Though news of this sort cannot be considered unusual any longer, I still find it insufferable and mildly shocking. The likelihood of a British citizen having their personal home computer hacked by government authorities, secretly and without a warrant, has increased. Even more infuriating, this intrusion may be at the behest of a foreign nation, thanks to a recent plan adopted by the EU.
Since the hacking may proceed if an officer believes there is sufficient reason to believe it would help prevent or detect a serious crime, the obvious question is, who decides what is considered “sufficient reason” and what is to prevent abuse of these over-reaching powers? If there is truly sufficient evidence, why wouldn’t a judge simply grant a warrant? This would at least grant some oversight.
I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer, just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals… The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom, and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. -President Ronald Reagan
The past two general election cycles have been bleak for the Republican Party. Looking back on its celebrated rise from near irrelevancy in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, it becomes clear that 1994 was a peak rather than a new beginning. When Newt Gingrich, Jim Babka and PNAC took control of the GOP from what was left of the Goldwater/Reagan conservatives, it marked the beginning of the end.
* Barack Obama will realize that Congress is not ready to go along with his progressive agenda. Many Southern and rural Midwestern Democrats were elected as pro-life conservative Democrats. Hence, his Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) will never see the light of day.
* With nervousness on the economy, Obama will not push for Nationalized Health Care. You will see some adding around the edges, but no major increases in federal programs. Obama’s advisers will warn him about the effect of more spending and especially, more taxes on our fragile economy.
Telegraph has an article up that serves as a wrap-up analysis of the Bush presidency on the eve of his departure. There was one paragraph that really stood out:
Peter Feaver, who served as special adviser for strategic planning on Bush’s White House National Security Council, agrees: “He’s had a once-in-a-century natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina, a once in a history of the Republic terrorist attack and he’s had a once-in-a-century financial crisis. Any one of those would be a pivotal moment. To have three is extraordinary.”
The GOP chief knows the gig is up:
In a frank and private memo sent today to Republican National Commitee members, the RNC chairman acknowledges that the GOP has grown too addicted to ideology, places politics before policy, and is bereft of ideas — and that it’s imperative that the party shift towards a genuine effort to develop concrete policy solutions to people’s problems in order to rescue itself.
I have a few quick ideas:
On Tuesday, December 2, Georgia voters will determine what could be a definitive vote in the US Senate. Former Democratic US Senator Zell Miller is crossing party lines to endorse incumbent Saxby Chambliss, Georgia Republican and US Senator. Georgia is the one state in the Union that requires a majority vote to seat a US Senator. Senator Zell Miller said, of the importance of this election, this is the big one. In this case, Chambliss won 49.6% of the vote, just short of a majority. The Democrat, Jim Martin is a liberal State Representative who’s vote was bolstered by a large black turnout for Barack Obama. However, the wild card that forced the runoff was the 5%+ of the vote garnered by Libertarian candidate Alan Buckley.
During the 2008 Democratic primary debate in Philadelphia, April 16, 2008, here is how Barack Obama responded to a question pertaining to the right to keep and bear arms (emphasis added):
Q: Is the D.C. law prohibiting ownership of handguns consistent with an individual’s right to bear arms?
A: As a general principle, I believe that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can’t constrain the exercise of that right, in the same way that we have a right to private property but local governments can establish zoning ordinances that determine how you can use it.
Q: But do you still favor the registration & licensing of guns?
In a recent column in this month’s issue of National Review (which I still read, due to a complimentary subscribtion, despite my anger with the tossing aside of Christopher Buckley for his audacious Obama endorsement) the eloquent Mark Steyn argues for citizens who give little more than “stilted cheers” for their political leadership. He illustrates the Soviet-style cult following that Barack Obama has benefited greatly from as being counter to the ideals America was founded on.
Tax Hike Mike is back in the news:
Mike Huckabee is using his new book, out this week, to settle a few scores, not the least of which is with his fierce primary rival, Mitt Romney. Per Michael Scherer, Huckabee picks up where he left off earlier this year, tweaking Romney as a rich guy and firing what may be the first shots of the 2012 primary. Romney, Huckabee, writes, was “anything but conservative until he changed the light bulbs in his chandelier in time to run for president.”
Last week, President-elect Obama held a press conference, flanked by members of his economic advisory team, to discuss the federal government’s response to recent economic weakening.
The item that appeared highest on the new administraton’s agenda was the proposed bailout package for Detroit’s “Big 3” automakers.
As this Bloomberg article explains,