Terrorism

Terrorism and Liberty in the Trump Era

Terrorism is only a real threat if it frightens us into destroying our liberties.

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After the atrocities of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush's approval rating soared from 50 to 90 percent. A month after the attacks, nearly 60 percent of Americans said they trusted the government in Washington to do what is right almost always or most of the time; that was the highest it had been in 40 years. In the weeks after 9/11, more than 50 percent were very to somewhat worried that they or a family member would be a victim in a terrorist attack. Keying off of these fears, various commentators stepped forward to sagely intone that the "Constitution is not a suicide pact." (I prefer "Give me liberty or give me death.")

Evidently averse to potentially committing suicide, 74 percent of the country agreed that "Americans will have to give up some of their personal freedoms in order to make the country safe from terrorist attacks." In 2002, an ABC News/Washington Post poll reported that 79 percent of Americans agreed that it was "more important right now for the federal government to investigate terrorist threats even if that intrudes on personal privacy." Support for intrusive investigations purportedly aimed at preventing terrorist attacks fell to only 57 percent in 2013, shortly after Edward Snowden's revelations of extensive domestic spying by the National Security Agency (NSA). In the most recent poll, it has ticked back up to 72 percent.

Instead of urging Americans to exercise bravery and defend their liberty, our political leaders fanned fears and argued that we must surrender freedoms. The consequences included the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the proliferation of metal detectors at the entrances of public buildings, the requirement to show government-issued IDs at more and more public venues, the increased militarization of our police forces, and tightened travel restrictions to neighboring countries where passports were once not required.

In October 2001, the House of Representatives passed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act just 15 minutes after its 315 pages of text were made available to members. This law eviscerated the Fourth Amendment's privacy protections, and a massive secret domestic spying operation run by the NSA was set up. (Years later, numerous reports by outside and government analysts found that surrendering our civil liberties had been useless, since NSA domestic spying had had "no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism.") The Central Intelligence Agency was authorized to torture suspected terrorists; that too proved not just illiberal but ineffective. According to a recent Brown University study, the Global War on Terror (*) has cost $3.2 trillion, in addition to leaving nearly 7,000 American military personnel dead and scores of thousands wounded.

How would President Donald Trump react to a significant terrorist attack, especially one motivated by radical jihadist beliefs? In a rally-around-the-flag reaction, his approval rating could surge. It is theoretically possible that such a crisis would reveal Trump as a fierce defender of American liberties, but the signs all point in a more authoritarian direction.

In a 2015 speech at the U.S.S. Yorktown, Trump argued for "closing that internet in some way" to prevent ISIS from recruiting people. "Somebody will say, 'Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech,'" he said. "These are foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people." When Apple refused the FBI's demand that it provide a backdoor to San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook's iPhone, Trump asked, "Who do they [Apple] think they are? No, we have to open it up." He urged Americans to boycott Apple until it complied with the FBI's demand to decrypt the phone. More generally speaking, Trump has said that he tends "to err on the side of security" and that he thinks the NSA should collect Americans' phone records. He added, "I assume when I pick up my telephone, people are listening to my conversations anyway, if you want to know the truth."

And Snowden? Trump declared, "I think he's a terrible traitor and you know what we used to do in the good old days when we were a strong country, you know what we used to do to traitors, right?" Despite the fact that the Senate's 2014 report on the CIA's detention and interrogation of terrorists found that torture is ineffective, Trump recently reiterated his belief that torture "absolutely" works.

On its way out, the Obama administration sought to stymie Trump's expressed plans to establish a Muslim registry system that would perhaps be an expanded version of the Bush administration's National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). This effort targeted all males 16 years of age or older from 25 countries, all of which but one (North Korea) are Muslim-majority. During its decade of operation, NSEERS yielded not a single terrorism conviction.

Liberty-loving Americans should refuse to be terrorized by either bomb-throwing malefactors or security-state authoritarians. Your odds of dying from a lightning strike are about 10 times higher than your chances of being killed in a terrorist attack. So when another attack comes, you should respond by going about your business as usual—and certainly don't change travel plans. Contact your politicians, especially members of Congress, and forcefully remind them that any proposed tradeoff between liberty and security is specious. In fact, tell them to get busy dismantling the current national security state and reaffirming the protections afforded us by the Bill of Rights. Terrorism is only a threat to our way of life if we allow it to frighten us into destroying our liberties.

*Disclosure: I supported the invasion of Iraq. See my 2003 article "Should Libertarianism Stop at the Water's Edge?" and my 2005 article "Iraq 2007." I was wrong.

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188 responses to “Terrorism and Liberty in the Trump Era

  1. “On its way out, the Obama administration sought to stymie Trump’s expressed plans to establish a Muslim registry system that would perhaps be an expanded version of the Bush administration’s National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). This effort targeted all males 16 years of age or older from 25 countries, all of which but one (North Korea) are Muslim-majority. During its decade of operation, NSEERS yielded not a single terrorism conviction.”

    Why did president Obama maintain it during his administration and only get rid of it while he was leaving? Seems opportunistic.

    Color me silly, but I actually fear less about more federal expansion onto individual rights under this administration than the previous two administrations, primarily due to the fact that legislatures within his own party have shot down his egregious ideas and are wary of him to begin with.

    Plus, it must be noted, that the fact that we have an adversarial press again, after eight years of hibernation, any action that he takes, whether innocuous or not, will be immediately reported on by the press. What the media needs to reckon with is that if they overreach (which they have done A LOT of as of recently) and start publishing false stories (which even this publication has been caught doing twice) then the public is just going to tone them out. So, fear thyself

    1. “but I actually fear less about more federal expansion onto individual rights under this administration than the previous two administrations”

      I don’t count on that because we are only one explosion away from the whole country being like Boston when they were under martial law.
      A power hungry politician is the same whether they are blue or red.

      And speaking of Boston Strong – what a bunch on non-tough tough guys. That whole city rolled over like subservient weaklings.

      1. When a bunch of riled-up, trigger-happy armed man scream “STAY INDOORS”, I’d stay indoors. Even if it were as likely to die from police shooting as from a lightning strike…

        1. I’m sure I would too. That is why it is so stupid when people talk about revolution. most americans will surrender their guns when the time comes because the government is too scary and things are not that bad here over all.

          Think about how bad it had to be for a bunch of rich colonialists/founding fathers to risk their fortunes and their livelihoods to fight the biggest/strongest army in the world.

