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[P]
Is This the America I Love?

By MichaelCrawford in Op-Ed
Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 01:26:16 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

I just feel the need to write right now. Something has gone terribly wrong with the country I was raised to love. The good things that America stands for are being trampled into the dirt by those charged with the burden of protecting them.

I was raised to be a patriotic American. I grew up a military brat - my father was a proud officer of the United States Navy, who served in the Vietnam War. When I was young, I was always told that my father was fighting to preserve the freedoms that were guaranteed us by the United States Constitution.

In the first grade, I attended a school run by the U.S. Navy in Gaeta, Italy, where my father was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Springfield. Each day when we started school we sang patriotic songs and said the Pledge of Allegiance. We were told that America stood for freedom and democracy and justice.

I loved America for what it stood for.


I was told that things like political persecution, detainment without trial, and beating of prisoners were things that happened in other countries, that they would never happen in America. I was told that we fought the American Revolution and wrote the Constitution specifically to ensure such things would never again happen in America.

But today I see the ugly face of repression rising in America. And it is brought to you by the United States Government.

I am not proud to be an American today. I understand well why people in many other countries hate America. I love America, but I despise what it is rapidly becoming.

Something must be done about this.

There are many things that move me to write this, but what moved to me write this right now is that a member of a registered political party was singled out for harassment, first by American Airlines and then by the United States National Guard because of the opinions she holds.

Nancy Oden, one of the U.S. Green Party's top officials, was traveling to a Green Party national meeting from her hometown airport in Bangor, Maine. She had published a statement that calls for Universal Health Care, limitations on free trade, and a stop to the bombing of Afghanistan.

When she got to the American Airlines ticket counter she was told that there was a record in AA's computer indicating that she should be searched anytime she tried to fly.

During the search, she tried to help the security agent with a stuck zipper. The agent grabbed her arm and she pulled it away. The National Guard instructed the airline not to let her fly. The airline told all the other airlines not to let her fly. She was unable to attend the Green Party meeting.

So an official of a registered political party in the supposedly democratic United States was prevented from participating in the political process because her name had been recorded in a computer as someone who should be treated with suspicion.

I fear what America has become.

Also upsetting to me is the recent decision of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to allow eavesdropping on attorney-client conversations as well as opening of their mail. Read the ACLU press release opposing this.

From the Washington Post article U.S. Will Monitor Calls to Lawyers:

Attorney General John D. Ashcroft approved the eavesdropping rule on an emergency basis last week, without the usual waiting period for public comment. It went into effect immediately, permitting the government to monitor conversations and intercept mail between people in custody and their attorneys for up to a year at a time.

The right to a vigorous legal defense is one of the cornerstones of our democracy. It is one of the bulwarks that comes between official repression and those who are repressed, underprivileged, despised, outcast, or working for legitimate political change. You can read about the guarantee of legal representation in our Constitution:

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

I don't have a URL to link you to ( mail me one), but I read that among the hundreds of "suspects" and "material witnesses" rounded up in the days after September 11, many were held without charge and some were beaten by their jailers. Also some were held without being given access to attorneys or their families. I thought that could not happen here...

The recently signed USA PATRIOT act is an assault on our civil liberties the likes of which have not been seen in decades.

Read the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Analysis of USA PATRIOT Act, which largely discusses the law's impact on online activities - did you know that the government can now spy on the key words you search for at search engines like Google and AltaVista? Because computer cracking is now considered terrorism, searching for exploitz can result in your lengthy imprisonment.

The truth is the first victim of war.

Shortly after the September 11th attacks, President Bush said something to the effect that the reason the U.S. was attacked was because the terrorists hated our freedom, and that we must fight the terrorists in order to preserve it.

But Osama bin Laden does not care either way about our freedom. He has made it very clear why he hates the U.S., and none of this has been acknowledged by any official statements that I have heard. What bin Laden objects to are the stationing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, the land of the holy city of Mecca, U.S. support for Israel's repression of the Palestinians, and the continued U.S. bombing of Iraq. More than anything, he feels that the presence of U.S. troops in the Islamic Holy Land is a sacrilege.

Whatever your position is on bin Laden's objections to the U.S., you must agree that it is wrong for our President to lie to us. Get informed, and work to understand the complexities behind the enmity between the Islamic and Western world. It's not as simple as our government would have us believe.

You might be interested to know what the Pentagon is doing to improve the United States' image in the Islamic world. Well, I'll tell you. It has taken out a $400,000 contract with Madison Avenue public relations firm The Rendon Group in an effort to help it "orient to the challenge of communication to a wide range of groups around the world". In addition, former advertising executive Charlotte Beers has been apointed to the post of Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, a position she qualifies for because of her previous work promoting such products as Head & Shoulders shampoo.

Read about it in Propaganda Wars.

Well, its comforting to know that we'll be winning friends in Central Asia by showing professionally produced TV commercials depicting friendly Americans in between the news reports of mutilated and starving Afghani children.

What You Can Do

If you, like myself, feel that something is wrong with America these days, or with whatever country you find yourself in, speak out about it.

In this troubled times, speaking openly to inform others of injustice or to protest may result in a backlash against you from government officials or others. Please read this speech on the importance of speaking your mind. Have courage - it is only by having the courage to speak and to work against injustice that we can prevent it from getting a lot worse.

Among the ways you can speak out

  • Participate in online communities
  • Send email to people you know
  • Write web pages like this one and post the URL around
  • Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers
  • Staple leaflets to bulletin boards in your community
  • Pass out leaflets in public places
  • Call in to talk radio shows

Secondly, participate in what we have left of the democratic process. Our government has at least the appearance of having been elected, and the easiest way to make a change is to vote out the ones who have brought this upon us.

  • Volunteer for political candidates you believe in
  • Get a bunch of voter registration cards and stand in a public place to register voters
  • Donate money to political candidates and parties who respect civil liberties
  • Vote
  • Write letters to your elected representatives. While you can send email, Congress gets so much spam that they pretty much ignore email these days. Instead, you can find your Congressperson's postal address at www.congress.org - write them a paper letter.

Use encryption to protect your privacy. Please read my page Why You Should Use Encryption as well as my letter Protect Your Rights with Encryption.

You can get encryption software for free - you can use either Pretty Good Privacy or The GNU Privacy Guard. Both offer excellent, military strength protection of your data, and the source code to each is freely available so that programmers are able to inspect it for security defects and back doors.

Teach the people you correspond with to use encryption.

Teach people who work for political change to use encryption. If you don't think political candidates and their staff need to use encryption, you're too young to remember Nixon's Plumbers getting caught breaking into the Watergate Hotel to wiretap the Democratic National Committe.

Join organizations that work to protect civil liberties. Among these are:

One might think, and one certainly hopes, that the ultimate safeguard against these threats to our civil liberties lies with the Supreme Court of the United States. But I am not so certain myself. The Supreme Court has ruled against the dictates of law and the Constitution during other troubled periods in our nation's history.

And we should remember that the current President received a minority of the popular vote and was only declared to have a majority of the Electoral Vote after an obviously politically motivated ruling by the Supreme Court, a decision that has few pretenses of being based on the rule of law. Even had all the ballots been counted, enough Black Florida citizens were prevented from going to the polls that the election would clearly have gone for Gore had they been allowed to exercise their right to vote.

As said in the dissenting opinion by Justices Stevens, Ginsberg and Breyer in Bush v. Gore (note - this is an Adobe Acrobat document):

What must underlie petitioners' (nb. - George W. Bush') entire federal assault on the Florida election procedures is an unstated lack of confidence in the impartiality and capacity of the state judges who would make critical decisions if the vote count were to proceed. Otherwise, their position is wholly without merit. The endorsement of that position by the majority of this Court can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land. It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today's decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.

We must work together to restore the rule of law in our country - or we shall surely suffer for it. If you do not agree that Fascism can arise in the United States, take heed of the fact that Adolf Hitler was elected as the leader of his country too.

November 12, 2001

Copyright © 2001 Michael D. Crawford.
Permission is granted to reproduce this document provided it is copied verbatim, in its entirety and that this copyright statement is preserved. Permission is also granted to make foreign language translations, provided that they are faithful to the original, and that this copyright statement is preserved.

The original of this document is at http://www.goingware.com/notes/america.html - please check there periodically for updates.

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Is it patriotic to oppose your government when it is doing wrong?
o Yes 94%
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Votes: 203
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Related Links
o Google
o singled out for harassment
o Read the ACLU press release opposing this
o U.S. Will Monitor Calls to Lawyers
o Amendment VI
o mail me one
o USA PATRIOT
o Electronic Frontier Foundation's Analysis of USA PATRIOT Act
o AltaVista
o searching for exploitz
o The Rendon Group
o Propaganda Wars
o this speech on the importance of speaking your mind
o www.congre ss.org
o Why You Should Use Encryption
o Protect Your Rights with Encryption
o Pretty Good Privacy
o The GNU Privacy Guard
o breaking into the Watergate Hotel
o The American Civil Liberties Union
o Join Here
o The Electronic Frontier Foundation
o Join Here
o The Center for Democracy and Technology
o Get Involved
o The Electronic Privacy Information Center
o Donate Here
o Supreme Court of the United States
o Bush v. Gore
o http://www.goingware.com/notes/america.html
o Also by MichaelCrawford


Display: Sort:
Is This the America I Love? | 329 comments (278 topical, 51 editorial, 0 hidden)
-1, copyrighted (1.01 / 74) (#4)
by tacomacide on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 06:43:06 AM EST

Haha, you copyrighted a rant. What a lame dick. Prepare to sue me.
I was told that things like political persecution, detainment without trial, and beating of prisoners were things that happened in other countries, that they would never happen in America. I was told that we fought the American Revolution and wrote the Constitution specifically to ensure such things would never again happen in America.

But today I see the ugly face of repression rising in America. And it is brought to you by the United States Government.

I am not proud to be an American today. I understand well why people in many other countries hate America. I love America, but I despise what it is rapidly becoming.

Something must be done about this.

There are many things that move me to write this, but what moved to me write this right now is that a member of a registered political party was singled out for harassment, first by American Airlines and then by the United States National Guard because of the opinions she holds.

Nancy Oden, one of the U.S. Green Party's top officials, was traveling to a Green Party national meeting from her hometown airport in Bangor, Maine. She had published a statement that calls for Universal Health Care, limitations on free trade, and a stop to the bombing of Afghanistan.

When she got to the American Airlines ticket counter she was told that there was a record in AA's computer indicating that she should be searched anytime she tried to fly.

During the search, she tried to help the security agent with a stuck zipper. The agent grabbed her arm and she pulled it away. The National Guard instructed the airline not to let her fly. The airline told all the other airlines not to let her fly. She was unable to attend the Green Party meeting.

So an official of a registered political party in the supposedly democratic United States was prevented from participating in the political process because her name had been recorded in a computer as someone who should be treated with suspicion.

I fear what America has become.

Copyright © 2001 Tacom A. Cide. Permission is granted to reproduce this document provided it is copied verbatim, in its entirety and that this copyright statement is preserved. Permission is also granted to make foreign language translations, provided that they are faithful to the original, and that this copyright statement is preserved.
I honestly you or someone you love dearly dies on Christmas eve.

*** ANONYMIZED ***

honestly hope. plz 2 be excusing teh english. (1.15 / 19) (#5)
by tacomacide on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 06:44:57 AM EST


*** ANONYMIZED ***
[ Parent ]

ACtually (4.22 / 9) (#6)
by Trevor OLeary on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:31:02 AM EST

You automatically get copyright anyway. So wishing death on someone for doing something which is done automatically anyway...is a LEETLE BEET MUCH...


[ Parent ]
Don't make me infringe on your post's copyright! (1.11 / 18) (#27)
by tacomacide on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:59:00 AM EST

Nobody on here will enforce their copyrights, and their ownership of the post is basically fucking unprovable. Why bother?

*** ANONYMIZED ***
[ Parent ]

Some do (3.00 / 1) (#38)
by Trevor OLeary on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:45:06 AM EST

Sometimes people post stories which are copyrighted. Comments are the same sh1t I spose.

And if anyone tries sigging me when I say something stupid, I'm gonna sue them so fast...

[ Parent ]

If I didn't know any better (none / 0) (#43)
by Ricochet Rita on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 10:17:01 AM EST

I'd swear you were egging us on. 'Cause that last line just screams, "Sig Me!!"

R≥

And if anyone tries sigg... ah, nevermind.

R≥

FABRICATUS DIEM, PVNC!
[ Parent ]

Oh really? (5.00 / 1) (#254)
by tacomacide on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 05:27:24 AM EST

Psyche.

*** ANONYMIZED ***
[ Parent ]

Tacomacide (none / 0) (#325)
by Wulfius on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:26:04 AM EST

You are an idiot.
You do not belong on these forums.

No wait. You do. Every court needs its jester.
Even if you do not realise it.

I just had a look at all your posts.
My oh my. Your average mark for your
comments is something like 0.2

Why dont you do something that will
give you greater credibility amongst your peers.
Maybe mastrubation or kicking small animals.

Pfht... begone peasant.

And I DO hope you have a very pleasant Christmas.
-

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

You can't change anything (2.09 / 11) (#8)
by rdskutter on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:33:11 AM EST

Something must be done about this.

Why don't you suggest a course of action (other than violence towards the government and members thereof) that will actually change this situation.

America is screwed. The world is screwed. There's no hope and no hope for freedom anymore.


Yanks are like ICBMs: Good to have on your side, but dangerous to have nearby. - OzJuggler
History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

I did suggest a course of action (4.62 / 8) (#9)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:34:44 AM EST

Did you read the stuff at the end where I said what you could do? Not violence, but stuff like political activism, and joining civil rights organizations.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

We've been doing that for years (4.33 / 3) (#13)
by rdskutter on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:16:29 AM EST

It doesn't work. The bad politicans always win because they have more money.


Yanks are like ICBMs: Good to have on your side, but dangerous to have nearby. - OzJuggler
History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.[ Parent ]

Not true. (5.00 / 2) (#54)
by aphrael on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:16:53 AM EST

The bad politicians keep winning because only a small percentage of the population votes, and only a tiny percentage of the population joins activist groups, because most people are right where Mr. Crawford was two years ago, believing everything is A-OK.

[ Parent ]
Your sig (OT) (none / 0) (#19)
by Pac on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:28:27 AM EST

Does such a huge crowd formerly knew you as GoingWare? It is not like you were tps12, greenrd or ERIC... :)

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Well maybe it's time I changed it (5.00 / 6) (#21)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:38:42 AM EST

I used the handle "goingware" on a number of communities for several years. So yes, quite a few people know me that way.

But I don't want to be known as my corporation anymore. I want to be known online for myself, not for a company I own.

In part it's to let people know who I am, and in part it's to let people know I'm not doing anything sneaky by signing up for a new account.

I could, for example, log into K5 as GoingWare now and vote up this article, but I won't do that because that's not why I changed my nick. Reminding people with my sig helps people understand that I really have changed my online identity for honest reasons.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Convince me it's worth it (3.75 / 4) (#25)
by Rogerborg on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:47:49 AM EST

Given that it's still illegal to be a member of the Communist party in Washington State, and that all the mechanisms to track and punish political dissenters are still in place.

I agree with you in principle, but I'm a family guy, and I'm frankly concerned about the practical risk of sticking my neck out.  The first people to protest against any particular groundswell of popularist propaganda tend to catch it in the shorts.  Do you honestly think there's enough of a backlash building against US imperialism to merit joining the revolution in any capacity?  I'm not convinced.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Read "Make a Bonfire of Your Reputations" (4.40 / 5) (#26)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:55:27 AM EST

I am a family man too. And my wife is a foreigner. I worry a lot about whether I'm doing the right thing. I don't want her to get hurt.

The best argument for this that I can make was given in a commencement address a little over a hundred years ago by John J. Chapman:

There are many ways to be an activist that are less risky than throwing molotov cocktails at the man. No one would blame you for doing what you have to do to protect your family.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I submit to you that things are actually getting.. (3.92 / 14) (#11)
by SaintPort on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:12:22 AM EST

better, not worse.

Because of this information age, we just find out we've been spun or lied to.  I personally believe that administrations of the past got away with propaganda to the point that it was possible.  Life is a messy business.  Mix in politics and its a horrid mess.  So it is in an administration's best interests to spin that which becomes history.  Today it is harder to accomplish.  

When we first realize we have been misled, we think, "things are getting bad..."  When in reality, the realization is the turning point for things getting better.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

Every time I think about what a boon (4.20 / 5) (#69)
by ZanThrax on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 12:16:57 PM EST

the internet is to me and my ability to be informed; I remember that most people don't use it, and most of those who do are looking for recipes and bad jokes.

Just because you, me, and most of K5 (usually?) realise when we're being lied to, does not mean the public at large does. And it won't do us much good to tell them either. No one listens to the guy with the non-centrist politics who actually gives a fuck.

If Bush can attack Iraq because they might do something to Americans someday, can I attack Bush because he might invade Canada someday? I figure I'm as entit
[ Parent ]

Hmmmmm (3.66 / 3) (#74)
by SaintPort on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 12:53:04 PM EST

the internet is to me and my ability to be informed; I remember that most people don't use it, and most of those who do are looking for recipes and bad jokes.

That corresponds with my experience.

Just because you, me, and most of K5 (usually?) realise when we're being lied to, does not mean the public at large does. And it won't do us much good to tell them either. No one listens to the guy with the non-centrist politics who actually gives a fuck.

In general, people want their lives simplified, more than they really want the truth.  Most folks can't relate to the implications of freedom, they just want to make it to the next check and have as much fun as practical.  This is not a slam.  I know some of these people and love them dearly.

We are depending on the press to a great degree to keep us informed and free.  No information medium is unbiased, so if you want the truth you have to keep all your senses alert and trust no one.

If Bush can attack Iraq because they might do something to Americans someday, can I attack Bush because he might invade Canada someday? I figure I'm as entitled to proactive self-defense as he is...

From my perspective, Bush has been trusted with running this country (world?) and he has the responsibility to do it well and fairly.  Whether you believe it or not, he ultimately answers for his actions, just as you will.  Has a body politic appointed you to protect Canada?

In all fairness, exercise your free speech, it's powerful stuff.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

The Cluetrain Manifesto (5.00 / 2) (#73)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 12:48:18 PM EST

Because of this information age, we just find out we've been spun or lied to.

This thread would not be complete without posting a link to The Cluetrain Manifesto.

I found the Chapman speech that I quote at Make a Bonfire of Your Reputations in the dead tree edition of The Cluetrain Manifesto.

While the cluetrain is all about the empowerment of the individual by the Internet against corporate public relations machinery, I think it applies equally well to the empowerment of the individual against the government propaganda machine.

Buy the book. It's excellent. Everyone should read The Cluetrain Manifesto.

And subscribe to Christopher Locke's mailing list.

Holy crap, in checking the links while previewing I just found that you can read the entire text of the book online for free!


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I wish I could agree with you... (5.00 / 1) (#221)
by kcbrown on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:32:00 PM EST

When we first realize we have been misled, we think, "things are getting bad..." When in reality, the realization is the turning point for things getting better.
All other things being equal, I might agree with you. But all other things aren't equal.

You can have all the knowledge of what's really going on that you want. It won't do you any good if you can't execute on it.

Today, we have the internet. It allows everyone who participates to become a publisher. But it does nothing to eliminate the usefulness of the mass media. It merely augments it.

You cannot vote for someone whose existence you're not aware of, and you're unlikely to vote for someone whose existence you're aware of but whom you know nothing about. This is the fundamental point of power of the mass media, and thus the large corporations (for the mass media is owned by those corporations and does deals with those that don't own their own mass media outlets). The Democrat and Republican parties are in their positions of power because they are the most willing to whore themselves to corporate interests. The internet has not reduced the usefulness of the mass media as an information distribution mechanism.

Things can't get better until there is a mechanism by which such improvements might happen, but such a mechanism doesn't exist right now. And I don't think such a mechanism ever will: it would swiftly be made illegal.

[ Parent ]

Short memory you have there (4.41 / 17) (#12)
by Rogerborg on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:14:28 AM EST

Does this question ring any bells?

"Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist party"?

Political persecution is an old, old story in the USA.  Whinging about it doesn't help.  Go do some campaigning or at least join a rally.  If you really want to make a difference, get yourself arrested for peacably assembling outside of a designated first amendment zone then fight the case all the way to the Supremes.

If you love your country as much as you say, that would be a fight worth winning.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

That question is still on U.S. visa applications (4.90 / 10) (#15)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:21:56 AM EST

Yes, in fact that question does ring a bell. My wife is a Canadian citizen, and recently got her Green Card, that grants her the right to reside and work in the U.S.

When she was filling out her visa application, she was rather astounded to find that question in there. It also asks if you're a terrorist.

So I suppose if you answer "no" and you kill thousands of innocents for the purpose of instilling fear in the public, they have an excuse to deport you.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Other favourite questions on US visa forms (4.85 / 7) (#23)
by goonie on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:44:24 AM EST

Don't they have a question like "Were you involved in perpetrating the Jewish holocaust in WWII" as well? Not that I'm in favour of letting mass murderers into the United States, but does that mean the US thinks the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide, or the massacres in East Timor, are just peachy?

Not to mention, "Have you ever committed a crime of moral turpitude". Hmmm. Can I phone a philosopher on this one? Do my parking fines count?

[ Parent ]

Re: Other favourite questions on US visa forms (5.00 / 2) (#202)
by Gord ca on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 11:53:27 AM EST

"Have you ever committed a crime of moral turpitude". Hmmm. Can I phone a philosopher on this one?
Actually, I'd need a dictionary first.

If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it
[ Parent ]
OK (3.00 / 4) (#36)
by Rogerborg on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:38:03 AM EST

Then why claim that you suddenly saw the problem  and the urgent necessity for action now?  I find it hard to believe that you really did think everything was peachy keen and only recently had an epiphany that you feel compelled to share with us.

I do agree with your points, but find your "everything was great, now it ain't" spiel somewhat mendacious and possibly manipulative, and I'm calling you on it.

Propaganda isn't a tool used uniquely by Them, it's something that We have to be careful about slipping into as well, no matter how good the motive.  I'd rather see an honest article about why you decided that now was a good time to post this editorial on something that's a long term problem.  If you think it's that US education has such a blind spot for recent history that there's a generation growing up who simply don't understand how bad McCarthyism was, then say that, but don't pretend that you weren't aware of it yourself.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Why I Wrote the Article (4.71 / 7) (#41)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:55:11 AM EST

To be honest, at the time I wrote the article (November 2001), I really did just wake up and realize how bad things were. I really did think that such things could not happen here. What happened after 9/11 really was the awakening for me that I wrote about.

I posted the article here now because many people have written to me to tell them how much my writing opened their eyes, and how important they felt it was. I posted it here because I hoped that if it survived moderation, many more people might read it than would ever come across it at my own website.

I have been considering updating the article to reflect my current feelings and recent events, but I feel that the article is the most eloquent as it stands. Very likely I will write more articles though.

I was well aware of McCarthyism when I was a kid but I had thought that had been laid to rest.

I was a young kid during vietnam but I was kept sheltered from most of the civil unrest - at the height of the protests in Berkeley, I lived about 20 miles away - in on-base housing at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. I knew there was a war going on - you could hardly live on a military base at the time and not think something was up - but I had no idea that anyone was opposed to it. That was in about 1967 and 1968. Think about it.

I asked my older sister once, while my father was overseas fighting the war, why Dad had to go to vietnam to fight. I asked why they couldn't fight the war here in the US, so Dad and the other sailors and soldiers didn't have to be so far from home. My sister replied, in all seriousness as far as I could tell at the time, that it was illegal to have wars in the US so people had to go to other countries to fight them. I believed her for quite some time.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Very reasonable reply, objection retracted (5.00 / 3) (#59)
by Rogerborg on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:44:29 AM EST

Thanks for taking the time to reply.  Sorry for the cynicism, but I'm sure you'll understand that we can sometimes be flooded by Angry Young Guy articles here.  I do appreciate (now) that your is a more reasoned view based on a decent amount of life experience.  And please accept my apologies for my somewhat belligerent tone, I actually do agree fully with all of your points.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Had to mod this up (n/t) (none / 0) (#81)
by zaxus on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 01:43:59 PM EST

This is one of the rare cases of appology I've seen on the net. Bravo.

---
"If you loved me, you'd all kill yourselves today." - Spider Jerusalem, Transmetropolitan


[ Parent ]
Shucks (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by Rogerborg on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 04:50:04 PM EST

When you're wrong, you're wrong.  I have no disagreement with the author, and he's rapidly, politely and eruditely answered all my queries about the background to this article.  That courtesy deserves at least as much in return.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Try not to take offense please, (none / 0) (#139)
by Anonymous 7324 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:28:50 PM EST

but why is an Angry Old Guy(tm) article more acceptable than an Angry Young Guy(tm) article? Seriously. No handwaving and wide-sweeping generalizations about 'maturity' please.

And no, I'm not trying to troll: it's a serious question. Thanks.

[ Parent ]

It's more efficient (5.00 / 1) (#187)
by Rogerborg on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 07:52:37 AM EST

It's likely (not certain, but more probable) that the author has thought through and rejected some of the more impractical solutions like a radical change to the voting system, or forcing politicians to live in glass boxes and be subject to 24/7 public scrutiny.  Worthy goals, but unachievable in the current climate.

Also, Angry Old Guys tend (I find) to be angry about a synthesis of many aspects of the problem, rather than suddenly noticing one isolated aspect and drawing a conspiracy theory from it.  I was initially suspicious that this was one of the latter articles (because it mentioned one incident), but I now believe that it isn't, and that it shows a genuine insight that there really is a systematic failure of democracy and accountability in the USA.

That's not to say that I don't enjoy Angry Young Guy articles (god knows I used to write enough of them, and I'm not past it just yet), but I do like to see a balance, and to know something about the author and his experiences.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Life at Mare Island in the 60's (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 01:26:45 PM EST

You might be interested to read something else I wrote about what it was like to live at Mare Island Naval Shipyard during the sixties.

Just as a teaser, when I was fifteen I told my mom about some of what I used to do for fun at Mare Island when I was so little, and she was absolutely mortified. I think she still doesn't fully believe me.

I was born in 1964, so I lived at Mare Island when I was three and four years old. Before that I lived in San Diego, the site of a huge Navy base. My very earliest conscious memory is of being picked up from a day care center to go see my Dad arrive on a ship from overseas. I remember all the men in their dress whites and the band playing "Anchors Aweigh".

(I think "Gitarro" is not the correct spelling, but I'm not sure how to spell it correctly.)


