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Forum Post: Discourse on Liberty, Tyranny, and Death

Posted 2 years ago on March 6, 2012, 12:14 a.m. EST by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Ever since I became aware of H.R. 347 and it's violation and disregard of the 1st Amendment (Congress shall make NO LAW...abridging the freedom of speech...or the right of the people to peaceably to assemble...), I have had an opportunity to reflect on a few things. I have gathered up my thoughts as best I can, and tried to produce them below. I am quite aware that these views are likely to be met with very strong criticism, but have decided to write them anyway. I'll try not to be too long-winded, but it might end up that way. If so, I apologize in advance, but please stay with me to the end if you can.

The central, and perhaps ultimate question to be answered for our time is..."Must liberty be sacrificed in an age of terrorism?"  Many people have already answered this question with a resounding "YES!".  The Patriot Act, enacted post-9/11, was a political (and some would argue practical and necessary) reactionary piece of legislation created and passed into law while the images of 9/11 and the fears of the nation were at their peak. Constitutional scholars were quick to observe its impact on the Bill of Rights, but this just didn't seem to matter at the time to congressional legislators, and they had the popular support of the people due to the terrible recent events. 

This type of behavior was not without precedent.  The rights of American citizens were violated (actually removed) during the early days of WWII by the internment of Japanese Americans. They had violated no laws and were, by all rights (no pun intended) perfectly innocent, loyal, and perhaps even patriotic Americans. People of Germanic background were also viewed with suspicion (my mother was part of a rural Germanic community in Texas during the outbreak of the war, and the word quickly spread throughout that community that no more German could be spoken). So there appears to be no shortage of misguided, but perhaps well-meaning, fear and regrettable behaviors that emerge in otherwise rational people during times of national threat, whether only perceived or actual. 

I restate the history above for a reason...the tendency of lawmakers to suspend freedoms associated with the Bill of Rights. In the first case, the rights of a certain ethnic segment of the US population were suspended during wartime, then restored at the end of the war. In the case of the Patriot Act, it has not been repealed since its signing into law in 2001, and has been cited with violations of the Bill of Rights in many sections (for a detailed comparison, please click here:

http://www.scn.org/ccapa/pa-vs-const.html

Since no formal declaration of war on terrorism exists, no formal declaration of the end of this "war" has allowed for the repeal of the Patriot Act, and it could, in theory, continue in perpetuity, although numerous efforts on the part of various organizations such as the ACLU continue to make attempts to reduce its impact on civil liberties (thus far to very limited success). Additionally, controversial actions under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2012 include such things as the "right" to detain anyone, foreigner or US citizen, for an indefinite period of time without due process. Now, H.R. 347 places further restrictions on the right of US citizens to peaceably assemble under their right granted by the 1st Amendment --- one of the core freedoms contained therein. So, taking the Patriot Act, provisions of NDAA, and now H.R. 347 all together, we can clearly see a trend toward the lessening of personal freedoms for US citizens, all under the banner of that most vaguest and malleable of terms -- National Security. 

Patrick Henry has famously been attributed with uttering the phrase "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!".  This single phrase gets to the crux of, and clearly crystalizes, the matter regarding the nature of human freedoms and what is required to not only attain them, but to preserve them. Freedom is not free! It comes with a very high price! Countless numbers have died in the defense of freedom in this country, most of them in the US military. But what is the relationship between these freedoms and death?  Is freedom really worth sacrificing ones life for? Despite the obvious fact that so many have died in war to preserve the US and it's freedoms, the US citizenry might very well be viewed as having a different opinion about exactly what they would be willing to sacrifice their lives for. This requires a bit of explanation about death itself that all of us may have, upon quiet moments of reflection, given some degree of thought to.  Rarely, however, do we give it any thought whatsoever as we carry out our busy everyday lives.

Most people do not realize just how prevalent and ever-present death is. They conduct their lives under the assumption that they have decades to live. They give no consideration as to the tenuous nature of life. While some, perhaps even most, can live long lives in our modern age of science and medicine, the undeniable presence of death is everywhere and can come at any moment through tragic accident, unexpected disease, or any other mortal cause. I know this reminder is a bit morbid, but it helps to set the stage for what follows. 

