples of the left v. the right suppressing freedom of speech. Should be easy. Take your time.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

I do not hate Mr. Bush or even dislike him. I do not know the guy personally so as to judge one way or the other. It is that I am not a world class sycophant like you.

It is impossible to have a serious discussion with you on anything related to this administration's policy/decision making or analysis/results/outcomes.

As Rome burns you dismiss it as a campfire.

Well Nero. daddy Dick had to cut his Iraq/ Pakistan visit short and I bet he's really pissed. Junior better break out the pretzels because he's gonna have two black eyes after daddy Dick lays the smackdown. The Dems are formulating plausible deniability over this whole spy issue, even a handful of Repugs are distancing themselves, while the press is in a feeding frenzy. Explain again how this is a non-issue for GWB?

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Citing Coulter's problems on the college circuit as an example the left's suppression of free speech is a stretch. Ms. Coulter is vile, racist and just mean spirited. Her inflammatory bile incites and encourages this reaction and is purposeful as part of her schtick. This example is akin to the right's attack on Michael Moore's moronic spiel.

Mr. Horowitz case is a better example of the left's attempt to stifle free speech. Although, Mr. Horowitz is a lightning rod as race baiter and staunch Zionist he does bring stronger credentials and displays better table manners than Coulter. Unfairly, the left is much harsher on Mr. Horowitz than the right is on his nemesis Noam Chomsky. This example is worth 5 points.

The "Walt Disney definition" of Political Correct is
courtesy of Webster's. dissing Webster's. is nothing sacred? PC is just a way to seek a little human kindness, dignity and respect. It is not a requirement. So explain to someone like me, who has been living in a trailer down by the river, how exactly (500 words or less) "redressing social ills results in censorship"? This time, provide detailed proof not nebulous meanderings.

Sorry your old but, thanks for dedicating your life's work to academics. It is the most noble profession and I am sure you are an excellent teacher and have been an extremely positive influence on those who have passed through your classroom. I've been out of college for nearly 30 years so I am unable to comment on the current campus discourse. Hopefully, it is as alive and vibrant as in my day and I am sure you help keep the fires burning.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Welcome. Belly up to the bar. I must have really pissed on your boots good this time as I see that it has taken you two posts to spew out all your nonsense.

It is common knowledge that the Secret Service screens the Presidents audience and has done so even prior to 1923. However, the Bush posse is extreme by any comparison to past administrations and it isn't always the Secret Service doing the screening. I wasn't going to say it but, oh well. 'Brownshirts' have questioned, roughed-up and tossed undesirables from Bush rallies.

Mr. Bush avoids all reasonable questions as the "I don’t give a goddamn, I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way" executive let alone face questions that may be uncomfortable. Where is the free speech here?

And, God forbid he should have to revert his eyes as he speeds past any long hairs protesting his disastrous policies. Dissent is kept at a 3 mile distance from this accidental occupant of the White House. Unfortunately, Rove has stifled free speech so well that it will be studied and mimicked for years to come by future incumbents to the Oval Office.

The FCC has stifled free speech for years. FCC v. Pacifica and FCC v. Infinity Broadcast Corporation are just two of many examples. what's your point. that the FCC is a left wing shill and proponent? If so, why doesn't the FCC go after The 700 Club and "crackpot" Pat for his daily hate filled prime time speech? The homophobic right is on continual autopilot in attacks upon PBS including children's shows that they deem too "gay" and uses the FCC as it's strong-arm conduit. Sesame Street. how pathetic is that?

Bill, you are insufferable.

NYT v. Sullivan had everything to do with free speech and civil rights. The SCOTUS case established the actual malice standard before press reports could be considered to be defamation and libel and hence allowed free reporting of the civil rights campaigns in the southern United States.

It is one of the key decisions supporting the freedom of the press. The actual malice standard requires that the publisher knows the statement is false or acts in reckless disregard of the truth.
Before this decision there were nearly $300 million in libel actions outstanding against news organizations from the Southern states and these had caused many publications to exercise great caution when reporting on civil rights, for fear that they may be held liable for libel. After the Times prevailed in this case, news organizations were free to report the widespread disorder and civil rights infringements. The Times maintained that the case against it was brought to intimidate news organizations and prevent them from reporting illegal actions of public employees in the South as they attempted to continue to support segregation.

You need to replace your white hood with a tin foil hat to slow down all those brain waves emanating from your gigantic skull bone.

Then, you amazingly outdo yourself by writing, "McCarthy's Senate Committee did not ban books". You're joking right? If not, before you can debate you need to learn how read.

First, I wrote Joe McCarthy as an individual. singular. not, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. plural.

Second, the "Red Scare" and Hollywood Writer's Guild Blacklist orchestrated by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. plural. was America's greatest historical violation in the suppression of Civil Liberty and free speech. A true stain on the Constitution perpetrated by the right and quarterbacked by McCarthy.

Joseph McCarthy. singular. instigated one of the most notorious waves of censorship the nation has ever experienced. McCarthy had home-grown classics like Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience pulled along with 300 other titles banned or burned.

Finally, you state, " Your fondness for, "changing or avoiding language that might offend anyone, especially with respect to gender, race, or ethnic background", however is a smarmy means to abridge the freedom of speech in the First Amendment to our Constitution. There is no right not to be offended. you defend the abridgment of free speech because you apparently believe the right not to be offended is more important than our right to free speech."

Initially, I was only kidding about you shedding your white hood but now you really have me worried. Can you give me the name of the dry cleaner who presses your sheet?

As far as your second post you got me by the short hairs. It looks like you slipped a gear big time writing that mess. I'll leave that diatribe to someone else.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Regardless of the Patriot Act flaws it has coordinated/ concentrated agency efforts and allowed for information/ resources sharing. There is no question that the Patriot Act must be reauthorized, unchanged and remain enforce until the War on Terror is won.

The issue is why Mr. Bush would knowingly bypass the FISA. There is no need or reason to do so. Mr. Bush who has his hands full with the war, economy, Abramoff scandal has.

1.) Provided Democrats an issue on which to attack and gain possible traction. A Clintonite, U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret FISA resigned without providing an explanation. From all accounts a decent jurist whom the Democrats can point to as incorruptible and use against GWB.

GWB, although polls are up to 47% still rates in the low to mid-30's on honesty/ corruption polling.

2.) Blown cover. Bypassing FISA has placed intelligence gathering operations in the news. Under FISA (the last year without and NYT complicity) few knew or cared about the inner workings of this important policing process.

3.) Any attack on the US Constitution, real or imagined, is cause for alarm. Even George Will "Why didn't he ask Congress" Dec 20, 2005 is questioning of GWB and possible constitutional law infringement. I read what AG Schmidt wrote however, other scholars challenge GWB's actions.

The crux of the biscuit is that the Bush Administration views the role of the Executive as superseding the Legislative/ Judicial branches. Mr. Cheney said as much this afternoon. This is troublesome to those who believe in a system of checks and balances through the three branch model.

Maybe you prefer to live under a king or dictator but many of us do not. Word is that the White House has green lighted a planning document entitled "Justifications for One-Party Rule in America" based on the work of John Yoo that would suspend the Constitution to establish a Declaration of Unity with a permanent executive in the case of domestic attack. Would this type government suit you?

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It’s just a goddamned piece of paper." GW Bush

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

My apologies as I misunderstood your definition of social ills. I define social ills as hunger, homelessness/ substandard housing, severe poverty, unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction, child abuse, absence of educational opportunity and inadequate health care/ welfare programs. Addressing these ills would surely not injure civil liberty.