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Citizenship application too. n/t (4.00 / 1) (#78)
by jabber on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 01:33:10 PM EST


[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Yet more favourite questions on the Visa form (none / 0) (#309)
by 6hill on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:38:13 AM EST

Paraphrasing: "Are you entering the country with the intent of participating in [...] immoral activities?"

I'm always tempted to ask the immigration guy to define immoral for me. "Can I have sex? Yes? How about anal sex? No? Well dangit, I better go right back to Europe then."

[ Parent ]

On the topic of pride (4.95 / 41) (#33)
by RareHeintz on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:30:08 AM EST

I am not proud to be an American today.
Nor should you be, on this or any other day. That would be as stupid as being proud of having green eyes. One should never be proud of what one is, but of what one does. The only people who should be proud of their American citizenship are immigrants - they had to work for it.

Fortunately, you point out a number of excellent actions that any American can take, and take pride in. Certainly, you can be justly proud of that.

Just my two cents,
- B
--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily

No country has lived up to it's ideals. (2.00 / 12) (#48)
by lb008d on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 10:36:15 AM EST

Film at 11.

"Kuro5hin: politics and pretension, from the $3,000 leather recliners on the hill overlooking the trenches."DarkZero

Principle (4.75 / 8) (#57)
by marx on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:38:34 AM EST

I cannot be perfect, therefore I shall strive to be an asshole.

Nice principle.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Is that what I said? (4.00 / 2) (#67)
by lb008d on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 12:06:38 PM EST

I just read articles like this and think how naive can someone be? I mean the author sounds like he actually believed what they told him in public school.

I'm not saying that people should accept what is happening, just that they shouldn't be surprised it is, as the author seems to be.

"Kuro5hin: politics and pretension, from the $3,000 leather recliners on the hill overlooking the trenches."DarkZero
[ Parent ]

Obviously you've never attended a military school (4.75 / 4) (#72)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 12:25:22 PM EST

I mean the author sounds like he actually believed what they told him in public school.

Spend one of the most formative years of your life attending a school run by one of the branches of the U.S. military and then tell me what you've come out believing.

The military has a well-deserved reputation for the excellent academic quality of the schools it provides for the dependents of its personell. Joshua Barney school really was an excellent school, at the end of the first grade I was able to read a whole "Hardy Boys" mystery novel in one day.

But thinking back on my time there, I feel now that a rather disproportionate amount of time was spent teaching about why I should be proud to be an American - all this while the Vietnam War was raging.

Even my father now feels that we shouldn't have been in Vietnam. That was a very difficult step for him to take.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Naivety (4.00 / 3) (#75)
by marx on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 12:59:50 PM EST

I just read articles like this and think how naive can someone be?
Ok, but there is a big difference between realizing that your country cannot be perfect, and tolerating what the author is describing.

That trials sometimes turn out unfair, that the police sometimes oversteps the boundaries, these are unavoidable. But what the author is describing, and what is happening, is explicitly mandated by the government, and seemingly supported by the majority of the population.

I mean, you have Bush and Ashcroft talking about secret trials with no defense lawyers, sending people indefinitely to jail without trial, torture, ethnic profiling, domestic spying, etc. And very few people seem to oppose these things.

So the author is not naive. It's people like you who have become so jaded that you don't react when important things happen to your country.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Again, you assume. (none / 0) (#84)
by lb008d on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:00:31 PM EST

First, you assumed that I didn't care, and was trying to be an asshole. Fine, the comment was superficial. Now you assume that I'm so jaded that I tolerate these things?!?!

Tired clichés aside, assuming these things about me does nothing to further the discussion. I believe the suggestions the author gave were valid. My comments addressed the author's indoctrination into US patriotism, and the surprise I had that anyone would ever believe all they were taught in school. There, I made an initial assumption, and we're even.

"Kuro5hin: politics and pretension, from the $3,000 leather recliners on the hill overlooking the trenches."DarkZero
[ Parent ]

Same old (2.38 / 21) (#53)
by NaCh0 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:13:27 AM EST

blah blah blah constitution blah blah persecution blah blah repression blah blah blah Bush Ashcroft blah bablah democratic process blah blah blah propaganda blah blah blah ACLU blah blh fascism blabh blah blahhh privacy blah blah blah Adolf Hitler.

Oh, get involved? Really? Thats a new idea I've never heard before. </sarcasm>

-1
--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.

you've probably never tried it either nt (3.00 / 3) (#62)
by speek on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:47:48 AM EST


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

So wrong you are (4.66 / 3) (#64)
by NaCh0 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:52:56 AM EST

There are many ways I'm involved as a citizen. Be it voting, helping my neighbor, public service, and participating at public fora to name a few.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]
Oh I see (3.33 / 3) (#71)
by speek on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 12:25:19 PM EST

You want all your activism for yourself. Wouldn't want to be crowded out by too many others.

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

Retard (nt) (2.00 / 6) (#120)
by NaCh0 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 06:19:39 PM EST


--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

no (3.50 / 2) (#133)
by speek on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:55:07 PM EST

I'm just trying to understand your motivation for posting your snotty put down of the nice article the guy wrote.

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

Snotty (4.50 / 2) (#141)
by NaCh0 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:48:38 PM EST

Basically because his essay has a lot of words and doesn't say anything. So he links a few articles we hashed over the past year. Then he says get involved. Everyone should get involved. Most won't. Fact is, people who care are already involved.

I didn't see my top level post as a put down, but after reading this, perhaps the author needs a good put down. The patting of himself on the back is sickening. He cherrypicked 3 positive comments. Two from the SAME person!! Comeon now. We saw wiredog liked it the first time. Is it necessary to quote him twice? Does his lack of sources show that Crawford is astroturfing his own article? Quite clearly so.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

yttons (2.00 / 1) (#156)
by speek on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 10:43:08 PM EST

He's just doing his best to get people involved. Y'know, it doesn't just happen spontaneously - people get inspired to get involved. People learn something that gets them involved. It's in fact not true that everyone who cares is already involved.

And so what if he's arrogant. So are you. So am I. This is K5. What were you expecting? We all have our snotty moments. I'm just calling you on yours. Next time, it'll probably be reversed.

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

Same old, same old (5.00 / 1) (#88)
by broken77 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:17:19 PM EST

Ok, so this is yet another article talking about our loss of freedoms and descent into more fascist-like conditions. But let me ask you this. How long has it been that this is the "same old crap"? A year? Two years? How long have we been pointing this out for? I'll submit to you that this kind of talk is pretty new for a great deal of people in the U.S., such as the author. They didn't always say these things. And, more and more people are saying these sorts of things. My dad, who's 70 years old, has told me of several encounters he's had recently with folks in his neck of the woods (in Missouri) saying these things. People he thought would never be saying these kinds of things.

So what's my point? That this is not "just the same liberal crap" again. This is a relatively new development in the American consciousness. Is there cause for alarm? I think there is.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

perfect (3.28 / 7) (#76)
by SideShow Ralph Wiggum on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 01:23:37 PM EST

my vote put this thing over the top. I'm glad it did, because this is a superb article. It makes me happy to see my government (the Canadian Government) openly telling US officals to butt the hell out of our government business, and also calling Bush a moron. Someone had to say it.

SideShow Ralph Wiggum
This year buy her English Muffins...Whatever you say Mr. Billboard -- H. Simpson

Patriotism vs. Flag Worship (4.86 / 15) (#79)
by freebird on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 01:36:44 PM EST

I loved America for what it stood for.

Thank you very much, this phrase solidified something that has bothered be about the flush of flag-waving nationalism over the past year. I agree with your sentiment, and it points out something fundamental:

love your country for the things it stands for, don't love things that stand for your country.

They are just symbols, references, and when they become more important than the referents, something vitally important has been lost. One could argue in fact that this defines the difference between "Patriotism" and "Nationalism".

...TAGGATC...(etc)

You need to check your facts (4.00 / 16) (#80)
by COINTELPRO Tool on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 01:42:46 PM EST

The Nancy Oden incident was not one of "harrassment," but one of a Left-wing refusing to submit to the same type of scrutiny us working stiffs are subjected to. From Snopes.com:
Thank you for writing. Ms. Oden's version of events, while certainly exciting, are far removed from reality. Her Green status was and is irrelevent. The passenger in question was asked to undergo additional screening (i.e. a hand wand examination) because the manner in which she purchased the ticket triggered a concern under the new Federal screening guidelines post September 11. She refused to cooperate and became quite abusive. It is illegal for an airline to fly an unscreened passenger. Accordingly, the airline denied her boarding. She never got near a plane. She never went through security. No screen, no fly -- it is as simple as that. The situation was entirely of her own making. What's sad is that she refuses to admit to and take responsibility for her own inappropriate behavior, looking only for somebody else to blame for her own inability to cooperate with reasonable expectations under the circumstances. 99.9% of people selected are very understanding and cooperative and the process only takes an extra minute. Again, thanks for writing to express your concerns and we appreciate your efforts to objectively view the circumstances.
The Nancy Oden story, as it's usually told, is one of the more notorious hoaxes floating on the internet. It ranks right up there with the bin Laden relatives flying out of the U.S. while commercial flights were grounded after September 11, and the vicious rumor that CNN ran "ten-year-old footage" of Palestinians celebrating the 9/11 attacks. You've been duped, my friend. Bill Herbert My page My other page

d'oh (2.00 / 2) (#98)
by turmeric on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 03:31:26 PM EST

ha ha ha foiled again. but why? because ive read so much similar shit that actually DID Happen. it only seems a matter of time before something like it happened. oh well.

[ Parent ]
But don't feel bad, (3.66 / 3) (#100)
by Lode Runner on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 03:38:09 PM EST

Noam has a problem with fabulism too.

[ Parent ]
Official denial does not prove it untrue (4.50 / 8) (#104)
by riptalon on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 04:04:49 PM EST

I don't see how the airport and airline officials denying it proves it is "one of the more notorious hoaxes floating on the internet". What do you expect them to do, admit it? It is appears to be a matter of her word against their's, so you obviously have to use your own judgement on who you believe. But this isn't the only case which suggests that the US government maintains secret lists of people who are to be picked out for harassment by airport security or not allowed to fly at all. For instance see this article which notes that "check-in computers, seem to be netting mostly priests, elderly nuns, Green Party campaign operatives, left-wing journalists, right-wing activists and people affiliated with Arab or Arab-American groups".



[ Parent ]
Huh? (5.00 / 2) (#127)
by COINTELPRO Tool on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:17:21 PM EST

You obviously didn't read the passage closely, riptalon. The officials did not deny subjecting Oden to "extra scrutiny," and Oden does not deny that she was uncooperative:
As mentioned above, a little cooperation goes a long way, but Ms. Oden -- by her own admission -- was far from cooperative. She insulted the women manning the x-ray machines by insisting they wash their hands before handling her luggage (even though they wear rubber gloves), she reached for her bags as they were being searched (a no-no, as the searchers don't know that you aren't seeking to grab a weapon stashed therein), she pointedly ignored or argued with National Guardsmen, and she objected to being touched with the metal-detecting wand. Is it a surprise to anyone other than Ms. Oden that an unruly, uncooperative passenger who caused problems with every step of the security screening process might be declined permission to board an airplane?
The two parties essentially agree on what happened. The only real difference is that Oden insists that she was "singled out" because of her political views, which anyone who flies commercially on a regular basis should find ridiculous. Have you been in an airport since 9/11, sir? It doesn't sound like you have, if you really believe Oden's claims. I fly at least once a month, and have been "singled out" for the extra screening she found so objectionable around once every third or fourth trip. But rather than throw a fit, or complain "why me?" I took off my shoes, opened my bags, and let them run their metal detectors over me. And you know what? They let me get on the plane. Funny how that works, isn't it? There have been numerous cases of people being uncooperative because they felt they were above such indignities. Kelsey Grammer's wife, for one. But I routinely see government employees -- including FBI agents -- undergoing the same "harrassment." Even Al Gore was forced to suffer the indignity of being "singled out." But not Nancy Oden. No, she's above all that. She knows her rights and she is above such scrutiny. Piss on this arrogant woman. And I feel sorry for you is you believe her rant.

[ Parent ]
Cooperation or subservience? (3.33 / 3) (#140)
by riptalon on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:40:44 PM EST

As I said it is her word against their's and you can decide who you want to believe but nothing in her version of events suggests she was "uncooperative" in the sense of not letting them search her or her luggage. Not being happy about being searched is not the same as "uncooperative". If they searched her (at least twice) and found nothing why was she not allowed on the plane. I do not believe their acertion that she actually refused to be searched. I have no doubt that doing so would result in you being arrested and interogated for hours.

Not grovelling to the arrogant nazis this sort of job attracts is something that should be encouraged or things will only get worse. Perhaps it is a cultural thing. I have noticed that police in the US have a lot higher opinion of themselves than in Britain and expect everyone to bow and scrap to them whereas in Britain they tend to act slightly more like the general public is their employer, though they are progressive getting more americanised. I expect that it is giving them the guns that makes them feel really big.

I have flow in the US since 11/9 and my shoes were X-rayed and all sorts of crap. It was a lot of inconvience for little reason. Getting large peices of metal through would be difficult but carrying ceramic or polycarbonate knives on your person would be relatively easy. If someone really wanted to rerun 11/9 it wouldn't be too hard. But why would they? There are an infinite number of possible terrorist attacks, why do one that people are already expecting.

On the question of whether particular groups or individuals are being singled obviously one incident tells you nothing. But as I said there isn't just this one case, there have been a lot of other ones which seem to form a pattern. Whether this particular case is due to systematic harrasment or just a few individuals who enjoy the power they wield over others, people shouldn't be stopped from traveling because other people (in power) don't like them.



[ Parent ]
Ah, now we see your motive (2.83 / 6) (#145)
by COINTELPRO Tool on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:13:36 PM EST

"Not grovelling to the arrogant nazis this sort of job attracts is something that should be encouraged or things will only get worse. Perhaps it is a cultural thing. I have noticed that police in the US have a lot higher opinion of themselves than in Britain and expect everyone to bow and scrap to them whereas in Britain they tend to act slightly more like the general public is their employer, though they are progressive getting more americanised." I believe I mistook you for just being confused. But now it is obvious that you are simply full of shit. It seems you share Oden's agenda, so it's no wonder you so blindly share her version of events. But as I said, I've personally witnessed "arrogant nazis" within the U.S. government -- even military service members and FBI agents -- subjected to the same fascist harrassment. I'm proud to live in a country where a former vice president is forced to "grovel," as you put it, in order to get on an airplane. It's curious you find it hard to believe that Oden refused to comply with the preboarding search, since she has never denied it. In fact, she freely admitted being uncooperative, and claims a right to do so. Her argument is that she was singled out because of her beliefs, which I've proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be utterly absurd. No reasonable person would believe that her party affiliation had anything to do with her being "singled out," when literally thousands of people are subjected to the same torture (oh, the horror) daily. Whether you personallychoose to accept this reality is another matter entirely.

[ Parent ]
No one is unbiased, including you (3.50 / 2) (#223)
by riptalon on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:40:00 PM EST

It sounds like it is your logic that is being clouded by some agenda. Oden is politician, and to boot a closet marxist (if the US Green party is anthing like the one in the UK) so any agenda I might have is very far from hers. Your contention appears to be that a couple of general denials of any wrong doing by the airport and airline public relations people is proof that she is lying. Since these people were not present at the incident, are unlikely to know very much about it, and their job definition is, at best, to spin the truth for their employers, and they only say what you would expect them to say anyway, I don't think that they carry much weight.

So it comes down to Oden's account. Now taking her account at face value I don't see you can claim she wasn't picked on. The account is riddled with thing like "the clerk ... didn't even ask for photo ID ... stayed on the computer a long time, like 10 minutes" and "He said, 'No you were in there to be searched, no matter what.'" which suggests that this was far from being a random search. There is a significant difference between randomly picking n% of passengers to be search a second time, at the gate before they board and singling out particular groups and individuals.

If her account said she went to the gate, sat and waited until they were called to board, and when presented her ticket, she was waived into a line to undergo a second search, that is one thing. But her account says when she got to the gate a "National Guard guy ... yells over ... 'Bring your bags over here.'" which doesn't sound like a random search to me. He has even seen her ticket. Then when "tried to help them with a stuck zipper" the National Guard guy "grabbed my left arm" and "started yelling in my face, 'Don't you know what happened? Sep. 11, don't you know thousands of people died?'". There are two interpretations to this, either it is a comment about her politics (he knows who she is or has got work a commie is coming through) or he is just a psycho. Either way he is in the wrong.

Now you can say she is making it up but that doesn't explain why she wasn't allowed on the plane. If she had really refused to be searched they would have arrested her plain and simple (so they could search her), they wouldn't have just not allowed her on the plane. So it is obviously a "punishment" rather than being a security matter. They have searched her twice and found nothing, so they have no reason not to let her fly. Whether it is a punishment for not being deferential enough to the psycho National Guard bloke or because of her politics, it still isn't her fault. Do you think if "a former vice president" would be yelled at or not allowed onto a plane once he had been searched?

As I have said before there is a difference between not allowing someone to search you and not 'yes sir, no sir'ing them when they yell at you. In these circumstances allowing or not allowing the search is cooperation. It is an entirely passive thing. Jumping through hoops with a smile on your face and taking whatever abuse is thrown at you is going well beyond cooperation. Since all these extra security proceedures are just a publicity stunt anyway, people should be rightfully aggreved about them before you add verbal abuse and the like on top of it.

Anyway as I have said before this isn't an isolated incident. There is a pattern which suggests that in addition to blind stupidity and malice from individuals (man stopped for carrying a book, journalist for taking photographs etc.) there is also systematic perscution of critics of the US government through no-fly and always search lists.



[ Parent ]
oh ok (4.00 / 1) (#252)
by auraslip on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 02:47:19 AM EST

Basicly your missing the point. It's that she was on a LIST saying "check this person" becuase she was in the green party.
Not becuase she was uncorapitive.
124
[ Parent ]
Here's the thing that sways me a bit. (5.00 / 5) (#146)
by amarodeeps on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:26:45 PM EST

I actually voted for Nader in the last election, for a little background. I'm registered as an Independent.

But here's the thing: if you read the account Mr. Crawford listed, you start to see some corroborating evidence. I'm going to select out a few choice quotes and make some comments:

He yells over at me, so everyone can hear, 'Bring your bags over here.'

So what, you want him to whisper it to you? Who gives a shit if other people hear--I was flying after September 11th and I watched a lot of people get searched, and all I thought was, "gee, guess they got picked for some reason." It happened to a lot of people.

You know how they are when they're all puffed up with themselves.

Yes, I know how "they" are, "they're" all the same, clearly.

He said, 'Hurry up,' so I slowed down some more.

Very cooperative.

I put my bags on the table. The two women employees were standing there. [I tried to help them with a stuck zipper.] He grabbed my left arm, he started yelling in my face, 'Don't you know what happened? Sep. 11, don't you know thousands of people died?' I said, 'You can't do that.' He went to grab my arm, and I said, 'Don't touch me.' I saw an older airline guy shake his head, 'No,' and he backed off.

That insulted his little manhood. He could not force me to listen to his idiot ideas on Sep. 11, whatever it was he wanted to say.

Okay, WTF is this all about? It makes no sense to me. It sounds like she's either fabricating things or something happened that she's not mentioning. Clearly, it's entirely possible she ran into some guy who had an attitude and didn't _personally_ agree with her political views, and I'm not going to argue that the current administration doesn't represent a force that isn't hostile to what the Greens believe. But she admits to be uncooperative, and I find her attitude towards 'them' really offputting.

I don't care for it if she assumes that just because somebody is in uniform they're fascist/idiot/whatever; it means something different to everyone who puts one on, and all people deserve basic respect. It's nothing I would ever do, and one of the worst things that happened during Vietnam was people dropping shit on the soldiers who were coming back from Vietnam because they were soldiers, like they were somehow responsible for the politicians' miserable decisions. I can't tolerate that kind of attitude.

And honestly, she comes right out and admits she was being purposefully uncooperative. At the same time she tries to pretend like she was just going along with it, but which is it? I can't handle this sneaky inconsistency (I think I somehow got that from Bloom County...hmm...).

I'm not saying that she wasn't necessarily unjustly picked out for search, but I find her statement filled with inconsistency, I find her attitude toward the soldiers reprehensible, and it all adds up for me to being more skeptical about what _really_ went on, especially when reading the statement COINTELPRO links to. I have a feeling the reality of the situation was probably more complex than she makes it out to be, and she may have been more at fault than she would like to believe.

I don't think it invalidates Mr. Crawford's main points though; just the PATRIOT act is enough to make me worried. I think he talks about some good things. But Ms. Oden, she might just be wrong in her actions.



[ Parent ]
Sorry, COINTELPRO, You've been duped (5.00 / 1) (#243)
by philov on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 09:28:26 PM EST

Snopes used to be pretty authoritative and accurate. About two years ago, I went to their site and exhaustively looked through their entries. I found at least two glaring errors and about five more highly questionable entries.

I figure if just by a single visit to their site I could find two errors, that their status as a factually-oriented site was in jeopardy. I noticed a definite sensationalistic slant on their stories.

I've heard no-one give me a substantive argument as to why I should think they've gotten better in the last two years. I don't expect I'll get one now.

Snopes is as definitive and factual at pointing out urban myths as Slashdot is at pointing out the proper OS to use in a given situation. Yeh, 90% of the time it's right, or close to right, but can you trust the other 10%?

I can't.

--
power to the soul, belief to the people
echo $fakeemail | sed -e 's/spammenot.//'
[ Parent ]

I don't think you need to rely upon snopes.com... (4.00 / 1) (#256)
by amarodeeps on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 11:18:05 AM EST

...to show you that there were problems with Ms. Oden's account. It's inconsistent, to say the least. Just re-read the one that Mr. Crawford linked to with a critical perspective, which is how you should really be reading everything.



[ Parent ]
Don't keep us in the dark now (none / 0) (#299)
by BCoates on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:06:13 AM EST

About two years ago, I went to their site and exhaustively looked through their entries. I found at least two glaring errors and about five more highly questionable entries.

Which errors in which stories?

--
Benjamin Coates

[ Parent ]

The Snopes folks guilty of rumor-spreading (none / 0) (#321)
by artsygeek on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:47:59 PM EST

SHAME SHAME SHAME! They're taking the words of the airport folk as gospel, while not even taking Oden's word with a grain of salt. They shouldn't have headlined it as "False" they should have headlined it as "Inconclusive". That was the most slanted story I've ever seen on the normally level-headed snopes.com. Seeing as how the two sides of the story are on separate poles, I'd assume that some of what Oden said was true, and some of what the airport folks said was true...

[ Parent ]
No one to vote for (4.00 / 4) (#82)
by hornsby on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 01:48:04 PM EST

It's great to get involved and all, but who am I supposed to vote for? The democrats have moved too far to the left, and the republicans are too conservative for my views. I'll never vote for a candidate that's pushing universal health care because that would be the beginning of the end of medical innovation in America, so I guess good ol Nader won't be getting my vote either. Nobody worth voting for is willing to run because of the slander ridden shitfest that our election process has become. The political climate of America has gone to hell, and I see no way out.

Democrats too far to the left my ass (4.66 / 3) (#110)
by damiam on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 04:55:07 PM EST

The Democrats are getting farther from the left every day.

As for the way out, there are three simple choices - run for office, leave the country, or deal with it.

[ Parent ]

Democrats too far to the LEFT?! (4.66 / 6) (#111)
by Thomas M Hughes on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 04:58:24 PM EST

The democrats have moved too far to the left...
The democrats are an incredibly centrist party, who is pro-capitalist, for tax cuts, and votes for the war on Terrorism. If I had to place them on a left right spectrum, I'd place them very close to the center, but just slightly to the left of it. Maybe you just got your left and right screwed up or something. The traditional extreme left is the Communists, while the traditional extreme right is the Fascists. Democrats are most certainly not too far left, unless you're already pretty far to the right.

[ Parent ]
You hit on their reason for failure (1.00 / 2) (#124)
by NaCh0 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 06:40:18 PM EST

"The democrats are an incredibly centrist party, who is pro-capitalist, for tax cuts, and votes for the war on Terrorism."

The democrats might say they are for the things that you list, but mostly because they think its a popular place to be with the voters. And many of the voters see right through it. This is why the dems lost the most recent election. If a republican says he is for a tax cut, most people know that he'd take half the government away with that cut if he could. When a democrat says they favor tax cuts, they mean "targeted" tax cuts. Mostly a superficial scratch that you and I won't see. And while the dem cuts with their right hand, the left hand is drafting a proposal to stick it to the "rich." (aka anyone making over $50k/year)

Democrats are most certainly not too far left

They most certainly are, unless you already think Bernie Sanders is starting to sound like Rush Limbaugh.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

Whatever. (5.00 / 2) (#147)
by amarodeeps on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:31:51 PM EST

Smaller government? *cough* department of homeland security *cough* *cough* military spending *cough*

And there's more. The GOP is _all_talk_ about the whole smaller government thing. Please save it.



[ Parent ]
Re: Democrats too far Left?! (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by Thomas M Hughes on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 10:03:39 AM EST

I think you are missing my point.  Democrats claim to be a party of the Left, and appeal largely to Leftist voters, when they are in fact a party of the Center, or potentially even a party of the Right.  The Democrats are too far Left if you're already on the Right, and want to stay on the Right.  But if you want to be on the Left, the Democrats are most certainly too far Right.  And since the Democrats claim to be a party of the Left, and want to be a party of the Left, the fact that they're so far to the center suggests that they are not nearly Left enough to be what they claim to be.

I personally view myself to be much more interested in the politics of the Left, and find the acts of the Right often disgraceful and shameful.  However, the party that is supposed to represent my views (the views of the Left) in Government is the Democrats.  By being so centrist, they do nothing to serve my interest, from the Left.  Thus, I stand by my claim that the Democrats are not Left enough for the purpose that they serve.

Again, this changes as your ideological perspective changes.  If you view the world from the Right, then of course the Democrats will be too far Left.  That is because you already dislike any amount of Leftist policy, and the Democrats claim to be a party of the Left.  That would be like me (a Leftist) saying the Republicans are too far Right.  Of course they're too far Right, they're a party of the Right.  What has more meaning is if I say "The Democrats are too far Right."  That means I'm to the Left of the Democrats.  Similarly, if I say "The Democrats are too far Left", it means they've gotten pretty radical and taken it pretty far to the extreme (since I, also, identify with the Left, as they do).

