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[P]
The prison formerly known as America: Enemy of the State

By sil in Culture
Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:09:09 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

America is slowly becoming something of a prison whether many choose to realize it or pass it off as a conspiracy theory. The following article is an attempt to place the entire topic in perspective to give an understanding to why some may feel this country is becoming something of a police state. Included in the write-up is information on the USA PATRIOT act, and statistics that should not be taken lightly, coming from an everyday citizens perspective.


Enemy of the State

I decided to write the following after seeing a post in Pravda, a Russian newspaper for those who don't know. Someone asked the following: Do you belive [it is] possible to transform the U.S.A., or [an]other continental nation, in[to] a prison cell? Interesting question considering this is coming from someone who doesn't even live in the United States. It's a scary question which can't be ignored so here is my take on this.

Here are some reasons why it may be possible for some agency to have complete control in the United States via obscure methods. Now when I say obscure methods, this could mean that either I believe this could be done purposely, or I believe that it is just being done out of 'Fear, Uncertainty, and or Doubt' without knowledge that agencies are creating a 'Gestapo' state/country. Either one doesn't really matter since it is my perception, and I would hope people would look at the facts, and form their own opinions not follow someone else's.

Firstly, the United States surpassed everyone else in the world in prison population as many have seen or heard about in recent months. This is a very disturbing fact considering that our country, well the country I reside in the US, is supposed to represent freedom, liberty, and all of the other wishy washy terms you could throw in the mix.

Let's take a quick look at the facts:

About one in every 37 U.S. adults was either imprisoned at the end of 2001 or had been incarcerated at one time, the government reported. The study by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics looks at people who served a sentence for a crime in state or federal prison, not those temporarily held in jail. Experts say the growing numbers of ex-prisoners means more people in society have difficulty finding jobs because they have felony convictions. Many cannot vote and they are more likely to have family or emotional problems that exact a toll on state and local government budgets. "We're talking about a large number of people . bigger than a lot of countries in Western Europe . who face the barriers that exist when you have been in the correctional system," said Jason Zeidenberg, director of policy and research at the Justice Policy Institute, which advocates alternatives to prison. "That's a really upsetting number."
Source for story
Source for stats


Now, for those who pay attention to the news, hopefully you would have heard about Ashcroft and his desperate need to pass the USA PATRIOT Act. If not here is an excerpt.
The USA Patriot Act expanded government surveillance capabilities, toughened criminal penalties for terrorists and removed a legal barrier that for years prevented intelligence agencies and criminal investigators and prosecutors from sharing information.
To critics, the law has opened the door to greater government snooping, weakened constitutional protections against searches and seizures, and subjected to FBI scrutiny more records and documents, such as those held by libraries and businesses.
Source

Key notes to take a look at in this excerpt are the following quotes 'removed a legal barrier', 'opened the door to greater government snooping, weakened constitutional protections against searches and seizures, and subjected to FBI scrutiny more records and documents, such as those held by libraries and businesses'. To the everyday layperson, this may not seem like much, but what they've done with this bill is found a method for themselves (those in government), to circumvent laws with other laws. They've also given the green light for government agencies to go ahead and amass information from sources which are rather unethical.

Unethical being that the right to privacy is protected by the Constitution. Should the USA PATRIOT act fall through, anything you read, purchase, say or watch can be monitored, and possibly used against you in a court of law. Let me explain something for those who don't know how the legal system works, a little break down of what happens when you are in court being accused of something.
Many often had plead guilty either to protect other members of their family from the threat of an indictment by government agents or government prosecuting attorneys; while others were told by government appointed defense attorneys you can't win as the government prosecutors have over a 95% win ratio. They were told they would only receive 25% or less of the normal sentence if they pled guilty even if they were innocent, which some definitely were. KIMBALL had seen records and spoken to inmates that went to trial for the same basic offense as the one that pled guilty in a plea bargain; receiving 10 or 15 years more for the same offense if they went to trial. It was obvious that the vast majority of federal judges punish everyone who even attempts to claim their constitutional right to defend themselves, or is innocent of the prosecutors charges, should they be found guilty incorrectly by a jury in rigged trials across our country.
Source

Now, what happens in court should you have the unfortunate luck of being accused of something is the following, you will be offered a reduced sentence if you accept responsibility, and plead guilty, if you decide to take your case to trial, be prepared to face more time if you lose. See prosecutors don't like to go through the motions of having to waste time in court which is why many cases don't go to trial. To think that everyone who goes to trial is guilty and waisting the court's time is ludicrous. It is your constitutional right to have a fair trial, question witnesses, et. al, it sounds good but in reality is a farce.

Once wrapped up in trial, be prepared to have all sorts of dirt about you being thrown around in court. If you missed a parking ticket, it will surface, if you urinated in a corner as a kid, it will come out. Don't be fooled into thinking that just because you were a minor, crimes committed as a juvenile aren't fair game, somewhere down the line they will surface. Thinking about taking the stand? Go right ahead, even if you have some form of deity vouching that everything you say is truthful, if you're found guilty, you're slapped with another charge which translates into more time. Most people who go through trials often lose, and for those who miraculously win, end up back in court on some other mysterious charges which often appear. Prosecutors hate to lose.

While going through trial, also be prepared for the dirty tactics of those taking you to court. Prepare to deal with LEA's (Law Enforcement Agents in this case) to visit (and sometimes intimidate) your witnesses, tell you things like 'we will come after your wife, your kids, if you don't plea out', there is a slew of things that will occur. Thinking about answering questions because you didn't do anything, and want to speak your piece? Not a good idea, anything you say will be used against you. LEA's will likely turn around and say something coy like 'sure he answered the questions but he seemed nervous, and we believe he was telling a lie' or something to that extent.

Jury trials, reasonable doubt, no evidence? Apparently you may watch too much television. A good enough prosecutor will make sure relevant evidence to your case does not surface. Information that can absolve you will be difficult to get into the trial, and the prosecutor will do his best to prevent you from presenting evidence to his disadvantage. You have to understand, in certain cases, mainly the high profile ones, you are nothing more than a resume booster for this person when they decide to move on. Martha Stewart, Kobe Bryant, Steve Hatfill, Jerome Heckenkamp, these are high profile cases, and can make you a fortune in the private sector, so don't expect a prosecutor to throw away these cases even when they know there is evidence than can prove your innocence.

Back to the original intention of the story, which is to explain how a country can become a prison cell. OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) based sites such as Prison Planet, and other sites with similar content are often a bit extreme in their views. Not to say they're wrong, but to me they're a bit over the top. With the type of content some of these sites choose to post, Black Helicopters, FEMA detention centers, etc., it is very difficult to find truth when so many things are blown out of proportion. Again this does not mean there is no truth to some of the content on those sites, maybe it is just being explained out of context. This is a perception issue however, and there is no wrong or right, it is a matter of perception.

The main problem with getting people to listen, and awaken to what is happening is what I view as a matter of cognitive dissonance. For those who are unfamiliar with the term here is the textbook explanation followed by my own.
Leon Festinger formulated this theory "from a very general theory of 'cognitive dissonance'." Festinger explored the psychological state that resulted when two cognitions were contradictory. By contradictory he meant that they "were either logically inconsistent or incompatible with the person's past experience. Festinger believed that when there was inconsistency, or when there was conflict with the person's past experience, that this makes us uncomfortable enough that we'll take the simplest way out to get consistency again.
Source:

Easier way to explain this is sort of a 'See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil', where people will not take any action since they feel it doesn't affect them. This is what my perception of the situation is. (Situation referring to Prison, Police states, etc., not Cognitive Dissonance). It's easier to ignore what one doesn't understand, especially when one feels it has no bearing on them. This method of thinking is rather shallow, uneducated, and dangerous, but I really don't want to get into this since this article isn't about that.

Back to prison and prisoners for a paragraph or two. 'Experts say the growing numbers of ex-prisoners means more people in society have difficulty finding jobs because they have felony convictions'. This statement is very true, and when people come out of jail, or for those who are already out, the difficulties facing them will also affect those who choose to 'See no evil, Hear no evil, See no evil'. Somewhere down the line, this 'convict' and I don't like using the term, will have to support themselves. Now either they are going to find a job, which will be difficult as is with the current economic state in the United States, or they are going to go on social services programs such as welfare, or some may simply turn back to a life of crime.

This is one method of control for a government as they can now dictacte who can vote, where someone can work, even where someone can live. Very dangerous provided that we are all supposed to be living in a free country. If you truly believe that everyone who passes through the justice system is guilty, than you are more naive than you think, and you might want to stop reading here and go on being a puppet.

Take a look at the following description of what is trying to be passed and make a decision on whether or not you are going to fall for the ramblings of what is beginning to look like Nazi Germany coming from what can still be a great country. Do not give up your liberties for a farce like the USA PATRIOT act, or someday soon you can end up being one of the statistics mentioned on the Department of Justice's website.
The Domestic Security Enhancement Act (also called .Patriot Act 2.):

  • Further dismantles court review of surveillance, such as by terminating court-approved limits on police spying on religious and political activity (sec. 312), allowing the government to obtain credit records and library records secretly and without judicial oversight (secs. 126, 128, 129), and by allowing wiretaps without a court order for up to 15 days following a terrorist attack (sec. 103);
  • Allows government to operate in secret by authorizing secret arrests (sec. 201), and imposing severe restrictions on the release of information about the hazards to the community posed by chemical and other plants (sec. 202);
  • Further expands the reach of an already overbroad definition of terrorism so that organizations engaged in civil disobedience are at risk of government wiretapping (secs. 120, 121) asset seizure (secs. 428, 428), and their supporters could even risk losing their citizenship (sec. 501);
  • Gives foreign dictatorships the power to seek searches and seizures in the United States (sec. 321), and to extradite American citizens to face trial in foreign courts (sec. 322), even if the United States Senate has not approved a treaty with that government; and
  • Unfairly targets immigrants under the pretext of fighting terrorism by stripping even lawful immigrants of the right to a fair deportation hearing and stripping the federal courts of their power to correct unlawful actions by the immigration authorities (secs. 503, 504).

These are only examples of the unfettered powers that the new bill would grant to the government; for a complete analysis, please see ACLU.s detailed section-by-section summary, available on our website.

2. Undermining Checks and Balances

Under our Constitution, government powers are subject to control by the courts, the Congress, and ultimately by the American people, informed by a free press. Checks and balances help ensure both safety and freedom. They ensure that government actions taken for very important purposes, such as to prevent terrorism or other crime, do not violate the rights of ordinary citizens, and that government is held accountable when they do. They also help the government, ensuring that its resources are concentrated on arrests of real criminals . not on ineffective, feel-good solutions advanced by political leaders anxious to reassure a frightened public.

This section explains why eroding checks and balances is a false solution to the real problem of terrorism, and then explains just how Patriot Act 2 would further erode three key checks and balances . the courts, Congress, and the free press.
Source

Everything has a residual effect in life, and although many may think that this situation doesn't affect them, they're dead wrong. At the current rising rate of prisoners in America, it is only a matter of time before half of the population has had some form of run-in with the law. Everyone from politicians, to sports figures, to businessmen and businesswomen, there are plenty of people in the United States right now who are undergoing changes because of the justice system, families are affected, which trickles into friendships, and so on, and so forth. There is an impact whether ones chooses to accept this dirty little secret in America.
The United States holds the dubious distinction of having the largest incarcerated population in the world, with 2 million people behind bars as of year-end 1999. With only 5% of the world's population, the U.S. holds a quarter of the world's prisoners.
Source

A list recently compiled by the Home Office shows that half of the world's prison population of 8.6 million is held in three countries: America (1.85 million), China (1.4 million) and Russia (1.05 million).
Source

America will soon have more prisoners than Russia and China combined. Odd when you look back to all of the news articles portraying America as the victim of propaganda coming from what Americans say are third world countries who kill their own, destroy the liberties of their own, etc. Who is shafting whom? Now I am in no way implying that everyone is an angel, but to believe that the justice system is totally fair is something of an oxymoron in the making.

The very entity of the mind, its nature of mere luminosity and knowing, is not polluted by defilements; they do not abide in the entity of the mind. Even when we generate afflictive emotions, the very entity or nature of the mind is still mere luminosity and knowing, and because of this we are able to remove the afflictive emotions. If you agitate the water in a pond, it becomes cloudy with mud; yet the very nature of the water itself is not dirty. When you allow it to become still again, the mud will settle leaving the water pure. Dalai Lama


WARNING THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE IS A CONVICTED FELON AND HIS VIEWS ARE HIS OWN. HE IS NOT TRYING TO INFLUENCE ANYONE, HE IS SIMPLY WRITING WHAT IS ON HIS MIND. HE DOES NOT NEED ANY MORE VISITS FROM THOSE IN GOVERNMENT WHO WILL MISCONSTRUE WHAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN. HE IS SIMPLY VOICING HIS OPINION. IT IS BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THIS ARTICLE THE AUTHOR CHOOSES TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS TO AVOID FACING PERSECUTION, PROSECUTION, MAYBE EVEN... EXECUTION.

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Poll
America is...
o nothing more than Nazi Germany in the making 40%
o degrading the quality of life with the USA PATRIOT and similar laws 42%
o just fine although the author needs some medication that works 7%
o going through some minor changes nothing more 2%
o just fine because I am not a felon... yet 6%

Votes: 198
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Pravda
o Source for story
o Source for stats
o Source
o Source [2]
o Prison Planet
o Black Helicopters
o FEMA detention centers
o Source [3]
o Department of Justice's
o website
o Source [4]
o Source [5]
o Source [6]
o Also by sil


Display: Sort:
The prison formerly known as America: Enemy of the State | 318 comments (275 topical, 43 editorial, 0 hidden)
-1, please resection to Fiction (n/t) (2.00 / 10) (#8)
by buck on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 01:05:59 AM EST


-----
“You, on the other hand, just spew forth your mental phlegmwads all over the place and don't have the goddamned courtesy to throw us a tissue afterwards.” -- kitten
This is gonna get dumped. (4.33 / 18) (#11)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 01:13:34 AM EST

Which is sad. Although the essence of your story is true, the text is very paranoid and the average Joe doesn't like to think that things are out of control (as you stated). Also, this site's majority of users are americans who are average Joes biased from the start. And then there are those nuissances we call trolls.

I'd rant about how any trial with a jury is everything but impartial, how your Second doesn't help and your First is a laugh, how your Foreign Affairs Policy creates terrorism and how the majority of americans have a prejudice against comunism because their grandfathers still think they live in the cold war - but it's useless. Overall americans can't take criticism on their land, they're too nationalistic and proud. Flame away :-)

Oh, and no, i do not pertain to be a perfect being living in a perfect land of perfect citizens which do nothing but perfect doings. This gets my +1FP

If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf

A quarter? No, a fifth. (3.77 / 18) (#14)
by grout on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 01:23:03 AM EST

According to your own figures, the US holds one prisoner of every 4.65 in the world. That's not a quarter of the world's prisoners; it's a little over a fifth. Lots more than I expected, but still inaccurate; why not be more careful?
--
Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

Considering (1.75 / 12) (#15)
by Michael Moore on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 01:41:15 AM EST

That 1 in 4 is a quarter, would you care to explain how 1 in 4.65 is "a little over a fifth"?

--
"My life was more improved by a single use of [ecstasy] than someone's life is made worse by becoming a heroin addict." -- aphrael
[ Parent ]
Imperial fifths, not metric (3.25 / 3) (#30)
by celeriac on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:07:44 AM EST

Of couse, the confusion is justifiable on account of your Canadian leanings.

[ Parent ]
Think cakes! (4.33 / 6) (#40)
by pmc on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:52:34 AM EST

Imagine your friend had a cake.

If he gave you 20% of a cake (or 1 in 5) then you'd have a fifth of the cake.

If he gave you 21.5% of a cake (or about 1 in 4.65) then you'd have a little over a fifth of the cake.

[ Parent ]

You make the mistake of assuming (1.50 / 16) (#55)
by Michael Moore on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:21:33 AM EST

that fractions and percentages are the same thing.

Look, just think about it. If 1 in 4 is a quarter of all the prisoners in the world, then 4.65 (HIGHER than 4.0!) is in fact even MORE prisoners. If anything, the author of this article understated the number of prisoners--it's almost a third.

--
"My life was more improved by a single use of [ecstasy] than someone's life is made worse by becoming a heroin addict." -- aphrael
[ Parent ]

Let me recycle a previous comment... (3.66 / 3) (#69)
by lb008d on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 12:36:18 PM EST

Please click here. Thanks.

[ Parent ]
ATTN! MATH TROLL! (3.66 / 3) (#107)
by Neolith on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:05:45 PM EST

This guy is obviously one in a long and proud tradition of math trolls.  They love ratios and fractions because they can be confusing.  See any discussion of signal to noise ratio where there is always some dickweed arguing about whether its decreasing or increasing and some sucker trying to patiently explain the concept to them.
  1. in 4 = 1/4 = .25 = quarter
  2. in 4.65 = 1/4.65 = .22 = ~fifth
If they still complain after seeing that, they're a troll.  Shit, turn it around on them.  1 in 1 should by Mike Moore's logic be the lowest ration of prisioners you can have, when in fact its the highest.  

[ Parent ]
When you've got some part of a whole. (3.33 / 3) (#117)
by FieryTaco on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:22:30 PM EST

When someone is stating that you possess 1 in X of something, the higher X goes the less you have of the total number. I'm assuming you are trolling, but there is the possibility that some people out there aren't going to be reading this with their brains turned on. 1 in 4.65 is no where near one third. It's very very close to one fifth.

[ Parent ]
And I get downvoted for knowing math? [n/t] (2.00 / 4) (#51)
by grout on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 08:41:09 AM EST


--
Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

[ Parent ]
+1FP The public has a right to (2.40 / 10) (#16)
by Random Liegh on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 01:42:08 AM EST

SUCK IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
--
Fives for the funny, one's for the spelling flames, and 0's for the assholes ^W geeks.
I was with you to this point: (3.25 / 8) (#22)
by godix on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 02:52:27 AM EST

Once wrapped up in trial, be prepared to have all sorts of dirt about you being thrown around in court.

Granted, I didn't agree with you, but I was still able to see your point until this paragraph. Almost ever sentance of this paragraph is dead wrong however. Records for when you are a minor are almost always sealed with litte chance of them ever coming out in a courtroom. Being charged with perjury for saying your innocent but the court finds you guilty is incredibly rare unless there is factual evidence showing you knowning lied about specific points. Hell, not even Olly North was tried for perjury and Clinton never faced a criminal trial for the perjury that he did. I don't know the statistics of how many trials end in convictions but I'd be suprised if being found not guilty is considered a 'miraculous win'. The law rarely threatens witnesses and the few times they do it's almost like handing the accused a 'get of out jail free' card. Of course anything you say can be used against you but that's not a suprise, you're told that when first arrested and most Americans can quote the Miranda warning from memory anyway. Your point on high profile cases is semi-valid, some prosecutors do chase after famous people. OTOH most famous people are rich, which means they can afford better lawyers to defend themselves than an average person. Think OJ.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
75% conviction, assorted threats and witnesses (5.00 / 10) (#24)
by Blarney on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:18:09 AM EST

I heard from one of our local prosecutors - and I have no reason to disbelieve him - that 75% of trials end up with a conviction.

Of course, many of these are bench trials conducted without a jury, sometimes cynically known as "long pleas". Of the remainder, many involve conviction on lesser charges. It is distressingly common for a jury to find themselves completely unable to make a rational decision, so they compromise - prosecutor says man is guilty of marijuana dealing, defense says it wasn't his pot, we have no way to decide because it's only he-said-she-said, let's just convict him of simple possession and go home. If I was on that jury (I've never been picked for one), I'd probably hold out for innocence if the case was that weak - but most jurors would think that the kid probably did something, and they would render a verdict accordingly.

These aren't encouraging numbers.

It may be rare for a defendant to be charged with perjury simply for claiming his innocence, but it's certainly a useful threat for prosecutors to use in order to convince the defendent to stay off the stand. If the defendant has any past criminal record, they will threaten to bring it up in cross-examination to keep him off the stand - even if it is technically excluded. And if the defendant has a crappy-assed lawyer that can't see these tactics coming, or he's facing a vicious judge who doesn't care about little technicalities like juvenile records - and he stays off the stand. God help the poor defendent if he committed even a petty drug offence after he turned 18, either - even if "expunged" under a Youthful Offenders Act, it can still be brought out. And the jury of elderly church ladies will be all like "Sniff sniff, a crazy drug guy."

There are judges out there who will try to keep petty matters of witness intimidation from being heard by the jury. After all, the witness would be forced on the stand to reveal all sorts of things about himself - maybe things about the people he lives and works with - and a bit of subtle pressure from the prosecutors warning him of the consequences of his testimony just might be enough to convince him that he really doesn't need to stick his neck out at this point in time. Nothing illegal happened, of course, the prosecutor was just telling the witness the truth and there's nothing wrong with that, right?

Nolo.com has a little FAQ on criminal cases where they explain that it is quite common for criminal trials to take place in which there are no witnesses for the defense - in which the defendant does not take the stand on his own behalf, and in which there are no other witnesses to vouch for him - and that this is not necessarily a sign of incompetant lawyering, but a rational strategy to adopt in the case of this type of threats of exposure of various unsavory backgrounds of the defense witnesses. Nolo furthur claims that it is a perfectly valid defense strategy to just sit there and pick holes at the prosecution witnesses during cross-examination. Right or wrong they may be, Nolo Press are a reputable source here and this is sadly the way that the system works most of the time.

It wouldn't be so bad if juries weren't always so stacked. But juries are usually composed of marginal people on the fringes of society. If you're young, you're possibly impulsive and dangerous to either side. If you're familiar with the news, you might not get on a trial. If you have a real job, you might plead hardship and get out of the jury - or just claim racism, that'll help get you out of the job. If you know anything about computers, you can't be on a hacking trial. If you know anything about biochemistry, you won't be on a trial involving DNA evidence. And if you know anything about the law, you won't be on the jury at all. The ideal juror knows nothing about anything, so that he makes an absolutely fair decision with no bias from his life experience - and of course it'll be a little old lady who lives with her 14 cats and doesn't read the papers. Try to convince her that you aren't a bad person when they drag all your dirty secrets out on the stand.

[ Parent ]

Juries don't get to determine the crime. (none / 0) (#112)
by FieryTaco on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:14:54 PM EST

Juries do not have the authority to decide what the crime is. They are told "So-and-so is being accused of posession with intent to distribute. Here is the evidence. Here are the witnesses. What is your decision?" They can then return "Guilty" or "Not guilty." They may even add some commentary, such as, "we believe So-and-so was in possession but do not believe that So-and-so was intending to distribute." In that case they return a "Not guilty" verdict. They don't have the option to change the charges.

[ Parent ]
Lesser-included offense (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by rigorist on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:41:50 PM EST

The jury is can pick and choose.  Say the charge is distribution of narcotics.  Included in that offense is the charge of narcotics possession (you have to have it to sell it).  The jury could acquit on the charge of distribution, but convict on the charge of possession.  It happens all the time.

Yes, IA_AL.

[ Parent ]

FYI (4.80 / 15) (#25)
by sil on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:23:24 AM EST

Records for when you are a minor are almost always sealed with litte chance of them ever coming out in a courtroom.

Wrong, I've been through a federal trial, and have met many who have had their records as a juvenile exposed by prosecutors. Some of them slip it in knowing they could force a mistrial, but judges often let it slide. In my trial I had federal agents from the FBI state 'We know him, he's wanted for breaking into CIA, FBI, NSA, and military computers. But he is not being charged for that right now." It was said out of the fscking blue, and the judge gave the fed a mere warning. What kind of impression do you think the jury had with that comment?

Being charged with perjury for saying your innocent but the court finds you guilty is incredibly rare unless there is factual evidence showing you knowning lied about specific points.

I would hope you posted this as sarcasm and not factual information. Fact remains if you take the stand, and the jury does not believe you, the court takes your testimony as perjury. Most lawyers when it's known your case is going down the tubes advise you NOT to testify. Do you think they'd be doing that if they didn't know you'd get an obstruction of justice charge?

Hell, not even Olly North was tried for perjury and Clinton never faced a criminal trial for the perjury that he did.

Look who you're talking about. First of all they have deeper pockets than the average person and their lawyers can find ways of obscuring information.

I don't know the statistics of how many trials end in convictions but I'd be suprised if being found not guilty is considered a 'miraculous win'.

Stats are included as a blockquote with a link to the infosource. 95% win ratio for the justice dept.

The law rarely threatens witnesses and the few times they do it's almost like handing the accused a 'get of out jail free' card.

Again you must be kidding. I had three expert witnesses set to testify at my trial. The day before they were set to give testimony no one showed, and no one knew why. This was until the DA in my case looked at his pager and stated "Oh X's witnesses will not be testifying." So what hapened here? Simple, the gov has the right to question witnesses to ask them the extent of their testimony to prepare a defense. Court trials are often scripted before the jury comes in. Everything that will be said is argued out beforehand by the DA, and attorneys. Now all of witnesses were being visited by the FBI which is fine, however they decided to show up at 3am - 6am and two witnesses were intimidated. The third... He works for Bell Labs and did not fall for their intimidation. So why didn't he show up? The FBI, and DA called his corporate lawyers and told them they would ask what he does at Bell Labs and he signed a Non Disclosure Agreement. So what did his company do? They threatened him with a possible breach of contract if he testified on my behalf.

All witnesses gone in 60 seconds. So please don't tell me that it never happens. I've met many people who've had agents and DA's threaten putting their family members if they took something to trial. I've experienced this have you?

I could go on and on about this but really don't bother explaining the charade they played with my case, since the bottom line is a jury convicted me of hacking into some machine. This after my ISP testified I never used my account the days of the attack, this after my phone company said I never used my phone that day, this after I was on a damn plane going to Texas. Yes a plane. Do you think my plane itinerary was allowed in court? Get real. This also happened on a day where I was offered 100k to work for a company as a security engineer. So what do you think my mind frame would've been on that date? Sad, mad? Fsck no I was happy as hell, however the jury wasn't allowed to hear that neither.

[ Parent ]

dude.... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
by Blarney on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:30:53 AM EST

anonymity? Oh well. I'm glad to see you back online.

[ Parent ]
Different meanings of the same terms (4.50 / 4) (#32)
by godix on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:39:20 AM EST

In my trial I had federal agents from the FBI state 'We know him, he's wanted for breaking into CIA, FBI, NSA, and military computers. But he is not being charged for that right now."

Ah, I see. We're talking about two different things. You're talking about anyone refering to actions as a minor while I'm talking about someone standing in court saying 'When sil was 12 he stole a candybar, here's the police report.' Incidently, you don't mentioned that what the FBI said stems from your actions as a minor, although I assume that's what you meant.
Fact remains if you take the stand, and the jury does not believe you, the court takes your testimony as perjury.

I do not believe this and want some stats on perjury cases in America to backup your claims. The court obviously thinks you were lying since they found you guilty, but that's different than starting an actual perjury trial.
First of all they have deeper pockets than the average person and their lawyers can find ways of obscuring information

Isn't that pretty much my response to your claims of prosecuters chasing famous people? The difference in quality of defense for a poor person and a rich person is indeed a large problem in America, but it's also a problem you barely touch on (at least in the paragraph I mention, I quit reading at that point).
All witnesses gone in 60 seconds.