It is sad that college campuses no longer encourage or generate free thought and open discussion. Hopefully, educators such as you will continue to challenge, motivate and raise the bar for students to become more involved in the political process. The Young Republican's seem to do a great job of moving their message forward as scores of them work polling stations.

All is not lost. Driving to work today vandals sprayed painted graffiti on the base of the Steamfitters #449 Local Training Center sign that read "OIL WAR". In black and gold hometown Steelers colors no less. Though vandalism is wrong and many may object to the message some are attempting to get out the word for others to see and reflect upon.

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated."

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

You are correct, in haste, my use of the word revert was incorrect. I'll be more careful next time.

It is great that you've had the honor to attend numerous Presidential functions. I am sure that it an experience you will long cherish and I am truly relieve that you did not show up in your Sturmabteilung dress uniform. But, since you brought it up.

Courtesy of

Brown Shirt or brown·shirt (brounshûrt) n.
1, A Nazi, especially a storm trooper.
2. A racist, especially a violent, right-wing one.

I see that I am not alone in the need to learn how to use a dictionary. hint, hint.

In 1953 according to Walter Harding, preeminent Thoreau biographer "Senator McCarthy ordered that the United States Information Service remove from their overseas libraries an anthology of American literature that included Thoreau's Civil Disobedience as un-American."

On Joseph McCarthy and book banning.

The Christian Science Monitor May 06, 2003 edition, The Red Scare Revisited: Inside McCarthy Files

"And while he (McCarthy) informed the 395 witnesses of their right to constitutional protection, he described any attempt to do so as an admission of guilt - and encouraged employers to fire them. The hearings took on the tone of an inquisition. They ranged from investigations into the books in the State Department's overseas libraries, where more than 300 titles were then banned or burned".

Inciting or encouraging book banning/burning is just as troubling as carrying out the act itself.

Further, Journalists Jack Anderson and Ronald May published a scathing indictment of Senator McCarthy in their book McCarthy, The Man, The Senator, The Ism.

On March 31, 1953 the McCarthy book became the center of a controversy involving the Madison Free Library, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Capital Times, the University of Wisconsin, the Unitarian Church, and the larger community. The storm erupted from a newspaper column in the Capital Times headlined: "Anti-McCarthy Book Banned at Library'.

There is also no need to discuss the numerous Hollywood screenwriters unjustly smeared and blacklisted by your hero.

Once again you are proven wrong.

Before going on any further please carefully reread Sullivan and Pacifica. I suggest that you utilize LexisNexis in your search. Then get back to me when you are better prepared as it is really tiring doing all the leg work for you.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Dear "Klinton Lovin" Heuisler,

Actually, the essay 'Bush Plans National Despotism Party' by Michael S. Rozeff was posted at Lew a Libertarian site and home of American Patriot, Representative Ron Paul.

You're really dogged in efforts defending Mr. Bush on this spygate issue. Playing the Clinton card though, have you no shame? It just proves how pathetic you can be but, as a Republican you're entitled to mix copious amounts of hypocrisy with the innate ability to flip-flop at will because, that's what all good Republicans do.

But, no need to fear little Billy.

1.) This is a non-issue for White House Counsel that is easily defensible and will be cleaned up post haste.

2.) Like Reagan, GWB is teflon especially, with jackboots like you on the clock who would sooner wipe their feet upon the US Constitution than call the President out on a serious lapse of judgment. Lest we forget THAT BUSH WORKS FOR US and WE PAY HIS SALARY.

3.) The next major disaster, in a series of disasters, during one & 1/2 disastrous terms is just around the corner. GWB and clan will screw something up royally to move the public and press off issue and onward/ upward to the next catastrophe.

Hopefully, it won't involve physical loss of another US city.

4.) GWB could get caught filmed in an Oval Office menage-a-trois sans, Jeff Gannon-Guckert and those dimwit Democrats couldn't make an impeachment run of it as they'd be too busy talking circles around each other on CNN.

GWB is innocent on this one and this post is getting tired. Move on up the thread so we can discuss some other topics that highlight Junior's bungling and ineptitude. Let's look for an essay that explores the Bush/Republican cult worship of Sun Myung Moon.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

The answer to your questions are no, yes and the jury is still out.

Well, I take that back. Ann Coulter may not be a racist but she is a bigot.

Let me get this straight and if mistaken please let me know.

You write, "Sullivan is an expansion of the free press". [nss]

That is absolutely correct! It is what I have been telling you all along for the last three posts!! You have just refuted your own last three posts.

Your argument all along has been that Sullivan had no bearing, whatsoever, on Civil Liberty and more precisely, the Freedom of Speech component therewith-in.

Yet, you say the case led to the EXPANSION OF THE FREE PRESS.

If it expanded the free press then it had a definite bearing on free speech and consequently Civil Liberty.

You write, "Pacifica is an obscenity case".

That is absolutely correct! It is what I have been telling you for the last three posts!! You have just refuted your own last three posts.

Your argument all along has been that Pacifica had no bearing, whatsoever, on Civil Liberty and more precisely, the Freedom of Speech component therewith-in.

Yet, you say it is an OBSCENITY case.

If it is an obscenity case then it had a definite bearing on free speech and consequently Civil Liberty.

You write, "Abrams eventually won his right to leaflet munitions workers".

That is absolutely correct! It is what I have been telling you for the last three posts!! You have just refuted your own last three posts.

Yet, you say the case won the RIGHT TO LEAFLET.

If it allowed for the right to leaflet then it had a definite bearing on free speech and consequently Civil Liberty. In fact, this case also challenges the right to assembly another component of Civil Liberty.

If you had been paying attention to Mr. Heisler's posts you would have understood the questions and rebuttals. But, you don't read and you jump in half cocked with an empty gun.

Each case had a cause/ effect on one or more of a specific, individual component of CIVIL LIBERTY. In this case FREE SPEECH. I cannot be any more remedial than that.

And stop it with the lame defense of McCarthy. I did not misquote Harding or the Madison Times and you know it. You are the only poster at HNN who is defending Joseph McCarthy and his reign of terror. You know right well that he personally led the most notorious censorship campaign in the nations history and that included his personal direct and indirect efforts to ban and burn books.

You write, "These books were removed (or not) by Embassies and bases who cared. This is not banning books".

You should care that's who! You once again just refuted your own argument of your last two posts.

If you write that books were removed then that is book banning.

Do you actually ever read anything you write or do you just post up to be a P.I.A.

For the sake of argument let's say he didn't ban or burn any books (even though we know he did) and because when debating you one needs to break ideas down to the very lowest remedial level. Joseph McCarthy incited others to ban and burn books during the early 1950's. This is guilt by association and he is guilty. What is so hard for you to comprehend?

Lastly, one would certainly not read transcripts from the Subcommittee that the subject chaired to learn about the ungodly behavior of said subject. That would be like reading Hitler's autobiography had Germany won World War II.

Honestly, Bill you're an embarrassment to the Mississippi State School System.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Your write. "can you name one civil liberty that a citizen of our country has lost under bush?

Well yes I can, and more than just one but, this should suffice for now.

Bush approved warrant-less spying on US citizens.

You're more than welcome to refute that this is not a clear violation of civil liberty, twenty-five words or less.

Also, take the time to read the Patriot Act so that you'll be better prepared to discuss because from the looks of your post I do not believe you have ever read this document.

