Rand Paul: Christie’s being pretty “flippant about the Bill of Rights”

posted at 11:01 am on July 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

More barbs in the brewing GOP foreign-policy debate that looks like it’s going to be personified at least in part by two of 2016′s probable contenders, with Chris Christie playing up the hawkish side of the argument and Rand Paul reppin’ the libertarian viewpoint. In response to Gov. Christie’s blanket-characterization last week of foreign-policy and national-security libertarianism as a “dangerous thought,” Sen. Paul promised that he wouldn’t shy away from returning fire if Christie was going to try and attack him personally and write him off as isolationist — and on Hannity on Monday night, return fire Paul did.


He may have heard that the Republican party is on life support in the northeast. Republicans are in danger of becoming an endangered species, so it’s not real smart for Republicans to be attacking Republicans. But I would remind him that I think what’s dangerous in our country is to forget that we have a Bill of Rights, to forget about privacy, to give up all of our liberty to say ‘we’re going to catch terrorism, but we have to live in a police state.’ I think it’s really kind of sad and cheap that he would use the cloak of 9/11 victims, and say, ‘I’m the only one who cares about these victims.’ Hogwash. If he cared about protecting this country, maybe he wouldn’t be in this, “Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme all the money you have in Washington, or don’t have,’ and he’d be a little more fiscally responsive and know that the way we defend our country, the way we have enough money for national defense, is by being frugal and not by saying, ‘Gimme, gimme, gimme’ all the time. … I’m for spying in terrorists, I’m not for spying on every American. And so people like the governor who are, I guess, flippant about privacy, flippant about the 4th Amendment, and flippant about the Bill of Rights, they do an injustice to our soldiers. Our soldiers are laying their life on the line for the Bill of Rights. So, if we’re not going to stand up for the Bill of Rights, we don’t care about liberty, then I think it’s really a mistake and we’ve gone too far.


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The courts disagree with you. I have an expectation of privacy when transmitting a voice message over 3rd party phone lines, switching networks, microwave and satellite relays, etc.

blink on July 30, 2013 at 12:46 PM

You may have an expectation of privacy, but your expectation is false. You are aware that there are satellites of foriegn powers going by overhead, and microwave monitoring stations on Cuba, and all of the rest — that make any expectation of privacy on your part ephemeral — for if our Government is ignoring the content of your communications (which I believe to be the case), foriegn governments are not.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Security comes after and because of liberty, not the other way around. Trading away liberty for supposed security is what liberals do.

stout77 on July 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Christie is so left wing on everything else so he is trying to stake out the one area where he can be thought of as conservative.

Richard M. Nixon redux

chemman on July 30, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Huge point. While Nixon was big on carpet bombing Cambodia, he turned out to be a big govt / big spending R that instituted price controls, a minimum tax on the wealthy, supported a guaranteed income for all, established the EPA and OSHA, and more. Herbert Stein remarked: “Probably more new regulation was imposed on the economy during the Nixon administration than in any other presidency since the New Deal.” As Doug Schoen put it “Nixon stood for an approach and a philosophy that Republicans abandoned long ago.” So, in Christie do we see echoes of Nixon? Would Nixon have bearhugged Obama like that? Probably not, lol.

anotherJoe on July 30, 2013 at 1:48 PM

No right to privacy in the Bill of Rights. There’s a right to be secure in your possessions, and your home, but no right to privacy.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 11:03 AM

you hve no expectation of privacy when using a 3rd party to transmit a message. if you want this stopped get congress to pass a law, but until that happens it isnt un-Constitutional.

chasdal on July 30, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Oh really?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Are you really going to argue that the government reading my mail somehow does not violate my right to be secure in my papers? Please explain. This should be good.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM

If not, then what is the problem with the Government having the same data?
unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Example. My medical records are not kept at home. I have recourse against disclosure of them without my permission. Every time I have to sign a release for even a blood test. I have no such recourse against the government. So private entities work to protect my privacy.

Private v government is the difference. You accept the statement of “I am from the government and I am here to help you.” at face value. Most here don’t.

CW20 on July 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

In fact, some founders opposed a Bill of Rights specifically because some would use it to say we ONLY have those rights enumerated therein and not others.

DRayRaven on July 30, 2013 at 11:24 AM

You are welcome to assert your rights all you want. But to do so, you must encrypt your communications, because I have a right to use wireshark on my connection to the Internet (for example) and do so — and you wouldn’t believe what other people put out there on my local subnet not even knowing they are doing so.

And the moment you say that our laws must be rooted in something other than the Constitution, you are arguing in favor of Obamacare, Social Security, and a whole raft of other laws which really have no basis in that document.