If you could prove they were intimidated then you have a clear cause for a mistrial. If you can't prove it then you are accusing others of a serious crime without proof, something I gathered you were against based on the tone of your article. Regradless, we're using different defintions of 'intimidate'. I'm using the term in it's specific legal sense while you're using it's broader social sense.
This after my ISP testified I never used my account the days of the attack, this after my phone company said I never used my phone that day

Not that I'm trying to prosecute you again, but how does this matter? It could easily be argued that you had another way of accessing the net than your ISP from home. If the prosecutor didn't make the claim you hacked in from your house I'd question the relevence of this if I were on the jury. Of course, I could also see some situations where this would be conclusive proof you didn't do it. Depends on the specifics of your case which of course I don't know.
Do you think my plane itinerary was allowed in court? Get real.

Why? Placing a persons whereabouts during a crime is generally pretty important to either side of the trial. What reason was given for blocking this testamony in your case?
This also happened on a day where I was offered 100k to work for a company as a security engineer.

Again, if I were on a jury I would question the relevence of this. Hacking, AFAIK, is frequently done for fun or curiosity rather than anger. As before, I guess the importance of this depends on the specifics of your case which I don't know.


"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]
Quit badgering the author (4.83 / 6) (#35)
by obsidian head on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:51:57 AM EST

it's also a problem you barely touch on (at least in the paragraph I mention, I quit reading at that point).
You quit reading there, yet you press him for information? You should not have the right to comment on this article and waste the author's time. We all would understand if the author does not carry on with this thread and leaves your points unanswered.

[ Parent ]
I'm not badgering him (none / 0) (#190)
by godix on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:30:28 PM EST

I'm explaining exactly why I thought his article sucked so badly that I didn't consider it worth finishing. If the author cares to clear up the points that I think make the article little more than bad fiction then that's his concern. If he doesn't, well, I'll continue thinking he's wasn't put on trial, he isn't in jail, and this article is made up from wrong 'facts'.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]
If that is true (1.80 / 5) (#49)
by fhotg on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 08:03:21 AM EST

then your mistake is probably that you don't have enough money to get a decent lawyer. Your fault, our super-duper democracy is not meant to level social differences, you know, albeit this is a common misunderstanding from people who have read too much about "democracy" as it is understood by these socialist decaying old European nations. This is America, if you don't like it piss off to Cuba or China !
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]
Subpoena (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by Merk00 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:01:48 AM EST

You do realize that a court is able to subpoena a witness? This means that under penalty of law, the person has to show up to testify. It doesn't matter how they've been "threatened" by the prosecution, they have to show up. It's as simple as that. If you had these "expert witnesses" who got scared from testifying, then why didn't your lawyer subpoena them? If he failed to, you have grounds for an appeal based on incompetent representation.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

G'day Skylarov. (nt) (none / 0) (#64)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:46:07 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
What's the Miranda thingie? <nt> (none / 0) (#90)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:24:34 PM EST



If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]
You have the right to remain silent. (5.00 / 2) (#113)
by Fon2d2 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:16:54 PM EST

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to be speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.

Some background.

[ Parent ]
Thank you. <nt> (none / 0) (#120)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:56:54 PM EST



If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]
Hooray for slave labor. (4.71 / 14) (#23)
by hovil on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:08:55 AM EST

It not just the prison levels, which in itself is alarming. But prisoners are also used as slave labour to produce all sorts of nifty products for the US military industrial complex, under the guise of UNICOR. Whoops, I meant UNICOR.

UNIWHORE (4.57 / 7) (#26)
by sil on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:25:28 AM EST

You mean the not-for-profit for-profit slave labor camps which is only supposed to make products for government but go out the side door via JBHunt trucks to private sector co's? Yes that was exposed some time ago. However, they've changed all that and are doing the right thing *wink wink*

[ Parent ]
consider it as a penalty... (1.16 / 6) (#91)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:28:41 PM EST

...for those serving life sentences. Although i doubt those are the only ones doing it. Nothing against "slave labour", if you're convicted you may as well work your ass off and pay back some of the taxpayer's money that is used to support you. Or were you expecting the Ritz?

If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]
Slave Labor (none / 0) (#128)
by rigorist on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:50:08 PM EST

The problem is not having prisoners work.  Since the major punishment in our system of incarceration is boredom, working is a good thing for most prisoners.

The problem is that these workers are paid a pittance (like a few cents an hour) for their work.  The goods are then sold for lower costs, driving down wages of non-prisoner labor.

The US hypocritically criticizes China for this practice.

[ Parent ]

Where is Kurt Russell? (nt) (2.40 / 5) (#29)
by richarj on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:02:59 AM EST



"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
LEA? (3.75 / 4) (#33)
by 5pectre on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:50:58 AM EST

not Local Education Authority then ;)

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

Load Effective Address (5.00 / 4) (#52)
by Merk00 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 08:53:41 AM EST

Personally, I'm just reminded of Motorola 68000 assembly.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

-1, Loonie (3.84 / 19) (#37)
by The Turd Report on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:34:03 AM EST

BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THIS ARTICLE THE AUTHOR CHOOSES TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS TO AVOID FACING PERSECUTION, PROSECUTION, MAYBE EVEN... EXECUTION.

The tinfiol goes shiny side out there, pal.

Tin foil. . . (3.77 / 9) (#103)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:41:00 PM EST

The tinfiol goes shiny side out there, pal.

Ridicule. How original.

What amazes me is that anyone can read through an entire article like that, with all of its source material and logical arguments adeptly presented so that the inhenent flaws in the system are easy for even the most dense individual to grasp, and the best response some people can come up with is still to latch on to the single target he made available, and laugh while ignoring the main body.

--Not to mention that the single target you chose was, (I thought, anyway) obviously, not meant to be taken at face value, but rather a device used to point out a real aspect of the United States 'justice' system. The U.S. executes people. This is not a conspiracy. It happens. Everybody knows that. And with the ever increasing bias against the defendant, it is more and more likely that innocent people will be, (and probably have been), murdered by the State. --A state whose president was caught mocking one of the people on death row as she pleaded for her life.

But yeah. Enjoy your daft jokes. That'll certainly keep you safe as the walls close in.

-FL

[ Parent ]

Ok (4.40 / 5) (#110)
by The Turd Report on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:08:41 PM EST

Someone could give a well thought out speach, but, if at the end, he strips down, covers himself in chunky peanut butter and fucks the podium, people are going to think you are a bit of a loon. It is true that his post is well thought out and worded, but his desent in to paranoia at the end just kills it. Strip out the whole "The MAN is coming for me!!!" at the end and I'd have +1'd it.

[ Parent ]
Well (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by Alfie on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:14:33 PM EST

People who have experienced forced trauma at the hands of another often have trouble accessing the threat which the abuser poses even after the person is free from the abuser. Despite rational thought which tells one that one is fairly safe, the fact that the abuser surprised the victim with the extent that he or she was willing to break common decency, social conventions, and ideas of fairness, it leaves the victim unable to predict what threat the abuser poses. After all, if the abuser shocked the victim once with the depths in which he or she was willing to go, who's to say that the victim's ideas of rational behavior will accurately predict what the abuser will do? Thus the victim, though he or she knows otherwise in the more rational part of their mind, can still be afraid of the abuser after having gained freedom from the abuser. Or even begin to attribute almost omnipotent powers to the abuser. I know it doesn't make sense, but there you go.



[ Parent ]
What part of. . . (5.00 / 1) (#188)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:23:50 PM EST

"Not meant to be taken at face value" did you not get? -I just read the last paragraph of the article again to make sure it wasn't just me, and no, I really don't think that the poster truly believes that the Man is waiting outside his door.

The sad part, however, is that the Man is only about a block and a half away and closing steadily. Hence the reason for the article in the first place. A little basic projected thinking will sure enough place the Man on your doorstep if things don't change course. --But that's an unpleasant thought, so OF COURSE the average American sleepwalker is going to mod him down and tune him out and wishfully think that it'll all be okay.

I think a lot of people would be very surprised if they honestly looked at just what the US is going to be doing within the next few years. --Of course, those same people have sleepwalked this far, I'm sure when the ugly reality surfaces once and for all, it will not cause any public discontent until the final moments when the bombs are actually dropping around their ears.

"How could this possibly have happened? Where DID we go wrong?"

Right here, pal. THIS is the junction point. --Indeed, every moment of your life is the junction point, and each time you take the wrong turn, the path back to the highroad will be that much more agonizing.

-FL

[ Parent ]

Between this (4.20 / 10) (#38)
by HermanMcGuigan on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:38:21 AM EST

Between this kind of story and all the prison-rape stories that have been circulating in the last few years, it seems the U.S. justice system is in bad shape. Scary stuff.

Funny, that. (3.00 / 3) (#56)
by blixco on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:21:36 AM EST

Most everyone I know is terrified of prison only because of the prison sex thing. Getting raped in the showers by five or six white supremicists and maybe a guard or two is good motivation for Not Getting Caught (or Not Doing the Crime).
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]
well (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by speek on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 02:19:50 PM EST

As life goes on in America, being locked up someplace where they feed you, give you stuff to do, offer free exercise programs and free education, and create a community you can feel a part of sounds better and better all the time. If they could prevent the rapes, the beatings, and outlaw solitary, it'd be hardly different from any other gated community.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Just a thought... (none / 0) (#147)
by Kadin2048 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 08:41:07 PM EST

Maybe this is why they don't do anything about the rapes.

[ Parent ]
STDs (5.00 / 2) (#156)
by Alfie on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:41:21 PM EST

The problem with that is that if the person catches HIV or other diseases then they continue to suffer long after their actual punishment is over, not to mention that the community in general suffers when diseases spread.



[ Parent ]
or Moving to a Country with Sane Drug Laws (n/t) (5.00 / 2) (#97)
by kableh on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:01:10 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Everything you read on the internet is true (3.00 / 1) (#167)
by TheModerate on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:55:24 PM EST

I'm glad you understand this.

This kind of story making the front page is what happens when 99% of the folks here have read 1984 and nothing else. Its not that they aren't smart---they just haven't learned to see things in any other way than this paranoia.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

+1, MENTIONS BLACK HELICOPTERS (4.18 / 11) (#39)
by Hide The Hamster on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:52:11 AM EST




Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

I seen em (3.00 / 4) (#48)
by peace out on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:57:12 AM EST

Those black op helos were shooting infraRED beams through my window blinds, to photo me in my undies. Several times they have caught me unloading on some whore I hired. I have seen em. A friend of mine, his brother drives one of them thar helos. Coordinated by grey aliens they is. Or so he told me down at the bar. They don't really want to hurt us, it's is just that our rotund obese bodies turn them on. They are up there in the clouds beating off to our humanoidness. I feels dirty just talking bout it.
Peace Out - World Peace Now!
[ Parent ]
+1 FP (3.87 / 8) (#42)
by Xiol on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:09:44 AM EST

I can see the way the US is heading, and I don't like it.

But I live in the UK, so screw you guys. Of course, I bet we'll be next...

-- The Quote Machine

Who's leading whom? (5.00 / 4) (#79)
by the on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 02:03:40 PM EST

I am stunned that in the UK the fundamental right to silence was removed without much complaint several years back. That of course includes the fact that you can be punished for not remembering your encryption keys. I believe the UK also has more video camera surveillance per capita of anywhere in the world. It seems to be that the UK and the US have a lot to teach each other.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
Also (none / 0) (#93)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:38:22 PM EST

By leaving your house out to the street you're waiving your right to privacy, as far as cameras go. You can be filmed without permit by anyone and the paparazzi take good advantage of that. Of course every now and then they chase a princess to death, but no big deal. Lately Germany has been having problems because of cell phones with digital cameras. Seems like the germans amuse themselves taking pictures in beaches and showing them to everyone online, invading the right to one's privacy.

If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]
Diana was killed in France (none / 0) (#109)
by whazat on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:07:18 PM EST

So our privacy laws have nothing to do with her death. But yes I would be first to admit that Britain has a Criminal Justice problem. Has anybody heard of an abuse of CCTV cameras that watch the streets?

[ Parent ]
My bad :) (none / 0) (#114)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:19:37 PM EST

I know it was in a tunnel. How are France's "public privacy" laws? I've never been to the UK so i don't know about any CCTV problem. Here you need the consent of the filmed to film (i don't know how does this work when the news make a live).

If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]
That's not quite right... (none / 0) (#144)
by hex11a on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 08:07:36 PM EST

IIRC there was a lot of complaint about what happened, and I think that what actually changed was the police statement "You have the right to remain silent but it may damage your defence if when questioned you do not mention anything you later rely on in court" or similar words. I think what changed was that the courts are now allowed to analyse your silence and interpret it, whereas before they had to just go on "no answer to question X".

I could, however, be wrong ;-)

Hex

[ Parent ]

Right to Privacy (5.00 / 10) (#50)
by Kadin2048 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 08:23:21 AM EST

"Unethical being that the right to privacy is protected by the Constitution."

I think it's worth bringing up, whenever a statement like this is made, the fact that there isn't any written right to privacy. What I believe you are referring to is the concept of a right to privacy which is inferred by many people as being an 'unenumerated right' in the Constitution, protected by the 'penumbra' of the 14th Amendment.

However, saying flat-out that "the right to privacy is protected by the Constitution" is a bit of a stretch. Since the right to privacy isn't clearly enumerated, it's existence hinges principally upon who happens to sit on the Supreme Court bench at the moment.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the right to privacy. So much so, in fact, I wish we had it as an enumerated right. But until we have an actual amendment added to the Constitution, it's dangerous to discuss it as if it were written. Right now, it's a fluid right, subject to the political climate and the whims of the Supreme Court.

4th amendment (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by speek on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 02:15:56 PM EST

How do you interpret the 4th amendment other than as a right to privacy from the government?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Interpretation (5.00 / 5) (#124)
by ZorbaTHut on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:28:10 PM EST

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

---------

However, it's fine to set up a global computerized camera system with face recognition to track the current location of every American. It's fine to legally require tracking devices built into all articles of clothes and motor vehicles. It's fine to eliminate cash and require all transactions to be done through credit card, and reported to the government for processing and suspicious behavior search.

You just can't search their body or their house, or take their possessions, until one of the above gives you an excu - er, I mean, probable cause.

[ Parent ]

Penumbras, 4th and 14th Amendments. (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by Kadin2048 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:43:40 PM EST

Good point.

Both the 4th and the 14th Amendments create the penumbra which (to some) guarantees the right to privacy as it is commonly used. The part of the 14th Amendment which is also significant is "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." If you accept the 'penumbra' concept as creating a common-law "right," then this Amendment gives it weight in the lawmaking process.

As ZorbaTHut pointed out, the Fourth Amendment literally guarantees only the right not to be unreasonably physically searched. However, Justice Douglas said in his landmark opinion in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) that each of the Amendments creates a 'zone of privacy' which collectively creates a "right to privacy."

It's hard to pick any Amendment which doesn't have a bearing on the right to privacy--off the top of my head, the Ninth Amendment would also be important. But the important thing is that it's not any one Amendment--it's this concept of a penumbra, sort of a holistic combination of all of them, which creates the Right to Privacy.

Douglas' penumbra isn't very popular with people who prefer a strict reading of the Constitution, aka 'strict constructionists,' because to them it involves making up something that isn't there. This is the basis for my reluctance to talk too comfortably about a right to privacy also, but for practical rather than philosophical reasons: I just don't think it makes sense to get one's feet firmly planted on a rug that can be yanked out any any time.

[ Parent ]

philisophically (none / 0) (#254)
by banffbug on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 09:33:35 PM EST

your 'right' to privacy doesn't exist, so why such the desire for it to exist practically? In fact, your only right is to die. Everything else lies in the boundries of freedom - freedom of thought, speech, and expression.

the more i think about it, the more of an enigma privacy becomes. Yes, people want their privacy protected, but it is not the violation of your private information that scares us, rather the amount of freedom taken away by institiutions taking advantange of this information. I'd be more than happy to give up my privacy if it was being used in a benificial way; to improve social conditions, and increase economic stablity in my geopolitical region, etc. But until we can trust the government .. what an oxymoron (talking about democracy here) if the gov't is in fact, the masses, why do most people fear the govn't? Shouldn't we be able to trust each other?

[ Parent ]

Because people fear each other. (5.00 / 1) (#281)
by Kadin2048 on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 12:53:08 PM EST

In a self-interested system, where each person chooses and follows a course of action they believe will be most beneficial to themselves, I think the answer to "shouldn't we be able to trust each other?" is a qualified "no."

What's good for you might be bad for me, and I'm going to assume that, given the chance, you're going to do what's good for you--therefore, I cannot give you that chance.

I'm still trying to work out exactly how that figures into the greater privacy debate regarding the government, but I think it's definitely the basis for why we don't all just trust each other on an individual level, all the time. We trust each other when we share a common goal, either because we both have a vested interest or for personal reasons (family, friendship, etc.), or when we're sure the other party is disinterested (if you ask a random person on the street the time, they're probably not going to lie--they have no reason to). But as soon as our goals begin to conflict, as they are bound to in a society with limited resources and unlimited desires, we become wary.

I think that the distrust of government comes from a distrust of individuals. We would trust the government, if it was really working for "the common good" all the time, but how many people believe that? The government is comprised of individuals, each working for personal goals which may or may not be in line with Joe Citizen's.

Also, the electorate doesn't always vote along the lines of "the common good," because that's not what people want. They want what's going to be good for them, not what's going to be good for everybody. Better to help oneself by 10% than help everybody by some infinitesimal fraction of a percent.

[ Parent ]

9th amendment (none / 0) (#295)
by arbofnot on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 06:27:08 PM EST

One problem with strict constructionism is the tendency towards an authoritarianism which the Constitution does not support.  It is as if the strict constructionists will hang on every word, with the exception of the 9th Amendment.  You will recall, the 9th Amendment says:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

[ Parent ]

Constitution does not enumerate rights (5.00 / 2) (#233)
by Eric Green on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 10:40:38 AM EST

The Constitution and the so-called "Bill of Rights" is actually a list of restrictions upon what government may or may not do, rather than a list of rights. Look, it even says so in the 9th Amendment... The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The Founding Fathers viewed rights as inherent, granted by the Creator, rather than something that Man could grant or take away via a simple enumeration. Man could violate those God-given rights, but they still remain rights.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

bits and pieces (4.53 / 13) (#54)
by sil on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:04:22 AM EST

First to answer the post on the right to privacy. WHAT IS THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY?

The right to privacy is not mentioned in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court has said that several of the amendments create this right. One of the amendments is the Fourth Amendment, which stops the police and other government agents from searching us or our property without "probable cause" to believe that we have committed a crime. Other amendments protect our freedom to make certain decisions about our bodies and our private lives without interference from the government - which includes the public schools. [1]

Then onto those who are curious/upset/dumbfounded by the author's disclaimer at the botton. Let's be realistic about 'Freedom of Speech' here in America since it is an expensive concept many don't understand, and it seems some of those who have shared their views via thread may have never dealt with any serious matters other than some rant about the RIAA, Kazaa, or something similar.

Where should I begin should it be with Jim Bell? Bell originally got official skirts in a bind when he penned Assassination Politics, a provocative think piece that postulated an Internet-based system for anonymously rewarding people who knock off abusive government officials. All hot and bothered by the article, the feds made Bell a target of an intense investigation. Soon, he was an unwilling guest of the government, and the powers that be thought they were done with yet one more thorn in their sides. [2]

Maybe what was meant was the freedom to express yourself, burn a flag even [3] I'm not sure which version of Free Speech or expression some referred to but I think the author has a slight point in not posting his/her name.

It's a matter of convenience, from my own perspecitive, I would be reluctant to say certain things being that having a felony not only labels you in society as a bad person, but it tends to make things easier should you have been shafted the first time around, and are in a bind the second. Don't you think it would be easier second time around to be arrested for something totally obsolete, yet have a felony hinder you from proving your innocence?

It's understandable that some wouldn't understand the concept of it all maybe some have never been arrested, we all know some aren't even from the US so this would not pertain to them. IMHO (which means nothing to anyone but myself), I think it's not worth the headache and hassle to bother pissing people off. Especially with the deep pockets of a government looking to boost the conviction rates durng certain timeframes.

Now what I mean by that is self-explanatory. Take a look at arrest and conviction rates at oh say, during election times. Funny how they skyrocket up, and someone claims fame for this 'great spike in justice'.

I would like to add more to this but I wouldn't know how to sort out sincere posts from the trolls. As for stats comments, maybe Google will work if you're interested in it full-heartedly. One thing I've learned is, anyone can influence anyone else with stats. From my perspective, there seems to be no statistics that point to anything less than stated, the US is looking like an overgrown prison. We have the most prisoners in the world, and things aren't getting any better.

Caught out (3.20 / 5) (#61)
by The Central Committee on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:21:55 AM EST

We know who you are Jim Bell, expect a visit from us soon.

You personaly are the reason I cannot believe in a compassionate god, a creature of ineffable itelligence would surely know better than to let someone like you exist. - dorc

I did not write this crap. (5.00 / 2) (#101)
by James Dalton Bell on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:29:20 PM EST

Nowhere does it mention digital cash, encryption, or predicting public servants' death times. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to writing another 700 page appeal. Thank you, Good day!


-
James Dalton Bell
Author of Assasination Politics

[ Parent ]
Our apologies Mr Bell (none / 0) (#215)
by The Central Committee on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 04:09:20 AM EST

I just received an email from someone pointing us to this article.

You personaly are the reason I cannot believe in a compassionate god, a creature of ineffable itelligence would surely know better than to let someone like you exist. - dorc
[ Parent ]

Clearly, the problem is with the prison system... (1.73 / 15) (#70)
by AnomymousCoward on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 12:44:29 PM EST

It's not taken seriously enough.

Punishment is easy time. Sure, there are internal gangs, beatings, fights, and sodomy, but on the whole, U.S. prisons are nothing compared to, say, Russian prisons.

If the prison system is meant to be a deterrant, the level of discomfort needs to increase substantially. No more victims' rights groups complaining about 2 people per cell: fill it with 10. No more left wing propaganda about how prisoners need first class treatment: break the law, suffer miserably for the next 20 years.

Even in cash-strapped California, where people whine and complain about budget deficits causing teacher shortages, prisoners receive Ice cream! Indeed, not generic ice cream, but Nestle and Dreyers, brand name, expensive goods. Why, exactly, is this the case?

When prisons become punishment rather than alternative living quarters, crime will fall and prison population will drop. Period.
 

Vobbo.com: video blogs made easy: point click smile

Not that much. (1.00 / 2) (#95)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:49:37 PM EST

I wouldn't stick 10 in a cell but some luxuaries should be banned. Also, why should you sit around all day doing nothing? There are lots of roads to fix out there, and you're gonna do it for free - no money, no sentence reducting, no nothing. Just work and shut up. You could be more rigid but you'd have to trust in the justice system and it's imparciality. Of course "jury" and "imparciality" are on opposite ends.

If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]
Easy time? (5.00 / 3) (#108)
by seraph93 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:07:14 PM EST

Prison's not a fun place. It's not "easy time." The reason the prisons are full is not because people don't take prison time seriously, it's because every god damn thing is illegal now. And they keep on making more laws.

Think about it: Do you know anyone above the age of two who has never done anything illegal? Probably not; and it gets less probable every time Congress is in session. And just how many people do you know who have committed a felony, whether they were caught or not? Probably quite a few.

In my opinion, the best way to empty the prisons would be to get rid of some of the laws that put the people there in the first place. If drugs were legalized, for example, prison populations would be cut in half overnight. But there's not much chance of that happening, is there? The prison industry wouldn't appreciate the government taking away their customers like that, and the government would have to figure out a whole new way to keep minorities from voting.
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Let me get this right .... (4.00 / 3) (#123)
by AnomymousCoward on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:26:21 PM EST

Think about it: Do you know anyone above the age of two who has never done anything illegal? Probably not; and it gets less probable every time Congress is in session. And just how many people do you know who have committed a felony, whether they were caught or not? Probably quite a few.

People commit crimes, so we should just make it legal?

Ok. Someone murders your mother. We then make murder legal so that they're not put in prison. Does that make sense?

Things are illegal because they cause harm: harm to yourself, harm to other people, or harm to society as a whole. Your refusal to accept that basic fact ruins any chance you had of making a worthwhile argument.

For instance:

If drugs were legalized, for example, prison populations would be cut in half overnight.

Drugs, despite what half of the people on this site will argue, are detrimental to the users, the people around them, and society in general. Look at China in the 19th century for an example of a completely doped population. Opium addiction causes huge problems, as does addiction to other major narcotics.

Finally, I'll conclude by saying the last sentence completely destroys any and all credibility you ever had. Consider this: in 1993, Democrats had control of both the presidency and both houses. Since a vast majority of minorities vote Democrat, they would *benefit* by freeing minorities. Now, why again would the 'government' not want minorities voting there? Your conspiracy theories are worthless. Go back to chanting 'no blood for oil.'

Vobbo.com: video blogs made easy: point click smile
[ Parent ]
Good spin on that one (5.00 / 1) (#151)
by seraph93 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:25:52 PM EST

...but I'm not suggesting we make murder legal. I'm talking about all the ridiculous little things that are illegal. A great deal of people who are in prison are in there for a good reason. I don't advocate letting murderers and rapists run around free.

People commit crimes, so we should just make it legal?

Yes, depending on the crime. Murder and rampage and such are illegal, and should remain so, of course. But there are too many stupid things that the Man can use as an excuse to bust you. Jaywalking? Removing tags from mattresses? How about playing a DVD on a Linux machine? Stupid, petty laws abound in our country. Did you know that (at least in my state) you can have your license revoked and your car confiscated if the police catch you riding a bicycle drunk? That's right, you can get a DUI for riding a bicycle after you've had a few beers. We should keep that one on the books, though, to cut down on the rampant damage caused to society, and all the children killed, and all the lives ruined by drunken bicyclists, right? But the dumbest laws we have on the books are still the ones about drugs.

I think it's very interesting that you should have:

Drugs, despite what half of the people on this site will argue, are detrimental to the users, the people around them, and society in general.

And:

Support my drinking habit. Buy shit my girlfriend makes.

In the same post. Did you know that alcohol is a drug? By your own argument, then, you are a detriment to yourself, the people around you, and society in general. Put down that beer, or it'll be 19th century China around here before you know it! But I'm sure you'll agree with the proponents of the War on Some Drugs that alcohol, tobacco, and anything in a prescription bottle aren't *really* drugs, and are therefore are no problem to society.

I'll agree that drug addiction is a problem, but I think that it would be much less of a problem if addicts were treated like people with a disease rather than criminals, which is something that can only be done properly if drugs are legalised. Alcoholism is a disease, one that ruins lives, anyone can tell you that. But heroin addiction is a crime worthy of a prison sentence...why is it any different? And who will come forward to be treated for an addiction if they know there's a conviction waiting for them?

Finally, I'll conclude by saying the last sentence completely destroys any and all credibility you ever had...now, why again would the 'government' not want minorities voting there?

