Old 22nd December 2005, 23:32   #41
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Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
So actually it may be that PETA is considered a terorist orgainzation, or more likely some more militant animal rights organization that shares some members with PETA, since you only need to be suspected of associating with "terrorists" to be a target. When you consider the implications, it's pretty much a blank check to spy on anyone.
PETA has been involved in violence, such as tossing blood on people wearing fur etc. They are radicals and bear scrutiny.

As far as anti war protesters mentioned and investigated. Who would have expected Tim McVey, US marine to go crazy and blow up a federal building.

When you stand in public and jump up and down and wave signs and block traffic, that means you're a nut. There is no right to anonymity, especially when you make a spectacle out of yourself.

I think it's probably a good idea to keep an eye on radicals. If we do find domestic terrorists, it's likely they would come from these groups.

Cursory examination of the principals of organised anti-war groups is probably a good idea. If they are altruistic defenders of peace, that fine. If not, then at least we know that.

So when you get yourself on the 6 oclock news for jumping up and down, expect to have someone make sure you are not a threat to public safety.
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Old 22nd December 2005, 23:45   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
As far as anti war protesters mentioned and investigated. Who would have expected Tim McVey, US marine to go crazy and blow up a federal building.
Yes, I suppose we do have to remember byproducts of our government's military training. They trained him to be a nutcase and they got what they wanted.

PETA, well, yes - they're fruitcakes too. But again this spying was, according to Dick(head) Cheney always fit one criteria - there was always supposedly an international terrorism connection in some way. McVeigh was homegrown and involved two stupid Americans and PETA's investigation involved no international contacts.

It's the same as saying we should allow eavesdropping to stop meth cooks and dealers while at the same time the government refuses to pass a law to make it harder to get the ingredients to make meth. The FBI, CIA and NSA failed on 9-11 so because of their failure to be able to communicate properly with each other we must all sacrifice our personal liberties. Sorry, but that's still not going to help them communicate with each other any better than it did before 9-11.

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Old 23rd December 2005, 00:33   #43
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Holy crap... you're missing the point by miles as usual.

I've never heard of anybody throwing blood at someone wearing a fur coat, just red paint. Regardless, I'm not for one minute questioning whether that's a crime. It's willful destruction of property at the very least. If your conscience dictates that such vandalism is a moral act, that's your choice, but the law dictates prosecution, and you should expect to be prosecuted. I tend to think that people who wear fur are jerks, but if I'm on your jury, you can expect me to vote guilty. Of course, it's a crime-- but it's not terrorism!

Whether actual terrorism justifies putting aside constitutional protections is an issue that right now I don't feel comfortable arguing either way-- but this isn't terrorism. It doesn't justify surveillance without a warrant, or any other violation of due process.

McVeigh was a member of a paramilitary organization. Go ahead and spy on them, but why can't you get a warrant? Same with PETA, if they're really breaking the law.

If you can spy on anybody without telling anyone, the potential for abuse is staggering. Maybe I don't trust Bush with that power, and you don't trust Clinton... but the constitution is supposed to guarantee that neither one of us has to trust any part of the government with unchecked power, no matter who is in office.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:34   #44
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Let's assume that the Soviet Republic won the cold war earning the tag lone superpower. After which, they start to push on other countries Communism. They invade countries in Europe for having anti-communistic beliefs and have seen terrorist attacks on Moscow from a few of these country's patriots. Having invaded these countries, occupation begins while they await communist rule to be implemented.
Where would you find yourself allied?
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Old 23rd December 2005, 15:01   #45
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Say, this is a digression, but did we really win the cold war? I mean, think about it. China is still nominally a Communist country, and China is on our asses, big time. I'm sitting here in an easy chair with my broken ankle up on a table, and I bet that without getting up, I could put my hand on something that was manufactured in China.

(At this point, I turn over the Miocrosoft wireless keyboard on my lap... and sure enough, there it is: "Made in China".)

But if we really won the cold war, what I'd like to know is: what good did it do us? Are we feeling safer? As our dubiously elected (albeit somewhat less dubiously re-elected) president attempts to seize unlimited surveillance powers, are our freedoms more secure?

It's a legitamte question to be asking, since so much of what we're experienceing now is blowback from our machinations in the Cold War.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 15:16   #46
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Today, China's about as communist as Ayn Rand.


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Old 23rd December 2005, 16:02   #47
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Arguably so, in terms of economics, but politically, it's sill as totalitarian as ever, isn't it?
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Old 23rd December 2005, 16:27   #48
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Well, that's totalitarian, not communism.

Anytime there's economic freedom, other freedoms will marginally increase. I wouldn't say that they're totalitarian, but it's still a Oligarchy.


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Old 23rd December 2005, 16:52   #49
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I'm not ready to disagree with you yet, but does the Chinese government still refer to itself as Communist, and if so, wouldn't you say that their definition of Communism is as least as important in the overall scheme of things as yours and mine? The definition of communism may be subject to change, like the definition of "conservatism". (I'm convinced that if good old Barry Goldwater could see the deficits that the federal government is running today, he'd shit a cinder block.)

