Round 2: budski vs Maxmars : "Move Along Sir, Nothing To See Here"

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posted on Mar, 8 2009 @ 11:03 PM
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The topic for this debate is “The Right to Political Protest Should Be At The Discretion Of Law Enforcement To Insure Public Safety.”

budski will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Maxmars will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 12:44 PM
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My thanks to semper for setting up this round 2 debate, and thanks also to maxmars who I'm sure will be a very worthy opponent.

the topic of this debate is “The Right to Political Protest Should Be At The Discretion Of Law Enforcement To Insure Public Safety.”

The proposition seems simple, no?

Well, actually, no it's not.

Political Protest takes many forms and covers pretty much every aspect of modern life, as everything worth protesting about is politisized to one extent or another.

Animal Rights? political question.

Nuclear disarmament? political question.

Terrorism? political question.

Muslim extremists rioting becase of danish cartoons? political question.

Even the price of a loaf of bread is ultimately a political issue.

In many cases, large scale protests and/or demonstrations are peacefull affairs - a case in mind was the peacefull protests in the UK by the countryside alliance against the ban on fox hunting.

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in central London to make their voice heard, with very few arrests.

Conversely, there were many arrests and running battles with police during the may day riots of 2000, when people first marched, then protested, then rioted against capitalism.

statues were defaced, department stores and fast food restaurants were attacked and thugs mindlessly rampaged through the streets of the capital with complete disregard for proerty or the personal safety of individuals caught up in the violence through no fault of their own.

We have the right to freedom of assembly, subject to law - and in the UK any person or group can apply to assemble for the purpose of peacefull protest.

And this is the key - subject to the law.

Law enforcement agencies MUST make the decision to allow or not allow protests.

They have the on the ground intel about organisations.

They have the knowledge about individuals who have no interest in the political process - individuals whose only interest is mayhem.

They are charged with protecting us as individuals and as a society - our person as well as our property.

Would any one of us here feel good about thgs rampaging through our streets in the name of political protest?

I submit that law enforcement MUST make the decision - that decision must be based on transparent and fair laws and policies, but it must be they who are in charge of giving permission to protest.

And this is another key issue.

In the UK, there are systems in place to make the process fair and transparent.

There is accountability every step of the way and the systam is as fair as it can be.

No other agency has the resources, the intel or the ability to effectively keep the public safe when protest gets out of hand and descends into rioting.

There is a right way, and a wrong way to protest.

Groups who protest and have a history of violence can only be weeded out if the police have such discretionary powers as already exist in many countries.

It is my right, and everyone elses to be safe from harm, whether that be our person or our property, and as law enforcement is at the forefront of keeping us from harm, they should have the final say in allowing a protest to take place, carefully overseen, and with transparency and the right of appeal against any decision they make.

SQ.1:
If law enforcement were not given discretion, how do you propose that order and public safety is maintained.

SQ.2:
Do you believe that radical groups whose only interest is disorder exist?

SQ.3:
How do you propose that violent protest is curbed if not by giving law enforcement discretion?

SQ.4:
Do you believe that the actions of the few affect the rights of the many?

SQ.5:
Do you believe that there are aspects of political protests which taint activists and paint them in a bad light?



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 03:23 PM
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Thank you budski, semper, and all of you gentle readers who may happen upon (and hopefully enjoy) this debate. I do have my work cut out for me, as budski is a skilled and accomplished debater. Together, we will explore this topic, each dedicated to a proposition, mine being contrary to budski’s:

The Right to Political Protest Should Be At The Discretion Of Law Enforcement To Insure Public Safety

With all due respect, I maintain that this proposition is contrary to reason. I will explain myself more fully as the debate develops, but in true ATS debate form, I must address the Socratic Questions first:

---------------------------------

SQ.1:
If law enforcement were not given discretion, how do you propose that order and public safety is maintained?


Having yet to discuss my understanding of ‘Law Enforcement” (as a noun) the answer you seek is not forthcoming. The best I can come up with is that public safety is not part and parcel with ‘law enforcement.’ Public safety is maintained for the public by the public, with authoritative intervention only necessary where there are illegal activities or reckless wanton abandon of reason. The key here is discretionary use of ‘force’ (as in ‘enFORCEment’) and whether that ‘discretion’ is an authoritative power, or an operational privilege. Police don’t decide what is or isn’t illegal, they merely enforce the law by imposing their control on illegal activities – as defined by a higher authority.


SQ.2:
Do you believe that radical groups whose only interest is disorder exist?


I most certainly do not believe that there are any who simply exists to sow disorder; but I do believe that there are some who have a great interest in the use of ‘disorder’ to secure their aims. A recently retired high-level politician from my country once addressed the nation with the words “order from chaos”. It is the creed of several known organizations, as well as ideologies. But this in and of itself makes one wary of their actions; you cannot persecute someone for holding that belief. Crime comes from action – unless we delve into the Orwellian.


SQ.3:
How do you propose that violent protest is curbed if not by giving law enforcement discretion?


Protests are a ‘reaction’. They do not occur spontaneously out of a single violent motive. If they did so, it would not be a protest but an act of terror (or war, depending on whose side you happen to be.) The only way to foresee violent protest is to be part of it, and to be fortunate enough to know what the agenda and operational plan is. Hence, police (or law enforcement, if you prefer), often infiltrate targeted organizations, ostensibly to be prepared for such acts.

If a protest becomes violent, after it’s’ onset, then the real key to curbing it is to understand why it became so. I will presume, for the moment, that there are a number of reasons that a protest might suddenly transform from a lawful gathering of citizens expressing themselves, into an angry mob violently thrashing about. For each reason we can find, there is likely to be an effective counter.


SQ.4:
Do you believe that the actions of the few affect the rights of the many?


I would accept that statement as an axiom. It has proven to be so, it certainly seems so now, but as for the future, I can’t say. In essence, such a state of affairs is up to us to control.


SQ.5:
Do you believe that there are aspects of political protests which taint activists and paint them in a bad light?


Political protest is a behavior. It is a response to a stimulus external to the protestors. The burden of any such ‘taint’ must be shared with all parties to the issue at hand. As I answered earlier, protests are not spontaneously violent. Sadly, the same cannot be said of individual human beings.

-----------------------------------------

I find myself pondering the proposition my opponent must defend:

The Right to Political Protest Should Be At The Discretion Of Law Enforcement To Insure Public Safety

At what point in our society should we willingly surrender the right of free assembly and speech? Why should ‘political’ protest be exclusively singled out to be doled out at the discretion of law enforcement? Does public safety, in principle, trump such a freedom?

