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If it wasn't for double standards, they'd have no standards at all...

A little while ago, the USA Patriot Act was up for renewal. (By the way, there ought to be a "No Tortuous Acronyms" law passed. Whoever came up with "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" should be hauled out and flogged.) Once again, the usual crowd was out in force, shouting the same old tired shibboleths. (Or, alternately, tired old canards.) The Patriot Act was a violation of our rights. It would allow the government to trample all over people's privacy. It would give license to wholesale snooping and other intrusions.

And just recently, we've seen examples of just that sort of behavior. The kind of gross investigations and digging and mud-slinging that the critics of the Patriot Act predicted.

The only problem is that it wasn't the government doing it, or even egging it on. It was many of the same people who had stood so strongly against the Patriot Act.

In the wholesale, headlong rush to damage Supreme Court nominee Judge John Roberts, the left turned its guns on his family. When they noted that the Judge's wife might have had a hint of displeasure or disapproval on her face when Roberts mentioned their son, they immediately leaped to the conclusion that the son must be gay, like Dick Cheney's daughter or Newt Gingrich's sister, and be the Roberts' secret shame.

That little theory lasted about as long as it took to discover that this flaming fruit they were so eager to pull out of the closet was all of four years old.

But they had their teeth sunk into the idea that there must be something, SOMETHING scandalous about Jack Roberts (other than his breakdancing in the White House when his father's nomination was announced). So the New York Times assigned investigative reporter Glen Justice to uncover the sealed records of the adoption and find something -- anything -- that might derail Judge Roberts' elevation to the Supreme Court.

When the Patriot Act was debated (and recently re-debated), its critics (and the New York Times was quite prominent) spoke how the government could use that Act to do things like check my library records, my video rentals (much like was done against Clarence Thomas (correction -- Robert Bork)), and various and sundry other things.

But I think I'm more frightened of what the New York Times might do to me, given the precedent they are setting with the Roberts case.

(Update: Corrections from readers inserted.)


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference If it wasn't for double standards, they'd have no standards at all...:

» Jeff Blogworthy.com linked with Rights violations... snooping... intrusions

» Darleen's Place linked with Adopting while White --

» Conservative Thinking linked with Round the Reader: Wednesday, 10 August 2005

Comments (18)

Picking on a four year old.... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Picking on a four year old. That is one of the vilest thing I've ever heard. Just another example of the left and their useful idiots in the MSM showing that they'll go to any lengths to trash a conservative who DARES run for or accept an appointment to public office.

"That is one of the vilest ... (Below threshold)
fatman:

"That is one of the vilest thingS...^^" Plural. dummy, plural. Jeez.

Very good points. But do no... (Below threshold)

Very good points. But do not hold your breath waiting for someone in the MSM to actually point this stuff out.

My wife and I are in the process of adopting our daughter from China. I can not imagine having that used against me if I were ever elevated to some important position.

The very thought by the New York Times that there had to be something illegal about the adoption is an affront to all parents who adopt.

I wrote about this yesterday.

Nice tie of the story to Pa... (Below threshold)

Nice tie of the story to Patriot Act -- I was nervous out of the box where the post was going.

What strikes me is that this story has received no traction, and it's been a week. One might (should?) that they have not had any luck obtaining these highly confidential and private records, but if this is so, why wouldn't NYT say so and announce that they've dropped their inquiry? It's still hanging out there and won't go away.

And someone should make them explain what they mean when they describe this snooping as their "standard background check." That gives me chills.

The aspect of the Patriot A... (Below threshold)

The aspect of the Patriot Act that always seems to get bashed is the "library records" bit. The Patriot Act allowed law enforcement agencies to review such documents after obtaining a court order from a federal judge. What nobody seems to realize is that there are, and have been for years, 90+ federal grand juries that have been able to get your library records, and anything else the Patriot Act would allow. And without prior approval from a judge. Just on the say-so of whatever prosecutor is running the grand jury.

So how come the Times "standard background check", to this day, has not included a demand for John Kerry's actual discharge documents? The discharge still hasn't ever been disclosed, you know.

How many of these shriekers... (Below threshold)

How many of these shriekers would be able to stand up to the withering examination they demand for Roberts?

The NYT has barely tried to... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

The NYT has barely tried to hide the fact that it's nothing more than the press wing of the democrat party for so long it's pathetic. Their bias is so clearly evident and so often proven that they barely even bother to protest when it's pointed out, usually on a daily basis. The only decent thing the have left is the crossword, the rest of makes a pretty good wrapper for fish or bird cage liner but that's about it. As a believable news source it falls in a category somewhere between the letters to the editor section Penthouse, where every letter starts off with those famous words, "I'm a normal guy with a 12" penis", and the National Enquirer, where chupacabra is busy draining the blood from goats and trailer park residents are routinely kidnapped by aliens.

