Burn, Noticed

When Barry Goldwater accepted the 1964 GOP nomination, he famously paraphrased Cicero in saying “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”  (Many liberals stop at the first sentence, a bit of context-mangling intended to make Goldwater sound like a wackjob). 

I’m reminded of this as I read this latest kefuffle; supposedly, the National Rifle Association co-opted a major gun-control advocate, who served as a “spy” in several gun-grabber organizations:

A gun-control activist who championed the cause for more than a decade and served on the boards of two anti-violence groups is suspected of working as a paid spy for the National Rifle Association, and now those organizations are expelling her and sweeping their offices for bugs.

 My first reaction:  Good.  Thank goodness.  The NRA needs to, and should, infiltrate orc organizations.  They should  be co-opting the bad guys.  Gun-grabber organizations routinely trample the boundaries of ethics to attempt to take our God-given right to defend ourselves; they lie about guns and the law-abiding gun owner; they lie about the record; they waterboard context. 

The best way, indeed, to tell if a gun control advocate is lying is to check to see if their lips are moving or their fingers are typing; it’s easier to count the times gun controllers tell the truth than to catalog the lies.  They will stop at nothing to squash our rights; it’s right to stop at nothing (short of violence) to defend them. 

Of course, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth…:

“It raises some real concerns with the tactics of the NRA. If they’ve got one person, maybe they have more. If they’ve done this dirty trick, what else have they done?” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign, which planned to search its offices for listening devices and computer spyware.

The Brady Campaign and other groups said they are also researching whether McFate’s alleged spying constituted a crime.

“Under some circumstances, it could be trespass,” said Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and a former prosecutor. But “if they’re open meetings, it may be underhanded and sneaky; it may not be illegal.”

Indeed, “spying” on other issue groups is far from uncommon; many issue-oriented groups have people attend other groups’ meetings.  It’s not talked about much, but it happens.

At any rate – kudos, NRA.  Keep it going.

Extremism in defense of liberty and justice should be the norm.

24 thoughts on “Burn, Noticed

  1. Mitch, you frequently justify specific instances of unethical behavior from your side of the political spectrum by pretending to balance them with wild accusations of unspecified wrongdoing on the other side (routinely trample the boundaries of ethics!! lie! lie!! waterboard!!!)

    This way of thinking is extremely corrosive to your soul and skews your moral compass. It can only result in repeated unethical and immoral behavior and, ultimately, eternity in Hell.

    I suggest you take a vacation from blogging. You need to closely examine your conscience and your soul and take strong measures to repair the damage, before it’s too late.

  2. What’s unethical about the NRA’s actions, clown? Specifically, and under what system of ethics?

  3. I suggest you take a vacation from blogging.

    If I do, it’ll be to infiltrate an anti-gun group.

    For money.

    Lots of it.

  4. Seriously – where’s the ethical problem? The meetings are open. The information is largely posted on the web. It’s all out there.

    So what’s wrong with someone being there to hear it first-hand?

    pretending to balance them with wild accusations of unspecified wrongdoing

    If you’ve been reading this blog for any time at all, you’d know the allegations are neither wild nor anything less than obsessively specified.

  5. “It raises some real concerns with the tactics of the NRA. If they’ve got one person, maybe they have more. If they’ve done this dirty trick, what else have they done?”

    Yes, Paul. You can’t trust anyone! Be suspicious of every member of your organization. Paranoia is self-preservation. Everyone is lying to you.

  6. Ethical people consider lying to be wrong, Terry. I’m surprised you had to learn that from Angryclown instead of your nursery school teacher.

  7. Ethical people consider lying to be wrong, Terry

    They also consider killing people wrong – unless it’s self-defense.

    Spying on orc groups = self-defense for our civil liberties.

  8. Ethical people consider lying to be wrong, Terry.

    So if you saw a scared Jew run down an alley & a couple of brownshirts carrying clubs asked you if you saw him and where he went, you wouldn’t lie? Ever heard of the term ‘ethical crisis?’ You do understand that ethical choices aren’t always black & white, don’t you?
    Your philosophical development seems stuck in the “I don’t like it so its bad” stage. Wouldn’t hurt you to crack a book once in a while.

  9. Wouldn’t hurt you to crack a book once in a while.

    The greasepaint makes the pages stick together.

    At least, I hope that was greasepaint.

  10. How do you know the spy was lying? Was she ever asked “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the NRA?”

