Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Must Be Bush’s Fault

Let me see if I have this straight: five Ohio state government agencies, including the attorney general’s office, passed along information about Joe the Plumber to the media, but it is President Bush’s intelligence gathering operations against terrorists that pose a threat to our privacy and individual rights.

Cue Jon Lovitz: Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Discussions - 8 Comments

I wondered if Joe was going to do anything with his bit of fame, seeing as he has no privacy anymore. I pass along my private findings to you, by way of a "google". He has a website, Secure Our Dreams.

One thing he should do is get a good lawyer to sue the State of Ohio and all 5 individual for the invasion of his right to privacy both under federal and Ohio law. Any lawyers out there want to help him, this is the best way to stike a blow to bureacratic tyranny.

I think he would loose in court. He made statements that could, by our government's own definition, place him on a list of potential homegrown terrorists. All discent must be squashed. War is peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Big Brother is watching you. The zeal of a few outer party members shows dedication to their jobs and that they may have what it takes to get into the inner party. We cannot have proles undermining the power of Big Brother. Joe the Plumber should be wiped from memory. I already believe that he never even existed.

So, will this stir the right to drop their "If you have nothing to hide, then there's no reason to be concerned" line of "reasoning" for explicit and/or tacit support for Bush (and Co's) spying on Americans?

Based on the article linked to, though, it seems that there might not be much, if any, cause for outrage here. If I'm wrong, then I'd be happy for all involved to be busted, though.

"Kohlstrand said that the AG's office wanted access to the records so they could turn over to the national media lien information that was a public record in Lucas County."

So they were passing along information in public records? Next thing you know, we'll hear that some sinister government agent showed someone a copy of his birth or marriage certificate! Pretty scary stuff, indeed. The Ohio IG is on the case; Steven, please keep us updated on this.

And your premises that Bush's intelligence gathering operations were aimed "against terrorists" and haven't posed a threat to our privacy and individual rights? Those are becoming about as hard to swallow as Joe the Plumber's authenticity.

Craig, are you saying that Joe the Plumber = Osama bin Laden?

Which is not to say that I do not loathe the extension of government into that domestic intelligence gathering that is so phenomenally unintelligent.

Oh, wouldn't it be nice if government officials, on both the state and national level, exercised a decent restraint?

Craig, I know you are busy being outraged, but did you see this piece that was over to the side, next to the article you referenced?

No Kate, I'm not equating Joe the "Plumber" with bin Laden. I doubt you really needed me to clarify that, though, did you?

I was merely noting that the old standard conservative defense of further government intrusions into citizens' lives - the "If you have nothing to hide, there's no reason to worry" (about wiretapping, e-mail monitoring, mail inspection, the Bush administration's "Total Information Awareness", etc.) - shows signs of crumbling when the government shares public info. on a conservative "hero" such as Joe. We'll see exactly what, if anything, these Ohio agencies did that was inappropriate or illegal, but if they simply passed on information that's publicly available anyway, then I don't see what the problem is.

It's funny how you say I'm "busy being outraged." Well, Kate, if the NSA is listening in on the conversations of American soldiers calling home (and hey, phone sex with one's spouse is better than some of the more unseemly options surely available over there) or with (U.S. citizen) aid workers in the field, doesn't that even bother you? If the guys who are considered the Ultimate Patriots, who, as we are always reminded, fight and die for our freedoms, can not even enjoy those freedoms, then that seems worthy of at least a bit of outrage, no? And I must note, also, that outrage over THAT story was never expressed here at NLT.

And, while it may have been couched in sarcastic language and a reference to an ancient SNL skit, I think Mr. Hayward's post was attempting to make the point that "privacy and individual rights" had been violated. I can only assume that, to the extent that they can acknowledge it ever occurring (i.e., it's only a problem when aimed at conservatives, as liberals threaten America, so deserve to be monitored), such violations outrage conservatives, too. So, I'm no busier being outraged over soldiers and aid workers having their phone calls recorded and passed around than Mr. Hayward is about this incident with Joe the "Plumber".

[No, I hadn't seen the urban camouflage artwork piece that you linked to - are you trying to divert this discussion? ;) - but it is quite impressive. Thanks for the link.]

First question: No.


Second paragraph: Was it "the agencies" or people in the agencies abusing the power they have because they happen to work for those agencies?


Third and fourth paragraphs: Can't we take it for granted that anyone would be outraged by fools at NSA listening in to soldiers' conversations? Also, that all of us feel dismay when people in such positions abuse their power? Does everyone HAVE to say so out loud? Never mind about the latter - maybe so.

That we have the technology to do such things seems to mean that privacy is a thing of the past. I do not know of a conservative who does not regret the passing of such comforts of liberty as privacy. I don't know that human beings have ever been able to claim privacy as a natural right. Given that we are social beings and sometimes have nosy neighbors, or even just children, real privacy might be an impossible treasure. Government intrusion into privacy, when we would prefer to have government protect us from intrusion, may be unlikely because government has prior obligation to protect the rest of society from us, if we happen to be the sort who wreck havoc on society. How is government going to protect society from us, or (really) other people who are havoc wreckers, without using all available technological intrusive methods available to them? When those who are in a position to "listen in" or "investigate" do so improperly, I say we ought to collectively kick them.

Last paragraph: I was being diverting, but only because I found the pictures diverting, myself. Don't I know you well enough by now? Really, as if anything I might call your attention to would divert you from such an argument!

The government is obligated to protect us from any threat? The government decides what a threat is? "The government" is actually individuals with given power and not a disembodied entity with no bias? So its good that the thought police listen in and hear me say i hate the thought police, then interpret this as a criminal act of defiance and send me to room 101. It is not only good for society to get rid of dissodents but good for me because I must be insane for not loving big brother.

That we have the technology to do such things means that...., lol. I guess the technology involved in stem cells makes cancer a thing of the past. lol. You are already thinking in Orwellian Doublethink, lol. Privacy never existed. You may have what it takes to get a job at the ministry of love.

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