Abaco

Another sign that Republicans are turning hard left

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We recently had a murder solved in our region. Over a year ago a 13-year old girl was murdered at a local school, at night. In an effort to look for the killer, the police immediately took DNA swabs of the children who attend the school without notifying the parents. This is a junior high - 12, 13-year olds. The parents didn't find out about it until they picked up their kids from school that day. A debate raged in the local newspaper about that and now that it appears they found the killer, it rages again.

I'm seeing something that, like many other arguments I see recently, lead me to believe that people who call themselves conservative may be missing the point. Perhaps I'm wrong, I admit. But, many who make comments on the newspaper website make claims like, "liberals keep fighting DNA testing...". These people go on to argue that warrantless DNA testing of children without parental consent is ok. It just so happens that they may have found the killer, 23 years old, via a DNA test taken when he was arrested in the past for another crime. Per our law, if you are arrested you can have your DNA tested. I don't have much of a problem with that.

None of the DNA testing of the kids turned up anything. I hear many people say things like, "Go ahead and take my DNA. I'm not a criminal." But, I have to think back about how I've seen government clerks completely mess up information on me for simpler items. I'm not comfortable with having my government take kids' DNA samples without parental consent during an investigation. I'm not in favor of the government taking anybody's DNA samples without consent unless that person has at least been arrested. I realize that DNA testing may be necessary to bring charges. But, this attitude I see from people who say that the government should be able to do this and that "liberals" don't like it: I don't quite get that. It smacks of intrusion to me. Am I missing the boat? Is it conservative to be in favor of what I see as a degradation of choice? What about the sanctity of one's own body? Does a conservative gladly surrender that if there's a crime committed in our community? We recently passed a law in California that (if I remember the age correctly) allows schools to administer medical treatment to children at and after the age of 12 without parental consent. As a parent, and as somebody who values personal choice, this kind of thing really sounds off alarm bells for me.

While some conservatives may say, "Go ahead and take my DNA because I'm innocent." I think, "You don't need my DNA, I'm innocent."

What are others' thoughts on this? Thanks...

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As an issue of individual rights (property specifically), no one, especially government, should be allowed to take your DNA since it is your property. I think that should be the baseline for law in these kinds of cases.

However, I think the issue should be looked at more closely on the state level as it pertains to "emergency ethics" where apparently rational action in the face of an unsolved murder or abduction or disaster may run headlong into apparently effective action in preserving additional lives or property. And while I think states should reserve the right to take this closer look, I do not think they should be allowed to legislate the problem at the state level, except to determine at what level it will be legislated. Instead I think that guidelines for implementation of emergency rules and laws should be issued at the state level, and that the state should be supportive (perhaps with state resources) when those guidelines are followed.

As to the granularity of the implementation, that could be county by county, or borough, or district, or city or whatever the state population agrees upon, and the best granularity would probably change for a particular state over the years. It would probably be a confusing and relatively useless effort if it was too granular (say on a school by school basis).

I would also say that the nature of these emergency rules shouldn't be of a forced compliance variety, but rather a voluntary compliance. For example, in your case for the school murder, with the subsequent (illegal IMO) DNA testing, a state whose legislation specified that cities were to implement laws regarding emergency ethics could issue guidelines that say they support the authorities being able to quickly and decisively act to acquire relevant data (it would be MUCH more specific than that, but I hope you get the idea). At the city level, a town may implement laws along those guidelines, to specifically say that in the event of an emergency on a public campus, that a very limited DNA sampling could take place, for anyone present on the campus. The voluntary compliance means that long before there is any emergency situation, parents whose children attend that campus would sign a waiver saying they would allow that. In no way should they be REQUIRED to sign said waiver. It is the parents' responsibility, and the child's to assure that when an emergency does occur that they make it known they are exempt from compliance with the law. In the event that NO ONE signs the waiver, that is just an indication that the law was too overreaching for that community. Assuming that the legislation was adopted properly in the first place (with public representation) it would never get that far anyways...