The United States places great effort and expense in the supposed preservation of the lives of its citizens. This is to be commended, but the great question must be asked..."At what price?".  No one wants a repeat of 9/11, but what if the entire city of New York were bombed out of existence by a terrorist nuke? What if millions, not thousands, died? What would the US government be inclined to do then?  The fact of the matter is, US citizens were never in greater threat of nuclear annihilation than during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October,1962.  Was the Bill of Rights repealed then, and a police state implemented, in order to prevent any "possible" US citizen from carrying out an act of nuclear sabotage (a.k.a. Terrorism)? 

We have become a nation of irrational people. We live in a society that has come to love a Jerry Springer debauchery spectacle, Friday night liquor parties, and Internet porn.  Yes, we have gone pretty far downhill indeed in our never-ending search for pleasure distractions. But we need to face up to some sobering, albeit inconvenient, facts:

First, absolutely nobody lives forever.  We don't want to think about this. We love our life of pleasure so much that we are willing to give up a lot in order to maintain our pleasure focus. We know not when or how our death will come. But we live our lives as if death were the great adversary to be defeated. But it cannot be defeated. It is inevitable. We must accept it.  People gradually come to understand this on a deep level the older they get. It is a difficult thing for the young to contemplate. But the sooner we come to fully realize it, and accept it, the better. Unfortunately, many people, regardless of age, never come to accept it. They lack a certain depth in their understanding, because one cannot fully understand life without having a pretty good understanding of death.

Second, once one begins to understand death, one begins to put ones life into proper perspective regarding just what it means to sacrifice ones life. Here is where I want to make my point about terrorism and it's stated purpose of destabilizing a nation with fear. People fear terrorism because they fear death. Where there is no fear of death, the impact of terrorism is eliminated. People may still die, but they do not die afraid.  The passage of laws designed to reduce or eliminate personal freedoms is predicated on fear. This is the terrorist's only true weapon. The actual carrying out of terrorists acts, whether large or small, is of secondary importance. The primary purpose is to kill with no rational purpose other than to generate the constant fear state on the part of survivors. 

So it begins to come down to this. 

Do we wish for and accept a free society coupled to the possible death of a certain number of its citizens, who will all die sooner or later anyway, so that the survivors can continue to live free? Or do we "tolerate" a police state that has removed all freedoms/rights simply so that the citizenry has a supposedly better chance of staying alive for a longer period of time, under greater controls and scrutiny, in order to "combat" terrorism? Is not the second option completely irrational, since no one knows when or how they will die, whether it be by terrorist bomb, traffic accident, or cancer? If the latter choice is made, exactly what kind of "life" is the person living? Were people "living" under Stalinist Russia, Castro's Cuba, or Mao's China? Well, from a biological standpoint they were alive, but one would have a hard time convincing a freedom-loving person that an entire population, stripped of all human rights and subjected to an Orwellian police state e.g. "1984", is truly "living". If anything, it is a Twilight Zone state between true life and true death --- a type of living death. 

So now we swing back around to a greater understanding of what Patrick Henry meant when he said "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!". He was saying that Liberty IS Life, and the lack of it is Death. One leads to the free exercise of ones intellect and aligns with Jefferson's Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The other aligns with it's opposite, i.e., Death, Slavery, and the general state of Misery. Both Henry and Jefferson were familiar with the latter, as specified in numerous examples of the violation of the colonies rights under King George III in the Declaration of Independance. 

As children of Henry and Jefferson, we need to choose Life, not Death.  There is a final Death, and there is a "living" Death. The erosion and removal of Rights results in this Twilight Zone of "Living" Death. Let us choose Liberty, which Henry equated with Life. Let us fight these terrible laws which are destroying our freedoms and, thus, our Lives. Let us not be afraid to face Death in the process, if necessary.  For, in the end, what is Life anyway?

When you know the true answer to that question, you will know what you have to do.

