Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Tale Of Two Hypocrisies

Caption: The new, way better USS Zumwalt, a new class of destroyer scheduled to launch starting next year. In contrast to all those "entitlement" programs that just keep us healthy and employed, it has lots of shooty, blowy-uppy things. You want to pay for that, right?

Image credit: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia

Just a couple of things that caught my attention today that demonstrate what our rulers are up to these days. The first is an article at Talking Points Memo, explaining how all of a sudden defense contractors are into the "tax and spend" philosophy:

The very real possibility that defense programs will suffer deep, across the board spending cuts early next year has major defense contractors and their allies making an unusual plea to members of Congress: Put everything on the table to avoid the so-called sequester — including higher taxes. That might not sound like an extraordinary ask. But it’s typical for incumbent interests to leave all questions of ways and means to Congress. And given the defense industry’s enormous power and historic alignment with the GOP, it could have enough force to finally break the GOP of its anti-tax absolutism.

Defense Industry Leans On Congress — Avoid Cuts, Even If It Means More Taxes

Which just goes to show that within every conservative there's a liberal just waiting for self-interest to set him free.

Image credit: Parody by Cujo359 (See NOTE)

Not that the GOP is alone in its commitment to hypocrisy. Emptywheel fills us in on what the Obama Administration is claiming in a U.S. District Court regarding seizure of electronic data on the Internet:

The ruling sucks for al-Haramain. But it has larger implications. Effectively, the 9th Circuit is saying there’s no way to hold the government accountable for simply collecting your telecommunications illegally; you can only hold them accountable if they use that information in a trial.

9th Circuit: No Way to Punish the Government If They Illegally Collect (But Don’t Use) Your Telecommunications

We transact business over the Internet every day. Some people's entire business is done over the Internet - independent software vendors, for instance. Our bank records and all our other private information goes over it as well.

When are the courts going to catch up with events of the late Twentieth Century? The phrase “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” means the government isn’t allowed to seize those things without reason. That means that when the government collects information on the Internet, which includes what would be considered “papers”, they are seizing our papers without due process.

That provision doesn't just apply to trials. It means the government can't seize those things, period. They don't have to bring it to trial to use it against you. Just ask Eliot Spitzer.

Of course, as we learned during the 2008 primary, Barack Obama is no stranger to the idea that the rules are somehow different when something is composed of flowing electrons. Anyone who thinks that it's OK to seize someone else's work without paying for it because it's on the Internet is certainly not likely to be bothered by his government seizing anything else it can get its hands on. "Constitutional scholar", my furry butt.

So, there you have it - two tales of hypocrisy, one from each "side". So, not only are we fair here, we're balanced.

No comments: