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Maintaining Liberty Is The Hardest Thing to Do (Op/Ed)

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posted on May, 27 2006 @ 03:23 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
And I believe that society is divided between its "freedom fighters" and "collaborators". That is my main point. I too find it sad that the response to terrorism has deeply divided this country.

And it is mainly the collaborators who are all for restraining our rights in order for national safety. They would sacrifice their first born for the feeling of safety within our borders. I know that this has probably been hashed out at this late date. I will add my thoughts later to these new developments. My verbal brawling days are over. Be rest assured that none of that behavior will happen here. This is an important issue that needs to be addressed between us as American citizens, first.

It lends nothing to the discussion to create groups and then give a negative connotatiion to one of them. Esp. when the connotations are based upon false assumptions and statements such as "They would sacrifice their first born for the feeling of safety within our borders."

And it does even less when you try to slap that negative connotation on me as your first example.




posted on May, 27 2006 @ 03:30 AM
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Originally posted by subz
Is that how you normally respond to compassion? Or am I just plain lucky?

Didn't mean to hurt your feelings, subz. Truly sorry, OK?


I've got an out for you, if you wish to take it and save face. How about bringing the courts in to decide whether or not a terrorist website has the protection of free speach?

Perhaps if you changed your stance from the government shutting down terrorist websites, to the courts shutting down terrorist websites if they endanger the public? I would have no moral objection to a court ruling that a website runs contrary to the public good and hence have it removed.

I tend to lump the judiciary in with the gov't, as well as law enforcement. I realize that the system of checks and balances is crucial, but they do not operate in a vacuum.

And I am in support of giving everybody the right to a fair and speedy trial, so we agree there.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 04:03 AM
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Just like you "prophesized" I would bring up a racist element? Sometimes, you really bewilder me with your condescension, jsobecky. It knows no bounds or territories.

Paranoia seeping in? I brought up the notion of "freedom fighters" and "collaborators" because these elements are found in present day America. There are collaborators in society. And they use their fear as a way to control society. They are the ones that would aid the "secret police" in pointing out people they think are "terrorists". The Nazis made good on this notion by having neighbors pointing out neighbors and having them dragged off in the middle of the night.

Is that what you really want to do? Point out your neighbors--especially if they might have written commentary on a website you didn't like? Remember. This isn't talking about "offensive" words here. This is talking about "offensive" content. And basically, this time, it is you that can't see effectively what you are advocating. We do.

You are offended by what you in your own mind define as "terrorists". You are especially offended by what these "terrorists" publish on their websites. You want their websites taken down on presumption, not fact. Whatever happened to "probable cause"? Oh yes. That's gone. The Patriot Acts I and II took them away.

I agree with Mr. Penny. Your posts do stir a sense of terror.

And if the shoe fits, don't let me stop you. You're struggling to maintain that sense of control even if it means hurting other people in the process. That's the sense I get from you. And if innocent people get arrested, well, what the heck? Let them fry. That is exactly what you are saying.
'
And you, by your statements, rather judge people by looks than by actions. In my book, that alone makes a dangerous statement about the state of things in this country. The frightening thing is that there are a lot of other people in the country that use your "logic". And sadly enough, they will do anything to harm the rights of other people so that they feel safe. Talk about seeing something that "isn't there".

I mean, how can you tell what constitutes a threat or not? Especially on a website? And who is threatening? How can you tell that? Just because someone says it, doesn't make it true. They could be saying a lot of things as a point of conjecture. But by the way you think, you just don't care to see the shades of gray. Instead, what you deem is "bad" is bad. And what you think as good is "good".

It looks like to me that you actually prescribe to that Orwellian doublespeak and take it for gospel.















[edit on 27-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 04:41 AM
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It would serve no purpose to engage you in your hateful rhetoric, ceci. As the old adage goes, "Don't encourage 'em."

Let me just repeat:

It lends nothing to the discussion to create groups and then give a negative connotation to one of them. Esp. when the connotations are based upon false assumptions and statements such as "They would sacrifice their first born for the feeling of safety within our borders."

And it does even less when you try to slap that negative connotation on me as your first example.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 07:24 AM
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What do you mean? Where is the hateful rhetoric? After all, I was writing how the word "collaborator" inserted itself into the discussion. After all, there are people in the United States that would engage in this very thing by stating whatever they like as "harmful" or "offensive" on the web and then apply the very notion of "criminality" to it.

And then, without engaging any other sort of discourse or questions about such content, these "collaborators" have quickly made up their mind and refuse to listen to any other view point. They have the government on speed dial to proclaim any web site "terroristic" in order to help crack down on the "War on Terror" without fully researching the facts. That means no probable cause. No act has taken place. It is a gut feeling. So, it is "collaborating" with the goverment.