What has more meaning, from the perspective of the Right, is to say that the "Republicans have gone too far to the Right for my taste".  Or to say "the Republicans have gone too far to the Left".  Either way, they are a party that claims to be related to your ideology, so the comparison is valid.  On the other hand, you complaining about a Leftist party being too far Left (when its really not Left at all) is kind of a pointless criticism.  They don't want to be a Rightist party, they're a party of the Left.

To make an analogy, it would be like me (a 21 year old) saying that the AARP cares too much about the interests of retired people, and not enough about the youth.  After all, they do not do all that much to help subsidize my education, help me get jobs, or affordable health care.  They pretty much just deal with issues with retired people.  The answer to this is "Well, duh.  They are the American Association of Retired People.  They're supposed to represent Retired People."

However, if I was 70, and a card carrying member of the AARP, and then I said "You know, the AARP is really focusing too much on the issues of unhealthy retired people, and not enough on increasing social security payments" or something along those lines, AARP has a reason to listen.  One of the people that they claim to represent is now stating that they (the AARP) does not represent them (the individual who is complaining).  However, if a 21 year old says it, they hardly have reason to care, since they don't claim to represent that individual.

Thus, to summarize: the Democrats claim to be a party of the Left, and to support Leftist idealists.  They are, in reality, a party of the center/center-left.  Thus, if you are not from the perspective of the Left, they shouldn't care that they are too far 'Left' for you, because they aren't trying to represent you.  They're trying to represent the Left.

[ Parent ]

Republicans are not a party for small government (none / 0) (#207)
by FourDegreez on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 12:56:05 PM EST

Think Homeland Security (perhaps the biggest bureaucracy we've ever seen?).
Think Total Information Awareness.
Think about a military budget that is on pace to out-spend the combined military budgets of every other nation on earth (quite literally).
Think about the 170 billion dollar farm subsidy bill.
There are more examples, like Bush's embrace of a stronger government role in education and trade tariffs (and NAFTA be damned!).

Republicans are not a party of small government.

[ Parent ]
Universal Health Care (5.00 / 6) (#114)
by mberteig on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 05:29:18 PM EST

I'll never vote for a candidate that's pushing universal health care because that would be the beginning of the end of medical innovation in America

What?!!! You've got to provide some proof or evidence for that. Canada has universal public health care and still provides very substantial medical innovation to the world community. Recent exceptional work in cancer, diet, technologies, and other areas have all been advanced substantially by researchers working in publicly funded universities and medical institutions in Canada.




Agile Advice - How and Why to Work Agile
[ Parent ]
Huh? (4.50 / 2) (#123)
by curunir on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 06:36:10 PM EST

I'll never vote for a candidate that's pushing universal health care because that would be the beginning of the end of medical innovation in America.

I found it interesting that CEO of Blue Cross (the largest HMO in CA) recently came out in favor of universal health coverage for CA residents. His proposal would still have his company providing the insurance, but the state would pay the tab instead of employers/individuals. His justification for the plan is purely financial. The 15 million uninsured Californians end up costing the health care system more than it would to insure them.

HMOs realize that the expensive procedures/drugs of today are the cheap cures of tomorrow. They have an incentive to encourage medical innovation. It seems that the only reason that you'd lose that innovation with a universal medical coverage plan would be if corporate interests were removed from the picture. But you can achieve universal coverage without that happening.

[ Parent ]
You have no left (5.00 / 2) (#129)
by holdfast on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:25:14 PM EST

To an outsider (UK), the US seems to have no appreciable left of centre political movement. The Greens are not making much of an impact with you, and I understand that not all of them are are left wing anyway. Much of their original focus is ecological not political anyway.
The information that I hear about the Democrats shows that they are a bit "right of centre" but maybe not out of the range of normal political debate. What I hear GWB and his chums coming out with is just ludicrous. The trouble is that their stupid ideas are not only harming you, they are infecting our leaders as well.
A welfare state is not a crazy Socialist idea. How we treat the most needy in our society is an indicator of the moral state of our society.
Anyway, politics isn't just a right/left thing. Go and have a look at The Political Compass and see what I mean.


"Holy war is an oxymoron."
Lazarus Long
[ Parent ]
A welfare state is not a crazy Socialist idea (1.00 / 4) (#134)
by NaCh0 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:00:11 PM EST

BWAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

YEAH DO0D!! WELLFARE FOR ALL!!!! Oh shit! We have no more workers to pay for it!! Better raise taxes again!

More proof that liberalism is a mental disorder.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

Welfare and Employment (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by mberteig on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:55:03 PM EST

That's crap. Take a look at Canada. Canada consistently trails US employment rates by about 2%. Maybe, just maybe, this could be attributed to the lazy bums who don't actually want to work. But also take a quick peak at the history of the UN's quality of life ratings and Canada always tops the US significantly.

Oh, I didn't mention it: Canada has universal welfare. Oops, didn't notice that did you? You make your own conclusions.




Agile Advice - How and Why to Work Agile
[ Parent ]
not defending U.S. policy or that guy, but... (5.00 / 1) (#326)
by Luyseyal on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 10:57:59 AM EST

I've heard time and time again about the Canadian social panacea. I think there's more to it than socialist policy, though.

Typical U.S. worries about universal health care and welfare are:

  • our relatively liberal immigration policies will cause vast welfare debt and even higher rates of legal and illegal immigration
  • the middle class worries about losing what little disposable income it has to greater taxation with little or no real benefit
  • no one trusts the Feds to do it right... I mean look at that joke of Social Security... what a crock
  • government competition in the low end would put most low end health insurance companies out of business. right now I can work at a place with great insurance or with crappy insurance. universal coverage sounds like universal crappy insurance.
  • normalizing dependence on government hand-outs will kill the American dream that anyone can get rich with enough brains and effort
  • spending too much time and money on domestic policy might jeopardize our position as superpower

I'm wondering how Canada addressed these concerns (well, the relevant ones) whenever it was that they started their policies. I'm also curious as to whether relative population differences might account for the vast difference between $$$ per capita in each country and what actually constitutes the $$$.

If you have any good info you know about, let me know!

Thanks,
-l

[ Parent ]

the welfare state (5.00 / 5) (#168)
by aphrael on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:52:55 PM EST

the welfare state is predicated on the notion that society as a collective ought to take care of those who are not able to take care of themselves.

While the theoretical justification has been different, virtually all states throughout history have adopted policies to this end, of one sort or another; ancient sumeria was a broadly redistributive polity, rome gave free food to the plebes, ancient china undertook massive programs to ensure that the people were fed.

Rather than being a 'crazy liberal idea' or a 'mental disorder', the state adopting some form of responsibility for the economic well-being of vulnerable people is the normal state of affairs, historically speaking.

[ Parent ]

aphreal - NaCh0 1:0 (5.00 / 1) (#180)
by CaptainZapp on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:30:17 AM EST

Ah, just compare:

the welfare state is predicated on the notion that society [...] Rather than being a 'crazy liberal idea' or a 'mental disorder', the state adopting some form of responsibility for the economic well-being of vulnerable people is the normal state of affairs, historically speaking.

versus

BWAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

YEAH DO0D!! WELLFARE FOR ALL!!!!

[ Parent ]

liberalism (4.00 / 1) (#204)
by holdfast on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 12:26:50 PM EST

Let me describe the political spectrum of 96% of the planet and 0ver 99.9 of human history.
Left/socialist - Liberal/central - Right/conservative
There are extremes on both wings - facist/communist and do on. If you are so far from reality that you see middle of the road politics (Liberal) as extreme, it is you who are disordered....


"Holy war is an oxymoron."
Lazarus Long
[ Parent ]
Thank You Very Much (4.00 / 3) (#83)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 01:49:21 PM EST

... for voting for my essay in moderation, and even posting it to the front page.

It was not without some trepidation that I submitted it for moderation. My experience has been that K5's moderators are hard to please. I also knew that some of the replies that would get posted would be upsetting to read.

I should have pointed out more clearly that I wrote this essay in november of 2001. I posted it here because I felt it was important for people for people to read it, and very likely many more people would read it here than would ever come across it at my own website.

I'd like to suggest that anyone reading this use the popup menu selection at the bottom of the article to read the editorial comments too. Some of them are very well worth reading. I would especially like to point out the thread that started with Sorry (too US-centric) as well as Whoa! ("Alright, who let this intelligent, well written, reasonable person into the Left?"). There are other editorial comments that I think are well-worth anyone's time to read.

Finally I have one addition that should have been in the original article, and should have been in this one. I can't change this article, but I can change my copy of it.

Under the section where I advocate participating in the democratic process, let me add:

  • Run for elected office
Some people with different ideas than are traditional in the political establishment have been very surprised when they got elected. You might be too.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


leftism (none / 0) (#91)
by aphrael on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:36:59 PM EST

Alright, who let this intelligent, well written, reasonable person into the Left

While I thought it was funny that he assumed you were a Leftist, his point is valid: one of the most frustrating things to me, as a liberal, about the state of politics today is that leftists are either afraid to say anything (think the leadership of the Democratic party) or, when they do talk, appear to be completely irrational.

[ Parent ]

That's my frustration too (4.00 / 1) (#94)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:59:12 PM EST

I'm registered as a Green because I feel the Democrats are as morally bankrupt as the Republicans, but I'm not too hopeful about the Greens because of what an Austrian friend of mine told me about his experience with them when he was growing up there.

He was doing a lot of work on his own, outside of school, to learn new things and so was excelling ahead of the rest of the students. He said that the Greens had inspired his school with some kind of misplaced notion of equality, so he was sent home with a note to say that his independent studies had to stop or he would be disciplined.

I voted mostly democrat this last election, but the one race where there was a green candidate, the Maine governor's race, I voted green. I plan to vote green for president in the 2004 election unless the democrats do something serious about being a real opposition to the republicans rather than the corporate whores they have become.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Greens (none / 0) (#115)
by LeftOfCentre on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 05:39:23 PM EST

If this was an Austrian / European green party, it may well have been a deed committed by the local branch and not supported or endorsed by or representative of the same green party on national level or other green parties, such as the US green party.

[ Parent ]
Strictly equal (1.66 / 3) (#130)
by NaCh0 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:30:24 PM EST

"so he was sent home with a note to say that his independent studies had to stop or he would be disciplined"

Thats the problem with leftists. They cry for equality to the point of mediocrity. I would much rather be in a system that rewards success.

Your Green story has strong parallels to the progressive tax system. The more you make, the more we're going to take from you. Just like being punished for excelling past your class, progressive taxes are simply not fair.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

You talk about getting involved... (none / 0) (#199)
by FourDegreez on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 11:43:32 AM EST

Forget the Green Party. They will never amount to anything, and you know it. You are literally wasting your time with them.

If one thing is true about liberals, it is that we can be idealistic to a fault. We've got our heads in the clouds too much, and, well, it's just too dirty and difficult to be realistic. But we need to try. All is not lost with the Democrats. They are one of only two political parties that will ever have a turn at pulling the levers of power in our lifetimes. We must remake them in our image.

Look at what the far-right has done with the Republican party. They have taken over it. It bends to their will. Meanwhile, liberals are abandoning the Democrats in droves. We should instead choke down our pride and take a lesson from the conservatives. We should be engaging the Democratic party. We should be making them our party. They should be bending to our will. Liberal views predominate on most (non-war related) issues in America. There is no reason that we should not be in power. The Democrats, while terribly flawed, hold our only key to that power.

The last thing we need right now is more liberals wasting their time with third parties that will never hold sway. Doing so only serves to keep the Bush War Machine in power.

[ Parent ]
The 5 Stages of Grief (3.05 / 20) (#85)
by circletimessquare on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:01:08 PM EST

1) DENIAL

"September 11th doesn't really change anything."

2) ANGER

"John Ashcroft is an asshole!"

3) BARGAINING

"They might do this or that, but we can always march and petition and campaign!"

4) DEPRESSION

"I'm ashamed to be an American."

5) ACCEPTANCE

"I guess, after all, Islamic Fundamentalism really is the enemy."

As soon as this person made the issue America, they lost their own argument.

Dude, blood is on the hands of every nation on earth. Hypocrisy is equal opportunity.

Does America suck big time on some issues? Sure. No one is denying the obvious criticisms you have pointed out.

But surely you can see that America has more freedoms when it comes to the press, speech, etc., than China, for example, which actively seeks to control these things. Or Pakistan, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

Does this make America better than China or these other nations? Of course not. That is just nationalism. Nationalism stinks like racism or sexism stinks. So maybe we, and this includes you, can move beyond the America sucks/ America is better rhetoric and focus on the issues at hand: basic freedoms, regardless of where in the world we are.

Because no one else is talking about these issues in this thread as an "America is better" or "America is worse" kind of way except you. Who cares about that. Iraq is pursuing WMD. That sucks. All by itself that sucks. Whether America is the center of all evil in the universe or all Americans walk around with haloes of purity and innocence on their heads. Either way, this Iraqi prusuit of WMD still sucks. Period. End of story. Get it?

So I'll make you a deal: we'll move beyond the nationalist rhetoric as soon as YOU move beyond the nationalist rhetoric, capice?

Geez. ;-P


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

We wouldn't want your comment to get lost, (5.00 / 3) (#144)
by Anonymous 7324 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:02:40 PM EST

so I should link to this copy. And yes, I know it's still you.

Isn't cut and paste wonderful, though?

[ Parent ]

HAHAHAHAHAHA (1.00 / 3) (#171)
by circletimessquare on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 12:31:14 AM EST

my very own stalker/ fan! isn't the internet amazing? this is hilarious. and i thought i had no life. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

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

[ Parent ]
mmm no (5.00 / 2) (#191)
by Anonymous 7324 on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 09:18:26 AM EST

I read both sites, and wholesale copying of large blocks of text, even your own, sticks out like a sore thumb. Good job, boy!

[ Parent ]
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS, PLEASE READ THIS!!! (1.00 / 1) (#195)
by circletimessquare on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 11:16:27 AM EST

I read both sites, and wholesale copying of large blocks of text, even your own, sticks out like a sore thumb. Good job, boy!

WORLD, IT IS I, CIRCLETIMESSQUARE OF KURO5HIN AND SLASHDOT

WORLD CAN YOU FORGIVE ME FOR THIS HORRIBLE CRIME OF COPYING AND PASTING MY OWN TEXT FROM TWO DIFFERENT WEBSITES? PLEASE WORLD, FORGIVE ME, FOR I KNOW WHAT A GRAVE CRIME THIS IS.

as if ;-P again, can you tell me how i should be embarassed/ criminally implicated because i copied and pasted MY OWN TEXT??? plus: on slashdot it rated a "5 insightful" and on kuro5hin it is currently rated 3.23 with 17 votes so far (i always take the number of votes over the raw score as a level of posting value, for you will always have the haters give you a 1 and and the lovers give you a 5, and it always washes out at 3... but even still, i am over 3 with almost 20 votes.) so then, i obviously have something of value to say, and spreading across different sites then would seem to be of some service to a wider audience. so now i am MORE PROUD of my words. see how that works???

meanwhile, can you please explain to us all why you are a stalker? hmmmm??? HAHAHAHAHAHA your actions are suspect not mine!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA you can't even see that!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA

here, i'll phrase the question in a way you can understand: I read both sites, and wholesale nitpicking amongst thousands of posts, even identifying me on both sites, sticks out like a sore thumb. Good job, boy!

because you are a first for me! my very own stalker! aw, how cute! i never had such a devoted fan! what, was there something special about the name "circletimessquare" which turned you on? you just had to follow my every word with baited breath? does sunshine shine out of ass? are my opinions so interesting to you you had to track me down ON TWO DIFFERENT SITES??? are you going to ask me out on a date next? you've obviously spent enough time as it is sniffing my ass! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA this is really a special day for me. i really hope other people are getting a laugh out of this, because this is cracking me up! HAHAHAHAHAHA

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

[ Parent ]
Hrm (5.00 / 1) (#196)
by Anonymous 7324 on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 11:28:47 AM EST

we'll leave the readers to judge this one. Did I mention that you sound remarkably like Jeff K.? Keep digging that hole!

[ Parent ]
PLEASE READ THIS THREAD PLEASE READ THIS THREAD (1.00 / 1) (#209)
by circletimessquare on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 01:37:15 PM EST

you have got to be the absolute cutest troll i have ever come across in all of my online existence! i am so flattered by the attention. i hope others find this thread as amusing as i do. the stalking troll HAHAHAHAHAHA priceless!

I read both sites, and wholesale copying of large blocks of text, even your own, sticks out like a sore thumb.

sticks out like a sore thumb!! HAHAHAHAHA

it sticks out like a sore thumb ONLY IF YOU ARE STALKING ME!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA

and now you say... oh my gosh, I AM DIGGING MYSELF A HOLE!!!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

i am like cracking up at work, people are wondering about me. i have stop.

thank you for the laugh so much. you are hands down the cutest troll i have ever encountered. thank you for the flattering attention! HAHAHAHAHA ;-P

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

[ Parent ]
rotfl (5.00 / 1) (#216)
by Anonymous 7324 on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:01:28 PM EST

methinks the lady doth protesteth too much? Keep up the good job!

[ Parent ]
;-P (1.00 / 1) (#222)
by circletimessquare on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:32:07 PM EST

it's a losing battle, isn't it? because i reply to you, i have lost, right? because i protest so much, it is obvious i am revealing my true feelings about this vast conspiracy of cut and paste you have discovered in my posts, right? so prove it. don't reply. because of you do reply i will say to you "methinks the lady doth protest too much" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA hypocrital cute little troll. i am enjoying this immensely ;-)

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

[ Parent ]
"U R TEH SUCK111 HAHAHAHAHAHA" (5.00 / 1) (#226)
by Anonymous 7324 on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:00:28 PM EST

I must confess -- I'm at a loss for words. And here I was all along, thinking that Jeff K. was merely a fictional entity! Obviously, I was in error, and have been disabused of my wrongheaded notions: from this exchange, could anyone harbor the slightest doubt that "circletimessquare" really is Jeff K.?

The evidence remains for all to see.

[ Parent ]

Maybe. (5.00 / 2) (#231)
by spcmanspiff on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:33:41 PM EST

At one point, I suspected turmeric... but (s)he seems much more mature than this character.

I've been enjoying the last few afternoon by being deadly serious in response, but finally gave up ... the technical documentation I'm supposed to be writing actually seems more fun, now.

At least I'm in a nice prolific mood!

 

[ Parent ]

Oh, in case you don't want to read all that, (5.00 / 1) (#232)
by spcmanspiff on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:37:19 PM EST

here's my favoritest quote EVAR!!!

and we shall see how the world develops. and you shall grow and develop, and come to see the world my way. because you are merely a halfway mark on the development of me. your worldview is but a subset, a less informed, simpler, absolutist worldview with no understanding of the nuances that make the world tic. i am more experienced than you. i am more cosmopolitan than you. i am more worldly than you. you are provincial. and inward. and absolutist. and fundamentalist. you are a dinosaur. human history shows that enlightment leads away from those things. you are small and simple and it reflects itself in your 100% simplistic way of looking at the world.

it is good to know who i fight against. it is good to know thy enemy. it heartens the heart to get to the bottom of things, and know i am on the side of good. and love human life for all its wonderful complexity. and to know the enemy are the simpletons in life. well met, my simple fool. you hearten my heart, and reinstill my passion to fight the likes of you.

Wheeee!

 

[ Parent ]

Nothing new (1.81 / 11) (#86)
by mmuskratt on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:11:34 PM EST

First of all, how about you drop the ethnocentric label of being an "American?"  Are you talking about being a Canadian, Mexican, Peruvian or...I don't get it.  America is a big place, stop claiming it for the United States (I am a US citizen, btw).

Secondly, your recommendations are common, paranoid, conspiracy-laden suggestions that are not new.  50% of this country is in full support of President Bush's illegal government, so you're not going to sway the opinions of a few people who sympathize with you already.  Every single thing you mention here will have far less of an impact on Bush than if you stopped driving your car.  His money is from Oil and Energy companies, you take away the money, and you take away his power.  Further, all American foreign policy decisions in the last century shared a backbone of economic benefit.  The clothing you wear, the food you eat, the computer you use to post your ideas are all pieces of a larger pie.

I don't have answers to the apathy of our US citizens.  Several members of the Bush Administration are convicted felons, either pardoned by his father or improperly sentenced by the courts.  Many of them participated in trading arms for hostages, and it appears that pretty much everyone in the nation who can read has had some access to this type of news.  Nobody cares.  Let Ashcroft and Bush shred the Constitution in front of us, we have some towel-head ass to kick...blah blah blah.  Here's another suggestion:  Turn off your television, and further, don't let your children watch it.

There is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees your privacy.  Encryption is good, but do you really have anything to hide?  Email is rapidly becoming obsolete, as a form of mass-marketing and code spreading.  Encrypting your messages that point your friends to the latest free porn site you found won't really matter much then...

Joining groups is great, but without money, you can just forget about it.  The Green Party will never succeed at promoting a candidate because of all of the things they are "against."  People are ignorant, uneducated and happy to watch shows like "Survivor," and anyone that gets in the way of them driving their SUV to pick up one of their 4 kids from soccer practice, taking them to McDonald's and going home to watch TV are considered a threat, and will never be allowed into office.  Furthermore, few citizens in the US will ever change their ideas until someone from a country that hates us brings the death of children to our own soil, and when it happens, as it did on 9/11, everyone will be in disbelief - preparing to kill anyone we don't like under the premise of defending our country.  Arrogance, ignorance and greed are all parts of this great country of ours...reinforced through marketing, propaganda and misinformation.  Again, we've heard it all, but nobody cares as long as it doesn't hit us at home.  There is too much good in our lives to make note of the bad, no bullet holes in my wall from a foreign government telling me I have to stay at home after dusk.

Lastly, we know that Bush is intent on finishing whatever deal his father had in the Middle East.  The oil pipeline that flows from the fields in the Caucasus through Iraq is the reason for war.  We merely want to control the flow of oil through the Middle East, and Iraq used the weapons we supplied them to say, "Fsck you."  The WMD's we're so afraid of are the same ones we provided them with.  Rumsfeld personally carried a letter to Mr. Hussein (nobody belittles anyone by using their first name in the media except for Hussein, did you ever notice that?) offering him our full support in his fight against Iran, and the NYT released information confirming that the US encouraged and aided Mr. Hussein in the tactics of using chemical/biological weapons on the Kurds in the 80's (of course, this is completely denied by our officials, why would they do such a thing?).  These are the guys that are now shitting their pants because they know what weapons we've made available to Iraq, and they're using this as a pretext to war.  Just a little note, we are already at war with Iraq, this other stuff is simply an attempt to let everyone else in the world have a say about it before we take control and do a little "Nation building."  Pipelines, people, pipelines...watch what happens.

Stop buying gasoline, stop going to movies, stop buying music CD's and stop going to fast food restaurants, and you'll see some change in this country pretty quickly...

"American" != "North American" (4.50 / 10) (#89)
by unayok on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:29:19 PM EST

First of all, how about you drop the ethnocentric label of being an "American?" Are you talking about being a Canadian, Mexican, Peruvian or...I don't get it. America is a big place, stop claiming it for the United States (I am a US citizen, btw).
Please stop with this silliness. "American" has long meant "resident of the U.S.A." I'm a Canadian, not an American. It's common usage. Deal.

[ Parent ]
You are not a US citizen... (4.00 / 5) (#112)
by Noodle on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 05:12:52 PM EST

You are a citizen of the United States of *America*.

Therefore, you are an American.  The USA is the only nation on this continent with "America" in its name.

Now, if Canada were called "The Canadian Provinces of America", or Mexico were called "Mexican America" or something like that, the term "American" might be ambiguous and innapropriate.  But that's not the case, so would you kindly cease your meaningless comlaining?

Thank you,

{The Nefarious Noodle}

[ Parent ]

God Bless America (none / 0) (#113)
by mmuskratt on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 05:21:53 PM EST

Yeah, "American" history has proved that common usage of the term in the last 100 or so years is, I guess appropriate.  I'll resort to less meaningless complaining about "Americans" being so damned fixated on themselves as the center of the universe instead.  You're welcome.

[ Parent ]
what's next, Eurotrashian? (2.66 / 3) (#154)
by budcub on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 10:37:42 PM EST

Duh, its the United States of America, and we say "American". We call people from Canada "Canadians" people from Mexico "Mexicans", "Brazilians", etc etc. When I was in Europe last spring, I would say, "I'm from the U.S.", and they'd say, "Oh, you're an "American". Thank god the people I met over there were several orders of magnitude more friendly and happier than the people on K5.

[ Parent ]
United States of Mexico (none / 0) (#270)
by gnovos on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 06:19:43 PM EST

Would you call the citizens of the US of Mexico Mexicans?  If so, why would you not call those from the US of America Americans?

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
Just One Comment (4.33 / 21) (#87)
by Anatta on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:16:38 PM EST

Shortly after the September 11th attacks, President Bush said something to the effect that the reason the U.S. was attacked was because the terrorists hated our freedom, and that we must fight the terrorists in order to preserve it.

But Osama bin Laden does not care either way about our freedom. He has made it very clear why he hates the U.S., and none of this has been acknowledged by any official statements that I have heard. What bin Laden objects to are the stationing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, the land of the holy city of Mecca, U.S. support for Israel's repression of the Palestinians, and the continued U.S. bombing of Iraq. More than anything, he feels that the presence of U.S. troops in the Islamic Holy Land is a sacrilege.

According to Osama Bin Laden's recent letter (which is currently being attributed to him, though there is still some lingering doubt as to its authenticity), he seeks to force all westerners, and likely all people, under Islamic Sharia Law.

Relavent quote:

(1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.

(a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion. He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all.

It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. . . It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their colour, sex, or language.

Continuing,
(2) The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you.

(a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling's, and trading with interest.

We call you to all of this that you may be freed from that which you have become caught up in; that you may be freed from the deceptive lies that you are a great nation, that your leaders spread amongst you to conceal from you the despicable state to which you have reached.

(i) You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your Creator. You flee from the embarrassing question posed to you: How is it possible for Allah the Almighty to create His creation, grant them power over all the creatures and land, grant them all the amenities of life, and then deny them that which they are most in need of: knowledge of the laws which govern their lives?

(ii) You are the nation that permits Usury, which has been forbidden by all the religions. Yet you build your economy and investments on Usury. As a result of this, in all its different forms and guises, the Jews have taken control of your economy, through which they have then taken control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense; precisely what Benjamin Franklin warned you against.

(iii) You are a nation that permits the production, trading and usage of intoxicants. You also permit drugs, and only forbid the trade of them, even though your nation is the largest consumer of them.

