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Round 3: Maxmars vs TruthWithin: "Revolutionary Hero Or Terrorist?"

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posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 09:03 PM
The topic for this debate is: "If Thomas Jefferson Was Alive Today, He Would Be Labeled A Terrorist"

Maxmars will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
TruthWithin 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.

There is a 10,000 character limit. Excess characters will be deleted prior to judging.

Editing is strictly forbidden. For reasons of time, mod edits should not be expected except in critical situations.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. Each individual post may contain up to 10 sentences of external source material, totaled from all external sources.

Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed before judging.

Videos are not permitted. This includes all youtube links and other multi-media video sources.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

This Is The Time Limit Policy

Each debate must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extension of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extension begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extension request.
In the unlikely event that tardiness results in simultaneous posting by both debaters, the late post will be deleted unless it appears in its proper order in the thread.

Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.

posted on Apr, 19 2009 @ 05:50 PM
Round 3: Maxmars vs TruthWithin: "Revolutionary Hero Or Terrorist?"

Maxmars Opening

The topic for this debate is: "If Thomas Jefferson Was Alive Today, He Would Be Labeled a Terrorist"

In this topic, we face a contextual dilemma. The definition of the word has changed since it was coined.

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) lived during a time when the pejorative term ‘terrorist’ had not yet been commonly adopted in the everyday vernacular.

- - - - -

A word on “Terrorism”

In my original research I found that the term “terrorist” apparently made its’ most relevant contextual debut in 1869, when Sergey Nechayev, the founder of the Russian "People's Retribution," was reported as describing himself as a “terrorist.” Reportedly, Mr. Nechayev was a duplicitous manipulator, and truly intended his self-description to evoke what we have carried forward, generally speaking, as a common understanding of what terrorism is. He was quite successful; one popular source defines it by noting “in modern times "terrorism" usually refers to the killing of innocent people by a private group in such a way as to create a media spectacle.”

- - - - -

Terrorism is now defined much more broadly than simply a violent publicity stunt. In fact, as our cultures and societies have evolved, they have expanded and refined the term; for better or worse, and that definition today includes people who would conduct themselves as Thomas Jefferson had in his day. Definitions enacted by national (and international) bodies are much more ‘inclusive’ of a wide variety of conditions, extending far beyond the simple ‘shock value’ and ‘name recognition’ of earlier times.

- - - - -

To make the topic even more challenging, there was no specificity of being labeled a terrorist ‘by whom’ and/or ‘to what effect.’

As TruthWithin and I explore this topic, we will both contend the other is incorrect.

TruthWithin has the unenviable task of rendering a convincing argument that Mr. Jefferson, could in this day and age, undertake to effect a change in the established government, as he did then, and NOT be labeled a terrorist. Furthermore, that position has to hold consistent that the charge would not come, even if it were simply a contrivance, or legally wrong to do so. I won’t go so far as to say I disagree that any moron can call any other moron a ‘terrorist,’ moronically lacking any reasonable argument, and render the debate moot. But that does not suffice to convince me that simply because one agency, or state, or organization will not label Jefferson a terrorist, another will not.

It is becoming increasingly easy to qualify for the label of “Terrorist” in America. We have multinational, transnational, and supranational interests directly manipulating the economic environment through conglomerated corporate enterprise. These interests have the full force of the government’s protection. One of the simplest ways of dealing with effective dissidence is to criminalize the ideologues behind it. Regrettably, Jefferson was of a caliber to have merited such action from the ideologies that currently occupy the governmental space of our ‘establishment.’

I must confess a single element of this debate that has particular meaning to me. While I propose that Thomas Jefferson could, and indeed might, be labeled a terrorist were he a living American today, I do not contend that he would be one. I simply accept that at some level, the establishment would eventually ‘go there’.

This concludes my Opening Statement. Good luck TruthWithin, I hope I gave you something worthwhile to ponder. I humbly say ‘En guard!’

Be well everyone.


posted on Apr, 19 2009 @ 07:43 PM
Greetings all! It is a pleasure to venture out into debate land once more. Thanks to all of the readers, judges and to Semper and MS for facilitating! To echo my opponent's sentiment, EN GUARD!! Best of luck to my more than worthy opponent.