Be careful of what you wish for — it may come true.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

When Christie first took the national stage, I loved the way he took it to the free-spending Democrats and the greedy teachers’ unions. But before long it became clear the Christie isn’t very conservative. Like many politicians his “principles” often look like crass political expediency. And it didn’t take long to realize the fat man is a bully with a tendency to be personally abusive toward his opponents.

Say what you will about Rand Paul, but I don’t think the fat bully scares him one little bit.

Get the popcorn ready, because this clash of egos and politics is going to be fun to watch.

novaculus on July 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

You may have an expectation of privacy, but your expectation is false.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Um, no, I expect privacy, thank you. In no way does the “modern world” invalidate our right to privacy.

anotherJoe on July 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM

CW20 on July 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

No, you do not. The laws of this country requiring that your medical records be computerized and transmittable in a common format quash whatever putative right you thought you had to privacy.

Now, all of those records are private — by law — but that law excludes the Government.

And you can bet that if you sue your doctor, your medical records become public quite quickly. See Micheal Jackson for the proof.

Besides, how do you think they will be enforcing Obamacare?

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

You may have an expectation of privacy, but your expectation is false. You are aware that there are satellites of foriegn powers going by overhead, and microwave monitoring stations on Cuba, and all of the rest — that make any expectation of privacy on your part ephemeral — for if our Government is ignoring the content of your communications (which I believe to be the case), foriegn governments are not.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

So what if they are? I’m sure there are all sorts of nefarious people honing and refining different methods to violate my rights.

There are no doubt plenty of criminals who have figured out how to murder and steal without getting caught. Guess its ok for the government to do that too, according to the new unclesmrgol might-makes-right doctrine.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Um, no, I expect privacy, thank you. In no way does the “modern world” invalidate our right to privacy.

anotherJoe on July 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM

I would submit that your rights, even under the natural law, are those which can be enforced by you. If you have no way of enforcing a right, it does not belong to you — it is, in essence, a privilege which someone else can take away in an instant.

Prime example: A putative right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is trumped by abortion law.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:58 PM

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

What are you doing on HotAir?

This is an American Conservative site.

It is not a European Right type site of the Francisco Franco variety.

You may want to move to a more NEO-Conservative site.

HotAir is a site of common sense conservatives with the best of libertarianism, Judeo-Christian theology/philosophy, some Kirk tossed in all held together by our God-given rights illustrated/declared in our Declaration of Independence and operationally in our Constitution.

You are really coming across as a European Statist and not an American.

KirknBurker on July 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM

There are no doubt plenty of criminals who have figured out how to murder and steal without getting caught. Guess its ok for the government to do that too, according to the new unclesmrgol might-makes-right doctrine.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Your rights are precisely those which the Government has given to you. The expansive position with regard to those rights comes because we have three branches of Government, and quite a bit of tension between them all. All three branches have to vote for something for it to be true. That’s the case with the right to own a handgun in Chicago and the Social Security laws under which we labor.

If the Government cannot enforce a right on your behalf, or you cannot enforce that right on your own behalf, it does not exist.

As for might makes right — no it does not — but it guarantees rights.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

KirknBurker on July 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM

I could care less about what you think about HotAir or me. I hear clicking noises.

You are not the owner of this site. If the owners want me gone, I’m gone. But I’ve been here for years longer than you, so I guess we’re both ok — for now.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:03 PM

I would submit that your rights, even under the natural law, are those which can be enforced by you. If you have no way of enforcing a right, it does not belong to you — it is, in essence, a privilege which someone else can take away in an instant.

Prime example: A putative right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is trumped by abortion law.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:58 PM

War on earth? What kind of perverse power-worship inspired you towards this definition? How on earth do you even make any sense whatsoever of the notion of a violation of a person’s rights under this definition? Or do you even bother? If someone murders me, and I find myself unable to defend myself because, for whatever reason, they are stronger than me, or have some other advantage, then by your definition my rights were not violated, since I was unable to defend them.

What an utterly vacuous and cynical attitude.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM
blink on July 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

The sound of back-pats in an echo chamber…

verbaluce on July 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

you hve no expectation of privacy when using a 3rd party to transmit a message. if you want this stopped get congress to pass a law, but until that happens it isnt un-Constitutional.

chasdal on July 30, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Exactly what expectation I have is debatable BUT I do have an expectation that my government is not then secretly collecting it without cause and warrant.