78 Comments

78 Comments


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[-] 3 points by elf3 (2045) 2 years ago

ah fuck it give me death - we're all going sometime - scratch that give me sleep I have to get up for work in the morning so I can try to pay the bank and government (aka the servant of the bank) for my dwelling - sweet dreams of revolution all

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

Current (a) It shall be unlawful for any person or group of persons—

(1) willfully and knowingly to enter or remain in any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting;

(2) willfully and knowingly to enter or remain in any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance;

(3) willfully, knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, to engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any building or grounds described in paragraph (1) or (2) when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;

(4) willfully and knowingly to obstruct or impede ingress or egress to or from any building, grounds, or area described in paragraph (1) or (2); or

(5) willfully and knowingly to engage in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any building, grounds, or area described in paragraph (1) or (2).

(b) Violation of this section, and attempts or conspiracies to commit such violations, shall be punishable by—

(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if—

(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118 (e)(3); and

(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.

(c) Violation of this section, and attempts or conspiracies to commit such violations, shall be prosecuted by the United States attorney in the Federal district court having jurisdiction of the place where the offense occurred.

(d) None of the laws of the United States or of the several States and the District of Columbia shall be superseded by this section.

(e) As used in this section, the term “other person protected by the Secret Service” means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title when such person has not declined such protection.


AT THE SECOND SESSION Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,

the third day of January, two thousand and twelve

An Act

To correct and simplify the drafting of section 1752 (relating to restricted buildings or grounds) of title 18, United States Code.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. RESTRICTED BUILDING OR GROUNDS.

Section 1752 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: -`Sec. 1752. Restricted building or grounds

`(a) Whoever--

`(1) knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so;

`(2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;

`(3) knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds; or

`(4) knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds; or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

`(b) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is--

`(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if--

`(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

`(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3); and

`(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.

`(c) In this section--

(1) the termrestricted buildings or grounds' means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area--

`(A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President's official residence or its grounds;

`(B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or

`(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

(2) the termother person protected by the Secret Service' means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.'.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and

President of the Senate.


[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I don't like the order of the writing

the violent exceptions should be added at the end not half way through

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

I don't know what to tell you. :D

[-] 2 points by Marlow (1141) 2 years ago

GF.. the Man has no Sense of Style.. he thinks HIS way is the only way to write. He also forgets CONTENT is the vehicle to Style and there for Keeping the interest of the reader...

Only newbies to Published Writing go around editing everyone. Rookies!

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

It's a whole different way of writing and also reading. You have to rethink how to read information. LOL.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

4 points but chess is geometry not arithmetic

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

(b) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is--

(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.

or/and ?

(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if--

(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3);

do not separate the subject from the action

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

It is separated at the top. Whoever-

and section 2118(e)(3: (3) the term "significant bodily injury" means bodily injury which involves a risk of death, significant physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or a protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental or sensory faculty. http://law.onecle.com/uscode/18/2118.html

and it resembles state criminal codes. Unless, I am missing it, so you will have to explain it to me..........slowly. I see the offense, the punishment and then the definitions.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

there are 2 issues at fault in this writing


and/or ?

can the violent offender be penalized twice ?

for both the violent and non-violent offense

I would use "or" the document uses "and"


the statements are unnecessarily jarring the structure

the state defines an offense

and follows that with a penalty defined for an offense not listed directly above it

but rather the penalty when compounded with violence

This makes it inefficient as one must read through the violent case to find the actual penalty for the non violet case

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

I got it! I'm following you.

[-] 1 points by jart (1263) from New York, NY 2 years ago

congratulations, you just found a bug in python-markdown

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I'm so proud

I'd like to thank my 9th grade english teacher

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

No. Wait. It isn't what you think it is. This is the first part of this bill. 18 USC § 1751 - PRESIDENTIAL AND PRESIDENTIAL STAFF ASSASSINATION, KIDNAPPING, AND ASSAULT; PENALTIES http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1751

This was enacted in 1965 after Kennedy was shot. At the time it was not a Federal offense to kill the president. In 1971 it was amended to include congress. If you click on the link above and read it you will see a link that says next. It will take you to the current law (the one that is being altered).