TruthWithin's Opening Statement

"If Thomas Jefferson Was Alive Today, He Would Be Labeled a Terrorist"

I am to argue the "con" position and thus argue that if Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he would indeed NOT be labeled a terrorist.


Let's call the whole thing off? Well, no, but let's talk about terrorism for a moment.

My opponent brings up a very good point in his opening statement, and that is how do we truly define terrorism by today's standards. When we think of terrorism, we think of the unruliness of 911 or attacks on foreign embassies abroad. We think of hooded men with ski masks wielding RPG's and AK-47's or shadowy underground figures plotting doom.

So, how would Thomas Jefferson be labeled a terrorist in today's terms? Well, if he were a citizen of the US, then he would have to be categorized as a "Domestic Terrorist".

Domestic Terrorists fall under a slightly different guise than foreign terrorists. By examining examples of US domestic terrorism, we begin to see a pattern emerge.

Let us take a look at a few specific examples:

1. The bombing of the LA Times Building in the early years of the 19th Century. The building was bombed over a union dispute, thus killing innocent people.

2. The Wall Street Bombing, where a horse and carriage with a whole bunch of TNT detonated in front of the exchange in 1920. I have actually been there and you can still see the pock marks on the side of some older buildings.

3. The Unibomber

4. Oklahoma City Bombings

All of these acts shape and define our view of domestic terrorism and they have dynamic similarities.

All of these heinous acts include:

1. Violence against innocents (innocents defined as unarmed civilians) were attacked in order to make some form of statement.

2. All were clearly unlawful and did not constitute such an extreme level of violence.

3. All were used to create fear and to have an extreme psychological impact, sometimes to make a political statement.

Oila! We have defined by what means Thomas Jefferson would be labeled a terrorist if here were alive today!

Throughout the course of this debate I will show you that it would be impossible for Thomas Jefferson to be labeled a terrorist by today's standards because of his core philosophy, principles and actions while he was alive.

Further, I will examine the very groups who like to throw the label of "terrorist" around today in America and judge and scrutinize Thomas Jefferson through their eyes to see if he would fit the bill.

Finally, I will prove conclusively that Thomas Jefferson had neither the gumption nor the mettle to even come close to evoking the label of terrorist.

I look forward to my opponent's first statement and eagerly await his reply.

posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 04:02 PM
Maxmars' first argument

I was struck by a question TruthWithin asked.

So, how would Thomas Jefferson be labeled a terrorist in today's terms? Well, if he were a citizen of the US, then he would have to be

categorized as a "Domestic Terrorist".

I find myself in the position of requesting that we agree that this debate topic presumes American citizenship. I am hoping we can agree on this, because if the issue of Terrorism is viewed from an international perspective, the debate landscape changes dramatically... it's best to get this kind of thing squared away early

- - - - -

As I proceed, I will first sample a few 'realities' in today's legal landscape. I will not delve into legal rationale, nor will I attempt to apologize for the state of our union; but I will nevertheless show what I believe marks the tragic reality with which Mr. Jefferson would have to contend.

Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)


In this title, the following definitions shall apply:
(A) CERTIFICATION- The term `act of terrorism' means any act that is certified by the Secretary, in concurrence with the

Secretary of State, and the Attorney General of the United States--
(i) to be an act of terrorism;
(ii) to be a violent act or an act that is dangerous to--
(I) human life;
(II) property; or
(III) infrastructure;
(iii) to have resulted in damage within the United States, or outside of the United States in the case of--
(I) an air carrier or vessel described in paragraph (5)(B); or
(II) the premises of a United States mission; and
(iv) to have been committed by an individual or individuals acting on behalf of any foreign person or foreign interest,

as part of an effort to coerce the civilian population of the United States or to influence the policy or affect the conduct of the United States

Government by coercion.

Notice... it is a 'violent' act OR an act that is 'dangerous' ...

The addition of the notion of something 'dangerous' is exceptionally vague. Especially if that juxtaposition of danger is meant to 'coerce' OR 'influence' the policy or conduct of the US Government.

