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View Full Version : One for the lawyers (and anyone else)



ishmael
11-21-2002, 07:30 PM
I'm upset by the provisions in the "Homeland Security" act that seem to lay the foundations of a police state. Here is an editorial that speaks to my more paranoid imaginings.

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_1108.shtml

Are they just imaginings, or are we in for a bumpy ride? How well do you think these laws will stand up in the courts? I'd really like some different perspectives.

Jack

[ 11-21-2002, 07:31 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

rodcross
11-21-2002, 07:50 PM
Ishmael,

Get out of there for a while. You need a break.

The article is stupid; unbelievabley paranoid, and wrong.

You're younger than I thought you were. Americans tolerate a certain amount of abuse during times of crises, and, indeed, wait too long, as with the episode with Joe McCarthy. Ultimately, somebody steps up to the plate and says "This is Bull****!"

In time, 'Homeland Security' will be a system that will react to threats, and rightfully so. Any other information that they will gather won't be admissable, under any circumstnces. It will take a few years to get it sorted out. Do you really think that a single person in the U.S. would tolerate that?

Vote for it. Participate in it. Correct it when it needs to be corrected. NEVER resign to it. That is what we are, after all.

Mr. Know It All
11-21-2002, 09:18 PM
Jack......This is nothing new for the Goverment. Big Brother and all. Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you. :D
Kevin in Ohio

Ian McColgin
11-22-2002, 09:07 AM
Terrorists win when they make us as craven as they are. This act is a major victory for the forces of darkness.

Greg H
11-22-2002, 09:13 AM
There is a lot of potential for abuse. Whether we fall into the pit we are digging, unfortunatly depends on the characture of the men that wield thes tools, and our vigilance. I am not encouraged by what I have seen so far.
Another concern I have, is what happens to this information. When (not if) it becomes available to private interests, will this become the basis of who gets hierd, who gets the loan at what interest rate? Should you be allowed higher education or is it best to put you under court supervision from the start.What will med insurance cost you, if you are eligable at all. All based upon where and to whom you were born, what you buy, read, call, where you go, and who you associate with.

I'm not saying I believe this will happen intentionaly, or even at all, but mankinds track record is not very good.

Greg H
11-22-2002, 09:21 AM
Something I came across a while ago.......

In his book, "They Thought They Were Free," Milton Mayor chronicled the thoughts and
experiences of citizens in Nazi Germany and offered a glimpse of how the German people
could have allowed the Third Reich to thrive. As one unnamed scholar reported:

"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being
governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the
situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people
could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not
be released because of national security. . . .Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so
well explained or, on occasion, "regretted," that, unless one were detached from the whole
process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle,
what all these "little measures" that no "patriotic German" could resent must some day lead
to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn
growing. One day it is over his head."

Ian McColgin
11-22-2002, 10:13 AM
Won't tolorate? We already have compromised most forms of privacy to commercial interests anyway. As anyone computer literate knows, there are prescious few secrets left.

Anyway, I have a personal reason for not trusting them. From '71-'73 I was doing an inter-campus chaplaincy and one of my biggest concerns was that anti-war demonstrations be truely non-violent. You know, cool out or isolate the loonies and identify the provo's.

The churches that supported me got some very entertaining visits from the FBI - "We have to see your books about McColgin. We think that you're doing nothing illegal but we have to see those books to be sure."

The FBI knew full well that my work was utterly lawful and had the point of maintaining lawfulness in volitile situations. Law abiding demonstrations was what they did not want - better to cut it that peace marches would be violent and unpatriotic. The bit with my churches was meant to scare off my funding. Fortunatly for me, New England churches really get it about big government. They only respect one authority and it's not a mere temporal agency.

Our nation was born in rebellion and our constitution was based on deep practical distrust of too much power in any single place. We have check and balances between legislative, judicial and executive. We also have check and balances between local, state and federal. The idea here is that a bit of democratic inefficiency is better than, to pluck an example and certainly not the worst place in the world but think about it, Singapore style repression.

Yeah. We're messy.

We're also free. We just have to struggle all the time to make that freedom real and meaningful.