Since when are the feds allowed to create from whole cloth a new uncountable branch of government more powerful then all of the other branches with a new unaccountable court more powerful then the SCOTUS. Since when is a government employee, James Clapper, allowed to self admittedly LIE to the congress UNDER OATH. So many police staters on HA(incl. Allah and Ed).

I would work phones for Paul today if I was not so worried about his very pro amnesty stance. He is exactly who we need right now sans his amnesty stance. It’s a fking shame.

BoxHead1 on July 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

CC is no conservative.

alanstern on July 30, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Exactly what expectation I have is debatable

In the case of a 3rd private party.

BoxHead1 on July 30, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Your rights are precisely those which the Government has given to you.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Wonderful. Libfreeordie could never in a thousand years come up with such a succinct perversion of everything our founding fathers fought and died for.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Are you really going to argue that the government reading my mail somehow does not violate my right to be secure in my papers? Please explain. This should be good.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I did not say that they have a right to read the content of your e-mail or your mail without a warrant — but they do have the right to read — and record — the envelope data or to request said data from any ISP whose ADPE was used to process your transmissions.

Again, the Postal Service takes pictures of and stores the data re: the envelope of your paper communications. Your ISP logs the envelope data of your e-mail.

And a whole raft of players, none of them the Government, reads the bodies of anything you send electronically. How do you think Google is able to place ads related to the email in your gmail account? You are using their technology, and you abrogate any right to privacy when you do so.

I have my own mail server, and it sits in a closet in my house. Even then, I expect that the carriers who transit e-mail from others to me or from me to others are possibly examining said e-mail.

When you use facebook, or gmail, or turn on geo-locating on your phone, or even turn on your phone period, expect that even the passive data generated in that situation is being used in ways you cannot foresee.

Again, my rights are those which I am diligent in enforcing — I can lose them in an instant if I drop that diligence. So, if I have something I want to keep secret, I encrypt it before sending (thus availing myself of the encryption portions of DMCA), I never post any useful data to my facebook account (which exists primarily to see the stuff that OTHER facebook people have posted), and I certainly do not turn on my cellphone until I want to call somebody…

In order for you to assert any protection to yourself, your home, your papers, your effects — they must be undeniably yours. When you sign away those rights with a Terms of Service contract with a third party, that third party owns all the things you signed away, and can give said things to the Government if they wish.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Wonderful. Libfreeordie could never in a thousand years come up with such a succinct perversion of everything our founding fathers fought and died for.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Our founding fathers enshrined slavery in our Constitution. That inferred a property right on slaveholders which only the Civil War broke.

Now, in that whole matter, what were the rights of the slaves? What Constitutional protections did they have as persons?

What gave the slaves their rights was force of arms.

When you guys talk about enforcing the border, that’s exactly what you are talking about.

The Constitution and the Magna Carta and a whole raft of uplifting documents had their enforcement won by force of arms.

While you guys fritter away the day whining about how someone — the Government — knowing whom you called is an invasion of your privacy, there’s some terrorist someplace scheming to take away your right to life, and which one, in the end, would you prefer to lose if you had a choice? The metadata from your phone conversation, or your life?

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM

there’s some terrorist someplace scheming to take away your right to life, and which one, in the end, would you prefer to lose if you had a choice? The metadata from your phone conversation, or your life?

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM

My life, because at least my family would be able to live in a free land, rather than as slaves to people like you.

Of course that isn’t the choice because that massive spying network didn’t stop the Boston Bomber, or Fort Hood, etc. It’s a false choice.

sharrukin on July 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Next door neighbors eavesdropping on my conversations through an open window in my home don’t negate my expectation of privacy. They are violating my privacy.

No they aren’t. They are allowed to hear everything which comes through your open window. Now, if you close the window, and they then put their ear to your glass, that’s a completely different story, is it not?

Should law enforcement attempt to tap phone lines without a warrant and then claim that the evidence is free game simply because the Cubans might have heard the conversations, too? Seriously?

blink on July 30, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I submit that the Court erroneously found against the Government in the wiretap cases. However, it is the protection you think we have, and it is enshrined in law.

Now, suppose the phone company records whom you call, and when you call them, and how long each call lasted, but they never record the content of the call. That’s obviously data which (in an earlier era) would have been used to bill you for your use of their service. Whose data is all of that? Is it yours, or is it theirs?

I submit that it is theirs. And I submit that if they wish, they can share it with the Government. And, further, I submit that in the moment your call crosses our border, everything about it becomes able to be examined by the Government. That latter point IS in the Constitution.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:31 PM

“Security comes after and because of liberty, not the other way around. Trading away liberty for supposed security is what liberals do.”

stout77 on July 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Very well said! I call them progressives or communists myself. Which includes the current resident of the WH.

tomshup on July 30, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Your rights are precisely those which the Government has given to you.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Crack pot.