Bill Heuisler - 12/22/2005

Mr. Ebbitt,
Please stop repeating (as a quote) a rumor started by a a lefty web site and echoed by other lefty sites. You need to expand your horizons can you really believe that such an explosive statement by a President would only be discovered by your obscure "blue" site? And it's repeated by Counterpunch, weirdest of all lefty sites. Wake up.

Now look this up-
Jamie Gorelick, Deputy AG of the Clinton administration said before
the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence about ten years ago:

JULY 14, 1994

"Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
"You have asked for my views on the provision of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s counterintelligence bill that establishes a procedure for court orders approving physical searches conducted in the United States for foreign intelligence purposes.

At the outset, let me emphasize two very important points. First, the Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the President has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General. "

(two explanatory paragraphs here)

". In considering legislation of this type, however, it is important to understand that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the President in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities.

Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure requires a judicial warrant to search and seize (1) property that constitutes evidence of a crime (2) contraband, that is the fruits of a crime or things otherwise illegally possessed or (3) property designed or intended for use as the means of committing a crime. Normally, the federal officer conducting the search is required to serve a copy of the warrant on the person whose property is being searched and to provide a written inventory of the property seized.

These rules would defeat the purposes and objectives of foreign intelligence searches, which are very different from searches. "

Good for Clinton, but not Bush?
Why not? Politics? We're at war now.
Bill Heuisler

Bill Heuisler - 12/21/2005

Mr. Ebbitt,
Whistle in the graveyard if it makes you feel better, but the President is correct and the Dems are driving off a cliff. And now they're in the process of what Harry Reid said has
"killed the Patriot act."

This is political suicide. President Bush is on the side of defending the nation and the Dems just say no.

You wrote (can't have), "a serious discussion with you on anything related to this administration's policy/decision making or analysis/results/outcomes.

Really? I've cited numerous court cases and precedents and quoted various people. Would you rather I spouted meaningless opinions about things I know nothing about, like Clarke does so often? Yes or no?

One more fact for you to digest while pondering: John Schmidt, associate AG in Clinton's Justice department wrote yesterday in the Chicago Tribune that Clinton, Bush, or any chief executive, has inherent authority to order warrantless surveillance. Look it up.

"The courts have upheld that position several times," Schmidt wrote in the Trib, "Every president since FISA's passage has asserted that he retained inherent power to go beyond the act's terms."

"We cannot eliminate the need for extraordinary action in the kind of unforeseen circumstances presented by Sept. 11," Schmidt continued. "I do not believe the Constitution allows Congress to take away from the president the inherent authority to act in response to a foreign attack. That inherent power is reason to be careful about who we elect as president, but it is authority we have needed in the past and, in the light of history, could well need again."

A Clinton AG. Serious discussion?
Care to rethink?
Bill Heuisler

Bill Heuisler - 12/20/2005

Mr. Ebbitt,
October 8th, 1998 - Reuters:
"U.S.lawmakers approved a proposal long sought by the FBI that would dramatically expand wiretapping authority - an idea Congress openly rejected three years ago."

Reuters refers to House Resolution 3694 which passed Congress without fanfare and was signed into law by President Clinton October 20th, 1998 becoming Public Law #105- 272.

Again Reuters:
"The conference report was easily adopted by the House Wednesday despite an objection to the wiretapping provision from Georgia Republican Bob Barr, and by the Senate Thursday. Neither the House nor the Senate had included the provision, known as roving wiretap authority, in their versions of the intelligence bill. That was added later in closed committee."

Mr. Ebbitt, roving wiretaps are not limited by former legal constraints to just one telephone line per court order. Where previously each wiretap had to be approved by a judge, these are carte blanche authorizations to tap into any line law enforcement thinks may be used by, or is in the immediate vicinity of, a suspect.

Reuters again:
"Alan Davidson, staff counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington said at the time, 'Roving wiretaps are a major expansion of current government surveillance power. To take a controversial provision that affects the fundamental constitutional liberties of the people and pass it behind closed doors shows a shocking disregard for our democratic process.' FBI officials said they needed to be able to get roving wiretap authority more easily to catch criminals taking advantage of new telecommunications technologies."

That's 1998. Sound familiar?
Bill Heuisler

Tim Matthewson - 12/20/2005

Ed Kilgore has an important post at TPM Cafe highlighting how the House leadership, undoubtedly taking their lead from the White House, subverted all of the rules of democracy last night by adopting "martial law."

The brazen we-make-the-rules-around-here attitude reflected in the Bush administration's domestic spying ukase, and its let's-punish-the-leakers reaction to its exposure, is certainly not just an executive branch phenomenon. Last night's House Republican maneuvers on budget and defense appropriations measures exhibit the same mentality, especially in the strategem that made it possible: a rules change that basically abolished all the rules.

Thanks to martial law, the incredibly convoluted series of decisions made totally behind close doors on the budget bill, turned into a simple loyalty test for partisans. There was a grand total of 40 minutes of debate, which was probably about right since nobody had the chance to read the bill in the first place.

Republicans have steadily degenerated from the party of law and order, to the party that is actually contemptuous of the law when it doesn't serve their purposes, and indifferent to constitutional and legislative order when it thwarts their will. What the Schiavo incident said about the true Republican attitude towards federalism and separation of powers, the "martial law" rule says about the GOP's true interest in rational policymaking and honest debate.

The House Gets Into the Act
by mcjoan
Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 10:15:56 PM PDT

Bill Heuisler - 12/20/2005

Mr. Ebbitt,
You're excited about a NYT writer's scam to sell a book, spineless Dems scurrying for cover while trying to scuttle the Patriot Act and trying to sound important. Congressional leaders have been aware of the NSA surveillance for years. The NYT has been holding the story a year.

And you think it's important.

The President has plenty of legal precedent and his poll numbers will soon be above 55% due to this issue and the Democrat filibuster of the Patriot Act. Do you really think the American people care a whit about surveillance when their safety is concerned?

Stop reacting with your emotions. Allowing hatred of the President to control you is silly. undignified. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, your mind is apparently so fine that no fact can violate it.
Bill Heuisler

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/19/2005

I don't know Steve, the author seems pretty balanced in this article. It does need to be pointed out to the current "It's all about me!" crowd that U.S. Presidents have a history of walking the line and crossing the line concerning civil rights during periods of strife.
Of course, most reasonable folks will wait until the results are in to judge the success or failure of the Bush Administration on the war on terror but our Left Wing academics have never been big on holding their injudicial rantings during emergencies. I guess that is why Liberal Presidents are rarer than hen's teeth in America.

Samuel walker - 12/19/2005

I appreciate you comment about "balance." While it is indeed somewhat premature to render a final verdict on Bush, I am really interested in reconsidering the other presidents.