Never - it shouldn’t - no.

"Law enforcement" in this context, is another word for police force, the use of State power to limit or otherwise control the behavior of non-state entities (i.e. citizens.). In whatever guise, police force is the operational arm of executive governance. Police authority comes from the justice system; it is delegated to carry out actions which regulate behavior - such actions are under the domain of the executive (justice) to ensure it is compliant with, and according to, the constitutional, parliamentary or other laws which are in place.

Law enforcement does not determine what is and what isn't illegal. Law enforcement has no authority to render judgments of "political" protests; but they are mandated to protecting public safety. A central issue will be the connection between protest and safety.

We are limited, in this regard, to the notion of 'political' protest. As my opponent so cleverly notes, one might argue that everything is political, thus anything can be considered a 'political' statement, or protest (for the sake of this argument.)

I disagree with my opponent’s contention that it should be within the purview of the police to render decisions on whether people can or can’t engage in political protest. The laws are already in place, lawful protests are regulated, and police’s function is only necessary if there is a reasonable threat to public safety. Even then, should no violence or safety issues arise, their participation in the process is purely preventative at best, or downright provocative at worst; especially if the police are inclined to oppose the protestor’s position, or disrespect the persons protesting.

Considering the real possibility that a ‘protest’ (political or otherwise) can take a form which the police have not foreseen, we are begging the problem that police will respond in a manner inconsistent with ‘keeping the peace’ out of sheer determination to exercise their ‘will.’ Also, since the policing authorities have upon occasion been found to have been the actual instigators of riots and protest violence (both from within – as agent provocateurs, and from without, by use of unnecessary force and brutality), I think they have shown, they cannot be trusted to act as an unbiased authority.

It seems unlikely that anyone can claim that law enforcement entities are capable of 'clinical detachment' from the political. After all, they too, are citizens, with the same rights and obligations of those they police (ostensibly).

How can we be assured that any organization, led by politically active elected officials, thoroughly embedded within the local political leadership, and beholden to them as a matter of duty, would not exercise their authority to repress political opposition, or to squelch speech that somehow 'threatens' the political positions of those in charge? What response to such an abuse could there be? Certainly not protests.

Disallowing political protest is a sure way to provoke violent reaction in any people who value freedom over safety. Unless government repression is complete, which is to say, the people wouldn't be free at all.

I will close now, sans Socratic questions, because I rambled on long enough, and I think my opponent is probably eager to get to the meat of his argument. Thanks for your patience.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 04:28 PM
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My thanks to maxmars for an enlightening if rather flowery opening statement.

Ladies and gentlemen may I refer your attention to my opponents attempt to direct the debate in a direction more of his choosing.

He asserts that Law Enforcement in this context is the police force.

I refute this.

Law enforcement takes many shapes and forms and the debate title does not specify any of them, but simply states “law enforcement”

Of course the police are part of this, but so are domestic intelligence agencies from whom the police garner much of their information regarding groups and/or individuals who are involved in political protest, and who may or may not have a history of using violence as part of a greater strategy.

My opponent would have us believe that there are those who are NOT intent on causing mayhem simply for mayhems sake, when it has been shown that such groups exist, however loosely they are affiliated with their chosen protest.

There are (known to law enforcement) groups of (mostly) young men who are “professional protesters” – which is something of a misnomer, as they have no interest in protesting.

They are there for the violence, and in many cases instigate it, in much the same way that the football hooligans of the 70’s and 80’s had no interest in football, but went along in order to satisfy their primeval lust for violence and conflict – and here is a key to this.

In order to combat football hooligans, the police, in the interest of public safety, sought out and punished these small groups, taking measures such as banning them from football grounds and confiscating passports to prevent travel to games in other countries.

These are the same kind of people who cause trouble in every village, town and city every Friday and Saturday night.

They are not looking for a good time.

They are not supporting their team.

They have no interest in a particular political protest.

They are there only to cause havoc, fight with the police or rival protesters, and cause as much mayhem as possible.

Yet in the arena of political protest, how is law enforcement to prevent this?

Quite simply by vetting groups who apply to protest, march or otherwise demonstrate and using powers which already exist, either grant or deny a permit.

This does not in any way infringe the rights of the majority, but instead keeps a tight rein on the minority who are intent on violence.

If a group has no intention of using violence then they will have nothing to worry about, especially under a system such as the one I envisage, where there is clear oversight and transparency, and which is overseen by an independent reviewer to whom an appeal can be made.

In making my case, I would like to raise the point that political protest is a challenge to the state, either by the individual or by a group.

As we live in various forms of democracy, in which the people have rights to make their feelings known, there exists a thriving protest movement.

And yet although we demand accountability from those in power, we do not deem it necessary to hold ourselves or groups within our society accountable to anything other than themselves.

Note the word “society”

A society means that we are all accountable for each others actions, including those who would perpetrate violence in the name of political activism.

Who best to stop these individuals?

Law enforcement agencies – the people paid by the government on our behalf to protect our person and our property.

How are they to do this with one hand tied behind their backs?

Would we rest easier at night knowing that al Qaeda’s surrogates could protest against our way of life on our own streets?

I think not.

Let us not forget that in some people’s eyes, terrorism is a natural extension of the political process.

Animal rights groups frequently use low level terrorist tactics for the purpose of political protest.

Should we then blindly allow this as well?

Should we allow these people to bomb laboratories one day, and then march the next?

I say that we shouldn’t.

I say that law enforcement should have discretion over who is allowed into the political arena, in much the same way as Sinn Fein was not allowed into the political arena until they laid down their arms.

Consider my proposal of oversight and a neutral body.

Would this be open to the police abuse of which my opponent speaks?

Again, I think not.

In much the same way as the ATS DISC worked with owners, admin and mods, so would this body work with law enforcement that would ultimately follow guidelines set out in law to protect those whose only interest is peaceful protest.

SQ.1:
By what method do you arrive at the conclusion that there are no groups whose only interest is violence?

SQ.2:
Why do you ignore the other law enforcement agencies that the police rely on for intelligence regarding particular groups or individuals?

SQ.3:
Do you think a neutral group who oversee police decisions and can overturn them is a good idea?

SQ.4:
In determining a course of political action, is there a point at which violence becomes acceptable?

SQ.5:
In forcing their will on the many by use of violence, are not those that would do this worse than any government?

You have the floor my friend.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 06:22 PM
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Thank you, budski. I accept the floor, and will attempt to reduce what you might regard as the flummery in my verbiage.