John the Libertarian on July 30, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Your rights are precisely those which the Government has given to you.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Crack pot.

John the Libertarian on July 30, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Yeah. I didn’t really have an opinion about this guy until today, but hoo boy – what a knucklehead. Him and StoicPatriot need to go find a country that deserves them.

beatcanvas on July 30, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Our founding fathers enshrined slavery in our Constitution. That inferred a property right on slaveholders which only the Civil War broke.

Now, in that whole matter, what were the rights of the slaves?

The same as everyone else’s.

What Constitutional protections did they have as persons?

Few to none.

Why on earth would you conflate these questions? What purpose is there in defining rights this way other than sophistry?

What gave the slaves their rights was force of arms.

The Constitution and the Magna Carta and a whole raft of uplifting documents had their enforcement won by force of arms.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM

So much for your disavowal of “might-makes-right”.

As for might makes right — no it does not — but it guarantees rights.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

You say force “gave”, “enforced”, and “guarantees” rights, while not “making” them – sentiments man might agree with (though “gave” and guarantee” are vague). But it’s all sophistry, because you say earlier

Your rights are precisely those which the Government has given to you.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

When push comes to shove, the only rights that exist for you are those won through force, or granted by those who rule. You do not describe rights – you describe powers. Do you think it is an accident that the word “right” is also used as an adjective to describe moral validity? Why do you to discard any connection to morality or goodness, or any remote connection to the “ought” question, and instead define rights in terms of power? We already have more than enough words to describe power and force and violence.

Explain how your definition is anything other than the most dishonest sophistry.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 3:29 PM

in the end, would you prefer to lose if you had a choice? The metadata from your phone conversation, or your life?

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” ~Samuel Adams

PoliTech on July 30, 2013 at 3:37 PM

I would submit that your rights, even under the natural law, are those which can be enforced by you. If you have no way of enforcing a right, it does not belong to you — it is, in essence, a privilege which someone else can take away in an instant.

Prime example: A putative right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is trumped by abortion law.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:58 PM

There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it.

Lord Voldermort

When your moral philosophy becomes indistinguishable from an evil wizard’s, perhaps it’s a sign you need to rethink things.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 3:41 PM

If not, then what is the problem with the Government having the same data?
unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:39 PM

There are several problems.
1- if a private company misuses, loses, or shares your data without consent, you can sue them. And win. Happens pretty often. Good luck suing the government when they accidentally give out/lose your info.

2- The government doesn’t adequately screen the people that they share data with. You know who’s getting access to the health data? Unions and other liberal groups that are helping with Obamacare outreach efforts.

3- Our government was set up with restrictions. Loosing those restrictions gives government more control over our life. Amazon can’t force me to pay a fine if I don’t buy a book from them. But now, thanks to the Supreme Court, Uncle Sam can charge me a fine for not buying insurance. Back in the day, the Feds couldn’t bust into your house without a warrant. But now, “no knock” raids are becoming all too common.

4- Too many hands. If a small group of people had access to our data, that would be fine. But the Federal bureacracy is HUGE; millions of people have some level of classified access. All it takes is one bad apple among those millions to ruin your life by stealing/sharing your data. And government systems tend not to have the firewalls to prevent sharing that private companies are often REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW to keep people from seeing too much of your information.

5- Force. Amazon can’t put me in jail, or shoot me. But Uncle Sam can. And if they can read every piece of junk mail I receive, heck, even SEND me suspicious emails, then they can create a pretext to do whatever they want to me.

4-

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 4:06 PM

I would submit that your rights, even under the natural law, are those which can be enforced by you. If you have no way of enforcing a right, it does not belong to you — it is, in essence, a privilege which someone else can take away in an instant.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 1:58 PM

A good pro-2nd Amendment argument. But are you saying there’s no such crime as rape? If you successfully drive off the rapist, there’s no crime, but if you can’t win that fight, then it’s still not a crime?

Taken a step further – can you dodge bullets? If you can’t, then you can’t enforce your right to life. And if I’m able to hit you with a bullet, then you didn’t actually possess any expectation of life.

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 4:09 PM

in the end, would you prefer to lose if you had a choice? The metadata from your phone conversation, or your life?

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Give me liberty, or give me death.

I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 4:11 PM

And so people like the governor who are, I guess, flippant about privacy, flippant about the 4th Amendment, and flippant about the Bill of Rights

Flippant (adj)
Not showing a serious or respectful attitude

It’s not terribly respectful to the 4th amendment or the Bill of Rights to pretend that there is a “right to privacy” when no such right exists, Senator.