    She could certainly have answered that she was “for gun control” in every Bill Clinton sense — she just wanted to make sure that “gun control is hitting your target.”

    I suppose the Clown also dislikes infiltration of criminal organizations by lying. Is infiltrating a criminal organization seeking to deprive you of your property more ethical than infiltrating a group trying to deprive you of your civil rights?

  11. I’m sure lefties try to infiltrate conservative settings but in my experience they can’t maintain their cover because of their overwhelming propensity to lecture conservatives about their moral and ethical failings (cf. Penigma and now apparently AC).

    Stick to the snark, AC – it’s what you do.

  12. Sorry Mr. D. You’re bad people. Somebody’s got to tell you cause you don’t seem to have consciences.

  13. Well that clears it up, AC. Good people make jokes about other people’s mothers visiting troop ships, to judge from your example.

    Tell you what – I haven’t infiltrated any anti-gun groups up to this point. And just for you, I won’t going forward. And I’ll try to follow you down the rabbit hole and adopt your moral and ethical example in other ways. BTW, tell your mom the U.S.S. Nimitz says “hi.”

  14. Tell your mom the U.S.S. Virginia says “hi,” Mr. D. Not the crew. The submarine.

  15. Angryclown’s mistake. Shoulda said a Seawolf-class sub.

    You have a nice weekend too.

  16. Here’s our resident lecturer on ethics mocking a dead woman:

    Don’t you *dare* tell me that fetuses can’t IM, Doug! Oops, gotta run. Just got a blackberry message from Terry Schiavo.
    Posted by: angryclown at October 7, 2006 03:10 PM

  17. Clownie, answer Nerdbert’s question. I’ll repeat it for your convenience.
    Is infiltrating a criminal organization seeking to deprive you of your property more ethical than infiltrating a group trying to deprive you of your civil rights?

    Nuance time?

  18. What evidence has “Ceasefire” actually provided here? All they say is that they have suspicions, and as such, I’m inclined to give it the exact same credence that I’d give anything else they, or the Brady Campaign (or whatever they’re calling themselves this week), would say.

    Which would be, of course, zero.

  19. I was going to ask that as well in my post. If you look further down in the linked article, there seems to be evidence of something in the referenced lawsuit (which is unrelated to the NRA, by the way).

    Evidence of spying? Not so clear.

  20. Yeah, the evidence of spying is pretty thin. All they really have is that 20 years ago she infiltrated another lefty nonprofit NGO and “ratted” on a US terrorist (what else do you call pipebombers? Attempted murderers?). MotherJones is pretty economical with facts relating to the previous infiltration, so we do not know if she believed in the org and later ratted on the terrorist, or if she went into the org and became disillusioned with their tactics.

    Naturally, if her name pops up associated with another extremist lefty NGO lefties automatically assume that she’s ratting them out, too, and on this particular issue. There’s no evidence that she didn’t do work on another project for this company since she is, as MotherJones notes, involved in a great number of “progressive” organizations.

    Really, you need to go to the source on this one, not to the AP summaries to get a feel for the real evidence: http://www.motherjones.com. There’s evidence that Mary’s tied to a private investigation company, but there’s almost no evidence that it’s the NRA in particular that’s involved. Other than silence by the NRA on the issue, of course.

    Still, it could all be

  21. Y’see, Nerd, you’re right.

    While I’m more than willing to excuse the NRA spying, I also believe an organization that has to fight as hard as it does for a PR win, and faces such unremitting hostility in the PR market, would be pretty reticent to play black bag tricks.

    That, or they would dive into with with downright Israeli aplomb.

    Either way, the “evidence” is sparse indeed.

    Not that I won’t support ’em if it’s true.

  22. Given that the Edwards scandal has finally broken in the mainstream media, and the topic is ethics, I thought I should quote here from the ever valuable wikipedia entry on John Edwards:

    On January 3, 2008, in the Iowa caucuses, the first contest of the nomination process, Edwards placed second with 29.75 percent of the vote to Obama (37.58 percent), with Clinton coming in third with 29.47 percent of the vote.

    So let’s see. Top three.
    Clinton — Whitewater, WH travel office firings, cattle futures, “missing” Rose Law Firm records, non-compliance with campaign finance laws, .
    Edwards. Screwed around on his cancer stricken wife.
    Obama. Chicago politician with ties to the invariably corrupt Cook County machine.
    Looks like you lose this one, AC.

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