Again; the Socratic questions that beg answering:


SQ.1:
By what method do you arrive at the conclusion that there are no groups whose only interest is violence?


There was no census or research done for this statement. I simply have never heard of any group whose sole purpose was to use violence to incite, agitate, and cause disorder and chaos for its own sake. (Save, perhaps that of the fictional ‘Joker’ as recently portrayed by Keith Ledger.). Even the Hegelian “ORDO AB CHAO” crowd uses chaos to spur the imposition of their concept of order.

There may be some individuals in our society who are so inclined; but I suspect they are incapable of joining into an organization, especially since each would be an agent of their own undoing by their very nature.


SQ.2:
Why do you ignore the other law enforcement agencies that the police rely on for intelligence regarding particular groups or individuals?


They are included by definition (see below) so long as they execute a legal function in the legitimate use of authorized force.


SQ.3:
Do you think a neutral group who oversee police decisions and can overturn them is a good idea?


Unlikely, unless the they have authority and opportunity to exercise that power before the rights are denied. If it is an ‘after the fact’ review, you will still have denied rights of citizens wrongly. What then, apologize? Go back in time? Do-over?


SQ.4:
In determining a course of political action, is there a point at which violence becomes acceptable?


If, and only if, the protest is popularly supported by the entire population. In which case, political violence becomes, by definition, an act of terrorism (until the State itself is overthrown and its legal authority to render judgment is nullified by a popular mandate of the citizenry.) Violence is only acceptable when the State refuses to hear the people and ceases to function as a manifestation of the will of the population.


SQ.5:
In forcing their will on the many by use of violence, are not those that would do this worse than any government?


That is a distinct possibility. Certainly we have seen it go both ways in history. But then, by definition, any protest that sets out to do violence is not a protest, its terrorism. And terrorists RARELY make for good governance.

----------------------

Let’s focus on the ‘direction’ of the debate of the topic:

The topic for this debate is “The Right to Political Protest Should Be At The Discretion Of Law Enforcement To Insure Public Safety.”


“The right to Political protest:”

Implicit recognition of the ‘right’ to protest is evident, therefore any mention of what is meaningful in regards to this right is on topic.

“The discretion of Law Enforcement.:”

(Discretion, Law Enforcement


Discretion: in this context, related to the power to make decision unilaterally, usually within legal limits.

Law Enforcement: in this context, is any agency exercising the privilege of using legitimate state-authorized force to maintain social order, and protect the property and safety of citizens. For simplicity’s sake, I will refer to any act accepted under such authority as ‘police’ or ‘policing.’

Insure Public Safety
(I believe the author meant ‘Ensure’ but in the context of the topic, it is understood
)

The task of preventing (or at least minimizing) harm to the citizens or public property
------------------------

The discretion of law enforcement to prohibit free speech and or free assembly is inconsistent with the separation between judicial power and law enforcement. Normally, no such power (to usurp such freedoms granted by law) is ever ‘delegated’ to an operational branch of public service. Enforcing the law is not the same thing as establishing the law. If law ‘enforcement’ in whatever guise reserves the power to ‘grant’ or ‘withhold’ that right, it is no longer ‘Law Enforcement,’ it has become the defacto ‘law’ itself.

Ultimately, the execution of discretion to withhold freedoms, leads to some persons being granted certain rights, while others will be denied the privilege. Such inequity can only be legal if a duly-accepted court decides its legal; not a chief of police, or some constabulary administrator. State-recognized rights are a matter of law, not policy. Rights are not a matter of guidelines, they are ‘law’ – immutable unless the form of the State changes, thus eliminating the rights.

Budski is relying on a few examples that are of questionable relevance to ‘political’ protest. But I understand that the intent is to demonstrate that disorder is gleefully sought and incited by those with thrill issues, violent urges, or anti-social character.

Such is the heavy burden that those organizing political protest bear. They are actually exposing themselves to unintended consequences if they do not make a clear overt effort to ensure that no such activity is part of the political message. Of course, they cannot be blamed for willful deception within their own ranks, and that is the niche of the ‘agent provocateur’ within the arsenal of less-scrupulous law enforcement agents.

Which leads me to this:


In making my case, I would like to raise the point that political protest is a challenge to the state, either by the individual or by a group.

And yet although we demand accountability from those in power, we do not deem it necessary to hold ourselves or groups within our society accountable to anything other than themselves.

Note the word “society”

A society means that we are all accountable for each others actions, including those who would perpetrate violence in the name of political activism.


I disagree that we are accountable for each others’ actions. If someone lies to you, are you responsible for their lie? If they deceive you, and say they mean to protest with you, but instead begin tossing rocks and picking fights, is it ‘your’ responsibility? Understand, I do not contend that you may or may not be liable (legally) but morally responsibility is another matter.

That a group of malcontents or social degenerates has the freedom to move among civilized company is a function of the right of civilized society to move about freely.

Socratic question 1: Shall we begin to restrain ‘known’ hooligans to their homes and places of work? Why allow the violent freedom to expose us to the eventuality of their dysfunction?

Socratic Question 2 relates to this comment:


Would we rest easier at night knowing that al Qaeda’s surrogates could protest against our way of life on our own streets?


I suggest that it is quite possible that they already do. I’m sure they pick and choose their avenues of activism carefully. Unless of course, they have militancy in mind, in which case I can assure you, public protest is not their venue of choice. Essentially that does not go hand in hand with the anonymity necessary to be an effective terrorist. The opportunities only arise out of the two social extremes: Utterly mundane co- existence within society, OR ‘celebrity’ status in elite social/political status. From those with such objectives at heart, “Political Protest” is an utterly ineffective means to deliver meaningful violence to a state

Socratic Question 2: Do you contend that protests represent a danger to society? What if the protest was about a perceived danger to society[ (ironic?)


I say that law enforcement should have discretion over who is allowed into the political arena, in much the same way as Sinn Fein was not allowed into the political arena until they laid down their arms.


I would never presume to understand as fully well as you do, the situation regarding Sinn Fein. But I would opine that their militancy was what separated them from the political process, not their ideology. Once they surrendered that radical behavior they were able, it seems, to join the political culture.

It would appear that political protest is incongruous with violence, and the key to removing political relevancy of protest lies in creating a violent conflict. The message usually gets ‘lost’ in the blood.

Which leads me to another observation; my opponent seems to have conveyed that I fear police abuse of authority. Such is available to be reviewed and remedied in most cases, and the law does not tolerate such abuses.