Well. It looks like "collaborator" is a word you don't like. But remember what I said in another thread: Don't wince at what was said. And don't be hypocritical about it. Just take the word and its use in its full context. And look what happened. You don't like the word "collaborator". Isn't that a shame?

So, I am applying the word "collaborator" to those who will restrict the rights of others on-line in order to aid and abet the government in its application of "fear" over the rest of its citizens. And because of that very notion of "fear", they readily believe the party line in order to continue the wave of "fear" so that others that they feel are different from them suffer from unwitting persecution over what they create in cyberspace or what they say on a website.

Those that participate in this behavior are collaborators. And like I said before, there is no hateful rhetoric attached. I just think you have issues with how to define your patrioticism and well as how to deal with the Bill of Rights.

Yes, "collaborator" is not a horrible term. I don't see how its use in this thread is negative at all. Seriously, you might need to express your feelings to other "collaborators" to get over the intense reaction to the word.

And of course, jsobecky, who's to say what's "negative" or "positive"? You? Are you the purveyor of what is decent and unoffensive in this thread? Oh yes. My patience is wearing thin. After all, you feel you can judge who has the right to express themselves and who can't.

Who died and made you lord and master over the freedom of expression?

[edit on 27-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 09:48 AM
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Jsobecky as much as I want to such down the website itself, that wouldnt change a thing. I would rather that when we find the website which has threats on it warrents can be attained to moniter the website, people on it, and such. This way over time we discover more of the workings of the group attempting to harm us.

As much as we want to us pro active tactics, it would start to intrude on other innocent people quickly. Further more it could be abused which is my biggest worry. By allowing them to be pro active against certain groups they can abuse it to gain information on people they shouldn't. Maybe start spying and obtaining information on politicians that they have no right to be doing. Maybe a citizen whos simply against the government allowing GE foods. They could effectively hide behind these pro active measures.

Also the restrictions on terrorist simply cant be done. We cant stop a terrorist before they make plots or get caught in teh action. Police stings need to be done. We need to know their plans, then get irrefutable proof that they were in fact going to do it. What better proof then a guy in the action of planting a bomb? We need to wait until the oppertunity is right to garentee that they are guilty. I do not want to jail some one that may how though about doing it, but in the end wouldnt have. Maybe the person just got very emotional, planned it, but then said "what was I thinking?". it never got passed that initial "I should go blow that building up", in the midst of a heated passion of anger.

So yes a threat should definately be watched, but no action should be taken til the act is in progress because you never know if the person may suddenly just back out. More of the talking type then doing. As stupid as the talking types are, thats not seriously punishable. Something like "I should blow (insert place) up" should get a severe warning unless the person starts taking it further.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:07 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
So we should take no measures to prevent something bad from happening?


That's not what I said. As long as it's within the law and within the bounds of the Constitution, I'm all for preventing bad things from happening. But not when it includes stepping on people's rights.



The website itself is a tool. If the website is used specifically to plot against us, I cannot justify giving them the space on our soil.


How do we know who 'they' are?

I think that's why some here are so upset. It seems that you're willing to assume that a large group of people might be trying to do something bad. So you support (in some measure) allowing infringements on the rights of this larger group in order to (hopefully) catch someone within a smaller group saying something incriminating and (hopefully) we can do something about it in time to prevent a crime.

And this is the very attitude of this government that we are against.

To those of us on this side if the discussion, it's not worth it, to those of you on the other side, it is.

That's what it boils down to. Is it worth it? The problem comes down to the fact that we can't find out who these people who intend harm are without violating the rights of the general population. Is it worth giving up some protected privacies to possibly prevent crimes? Some say yes, some say no. And we ALL have reasons and good ones!



Do you think the gov't has any role, or right, to conduct surveillance in an effort to maintain the safety of the citizens?


As I said, within the law, within the Constitution, with integrity, I don't have a problem with it.


Originally posted by jsobecky
It lends nothing to the discussion to create groups and then give a negative connotation to one of them. Esp. when the connotations are based upon false assumptions and statements such as "They would sacrifice their first born for the feeling of safety within our borders."


Like this?


Originally posted by jsobecky
Some here advocate giving terrorists every tool they need to destroy us, and valiantly proclaim that they would be willing to die as the rusty knife is plunged into their throat on it's journey around their head. I say, false bravado. They would be the first to whine and cry if there were another attack and they were the victim.


And I can't help but think that 'taking away the tools' of someone who might do bad before they have proven themselves to be a danger is similar to disarming a certain portion of the population... let's say young men between the ages of 18-35. Because let's face it, most gun crime is committed by that group. Disarming that group would cut down on the crime in the US. Right? It would prevent all kinds of crime and deaths! It would save people's lives!

jsobecky - Are you as willing to consent to this group of people having their 'death tools' taken away? It's for the good of the country.