You may find this useful. http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/select-committee-report/

In addition, I would like to remind you of this event which occurred in May of 1968.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I'm not following you GF. I tried really hard to get my point across with clarity. Did I fail?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

H.R. 347

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I must be getting really dense in my old age. Still not following you. Please spell it out for me. Thx.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

Ok This is what you need to see. 18 USC § 1751 - PRESIDENTIAL AND PRESIDENTIAL STAFF ASSASSINATION, KIDNAPPING, AND ASSAULT; PENALTIES http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1751

Read it and you will see this prev | next

Click on next. This is the current law that HR 347 is changing. It's all together. Then go back and read my post. It will explain when and why the law was enacted.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

So what you are saying is that our 1st Amendment right to peaceable assembly is not being impacted after all???? If so, I will breathe the biggest sigh of relief in my life. But then that means that the other postings like here

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-most-frightening-bill-congress-has-ever-passed/

were completely misinterpreted by the author??? Is that really possible??? They were total lies??? No 1st Amendment freedoms will be impacted by this??? Is that what you're saying???

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

Has your first Amendment right to peaceably assemble been harmed by the current law on the books since 1971? No. I provided the current and new versions. No.

It has been blown way out of proportion. The author either intentionally or unwittingly took this out of context.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

GF, I got this link from another OP called "Here we go...have a look". Still nothing to worry about? When I see stuff like this, I start to get nervous.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_nHQCme-Nk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

Underdog, I am not 100% secure in what I have written at this point. I have reservations. I flip back and forth on this--still. The video points out that it is the total package. I think that this is a fair assessment-to an extent.

By the same token, I have come across articles where one or two words were deliberately left of articles written on this new piece that has yet to be signed, in order, to.......drum up unnecessary drama. So, at this point, I want to maintain a steady course.

When this bill was written to include Congress (in 1971), there had been two assassinations: JFK and Robert Kennedy. Not to mention, MLK and Malcom X had been assassinated. There were marches and riots and strikes and, of course, the Kent State Massacre. On top of this there is still this Red Scare.

At the same time there was a fair amount of denial of how things came to be and what was happening. In many ways this denial is similar to that time period.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Well, I guess we'll just have to continue to watch this closely, keep our fingers crossed, and hope the ACLU will get on it if he signs it. I don't know what else can be done. There are already petitions out there. I guess Occupy should just stay the course and do what it always has done. That way, if people are arrested/prosecuted under 347, at least it might then gain more widespread attention in the media.

Very depressing what has happenned in this country.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

I agree. I keep looking for a respected source that can put solid pinholes in where I am with this. Now, this is either because there is no real cause for alarm or they are reviewing it.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

GF, here is a link to the ACLUs site regarding HR 347. Looks like they intend to keep an eye on this. They largely agree with your conclusion, but they find it troubling (as do I).

http://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/how-big-deal-hr-347-criminalizing-protest-bill

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

Good eye, Underdog!!!

Thanks.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

So this should in no way impact Occupy's ability to demonstrate as they have always done???

If what you say is absolutely true, then I will go to sleep tonight with a HUGE weight off my mind. 

But it seems like there are a lot of people then who have misinterpreted it? There is even a petition on the White House site begging him to veto it. 

This is important GF. You're absolutely sure???

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

Don't feel too relieved. There's still NDAA. And more importantly, there are still the people who wrote it.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Very good point indeed!!!

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

They are misinterpreting it because of what someone wrote. It is exactly what it says, it simplifies it.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I am SO very indebted to you for this! Words cannot express how relieved I am. I feel like liberty has been restored to me, even though it was, apparently, never removed (at least regarding this...the Patriot Act still remains).

GF, you are a beautiful person. I am sorry that I may have contributed to a lot of paranoia on these forums. I'm actually pretty embarrassed about that. I like to operate from facts. It seemed like the facts were against the people. I'm glad they weren't ... REALLY glad.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

and we all went along with it

well, I can't speak for you

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

Oh, initially, I did.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the government site should have told use it was an old law

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

I posted both the old and the new versions. When I looked at the old version I didn't see any reason for fear.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

what was different about the new version ?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

I posted it above all in one post. Have a look see.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

defines restricted area

`(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

this is more open to interp based on the vague term "national significance"

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21785) 2 years ago

Not necessarily. Summits. etc. No more and no less then it has been for the past 40 years.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

I think that, in spite of some misconceptions about the nature of these very recent laws, the point of your post is profound and very valid. Thank you for this deep expression of conviction and humanity.

