I HEART RAND PAUL!

All photos by Martin Solomon, subject to this creative commons license
His set: Arab Babes

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It’s a sad, sad day when the hero de jour is Rand Paul. But, hey, you praise the hero you have and not the hero you’d like to have. So, Rand Paul it is. One Hundred senators and Paul’s the only one concerned enough about the policy of hunting down “enemies” with drones and its total lack of oversight. Rand Paul is the only one willing to stand up (for thirteen hours) against the Obama administration’s shocking argument that its policy of drone strikes against Americans is justified by a secret legal theory.

I’ve written before that there is no particular reason why that legal theory wouldn’t apply inside our borders. The weaselly non-denial  denial by Holder of any right to kill “terrorists” in the land of the (used to be) free was as depressing as it was alarming.

Oh well

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It flabbergasts me there is so little concern about the extension of the Bush drone policies to Americans. You’d think a headline like:

OBAMA SAYS HE CAN KILL YOU JUST BECAUSE HE WANTS TO!

Would rouse the Tea Party and conservatives as well as liberty loving liberals. But, not so much. I can only suppose the reason for the lack of outrage is most people’s  belief that only “terrorists” (read Arabs and Muslims) will be targeted. Only the Bad Guys. The Evildoers. Those Others…

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But, damnit, its the government – with no oversight by Congress or the courts – that gets to decide who the bad guys are and  if they should be killed (and how). It’s some government minion who makes the call. We aren’t even told us about it. It may never be disclosed. “Nothing to see here…”

How in the world did our quarrelsome species ever invent legal due process!? I swear it amazes me. The concept that before the king (president, governor, legislature, mayor, cop, etc.) can do unto some poor schmuck she is entitled to be heard and have her case decided by an impartial decision maker,  is so strange it seems a miracle. From the Magna Carta to the Constitution there has been an almost inexplicable advance of due process as a means of checking power.

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But even today – after hundreds of years of due process being  ensconced as a core legal right (see fifth and fourteenth amendments to our now obsolete constitution), every zealous supporter of every noble cause wants to weaken or eliminate  due process so her crusade can proceed without bothering with “technical” legal impediments. The cause, she claims, matters more than giving those people rights.

Rape is your big deal, so let’s change the law so the “victim” doesn’t have to confront the accused (too traumatic for her). And the children, shouldn’t they excused from having to testify at all with its resulting lifelong trauma. Terrorists? A real jury trial and all that reasonable doubt stuff is too risky – why, the suckers could get off!! Drugs are such a threat the cops shouldn’t have to get a search warrant. Why give that delinquent deadbeat utility customer the right to a hearing. We’ll save thousands if we can just shut off the power. We (the government or quasi-governmental units) are hardly ever wrong (90% plus of those arrested plead guilty) so why should we have to waste time, and money, going through all these pointless hearings when our goal is so noble, crucial and right!?

And besides, those deciders all fair people, right? Citizens should just take comfort in that sweet fact. “We’re from the government and we’re heareto help you. Trust us, you don’t need a lawyer…!

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Rand Paul… The  guy’s a flake. Most of his positions are ludicrous. But like his father, he is one of the few citizens willing to insist the Constitution applies even when its totally inconvenient or seems in the way of some higher purpose.

Due process matters. The worse the consequences for someone (like, say, death) the more due process she should have. It should even apply to terrorists.

That’s the American Way – or at least it used to be….

Read all of VISIONS

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