Folks who repeat the slogan "We are a nation of laws, not of men" have stopped thinking.
They have closed their minds to at least three realities:
Laws are written by men, interpreted by men, and enforced by men.
That slogan does what slogan-makers intend; it stirs an emotion and people stop thinking.
Tom, you are correct in your description. Too bad a little 10 year old girl couldn't figure that out. I like your reference to stirring emotions that stop thinking. Sounds like religion, doesn't it!
Joan, it sounds very much like religion.
Government and religion are natural allies and evangelicals all but own the GOP.
And to think, the Repub Party's current troubles started in the 1950s when Bircher Repubs started expelling moderates. A recent history of the Party reminded me that they had called Eisenhower a Communist.
I see it as good news that in some states Chamber of Commerce Repubs are refusing to support TP Repubs, and even supporting Democrats.
Excuse me Tom.......We are a Nation of Laws.....Without laws there would be total anarchy. Yes laws are written by men. However we now have more women in Congress and there is a good chance we will have more laws written by women.......We the people are the ones who write laws, do you have a problem with that?.....By writing laws to govern the people, does that make us close minded? If we do not interpret the laws who will? If we do not enforce the laws who will?.....So yes I say again.....We are a Nation of Laws......
Here's an interesting take on the issue by Charlie Pierce:
Charlie wrote, "uncertain people is a people easily led." That is absolutely the way life is!
"uncertainty" is the key. It is how you erode inconvenient freedoms and the institutions designed to protect them from within. You make lawyers uncertain whether they can talk to their clients. You make sources uncertain whether they should talk to reporters. You create a climate within a self-governing citizenry in which certain unspecified offenses against order carry certain unspecified punishments. You create a nation that is gun-shy of its own founding principles, and you make its people gun-shy about standing up for themselves. You control the shadows in the inaccessible parts of the government. You can make those shadows fall wherever you want. And, those people will console themselves with the idea that "everybody knew" this was going on after 9/11, or with the idea that, hell, Amazon has your information, so what do you care if the NSA has it - those people should notice that this isn't about "national security" and terrorism any more."
In order go to the media you can't go with just your word alone - you need proof. In every instance I have read or heard about there has always been that little requirement called "fact checking" everything before its printed or put on the air. (Granted there are some in the media who are a little lax on this matter.) Often newspapers and magazines will sit on information for a long time, in one case for over a year, before they print anything to make sure the information is correct. In spite of our laws which guarantee Freedom of The Press, there are restrictions that can result in libel charges, et al, if they print things that are not verifable.
Our current administration is very edgy about leaks of any kind, as have been those in the past. Newspapers often call the White House to announce they are going to print things that may be in conflict with the administration. To think for one moment someone can just call up CBS, NBC or any other network or newspaper and tell them you have some "whistleblowing information" without supplying them with written and verifiable information, and think they will take your word and run with it, would be delusional.
Snowden acquired the information, planned who he would release it to, and then released it. For him to say he "knows about" what is happening within the NSA without actually providing the proof would have been foolish and no one, including me, would have listened to him. After all our airways are filled with people spouting off and saying they know critical information and yet cannot provide verifiable proof. Whether everyone agrees, we are a pretty much a Show Me The Proof kind of society. Releasing anything but the actual files would have been a waste of his effort and he would have been quickly silenced and prevented from doing anything meaningful about it in the future.
Breaking the law can not be okay for one entitity and not the other. The NSA was breaking the laws of the U.S. by spying on and gathering information of our people. Snowden is said to have broken a law to stop it. I consider his actions justiable civil disobedience, a practice that has been existence for a very long time and, unless the government squashes it, we can only hope it will continue.
You just said you consider his actions justifiable so it is ok.....Why is it ok for You to decide what is justifiable Barbara ?....That was my point why we have laws...so individuals can not decide for themselves when to break the law......As far as having proof and having it verified,we know that it can be verified. Bringing the attention of the Press to those indiscretions would have created panic at the NSA and someone would have certainly been caught trying to destroy the evidence....We as a people can't have it both ways.....We have laws,we must obey the laws, if the laws were bad, there is a way to repeal them.....The public outcry with bad laws can have a tremendous influence on lawmakers....I agree that the NSA may have overstepped....However they insist it was for our good, to protect us from possible terrorism....Lets just let this all play out.......The Truth will prevail.......
It was my opinion and I tried to write it that way - as an opinion. As long as you are happy with the power we have given to our government and are happy with the way they conduct themselves, it is not for me to try and change your mind or be confrontational at all.
Yes, we have laws. Some of them good and some of them bad. Some were written and passed soley for the benefit of individual groups, and often to further empower our government.
One particular bad piece of legislation which indirectly led to Snowden's action is The Patriot Act. It was passed to further empower our government in their search for terrorists, or at least that is the reason they used. It has some rather interesting parts to it which affect our daily lives. People have been up in arms and protesting it for some time. It still stands. Many of our lawmakers signed it and didn't even read it.
We are all debating whether Edward Snowden was right or wrong and yet few of us discuss the Patriot Act. When we have laws which allow our local police, county sheriffs, state police, Homeland Security, FBI, NSA, DOJ and other federal entities to come into our homes without warrants, search our email and other electronic transmission without a warrant then the people in general, in my opinion, really have to be willing to take a stand. If The Patriot Act had not expanded the government's right to gather information, in my opinion, the Snowden episode may not have happened. Instead of fighting back about that particular bad law we attack Snowden who did something about it.
Oh really Barbara...so tell me , how many people do you know who had warrants presented to them at their home and had all their e mails searched....The Patriot Act was necessary after 9/11.....That horrific act by terrorists changed our lives forever...So sorry if you disagree....How else are the Spy agencies going to intercept these terrorists planning who knows what.....Unless your e-mails are incriminating, you have nothing to fear........We, as Americans, have been so spoiled with all our freedoms, that when their is a slight change, some people go berserk......I have yet to hear of anyone that I know personally who has had a warrant given to them for search .and seizure...I wonder how you will feel if ever we are attacked again and our government cracks down even more with the internet and phone.....Good luck......
I agree with you on the warrant thing, Freethinker31. I personally don't know of anyone given a warrant and subjected to search and siezure. I also find no evidence when people go out of their way to claim Obama wants your gun, FEMA death camps, or any other such politically generated nonsense. I do believe, however, that most of our e-mail is read and gone through often in sifting for useful information on terrorism. In these readings names are not even noted unless something appears amiss. In other words, your affair and secret sexuality are safe unless you are planning some terrorist acts somewhere.
Exactly.....That was my point...Appreciate your input Michael....