Ryan Portillo - 12/19/2005

Congress abdicates oversight responsibilites, granting President Bush unfettered power to wage war on terrorism. 9.15.01
liberties lost: Separation of powers

Chief Immigration Judge orders closed deportation proceedings. 9.21.01
liberties lost: Immigrants' rights open democracy

Ashcroft memo reduces government compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests. 10.11.02
liberties lost: Open democracy

White House asks media outlets not to air tapes of Osama Bin Laden. Major networks comply. 10.11.02
liberties issue: Free press

Patriot Act, 10.26.01:
Wiretap powers expanded, in some cases with reduced judicial review
Law enforcement permitted to indefinitely detain non-citizens based on suspicion of terrorism
"Sneak and Peek" searches authorized without a warrant with low showing of probable cause
Broad definition of 'domestic terrorism' allows surveillance of political dissenters
New information-sharing powers for intelligence agencies

liberties lost: Privacy, search & seizure protection, immigrants' rights, due process of law, privacy, search & seizure protection, free speech, privacy, search & seizure protection, privacy, consolidation of government power

Ashcroft authorizes monitoring ofattorney-client conversations. 10.31.01
liberties issue: Due process, privacy, right to counsel

Ashcroft orders two questioning dragnets of Middle Eastern and South Asian men. 11.9.01, 3.20.02
liberties issue: Equal protection

Presidential order allows non-citizens to be tried in military tribunals. 11.13.01
liberties lost: Due process, immigrants' rights

Ashcroft orders state and local government not to release names of people detained since 9/11. 4.18.02
liberties lost: Open democracy, immigrants' rights

Ashcroft's new rules on intelligence-gathering permit:
spying on religious and political institutions without any suspicion of criminal activity
the purchase of secret records on individuals who are not suspected of a crime. 5.30.02

liberties lost: Privacy, free speech, due process

President establishes new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security. 6.6.02
liberties issue: Consolidation of government power

President designates U.S. citizen Jose Padilla an 'enemy combatant,' under military jurisdiction. 6.9.02
liberties lost: Due process

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/19/2005

Too easy!
Several of your examples have nothing to do with the "Bush Regime" but are the result of the actions of a willing bi-partisen Congress! To counter the "due process" concerns you have, let me show you why my bet is still a winner.
Liberal President Bill Clinton's Leftist Regime issued 456 Presidential Pardons in 2001 which undermined and overturned 456 examples of "Due Process"!
There you are and I didn't even have to use any of my hundreds of examples where the Left has shouted down speakers on university campuses---"Freedom of Speech"!

Ryan Portillo - 12/19/2005

Yes it is easy to come up with examples. This article, if you haven’t noticed, is about the worst president on civil liberties, not specifically about free speech on campus. And ALL my examples posted precisely have "to do with the "Bush Regime"".

And why do you rush to a judgment that anyone who criticizes Bush is a Leftist? Bush is not the worst president on civil liberties but he certainly has put most of our liberties in jeopardy. Now if you believe Bush or some other future president is going to repeal the Patriot Act and restore what's been lost, that’s another matter. If you think nothing's been lost then you haven't been paying attention.

Bill Heuisler - 12/19/2005

Mr. Ebbitt,
Hit the wrong key before finished.
The foregoing was a last paragraph in Justice O.W. Holmes dissent in Abrams. Your use of "Abrams" in an example of the surpression of free speech made me review the case - and Justice Holmes' magisterial dissent.

The fate of the five non-citizens who urged strike among munitions workers and support for Communist Revolution is beside the point here.
But please note Justice Holmes' words on freedom of speech, Mr. Ebbitt. If I may, he would've had as little sympathy for the current politically correct Speech Nazis on campus as he did for the Wilson Administration's version of an Alien and Sedition Act.

He said, "we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe. ". And that is the lesson we all should learn - Left and Right.
Bill Heuisler

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/19/2005

If you could remove the massive chip from your shoulder (that has swung you into a 180 degree anti-anti-"Left" counterspin) long enough, you might stop to notice that the basic point of the article supposedly under discussion here is to debunk any naive sentiments that "liberal Democrats" in Washington are fundamentally any better at defending civil liberties than "conservative Republicans". What is wrong with that common sensical and amply demonstrated observation ? Unless your main object is to make the "conversation" "one-sided"?"

Peter, you apparently missed my early comment complimenting the author on evenhandedness concerning Presidents and civil liberties during times of war!
You also must have missed all the conversation concerning "the religious right" seeking to undermine civil liberties in America which, had you followed the conversation, would have clarified, even for you, the reason for my comments concerning the Left. However your complaints do not dissuade me in the least in believing that the Left in America is much more prone to practice censorship and to violate free speech rights than the Conservative Right!
I do not expect those who wander the earth as "caring" liberals to ever find a clearing in the perpetual fog they live in so you are excused for bad observation.

Bill Heuisler - 12/19/2005

Mr. Ebbitt,
Presidential Executive Orders for "national security" purposes are not addressed in the FISA or in any other court or legislative decision. Your rush to judgement is agenda-driven, very short-sighted and neglects the aformentioned legal trail (fully covered 3 posts ago).

The most important fact we Americans should remember is that we have not been attacked in the US since 9/11.
The President mentioned at least three plots that were foiled due to the NSA surveillance he authorized.

Would your alternative be better? Please explain how any electronic surveillance of overseas calls to or from terrorist-connected persons is worse than a dirty bomb detonated in
Seattle like was being planned in one instance that was stopped?
Bill Heuisler

Bill Heuisler - 12/18/2005

are inconvenient when you so easily forget your own statements and can't seem to remember history.

You wrote, "Bush approved warrant-less spying on US citizens" and you were shown how the FISA mandated procedure that the President has followed - with FIS court, regular Congressional notification and monitoring by the Attorney General - was perfectly legal and used by other Presidents.

Senate Minority Leader Reid admitted tonight that he had been consulted on the surveillance (and Senator Rockefeller refuses to answer when he's asked). Actually, the FISA long ago approved warrantless surveillance for national security.

You were shown to be wrong.

But you ignored facts and accused me of being a Leftist just like you - Socialist, Communist or a Maoist Communist. Confused? Pitiful.
Bill Heuisler

Bill Heuisler - 12/18/2005

Mr. Ebbitt,
You wrote, "Bush approved warrant-less spying on US citizens." as though this were something new. Wrong again. President Bush did no more than every President since FDR.

Since the early part of this century the FBI has used wiretapping and bugging in both criminal and intel investigations. Until 1972 the FBI used warrantless wiretaps and bugs against both American citizens and foreigners within the United States to monitor subversive and violent activity, and to determine leaks of classified information.

Mr. Ebbitt, the FBI still uses warrantless eavesdropping in foreign intelligence and counterintelligence investigations.

The CIA and NSA have similarly used electronic surveillance techniques for intelligence purposes and for security reasons. One of the primary responsibilities of the National Security Agency (NSA) is to collect foreign communications intelligence. To fulfill this responsibility, it electronically intercepts enormous numbers of international telephone, telegram, and telex communications based on certain "alert" words and phrases. These interceptions don't require warrants, Mr Ebbitt.

Use of these techniques provides the US with vital intelligence about the activities and intentions of foreign powers, and has provided important leads in counterterror cases like the Padilla "dirty bomb" case.

Until recent years, Congress and the Supreme Court set few limits on the use of electronic surveillance. When the Supreme Court first considered the legality of wiretapping, it held warrantless taps were constitutional because 4th Amendment warrant requirements did not extend to conversations(1928 Olmstead v. US, 217 U.S. 438) and allowed almost unrestricted wiretapping in criminal and intel investigations.

Six years later, Congress imposed the Federal Communications Act of 1934 which made it a crime for "any person" to intercept and divulge or publish the contents of wire and radio communications. Later the Supreme Court ruled this section applied to federal agents as well as ordinary citizens and that evidence obtained directly or indirectly from the interception of wire and radio communications was inadmissible.

At that time Congress allowed the Justice Department's interpretation that these cases did not prohibit wiretapping, but only divulgence of the contents of wire communications outside the federal establishment.

But in 1967 the Supreme Court reversed Olmstead, holding (Katz v. US, 389 U.S. 347) the 4th Amendment warrant requirements did apply to electronic surveillances.

(But it expressly declined to extend this holding to cases "involving the national security.")

Congress followed suit the next year in the Omnibus Crime Control Act of 1968, 9 which established a warrant procedure in electronic surveillance for criminal cases, but included a provision that neither it nor the Federal Communications Act of 1934 "shall limit the constitutional power of the President."