          1. And their lives too.

          2. Oh come on! British army was neither biggest nor strongest at the time. Remove the channel and the Royal Navy and Louis XVI burns down London in a week.

            In fact, I’m pretty sure it never was in history, even at its zenith in WWI. Running a tiny (usually well-trained and highly disciplined) force on a shoestring budget and using locals as much as possible for their wars is a British special. Another one is “always start a war with a defeat”.
            Now, Royal Navy, that’s a different beast. But the army (and in particular, poor bloody infantry, who’d do all the work in AWI) was never a high priority.

            1. I don’t care how small the British Army was at the time, the only way Louis XVI burns down London is by knocking over a lamp at a state dinner.

              1. Louis XVI burns down London in a week

                His illustrious ancestor the Sun King didn’t have to lift a finger.

              2. France was the military superpower of Europe until the end of the Napoleonic Wars, or until the end of the Franco-Prussian War, depending on who you ask. Higher population, excellent officer class, well funded, long history of military tradition and willing to pay for innovation. Fucking with France before 1939 was generally a very bad idea.

            2. OK. The third most powerful army in the world. They were still the superpower of their day, or second or third.

              Either way, we organized a bunch of terrified militiamen so things must have been pretty bad.

              1. In size and strength of army, France, Spain, Russia, Prussia, Austria and Ottomans had them beat. Wikipedia says that in 1775 they had all of 45,000 troops total (including Ireland and India, much hotter spots), which would probably put them in the same league as Bavaria or Saxony. They got their superpower status through gold and navy – things that would be less fearsome factors for the colonists.

                Things came to a head partly because they were going bad, partly from understanding that the British Army wasn’t that large (or that good in the North American terrain – Washington got to see it first-hand), and that other superpowers (French and Spanish) would probably throw their support behind them, and, honestly, partly from the fear that British will become more reasonable, leading to independence movement losing support.

                And even then, it wasn’t the majority of population. Most people at the time did the same thing – stay indoors, don’t get involved, see who prevails

                1. Me thinks you are missing the point.

                  1. My point is, and I know it’s contrary to the foundational myth of the US as seen today, the British Empire was not a horribly oppressive master, nor was the Revolution last, desperate act of populace pushed too far. It was a perfectly rational reaction of a pro-independece faction that determined this was the optimal time to push, in particular since it was possible a change in political situation in mother country would weaken it and strengthen the pro-colonial faction. There are very few analogies for people today to draw on, other than what came after – sorting out the post-Revolution political framework is where the Founders show their true quality.

                    Want men pushed to the brink into desperate revolt against tyrannical governments possessing armies 20+ times their size, with no ocean in the way? A hero of the American Revolution led one of those, but the ending wasn’t happy.

                    1. I mean hell, this is an obvious Canadian bias, but if you have to have a colonial overlord Britain was the ‘best of tyrants’. The founding fathers rebelled against an authority that was in many ways significantly more mild than the modern U.S. government, and a lot of that is a product of the period, colonial system, and distance.

              2. A bunch of terrified militiamen who knew the terrain, were fighting on their own territory, mostly prioritized tactics and engagements that benefited them, and had a goddamn ocean between them and their opponent. Also in many engagements they fought more German mercenaries than British regulars.

                Also, Washington, despite not being an outstanding military leader, was very, very good at effectively retreating.

              3. The fact that England was at war with France at the time was a big help. Before or after we might not have made it. By the time they tried to come back in 1812, we were a whole lot better organized and they were still fighting at the end of a big ocean crossing supply line.

      2. It would have to be a pretty severe terrorist attack. The previous president wasn’t able to strip people of their 2nd Amendment rights after the Orlando massacre (anyone remember ‘no fly, no buy’ nonsense?).

        He paused refugee resettlement for 90 days and the media went ape-shit, so I don’t foresee him being able to get away with say killing American citizens by drone, like the previous administration.

      3. a tough guy like yourself wouldn’t have stood for that. What a fuckin joke.

      4. My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour… This is what I do

        =========================== http://www.4dayjobs.com

      5. And speaking of Boston Strong – what a bunch on non-tough tough guys. That whole city rolled over like subservient weaklings.

        Hey, this was the same city that was brought to its collective knees by Mooninites.

    2. Color me silly, but I actually fear less about more federal expansion onto individual rights under this administration than the previous two administrations, primarily due to the fact that legislatures within his own party have shot down his egregious ideas and are wary of him to begin with.

      I see no reason not to assume that he’ll be at least as bad as his predecessors on civil liberties based on his own words. And in the event of a terrorist attack, any legislators in his own party (with the exceptions of a few principled folks like Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Massie, and maybe a handful of others) will “jump on the team and come on in for the big win.” Especially once the public starts clamoring for the government to “DO SOMETHING!”

      I think it was one of Truman’s advisors who once said, speaking about the Korean War, that “the worse things get the more the American people tend to back up their president,” or something like that. That’s still true today, even with Trump.

      As for the adversarial press, as you alluded to, they’re probably going to overreach and then when/if he does something really awful the general public will be in full on “cry wolf mode.” Nothing will happen.

      Bottom line: I really, really hope there’s not a terrorist attack on Trump’s watch. Or really any president’s watch since there’s zero chance that any president will react by expanding civil liberties. The ratchet only goes one way.

      *pours bucket of silly paint on Fire Shika’s head*

      1. Also for the sake of the people who would die or be wounded by the terrorist attack. Other than that, totes agree.

    3. It would be better if the press was adversial in a less deranged fashion. Going off about their protocols and privileges, and the breathless and often dishonest oppositoon to everything is not conducive to keeping the government in check.

      1. As Churchill said of the Germans, our press is either at your feet or at your throat.

  2. Your odds of dying from a lightning strike are about 10 times higher than your chances of being killed in a terrorist attack.

    Is that true if I’m running around outside during a lightning storm? Or if 10,000 military-age Saudis move into my city?

      1. Its still true though.
        That is the beauty of terrorism. So much can be achieved with so little effort.

        Americans are pussies and politicians and terrorist know it.

        The problem of course, is that americans are too stupid to know that the politicians are more dangerous than terrorists.

        That is why we elect some moron every four years thinking he is capable of becoming our savior.

        1. Its still true though.

          So you’re saying my chances of being struck by lightning stay the same whether I try to avoid it or not?

          Americans are pussies

          Compared to who? Do you believe people in other countries wouldn’t give a shit about terrorist attacks?

          1. No. Point being that terrorism has existed since forever. Americans lost our nerve after 9/11. We have become sheep to the political whims of fear induced politics.