Stoic Patriot on July 30, 2013 at 4:19 PM

It’s not terribly respectful to the 4th amendment or the Bill of Rights to pretend that there is a “right to privacy” when no such right exists, Senator.

Stoic Patriot on July 30, 2013 at 4:19 PM

He says nowhere in the above passage that the bill of rights explicitly confers a “right to privacy”, and does not even use that phrase, referring instead to Christie’s flippancy about privacy itself. Even had he claimed that the bill of rights itself included a “right to privacy”, no intellectually honest person would deny that this is the essence of the 4th amendment, which expressly restricts the government’s authority to intrude upon key aspects of my private life.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Your rights are precisely those which the Government has given to you.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Um, no. The government’s powers are those that we precisely gave to it.

You’ve got this ass backwards.

Resist We Much on July 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

He says nowhere in the above passage that the bill of rights explicitly confers a “right to privacy”, and does not even use that phrase, referring instead to Christie’s flippancy about privacy itself.

No, but he does place privacy in the same “flippant” list as the 4th amendment and the Bill of Rights, thereby associating them.

Even had he claimed that the bill of rights itself included a “right to privacy”, no intellectually honest person would deny that this is the essence of the 4th amendment, which expressly restricts the government’s authority to intrude upon key aspects of my private life.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I do. The 4th puts in place a protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The essence of the 4th amendment is more about property, its rummaging through and taking one’s belongings, not the government’s ability to observe.

Stoic Patriot on July 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Well, I’m sure not letting you take me with you.

With respect to the metadata, I’m taking the knee, like a good reciever, because while I might be willing to die for my country, I don’t want my wife or children to have to do the same because I was hard-headedly stupid.

Those who would prefer absolute liberty over security will soon find that they have neither.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Resist We Much on July 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

With the 14th Amendment, what powers did you give to Government Of the People, By the People, For the People?

There is now no power invested in any State which does not derive from the federal Constitution.

The states are now out of the equation — it is only the People and their Government.

Now, you want the Government not to have access to your metadata — well, go ahead and fight for it. But when you do stupid things like try to take away one of the best weapons we have for fighting terrorism, don’t expect me to follow your ugly lead — or to have any respect for your position.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Those who would prefer absolute liberty over security will soon find that they have neither.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Absolute liberty and a police state are not the only two options avaialble.

They missed the Boston Bomber, they missed Fort Hood, and they have missed others as well. The security you desire doesn’t exist and allowing a massive domestic spying program didn’t work.

So what are you trading your liberty for?

sharrukin on July 30, 2013 at 5:21 PM

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 4:06 PM

1 – Agreed. That’s why they won’t do business with you unless you give your consent. Look at Google’s Terms of Service for a prime example.

2 – Agreed. But that’s not the NSA — which was Rand Paul’s target. Proxy targets are in the realm of idiocy.

3 – Agreed. But that’s not addressing the issue of the NSA and the War on Terror — which is Rand Paul’s proxy target. Filburn v. Wickard was a very bad decision — and it now comes back to haunt us.

4 – Agreed. But that’s not addressing the issue of the NSA and the War on Terror. Only a small number of people had access to that data. I doubt Mr. Snowden had access to it — although he did have access to the powerpoint slides describing the show. I’m hoping he either never comes back here, or that he comes back in chains. Unlike Manning, is there any doubt that Snowden wilfully gave material aid to the enemy? Not in my mind…

5 – Agreed. But force is what we also call sovereignty. It’s what plenty of you guys want to do along the border. You want that fence even if it means putting it on private lands, and you want officers patrolling the border, even if it means that they transit private lands in doing so. And if they should — it would be completely fair, would it not — the subjugation of a minor right of the people in that area for the greater good of both them and the other people of the United States? As for sending you suspicious e-mails, you are never responsible for that which you receive, only that which you send. And I agree, if the Government, or anyone else for that matter, really wants to plant false evidence, there are technical means for doing so. But in the case of e-mail, they must not only subvert your e-mail id, they must subvert the server you use, for the quadruple that describes a valid e-mail conversation consists on one side of both your offered identity and the IP address of your server. But that also has nothing to do with the NSA or its metadata gathering.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 5:24 PM

I do. The 4th puts in place a protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The essence of the 4th amendment is more about property, its rummaging through and taking one’s belongings, not the government’s ability to observe.