In 1972, the Supreme Court again held (US v. US District Court, 407 U.S. 297) that the constitutional power of President Nixon did not extend to authorizing warrantless electronic surveillance in "domestic security" cases. The Court said nothing about warrantless electronic surveillance of communications with
("significant connection with a foreign power, its agents or agencies.")

Warrentless surveillance under certain circumstances has been legitimized since the thirties by the reluctance of Congress and the Supreme Court to confront directly the arguments presented by executive officers, particularly in matters of "National Security".

President Bush not only received FISCourt approval, but consulted with Congressional Leaders "over a dozen times since 9/11". He was also able to stop at least 3 major terrorist attacks since 9/11.

Look some of this up. It's always best to know something before you mouth off again, Mr. Ebbitt.
Bill Heuisler

Jason KEuter - 12/17/2005

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/17/2005

Good question Otis and I suspect their answer has to be that they have lost the right to conspire with Islamo-fascists to destroy the Western Democracies. Other than the noted "right" they have lost the only imaginable loss has been their assumed right to have a Democrat majority in the House and Senate and a Democrat in the White House--that being a "civil right" that is more important than all others.

Otis dahn - 12/16/2005

>The USA PATRIOT Act is packed with threats to freedom of speech and due process
prove it. it just give the feds the same abilities that they already have to fight organized crime to fight terror.

>He has led an all-out assault on the separation of church and state, abortion rights and gay and lesbian rights
read the constitution professor. i doubt you will find separation of church and state mentioned. and there is no right to privacy nor abortion etc.

he [FDR] appointed two of the greatest civil libertarians ever to sit on the Supreme Court: Hugo Black

Hugo black was a former KKK member, how do you ever come to that conclusion. he also hated the church which is why he used jefferson's letter to add separation of church. in his dissenting opinion.

can you name one civil liberty that a citizen of our country has lost under bush?

William J. Stepp - 12/16/2005

Wow! Whatever it was that Americans learned in WW I that allegedly kept FDR "in check" during WW I must have been very weak stuff indeed.

FDR makes G. W. Bush almost look like a libertarian.

Bill Heuisler - 12/15/2005

Mr. Ebbitt,
So, everyone you disagree with is a racist - first Coulter and now me?
I've had enough of your peurile fatuity, your Leftist fever-dreams picked up at various web-sites and far-out media.

You obviously don't understand, Sullivan, Abrams or Pacifica. Sullivan is an expansion of the free press Pacifica is an obscenity case and Abrams eventually won his right to leaflet munitions workers. BTW that post you so carelessly scorned was quoting the last paragraph of Oliver Wendell Holmes' dissent in Abrams. Free speech was either not at issue, or won eventually in each of your examples.

McCarthy? You misquote your source: Harding is the only source you can find who had anything to say about McCarthy and banned books. And he said that the Senate Committee did nothing more than publish a list of books and publications written by Communists in overseas Government libraries. These books were removed (or not) by Embassies and bases who cared. This is not banning books.

You won't find banning books in the records. But you don't care about the truth, do you? Is it deep-seated stubbornness or shallow intellect? In any case, unless you have facts to transmit, don't bother writing any more childish insults. In the future, I will only respond to facts.
Bill Heuisler

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/15/2005

"My apologies as I misunderstood your definition of social ills. I define social ills as hunger, homelessness/ substandard housing, severe poverty, unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction, child abuse, absence of educational opportunity and inadequate health care/ welfare programs. Addressing these ills would surely not injure civil liberty."

But Patrick, my point is that these social ills cannot be addressed in any meaningful way because of the determined effort by the Left and the Politically Correct to make sure the conversations are one sided. These efforts at censorship by the Left destroy the concept of freedom of speech, especially at centers of higher learning. There is no such thing as a free flow of ideas when it comes to solving social problems and that is my point.
Until and unless this cabal is broken, the solutions to the problems will remain at the level of understanding held in the 60's wherein all social problems are the direct result of the evils of Christian White Heterosexual Males and despite the infantile level of this belief system, it is still held as "truth" in the Halls of Ivy!
It is disheartning that the dialectic has not progressed beyond that level some forty years into the conversation.

Bill Heuisler - 12/15/2005

Correction: Sullivan was decided under LBJ, not FDR. The Alabama law cited in the original action was, as far as I can tell in a quick search, written by a Democrat Legislature during the FDR Administration.

Bill Heuisler - 12/15/2005

Mr. Ebbitt,
Insults are a poor way to cover up your abject uncomprehension. Each time you post, you expose new layers of ignorance. Let me illustrate:
You wrote, "God forbid he should have to revert his eyes. "
To revert one's eyes sounds painful.
Do you mean he should return them to their original owner?
Do you know what you mean?
I'm sure there's a dictionary within walking distance. Use it.

I've been to dozens of Presidential speeches and rallies. All are by invitation, and those who try to crash are treated the same as rude people are treated everywhere. Most of us wore blue or gray suits. But your reference to brown shirts can't refer to conservatives, or even to Republicans, because even you must know Brown Shirts were Socialists. They were NAZIs, remember?

As to Sullivan and FCC vs. Pacifica, neither case illustrates the taking of freedom from anyone. FCC involves obscenity laws written under a Dem administration Sullivan insures the right to criticize public officials without being sued for libel - and was decided under FDR. You've missed the point of this discussion.
If you can't keep up, say so.

Most informed people know McCarthy did not have the power to ban books. Supply facts - Senate testimony, news reports etc, - in support of your nonsense, or stop making claims that display an uninformed simpleton to a well-informed audience.
Bill Heuisler

Samuel walker - 12/15/2005

EVerything you mention did in fact happen. But it is also true that, late in the game, Wilson actively supported the Suffrage Amendment. True, he was late in coming to this position, but he at least deserves due credit for supporting the Amendment in the crucial final stages.

Samuel walker - 12/15/2005

You are absolutely right about civil liberties in wartime. My point is that Democratic presidents have violated civil liberties during wartimes just as Republican presidents have. The remedy lies not in partisan terms --electing presidents of a certain party-- but building up a body of law and customs that will serve as a bulwark against future violations. I think the country learned something from the WWI experience and that helped to keep the Roosevelt administration in check during WWII.

John Chapman - 12/15/2005

This comment board has a technical problem also.

Jason KEuter - 12/15/2005

avoiding or changing language related to very broad categories like race, gender, ethnicity, etc is consistent with civil liberties?

This regulation, by the way, does not involve prohibition of overtly racist, sexist, classist, ageist language. rather, it involves attacking free expression by rooting out implications of prejudice in ideas. in essence, reducing the classroom to some kind of witch hunt. Many professors take great offense at people who point this out because they earnestly wish for lively and open discussion in their classrooms, and while it's true that not all professors are PC, a big enough minority is, and that minority has the effect of inducing campus-wide paranoia and destructive self-scrutiny that stifle ideas and have a chilling and degenerative effect on intellectual life itself.

Jason KEuter - 12/15/2005

EXACTLY! I recall a Noam Chomsky interview where he said power can be measured by the ability to define your opposition as extreme. He was, of course, referring to New Deal Liberals being accused of closet communism.

On this point, Chomsky offers a valuable lesson: only it is now conservatives, holding entirely rational positions (limited regulation of business, tax- cuts, social security reform) who are labeled extreme.

According to many left-wingers, sober and moderate professors all, liberals like Schlesinger are closet fascists, genocidal maniacs, etc. they chant the mantras of "whose side are you on?" and "you can't be neutral on a moving train", as if there are only two sides.