            That is what is so relevant about the statistic. The amount of dead people from terrorism is infinitesimal compared to so many other very rare ways to die.

            I admit that I think about it all the time in public but is moronic to do so. And that is why politicians and terrorists thrive on it.

        2. Americans are pussies

          Speak for yourself, friendo!

          1. I’m not a pussy.
            People who vote for a politician because he says he is going to keep them safe are. Especially when a politician says he is going to “shut down the internet for a while” or “bomb the shit out of em” or whatever else they all say that gets people in a lather.

            If you vote for safety over liberty, you are a pussy.

            1. They’re not even voting for safety. They’re voting for the false comfort of a macho strongman who will “take care of them”.

            2. If you believe a politician when he says will be able to keep you safe from terrorism or scary scary immigrants, you’re also retarded.

    1. Is that true if I’m running around outside during a lightning storm? Or if 10,000 military-age Saudis move into my city?

      Comparing letting in 10,000 refugees to “running around outside during a lightning storm” is not a great analogy.

      Refusing to let refugees in because you’re scared of terrorism is more like locking yourself in a basement with rubber wrapped around your whole body and never coming out because you’re so scared of being hit by lightning.

  3. Good article. Ron seems to know how to write a fact based article without TDS.

    1. Agreed. I don’t always agree with Ron but he’s sober and sticks to facts rather than hyperventilating about his feels.

      1. The Patriot Act and Snowden’s NSA whistle-blowing was part of what led me here. That and Rand Paul. *take that Hihny*

        1. Ron Paul lead me to anti-war.com and Justin Raimondo. But, then I realized that the FBI monitors that site, so I started reading this. I realized that this was a watered down version of the better stuff out there, but the comments kept me coming

          1. But, then I realized that the FBI monitors that site

            They probably monitor this site too.

            1. Hello Preet!

          2. Go to libertarian institute and listen to scott Horton’s show..

  4. As long as we don’t touch the FED, Entitlements, or the military industrial complex, everything can just go on like this forever.

    I have absolute faith that trump will not even touch those three sacred cows.

  5. “Hi, officer!”

  6. Nice article Bailey. Thanks.

  7. And that’s an effective criticism of Trump. Agree or not (I do), at least it’s a clear, well-sourced argument with thesis and supporting evidence provided, despite discussing a hypothetical. Also, opinion clearly set apart from the body of argument.
    And that disclaimer is just awesome, too. Good show, Mr Bailey.

    1. I forgot to mention, I appreciate Bailey’s disclaimers.

    2. Agreed. Sixteen years late, but good.

  8. signs all point

    Magic 8 Ball strikes again.

  9. You have only 1/x chance of dying from disease y. Should we stop trying to prevent disease y?

    1. I have a tiny chance of dying from pneumonia. Should I lock myself inside my house and make all guests wear hazmat suits? Some responses are sensible, others aren’t. Turning the country into a police state over terrorism is the latter.

      1. Would you want to invite a lot of likely pneumonia carriers into your house?

        1. Being a Muslim does not equate to likely being a terrorist.

          1. PapayaSF sees Muslims exactly the way Progressives see gun owners.

            1. Terrorism Derangement Syndrome.

            2. Gun owners don’t belong to a religion that believes it’s their destiny to establish a worldwide totalitarian theocracy.

              1. Then apparently a lot of Muslims aren’t very good at the whole Islam thing.

          2. Muslims are far, more likely than any other group to support terror. Just look at the polls.

    2. Depends: do the preventative measures for disease y involve chopping off perfectly arms and/ or legs? Or getting a lobotomy?

    3. If the disease were nonfatal and the cost of treating it is Ct while the cost of preventing it is Cp then it wouldn’t be cost effective to pay for prevention if Ct/x was less than Cp. Fatal diseases make it hard to compute expected value since most people assign an infinite value to their own lives.

    4. DEpends on what you want to do to prevent disease y.

  10. It is theoretically possible that such a crisis would reveal Trump as a fierce defender of American liberties, but the signs all point in a more authoritarian direction.

    The signs pointed towards Obama being a peaceful light bringer (nobel peace prize winning light bringer no less!) but we all know how that worked out too. Whenever I think about how the latest leader will react I always think of this PJ Quote-

    “We saw the results of Clinton’s emotional, ad hoc, higgledy-piggledy foreign policy,” O’Rourke writes in “Peace Kills.” “It led to strained relations with Russia and China, increased violence in the Middle East, continued fighting in Africa and Asia, and Serbs killing Albanians. Then we saw the results of Bush’s tough, calculated, focused foreign policy?strained relations with Russia and China, increased violence in the Middle East, continued fighting in Africa and Asia, and Serbs killing Albanians. Between the first year of the Clinton administration and the first year of the Bush administration, we went from attack on the World Trade Center to World Trade Center attack.”

  11. “Disclosure: I supported the invasion of Iraq. See my 2003 article “Should Libertarianism Stop at the Water’s Edge?” and my 2005 article “Iraq 2007.” I was wrong.”

    One of the interesting things about Trump is that his evolution on Iraq appears to track your own. I don’t know that Trump will ever admit that he was wrong, but I still believe that many of the people who supported the Iraq invasion in 2003 did so because they had to take the Bush administration’s word for everything. Hindsight is always often 20/20, but who to believe and what to believe in real time back then . . .

    “WASHINGTON (AP) ? Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, says a poll out almost two years after the terrorists’ strike against this country.

    Sixty-nine percent in a Washington Post poll published Saturday said they believe it is likely the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents believe it’s likely Saddam was involved.”

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com…..iraq_x.htm

    That poll was taken six months after we invaded Iraq.

    1. People believed that Iraq was a war of self-defense. Especially in relation to the anthrax attack, they thought Saddam Hussein was complicit in 9/11. They thought that because the Bush administration and all the intelligence agencies were telling us that Saddam Hussein had an active WMD program and he was actively collaborating with Al Qaeda. They showed us the photos and everything. Would Trump have sold it like that? I doubt it.

      If Trump had been in the White House in 2001, I suspect we probably wouldn’t have invaded Iraq in 2003.

    2. Sixty-nine percent in a Washington Post poll published Saturday said they believe it is likely the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda.

      Polls like that crack me up. Repeat something on the nightly news often enough and people will “believe” anything you tell them.

      1. I don’t remember that on the news much. I suspect most people reverse-engineered that belief.

        1. Actually, the press, the President, Colin Powell, our intelligence services, and everyone else was telling us that Saddam Hussein had an active biological weapons program and that he was collaborating with Al Qaeda.