I grew up in the cold war believing that we opposed Communism because it manifested itself in totalitarian ways, not because they gave out free medical care. In retrospect, that may have been naive-- but if totalitarianism simply became capitalistic, I'm still wondering what we won. A capitalist China scares me more than Soviet Russia ever did, because they have a foothold in our society. The same political factions who fifty years ago would attack a public figure as a "communist influence" for making some vague leftist statement are lobbying to keep China's "Most Favored Nation" status in the name of "free trade". The world's biggest corporation, Walmart, is in the business of distributing the products of Chinese labor policies. Maybe if I owned stock in WalMart, I would be more inclined to think that we had had actually won something.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 17:03   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
I'm not ready to disagree with you yet, but does the Chinese government still refer to itself as Communist, and if so, wouldn't you say that their definition of Communism is as least as important in the overall scheme of things as yours and mine?
Nobody's definitions or labels of anything really matter so I'm not sure what your getting at.


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Old 23rd December 2005, 17:26   #51
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Well, if the meaning of words don't matter, I supose you never will.

I have nothing to say about any of this that I haven't just said, so rather than just say the same thing with different emphasis, I'm prepared to let it go.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 17:44   #52
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This is what I'm understanding from you:

You seem to question whether or not we won the Cold War, because the ruling party of China still calls themselves the Communist Party.

If that is actually what you're saying, then it has to be one of the stupidest assertions I've ever heard.


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Old 23rd December 2005, 19:04   #53
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Well, essentially the Cold War ended by the US funding rebels in certian areas and by outspending other countries on military dollars. But as we ended the Cold War we started the ones we face today.

Reagan directed the CIA to funnel enormous material support to Islamist rebels fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in the mid 1980s. Among the aid we gave Afghan Mujahideen were shoulder-held Stinger missiles, which wreaked havoc on Soviet helicopter gunships and are now a primary source of concern for our counter-terrorism efforts. It is well known that Osama Bin Laden cut his teeth as a guerilla fighter during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Once Gorbachev withdrew Soviet forces in 1989, the resulting power vacuum ensured the eventual emergence of the Taliban, as Gorbachev feared would happen. In other words, in pursuit of ratcheting up conflict with the Soviet Union, Reagan helped sow the seeds of our greatest existing menace.

Once again, the Republicans. And as we spend our tax dollars to rebuild Iraq, train their fighters and get them armed guess what is happening all over again?

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Old 23rd December 2005, 19:28   #54
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Even I think you may not be giving the Democrats their just due here. After all, they held Congress for most of the Cold War. By the way, wasn't it opposition to the Soviets that led the US to support Saddam for all those years?
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Old 23rd December 2005, 20:31   #55
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Until about 20 years ago, Iraq and Iran were not the third world. 25 million Iraqis to buy stuff and sell us oil is cool.

I think women will be happy to not get jacked in the street by Sadams soldiers and hauled off to a rape room.

And the kurds will be happy to hear that no one will nerve gas another half a million of them to death.
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Old 24th December 2005, 00:16   #56
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Welcome to the room of oversimplification.

Everything is simplified here. Overly.

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Old 24th December 2005, 20:41   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
Until about 20 years ago, Iraq and Iran were not the third world. 25 million Iraqis to buy stuff and sell us oil is cool.

I think women will be happy to not get jacked in the street by Sadams soldiers and hauled off to a rape room.

And the kurds will be happy to hear that no one will nerve gas another half a million of them to death.
Hey, I've said this before: I'm very happy to see Saddam on trial and Iraqis voting, but I really don't think this makes us any safer. A case can certainly be made that it has done the opposite.

The best information we have is that about two thirds of the Iraqis want us out of there. Being hauled off to a rape room wasn't an everyday occurence for most Iraqi women, but apparently electricity failure still is. Oh, and people getting blown up.

How about a little Democracy? I think the Iraqi people should get to vote on whether we stay. Right now, they're mostly against us, but a 90 day political campaign might give them a chance to really consider the consequences. If they want us to stay, I think we owe it to those people, and I would be happy and relieved to be able to support a continued military presense. If the Iraqis aren't going to have a choice, that means that this isn't about Democracy any more than it was about WMD's.

Now, getting back to the issue of eavesdropping.

http://www.onthemedia.org/stream/ram...otm122305a.mp3
Here is a link to a realplayer audio story that is the most balanced and comprehensive examination of the issue that I know of. The source is NPR's weekly program "On the Media" Uniquely unbiased and highly reccomended.

http://www.onthemedia.org/

(Pardon me for being too lazy to make hotlinks)
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Old 26th December 2005, 21:01   #58
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Well, essentially the Cold War ended by the US funding rebels in certian areas and by outspending other countries on military dollars. But as we ended the Cold War we started the ones we face today.
Despite Reagans claims to have ended the cold war, the Soviets did a pretty good job of killing their superpower status. Their economy was a shambles and the war in afghanistan was just one of the last straws.