Stoic Patriot on July 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Bull. It guarantees me security in my papers. It is absolutely disingenuous to propose that that does not include private written correspondence. If that is not included in a right to be secure in my papers, then the right has no meaning.

As for your emphasis on “unreasonable”, the amendment explicitly states that warrants are to be issued only “upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation”. Is it your claim that the issuing of a warrant is not necessary to establish that a search is reasonable? What then is the point of mentioning “warrant” at all, if you don’t need one to violate the security of an individual’s papers?

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 5:28 PM

sharrukin on July 30, 2013 at 5:21 PM

I’m in complete agreement. I’m not agreeable to the Government having the content of my conversations without a warrant, but I’m certainly agreeable to them collecting the metadata — the envelope — surrounding my conversations — if that will aid in preventing a terrorist attack upon any American anywhere in the world.

And the program didn’t work because for it to work, it needs to have a focus. The screw ups in the case of the Boston Bomber were completely human. The data was there — which it would not have been if these programs were not in place — but it was not used.

That’s why they picked up the accomplices so quickly — they looked at the comm net around them and found that the Tsarneavs were not alone in their jihadi world here in the USA.

You don’t think it worked. I think it has worked, but failed in this particular case.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Bull. It guarantees me security in my papers. It is absolutely disingenuous to propose that that does not include private written correspondence. If that is not included in a right to be secure in my papers, then the right has no meaning.

It’s hardly disingenuous. The unreasonable qualifier means that, yes, they can search through and seize them. There then exists a question as to whether or not they can search without seizure and incur no restraint whatsoever on their actions. That’s something which the Constitution does not explicitly address.

As for your emphasis on “unreasonable”, the amendment explicitly states that warrants are to be issued only “upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation”. Is it your claim that the issuing of a warrant is not necessary to establish that a search is reasonable? What then is the point of mentioning “warrant” at all, if you don’t need one to violate the security of an individual’s papers?

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 5:28 PM

The warrants clause specifies how a warrant is to be created. It does not actually require they be issued (hence why we allow searches in ‘exigent circumstances’ that require no warrant).

Ultimately you’re taking a very narrowly-defined right, and trying to create a broader, more expansive right from it. It’s like having a provision that guarantees a right to drive a sedan, and then saying it guarantees the right to drive a monster truck because they’re both vehicles. Tangential relation does not an equivalency make.

Stoic Patriot on July 30, 2013 at 5:37 PM

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Who defines rape? And what protection do we have against it?

Do all those police officers with guns have anything to do with rape prevention? Do the courts? Do the prisons?

Rape is a libertarian doing what libertarians tend to do — taking every last bit of what they think is their right without any thought as to what the rights of other people might be. A position that they could care less what happens to you, as long as their rights are kept intact.

Some people want to live. Part of our laws are dedicated to making sure that people get to live, and that those who would take away that right (yes, right) are prevented from doing so, or are punished should they do so.

It’s why we have prisons, and, interestingly, a desire that felons not be accorded the same 2nd Amendment rights that a law-abiding person should have…

And if me giving up my metadata allows people to live, then who am I to take away their lives?

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I’m in complete agreement. I’m not agreeable to the Government having the content of my conversations without a warrant, but I’m certainly agreeable to them collecting the metadata — the envelope — surrounding my conversations — if that will aid in preventing a terrorist attack upon any American anywhere in the world.

That information is of use to be utilized against an individual or it isn’t.

If it is of no use, then collecting it is meaningless and should end.

If it can be used against an individual then it can be a threat against the citizenry and should end absent a warrant and just cause. Calling it metadata doesn’t change that.

You don’t think it worked. I think it has worked, but failed in this particular case.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 5:33 PM

You are trading your liberty for nothing. It didn’t save any lives and that in my opinion, isn’t its purpose.

It is a domestic control operation, which is why the Mosques are off-limits to FBI surveillance. The terrorists are an excuse, not the target.

sharrukin on July 30, 2013 at 5:57 PM

The warrants clause specifies how a warrant is to be created. It does not actually require they be issued (hence why we allow searches in ‘exigent circumstances’ that require no warrant).

This is what I mean when I talk about sophistry. If there is no requirement to issue a warrant then the warrants clause is vacuous. There is a difference between strictness and pedantry.

Certainly, one can argue there are exceptional situations where obtaining the warrant ahead of time is not practical, but how on earth can you go from there to the conclusion that there is no general requirement for a warrant at all?

Ultimately you’re taking a very narrowly-defined right, and trying to create a broader, more expansive right from it. It’s like having a provision that guarantees a right to drive a sedan, and then saying it guarantees the right to drive a monster truck because they’re both vehicles. Tangential relation does not an equivalency make.