(iv) You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you consider them to be pillars of personal freedom. You have continued to sink down this abyss from level to level until incest has spread amongst you, in the face of which neither your sense of honour nor your laws object.

Read the whole letter. Bin Laden is crystal clear in his desire that regardless of any "legitimate" gripes that he has, he and Al Qaida seek to cover the entire western world under the veil of Sharia law, and he despises us because we are immoral fornicating drug-addled gamblers, riddled with homosexuals and are ultimately marionettes controlled up on high by a shadowy legion of Jewry (note: Benjamin Franklin never warned the US about Jews. That, like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, is an old Anti-Semetic lie). If this letter is actually written by Bin Laden, then it is safe to say that George W. Bush has been 100% accurate from the outset in saying that Al Qaida hates us because of our freedom and wants nothing less than our complete submission to Sharia law.

Since I, like many other western males (and females) rather like the freedom to view pretty women (among other freedoms), I consider it in my interest that Sharia not be implemented here. Therefore, I feel it is extremely wise that we do whatever we can to stop its implementation in the west, and do what we can to end its forced implemenation in the Muslim world. That, of course, should not involve tracking Green Party activists, and I won't defend the administration for such actions, but closing our eyes to the reality of our enemy and believing that the US government is on the road to a regime even remotely as oppressive as the Sharia it is currently fighting against is foolishness.

On a different note, why is it that the majority ruling on the election is "politically motivated", yet the dissenting opinion is assumed correct? Could a reasonable person argue the majority opinion is assumed correct, while the dissenting position is "politically motivated"?

Basically, give it up with the election complaining. It's rather pathetic at this point, especially considering the recent election.


My Music

I could care less what Osama has to say (4.33 / 3) (#116)
by wumpus on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 05:43:41 PM EST

The article itself depicted a clear attack on America and what it stands for, by the American government. Insisting that what it is doing is ok, "because the other guy wants to do worse" is a non sequir.

If George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden say the exact same thing, does that mean you believe everything both of them says?

The biggest question is if "terrism" is so important, why isn't that focused on instead of further adventures against Iraq? Iraq has been shown to little or nothing to do with terrorism (unlike our so-called Saudi and Pakistani allies). The so called "war against terror" seems to be little more than the Bush administration's war on remaining American freedoms.

About bring up the recent election vs. the Supreme court ruling, elections don't change the Constitution. Only admendments change the Constitution. You need a civics course before coming back to this discusion.

The biggest problem with that decision is that given a 5-4 decision involving the 14th admendment being used by the Federal goverment against a State, you could rattle off the votes 99 times out of a 100. Unless you were also told that it was to decide to actually counts votes instead of rubber stamping a Republican victory, you would get every single vote wrong. The whole court is political.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]

Response (5.00 / 3) (#131)
by Anatta on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:30:45 PM EST

The article itself depicted a clear attack on America and what it stands for, by the American government. Insisting that what it is doing is ok, "because the other guy wants to do worse" is a non sequir.

Not at all. We are often forced to choose between less-than-ideal outcomes, and as far as I can think of, I have never really had a choice for exactly what I want. I can look at what George Bush stands for, and while I don't particularly care for much of it, I can see it is clearly better than what Osama Bin Laden wants to do to me, and therefore I choose to ally myself with George Bush and the west on this one. That doesn't mean I agree with him on everything, it just means that I'm not a blithering idiot who can't tell the difference between Republicans and Sharia. Maybe in the next election the Democrats, or the Greens, or some other group will find a way to deal with Bin Laden that I find more appealing. If that is the case, I'll vote for them.

If George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden say the exact same thing, does that mean you believe everything both of them says?

Not everything, just the stuff they're talking about. Are you trying to argue that you understand Bin Laden's motives better than he does, shown through his own words? Wake up, just because Bush says something does not mean it's wrong.

The biggest question is if "terrism" is so important, why isn't that focused on instead of further adventures against Iraq? Iraq has been shown to little or nothing to do with terrorism (unlike our so-called Saudi and Pakistani allies). The so called "war against terror" seems to be little more than the Bush administration's war on remaining American freedoms.

The US has the finest military the world has ever seen. You think that it can't focus on the "so called" War on Terror at the same time it pursues Iraq about its WMD? One would think the hundreds of billions of dollars the US spends each year would fund a military capable of chewing gum and walking at the same time.


My Music
[ Parent ]

it's working too. (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by bjlhct on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:32:31 PM EST

People started looking at Islam more after 9/11. The result: a whole bunch more converts than usual.

* kur0(or)5hin - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

people of the book (4.00 / 1) (#167)
by mveloso on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:48:21 PM EST

Christian and Jews are supposed to be peers of islam, as the koran does specify that both are people of the book and are to be respected.

Old Osama Bin Hidin and most Islamic fundamentalists conveniently ignore this passage, because it doesn't serve their interests. The unfortunate result is that the US will have to beat this point into their reality, one way or another.

[ Parent ]

The Majority opinion appears politically motivated (5.00 / 1) (#263)
by michaelp on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 03:26:23 PM EST

because the majority's opinion contradicted several cases where they (Rhenquist, Scalia, Thomas) held that the 14thA was only violated by express (dejure) discrimination spelled out in the law or practice, and not violated by incidental discrimination of the type that might have happened to some votes had the hand count gone forward.

So the folks who charge political motivation can point out that it strongly appears that the members of the majority, by looking at their prior decisions on similar matters, would have ruled the opposite way had it been Gore who was seeking 14A protection from hand counts.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Hypocrisy (2.21 / 14) (#92)
by duncan bayne on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:38:34 PM EST

We were told that America stood for freedom and democracy and justice...She had published a statement that calls for Universal Health Care, limitations on free trade...

Heh. I wonder if I'm the only person who sees the hypocrisy here? Freedom? Yep, unless you're a businessman. Justice? Yep, unless you're a leech upon the productive members of society. Democracy? Of course she'd support it, because democracy without liberty is mob rule, and that's how people like her survive.

I might have misread your article, but it looked like you were implicitly supporting this womans policies. I suggest you reconsider before it's too late.



Not really.... (4.00 / 1) (#99)
by ajdecon on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 03:36:11 PM EST

I didn't see any implied support for such positions here; I imagine they were stated to make it clear why she might be listed as suspicious. Her positions are unpopular and contrary to that of the current ruling party, which would make her an obvious target.

However, in a democracy, people aren't supposed to be singled out or harrassed for voicing unpopular opinions. The author is simply giving an example of the way our freedom is being infringed, by listing a top official of an opposition party as distrustful. It doesn't matter what her opinions on her freedoms might be, she is still entitled to them. If we restrict her because of opinions she holds, that is no better (and, IMO, a lot worse) than the restrictions she favors for business.


--
"Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself."
-Richard Feynman
[ Parent ]
Fair enough (4.00 / 2) (#107)
by duncan bayne on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 04:32:03 PM EST

Fair enough - I did see such support though.  Maybe, as I said, I misread it.

[ Parent ]
Please try a little harder. (none / 0) (#102)
by amarodeeps on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 03:42:19 PM EST

I mean, there are higher standards for trolling on k5! Really now, who are you trying to fool?



[ Parent ]
Trolling (none / 0) (#106)
by duncan bayne on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 04:31:30 PM EST

I wasn't trolling - merely pointing out that *if* the author agrees with her politics, he's a raging hypocrite.

[ Parent ]
Damnit, stop trolling!!! (none / 0) (#117)
by amarodeeps on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 05:44:52 PM EST

Mommy, it hurts! Tell the bad man to stop!

[ Parent ]
Not (automatically) hypocrisy (4.50 / 2) (#125)
by freebird on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 06:55:47 PM EST

I'm not going to take a position, but I disagree with your premise that one cannot believe in "Freedom" and "Justice" while supporting Universal Health Care and restrictions on Global Free Trade.

Firstly, 'Freedom" is notoriously ill-defined, and many interpretations thereof readily admit these ideas. Yours may not, but you must then argue for your definition, rather than just flinging accusations of hypocrisy. Remember, hypocisy requires betrayal of your own beliefs, not those of anyone else.

Secondly, there's an issue of scope.  Lots of scholars believe in very strong freedoms for citizens, but would never claim they apply to the whole world. That being the case, there is no contradiction inherent in supporting restrictions on free trade - they are restictions on a domain where your concepts of freedom simply don't apply.

I'm avoiding getting into the details of any of these positions, but I think your assumption of hypocrisy is false.

And, really, is hyporisy really all that bad anyway? I seriously doubt anyone in the world can claim complete self-consistency, so I find its usually used in lieu of more substantive discussion.

...TAGGATC...(etc)
[ Parent ]

A real troll (none / 0) (#136)
by duncan bayne on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:09:26 PM EST

And, really, is hyporisy really all that bad anyway? I seriously doubt anyone in the world can claim complete self-consistency, so I find its usually used in lieu of more substantive discussion.

Well done. And here people are, accusing *me* of trolling, when there's your stirling example sitting right infront of them.

Of course, you might be serious. You mightn't see how freedom doesn't apply to people who sell things of value, or how freedom doesn't apply to people who don't want to fund other peoples healthcare. If that's the case, you're right, you're not being hypocritical - you're being wrong.



[ Parent ]
Actually, No. (4.00 / 1) (#208)
by freebird on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 01:28:34 PM EST

I am entirely serious, and you seem to completely miss the point. That's too be expected from your clearly overzealous inability to see any other points of view, but I find the exercise pleasant, and at least you've not yet mentioned Nazis or Communists.

Again - I'm not taking a position on the definition of "Freedom" or "Justice", I'm merely pointing out that there are many such definitions that do not agree with yours, and under which Health Care for all and Trade Restrictions might be entirely acceptable. So you need to address these more basic concepts before attacking people for inconsistency under your terms. If you are unwilling to accept that these definitions are at least worthy of discussion, there's no point in arguing anything with you, because you are incapable of mature discourse.

You have completely missed this point, and jumped back to "Well, you can't believe in both freedom and universal healthcare, and if you do you're wrong". Surely you are at least aware that many people feel freedom from illness and hunger are prerequisites for any higher-minded freedoms. Under this definition then, universal healthcare is not only non-contradictory but neccesary. You may not like this definition, but you need to make some points about why your definition is better, not just deride others for not using it.

Since you seem unable to seperate your feelings about politics from my point about discourse, I will stoop to actually addressing your silly points:

_ freedom doesn't apply to people who sell things of value_

What the hell do you mean? Like, on eBay? Is there a dollar threshold below which freedom applies? I know you mean something more real than this, but my point is that you're not making any substantive points. You're at best preaching to the converted, because anyone who doesn't use your definitions will parse this sentence as nonsense.

freedom doesn't apply to people who don't want to fund other peoples healthcare

Um, even taking that at face value, what about people who would like to but can't? Do they get partial freedom? And anyhow, I thought that you wanted freedom to be not related to healthcare - make up your mind!

Please note (again) that I'm not even disagreeing with you. I may well share your views, but you're not expressing anything that has meaning to anyone who doesn't already share your definitions.

...TAGGATC...(etc)
[ Parent ]

Freedom, business, and rules in the game... (4.50 / 2) (#153)
by Hatamoto on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 10:16:34 PM EST

Heh. I wonder if I'm the only person who sees the hypocrisy here? Freedom? Yep, unless you're a businessman. Justice? Yep, unless you're a leech upon the productive members of society. Democracy? Of course she'd support it, because democracy without liberty is mob rule, and that's how people like her survive.

The implication you're making, of course, is that anyone who believes in Universal health or limitations on free trade are anti-freedom, unjust and democratic only to the point of self-interest.

From best I can tell, a government's job is to perform duties that are in the public good, even if that curtails the rights of certain individuals. Universal health care, for example, may provide better health care for a wider population, while putting a burden on that margin which could afford premium care (as well as a tax on the general population which would make use of the health system). While it may place a nominal financial burden on a populace, it certain isn't going to remove their 'freedoms'. Universal means universal, so it'd be about as 'just' as you could imagine... and democracy would be served, presuming that people voted for the system to be put in place (either directly, or by means of their representatives).

As to limitations on free trade, I'm not entirely aware of her particular stance on the issue... however, I can envision situations where private gains could come at a terrible toll to a population. If Nike can import shoes from Senegal that employs children at .25 a day, does it mean it SHOULD? Depending on your position (100% lassez-faire or favoring various levels of governmental intervention based on issues of human rights and other factors) this *may* be labelled as restricting 'freedom'... but it's obviously something that would need to be discussed in an open forum.

However, ostracizing a woman for her radical political viewpoints, spurious and arbitrary denial of transportation, and general public humiliation... now THERE'S a limitation of freedom, and justice.

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

Besides that (4.00 / 1) (#179)
by CaptainZapp on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:14:49 AM EST

There's the issue of not letting her fly and harrassing her for apparently only political reasons.

I think Pat Buchannan (for example) is a biggoted liar who represents just about everything, which I personally despise.

Do I think he should be barred from flying and harrassed publicly? Hell no!

Else then that I agree 100% with this (and others of your) post(s).

[ Parent ]

Hypocrisy? No. (none / 0) (#329)
by irrevenant on Mon Dec 23, 2002 at 04:50:40 AM EST

She had published a statement that calls for Universal Health Care, limitations on free trade...
Heh. I wonder if I'm the only person who sees the hypocrisy here? Freedom? Yep, unless you're a businessman. Justice? Yep, unless you're a leech upon the productive members of society. Democracy? Of course she'd support it, because democracy without liberty is mob rule, and that's how people like her survive.

I really don't know whether it was the original poster's intent to support this position or not, but if so, it's hardly hypocrisy. Different people have different ideas as to how to best achieve maximum freedom.

Your position seems to be towards the "everyone should be free to do whatever they want" side of the spectrum. On the surface this is the very ideal of freedom. But the disputes usually start when you ask the question: "How free should individuals have to reduce the freedom of others?". As an extreme example to demonstrate the principle: If you're free to kill anyone you want to that's a serious restriction on their freedoms?

Paradoxically, total individual freedom doesn't equal total freedom for individuals. Total individual freedom results in a situation where some individuals use their freedoms to curb the freedoms of others (intentionally or otherwise). Is your nation really free if it doesn't maintain a certain minimum standard of freedom for all?

Standing for freedom, Universal Health Care and limitations on 'free trade' need not be a contradiction, for this reason. If an individual is ill and unable to afford health care, how much freedom do they have? How free are individuals who cannot find work because businessmen are free to hire foreign workers at prices that wouldn't buy a US cup of coffee? How many people living on the streets are there because they choose to be?

If you consider the question "What is the best way to achieve the greatest freedom for all?", rather than "What is the best way to achieve the greatest individual freedom?" then it's a far more complex issue than you make it out to be.

[ Parent ]
We are emigrating (4.64 / 14) (#96)
by coljac on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 03:18:34 PM EST

I agree with most everything you said in this piece. But I do not hold out much hope. For this reason, my wife and I are emigrating to Australia (luckily, I am an Australian citizen). We are actually and tangibly alarmed by almost everything we read in the news everyday - warmongering, the rise of ignorance, anti-intellectualism and nationalism, and the facile bluster of the government ("axis of evil" (perceived threat to American hegemony), "evildoers" (ahem), "war on terrorism" (perpetual state of emergency), "partisan bickering" (any criticism of administration's policies).

I would never have imagined that the land of the free would be one where a program such as Total Information Awareness could be introduced with barely a murmer of alarm! As a result, a need to escape before it's too late has become a real imperative to me.

To us it seems obvious that the terrorists did not attack the freedom of the U.S.A., they attacked the lives and property of its citizens. Risking your life and property for freedom used to be what America was all about. Instead, a much darker and more utimately more dangerous road has been embarked upon, and I fear it is too late to turn back.

coljac



---
Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey

There's lots of problems here. (5.00 / 2) (#128)
by merkri on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:21:12 PM EST

I have to preface everything by noting that I agree in my concerns with many of the things said in the original article. I was appalled by the conduct of the 2000 election and still refuse to consider Bush elected president of the U.S.; I was appalled by his administration's policies after being appointed, and was appalled by many of his administration's ridiculous policies after Sept. 11; I have been troubled by the manner of recent middle east policy, and by the policy of "unilateralism" more generally; I am sickened by the current corporatist orientation of the government, and of intrusions allowed into privacy and freedom; finally, I was scared by much of the mindlessness and ignorance I witnessed during recent election. I am, in short, deeply concerned by the state of the U.S.

However, despite all this, I would not agree with the statement that "the terrorists did not attack the freedom of the U.S.A." They most certainly did; radical fundamentalism of any sort--including  Islamic militant fundamentalism--represents a horrible attack on freedom. Terrorism in particular represents an attack on freedom, a horrific sort of coersion directed at individuals who have forced upon them, and ultimately pay for, the ignorant assumptions of the perpetrators.

The real problem as I see it isn't that attacks on the U.S. weren't attacks on freedom, it's that attacks on freedom have been responded to with attacks on freedom--that ignorance has been responded to with ignorance, that militant unilateralism has been responded to with militant unilateralism.

This isn't to say that I don't believe some miltary action was necessary following Sept. 11th, nor does it mean that I oppose increased or reformed emphasis on security or defense. However, I was hoping for more reason, more intelligence, more insight on the part of the government and many Americans than what I've seen. For example, should Iraq be held accountable? Yes. Should the U.S. extert unilateral authority in this regard? No. Are there other major factors contributing to unrest in the middle east, that intentionally or unintentionally aren't being addressed by the U.S.? Of course. Should they be addressed? Certainly.

So while I think it's important to recognize that the U.S. government has been unacceptable in many regards in recent years, I also think it's important not to condone what they are ineptly attempting to respond to.

[ Parent ]

Indeed (3.50 / 2) (#249)
by coljac on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 01:45:11 AM EST

You're correct in your assessment of militant Islam. Theocracy is absolutely inimical to freedom. And of course, no decent human being could condone the terrorist attacks, i.e. indiscriminate murder of innocent people.

Again, though, I still think that it's important to draw the distinction between an attack on property and life (Sept 11) and an attack on freedom (diminishing the protections of the constitution). The terrorists do not have the power to reduce America's freedom; only its president and congress can do that. And they are.

Coljac

---
Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey
[ Parent ]

Shop around (5.00 / 2) (#152)
by moosh on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 10:15:51 PM EST

I'm not sure Australia is much better at the moment. Have you been following the Howard government? It feels like we're living in the United States of Australia. I can't remember when the Australian government announced that its foreign policy will now be dictated by the president of the USA.

It is baffling to some people when Americans ask, "why do they hate us?". The author of the article gives reasons as to why Bin Laden hates the US. Regardless of the reasons it is clear the the US is hated by some very angry people. So the Australian "leader" decides to attach Australia as a new American state and announces to the world that we will blindly follow any policy adopted by the US. Now what is really mind boggling is the Australian people asking, "why do they hate us?". Funny that, why are the two most outspoken American allies (Australia & Britain) the ones receiving the bulk of the threats (excluding those made to the US) ?

Ignorance and anti-intellectualism aren't only on the rise in the US and the current Australian government sounds like a parrot of the American one. I guess you have a choice though - the nationalism of the American people or the apathy of the Australian people.

[ Parent ]

two words (3) free trade agreement (5.00 / 1) (#185)
by martingale on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 05:31:17 AM EST

Personally, I think the Howard government is blinded by the carrot of Free Trade. Or at least Howard is, and he's the most popular member of the current government.

Ever since 9/11, he's been multiplying the visits and the close cooperation with the US. If you recall, when the airplanes hit, he was about to address the US congress to get a better deal for the Australian farmers. For about a year, we kept hearing by American officials that an FT deal between the US and AUS wouldn't happen, and for a year Howard went out on a limb to echo and reinforce Bush's message. Lots of legislation against Australian citizens was passed. Now we've heard recently that the US is prepared to study the feasibility of an FT deal. Of course, it'll take all of next year to study.

Expect a lot more amendments to Australia's legislation to bring it into line with the "requirements" of the US. The worst thing is that Howard just went on the radio this week threatening our Asian neighbours with unilateral preemptive strikes. How much lower can he still bend over?

I don't know Australian history very well, but I can tell you now that Howard is making the same mistake that happened in WWII with the British. Save the Queen and Britain first, then if there's anything left maybe protect Australia's shores.

[ Parent ]

Free Trade & John Curtin (5.00 / 1) (#186)
by moosh on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 07:00:06 AM EST

On the trade note, I agree. I remember hearing talk about the free trade agreement such as "Australia's allegance to the US is starting show its fruits". I don't remember if that was just a news presenter or an actual politician though. It puzzles me as to why Howard is bent on getting a free trade deal with the US. Apparently the deal wouldn't make much of a difference.

In total, the US sold just $US10.9 billion worth of goods to Australia in 2001, a ridiculously small portion of its $US3.2 trillion trade that year. The free trade agreement would increase that a bit but not much. Also, Australia has one of the most open trading regimes in the world. A series of painful cuts over the past two decades has resulted in barriers so low as to be inconsequential. Virtually all tariffs are between zero and 5 per cent. In many ways, Australia has been too good a citizen of the world. It has nothing much to offer the US except ... friendship.


Also, it seems we're not exactly short of potential partners in SE Asia. We just recently signed a free trade agreement with Singapore.

Singapore, a country with 4 million people and virtually no natural resources, depends heavily on foreign trade and has been aggressively seeking free-trade pacts with other nations.


I also remember reading that two of the most active sea ports in the world are right above us. Is this unwillingness to co-operate with SE Asian countries a result of Howard's apparent racism? Is it worth aggrivating our neighbours and putting Australia near the bullseye of the target just to get this free trade deal with the US?

On the WWII note, that attitude that you describe was greatly changed when John Curtin became prime minister in 1941. Well, perhaps a little later when the "impregnable" Singapore fell and then Darwin was bombed in 1942. Curtin turned to the US for help and withdrew troops from the middle east (against Winston Churchill's orders) to defend Australia. I think that ever since we've looked up to daddy USA rather than mother Britain.

[ Parent ]
Apathy of Australians (5.00 / 1) (#250)
by coljac on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 01:52:01 AM EST

I'm afraid you're right about Australia following America's lead. And there isn't even a Bill of Rights to appeal to! Perhaps we should move to New Zealand instead. Are there any Kiwis listening who can advise?

I'm reminded of a quote by Robert Hughes in "The Fatal Shore". I'll have to paraphrase, but he says that Australians don't raise a murmer when censorship is levelled upon them or their rights are curtailed, but they imagine themselves the freest people on earth because they can go surfing at lunchtime.

Still, thought, I feel that in Australia I could be a voice for change. Here, to go up against the combined might of American nationalism, the Relgious Right, the military-industrial juggernaut and the oil industry (i.e. the government's power base) is almost hopeless.

coljac

---
Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey
[ Parent ]

NZ... (5.00 / 1) (#280)
by apteryx on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 05:24:14 AM EST

The official line here is we'll follow the UN's lead but not the US if they go in unilaterally. Even then we'll probably only send medics and support as our combat people are all shagged out after a long tour in Timor...

The Clark Labour govt. is probably internally quite tight on this line and the Greens don't want a bar of any action.(Labour needs the support of either the Greens or a bunch of centre-right christians)

The various right wing parties in opposition are cracking hearty about going to war hand-in-hand with the US and Aus, but I think they'd be more circumspect in power as it would be electorally risky.

As with Australia, hopes for trade deals dictate some of the political rhetoric...eg. just recently on the topic of Howards outrageous statement that he'd invade his Asian neighbours if necessary to crush a perceived threat to Australia was semi-defended by Clark as 'misunderstood'.

Gutless.

[ Parent ]

You might be surprised... (5.00 / 2) (#162)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:16:04 PM EST

...at how deeply the Australian government is following the American way on this. Take a look at the recent ASIO legislation that grants them powers to detain people indefinitely without telling anyone, removes the right to silence, and denies people access to legal counsel.

Even worse, there is new NSW state legislation that allows the police minister, without any possible oversight by anyone else, to order searches, imprisonment without trial, lethal force used against peaceful protests, etc.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

I have a GF in OZ... (4.00 / 1) (#291)
by davincarten on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 02:43:12 PM EST

...and its just as bad there, and they are even a step ahead of us (USA) in killing privacy and gun ownership. I would definately shop around before making a big move.

[ Parent ]
Mate, dont come. (none / 0) (#324)
by Wulfius on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:09:23 AM EST

Emigrating to Australia?

Not that good decision.
Our environment is fucked due to the global climate catastrophe (as it will be called in a few years).

Our Leader walks around with a brown ring around
his lips from sucking up to the US.
We are the only country besides UK who is supporting the military adventurism of the US.
We who have 4 battalions to defend a country
the size of the USA.

All our newspapers and TV stations are owned
by 3 guys. Many cities have 1 or 2 media owners
running 90% of the media.

Australians are as apathetic as the Yanks.
And as politically naive.

Not to mention the majority of Aussies are
bigoted racist rednecks.
They call the local aboriginies all sort of
derisive terms and shooed in the Right-Wing
government last election on the wave
of anti-immigrant beatup.

Sure we have good sportsmen, beer and our chicks rock. But politicaly Australia is as smelly pit
as the USA.
-

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

welcome to the real world soldier boy (4.00 / 11) (#97)
by turmeric on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 03:25:50 PM EST

i was raised sort of the same, not a brat but all my male ancestors were in. and all that patriotic stuff about the constitution, etc, we got that too. i believed it.

then i met the real world. the shiftless stupid ass lazy bastards who sit around and bellow their fool head off about how we need to bomb everything. usually these people have never been in any sort of military let alone been in a fist fight. but they just so happen to control the government and the businesses. and they also have no morality whatsoever, nor do they have respect for ideas like freedom, democracy, justice, the rule of law, etc, these are all abstract meaningless phrases to them that sometimes crop up when their lawyers are explaining how some stupid lawsuit is impacting their profits.

out in the real world, people in general dont know what freedom of speech means, or trials, or justice, or the legal system, or voting. they are too godddamn stupid to care. they think it is all some big game and the military is a tv show to them. and so is the 'principles' of the country.

you are complaining about someone getting stopped for their political beliefs. well, you mentioned 'green party'. the average stupid lazy idiot american will see that 'green party', and the rest of your talking will be like jelly to them. then they will go off on a rant about how the green party is stupid, lost the election for gore, is full of socialist idiots, blah balh balh balh blah. notice that average american person does not give a rats ass, nor do they eve comprehend the basic idea, that political speech should be protected. when the hell is speech ever protected in our society? at school you cant say what you want, at work you cant, at church you cant, on internet web boards you cant, you are always told 'this is not a democracy' by the leaders, so why should larger society be any different?

then you mention the 2000 election. republcians do not give a shit about fairness or the constitution. neither do democrats. they were both just playing the system to win. they will take whatever side makes them win. they dont give a shit about whether it was fair or the process itself. you talk about the ideals of america like they actually meant something, but to most people, they dont. most people could care less if we had a dictatorship as long as the people they didnt like were killed and they themselves were left alone.

so i think its nice that you believe in all that stuff, and its swell that you are trying to 'return america to its core values', but the truth is america never was at its core values. those are mostly lies made up in history books.

now if we want to make america into those core values, that might be worth something, and maybe the ACLU and others can do it. but that means trying something we've never had before, a fair and democratic society where everyones rights are protected equally under the law. this has never been attempted in america, but it would be a great experiment.