All the best, and I hope to hear a lot more from you here in the future.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thanks GK. I'm grateful that you got it. It's too long. I wish I could have gotten the point across with fewer words. I just didn't know how.

And let me return the compliment by saying that I have enjoyed reading your contributions on these forums as well. We have some very passionate, committed, and patriotic people here standing up for freedom, both economic and political. Everyone in Occupy should be proud of what they're doing.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Yes, that they should be!

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

well the grounds have been extended

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, defending the switch in location of the Group of Eight (G-8) summit to Camp David from his home city of Chicago, said on Tuesday that the scenic retreat promised fine weather and a more intimate setting for world leaders to talk.

The May 18-19 gathering had initially been scheduled for Chicago, which hosts a NATO summit for leaders a few days later, and the switch to rural Maryland was claimed as a victory by activists who vow to flood the Midwest city with protesters.

"G-8 tends to be a more informal setting in which we talk about a wide range of issues in a pretty intimate way, and the thinking was that people would enjoy being in a more casual backdrop," Obama told reporters at the White House.

The G-8 consists of Russia, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, Italy, Germany and the United States.

Obama will likely use the G-8, viewed by policy experts as a top forum to build consensus among world powers on delicate issues like security and the global economy, to keep up international pressure over Iran's nuclear program.

He is also trying to build a united front to stop violence by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against his government's opponents. That effort was recently thwarted at the United Nations by Russia and China, who voted against a Security Council resolution condemning Assad's bloody crackdown.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-rt-us-obama-g8tre8251sh-20120306,0,6243102.story

sounds like a war council

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

"The passage of laws designed to reduce or eliminate personal freedoms is predicated on fear. This is the terrorist's only true weapon. The actual carrying out of terrorists acts, whether large or small, is of secondary importance."

This is something which has always been obvious to me, yet it seemed like nobody else understood it. I am glad I'm not the only one. This is all very well said and is similar to something I wrote in my own journal midway through last year.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Always good to link up with common consensus. Thx.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

terrorism means government control for it's people through fear and violence

the 911 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon where targeted at those institutions

due to bombing policies of the US and unfair trade practice

911 was not a terrorist attack

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

If 9/11 was not a terrorist attack, then what was it? Are you one of those conspiracy theory guys who thinks the US government attacked its own citizens in order to remove citizen rights and go to war in Iraq/Afghanistan for the benefit of the Military-Industrial Complex?

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Terrorism has many definitions. The World Trade Center attack fits most of them. Your definition is specifically State Terrorism alone not terrorism in general.

"Common definitions of terrorism refer to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or, ideological goal; and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians)." (Wikipedia)

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I prefer concise definition

terrorism is the use of violence to control people through fear

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

That's certainly one definition, and a perfectly valid one. Unfortunately - since it is so telling about the human condition - there are many definitions of terrorism. I wish there were none.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

our government used the fear of possible "random attacks"

to scare its population into giving up rights

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

I would only slightly disagree with this. Americans gave up their rights generations ago, when they lost the concept of rights as distinct from privileges and began thinking of government as their master, instead of as their servant created for the purpose of efficiently carrying out their business. What they gave up recently was their (our) willingness to protest blatant disregard for human life by government agencies in meaningful ways.

[-] 3 points by jart (1263) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Freedom's merely privilege extended, unless enjoyed by one and all

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk69e1Vcmvg

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

I was contrasting rights and privilege, not freedom. Privilege is that which can be granted by one who has a right to grant or deny it. No human being can have a right to another human being, thus freedom/liberty is a right and not a privilege. It is often treated as if it were a privilege, but it is not. If someone puts a gun to your head and claims that that gives them a right to your life, it is obvious that it does not and that they are merely using force to interfere with your rights. It is less obvious when someone (government) uses the threat of violence but the principle is the same.

[-] 2 points by jart (1263) from New York, NY 2 years ago

There's no such thing as rights (they're social constructs and don't exist in the material world) which is why I used the word 'freedom', but for all intents and purposes the word freedom is pretty much interchangeable with rights.

That quote also describes how freedom/rights are connected to privilege. If only some people have a particular right, it becomes a privilege. Like the right to sue a corporation that wrongs you, it's a right only available to those who can afford justice. If everyone has privilege then the word loses meaning and it becomes a right.

