- 11-22-12, 05:09 AM #101
- 11-22-12, 05:47 AM #102
I am wildly left of center. I am pro choice. Anti capital punishment. Anti gun. Pro same sex marriage. Greenpeace advocate. Raised Catholic turned Episcopalian. In college I was inches away from being hit with a police baton at an anti apartheid demonstration in UCLA's tent city demonstration which ran several days. I am a passionate supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union. I don't eat meat. My personal heroes were Gandhi and MLK. If I could be less passionate I would love to embrace Buddhist philosophies.
Got the picture? Radical left of center peacenik.
But I am a pragmatist.
In late August 2001 I went to NY for the first time. It was because of work. I was down near Varick Street and South Houston, south of the Village, very near the Battery. That was when I fell in love with NY. I returned to L.A. September 4th 2001 on a morning flight. I was on the very front of the plane, sitting, when a group of men got on. First thing I noticed were the very faded jeans and the oxford shirts with sleeves rolled to their elbows. Caught my attention because that is a very Mediterranean, European look. One of them sat next to me and politely said hello. But the eyes were cold and hard..
They dispersed. Some sat in the back. There were a group of them, around five or six. During the flight the man next to me became increasingly fidgety, standing up and looking towards the back of the plane. He went to the lavatory and came back. The other men did the same. They repeated it a couple of times during the flight. I turned around to look for my colleague who was sitting a few rows behind me, and when I caught her eye she was just as questioning as I was.
When we both got off the plane we both mentioned it to my ex, we both said that there were some very intense men on the plane who made us uneasy. Both of us. So we both go on our way and that was the end of that.
I was, of course, glued to the TV set on 9/11. Along with the rest of the country. Then I started to feel that I had seen these men, that they were the ones on the plane. I told my ex who said to call the FBI. He remembered how I'd felt and how I'd acted and how we both had mentioned the same thing as we got off the plane. THEN they released the pictures, and the men we had seen on the plane were the men on the pictures. More chilling than that, I recognised the man who had sat next to me. I called my colleague and we both felt we recognised the men. I called the FBI, they interviewed me.
When the 9/11 report was released I read it cover to cover. And what got me were the failures to coordinate and to act on data that was known previous to the attack. The so called chatter.
We are not at a point in time when we can rely on men on the ground. Intelligence gathering does not mean looking at every single electronic email, it means two things - setting algorythms that will seek out certain words in communications AND it means zeroing in on people of interest whose activities would put them on the agencies' radars. To John Jones walking down the street and sending emails to his friends and downloading a little bit of normal pron, surveillance means nothing. No more than an ant in an anthill on my neighbour's yard five blocks away matters to me. But if certain patterns of behaviour or communication emerge, then an interest is raised.
I know that my communications at work are monitored. I know that when I disclose every time I have a background check that I contribute to Greenpeace, that it raises the level of interest. Therefore, since I know this, I would not do something as inflammatory as contribute money to, say Sinn Fein and then hop on a plane to Belfast. I can rack up the level of interest in myself by making some poor choices. Or I can use common sense, don't contribute to Sinn Fein, and get on a plane to Belfast. I raise interest through my actions. Unless I raise interest, I'm nothing more than an ant on an anthill five blocks away. Or I raise interest and parade inside the house on someone's pumpkin pie and get smashed. Most people live their lives on a level similar to the ant on the anthill five blocks away.
Let's not think that Benjamin Franklin would not have done all that was necessary to save the American War for Independence. Let's not get into thinking that these were passive intellectual thinkers. These were conniving, manipulative, rebellious, sneaky, underhanded....whatever it took in their place in time to effect the change they wanted to effect. These were people who were passionately driven to succeed and to protect their loved ones. I strongly believe that if Franklin were with us today he would be a pragmatist. If saving the country means monitoring persons of interest, I believe he would.
To the question of posting on Twitter statements that one is coming to destroy America....can we, in this place in history and given the last eleven years, choose to ignore such a statement? Even if we don't deal with international terrorism, let's deal with home grown terrorism. If you know that you are going to go see Skyfall tonight, would you want to be protected from the man sitting five rows back who is a member of a neo Nazi group and who has just sent a goodbye message describing why he is about to shoot up the theater you're in? Would you want that email monitored because he is known to be a member of that group and he has recently bought a gun?
Most people's emails would not be monitored. The billions of messages that go through on any given day are insignificant. But if algorythms detect something of interest, for my safety and the safety of my loved ones, I want that person monitored.