Talking of which (4.75 / 4) (#159)
by RyoCokey on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:02:24 PM EST

the shiftless stupid ass lazy bastards who sit around and bellow their fool head off about how we need to bomb everything.

Agreed, turmeric. I hate laziness and stupidy. Most people do. Now here's a question for you. Why do we have grammar and capitalization?

It makes writing easier to read, and facilitates the speed at which you read it. Capitalization in English is easy! Just get the proper nouns and starts of sentences. What kind of inconsiderate and lazy person wouldn't capitalize anything in the whole damn post? What kind of world do we live in?

There are two exciting ways to bring more of the ASCII set into your life. First, there's the Shift key. If you look on your keyboard, you can find it right above the control key on the left side of your keyboard. Another is placed on the right side of the keyboard.

In the event you need to type an entire section in caps, the Caps Lock key is provided, allowing you to toggle on and off capitalization. These exciting inovations allow you to properly use the upper case letters of our wonderful alphabet.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
turmeric (none / 0) (#170)
by J'raxis on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 12:10:56 AM EST

What kind of inconsiderate and lazy person wouldn't capitalize anything in the whole damn post? What kind of world do we live in?
He capitalized ACLU, actually.
In the event you need to type an entire section in caps, the Caps Lock key is provided, allowing you to toggle on and off capitalization.
Whoah, whoah, stop right there. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO READ AN ENTIRE TURMERIC RANT ALL WRITTEN IN CAPS? I THINK I WOULD RATHER HIM STICK WITH LOWERCASE THAN START USING HIS CAPS LOCK KEY.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

(*Giggle*) (none / 0) (#277)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 12:36:25 AM EST

Actually, think about re-reading tumeric's post entirely capitalized. You don't find it incredibly amusing?

Now, think about it capitalized entirely in German! I'm in stiches here.
---

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

in soviet unix (1.00 / 1) (#314)
by turmeric on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:20:46 AM EST

im sorry the capslock and shift keys are a bit of a problem for soviet computer hacker linos torovaltos. i cant ever seem to get my .bashrc set up properly so that they work.

[ Parent ]
Less freedom = More terrorists (4.76 / 13) (#101)
by dagg on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 03:40:48 PM EST

It is quite ironic that the harder we look for terrorists... the more terrorists there will be. As we look harder and as our liberties and freedoms are taken from us, more terrorists will be bred.

There is no perfect solution to this problem. It always seems to come back to the cliche question: How much freedom are you willing to give up to be safe? But we need to add to that: And how much freedom are you willing to take from someone else to make yourself safe? How pissed off are you willing to make them?


--
Find Yer Sex Gateway
no kidding! (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 05:56:32 PM EST

I sure as hell wouldn't have been a terrorist, had I been given a chance not to be - but unfortunatley in Canada, i was branded a terrorist. So now what? well eventually this means that i'm going to have no fear in breaking other laws, and mabye actually terrorizing people, because after all...i'm guilty of the worst of crimes, even before i was able to do anything more vicious than trade a few thousand mp3 files on gnutella/napster! "you keep treating these kids like criminals and terrorists, eventually they are going to be come criminals and terrorists"-Emmanuel Goldstein, early Off The Hook episode.(perhaps misquoted?)
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
Get your war on... (4.00 / 1) (#242)
by sacrelicious on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 08:51:19 PM EST

And how much freedom are you willing to take from someone else to make yourself safe?

Sounds a lot like the message this cartoon is trying to make...

[ Parent ]

Propaganda (1.90 / 20) (#103)
by bayers on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 03:54:14 PM EST

I've never seen such anti-American propaganda since those Soviet published newspapers they used to hand out to GI's in Germany back in the early 80's.

First, laws have always become more restrictive during war time. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War. As you can imagine, there was a huge spy problem. Jefferson Davis wanted to do the same thing, but the Southern States wouldn't let him.

Osama want's to kill Americans becuase he is a fundamentalist. Sure, he declared war in part because of our troops in Saudi Arabia.

Do any of you know a fundamentalist? Christain or Muslim? If you want to get an idea of Osama's nature, imagine Jerry Farwell with an AK47 and none of the restrictions that Jesus imposed. No, 'hate the sin but love the sinner'. No, 'turn the other cheek'.

Do you remember when Farwell and Pat Robinson said that the US got what it deserved on 9/11? They meant that it was God's retribution for our evil ways.

Farwell, Robinson and Osama might not share the same beliefs, but they are of the same mind.

I marvel that the left is for appeasement. It's the left that these people want to kill the most.

Egads... (5.00 / 14) (#105)
by RareHeintz on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 04:29:54 PM EST

Where to start?

First, the article wasn't anti-American. The author was very much for America, and the ideals that separate America from, say, the old Soviet Union. Are you one of those right-wingers who thumps his chest for America, the land, right or wrong, no matter what it comes to stand for or who leads it? If so, then you've really missed the boat.

The fact that laws have always become more restrictive during wartime does not mean that those laws were right in any moral sense; it seems much more indicative of people's weakness in the face of expediency.

As far as your assertion that "Osama want's [sic] to kill Americans becuase he is a fundamentalist", that just doesn't wash. Where in the Koran are the faithful bidden to kill Americans? In fact, the faithful are bidden to tolerate the Christian and the Jew as fellow sons of Abraham - but he doesn't care, because he is politically rather than religiously motivated.

And finally: When the hell did the article talk about appeasement?

Get a clue. America is not just a piece of land, nor even the government. It is not a thing like your city's football team that you root for blindly just because you happen to live there. America is the set of ideals enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights - it is an attempt to create a place where the government is restrained from acting unjustly against its citizens.

Your little rant offered not one refutation of the factual events described in the article, nor one solid justification of the specific, unjust actions the author singled out for attention.

Save your knee-jerk, bumper-sticker patriotism for your next Bush rally.
--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

Interesting (1.00 / 4) (#121)
by bayers on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 06:20:16 PM EST

First, thanks for correcting my grammar. Second, I voted for Gore. I don't think that people who voted for Bush come around here.

Third, you said that I said: "Osama want's [sic] to kill Americans becuase he is a fundamentalist"

I didn't say that. You should read more carefully. Don't let your reactions be knee-jerk.

You're right in part as is the article. Every propaganda piece has some truth in it. The articles in those old Soviet propaganda newspapers always were centered around true events. It's the details that were false.

How about this: we set a threshold. The Islamikazees can kill, say 100 US citizens per year. If they kill more, we make the laws more restrictive. If they kill less, we make the laws more liberal.

[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#151)
by fenix down on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 10:03:31 PM EST

Third paragraph, first sentence? Looks like that's what you said...

[ Parent ]
Declaration of War (none / 0) (#122)
by bayers on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 06:34:00 PM EST

Here is a quote from Osama's declaration of war, 'All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on God, his messenger, and Muslims.'

[ Parent ]
Values... (5.00 / 2) (#150)
by Hatamoto on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:59:33 PM EST

Get a clue. America is not just a piece of land, nor even the government. It is not a thing like your city's football team that you root for blindly just because you happen to live there. America is the set of ideals enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights - it is an attempt to create a place where the government is restrained from acting unjustly against its citizens.

Ideally, America is the embodiment of the ideals in the C+BoR.

The existance of the US today seems pretty far from those ideals. I'm really rather suprised more people aren't protesting against the fact that the actual society you live in now is a patchwork of court rulings, legislation and de facto workarounds for a large portion of those rights... and it seems that the abridgement of those rights always comes as openings resulting from direct conflict, either foreign or domestic; casualties of whatever 'war' is being waged in the day.

I find it highly ironic that the freedoms allegedly 'being fought for' are being whittled away in the process of the fighting. Perhaps, should the world find itself in an era of peace, some of the damage done could be undone, given enlightened leadership and a willing populace.

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

unfair (4.00 / 1) (#190)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 08:16:19 AM EST

Farwell, Robinson and Osama might not share the same beliefs, but they are of the same mind. Alot of people were quite emotional after having several thousand of their countrymen slaughtered. Robertson might have gone a little overboard blaming 9-11 on our sins, but I really am disgusting by your attempt at moral equivalence. Is saying that due to our sins, God might have withdrawn his protective hand from us equivalent to cold bloodedly planning, recruiting, and executing a terrorist attack that results in thousands of deaths.

I guess this is a common thing people do, to exaggerate one bad thing they dont like and compare it to another. But I think this is especially wrong when terrorism is concerned. Falwell/Robertson and Osama are not of the same mind. Robertson and Falwell are part of organizations that send people to Muslim countries risking their lives, to help feed, clothe, and share the love of Jesus Christ with complete strangers. Compare this to Osama cold bloodedly murdering complete strangers.

Their minds are exactly opposite.

[ Parent ]

Fundamentalist (4.00 / 1) (#220)
by bayers on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:24:42 PM EST

There are fundamentalists in all faiths, Christain, Muslim, and Jew. It's a mindset. Fundamentalists tend to see things as black and white with little grey. I've never been a fundamentalist, but I know a few. I think Farwell and Osama are fundamentalists. It's Farwell's beliefs that keep him from killing people in the name of God. Osama's beliefs doesn't have as many restrictions. The only way you can get 18 well educated, well to do young men to go to their deaths and kill non-believers is in the name of God. They were all fundamentalists.

[ Parent ]
Appeasement == Godwin (none / 0) (#320)
by artsygeek on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:46:07 PM EST

Your mention of appeasement was a veiled reference at the Appeasement Policy used against Hitler by Chamberlain and Co.... By new corollaries to Godwin, this is a crock of BS.

[ Parent ]
Proud to be Canadian (5.00 / 5) (#118)
by egerlach on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 05:54:04 PM EST

... and proud to not have heavily armed, opinionated guards in our airports. I've just made my final decision. I'm not going to visit the US again until this all cools down. The only exception I'll make is to visit my Grandfather with my entire family (which we're planning on doing for Christmas). Above all, I will not fly into, out of, or through the US. Heck, I'm starting to get wary about flying over US air space! It's going to restrict a number of travel options, but I think I'd be happier to do that than be detained because I hold an opinion. Freedom of thought is gone south of the border... that scares me.

"Free beer tends to lead to free speech"
I see I'm not alone... (5.00 / 3) (#149)
by Hatamoto on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:48:10 PM EST

I was offered a trip to Las Vegas (flight, room and board) over the hollidays that I recently turned down, for a number of reasons...

1) I don't condone or agree with the policy of US border 'enforcement' and their pattern of institutionalized discrimination (vis. east indian or arab descent), even though I'm not a member of one of the 'races of interest'.

2) I feel no reason to spend my money on a country which wields lobbyist powers in order to line their pockets at others' expense (vis. lumber issues)

3) A recent CBC report where a border guard claimed, and I quote: "You hate us, and we hate you." Anecdotal, sure, but you could sense the spite behind the eyes of dour-faced bucketheads at the border crossings even before 9-11. The alleged fact that one of them actually came out and said it comes as no great shock.

4) I was in the very same Alaska Air plane as what went down off the california coast a few years back, and repair work on US planes hasn't improved much from the looks of it... Having seen the recent reports of DUCT TAPE being used to patch over holes in the spoiler of a United plane, I'm about as enthusiastic in riding one as getting a tobasco enema.

Fortunately, I have no real need to travel to the US, and my tourism dollars have been far more productively and enjoyably spent locally.

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

not just the tourists show them the finger (4.50 / 2) (#182)
by fhotg on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 05:11:01 AM EST

Just recently, two Canadian friends, both of Iranian descend and sought after PhDs, turned down offers to teach in the US, in favour of less payed and (still) less prestigous positions in Canada and the Netherlands respectively. Their reason was clearly stated and very relevant to our thread.

[ Parent ]
A little O/T... (4.50 / 2) (#259)
by Hatamoto on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 12:39:19 PM EST

My wife and I have recently been shopping around for a new house to rent and move into (the house we're living in now has black mold... nasty nasty nasty!) and we came across a Kuwaiti expatriot working as a structural engineer (the house was still under construction) who spent a fair number of years moving around in the wake of the whole iraq invasion.

Originally, he'd gone to Saudi Arabia, then to the US, then came to Canada. In his mind, he'd rank Canada first, Saud second and the US dead last of anyplace he visited... even before 9-11, the way americans treated this lettered citizen of an allied country was below second class, almost as a parasite by hearing him describe it, whereas here we were "Good people, willing to do good business, and not point fingers without reason."

Probably the best description of Canada I've heard of in a long time, with the exception of obligatory beer and hockey references. :D

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

At least the US *has* an Army... (1.60 / 5) (#172)
by Skywise on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 01:24:39 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Grr (1.00 / 1) (#240)
by Edwards on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 08:26:17 PM EST

We DO have an army. It's not a good one, but we're damn good at peacekeeping.

[ Parent ]
You forgot the best way of protest... (4.60 / 5) (#126)
by shinshin on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:00:06 PM EST

Simply redirect your federal income tax to an organization to actually tries to uphold the Constitution and the principles on which it is founded. I, and many others I know, are going to calculate what we owe next year for federal income taxes, and write out a check for that amount to the ACLU. The IRS will get a polite note saying that their taxes will be available when there are guarantees that the money will not be used to oppress the citizens.

I always find it amazing that people don't suggest tax protest any more. It's the best way to bring about change.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003

Tax protest (5.00 / 1) (#137)
by Three Pi Mesons on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:11:43 PM EST

I know of a few people here in the UK who are doing this to protest militarism. They'll be paying their taxes with everyone else, less the 7% that goes to defence. The Inland Revenue will doubtless be unimpressed.

Is it a crime to encourage others not to pay their taxes? I wonder what would happen if tens of thousands of people withheld a certain proportion of the amount due: could the government really take action against such a large number of people? If asking people to do this is a crime, they'd just go for the ringleaders.

:: "Every problem in the world can be fixed with either flowers, or duct tape, or both." - illuzion
[ Parent ]

No, that's not illegal. (5.00 / 1) (#274)
by DavidTC on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 09:15:42 PM EST

It's never illegal to suggest breaking the law in general.(Quick, everyone run outside and urinate in public!)

Erm, at least in the US. Don't know about the UK.

However, it's sometimes illegal to ask someone to commit a specific instance of breaking the law, or, god forbid, help them do it, you could be a conspirator. And paying someone to break the law is right out, as is offering bounties for people who have broken the law.

It all comes down to what is actions and what is speech. (Again, in America.) If it's speech, it's legal. If it oversteps that into actions, you can be found guilty of those actions. (But not the original speech.) Sometimes it's a pretty fine line, but during people in general who disagree with the government to break a law is pretty much always considered legal.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

I wouldn't be so sure its not illegal... (4.00 / 1) (#290)
by davincarten on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 02:40:37 PM EST

'Burning Bush' comment draws prison term.

He wasn't actually conspiring to kill bush, otherwise he would have gotten quite a bit more than 3 years time. So he is in prison for suggesting that it would or should happen.



[ Parent ]
How is this going to work? (4.00 / 1) (#138)
by Chubs on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:28:47 PM EST

You realize that contributions to the ACLU are not tax deductable, right? If they were, they wouldn't directly reduce your tax burden - it would only reduce your taxable income.

Unless you're implying that you're not going to pay taxes at all (which wouldn't be all that of an intelligent thing to do) you wouldn't be making much of a statement.

[ Parent ]
He's not looking for the deduction (5.00 / 1) (#200)
by flimflam on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 11:49:06 AM EST

He's not paying his taxes. He'll be sending what money he would have paid to the IRS to the ACLU instead. Yes, it's illegal, which is the whole point. It's a form of civil disobedience.


-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
ACLU does not protect all rights (5.00 / 2) (#189)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 08:04:05 AM EST

I, and many others I know, are going to calculate what we owe next year for federal income taxes, and write out a check for that amount to the ACLU.

The ACLU does some good work, but they are fundamentally misguided on the 2nd amendment. Here is the text:

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Now, it very clearly says the right of the people yet the ACLU tries to insist that this somehow makes the right to keep and bear arms a right of the states. Huh? They claim the US Constitution, by saying "the people" is somehow instead conferring this right unto the states. Lets examine this, imagine if we decided to interpret the 1st Amendment this way. People have absolutely no free speech rights, the Constitution is actually conferring those rights onto the states. So the state has the power to say anything it wants, but private citizens absolutely do not. Does anyone take that interpretation seriously?

Rational people can disagree on gun control, but the 2nd amendment does guarantee "the people" the right to keep and bear arms. But guess what, our founders were brilliant and knew that times would change, they gave us the power to change the Constitution to fit the times if needed. I just wish that instead of people trying to hijack the Constitution with activist judges, they would follow the law and change things the way they were intended. Amend the Constitution if you want, but don't ignore the clearly written words.

I will never be able to support or respect the ACLU as long as it feels its right to deliberately ignore the clear meaning of the Constitution to advance their political agenda.

[ Parent ]

The NRA (4.00 / 1) (#193)
by DJTiesto on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 10:15:09 AM EST

From what I understand, the ACLU doesn't waste its time or resources on 2nd amendment issues because the NRA already does that. They choose to focus on other forms of oppression that doesn't have a huge organization to champion its cause.

[ Parent ]
not quite true (5.00 / 1) (#201)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 11:50:19 AM EST

From what I understand, the ACLU doesn't waste its time or resources on 2nd amendment issues because the NRA already does that. They choose to focus on other forms of oppression that doesn't have a huge organization to champion its cause.

If they were merely silent on the 2nd amendment, I could respect that. Unfortunately you could not be further from the truth. The ACLU's official position is decidedly hostile to individual gun rights as guaranteed in the US Constitution. Here is an excerpt of their policy from: http://www.eff.org//CAF/civil-liberty/gun-control.aclu

ACLU Policy #47: Gun Control

The setting in which the Second Amendment was proposed and adopted demonstrates that the right to bear arms is a collective one, existing only in the collective population of each state for the purpose of maintaining an effective state militia.

I'm sorry but this is a load of crap. A collective right is no right at all. Why would the founders specifically say "the rights of the people" when in fact they're referring to rights of the state governments. In the 10th amendment, the people, and the states are both referred to separately. There is no ambiguity, except in the minds of activist judges that want their personal opinions to override the clear words of the Constitution.

This is the truly disturbing abridgement of our rights. If the clear words of the 2nd amendment can be so easily brushed away, then how secure are any of our other rights? What if they decided the 1st amendment was only a collective right? The 9th circuit court recently ruled that the 2nd amendment is in fact a collective right, not an individual one. Of course the 9th circuit is the most overturned circuit court in the country and I'm desperately hoping that the SCOTUS takes the case and sets the record straight.

[ Parent ]

It depends. (5.00 / 1) (#212)
by aphrael on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 02:04:45 PM EST

It depends on what you think the purpose of the amendment was: was it to enable individuals to fight back against the government, or was it to enable the states to protect themselves against the federal government?

Considering that prior to the incorporation of the bill of rights into the meaning of the word 'liberty' in the fourteenth amendment, none of the provisions of the bill of rights applied against actions taken by state governments, I think you can make a strong case that the intent was to enable the states to protect themselves against an oppressive federal government.

[ Parent ]

nope (5.00 / 1) (#215)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 02:31:26 PM EST

It depends on what you think the purpose of the amendment was: was it to enable individuals to fight back against the government, or was it to enable the states to protect themselves against the federal government?

I've addressed this already. The 10th amendment clearly refers to "the States" and "the people" as two very separate entities. Are we to believe that "the people" means individuals in the 10th amendment, but when we're reading the 2nd amendment, it suddenly morphs and means "the States" ? Your interpretation defies credulity.

[ Parent ]

Not my argument, precisely. (5.00 / 1) (#219)
by aphrael on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:17:49 PM EST

It's the opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

[ Parent ]
yawn (4.00 / 1) (#224)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:40:56 PM EST

You mean the opinion of the most overturned court in the US that's packed full of activist liberal judges with no respect for the Constitution?

That's the big disadvantage conservatives have. Conservative judges like Thomas or Scalia will rigidly adhere to the letter of the Constitution, not ignore it at will to advance their partisan agenda. Liberals however, are free to just ignore the law, and legislate from the bench.

[ Parent ]

*laugh* (4.00 / 1) (#225)
by aphrael on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:46:51 PM EST

so rather than reading the opinion and disagreeing with those particulars of the decision that you think are wrong, you'll dismiss it out of hand without reading it simply because you don't like the people who wrote it?

That's certainly a principled form of argument.

[ Parent ]

you know what happens when you assume (none / 0) (#229)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:14:09 PM EST

so rather than reading the opinion and disagreeing with those particulars of the decision that you think are wrong, you'll dismiss it out of hand without reading it simply because you don't like the people who wrote it?

Who says I didnt read it? Actually I read it several hours before you responded. There's absolutely nothing of substance there, just shaky justification for pushing a liberal activist agenda with blatant disregard for the plain wording and intent of the founders.

The American people have spoken and given Bush a majority in the Senate during an off year election, something virtually unprecedented. I'm sure Bush will use this opportunity to fill some vacancies and appoint justices that will leave legislation to the congress, and actually *gasp* follow the letter of the law. Should be a welcome change.

I'm betting this decision is overturned on appeal.

[ Parent ]

Fucking liberal. (none / 0) (#276)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 11:51:57 PM EST

Republican does not equal conservative. Repeat: Republican does not equal conservative. You understand why, don't you?

Even though I'm on the left-leaning side of being a moderate, I've met a lot of conservatives whom I admire and respect. However, almost none of them are Republican.

So I ask you with a question: are you a Republican, or a conservative?

Also, do you honestly believe that the Republicans won the recent elections because of an American change of heart? You seem intelligent enough to realize that politics are never that simple (it'd be nice though, wouldn't it?).
---

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

Or (4.00 / 1) (#228)
by lb008d on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:12:56 PM EST

you can see the amendment as the result of the battle with Britain for independence, which was fought by individuals, not "states". Perhaps they recognized that had revolutionaries not had access to weapons, the revolution never would have happened.

Just playing devil's advocate. Frankly I don't care what people do with their guns so long as they don't shoot anyone.

"Kuro5hin: politics and pretension, from the $3,000 leather recliners on the hill overlooking the trenches."DarkZero
[ Parent ]

From the context of the framer's writtings (5.00 / 1) (#262)
by michaelp on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 02:52:29 PM EST

The well regulated militia was not for the states to fight back against the feds, nor for the people to fight against the states, it was for the states & the people to defend themselves from the Indians, French, Spanish, etc.

Seems to me that the points the founders made in relation to the people's being trusted with arms was that the people could be trusted in the US because the nation was a democracy, in stark contrast to the monarchies where the right of the people to keep arms was infringed because the Kings couldn't trust the people not to revolt.

For the record, I think that the "collective rights" thing is wrong, the framers would have said "the states" if they meant "they states". However, they also said "well regulated militia" which seems to me gives the Federal Govt. the right to regulate the individual right to keep and bear (to require training, for instance), so long as the regulations do not infringe (prevent) the individual right, which it seems to merely means that it is not too expensive and doesn't discriminate regarding who can be licensed.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
umm.. where do you get that idea? (5.00 / 1) (#268)
by davincarten on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 04:47:21 PM EST

"The well regulated militia was not for the states to fight back against the feds,"

"The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
-- Thomas Jefferson

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
-- Thomas Jefferson

[ Parent ]
Gun rights (4.00 / 2) (#206)
by shinshin on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 12:34:42 PM EST

As your typical bleeding-heart party-line liberal, I like gun control, and I see the erosion of gun rights as having a positive effect on society. However, I do agree that the ACLU is remiss in its mission when it picks and chooses those civil rights that it decides to uphold; that is certainly a valid point against them. It's not that they advocate an interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that meshes with gun control laws: they just choose to ignore the issue alltogether, which I think makes them look bad, and causes them to loose access to a lot of people who may otherwise have supported them.

Unfortunately, all our Amendments are somewhat vague, and the 2nd Amendment is especially so. We have, over the years, established fairly well-defined interpretatinons of all the other Amendments. It is a problem that I wish the ALCU would address, rather than brushing it under the rug.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

make an amendment then (5.00 / 1) (#214)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 02:24:49 PM EST

As your typical bleeding-heart party-line liberal, I like gun control, and I see the erosion of gun rights as having a positive effect on society.

I disagree, but if you feel that way, the founders provided us with a way to change the Constitution, it's called an Amendment. The thing is that the founders required a vast consensus among the people before the Constitution could be modified. If you really feel that gun control is necessary you should work within the law for a Constitutional Amendment, not support the right of unelected men in black robes to rationalize away our Constitutionally guaranteed rights. That sets an extremely scary precedent.

[ Parent ]

2nd Ammendment (5.00 / 2) (#211)
by skintigh on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 01:45:16 PM EST

Like most weapon advocates, you selectively ignore several key phrases.  Read it again, but this time keep your eyes open and try not to drift off:

"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Are you a member of a well-regulated militia?  No?  Does the security of a free state improve when any criminal or crackpot can buy a assault weapon?  Obviously not.  

You want to play with assault rifles?  Then join the reserves.  You want to go hunting?  Let the state regulate that.

[ Parent ]

why not read what the founders intended? (5.00 / 3) (#213)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 02:20:52 PM EST

"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Are you a member of a well-regulated militia? No? Does the security of a free state improve when any criminal or crackpot can buy a assault weapon? Obviously not.

Not quite. If this was true, then why doesn't it state "The right of the states to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?" The 10th amendment has no problem differentiating between the people and the states.

Article X. - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Now you expect us to believe that in one amendment, they clearly refer to "the States" and "the people" as 2 very separate entities, then suddenly when we get back to the 2nd Amendment, the 2 terms are interchangeable? This defies reason. Why not assume that the first amendment is now a collective right and that only the States have the right to freedom of speech?

