Friday, January 06, 2006

The word you're looking for is "Strawman"

The Coyote is irked.

What irks me is portraying concerns about the Patriot Act, indefinite detentions without trial, and eavesdropping outside of the normal separation of powers checks and balances as "concern for the civil liberties of terrorists".

I am sure that there is a name for this kind of semantic trick, though I can't remember it, but I will say its bush league, right out of high school debate. You could just as easily stump for repeal of the fourth amendment because it is only concerned with the "civil liberties of criminals".

No one except a few crazies cares much for the civil rights of convicted criminals and terrorists. After all, what could be more of a violation of their civil rights than incarcerating them, but I have seldom seen a bond issue for more prisons that people won't vote for.

No, the problem is with the civil rights of the rest of us who are innocent. We don't want our email read just in case we are terrorists. We don't want our houses broken into at night just in case we are drug dealers. And if we find ourselves in police custody, we want our habeas corpus rights respected and we want to get our due process or be released.

Too damn right, I say. He goes on to sum up his arguments against such "for the greater good of all" anti-terror legislation here.

PS: Anyone object to my characterisation of the right-wing-nut-job argument? Anyone?


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