          We were attacked with anthrax, and the President wanted to attack Iraq because of their biological program and his collaboration with Al Qaeda. It was not unreasonable to think that everyone in the media and the government was telling the truth.

          Colin Powell showed us photos of the mobile WMD labs. He got them from our intelligence services. Where are your photos?

          1. Ken: on an earlier thread, you made a comment about how Trump would be treated like Reagan, i.e. everything he does will be interpreted as stupid, etc. On that subject, there’s an e-mail making the rounds of my (academic) department, about Trump’s comments about Frederick Douglass. If I’m reading the e-mails correctly, I have some colleagues who genuinely think that Trump thinks Douglasss is still alive.

            One of them called Trump & his advisors, “dolts.” Complete & utter lack of self-awareness.

            1. One of them called Trump & his advisors, “dolts.” Complete & utter lack of self-awareness.

              In the McInnes thread, I linked to a Milo talk where he makes a point. It is crucial for the left to think that they are the erudite, well-groomed elites and their opponents are backward, idiotic rednecks. Without that social dynamic, they lose the air of moral superiority. Turns out, Milo continued, that college dropouts and never-attenders are a mixed bag, including some really smart people, and even the college educated folks who know a lot of those people find it highly offensive to categorize them as “dolts.”

              IOW, your colleague is why Trump got elected.

            2. I remember a teacher going off on one of Reagan’s speeches, for calling America . . . I think it was “a new land”. He’d said something like “Our forefathers came here to a new land . . . “.

              The teachers went off on him for it–calling it an endorsement of genocide. There were millions of Native Americans here–how can you call it “a new land”?! What an idiot this Reagan is!!!

              There’s something elitist about the way the press, academics, et. al. do this. I guess Reagan and Trump are alike in that they’re two presidents who didn’t come up through academia and were considered men of the people. Once the elitists see you that way, . . .

              Trump could singlehandedly invent cold fusion, at this point, and they’d treat him like an idiot for something he tweeted the next day.

          2. I’m not sure what any of this ramblecrazy has to do with anything, so I’ll just elaborate on my previous comment.

            I don’t remember seeing the allegation that Saddam was personally involved in 9/11 on the news. I’m not saying it wasn’t at all, just that I had CNN or MSNBC on in the background many hours a day and don’t remember it. The neo-con press had stories IIRC about a plane in Iraq that was allegedly used to train AQ, but very few people read that crap.

            “I suspect most people reverse-engineered that belief.” i.e. everyone know somebody attacked us and the President wants to attack somebody. IMO most people, not unreasonably, concluded that the somebodies were related.

            1. National Review did a big expose on Hussein’s involvement with al-Qaeda, but the MSM soft-balled it, packaging it as suggestions and implications. I suspect they knew it was bullshit, but didn’t want to openly accuse the administration and its supporters of lying in the “stay unified” aftermath of 9/11.

              It was the same with Powell’s presentation to the UN. There was a “Big Lie” element to it where no one wanted to believe that the government would so cynically use a national tragedy to push a controversial foreign policy agenda, and certainly didn’t want to make the accusation without standing on very solid ground.

            2. The point was that it wasn’t unreasonable for people to believe that at the time.

              The voices average people heard questioning this stuff were few and rare.

              1. My response was to Rhywun, who said the AQ Iraq thing was on the nightly news.

            3. I remember a lot of talk about Hussein and 9/11 being linked, but I couldn’t tell you now if it was before we went in or after.

          3. It was not unreasonable to think that everyone in the media and the government was telling the truth.

            Yes, it was. Believing something without hard evidence is foolish. The intelligence agencies proved themselves to be treacherous and dishonest long before 9/11, so there really is no excuse. The American people are cowardly morons.

  12. You know, if I had a few billion dollars, a private security force and a dozen (((lawyers))) on retainer, I’d probably be a little more blas? about the security state intruding on my privacy, too. Especially if I was actually the boss of the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the military, the Secret Service and most of the federal government.

    Since I’m just some poor shmuck who doesn’t have any of that stuff, I’m a little more aware of the fact that “who guards the guardians?” isn’t a rhetorical question.

    1. You know, if I had a few billion dollars, a private security force and a dozen (((lawyers))) on retainer, I’d probably be a little more blas? about the security state intruding on my privacy, too. Especially if I was actually the boss of the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the military, the Secret Service and most of the federal government.

      True. You also could afford to be a a little bit more blase about the risks associated with terrorism. It is not like anything is going to happen to you.

  13. “the proliferation of metal detectors at the entrances of public buildings, the requirement to show government-issued IDs at more and more public venues, the increased militarization of our police forces”

    This has been in the works long before 9/11

    1. This has been in the works long before 9/11

      Yeah, all the ‘anti-terror’ mechanisms were on LEO wishlists for a long time. 9/11 just gave them the excuse necessary for implementation.

  14. Trump’s numbers didn’t rise after Orlando or Chelsea. In fact Trump never seemed to get the terror bump, and this same effect can be expected next time. Americans are starting to realize that ‘terrorists’ are not motivated by “radical jihadist beliefs” but instead by (1) getting married and having a daughter at a young age (2) patsy for the private security industry (3) radicalization by the FBI/CIA or (4) being named ‘Storm’.

    Of course, the dynamic is different for the European Secular Caliphate.

    1. European Secular Caliphate

      A caliphate with no caliph is not a caliphate at all.

      1. Next you’re going to tell me that atheism isn’t a religion.

        1. Based on past experiences, I wouldn’t touch that question with a 10-foot pole.

          1. How about a 6 foot italian?

      2. He said “European” – their caliph will be a collective body of time-servers, rotating in and out when it’s Their Turn.

        I mean, this guy might not be Mehmed II or Muawia, but even the real Caliphates had some duds.

  15. Speaking of snooping

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..ccess.html

    1. That’s what you get for hiring Russians as IT consultants.

  16. “the Global War on Terror (*) has cost $3.2 trillion, in addition to leaving nearly 7,000 American military personnel dead and scores of thousands wounded.”

    As long as it will be as successful as the war on drugs, I’m all in.

  17. One of the easiest ways for libertarians to talk past each other is for those who are talking about the way things should be to talk to those who are talking about what we should do given the way things are right now.

