The New Alarmism
Thu, 20 Dec 2001 19:28:03 -0800
Please, no need to CC me on replies, I monitor the list.
> > I don't see anyone's natural or constitutional rights being
> > violated in any of these anecdotes --
> It's refreshing to hear someone arguing FOR thought police for a change . . .
No one referenced in the article has been fined, imprisoned, or
anything more than TALKED TO by police for their thoughts and
There *are* real thought police in lots of places around the
world. But none of the people in the referenced article
Specifically, all the police actions described were cordial and
restrained; in contrast, the quotes from "victims" and their
friends extrapolated from the innocuous to the sinister.
The claim that rights are being stifled should only be issued
when... well, rights are really being stifled. To do otherwise is to
devalue the alert -- to cry wolf when there is no wolf, and
thus risk being ignored when a real danger appears.
> > OK, the agents followed the law while following up on a tip
> > that would have been irresponsible to ignore.
> I'd love to know what the tip was, specifically, because when I called the FBI a few months ago about a suspicious foreign visitor
(a Jordanian from Turjekistan seeking asylum) THEY NEVER CALLED BACK.
They've been busy. If the person gave serious indications they
intended violence towards anyone, please call the FBI again.
(If the only thing suspicious was their national origin, please
Good piece on Fleischer. That anyone could be intimidated by
his vague artistry -- as a lot of people suggested in the Maher
affair -- amazes me.