I don't know whether the government wants them to vote or not, but they still aren't voting. Here 's a link to some info on the subject, I'm sure Google can find more for you. Here's an excerpt:
The racial impact of disenfranchisement laws is particularly egregious. Thirteen percent of African American men--1.4 million--are disenfranchised, representing just over one-third (36 percent) of the total disenfranchised population. In two states, our data show that almost one in three black men is disenfranchised. In eight states, one in four black men is disenfranchised. If current trends continue, the rate of disenfranchisement for black men could reach 40 percent in the states that disenfranchise ex-offenders.
Oh, and just for you:

"No blood for oil...no blood for oil...no blood for oil...no blood for oil...no blood for oil..."
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Personal responsibility. (5.00 / 2) (#171)
by AnomymousCoward on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:15:22 PM EST

But there are too many stupid things that the Man can use as an excuse to bust you. Jaywalking? Removing tags from mattresses? How about playing a DVD on a Linux machine? Stupid, petty laws abound in our country. Did you know that (at least in my state) you can have your license revoked and your car confiscated if the police catch you riding a bicycle drunk? That's right, you can get a DUI for riding a bicycle after you've had a few beers. We should keep that one on the books, though, to cut down on the rampant damage caused to society, and all the children killed, and all the lives ruined by drunken bicyclists, right?

Look at what you listed:
Jaywalking
Tags on matresses
DVD on Linux

What percentage of offenders get jailtime? Honestly, my guess is less than one tenth of one percent. Those aren't the crimes we're talking about.

Regarding riding a bicycle drunk: have you ever had to swerve to miss a drunk bicycle rider? If you do, and you either crash, hit someone else, or accidently kill the bicycle rider, wouldn't you be really upset that someone was riding around drunk? There's a reason it's illegal to be drunk in public: drunks are generally difficult to control. They can't walk straight, they can't bike straight, and they tend to act up (obviously not all, but it's about percentages). Yes, riding a bike drunk is dangerous, both to the person, and to those who may drive by.  Period. It should be illegal.

Regarding disenfranchising felons: if a person has shown that they're a threat or nuisance to society, as theoretically felons have, then clearly they're in no position to determine public policy. If you want your vote to count, as I certainly do, don't put yourself in a situation where it can be taken away from you. It's not a difficult concept. It's not a racial conspiracy. It's a way to filter those who have no positive impact from impacting the rest of society. It's a good thing.

We could go on and on, but it's a personal disagreement: I contend that people who are arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for felonies have done something that they deserve punishment for. This isn't a big surprise: people who break the law KNOW they're breaking the law, and they're consciously making a choice. If they don't accept those consequences, they don't need to break the law. THIS COVERS ANY AND ALL DRUG ARGUMENTS. If alcohol was illegal (as it is for kids under 21), and you choose to imbibe anyway, you DESERVE YOUR PUNISHMENT. Stand up, be responsible for once in your life, and admit that you made a conscious decision to break the law. Period. Paragraph. End of story.

Vobbo.com: video blogs made easy: point click smile
[ Parent ]

Okay, one last volley and we'll call it a game (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by seraph93 on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 12:27:16 AM EST

I did not decide to be a criminal. Congress decided that I was a criminal. I disagree with them. The law is not always right. Not all laws are just, and not all punishments are deserved.

What percentage of offenders get jailtime? Honestly, my guess is less than one tenth of one percent.

I don't feel much like looking up statistics either, so I'll just assume your guess is correct. But it's one tenth of one percent more than it should be. I'm not particularly scared that someone's going to break down my door and haul me away just because they heard that I was watching a DVD on my Linux box. What worries me is that if I do something *legal* that the Powers that Be don't agree with (loudly criticising the government, for example), then they have plenty of reasons to put me away. It's not much of a worry right now, really. I don't think we have too many political prisoners here, but if we *were* to get some evil motherfuckers in office (as opposed to the merely stupid and greedy), they'd find a really nice framework for general oppression already in place. I don't like the idea of being an election or two away from 1984.

Now, let's regard that drunken bicyclist once more. This is a law that particularly irks me. I have no disagreements with you that people who are falling down, stupid drunk have no business trying to ride around on bicycles. It should be illegal. But they keep pushing the legal blood alcohol content down. If I remember correctly, three beers is about what it takes to be over the limit, give or take, depending on body mass and whatever. I'll assume by your sig that you have a decent tolerance for alcohol--do you think that you would be too drunk to ride a bicycle after a mere three beers? Neither do I. What really bothers me, though, is that you get a DUI for that. A *DUI*. A thousand dollars or more in fees and court costs, revocation of your driver's license for three years, you pay twice as much in auto insurance for the rest of your life, and if they're feeling particularly nasty that day, you lose your car. All for a crime that has nothing whatsoever to do with driving an automobile. You have to agree that that is not a fair punishment for drunken bicycling. Well, actually, I guess you don't have to agree. Whatever.

If you want your vote to count, as I certainly do, don't put yourself in a situation where it can be taken away from you.

I try not to, but here I am anyway. Just because no one's decided to take away my right to vote doesn't mean they can't do it. And I'm sure it's not a racial conspiracy that so many minorities can't vote, just an unfortunate side effect of racial profiling and whatnot (but that's probably beyond the scope of this discussion). It just aggravates me, that's all. Push those percentages a bit higher and we'll have Apartheid.

I contend that people who are arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for felonies have done something that they deserve punishment for.

And I contend that it's too damned easy to get arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for something that, while (usually) deserving of punishment, deserves no punishment so severe. Most, but not all, people in prison, deserve what they get. I just don't want to wind up one of the few that don't deserve it. And I certainly don't want that few to become many.

We could go on and on, but it's a personal disagreement.

You've made several good comments in the course of this discussion, but I must say that this one is by far the best. I could hardly believe I was on Kuro5hin when I read it. Shall we agree to disagree, then? Okay, then, I'll end the argument right here by utilizing Godwin's Law: You're a god damn Nazi. There, someone mentioned the Nazis, it's over! I lose. :)
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Nice volley guys (none / 0) (#268)
by Malone on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 01:14:35 PM EST

Guys, Glad to see this ended up where it should have - as a disagreement. It's good to see Kiro5hin a forum for open discussion instead of a place to flamebait. Fight flames and fight trolls. Good posts.

And for the record, seraph you're a lunatic. :)

cheers -M

[ Parent ]
Agreement! (none / 0) (#273)
by seraph93 on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 09:49:27 PM EST

It's good to see Kiro5hin a forum for open discussion instead of a place to flamebait.

It is indeed. Kuro5hin would be awfully dull if everyone agreed with each other, and it is good to know that people can have discussions here that don't just degenerate into "OMG fSck j00 f4G0rT". And if you're still reading, AnonymousCoward, thanks for keeping me entertained all day! You're a lot more enlightened and well-spoken on Kuro5hin than you are on Slashdot, it seems. :)

And for the record, seraph you're a lunatic. :)

Please, please. I prefer the term "Conscientious Objector to Consensus Reality." :)
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
The old saw (5.00 / 1) (#225)
by gnovos on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 05:45:23 AM EST

This isn't a big surprise: people who break the law KNOW they're breaking the law, and they're consciously making a choice. If they don't accept those consequences, they don't need to break the law. THIS COVERS ANY AND ALL DRUG ARGUMENTS. If alcohol was illegal (as it is for kids under 21), and you choose to imbibe anyway, you DESERVE YOUR PUNISHMENT.

This isn't a big surprise: people who break the law KNOW they're breaking the law, and they're consciously making a choice. If they don't accept those consequences, they don't need to break the law. THIS COVERS ANY AND ALL SLAVES WHO ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE THE PLANTATION. If being Jewish was illegal (as it is being muslim), and you choose to be Jewish, you DESERVE YOUR PUNISHMENT.  

No, it's not a troll...  It's a point.  Just because a law is on the books does not make it just nor moral.  If I had several billion dollars and I payed enough senators and congressmen to vote on and pass a law that would ban, say, interracial marriage, or being gay, or whatever, and impose life sentances for it, would you still feel so strongly about your argument?  How about if I payed them to pass a law banning YOU SPECIFICALLY from having sex, speaking aloud or watching TV.  Well, I guess in that case, you would just accept it, huh?  Becuase the law is the law, and you get what you desrve for your horrible crimes.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

No. (none / 0) (#166)
by Politburo on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:55:14 PM EST

People commit crimes, so we should just make it legal?

That's not what was said. The point that was being made was that it is pretty much impossible to live in the United States and break no laws. But, most of the laws that "law-abiding" people break are stupid shit like speeding, jaywalking, occasional copyright infringement; not murder. No moron goes around advocating that murder should be legal.

[ Parent ]
Then I'm sure you'd find this interesting (MLP)... (none / 0) (#170)
by Kadin2048 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:07:14 PM EST

"Federal No Frills Prisons Act of 2001", sponsored by Rob Simmons (R-CT), "Prohibits the use of Federal funds to provide the following amenities or personal comforts in the Federal prison system: (1) in-cell television viewing; (2) viewing of a motion picture rated R, X, or NC-17; (3) instruction or training equipment for specified fighting arts, bodybuilding, or weightlifting; (4) an in-cell coffee pot, hot plate, or heating element; or (5) an electric or electronic musical instrument." It's currently in subcommittee.

As a sidenote, Simmons also sponsored the "Prison Rape Reduction Act of 2003".

[ Parent ]

The link didn't work.... (none / 0) (#177)
by AnomymousCoward on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:31:21 PM EST

But if the quote is accurate, absolutely (I personally would strike heating element from (4), but I wouldn't cause a fuss if I was on the committee).

I think both are appropriate.

Vobbo.com: video blogs made easy: point click smile
[ Parent ]

Sorry, Bad Link (none / 0) (#280)
by Kadin2048 on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 12:08:38 PM EST

Apparently you can't link to the search results from that site. My mistake.

If you're interested, you can get to the bill by going to http://thomas.loc.gov/, and typing 'no frills' into the Word/Phrase search. It should come right up.

The quote I posted was taken from the bill's official summary.

Personally, I'm a big supporter of the bill. What I like is that it doesn't say specifically that you can't have anything, just that the taxpayers aren't going to foot the bill. So if you want to work and buy yourself a cable TV, or some R-rated movies, that's fine; just don't ask to be given one.

[ Parent ]

ethics of punishment (none / 0) (#316)
by Space on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 02:43:34 AM EST

 Making people suffer more in prison wouldn't be a deterant. Its more likely to teach people nihilism and sadism.
 A far better prison system would be structured in such a way to reward hard work and ethical conduct. I would encourage giving prisoners more privledges so long as they were forced to earn them through hard work in a structured environment.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Right to privacy.... (4.70 / 10) (#72)
by Daemin on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 01:04:35 PM EST

People keep bring up the point that nowhere in the constitution does it give this right.

I'd like to point out that it also doesn?t give anyone the right to own a gun.

What people miss when the bring up the point about privacy is that we are talking about a 225 year old document. The language has changed. Of course the constitution doesn?t give an explicit right to privacy... The word "privacy" wasn?t used then as it is now. It was generally used to refer to bodily functions; hence private parts, privy, etc.

The word they used to refer to what we call privacy is security and its various forms. So, when they said "... right to be secure in their persons and properties from undue government search..." they WERE IN FACT laying out a right to privacy. This statement can be validly read as "... right to have their privacy protected from undue government intrusion... "

To digress...

As my drill sergeant was always fond of reminding us, there are only 2 different guns: machine guns, and shot guns. Everything else had a proper name: rifle, pistol, etc. This is a bit of left over terminology.

When the constitution was written, they were using muskets, and rifles, etc. They did not use the word "gun" to refer to firearms, hence we are not guaranteed the right to "keep and bear guns."

The point of this is, if you are going to do a literal reading of the constitution, you cannot do it with an understanding of 21st century English. You have to read it in the context of the times, and realize that even though you "know" all the words, it doesn?t follow that they mean the same thing to you as it did to them.


Especially when (5.00 / 3) (#73)
by Skywise on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 01:07:10 PM EST

the words don't say what you want them to say.

[ Parent ]
Yet more terminology... (3.00 / 2) (#100)
by falloutboy on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:20:19 PM EST

Daemin makes an excellent point about the way language has changed in the last two centuries. If you look at the actual text of the second amendment, it specifies a right to bear arms as a member of a militia.

At the time the Constitution was written, there was no federal army, and state armies were pretty informal, and typically called "militias." The framers were ensuring that as a member of a force that defends liberty, Americans would be allowed to have firearms. I'm afraid an AR-15 used to mow down deer doesn't fall into that category.

[ Parent ]

You are misinformed (3.00 / 2) (#111)
by jjbelsky on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:12:50 PM EST

Daemin makes an excellent point about the way language has changed in the last two centuries. If you look at the actual text of the second amendment, it specifies a right to bear arms as a member of a militia.

The word "militia" has changed as well. Back then, they were referring to every man that had the ability to fight. The phrase "well regulated" had a different meaning back then as well! It meant something similar to "well functioning."

At the time the Constitution was written, there was no federal army, and state armies were pretty informal, and typically called "militias." The framers were ensuring that as a member of a force that defends liberty, Americans would be allowed to have firearms. I'm afraid an AR-15 used to mow down deer doesn't fall into that category.

At the time the Constitution was written, there was no radio or Internet, and printing presses were expensive. The framers were ensuring that people would be allowed to print whatever they wanted on paper. I'm afraid a ten kilowatt transmitter used to beam a picture to thousands of households doesn't fall into that category.

If you're going to make anti-gun arguments that deal with intent, please do your research first.

It is an acceptable position (albeit one that I disagree with) to be anti-gun. Your arguments, however, do not stand up to logic. It is patently absurd to claim that, if it weren't for the Second Ammendment, this country would not be allowed to arm its soldiers.



[ Parent ]
Specification of purpose (none / 0) (#246)
by falloutboy on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:50:28 PM EST

At the time the Constitution was written, there was no radio or Internet, and printing presses were expensive. The framers were ensuring that people would be allowed to print whatever they wanted on paper. I'm afraid a ten kilowatt transmitter used to beam a picture to thousands of households doesn't fall into that category.

Your point is well taken, but the difference here is that the first amendment does not specify any conditions under which free speech, free press, and freedom of religion are to be exercised. The second amendment does exactly that.

It is an acceptable position (albeit one that I disagree with) to be anti-gun. Your arguments, however, do not stand up to logic. It is patently absurd to claim that, if it weren't for the Second Ammendment, this country would not be allowed to arm its soldiers.

It would be absurd to make that claim. I don't know what part of my post you got that from, but that isn't at all what I was saying.

I'm not anti-gun, nor anti-gun owner. I am in favor of responsible gun ownership and use and government regulation. I'm sure I needn't remind you that guns can be very dangerous and there are a lot of people who don't take proper precautions with their weapons. Some of those people wave the second amendment around in order to defend their ownership of weapons that are simply too dangerous to be unregulated. Does anyone need an automatic uzi to protect their home from incursion by burglars? No more than they need a tank to get to work.

[ Parent ]

+1 SP (2.60 / 10) (#74)
by wrax on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 01:08:37 PM EST

You have some good material here.

Its a shame what the US is becoming, however perhaps more people will move to Canada now. :-)
--------------------

I don't know whats worse, the fact that people actually write this crap or the fact that people actually vote it up.

This is one fucking long story (3.40 / 5) (#75)
by debacle on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 01:09:13 PM EST

But the only one I've ever liked so far. I think it belongs in Op-Ed but I wont complain, +1FP.

It tastes sweet.
even longer (none / 0) (#99)
by sil on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:16:30 PM EST

Well for one I'm just Joe Blow writing what's on my mind... But if you really want to see a long write up check out http://www.politrix.org/segment/bpoint.html Now that's what I call long

[ Parent ]
-1: alarmist (3.00 / 9) (#78)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 01:18:07 PM EST

Well I just did a back-of-the-envelope calculation says if another 129,573 patriots are put in prison the sons of liberty will demonstrate to the government just exactly what is the 2nd amendment for so be chilling Mr. Mitnick the Republic is blue sky - and see here a gulag ain't all bad it is a good albeit unorthodox way to lower the official unemployment rate boost investor confidence.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.

Fun with statistics (3.30 / 10) (#83)
by minerboy on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 02:25:03 PM EST

So 2.7 percent of americans have been in prison at one time or another - notice how that sounds less problematic than 1 in 37.

The real important numbers are lacking. Some more important numbers - what percentage of crimes result in convictions, and what percentage of convicted felons actually did something wrong to deserve conviction. The author, besides being unduly arrogant (ever heard of pravda?), fails to consider the possibility that there are few innocent people in jail.

the author also fails to consider the other end of freedom - freedom to walk unmolested through cities, freedom to have your stores and businesses safe, freedom from drunks puking on your shoes, and freedom from having your children blown up by some manic. - An interesting comparison is Ottawa and New York City during the recent blackout - where was there more looting - where were people more free ?

Re: Fun with statistics (3.66 / 3) (#86)
by Weembles on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 02:43:56 PM EST

I think an even more interesting statistic would be the breakdown of what crimes put those upstanding ladies and gentelmen in prison.

Are US prisons populated with political prisoners? How many are locked up for publishing seditions material? How many for belonging to unauthorized political parties?

I think this fellow's Pravda and Black Helicopter sources ignore that most of the people in prison are there because of drug crimes, murder, thefts, etc. and not because they tried to stick it to the man. If he were trying to argue that drug crimes are too strict or that we need to do more to intercept potential criminals I'd be the first to give him a +1. Unfortunatly he seems more interested in spittle-flecked rants about the US than in making a useful point.

[ Parent ]

Ottawa during the blackout (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by CYwolf on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:15:33 PM EST

Just a quick factual update seeing as I live there.

There were reports of looting, but as far as I know they mostly turned out to be false or overblown. One case (in the South Keys area), which was reported on the radio before it could be investigated, turned out to be completely fabricated. No windows broken, nothing missing.

A few American news sources seem to have picked up on these rumours and blown them out of proportion. Try searching news.google.ca for 'ottawa looting' and comparing the reports based on origin.
You should also find that Toronto, which has roughly twice the population (still 1/6 of NYC I think) had even fewer incidences. Consider NYC's growth since the 1970, and maybe you could decide that lawlessness and population size are inversely proportional after all. :P

[ Parent ]

More fun with more guns (none / 0) (#98)
by sil on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:14:21 PM EST

Back then you didn't have the military riding up and down the train stations either did you? Do you live in NYC if so you would know there is still a military presence here so your comment is rather obsolete

[ Parent ]
Devil's Advocate (4.00 / 1) (#106)
by Fon2d2 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:52:02 PM EST

Well I'm not sure that you're playing the devil's advocate or not, I do agree that the article was poorly written. However I don't think that makes it a moot point. I did find it frustrating that the other didn't talk about percentages and didn't and direct comparisons to other countries on those percentages. The fact of the matter still remains that we incarcerate a larger percentage of our population than any other free country. As for what percentage of convicted felons actually committed a crime, are you joking? That's impossible to measure. It's also beside the point. What ought to be measured, and what can be measured, is a breakdown by percentage of what people have been incarcerated for. As I understand most of it would consist of drug offenders and other types of non-violent offences. In terms of drug offence I'm thinking mainly of marijauna here. Here is something where public opinion generally conflicts with federal law. That's a failure of the legal system in my opinion. I'm also willing to bet statutory rape laws may also be part of the problem, not that they don't have their place. But it is far too easy for an underage woman to lie about her age to a 19 or 20 year old male. If prosecuted, that guy won't be cut any slack for not knowing. Basically the fact of the matter is, it's possible to create a system of laws were eventually nobody is able to live without violating the rules any more. That gives the government the power to control whoever they feel like, because since everybody breaks the laws, anybody can be prosecuted, and anybody can have their rights taken away. There are societies like this. Singapore, I believe, is one, but don't quote me on that. There already are laws that people break, and society expects them to break, on a regular basis. Speed limits are one example, and indeed, speed traps are a major source of revenue for many small counties. It's not unreasonable to imagine a gradual erosion to a prison state of sorts. And in that respect, by the way, the PATRIOT Act is a piece of garbage.

[ Parent ]
No, not the highest rate.... (5.00 / 1) (#121)
by mbmccabe on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:58:29 PM EST

The US has the largest quantity, gross.

Russia has the highest rate.   We're a mere 2nd.

Nothing to see here at all....move right along.

Gotta read the article source.

[ Parent ]

Most people in jail not violent (4.00 / 1) (#206)
by Eric Green on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 01:54:29 AM EST

We passed the threshhold some time back where the majority of people in jail were there for non-violent offenses, typically for buying some substances that the State did not wish them to buy. Today, less than 40% of those in jail are actually a physical threat to anybody. The rest are there for "crimes" that in a free market economy (as vs. an economy controlled by statist lackies) would be no crime.

We have more people in jail than any other nation on earth. This tends to imply that either Americans are more crooked than other peoples -- or that our government is more repressive than any other nation on Earth. Which one is it? Are we crooks? Or is our government repressive?
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Silly drug laws ? (4.50 / 2) (#227)
by minerboy on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 08:21:55 AM EST

First, I might agree that some drug laws are too severe. On the other hand, I am not for wholesale legalization of every substance. Use of certain substances, pcp for instance, has significant risks of violent behavior during use. Anabolic steroids is another. So, just because someone is incarcerated for a non-violent crime doesn't mean they are not a threat to society consider possession of a Stinger missle -(really officer, I'm a collector of military memorobillia), or fraud, racketeering, all non-violent

Now lets compare our police state to say, mexico - statistics say that we have more people, per capita in prison than mexico - but where is it safer to live? Many countires have low crime rates because the police are in cahoots with the criminal element, and most crimes are not prosecuted, or even reported.



[ Parent ]
True. (2.20 / 5) (#258)
by felixrayman on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 11:39:24 PM EST

Use of certain substances, pcp for instance, has significant risks of violent behavior during use.

Yeah, people on PCP are almost as violent as drunks.

Now lets compare our police state to say, mexico - statistics say that we have more people, per capita in prison than mexico - but where is it safer to live?

I guess if I wanted to make totally inappropriate comparisons I could do that. Or you could compare crime rates in the US to crime rates in other first world countries instead of a third world one. Either or.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
the real issue (4.33 / 3) (#266)
by minerboy on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 09:29:48 AM EST

Yeah, people on PCP are almost as violent as drunks. - Please, you know nothing about PCP. The pharmacological properties of certain substances (see ref) - " greater disorientation and stronger depersonalization than after LSD, increased schizophrenic-like symptoms (Carr, 1959)"

Comparison of crime rates? I thought the thread was talking about the so-called U.S. police state, and the use of crime statistics in proving that assertion - the problem is that the differences in the legal system, and crime reporting, make it impossible to do fair comparisons. The U.S. has a higher crime rate for most types of crime than western european countries. On the other hand, crime in the US has generally been declining, and crime in the EU has been increasing. The demographics that seem to be linked with crime at least within the U.S. are weather (criminals don't like cold), age of the population (young people commit more crimes. Population density (more crime in cities) and immigrant population (its easy to pick on newbies). But So what? It has nothing to do with being a police state



[ Parent ]
if any of us are in prisons (4.00 / 17) (#84)
by circletimessquare on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 02:27:02 PM EST

it is made in our own minds, this article being a shining example of that

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Editorial (none / 0) (#135)
by levesque on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:09:50 PM EST

Minds are a communal thing.



[ Parent ]

refutation (none / 0) (#138)
by circletimessquare on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:35:52 PM EST

you tell me the difference between psychology and sociology and i will tell you the difference between these two things:
  1. the article, at face value, is about the US as a prison
  2. this article is screaming with subtext: it is really about the mind of the writer of this article more than anything else


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
IOIIOOIIIOIOIIIOOOIIOOO (patterns) (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by levesque on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 08:16:37 PM EST

My answer is Psych and Soci for now.

I agree that the article contains much emotional data.

[ Parent ]

Well said (none / 0) (#139)
by smallstepforman on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:38:51 PM EST

If i was willing to moderate, you'd get a +5 for that. Since I dont moderate, you'll just get a "what he said" from me :-)

[ Parent ]
as a side note (4.00 / 1) (#141)
by circletimessquare on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:46:30 PM EST

a few words in response to a post of mine is worth far more to me than 5,000 +5 votes. thank you. ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
US law is too harsh (4.50 / 16) (#87)
by enterfornone on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:09:42 PM EST

I was watching Cops the other night and they were undercover as pot dealers catching people buying. According to the cop being interviewed they recon if they can put enough of the buyers in jail it will stop demand.

Some dude pulls up in his car, buys one stick off the cop and about a dozen other cops leap out and arrest him.

He gets told that not only will he be going to jail, but that his car is now property of the state. Now in Australia we have stupid laws saying that drugs dealers property can be confiscated, but I've never heard of anyone having their car confiscated for having one stick. Good thing I don't own a car - but then again I try not to buy from cops.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.

And they complain (4.40 / 5) (#92)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:30:32 PM EST

that Canada wants to de-criminalize posession of 30 grams (about a sandwich bag full). De-criminalize does not mean Legalize, it simply turns it into a mis-demeanor punishable with a fine, not jail time.

At the same time, legislation will increase jail time for distribution and cultivation, plus make assets siezable after a conviction.

So, we want to give the casual pot user a break, get more people out of the prison system, and be harder on producers and dealers. Hmmmmmm. With the state of America, I can see why they don't like this idea.

They can't accuse someone of smoking a joint, take everything they have - giving them no means of hiring lawyers for defense - and fewer people are in jail where they have no rights. Well, except to Haagen Das and the occassional 'trist' with Bubba.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Yup (4.75 / 8) (#94)
by kableh on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:42:24 PM EST

From what I understand from my reading on the subject, even if you aren't convicted you probably wont get any seized property back. The laws are written so that local departments get to keep the stuff they seize, so they have every motivation to seize what they can. It really is out of control.

[ Parent ]
Makes perfect sense! (3.00 / 4) (#96)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:57:00 PM EST

Want to stop the drug traffic? Arrest all buyers! If a guy has a family, a decent job, does well in life, just so happens to be enjoying his summer vacation or whatevet but buys pot, that dangerous and deadly drug - can him!!

Of course on more civilized and rational countries authorities arrest the dealers (not the consumers) and try to do long investigation work, cooperating with other countries, to crack down on the big drug cartel bosses.

If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]

Correction (5.00 / 3) (#115)
by Djinh on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:20:59 PM EST

The more civilized and rational countries' authorities just don't bother you when you either buy or sell pot...

--
We are the Euro. Resistance is futile. All your dollars will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]
That would depend. (none / 0) (#119)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:55:55 PM EST

If you're selling you can expect to be in trouble with the authorities. Of course no one bothers much with the usual dealers, 'cos they're usually small time dead-end crooks - but they have their share in the prisions.
If you're buying the chances of that happening are much smaller and in some countries the consumption of  light drugs is even permitted or not criminalized.
Any police force will use the majority of it's resources nailling down the big drug traffic networks, not the small time street dealers. It's much more effective that way.

If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]
Bad Assumption (4.00 / 1) (#133)
by rigorist on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:03:52 PM EST

Any police force will use the majority of it's resources nailling down the big drug traffic networks, not the small time street dealers. It's much more effective that way.

Cops bust the little folks to lead to the bigger folks.  Then the bigger folks squeal on the ones one step higher.

