Liberty for All

From Slashdot – U.S. House Votes to Extend Patriot Act

Re:Allow me to be the first (Score:5, Interesting)
by Mattcelt (454751) <slashdot AT moreilly DOT com> on Friday July 22, @05:31AM (#13133439)

I wrote about this a while ago. Here’s the text:

“If you haven’t done anything wrong, what do you have to hide?”

Ever heard that one? I work in information security, so I have heard it more than my fair share. I’ve always hated that reasoning, because I am a little bit paranoid by nature, something which serves me very well in my profession. So my standard response to people who have asked that question near me has been “because I’m paranoid.” But that doesn’t usually help, since most people who would ask that question see paranoia as a bad thing to begin with. So for a long time I’ve been trying to come up with a valid, reasoned, and intelligent answer which shoots the holes in the flawed logic that need to be there.

And someone unknowingly provided me with just that answer today. In a conversation about hunting, somebody posted this about prey animals and hunters:
“Yeah! Hunters don’t kill the *innocent* animals – they look for the shifty-eyed ones that are probably the criminal element of their species!”
but in a brilliant (and very funny) retort, someone else said:
“If the’re not guilty, why are they running?”

Suddenly it made sense, that nagging thing in the back of my head. The logical reason why a reasonable dose of paranoia is healthy. Because it’s one thing to be afraid of the TRUTH. People who commit murder or otherwise deprive others of their Natural Rights are afraid of the TRUTH, because it is the light of TRUTH that will help bring them to justice.

But it’s another thing entirely to be afraid of hunters. And all too often, the hunters are the ones proclaiming to be looking for TRUTH. But they are more concerned with removing any obstactles to finding the TRUTH, even when that means bulldozing over people’s rights (the right to privacy, the right to anonymity) in their quest for it. And sadly, these people often cannot tell the difference between the appearance of TRUTH and TRUTH itself. And these, the ones who are so convinced they have found the TRUTH that they stop looking for it, are some of the worst oppressors of Natural Rights the world has ever known.

They are the hunters, and it is right and good for the prey to be afraid of the hunters, and to run away from them. Do not be fooled when a hunter says “why are you running from me if you have nothing to hide?” Because having something to hide is not the only reason to be hiding something.

Re:Scoreboard (Score:5, Insightful)
by demachina (71715) on Friday July 22, @12:50AM (#13132429)

I’m of the school that this, the war in Iraq, Republican control of every branch of the government, restacking the Supreme court is the greatest thing to happen for democracy and civil liberties in the U.S. in at least 30-40 years.

You see for things to get better they have to get worse, much worse. The problem with America is its government is rotten to the foundation and the American people are completely indifferent and complacent. They ping pong between Republicans and Democrats seeking the lesser evil but finding neither is a lesser evil.

What America needs is a quagmire of a war or two where a lot of their children, friends and neighbors get killed an maimed, one with a draft would be best. What America needs is a newer, bigger Watergate where its exposed that the party in power is abusing its power to hold and expand its power so its becomes obvious we are in velvet gloved dictatorship under a facade of Democracy. We need the FBI and CIA to get even more out of control than they are, presumably after another 9/11 scale attack in the U.S and start rounding up people on a larger scale, torturing them, etc. We need a McCarthyist witch hunt like we got the last time the Republican’s held power in Congress, and have it so sicken ordinary people that they will come to their senses and throw out anyone who have so completely lost sight of what our Constitution is supposed to stand for.

We need for this U.S. to turn in to a real police state, for all civil liberties to be eviscerated because its the only way the average American will remember that they had value, why they had value and why they were worth fighting for. American’s have had it to easy for to long. They need to experience an old fashioned police state close up so they will remember why they are bad.

The goal is get enough people so disgusted with the status quo they will unite against both parties and start a movement for people and against power brokers, much like the Progressive movement was at the dawn of the 20th century. It could work but not with a bunch of lazy complacent people who could care less if they are living in a velvet gloved police state. That kind of people deserve to live in a police state and would probably be to ignorant to even notice.

To go off on a tangent there was an interesting comment on Charlie Rose recently about the Roberts nomination to the Supreme Court. The worst thing that could happen to the Republicans is for them to stack the court with far right idealogues who will overturn Roe V. Wade. Why because women who used to be 15-20% points for the Democrats and are now split 50-50 and giving the Republicans their power mow. If a Republican stacked supreme court takes away the right to abortion and sentances women to unwanted pregnancies they will turn on the Republicans in droves and drive them out of power. For things to get better they need to get worse.

Re:Scoreboard (Score:4, Insightful)
by demachina (71715) on Friday July 22, @11:36AM (#13135728)

You are unfortunatley mistaken. Civil liberties have already been savaged, it just that is been done quite selectively so most people don’t notice or care, because its only happening to Muslims. Most people aren’t muslims. When the Bush administration declared Jose Padilla, an American citizen, an enemy combatant, locked him up apparently for life in solitary with no lawyer, no trial or access to his family they set a precedent. If they can do it to him they can do it to anyone. If that precedent stands the chief executive can strip anyone of ALL their civili liberties, you included. We are just at the mercy of his good will that he doesn’t do it on a wide scale. The Supreme court has chided the White House for it, and said “dont do that”, but fact is he is still in jail with no trial and the precedent stands. Chances are he isn’t the only one, there are probably others but we don’t even now their names. When your government makes people disappear you know you are in a police state just like all the one the U.S. supported in Central and South America, like Pinochet’s.

When U.S. authorities snatched a Canadian citizen out of an airport who had the misfortune to connect through New York on the way home (didn’t even really stop in the U.S.) and sent him to Syria to be tortured they set a precedent that they can snatch anyone, anyplace and do anything they want to them. In fact under a project code named Rendition they’ve been doing just that. They’ve been snatching people all over the world, under the noses and against the wishes of sovereign governments, and sending them to be tortured. The U.S. government just has to have a suspicion you might be a terrorist and your civil liberties are gone. They don’t even have to be right, you can be completley innocent since there is no trial here.

Perhaps saying more American’s need to die in Iraq was a bit jarring. But thats what it took during the Vietnam era to wake America up, Americans coming home in body bags and without limbs. Ideally the people dieing in Iraq should be the people that started that war based on a web of lies, but chicken hawks are really adept at sending others to die for them while they stay safe, and reap the wealth and power that flows from war profiteering.

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