Sunday, July 19, 2009

Times Op-Ed: Giveth and Taketh Away

Last week was very bad and very good in the New York Times Op-Ed pages.  One day it descended into knee-jerk idiocy, the very next it rallied.

My take on liberalism is that it is the political philosophy which looks out for the little guy; defends the rights of the poor; seeks equality for all against the weight of class and race.  Yet on July 16, 2009, the Op-Page ran a piece entitled "The Right to Arm Public Housing."

The upshot of the opinion piece was that a bipartisan amendment attached to a bill related to expanding Section 8 housing that would allow residents of public housing to keep guns in their homes was doing the bidding of the gun lobby, and that declaring public housing gun free zones has been wise common sense.

This is one of those opinion pieces that someone should have read aloud before publishing, just to make sure it doesn't sound crazy.  Because this opinion isn't fit for toilet paper.

Let's see: poor people, who probably don't have other homes, are not permitted to possess a legal firearm in the home they have, as is their Constitutional right under the Second Amendment.  And the reason: because it is public housing.

This opinion turns liberal ideas and ideals on their head.  Where are these people supposed to keep their legal guns, should they choose to exercise their Constitutional right?  What if someone who lives in Section 8 housing wants to defend themselves, or, gasp, take up hunting?

What if someone with legal firearms in their possession falls on hard times, like in a recession, and is forced to move into public housing?

It's not as if anyone with nefarious purposes in their hearts is going to follow a gun ban, so why come down on the law abiding?

Can we, for expediency sake, suspend other Constitutional rights in public housing?  Perhaps the Fourth and Fifth Amendments have outlived their usefulness when it comes to the inner city poor?  Maybe they don't need a right to an attorney, or to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

So, there it is, the New York Times making a case to disarm the poor.

I have been a Times reader for over a decade.  In that time I have never read an Op-Ed piece extolling the virtues of legal gun ownership.  It is truly a losing battle for the left, as evidenced by the type of Democrat elected to Congress and the Senate since 2004.  This is something the Times should just drop.

And then, when my faith in the brainpower behind the Time's Op-Ed page was at an big time ebb, the next day restored some of it.  "Illegal and Pointless" was the title of a piece which took our late president to task for the illegal wiretapping and domestic spying which took place after September 11, 2001.  

As I wrote recently, this spying, in addition to being a criminal act, was also without the merit of actually working, as the inspectors' general report released recently has shown.

The Times opined that the two reasons for the Bush Administration's criminality were that they wholesale panicked after 9/11, and also that Dick Cheney, the paragon of moral and legal virtue, "preyed on that panic to advance their agenda" of an unfettered Executive Branch.

Okay, for all those baloney artists running around these days saying that fascism is a a child of the left [Jonah Goldberg, looking at you], THIS IS WHERE FASCISM COMES FROM!  Fascism is the alignment of political, industrial and religious power under a powerful central executive government, usually under a personality cult.  It is what Hitler was, Mussolini before him, and Franco, and of course, Saddam Hussein.

And apparently, so is Dick Cheney, at least in his own mind.

And of course, a central player in giving after the fact legal cover is the eminent legal theoretician John Yoo, recently voted "Most Deserving of Being Disbarred."  If you don't recall, Mr. Yoo is the guy who wrote those memos saying it was alright to torture people, and the laws saying it's a crime don't matter.  And he was also the guy that wrote the memos saying that the Bush Administration could ignore the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as it was outdated.

Gee, I was unaware of that section in Article II.  But since John Yoo said it, it must be Constitutional.

Can you imagine the level of hem and haw if a Democratic president abrogated such a law?  This is not something small, like receiving fellatio from an intern.  This is the type of law put in place to prevent the already massive powers of the President from being abused domestically in a way which would necessarily transform the very fabric of this nation and the nature which it interacts with its citizens.

And because we cannot trust the powers that be to do the right thing, either at the time the choice to do so is made, or even in the aftermath, when such choices should be investigated and prosecuted after the fact, the Founders of this fine nation, the so called Last Best Hope, saw fit to arm its citizens.

Remember that, New York Times.  

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