Problem is, the little folks STILL get busted.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the defendant can get credit for giving information to the cops.  The little folks only have a little information, so they can't get much a deal.  Add in the mandatory minimum sentences Congress passed for possession, and little folks go to jail for years for small amounts of narcotics.

You assume the cops will concentrate on the big folks.  Sorry, it just doesn't work that way.  They concentrate on the little folks in hopes they might catch a big one.

[ Parent ]

Why are subject lines mandatory? (none / 0) (#158)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:43:36 PM EST

Well we could start off by admiting we're both armcharing about this and whatever the cops do is their business and they know a whole lot more  about it than we do. Btw, when i said cops concentrate most of their efforts, i obviously meant drug-wise, but you got that.

Here's how it works over here: your regulrar average cop gives you parking tikets as well as bust into drug-dealers' houses and locks up the occasional smallfish. The investigation cops are probably your DEA: they go undercover and perform month- (sometimes year-) long investigations in order to bust the big guys. They don't waste much time on little folk unless those might lead them somewhere. They also handle stuff like fraude investigation, human traffic and what not.

So while your average L.A.P.D. cop might bust a couple of small-time dealers and the usual posses he won't do serious investigation work.

If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]

Or (5.00 / 4) (#162)
by Politburo on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:46:26 PM EST

They concentrate on the little folks in hopes they might catch a big one.

Or, from a more cynical view, they concentrate on the little folks because they are easier to catch, and all that matters to the public and their superiors are arrest and conviction numbers, not an actual abatement of the "drug problem". (I use drug problem in quotes, because the drug in this thread was pot. Other drugs are a problem, yes.)

[ Parent ]
You missed the point (2.00 / 1) (#137)
by smallstepforman on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:32:27 PM EST

In more civilised countries, most drugs are LEGAL. You can buy them in approved localities.

[ Parent ]
Not entirely. (none / 0) (#164)
by Vesperto on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:48:49 PM EST

In more civilised countries, most drugs are LEGAL. That's not only false, it's ridiculous. Legalizing crack and heroin? How about ecstacy as well? Not that many countries are in favour of liberalization and the process towads it takes steps.
Some countries won't consider a criminal act if you're carrying a joint with you, but you can be damn well sure if they find cocaine on you you get busted.
Others don't even care if you're smoking pot or hash but still bust you for heavier drugs.
Others, i assume like Holland, have a very receptive culture in which it is even possible for legal drugs (the light ones like pot) to be consumed without the usual need to hide that. They even have places for drug addited people to consume heavier stuff while in the process of getting treatment; but don't think that makes heavy-drug consuption legal beyond that scope.

And then other contries will make you do jail time if you're caught smokin' some weed while listening to a Marley record.

If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]

Why not legalise all drugs? (none / 0) (#312)
by Scriven on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 10:45:25 PM EST

You assume that it's wrong to legalise crack or heroin... but as they have been demonstrated to be as bad for your body and mind as alcohol, and alcohol is already legal, why not?

Crack exists BECAUSE of prohibition.  It is far easier to smuggle one small rock of crack than a (bigger) bag of cocaine (and also easier to smuggle one small bag of cocaine than a big bundle of coca-leaves, which is where it started in the first place). Before the "drug war" myth started, pure pharmaceutical grade Bayer Heroin (Yes, Bayer  invented heroin, and the marketing name that chemical is stuck with) was available for cheaply from pharmacists (where things like that are supposed to be picked up, because it's easier to keep them away from those who shouldn't have them, or who want them too much), and it was abused very very rarely.  And also, since it was treated as a public health issue and not a police issue, there was no "drug problem".

The problem is prohibition itself.  All the new horrible chemicals (like Crystal Meth, which isn't exactly speed and will fuck up your brain), the rave-drugs that aren't even named, just numbers, they ALL came about because of prohibition.

So, without the mistakes of the past, we wouldn't have be dealing with this shit now.  So the first step to deal with the shit now is to fix the mistakes of the past.  Legalise and regulate ALL drugs, take the money out of the hands of criminals, gangs, terrorists.

Before anyone brings up any bullshit "but what about the children" thing, ask any high school kid which is easier to get, (legal and regulated for adults) alcohol or (illegal and unregulated for anyone) cannabis.  The answer will be cannabis more often than not.  "Drug dealers" don't care who buys their products, but most people in stores don't want to loose their license (and spend time in jail) for selling to minors.

Why do people always forget the "noble experiment" that was Alcohol Prohibition, and the lessons we should have learned then?
--
This is my .sig. It isn't very big. (an oldie, but a goodie)
[ Parent ]

I don't think so (none / 0) (#249)
by hummassa on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 04:29:14 PM EST

Any police force will use the majority of it's resources nailling down the big drug traffic networks, not the small time street dealers. It's much more effective that way.

No, it's not. The only effective thing to do is quit criminalizing what I can ingest, smoke or inject; then use the excedent police force to go after robberers, white-collar criminals and murderers.

[ Parent ]
If you want pot to be legal (2.25 / 8) (#116)
by Dr Wily on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:21:03 PM EST

Then that's quite one thing.

It isn't, though, and the buyer knew it.  The law was on the books, and he chose to break it.  

Boohoo?

[ Parent ]

Oh! (5.00 / 1) (#160)
by Politburo on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:44:07 PM EST

I forgot the fact that just because a law is on the books, it makes that law legally and morally correct. Thanks for reminding me.

[ Parent ]
Slavery Laws (4.50 / 2) (#221)
by gnovos on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 05:19:55 AM EST

Then that's quite one thing.

It isn't, though, and the buyer knew it.  The law was on the books, and he chose to break it.  

Boohoo?

Did the same argument apply when slaves attempted to excape thier masters when it was illegal to do so?


A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

Escape (2.00 / 4) (#102)
by Silent Chris on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:34:48 PM EST

Isn't the fundamental tenant of a prison that it's impossible to escape?  I don't see that connection to the US at all.

Methinks... (2.50 / 4) (#105)
by jd on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:47:45 PM EST

...you missed the last few years (China spy plane, bugs in Boeing shipped to China, invasions of two sovereign nations unlawfully - whether or not "justified", the funding of Admiral Poindexter's "projects", inprisonment of thousands in the US without trial or indeed any cause)

The above list is just the highlights of a time of extreme evil. And, yes, I would go as far as calling some of the actions of the US Government "satanic".

The unfortunate thing is that, despite the corruption and perversion of the US, it is still the best country to live in in the world.

[ Parent ]

Best? (5.00 / 1) (#131)
by ixian on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:53:16 PM EST

And just in how many other countries have you lived in?

[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 0) (#163)
by TheModerate on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:46:35 PM EST

You still didn't answer his question. How can the US be a prison if you're allowed to escape?

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Heheh (4.50 / 2) (#126)
by salsaman on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:44:44 PM EST

Isn't the fundamental tenant of a prison that it's impossible to escape?

I think you meant tenet.

The fundamental tenant of a prison, is of course, a prisoner.

[ Parent ]

Now I get it! (none / 0) (#247)
by dennis on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 04:05:01 PM EST

The fundamental tenant of a prison, is of course, a prisoner

Right! Because all too often, the tenant gets it in the fundament.

[ Parent ]

But (none / 0) (#134)
by Sciamachy on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:06:59 PM EST

Aren't US Felons forbidden to cross State lines?
--
Fides Non Timet
[ Parent ]
Ok. (none / 0) (#157)
by Politburo on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:42:45 PM EST

Go get a visa in another country and emigrate. Just try! It's not as easy as just "leaving".

[ Parent ]
This is a weak article about a serious topic. (3.54 / 11) (#104)
by waxmop on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:45:06 PM EST

You don't have to talk about black helicopters or any other paranoid shit to point out that the CJ system in the US is a mess.

Furthermore, ending an article with an all-caps remark about how the government would kill you if you don't remain anonymous is just silly. If you're gonna head down that path, go ahead and take it all the way. Explain the MJ12, and how the zeta grays gave us 8-track technology as a way to persuade the secret world government (it already exists, we just don't know about it) to remain silent about all the abductions and cattle mutilations.

Anyway, back to the prison stuff. Yeah, it's a goddamn shame that we lock up and abuse so many people. However, I don't blame the government or the prison-industrial complex as much as just regular citizens. The average guy on the street is at best indifferent to how our prison population is treated. More likely, it's a subject of jokes that people get beaten or raped while incarcerated. It's not anything to be taken seriously, and it certainly isn't important enough to remember for the next election.
--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar

We are just livestock on CorpGovMedia ranch (3.42 / 7) (#118)
by cryon on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 05:36:50 PM EST

It goes much deeper than just the criminal justice doomsday machine we have built. Look at the drug laws: they are really there because CorpGovMedia wants to maximize profits and taxes and consumption. But maximizing taxes and profits is not possible when so many of the livestock are smokin' and tokin' and enjoying life. Gotta keep their noses to the grindstone--either be out working, or be consuming, buying, or watching commercials! No fair growing your own weed and spending the morning watching clouds roll by....DoublePlusUnGood! Have you noticed how much CorpGovMedia LOVES immigration in all its forms? Every rancher wants more livestock. Cram 'em in there. Use the lure of free food stamps and welfare and and instate tuition....
HTGS75OBEY21IRTYG54564ACCEPT64AUTHORITY41V KKJWQKHD23CONSUME78GJHGYTMNQYRTY74SLEEP38H TYTR32CONFORM12GNIYIPWG64VOTER4APATHY42JLQ TYFGB64MONEY3IS4YOUR7GOD62MGTSB21CONFORM34 SDF53MARRY6AND2REPRODUCE534TYWHJZKJ34OBEY6

So (4.72 / 11) (#122)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:19:20 PM EST

I didn't know that being convicted of a felony made you incoherent and delusionally paranoid. Or were you that way before you were convicted? One would think a paranoid guy might not get caught:) (Yes, I know, you didn't do it. Nobody did. There IS no crime in the US, as anyone who ever talked to a room full of prisoners knows.)

Anyway, there ARE disturbing trends in the US, but this article may be the worst discussion of that topic I've seen to date.

By the way, cops are widely regarded as the worst possible witnesses short of used car dealers, not because they're dishonest or because they're bad sources of information(both of those may or may not be true,) but because a huge percentage of jurors distrust them, and ascribe ulterior motives to them as explanation for anything and everything they say that isn't independently a provable matter of fact. Yes, they'll lie, cheat, and steal to put you behind bars, but their effectiveness is vastly overrated. You're far worse off facing, say, a businessman or a housewife as a witness than a cop. (Oddly, for all that people distrust businesses, they like businessmen.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

indeed it does. (5.00 / 2) (#219)
by chimera on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 05:01:51 AM EST

"I didn't know that being convicted of a felony made you incoherent and delusionally paranoid. "
Although your comment is quite humourous, I am gonna take it seriously and say - yes. For several reasons.

Firstly, most multiple-convictions felons are uneducated. The actual statistics vary from country to country but the same basis is there, felons are prone to not be able to read or write or have completed high-school education not to mention advanced education with high-abstract concepts such as laws or IP.

Secondly, it is increasingly apparent in studies that many felons have serious-to-minor psychological disfunctions and that there is an apparent partial function that dismantling of 'mental institutions' and other therapeutically focused social-care systems lead to higher amounts of 'sick' inmates.

The third viewpoint is the most difficult one to express in words. I am a convicted felon myself (unfortunately) so I know first hand. Investigations, trials and (with a conviction) some form of punishment - is INCREDIBLY stressful and hard on your brains. Basically you are juggling a lot of things at the same time, and all of them have horrific consequences if you fail to hold them up in the air. You can go to prison (in USA lose your life, if you're black that is) for quite some time, you almost certainly will lose your job and income. You may lose your home, friends and sometimes family. Not to mention that you're thinking about What Happened (eg what you are charged for) in every detail you can fathom to try to get off the hook (which most people will try to do no matter what. Me included.) or simply to understand how the arguments go logically. You have a hard time sleeping. It doesn't help you one bit having to fight the system in all ways possible to atleast get your own viewpoint through, and remember that whatever you will say you will hardly be believed unless you can pile facts upon facts. Not even that works most of the time, though. It's very hard to change someone's opinion on a matter with a conflicting line of argument. It's very much FILO. The sad thing is that you're doomed once you get a charge in court. This goes on and on and on, right from the first encounter with the police or lawyer until the last paper comes from the highest court you visit, which can take year upon year (my relatively small case took  two years and two months in total). It doesn't help that most lawyers will do the minimum amount of work needed to get the best solution based on the facts apparent - including accepting fault even though you know what the court says happened is unfactual. I'm not saying that defenders won't work for you at all (well, some dont do that either), what I'm saying is that you should never count on your lawyer working to get rid of the charge entire. Most times they won't as they know it's impossible to achieve. You can only trust yourself. Only yourself. Not the lawyer, not the court (and/or jury), not media, not even the law. Not your mum either for that matter. All in all, you are alone on the accused bench. In the whole god damn world.

And then, if you are convicted, you will have to take the punishment (or run, which doesn't help much) so you get to think about the big ones - Why Am I Here?, What Did I Do?, What Do I Do Now?, Am I Getting Banged In The Arse?, When Does This End? , What Did I Do? (as you can see, argumentations are mostly circular)

So yes, being a felon makes you incoherent and delusionally paranoid. Not to mention cynical.

[ Parent ]

Um... (none / 0) (#245)
by trhurler on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:37:18 PM EST

I don't know what they show you on TV over there in the land of bad teeth and worse food, but black US prisoners don't "lose their lives" any more than other US prisoners. There are more of them per capita, which, while often touted as a sign of racism, does actually tend to make them better off in prison, as they aren't so badly outnumbered as they would otherwise be. Honestly, if I was going to prison in the US, the one thing I would wish for that I couldn't have(other than not going to prison,) would be NOT to be a clean cut white guy.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
losing life (5.00 / 1) (#259)
by Kiwaiti on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 04:24:02 AM EST

he might just be alluding to black skin apparently often leading to a place in the death row, where whites are much more underrepresented than even in the "normal" prison

Kiwaiti
Member of the Legion Of Microsoft Haters
[ Parent ]

Yup.. (none / 0) (#284)
by chimera on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 04:50:19 PM EST

yes, you may interpret the passus as a snide political remark based on pinky communist euroweirdo views.

and FYI over her the tv show a fine mix of COPS, america's dumbest criminals, west wing, x-files, the bachelor, alias, nanny, smallville, simpsons, letterman, er, los lopez, those hilariously unfunny video tape and blooper shows with the always-fake-belly-laughing-white-teeth-guy-with-a-hairpiece-or-the-other-one-wit h-the-hockey-hairdo-and-the-pornomovie-girl-who-was-much-better-in-her-porn-than -on-regular-unrated-shows, and quite a large amount of other shows I dont care to remember. besides those we also get to see such classics as the OJ Simpson trial and "I did not have sex with that woman" and "Out Of My Cold Dead Hands"

I do remember though I was scared shitless when I saw the pics of this chick in bumville oklahoma or someplace that had her teeth rottened away by inhaling Coca Cola at a rate of atleast five litres per day. the only people I've seen locally with that kind of damage are longtime homeless and one woman who had a genetic saliva deficiency.

you may interpret the above as yet another snide political remark.

[ Parent ]

Yawn... (3.80 / 10) (#127)
by StrifeZ on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:48:24 PM EST

... more crap about how the US is burning to the ground. People have have been fiddling about how the US is dying since 1777. It truly has become a spectator sport. It goes something like this: some one is unhappy with the system, so they right a long diatribe, twist facts to fit their predetermined conclusion and paint a bleak picture like Rome is about to burn. Some one has always been pissed off, buddy. Now its just the anti-war camp. Well, get over it. This is the way it is for the next few years. Oh didn't you know, the much maligned patriot act expires in 2005. Of course, you didn't include that because it was inconvienient to your main thesis that US = a Prison State.

You also negleted to mention that if you extrapolate for size of the population, the US is on par with the rest of the world (except for china, which executed 5 times as many people a year as the US has since he 70s). The US is 270 million people. Russia is 150 million or so. Also you neglect to mention that the US is a very heterogenious nation unlike basically any other nation in the world. With peoples of all colors from all continients living togeather, of course there are going to be more social problems. Its unfair to compare the US in that case to heterogenious/xenophobic europe or any asian country. That 5% of the worlds population is a useless number made to make a stupid point because many african nations have no penal system and the penal system in south east asia, the middle east and south America is notoriously corrupt. Theres a good chunk of the world's populaction without a functioning legal system. Say they had a tough legal system like the US has, it would be much more balanced. This didnt fit the author's thesis. Im sure he recognized it, you would have to be stupid not to, but look how he convieniently forgot to mention it.

This post is full of holes and the authour seemingly wanted to go on another senseless diatribe about the "evil" Republicans in government.

The author also forgets to mention that violent crime is down by massive numbers for the past 10 years. Look at New York during the 1977 black out. Look at New York today. Tougher laws and more police have a proven track record at slashing violent crime by at half.

But the author forgets to mention this.

This post is a blatant manipulation of useless facts. The author made a very dangerous mistake that many people on K5 do: they start with a conclusion and find the proof that fits. Well, anyone can basically construe anything to fit any argument anyway. It isn't hard and is all about spin.Basically, the author is trying to bamboozle you to agreeing with him by pointing out very very dumb facts (like that 5% of the world popultion versus 25% of the prison population number). Why does crud like this make the front page?


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
uh (none / 0) (#187)
by auraslip on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:14:17 PM EST

him: the goverment could possible become evil
you: people have being saying that forever
me:  and everytime someone mentions one quip about a current situation getting bad some intellectual comes along and tells everyone that it's ok, becuase their have been rumors of war and tryanny forever
yeah...it's the same thing
___-___
[ Parent ]
K5's hot air problem (5.00 / 2) (#194)
by StrifeZ on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 12:01:37 AM EST

If you want to see tyranny, look at Nazi Germany.

K5 people, never the most intelligent group have this habit of comparing the US to Nazi Germany. I always find it funny because it just shows how so many people on this site talk out of hot air so much.

Thats right, people compare a regime witch started a world war, killed 8 million people (6 million jews and 2 million homosexuals, gypsies and anyone who had a lazy eye), and basically closed an entire chapter of history to a free society where anyone who works hard can raise a family and become successful. Idyllic? No. Tell that to the kid down the hall whose' dad is an immigrant New York City cab driver from China, sending his eldest son to a $35,000 a year school.

The sheer shallowness of this wretched site makes me sick some times. Practically no one here knows what they are talking about except when it comes to Linux.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
linux sucks (1.00 / 1) (#251)
by auraslip on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 05:40:28 PM EST

people
___-___
[ Parent ]
US and Nazi Germany (none / 0) (#263)
by sesh on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 06:29:37 AM EST

I can't see how your gripe about Nazi Germany (which I'm not certain has a solid foundation anyway - although you just did it) has any bearing on this story. Who mentioned Nazi Germany?

Also, your stories about immigrant taxi drivers sending their kids to school - while good themes for 80's soft rock songs - do not stack up against the statistical figures you so flippantly disregard.

Anyone can become successful in the United States? Sure, if you are born into a non-minority family and don't screw up ever in your life. Once you've run astray of the judiciary system, the credit system, or your family can't afford to live in an increasingly deregulated capitalist society, things seem a little less forgiving. The government seems more geared toward greasing economic gears and messing with international affairs than ensuring its own citizens (i.e., every single one) are well provided for, educated and healthy. It seems that if a person can't make their own way in the US's version of a free market, they don't deserve a decent living.

Every country's economic, political and social systems have problems; denying them wont help anyone. The difference with the US is that they, more than most other countries, affect many other nations as well. And I'd rather we all griped too much than too little.

The sheer shallowness of this wretched site makes me sick some times.

Maybe you should just stick to the 'technology' section of K5 (not a sarcastic dig - if you don't like this stuff, don't read it).

[ Parent ]

Ostrich crapola (3.20 / 5) (#205)
by Eric Green on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 01:50:09 AM EST

Figures don't lie. Either Americans are more crooked than everybody else in the world, or Americans are more repressed than everybody else in the world. Which is it? Either way, there's a real problem, and it needs to be addressed.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Stats are adjusted for population. (none / 0) (#313)
by Scriven on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 10:57:07 PM EST

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but those stats are adjusted for population:

Let me re-quote from the original, so you won't have to hurt yourself looking for it:


Distribution of prisoners, ca. 1999
Country  Number of prisoners   % of population
USA      ~2 mio. (~25%)        0.682%
China    ~1.4 mio. (~17.5%)    0.115%      
Russia   ~1 mio. (~12.5%)      0.685%

So americans are the most incarcerated citizens in the world by overall numbers, and second by percentage of population, by 0.003%.

As for the US being hetergeneous, that's true, but so is Canada.  What does that have to do with it?  The US has a much higher incarceration rate (by population and per-capita) than Canada.

The land of the free has become the land of the incarcerated and afraid.  I'm sad you don't see that, both for you and your once-great country.

--
This is my .sig. It isn't very big. (an oldie, but a goodie)
[ Parent ]

Why all the fuss and bother? (2.57 / 7) (#129)
by to0gle on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 06:50:11 PM EST

Just a bunch of doped up thieving minorities.  Really, think about how many people you know that are incarcerated.  If you are the typical white bread American...very few if any.  So who cares about this problem?  Not I.  In fact I feel more confident walking at night knowing that "specific" elements are being removed from my society.  Keep up the reat work.  Really, if I wanted to deal with the criminal element I would move to canadia.

rofl (5.00 / 1) (#155)
by Politburo on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:40:40 PM EST

I hope either IHBT, or at least you realize that you completely embody the "it's not me" attitude explained in the article several times.

[ Parent ]
umm...yeah (5.00 / 1) (#182)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:42:03 PM EST

hail Hitler??

[ Parent ]
Neoconservatism Root of Present Evil (3.33 / 6) (#132)
by CoolName on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:00:17 PM EST

Assume for a second neoconservatism has a lock on traditional values. This is highly debatable but assume this for now. Basically neoconservatism hopes to turn the culture back to more traditional values. The difficulty here is no one has any good handle on how to shape culture. One might further argue in the case of the United States this is even more difficult because individualism if America is assumed to have a unified culture at all must be said to lie at the heart of American culture. Individualists resist shaping by culural forces so even if possible the neoconservative goal of shaping American culture must be deemed antithetical to the very culture America has, namely individualism. Since no one has any good ideas on how to further traditional values - increase church attendance, reduce promiscuity, heigten patriotism besides besides perhaps doing the right thing on each and every issue neoconservatism rules by opposites. Drug use is antithethetical to traditional values - send drug users off to prison. Terrorism is certainly unpatriotic - spy on everyone in the United States. Unwanted pregnancies cause much unhappiness - no one should have sex outside of marriage and if they do they should minimally get a sexually transmitted disease and hence condom use amongst teenagers is demphasized. Neoconservatism is absolutely adrift intellectually and is lashing out at America. One can only hope the ibertarian branch of the Rebuplican party might gain strength when America sees the newest attempt at social engineering in this country engineered by the neoconservatives fails to achieve any worthwhile goal and at the same time erodes basic individual liberties.

"What does your conscience say? -- 'You shall become the person you are.'" Friedrich Nietzsche


do you know who neo cons are? (none / 0) (#181)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:40:28 PM EST

they are the democrats of old who are strong on defense but like to be softer on the social issues than regular republicans.

they are not some new class of ultra right wing wackos, they are those that followed the ethos of FDR, Truman and JFK.

todays Democratic party is much farther left than it was ever and that has pushed these people over to the moderate republican side of things.

they are however like I said, strong on foreign policy and defense. their dichotomous alignment makes them stick out a bit.

[ Parent ]

I think you need to go to this site NOW! (4.00 / 2) (#214)
by alizard on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 04:01:25 AM EST

Welcome to the Project for the New American Century

Find out who these people really are in their own words. Then ask yourself if this is really in the tradition of any US Democratic Party you ever heard of. AFAIK, no Democratic leader has ever called for the establishment of a worldwide American Empire established by force. Leadership of a free world? Yes. But only of those who want to accept American leadership in a very limited sense of the word.

NO Democratic leader in the tradition of Truman and JFK and even LBJ has called for the privatization of public assets in conquered nations by putting them into the hands of US corporations, particularly ones who contributed serious money to Bush. Did American corporations wind up owning German airports after WWII? Did they wind up owning the commercial airports in Vietnam? Find out who now owns the Iraq infrastructure. Google is your friend.

The Democratic Leadership Council controlled Democrats are further to the right than any Democratic Party I remember.

Find some source other than Rush Limbaugh before you make a fool of yourself in public again.

Yes, they are indeed a new class of right-wing whackos.
"The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico
[ Parent ]

and, where exactly do they count them selfs as (none / 0) (#229)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 10:07:28 AM EST

where on that site does it say that they are neo-cons?

I see that their policies support what you identify as neo-cons, but I see no where that identifies them as such.

to me, they are right wing wackos.

and just for the record, I do not see where they say they want to make a world empire ruled by the US.

I do see however where they say they want to lead the world (I.E. by example and by action) but so what. being a leader is not being a despot and being a leader is also certainly not conquest.

[ Parent ]

Subtle difference, isn't it? (2.50 / 4) (#257)
by felixrayman on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 11:26:56 PM EST

I see that their policies support what you identify as neo-cons, but I see no where that identifies them as such. to me, they are right wing wackos.

You say potato...

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Irving Kristol's Confession (none / 0) (#238)
by CoolName on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 11:56:02 AM EST

Neoconservatism is heavily involved in the 'shaping' of culture. The following quote is from Irving Kristol 'But it is only to a degree that neocons are comfortable in modern America. The steady decline in our democratic culture, sinking to new levels of vulgarity, does unite neocons with traditional conservatives--though not with those libertarian conservatives who are conservative in economics but unmindful of the culture. The upshot is a quite unexpected alliance between neocons, who include a fair proportion of secular intellectuals, and religious traditionalists. They are united on issues concerning the quality of education, the relations of church and state, the regulation of pornography, and the like, all of which they regard as proper candidates for the government's attention. And since the Republican party now has a substantial base among the religious, this gives neocons a certain influence and even power. Because religious conservatism is so feeble in Europe, the neoconservative potential there is correspondingly weak.'

"What does your conscience say? -- 'You shall become the person you are.'" Friedrich Nietzsche


[ Parent ]

1984: We're behind schedule! (4.12 / 8) (#140)
by seraph93 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:43:40 PM EST

So we live in a prison state. Government, Inc. has a finger in every pie, and an eye in every bedroom. They're reading your email, eavesdropping on your instant messages, recording your phone conversations. Any of your normal, everyday activities (such as posting seditious messages on Kuro5hin) can be considered a crime if you just search the books for the right law. You could be busted at any time for anything. If they holler "drugs!" before they kick down your door, they don't need a search warrant. If they call you a "terrorist", they don't even have to give you a trial!

Meanwhile, all the Sheeple just quietly follow the herd and pretend that nothing's wrong, blind to the machinations of a Conspiracy too vast for their feeble minds to comprehend. Could it be that the time of Harvest is upon us, that we are being led to the Great Slaughter at long last?

I doubt it.