To regard conservatism as an embryonic form of fascism without being laughed out of the lecture hall is indicative of the power the extreme left has gained. Moreover, it demonstrates the natural trajectory of extremist, polarizing ideology. The radical leftist professsors of today, like Lenin and Stalin, attack liberals as being "conservative", thus demonstrating the inherent destructiveness of extreme leftist ideology: first you kill the rulers then you kill the class from which the rulers come then your criticized for being like the old rulers by those who supported you coming to power and weren't astute enough to hear the venom in your rhetoric, and you kill them and on and on and on , forever broadening your class of enemies, so that eventually you embrace almost of all of humanity. The universities have followed a very similar course, which is why so much of the curriculum is pretty much an overt attack on the students themselves, masquerading as analysis of the historical origins of a twisted AMerican culture that produces people who choose business majors over the self-flagellating cult of the humanities.

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/14/2005

"The "Walt Disney definition" of Political Correct is
courtesy of Webster's. dissing Webster's. is nothing sacred? PC is just a way to seek a little human kindness, dignity and respect. It is not a requirement. So explain to someone like me, who has been living in a trailer down by the river, how exactly (500 words or less) "redressing social ills results in censorship"?"

Redressing social ills as it is practiced by the supporters of Political Correctness is rife with censorship. Any statement or concept
judge to be "offending" is not or cannot be allowed thus particular groups--minorities, gays, women, etc. are protected from "offense" to the degree that needed conversations cannot be held or, if held, are so general as to be useless. Non protected groups, white males, conservatives, christians, the military do not enjoy the same protections--one may say, blame, charge, condemn with impunity.
Campuses are alive and vibrant for those that smugly follow strict politically correct mantras and beliefs and for those few of us that are willing to beard these monsters when the occasion and evidence permits.
If your memory of the campus of 30 years ago is so positive, it is good that you stay removed--you would not find the diversity of thought on our current campuses equal to your long gone experience and you would not find these halls as vibrant as you remember. That is unfortunate for both you and me.
There are exceptions in the hard sciences and business schools that keep the wheels turning but our liberal arts curriculums, out of an intense determination to not "offend", have become trite and predictable in their view of a reality that does not exist beyond the campus grounds. As witness, look no further than so many of the articles posted here (the subject article, of course, excluded) that rely more on passionate, unsupported philosphical opinion and less on solid evidence.
I think it all is the result of old English professors who were expert on Anglo-Saxon verbs that found students much more willing to listen to their rantings and ravings about matters of international politics in the 60's. These old phonies, once on their soap boxes, were the sires of the current crop of liberal arts types that know no bounds when it comes to launching into matters far afield from their specialties of even more Anglo-Saxon verbs. We probably ought not to talk about current "historians" who have their own set problems dealing with current history, that isn't even history yet!
Trust me when I say that the Left is much more dangerous to civil freedoms in America than the religious Right--they most certainly are. I know of nothing the religous Right is seeking to change in America with the exception of abortion--the poor folks are spending too much time trying to hold on to their most basic beliefs to even think about going on an offensive.

Michele Mary Dupey - 12/14/2005

President Woodrow Wilson was distinctly NOT for women's suffrage. A good volume to read is "Jailed for Freedom" -- a firsthand account by suffragist (note word is NOT suffragette) Doris Stevens.

Quaker Alice Paul, from Moorestown, NJ, led the last leg of the women's suffrage movement to secure women's voting rights by leading demonstrations in the streets of Washington, D.C. President Wilson responded by arresting these women -- some of them, wives of prominent U.S. Senators others, in their 70s! -- for loitering (!) and creating a nuisance. When Alice Paul led a hunger strike because jail conditions were deplorable and Wilson wouldn't agree to signing on for women's suffrage, the jailed women were force-fed through nasal tubes. They were beaten, as well.

Women did prevail, and yes, President Wilson signed the 19th Amendment on August 26, 1919, thus giving women the vote, starting in 1920. But his behavior up until that signing was definitely NOT in support.

Bill Heuisler - 12/14/2005

Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power, and want a certain result with all your heart, you naturally express your wishes in law, and sweep away all opposition. To allow opposition by speech seems to indicate that you think the speech impotent, as when a man says that he has squared the circle, or that you do not care wholeheartedly for the result, or that you doubt either your power or your premises. But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas -- that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That, at any rate, is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Every year, if not every day, we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge. While that experiment is part of our system, I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country. I wholly disagree with the argument of the Government that the First Amendment left the common law as to seditious libel in force. History seems to me against the notion. I had conceived that the United States, through many years, had shown its repentance for the Sedition Act of 1798, by repaying fines that it imposed. Only the emergency that makes it immediately dangerous to leave the correction of evil counsels to time warrants [631] making any exception to the sweeping command, "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech." Of course, I am speaking only of expressions of opinion and exhortations, which were all that were uttered here, but I regret that I cannot put into more impressive words my belief that, in their conviction upon this indictment, the defendants were deprived of their rights under the Constitution of the United States.

Bill Heuisler - 12/14/2005

Mr. Ebbitt,
You need better sources. Your latest ridiculous examples make that point most emphatically. Your statements in defense of correct constructs of chic dogma and Lefty talking points often turn out to be not only wrong, but often so absurd as to be comical.

Specific people have always been invited to President's speeches for the protection of the President. These people are always vetted by the Secret Service and kept on lists and given tickets. This has been SOP since Harding was shot. The media is always invited. There are no secrets.
No one's free speech is surpressed.

FCC vs. Pacifica did not do anything more than hold Carlin's well- known
"ten words" obscene when broadcast during a time children were apt to be listening. No sanctions at all. FCC obscenity rules written seventy years ago under FDR were upheld.

Sullivan vs, NYT held that, libel damages to a public official for defamatory falsehoods shall not be awarded unless he proves "actual malice" - that the statement was made with knowledge of its falsity or with reckless disregard thereof.
You should know this has nothing to do with free speech or civil rights.

McCarthy's Senate Committee did not ban books, it was formed to find security risks in government. Your knee's jerking and you don't realize.

Your fondness for, "changing or avoiding language that might offend anyone, especially with respect to gender, race, or ethnic background", however is a smarmy means to abridge the freedom of speech in the First Amendment to our Constitution. There is no right not to be offended.

So, your examples are silly, wrong, obscene or inept and you defend the abridgement of free speech because you apparently believe the right not to be offended is more important than our right to free speech.

Amy Goodman is a solipsistic, anti-American malcontent. Choosing such flawed intelligence on which to base HNN comment reflects badly on your judgement and assures embarrassment.
Bill Heuisler

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/14/2005

Yes, this could be the case since one gets throughly immersed in "Recycled gibberish" by reading the critics of the Bush Administration! Perhaps my mental processes have been ruin by reading the continual fallacious claptrap about "Bush Lied", "It's all about Oil", and "Saddam wasn't involved in 9/11" from historians who so appreciate both the precise nature of language and well tempered research.
However, even with the damage, I know a couple of things Peter, there is no Santa Claus and there are Liberals.

Hans Vought - 12/14/2005

All of the presidents who egregiously abused civil liberties were wartime presidents. It would seem, then, that the issue is not the president's ideology (remember that Lincoln and FDR set the precedents Bush is using for military tribunals and suspending habeas corpus), but rather that civil liberties are usually a victim of war. There is always tension in America between the celebration of diversity and the desire for unity. In wartime, opposition to war looks dangerously like treason, so demands for conformity and "100 Percent Americanism" grow strident. The insidious nature of terrorism only heightens this trend.