Stoic Patriot on July 30, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Removing the requirement for a warrant does not articulate a narrowly-defined right, it establishes a meaningless, nonsensical right.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 6:01 PM

This article is all about NSA, FISC, FISA, the Judges on FISC and who appoints them and much much more.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3049062/posts

bluefox on July 30, 2013 at 6:25 PM

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 6:01 PM

I won’t deny that it’s silly, but silliness is hardly unprecedented in the Constitution. Consider the second amendment. The key provision of the amendment is this:

the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

However, it’s also preceded by words that add absolutely nothing to it, namely:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State

In terms of legal abilities or restrictions, this language does absolutely nothing. It’s a statement of purpose, but does not actually impose constraints nor does it remove them. You could eliminate the entire first phrase of the second amendment and in effect change absolutely nothing.

Stoic Patriot on July 30, 2013 at 6:28 PM

In terms of legal abilities or restrictions, this language does absolutely nothing. It’s a statement of purpose, but does not actually impose constraints nor does it remove them. You could eliminate the entire first phrase of the second amendment and in effect change absolutely nothing.

Stoic Patriot on July 30, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Completely different. As you say, it is a statement of purpose, and does not have any legal weight. Neither does, for example, the preamble. They do not pretend to do so either. That does not render either of them meaningless.

The warrants clause says nothing about purpose – it lays out explicit requirements for search warrants, within the same sentence that unreasonable searches are proscribed. A “warrant” is a legal statement that a search is warranted (hence the name), i.e., not unreasonable. The clause is therefore plainly intended to have legal meaning, as it refers to an explicit legal construct, in contrast to the second amendment’s first clause. Refusing to acknowledge this requires willful pedantry; apparently we are to dissociate the two clauses not, as in the second amendment situation, because one of the clauses is extralegal, but rather because it is convenient for the government to pretend that a list of requirements for a search warrant, in a sentence proscribing unreasonable searches, is completely meaningless.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 7:25 PM

NeitherNor does, for example, the preamble.

Knew there was something off there.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Rand Paul is a conservative version of Barack Obama. He has no experience to qualify him for the Presidency, but he’s set himself up as an authority on the Constitution. His education is in medicine. His main source of legal education is his old man.

I don’t want another Senator as the GOP candidate. I have no opinion on anyone else, but don’t let it be someone as easy to demolish as Rand Paul.

flataffect on July 30, 2013 at 9:12 PM

Some people want to live. Part of our laws are dedicated to making sure that people get to live, and that those who would take away that right (yes, right) are prevented from doing so, or are punished should they do so.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 5:39 PM

But didn’t you say that rights only extend as far as you’re able to enforce them? If that’s true, then isn’t the law meaningless? Laws are a way to enforce societal norms, and those norms are based on a broadly shared assumption of the inherent value of certain things. In America, those things are enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. If you’re saying the shared values represented in those documents are no longer recognized, then what’s the basis for the law?

And if me giving up my metadata allows people to live, then who am I to take away their lives?

If you want to voluntarily give information to the government, I’m fine with that. But who are you to force me to give away something I consider to be valuable? Privacy, the right to live my life without nosy neighbors and police officers peeking over my shoulders, has value. That’s why dictators create police states – the fear and paranoia of knowing that all of your actions may be tracked is a powerful tool in keeping the masses docile.

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Rand Paul is a conservative version of Barack Obama. He has no experience to qualify him for the Presidency, but he’s set himself up as an authority on the Constitution. His education is in medicine. His main source of legal education is his old man.

I don’t want another Senator as the GOP candidate. I have no opinion on anyone else, but don’t let it be someone as easy to demolish as Rand Paul.

flataffect on July 30, 2013 at 9:12 PM

He is inexperienced. But his positions on the issues are pretty much the polar opposite of Obama’s. I agree with not wanting another Senator, but Rand isn’t the old “compromise your way to the top” Senator that we’ve come to know and detest. He knows what he believes in, and isn’t afraid to talk about it. Paul being in the primaries will be a refreshing change of pace. There’s no point right now in trying to project who our candidate will be at this point – let’s give the process a year or three to play out. 2016 is a long way off.

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 10:26 PM

The data was there — which it would not have been if these programs were not in place — but it was not used.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 5:33 PM

The Tsarnaevs were handed to us by the Russians. But somehow the surveillance state couldn’t figure out they were up to something. Maybe they were focused on reading my fantasy football emails.

And Tsarnaev wasn’t caught by the NSA. He was caught by an alert civilian who noticed movement in his boat.