There's no Conspiracy, no one person at the top masturbating nightly to fantasies of a boot in a human face forever (Ashcroft does this, but he doesn't count). True, civilization worldwide is in a pretty sorry state, but I wouldn't call it the act of any conspirators. Rather, what we are seeing is the effect of the stupidity of millions of people, accumulating over hundreds of years. The legal system in the United States is the result of thousands of Congressthings throughout history who were unwilling to seem like they were soft on crime. Politicians know politics. They don't know how to build a better society; they know how to collect campaign funds, which lobbyists give the fattest checks, and how to convince Joe Sixpack to keep them in office. And these are the people who built our present system.

So the system is fundamentally flawed. So? No empire lasts forever. Whether its nemesis be reform, collapse, a coup, or Visigoths coming out of the hills, every empire falls in the end. Government, Inc. will likely be killed off either by strangling on its own red tape, or by an economic collapse cutting off its funding. It sucks right now, and it will suck worse before it gets better, but the Man can't put everyone in prison and still pay his bills. Instead of waiting for the system to collapse, you could try to fix it. You know, voting, writing to your local Congressthing, and all that. I wrote a letter to the Government today. You can go ahead and steal the text for use in your own letter, and I won't mind, as I stole it myself (though I don't remember from whom):

"If the government can't trust the people, why don't they just dissolve that body and elect a new people?"
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
nitpick (5.00 / 2) (#260)
by krkrbt on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 04:26:20 AM EST

you had a wonderful post going, and then there was this:

Instead of waiting for the system to collapse, you could try to fix it. You know, voting, writing to your local Congressthing, and all that.

And if everyone lines up & spits against the wind, it'll prevent the tropical storm from becoming a huricane.  :)

just a thought:  rather than trying to fix the system, what about removing as much of your individual support from the system as possible (financial, philosophical, semantic, etc.), thereby helping to accelerate it's collapse?  Of course, if you don't want to live in the next "dark ages" it'd be important to assist in the conceptualization of the replacement system.  I guess this would be the philosphy advocated at this site..

[ Parent ]

It depends (5.00 / 1) (#272)
by seraph93 on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 09:36:22 PM EST

you had a wonderful post going

Thanks! I was afraid that it sucked entirely.

And if everyone lines up & spits against the wind, it'll prevent the tropical storm from becoming a huricane. :)

Indeed. I guess it just depends on whether or not you think voting will do anything. I don't know, myself; I have no way of finding out, really. I suspect, however, that the resolute silence of the majority of the people at voting time makes the voices of the lobbyists that much louder by comparison. At the very least, voting can give you the small comfort of saying, "Hey, it's not my fault, I didn't put that bastard in office." Hm...I guess you can still say the same thing if you don't vote.

rather than trying to fix the system, what about removing as much of your individual support from the system as possible (financial, philosophical, semantic, etc.), thereby helping to accelerate it's collapse?

Now that's a pretty cool idea. I'm not sure how much more support I can remove, though, without compromising my ability to support myself. The satisfaction of knowing I'd done my part to screw the system would bring little warmth to me if I were living in an alley somewhere. Perhaps it would be better to merely appear to support the system, while doing everything possible to sabotage it from within. No practical examples of this come to mind, though. Any ideas?
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
choosing the red pill (none / 0) (#283)
by krkrbt on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 04:37:26 PM EST

rather than trying to fix the system, what about removing as much of your individual support from the system as possible (financial, philosophical, semantic, etc.), thereby helping to accelerate it's collapse?
Now that's a pretty cool idea. I'm not sure how much more support I can remove, though, without compromising my ability to support myself. The satisfaction of knowing I'd done my part to screw the system would bring little warmth to me if I were living in an alley somewhere. Perhaps it would be better to merely appear to support the system, while doing everything possible to sabotage it from within. No practical examples of this come to mind, though. Any ideas?

ahm, that's quite an article your asking for.  :)  Probably best to browse through the reports at the buildfreedom site (caveat: I do not recommend the guy's money-making programs), and gain an understanding about economics.  Real economics though - not the crap that is taught in schools & colleges, and flows through the american media.  Nah, look into the Austrian system of economics, started by Ludwig von Mises.  The institute's daily article is usually pretty good.  The Gold-Eagle site has a bunch of editorials by various austrian economists.  There are a couple of writers there whom I think really know their subject, and a couple who I think have some funny ideas, but generally I think they're all worth reading.  The daily reckoning has some good insights with an austrian flavor too..  I usually find the "MOGAMBO GURU", hosted at the daily reckoning, to be quite entertaining, as well as informative.  Here's one that had me chuckling in just the first paragraph.

You should also boost your information processing capacity.  I don't know where to start with this one, so here's just a list of topics:

-imagestreaming - 2 or 3 free, concise e-books available here
-hypnosis/self-hypnosis
-NLP - Nuero Linguistic Programming, kinda like an owner's manual for your brain

this list is woefully incomplete, but I haven't even begun to start that article yet, so it'll have to do.  :)

[ Parent ]

Too bad it's forbidden to think these days... (none / 0) (#291)
by trezor on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 08:08:20 AM EST

    So the system is fundamentally flawed. So? No empire lasts forever. Whether its nemesis be reform, collapse, a coup, or Visigoths coming out of the hills, every empire falls in the end.

Too bad that it would be forbidden or socially unacceptable to promote a new system then. It would be unpatriotic, illoyal or an act of terrorism (communists are so pasé these days, you know). And if not, it could be taken down on as simple civil disobedience.

My point being, that the "free" system of which you live under, will not allow you to speak freely anymore, if the it is "unpatrotic". Or so it seems.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
Oh dear. (4.00 / 2) (#142)
by Hide The Hamster on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 07:57:13 PM EST

Your rebuttal was more lengthy than the actual article!


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

And as the number of people in prision grow... (5.00 / 8) (#143)
by doormat on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 08:06:36 PM EST

So does the business of private prisons. I've heard a few people say its replacing the steel mills as the industry of the midwest. As we pass more laws to make more things illegal or make sentences longer, our prison population grows. Imagine if the possession and responsible use of pot were to be legalized nationally (just indulge me for a moment), and the sentences of those convited of marajuana commutted. You'd release lots of people and the funding for prisons would go down. Enough so that it would affect the people who staff them and the owners of these private prisons. Bottom line, prisons are becoming a business, and I'm not sure if I like that trend. Runaway capitolism in this case would mean their congressionaal lobby making new laws just to lock people up. Of course, they might need no lobby at all for this to happen.
|\
|/oormat

Yup (5.00 / 1) (#154)
by Politburo on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:35:20 PM EST

Some have taken Eisenhower's term and modified it: The Prison-Industrial Complex.

[ Parent ]
the real problem is (none / 0) (#179)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:36:11 PM EST

mandatory sentences.

legislatures taking the power to judge and condemn from the judges hand to the law makers? that is a bit out of balance if you ask me.

[ Parent ]

Prisons and the economy (5.00 / 1) (#276)
by Sloppy on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 02:37:53 AM EST

Steel mills produce something with economic value. Prisons produce zero value. Prisons are (theoretically) constructions for the "public good."

So please don't blame what happens on "runaway capitalism." Business? Sure. But it has nothing to do with capitalism.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

Nice rebuttal! (4.00 / 3) (#146)
by seraph93 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 08:33:42 PM EST

It does a good job of dispelling a lot of the FUD. There's one bit you got wrong, though:

Where is it said that you can't vote if you have commited a crime in the past.

It says so in the law books. Check it out.

Other than that, nice post! +5 and a gold star for you.
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
Ok heres my take on a few things. (2.00 / 10) (#148)
by lordDogma on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:00:29 PM EST

1. The PATRIOT ACT. I'm all for it. It has resulted in preventing many terror attacks that most US citizens are too ignorant to even know about. Yes, I understand we don't want our privacy abused, but if our cities are blown to pieces and our economy is thrown into an endless depression, then what good is it to be free? What good is it to be free of government terror and snooping, only to have to watch out for fanatic jihadist terror and snooping?!?! Look guys, lets get real: WE ARE AT WAR. This is basically World War III, but nobody wants to call it that because of political correctness. I don't care if the government locks up a bigoted racist militant Islamic facist Hitler-lover without a trial. Those assholes deserve it! BUT: 30 years down the line, when the war on terror is over, I don't want the feds to redefine speeding or shoplifing as terrorism and turn this country into a police state. Know what I mean? So long as people are keeping a close eye on the PATRIOT ACT and force the government to review its legitimacy every now and then, I don't think it will be abused.

2. More PATRIOT ACT: Before you open your mouth about the PATRIOT ACT and blurt out stupid remarks about how the government is reading your emails, please take the time to actually read it first. It STILL requires a lot of judicial approval and review for the police agencies to spy on people. There are so many paranoid people out there spreading lies and disinformation. That said, we should not allow the government to keep modifying it over the years to the point that it gets abused.

3. Capital Punishment: We are always hearing liberals complain about the treatment of prisoners and about how the death penalty is wrong. Lets get one thing straight here - there are some crimes which are so heinous that they deserve death or even worse. For example, the DC snipers deserve to be beaten with blunt clubs so ruthlessly that they eventually die of sheer mental anguish, begging God to take the pain away. That will teach these punks that if they don't value human life, they will pay in the worst way. HOWEVER: We do have a slight problem in the US of accidentally convicting people wrongly and putting them on death row (on rare occasion but it happens). The way to solve this is that judges should only sentence people to death when there is absolutely zero doubt as to their culpability and only when the crime is so despicable as to warrant it. If there is a shred of doubt, then life is more appropriate. Unfortunately though, there is a movement in this country to end the death penalty even for criminals who have commited the most vile and unthinkable acts. The liberals talk about human rights? What about the human rights of some 14-year-old girl who is brutally raped, mutilated with a knife, then executed and dumped in the woods to rot just so that some asshole can get $50 for his crack habit? Ask any foolish liberal they will tell you that not even that crime qualifies for the death penalty! They would immediately attack you as a cruel, inhumane person and act like the criminal is some kind of puppy who couldn't help himself. Although I don't worship death, the idea that capital punishment is wrong in ALL cases is a morally corrupt viewpoint in my opinion.

4. Drugs. Frankly I don't care if you want to smoke pot, dope, crack, whatever. If we legalize it I'm perfectly fine with that. But with this caveat: In such a society, if you were to knowingly sell or offer drugs to a minor then you should serve a good two or three year prison sentence and be liable for up to $100,000 or so in civil lawsuits. A parent has the right to protect their children against drug-pushers. Unfortunately, even though the dopeheads like to claim that it is a victimless crime, usually these high-horse-riding-pothead-assholes are the same disengenuous pricks who will lay rightful claim to the mind of some poor parent's 16-year-old son or daughter. As for the drug users who would just mind their own business and not force their habits onto minors I'm sorry if I insulted you - I sincerely wish there was a way for you to be able to pursue happiness without some immature drug-pushers ruining it for you.

5. Drugs again. Drug users say they just want to be left alone. Well you know what? TAXPAYERS WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE TOO! I don't care if you want to do drugs but don't make me pay for it! If you suffer a stroke from your coke habit, then don't make me pay for your f*cking hospital bill and ambulance ride!!! If your pot habit induces psychosis (pot won't cause psychosis by itself, but heavy use can later on in life induce psychosis for those who are pre-disposed), then don't make me pay for your f*cking prescription drugs!!! If your heroin OD causes you to die, then don't make me pay for your f*cking funeral!!! This is what I hate about liberals. They want to make drugs legal, but then they want the public to foot the bill for a universal health care plan. They want to whore their bodies around and share drug needles, but then they make the taxpayers fund AIDS research and provide them with clean syringes!!! Some day they decide they've had enough drugs and they make us pay for the treatment facilities!!! Hey look, I'm all for living your life how you want. BUT DON'T USE MY MONEY TO PAY FOR YOUR STUPID MORONIC F*CKUPS!!!!! And you know whats even worse? After they make us cough up money to pay for their mistakes they accuse us of being greedy! Listen dopeheads - It was your personal greed for pleasure that screwed you, NOT ME!!!!! If it wasn't for all this hypocrisy, then I would be the first one to sign a petition to legalize drugs (and I realize that an argument can be made that legalizing drugs would be less expensive than incarcerating people - but still it is a matter of principle).

-- Lord Dogma

Beyond a reasonable doubt (4.00 / 1) (#152)
by Eight Star on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:30:41 PM EST

We do have a slight problem in the US of accidentally convicting people wrongly and putting them on death row (on rare occasion but it happens). The way to solve this is that judges should only sentence people to death when there is absolutely zero doubt as to their culpability...

Well, the original plan was that people would only be convicted of ANY crime in the first place is if  there was no reasonable doubt of their culpability. The fact that we make errors in spite of this implies that we are unable to recognize reasonable doubts, or that on some occasions someone may be innocent despite there being no reasonable cause to think so. In any case, We have already demonstrated our ability to be wrong in life and death judgements, and I don't really think we should be trusted with them any more than absolutely required. (i.e. I'm fine with police using lethal force when they deem it appropriate, they may be wrong, but they may be right.)

[ Parent ]

Yeah yeah. (none / 0) (#169)
by lordDogma on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:05:16 PM EST

I knew someone would pull the reasonable doubt thing on me. I'm sure I could have made a better argument and avoided trapping myself with my own words, but I was too lazy to find the right expression. I think people understand what I'm getting at though.

I understand and appreciate the argument against the death penalty in the context of accidentally sentencing people to death row.

My REAL complaint comes when the morally backwards anti-death-penalty crowd comes out screaming about human rights and defending a brutal psychopath as if the killer is the real victim and as if somehow society is the culprit. It really burns me up when idiots shift blame like that.

Sorry for the rant. I couldn't help it. It was society's fault. :)

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

I concur (4.00 / 1) (#173)
by Eight Star on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:22:30 PM EST

I would not feel at all guilty about doing large amounts of painful slow damage to certain classes of criminals. It's just that turning it into a policy is dangerous.


[ Parent ]
the fact that we make mistakes is because (none / 0) (#178)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:31:59 PM EST

jurors are to damn stupid to let "beyond a reasonable doubt" sink into their heads.

it is obvious that this statement is meant to convey to the juror that if there is a possible alternative explanation that does not seem to be a far stretch of the imagination such as "the devil came up as just the moment he was about to walk away and took over his body then made him kill those people"

then we are to acquit the person.

unfortunately, jurors are swayed by emotion and ignore logic.

[ Parent ]

Whee (4.00 / 1) (#153)
by Politburo on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:34:30 PM EST

Next time, try to cram a few more stereotypes into your posts!

[ Parent ]
I'll certainly try. (none / 0) (#183)
by lordDogma on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:53:39 PM EST

<troll>

I can't help but expose the truth that ALL liberals are Communists.

You are obviously a left-wing Stalin worshipping communist! :P

</troll>

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

ramble on (none / 0) (#161)
by sil on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:44:33 PM EST

1. The PATRIOT ACT. I'm all for it. It has resulted in preventing many terror attacks that most US citizens are too ignorant to even know about.

Do you think someone on a suicide mission is going to stop and think about the USA PATRIOT ACT when he's loading himself up with C4 ready to strike. This is a moronic statement.

Yes, I understand we don't want our privacy abused, but if our cities are blown to pieces and our economy is thrown into an endless depression, then what good is it to be free?

Again as posted above, someone on a suicide mission is not going to think about this law. As for the economy, take a browse over at Cost of War and see where your money is going. Here is a slight breakdown of what I gather and remember in the end it is all fuzzy math.

Here are some quick and dirty stats, and keep in mind that these numbers are rather generous to those issuing these warning, being they do not summarize the actual cost to the taxpayer. On any given warning, let's suppose that 50 extra law enforcement agents are added to every state (2500 extra officers). Consider an average hourly salary of say $15.00 dollars per hour (see how generous this is) with each officer working 24 hours a day. Of course no officer would work that long, so it would have to be rotating officers, either way you get the point.

At the standard time-and-a-half rate of $22.50 per hour per officer, the rate would be $1620 per 3 day terror warning per officer. 4,050,000 hours total for $91,125,000.00 at the low rate of $22.50. Not a small sum for three days. Two warnings a month for the year? $2,187,000,000.00 in salaries alone. Keep in mind that this is only on salaries. Add this to the current cost of the so called war in Iraq which is over 68 billion, and you've got some serious tax increases coming somewhere down the line. Whether it's a raise in property tax, tax cut on education, somewhere you as an American are going to pay.

Sure you can listen to the muppets in office brag about some tax refund everyone is going to get, I think it was supposed to be something close to $300.00 or so for the typical person (this figure is an average since I'm too lazy to research it) after determining how to pay for the wars, and the warnings? Well let's do some more cheesy math. What is there something like 275,000,000 people in the US, and the total for war and warnings is about 70billion, this would mean everyone would have to contribute $254.54 to offset the 70billion. Tax refund? Ah yes $46.46 if your lucky you just might end up paying that though. Better your money than your life however, as David Kelly and Steve Hatfill found out the hard way.

What good is it to be free of government terror and snooping, only to have to watch out for fanatic jihadist terror and snooping?!?!

So you would give up your liberty for false security? It's a shame. I hope you represent the minority on this.

Look guys, lets get real: WE ARE AT WAR. This is basically World War III, but nobody wants to call it that because of political correctness. I don't care if the government locks up a bigoted racist militant Islamic facist Hitler-lover without a trial.

Then why not throw out law for everyone. Laws were put in place to protect people. Innocent until proven guilty.

Those assholes deserve it! BUT: 30 years down the line, when the war on terror is over, I don't want the feds to redefine speeding or shoplifing as terrorism and turn this country into a police state.

So what happens when the feds run out of crimes to associate with terrorism. What happens when you decide to protest, and you're charged with an act of terrorism for speaking your mind. Is that cool.

2. More PATRIOT ACT: Before you open your mouth about the PATRIOT ACT and blurt out stupid remarks about how the government is reading your emails, please take the time to actually read it first.

I suggest you take the time to read up on DCS1000, I wrote an article about it a week before I was arrested called Circumventing Carnivore. There are no safety valves in place to monitor abuse.

It STILL requires a lot of judicial approval and review for the police agencies to spy on people.

I suggest you re-read the PATRIOT ACT. It gives authorities a loophole to have other agencies abroad investigate a matter. So let's see what can happen. Officer Joe Blow "I'm sorry you couldn't give me permission your honor." ... On the phone with intel abroad. "Hey this is Officer Joe remember that favor we did for you, yea well we need a wiretap..." You're soooo smart I envy you.

3. Capital Punishment: We are always hearing liberals complain about the treatment of prisoners and about how the death penalty is wrong. Lets get one thing straight here - there are some crimes which are so heinous that they deserve death or even worse. For example, the DC snipers deserve to be beaten with blunt clubs so ruthlessly that they eventually die of sheer mental anguish, begging God to take the pain away. That will teach these punks that if they don't value human life, they will pay in the worst way. HOWEVER: We do have a slight problem in the US of accidentally convicting people wrongly and putting them on death row (on rare occasion but it happens). The way to solve this is that judges should only sentence people to death when there is absolutely zero doubt as to their culpability and only when the crime is so despicable as to warrant it. If there is a shred of doubt, then life is more appropriate. Unfortunately though, there is a movement in this country to end the death penalty even for criminals who have commited the most vile and unthinkable acts. The liberals talk about human rights? What about the human rights of some 14-year-old girl who is brutally raped, mutilated with a knife, then executed and dumped in the woods to rot just so that some asshole can get $50 for his crack habit? Ask any foolish liberal they will tell you that not even that crime qualifies for the death penalty! They would immediately attack you as a cruel, inhumane person and act like the criminal is some kind of puppy who couldn't help himself. Although I don't worship death, the idea that capital punishment is wrong in ALL cases is a morally corrupt viewpoint in my opinion.

You have a right to your opinion, and I neither agree nor disagree, however you cannot tailor a law for one person, which translates to if someone did something similar to someone else they should face the same punishment. So let's look at something here for a moment. Suppose a kid is sexually abused, and tortured by his parents. He decides he can no longer take it, and out of rage he kills his parents. According to law he should die. 2 bodies. Case in point? You cannot tailor the law to his needs and not to others'

As for the rest of your post, don't want to bother with it, but you made some points somewhere I guess.

[ Parent ]

You missed the point. And more counter-args. (none / 0) (#180)
by lordDogma on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:39:43 PM EST

Do you think someone on a suicide mission is going to stop and think about the USA PATRIOT ACT when he's loading himself up with C4 ready to strike. This is a moronic statement

You totally missed the point of my first paragraph. I'm not arguing that the PATRIOT ACT is deterring terrorists! I'm arguing that the PATRIOT ACT is giving our law enforcement the tools to hunt those bastards down before they strike!

So you would give up your liberty for false security?

No, but I'll give up a little bit of liberty to Big Brother (knowing that I can take it back later) and have real security rather than giving up all my liberty to the terrorists and have no security.

So what happens when the feds run out of crimes to associate with terrorism. What happens when you decide to protest, and you're charged with an act of terrorism for speaking your mind.

Like I said - we have to keep our eyes on the PATRIOT ACT and make sure it doesn't turn into the POLICE STATE ACT. As soon as the government starts hinting that protest is a form of terrorism I'll be the first one opening my big mouth. But right now they are applying the PATRIOT ACT in the right way - HUNTING DOWN THE BIGOTED ISLAMIC FASCIST TERRORISTS! Don't ask me to have any sympathy for those animals - they are less than human. They are less than dogs. They are dogshit and don't deserve any rights. Why put dogshit on trial? F*ck 'em. Lock 'em up and throw away the keys. The PATRIOT ACT is doubleplusgood!

I suggest you take the time to read up on DCS1000, I wrote an article about BLAH BLAH BLAH.

As I already said, your credibility is shot. I know that if I read your article it will be filled with paranoid rants so why bother. You sound like Kevin Mitnick. "I only stole 3000 credit card numbers! I never meant to use them! Wha! Wha! Sob sob sob! I demand to know why this brutal police state has locked me up!"

Yes I know. Right now you are calling me an ignorant "sheeple". You think I'm just a dumb idiot content to live my life under the iron boot so long as better men than I are preserving freedom for me. You are going to bring out the Nazi quotes and George Orwell passages now. Don't bother. I already know them. "When they came for the communists I didn't speak up... Freedom is Slavery... blah blah blah".

So let's look at something here for a moment. Suppose a kid is sexually abused, and tortured by his parents. He decides he can no longer take it, and out of rage he kills his parents. According to law he should die.

This is where the law should be changed. The judge should be able to take into account extenuating circumstances. You know the kind of criminal I am talking about though.

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

Here's the beautiful US of A you love so much (5.00 / 2) (#185)
by sil on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:13:02 PM EST

I won't waste any of our time with a response because I really am worn out over the debate. But I decided to offer you a glimpse at the government and some of the things you don't get to see. Think about this clipping really good. Remember the gov doesn't declassify things so readily. Read i thoroughly and give yourself the mental picture of the horror they were plotting *NOTE I SAID PLOTTING* for America back then. Imagine what they could do now.

This is a declassified doc located at the National Security Archives, it is a PDF file, and I have the exact copy for you to see. Bear in mind this is an FOIA doc and has absolutely nothing to do with my thoughts, my opinions, I did not write it, did not add to it etc.

2. A series of well coordinated incidents will be planned to take place in and around Guantanamo to give genuine appearance of being done by hostile Cuban forces.

a. Incidents to establish a credible attack (not in chronological order):

(1) start rumors (many). Use clandestine radio.

(2) Land friendly Cubans in uniform "over-the-fence" to stage attack on base.

(3) Capture Cuban (friendly) saboteurs inside the base.

(4) Start riots near the base main gate (friendly Cubans).

(5) Blow up ammunition inside the base; start fires.

(6) Burn aircraft on air base (sabotage).

(7) Lob mortar shells from outside of base into base. Some damage to installations.

(8) capture assault teams approaching from the sea or vicinity of Guantanamo City.

(9) Capture militia group which storms the base.

(10) Sabotage ship in harbor; large fires -- napthalene.

(11) Sink ship near harbor entrance. Conduct funerals for mock-victims (may be lieu of (10)).

b. United States would respond by executing offensive operations to secure water and power supplies, destroying artillery and mortar emplacements which threaten the base.

c. Commence large scale United States military operations.

3. A "Remember the Maine" incident could be arranged in several forms:

a. We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba.

b. We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anywhere in the Cuban waters. We could arrange to cause such incident in the vicinity of Havana or Santiago as a spectacular result of Cuban attack from the air or sea, or both. The presence of Cuban planes or ships merely investigating the intent of the vessel could be fairly compelling evidence that the ship was taken under attack. The nearness to Havana or Santiago would add credibility especially to those people that might have heard the blast or have seen the fire. The US could follow up with an air/sea rescue operation covered by US fighters to "evacuate" remaining members of the non-existent crew. Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.

4. We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement, also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government.

8. It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest to support chartering a non-scheduled flight.

a. An aircraft at Eglin AFB would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area. At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone.

b. Take off times of the drone aircraft and the actual aircraft will be scheduled,to allow a rendezvous south of Florida. From the rendezvous point the passenger-carrying aircraft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into an auxiliary field at Eglin AFB where arrangements will have been made to evacuate the passengers and return the aircraft to its original status. The drone aircraft meanwhile will continue to fly the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the drone will being transmitting on the international distress frequency a "MAY DAY" message stating he is under attack by Cuban MIG aircraft. The transmission will be interrupted by destruction of the aircraft which will be triggered by radio signal. This will allow ICAO radio stations in the Western Hemisphere to tell the US what has happened to the aircraft instead of the US trying to " sell" the incident.

National Security Archives more GOVERNMENT SOURCES*!!! on this

I hope you especially enjoyed number 8 when they blow up college students. If you think that the gov will pass law then redo the law to make it less strict you're only kidding yourself.

Since I'm on conspiracy now, would you like to see another FOIA document straight from the National Security Archives that shows how the government was leaking plutonium into the waters of MD, VA, and DC? Keep in mind now here, this is declassified by government and it's coming from the National Security Archives, so I wouldn't want you to cry foul or think I'm making shit up on you.

Wait... I know how about the FOIA doc they released when they rigged pharmaceutical studies and poisoned kids with LSD. Nah that would be too harsh a picture for some to look at being this country is so great.

Why not look up "Human Radiation Experiment" on Google.com/unclesam and see how the gov poisons it's own soldiers... Nah too deep for some here to comprehend. Someday sadly many will wake up

[ Parent ]

Ah, very beautiful! (none / 0) (#193)
by lordDogma on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:47:39 PM EST

Lets assume that this is genuine. It is highly doubtful that it is, but lets just assume that it is authentic. (I generally wouldn't believe docs like this unless I go to the NSA building in DC and pull it out of the file cabinets myself.)

I realize the govt probably did a lot of shady stuff during the Cold War. The soviets did too. The good news is that conspiracies like this take so many people to carry out that (a) the cover gets blown 99% of the time, and (b) the military component usually winds up a total fiasco a la Bay of Pigs.

As a result these things never make it out of the think tank and usually get filed away in a box for 30 years - they never actually get any serious thought from our elected leaders.

As far as the radiation experiments, its a little scary that our govt is did this stuff in the past, but the fact that it eventually makes its way into the public domain gives me confidence that we have a fairly open govt, not the clandestine police state that people invent in their minds.

Who knows what kinds of experiments the govt are doing nowadays? Maybe they are conducting experiments on the sub-human detainees in Cuba. Oh well, I'd rather those crackers got it than us.