Further, note this excerpt from the same resolution:


Section 11 of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 248) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

`(r)(1) Any action that this Act provides may be taken only upon the affirmative vote of 5 members of the Board may be taken upon the unanimous vote of all members then in office if there are fewer than 5 members in office at the time of the action ....

Now this gives the Federal Reserve the final authority in execution of the law; "Any action that this Act provides may be taken only upon the affirmative vote of..."

Interesting, especially considering that ...

Jefferson's dedication to "consent of the governed" was so thorough that he believed that individuals could not be morally bound by the actions of preceding generations. This included debts as well as law. He said that "no society can make a perpetual constitution or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation." .... He also advocated that the national debt should be eliminated. He did not believe that living individuals had a moral obligation to repay the debts of previous generations. He said that repaying such debts was "a question of generosity and not of right."

((emphasis mine.))

This identifies him as a proponent of a 'dangerous' idea, most certainly to the Federal Reserve which relies on our Federal Government's acquiescence to the nature of the debt THEY ALONE create on behalf of the citizens. I would expect them to consider him at the least an economic terrorist, had he the power to institute his ideas in government. I would further expect them to take the case to the courts to compel him to comply with their will.

Of course, that is just supposition.

But here is another for consideration...,

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007


For purposes of this subtitle:
(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically based violence' means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs.

"(2) ... the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system ... " It's one thing to 'promote' something, it's entirely another to adopt (or believe) it. According to "(2)", violent radicalization - as a criminal activity - is now a prosecutable offense if you 'believe' the undefined 'extremist' belief system.

"(3) and (4) ... the furtherance of political, religious, or social objectives" is illegal if it is in the form of 'force' ... So today, even a call for a demonstration of dissent for these ostensibly 'free-speech' rights CAN be considered illegal, if the prosecutors care to categorize it as such.

Mr. Jefferson, who also aligned himself with the French Revolutionary movement, would be no stranger to this categorization.

- - - - -

But more importantly, is the fact that a term above was used, one which clearly identifies a new 'concept' regarding such legislation; namely, the phrase "the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof".

Suddenly, a particular unnamed, yet definable entity is being protected.. 'any segment thereof'. Which means that qualifying as a terrorist is now irrespective of the intended target of coercion or intent. Simply protesting the IRS qualifies you as attempting to coerce a 'segment' of the United States Government, attempting to conduct a 'civil arrest' upon a 'protected' individual can be considered terrorism. Blocking access to a nuclear power plant can be considered extremist and radical in nature, and again, might cast one into the net of 'terrorism.' Threatening to close down the Federal Reserve would probably get him killed...

Mr. Jefferson was a political agitator, a publisher of ideas that called for the utter dissolution of the colonial government, so he was clearly not averse to being labeled a 'traitor' to the British establishment, and was no shy about his political beliefs.

Were he the President now, it would be a tremendous blow to watch the law, dissect him into subversive and impeachable bits and pieces. But that they undoubtedly would.

Far from safe, Mr. Jefferson would have to curtail his political activities severely were he to advocate the removal of the Democratic and Republican elements from our Federal Government. His concepts of personal freedom and inalienable rights is in direct opposition to those who wish to regulate those freedoms and rights as 'granted' by the government, as was the Napoleonic trend at the time.

Jefferson would have to go underground and start printing subversive pamphlets to get his ideas disseminated, lest he be completely silenced by those who are crafting a society where it is increasingly illegal to disagree with the current oligarchical-corporatist paradigm we face today. In today's world there is no 'distance' that would protect him from the intent of those against whose interests he would speak.

His beliefs would be considered extreme and his efforts subversive. He would be labeled a terrorist out of simple expedience to silence him. IF he had any protection of legitimacy, he might suffer only professional marginalization and media ridicule; but if he were to live up to his reputation as a passionate "Founding Father", he would be forced to confront the system head-on in direct rebellion. Sadly, he would be made a criminal by a system that naturally sees all dissent as potentially criminal and radical.

But the saga does not end here. Mr. Jefferson has more than simply 'government entrenchment' to fight. There are powerful ideologues who command vast media resources... and you can bet THEY would label him a terrorist.., because they account to no one for their words...

TruthWithin, it's up to you now....