Also it sounds like you're arguing for the non-aggression principle which I think is absurd.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

I'll ask you one very important question which I think will illuminate the realities of privileges and rights.

Who may grant or deny a privilege? In other words, what is the relationship between the person and the privilege granted or denied, that that person has the legitimate authority to grant or deny that privilege?

[-] 3 points by jart (1263) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I don't think anyone should have the authority to grant rights or privileges (can you tell I'm an anarchist?) The only rights we share are that which we're willing to defend. If you're being oppressed you ought to rise up against your oppressor and take back your freedom. As comrades, it's our job to support such people with the means to do so.

But that doesn't answer the question of why rights should be shared equally. I think this is simply the most mutually beneficial solution for people existing in the same society. Progress and prosperity are best achieved when we work together. Giving everyone equal access to society and providing for their needs ensures that no individual is barred from participating or prevented from realizing their potential.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

right, but the point I was trying to make is that rights and privileges are different concepts. When you refer to privileges by the word "rights" and by the word "privileges" you destroy the distinction between them. Privileges are privileges. They can be granted or denied. Rights can only be recognized or ignored. Granting and denying are concepts separate from recognizing and ignoring. In this context, "grant" and "deny" apply to privileges while "recognize" and "ignore" apply to rights.

The argument might be made that there is no difference between ignoring a right and denying a privilege, but to recognize the right to life is not the same thing as to grant life. The life of another human being is not yours to own and therefore you cannot grant or deny the privilege of life to anyone else, for the same reason that your own life is yours to own. The only ones who grant life are the parents of a child, and after that they play no more part in owning that life. They are merely the custodians of the rights of a human being who is not yet able to fully exercise his or her rights.

People do have the right to grant privileges, but only privileges concerning things which they own or otherwise control by right. The United States government masquerades as government by the consent of the governed, but how can the governed give consent for others to do things which they themselves have no right to do? This is one of the questions I ask to those championing absolute democracy with no boundaries.

I am not an anarchist, or even an anarcho-anything, though I have been called such by some. Some of my ideas are similar to those held by "anarcho-capitalists" and other "political" groups, but I am none of those things. I am just someone who believes that the only proper purpose of a government is to protect the natural rights of the people who create it. When it strays from this purpose, it is no longer acting legitimately and is necessarily at war with the people.

[-] 1 points by jart (1263) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Ah now I see what you're trying to say. Your logic sounds pretty reasonable on the nature of granting privilege and recognizing rights.

The life of another human being is not yours to own and therefore you cannot grant or deny the privilege of life to anyone else, for the same reason that your own life is yours to own.

This is one of the major points where libertarian thinking gets it wrong imho. You can't own your body therefore you have no inherent right over your body aside from what others will recognize. In order to own your body, the mind would have to be a separate entity---that's dualism. Most people these days reject that idea.

The United States government masquerades as government by the consent of the governed, but how can the governed give consent for others to do things which they themselves have no right to do?

I certainly didn't give consent to the government to put me in jail when I do drugs, tell me whom I can marry, etc. The idea of consent doesn't really make sense to me in a non-consensual relationship. The government is an organization that claims dominion over all aspects of life, it's not a membership association.

Also I'm not sure what you mean by absolute democracy without boundaries.

I am just someone who believes that the only proper purpose of a government is to protect the natural rights of the people who create it.

Can I at least get you to admit that those natural rights are made up? :P

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

Can I at least get you to admit that those natural rights are made up?

They are certainly not made up. If you understand the nature of human life you will understand that the concept of rights is merely the recognition of the requirements set by the nature of human life.

The idea of consent doesn't really make sense to me in a non-consensual relationship.

Well, it's consensual in that you can choose to leave this country and either exist as an "undocumented alien" or join another country. But that's not as important an issue as the one I was trying to imply, which is that the people of this nation (and their rights) are the source of the legitimate government's power. Without those people having the rights that they do, the constitution would have no legal import. This country was established during the revolution (ary war) when the people living here got fed up with the taxes and other practices of the British Crown (as well as the fact that they weren't receiving the representation in British parliament that they were guaranteed by the law) and decided to rebel and create their own government for the governance of their own people.