This is coming from an ultra left of center, anti capital punishment, anti gun, pro choice, pro same sex marriage lapsed Catholic turned Episcopalian who has been living with a feeling of "there but for the Grace of God go I" since 9/11/2001.
Last edited by qbnkelt; 11-22-12 at 05:57 AM.
- CrackBerry Master
11-22-12, 05:59 AM #103
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.... Very hard to draw a line there. Where is the line in our individual freedom, should we let the governement take more of our liberty? That could be a dangerous road... But still, peoples safety is first. (We could only enjoy freedom If we are alive)...
Last edited by BoldAlways; 11-22-12 at 06:24 AM.
- 11-22-12, 12:33 PM #105
- 11-22-12, 09:05 PM #109
- 11-23-12, 02:05 AM #111
Anyway, I disagree. I think they government should be required to get a warrant. I believe we've already given up too much of our privacy and freedom in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and subsequent laws and court rulings that have slowly, but surely, eroded away at our freedoms.
For the most part, I'm ambivalent about privacy and freedom. At the moment, I'm in China, not a place particularly known for being on the forefront of personal freedoms, and I'm fine here. It's not any more difficult living here than in the US, especially after I learned to speak the language. The thing is though, I'm always aware of the fact there are some things I cannot do. For example, I know I had better get my self ready for jail or deportation if I'm planning a protest about Tibet for Falun Gong. It's probably better to not write any emails or communicate about similar topics, or even anything criticizing the new leadership. I know there's always the possibility that I can get a knock on my door from the Public Security Bureau demanding to see my papers, or the possibility of being detained for no reason. I live here for parts of the year, and I have no trouble doing so, because there's over a billion people here and the possibility of me being singled out for any reason is highly remote. They have 4-5X the population of the US and way fewer people in prison, a good number of them are political prisoners, so going to prison is really not something in the realm of possibility unless I do something silly or stupid or criminal. That said, I also know there are people here who wish to do the things I described, like talk about Tibet, or criticize the treatment of farmers, or talk about government corruption. There exist people who do it. These people would are willing to risk prison or worse, for the freedoms we possess in the US. The crying shame is, we're willing to let them take it from us.
So when it comes down to it..... how far are you willing to go? How many of your freedoms are you willing to give up for security. Where is the line in the sand? Right now it's emails being monitored without a warrant, maybe next is phone calls. At the U of T, some guys have already developed a low powered scanner than can see through solid objects. Are you willing to let the government look into your home without a warrant? Why stop at there. How about having to carry an internal passport on you all the time? Again, if you're not an illegal immigrant, where's the harm? When does it stop? How about racial profiling? As long as it's to target terrorists, where's the harm? How about human lojacking? Then we'll know if you've been to any Al Qaeda camps or met with any "undesirables." If you're innocent, where's the harm? Mind you, none of this would be of much inconvenience to anybody, but with each step, we get closer to a police state. When do we say, "we've had enough!!!"
- 11-23-12, 02:07 AM #112
qbnkelt, I appreciate your candor, and for one, am glad you were on the flight you were on, and not one of the ill fated ones. I remember hearing years ago, that phone calls were screened so that if one stated they would kill the president, flags would be raised in appropriate places. I am a libertarian, so in general, want less government interference with my life, but I also want to be safe from the crazies. A very difficult conundrum. I say again, I have always felt that if one phones, emails, tweets, facebooks, etc, the information is in the public realm, so do NOT think it is private any more. I would also make that determination for anything on cloud services. One of the reasons I have a few usb thumb drives is so that I can keep sensitive documents private...as much as possible. And no, to all those listening in, I am not fomenting revolution, advocating evil, or creating mayhem.....just keeping my pics of my kids private, and my work documents off the internet...that is all
- CrackBerry Abuser
11-23-12, 02:30 AM #113
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- CrackBerry Addict
11-23-12, 05:47 AM #114
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- 11-23-12, 09:40 AM #115
Before travel, when you go for a visa to countries that have restrictive dress codes, you are informed of those dress codes. Example...there were times when women going to a pub in certain places in Galway, specifically the gaeltach region, were expected to not sit at the bar but rather in a booth. It was common practice. Tourists who walked in unescorted were led to a booth. If they insisted on sitting at the bar they were asked to leave. I'm not advocating that practice, it was simply a fact of life in the gaeltach. So....when on travel, learn where you travel and behave as expected. A whole country won't conform to your ignorance. And if someone wishes to engage in protest of such a primitive law or practice then that person should expect a discussion with the garda.