Perhaps your next claim will be that Colin Powell is behind the cattle mutilations in the Midwest. Can we ever know? I wish we could, but since I know it is hopeless I'll just ignore it and go back to being a sheeple now...

(Now if the govt would just admit that they captured aliens at Roswell!)

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

truth hurts and then some (5.00 / 2) (#196)
by sil on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 12:11:04 AM EST

Lets assume that this is genuine. It is highly doubtful that it is, but lets just assume that it is authentic. (I generally wouldn't believe docs like this unless I go to the NSA building in DC and pull it out of the file cabinets myself.)

How ironic is it that you won't believe something released by government as an FOIA (look at where that is coming from as well as the link to the GOVERNMENT SITES WHICH CONTAIN THIS INFORMATION IN PLAIN VIEW) but you would trust the government to do the right thing. I laugh at this really I do.

I realize the govt probably did a lot of shady stuff during the Cold War. The soviets did too. The good news is that conspiracies like this take so many people to carry out that (a) the cover gets blown 99% of the time, and (b) the military component usually winds up a total fiasco a la Bay of Pigs.

Conspiracies? Did I read that right? What makes you think some of these things don't happen to this day?

NOVEMBER 1996

Former head of the Venezuelan National Guard and CIA operative Gen. Ramon Gullien Davila is indicted in Miami on charges of smuggling as much as 22 tons of cocaine into the United States. More than a ton of cocaine was shipped into the country with the CIA's approval as part of an undercover program aimed at catching drug smugglers, an operation kept secret from other U.S. agencies.

Subsequent to Fernandez? trial, more news reports appeared describing involvement of the DEA, CIA, and VNG in drug shipments from Caracas to the United States during the relevant time period. FEDERAL COURT DOCUMENTS

Damn I'm sorry 96 was such a long time ago. Doesn't matter that CIA, DEA, ONI officials were smuggling drugs. Can you say Iran Contra?

As a result these things never make it out of the think tank and usually get filed away in a box for 30 years - they never actually get any serious thought from our elected leaders.

Again you 'assume' these things which is very bad. Personally I could care less, but I'm not going to walk around blindly because CNN, FOXNEWS, NBC, doesn't have the balls to report on this. Wait... Shit I'm so sorry, did I mention that Board members for all of these agencies happen to be (drum roll) CIA, and ex-CIA officials. Not to leave out the 'Associated Press', yet many want to criticise Pravda?

As far as the radiation experiments, its a little scary that our govt is did this stuff in the past, but the fact that it eventually makes its way into the public domain gives me confidence that we have a fairly open govt, not the clandestine police state that people invent in their minds.

These files are opened yet a hefty portion gets redacted so no one will ever know whether or not much took place. If it didn't then why redact it. What's your view on Bush not allowing the Saudi transcripts to be posted. Ahh let me guess he's doing this for the good of the country because there is no relevant information to implicate certain individuals. If that's the case, then why god darn it, isn't it posted.

Who knows what kinds of experiments the govt are doing nowadays? Maybe they are conducting experiments on the sub-human detainees in Cuba. Oh well, I'd rather those crackers got it than us.

Ah so sad you seem to be changing tones now. First you reply hell no the gov would never, but now it's 'oh well if they did then blah blah blah'

Perhaps your next claim will be that Colin Powell is behind the cattle mutilations in the Midwest. Can we ever know? I wish we could, but since I know it is hopeless I'll just ignore it and go back to being a sheeple now...

Yes change the subject because some truths hurt (Now if the govt would just admit that they captured aliens at Roswell!)

[ Parent ]

The truth is out there! (none / 0) (#235)
by lordDogma on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 11:27:45 AM EST

link to the GOVERNMENT SITES WHICH CONTAIN THIS INFORMATION IN PLAIN VIEW) but you would trust the government to do the right thing. I laugh at this really I do.

O.k. I decided to actually take a look for myself. You're right. You win that argument. The reason I doubted it was that when I clicked on the link my browser shit the bed and said "Page cannot be displayed". But now I went back and gave it a second try. You're right. My bad.

Conspiracies? Did I read that right? What makes you think some of these things don't happen to this day?

Yes you read it correctly. Please look up "conspiracy" in the dictionary. A conspiracy isn't a made-up plot, its just a plot. I never said that all conspiracies are fabrications.

Former head of the Venezuelan National Guard and CIA operative Gen. Ramon Gullien Davila is indicted in Miami on charges of smuggling as much as 22 tons of cocaine into the United States. Blah blah blah

I'm not impressed by the drug smuggling story. The Cuban invasion document was impressive because (a) it was highly complicated (b) utterly deceitful to the American public (c) involved deliberate killing of American students by the govt and pinning of the blame on a foreign govt, (d) had huge implications for our national security (it could have started World War III), and (e) was put together at very high levels of our govt. Thats pretty scary. HOWEVER: (1) I doubt you can find many more of the same magnitude. (2) Like I said, conspiracies of that magnitude usually wind up lost in a cardboard box without being given any serious consideration by the people who actually "call the shots".

What's your view on Bush not allowing the Saudi transcripts to be posted.

I think he's doing this for the good of the country because there is no relevant information to implicate certain individuals. No, really I think those sections DO implicate certain Saudi officials. I think those sections would damage our public relationship with Saudi Arabia, which the administration doesn't want to do. Also, they probably reveal too much sensitive stuff about our methods and sources.

Ah so sad you seem to be changing tones now. Yes change the subject because some truths hurt.

The truth doesn't hurt me. I don't turn a blind eye to real evidence. I already said I was wrong about the NSA FOIA document above. I just turn a blind eye to paranoid rants, thats all. The signal to noise ratio of real evidence to twisted blather nowadays is so god damned low among supposed intellectuals that I have to turn on the "doubt filter" by default.

Now if the govt would just admit that they are behind those cattle mutilations!

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

You didn't even read your own evidence (2.50 / 4) (#256)
by felixrayman on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 11:21:08 PM EST

I hope you especially enjoyed number 8 when they blow up college students

Actually it was number 8 where they pretend to blow up college students:

"From the rendezvous point the passenger-carrying aircraft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into an auxiliary field at Eglin AFB where arrangements will have been made to evacuate the passengers and return the aircraft to its original status."

The plane to be blown up would have been a drone, i.e., nobody on it, and blown up by radio signal.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
what good is it to be free? (1.00 / 1) (#176)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:27:40 PM EST

What the fuck are you on?

we must give up our liberty in order to be safe enough to make freedom worth having?

this, folks, is why you should not smoke crack. it fucks with your logic centers.

read up on your John Locke and Thomas Jefferson. perhaps you could take a bit of enlightenment from them on what freedom means and what it is worth and what needs to be done in order to retain it.

[ Parent ]

Already read that stuff. (none / 0) (#186)
by lordDogma on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:14:15 PM EST

Its all horsesh*t. I recommend Karl Marx and Mao Tse Tung instead.

Just kidding! Look, I'm all about freedom. What we need to do is go half-way around the world and exterminate all the facistic bigoted Bin-Ladens before they kill us first. If we would do that then we wouldn't need the godamned PATRIOT ACT.

Unfortunately the people who whine about the patriot act are the same exact hippy pacifists that have been living in fantasy land so long that they protest the idea of killing the enemy before the enemy kills us!

Wow! What a solution. Lets just sit here on our asses and let them wage jihad on us. Let them kill us off, we deserve it anyways. After all, everything wrong in the world all America's fault to begin with. Especially those evil Big Oil and McDonalds Corporations. Noam Chomsky said so himself!

We'll all be dead, but hey at least we'll be free!



[ Parent ]

damn right (none / 0) (#230)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 10:12:44 AM EST

I know your last sentence was facetious but it is true!!!

it is better to be dead than to not be free.

but it is far better to make those that would try to kill us dead and keep our freedom!! :-)

[ Parent ]

Maybe so. (none / 0) (#236)
by lordDogma on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 11:37:42 AM EST

It is better to be dead than to not be free.

Maybe so, but there are a lot of criminals in prison who would beg to differ. Ask sil. I'm sure he met quite a few of them while doin' time in the Big House.

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

WTF? You gotta look for the reasons, not the guns! (none / 0) (#290)
by trezor on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 07:58:24 AM EST

If this is the one US logic, you're all had. No sorry, really, you are.

The one, biggest reason for terrorism against USA, is that you guys impose your thoughts, your ideas, your ways of life upon others. You don't respect others peoples right to live diffrently.

Even if my historybooks tells me all the wars you have been involved in, have been thought because of the good in your hearts, I believe we all know better. Some were political. some were economical, and ofcourse some were well-intended. You (or your goverment) have been using wars to impose it's will on the world outside it's borders. Most people recent that kind of action, if that isn't obvious.

If you feel falsly accused, let me just make one example. The UN is currently seen as an instrument used by the US to control the world as it sees fit. Iraqi vioaltions of UN-acts, bombing next. No WMD found.

Isreal violating UN-acts, including torture, killing, theft of Palestinian "terrorist" (they are trying to reclaim the country which Isreal has occupied), not to mention the actions taken against their families, and their entire villages. No biggie. America refuses to let down its Isreali-support. Lets leave those nice Isrealis alone, and give them some more money, new guns, some new apache combatchoppers, some new fighter-jets.... Oh, the Isreali have WMD. Atomica bombs actually. Howerer this is not a problem.

I'm not trying to be mean here, but you guys can't kill all the terrorists. For each "terrorist" you kill, ten new emerge for the same reason the first one became a terrorist.

And I'm not a nazi either. I don't hate jews. I just can't tollerate the way Isreal as a nation is violating more or less every human right there is, every day, without anyone reacting.

You need to look for the reasons for terrorism. Unless you believe crime will cease to exist, if you kill all criminals today.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
yeah, ok (4.00 / 1) (#201)
by Cannabinoid on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 01:02:30 AM EST

Ok, fine....you want to play the health card. Do you eat red meat more than once a week? Do you fail to get enough exercise? Ok, fine, but don't ask me to pay for your angioplasty later in life. Do you do any recreational activity like skiing or rock climbing? Go right ahead, but don't expect me to pay the bills when you fall and break your ass. That excuse is a freakin cop-out and you know it. Everyone does things that are health risks. If you're against socialized health-care, come out and say it, don't use drugs as a scapegoat. I dare you or any right-winger to come up with a good DIRECT reason to keep drugs illegal. In other words, don't give me this "it makes people commit other crimes" crap. Drugs don't make you do anything...either you're criminally minded or you're not. Lack of money to feed a drug habit can cause someone criminally minded to steal or rob, sure. But you know what? It costs a lot less money to pay for their rehab BEFORE they start stealing than it does to incarcerate them afterwards. (Not to mention they might not have to steal if there were no artifically inflated black market prices) Oh, did you say that you have your OWN health insurance that will pay for your care? Guess what...so do a great number casual drugs users. Hardcore drugs users have so many other things in their lives that are unhealthy that those will probably cause them to need healthcare service first. (malnutrition, disease, injury)
And on the seventh day, god stepped back and said "There is my creation, perfect in every way... oh, dammit I left pot all over the place. Now they'll think I want them to smoke it... Now I have to create republicans." -- Bill Hicks
[ Parent ]
nice troll, d00d (4.00 / 1) (#209)
by alizard on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:44:21 AM EST

Of course, if you actually believe what you said... hopefully, your fringe benefits include mental health care.

I suggest strongly that you use it before you decide one of your kids is an evil creature that needs to be whacked for the good of society.

Impossible?

What would you do if you found one of your kids selling pot? What would you do if you found out that one of your kids was gay? Or a Democrat? Or sleeping with a non-white? Or owned a copy of the Quran? (recommended, one should know something about the opposition... but I really don't think you'd see it that way) Or had a copy of an Eminem CD?

Impossible? Parents who try to control their kids' thoughts fail more often than not. Are they thinking things that would piss you off?

People like you running around loose are the best case against gun control. When you finally decide the people around you are a bunch of evil degenerates or secret allies of alien greys or whatever, I hope your neighbors are better armed than you are.
"The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico
[ Parent ]

Er; yeah (none / 0) (#226)
by CaptainZapp on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 08:11:52 AM EST

A parent has the right to protect their children against drug-pushers.

And at the same time have their doctors prescribe Prozac or Ritaline to their kiddies by the millions, since they can't be botheres to actually interact with them.

As somebody mentioned: You're a troll and not even a good one.

[ Parent ]

World War III? (5.00 / 3) (#269)
by dennis on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 02:16:36 PM EST

Get a grip. The action so far:

1) 19 guys with boxcutters. Caused havoc because they had a good plan, and we'd trained airline passengers not to resist. That's a problem that self-corrected before the day was out, as further evidenced by

2) The shoe-bomb idiot, who forgot to bring a working lighter, and was quickly duct-taped into submission by our newly combative passengers;

3) Oh, wait, there is no 3. There was the dirty-bomb guy, but he had no bomb, no materials, no definite plan. There's the Intel guy, who copped a plea after being held without charges or outside contact for six weeks, probably being threatened with life at the Bay...I think we can discount that one.

The administration would say that all sorts of attacks are getting stopped by our spooks, thus justifying PATRIOT and so on. But the same administration claimed that WMD in Iraq justified a war. I don't see any WMD, and the basis for those claims turned out to be shaky at best, so I've become rather skeptical of grandiose statements by these people.

This is not WWIII. This is one spectacular incident, causing the whole country to freak out to an extent that defies belief. Judging by subsequent events, these Al Qaida nuts really aren't that competent. I'm much more afraid of an out-of-control federal government than I am of those morons.

[ Parent ]

About lack of trial (none / 0) (#317)
by localman on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 05:27:58 PM EST

I don't care if the government locks up a bigoted racist militant Islamic facist Hitler-lover without a trial.

I would encourage you to read more about this topic. My grandfather was travelling through Europe during the cold war and was arrested and imprisoned and mistreated for five years on suspicion of being anti-communist. The Polish secret police exhibited the exact same mindset that you are exhibiting here: he deserved unfair treatment because he was a serious threat.

Only problem was, he wasn't a threat at all, which they eventually admitted after five years of questioning without a trial.

Your comfort with forgoing trials for certain types of suspected criminals is what leads to the death of democracy. You can find examples of this occuring over and over throughout history.

My grandfather wrote a book about it before he died if you're actually interested to learn more.

Cheers.

[ Parent ]

the great analyst (5.00 / 7) (#149)
by sil on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:02:12 PM EST

However what particular felony did you commit that would get you scared about anything of this magnitude about your political opinion? Frankly I think you and Fox Mulder have a lot in common.

For the record it was a comp crime, for the record it's the only comp crime on the Department of Homeland Security's website. The crime had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism and the Dept of Homeland Sec wasn't even around at the time.

" HE IS NOT TRYING TO INFLUENCE ANYONE,"

You obviously did as you wrote this piece and got to me respond. Why else put your ravings on k5.

It's a write up with facts, and my own opinions I believe I'm entitled to them as much as you are.

" HE DOES NOT NEED ANY MORE VISITS"

So you obviously have had visits in the first place interesting, something that could be elaborated about a little bit for credibility sake.

" FROM THOSE IN GOVERNMENT WHO WILL MISCONSTRUE WHAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN."

Is your parole officer that scary? Please don't tell me you think that the FBI has their entire investigative division on your ass.

For your information right after my case an entire FBI department was created in conjuction with the District Attorney's office. For the record Mary Jo White, and the entire FBI comp crimes division sat through trial. For the record, the day after the trial I was re-visited by the Secret Service who wanted to `speak to me` since I had assisted in tracking down pedophiles and had a list with 2000+ more pedophiles that ended up going to Interpol after someone told the SS agents they were not to speak to me. For the record two months after I was arrested I was offered a position as a compsec admin for the Dept of Justice and my lawyer still has the copy. Wanna put some money on this, I'll have it certified, notarized and sent to you any time.

" IT IS BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THIS ARTICLE THE AUTHOR CHOOSES TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS TO AVOID FACING PERSECUTION,"

We'll get to this later but for now let me dismiss this as ranting on the order of stupid problems that don't happen.

You actually forgot to mention any real enforcement of anything like the Patriot Act. Not a single "innocent" American has been harmed from this particular bill.

Could it be that the government is under such scrutiny from groups like the ACLU, EFF, and others? Could it be people are watching and waiting for the gov to unleash. Whatever the case is, it is a new bill so what are the thresholds for this. Are you implying the bil is a great work of art?

" PROSECUTION,"

Even less likely.

Ever hear of Jim Bell, or do you think he was actually stalking a federal agent. Some 5'4 pudgy nerd following an armed law enforcement agent. Ok sure it's possible. why not for argument's sake.

" MAYBE EVEN... EXECUTION."

Reading too much espionage fiction while on shrooms isn't good for you.

Sarcasm I'm a prick most of the time.

" whether many choose to realize it or pass it off as a conspiracy theory."

In other words I'm right no matter who disagrees.

No it means in other words take it for what it's worth means nothing to me how you want to take it. I am not spoon feeding you something to think, I think everything should be analysed thoroughly, and nothing should be taken as full-fledged fact. All at best someone could do is point out relevance which in my opinion I did, your opinion I didn't but we both know the opinion asshole saying don't we

Ie. K5 whines about things that are largely falsifiable with the right ammount of work and thinking and are held in irrational belief.

I don't represent k5 I represent myself. How can you say anything in the article is falsifiable, does this mean you deny that the US is not imprisoning more people, do you believe the US is getting better? Anyways back to the *fun*

I also think that this stems from a lack of basic knowledge of government, law, case law, and history. If you come from another country I would hold you to a much higher standard than this. For fuck's sake not many people can even understand why an election not going their way and their lack of knowledge about the electoral college isn't grounds for dictatorship charges.

Actually I understand enough, and although I may not have written a PhD thesis, I understand why my case went to trial. For the record, when the FBI agents arrested me and took me out of my house, you know what they said? "We know you didn't do this but we have to take you anyway." I passed it off as a joke. Now during the ending of the trial there was substantial evidence to show how this machine was broken into. Do you think it was taken by the DA? No let me tell you what was said in a federal court in front of me my attorney the clerk of the court, etc., "Oh we got who we want that's sil" EOF

Since this chop up of yours is rather long, I'm gonna cut to the portions I find amusing...

" coming from an everyday citizens perspective. "

You sound more like a k5 activist. Want to know how? Well you were able to pass a story past k5's submission queue and you more or less got your point across in a manner that indicates that you share the majority opinion on this site (extreme minority in the rest of the world).

On that basis I don't consider your life to be ordinary. Also you manage to read Russian papers (in the original Russian unless they have translations). Add to that the random (probably federal) criminal convictions and you are most largely *not* typical but that's just me.

Actually they post it in english too. But for the record since you apparently read but didn't grasp, you would notice I stated was responding to a post at the Pravda forum which is like any other forum. For the record I am Spanish but speak Russian, minor German, Swedish, Italian, Spanish, English, and some Cantonese.

"Here are some reasons why it may be possible for some agency to have complete control in the United States via obscure methods."

Which "agency" is this? God this sounds like the plot of some crappy recon game for the PS2.

Repeat after me Spliter Cell is just a game.

By the way laws aren't that obscure of a method I mean you weant away via said "obscure methods" or am I just ignoring something obvious?

Maybe you should re-read instead of playing the pseudo-analyst. You might have noticed I made mention that I didn't want people to take this as some conspiracy theorist article, and in fact some can see why, when they don't understand what is being written sort of similar to the way you're taking it.

But you are supposed to be convincing me of this remember? I think you are supposed to pick one.

The article is not meant to convince anyone of anything it's a personal opinion just as most articles are.

" and form their own opinions not follow someone else's."

Like you'r own right?

That's right I don't want anyone to follow my opinion. The article was written to make people aware of a situation whether some people feel it is a good thing is in their right, whether someone enjoys seeing more people incarcerated, it's their right. One thing I've tried to be is fair about life. I even tolerate racists, it's how I try to stay humble.

Where is it said that you can't vote if you have commited a crime in the past. Maybe *durring* your stay but that dosn't really matter.

Are you serious about this or are you overdoing the Redbull or something else. Here sort through this voting issue on your own if you'd like

" "We're talking about a large number of people . bigger than a lot of countries in Western Europe . who face the barriers that exist when you have been in the correctional system," said Jason Zeidenberg, director of policy and research at the Justice Policy Institute, which advocates alternatives to prison. "That's a really upsetting number."

Exactly which kinds of "alternatives" do they seriously offer that people would accept?

I can't speak for Jason Zeidenberg.

Which as I have pointed out before hasn't been seriously used on an innocent person (or to my mind anyone who wasn't actually *shock* a terrorist in the first place. There has not been *one* person who has actually been indicted under these provisions at all who didn't have the name of Mohammed.

Ahh I thought it would come out eventually, some 'Mohammed' like comment. How do you know it hasn't been used yet, do you follow case law that much? Do you know according to the cybersecurity enhancement act, you could be tried as a terrorist for comp-related crimes. Do you know that at that rate you could rob 20 banks shoot 10 people and do less time than someone charged as a terrorist.

So what happens if by chance they make a mistake in arresting you, do you know how difficult it would be to restore your name if your case was high profile... Anyways back to *fun fun fun* Shall we?

"Many often had plead guilty either to protect other members of their family from the threat of an indictment by government agents or government prosecuting attorneys;"

I can't see how this could possibly happen unless you did something *big*. God do you know how insignificant the level of federal criminals compared to the more mundane people convicted of crimes?

Can you say you've been to federal court because I have, and I know first hand the bullshit that was told to me 'Your wife set you up.", "Your sister set you up.", "we need to see all your financial records for the past 5 years, does your mother pay taxes, did she claim you.", there is a lot of crap the gov throws your way if you decide to take something to trial.

My case, I was facing 10 years on 2 counts. I was offered 1year first time around. 6 months second time around. Final time 60 day split 30 days jail, 30 with an electronic bracelet. I still went to trial facing 10 years. Do you think if I had really done something I wouldn't have copped a plea? Let's see 10 years 30 days... 10 years 30 days.... Please. go through what I have then come back to me and we'll talk about the shady shit you don't see about. Who the hell am I going to complain to about some shoddy shit the DA and FBI is doing. The judge? Oh sure.

You have to be either a drug dealer, a terrorist, a maffia man or something like that to really get busted by the feds. I can't stress this enough people.

This is perhaps the funniest and most moronic statement you've made throughout your post. I suggest drinking more Redbull or load up on some serious caffeine there guy. You've still got a lot to learn. It's ok though many of us were wet behind the ears one point in life. Apologies to those who sit through what has become a painfully long thread.

Oh, neat! Keep it going! (none / 0) (#168)
by seraph93 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:59:10 PM EST

Now we need a rebuttal of the rebuttal of the rebuttal! It'll be like the longest post ever!
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Wow. Most engrossing exchange I've read in ages! (none / 0) (#197)
by Fantastic Lad on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 12:14:31 AM EST

How do fish get into those barrels, anyway?

-FL

[ Parent ]

Paranoid Rambling (2.00 / 4) (#150)
by lordDogma on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:24:34 PM EST

Ha! Before I finished reading the first paragraph of this story I suspected this guy was a former felon.

Why is it that convicted criminals are always the ones whining and spreading paranoid disinformation about the legal system?

Look sil, if you were innocent you might actually have some credibility. But since you admit you were guilty of the crime, QUIT YOUR PARANOID RAMBLING! You are living proof that the legal system works just fine!

-- Lord Dogma

Why Is It? (4.25 / 8) (#165)
by thelizman on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:52:13 PM EST

Why is it that convicted criminals are always the ones whining and spreading paranoid disinformation about the legal system?
Because people like you and I, who haven't seen the inside of a jail cell since that 3rd grade scare-you-to-death fieldtrip (sponsored by DARE), don't think that it can happen to us. But the first time it happens to someone you know well, you will change. My 55 year old disabled mother was arrested and cuffed by the Sheriff and charged with assault. The complaintant was a 35 year old crack addict whom the officer taking the report noted "smelled of alcohol and urine". In spite of the obvious facts, my mother water tight (and beer/piss tight for that matter) alibi, she still had to pay exhorbitant legal fees, and attend a court date. She was, of course, found innocent, but now she lives under a constant haunting fear of the next lowlife whose path she crosses who will use the courts system to exact revenge, or that the same lowlife will come back on a civil suit. Then, there is the fact that in spite of being found innocent, she still has to pay thousands in legal fees, and put up with the snickering sleighted comments.

Then there's my ex-step brother, who I'm still in contact with. It would take a whole three page essay to document the shit that happenned to him, but to make a long story short, he was accused of contracting a killer - on a $200 down, $50/mo payment plan no less - to knock off a mother and daughter, the latter of whom had accused him of grabbing her breast. The brutal irony is that my ex-step brother suffers from musculer dystrophy, and can barely cop a feel on the controls of his wheel chair most days. But then, a private investigator discovered that the arresting officer was an acquintance of the mothers boyfriend. The mothers boyfriend stole several hundred dollars in savings from the ex-step brothers savings account, and charged several thousand dollars worth of items on everything from his Visa to his QVC card. He then proceeded to use my ex-step brothers identity to obtain new cards. The Sherrif's department and local police departments refuse to investigate his case, file warrants, or otherwise excercise their duty in his matter because he's a "child molestor". After spending a year in a hospital ward at a minimum security prison, getting the occasional special treatment from an orderly or two, he was released to go home, but required to register as a sex offender. Now he lives in fear of his neighbors, his parole officer, and even the social workers he used to rely on (most of whom he's caught on camera stealing from him).

Look, I'm the first one to shoot down any conspiracy theory about the government taking away our freedoms. At the same time, the shrill hystrionics of the tin-foil hat crowd do have some merit, and we must remain vigilant. My mother is living proof that the legal system works fine - but you still get screwed in the end. My ex-step brother in law is working proof that the legal system is broken. Me...I figure that knowing 2 people who have been wrongfully accused makes me golden - I could commit murder at this point and get off statistically.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
while it is sad what happened to your mother (none / 0) (#175)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:24:42 PM EST

the polices' job is not to make judgments on guilt or innocent. it is to exercise an arrest warrant given by a judge to a DA.

the DA is the one who should be admonished as is the judge for allowing such treatment of your mother given the intrinsic credibility of the person making the complaint.

but alas, due to special intrust groups, law enforcement is not allowed to make such politeness toward people accused who are, in their good judgment, not guilty but must follow through with an investigation for fairness sake.

[ Parent ]

Not Quite (5.00 / 2) (#189)
by thelizman on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:24:59 PM EST

The actual procedure of arrest is different in every jurisdiction. In this case, the complaintant, subsequent to filing a police report, made a plea to the County Magistrate, who summarily issues a warrant for an arrest, which is executed by the Sheriff. The Magistrate is the weak link - especially wherein in this county the budget of the Magistrate's office is determined by the number of arrest warrants issued, whereas elsewhere its determined by the number of warrants leading to convictions.

The DA themselves cannot issue warrants for arrest. Instead, they have to go before a judge to get an arrest warrant issued, or a writ of incarceration, or a letter of seizure (all three are an arrest, but a warrent alleges a criminal activity, while a writ of incarceration simply jails someone until a judge can convene a hearing for either a warrant or competancy affidavit, and a letter of seizure is required to arrest someone who is outside of the jurisdiction of the city police, even if a warrant had been previously issued).