    The way things should be:

    The Democrats should have stood up as the loyal opposition to defend our constitutional rights against encroachment by the Bush administration. Instead, Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, and others in the Democrat leadership jumped on the “me too” express–and gave away the farm for fear of seeming soft on terrorism. That opened the door for an unknown, Barack Obama, to steal the nomination away from the Democrat establishment. When Obama got into office, he doubled down on most of the same assaults on our constitutional rights that Bush initiated in the name of terror. The Democrats should have stood up for our rights, but they capitulated instead.

    The way things really are:

    There never was a choice between leaders who supported our constitutional rights and leaders who didn’t. There were opportunities to vote for Ron Paul and Rand Paul in the primaries, but those people never made it into leadership positions.

  18. When we’re looking at whether we should support Trump, despite his positions on fighting terrorism, we should define what we’re talking about–the way things should be or the way things are. There should be an opposition we can support that stands up for our constitutional rights. In reality, Trump isn’t much better or worse than Obama and Bush on this–and, yeah, that matters if we’re talking about what we should do given the way things are right now.

    We should adapt the Serenity Prayer for libertarians–only for when we’re talking about what we should do given the way things are right now.

    God, grant us the conviction
    to suffer the things we cannot change,
    Courage to change the things we can,
    And the wisdom to know the difference.

    But when we’re talking about the way things should be, we should never give an inch.

    1. We shouldn’t support any political leader, ever. We should support the good (or preferable in the context of “the way things really are”) things that people do when they do them.

      Good points on people talking past each other.

      1. Donald Trump has just issued an executive order that paves the way to undoing Dodd-Frank.

        Donald Trump has issued an order that does everything it can to get rid of the individual mandate.

        Before the election, those were reasons I argued why a real libertarian might vote for Donald Trump instead of Gary Johnson or no one at all.

        And there they are, in the flesh, because of Donald Trump!

        How do you split–that hair–so you’re support what he does but not him?

        1. We support some things he does and not others. No, we don’t support everything the President does just because he (or she) is any particular person.

  19. What the hell Ron? What do you think any President is going to say? Hey I am all about putting American lives at risk?

    Maybe not everything Trump says is worthy of a critical article. Just saying.

    1. Nah. Just tell the folks that they are much more likely to be killed by a lightning strike than a terrorist attack and go back to the important stuff like global warming and pot legalization.

      1. What are the chances of either of us ever being beaten up by a leftist mob at a Milo event? For me at least, none because I have no intention of ever going to a Milo event.

        So since my chances are zero, there is no point in me being concerned or demanding anything be done about it the few cases where it does happen. Right? If the chances of an event happening to any individual person is the measure of whether it is significant and worth taking measures to prevent, then there is no reason to take any measures in response to that.

        1. What’s your solution to mob violence at Milo events? Forbid certain types of people from attending them?

          1. Since it can be solved by ordinary law enforcement, my solution is for the cops to arrest the people committing crimes and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. If it can’t be solved that way, then perhaps we need to get more creative. The point is, the chances of it happening to me or any individual is not what makes it significant or worthy of concern.

            1. So in that case you would recognize that pre-emptively assuming criminal behavior and punishing people for it is wrong?

              Why is it different with terrorism?

              1. So in that case you would recognize that pre-emptively assuming criminal behavior and punishing people for it is wrong?

                No I recognize that ordinary law enforcement works when people can be deterred and that it is generally the best way to handle things. That reality doesn’t mean that when people can’t be deterred and ordinary law enforcement doesn’t deal with a threat, that preemptively going after people for advocating violence and terrorism isn’t necessary.

                1. That reality doesn’t mean that when people can’t be deterred and ordinary law enforcement doesn’t deal with a threat, that preemptively going after people for advocating violence and terrorism isn’t necessary.

                  So what are you proposing actually doing about this “imminent public crisis?” What powers are you looking to grant to government in order to save you from this unprecedented and ubiquitous threat?

                  And once you have established those rights of government, what “crisis” would be too minimal to justify a total police state, following your logic?

                  1. Can’t your argument be used to justify total gun confiscation, for example?

    2. Compared to the rest of Reason, this article is not bad. I score this one a good one.

    3. Not having the NSA spy on Americans’ phone calls is not putting anybody’s life at risk.

      1. So what? That is not the point. the point is any President is going to say he errs on the side of security. That is what he is elected to do.

        1. The President is elected to uphold and defend the Constitution.

          1. No. He is also elected to defend the country against all threats external and domestic. And regardless, no President is going to say “my job is for the public to die and risk their lives for the Constitution”.

            1. my job is for the public to die and risk their lives for the Constitution

              That is dishonest framing. That’s not and never has been an issue. Nobody’s going to die if we don’t institute the PATRIOT ACT 2.0, and the president should say so.

              1. That is dishonest framing.

                Is this the first conversation you’ve ever had with John?

              2. Nobody’s going to die if we don’t institute the PATRIOT ACT 2.0, and the president should say so.

                That is your opinion. But what if you are wrong? You don’t know that no one is going to die or that terrorism will forever be just one of those things people that happens every once in a while and gives people like you a chance to lecture your inferiors about the dangers of Islamophobia and backlash. You think it will bit and hope it will be. I do too. But you don’t know that. And you can’t say that anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. Time will tell.

                1. You know, it occurs to me, how certain are we that John will never hurt anyone? He’s part of the Army right? Esteban Santiago-Ruiz was in the Army. Letting John just run around free seems really dangerous, doesn’t it?

            2. Well, the president should say that because it’s the correct thing to do. Since we live in an authoritarian country, that’s not what is going to happen.

        2. any President is going to say he errs on the side of security. That is what he is elected to do.

          And that’s why I will never vote for anyone who has a chance of winning.

  20. [the] “Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

    Well, this is true. Abandoning it is.

    1. It isn’t. The 4th Amendment says “reasonable”, which is a relative and circumstance driven term. It is not an absolute prohibition the way the 1st Amendment is. And it all can be amended if the public has the will.

      It is one thing to argue that the level of risk associated with this or that threat doesn’t justify giving up your rights or that giving up your rights won’t reduce the threat at all or enough to justify it. That is a perfectly reasonable argument and in all but really extreme cases a valid one.

      It is quite another thing to argue that no amount of threat or risk could ever justify giving up your rights no matter how necessary doing such was to protect you or society from that threat or how grave that threat is. That is absurd. That is just telling the public “it is your job to suffer and die for our principles”. And that is not an argument anyone is going to listen to. And it is not how any society works. If the threat gets large enough, you either do what is necessary to deal with it or bad things happen like vigilantism or your civilization dying and being taken over by a more aggressive one.