Question away. But understand that there are consequences to your behaviour. Protests in so called primitive areas can give rise to primitive solutions, so if you can't deal with the repercussions, don't push the envelope. Courage to stand for one's beliefs means understanding and accepting that consequences to protest might be unpleasant. Remember Tiananmen Square? That young man paid a dear price for his protest. The Chinese government didn't cave to him, he knew that, yet protested.
Question away. Deal with the consequences. If not ready to deal with the consequences, don't take a stand.
There is such as thing as responsibility for one's actions. One can't expect the world to conform to a person's ignorance. Rather, one has to learn one's place in the world and how to navigate that which is unfamiliar.
- 11-23-12, 09:52 AM #116
It is a difficult conundrum.
When I was younger my ma and my da were always telling me that I was the devil's own daughter and that I'd come to no good because of my rebelliousness. They also always said that I would become more conservative in my old age.
I haven't. Not in 99% of what I hold dear. Except for this. And it's not unfamiliar to me. When I took a job with the feds I KNEW that I would be monitored. I took it anyway.
- 11-23-12, 10:05 AM #117
Most countries in the world have citizens carry an identity card so that is no big deal. Got a driver's license lately? New driver licenses serve as federal identity card. Carry a social security card? That's an identity card for purposes of the I-9 employment verification form that you have to fill out when you get a job in the U.S. along with your driver's license. You're already complying.
I engage in no activity that would require police or authorities to enter my home without a warrant and I do no put myself in a position that would require them to come into my home without a warrant. By the way, as part of being able to work from home one day I week I authorised the federal government to come in to inspect my home office set up for security. Still waiting.
I have been profiled my entire life. Most people assume I dance salsa.
Human lojacking...now you're going into absurdity.
So you would have no problem getting into a movie theater with a crazed NeoNazi who has just sent a goodbye message. More power to you.
I want him caught. I want my kids to live.
And if you think you are not monitored you are quite naive. Anyone who has a footprint in the internet is monitored. FB account? Monitored. Twitter? Monitored. Gmail? Monitored. Ever use a credit card on the web? Monitored. Ever voted? Monitored. You have to stop assuming that monitoring means some darkened basement with people going through your email. There isn't the workforce necessary to read each email that each person sends every single day. What do you think those little ads are on the right side of your FB account? Happerstance?
You would have to live off the grid to avoid leaving a print.
Those who complain the loudest against e discovery and email monitoring, without bothering to find out how it will be managed, will be the first to complain the loudest when the next terrorist attack takes place. Look at the news. Each time someone shoots up a school the first question is...why didn't anyone do anything about this? where was the police? where were the authorities?
Last edited by qbnkelt; 11-23-12 at 10:27 AM.
- 11-23-12, 10:49 AM #119
The former Soviet Union was known for creating dozens of laws and rules governing so much of people's lives that every citizen could be expected to unknowingly break a dozen laws each day. This made it very simple to single out those people government officials desired to target. Since everyone was a lawbreaker, everyone was at risk. Don't think that there are not government actors in the free world today who crave just such power. Hang on to your freedoms, or one day (very soon) you'll wake up to discover you no longer have any.
- 11-23-12, 11:32 AM #120
If we are going to quote 18th century axioms to explain 21st century realities, I rather like this one:
If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.
I want my government to find those who would change my way of life and tie it down with religious fundamentalism, mysogyny, and racial hatred, and I would want my government to use every tool at its disposal.
As someone who travels, with loved ones who travel, the realities of today's terrorism are greater than the vague probabilities of black helicopters or battering rams swarming around my home as I sleep.
Don't believe me? Check globaljihad dot net. I won't link to it here out of respect to this forum. Do it yourself.
Check the news. Tell me how many random home invasions there have been by illegal searches versus how many instances of organised terrorism there have been globally. Then remember that there are U.S. citizens abroad who must also be protected. It's not just about sleeping safely in your bed at night, it's also about our citizens, and citizens of the world, being massacred on a global scale. Now tell me which has the greatest reality.
When comparing realities versus imagined amorphous future invasions and dubious comparisons with police states based on those amorphous imaginings, I am more concerned with the realities of today's world and homegrown terrorist activities and violence.
Last edited by qbnkelt; 11-23-12 at 11:46 AM.