John of Phoenix
11-22-2002, 10:55 AM
I think his article discussing Hooters Airlines was more factual. It was certainly much more entertaining.

Jim H
11-22-2002, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by Greg H:
Another concern I have, is what happens to this information. When (not if) it becomes available to private interests, will this become the basis of who gets hierd, who gets the loan at what interest rate? Should you be allowed higher education or is it best to put you under court supervision from the start.What will med insurance cost you, if you are eligable at all. All based upon where and to whom you were born, what you buy, read, call, where you go, and who you associate with.All of that information is now available. Employers may do background checks for criminal records, check the DMV for accidents & tickets. Anyone extending credit can check your credit history through one or all of the big three credit record services. Insurance companies can go to the MIB to see your claims history. The Harris County Toll Road Authority sends me a monthly statement showing what toll plazas and exits I used with the date and time I used them. Hopefully they won't get around to checking how fast I was going based on my time through the toll plazas :D . Bank records show ATM access, returned checks on microfilm show when the check was accepted by a merchant. Use a "customer advantage card" at a grocery store and they can track what/how much/how frequently you buy and which of their stores you frequent. Traffic management systems equiped with cameras can track you throughout most major cities. All of this information can be accessed now and has been available for years.
Big Brother is watching... tongue.gif

Jim

[ 11-22-2002, 11:58 AM: Message edited by: JimHillman ]

seafox61
11-22-2002, 12:03 PM
I think we have already come so far from the freedom that was the promas of this country when it was founded that it is too late to become free again with out another civil war. what was it 20 plus major conservity orginizations and people who got audited by the IRS in the clinton years. back when nixon tried to get the irs to attack his enemys they would not do it because they had their own list of people they did not like and were busy turning their life into a living hell.
but hey if you don't want to do anything say fill in a wetland or start a busness or protest an ever growing government you don't have noting to fear
jeffery
ps thanks for the link to an intresting site. the heading that neither life fiberty or property is safe while congress is in session sure is right. My favorite political cartoon is of an assistant running into the office of the head of the irs saying " what are we going to do a milion signature petition to get rid of the IRS was just presented to congress !" " ah good" answers the irs boss " get a copy right over to the auditing department"

on the brite side consevitives should besafe till hillery is elected on 2004

LeeG
11-24-2002, 03:24 PM
http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2002/021124-secure01.htm

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2002/021121-secure01.htm

There's something about this that is getting creepier and creepier. Resources going to hardware, software and centralized snooping. Didn't the prez. attempt a "Citizen Spies" program earlier in the summer? I wonder if that was a market test for the Poindexter HAL computer project?

thechemist
11-24-2002, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
<snip>
Anyway, I have a personal reason for not trusting them. From '71-'73 I was doing an inter-campus chaplaincy and one of my biggest concerns was that anti-war demonstrations be truely non-violent. You know, cool out or isolate the loonies and identify the provo's.

The churches that supported me got some very entertaining visits from the FBI - "We have to see your books about McColgin. We think that you're doing nothing illegal but we have to see those books to be sure."

The FBI knew full well that my work was utterly lawful and had the point of maintaining lawfulness in volitile situations. Law abiding demonstrations was what they did not want - better to cut it that peace marches would be violent and unpatriotic. <snip>In all fairness, the paranoid philosophy of the FBI at that time reflected the personal paranoia of its leader, who was himself extremely fearful that someone would find out he occasionally wore a red dress and high heels.......someone besides the mafia, who had a picture. :D

gunnar I am
11-24-2002, 04:06 PM
And a guy ,besides Joe, that wears a dress. :D :D

thechemist
11-24-2002, 04:07 PM
From that first globalsecurity link,

Others argue it is the nation's business, however, to spot a potential terrorist's so-called signature - that is, how such a person might move about, purchase materials, obtain books and use the Internet.

The key to learning that is to "put all these databases together - commercial records and public records," said Edward Badolato, a Reagan administration official who now heads Contingency Management Services, a Washington-based security provider.

"Law enforcement already does this in bits and pieces," he said. "But you need to do it under one tent and take it to a completely higher level of sophistication."

and from the second link,

Since terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners and slammed three of them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon more than a year ago, the nation can't seem to get its fill of anti-terrorism protections.