Mentioning the militia is merely an explanation of the rights, it is in no way a limitation upon them. Perhaps now is the time for a little history lesson, in medieval Europe, only nobles were allowed to keep and bear arms. When peasants were drafted to serve in armies, they were given weapons to use in battle which were promptly taken away at the end of the war lest there be an uprising against the king/nobles. The founders, being extremely skeptical of even their own government, wanted as many checks and balances as possible. They wanted to place as much power as possible in the hands of the people, not the government. They wanted citizens able to take their firearms home and train with them so that they were not reliant upon the government.

This interpretation is clearly supported by the writings of the Founders

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." Thomas Jefferson -- Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776.

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." -- Thomas Jefferson's "Commonplace Book," 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764.

"The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms." -- Samuel Adams, Massachusetts' U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788.

"the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." -- James Madison, The Federalist, No. 46.

"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense...." -- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers No.28

"If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens." -- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, No. 29.

"Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them." -- Thomas Paine, Thoughts On Defensive War, 1775.



[ Parent ]
Why is the clause prefaced by "well regulated (4.00 / 1) (#260)
by michaelp on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 02:34:53 PM EST

Militia?"

If the 2ndA is intented to give the states or the Feds no power to 'well regulate' the keepers and bearers, then what is the point of the first half of the sentence?

Personally, I would say that states and/or the feds have the right to require training (similar to an auto license) for gun ownership, this would I think help ensure that folks with guns know how to use them as defensive weapons and there is some chance to instill responsible gun beahvior with this method.

Seems to me that so long as the licensing procedure was not unduly difficult or expensive, no one's right is being infringed, while the "well regulated" part of the amendment is no longer ignored.



"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
well regulated... (4.00 / 1) (#267)
by davincarten on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 04:42:38 PM EST

The constitution in its early for doesn't dictate federal or state power, at least it didn't at the time. The bill of rights is just that... a list of rights, not regulations. "Well-regulated" in the context of the authors most likely is using the "well maintained and in good repair" meaning. Its point being that for a well regulated (maintained) miltia (which is important) men need to be allowed free ownership and use of arms. Passing them out when the redcoats are coming down the street would NOT be well regulated. Forgive any typos, replying fast before someone beats me...

[ Parent ]
The point of the first part. (5.00 / 1) (#273)
by DavidTC on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 09:07:34 PM EST

was to justify the second. However, the meaning of 'well-regulated' has changed over time. It made perfect sense then:

In modern english: A well maintained fighting force being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear weapons shall not be infringed.

But even if you choose to use your braindead interpetation of 'well-regulated' instead of looking of the meaning of the word 'regulated' (hint: Think regular and regimented, both of which come from it. Don't be fooled by the fact 'regimented' usually used to refer to the military, it doesn't require anything to do with the military), note that it doesn't say the right applies only to do that.

If the first amendment said: In order to keep fluffly bunnies everwhere, the government shall make no law...', the right would still apply no matter what fluffy bunnies had to do with anything. That's the way laws work. Sometimes they give a justification for the law, (In order to keep from waking people, your car radio must not be over X decibles at night.) but having the justification not apply does not void the law. (You cannot use the exuse that you were playing your radio away from anyone who might have heard it.) (Likewise even really stupid laws like waving a lantern in front of a car 'to not frighten horses', on a road that doesn't even allow horse, still apply.)

But, anyway, it's perfectly possibly to read the thing as it was written and require permits to operate a firearm except in times of war. The reason all gun owners are opposed to any sort of requirements like that is that, in every single instance that has ever happen, the government has later used the list to confinscate the weapons.Every one of them. Every government that has had a list has used it.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Keep in mind... (none / 0) (#285)
by davincarten on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 02:12:33 PM EST

I'm not sure I understand your point. You are saying the second ammendment is the right of american people to become armed soilders? If the right to bear arms is strictly for use in a state run militia, than is that really a right? I don't see the point of putting "you have the right to bear arms if you are in the army" in a bill that is a list of rights the government can't take away from you.

It's kind of a given that if you are in a state run militia (the army) you can bear arms. Wouldn't be much of a miltia otherwise would it be. I don't think they need an amendment to say that.

And please refrain from personal attacks. The interpretation of "well regulated" isn't mine, that is why I listed quotes of the gentlemen behind the amendment. Rather than calling my view braindead, debate the words of the founders. I didn't write them, they did.



[ Parent ]
Maybe you should try looking it up (5.00 / 1) (#293)
by michaelp on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 04:50:26 PM EST


Before casting stones: your braindead interpetation

Is directly from the dictionary, was used in the 18th century, and makes alot more sense when the context is a Militia.

Further, (again if you look it up) "regulate" comes from regular, not vice versa, and the original, oldest, meaning, is "to put in good order" (Random House, Unabridged).

But, anyway, it's perfectly possibly to read the thing as it was written and require permits to operate a firearm except in times of war.

Thank you, that was my point: license guns like cars, so that folks who get them have at least some regularized training in using them.

government has later used the list to confinscate the weapons.

Tell that to the Swiss.

Futher, I disagree with your dismissal of context in law, I think it would be clear to a jury that arresting someone for playing their radio loud in the middle of the desert would be a mistake if the law was specifically stated to be for the purpose of not waking people up.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
plain meaning. (5.00 / 1) (#283)
by Godel on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 06:30:25 AM EST

If the 2ndA is intented to give the states or the Feds no power to 'well regulate' the keepers and bearers, then what is the point of the first half of the sentence? No matter the meaning of the preface, it cannot invalidate the clear text of the amendment, confirmed the by the founders own writings. "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" is pretty damn cut and dry. Anyone saying you should suddenly interpret "the people" as "the states" is as dishonest as the day is long.

[ Parent ]
Well regulated is not a condition (4.00 / 1) (#288)
by davincarten on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 02:23:36 PM EST

Agreed, the preface appears to be a reflection of why the founders felt the amendment was important. They felt a well-regulated miltia (whatever that means) was important. Whatever it is, it is NOT written as a condition for the right to bear arms.

[ Parent ]
Regulation is fine... (4.00 / 1) (#289)
by davincarten on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 02:32:56 PM EST

...as long as it doesn't infringe the right to bear arms. Regulate does not mean deny citizens from carrying and owning them. The founders weren't hot on ANYTHING being regulated from the federal government.

The amendment the way I read it is stating that Militias (citizen armies as opposed to knights and royal gaurds) are good, and that freedom of citizens to own and operate arms makes militias possible.



[ Parent ]
LOL, beat me to it (4.00 / 1) (#266)
by davincarten on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 04:38:02 PM EST

I agree so much with your point, that I was writting my own similar post while you were writing yours.

[ Parent ]
hehe (4.00 / 1) (#284)
by Godel on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 06:32:58 AM EST

I just read yours, good quotes! It just proves that the liberal activist courts are not out to uphold and defend the Constitution and intent of the writers but rather to enforce an activist partisan agenda and destroy the checks and balances of our government. I don't understand how anyone but the most biased activist could decide to interpret "the people" as really meaning "the states", especially considering the 10th amendment specifically mentions them as two separate entities.

[ Parent ]
The term 'well-regulated' (none / 0) (#327)
by baron samedi on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 04:59:38 PM EST

Does not mean what we normally would think of it meaning. In 20th Century American English, we think of the term 'well-regulated' as pertaining to 'regulations' as in 'Federal Energy Regulatory Comission'. However, at the time the 2nd was written, 'well-regulated' had the same etymology as the term 'regular army', that is to say 'adequately equipped'. So in essence, the 2nd states that a well-equipped militia is essential...
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
Not quite that cut and dry (3.00 / 2) (#265)
by davincarten on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 04:34:14 PM EST

reg∑u∑late ( P )
-To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law.
-To adjust to a particular specification or requirement: regulate temperature.
-To adjust (a mechanism) for accurate and proper functioning.
-To put or maintain in order: regulate one's eating habits.

mi∑li∑tia n.
-An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.
-A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.
-The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

It can and has been argued that "well regulated" refers to well maintained and adjusted, which was the common use of the word during that time. Certainly what you are claiming it means ignores the term "Militia". As soon as a militia is state run, its no longer a militia now is it (at least by the intent shown by the founders below).

When the amendment was written there was so such thing as a standing army. They made themselves very clear at the time what that clause was for.

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, June 1776 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334 (C. J. Boyd, Ed., 1950).

"Congress shall never disarm any citizen unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion."
-- James Madison

"The constitution shall never be construed....to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
- Alexander Hamilton

"...but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights."
--Alexander Hamilton

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.
-- George Washington

Militias aren't very popular right now because they have been associated with dangerous gun-happy rednecks, but that doesn't change the primary meaning of the writings by our founders. Arms keep government honest.



[ Parent ]
I think you have the wrong context for regulate. (4.00 / 1) (#271)
by michaelp on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 06:37:21 PM EST

Since the Militias during the time were groups of men trained by state or local authorities to take up arms when called, not machines, I really doubt the context was the one you specified.

"To control or direct according to rule, principle, or method." is how my Random House Unabridged puts it, and that seems a much more likely context for the statement.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
I wasn't picking one... (2.50 / 2) (#287)
by davincarten on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 02:18:59 PM EST

My only point was its not so cut and dry. Well-regulated can be interpreted many ways.

It could be seen as "in order to keep a population proficient and properly armed with well maintained firearms, men shall not have the right to bear arms infringed".

I'm not saying this IS the interpretation, just that one needs to review what the founders had to say about their writting to know what they meant. Myself and another author listed quite a few quotes. That's IMO where the debate needs to occur.



[ Parent ]
Sigh ... (3.33 / 3) (#281)
by RoOoBo on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 05:55:08 AM EST

Arms keep government honest. Here.

About the fallacy that people carrying weapons protect from dictatorships.

I would suggest better ways to avoid dictarship or bad governments. Never ever support them. Do you think that Hitler keep the power just because people didn't have weapons? Or may be it was because many people (for example the Nazy party), the military (still people) and the corporations (more people) supported in one way or another him. Same with Stalin, or 'He is Satanas (Bushes)' Husseim. They are not in power because they control all the weapons, but because they have enough people supporting them.

You can always say there are different kind of people in a dictatorship: those who are the dictatorship, those who support them, those who don't care, those who are afraid and do nothing and those who are afraid but do something (and usually get killed). If there is much more people in the first four groups the dictatorship will remain, perhaps only falling when one of the other groups fails (for example the dictator dies and his party is destroyed).

As an example if the military is controlled by a dictator and fully support him but for example the farmers wouldn't produce food for them what would happen? It is hard that the military would start producing their own food, mainly because then they would be unable to control the rest of the people. They could try to kill the farmers (all of them?) but then who would produce the food? Other people? And what if that other people wouldn't want to produce food either?

People would prefer to live in a dictatorship rather than die though. The rationale would be that other people should go against the dictator and get threatened (and die) rather than me. That is selfish but humans are selfish and preserving the own life is something shared between all living beings. However I think this is based in a lack of vision. If there is enough people oposing the tyranny then anyone that joins the liberation movement helps to avoid further deads, including your own. If you join you help to avoid the dead (and opresion) of your neighbour, then someone else joins and helps to avoid you from dead.

Of course this topic is rather more complex than that. But the idea I have is that tyrannies and dictarships (or even democracies and any other political systems or society models) work only because there is enough people supporting them. It doesn't need that all the people support them, just enough. However that 'enough' need to be always very much larger than just the dictatorship and the four who govern with him. And the only way to avoid it is that never there is enough people supporting them. Education?

Of course if you want to against all those other people you could need the weapons, but then the problem isn't the government and what I wrote in the other post applies.



[ Parent ]
Re: 2nd Amendment (none / 0) (#298)
by BCoates on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 09:36:04 AM EST

Are you a member of a well-regulated militia?

Actually, I think I am.

--
Benjamin Coates

[ Parent ]

Tax the bullets! (5.00 / 1) (#261)
by michaelp on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 02:41:36 PM EST

Chris Rock had a good suggestion as a way make gun killings much rarer while not infringing the right to keep and bear: tax the bullets. While he suggested $5000/ea toungue in cheek, it seems to me that he had a good point: tax ammo in relation to it's deadliness.

After all the 2ndA says "keep and bear", doesn't say anything about "shoot".

For the hunters on a budget, I'd suggest a musket, one can make one's own bullets for a musket, just like the framers did.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
And the best is yet to come... (4.80 / 5) (#132)
by X-Nc on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 07:52:43 PM EST

I got a lot of things I can say about this whole issue. I'd love to expound and pontificate about how one of the main reasons the world is today is because of the past administration(s) in the US Government. Of the chill I get in my spine every time I hear that phrase that sounds frighteningly like "Minister of Home Defense". I see the rights and freedoms of the people in the "free world" slowly eroding away. I remember what I was like in the "Eastern Block" during the 70's and 80's and know that the majority of people online only know of this from books in school. On how the recent sniper situation in the Washington DC Metro area (where I live) was nothing like the fear I lived through because of Badder-Meinhof & Red Brigade. The real and strong threat of power slowly shifting from the governments of the world to the multi-national corporations.

The future does not look very bright but it is not as bad as our past. My biggest nightmare is that we will ignore that past and fall into the trap that consumed the world in the early 1930's. I am not old enough to have been through it but I am old enough to have seen and known the people who were.

Recently I over heard some Vietnam vets discussing the world political view. They made some very interesting comments that made me thing. One said that the problem with US government & people was that the WWII generation. They fought and died to make the world free but their experience made them loath to go through it again so the US, as a government and a culture, will do just about anything to keep from going to war again. This may sound counter intuitive with all that's gone on in the last 60 years (especially the early 90's and today) but none of the military actions since WWII has been a "war". We'll go in and fight but with the sole purpose of maintaining the balance. Even when there is no balance to begin with.

Well, looks like I did go on a bit. There's a lot more I can say on this and, like any issue this complex, there's no real _bottom_line_ that can be reached. It's a shifting, moving reality we live in. All we can do is to try and live the best way we can. Left, Right, White, Black, Up, Down, for, against... It's all trivial and non-productive.

Man, I've been hanging with those Thai Buddhist monks to much. Prah Aroon and Prah Wichian would be proud.

--
Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.

spell checker (4.00 / 1) (#166)
by anothertom on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:23:39 PM EST

Words the K5 spell-checker doesn't know: Andreas Baader former head of the Rote Armee Fraktion aka Baader-Meinhof-Bande, a groups of ultra-militant anarchists who terrorized western Germany during the 1970-80s.
Not identical with Brigate Rossi, the Red Brigades, their Italian counterpart.

[ Parent ]
Read it again (2.16 / 6) (#135)
by duncan bayne on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 08:06:47 PM EST

I am asserting that what made America great was the freedom of its citizens, and that its greatness was dependant upon that freedom.  This appears to be the opinion of the author as well.

However, he then goes on to complain about the treatment of someone diametrically opposed to those freedoms.  That complaint is justified, but it appears to me that he is implicitly stating his agreement with that opposition; that is, his support for restrictions on free trade, and publicly funded healthcare.

Thus, in one breath, he is praising liberty, and in the other, he appears (to me, by my reading of his article) to be supporting its enemies.


Okay, you are really starting to annoy me. (5.00 / 2) (#143)
by amarodeeps on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:00:10 PM EST

It really doesn't matter that the woman is diametrically opposed to those values. In fact, it becomes even more relevant if she _is_ diametrically opposed to these values (which is something we could argue, but I won't get into it right now), because one of the things we often say as Americans is "I don't agree with what you are saying but I'll defend your right to say it." That's kind of what the First Amendment is about, look it up. His point is that if she is being denied rights because of this by our government that's a bad thing and fundamentally un-American. You just can't seem to get that through your thick head and you keep wanting to talk about how the Greens are nuts or something. Well, talk about that but don't pretend it destroys Mr. Crawford's piece. You've got nothing.

Now, if you want to usefully critique his bringing her up as something problematic, why don't you instead take the example of COINTELPRO Tool. S/he has something interesting to say. Whether it is true I don't know, but even if it's a troll, it's better than you've been able to do. Now go away until you have something useful to say; I'm tired.



[ Parent ]
For heavens sake (1.50 / 4) (#155)
by duncan bayne on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 10:39:30 PM EST

if she is being denied rights because of this by our government that's a bad thing and fundamentally un-American

Yes it is - I'm in agreement with both you and the author on this. My statement is that the tone of his article is sympathetic to the particular politics of the woman in question, which are themselves every bit as evil and un-American as the practice of denying her rights because of those politics.

I'm not saying that your Government is right to persecute her for her politics. What I *am* saying is that those politics are evil, immoral, and anti-American, and that if the author supports them, he is being hypocritical in decrying other anti-American politics.

What's hard to grasp about that?

You just can't seem to get that through your thick head and you keep wanting to talk about how the Greens are nuts or something. Well, talk about that but don't pretend it destroys Mr. Crawford's piece. You've got nothing.

It doesn't destroy the article - his objection to the way she is being treated is perfectly correct. However, if he supports her politics, then he's correct about her mistreatment, and an hypocrite to boot.



[ Parent ]
I'd have said the same if she were a Nazi (4.00 / 2) (#157)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 10:46:10 PM EST

She wasn't mistreated because she gave crap to a security guard. She was singled out first of all because her name was in a computerized database full of people who are instructed by the government to be treated with suspicion by the airlines.

How do you get on that list? Based on the experiences of people that have been surprised to find themselves on the list, the way you get put in the watch list is to express opinions that are unpopular with the current administration.

What I'm so upset about is not that someone who opposed free trade was blacklisted by the government, but because someone was put on that list for any sort of opinion that she espoused in her work for political change.

Had she got on that list for being a member of the Nazi party, I would have felt the same.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

My Apologies (3.50 / 2) (#160)
by duncan bayne on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:07:00 PM EST

My apologies - the way I read your article, it sounded like you were sympathetic to her politics, as well as her plight.

I agree with you on the issue that she's being punished for exercising freedom of thought and expression.  Where I would consider you hypocritical is if you supported her politics while arguing against government control, and from my reading of your article, it did seem that way (although implicitly, which is what I stated).

Perhaps I'm just being a bit sensitive about the issue, which is why I read in implicit agreement that wasn't there.  

Anyway, please accept my apologies, as it doesn't seem you agree with her.  Oh, and if you live anywhere near amarodeeps, sending him / her some valium might be a good plan :-)

[ Parent ]

Yeah, I guess I am a little tense today. (none / 0) (#165)
by amarodeeps on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:19:32 PM EST

But I just wanted you to support your argument, which now you agree was unfounded.

Don't take it too personally. :)



[ Parent ]
WTF are you talking about!? (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by amarodeeps on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 10:55:18 PM EST

Where the hell in the article does he say that he supports universal health care, restrictions on free trade, the Green party, Nancy Oden's personal politics, etc.?

Where is your supposed "implicit statement of agreement?" You're making shit up!

Are you on crack, or are you just an idiot!?



[ Parent ]
I am a Green actually, but that's not its about (4.00 / 1) (#161)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:10:51 PM EST

But that's not what I was writing the article about. I wasn't writing in support of Nancy Oden's opinions or Green Party policies.

I'm a Green because the Green Party is the only real alternative I see to the moral bankrupcy of the Demoncratic Party and its impotent failure to provide any real opposition to the Republicans.

What I was writing about wasn't my agreement with Oden's opinions, but her right to have them, and to promote them, unmolested by the government.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I understand. (4.00 / 1) (#163)
by amarodeeps on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:16:37 PM EST

I see your point. And I think you would agree with me that your party affiliation has nothing to do with the points you raised in your piece. Every American regardless of party affiliation should agree, I think.

I just don't understand where Mr. Bayne is getting the idea that Ms. Oden's politics specifically has something to do with the point you are trying to make.



[ Parent ]
green = red (1.80 / 5) (#188)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 07:52:56 AM EST

I'm a Green

Hardly a suprise judging from the article. It's been my experience that liberalism at it's core ultimately leads to anti-americanism. There's two basic ways that people see the world; One group thinks that success is brought about by intelligence, lots of hard work, and a little luck. They believe that wealth is not a zero sum game and most people can succeed. Another group, known as liberals, believes that you can only become successful by oppressing/enslaving others. They have an almost pathological hatred, jealosy, and fear of those who are successful. They hate the rich, and they hate corporations. Most of all, they hate capitalism because it gives people the freedom to rise or fall on the merits of their own choices and hard work.

America embodies all these things, as the lone superpower, it is the ultimate embodiment of the "rich guy". America was responsible for bringing down the Soviet Union and halting the spread of communism in Europe and Latin America. America, unlike most of Europe is not a quasi-socialist state, but represents capitalism. To put it briefly, America embodies everything that liberal/left-wingers hate. Some liberals might not yet hate America, but if they followed their beliefs through to the core, they will eventually.

[ Parent ]

oh brother (4.50 / 2) (#194)
by FourDegreez on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 10:29:45 AM EST

"America was responsible for ... halting the spread of communism in Europe and Latin America"

And let me guess, most of Asia, too? With one sentence, you managed to white-wash some of the most brutal crimes against humanity perpetuated in the last half century. Congrats.

[ Parent ]
let me guess (1.00 / 2) (#197)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 11:41:19 AM EST

With one sentence, you managed to white-wash some of the most brutal crimes against humanity perpetuated in the last half century. Congrats.

Let me guess, you support communism/socialism?

Ever notice, when the allies firebombed Dresden, which could truly be called a brutal crime/atrocity, no one really cared. But when you stop communism, you wind up with hordes of screaming pro-socialist chomskyites.

If you're really concerned with brutal crimes, check out what the USSR did. Stalin killed more people than Hitler during his rule.

BTW, I notice you were too busy to list any specific brutal acts. Again, you just spew anti-american pro-communist propaganda. I am not suprised.

[ Parent ]

you assume too much (4.00 / 1) (#203)
by FourDegreez on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 12:12:32 PM EST

When people like you start talking Capitalism vs Socialism, you are creating a false dichotomy. Sadly, far too many people on either side of the debate accept this dichotomy at face value. The fact is, Capitalism and Socialism both have valid and valuable elements, and neither should be discounted out of hand.

Why don't you Google around for US involvement in, well, just about any country. Here are some links for you:
Nicaragua
Guatamala
Chile
Afghanistan
Cambodia (Kissenger should be tried for war crimes for orchestrating the secret bombings, not head "independent" investigations)
Vietnam
Iran
El Salvador
Haiti
Iraq

The list goes on.

[ Parent ]
you forgot one (1.50 / 2) (#205)
by Godel on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 12:32:37 PM EST

Why did you leave out Yugoslavia/Serbia? I actually would have agreed with you on that one.

[ Parent ]
Capitalism (4.50 / 2) (#227)
by lb008d on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:07:16 PM EST

[capitalism] gives people the freedom to rise or fall on the merits of their own choices and hard work

Hmmm....it would seem that America isn't a capitalist country then, would it?

"Kuro5hin: politics and pretension, from the $3,000 leather recliners on the hill overlooking the trenches."DarkZero
[ Parent ]

Actually, yes... (4.00 / 1) (#234)
by Wolf Keeper on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 05:04:33 PM EST

I would agree that the US isn't a capitalist country in most respects.  I think Godel would too.  We've got some capitalism here, of course, but it's regulated, abused, pork barreled, and government monopolied into a twisted disaster.

The one area (one of the only) where I utterly agree with the Green party is axing corporate welfare.  Corporate welfare chokes capitalism more effectively than anything else.

[ Parent ]

well said (none / 0) (#251)
by Godel on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 02:21:15 AM EST

Yeah, unfortunately we're not as capitalistic as we should be, but we're better off than almost every other country on Earth. It's ironic, they see the wealth of capitalistic countries and the poverty of dictatorial/socialist countries, and somehow conclude that capitalism is what causes the poverty. It defies understanding. The solution to world poverty is more capitalism. Compare Africa with virtual no "global corporations" and foreign investment, to South-east asia and the other emerging markets. Capitalism is the best and surest way to uplift people from poverty and provide them with opportunity. I'd go as far to say that these global corporations hated by the Greens do far far more good for the world's poor than all the bleeding heart liberals in the world combined.

[ Parent ]
What about the group that thinks (5.00 / 1) (#264)
by michaelp on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 03:48:18 PM EST

that too much success is brought about by things like inheriting millions or having your daddy buy you a ball team? Where do they fit into your little dichotomy?

If every kid started at the same line, then the game would be purely about "intelligence, hard work, and luck". In fact, most liberal positions are about equal access to education, housing, health care, etc., which goes back to the "all men are created equal" principle.

Further, the grand daddies of liberalism are Jefferson (universal education) and Paine (separation of church and state), so obviously "following liberal beliefs to the core" doesn't lead one to hate America.

Perhaps you have a radically different view of what America should be than many of the most important founders did, in which case Liberals might well dislike your vision of what America should be, and more power to 'em.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
you dont want equal opportunity (1.00 / 1) (#282)
by Godel on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 06:22:43 AM EST

that too much success is brought about by things like inheriting millions or having your daddy buy you a ball team? Where do they fit into your little dichotomy?

They fit into the category of jealous children. This is real life, don't waste your time being jealous of what someone else has, live the best life you can. Hey what if too much success is brought about by good looks? Maybe we should require acid be splashed on the face of good looking people in order to even everyone out. After all, its really unfair that movie-stars can pick and choose any girl they want to go out with. Physical ability is really unfair too, some people are just born to be better runners or stronger than others, should we break their leg and give them a limp or otherwise maim them in order to enforce equality?

In fact, most liberal positions are about equal access to education, ...

Sorry but I just have to take issue with this, that's outright laughable. Equal access is the LAST THING liberals want. If liberals support equal access, explain why every liberal group expressed vocal opposition to the California Civil Rights Initiative, which states "The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting."

Why was this provision VEHEMENTLY opposed by liberal groups, it specifically mandates equal opportunity. Because liberals don't really want equal opportunity, they want equality of outcomes. There's a name for a system that mandates that by force, it's called communism.

You know, asians are actually more discriminated against by whites now at some schools due to affirmative actions. If all the racial disparities are caused by horrible evil racist whites, then how in the hell did dirt poor asian immigrants wind up doing so well? Because there is not rampant discimination in America (except for systematic racist discrimination programs like affirmative action), the people who work hard and study and are smart will succeed, regardless of how much money their parents started with or their race.

There's one group in America that supports systematically excluding groups from educational and job opportunities because of their race. That group is liberals.

[ Parent ]

So let the wealthy buy a better starting position (5.00 / 1) (#292)
by michaelp on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 04:27:02 PM EST

in a race?

Why do those commies at the Olympics force wealthy people to start at the same line as poor people? If wealthy people can bribe officials to start a few laps up, that is only fair, ain't it?

Hey what if too much success is brought about by good looks?

I obviously, specifically, directly, clearly, was talking about inheriting wealth, not genetics. Again the context is equal starting position, not equalizing innate characteristics.