Oscar Chamberlain - 12/14/2005

I think I might draw the line at inviting Ann Coulter her simplistic broadstroke assertions and smears have attracted even conservative critics. Nor is she an important conservative thinker. Horowitz, like it or not, is a figure of importance in the university arena. Not inviting him makes less sense.

As for Political Correctness, much of it is actually simple politeness to call people by the names they ask to be called by, and on balance to accept differences in values rather than ban them.

Where PC has failed is when people have tried (1) to limit classroom discussion and formally limit public debate in pursuit of said politeness and acceptance. While I find the desire comprehensible in some circumstances, the result is wrong on its face and, ironically, counterproductive in its impact.

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/14/2005

Patrick you are too easy, even for an old codger like me. You want 20 examples? Ok, the last ten times Ann
Coulter tried to speak on a college campus (freedom of speech denied) and the last ten times David Horowitz attempted to speak on a college campus (freedom of speech denied). Add the last ten times anyone tried to have a logical conversation about the cause of 80% of all Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States on a college campus!
Thanks for your Walt Disney definition of Political Correctness Patrick but those of us that have spent the last 20 years in Academia know that your idea of "redressing social ills" results in censorship (freedom of speech)by the left of any idea, statement, question, comment with which this bunch happens to disagree.
Now, may I ask where you have spent those 20 years? Perhaps you are too young to remember when campuses were truly the market places of ideas, where open and honest discussions could be held, where all sorts of opinions could be held.

Jason KEuter - 12/14/2005

I'm sorry, but I forgot to include the punchline:

looking at the assumptions underlying the original question, one is to assume that if a President is strong on civil liberties and civil rights that this would presumably represent a "good" era in Civil Liberties that is true for some (most likely a minority), but one man's Civil Liberties is another man's federal imposition. People find they don't like federal mandates, go to state or local governments and are told by those governments that nothing can be done. It as at that point that such people seek to limit the power of federal government and restore power to state and local governments. In other words, they feel that their powerlessness is an infringement of their liberty, and they seek redress in eliminating the power of an alien national government they deem captive to a minority interest.

One last point : if you want to find a hey-day of Civil Liberties, look to the history of the Supreme Court. This would be equally disruptive, as it would show that the hey-dey of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties was not initiated nor sustained through the most democratic part of the political system but the most aristocratic the result was a long process of political mobilization by the "right" (a term I use for convenience, even though I think it loaded and grossly misleading) to : retore power to state and local government and, ultimately, capture such strong majorities in the national government that they could appoint a court mor reflective of their views. The reader will think this undemocratic and contrary to "liberty" and, the longer the "right" retains control of the national government and the courts, the more likely it is that the "left" will look to local governments to preserve their "liberties".

I can't help but return to Hofstadter and see in this story an amazing degree of persistent regional conflict and an underlying political consensus.

Jason KEuter - 12/14/2005

Politically speaking, this is an issue, but historically speaking, it is a bad question, since there are so few modern presidents to choose from and most presidents don't really count. Why? Because throughout most of American history, the national government was weak if one wants to more honestly examine the history of civil liberties in the U.S., the focus should be more on state and local governnments. Prior to incorporation (a very long process through which the protections against abuse by the national government were gradually extended to all government), this is where these battles were fought.

And the state and local level illustrate better, perhaps, America's ambigious history on civil liberties. Focusing on the Bush allows people to make this an elite versus mostly unknowing masses story, with the progressive intellectual at the forefront of the struggle to bring the doings of Washington to the attention of liberty loving people. But that is grossly misleading, as it suggests a national consensus on issues related to Civil Liberties that doesn't exist. this view also validates Richard Hofstadter's ideas about an underlying irrational paranoia shared by all parts of the political spectrum. The left rhetoric criticizing Bush refers to "cabals" and other perfidious elites manipulating the less knowing. It is strikingly similar to the rehtoric of the populist right.

But such rhetoric contains some truths. Incorporation of the Bill of Rights has led to greater uniformity on issues of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties it is easy to imagine, however, that without incorporation, it would be quite evident that no such consensus exists, and state and local governments would pass a hodge podge of laws - from gay marriage in San Francisco to creationism in Kansas and I would guess mandatory prayer in fottball huddles in Texas - all of which would reveal that the federal government IS imposing a uniform vision on an American society that is far less uniform than, historically speaking, the new found power of its national government.

Steven R Alvarado - 12/13/2005

Come January of 2009, President George W. Bush like every other president before him will leave the White House to whomever is elected in 2008.On that day every person who called him "fascist" or referred to this adminsitration as a "regime" will be made a fool. Fascist regimes do not give up power but democratically elected ones in America do.

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/13/2005

Civil liberties have eroded more rapidly as the religious right came to the forefront in the early 1980's. Fortunately, the Bush administration appears to have only squelched civil liberties when expedient to the direct needs of their inner circle. This administration doesn't really care about, or for, the American people all that much so our concerns may be much deeper than preserving what few civil liberties we have left."

I would absolutely love to see you support these fallacious claims with any good evidence Patrick!
Matter of fact, I can support a strong argument that the Liberal Left has been more detrimental to civil liberties with their political correctness than the religious right could ever imagine. The censors are not coming from the right Patrick, the majority are alive and very well on the left and, worse, thriving at our institutions of higher learning.
Care to take up the challenge? I can give you five examples of restriction of free speech by the left for every half example you conger up that has been the result of conservative thought.

Samuel walker - 12/12/2005

You are right about the violations of civil liberties perpetrated by the presidents you mention. But I think any fair assessment leads to the conclusion that Bush has violated more civil liberties across the board.

Of course, if you are a conservative who believes there is no constitutional right to an abortion, then you would not see Bush violating that right. Similarly, if you think the Supreme Court has been wrong on the Establisment Clause, they you won't see Bush violating civil liberties on that issue.

Samuel walker - 12/12/2005

You are right about Debs, and I plan to mention that. Also, Coolidge actually cleaned up the FBI. (Well, actually his AG Harlan Fiske Stone did.) It was FDR who unleashed J. Edgar Hoover in the mid 1930s.

Samuel walker - 12/12/2005

Thanks. I appeciate your kind comments.

Samuel walker - 12/12/2005

Good point, but I am afraid that with regard to church-state issues and the idea that as president he is not bound by the Geneva Convention or any other human rights standards, he really does understand what he is saying and doing.

Samuel walker - 12/12/2005

I appreciate the comment, but gee, I thought I was being pretty tough on Woody. Have you read what other historians have written about him? He is consistently rated among the "near great" in the ratings games.

Steven R Alvarado - 12/12/2005

Big problem with the left, they need to "feel" a little less about life and think a bit more.
The posts listed on this subject speak volumes about the thinking of the person who wrote the article. Any historian who starts to make historical judgments about history when they are in the midst of that history as it is being created need to re-think their professional choice, maybe Political science or Mass Communication should have been their major. Or at the very least stop trying to us their status as a historian as a means to lend credibility to their statements.

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/12/2005

". it is also true that the Bush administration feels more like a regime" Really Glenda? Well, if you were a Japanese citizen of the West Coast in 1942 maybe you would "feel" differently. Maybe if you were an anti-war activist in 1917 you would "feel" differently. Maybe it is only you that "feels" that way Glenda and since when has how one "feels" become a universal truth?
Better do a gut check Glenda, one woman's "regime" is another critic's
responsible leadership during a time of real war!

