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Against invasion of privacy... searching your notebook. Thanks for asking for the clarification. :)

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your attempts to muzzle all opposition to your ideas is all the proof that's required.

It shows your true nature, that of someone who can't stand the truth about himself from being exposed because that truth would hurt his chances of getting his propaganda and other lies accepted as truth by the unwitting.

For the record jw, I am not a socialist, I do not "believe in" socialism. What I do believe in, in that respect, is not on the table for discussion. Nowhere in this forum have I laid those beliefs out. But they are not socialist by a very long shot.

(It would seem that you have only a passing understanding of socialism if you get that out of anything I have said.)

I have no power to muzzle opposition. Do you feel muzzled? And my propaganda? My God jw, where is that coming from? Do you think I'm anything other than a private citizen, just tryining to get by like 300 million others? I have opinions. I state them, even as you state yours. When did that become propaganda?.

Finally, contrary to your statement, I welcome truth in all forms, whether about me or about the universe we live in.

Sure, I'm resistent to change to some of my beliefs, but I love it when someone proves I am wrong, because then I've learned something. Can you understand that type of open mindedness?

I know you have no reason to believe otherwise about me, so it's clear you just engage in verbal diarehha when you feel threatened. By what, I don't know. But you must feel threatened.

I just thought of this: Jw, are you over 12 years of age? I ask because I realize that I may be trying to reason with the mind of an immature child, ... I truly mean no offense to children, I love them, it's just silly to argue with them when they get in a snit.

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I know you have no reason to believe otherwise about me, so it's clear you just engage in verbal diarehha when you feel threatened. By what, I don't know. But you must feel threatened. I just thought of this: Jw, are you over 12 years of age? I ask because I realize that I may be trying to reason with the mind of an immature child, ... I truly mean no offense to children, I love them, it's just silly to argue with them when they get in a snit.

Briansmall,
There's nothing quite as frustrating to an intelligent person as UNREASONED debate. Some people love it. And they do it because... they can, and because someone always seems to take the bait. Whether children or adults, whether they believe what they're saying or not, it makes for a lively day at work. Just the mental picture of your face getting red with righteous indignation must make them happy. If nothing else, you can rest happily tonight knowing you've made someone's day. ;)

Edited by happygeek: fixed formatting

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>wouldn't it qualify as libel instead?
Libel is written, slander is spoken. But I'm more inclined to treat a forum discussion as a spoken exchange, thus slander is the correct term in my opinion.

According to wikipedia, the difference is in how long the statement persists. Slander doesn't last very long in 'published' form, libel does. I'd presume anything logged on the web to qualify as libel.

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Well, All,

I've had my rebuttal, and it's over for me at this point, thanks for the input.

It was Narue that suggested that I simply state my position and let it go.

A problem with forums is that all too often people simply don't exhibit responsibility for what they put out there. Thus he can insult me, but not have to support his accusations or insults. That's not just chicken, it's lame.

I didn't have a reasoned approach in place. It takes practice. So if you feel I have over-reacted, (as do I,) well, he pissed me off. I won't justify my reaction, I am what I am (and that's all I am :)

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hhhhhmmmmm.......back to the topic please....if you guys want to fight it out...do it elsewhere.

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Are you against the ACLU or searching your notebook?

both actually. I'm against the ACLU because they are one of the worst offenders when it comes to trying to limit freedom of expression and civil liberties, of course all in the name of "equal rights" for "minorities".

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both actually. I'm against the ACLU because they are one of the worst offenders when it comes to trying to limit freedom of expression and civil liberties, of course all in the name of "equal rights" for "minorities".

Interesting point of view. Can you cite a link where this is demonstrated? I'd be interested in reading it.

Thanks!

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Very disappointing, and sad, to read rhetoric like such:

"The U.S. government has argued in a pending court case that its authority to protect the country's border extends to looking at information stored in electronic devices such as laptops without any suspicion of a crime. In border searches, it regards a laptop the same as a suitcase."

Full article
As predicted, any data storage devise can be confiscated in the name of security, without warrant, without indication or suspicion of crime been committed. Furthermore, any data can be copied without guarantee that it will be destroy after the fact.

Unfortunately, reality have the tendency of proving to be more brutal than the harshest fable.

Votes + Comments
Great fable example. Good point.
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If you think it is safe in your head, think again! That's what waterboarding (and a few other authorized tricks) is for. That will get a few things out of you that you haven't even thought off.

