Sunday, March 11, 2007

Letter to the editor in the PG from Mark C, with insights

Plum's Mark C, a Libertarian, posted to our Libertarian list:
I had a LTE in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today (3/11/2007) about how a spending cap on the Iraq war might not be enough to stop it. The LTE link and text is below.

What's different about this LTE (letter to the editor) was that I got two calls
from the PG about it. The first was simply to confirm my intent to be printed. The editor who called said she agreed with everything I said and even complimented me on a particular sentence.

The second call was a few days later from another editor who wanted verification of a statement I made about routing calls to Canada to avoid US law. She had no problem with the example of outsourcing torture to avoid US law.

I told her that I remember reading it in what I think was WorldNetDaily years ago. She asked if she could soften the statement for printing since there was no proof. Since it was late Friday and they were soon going to print for the early Sunday edition, it was either soften or don't print. We agreed on wording, but I said I'd try to find the reference for her anyway and she gave me here email.

Instead of the WND reference I found another that made the case and revealed that it was even worse than I thought. (The US, England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have routinely used each other to get around their own laws to monitor their own citizens based on an agreement made in the late 1940s.) I emailed the link to her, stayed polite and told her that fact-checking must not be dead because she really made me work for this letter.

I hope that I'm establishing credibility with the editorial staff at the Post-Gazette. Maybe the small-government viewpoint will gain credibility with them too. I did like the title they gave it.

By the way, has anyone else ever been challenged on a LTE like this?

Mark C.

Link to the letter published in the P-G

Downsize it all Post-Gazette, 3/11/2007

It's naive to think that a targeted spending limit ("The Half-Trillion-Dollar Solution" by Bruce Ackerman and David Wu, March 4 Forum) is the solution to the Iraq war. Limits are easily circumvented and soon forgotten.

Years ago, during the Clinton administration, I read that government pressures telecommunications providers to route calls and e-mails through Canada to avoid U.S. wiretapping laws.

The Bush administration outsourced interrogation to Egypt to avoid torture bans.

Congress usually doesn't even read the legislation it passes. A catchy-titled "Iraq Cap Act" might also include the fine print preparing for an Iran invasion.

The fundamental problem is that our government is too big. It has too much power, too many resources, too many agendas and too many places to hide too many secrets.

Even if we manage to stop the bleeding in Iraq, that will only redirect blood to other domestic and foreign policy wounds, all too numerous in our bipartisan welfare and warfare state.

That's why the real solution must include capping all of government back to its libertarian origins, as the U.S Constitution intends. If not, our country will suffer a debilitating shock as the burden from these wounds threatens our financial and personal lives.


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