All of this is moot - nobody is blaming the cops for doing their job, it's a holistic commentary on the system whereby the chain is stronger than its weakest link, and no checks or balances are in place for reasonable preservation of liberty. One big thing has been the issuance of so-called "knock warrants" based on a belief by a DA or Magistrate that the person for whom the warrant is issued would resist arrest, and in so doing present a danger to the arresting officer. As benign as a "knock warrant" sounds, it's actually an authorization to conduct a shoot-to-kill raid with extreme prejudice. They look really sexy when the camera crew is brought along, but in most cases aren't necessary.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
thanks for the info, but (none / 0) (#231)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 10:14:57 AM EST

I said that the DA needs to get a warrant from a judge.

[ Parent ]
You're Not Paying Attention (none / 0) (#244)
by thelizman on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:31:44 PM EST

There was no involvement by the DA's office.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
I agree with you for once (4.00 / 1) (#195)
by Blarney on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 12:03:46 AM EST

As long as you aren't talking about economics, that is.

I've known wrongfully accused people before, and it's amazing what sort of flimsy cases will be prosecuted, and what sort of lies the police and their witnesses will tell. In one case I'm acquainted with, the witness claimed to be standing in one place and observed a petty crime about 50 yards away - the witness was mentally disabled, was nearly blind, and could not have seen the crime scene from her claimed location anyhow due to a rather large building being in between! Didn't matter, the police proudly brought her out anyway like they'd solved the fucking Lindbergh kidnapping. It's just lucky that a good lawyer was on the case - damn, I can just imagine an overworked public defender blowing off the photos the defendent took of the area clearly showing the obstructed view, and a conviction resulting.

There's no morality in the system, it's all a numbers game to get as many convictions as necessary.

[ Parent ]

You need to read further. . . (5.00 / 5) (#200)
by Fantastic Lad on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 12:45:09 AM EST

Look sil, if you were innocent you might actually have some credibility. But since you admit you were guilty of the crime, QUIT YOUR PARANOID RAMBLING! You are living proof that the legal system works just fine!

Sil took his case to trial rather than plea bargain; he tells us that he was offered 30 days in a cell and 30 days with a digital wrist-leash if he would just NOT take his case to court where it would be more expensive to 'prove' him guilty. But he declined, taking his case to trial because he believed himself to be innocent. Whether or not these claims are true is anybody's guess, but everything I've experienced with the government and school structures I've been involved with, leads me to believe that this is an entirely plausible scenario. The whole point is that just because a jury convicts, one is not necessarily guilty.

Further, your willingness to condemn a story based upon the fact that the author has been labeled a felon by the government, (regardless of his guilt or innocence), indeed proves several points of the main article. --Because you are willing to actually respond in the state-prescribed way to the value-labels branded upon Sil without any pause or consideration for how things might really stand, says a great deal about the value of your own mind. --People like you were probably on the jury, nodding blithly to half-assed value/emotion-based arguments like, "Well, Sil likes computers a lot, right? I mean he REALLY likes them. No normal person likes computers that much, do they jury? He's not just playing games and using his email like a good citizen. He's doing other things. Face it! He's a hacker! And we all know what hackers are like, don't we?"

The sad fact of the matter is that when people choose to believe the lies of their government, they invariably must also choose to follow the path which those lies forge, nodding when told to nod. If they stop for even a moment, the lie begins to fail, and the person is left feeling that sickening agony of the soul which all victims feel. Many would rather chose the path of the lie than face up to anything which causes internal anxiety; anything which demands personal responsibility.

-FL

[ Parent ]

This is a stupid article (2.66 / 6) (#172)
by TheModerate on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:20:44 PM EST

There is no room for rational opinions here. I could go through and submit a number of corrections and counterarguments to this article, but I know better. You guys enjoy this kind of stuff, it makes life exciting---to think that the government is after us, that the truth is out there, that we are all being deluded as to the way things really are---any X-Files fans here? (Its only a TV show.)

If you guys are actually interested in the truth, there are a couple replies that show some of the problems with the article---and these are by no means exhaustive.

Its taken me this long to realize what sort of people visit this site, and the trolling is by no means the worst part. The real problem are all you ideologues, paranoid nutcases, and narrow-minded fools. There are a few bright minds here---you are the ones that have kept me here this long. But kuro5hin is a democracy...

You guys have no idea how articles like this one embarass the site. I know rusty has said that he won't interfere with the discussion---well, that's his loss and his narrow-sitedness. Online democracies simply don't work especially when you have open participation. You have to count on the fact that the majority of the users aren't fools and have a vested interest in the site. What has happened here, I think, is that the normal users have left replaced by more fools, and its a trend that will continue and pave the way towards the death of kuro5hin. So much for principles.

I'm not going to be here much longer. Maybe before I leave I'll post a summary of the problems I percieve on this site along with some constructive suggestions on how to improve it. But I'm not sure if any of you guys even percieve a problem.

Anyway, I'm going to look for another place to hang out on the web. Have fun guys.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer

Oh, please. Shit or get off the pot. (4.00 / 2) (#192)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:42:08 PM EST

The whole POINT of networking is to hash out ideas of all sorts, (and this sort of post in particular, given its social relevence today), so that both sides and all observers can LEARN.

You talk as though you hold some sort of intellectual high ground and that you seek intelligent discussion.

Well, hop to it.

If you have any legitimate points which can stand up to scrutiny, then spit 'em out. I, for one, have had my ass handed to me more than a few times on this site, and while it hurts each time, it has benefitted me by honing my knowledge structure and forcing me to work for my statements. It's one of the reasons I stick around. There are some good minds here worth sparring with.

But if you aren't interested in self-improvement; if you only want to hang around people who reflect your own views then, A) Be gone with you, and B) Prepare to stagnate.

-FL

[ Parent ]

There are some good minds (none / 0) (#212)
by TheModerate on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:54:07 AM EST

But I've seen some good quality articles voted out of existance because it doesn't portray the party line or sometimes for no obvious reason whatsoever. And to be replaced with, what? this? I'm only taking the high ground because I'm on my last leg.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

democracies don't work? (4.50 / 2) (#203)
by mrchaotica on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 01:45:30 AM EST

Online democracies simply don't work especially when you have open participation. You have to count on the fact that the majority of the users aren't fools and have a vested interest in the site. What has happened here, I think, is that the normal users have left replaced by more fools, and its a trend that will continue and pave the way towards the death of kuro5hin. So much for principles.

As much as I disagree with the parent, this is an interesting point. Not so much as it applies to online communities, but how it can be extrapolated into democracies in general. It seems to me that the Patriot Act, the high and increasing number of convicts, and the problems with the US justice system (along with the DMCA and the fact that people in foreign countries feel the need to attack us) are all indications of the degeneration of American society. More worriesome is that since a few years ago (sometime between the lewinsky scandal and 9-11) the pace of degeneration seems to be accelerating.

It makes me wonder if the reasons quoted above apply to the general American public. Remember, only 5-15% of eligable citizens vote in elections, and I'd be willing to bet that "american idol" or the superbowl is more popular than c-span (or even CNN)

It seems to me that, perhaps because of "more open participation" over the years (direct election of senators, electors chosen by popular vote rather than state legislature, proposed abolishment of electoral college), politics has become more and more a popularity contest, with the winner being the candidate who can offer the most bread (social security and welfare?) and the greatest circuses (sensational "war on terrorism")

I feel like starting a book: "the decline and fall of the American Empire." Anyone else as worried as I am?



[ Parent ]
Definitely (4.00 / 1) (#213)
by TheModerate on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:58:30 AM EST

One of the things democracy requires is an involved and interested public. We don't have that in the US---some speculate that that is actually a good thing, which is why the US is only a democracy on the outside. But the cause of this degeneration? I wish I knew.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

We are either more crooked, or more repressed (none / 0) (#204)
by Eric Green on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 01:47:31 AM EST

And facts are, the United States has more people behind bars than any other nation on the planet. Either our people are more crime-prone than other people, or we have a repressive government. Those are the only two options. So which option do you pick -- are Americans more crooked than anybody else, or is our government more repressive?

There are no other options.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

US is more repressive than other countries (3.00 / 2) (#222)
by TheModerate on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 05:24:23 AM EST

But, I ask you, how many of them do you think are in jail for posting to a website? How many have been executed for posting to a website?

It wasn't the facts that upset me. It was his trying to use these facts to support his paranoia. You go from "We need to fix our justice system" to "The government is out to get me" (please reread his nutty disclaimer).

Honestly, I would love to talk about the problems in the justice system and how to fix them. But does article even encourage such a discussion? Not at all. We first have to convince everyone that the US isn't the government in 1984, that we aren't being watched by Big Brother, and that no one is at risk for being executed for posting to kuro5hin---and all this is what too many k5ers are all to eager to believe. Only then can we begin talking about the real problems. Its because of exactly this kind of crap why I left Slashdot---and I'll leave this website for the same reason.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Don't worry, you won't be missed (3.00 / 1) (#208)
by alizard on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:28:10 AM EST

And the average IQ around here will pick up a bit once you go.

Anyone who believes that the mass media is reporting all of the truth has no business posting on public policy issues. While you have every right to say whatever idiotic things you think, you've forfeited the right to be treated with respect.

A factual refutation of any of the comments in the original article and this would be a very different post.

It appears that the range of public debate, i.e. between neocon and neofascist that you're willing to tolerate can best be found on a FoxNews forum. So go there.
"The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico
[ Parent ]

No room for rational opinions (none / 0) (#237)
by lordDogma on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 11:45:01 AM EST

There is no room for rational opinions here.

I guess that means there is plenty of room for irrational ones!

Well in that case, it is my humble opinion that we should immediately make it a federal law that Pi = 3.00.

:)

-- LD

[ Parent ]

Hyuck garsh (none / 0) (#252)
by The Amazing Idiot on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 06:23:37 PM EST

>make it a federal law that Pi = 3.00.

After all(spit), we did.
Yeah. I'm from Indiana. Watcher looken at me fer?

[ Parent ]

way off topic (2.50 / 4) (#255)
by felixrayman on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 11:05:40 PM EST

Actually Indiana didn't make it a law. The state House of Representatives passed the bill, it died in the state Senate, allegedly after a math teacher who by coincidence happened to be in attendance of the legislative session did some emergency edumucation of the Senators. There's a brief mention of the bill at the very bottom of the Snopes page here, which details a related incident that turned out to be a prank.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Way off topic. (5.00 / 1) (#299)
by The Amazing Idiot on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 12:21:04 AM EST

Yeah, but even to pass the bill in the house is SAD.

We've came quite a ways, but we still have an ass for a governer. He's running off damn near every business and overtaxing those who do have something.

A wonderful democrat, he is.

[ Parent ]

Kuro5hin is very much alive! Thanks, Rusty. (none / 0) (#300)
by oliveo on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 03:07:38 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Remaining Anonymous (5.00 / 5) (#174)
by needless on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:22:53 PM EST

You've posted your first initial and last name on K5 in the past, and a google for your username along with a few "judicial" keywords, brings back the full details (and your full name) of your conviction.

Don't take it the wrong way, I just thought I'd let you know that if you wish to remain anonymous, you might want to take more precautions than you have.

I mean, WTF? (3.33 / 6) (#184)
by egg troll on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:06:23 PM EST

This reads like it was written for some initiation rite to become a full member of Adequacy. The fact the account was created just for this article doesn't do anything to disuade me from this opinion. Well, done, good sir. Well done.

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

He's Lucky (none / 0) (#211)
by Wafiq Hamza on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:52:42 AM EST

I heard the common initiation rite was much less humane.

[ Parent ]
The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance (3.66 / 3) (#191)
by bfsmith9 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:41:16 PM EST

The author of this article makes some important points, despite sections that are over the top. Extreme changes in government structure, such as those that would be made legal by the Patriot Acts, must be monitored and prevented if necessary. You can assume that some things will "never happen", that people will be rational, but once the structure changes anything can occur. Irrational people can gain control, especially under the guise of normalcy. Given the laws (and their enforcement or the lack thereof) we've had over the last 200 years, look at what has been allowed to happen, briefly: human slavery, extermination of the pre-European population, denial of the right to vote based on gender (moving right along into the 20th century), torture of African-Americans, Wilson's red scares, rounding up American citizens into internment camps during WWII, McCarthyism, and at present we have people in the U.S.'s Camp X-ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where we have "ignored human rights standards" and "refused to apply the Geneva Conventions to prisoners of war." Changes in structure can work either for good or ill, and if the present "Third Worldization" of areas of the country and sections of the population continues, along with these moves toward greater and greater reduction of civil liberties, I fear for the future. Only by learning as much as possible about what is actually happening (and that means questioning everything I've written as well as the article above) and working together can we hope to continue this country's great tradition of freedom.

Cuban Detainees (1.00 / 2) (#199)
by lordDogma on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 12:28:29 AM EST

Don't give me that Guantanamo Bay diatribe. Ok, fine, I'll entertain the idea that captured Taliban should be afforded protection of the Geneva Conventions. Even that is a stretch, but I can accept it.

But the Al Qaida terrorists? No. They have no right to exist. They themselves make ZERO effort to follow the Geneva Conventions and therefore do not qualify for protections under them. They have zero legitimacy as a fighting force. Zero.

Go ahead and treat the Taliban IAW the customs of international law, but I'm not about to shed any tears over the the plight of captured Al Qaida terrorists. They are less than human. They are less than animals. They are about as human as a Terminator.

-- LD

[ Parent ]

Do you realise (4.50 / 2) (#216)
by Argon on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 04:13:33 AM EST

That an argument like that can be applied to any group of people?

When you say that "The Talibans" do not deserve... Some other time, others may say the "Americans" do not deserve, or like in the past, "The Jews" are not human so they do not deserve...

Ok, so you are now pissed off with the "Al Qaeda", so what? Get over it. Do not become like them, if you do, someone will stop seeing you as a human.


[ Parent ]

Be carefull... (5.00 / 5) (#217)
by NotInTheBox on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 04:46:47 AM EST

The first mistake which is made is arrogance, the second is generalisation, this fueled by fear, uncertanty and doubt wil make torture and murder begin to seem acceptable in some cases.

And it always starts with the dehumanisation of The Enemy. After that there is no way back: you can not make peace, nor even talk with them; You can only hate Them.The only thing left is to wipe Them out.

It does not matter what someone has done or does: A human has the right to be treated as a human, as a individual even. Because we are all brothers and sisters.

Every human has a personal history, every act has a reason, who of us can explain why one brother grows up in crime and another does not? Ask them, listen and learn!

When the rights of one individual is crushed; then rightiousness it self is crushed. When law is handed down with hate there can be no rightious decision. "Love your enemy" and, maybe, you will win an friend for life. Don't let hate consume you and any hope for peace.

 


Faith manages
[ Parent ]
Tell that to the terrorists. (none / 0) (#234)
by lordDogma on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 10:44:15 AM EST

The first mistake which is made is arrogance, the second is generalisation, this fueled by fear, uncertanty and doubt wil make torture and murder begin to seem acceptable in some cases.

Why don't you stop by the madrasses in Pakistan and try telling the bigoted imams that. Hopefully they won't declare you an infidel and blow your brains out like their followers did to Daniel Pearl.

And it always starts with the dehumanisation of The Enemy.

Al Qaida terrorists are not human to begin with. Look man, I'm all about the Geneva Conventions... for armed forces, militias and resistance movements. That's why I accept that the Taliban are afforded protection under the GC (albeit grudgingly). I believe 100% that Germans and Japanese prisoners in WWII deserved to be treated IAW the Geneva Conventions. I believe 100% that Iraqi army prisoners should be treated IAW the Geneva Conventions. I've got no problem with all that.

Lets be straight about Al Qaida though. They are not an army. They are not a militia. They are not a resistance movement. They are terrorists, lower on the scale of respect and dignity than insects. Lets stop pretending that Al Qaida is a group of freedom fighters in some romantic quest to liberate Saudi Arabia and stop American corporate greed. Their goal is to wage bloody jihad until every infidel in the world is either dead or converted to Islam. That is obvious from looking at their websites. What gets me rolling on the floor is that they make statements on their websites like, "After reclaiming our occupied lands from the infidel crusaders it becomes the duty of all Muslims to carry the sword of jihad throughout the world for that is what Allah wants" and then a few paragraphs later they have a link to editorials like these:

"A lot of Muslims have been persecuted, particularly post 9/11. We seek to illustrate how Islamophobia affects the daily lives of many Muslims, from sisters being spat at and children taunted, to 'radical' Muslims dying in suspicious circumstances."

and...

"This section contains information on the ideological attack on the Jihaad through the propagation of the concept that 'Jihaad equals Terrorism', as the West understand this term. The growing voices of the Modernist movement who seek to re-interpret Islam"

and...

"Here we investigate and reveal the ways in which the Media encourages Islamophobia."

HAHAHHAHAHA!!! What hypocritical morons they are. Too bad its not a laughing matter. Too bad that it has become a killing matter. Too bad we can't just laugh it off and pretend that the problem doesn't exist like the pacifist sheep.

Whats even worse is when the anti-war radicals come out and say that Americans are bigoted and that our concept of Jihad is flawed. They try to convince us that jihad is some kind of inner struggle for a peeeeaaaceful religion. Alright, look, I'm not about to demonize all Muslims. My wrath is for the sub-human terrorists. But it still disturbs me when I look back at the TV pictures of all the peaceful Muslims demonstrating in the streets after 9-11 with their "DEATH TO AMERICA" signs as if we were the ones who attacked them!

Wake up! We are at war with pure evil and pure evil doesn't deserve to be protected by the Geneva Conventions.

-- LD

[ Parent ]

But you again miss the major point... (4.50 / 2) (#240)
by kcidx on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 12:17:42 PM EST

If you don't allow them the right to trial, you can't be sure they are a member of al queda.

It's simple. Thats what trials are for. Determining if the party is guilty or not.

If you just arbitrarily jail or kill anyone you think is a member of al queda, you stoop right down to their level. Since they arbitrarily kill anyone who they believe is an "infidel".

By all means, we should detain the individuals that evidence points to. But we should go further, and actually have a trial, rather than just locking them up "indefinately."

[ Parent ]

re: Tell that to them, not me (none / 0) (#264)
by NotInTheBox on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 06:48:09 AM EST

I agree with kcidx: everone has the right to a fair trial, that is the way civilized societies find out the truth and punish the guilty.

The first mistake which is made is arrogance, the second is generalisation, this fueled by fear, uncertanty and doubt wil make torture and murder begin to seem acceptable in some cases.

Why don't you stop by the madrasses in Pakistan and try telling the bigoted imams that. Hopefully they won't declare you an infidel and blow your brains out like their followers did to Daniel Pearl.

I was telling you, but anyone else is welcome to listen as well. It is not within my power that I could change your or their minds, both you and they need to do that themselfs.

And it always starts with the dehumanisation of The Enemy.

Al Qaida terrorists are not human to begin with.

Do they not bleed? Do they have not have parents? Do they not have childeren? What is it that makes us human, if not our birth?

The difference between a hero and a criminal is the public. The difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist is that the former won and the later lost the war. Nobody is goning to ask the victor if the victory was justified.

In the case of Al Queda the wild card is religion; only the promiss of a afterlife would make it posible to fight by killing one self. This is a dangerous card to play, and will no doubt lead to a less religious world.

The day will come that the UN (under leadership of the USA and the UK) will wipe out religion, because the nations will be sick and tired of religions control and its power over the minds of people. But that will not solve anything: even without religion; We will in the end never find the peace or freedom we want so much.


Faith manages
[ Parent ]
Freedom fighter or terrorist (4.00 / 1) (#282)
by Amorsen on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 02:53:23 PM EST

The difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist is that the former won and the later lost the war.

To me there is also a difference in methods. A freedom fighter kills as little as possible and does not rejoice in the killing itself. Also, the freedom fighter prefers targets which are strongly connected to the wrong he or she is trying to right. Of course, the same is true for heroes.

Heroes and freedom fighters are awfully hard to find. Once the war is on, atrocities begin and they are avenged with worse atrocities. Or justified with the atrocities that the other side would no doubt have done, had our side not committed atrocities.

[ Parent ]

Al Qaida terrorists (4.50 / 2) (#239)
by jmv on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 12:04:59 PM EST

But the Al Qaida terrorists? No. They have no right to exist.

OK, so I think you're an Al Qaida terrorist. Well, you have no right to exist... and I don't have to prove it (i.e. you have no right to a fair trial) because you're an Al Qaida terrorist.

[ Parent ]

Ok... But here's the problem... (4.00 / 1) (#289)
by trezor on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 07:18:33 AM EST

    but the Al Qaida terrorists? No. They have no right to exist. They themselves make ZERO effort to follow the Geneva Conventions and therefore do not qualify for protections under them.

Any just state will aknowledge that a fair trial is needed to determine the truth. Most just states will even admit that a fair trial is not allways fair. Sometimes someone innocent are convicted (which is really what this article is all about).

Now how do you intend to prove that someone is an Al-Quaida-terrorist, which doesn't deserve a fair trial, without a fair trial?

Any reasonable being will admit this is a logical impossibility. It didn't stop the US goverment, however. And that should scare you guys shitless.

Greetings from abroud


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
And what's the price of revisionism? (none / 0) (#241)
by Grognard on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 12:52:49 PM EST

Given the laws (and their enforcement or the lack thereof) we've had over the last 200 years, look at what has been allowed to happen, briefly: human slavery, hmm...that didn't exist prior to the founding of the United States? extermination of the pre-European population, Extermination isn't quite accurate since Native Americans aren't in any danger of extinction. Additionally, neither European nor native had clean hands in that series of conflicts (which again, predate the founding of the United States) denial of the right to vote based on gender (moving right along into the 20th century), You realize, of course, that women's suffrage in the US and the UK occurred within a span of a few years. torture of African-Americans, Are we double-dipping on the slavery issue, or did you have something else in mind here? Wilson's red scares, Yes, of course, the Soviets posed no threat to any external nation regardless of what the archives of the KGB and their predecessors state. rounding up American citizens into internment camps during WWII, Which was wrong, recognized as such, and has not been repeated. McCarthyism, See above under Red Scare. and at present we have people in the U.S.'s Camp X-ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where we have "ignored human rights standards" and "refused to apply the Geneva Conventions to prisoners of war." Glad you supplied the quotation marks, saved me the trouble.

[ Parent ]
Yes, what is the price of revisionism? (4.66 / 3) (#243)
by bfsmith9 on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:05:15 PM EST

What does it matter that slavery occurred "prior to the founding of the United States? If someone commits a crime (pick any crime) in the past, say, enslaves someone, then does that give me an excuse to go ahead and find someone to enslave?

Native Americans numbered 10-12 million prior to the arrival of Europeans. Within four centuries that population had been reduced by 95% to 237 thousand. That sounds like extermination to me. And the U.S. continued in that extermination after its founding, of course, that genocide. If Native Americans managed to survive through that low point, should we ignore what happened?

The idea that the movement toward women's suffrage, as you see it, took place over the "span of a few years" seems to negate the fact that most such politcal acts are the result of decades and even centuries of popular struggle. It's as if you're saying that women suddenly woke up to the injustices they faced only in the early 20th century, and then commenced fighting. And does this "span of a few years" in any way negate the injustice of centuries?

"We" are not "double-dipping" on the issue of African American slavery - even the most cursory look at history will show the lynchings that took place in the wake of the Civil War right up through the Civil Rights movement.

Because, "of course," according to you, the Soviets posed "no threat" during either the Red Scares or McCarthyism, does that make those very real repressions against American citizens any less devastating? I think it's a bit more alarming to be fighting against repression based on fantasy rather than reality. If you can't appeal to rationality in your defense, then what to do?

And finally, ok, fine, we're no longer imprisoning Americans of Japanese ancestry. That seems like progress. However, I don't see how you can fail to see the connection between those internment camps and present-day treatment of those of Middle-Eastern ancestry and/or the Islamic religions (I'm not the one who makes these crude, absurd categorizations - check with the border patrol, check with George Bush Jr. and the "Axis of Evil" and our "Crusade"). Of course, make the connection with Camp X-Ray. And to be especially illuminating, let's look outside the country at U.S. treatment of peoples of other nations.

How do you define revisionism? What price the revisionism that began the moment the victors starting writing the history books?

[ Parent ]

Answers (4.50 / 2) (#250)
by Grognard on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 05:08:20 PM EST

What does it matter that slavery occurred "prior to the founding of the United States?

Your words, not mine:

Given the laws (and their enforcement or the lack thereof) we've had over the last 200 years, look at what has been allowed to happen

The founding of the US did not institute slavery, it merely did not abolish an existing institution.  The same situation applies to the Indian wars.  I did not suggest that the treatment of Native Americans was particularly honorable or just, but to call it a purposeful genocide is stretching it.

The idea that the movement toward women's suffrage, as you see it, took place over the "span of a few years" seems to negate the fact that most such politcal acts are the result of decades and even centuries of popular struggle. It's as if you're saying that women suddenly woke up to the injustices they faced only in the early 20th century, and then commenced fighting. And does this "span of a few years" in any way negate the injustice of centuries?

You misread my comment (huge surprise).  My point was not that the movement took place over the span of a few years, but that the majority of western nations recognized the correctness of women's suffrage over the span of a few years (ie. it's not like the US was lagging behind the rest of the world on this point).

As far as lynchings, they were illegal acts, not government policy.

I'm not defending the Red scares nor McCarthy's actions, merely pointing out that they were not baseless.  It should be noted that both lasted a very short time and were corrected internally.

Suggesting that the internment of Japanese Americans is analagous to increased scrutiny of Arab/Islamic immigrants is ludicrous.  The only internments recently have been of those without legal immigration status - or is enforcing immigration law somehow racist?

[ Parent ]

Crazy Americans. (4.42 / 7) (#202)
by daani on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 01:12:57 AM EST

Three things confuse me about USA "justice". I think the article mentions all these but in my view they are illustrative in a short list:

1. Why is the American government so obsessed with drugs? End the insane war on drugs! This is the primary reason that the incarceration rate is so high.
2. You get a shorter sentence for waiving your right to trial? Any fool can see why that doesn't work.
3. Why is it that in the most advanced nation on earth the politicians are too stupid to notice that "Tough on Crime" - while producing more arrests - generally needs to be combined with some social programs to actually reduce the incidence of criminal activity. And furthermore locking more and more people up and executing a random subset of them is F**KING EXPENSIVE!

Yes yes I know - far-left liberal myths.


Some thoughts on American "craziness" (4.57 / 7) (#224)
by edo on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 05:30:09 AM EST

> Why is the American government so obsessed with
> drugs?

I think it's partially a political thing: few things score more points than claiming to fight inner-city crime (after terrorism and kiddie porn) and precisely because drugs are illegal, they are the source of much of that.

It's also a religious/ideological thing. The pinstriped fundamentalists deciding on much of American federal and state policy today know very well (often from first-snort experience) that an altered consciousness is not conducive to behaving like a good little consumer/Jesus freak/wage slave. I'm sorry to sound like a previous version of Robert Anton Wilson (or an adolescent version of William S. Burroughs), but some drugs can lead to genuine mind expansion, and mind expansion is fatal to control. Imagine finding fulfilment without weekly trips to the mall, junk food, Jesus or the satisfaction of seeing Arabs blown up on TV!