So again, my position on equality is that if all do not start from the same starting line, then one cannot say that all are sorted out by "intelligence, lots of hard work, and a little luck". Now, can you argue against this position, instead of creating a little straw man you can feel strong beating up on?

Why was this provision VEHEMENTLY opposed by liberal groups, it specifically mandates equal opportunity.

If you can bring yourself to avoid logical fallacies, then we can debate whether affirmitive action brings about a more equal starting line, so that folks can sort themselves out according to their own "intelligence, lots of hard work, and a little luck".

O and if you can stop calling anyone who disagrees with you "anti-american", that would help too, after all the ability to rationally disagree is another one of the core principles of the American revolution.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
you support racial discrimination? (1.00 / 1) (#297)
by Godel on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:32:12 AM EST

I obviously, specifically, directly, clearly, was talking about inheriting wealth, not genetics. Again the context is equal starting position, not equalizing innate characteristics.

How can you ever have an exactly equal starting position? A child with 125 IQ has a better starting position than a child with 75 IQ. The only way to have exact equality would be to breed all humans genetically identical from clone banks, raise them by the government, and have the government give them all exactly the same amount of money/housing/etc. The only problem is, no one wants to live in a world like that.

If you can bring yourself to avoid logical fallacies, then we can debate whether affirmitive action brings about a more equal starting line, so that folks can sort themselves out according to their own "intelligence, lots of hard work, and a little luck".

Ok, explain how systematically excluding innocent children from education opportunities based on their race helps bring about equal opportunity. Why should the 18yo asian kid with perfect SAT and 4.0 GPA lose out on the school of his choice to a black kid with 3.3GPA and 1200 SAT?

A wise man once said something about judging people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, with mandatory diversity enforced by quotas, it seems like we're going exactly in the opposite direction. If we're all the same, then why is a group of mixed race more diverse than a group of all asians? I don't understand how on one hand we're all the same regardless of race, then on the other hand, we're so different and wonderful that we need to enforce diversity even when it means racially discriminating against more qualified students.

[ Parent ]

So your America discards that whole equality thing (5.00 / 1) (#303)
by michaelp on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 12:56:41 PM EST

?
So what part of "Again the context is equal starting position, not equalizing innate characteristics." didn't you understand.

Read it again, sound out the words if you have to, ask your wife to help you, and then stop ranting about equalizing innate characteristics in reply to someone talking about equalizing the starting position of people in a contest that is supposed to sort them out by innate characteristics.

Again, the question you keep avoiding is "why do the commies at the Olympics not let rich runners buy a a few laps at the start of the race?"

Ok, explain how systematically excluding innocent children from education opportunities based on their race helps bring about equal opportunity.

The far more common problem in our system is systemactically excluding children based on their economic ability, which prevents them from developing their innate characteristics, so that by the time you get around to measuring their High School GPA and their SAT scores, they are starting the race with a 10 lap penalty.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
so everyone should be equally poor? (1.00 / 1) (#305)
by Godel on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:41:52 PM EST

? So what part of "Again the context is equal starting position, not equalizing innate characteristics." didn't you understand.

Okay, lets be snide. So what part of "innate characteristics are part of your starting position" did you not understand?

Again, the question you keep avoiding is "why do the commies at the Olympics not let rich runners buy a a few laps at the start of the race?"

You seem to be implying that everyone should start off life with exactly the same amount of money, this is not attainable without communism, and it would severely damage society. Why does the married father of 3 bust his butt working 40 hours a day? Because he wants to provide a good life for his children and his grandchildren. He has the right to work, and then pass on the fruits of his labors to his children. The only way we could implement your system of exactly equal starting positions is to confiscate all the money people have when they die and redistribute it. We'd also have to disallow gifts even to relatives to prevent people from getting around this by giving money before they die.

Don't you see how destructive this would be to society? The main reason that many people work is for their kids. I don't really need that much for myself, but since I'm not an "underrepresented minority" I know that I had better not count on my kids getting a scholarship or any other kind of assistance. Therefore I know I need to work my ass off and pay for my kids college education. I want them to be able to have the best I can provide. If I wasnt able to make my kids lives better, I wouldn't even bother working.

By taking away the fruits of peoples' labor you take away the incentive to work. Since life is not a zero sum game, all you wind up doing is making everyone poorer. Sure they're equally poor so I guess your goal is accomplished.

And before you say I'm mischaracterizing your position, how the hell could you get an equal starting position without getting rid of inheritances?

If I work my butt off and make $100,000 why shouldn't I be able to give that to my family?

The far more common problem in our system is systemactically excluding children based on their economic ability, which prevents them from developing their innate characteristics, so that by the time you get around to measuring their High School GPA and their SAT scores, they are starting the race with a 10 lap penalty.

Do you have any support for this? We have compulsory education for every child in the US. Every child that wants to learn is given the opportunity. What is the basis for claiming that poorer children aren't given a chance?

A common fallacy people make, is assuming that because there is a correlation between two things, that one must cause the other. But it is also possible that there is a third thing that causes both of them. In a society that rewards intelligence, it is inevitable that those who are smarter will make more money. It is also inevitable that those who are poor are more likely to be less intelligence. Studies show that intelligence is mostly genetic. (Studies on identical twins show a .80 correlation for IQ on twins raised apart, and .5 or so on fraternal twins raised apart) Therefore, it's entirely possible that poorer kids do worse in school than richer kids because they're just not as bright. Everyone deserves an opportunity, but I'm pointing out, you cant use difference in outcome as proof of discrimination, because its entirely possible those differences are innate. People aren't equal and you can't make them all act alike.

[ Parent ]

So you don't really want a fair contest then? (5.00 / 1) (#307)
by michaelp on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:42:15 PM EST

If I work my butt off and make $1,000,000 why shouldn't I be able to give that to my family?

So you feel that it is ok for rich parents to buy their kids a better place on the starting line, a few laps up?

So if it's ok for parents and grandparents to pass down a better starting position by leaving their wealth, why is it not ok to inherit the right to reparations for crimes done to your parents & their parents?

Seems to me that if you are against one, you should also be against the other, we real Americans want the contest to be a measure of the "intelligence, hard work, and luck" of the individual, right? Or do you now want to change your statement regarding what "real Americans" believe?

Finally, while some mostly discredited pschologists still hold up their mostly discredited twin studies as proving that inheritance explains the largest part of intelligence, try and find a real geneticist (someone who actually works with DNA in the lab) who agrees with them. Maybe something in the EDTA makes them join a vast liberal conspiracy?


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
depends how you define fair (none / 0) (#312)
by Godel on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:56:03 AM EST

So you feel that it is ok for rich parents to buy their kids a better place on the starting line, a few laps up?

Sure. What's the point of working hard if not to provide a better life for your children. I guess the thing is, you think in terms of individuals, I think in terms of families. Does it matter if the wife stays home and raises the children and the husband makes millions? They're a team and they are a family together, not two separate individuals. By the same token, children are part of the parents family, why shouldnt a parent be able to work extra hard to provide more for their children?

If you're so obsessed with everyone being exactly equal, how would you impose this? Would you confiscate everyone's money on death? How would this even work? What if a husband died before the wife, would you take away half their community property? What if the parent died while the kid was halfway through school, would you take away all the money and leave the kid high and dry?

It sounds like the only way to institute your utopian and totally unrealistic idealistic vision would be to forcibly steal money from people who earn it. As far as I'm concerned that makes you no better than a common thief.

So if it's ok for parents and grandparents to pass down a better starting position by leaving their wealth, why is it not ok to inherit the right to reparations for crimes done to your parents & their parents?

I don't support passing on wealth from parents to child because the child necessarily deserves it, but because if you took away parents incentive to work hard and provide a better life for their children, all of society would be worse off, because no one would bother working past a certain point if they knew all their wealth would be taken away when they died and their children couldn't benefit from their work. I would work day and night, breaking my back to make a better life for my kids, but for some obscure goal of creating your idea of a utopian society? No thanks.

The reason we allow parents to pass on their labors to their children is because it gives people more incentive to keep working which in the long run benefits everyone in society. Making innocent children responsible for the actions of parents makes no sense, would you put a child in prison because his father committed murder?

Anyways reparations is just a stupid idea if you're talking about slavery. What about the mexican immigrant who moved here 10 years ago and had no relation to slavery. What about the asian immigrant who had no relation to slavery? What about blacks who owned slaves? What about whites (the majority BTW) who were unrelated to anyone who owned slaves? My ancestors came here in the late 1800s, moved to straight to the midwest and started growing corn, they never even saw a slave.

How far back do you chase this sillyness? Should I be able to sue Italy because my German and English ancestors were enslaved and oppressed by Romans?

Finally, while some mostly discredited pschologists still hold up their mostly discredited twin studies as proving that inheritance explains the largest part of intelligence, try and find a real geneticist (someone who actually works with DNA in the lab) who agrees with them. Maybe something in the EDTA makes them join a vast liberal conspiracy?

Okay pal, if our intelligence isn't determined by genetics, why are we smarter than chimps? Does that mean if you raised a chimp properly it could be just as intelligent as a human? I love your method of just waving away any data you personally disagree with, here's some advice, don't try a career in science.

[ Parent ]

If "all men are created equal" is unAmer (none / 0) (#323)
by michaelp on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:53:04 PM EST

so be it.

Sure. in response to "it's ok for parents to buy their kids a few laps in a race"? Note we weren't talking about toys, we were talking about the supposed contest where Americans prove themselves according to their "intelligence, hard work, and a little luck.

But now you reveal that for you the "American dream" is really about inheriting wealth, and protecting that inheritance, and has nothing to do with proving yourself according to your "intelligence, hard work, and luck". That was of couse the Torry position in the Revolution, the chief property owner being King George, from whom those "Un-American" revolutionaries stole the entire land.

So we see that your charges of "un-Americanism" are really just a smoke screen for your own un American attitudes: your opposition to the very core priniciple of equality, and your dismissal of it as "unrealistic, idealistic" and "utopian". Funny that that very curse was hurled by the kings of europe against those American fools who thought they could build a Republic in 1776.

Okay pal, if our intelligence isn't determined by genetics, why are we smarter than chimps?

You have a real hard time staying in context, don't you? Ok, slowly, sticking within a species, try and find a geneticist (again, these are folks with degrees in biology, not psychology) who agrees with your claim that differences between humans in that o so accurately measured trait "intelligence" are due more to differences between their genes than differences in their environment.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
hardly (none / 0) (#328)
by Godel on Sat Dec 21, 2002 at 12:19:39 AM EST

so the only way you can win an argument is to put words in people's mouths? The american is about giving people freedom and opportunity. An essential part of that freedom is the right to work your butt off to provide a better life for your kids. Hey some people will have lazy, worthless clods for parents, thats life. But if you removed that incentive to work harder and pass on wealth to your kids, you'd just wind up with alot less work getting done, alot less diseases cured, alot less houses built, etc. In short, as a society we'd all be far worse off in your short sighted, jealous, selfish quest to level the playing field, you'd actually wind up setting everyone back.

Your position basically reminds me of an ignorant child bully, who in a jealous rage at seeing the hard working child builds a better sandcastle than him stomps over and destroys all the sand castles. The resulting pile of rubble leaves everyone equal, so what's the problem.

[ Parent ]

human rights (none / 0) (#313)
by Godel on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:05:02 AM EST

Also owning property is a human right. It's every bit as important as every other right, because without the right to earn property, all other rights are meaningless. You can give anyone a gift of your property should you desire. This includes passing on wealth to your children.

The UN even recognizes this right. in the universal declaration of human rights.

Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.



[ Parent ]
"anti-American" ? How-so? (4.00 / 4) (#173)
by The Rizz on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 02:06:32 AM EST

duncan bayne wrote:
support for restrictions on free trade, and publicly funded healthcare [...] What I *am* saying is that those politics are evil, immoral, and anti-American

Are you a troll, or are you actually serious when you say this?
Just exactly how are those political ideas "evil, immoral, and anti-American"?

Are you saying those ideas are anti-American because our government doesn't currently implement them? So is everything that America doesn't currently do anti-American and immoral? In the early 60's would you have been out "teachin' them niggers their place" since the US had no laws for equal rights - so what they were trying to do was clearly anti-American... right?

How is healing the sick immoral? Is it only immoral if they're not rich (poor people don't deserve healthcare)?

How are breaking up oligopolies and stopping abuses of monopolistic power (both examples of restrictions on free trade) "anti-American"? Do you simply beleive that mega-corporations are somehow "better" than everyone else, and don't have to play fair, or are small companies and consumers so far beneath your contempt that you honstely think it's immoral to support them against oppressive trade practices?

As for the "evil" part of the comment, it is so totally ludicrous that I don't even know how to respond... it simply shows your ignorance and blind zealotry for what it is better than anything I could ever say.

--The Rizz

"You know, they say people get the government they deserve, but I don't recall knife-raping any retarded nuns." --The Onion

[ Parent ]

So ? (5.00 / 1) (#176)
by CaptainZapp on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:30:08 AM EST

However, he then goes on to complain about the treatment of someone diametrically opposed to those freedoms.

You're telling me, that a leader of the green party is diametrically opposed to those freedoms and should be harrassed and barred from flying?

I think I stay home, it's safer ...

[ Parent ]

Liberty (4.75 / 4) (#236)
by epepke on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 05:32:02 PM EST

I'm an American, and I support the ideals of freesom of liberty, and I think that it is essential to support the liberty even of those who would deny others liberty (not that supporting health care denies liberty). I'll also support preventing them from getting their wishes. It's the old Nazis in Skokie thing. You have to support the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie. You also have to support the right for other people to laugh their asses off at them.

That having been said, I don't think for a picosecond that the version of the Nancy Oden story is true. For one thing, nobody at any high rank of any minority political movements (and few members of plurality political movements) can resist the temptation to get in people's faces and make complete asses of themselves in order to get publicity, and "I'm being oppressed!" is like a royal flush in that game. The ACLU, which I support, does this all the time. It serves a valuable political purpose, but come on, people--it isn't the end of the world if political prevarication causes you to miss a flight.

For another, consider "When she got to the American Airlines ticket counter she was told that there was a record in AA's computer indicating that she should be searched anytime she tried to fly." This Never Happens Ever. Nobody who works for an airline is ever going to admit such a thing, even if it's true. Furthermore, nobody at a ticket counter is ever going to be notified of such a policy.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Arrant nonsense (1.00 / 1) (#238)
by Eccles on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 07:40:39 PM EST

However, he then goes on to complain about the treatment of someone diametrically opposed to those freedoms. That complaint is justified, but it appears to me that he is implicitly stating his agreement with that opposition; that is, his support for restrictions on free trade, and publicly funded healthcare.

I call bulls---.

Restrictions on free trade? On March 5, 2002 U.S. President Bush imposed tariffs varying from 8 to 30 percent on steel imports to the United States.

Public health care? Dubya signed off on a budget with hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid expenses. The U.S. has publicly funded healthcare, you just have to be over 65 or poor.

The difference between Greens and the majority of Americans' politics is degree, not kind.

But perhaps you're one of those libertarians. The fundamental fallacy of libertarians is not realizing that the U.S. Constitution is fundamentally the same as a country-sized Home-Owners Association. Want to live in this neighborhood? Pay your dues and follow the HOA rules associated with the neighborhood. Don't like the rules? Try to change them or live somewhere else; with few (highly objectionable) exceptions you're free to leave for an alternative.

[ Parent ]
Free speech (5.00 / 1) (#248)
by pseudostatic on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 11:18:16 PM EST

So free speech is only free if we agree with it?

[ Parent ]
I'm glad that I live in Europe (3.00 / 2) (#164)
by QuickFox on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:19:30 PM EST

The land of the free.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
Free (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by bayers on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 11:42:56 AM EST

Yep, Europe is the land of the free as long as you don't belong to the IRA, the Church of Scientology or any number of minority groups.

And yes, Europe's Freedom of Information Act is a shining example to us all.

[ Parent ]
The world needs America to endorse its own ideals (none / 0) (#253)
by QuickFox on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 02:47:32 AM EST

In a way, that's the point.

The comment expresses a great sense of loss. Europe and the US put different priorities on some important rights and principles. Traditionally the US gives freedom a very high priority, it's more or less the basis on which the US is founded. The proud expression "The Land of the Free" stands for something very, very important.

To see this compromised is painful and sad, and it's also deeply worrying. The US and the world need the US to endorse its own ideals.

Behind that comment are the feelings that I expressed more clearly in two comments some time ago: Are you sure you want to renounce your rights? and Stand up, America.


Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
[ Parent ]

War (1.00 / 1) (#257)
by bayers on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 12:15:17 PM EST

What part of 'war' don't you understand? We can make our laws more liberal or restrictive at will. The price is paid in human lives. How about this: we set a threshold. We allow the Islamikazees to kill a hundred US citizens per year. If they kill more, we make the laws more restrictive. If they kill less, we make the laws more liberal. One hundred is an arbitrary number that I picked. You might be comfortable with a higer or lower number. My plan is that I will remember the freedoms we've lost and, once the war is over, I will demand that they are reinstated. Thank God, we have a history of restoring such freedoms once a crisis is over.

[ Parent ]
Serious and risky mistakes (5.00 / 1) (#272)
by QuickFox on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 08:14:53 PM EST

What part of 'war' don't you understand?

If you'd read the comments I linked to you'd see that the things that I feel should be done would not interfere in any way whatsoever with this so-called war effort.

How about this: we set a threshold.

A strawman.

once the war is over, I will demand that they are reinstated.

How would it ever be over, the way this war is waged?

Attacks on a nation usually make the people of the nation unite behind their leaders. You may have noticed that the attacks on the US made the people of the US unite behind your President. Similarly, boycotting and attacking Iraq helps Saddam Hussein get the people of Iraq to unite behind him.

Let me give another example. Just like Americans unite when the US is attacked, the boycotts against Cuba help Castro get the people of Cuba to unite behind him. Cubans are a very proud people, they will not bow to a foreign power. In this they resemble the people of the US. I can't imagine the people of the US bowing to a foreign power either. I know some Cubans who detest Castro with all their heart, but bowing to the US is completely unthinkable, they'll rather suffer hell than bow to a foreign power. For that reason they reluctantly support the regime that they detest. They really do choose hell over bowing. In fact, if the US could only see this they could de-throne Castro quickly with some simple neighborly foreign trade.

Iraq is a very different problem, but on that one point it is similar. When the nation is attacked, the people unite behind their leaders. In the US, in Iraq, Cuba, anywhere.

There are a few notable exceptions, like Afghanistan and the former apartheid regime of South Africa. This happens if the nation is already more or less falling apart. Then a boycott or an attack may help bring about the change. But Iraq does not seem to be falling apart in that way. Of course I may be wrong but there seem to be no indications of that, on the contrary.

And after Iraq, what? Are you Americans aware of how many countries there are in the world? If you want to take on all the corrupt and backward places, how many decades are you ready to wait before demanding your rights back?

Your generation may remember your rights. But will your grandchildren remember them when the time comes?

And how are you to stop the eternal cycle of violence begetting violence? What fantastic miracle cure are you going to use to make people bow down quietly and just accept everything, without even a few dissenters who strike back with violence? That is, with terrorism.

Ironically, with the enormously high costs of war, if instead you spent that same money to buy Iraq, you could buy essential industries etc and get trade going, bringing about essential change, making the country far more modern, far more free of fundamentalism and corruption, educated in freedom, democracy and trade. A development that would beget peace and trade rather than violence.

I feel a deep respect for the US in many ways. But in this so-called war on terrorism I think some very serious and risky mistakes are being made.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
[ Parent ]

Strawman (2.00 / 1) (#301)
by bayers on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 11:31:37 AM EST

How is it a strawman?

It is a very practical solution. It's impossible to reach zero casualties. I don't think we can impose enough restrictions to reach zero casualties. It's better to let the islamikazees kill a few of us per year and keep some of our freedoms.

You ignored my point. The US has a long history of reinstating rights and freedoms after a crisis is over. Why would this crisis be different?

I suppose this argument is more telling about the arguer. If you have faith in the American people, you'll believe that rights will be reinstated. If you don't have faith in the American people, you'll think we'll drift into tyranny, or something like it.

I have faith in the American people.

[ Parent ]
War cannot solve the problem (5.00 / 1) (#306)
by QuickFox on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:54:29 PM EST

How is it a strawman?

Forgive me, I misunderstood. I did not realize that you felt that this was a workable proposition.

I don't think it's workable. The decisions on which freedoms to revoke, and if they should be revoked, and when, must be based on what is deemed to be effective in each situation. You revoke a particular freedom because you believe that that particular restriction will help protect the people, or help find the terrorists, based on the nature and consequences of that particular freedom.

What are the terrorists like? How are they likely to hide? How are they likely to be found? How are they likely to attack? That's what you base your decisions on.

A body count may play some role, but it cannot be the main basis or the main guide of your decisions.

I do agree with you that it's impossible to reach zero casualties. But I think my reasons are different. There's always been terrorism somewhere. Always. I get the impression that American news media give an extremely limited view of what happens in other countries. I think many Americans don't realize how pervasive terrorism has been, always, at least for many decades. The notion that this could somehow be eradicated is fantastic. It's not practical, it's very fantastic. Especially the idea that it could be eradicated through attack, throug military action. It's utterly fantastic and it's difficult to take it seriously.

Sometimes fantastic deeds can be done. But when this happens there is always something radically new or radically different. I don't see anything like that in this so-called war effort.

You ignored my point. The US has a long history of reinstating rights and freedoms after a crisis is over. Why would this crisis be different?

I did not ignore this point, I replied to this particular point by saying that it will take too long.

First I said that the way this so-called war is fought it will take several generations. It will take such a long time that you yourself will not be able to reclaim those rights. If the time ever comes, your grandchildren may no longer remember those rights.

I then went on to say that this war has no end at all, that no end is possible. This means that there is no point in time when the rights can be reclaimed and reinstated. This is because violence begets violence, and there is no fantastic miracle cure that will prevent this, no cure that will make every single person in every enemy country bow down to you. Without a miracle cure, violence will still beget violence. There will always be at least a few individuals who will respond with violence. This violence is called terrorism.

If you have faith in the American people, you'll believe that rights will be reinstated. If you don't have faith in the American people, you'll think we'll drift into tyranny, or something like it.

You are an American who sympathises with the war effort the way it is carried out. If the Americans who hold this view did not have faith in the American people, I'd be very worried indeed.

It's only natural that my view be different. I'm from a tiny country where I enjoy freedoms that I perceive as greater than yours. The changes in your country make me nervous about what may happen in the long run with my freedoms, and generally with freedom around the world.

To argue about my greater freedom I'll refer to your article, which I happened to capture in the queue. I don't need to sue my government to get its secrets because everything is public by default. This includes all the deliberations, all the correspondence, and so on and on, with very few exceptions that are generally related to national security or the privacy of individuals. This goes for all national and local administrations. I have the freedom to be handicapped and mentally retarded and still live almost independent in my own apartment, in a building with several such apartments spread out among other apartments with ordinary people, and one special apartment with personnel to help the handicapped inmates. I have the freedom to be a Jew and not be intimidated by uniformed Nazis harassing me outside my synagogue. I have the freedom to be a Communist.

I do have the right to be a Nazi! I just don't have the right to incite violence or persecution against ethnic groups. All countries have laws against lynchings and such, we just give special protection to ethnic groups. (My description here is a simplification, to keep it short, this is getting far too long anyway.)

I have the right to a fair trial. I have this right even if someone with a grudge should accuse me of terrorism. That is, I have this right as long as the case remains Swedish or European. If the US should get involved I may lose the right to trial. Then I may be punished without cause. This has happened to a few Swedes. Only the US has both the clout and the will to impose such things. Only the US can take away my rights, there is no other way I can lose them, not even my own government can take my rights the way the US can take them.

Note that the government that can take my rights is a government where I have no democratic vote. I'm a subject to a power where I have no democratic say.

This is reason enough to be nervous about what happens to my freedom and to freedom around the world, and reason enough to have some reservations in my faith in the American people.

As you see, I happened to see your article in the queue. I hope you'll correct the flaws that several commenters mentioned and then resubmit (please use edit mode, I recommend you use the full two hours). Although I disagree with you, I think your viewpoint is interesting and may generate an interesting discussion. And the subject is important. Unfortunately it gets tiresome after so much discussion on the same subject, but it really is very important.

Sheesh, I've written so much on this that I might make an article myself. The problem is, I don't really have time for this. *Sigh*

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
[ Parent ]

The US stands for nothing (4.00 / 3) (#169)
by mveloso on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 11:56:45 PM EST

The United States isn't a singular entity, and really can't stand for anything. Heck, even the name is a collective noun.

The US government itself doesn't speak with one voice - the government is a conversation that's ongoing.

What that means, of course, is you can join and make this coversation go where you want, to an extent. If you want to go bananas like Osama, you can change the course of the government, to some extent.

But one thing that hasn't happened is the domino effect/slippery slope sort of thing that people worry about. The US government has had plenty of opportunities to oppress/suppress its own people, and has shown restraint in most cases, because the people generally don't want it.

If that changes, then we're all hosed. Luckily, most people in the government don't consider themselves separate from the citizenry, so it's difficult for them to objectify the citizens and oppress them (they're my neighbors!).

But of course, it never hurts to write things like this either!

I could tell you, but I'd go to jail. (4.66 / 3) (#178)
by opendna on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:47:20 AM EST

Many people seem to overestimate the ability capacity of American government to have a well oiled oppression machine. They're given 1984 in junior high and think that's what high-tech dystopia looks like. Folks, I could tell you all about how the American surveillance society really works - including why some people get searched at airports. I could even tell you how the computer systems work.

But I'd go to jail.

For a long, long time.

By the way, not that I'm suggesting anything relating in any way to anything else on this page, have you seen Terry Gilliam's Brazil? If you haven't see it, you must. No, really. It's important you see this movie. What? You want Moses to come down from the mount with the eleventh commandment that says "go rent Brazil"?



STFU (4.00 / 1) (#210)
by Zara2 on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 01:38:49 PM EST

If you can't actually say anything don't pretend that you have information. If you do have information of our government doing unconstitutional things then publish it. Either way do something or STFU.

[ Parent ]
I think what he's saying is quite clear.... (nt) (4.00 / 1) (#218)
by nowan on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:10:43 PM EST

Especially with the reference to Brazil. I haven't seen it, but I've heard about it.

