Bill Maher almost gets it when it comes to terrorism

In fits and starts, Bill Maher is creeping towards an understanding that the enemy isn’t America when it comes to terrorism.  He’s unable to square the circle, though, because he’s so hung up on gun control.  That is, he’s incapable of appreciating that the best way for Americans to depend themselves is for them to be armed.  Anyway, I wrote the following post for Mr. Conservative, and I think it fits in well here:

Bill Maher has periodic outbursts of logic and reason that give one hope that he may yet figure out that his blind allegiance to the Democrat party is misguided. Friday, on his HBO show Real Time, Maher showed pictures of heavily armed police patrolling Boston streets and expressed concern that “This country is becoming a police state,” adding that he finds this trend “very troubling.”

(Read here about Maher’s unexpected defense of Christianity.)

Maher’s guests tried hard to downplay his concerns. For example, MSNBC contributor Robert Traynham said that what people saw wasn’t attributable to Boston but was, instead “a federal response after a horrific bombing.” Apparently Traynham was unclear on the fact that, when the feds go all “police state” on us, it’s even worse than if an individual city or state does.

Maher wasn’t deterred. Looking at the constitutionally improper house-to-house searches for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown, Maher again said that this isn’t right:

To me that’s out of hand. I agree we shouldn’t have given this kid his Miranda rights because he probably had information. We wanted to take him alive . . . if you agree with that then what the cops did there was unprofessional. That’s called contagious fire.


He has information, he had information and he was just lying in the boat. They knew that. They put that grenade up there. He wasn’t moving. It’s ridiculous. It’s out of control.

Where Maher is unable to square the circle is with his belief that everything would be better without guns. On Friday’s show, he noted that, while American police go in with tanks, “the British police don’t even carry guns.” On another occasion, he insisted that “the Second Amendment is bullshit.

Maher seems incapable of making the logical leap that says that, if the public also has some police power – the ability to protect itself against criminals and crazies – then the police themselves don’t have to be so heavily armed. Rather than facing the entire world alone, the police in an armed, civil society, have law-abiding citizens at their back, helping out.

Americans show a much greater understanding of the situation than Maher. According to polls, an overwhelming number of Americans want to be armed when there’s a manhunt going on. Rather than being victimized twice – first by the terrorist and then by the police – they want to be active participants in their own security. This is a civic awareness that’s completely contrary to the arrogant Big Government idea that only the police are capable of protecting Americans from criminals. There’s a word for citizens who won’t and can’t take care of themselves: Victims.

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  • jj

    I disagree on a couple of points, and one big one is: Miranda was absolutely proper.  Like it or not the kid was/is an American citizen.  You let him in, you owe him the same protections as any other citizen.  It should be automatic, and it’s something every American should be behind, because if they can skip it with him how big a step is it for them to skip it with you, or any of the rest of us?  Making sure this kid got his full ration of rights helps guarantee we all do.  I don’t trust this government an inch these days, and I’ll defend his rights as a means of defending my own.  No, Feds and cops: you don’t get to make it up, nor do you get to take short-cuts.  You follow the goddam rules like you’re supposed to.
    I do agree with Maher about the unconstitutional (read “illegal”) house-to-house searches, and the completely over the top and beyond belief reaction of the “lockdown” of Watertown.  No branch of government gets to “lock down” anyplace in this country outside of prison, and they certainly have no shadow of a shred of a right to do so with an entire population of anywhere not behind walls.  The last time anybody tried that in Watertown it was the British, and the residents didn’t tolerate it real well.  Interesting to see what sheep they’ve become in two hundred thirty-some years.  The Soviet Union had the habit of telling people to stay inside and not look out the windows (while they took away your neighbors); the Nazis did the same thing (for the same reason) – but the FBI and the Massachusetts cops don’t get to do that – and it would have been nice if someone had reminded them them of that.  You can ask, bo7ys: you don’t get to issue orders.
    And if Maher thinks the British cops don’t have strategically located arsenals for use as necessary, then he hasn’t been paying attention.  Which is not surprising.