As to framing it as a take on conservative philosophy or psychology, I don't personally know anyone who would call themselves a conservative who would support either of the examples you illustrated, so I don't know how commonplace it is. I also don't know anyone who is very religious though, which may be closer to the phenomenon you are witnessing. Someone more tuned to a philosophy of self-sacrifice in the name of the greater good might be tickled pink at the opportunity to give up an essential right in the name of fighting evil. And of course, any liberals I know would love to implement those kinds of laws with forced compliance, as long as they felt it didn't apply to them. They are all for sacrifice in the name of the greater good..when they get to choose the victims.

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The Supreme Court, including conservative justices, recently decided they can collect DNA without a warrant and without consent. They are building an intrusive, comprehensive database to go with along with the NSA surveillance sweep and all the other government agencies collecting information on people. There is no end to the rationalizations purporting to justify this, including the recently popularized bizarre appeal to the notion of so-called "meta-data", which of course is a kind of information and not the non-information they claim it is while simultaneously insisting how important it is for the government to have.

This is a post-constitutional era, becoming worse for decades. It's the same story from eminent domain to DNA. The Constitution is no longer regarded as a principled document limiting the powers of government to protect the rights of the individual, but only a shadowy elastic tradition of "precedents" and slogans open to whatever interpretations they can 'pragmatically' rationalize for whatever they want, until they no longer bother with that formality either.

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You guys give me hope. There are times, more so recently, when I hear people who call themselves conservatives come out with amazing statist, totalitarian, leftist garbage. I'm sure my jaw drops...I just don't feel it.

This post-constitutional era you menion, ewv, seems to be quickening. And, most troubling, is that a vast majority of the population just doesn't see it, or couldn't care less. They could have the mayor show up and say, "Give me your wife and daughter for the safety of the town." and they'd do it. Has anybody seen Mark Dice's clips on youtube? They are really amazing. Hey'll go out with a clipboard and petition for things like, "Let's take gun owners and put them in camps, for Obama." And most people sign it. He'll have people sign a petition for euthanasia. Some people are so disconnected that he'll call them a "zombie" to their face and they don't seem to notice. LOL. I shouldn't laugh because this kind of thing never ends well.

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You guys give me hope.

If that's all you have then you are in worse shape than you realized. But at least you know you aren't going insane.

There are times, more so recently, when I hear people who call themselves conservatives come out with amazing statist, totalitarian, leftist garbage. I'm sure my jaw drops...I just don't feel it.

They mostly are not explicit statists or collectivists on principle; they are Pragmatists in a disintegrating age of anti-philosophy. The Pragmatism allows them to consider any means as a potential "tool" of government, which makes it inherently statist, and the philosophical parasitism of Pragmatism prevents them from recognizing the collectivist and statist principles they implicitly rely on without even recognizing that they are principles and that it matters.

This post-constitutional era you mention, ewv, seems to be quickening. And, most troubling, is that a vast majority of the population just doesn't see it, or couldn't care less...

Without principles why should they care about an 18th century document that has no meaning to them to be a fundamental, unbreachable guide to government? Those conservatives who do appeal to the Constitution take it as an unquestionable primary, not giving anyone a reason to care about it.

"Democracy" is now the catchall slogan under which everything is up for grabs by any group that can muscle up enough "votes" to take power under a concept of 'government' that is itself up for grabs without recognizing what it is supposed to be for and why. Why let something like restrictions in a constitution get in the way of government if you don't know what it or a constitution means and why?

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Thanks ewv. I really appreciate your input on this. I hadn't thought of the pragmatist facet here. But, I can see that now that you mention it. It is a kind of "do what is collectively best, no matter what liberty might be trampled". I see that so often it makes my head spin. It is a meme that has really taken hold across the political spectrum and been effective at smearing the line in the middle.

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So called "conservatives" have always had an authoritarian streak. Today's version has much more in common with Progressives, who dominate what we refer to collectively as the "left". They both want to run your life; the only difference is wher they go look for their "justification". The Conservatives believe their virtue will protect them from any pernicious effects of the empowerment they hand the state. The Progressives, at very level, belive their participation, their consensus with their fellow Progressives, their being in with the incrowd will protect them; they will always be able to cut a deal to save themselves: after all, that is the essence, the essential feature of their modus operendi.

They both know they are "playing with fire", that a big kettle is being heated in the village square; they have faith that their "virtue" will save them. Their "virtue", their values-in-action, will determine how that turns out, as we very well know.

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