The abuse I expect will surface is not the ‘reaction’ of police to violent conflict, or the reactions of ‘provoked’ protesters. I am more inclined to be concerned that the temptation will be too great for those in political circles to influence what protests are “allowed’ or not. I fear the loss of freedom because the political protests usually address a government’s dysfunctionality, and it’s generally follows that a government’s response will be equally dysfunctional. Abuse is often, regrettably, the tool of choice.

Thank you, I return the floor to my esteemed opponent, budski.


[edit on 3/10/2009 by semperfortis]



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 02:43 PM
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I wish to take my 24 hour extension.



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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Thanks again to maxmars, despite the increase in verbosity


It is at this point that I would like to get to what I see as the key point in this debate.

“The Right to Political Protest Should Be At The Discretion Of Law Enforcement To Insure Public Safety.

It seems reasonable to me that this applies to VIOLENT protest and this is where I will focus in this part of the debate.

I would ask the readers this question: Who has the greater rights, the peacefull population, or those intent on violent disorder outside of the mainstream?

In my opinion, the people who maintain the peace and protest at the ballot box in the proper manner have the greater right to have their peace maintained by such action as the denial of the right to protest by groups with a history and a propensity for violence.

Perhaps there is a case for saying that politicians MAY try and manipulate legislation, but this is the whole reason for a NEUTRAL body which oversees decisions made by the police.

It is a situation comparable with the High Court and the European Court of Human Rights overturning government decisions in certain situations.

Protest and the right to protest is not something that should ever be taken away - but what we are dealing with here is public safety.

In other words, the greater good.

Let me take you back to 1990, and the poll tax riots.

Throughout the UK, peacefull protests had taken place, with no arrests and no damage to property.

Yet in London, after a series of confrontations designed to ensure a police reaction, a hard core of between 3,000 and 3,500 began rioting, burning and looting.
Police and passing members of the public were attacked, with the rioters also attacking firefighters dispatched to control the fires started by the rioters.

Does this seem reasonable?

Or does this seem like the very situation where public safety was of paramount concern - public safety which law enforcement could not guarantee because they had no recourse in law to ban certain groups from the protest.

And yet this protest eventually brought down the Prime Minister at the time - NOT through protest or riots, but through the ballot box.

Political protest can be done in many ways - marching and demonstrating is a shot across the bows of the sitting government before the use of the ballot box if they do not follow the wishes of the people they were elected to serve.

Let's go back now, just a couple of days.

In Luton, islamic extremists targetted a parade of troops who had just come back from Afghanistan. [1]

If not for the presence of the Police force, these extremists would have faced serious injury or worse - ensuring public safety, in other words would have been the order of the day, without risk to Police officers.

In fact, the only 2 people arrested were people who had simply come to show their support for the troops.

I submit that if these Islamic extremists had not been allowed to stage a demonstration, or political protest, there would have been no disorder.

I further submit that if law enforcement, including intelligence agencies had the wherewithall to deny certain groups the ability to cause strife, then we would see less of the knee jerk reactions of people everywhere regarding Islam.

In fact, the Danish Prime Minister has said:

The violent uproar over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohamed has become "a growing global crisis", the Prime Minister of Denmark said.

[2]


Is it justifiable in cases like this for law enforcement to have the last word in allowing or denying the protest?

In the manner I have continually outlined, yes it is.

Anyone who has ever been caught up in the sheer terror of mob violence, and has prayed for police intervention will know just how little the safety of others means to some people - people intent on violence for the sake of violence.

I cherish freedom, and I cherish the rights we have - I do not wish to see any of them removed.

But this would not be a removal of rights.

What I propose would be discretionary powers, given to law enforcement and overseen by a neutral body with powers of veto over law enforcement decisions.

SQ.1:
Do you believe that sometimes people need protecting from themselves?

SQ.2:
Do you believe that the law of the land is of paramount importance?

SQ.3
Do you believe that the protection and safety of the public and property is of paramount importance?

SQ.4:
Do you believe that extreme and known violent groups have a place in the democratic process when it is to the detriment of public safety?

SQ.5:
Given a choice, which rights would you rather see protected, those of violent troublemakers, or those of the law abiding populace?

I return the floor to maxmars



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 02:54 PM
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As I take the floor once again, I would like to add my get well soon wishes to budski, I hope you are feeling better. Since I can truly sympathize with your discomfort, I will not give you grief for forgetting to answer my Socratic Questions, but I will for this:


Thanks again to Maxmars, despite the increase in verbosity


I am trying you know!
I think in this forum my affinity for verbosity frequently surfaces as a weakness. *sigh*…, but I digress…. (
)

Onwards to the Socratic Questions!:

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SQ.1:
Do you believe that sometimes people need protecting from themselves?


‘People’ need increasing degrees of oversight as the community’s population density increases. One could characterize this as ‘protecting’, although I believe that term implies the application of guiding force. I prefer the idea that communities need civic stewardship. People, if they are to be free, must also be free to err, if they are protected from that, they will come to rely on an external force to moderate their behavior; which is contrary to any ascension into a higher form of social culture, or civilization, if you will.


SQ.2:
Do you believe that the law of the land is of paramount importance?


I don’t want to avoid the question, but it is difficult to answer directly. I do believe that law is of paramount importance, and I also believe that people of any particular region should be empowered to establish those laws, rather than have them imposed from afar, but essentially, that would be the ‘law’ of ‘their’ land.


SQ.3
Do you believe that the protection and safety of the public and property is of paramount importance?


Yes I do, but that safety is not limited to a physical form. Thus the safety of property is not paramount; rather it is simply important to the ‘owner’ or ‘beneficiary’ of that property.


SQ.4:
Do you believe that extreme and known violent groups have a place in the democratic process when it is to the detriment of public safety?


If a group exists that is extreme and violent, then it is has already set itself apart from the ‘public’ (by definition inclined to destroy or damage the community.) Such groups are inherently criminal. By common decree (generally speaking) criminals should never part of a process of self-determination, democratic or otherwise.


SQ.5:
Given a choice, which rights would you rather see protected, those of violent troublemakers, or those of the law abiding populace?


You offer me two choices. I want them BOTH protected, of course violent troublemakers may surrender those rights voluntarily if they choose a course of criminal action. It is a consequence of free expression.

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My opponent has chosen to identify this component of our debate topic “… To Ensure Public Safety” as key to his argument. I will try to focus on that element, as I suspect it may serve me better than it does him.


It seems reasonable to me that this applies to VIOLENT protest and this is where I will focus in this part of the debate.