  • Bookworm

    I’m less conflicted about the Miranda, JJ.  For one thing, the kid lied when he took his oath of allegiance (his allegiance was to Allah, not to us), so it’s questionable whether he was an American citizen.  For another thing, the law has recognized an imminent danger to the Miranda reading.  Keep in mind that the Miranda reading doesn’t create rights, it just informs the person about those rights. 

    Ever since the Miranda decision came down, the failure to read rights works against the government, not against the suspect.  By refusing to read him his rights, the government forfeited the opportunity to enter into evidence anything Dzhokhar said between being apprehended and having his Miranda rights read.  to the government, the ability to get information that they (and Dzhokhar) knew couldn’t get into court was a reasonable exchange for stopping imminent terror attacks by Dzhokhar’s confederates.

    In other words, under the law as written, the government, not Dzhokhar, lost by the failure to Mirandize.  But the government really lost once Dzhokhar was Mirandized, because he stopped talking.

  • Michael Adams

    In re Miranda:  Is it crime, or is it war? If the goal is to prosecute crime, we have due process, and we follow it.  If Flash Bang was making war upon us, the only prosecution is for treason, and whatever he might say, the Supreme Court, in trying him for that charge, would have had more than enough evidence, without any information from young Mr. Bump. So, reading rights stops him from talking, and from providing information to fight a war.  Whatever he said, that might be excluded in an ordinary  criminal trial, would not matter.

  • Michael Adams

    Mr. “Bump” should be Mr. Bang.  I get the brothers’ last names mixed up, since they differ.  Must be some Chechen thing.

  • Ymarsakar

    Mayers is about as loyal to America as that terrorist over there.

  • shirleyelizabeth

    About the facts the pundits are going off of…I had read that the crazy amount of shooting was a farce to scare the bomber, that they were blanks. I am inclined to believe this because after-pictures from the scene do not show a destroyed boat, house, etc.
    I find it sick and hilarious that the woman’s grudge against police is based on inferred racism.

  • jj

    Absolutely, but you have the right to be informed about the rights, and the only reason Miranda ever came into existence in  the first place was because the cops weren’t doing it.  Miranda gives them no option: they have to do it.  And of course it works against the state – what the hell else was it intended to do?
    That the kid lied is off the point.  (What the hell, Obama, Holder, Feinstein et al all lied when they took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, didn’t they.)  The point is that he took the test (and passed, which means he’s probably more knowledgeable about American institutions than 90% of the natives), checked the box, and showed up when he was supposed to.  America shook his hand, stamped his forehead, and said: “congratulations, you’re in the band.”  Whether he lied or not is not relevant.  Probably a fair percentage of applicants do lie, and it is on us that we don’t examine motives with a bit more precision.  We don’t, and that’s dumb – perhaps an incident like this will serve as a bit of a wake-up call.
    Whether it does or not that’s not this kid’s fault.  He did what he was supposed to do, no one examined his heart, so he’s in.  As one of the “in,” he therefore gets the same consideration as the rest of those who are in.  Whether he merits it or not is a different question and doesn’t appear: he gets it.  We make sure he gets it in order to make sure that if the time ever comes, we will get it.  it’s self-protective, more than anything. 
    Once “in,” that’s supposed to mean something.  If he didn’t entirely mean it when he took the oath, that’s on us to figure out before we administer it.  If he’s a bad risk, don’t go there.  We did go there, which means like or not he’s endowed the same as the rest of us.  Maybe it’ll cause us to wake up and stop handing out citizenship like potato chips at a picnic – probably it won’t.  But we did that to ourselves, he didn’t do it to us.

  • Mike Devx

    If I understand Miranda readings, if the police don’t read you your rights, your statements are inadmissible in a court of law.  But evidence that the investigation uncovers AS A RESULT of your statements remains admissible.
    There’s plenty of evidence to convict Boy Terrorist for the maximum punishment.  They don’t need his statements.  So it made no sense to me to Mirandize him.  How can a judge order it to occur?  Couldn’t they just say, “no, we don’t need it,” ?
    Let him talk, and talk, and talk, with nary a word of it being heard within a courtroom!
    Or am I missing something here?