      I really wish people would make the first argument. The whole “you can never compromise your freedom” is just as much of a dodge and just as stupid as its contrary “the constitution is not a suicide pact”. Both positions are just question begging and dismissing rather than engaging the other side.

      1. Yes, but you are talking about a very, very small risk.

        More people die from literally falling out of beds than die in terrorist strikes.

        If you’re willing to suspend the Constitution to address this “extreme case,” then what limit can possibly be place on government power? What “crisis” can possibly be small enough to not be used to justify government overreach?

        1. Right now we are talking about a very small risk. But there is no guarantee that risk will remain small. And the measure of a risk or threat is not the chances of it happening to any individual person. The chances of any black person being lynched in 19th Century America were incredibly small. That however didn’t mean lynching were not an enormous problem and solving them didn’t justify pretty drastic action.

          You seem to not understand how terrorism works. It is called asymetric warfare. That means a small thing causing a big effect. Lynchings are a great example of political terror. The chances of a black person being lynched were small because they didn’t have to be large to change people’s behavior. Lynch one or two people for various “crimes” and the rest of the population gets with the program.

          1. The chances of any black person being lynched in 19th Century America were incredibly small. That however didn’t mean lynching were not an enormous problem and solving them didn’t justify pretty drastic action.

            Was one of those actions banning a certain category of people on the basis that they might lynch someone?

            1. It was called the anti- KKK laws. The feds basically banned the KKK and made being so much as a member of the organization a crime. It put a stop to lynching and a whole bunch of things real quick.

              Go back and read the history of the post war South. And then come back here and tell me about those poor Southern Whites and how awful the federal government was to them. They was profiled.

              You God damned right they were. And they deserved it.

              1. Go back and read the history of the post war South. And then come back here and tell me about those poor Southern Whites and how awful the federal government was to them. They was profiled.

                Step away from the voices in your head and come back to the discussion at hand.

                The feds basically banned the KKK and made being so much as a member of the organization a crime. It put a stop to lynching and a whole bunch of things real quick.

                Really?

          2. Giving up our rights and living scared is exactly what terrorism is supposed to do. That’s why it’s called *terror*ism. When we let ourselves live like that then *they* have accomplished what they wanted to.

      2. That is just telling the public “it is your job to suffer and die for our principles”.

        No, it’s telling the public “It’s not acceptable to have government thugs violate other people’s rights in the name of safety.”

        If the threat gets large enough, you either do what is necessary to deal with it or bad things happen like vigilantism or your civilization dying and being taken over by a more aggressive one.

        Going down fighting while defending freedom would be the noble thing to do.

    2. There is a certain acceptance of risk as a fundamental cost of freedom.

      We don’t take people’s guns away until AFTER they’ve used them for murder.

      But, no, it’s not a suicide pact.

      1. There is a certain acceptance of risk. You are correct. That risk, however, is not unlimited. There is a point where the risk will get high enough that the public will no longer accept it.

        1. I for one have reached the point where I no longer accept the risk of a lightning strike.

          1. Do you run around in thunderstoms with a metal pole? If you don’t, and I assume you don’t, perhaps your low risk of being hit by lighting has something to do with things you have done to mitigate that risk?

            1. Suggestion, by way of following your analogy:

              Don’t go running around the Gaza strip with an “Israel for the Jews!” sign hung around your neck.

              Barring that, you should be fine. I’ll even bet significant money on it.

              1. No. don’t allow a large Muslim population to live in your country. And to put your analogy to here. there are a lot more things that will get you killed in a place like Gaza than what you mention. Namely drawing Muhammad or criticizing Islam. So when the day comes that no one can safely criticize Islam in public for fear of being killed, you are going to be okay with that I guess. Terrorism is a very small threat. You don’t want to do that and it wont’ happen to you, so what is the difference? Right?

                1. Alright, you’re starting to go ballistic here, so I’m gonna wrap this up:

                  So when the day comes that no one can safely criticize Islam in public for fear of being killed, you are going to be okay with that I guess.

                  I don’t know where you got that, but then again, you’re John, so there’s that.

                  Terrorism is a very small threat. You don’t want to do that and it wont’ happen to you, so what is the difference? Right?

                  I can’t even actually make sense of what you’re trying to say here. You’re saying that because I don’t want Muslims expelled from the country that I want Sharia law? I don’t get where you’re going here, but since I’ve never seen you be able do anything beyond embracing one extreme or the other I imagine there’s very little point to continuing this.

                  What John will take away:

                  “Square is a Muslim lover who wants Christian women raped in alleyways.”

        2. The public may not accept the risk since they are worthless authoritarian cowards, but accepting the risk is the only ethical thing to do. Denying people their freedoms is intolerable.

    3. No, I don’t think it is. But if it was, it would still be the Constitution and the law of the land.

      People saying “the constitution is not a suicide pact” are usually getting ready to make an excuse for violating the constitution.

      If respecting the 4th amendment really is going to cause everyone to die from terrorist attacks, then the constitution is a suicide pact. But you fix that with an amendment, not by pretending it means something else.

  21. Shorter Reason magazine:

    1) Welcome refugees and immigrants who burden the welfare state, increase terror risks, and vote against libertarian principles.

    2) Complain about the welfare state and government surveillance of terror risks.

    3) Profit…?

    1. Refugees are not danger Papaya. None whatsoever. There is no such thing as Islamic terrorism according to reason.

      1. There is no such thing as Islamic terrorism according to reason.

        You keep saying that. Can you point to anything that supports your assertion?

    2. 3) Well salaries in a non-profit anyway. If they satisfy whoever meets the payroll, that’s ok with me.

      But the contraction you point out is spot on.

    3. Invade the world!whoops-a-daisy. Invite the world!

      1. How come no one ever mentions the option of “mind your own goddamn business”.

    4. I don’t believe there have been any terrorist attacks involving refugees. Where does the assertion that welcoming refugees increases terror risks find its basis?

      1. The Somali refugee who ran over and stabbed people at Ohio State is one.

        Minneapolis has many Somalis who have gone back to fight for terror groups, and a number have been convicted of trying to do so.

        But that whole argument astounds me. More Muslims = more risks of attacks, and more support for terror. Just look at Europe. Just look at any Muslim country.

        1. So your great counter-argument is that there was one?

          Is there no risk so small so that you won’t advocate tyranny to address it?

