The tyranny of bad intentions

The mainstream media outlets don't ever seem to bat an eyelash when some clown in Congress introduces some ludicrous bill with lofty aims and terrible economics in it. In fact, nobody but libertarians ever seems to get that whatever your aims are, your means have to be sensible, and in Congress they never are.

So it shouldn't surprise us that they never question the state's prosecutions based on alleged terrorists' intentions either. Here is an example:

A Muslim convert planned synchronised attacks in Britain and the United States, including a so-called "dirty bomb" and a blast on a London Underground train beneath the River Thames, a court in London was told today.

I plan to make $100,000,000,000 and not pay taxes on any of it, use it to fund lots and lots of libertarian think tanks as well as private space ventures, and own land and a fancy hideaway in every region of the world. I also plan to get laid every day by legions of beautiful women, to live to be 150 and die as strong as an ox, to be a black metal god and a bluegrass legend, and to write a book that has more influence than the Bible and the Communist Manifesto put together. And that's not to mention the private zoo full of unicorns.

People plan to do lots of things. Sometimes people even take step 1; for instance, I go to work sometimes and I brush my teeth. Sometimes, if they're aspiring terrorists, they even go so far as to ask around for radioactive waste. But when the state hypes someone's intentions too much, that usually means the guy is small potatoes.

The 9/11 attacks were far more heinous than I'd like to see anyone ever get away with again, but these trumped-up fears of dirt-eating savages bombing us back into the Stone Age are used to justify a lot of bad public policy. Let's not forget how easy it is for intentions and actions to be different. Just think of the unicorns.

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