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 06:15 PM
Need my 24 hr extension. BOOOO life!

posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 11:39 AM
At this point I will proceed with my posting. Unfortunately we are going to be robbed of TruthWithin's most excellent contribution, but I don't want this debate to drag out indefinitely. And I suppose I have at least some worthwhile additional comments to add. TruthWithin, I hope you get some time soon, but I completely understand that life has a habit of intruding ...

MaxMars' Second Argument

Because of reality's intrusion on our exchange, I will run the risk of revealing my strategy in dealing with this topic:

My intent was to offer initially, a series of reasons that expose why the government (or associate power element) could easily contrive to label Mr. Jefferson as a terrorist. The laws themselves have been recently rendered 'more pliable' to interpretation extending the label to those who normally would not have been even remotely close to the stereotypical definition. I wanted to be clear that the reality of the situation is that given the motivation to do so, the government (or her agents or agencies) could easily label Jefferson (or anyone else behaving in similar manner) as a terrorist if they so desire. After all we live in a new world, a world which includes secret renditions, denial of habeus corpus, and who knows what else we may yet have to discover.


In this round, I wanted to show that the government itself is not the only entity that might be inclined to label Mr. Jefferson a terrorist. That Madison Avenue/Hollywood conglomerates have created a shameless travesty of our free press, anf Jefferson would have been among the most notable personalities to decry that reality and demand the American people actually "DO" something about it. Pitting oneself against those who own the presses, the media, and the medium, will make it very convenient to cast ANY dispersion possible on Mr. Jefferson for the sake of 'marketing' and 'terrorist' much like other monikers carries connotations that would suit them well.

My third installment would have been a clear demonstration of people who ALREADY CALL JEFFERSON A TERRORIST. There are a number of sites out there where you can find the phrase "Thomas Jefferson was a Terrorist" - simply search for it. Some clearly qualify as opinionated partisan pieces, some as sarcasm or humor, and some are more serious. But in the end, I would have pointed out that if people are calling him that now. dead as he is, there no reason to expect they would have said the same now.... I anticipated that would certainly prove my point that he indeed would have been called a terrorist, if not by the government, the media, political partisan spin-masters, partisan zealots; ultimately, in fact someone would have labeled him so.


Things that Mr. Jefferson stated or wrote that would have certainly threatened those in power or in control, (or at least would have provided them with reason to dislike him intensely.....)

Think about the Central Banks' control over the worlds economic situation, and how they would have hated this to become commonly accepted:

"It is a misnomer to call a government republican in which a branch of the supreme power is independent of the nation" - From a letter to James Pleasants, Monticello, December 26, 1821


Think about the FCC and the Media and how they orchestrated the near monopoly of news-entertainment in this country.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves, nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe" From a letter to Charles Yancey, Monticello, January 6, 1816


How would elitists feel about confronting this statement?

"...May it be to the world what I believe it to be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal to arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to blind themselves and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That for which we have substituted restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or are opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God...." From a letter to Roger Weightman, Monticello, June 24, 1826.

In the end. there a hundreds of statements reflect Jefferson's position which would have caused more than mild discomfort for those who thrust themselves into our government and maintain their presence as if it were 'a mandate and an entitlement.'

The means, motive, and opportunity to disparage Mr. Jefferson would not have been passed up by people who refuse to suffer dissent.

I will adjourn now, in thee hopes that TruthWithin will return with full force, and explain to me why Jefferson would have escaped the new pariah-status of "terrorist.'

Be well everyone, and thanks for your patience.


posted on Apr, 26 2009 @ 01:44 AM
Due to unresolved time constraints I am force to forfeit my role in this tourney.

Maxmars is a more than worthy opponent and I hope to do battle at a more suitable time.

Good luck to all the debaters, and I hope that everything gets resolved with the pub.

ATS should put community before vanity, but I understand that it is always not that easy. I hope for an amicable solution, but I must say that the new tone around here from the management has sucked a lot of the fun out of the process.

Just my 2 cents...

posted on Apr, 26 2009 @ 10:37 AM
I am saddened by this turn of events.

I suspect I should restrict my comments to my heartfelt appreciation for TruthWithin's efforts, and my complete understanding regarding the prevailing circumstances.

My best you all.

Be well.

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