Warrants require the government to assemble a case. That work is important. Believing that you can munch Doritos while the computers find the bad guys is a fool’s paradise. It’s a shortcut that limits the ability of the good guys to catch and beat the bad guys. And history proves it.

Cold War Communist countries were notorious for spying on their own citizens. But they weren’t able to prevent the overthrow of their governments, were they?

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 10:32 PM

This is an American Conservative site.

You may want to move to a more NEO-Conservative site.

HotAir is a site of common sense conservatives with the best of libertarianism, Judeo-Christian theology/philosophy, some Kirk tossed in all held together by our God-given rights illustrated/declared in our Declaration of Independence and operationally in our Constitution.

KirknBurker on July 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM

LOL!!!!

HotAir’s entire premise was based on promoting the neo-con Bush and all of his neo-con, warmongering, compassionate-conservative, big govt policies. And somehow it went downhill from there promoting/defending RINOs and clowns campaigning for RINO’s.

But as misguided as Malkin was, she still had the nuts to make videos, and take on Leftists and Leftist media head to head on TV news and such, not worrying about burning bridges whatsoever. She didn’t water herself down to try to fit in with the hopes of being the mainstream giggling moderate conservative sidekick that Ed obviously dreamed/failed to be.

nottakingsides on July 30, 2013 at 10:33 PM

That information is of use to be utilized against an individual or it isn’t.

If it is of no use, then collecting it is meaningless and should end.

If it can be used against an individual then it can be a threat against the citizenry and should end absent a warrant and just cause. Calling it metadata doesn’t change that.

sharrukin on July 30, 2013 at 5:57 PM

False reasoning. The data is public. It does not belong to you. You cannot claim ownership of your envelope information because it is made public to be used by others in the performance of business. The Government has every right to collect it, if, by collecting it, the Government fulfills at least one of its Constitutional requirements for existence.

One of those requirements is defense of the people.

unclesmrgol on July 30, 2013 at 11:57 PM

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 10:32 PM

I didn’t say the Tsarnaevs’ were caught by these records — I said their accomplices were. There are three other men currently in custody, in addition to Little Brother.

I don’t believe the Government is spying on me — any more than I think the Postal Service is spying on me when it takes pictures of the mail I send.

We live in perilous times. Our enemies are inside our borders, just as they were during the Civil War. And believing that we can find the modern version of the Copperheads without the data to munch is a fool’s idea. Those computers munching away are controlled by humans. If you looked at the slides Mr. Snowden so thoughtfully provided, you’ll note the kinds of data which could be searched. And all of it involves metadata — or as I would call it — pictures of envelopes.

And, as I’ve stated above, collecting what is on an envelope does not require a warrant.

unclesmrgol on July 31, 2013 at 12:08 AM

If you want to voluntarily give information to the government, I’m fine with that. But who are you to force me to give away something I consider to be valuable? Privacy, the right to live my life without nosy neighbors and police officers peeking over my shoulders, has value. That’s why dictators create police states – the fear and paranoia of knowing that all of your actions may be tracked is a powerful tool in keeping the masses docile.

hawksruleva on July 30, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Has anyone forced you to do anything? But data about you is being collected from people with whom you transact business — and they are giving it willingly. To halt that collection, that giving, convince your providers to not do so, or, alternatively, stop using those providers.

In the days when the Constitution was written, there were no telephones, but there certainly was mail — the exact physical analogue to the electronic communications we have today. What did the Court have to say about mail, even in the earliest years? Was the envelope allowed to be read by the Government? When was the content of the envelope allowed to be read by the Government? When the telegraph first appeared, what portions of a telegraph message was allowed to be given to the Government? How did Abraham Lincoln make use of this fact in war? How long did it take to remedy that obvious invasion of privacy with respect to communication? When telephones arose, was that physical analogue used to describe what portions of a communication were allowed to be examined by the Government?

The answers guide my opinion on this matter today.

unclesmrgol on July 31, 2013 at 12:22 AM

When your moral philosophy becomes indistinguishable from an evil wizard’s, perhaps it’s a sign you need to rethink things.

RINO in Name Only on July 30, 2013 at 3:41 PM

When your moral philosophy prevents you from defeating evil wizards, perhaps it’s time to rethink it.

unclesmrgol on July 31, 2013 at 12:24 AM

PoliTech on July 30, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Strange. He mentions arms. What kinds of arms are needed to defeat terrorists? And who are the lickspittles who would rather go home than provide the arms needed to defeat evil?

unclesmrgol on July 31, 2013 at 12:25 AM

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