The debate however, is not restricted to violent protest, and as a matter of logic we need to examine this more closely. As I opined earlier, it seems that by definition, the notion of ‘violent’ protest is inconsistent.

A protest, for whatever reason, is manifested as a group of people (or person I suppose) who are compelled to demonstrate their position on an issue. This means, for example, it is the intent of the protesters to communicate their displeasure with a State action, policy, or position. To effectively communicate, the message must be clear. Violence only detracts from the message, and so, I think true protests are not violent by nature.

Should an organized group of individuals plan violence, then that is not really a protest, but a criminal act, approaching the realm of terrorism. Breaching the laws and regulations regarding the rights of people to freedom from such crime is well within the realm of the police authorities to prevent, intercept, or terminate. This, I believe, is because it is NOT protest, but crime.

It is always possible that a protest group can be agitated to the point of violence by external disruption or agitation. Once that point is reached, the protest is over, and all that’s left is a mob riot. The message is no longer one of ideological purpose, but instead, one of the infliction of pain and damage to the opposing parties. I have not heard of any protest, ignored and unmolested, becoming violent. In fact, I have not heard of a single protest ever that devolved into violence without such external influences in play. It might be as trivial as shoving and pushing in a crowd (which is by common definition, “assault” – a crime) or as extreme as a tear gas canister or rubber bullets being used to disperse a crowd, despite the crowd’s non-violent posture.


I would ask the readers this question: Who has the greater rights, the peaceful population, or those intent on violent disorder outside of the mainstream?


Technically, since I am reading this, I can answer this question, which may have been rhetorical in intent…, but I can’t resist


Their rights are equal. In my opinion, a person either has a right or doesn’t. I think the notion of degrees of rights leads to the inevitable disenfranchisement of citizens who, for any number of reasons, may be targeted as undesirable, or otherwise unworthy, by those with the authority to enforce the limitation.

I understand that it is desirable to accept that there can exists, within a society, a body of functionaries that remain neutral. In practice however, this seems to be fantasy. Bias and prejudice are a function of reason (misguided or otherwise) and unless we find some robotic non-emotional inhuman judge, this is an unachievable position. Especially considering the social constructs which make up the foundation of the paradigm ‘leadership by popularity’.


It is a situation comparable with the High Court and the European Court of Human Rights overturning government decisions in certain situations.


In international law, there is a maxim that regardless of treaty or affiliation, no body outside of a sovereign nation can impose policy unless that nation has legally legislated that policy directly. I have no doubt, even uninformed as I am, that there have been, currently are, and will always be, instances where these external bodies have ruled in a manner inconsistent with the will of the people of a nation. In such a case, where does one appeal? In the end, only the State can make rulings regarding its citizens, otherwise their sovereign status is an illusion.


Protest and the right to protest is not something that should ever be taken away….


I’m glad we agree.


Let me take you back to 1990, and the poll tax riots.
Throughout the UK, peaceful protests had taken place, with no arrests and no damage to property.
Yet in London, after a series of confrontations designed to ensure a police reaction, a hard core of between 3,000 and 3,500 began rioting, burning and looting…..


I must ask, can you truly state that this was “a series of confrontations designed to ensure a police reaction”? If this was a proven case, then the actions were of premeditated violence, and not a protest but criminal in nature.

I do not know the specifics of this event, but I know that if the police knew who these people were, why would they react as if shocked by the development? If the group is known to perform such acts, then the process should have set up controls to prevent their ability to propagate such violence. If they were not known to be violent, or never had been previously, how was this even remotely avoidable? By removing everyone’s right to assemble and speak freely?


And yet this protest eventually brought down the Prime Minister at the time - NOT through protest or riots, but through the ballot box.


That sounds oversimplified. That protest can’t have been the cause of the political defeat, a contributing factor perhaps, but not the cause.


In Luton, Islamic extremists targeted a parade of troops who had just come back from Afghanistan…..


What you are demonstrating here is the effect of war-time on a society’s safety. It wasn’t the fact that they could protest that enabled them to cause this disruption, it was the fact that they intended to. No amount of legalese and administrative action can prevent willful execution of violence by the extremely inclined. They will always find a way; in fact, they always do, even in the most repressive of police states.


I further submit that if law enforcement, including intelligence agencies had the wherewithal to deny certain groups the ability to cause strife, then we would see less of the knee jerk reactions of people everywhere regarding Islam.


In this regard I agree. However, intelligence agencies are rarely given ‘police’ authority. And police seem to have, for reasons that elude me, a very difficult time interfacing with intelligence communities. But MOST importantly, it was not the PROTEST itself that caused strife, it was a criminal intent to do harm; with the protest serving as the pretext of their presence.


What I propose would be discretionary powers, given to law enforcement and overseen by a neutral body with powers of veto over law enforcement decisions.


In that scenario, it is NOT the police exercising discretionary authority because ultimately, the notional ‘neutral body’ with veto powers who are the executors of that discretion. Assuming an ideal scenario, this would be practicable, but in the end the police would only enjoy the privilege of ‘recommending’ that a protest be banned, not actually rendering the decision.



posted on Mar, 14 2009 @ 02:38 PM
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my thanks to maxmars for well wishes, and I sincerely hope his eardrums have recovered


As I have previously mentioned terrorism is a form of political protest, most especially when a terrorist organisation has a political wing such as Sinn Fein.

In allowing all forms of political protest, we open the door to the propaganda perpetrated by organisations such as Sinn Fein (was) throughout three decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

Is it not reasonable to say that such protest in the form of propaganda should have been banned or at the very least subject to law enforcement agencies throught the "troubles" in order to ensure public safety?

We also have the case of the BNP where certain professions (including the police) are banned from joining, and which is banned from demonstrations or "political protest" in order to maintain public safety and because of incitement to hatred.

And yet the BNP is represented at local government level throughout the country (UK)

At one time Sinn Fein were similarly banned.

In the interest of public safety, should we not also ban any and all groups whose focus is violence, incitement of violence, incitement to hatred, incitement to racism, homophobia or any other of the ugliness we see in the modern world?

Should the Westboro Baptist Church be an organisation that is subject to discretionary powers by law enforcement?

After all, public safety also includes the safety of those protesting, as I have already shown.

There is a fine line between political activism and incitement to an array of hate crimes.

My opponent has tried to say that a neutral body would mean that law enforcement would not be using discretionary powers - I say this is nonsense.

There MUST be a right of appeal against any decision by ANY agency if it potentially denies the rights of a group or individual.

