Friday, May 1, 2015

Respect for Civil Liberties

I had a hard time deciding what to do a comic on this week. I think this partly stems from not reading the news as much lately. With Ostraka getting ready to come out, I have less time. The periods of Rick, the Cryptozoologist where I struggled with what to satirize were also times when I did not read the news as much.

I considered doing a May Day comic, but I guess I blew that one. I also considered gay marriage, but I've done that one a lot lately. I considered doing Freddie Gray, and I kind of mentioned it in this comic, but in the end I opted against. Not because I don't think that Freddie Gray is an issue, but just because the whole thing makes me feel sick to my stomach. The lack of understanding towards the plight of the Freddie Grays of the world makes me sick to my stomach. The way we pretend racist is imagined, the way we simplify these issues, makes me sick to my stomach.

The least I can say is that I am at least happy, for the most part, with how the authorities have responded. They made a clear distinction between protesters and those who rioted. They pressed charges against the officers. I know there are still some questions from lawyers representing Freddie Gray's family as to whether or not the Baltimore police are being entirely truthful. Still, overall I can't criticize the response.

I am also glad that the protesters immediately condemned the violence and even tried to stop it.

I digress. Tonight's comic is about how our government has sacrificed our civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. It is an issue dear to my heart having come up in the shadow of 9/11. I also felt like it was worth doing a comic about because most of the presidential candidates are not talking about it.

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz perhaps, but for the most part, no one is talking about it. Rand Paul I can't support and Ted Cruz is just an fanatical lunatic. I am afraid it will end up like 2012 where neither candidate will support rolling back some of what I consider to be the excesses of the national security state. Or, perhaps like 2008, where the candidate will seem to support rolling it back and then go and expand it.

I think our government has for the most part good men, noble men. I think all of these extra measures, the NSA spying, is to keep us safe. I just consider it wrong headed. I think the United States has gone too far in some of our measures against enemies who need to be confronted.

Tying it back to Freddie Gray, I think it is a bigger problem, too. Before the War on Terrorism, it was the War on Drugs, the War on Crime. Politicians come out as tough on crime even when it isn't warranted because it makes people feel safe. Because it gets them elected.

I think it is time for a change in how we react to crimes inside the United States and threats from outside.  

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