You can't own your body therefore you have no inherent right over your body aside from what others will recognize. In order to own your body, the mind would have to be a separate entity---that's dualism.

This has been the most interesting point of your argument and one that has taken me many days to see through. Personally, I reject the idea of dualism as a valid theory and it seems that you do too. But the confusion arises due to the issue of ownership. Ownership is merely the right to use and dispose of a thing (whether that thing be something physical or something identified by a concept). Therefore, one does own one's body; for one has the right to the use and disposal of one's own body; One's body being the observable entity through which one interacts with the observable world. I am certainly not just my body, but it is a part of what I am and therefore I have ownership of it.

What I mean by "absolute democracy without boundaries" is the idea that some around here (and all over the world) seem to be advocating wherein the people of a country should have the authority to vote on anything, including policies which would violate the rights of some individuals.

[-] 0 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

That's a very good reflection of what Martin Luther King talked about regarding justice:

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Thank you.

[-] 1 points by jart (1263) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Don't thank me, thank Billy Bragg. Enjoy the song <3

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Unfortunately, King's great Dream still hasn't been carried out.

[-] -1 points by PretendHitGirI (13) 2 years ago

Them gd republicans have almost stopped and reverted his dream back into the nightmare it once was for us kneegarows.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

What do you mean, almost??? King said in his speech that his ultimate dream was that "All people be given jobs and admitted to college based not on the content of their character, but on the race of the other applicants" It's the part THEY don't want you to see.

[-] 0 points by PretendHitGirI (13) 2 years ago

SONOVABICH! I had forgotten that and now I can fully see just how Republicans are the scourge of the earth and satan's assistants.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Exactly. Want another pretzel?

[-] 0 points by PretendHitGirI (13) 2 years ago

I'm not sure if I'll masticate one, but, I'll damned sure hold one in my mouth.

[-] 1 points by BearDickinson (118) from Ewing, VA 2 years ago

Just proof that - Life is like a burnt toast tuna fish salad sammich - you have to bite through to bad to get to the good......

[-] -2 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

You guys consistently advocate ignoring the constitution, when you think you'll get some swag, or some of the plunder of others.....now that it's come to your doorstep you cry foul.......oh you poor dear's

You can't empower government to force others to pay for your pathetic lives and not expect some similar effect in your own freedoms....

Keep advocating against the constitution when it benefits you and you'll keep getting shit on by the power brokers in DC...

I thought is was a "living and breathing" document.....I guess those in power have determined it needs to live and breathe away your first amendment rights, welcome to the club of Religious Institutions, Gun Owners, Those subject to Progressive Taxation, and others who have been in the sights of the centralized government power grab for years....

Idiots....what did you think would happen?

[-] 3 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I don't know if you are addressing your comment to me personally or to Liberals in general, but I can assure you that when it comes to the personal freedoms set forth in the Bill of Rights, yeah, I get pretty anal about protecting those rights because it's pretty much all We The People have...and that includes everyone, even you.

And, FYI, I have never advocated ignoring the Constitution. I don't know what you're even talking about. Guess you have just lumped a bunch of individuals into a collective bag that you have labeled "idiots" and committed yet another logical fallacy.

[-] -2 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

I am speaking of OWS generally.....and the demand that others be burdened and pay for the whims and demands of those who protest....while they exercise their "right" they are infringing the rights of others...and they find that totally acceptable, until the shoe is on the other foot.....

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

The burden of the wims of those who protest is called the Bill of Rights.

[-] -2 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

not really....when you infringe MY right's by supposedly exercising yours you are violating the intent of the bill of rights......

blocking traffic, setting up residence in public commons, improperly disposing of waste and such, and impeding the freedom of travel and movement of others...not to mention vandalism and violent altercation are NOT 'right's"

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Wrong. The Constitution explicitly allows and condones freedom of assembly and the existence of genuinely public space in which to excercize that right. If public space is denied than it is our duty to excersize that right anywhere we so please.

[-] 0 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

sorry, that is incorrect.......you can gather but not reside in public space.....if you reside you prevent it's intended use by others and so infringe their rights.....

[+] -5 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

But the government will take care of us! As long as the democrats are in power our future Utopia is assured!