There is also the question of intelligence agencies.

I'm not sure what happens in my opponents country, but in the UK, the police and various intelligence agencies work very closely together - and work very successfully too.

As previously mentioned, in NI.

Without the intelligence agencies working hand in hand with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the loss of life would have been much greater.




Socratic question 1: Shall we begin to restrain ‘known’ hooligans to their homes and places of work? Why allow the violent freedom to expose us to the eventuality of their dysfunction?

No, and I said no such thing.




Socratic Question 2: Do you contend that protests represent a danger to society? What if the protest was about a perceived danger to society[ (ironic?)

No, only that SOME violent protesters represent a danger to society and themselves.

SQ.1:
Can you give specific examples of intelligence agencies and the police NOT working well together in countries other than the US?

SQ.2:
Which intelligence agency was responsible for infitrating the BNP, and then working with police to make them a toothless tiger?

SQ.3:
Can you name the intelligence agencies which stopped so many deaths in Northern Ireland?

SQ.4:
Do you believe that "security forces" do not work hand in hand together, in countries other than the US?

SQ.5:
How does oversight amount to taking a decision out of the hands of law enforcement?



posted on Mar, 14 2009 @ 11:04 PM
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Thank you, busdki. You have entered a most interesting dimension in this debate.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _


SQ.1:
Can you give specific examples of intelligence agencies and the police NOT working well together in countries other than the US?


I wish I couldn’t. I will give two to satisfy the requirement of the plural request. One in particular has great meaning to me; the other should to everyone…

Note: I contend that this violence could have been averted had the agents of the State in the form of; a) the gatherers of intelligence, with a free press, and, b) regulatory enforcement authorities (police), with a benevolent justice system; had chosen to conspire to work together effectively.

Example 1: The murder of thousands on September 11, 2001 showed the result of precious little cooperation between the police and intelligence communities. The reasons I have heard given for this have ranged from the utterly pathetic, to the utterly disrespectful to the dead.

Example 2: The events leading up to the subtle and nearly complete infiltration of the US federal government (and others) by the barons of corporate and financial industry, including the engineering of an international economic catastrophe and even war for the benefit of a handful of elites with delusions of lordship over all mankind. It has been, and still seems, a slow-motion train wreck, yet our people ‘in the know’ who we authorize to combat such developments, seem to have opted to simply do nothing.


SQ.2:
Which intelligence agency was responsible for infiltrating the BNP, and then working with police to make them a toothless tiger?


I’m sorry to display my ignorance, but I thought it was an undercover reporter from some newspaper that broke their secrecy? I didn’t know an intelligence agency had done that.


SQ.3:
Can you name the intelligence agencies which stopped so many deaths in Northern Ireland?


Presumably, this was accomplished by intelligence organizations within your criminal justice system. I am not a world-citizen who has scrutinized these particular events at great length. I am sure it is much more well-known to you, it having a much more direct impact on your vicinity. I suppose their must have been considerable participation by the British Military Intelligence community as well, considering their level of ‘martial’ participation was considerable.


SQ.4:
Do you believe that "security forces" do not work hand in hand together, in countries other than the US?


I believe they do, insofar as they are able. In the end, these forces operate at the behest of a governmental – and usually political – authority. Information hoarding is very common in such bureaucracies. They use 'communication channels controls’ serves to keep the information from coalescing meaningfully anywhere inside the operational services. This ensures the appropriate leadership is empowered to decide who gets to know how much – in other words, preserving the power of information for a chosen few.


SQ.5:
How does oversight amount to taking a decision out of the hands of law enforcement?


Because you wish to install this theoretical oversight after the ‘ban’ is effected. I contend that meaningful oversight must be exercised before anyone’s rights are ‘taken away’ by a law enforcement entity – because the power to abrogate a protester’s rights must be considered an extraordinary action, not to be made at any level less than judicial. Thus it would NOT be an enforcement branch of the legal system to decide. That’s the oversight to which I am referring.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

I don’t envy your society’s exposure to Sinn Fein’s foolish sacrifice of lives, cruelly sanctioning criminally violent activity in order to leverage forced access to the political environment. The cause, some might say, lay in systematic disenfranchisement by a paradigm of governance that refused to tolerate direct political confrontation. Others would conjure up the old demons of prejudice and intolerance. Neither seems adequate to justify the loss of life and suffering endured by the innocents.

Politically prohibiting them from protest surely wouldn’t be sufficient to avoid the violence. Nor do I expect, prohibiting such desperate groups from protest will eliminate the threat of those inclined to do harm, justified or not.

I expect that it is old, by now, but I must reassert that a protest ‘planned’ for the purposes of inflicting violence is not a protest, but instead, an act of crime. There is no policing power on earth that can stop people from railing against what they perceives as injustice; regardless of whether the perception is biased or contrived, it is nonetheless a maxim of human nature.

I separate ‘protest’ from ‘terrorism’ just as I separate ‘free speech’ and ‘free assembly’ from ‘crime’. I know that in each case, one is the opportunity of the other, but not vice versa. I must point out that while Sinn Fein was ‘banned’ – the terrorism (or political violence, if you will) did not subside. Eliminating the freedom, it appears, will not eliminate the violence. It appears that restoring the freedom, did (somewhat). I suppose it is a matter of perspective. As an American, I am reticent to render any judgment either way - I haven't had to live with it as you have.


In the interest of public safety, should we not also ban any and all groups whose focus is violence, incitement of violence, incitement to hatred, incitement to racism, homophobia or any other of the ugliness we see in the modern world?


A difficult question; it would have made a good Socratic Question…, and I will answer.

I’m choosing to infer you are not talking about banning the groups themselves, just their legal right to protest. If I am mistaken forgive me. The interest of public safety is prevalent in all matters – and the State is obliged by mandate to ensure it. If a group is determined to exist whose sole function, as you have stated is violence, incitement of violence, incitement to hatred, incitement to racism, homophobia, et. al., they can be rightly be categorized as criminal organization, under law. Such organizations, by definition, have no right to protest to begin with – they exist outside the law. I do object to the inclusion of homophobia and even racism, because they are maladies or weaknesses of human character; not in and of themselves, a crime (although they often become manifest in criminal acts). Perhaps time may change this aspect of the human condition, given we are gifted with enough to overcome such childishness.

I’m not sure if banning a group such as the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting something would be as fair as banning any other organization from protesting against them. I don’t see why we consider those who would be inclined to target them, as the ‘norm’ from which they must be protected. I suppose it is good that the law examines such cases; I am no lawyer.