You are speaking like Reagans support of the Taliban was a bad thing. What choice did we have?. Soviet control of Afghanistan would have been catastrophic.
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Old 26th December 2005, 21:20   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie

You are speaking like Reagans support of the Taliban was a bad thing. What choice did we have?. Soviet control of Afghanistan would have been catastrophic.
There are some-- on the the far left, I'll admit-- who would consider jet airliners flying into American skyscrapers to be fairly catastrophic.
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Old 26th December 2005, 21:47   #60
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Welcome to the room of oversimplification.

Everything is simplified here. Overly.


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Old 26th December 2005, 23:59   #61
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Probably, but the trait is hardly unique to this room.
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Old 27th December 2005, 01:34   #62
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Yeah, It kinda follows you around.


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Old 29th December 2005, 16:46   #63
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
Until about 20 years ago, Iraq and Iran were not the third world. 25 million Iraqis to buy stuff and sell us oil is cool.
For what it's worth, I always though it was interesting that Saddam Hussein was the one who brought peace and stability to Iraq, before that stupid war with Iran.

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Old 30th December 2005, 01:08   #64
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Old 30th December 2005, 01:35   #65
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For what it's worth, I always though it was interesting that Saddam Hussein was the one who brought peace and stability to Iraq, before that stupid war with Iran.
Well, if there's anything a tyrant's good at it's promoting himself.


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Old 30th December 2005, 15:10   #66
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Old 30th December 2005, 16:02   #67
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Well, if there's anything a tyrant's good at it's promoting himself.
Possible, but a tyrant that ruled peacefully (since, of course, there was a surplus of materials at those times) was better than warring factions bringing a new tyrannical government every 6 months or so.

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Old 3rd January 2006, 15:26   #68
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If you call rape rooms, dropping people into plastic shredders, dissappearing those critical of the dictator, testing chemical weapons on minorities, and plenty of mass graves, and attacking Iran as well as Kuwait peaceful rule, then I pity you.
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Old 3rd January 2006, 15:58   #69
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Of course, I refer to the time before those incidents, as I thought would have been fairly clear from the post before that one.

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Old 3rd January 2006, 16:36   #70
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I see
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Old 3rd January 2006, 19:46   #71
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Man's a monster though, don't get me wrong. It's just a lot of people have trouble believing that Iraq was in a worse state before his arrival.

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Old 3rd January 2006, 21:52   #72
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Well, what's worse, the suffering of many or the suffering of the few?

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Old 3rd January 2006, 22:08   #73
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hmm, does anyone really feel safer? Has Osama been captured and his organization been brought to justice? Well then, I suppose we have the answer to the effectiveness of impinging on privacy huh?

I am so important I feel the need to let it be known like a liberal discovering the internets for the first time. Uh hur hur hur. I also wash myself with a rag on a stick.
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Old 4th January 2006, 17:40   #74
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have there been any more catastrophic terrorist attacks in the US?

the NSA can listen to my international communications if it prevents another sept 11th.
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Old 4th January 2006, 19:23   #75
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have there been any more catastrophic terrorist attacks in the US?

the NSA can listen to my international communications if it prevents another sept 11th.
I'll give them my phone number!

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Old 4th January 2006, 19:28   #76
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Interesting (I thought) article about things like this.

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Old 4th January 2006, 21:14   #77
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Hmm, so why would the president decide to circumvent the FISA court when it would have been easy as pie for the NSA to get court permission up to 72 hours AFTER a wiretap?

Hmm, was it specifically to break the law (of course it is debatable that a law was even broken) or is there some information missing here? One reason why it would make sense to avoid FISA is because it is illegal to share FISA approved tap intelligence with local law enforcement.
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Old 4th January 2006, 21:26   #78
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The reason that our intellignece sucks lie in the fact that we're a free society. organizations have to operate under a different system of ethics. Not that I'm pushing gulags and socialism or anything, it's just true. Freedom of the people restricts the actions of the government.

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Old 5th January 2006, 14:58   #79
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The government is here to serve the people. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. The intelligence sucks because the organizations have been allowed free reign without real accountability for a very long time.

Do you really think there have been no attacks because they have been listening in on conversations Mattress? Or because a military force was deployed in two countries?
Do you really think the sun rose this morning because I posted in winamp? Or that the internet exists because of the free sex sites?

It was never a problem to walk into a gun shop and get several military issue pieces and it will not be a problem to walk into a federal or any public building with these and not have to use a cellphone or send an email. So where is Osama, sending emails from inside the US to signal a three day strike?

I am so important I feel the need to let it be known like a liberal discovering the internets for the first time. Uh hur hur hur. I also wash myself with a rag on a stick.
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Old 5th January 2006, 15:24   #80
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Do you really think there have been no attacks because they have been listening in on conversations Mattress? Or because a military force was deployed in two countries?
Certainly our military actions have helped as well.

Are you saying you think the country would be safer from terrorist attacks if the NSA was not monitoring international communications of those with suspected ties to terrorism?
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