Glenda Turck - 12/12/2005

While it is certainly true that no president has been entirely liberal or conservative per se it is also true that the Bush administration feels more like a regime. The issue is over how the country feels about itself and its future and remembering Eisenhower we felt positive. Ditto with JFK and Johnson (for awhile at least). The Reagan aura stems entirely from the man making many feel good as opposed to actually making things good.

John Chapman - 12/12/2005

As much as I dislike this President, I must admit others did worse. So far. Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt were liberal in their use of arresting and detaining US citizens at will. Bush hasn’t come close to the excesses of these past chief executives, though he is not wholly free of what I believe to be very questionable actions.

President Franklin Roosevelt rounded up at least 120,000 Japanese Americans on the East Coast and put them in government interment camps. He is less well known for curtailing the civil liberties for thousands of Italian and German Americans who were also interred or placed under house arrest or were followed by government agents all across the country.

Is this administrations bent on the destruction of our civil liberties? To be completely objective, I don’t think we’ll really know about that until the curtain rises. But they are saying , trust us. Well, that’s a tough one for those who like to think for themselves. Also we have an administration unsure of its definitions, confused about its authority and questionable in some of its choices. The term "enemy combatants" is not even satisfactorily defined on solid legal grounds. A reverent observance for the rule of law should be followed because this "democracy" badly needs at this time a level of legitimacy in the eyes of the world. If we want to rule by example then we’d better be damn sure of our own sense of justice first.

Stu R. Burns - 12/12/2005

It is difficult to fathom how any administration could be worse on civil liberties than that of John Adams. Granted, Adams did not make the egregious use of the Sedition Act that popular history has sometimes ascribed to him, but the entire concept government criticism being criminal by nature is contrary to every American ideal.

Frederick Thomas - 12/12/2005

"In an informal poll last year, professional historians rated George W. Bush the worst president ever in American history. "

These "historians" must have been very informally polled indeed, putting Bush behind such failed incompetents as LBJ or Jimmuh Cottuh. The true characterization of this poll would have been "a cabal of far left ideologues, during a bull session in a Starbucks, agreed they don't like Bush."

Then we have this, without any support at all: "On civil liberties issues, Bush clearly has the worst record of any president."

Bush worse then Wilson, FIDDER, Lincoln, or Jackson, who really did widely violate civil rights to large numbers of people? How can this be?

The answers lie in substituting leftist interest group politics for the rights and liberties found in our founding documents. These phony non-civil liberties are "separation of church and state," "abortion rights," "gay and lesbian rights," and repeal of the PATRIOT Act. None of these came from our founding documents, directly or indirectly. They come from interest group politics, pure and simple.

Consider what really is in the Constitution, such as the right to life. What about the human rights of the aborted child, not to be ripped limb from limb? Abortion rights is the inverse of the right to life in the constitution, except for the whack-o Warren Court, chaired by the man most responsible for Japanese internement and the pack of lies called the Warren Report.

The constitution forbids establishment of religion and laws that interfere with free exercise of religion. Somehow the lefties pervert that into a mandatory interfering with the practice of religion by the state. They instead demand state establishment of aethism.

The constitution requires equal treatment under law. The lefties pervert that into special rights and privileges for special interest groups. Special interest judicial rulings or legislation has always been the great corruptor of our legal system, and here that corruption is enshrined as a constitutional right.

The Patriot Act, while restricting some wartime liberties, is far less intrusive or unconstitutional than the arrests of journalists, etc. which took place in the Lincoln, FDR and Wilson administrations, or the abuse of tax data and spy agencies under LBJ and Nixon. Would the lefties prefer to have what Wilson did to journalists and opposing politicians?

Perhaps the lefties, starting with Mr. Walker, should be more honest when they vituperate against the current president, in both job performance and human rights record, and admit that they are just sore because he beats them so frequently.

Jeffery Ewener - 12/12/2005

Excellent article. But while I wouldn't want you to go soft on the current President, I think Wilson deserves a harder assessment. Even given the travesty of the 2000 election and the lingering doubts about 2004, the whisper attacks on McCain during the 2000 primaries and other cases in other races, I don't think even Karl Rove has ever forced an opponent to campaign from inside Leavenworth, as Debs was forced to do against Wilson.

William J. Stepp - 12/12/2005

Harding and Coolidge had pretty good civil liberties records. Harding freed some dissenters who had been jailed by Wilson, and he had Eugene Debs to the White House. Unfortunately, he didn't free them all, so Coolidge freed some more. FDR freed the poor remaining stragglers.

I had a seance with Harding a while back, and he opined that Bush 2 should be impeached, and expressed shock that he hadn't been.

Charles Edward Heisler - 12/12/2005

Finally an article appears in these pages that is devoid of all the usual mantras surrounding evaluating George Bush!
Why I'll be darned, it is possible to reflect on history with accuracy, wonderment, and (sigh)balance.
Guess we can't use that old "Those damn liberal professors. " anymore.
Thanks for pointing up the obvious conundrums surrounding American Presidents, especially those that are engaged in World Wars.
Not sure I would have started with Wilson tho--given the Civil Rights records of Presidents prior to and including Lincoln as well as his successors in the White House but that is minor.
Maybe the best question is simply, what would Bush's record on civil rights have been without 9/11? Alas, we will never know.

Stephen Kislock - 12/12/2005

Dr. Walker,
How can G.W. Bush be a party in the Attack on Our Liberties, he does not read, he only signs what is presented to Him..

Was it 97 or 98 Death Warrants he signed without reading, as governor of texas?

His place in history is in "Fiction", thou he did do serious Damage, to Our Constitution and Bill of Rights!

Civil Liberties in the United States

Civil liberties in the United States are protected by the U.S. Constitution, and by the Bill of Rights, which are stated as amendments to the Constitution. Protected civil liberties include the right to due process, equal protection, and a prohibition against any state law that supersedes federal law. The difference between civil rights and civil liberties becomes important to understand, as navigating the governmental and legal system in regards to these issues can be confusing.

As an example of civil liberties vs. civil rights, in early America, many people were denied the right to vote, even though they were considered to enjoy the fundamental freedoms – the civil liberties – which come from the right to life, liberty, and a pursuit of happiness. In this case, those people were denied their civil right to vote, and to take meaningful part in their government. Today, all American citizens, regardless of race, creed, religion, or any other characteristic, have a right to vote in elections.

Governmental leaders today have given great consideration to civil liberties denied to certain groups of people throughout U.S. history. For example, Native American people are governed by tribal governments, which remain sovereign, answering to federal, not state laws. In 1968, Congress passed the Indian Civil Rights Act, which gave many, though not all, rights afforded by the Bill of Rights, to the Native American people.

President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which issued a public Congressional apology to those Japanese Americans whose liberty and property were taken, when they were interred in camps during World War II. The Act went so far as to create a Civil Liberties Public Education fund, requiring a board to track down any individuals affected by the Act, and to pay them each $20,000 from the fund.

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Safeguarding civil rights and civil liberties is elemental to all the work we do at DHS. The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) supports the Department's mission to secure the nation while preserving individual liberty, fairness, and equality under the law.

We have been notified by several individuals about scam phone calls that appear to come from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Hotline (CRCL), which is 202-401-1474. The callers claim to be from an office within DHS and make false statements to gather personal information. In some instances these callers have been hostile and threaten to call the police if the individuals contacted do not comply. These calls are not legitimate. If you receive a call from this number, do not answer it, and do not provide any information if you do. You can report any incidents to your local law enforcement office.

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Watch the video: Civil Rights u0026 Liberties: Crash Course Government #23 (October 2022).

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