[ Parent ]
Um (4.00 / 1) (#245)
by carbon on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 10:20:49 PM EST

FYI, putting (nt) in your subject is an indicator that the body contains no text; it's used so that people reading k5 with threaded views dont waste time reading empty comment bodies.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Ur, yeah. (ot) (none / 0) (#315)
by nowan on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 01:10:34 PM EST

I knew that. Honest. I just changed my mind halfway through the post and forgot to change the subject.

[ Parent ]
It's not *unconstitutional*. (5.00 / 1) (#275)
by opendna on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 10:50:15 PM EST

If it was I'd testify to a grand jury. Parts of it may violate FOIA, but it's all exempt anyways.

Really. Rent "Brazil". Or read the screen play.



[ Parent ]

Elections (4.25 / 4) (#181)
by yooden on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 05:08:38 AM EST

take heed of the fact that Adolf Hitler was elected as the leader of his country too.

No. He was appointed by the Reichspräsident, and he was not able to win an election after several weeks of terror against his opponents.

Don't trust ESR on everything he says.


Appointed (5.00 / 1) (#184)
by yooden on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 05:22:37 AM EST

Rereading my comment, I just realized that US Presidents also tend to get appointed, not elected these days. So there.


[ Parent ]
Nazi rise to power... (4.00 / 1) (#217)
by sjeh on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 03:09:09 PM EST

Hitler was finally appointed Chancellor by an (extremely reluctant) President Hindenberg, who incidentally despised the man, as he was the leader of the Nazi Party, which held a huge majority in the Reichstag. Hindenberg in fact tried several other Chancellors first, but none lasted more than a few weeks as they didn't have the support and backing needed. The Nazis won their Reichstag seats in standard elections, so Hitler was in effect elected as leader, albeit indirectly.

[ Parent ]
The Nazi party - biggest? (none / 0) (#233)
by Peaker on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:59:52 PM EST

Then why were two other chancellors tried first?

IIRC, The chancellor was selected of the largest parties.

[ Parent ]

The other chancellors (none / 0) (#235)
by sjeh on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 05:19:22 PM EST

The two other chancellors - von Papen and von Schleicher - were tried first because President Hindenberg absolutely detested Hitler (who had been a corporal in the German army during World War I while Hindenberg was the commanding general...); as a traditionalist he tried as hard as he could to appoint 'aristocratic' friends instead and refused to appoint Hitler for several months despite such an overwhelming Reichstag majority.  In fact, Hitler was only appointed Chancellor after von Papen persuaded Hindenberg: a deal was struck whereby Hitler became Chancellor but von Papen was Vice-Chancellor and there were only 3 Nazis in the cabinet.  Von Papen believed that in this way he'd be able to appeal to Hitler's broad support base while restricting his ability to carry out his more radical ideas.

He was wrong.

[ Parent ]

Re: Nazi rise to power... (none / 0) (#241)
by yooden on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 08:50:29 PM EST

Hitler was appointed by the Weimar version of the Kaiser, and his majority was not huge, because it didn't exist. (As I said, Nazi didn't even get the majority of votes after the Machtergreifung.)

He was elected to power, but only by a small minority of one person.

[ Parent ]

This page I found seems to explain it clearly (none / 0) (#237)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 05:36:06 PM EST

The real situation seems to be rather more complex than I or anyone here seems to think, but does seem to make it clear that Hitler's rise to power was compliant with what passed for the Weimar Republic's constitutional processes, which were democratic in a technical sense but only weakly so:

Hitler got appointed Chancellor as a result of backroom deals and no small amount of murder and other violence. But his appointment was consistent with the German constitution. The rise of the Nazi dictatorship, however, does seem to have been the result of elections that gave the Reichstag coalition headed by the Nazis the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution..

Suspension of Democracy in Germany was itself carried out by a democratic process.

The page concludes with this ominous note:

History reminds us that there is actually a spectrum of democracies, with strong democracies on one end, and weak democracies on the other. To the extent that democracies fail, it is because the will of the people is not being carried out. The U.S. offers this lesson itself. Blacks were forbidden to vote until 1870; women until 1920; poll-tax debtors until 1964; illiterates until 1965, young people until 1971. And how the U.S. treats its minorities today, as compared to 200 years ago, is like night and day. One remarkable fact remains: where there is a failure of democracy, there is usually a lack of democracy.

While different in degree, I don't feel that the process that got George W. Bush placed into power is different in substance than that which got Hitler placed into power.

Quite aside from what the Supreme Court had to say, and whether that was a legitimate decision, there is the question of the large number of black florida residents who were illegally prevented from voting. The disenfranchised voters were overwhelmingly Democratic Party members; my understanding is that enough of them were prevented from voting that even without considering the disputed ballots, Clinton would have carried Florida had the law not been broken.

A google search for hitler elected will find more material on this topic.

I will concede that my statement is inaccurate and ought to be rewritten, but I don't think it is so far off the truth as to be misleading. Hitler used the constitutional process of his democratic country to establish his dictatorship, but it was a more complicated thing than just getting voted into office.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Hitler and Stuff (none / 0) (#244)
by yooden on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 10:06:25 PM EST

But his appointment was consistent with the German constitution.

I heard that the jury is still out on that, but that is a purely legal discussion.
Whatever, I never claimed it was unconstitutional. The Weimarer Verfassung however was fatally flawed and contained at least one undemocratic element.

The rise of the Nazi dictatorship, however, does seem to have been the result of elections that gave the Reichstag coalition headed by the Nazis the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution..

The text says something different:

  • He needed the Zentrum's votes, and he only got them through some deals with the Pope.
  • This wasn't an election in any useful sense of the word. Opponents were threatened and killed.
Suspension of Democracy in Germany was itself carried out by a democratic process.

No. Legal, maybe, but certainly not democratic.

While different in degree, I don't feel that the process that got George W. Bush placed into power is different in substance than that which got Hitler placed into power.

Oh, I wouldn't be to worried about the process, it's also only legal stuff (which is important, but ultimately not essential). I am worried however about his obvious disregard for ideas put forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and even more about the fact that most Merkins don't seem to mind.

Note also that the stuff about the disenfranchised voters would mean that Bush was, unlike Hitler, very much outside the law. I still don't think that US democracy is doomed (threatened, yes).

I will concede that my statement is inaccurate and ought to be rewritten, but I don't think it is so far off the truth as to be misleading.

It's totally wrong: Not elections (= democracy) are the problem, but the people's willingness to accept crap in a legal wrapper. It gets dangerous as soon as democracy ends.

Hitler used the constitutional process of his democratic country to establish his dictatorship, but it was a more complicated thing than just getting voted into office.

I think that's a crucial point: We don't need to watch out for obscure legal loopholes, but for people willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals, and for the indifference protecting them.
(As The Guide says: Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.)





[ Parent ]
Before I get too worked up (4.80 / 5) (#230)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:33:19 PM EST

Before I get too worked up about what allegedly happened to Ms. Oden I would have to be confident of several things:

1) What Ms. Oden alleges happened is factually accurate.

I'm reminded of the old adage that there are 3 sides to every story... my side, your side and the truth. While I have absolutely no reason to doubt Ms. Odens word, no one has been given the opportunity to hear the accounts of the other people involved in the incident. It would be very imprudent to jump to rash conclusions about the current state of affairs when only hearing 1 side of the story (without any corroborating evidence). In fact it would be the same kind of knee jerk reaction that our public officials seem to love to indulge in.

2) This is a more then just an isolated incident of one petty official (national guardsman, airport security chief) abusing their authority.

While if Ms Oden's account is factually true, it would not be first time that some-one in authority misused their position to further their own agenda. We seem to forget that the government is made up of people just like us.... and just like us those people come in all shapes and flavors. Just like the retail store manager who refuses to process a legitimate refund because they don't like the color of your hair.... individuals in government positions can be equally petty in the exercise of their authority. The consolation to that is if such behavior is habitual eventually the offender invariably gets caught and held accountable.

If such activity were systematic (i.e. it becomes an official or unofficial policy supported by the people with oversight authority) then it becomes very troubling indeed.

3)If Ms. Oden was unable to obtain a remedy from the courts for this situation. The Executive Branch is not and should not be the final arbiter of authority in this country. The government whether through overzealousness or callow self interest has upon occasion over stepped the bounds of the powers legitimately entrusted to it more then once in this countries history. When that happens, honest citizens do have a recourse available to them... to place their case before the courts and a jury of their peers.

Unfortunately the justice system does tend to be remarkably slow... and imperfect itself. But things only start to get truly worrying when an average citizen is denied this opportunity for redress.

Don't get me wrong. I think the governments response to terrorism has been a knee jerk one. That's not atypical for politicians these days... particularly when driven by a media that tends to drive itself rabid with over sensationalism.

I do think there are some very disturbing aspects to the Patriot Act and other responses by the government. Likely in part they are due to honest overzealousness and in part using the crisis as an excuse to further callow self-interests (of the
"having these powers really makes my job much easier even though there are good reasons I shouldn't have them" variety rather then the Orwellian variety)

In short there certainly are some things about the current state of affairs and it will affect how I vote in the next election... and I've even written a letter or 2 to my local congress critter.
However, I don't think there is any call to go around yelling that the sky is falling, making comparisons to 1933 Germany or making plans to emigrate. Those are just as much a knee jerk reaction as any the politicians and media have made.

When you take a clam, reasoned approach and examine all the facts before jumping to a conclusion things don't look nearly as dire as they are made out to be.


Further research shows... (3.00 / 4) (#286)
by ke4roh on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 02:13:06 PM EST

...that Oden was "uncooperative during the screening process." Indeed even Green party leaders can prevaricate to further their goals.

[ Parent ]
Nancy Oden ... (4.00 / 1) (#318)
by radicalsubversiv on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:36:17 PM EST

is the leader of a smal outfit called the Green Party USA, which is a historical remnant of an internal party division that's mostly closed now. The FEC-recognized Green Party of the United States represents the overwhelmingly majority of Greens in the United States -- (39 state parties and hundreds of thousands of registrants, to the GPUSA's 4 affiliated states)

Today, the Green Party USA is controlled by an odd political clique which seems to relish their continued control of the greenparty.org domain name. Oden in particular has a reputation in Green circles for being more than a tad hysterical.

[ Parent ]

Nader's ousting at the FOX NEWS pres. debates. (3.33 / 3) (#239)
by purephase on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 08:19:23 PM EST

Excerpt from "Crashing the Party" by Ralph Nader. Presidential candidate for the Green Pary in the 2000 presidential race. This is in reference to his attending the first full 90-minute presidential debate hosted by Fox News.

Upon arriving at the studio...

"Instead of Fox News reps, we were met by a man who, escorted by a state trooper and two other men in police uniforms, claimed to be representing the Commission on Presidential Debates. He said he had been instructed by the Commission that regardless of whether I had a ticket, I was not welcome and would have to leave."

So, anyone with the opinion that the Green Party is not facing undue hardship in their efforts to bring important issues (to American's, and people around the world) to the forefront, should re-evaluate this opinion.

The latest (and definately not the last) mistreatment of Ms. Oden is no different than either one of the two-party strangleholds' representative's ripping up your ballot.

This is not the country our founding fathers (3.00 / 3) (#255)
by Orion Blastar on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 09:51:06 AM EST

have created, it is a mockey. Full of curroption, and controlled by the MegaCorps. Politicians are just puppets for the MegaCorps who really run this country and contribute to campaign contributions to get the power they need to get laws passed in their favor.

This is Supposed to be a Government by the people, for the people and of the people. Not the MegaCorps!

Welcome to McUSA, would you like to try our McPresident, how about a McSenator, or a McRepresentative, or a McGovernor? Would you like fries with that?
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***

don't McListen to him (3.00 / 1) (#278)
by Orian Blastor on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 12:41:08 AM EST

he is a mockery in himself. Of what, I don't know, but I'll think of something.

We continually exist to seamlessly integrate virtual solutions in order that we may enthusiastically integrate business services in order to solve business problems.
[ Parent ]

I'm impressed. (5.00 / 4) (#258)
by mguercio on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 12:37:04 PM EST

I'm a Canadian. I consider myself patriotic. What I have seen in this article and the following comments, is the kind of wisdom that has created your country. I love my country, I love your country. I just don't love what the many people with power in our countries do. I feel that freedom is very important in both of our countries, but freedom to do what. If it's freedom to do some invasive act on a person(s) or country(s), then it is purely unjust. Even if it causes no harm, and regardless of who is doing it. If a government does something to oppress its' people, and regardless of how patriotic they make it sound; it is literally treason. The citizens of your country ARE you country. Right from the words of your constitution "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.". I may not have that line correct and I appologize, but I am Canadian. Anyways, you get the point. Don't let anyone tell you what your sense of patriotism should be. It's written in black and white. From your Northern Brother.
The definition of "high achievment" is not the wisdom that you have attained yourself, but the wisdom you can share with others.
Question of Importance (4.00 / 1) (#269)
by levsen on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 04:52:17 PM EST

What is the situation in the US really like? Here in Europe, we're only getting what's on TV or k5 or what. k5 may be better than TV, and TV in Europe better than TV in the US, but when I was in the US back then for the dot-com-boom, I still found out that the situation was different from what I thought and I was not as well informed as I thought I was. Because when you actually live there, day to day, what the frickin government does is not important. The government in the US is much less important than in Europe's more socialist and centrally organized countries. In the US, if you have enough money, you live your life, period. I was there when George W. got "elected", and people around me, even in San Francisco, which counts as more left-wing than the rest of the US, just didn't care.

People who watch CNN are considered ignorant idiots that are prone to brainwashing by people who read k5, but those CNN watchers in turn regard k5 readers as snobbish intellectuals who attach great meaning to whether Shakespeare had a ghostwriter. So just because it's on k5 doesn't mean it's important and just because CNN doesn't talk about it doesn't mean there is censorship at work.

So my question for you is how much different is your life is REALLY now than before the Incident. While I assume that no one reading here has been hassled at an airport like that Green party person or otherwise actively suffered from repression, I am at least interested about whether and how people's perceptions and awareness have changed and whether this stuff is having higher priorities now than before. Have people started talking about politics at lunch? Are your children now getting different messages from teachers at school? Did anyone go to check what the parallels are to the Third Reich? Or is the creation of the Homeland Security Office just something that is eagerly snapped up for discussion because the issue of Shakespeare's ghostwriter has rather been discussed to exhaustion.


This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.

Yeah (1.00 / 2) (#295)
by delmoi on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 03:49:46 AM EST

None of this is affecting anyone's day to day life. It's just annoying.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Money, Day To Day. (4.00 / 3) (#296)
by kaibutsu on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:57:44 AM EST

Three points.

First, the day to day life of Americans may not be directly affected by this. It is true that we don't have the military on the streets shooting people for not wearing a special yellow star (yet?). However, the effect of this governmental crisis on American life is still enormous. America is suffering from enormous problems in health care and education, and a $50 billion increase in the U.S. military budget is only going to make these problems (and many more like them) worse.

Second, it is true that very few of us are actively oppressed by the U.S. government. However, even if the dissenting opinion comes from a very few, that does not make it right to destroy those who issue it. The American government has a long record of crushing those resistant to its aims; this reduces the amount of dissent that the American public is exposed to, and furthermore makes them feel that it is hopeless of useless to resist the popular opinion.

Third, there is a very telling statement in your post: "In the US, if you have enough money, you live your life, period." There is a huge wealth gap in the U.S., which is covered up by the media focus on the middle and upper classes. Certainly, having a great deal of money makes it very easy to get out of most unfriendly situations with the government. Having money s a way of proving that you are friendly to the established system, after all. But when the upper 1% of the nation commands some 40% of the wealth, and when some 30%+ of the nation is below the poverty line, there's a very good chance that the average man on the street isn't going to benefit from the blessing of money.

So maybe that helps explain why all of this matters, or (at the very least) why I think it's still important to speak out on these issues.
-kaibutsu
[ Parent ]

Wrong answer (none / 0) (#302)
by levsen on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 12:26:34 PM EST

It's true that there are problems of poverty etc. in the US, but it seemed to me, that people are complaining about civil rights etc. whether they have money or not. It's a wild guess, but I suppose that Green party woman had money as well as the poster of the original article, and they weren't concerned with the poor either. Please show the link between poverty and suppression of civil rights. The poverty was there before 9/11. It may be true that some more money for the military might be some less for the poor, but that's not what everybody is concerned about primarily, is it?
This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
[ Parent ]
poerty and democracy (none / 0) (#311)
by kaibutsu on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:25:41 AM EST

No, the fact that an increased military budget implies a smaller domestic budget isn't what's on everyone's minds.  I believe it should be, though, as a strike against our domestic programs is a strike against the American people.  If knowledge is, indeed, power, then an impovershed American school system can lead only to a powerless people.

Money and civil rights.  Right.  I think any half-balanced look at american judicial history will reveal that the courts favor the monied.  Examples: railroading of blacks during the sixties, racial profiling during the present day, a major suit against the Rockefeller corporation resulting in a ten dollar fine. (these are off the top of my head.)  The simple fact is that (wynona rider aside), a judge is going to be more lenient on a person with a steady job and a couple of mortgages that a person who can give no assurance that he's not going to be holding up gas stations as his primary source of income.  This, though, is only the most extreme example.

The middle class, which would seem to be a monied people, are also at a civil disadvantage against those with greater economic leverage.  Simple illustration: whose voice is it that we hear on the telly, and who is it that runs the presses?  Who buys the commercials, the middle class consumer or the multinational corporation?  The guys with the money don't have to worry about civil rights, because they're ability to speak isn't going to be impaired by these legal abridgements that favor them in the first place (RIAA and DMCA springs to mind).  The middle class man, on the other hand, has fewer places where he can speak, fewer people who will listen to him, and when the government wants to abridge his ability even further, he will be angered.

Maybe this sounds paranoid, like something out of the pages of adbusters or something.  All the ingredients are here: civil rights, evil corporations, the military industrial complex.  But I implore you to listen.  These laws DO affect us, even if not often as directly as they have this woman from the Green Party.  Even if you aren't actively speaking against the government, the people who are are going to get shafted, and you'll find yourself soon living in a country where all of the artists have either sold out or put themselves in voluntary exile.  And even if you don't mind that, then you should think about whether this constantly increasing military budget shouldn't be used for something better, something more lasting than Osama Bin Laden's head.
-kaibutsu
[ Parent ]

Pretty much no difference (none / 0) (#300)
by BCoates on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:18:28 AM EST

A few more flags around, but if I woke up in 1999 I probably wouldn't notice for a while.

--
Benjamin Coates

[ Parent ]

All appears normal... (none / 0) (#308)
by YelM3 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:18:03 AM EST

Things don't seem to have changed much day-to-day. I go to a very liberal, progressive university, and while there have been a few large protests and gatherings, and a lot of anti-Bush/anti-War/pro-Freedom sentiment, there has not been massive unrest or huge protests like were seen here in the 1960s.

Basically, people are still in shock from 9/11 to some extent. People are scared, this wasn't supposed to happen in the US. (However, I firmly believe that the news media is more to blame for this fear than the terrorists.) Since they are scared, they are much more willing to listen to the authorities. They are generally hostile to anyone who disagrees with Dubya. To the rest of us, this is at least as terrifying as the bombings in New York. America was founded on the principle that the people must constantly challenge the government in order to uphold their freedoms. But now people are scared to disagree.

I can see it changing though, slowly. There is more and more on TV lately questioning Bush, especially about the Iraq "issue." (I saw one TV show call it a "crisis" yesterday!) I'm not sure how the rest of the world views it, but the media here in the States genuinely seems to believe that invading Iraq is a legitimate next step in the so-called War on Terror. Again, to many US citizens this is both ridiculous and disgusting. But it is very hard for people in America to be heard against the roar of the television sets.

One thing that has changed since the attacks is this: the news media in this country is now a joke. Journalistic integrity is a thing of the past. America is a culture of fear, and the multi-billion dollar Media companies are perpetuating this fear to their advantage, and to everyone elses's demise.

Reading posts on K5 over the last few weeks and months, I at least know that I am not the only American who is scared shitless.

[ Parent ]

Unlawful Secret Detention of Immigrants (5.00 / 3) (#310)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:44:46 AM EST

For a few residents of the U.S., things have changed dramatically and disastrously. This is the sort of thing I worry about most. While I do worry that unlawful detentions could happen to more people, what I worry about most those who are already in un-Constitutional imprisonment.

Right after September 11th, about a thousand of the "usual suspects" were rounded up and imprisoned either as "material witnesses" or detained on immigration violations that in many cases amount to minor technicalities.

They were detained in secret. Their names were not announced. They were not allowed to contact their families, or in many cases, were not allowed even to contact their attorneys.

The Feds say that this secrecy is necessary to avoid tipping off Al Qaida about what government investigators know about terrorist activities. But surely if any of these people really are terrorists, Al Qaida would have been the first to know because their fellow terrorists have disappeared.

In many cases there is no substantive evidence that the detainees really are terrorists, or that those held as material witnesses really have any information that could really be used to help catch any terrorists.

The Constitution guarantees the right to a speedy trial, but most of the unlawful detainees have been in lockup for over a year.

I think this is an outrage. I think this is the most shining example of what people mean when they say that the actions of the U.S. government means the terrorists have already won.

Many of those unlawfully detained have been deported. But I understand that something like 140 are still held in secret.

That is a gross violation of the Constitution. It is a gross violation of everything the United States of America has ever stood for.

The ACLU is suing to force the publication of the names of the detainees, and to require that their immigration hearings are open to the public so that they can be monitored for official violations of the law. They have had some favorable court rulings, but the decisions have been overturned on appeal. Read some ACLU press releases about it.

While the Constitution gives more rights to citizens than to non-citizen visitors (such as the right to vote), immigrants and visitors still have Constitutional rights. If they can do this to immigrants, they can do it to you and me too.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

On speaking out... (4.50 / 2) (#279)
by DigDug on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 04:26:35 AM EST

Don't forget the most obvious way of speaking out -- when communicating with people on a personal level. Be sincere and honest, and you will do a lot more talking to one person than you would have by handing out a thousand leaflets.

How You Can Help (5.00 / 3) (#294)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 10:12:58 PM EST

Do you think that what I wrote in this essay is important for others to read? Here's how you can help:

Please link to one of the copies of the essay from your own web pages, or post links to either of them from your comments in online community forums. The two URLs available so far are:

The advantage of the K5 link is that new people could participate in the discussion as well as read the comments that have already been posted.

The advantage of linking to the copy at my site, though, is that I will soon update it to address some of the criticisms that have been posted here.

For example, quite a few folks seem skeptical of Nancy Oden's story. But quite aside from whether she was being cooperative or telling the truth or whether the security guard was violating her rights, I have read about the airline watch list she found herself on elsewhere. And it's the experience of people that are on the list that they got that way because they spoke out in ways that are unacceptable to the current administration, not because they represented any credible threat of terrorism.

There are people working to try to force the government to destroy that database. So I expect I can find some independent report of it that confirms what I wrote about Oden's experience and then post it in my original copy.

Another thing you can do is to note the license stated in the copyright and make your own copy of the essay. It would be best if you put it somewhere where people are likely to find it who haven't read it here or at my site. I would be grateful if you'd send me a link, but you don't have to.

You could also print it out and staple it to community bulletin boards.

The HTML markup in my copy is deliberately very plain and simple in order to encourage easy copying. It's not that I'm a lame web designer! Or not just that anyway.

Finally, if you speak another language fluently, I ask you to translate it into a foreign language and give me a copy. You might think that's overly US-centric to think that people in other countries are going to want to read it, but I actually got the idea from a German woman who wrote me a while back to ask permission to translate it into her language. She wanted those of her countrymen who could not read English to be able to read it too.

You may say the US is just one country of many but I think people in other countries have good reason to be concerned about what goes on here. If people in the US are no longer able to work for legitimate political change without fear of reprisal, then the United States will likely become a far more unpleasant global citizen than it is today.

And finally - you can help even more by speaking out. Write your own essays. Post stuff to community forums like what this guy said. Say stuff that's going to get people worked up, because people will finally decide to try to change things if they get upset enough.

It helps if you are able to speak in a calm and reasoned manner as I tried to do, because you will be able to discredit those who say your position is only held by the paranoid. But there is also a place for just raising hell like the above gentleman did on slashdot yesterday.

Thank you for your attention.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Old news but getting worse (1.50 / 4) (#304)
by snowcold on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:06:54 PM EST

Green Party members singled out! what a surreal world we live in now. Harrassment in airports used to be reserved only to the people dangerous to the establishment, now they are really going paranoid.

Perhaps what worries them is that since they are politically active they may come across a really dangerous website and join us.

---
Freedom is not free; free men are not equal; and equal men are not free.

[ Parent ]

Scary US americans (none / 0) (#316)
by Fred_A on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 01:11:05 PM EST

Frankly, to me as a European, this :
In the first grade, I attended a school run by the U.S. Navy in Gaeta, Italy, where my father was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Springfield. Each day when we started school we sang patriotic songs and said the Pledge of Allegiance. We were told that America stood for freedom and democracy and justice.
is at least as scary as the rest of the story.
Brainwashing at its best...

Fred in Paris

Illogical premise (none / 0) (#317)
by anansi on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:32:53 PM EST

I sneeze whenever anyone puts the concept of a nation together with the concept of love. It's just silly, from a certain rational point of view that I sometimes am able to sustain for minutes at a time.

A nation can ask for, even demand your love, but it can never love you back in any real way. It can demand sacrifice and use language of love to justify the costs, but its payback will never be as great as what you spend.

I think it's in the same catagory as extending human rights to artificial (corporate) persons. We invent human rights because individual humans can be abused by larger institutions. Insisting that larger institutions need protections from individuals seems... risky...

I have a lot of complex. confusing emotions about what it means to be an american. Some of it is legitimate appreciation for a genuinely survival-positive meme-set. Other parts are an embarrassed appreciation of being the beneficiary of an empire.

I do cathect with some american icons and ideals, but if I love america, it could only be in that ambivalent, love/hate way that the adult child of an alchoholic might love their disfunctional family.

Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"

I guess so? (none / 0) (#322)
by mguercio on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:15:12 PM EST

See, that's why the economy is in the crapper. It's selfish people that try to get "ahead" of everyone and then complain that the economy is going for a dive. Little do they know it is they themselves that did it. Maybe we could all learn something from Hederites, they seem to get it right.
The definition of "high achievment" is not the wisdom that you have attained yourself, but the wisdom you can share with others.
[ Parent ]
Thank You (4.00 / 1) (#319)
by artsygeek on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:07:41 PM EST

Thank You for writing this...I'm grateful that there are other patriots willing to involve themselves in this.

Is This the America I Love? | 329 comments (278 topical, 51 editorial, 0 hidden)
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