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Uhhh.. if the U.S. government has deemed it necessary to use torture tactics such as waterboarding on you, then you probably have given them some reason to believe that you are a terrorist.. and you deserve whatever they do to you.

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Uhhh.. if the U.S. government has deemed it necessary to use torture tactics such as waterboarding on you, then you probably have given them some reason to believe that you are a terrorist.. and you deserve whatever they do to you.

Josh, this is sincerely not meant as an insult, but are you kinda young? Judging by your statement above you don't seem to have a clear view of what has been going on around you.

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Well, what about torturing a fellow because the U.S. was offering a bounty for anybody turning in information related to a terrorist in a foreign country? And what if that fellow happened to be a competitor in the shoe selling business with somebody else in Pakistan who saw a chance to make a quick buck and get rid of a competitor quickly? So the competitor lied and made up a story about the fellow and the U.S., wanting to cover all its bases, took the guy under custody courtesy of Pakistan and then he didn't have a hearing or any opportunity to tell his side of the story? Sounds like a great candidate for waterboarding when he doesn't confirm the story of his competitor . . .

Or heck, that might have a little logic to it. How about this story though:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8049868/

Obviously we should waterboard people until proven innocent. After all we "suspected" them, and suspicions are all that it takes to torture a person, eh?

In fact, I have a suspicion that you are a terrorist trying to establish your credentials on this website so as to sneak into our good graces. Good enough reason for a little waterboarding, eh? I mean, it's a solid suspicion after all. Don't need any court to review that!

Personally, I think Josh is having a little laugh there seeing what he can provoke. I can't imagine he's serious. Hehe.

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Well, what about torturing a fellow because the U.S. was offering a bounty for anybody turning in information related to a terrorist in a foreign country? And what if that fellow happened to be a competitor in the shoe selling business with somebody else in Pakistan who saw a chance to make a quick buck and get rid of a competitor quickly? So the competitor lied and made up a story about the fellow and the U.S., wanting to cover all its bases, took the guy under custody courtesy of Pakistan and then he didn't have a hearing or any opportunity to tell his side of the story? Sounds like a great candidate for waterboarding when he doesn't confirm the story of his competitor . . .

hahaa.. personally, I don't give a damn. So long as it isn't a U.S. citizen... they can torture his ass all they want to. I'd rather they were wrong every once in a while, and that the tortured some 'innocent' paki rather than them not torturing the guy planning a terrorist attack on my home.

Obviously we should waterboard people until proven innocent. After all we "suspected" them, and suspicions are all that it takes to torture a person, eh?

So long as they ain't U.S. citizens, then no laws are being broken.. the U.S. constitution does NOT apply to non-citizens.

In fact, I have a suspicion that you are a terrorist trying to establish your credentials on this website so as to sneak into our good graces. Good enough reason for a little waterboarding, eh? I mean, it's a solid suspicion after all. Don't need any court to review that!

lol.. good luck proving that a white American citizen, no a Texan, is a terrorist. I believe the U.S. government would come after you if you even suggested such a thing ;-)

Votes + Comments
Your ignorance is showing again.
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A white can't be a terrorist? Remember the Oklahoma bombing? The Unabomber? As I understand, several of the latest batch of Muslim terrorists have been White. They recruit folks like that specifically because of that.

As for laws, Constitution gives authority for the Congress to approve treaties. We are members of the Geneva Convention and have numerous other treaties. Besides which, U.S. laws do apply to actions of U.S. citizens. Why don't you think we murder a couple of guys to get the others to talk? Are you saying we can?

Besides that, you weren't talking about the laws earlier. You said:

". . . if the U.S. government has deemed it necessary to use torture tactics such as waterboarding on you, then you probably have given them some reason to believe that you are a terrorist.. and you deserve whatever they do to you."

Law has nothing to do with what you said. You were only talking about who "deserves" it. And you didn't limit it to foreign born citizens. You just said "you" in general. Foreign born or not, what exactly should the government look at before deciding that somebody "deserves" to be tortured. Bear in mind that the U.S. government" isn't some omniscient god-like creature. It's made up of individual people. So what do we do if a particular U.S. agent is overzealous, incompetent, a drunk, or just plain crazy? Shouldn't a person have at least some recourse to say to somebody else in the government, "Hey, it wasn't me!" and have at least a cursory review of the evidence before we go torturing the person? That's what due process is all about (remember judges are part of the U.S. government).

