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God, this scares the shit out of me.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20050509-4886.html

What is happening?

How can anything short of a Constitutional Amendment abolish the practice of judicial review? I know it's not expressed specifically in the Constitution, but it is a fundamental building block of the check and balance system that has carried this country on a fairly steady course for 200+ years, despite bouts of extremism from time to time. What happened to Republicans that believed in limited government? Were they all replaced by militant ghouls on September 12th?

Why is this only being examined by partisan and underground media?

Is real editorial commentary dead? Are we really forced to accept one party line or the other? Commercial interests drive the news media, of course, but isn't there, somewhere deep down, any idealism left in the business? Why isn't every news outlet in this country shouting about they way one of our government's formative principles is being subverted?

I sound like a complete fucking hippie. I voted for real Republican ideals- limited government, personal freedom, self-determination and good old-fashioned capitalism (not the evil that many would have you believe). REAL conservatism, not religious conservatism or militarism. Not this neo-fascistic crap.

I said before that I am OK with the idea of not being allowed to check my luggage in the last 30 minutes before a flight takes off. I am willing to allow for some abridging of my freedom in the cause of security.

"Obviously, if this passes, it'll set a precedent. First, some obscure border region outside of San Diego, and then on to bigger and better things? As the present bill stands, if DHS built a road through an endangered wetland and committed four murders in the process, nobody could take the government to court over it."

I don't really give a fuck about endangered wetland, but the possibility of crime against a person is more than enough to give me pause. That's what turns my blood cold. Security is not worth one innocent life, under any circumstance. We live with uncertainty and fear because all of life is filled with uncertainty and fear. Placing a government agency above the rule of law for the purpose of ensuring "security" does nothing of the sort. All it does is endanger all of us, fostering paranoia, racism, suspicion and fear. And any agency created without limits will surely abuse its power. Perhaps not immediately, but the old adage about absolute power is old for a very good reason.

Security can't be bought with paranoia. Security, really, is just a comfortable illusion. We had our blinders ripped off one Tuesday morning almost four years ago, and we've been spending all the time since trying to pull a big blanket over our heads.

Idiots will always be able to strap a bomb to their chests and walk into a crowded marketplace and detonate themselves. Nothing can ever/will ever stop that. What we can stop is highly organized, well-funded efforts to do things like build nuclear bombs or chemical weapons. Or crash planes into skyscrapers. Ultimately, that's what the war in Iraq (should be? is?) about. Chasing down funding and manpower. Which, of course, just generates additional (but hopefully less) funding and manpower in other places. It's like putting your finger in the crack in the dam.

Contrary to what you might have heard, It's not about oil. Have you seen gas prices lately? We recovered something like eighty or ninety percent of Iraqi oil wells intact. Which, incidentally, is more for the good of the Iraqi people than it is for the US. If we had let Saddam destroy all the oil wells, how would the country ever be able to make money and stabilize itself? Gas prices have gone up twenty five percent at least in the last two years. We're not benefiting from this the way all the liberal peace-mongers told us we would.

So yeah, let's go to the places that fund terrorists and knock them over (Syria, are you listening?). Let's find terrorist organizations in our own back yard. But please, please, don't expect that we'll ever be able to control that lone idiot who straps a bomb to his chest and takes a trip to Publix. And don't bother looking for him. He looks like all the rest of us. And that's the problem.

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