My opponent has tried to say that a neutral body would mean that law enforcement would not be using discretionary powers - I say this is nonsense.

There MUST be a right of appeal against any decision by ANY agency if it potentially denies the rights of a group or individual.


My opponent and I are not in harmony over the proper place of oversight. He accepts the right of appeal to have meaning; I suggest the right to protest to exist as the status quo, which the authorities can appeal after the fact. If they believe strongly they better have the courts or oversight body consider the ‘ban’ prior to law enforcement being authorized to interfere with freedoms they profess we all have – in other words, the authority’s do not ‘grant’ us these rights, thus only under extraordinary circumstances would they be taken away.

Ultimately this is a question of determining who will reserve the power and authority to interfere with two freedoms; that of speech and assembly. I am a realist; I know that conditions vary infinitely. There are some groups that must be reigned in because they have no respect for our society; but such determination should not, in my opinion, be delegated to people whose primary function is direct confrontation with criminal activity. The ministerial duty’s of justice belong outside the law enforcement community; concentrating such powers can give rise to terrible errors that manifest themselves as abuse at worst, and miscarriages of justice at best. The consequences of such a perception, accurate, deserved, or contrived, would only serve to foster enmity between those who are not free to protest, and those who decided to silence them.

I now adjourn to await my opponent's closing post. Thank you for your patience with my verbosity.



posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 01:25 PM
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Closing Statement

My thanks to maxmars for an interesting and lively debate, which I hope the readers found entertaining.

“The Right to Political Protest Should Be At The Discretion Of Law Enforcement To Insure Public Safety.”

On the surface this a statements which seems designedd to deny us our rights.

But ONLY on the surface.

I have shown that this issue could quite easily be put into practice, despite my opponents attempts to dress the issue up as something else.

And here we come to what I believe is the key to choosing the winner of this debate.

In the words of Monty Python, an argument (or debate in this case) is not just the automatic gainsaying of has been said by the other party - nand yet my opponent has based his whole argument around this questionable strategy.

I have offered proof, proposed solutions and shown without any shadow of a doubt that what I propose does NOT take away any freedoms, but instead increases our freedom because the solutions would increase our safety.

My opponent has offered nothing more than simply contradicting whatever I have posted.

Is that debating?

Is that intelligent discussion?

The use of verbosity to mask the fact that he has nothing to say should fool no-one.

Public safety is the most important fact we are dealing with here, and it is my assertion that by implementing the issues I have discussed, public safety is served without denying us our rights.

Thank you for reading.



posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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I would like to thank my opponent, who is both a skilled debater and an exemplary member of our community. Thank you, kind readers and judges, for your time and patience…, which is a drawn out way to say, “Thank you ATS.”

I am generally, disinclined to devote closing time to the review of my opponent’s position. I think it has gotten all the attention it merits.

Budski’s defense of the debate proposition was ill-fated. Contrary to his assertions otherwise,


“The Right to Political Protest Should Be At The Discretion Of Law Enforcement To Insure Public Safety.”

On the surface this [is] a statement which seems designed to deny us our rights.

But ONLY on the surface.

- budski


I disagree; the proposition clearly means to limit or deny rights we recognize as inherent in our citizenship.

Any proposition granting discretionary powers to law enforcement to exercise the preemptive stripping of civil rights is, in fact, exactly what it purports to be. No amount of redefinition of terms can make it any less offensive to my mind.

My position is not a simple contradiction; such power does not belong in the hands of those who see danger everywhere. I have explained why, in my natural manner.

I consider the examples he cites, ironically, as extraordinary examples of the necessity for the State to render the judgment, not law enforcement.

There is no doubt that any right can be taken away, when under the framework of a legal system, it is determined in due course that public safety is threatened. But law enforcement should not usurp that power from the lawyers, barristers, judges, and legislators – or we will end up all silenced for anything they can contrive as ‘the greater good.’

Such has been the autocratic rationale always presented by those who believe that they should be entrusted with the power to exercise ‘preemptive’ offensive actions like wars and raids. ‘Bureaucratic authorities’ can always be counted upon to claim they ‘know better’ or ‘more’ or have ‘secret’ knowledge unavailable to those who comprise the actual citizens of the State, thus should be allowed to act as the gatekeepers of freedom.

Theirs then becomes the power of denial of access, at the cost of rights many fought and died for. Appealing such deficiencies after the fact means nothing; free speech and free assembly should be the norm, not the exception. Removing those rights should be an extraordinary action, not rendered at the base level of law enforcement.

It is the citizens who legitimize the State, it is the State that ‘authorizes’ police force. That disconnect between the people and the police is there for a reason. Its junction is the judicial, ministerial offices of State, whose mandate comes directly from the citizens – while the police forces have an administrative layer of bureaucracy insulating them from accountability.

-------

I must address a comment to which I am compelled to respond.

On no occasion do I use ‘nay saying’ as a form of argument. I believe I have constructed a considerable foundation of rationale to support my argument. It is a simple matter of rights and my proposal that NOONE should be allowed to decide, based on a narrow criterion, to void them; especially those who exist in society to ‘enforce’ regulation (not make them.)

I make no apologies for my vocabulary or writing style. It is what it is. I can only communicate as best I can. If busdki truly finds this unintelligent, then I am disappointed. I suspect however, that it was a closing volley intended to detract from my assertions, none of which lack in meaning or pertinence to the topic. I expect the judges will determine the value of my input differently.

--------

Rather than belabor what I believe I have already made quite clear, I will exercise "brevity" (shocker, huh?
). I think I have made a clear case that the assertion-topic of this debate is a recipe for enforcement abuse, and as such should not be delegated away from the courts.

In closing, I offer my thanks again to everyone. This topic has been a learning experience for me, as usual, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Be well.

MM



posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 06:39 PM
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Now the judging!!!

Stay Tuned



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 05:47 PM
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And The Winner Is!!!!


First of all I would like to congratulate both budski and maxmars for an intelligent, well thought out debate. It was interesting, informative and enjoyable.

It is difficult to render a decision but I believe maxmars carried the day.

Budski failed to answer the first of maxmars questions. Although he made some compelling arguments and such as:
"Let us not forget that in some people's eyes, terrorism is a natural extension of the political process."

His argument that veto poser of law enforcement would be overseen by a neutral party was interesting but I believe he failed to show how such a neutral party could exist. Later on in the debate he appeared to agree with maxmars position that such a body might not protect the citizens' rights to assembly and speech.