          1. Why is it “tyranny” to restrict immigration? Fuck that.

        2. No American has ever been *killed* in a terrorist attack by a refugee. I think that’s the only one where anyone was even seriously hurt. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen, just that the risk is very low. Most (not all, but most) of the foiled “plots,” as I understand it, have been basically entrapment. If the FBI (or whatever agency is running the sting) can talk them into planning an attack or think they’re doing something to support terrorism, that means they’re a terrorist and they are arrested and tried as such. What they actually would or wouldn’t have done without the sting encouragement is impossible to know.

        3. Since men commit a much higher percentage of violent attacks of any kind than women, maybe we should ban all men aside from planned reproductive encounters.

  22. “Terrorism is only a threat to our way of life if we allow it to frighten us into destroying our liberties.”

    Your liberties, like the freedom to pass through an airport without being inspected, are largely illusory. Still, I understand your concerns. How about making a case for appeasing terror, as Reagan and Bush both did, whether it was finally agreeing to Palestinian demands, or Saudi demands. Seems like Reagan’s appeasement was more successful, and Bush spoiled his removal of US forces from Saudi Arabia by killing millions of muslims in Iraq, but if you want to make a strong case for appeasing terrorists rather than succumbing to fear, I will read with interest.

    1. If we do [you name it] the terrorists will have won.

      1. “If we do [you name it] the terrorists will have won.”

        Yes, terrorism works. You push a wheelchair-bound Jew into the sea, and we’ll set you on the road to statehood.

  23. Terrorism is only a threat to our way of life if we allow it to frighten us into destroying our liberties.

    That is just complete bulslhit. No, terrorism can absolutely be a threat to our way of life. Let terrorism become frequent enough and people’s behavior will change. Terrorism can if left unchecked work. Blow up enough shit and kill enough people and people will get the message and start acting the way you want them to.

    Something like the Orlando shooting is absolutely a threat to our way of life, if happens frequently enough. Shoot up enough gay clubs and there won’t be anymore gay clubs because no one is going to risk their lives to go to a club. And people are risk adverse and the rewards of a particular activity small for most people. So it doesn’t take much terrorism to get people to change. How many gay clubs would you have to shoot up to get gays to start thinking twice about going to them? Even in a country this large, no more ten or fifteen if you did it over a short period. And if you did it within a city, less than that. Sure, there would be gay clubs elsewhere, but shoot up a few on them in one city, it won’t be there.

    Ron seems to either be in denial or have no idea how terrorism actually works.

    1. Islamic terrorism is 1)political violence 2)random violence and 3)an ‘other’ attacking ‘us.’ It’s all the worst shit rolled into one. The existence of people who aren’t even on the spectrum who don’t understand this is baffling to me.

      1. I think it is that people like Ron’s entire world view is based on the assumption that everyone at heart is reasonable enough they can be reasoned with and either bought off or deterred. Ron understands that some people are evil and nasty. Where he goes wrong is he thinks that everyone who is so can be effectively deterred by the threat of jail or death from doing too much damage. Terrorists don’t fit that description. They want to die in their attack and thus can’t be deterred or reasoned with. And since they can’t be deterred, killing them or dealing with them after they have struck does very little good.

        1. I suspect Ron also follows the nice, “enlightened” line that all religions are basically the same, and that all have bad apples, and so there’s no inherent connection between “mainstream Islam” and Islamic political violence. Unfortunately, there is.

          1. What if every nation in the world were a prosperous commercial republic? What would international relations look like? They would look a lot like what is happening within Europe today — growing peaceful integration of economies, increasingly open borders, and shrinking military forces. By aggressively expanding the scope of free institutions worldwide, we ultimately guarantee our own liberties at home.

            He’s learned nothing.

            1. There are numerous raped European women who would not agree that “increasingly open borders” improved their liberty.

    2. Blow up enough shit and kill enough people and people will get the message and start acting the way you want them to.

      But isn’t they way that is accomplished largely by frightening us into destroying our liberties?

      I don’t think anyone is saying “do nothing about terrorism, it’s no big deal”. What people are saying is that we shouldn’t overestimate the threat and let that drive policies that threaten our liberty and way of life.

      You are quite right that terrorism is a potential threat to our way of life. Part of what we need to do to defend against that threat is not to allow it to push us into threatening our own freedoms and way of life.

      1. But isn’t they way that is accomplished largely by frightening us into destroying our liberties?

        The way it is accomplished is people decide they don’t want to get killed and stop doing whatever it is you want them to stop doing or do something or whatever. It is political terrorism. You use targeted or random acts of violence to achieve a political end. The threat is not that “oh my God we will over react”. the threat is the people conducting the terrorism will through violence and fear get the public to give them what they want.

        I don’t think anyone is saying “do nothing about terrorism, it’s no big deal”. What people are saying is that we shouldn’t overestimate the threat and let that drive policies that threaten our liberty and way of life.

        That is what Ron is saying. He is saying that the only threat is that we will over react. And that is just bunk. And you always claim “sure there is some threat”, but I have once seen you or any of the staff admit to just what you think that threat is. It is forever just a theoretical admission made for the purpose of showing that the argument that this particular threat is not real is made in good faith. The threat of terrorism is always real but never actually what we are talking about.

        1. And you always claim “sure there is some threat”, but I have once seen you or any of the staff admit to just what you think that threat is

          From the article:

          “Your odds of dying from a lightning strike are about 10 times higher than your chances of being killed in a terrorist attack.”

          Translation, just to make it explicitly clear:

          Yes, there is “some threat,” and IT IS INFINITESIMALLY SMALL. There is a very, very long list of things that are much bigger threats that we routinely ignore to no great consequence.

          1. Lightning is not part of a worldwide movement which has as a basic tenet of their faith, the belief that their destiny is to create a worldwide theocratic dictatorship.

            Agency matters.

            The odds of an American being killed by a Japanese or German soldier were also really slim in 1940.

            1. Agency matters.

              What are you even trying to say?

              The odds of an American being killed by a Japanese or German soldier were also really slim in 1940.

              OK. So? Was it a mistake to not pre-emptively forbid Germans and Japanese to come to this country?

              1. The point is that it’s foolish to compare purely random dangers, or those caused by natural forces, with the dangers posed by large political movements that want to kill you. Statistics do not work well when predicting the dangers of the latter.

                It would have been really stupid to let in Nazis or Japanese imperialists who were persecuted or displaced by other Nazis or Japanese imperialists.

          2. Hey Square. Do you walk around with metal poles in thunderstorms? If not, what would the risk of being hit by lightening if you did?

            You have a small risk of that happening to you because you avoid doing certain things. We have a small risk of terrorism today. Maybe that is also because we have avoided doing certain things, like importing a significant Muslim population?