I admit I could be wrong, b... (Below threshold)

I admit I could be wrong, but wasn't the video tape thing aimed at Robert Bork?

BTW.. I'm so friggin' livid at this "Get the Roberts children!" stuff I can hardly see straight...and I'll repeat here what I've said at my place... this isn't really a partisan issue, it truly separates the decent from the indecent folk.

And since most of the excuse makers or those saying "hell yeah, get Roberts because he adopted while white" are coming from the usual Leftist quarters...draw your own conclusion.

Many years of life experien... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Many years of life experience suggest (strongly suggest) that the NYT was snooping into Roberts' childrens' backgrounds because the Big Grey Thing from NY had a hunch they COULD tie SOMEthing about this into "gay rights" and/or "reproductive choice."

Otherwise, what could possibly be of interest to any of their readers (such as they remain).

About the Patriot Act and suggestive violations of our "right to privacy," we really never have had much privacy and whatever rights we assume existed have been being violated for a while now by anyone intent on finding nearly anything out (anything usable, is my point, given the motive of the search).

Another measure of what separates civilized humans from barbarism, by the way. I mean by that, some people look away at certain moments to provide others with the semblance of dignity, and then there are those among us who stare and glare and gleer and sneer and who can't stand the idea of dignity.

It's a personal preference, and always has been, that concept of privacy. About "rights," just try and enforce much of anything that's in the Constitution when someone's snapping away at you in unwelcome photography access (or bugging your house/office, or paying off employees for proprietary information, or...or...buying drivers' licenses from public employees using someone else's identity, or...).

The thing is that privacy is only as credible as human beings regard others. The "rights" issues come later, after the point of violations.

Darleen's right. It was Bo... (Below threshold)
blueeyes:

Darleen's right. It was Bork that they brought video store rental records against; Thomas 'only' had to deal with Anita Hill.

Uh, Jay, a "<a href="http:/... (Below threshold)

Uh, Jay, a "shibboleth" is a word or idea that is used as a measure to distinguish what group a person belongs to. It comes from the Bible, Judges 12:5-6, when some men caught an enemy trying to sneak across a bridge, and were able to prove he was the enemy because he couldn't pronounce the word shibboleth.

I think the appropriate word would be "canard" -- an extravagant or absurd report or story

The NYT just learned the ki... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

The NYT just learned the kid never served on a Swift Boat. The NYT never questioned Kerry's patriotism, but the kid's is suspect.

Hmmmm.Frankly, as ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

Frankly, as an adoptee, I find that the NYT actually even thought of doing is revolting. One of the most difficult things for an adopted child to deal with is the sense of identity. "Who am I" is a recurring theme, particularly during childhood.

If these kids don't know they're adopted, and they may very well not know, then this nonsense will force their adoptive parents to deal with this far earlier than they may want to. If these kids do know they're adopted, then they'll now have to deal with their friends knowing about it. And this won't go away. It's all over the internet now so there's every chance it'll be around for decades if not forever. A decade from now they might be still dealing with the aftereffects on an issue that is intensely personal.

Way to go NYT. Bravo MSM.

Do people still read that r... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Do people still read that rag? I wouldn't wipe my ass with its pages...I have more respect for my anus than that....

+25 points for use of the w... (Below threshold)

+25 points for use of the word "shibboleth"

Why don't they follow up on... (Below threshold)
Just John:

Why don't they follow up on all those documents the White House is holding? There's got to be a story there!

Nice tie of the story to... (Below threshold)
snowballs:

Nice tie of the story to Patriot Act...

Agreed - very, very nice. I've always said that the government's ability to detect what we check out at the library is the last thing to fear when it comes to privacy. That's about the extent of the argument from the left - yawn. It's also funny when people will copy & paste just about anything they can find from Google, Wikipedia or the Christmas Islands into a blog - hundreds of times per week in some cases without fear of the almighty wrath of the Patriot Act.

When you call bullshit on them for condoning the oh so heroic NYT for their 'scoops' on Roberts, then it's something like "uh, er, well I'm just sick of people who were involved with the 2000 election".

It's hilarious when the PA subject hits a lefty blog.

As I understand it, as a re... (Below threshold)
F15C:

As I understand it, as a result of the library-record hysteria, that while those who can get someone's library records without a judge's orders are grand juries, and any civil or criminal lawyer in a trial. So basically anyone in the legal system, including the FBI - UNLESS the case involves terrorists... Insane.




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