[edit on 27-5-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:18 AM
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exactly, theres just no real limit you can make on this. Its really an all or nothing scenario. Mainly because one will lead to another, then another...then another til there isnt anything left. You have to choose protection of your life, or protection of your freedom. To have one you have to sacrifice the other, you simply cant have both. You can have a restricted freedom which better protects your life, but your still not completely safe. At the same time your no longer completely free and I think thats worse then taking a side. Your semi free and semi safe. So you still face danger, yet your rights are being somewhat restricted.

You really cant have both. You can have some of both, which actually defeats the point of both, but you cant fully have both. Its either being free at the risk of your life (terrorist or whatever other threat), or being safe at the risk of restriction and prosecution (your life is safe, but if your caught with a gun, you can be seen as a threat, therefor arrested). One safety cause leads to another one very quickly, because without one, the other is useless. Whats the point of having one law, when in order to secure your freedom, you need another one. Then soon after you will need another one, and another.

Its not worth it to me. Its not worth giving up any of my rights for, because as soon as you take that first step onto the slope, your going to start sliding down.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by jsobecky
So we should take no measures to prevent something bad from happening?


That's not what I said. As long as it's within the law and within the bounds of the Constitution, I'm all for preventing bad things from happening. But not when it includes stepping on people's rights.

I never mentioned stepping on anyone's rights. And the law needs to be followed when conducting surveillance.

You are using the same arguments that have been tried in this thread many times; implying that I advocate taking away rights.


How do we know who 'they' are?

There are people within our gov't whose job it is to know who they are.


I think that's why some here are so upset. It seems that you're willing to assume that a large group of people might be trying to do something bad.

I'm not assuming, BH. I know that there are people who mean us harm.


So you support (in some measure) allowing infringements on the rights of this larger group in order to (hopefully) catch someone within a smaller group saying something incriminating and (hopefully) we can do something about it in time to prevent a crime.

Here's where we differ. If a website is being used to harm us, whether it be passing messages, transferring funds, or whatever, and it can be proved, then, yes, I am for further action. Before it happens. Notice that nowhere did I say "infringe upon their rights". I really wish people would stop using that false argument.


Originally posted by jsobecky
It lends nothing to the discussion to create groups and then give a negative connotation to one of them. Esp. when the connotations are based upon false assumptions and statements such as "They would sacrifice their first born for the feeling of safety within our borders."


Like this?


Originally posted by jsobecky
Some here advocate giving terrorists every tool they need to destroy us, and valiantly proclaim that they would be willing to die as the rusty knife is plunged into their throat on it's journey around their head. I say, false bravado. They would be the first to whine and cry if there were another attack and they were the victim.

No, not like that at all. Two different scenarios entirely. Open to interpretation.


jsobecky - Are you as willing to consent to this group of people having their 'death tools' taken away? It's for the good of the country.

I would have to advocate taking away rights to consent to that. And I think I've made my case regarding that about a dozen times now.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 11:42 AM
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heres the problem the jsobeck, until you can definately prove that any of this is actually going to take place for sure, you cant hold it on them. No actual crime has been commited. If I were talking to my friend and we go to the discussion of how the government could be overthrown, that doesnt mean we are going to commit it now does it. Its merely words and conversation. Transfering funds is not evidence of any sort of attack. It may be strange and point to something going on which might be looked into further, but its in no way a crime.

But the website isnt used to harm anyone. They are using the website to simply contact eachother, they can always contact eachother in different ways. Everything that the website is used for is not illegal. The intent behind it may lead to an illegal act, but thats not going to hold up in court. Unless you have them in the act, such as a sting operation, there is no solid proof that the act would have happened.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 11:43 AM
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Originally posted by grimreaper797
exactly, theres just no real limit you can make on this. Its really an all or nothing scenario. Mainly because one will lead to another, then another...then another til there isnt anything left. You have to choose protection of your life, or protection of your freedom. To have one you have to sacrifice the other, you simply cant have both.

Limiting yourself to have either protection of your life or protection of your freedom is a defeatist attitude, and one that ultimately leads to extinction of it's proponents. Where is your spirit of self-defense? Do you not have an obligation to protect the lives of your loved ones?


You really cant have both.


I certainly can; it is what this country was founded upon. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Not, as you suggest: Life OR Liberty.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 11:51 AM
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Thats why we have a right to guns. You are allowed to defend yourself, I give you every right. Self defense is not pre emptive action and never will be though. You can stop the act in progress, thats self defense. Killing some one because they had plans to kill you, but never actually tried to, means your going to be convicted of murder. theres a difference.

for me "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is"
the right to defend yourself if your life is threatened. this mean if some one comes up to you with a knife or gun, you have the right to defend yourself. Liberty is my freedom, and I can defend that from anyone that wants to take it away. That includes my government if they try to take it away when trying to stop terrorists. And the pursuit of happiness is self explainitory.