Maxmars, even after taking some good natured teasing about his writing style continued to stay the course. At no point in the debate did he waver from his position. He also answered all the questions posed to him.

Maxmars made several different comments that I found very compelling.

1) "In my opinion, a person either has a right or doesn't. I think the notion of degrees of rights leads to the inevitable disenfranchisement of citizens."

2) "Theirs then becomes the poser of denial of access, at the cost of rights many fought and died for. Appealing such deficiencies after the fact means nothing;"

And the most compelling;
3) " At what point in our society should we willingly surrender the right of free assembly and speech?"

4) "Disallowing political protest is a sure way to provoke violent reaction."

I believe that the stronger argument was made against allowing law enforcement to decide who can and who can't protest. Once again thanks to both for providing such a though provoking debate.


I wanted to take a moment to say how amazed I was when I read this debate. Both of you showed professional debate quality in your posts, and I like seeing that!! It just goes to show that this forum is doing something right. Good job to the both of you!! Admirable work!

One issue that I'd like to touch on before we get started here: The debate topic was deliberately left vague I believe to allow for a wider variety of arguments. In this case, however, I see that it may have hindered more than it helped. You see, "Law Enforcement" in some areas is constituted by the use of Martial Law, while in other locations, rogue militant groups control huge portions of a country unopposed, because no one will stand up to them. I think that this debate could have been better defined using some more restrictive verbiage, like selecting certain places to discuss, or something of similar intent.

The main problem is that this world is not an Utopian place. Nothing we can come up with will be exactly as we see it in our heads, no matter how perfect it may be, as people are not all alike. We all have differing opinions, and as such, can't agree on everything. While that sounds like it's a weakness, it's actually our strongest quality as a species. It allows us to adapt to any circumstance.

Regardless, as you will both see, I judged each of your posts, and will give a point value of either -1, 0, or +1 to each. In this way, it helps to simplify the judgment process for me. Without further adieu:
________________________________________

budski:

Intro: Good intro. Pertinent Socratic Questions which help to establish your argument. (+1)

Reply 1: You made a great point when you stated that law enforcement wasn't just the police.

I would like to comment though on one thing that I saw here.. Your assumption that law enforcement's job is to protect our safety and property is fundamentally flawed on the grounds that they cannot be everywhere all at the same time, else there would be no crime. Besides, until the police arrive, I, as a citizen, am the law, no?

Regardless, great post!! (+1)

Reply 2: Good use of sources. They support your argument well. Again, great Socratic Questions! The only problem that I see here is that you didn't answer Maxmars' Socratic Questions from his previous post, which is mandatory per the rules that you agreed to upon coming into this debate. (-1)

Reply 3: As you have throughout this debate, you ask pertinent Socratic Questions, which serve to help your argument along. (+1)

Close: Great close and summation. (+1)

Total: 3 Points
________________________________________

Maxmars:

Intro: Excellent intro! The part about police instigating violence during protests is well-documented and I am glad that you brought it up.

One thought for the future though: if you have any Socratic Questions that you feel will be useful in aiding your argument, ask them!! They are a handy tool to establish an argument! (+1)

Reply 1: The way you broke down the topic statement was very appropriate, and added more direction to your argument. Very well worded! (+1)

Reply 2: Again, you continue to direct the debate just the way you want it! you make good use of budski's statements to further your own position. (+1)

Reply 3: Not much to say here. More of the same great prose. A concern that I do have, however, is your lack of sources. Budski is using sources to his advantage here, and simply refuting them, while very effective here, doesn't always work. Just some advice... (0)

Close: A closure only you could write!! (+1)

Total Points: 4

WINNER: Maxmars!!!

Now that that's out of the way, I have a few parting words for each of you...

budski: Your argument supposes that those in charge will all be of a like mind; out to genuinely serve the greater good. In reality, this is never going to happen. As such, while your solution is novel and idealistic, that's all it can ever be until people evolve enough to get past the petty things that they currently fight over. GREAT WORK THOUGH!! Keep it up!

Maxmars: While your "verbosity" made several appearances throughout this debate, I think it fit in well with the side that you had. You laid out a great argument, and convinced me at least that you deserved the win. GREAT JOB!

To both of you: Keep improving guys!! You've both got talent like you wouldn't believe. I want to see a rematch sometime soon!!

Congrats to you both!!


Budski vs. Maxmars

An interesting contrast of styles. I enjoyed this read very much. There were several key points that this debate hinged upon. The role Law Enforcement Agencies play in our societies, what exactly is a political protest and not least of all, our rights as citizens.

Budski's opening firmly set where he was taking his position and he stuck to it throughout the debate. MM used his opening to be a bit more broader in it's scope. He brought some doubt to the perceived objectivity of the LE agencies in question. He also made good points about LE only enforcing the laws.

As the debate developed, MM asked the question about what good is the neutral body if the appeal is after the fact, which Budski didn't answer. I was hoping to see that, as that would have been a extremely strong point to his side. Busdki mentions this body several times but fails to explain how it would function properly.

Budski had some great points about the violence in his country and the banning of Sinn Fein from the political arena due to there affiliation/attachment to the IRA. This was, in my opinion, the strongest part of his case. This showed how the rights of a group could be infringed upon for the greater good. Max didn't have a good counter for this and basically conceded this point.

Also, MM contention that violence through protest is not really protest at all was very compelling.

Overall, I thought that Maxmars did the better job of defending his position through good case building,adept answering of Socratic questions and over all rebuttal.

Therefore, my decision goes to Maxmars.

Great job by both fighters. You both did a great job.


Maxmars is the Winner and will advance..

Congratulations to both Fighters

Semper




[edit on 3/20/2009 by semperfortis]



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 05:52 PM
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I'm delighted to see I got sme praise for this debate, as I felt I was far from my best.

However, that is not to take away from maxmars who did a magnificent job - to such an extent that I feel on my best day I would be hard pressed to carry the day against him.

Well done mate - a thoroughly deserved win


And good luck in the next round - not that I think you'll need it, as you are a great debater


[edit on 20/3/2009 by budski]



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 08:33 PM
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I had to refrain from posting for a few moments, as the swelling of my ego was evident even to me.

Thank you all for you kind words and sound advice.

I would welcome a rematch, but that is not to say I'm looking forward to dancing with budski again! His strength as an opponent was daunting, I would much prefer him as an ally


I can't deny I enjoy 'maximizing' my prose.

Having said that,

I humbly thank you all.




P.S. budski, next time we tangle, try not to beat me up too much... I bruise like a grape!





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