Harry Browne's Journal

This Journal provides random thoughts on news items and other issues. There won't be new postings every day, but most weeks there should be one to four new entries. This isn't an interactive blog where you can post your thoughts. However, you can email me, and if your email seems to be of general interest, I might respond in this Journal. I can't provide a personal answer, because I don't have the time to do many things I'd like to do.

December 19, 2005

To this we've come: Jeff Jacobey, a somewhat libertarian Republican writer for the Boston Globe wrote an article stressing the need to examine Judge John Roberts' past decisions, saying "From the power of presidents to hold terror suspects indefinitely to the power of Congress to override state law, from the execution of murderers to the recognition of same-sex marriage, from affirmative action to abortion, Roberts and his fellow justices will shape national policy for years to come."

Not one of the items mentioned is listed in the Constitution as a function of the federal government. Jacobey doesn't say anything about Roberts' duty to protect the free speech of individuals or the limitations on Congress listed in Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution. Roberts' job is awesome, no question about it. The only problem is that the politicians and pundits have a different job description than that given in the Constitution.

The value of terrorists: In my article, "The War on Strawmen," I said that there was great value to calling criminals "terrorists." One of those values may be seen in the torture controversy. Almost no one believes that someone held as a suspected criminal should be tortured. But a terrorist who threatens national security is a different story. In other words, a War on Terrorism allows all sorts of intrusions on civil liberties unavailable in a war on criminals, let alone a War on Strawmen.


November 2005 Journal



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