Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been…

…a card-carrying member of the ACLU?

Well, after they got off their butts and finally mailed it to me, yes, I am.

I’d been threatening to for a few years. What finally caused me to pull the trigger? Well, it pisses off too many people I want to see pissed off, but Radley Balko’s post on how it would piss off Bill O’Reilly pushed me over the edge. I don’t think O’Reilly is the worst enemy of freedom in America, but he’ll do.

It’s time to be more active in fighting back against the loonies of left and right who are tripping over themselves to give up personal freedom to assuage fears that economic, spiritual, or physical harm will come to them. The ACLU does a fairly good job against the loonies of the right–and the loons are on the march. I thought we were in a war against theocracies. It’s no good becoming more of one ourselves. And I’m tired of trying to figure out whether the PATRIOT Act would have been more at home in early 1920s Russia or early 1930s Germany.

Of course, the loonies of the left are not exactly quiescent, either, so I simultaneously gave to the Institute for Justice. There’s no debate about the state of corporatism in America: it looks like 1920s Italy. There is simply no stopping any level of government from taking your property and giving it to a corporation, so long as they say they think it’ll be better somehow that way. Governments use eminent domain and licensing scams to prevent people of the wrong color from occupying primo real estate or getting into nice retail locations or competing with white businesses.

You need all of them: you need the freedom to pray or not as you like, without the government making you subsidize somebody else; you need the freedom to say what you like without being thrown in jail; you need the freedom for your case to be heard if you are; you need the freedom to own a place and not be thrown out the second a higher bidder comes along; and you need the freedom to buy a drink from whomever you please, whether it pleases a giant alcohol distributer or not.

You the freedom to be yourself; else freedom from jail doesn’t mean a lot.