Oh hey, weren't the folks in Waco White and living in Texas? Think the U.S. government was convinced they were dangerous folks . . .

Votes + Comments
I even have to admit.. a good post :)
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A white can't be a terrorist? Remember the Oklahoma bombing? The Unabomber? As I understand, several of the latest batch of Muslim terrorists have been White. They recruit folks like that specifically because of that.

As for laws, Constitution gives authority for the Congress to approve treaties. We are members of the Geneva Convention and have numerous other treaties. Besides which, U.S. laws do apply to actions of U.S. citizens. Why don't you think we murder a couple of guys to get the others to talk? Are you saying we can?

Besides that, you weren't talking about the laws earlier. You said:

". . . if the U.S. government has deemed it necessary to use torture tactics such as waterboarding on you, then you probably have given them some reason to believe that you are a terrorist.. and you deserve whatever they do to you."

Law has nothing to do with what you said. You were only talking about who "deserves" it. And you didn't limit it to foreign born citizens. You just said "you" in general. Foreign born or not, what exactly should the government look at before deciding that somebody "deserves" to be tortured. Bear in mind that the U.S. government" isn't some omniscient god-like creature. It's made up of individual people. So what do we do if a particular U.S. agent is overzealous, incompetent, a drunk, or just plain crazy? Shouldn't a person have at least some recourse to say to somebody else in the government, "Hey, it wasn't me!" and have at least a cursory review of the evidence before we go torturing the person? That's what due process is all about (remember judges are part of the U.S. government).

Oh hey, weren't the folks in Waco White and living in Texas? Think the U.S. government was convinced they were dangerous folks . . .

Hmm.. I was expecting some hot-headed reply.. but instead, you use facts to prove your point. Congrats.

As for the terrorist thing, it is more likely that a non-white, non-citizen would commit an act of terror. I'm not saying that others do not or could not commit acts of terror... but just by what I've experienced, and generalizations I have made based on logic.. The Taliban and other islamic terrorist organizations use their faith as a means to attract people, and then use it to justify murder. I believe this is inherently wrong; Religion should not be a justification for murder and terror (which is why the world would be a better place without religion).

The Geneva Convention is nothing which can really be enforced.. it's more of a guidelines for countries to follow. I personally don't have a problem with the U.S. government violating those 'rights' of people who are not American citizens... because as I stated earlier: better safe than sorry. Perhaps it is in violation of the convention, but our constitution doesn't actually say all rights are extended to non-citizens.

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The Supreme Court of the United States enforces the Geneva Convention under the Constitution. Here's the case that says so: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-184.ZS.html Like I said before, it's Congressional approval that does this. They generally pass laws as part of that approval making violations punishable. They pass these laws under the powers given them by the Constitution (but they can pass new laws changing or revoking the old laws).


I'll just focus on people who are foreign and whether we are more safe than sorry when we torture people since it seems like enough has been said on everything else.

Does torturing people who may very well be innocent in a heavy-handed manner without regard to innocence really make the U.S. safer in the long run? Will we be safer or sorrier if we multiply the number of enemies in the world even if we foil a specific plot or two? Will some groups or countries on the fence about using torture decide that it is alright to torture American citizens by the example we set? Personally, I don't know.

Here's another concern, though, that will impact U.S. citizens in general when they travel abroad. In our courts we have a concept called comity. When it appears that the laws of different countries might apply to a case (like the validity of a divorce) our courts will look at a number of factors when determining if and to what extent a foreign law should apply. One of the big factors is if they have due process of law and whether they apply their laws to our own citizens when they are in their court system. Basically, we are looking for a two-way street and if it is there, we consider their laws.

Like I said, it is a two way street. Foreign courts look at our justice system when determining whether to apply our laws (not all do of course). Well, if I'm, for whatever reason, under arrest in a foreign country for, say, carrying a laptop with remarks disparaging the local government, I would hope that their courts would have the nice shining example of United States justice with regard to all people to apply to my own case in the foreign country. I would hope that they would not feel it just to then torture me to prove that I was a member of the local rebel group. I would hope that they would want to consider U.S. laws especially since their own citizens might come into U.S. courts and they would want them to be treated well (comity is a two way street).

Comity isn't part of "international law" but it reflects the political reality of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If torture become part of U.S. justice with respect to foreigners then we can fully expect other countries will follow suit with respect to U.S. citizens.

Again, I'm not sure I will feel more safe than sorry because of use of torture under those circumstances.