            1. As I said above, a suggestion, by way of following your analogy:

              Don’t go running around the Gaza strip with an “Israel for the Jews!” sign hung around your neck.

              Barring that, you should be fine. I’ll even bet significant money on it.

              1. And don’t go running around there with a Muhammad cartoon or saying Muhammad was a fake. That will get you killed just as fast.

                But hey, making it so that you can’t draw Muhammad or criticize Islam in this country is just making people take reasonable precautions not a threat to our freedom.

                Thanks for playing.

                1. But hey, making it so that you can’t draw Muhammad or criticize Islam in this country is just making people take reasonable precautions not a threat to our freedom.

                  Who the fuck ever said that?

                  *suddenly realizes he’s having conversation with John; shakes self out of it*

            2. How many is “significant?” One million? Two? Three?

              There are already over 3 million Muslims in America.

              1. Long past time to stop digging that hole.

      2. You are quite right that terrorism is a potential threat to our way of life. Part of what we need to do to defend against that threat is not to allow it to push us into threatening our own freedoms and way of life.

        We need to limit the threat of it so that such measures are not necessary. The problem is that Ron and the rest of reason really isn’t interested in taking such measures. They act like we can have totally open borders and import a huge Muslim population and that in no way creates a threat of terrorism or the danger that we will have to give up our rights in order to deal with it.

        1. An irrelevant aside, but important to me–how do you apply italics font onto your text in this Comments section? Some kind of special HTML markings? Thank you!

      3. But isn’t they way that is accomplished largely by frightening us into destroying our liberties?

        The destruction of our liberties is largely responsible for our inability to control our risk of terrorism in the first place.

  24. If you don’t think terrorism is a threat to our way of life, go look at what is happening to the Jewish population in France. You murder and harass enough Jews for a long enough time, they get the message and decide to live somewhere else. And then you pick your next group and repeat the process.

    1. Sweden also.

      1. Women no longer being able to walk alone in public or being able to wear anything but the most conservative clothes is just no big deal. It is not a threat to our way of life. It is a compromise we all have to make so Muslims can roam free.

        1. It seems like just yesterday that Cytotoxic was here, proclaiming that “no-go zones” were just a figment of everyone’s imagination.

  25. what these fearmongers fail to remember is that our Second Article of Ammendment clearly places the burden for national security…upon US, the People. Yes, it does., Not well, it does NOT declare that the right to arms goes to government, military, police, militia, National Guard…. no, it is for THE PEOPLE. Why? Because “the security of a free state” is the clear responsibility of THE PEOPLE, which is WHY that right to arms is guaranteed US.

    Yes, we form military, militia, police, national guard…. and we form those entities as ARMED INDIVIDUALS, just as we did in the era of our war for independence.

    Time that thinking gets reclaimed.

  26. Since when are foreign-located noncitizens eligible for U.S. Constitutional rights, or owed entry into the U.S.? We see about two-plus billion additional folks who want to come here right now, most of whom would undoubtedly be good citizens. Some will not. Also certainly, 2B+ could not squeeze into the space. It seems to me that the author could justify admitting those 2B+ using his same argument. That current 120-day evaluation period might be a good thing. We’ll see. If not, then it’s time to speak.

    This kind of overly casual advocacy piece, along with that insulting bit about the weensy statistical chances of being killed by a terrorist makes us libertarians look like indulgent donkeys, especially if one of those weensy statistics happens to pull off a homicidal incident. We don’t need any more “Aleppo moments.”

    “End of Doom” is excellent. Everybody buy or borrow one.

    1. Constitutional rights aren’t just extended to citizens. The courts have ruled on that numerous times. Bailey’s mention of the infinitesimal risks associated with terrorism is right on. For some reason, people like yourself (and the majority of Americans) just can’t get it through your skulls that you are much more susceptible to deaths associated with heart disease and diabetes than you are from some crazed bomber. It’s not indulgent. It’s reality.

      1. Although I never reply to posts, I saw this on the way up-screen to get some (unrelated) HTML computer advice from an earlier commenter. Since I could learn something from your particular post, I’ll request this: Can you list three U.S. federal court decisions judicially granting Bill of Rights guarantees to foreign-located, non-citizens, who do not have U.S. visa or work-based (or maybe family) connections? I assumed that there would be none and have never heard of any such, but if you say you have found numerous positive examples, this would be something any libertarian had better know and look up. I certainly would need to.

        Thank you.

      2. Constitutional rights aren’t just extended to citizens. The courts have ruled on that numerous times.

        Indeed: some Constitutional rights also apply to non-citizens with US borders. However, no non-citizen has a Constitutional right to enter the US, and no non-citizen has a Constitutional right to remain in the US. That’s not just US law, that’s international law.

        For some reason, people like yourself (and the majority of Americans) just can’t get it through your skulls that you are much more susceptible to deaths associated with heart disease and diabetes than you are from some crazed bomber. It’s not indulgent. It’s reality.

        I’m not worried about terrorism. What I’m worried about is letting in hundreds of thousands of people with no understanding of liberal democracy, poor English proficiency, and few jobs skills; people who are going to add to an already large class of effectively unemployable people.

        I’m all for immigration from anywhere: anybody who is proficient in English, can hold a job making at least twice the median US wage, and can demonstrate a commitment to liberal and Constitutional principles should be able to come and work in the US; any non-citizen who cannot provide for themselves, either through earnings or insurance, should be deported.

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  28. What they actually would or wouldn’t have done without the sting encouragement is impossible to know.

  29. Liberty-loving Americans should refuse to be terrorized by either bomb-throwing malefactors or security-state authoritarians.

    Liberty-loving Americans should also stop letting people smoke blow up their asses: Obama was a disaster for privacy and individual liberties, and that problem was compounded by the fact that much of it was fly-by-night operations, that Obama was really skilled at obfuscation, and that the press has given him a free pass.

    However, liberty-loving Americans should also stop deluding themselves that the US is responsible for liberty in the rest of the world or that any foreign democracy automatically likes us or aligns with our interests. US Constitutional guarantees generally end with US borders. Furthermore, whether the administration is Democratic or Republican, when push comes to shove, any president will choose totalitarianism over democracy abroad if it benefits American voters.

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  31. As a magazine that cancelled a Draw Muhammed contest out of fears for the safety of your staff, I think you damn well know that terrorism threatens our liberties directly, no government required, and exactly which sort of terrorists are the primary threat. Continue lying about it to dishonestly sell your open borders shtick if you want.

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