The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hamilton on the protection of liberties.

An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty. An over-scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretense and artifice, the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good. It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that jealousy is the usual concomitant of love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.

This, I believe, should serve as a warning to the ACLU who have in my opinion long been overstepping their bounds - whether by defending the activities of NAMBLA (Curley v. NAMBLA), opposing Megan's Law, arguing against the criminalization of child pornography (New York v. Ferber) or trumping the rights and privacy of parents (Polovchak v. Meese) even claiming that children have a standing right to privacy from their parents (AAP v. Lungren). Most aggregiously it has attempted to censor even the smallest mention of any religion under the guise of separation of church and state, completely misinterpreting and misrepresenting the intent of the First Amendment.

On other First Amendment news:
Idiots. Just idiots. I can't believe this almost passed. This illustrates congress taking a First Amendment issue too far in the OTHER direction. Never NEVER should the U.S. constitution be used to LIMIT a freedom, particularly speech, I don't care how horrendous it may be. This goes along the same vein as enacting a wide-ranging law to protect funerals from protesters - while protesting at military funerals is a horrendous act, we must take care that any anti-picketing laws are not so far reaching that they overstep their bounds by outright preventing the expression of opinions under the First Amendment.


  • At 1:30 AM, Blogger Wang said…

    word to your mother x10.

    it's like nobody thinks anymore. next we'll see an amendment banning potato skin fries.

  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger Brian said…

    The best response I saw to the flag amendment was actually written by a Brit, who argued that Americans are rare for the fact that they do not fight to protect their flag during times of battle, as proponents of the ban claim, but instead to protect the Constitution and Bill of Rights. To argue otherwise is to trivialize what really makes this nation great: laws, not symbols.

    Additionally, he raised the question: what is a flag? Is it a piece of paper on a toothpick stuck in a sandwich? Is it a tv shirt done up as the flag? How about a postcard of the American flag? The sheer selectivity shown in trying to protect the "flag" illustrates how this issue is not one of deep-seated belief for most, but instead a shamefully partisan and deceitful chapter in the continuing attempts by some in the Republican Party to classify Democrats and liberals as un-american. Where is HUAC when we need it?


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