At a gut level, I used to think of us as the good guys who set an example for others to follow. I sure hope the rest of the world doesn't follow us down the path of torture too. Sometimes I think we have surrendered some of the most important parts of being an American to the terrorists when we started down these dark paths. If the enemy wanted to attack the very core of what it is to be American, then they may very well have succeeded when we started sacrificing our core ideals to "fight back."

Finally, one last thing. The reason religion often becomes a justification for murder and terror is that it makes one group of people feel like they are more privileged than others. Because of their religion they will kill and whatnot because they are the "chosen" people.

Nationalism is the same thing. Why should United States citizens be the chosen people who are entitled to humane treatment by our government? Because we are born in the U.S. what makes us better? Why does nationality matter any more than religion? Nationality certainly has been just as large a justification for murder and terror as religion--though sometimes they are intertwined. So why acknowledge on the one hand that the world would be a better place without religion and then claim it's OK to torture non-U.S. citizens? The reasoning and the danger is the same under both concepts: Those people are different (because of religion OR nationality) and it's OK to kill them, terrorize them, and torture them. I submit both justifications for murder, terrorism, or torture are wrong.

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A white can't be a terrorist? Remember the Oklahoma bombing? The Unabomber? As I understand, several of the latest batch of Muslim terrorists have been White. They recruit folks like that specifically because of that.

Are you indicating that random white guys are perhaps being bribed to serve Muslim interestes? Or are you perhaps referring to individuals such as Suliyaman Al-Lindh (I know I misspelled that), aka 'John Walker Lindh', who have chosen to throw in with them?

As for laws, Constitution gives authority for the Congress to approve treaties. We are members of the Geneva Convention and have numerous other treaties. Besides which, U.S. laws do apply to actions of U.S. citizens. Why don't you think we murder a couple of guys to get the others to talk? Are you saying we can?

It is my understanding (and if I am wrong please correct me) that the Geneva Convention only applies between those who signed it. Since I'm fairly sure that Al Quaeda isn't a signatory, I don't see that any engagement between them and the United States falls under the convention. Besides, how would you qualify them? The manner in which Al Quaeda and other 'insurgents' acts doesn't seem to fit under the 'Prisoners of War' field of GC3, but as combatants, I'm also fairly sure they don't qualify as GC4 civilians.

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This part of "Going too far?" has gone too far.

Let's face it, our government has long established that our privacy is a bad joke at best. With our government I mean just about any country.

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Huh? Because I agree completely with torturing suspected terrorists?

No, because you seem to believe that if the government has made the choice then it is right.

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No, because you seem to believe that if the government has made the choice then it is right.

If the government made the choice what are you going to do about it? They are the elephant, you are the mouse. Are you going to argue who is right?

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If the government made the choice what are you going to do about it? They are the elephant, you are the mouse. Are you going to argue who is right?

Interesting choice of metaphor...

From what I've seen here (and I could easily be wrong), then yes, if he thinks the government is in the wrong then BrianSmall will argue it with them.

And remember, legend debits (hardly a 'credit' in this case) the elephant with being scared of the mouse.

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If the government made the choice what are you going to do about it? They are the elephant, you are the mouse. Are you going to argue who is right?

Of course I'll argue.

In any case I won't suggest that (just) anyone who has been accused of being a terrorist by our government "deserves" to be tortured. I have no assumption that just because someone has been targeted by various gov't agencies that they are therefore guilty and "have it coming to them".. I've simply seen our gov't act in out of control manner. While we may have a system that relies somwhat on the "will of the people" the Government tends to take on a life and personality somewhat different than what the people want.

It appeared to me that you are putting a lot of trust and faith in the government, I thought maybe you had not been watching.

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From what I've seen here (and I could easily be wrong), then yes, if he thinks the government is in the wrong then BrianSmall will argue it with them.

No, damnit, you're right.

If you could look back 20 years on the internet, you'd see that if "they" decide to make a clean sweep I won't be on the "keeper" list. ;-)

Make no mistake, I'm love our country, but it is not above making mistakes.

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It's interesting. Conservatives argue that the government is too large and incompetent to run big domestic programs, but when it comes to defense and foreign wars it's almost an act of disloyalty for some to question that the government can do anything wrong. On the other hand, Liberals seem to want huge programs run by the government domestically but are absolutely certain that the government is out to subvert the rights of everyone when it comes to defense and foreign affairs. It's a curious love/hate relationship that both liberals and conservatives have with the U.S. government. I have a hard time reconciling it all.

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