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Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic writes Mayor Bloomberg Is a Surveillance-State Extremist, Not a Pragmatic Centrist: He talks as if 9/11 and the Boston marathon bombing justify cameras everywhere. But they wouldn't have stopped either attack.

Even when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg receives criticism, he isregarded as "a pragmatic, apolitical, solution-oriented centrist," as Joe Nocera once described him in The New York Times. But it isn't so.

The conventional wisdom is wrong. Although Bloomberg belongs to neither the conservative movement nor the progressive movement, he is an ideologue. His response to events is influenced by his paternalistic ideas about the direction society "needs to" head more than by a dispassionate response to the facts. This makes him a lot like most politicians. The conceit that he is a pragmatist is based in nothing more than the fact that he is more willing than most to transgress against norms of personal liberty.
The latest illustration of his ideological approach: his response to the Boston marathon bombing.

"Look, we live in a very dangerous world," he said. "We know there are people who want to take away our freedoms. New Yorkers probably know that as much if not more than anybody else after the terrible tragedy of 9/11."

He continued:

We have to understand that in the world going forward, we're going to have more cameras and that kind of stuff. That's good in some senses, but it's different than what we are used to. And the people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry, but we live in a complex world where you're going to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution I think have to change.
It is hardly surprising that an unapologetic paternalist who frequently shows disregard for civil liberties would favor creating a more expansive surveillance state than the one that presently exists. [...]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2003Liars:

The anti-war movement made two key points in the lead-up to GW II: 1) the Bush Administration was overstating the case against Saddam, and 2) by doing so, it was putting our troops and civilians in harm's way.

Iraq fought back harder than many expected, but luckily for everyone its regulars laid down arms before a truly bloody confrontation in Baghdad. Still, we suffered 600 dead and wounded, and thousands of Iraqi soldiers and innocent civilians lost their lives in the war. Thus, #2 came to pass. Thousands died.

So it's important to see whether their lives were given in vain, or whether their ultimate sacrifice was indeed in pursuit of our national security.

So it's with genuine horror that it's clear that we naysayers were right. Administration officials are now admitting they overstated the thread of Iraqi WMDs, and invaded Iraq simply to "make a point." […]

So Powell told the world that Iraq had thousands of tons of chemical weapons. The administration now admits that they won't find that much, and may not find any at all. And it's not a lie???? It's a "matter of emphasis"?


Tweet of the Day:

Laws not backed by sufficient enforcement resources are aspirations, not laws. Cutbacks at OSHA, SEC are repeals. http://t.co/...
@RBReich via web



On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Congress is still mad about airline delays, clearly the fault of this annoying "government," whoever that might be. Greg Dworkin on Eric Cantor's failed effort to put a softer face on the Gop, with a not-quite-repeal of Obamacare. The minor media firestorm over the empty dais at a Congressional hearing on long term unemployment. The new Hostess owners plan to reopen, but without unions. David Wehde, Organizing Director of Working America, on the launch of FixMyJob.com, the WebMD of workplace organizing. Finally, a Concord Monitor editorial on the failure of the gun bill, and the case it makes for filibuster reform.


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