Sunday, August 9, 2020

#222 / Big Dog Theory

On March 22, 2020, a friend of mine sent me a link to an article with this rather chilling news:

The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the novel coronavirus spreads throughout the United States.

My friend was pretty convinced that the Attorney General, William Barr, who is in charge of the Justice Department, should be assigned the responsibility for this dangerous and profoundly anti-democratic suggestion. In fact, no such proposal could ever have been advanced without his approval. Thus, my friend was certainly not wrong in worrying about Barr and his totalitarian instincts.

I did, however, think that putting all the blame on Barr might be a bit premature. For a long time, I have operated on what I call the "Big, Bad, Biting Dog Principle." The idea is pretty simple. If a big aggressive dog is biting you (or threatening to bite you), you can certainly blame the dog. More appropriate, however, is to find out who owns the dog, or who has that dog on a leash. 

That is who is really doing the biting. Or threatening to!

Figuring out who is actually biting you is what I have elsewhere called "Step One."

Step Two is doing something about it!

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