- CrackBerry Genius of Geniuses
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2. Remember how your way of life on US soil came about in the first place and at who's way of life expense
3. Nobody is arguing with monitoring with a warrant
4. If a disturbed person previously unknown to authorities, is writing a goodbye email from a school or cinema theatre it's waaaaaay too late and all the monitoring in the world would not help.
5. Looking back in history, when was controling/monitoring regime good to its people?
- CrackBerry Abuser
11-23-12, 12:38 PM #122
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Saudi Arabia implements electronic tracking system for women | The Raw Story
When a woman leaves the country their male guardian receives a text message informing them that their ward is leaving. We already put tracking bracelets on some paroled criminals, why not combine the two systems? It wouldn't take much to determine when a woman is driving unaccompanied either, and apply automatic fines or larger penalties for such absurd behaviour.
How much longer until traffic fines are triggered by your phone or car informing the police that you are driving unsafely? You edged up to 57MPH there, hope you don't have other unexpected expenses coming because the fine was automatically debited from your account.Check the news. Tell me how many random home invasions there have been by illegal searches versus how many instances of organised terrorism there have been globally. Then remember that there are U.S. citizens abroad who must also be protected. It's not just about sleeping safely in your bed at night, it's also about our citizens, and citizens of the world, being massacred on a global scale. Now tell me which has the greatest reality.
Thousands of random home invasions. Excluding 9/11*, more american citizens have been killed by your government than have died from terrorism or some random nut shooting up a theatre or school.
*9/11 could not be repeated, not because of security precautions from DHS or airport screening or any technological widget, but because the whole concept of hijacking and taking hostages has changed. People used to be told to remain calm and in their seats because the plane would end up landing safely in Cuba while negotiations took place. Now people fight back. 9/11 only had a 75% success rate because of that very factor.
- 11-23-12, 01:12 PM #123
This is not a new issue.
My mother was going through some items and found an old document which I showed at a meeting of a local historical society to which I belong. It was her copy of a federal form she had to sign prior to taking a job.
Back in the 1950s, my mother was a secretary at a company that did manufacturing for the US government. Before she took the job, she had to sign a form stating that she had never been a member of certain organizations such as Communist Party. I do not remember exactly what the name of the form was.
McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950 was not ruled unconstitutional until 1993.
Some elements of Hatch Act of 1939 are still in place today.
Subversive Activities Control Board was not abolished until 1972.
Brandenburg v Ohio appears to be the current standard re: inflammatory speech leading to hostile action.
More on Brandenburg Test: Standard established in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 US 444 (1969), to determine when inflammatory speech intending to advocate illegal action can be restricted. The standard developed determined that speech advocating the use of force or crime could only be proscribed where two conditions were satisfied: (1) the advocacy is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action,” and (2) the advocacy is also “likely to incite or produce such action.”
Last edited by lak611; 11-23-12 at 02:16 PM.
- 11-23-12, 01:29 PM #124How much longer until traffic fines are triggered by your phone or car informing the police that you are driving unsafely? You edged up to 57MPH there, hope you don't have other unexpected expenses coming because the fine was automatically debited from your account.
For the innocent victims, there is recourse - American Civil Liberties Union will address them, as they should.
http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/ba...paper_2006.pdfExcluding 9/11*, more american citizens have been killed by your government than have died from terrorism or some random nut shooting up a theatre or school.
What do you mean "excluding 9/11 more americans citizens have been killed by your government than have died from terrorism?" Are you implying that "my" government killed the american citizens that died on 9/11? Let's look at what you said...."more American citizens have been killed by your government than have died from terrorism" and you preface that by saying "excluding9/11." I'm thinking you didn't actually mean that. Because if you are implying that the U.S. government was responsible for the deaths on 9/11, you are really going off a cliff.*9/11 could not be repeated, not because of security precautions from DHS or airport screening or any technological widget, but because the whole concept of hijacking and taking hostages has changed. People used to be told to remain calm and in their seats because the plane would end up landing safely in Cuba while negotiations took place. Now people fight back. 9/11 only had a 75% success rate because of that very factor.
Is that the only form of terrorism that you can imagine?
Home grown terrorism
A random shooter in a theater and a random shooter in a supermarket parking lot and two random teenagers caused irreparable pain to innocent families. By God's providence I wasn't touched. But God is my witness I expect *my* government to not allow me or my loved ones to be touched just because someone I don't know in an internet forum believes that his personal emails will be read by a human government employee in a basement somewhere.
- 11-23-12, 01:42 PM #125
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