Empathy and creativity are bad things to a fascist.

> locking more and more people up and executing a
> random subset of them is F**KING EXPENSIVE!

But that is precisely the point. I am amazed to see that nobody in this thread has mentioned the fact that the US is privatizing its prisons. That's right: it is now a viable survival strategy for poor towns to open up a penitentiary. Locking people up means big business. I predict that prisons will go public (as in: release stock) within the next five years or so.

It's all too fucking evil to think about... I've depressed myself now... :(
-- 
Sentimentality is merely the Bank Holiday of cynicism.
 - Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]

no shit (none / 0) (#248)
by codejack on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 04:08:19 PM EST

I saw an article (sry, @work and no time to look up article ;() in the NYtimes suggesting that California should get tougher on crime because the private prison corporations were losing money! I hope that the (municipal government funded agency that I work for which will remain nameless) will buy me an SUV because oil companies are losing money :P


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Re: Crazy Americans. (none / 0) (#261)
by Kiwaiti on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 04:57:31 AM EST

> in the most advanced nation on earth

I thought we were discussing the U.S. of A.? Sorry about my stupid mistake.

Kiwaiti
Member of the Legion Of Microsoft Haters
[ Parent ]

Pondering the full meaning of this story (3.50 / 2) (#207)
by KWillets on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 02:05:16 AM EST

After thinking this over a while, I decided to come up with another statistic for K5 trolls to gnaw on.

The US has criminalized an entire generation, in its senseless war on parking. While complacent Americans sip their slurpees, Orwellian government programs are turning the US into the number one issuer of parking tickets in the entire world.

Research has shown that parking tickets are closely correlated with Nazism. We must confront the chilling wave of fascism that is spreading across America, before it's too late!

Why did you idiots FP this? (2.00 / 2) (#210)
by Kasreyn on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:50:30 AM EST

I mean, really. "Because it has a lot of links named 'Source'"?

This is terribly written. I suspect the author's native language is not English. Furthermore, he's a nullo.

I'm going to have to stop sleeping entirely if you fuckers are going to keep rushing crap like this through every time I close my eyes.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Because of the resulting discussion (none / 0) (#220)
by edo on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 05:16:01 AM EST

(I use the word 'discussion' very loosely. Free-for-all would perhaps be more appropriate.)

I agree with you that it is a pretty lousy article, but it indirectly raises some important issues. Something is very wrong with the United States of America today and is is imperative that we talk about these things, so we – as citizens of the world – may take decisive action when the time comes.

I leave it up to the Americans to vote George W. Bush out of office.
-- 
Sentimentality is merely the Bank Holiday of cynicism.
 - Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]

Then write a good article and submit it (5.00 / 1) (#223)
by TheModerate on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 05:29:20 AM EST

Don't vote up an article just because it raises discussion on an important issue. A post that "raises discussion" is called a troll.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Sometimes, even trolls raise good discussions... (none / 0) (#315)
by BuddasEvilTwin on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 09:34:16 PM EST

I also believe that many trolls can and do have a positive effect, which isn't to say that many trolls don't also distract people from addressing truely important issues. In this case, I believe this article raises productive discussion, and that your post contributes nothing. If you decide you want to contribute, I'll be looking forward to any insight you have to offer.

[ Parent ]
And what language do you speak? (1.00 / 1) (#287)
by xutopia on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 08:53:37 PM EST

cause last I checked nullo was not an english word.



[ Parent ]

Thank you. (5.00 / 2) (#228)
by runningman on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 09:47:50 AM EST

Agreed, the writing techniques used here may not be up to everyone's literary par, but the content is excellent. I am happy to see that not everyone has there blinders on.

The writer is convicted felon, speaking from experience, I am truly amazed that the writer spoke up about this topic. I myself have ventured through both sides of the law, and unfortunately what the writer says is almost exact to my experience and many others I have talked with. Unfortunately, many people on this forum have never even had a glimpse of what this can be like or the long term affects.

Sil, ignore the "editor" types, get a book on writing styles, and keep it up! Good luck.

-= The Running Man =-

Drugs (4.66 / 3) (#232)
by snitch on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 10:32:02 AM EST

An old argument, surely, but legalizing drugs (or concentrating law-enforcement on large-scale dealers only) would cut the percentage of convicted-citizens-vs-non-convicted-citizens to the level of other western nations, and make a healthy tax-profit in the process. Apparantly, this is unacceptable to the US governement. One has to wonder: why?

Health-issues? Tobacco & alcohol are killing tens of thousands of people (or more) a year in the US alone, and are not only allowed but used as cash-cows by most governements.

Crime? The connection narcotics-crime is only circumstancial.

I honestly can't think of a good reason.

"Against his heart was a thesaurus bound in PVC. He smiled at the entrance guard." - Steve Aylett

That's what I thought too (5.00 / 2) (#267)
by rusty on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 09:46:50 AM EST

Roughly half the people in prison in the US are there on drug charges. This kind of weakens the "creeping totalitarianism" viewpoint of this article -- shape up our drug policy and incarceration rates suddenly plummet drastically. Our prison problem is, in reality, another consequence of the eternally doomed War on Some Drugs.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
contrarywise (5.00 / 2) (#279)
by Viliam Bur on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 08:49:12 AM EST

it makes the "creeping totalitarianism" viewpoint stronger.

If all USA needs to do, to release half of its people from prisons, is to shape up the drug policy... why did it not happen already?

It there some intention in keeping them in prison? I think yes, at least this: prison owners and keepers (and policemen, and judges, etc) are legitimate voters too; would you vote to reduce job positions to 50% in your job market? - However, if this is the real reason, then all the "drug war" is just a postmodern form of slavery, when a group of people makes their job keeping other group of people locked. The "postmodern" aspect is than almost anyone can join the first group, and being in the second group is, though involuntary, often only temporary.

[ Parent ]

postmodern form of slavery? :) (5.00 / 2) (#286)
by TheModerate on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 07:05:57 PM EST

"If all USA needs to do, to release half of its people from prisons, is to shape up the drug policy... why did it not happen already?"

Because the US voters percieve a drug problem that they feel needs to be addressed. Now, you can go ahead and call these people stupid and/or crazy if you like, but intellectually speaking, if you want to form a more rational opinion on the matter you would want to consider in what form they believe this drug problem is in and why they see it so important as to spend all this money and send all these people to jail for it.

All these posts against the drug war yet no one talks about the drug problem which, seems to me, must be the basis of the drug war in the first place. Let me say this in another way, since I know you guys will paint every statement the wrong color, that logically, the propaganda/advertising against drugs must have come after the drug war, and that the drug war must have come after the realization of a drug problem. So what is the drug problem?

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

All I know... (5.00 / 2) (#288)
by trezor on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 07:03:04 AM EST

All I know about the prohobition of marihuana/cannabis in the US is that it were introduced with arguments like the following ones:

  • It can make youths listen to evil music. (The rolling stones, The doors, Beatles etc)
  • It can make white women have sex with black men.
  • Marihuana is lethal (now we know this isnt true, however alchohol is responsible for quite a lot of deaths every year....)
  • It pacifies people. Now the country that is involved in most of the wars in the world, dont want peacefull inhabbitants.

If those were the reasons... How come the prohobition still stands..? I can't see one reason why. Not freakin one. Except that quite many industries would face seriously easy grown, environmentally friendly competition.

It's mostly taken from The emperor wears no clothes by Jack Herer btw.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
Tiny correction, and further discussion. (none / 0) (#311)
by Scriven on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 10:35:38 PM EST

This is rather late in the conversation, I realise, but the original U.S. Marihuana (sic) Tax Act, in 1937, was a back-door attempt to stop kids from listening to the OTHER evil music, Jazz.  Which jives very closely with your second item.

Basically, the war on drugs started as racism (in both the US and Canada, where I live).

And also don't forget, contrary to your 4th point, it was originally made illegal because it made people psychopathic super-killers.  It was changed to "pacifies" and the "lazy stoner" myth because of McCarthyism, and the "communist threat".  (Nevermind that McCarthy was an opium addict, he was a "great american", so he was exempt from the drug laws.  Kinda like the Jr. shrubs, and Ashcroft's nephew, to name just two "modern" examples.)

These kinds of flip-flops perpetuate the drug war genocide and have been exposed so many times it's not funny (1940s US: LaGuardia report, 1970s US: Schaeffer commission, 1970s Canada: LeDain Commission, 1970s Holland: Baan Commission, 1980s US: DEA Administrative Law Judge Young's findings, 2000s Canada: Separate House and Senate reports on illegal drugs, to name only the ones that are at the top of my head).  The fact that it continues can only be attributed to the apathetic citizen, the complicit media, and the addiction of the government on the so-called war itself, regardless of it's effectiveness or the means taken.

As an aside, if you look at the above list, and the countries themselves, the ONLY one to actually do what it's commission said was Holland, and it's also the one with the lowest rate of drug use (onf of the lowest in the world), and not just for cannabis, but for all drugs.  I believe the average age of heroin addicts in Holland is approaching 40, which indicates that young people aren't getting addicted.  They also treat addiction as the medical problem it is, so they can have much more accurate numbers about the numbers of addicts (since people don't have to worry about going to jail just for asking for help, unlike us here in North America).

I'll go back to lurking now.
--
This is my .sig. It isn't very big. (an oldie, but a goodie)
[ Parent ]

What I call them (none / 0) (#307)
by epepke on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 05:41:43 PM EST

Now, you can go ahead and call these people stupid and/or crazy if you like, but intellectually speaking, if you want to form a more rational opinion on the matter you would want to consider in what form they believe this drug problem is in and why they see it so important as to spend all this money and send all these people to jail for it.

What I call them is Baby Boomers. Like all generations, they spend their middle- and old age abreacting against whatever they believed in their youth.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Seriously? (none / 0) (#308)
by Francis on Wed Aug 27, 2003 at 02:03:28 PM EST

prison owners and keepers (and policemen, and judges, etc) are legitimate voters too; would you vote to reduce job positions to 50% in your job market?

Do you think the persons that comprise the justice system in the U.S. (even if you include police officers) make up a large enough slice of the demographic to actually shape a national policy of such importance? That is a bit naive. I can't back this with stats, but my hunch is that there are a lot more voters involved in some way with drug use/sales than there are correctional and police officers. According to your theory, wouldn't these voters weild a much heavier influence and consequently be able to overturn the drug laws in the U.S.?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Insults are the first and last arguments of fools. -- Unknown
[ Parent ]

The illegality is what causes the crime. (5.00 / 3) (#271)
by ptraci on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 05:52:24 PM EST

If drugs were legalized, their distribution would not be under the control of organized crime, with attendant violence and corruption of law enforcement. It is actually in the best interest of the gangs and drug cartels to keep them illegal.
"Facts are a better basis for decisions than ideology." - Howard Dean.
[ Parent ]
Cannabis -- Cotton (3.66 / 3) (#278)
by discopete on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 08:45:09 AM EST

One of the reasons that cannabis is illegal in the US is that it would be a direct competitor to the cotton industry. As our government is effectively owned by the corporations, this is unacceptable and thus cannabis, all species of it, remain illegal.

[ Parent ]
Quite Right (none / 0) (#296)
by moumine on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 06:29:44 PM EST

And the main company largely responsible for the criminalization of cannabis is DuPont

google.com (cannabis + Dupont)

[ Parent ]
Put yourselves in a less fortunate position. (4.66 / 3) (#242)
by HyperJ4ck on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 02:24:12 PM EST

The fact that this man is a convicted felon doesn't discredit him in anyway. He can speak from first hand experience about these topics. Whether you agree with him or not, you can't really have an opinion that matters without first hand experience or thorough research. Are you going to formulate opinions based on what you watch on CNN or Fox News? No, you're not! They have done it for you and it requires no thought! Just nod yes to the TV and thank your God that you're not "one of the evil people" with dark skin and/or no money!

Good, honest, Christian Americans (1.90 / 10) (#253)
by sellison on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 09:03:38 PM EST

have nothing to fear.

Only socialists, atheists, criminals, and other troublemakers need be concerned, and we know that those types really want to see America fall to a totlitarian world government or a anarchist cesspool anyway.

So it really is just the cost of freedom: we allow good people many freedoms, but we punish those who transgress harshly. Other nations more strictly curtail their law abiding citizens while coddling the criminals and trouble makers.

I will stand with my fellow righteous Christians in choosing America, and for those who fear the terrible swift sword of American justice, well, your probably better off in an American jail than plotting evil deeds in some desert land or rotting tenament, anyway.

We are a forgiving people, and if you stay the course and accept Jesus into your heart, chances are your stay in prison will make you a better person in the long run.

And if it doesn't, then the rest of us are better off with you in jail!


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

Oh, yeah, right (none / 0) (#265)
by rknop on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 08:25:41 AM EST

Only socialists, atheists, criminals, and other troublemakers need be concerned, and we know that those types really want to see America fall to a totlitarian world government or a anarchist cesspool anyway.

Oh, yes, and homosexuals, free software advocates, free software users, gamers, immigrants, and people who want to think for themselves are also all troublemakers who are just problems and should be oppressed for the sake of the "freedom" of everybody else who would choose to live under what those currently in power would dictate as requird behavior anyway.

:/

"I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear" is so easy to say when you happen to agree with those in power at the moment. It's also about the most misguided thing you can say, and is extremely contrary to the very notions on which our government was founded.

(Since when did atheism, or being of any other religion, become a crime?)

-Rob



[ Parent ]
Whoosh! (n/t) (5.00 / 1) (#270)
by ptraci on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 05:46:53 PM EST


"Facts are a better basis for decisions than ideology." - Howard Dean.
[ Parent ]
Whoosh? (none / 0) (#314)
by rknop on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 09:03:28 PM EST

Yes, when I first read it, I thought the original poster was being sarcastic.

Then I followed the link he had. It became clear that the original poster, as amazingly extreme as his position is, really seemed to believe it.

The whooshing was going the other way, I fear.

-Rob



[ Parent ]
Quoth Catch-22 (none / 0) (#301)
by ajduk on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 05:33:27 AM EST

Yossarian found himself lectured on how he was endangering the very rights he was fighting for by daring to exercise them..

[ Parent ]

You're kidding me right? (2.00 / 1) (#274)
by Insaa on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 11:10:01 PM EST

This is the MOST troubling thing I have read... even more troubling than the article itself in some ways.

To think that someone can actually hold this viewpoint... and think that it is true!

Sellison, did you read the article above? Could you please comment on the issues it raises directly?

As an athiest I am obviously someone who has not seen the light. Therefore, don't you, as an enlightened Christian, have a duty to your faith to help me by answering my questions until I see your truth?

Insaa

[ Parent ]

I will answer your only important question (3.00 / 5) (#277)
by sellison on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 04:12:23 AM EST

'is there a God'?

Yes, and His son is Jesus Christ.

Once you believe my answer, we can move on.

As far as the article, these laws will never be used to oppress good, Christian, Americans. That is the only important criterion, really. American Democracy is designed for Christians, by Christians, and it certainly doesn't work for people who belief the lie of atheistism, who have no other source for their morals than the illusions of the material world.

Such people can never take responsibility for their own actions, as they truly believe their actions have no reprecussions in any world but this one, and that they will cease to exist when their heart stops beating and nerves stop fireing. For such people, 'what pleases them is the only law', and thus for such people, only totalitarian govt. can bring peace and only anarchy can bring pleasure.

So become a Christian, a real, believing Christian, and you will lose your fear of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, as you will finally be a true American patriot.



"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Church and State. (4.00 / 1) (#285)
by Technix on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 05:46:22 PM EST

How is my belief (or anyone's) in your answer of any pertinant value to the issue at hand? I can not recall there being any mention of a specific religion in the U.S. Constition. According to the CIA's World Fact Book entry for the United States, religion breaks down like so:
  • Protestant 56%
  • Roman Catholic 28%
  • Jewish 2%
  • other 4%
  • none 10%
<small>(Reference cited as being from 1989.)</small> While I admit that 84% is quite a high number, it in and of itself does not make it a monopoly, nor does it matter to the issues of STATE. In doing some very minor research for my reply to your posting(s), I came upon these links: So, let me ask again. What does religion have to do with the infrastructure of a nation, and the politics necessary to manage it? It is one thing to mix the two systems when it comes to educating children in school. It is quite another to interweave the quite personal belief system with the delicate balancing act necessary to run a country. It is no wonder that the world now moreso than at any time in history, looks upon the United States as a country mired in it's own inability to gain perspective on reality. Yes, I am an agnostic, technological, and non-comformist person. Does that make me less human? -Chris Simmons, Avid BeOS User. The BeOSJournal. http://www.beosjournal.org
-Chris Simmons,
Haiku News http://haikunews.org
[ Parent ]
What the Christian religion has to do (none / 0) (#297)
by sellison on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 08:14:25 PM EST

with American democracy: the Christian religion encourages and promotes a moral responsibility and respect for fellow people that other religions and philosophies fail to provide. The men who founded this nation were Christians, and they expected Christian Americans to be able to run their lives with a maximum of freedom and a minimum of need for Governmental supervision.

As Christianity has been assaulted of late, and removed from a position of the basis of law, as men have stopped fearing God's judgement and stopped hoping for heaven as atheistic and socialistic, materialistic philosophies have become in vougue, America has become a less safe place where a constant and active police presence is needed just to prevent simply crimes that once were prevented by the moral character of the citizenry.

It is no wonder that the world now moreso than at any time in history, looks upon the United States as a country mired in it's own inability to gain perspective on reality.

And real Americans should be proud of that impression, for your materialistic 'reality' is an illusion, the only important reality is how you stand with God, and what He will do with you when you leave this vale of tears and enter the Real World.

Yes, I am an agnostic, technological, and non-comformist person. Does that make me less human?

No it makes you a less fit citizen for the Christian Democracy of America. You don't believe in divine judgement, so whatever you can get away with is fine. So we need an expanded police power and presence to keep you and the rest of your amoral 14% from running riot.


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Reply (none / 0) (#298)
by Insaa on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 11:17:25 PM EST

the Christian religion encourages and promotes a moral responsibility and respect for fellow people that other religions and philosophies fail to provide.

Like the respect for fellow people of differing religions?

I do not need to believe in some "collective figment of imagination" to have respect for others, to understand that what they do and how they do it may differ from myself, to care for them and show generosity. Do you think I am wrong to hold this view?
(I have no problem with people telling me that I'm stupid and an insult to the human species as long as they tell me WHY.)

[ Parent ]

Respect for believing a lie (none / 0) (#303)
by sellison on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 11:26:26 AM EST

is surely hard to come by. Would you respect a person who is killing himself with drug addiction? Say it is just his own choice to waste away on the streets, an equally valid choice as the way you have chosen to live?

Perhaps you would, as perhaps you believe the currently popular lie of cultural relativism.

However, Christians are enjoined to LOVE their fellow men, not 'respect' them. Love, real love, means telling someone when their choices are leading to self destruction.

And people who choose to believe the lies of socialism, atheism, and non-Christian religions are risking ending up in enternal hellfire, not just harming their temporarily inhabited mortal body.

Do you think I am wrong to hold this view?

Yes, because your beliefs are wrong. And also yes because your beliefs lead to more of the same violence, drug abuse, and moral decay we are experiencing. You may have some decency left over from a religious upbringing, but many many children hear your message of 'do as you will' and their will is to destroy.

Without the bulwark of a system that understands and teachs that acts 'gotten away with' in this life will not be gotten away with in the next, the few people who can maitain their decency even while having lost their faith will be overwhelmed by amoral barbarian hordes.

No, the good decent, Christians of the world are holding back the amoral socialist and atheist hordes, and it is high time that 'decent' but faithless people recognized which side they were on!


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

IHBT, but nonetheless... (none / 0) (#309)
by mooZENDog on Thu Aug 28, 2003 at 07:49:53 AM EST

I have so blatantly been trolled, or perhaps I've just misunderstand your point. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt anyway...

     "Do you think I am wrong to hold this view?"

   "Yes, because your beliefs are wrong. And also yes because your beliefs lead to more of the same violence, drug abuse, and moral decay we are experiencing."

You seem to associate what you call 'decency' with faith, or belief in a God and the afterlife etc. I feel like I'm stating the obvious, but it is possible to not believe in God and to live a decent life. It is also possible for someone to believe in God, but to be an utter shit to their fellow man. The two are not mutually exclusive.

The decency you speak of does not come from the belief itself, but from following the rules laid down by that faith (i.e. The ten commandments, seven sins, it's just a guide on how you should live your life, albeit a very old one).

You don't have to believe in God, or even have the threat of eternal damnation of which you speak (are you a Catholic BTW? Sorry, now I'm trolling :)) to follow the rules of a faith.

   "And people who choose to believe the lies of socialism, atheism, and non-Christian religions are risking ending up in enternal hellfire, not just harming their temporarily inhabited mortal body."

Some of the "lies" of non-Christian religions are the same as the "truths" of the Christian religions, I'm no great expert on religion, but I'm sure there's a Buddhist equivalent to "Thou shalt not kill", for example. Also, it is possible to be a socialist *and* a Christian.

Just my 2penniesworth. HTH, HAND.

--------
"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind"
- Gandhi

[ Parent ]
shush you infidel (none / 0) (#294)
by relief on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 03:30:48 PM EST

its hard enough dealing with the fact that we live with barbarian voodoo tribes (yes i mean x-ians). just shush and keep like a bee and buzz off.

----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]
You have it all wrong! (none / 0) (#302)
by xutopia on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 08:57:51 AM EST

Bush's goverment is not at all christian. It is demagogic as Hitler's goverment was.

What you are saying isn't false. Good, honest, patriotic, obediently blinded by faith Christians will not be affected by this opressive act. Calling it the patriot act just shows how demagogic it is. It was created with all the most evil ways to make people like you eat it up.

Remember Nazi Germany first started by writing a law asking Jews to wear a star. Soon enough they were sent to concentration camps. Most Germans didn't know at the time when millions of Jews were being gazed to death. There were rumors of this happening but most honest, obedient and patriotic Germans brushed off these allegations.

Tell me Sellison, how do you brush off the allegations resouding all over the world that the Bush goverment is self-serving? How do you brush off the fact that the Bush administration unsigned a the Rome treaty as soon as he got into power. Wait a minute! You fall in that category of obedient and ignorant bunch. You don't even know what the Rome treaty is about. Never mind. I guess you fall in that category of hard working capitalist that couldn't care less about the prisonners of war that the US treats inhumanely.


[ Parent ]

moderation.... (none / 0) (#318)
by rebelcan on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:28:09 AM EST

Only socialists, atheists, criminals, and other troublemakers need be concerned,
if you mean people like dorthy day, a troublemaker and socialist activist during early part of 1900, then you need to revamp your outlook. dorthy day was a christian as much as anybody you'll find on the street, mabey even more so. somethings can be good in moderation

for those who fear the terrible swift sword of American justice
um....
justice isn't supposed to be terrible. and when it's (too) swift... it usually cleaves the wrong person in two.....


=============================
God is dead -- Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead -- God
but Zombie Nietzsche lives! -- Zombie Nietzsche
[ Parent ]
So, you are a christian? (none / 0) (#320)
by Beans on Thu Sep 11, 2003 at 10:00:58 PM EST

So you will you continue to shroud your self-righteousness and contempt under the shroud of christianity? It is clear from your thread that you blatenly disregard values that are at the very core of the christian faith--love an compassion. If you truly believe it is right to continue to disregard the rest of humanity, all except those who have "embraced Jesus" of course", then I will not try to persuade you otherwise. Just stop calling yourself a christian.

[ Parent ]
anglo-saxon courts system problem (5.00 / 4) (#262)
by Kiwaiti on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 05:43:59 AM EST

There are two basic things a court can try to do: settling a dispute, and finding out the truth.

Anglo-saxon courts (including the U.S.) always work in "dispute" mode, and even in a criminal case, none of the professionals involved have "finding out about the truth" in their job description. Instead, it is a tug-of-war between the prosecutor and the defendant's attorney, with the jury serving as the rope and the judge as a referee.

Can you imagine a prosecutor finding out the defendant is really (or most probably) innocent, and pleading "not guilty", without hurting his or her own career? Did you know there are other systems where this is considered normal?

Something tells me your courts system is screwed up, and I'm glad I'm unlikely to ever be a defendant in a U.S. court.

Kiwaiti
Member of the Legion Of Microsoft Haters

Uh...no. (5.00 / 1) (#293)
by Skywise on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 01:53:52 PM EST

There are TWO classes of justice systems in the US.

The civil justice system in the US is "settle a dispute" based.  (Which only makes sense because civil cases are "disputes" outside the normal bounds of law)

The criminal justice system in the US is "finding the truth" based.

In a criminal case, you cannot convict a defendant unless the preponderence of the evidence points to the defendant actually doing the crime, and admitting evidence itself falls under strict guidelines of what is and is not allowable.

Prosecutors drop cases ALL THE TIME and their careers are not affected.  Judges also have the ability to immediately stop a case if evidence is found exonerating the defendant.  It is NOT a rare situation.

And I sure am glad I don't live in your country where you can't seem to tell the difference.


[ Parent ]

Neither Here Nor There... (5.00 / 3) (#275)
by hansel on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 12:39:16 AM EST

but in a properly functioning justice system, just as in a corrupt one, the majority of prosecutions should result in a conviction.  If the justice system is working well, then generally the innocents should be eliminated in the investigation phase, and never suffer a trial.  So the overall rate of conviction says nothing about the quality of the justice system, unless it's below something like 75%, in which case you should be asking whether or not the prosecutors are incompetent.

You actually "read" pravda? (2.00 / 2) (#292)
by AntiBasic on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 11:37:07 AM EST

Jesus, talk about the rantings of a demagogue. Pravda = Communist paper. Why are the leftists the juvenille ones who waste their time online "talking" to others about politics? They are historically ignorant children.
The downside of being better than everyone else is that people tend to assume that you're pretentious.
Interesting side note to this article... (5.00 / 1) (#306)
by thanos on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 04:09:06 PM EST

Ok, I'll admit I didn't trudge through the whole article, but I figure I got the gist of where the author was going by about halfway through the first paragraph. Anyway, I thought the recently published FBI crime statistics deserved posting (sorry if this was already done): FBI National Crime Report

Our problem in the USA is clear: we need to stop arresting and incarcerating people for drug-related offenses. I don't lose any sleep over long prison sentences for those who rob, steal, and hurt.


Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
You nailed it. (none / 0) (#321)
by wingnutx on Tue Dec 30, 2003 at 01:27:01 PM EST

"we need to stop arresting and incarcerating people for drug-related offenses" If I had one single policy that I would implement, that would be it. So many societal ills stem from the WOD that I can't think of any single thing that would have a greater impact. Before I get flamed, I do not view decriminalization as a cure-all, merely the top of my laundry-list.
tanstaafl
[ Parent ]
troll (none / 0) (#310)
by siwenna on Thu Aug 28, 2003 at 04:57:34 PM EST

this comment was a troll, you all bought it. you lost.

If you are interested in this isssue (none / 0) (#319)
by brain in a jar on Wed Sep 10, 2003 at 11:26:43 AM EST

Then you might like to check out my older K5 article on the same subject, as well as the comments to it.


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.

The prison formerly known as America: Enemy of the State | 318 comments (275 topical, 43 editorial, 0 hidden)
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