[edit on 27-5-2006 by grimreaper797]



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by grimreaper797
heres the problem the jsobeck, until you can definately prove that any of this is actually going to take place for sure, you cant hold it on them.
:
The intent behind it may lead to an illegal act, but thats not going to hold up in court. Unless you have them in the act, such as a sting operation, there is no solid proof that the act would have happened.

Well, there are a lot of things that never make it to the "arrest" phase, much less into court. That's the way it goes; always has, always will.

Once it is in the legal system, I'm in complete agreement with you and everyone else here.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 11:58 AM
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but wait you are for taking away their websites, yet legally you cant prove that they are guilty to begin with. That means you have no legal right to take away the website in the first place. Legally, you cant deprive them of anything that would make their rights less then others, unless they have commited a crime and you can prove it in court. Websites included. if you can own a website, unless you can prove they have commited a crime, they can too.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by grimreaper797
Killing some one because they had plans to kill you, but never actually tried to, means your going to be convicted of murder. theres a difference.

With all due respect, I'm going to have to discontinue the debate with you, since you (and others) continue to bring up the same false argument: that I want to restrict rights.

You base all your arguments on that false premise and it takes up too much of my time repeating myself.

We have a difference in philosophy, as I stated: you think we can have either life or liberty; I say, we came this far because we demand both.

To save you the effort of discounting that, I offer you your own words:


You have to choose protection of your life, or protection of your freedom. To have one you have to sacrifice the other, you simply cant have both. You can have a restricted freedom which better protects your life, but your still not completely safe. At the same time your no longer completely free and I think thats worse then taking a side. Your semi free and semi safe. So you still face danger, yet your rights are being somewhat restricted.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 12:10 PM
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Well, what are you advocating then, jsobecky? If we have it all wrong, please tell me what you are advocating.

You say the law needs to be followed when conducting surveillance.
You don't advocate taking away anyone's rights.

Then what is this debate about?



No, not like that at all. Two different scenarios entirely. Open to interpretation.


Oh, come on! Open to interpretation, all right. YOUR interpretation, but not mine.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 12:11 PM
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I probably should have worded it, protection in your sense. YOU believe in pre emptive action dont you? Thats what you have been saying the whole time right? We have to go out and find the terrorist, not just catch them when they are doing it? I would be correct in saying that right?

Well that means you restrict freedoms. Protection that the phrase "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness" mean self defense. Thats how is works in the legal system and always has. if the action is taking place, and you react, thats self defense. If its not taking place, but you still react like it was, then this isnt self defense and you are in the wrong.

I was trying to make a point that pre emptive defense (an oxymoron in itself) cannot co exist with everyones right to freedom.

In a sense, by promoting self defense in acting on the person before they actually commit the crime, you are advocating taking rights away. This is because you cannot predict what a person will and wont do. They could suddenly decide not to do anything, and they will have never done anything illegal. That means they should be provided the rights of every other citizen, right up to the point of the verdict where hes found guilty. when they catch him in the act, thats police protecting its citizens lives and liberties, at the same time.

[edit on 27-5-2006 by grimreaper797]



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 03:21 PM
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Yes, I also second Benevolent Heretic's question. What is your position? I am very interested. I wonder how you could be for civil liberties when at the same time a word like "collaborator" offends you to the point of saying that it doesn't belong in this conversation.

Well, it seems you (with your pleas about "hateful speech") were trying to restrict my right to free speech. I'm aghast, really. Are you really for "freedom of expression" when you do something like this?

"Collaborator" is a word typed into a website for all to see. And you don't like it. I should be very afraid with your sort of logic.

Please explain yourself. I'm all ears about how you explain the dichotomy of restricting the rights of others opposed to still maintaining the freedom of speech.



[edit on 27-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Then what is this debate about?

Why ask me? There are at least a half-dozen other posters here.

I mean, I don't understand, BH. You managed to pick out and comment on this passage, but you can't figure out what the debate is about:


No, not like that at all. Two different scenarios entirely. Open to interpretation.


So what are you doing here, BH?


Oh, come on! Open to interpretation, all right. YOUR interpretation, but not mine.

Yep. My interpretation is the only one that counts to me.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Well, it seems you (with your pleas about "hateful speech") were trying to restrict my right to free speech. I'm aghast, really. Are you really for "freedom of expression" when you do something like this?

"Collaborator" is a word typed into a website for all to see. And you don't like it.

I'm not afraid of words. I dislike your divisive attitude; you need to divide things into antagonistic groups.

The term is yours. Deal with it. And don't come crying to me anymore about a truce the next time you are getting your tail kicked because of your divisive attitude.



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