"There's certainly ... a lot of political pressure to raid the Treasury and throw money at the problem" of security, said John Pike, director of Global- security.org, a nonprofit Washington research firm.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service, for instance, has begun directing universities to update their computer networks so they can submit data on enrolled foreign students in encrypted form.

Similarly, the Transportation Department has begun imposing new security requirements on the nation's airports, rail and trucking facilities.

If this [above] had all been in place five or even two years ago, 9/11 would never have happened.

Now, we have a choice.

We now know for certain that terrorists such as those are running loose and unknown inside our country as well as many others.

Do we want to turn the other cheek and say in a theetie-weetie voice to these terrorists and the cowards who funnel money to them, "Go ahead and nuke us. We will protect to our death your freedom to carry, unsearched, nukes and biologicals hither-and-yon within our country or any other. We will protect to our death your freedom to finance criminal activity, and only when it comes to light will we attempt to find you so we can prosecute you for committing that crime, and for conspiring with those others to commit a crime we let them commit."

The other choice is to get proactive and find who is preparing to commit a crime and stop them before they can do it.

How intrusive do we have to get to find out who these terrorists are and what they are up to? More intrusive than we have been, for at the present very low level of intrusiveness we couldn't see them. The fact that they pulled off 9/11, other acts before and since is proof that we need better surveilance and intelligence.

This will likely last a generation or two, until the children of the world are educated better, and their parents no longer teach their children to grow up to be criminals, terrorists and human bombs.

Meerkat
11-24-2002, 04:07 PM
"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation," the leader of another country once wrote. "We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland."

That was Adoph Hitler, writing about creation of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany.

The times they are a chaaanging... Joe McCarthy would be proud.

thechemist
11-25-2002, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation," the leader of another country once wrote. "We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland."

That was Adoph Hitler, writing about creation of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany.

The times they are a chaaanging... Joe McCarthy would be proud.I think the evil that Corporal Shicklegruber had in mind was Jews.......although he eventually came to realize that gypsies, Poles, Romanians, Latvians, Estonians, homosexuals and other undesirables were also comparable dangers.

Today we are more enlightened, as we seem to be focusing on radical-Islam males, mostly between seventeen and forty years of age.

I think there's a difference.

The Jews, in Shicklegruber's mind, controlled the world's money supply and so forth.

Those moslem males mostly between seventeen and forty years of age, in the reality of this physical universe we all jointly occupy have recently set off a bomb in the parking area of one of the Twin Towers, and a few years later flew two airplanes into them and the Pentagon and bombed and killed around the world and have [some] been caught and freely confessed their crimes, boasting of others planned and [need I go on?].

ishmael
11-25-2002, 02:52 PM
Chemist,

I agree, there needs to be more surveilance...of Middle Eastern men between the ages of 17 and 40--not of everyone. But that, that the civil libertarians would go bonkers over. Why is it not okay to focus on the group you know contains your enemy, but it is okay to sacrifice everyone's privacy instead?

Jack

Scott Rosen
11-25-2002, 02:55 PM
I love you. Adolph Hitler, 1941, to his pet dog.

I think we should have a rule that no one can quote Hitler. Just because he said something doesn't make it good or bad.

Meerkat
11-25-2002, 03:27 PM
Yeah, we must be vigilent, but why, after it's been clearly shown that it was a failure to correctly analyse available information, do we need this ubersecurity department? Surely, the failure of the central planning model of the USSR shows the fallacy of such schemes? Then too there is the danger of concentrating power in one individual, namely the manager of this new department. Intelligence agencies needed shaking up, but not subsumption into this monstrosity!

Do we really need the Inspector General of the government's janitorial service (the GSA) to have the right to arrest one on that individual's (and presumably his designees) suspicion of terrorist activity (be careful of what you leave in your trashcan!)? How about the IG of NASA or the TVA? Those worthies and many more now have that power. I read parts of the bill and it's in there!

The terrorists, through the agency of our own government, have taken a lot of our freedoms from us over the past year. When do we say "enough!"?

Meerkat
11-25-2002, 03:29 PM
Ismael; have you considered that "middle-eastern men between the ages of 17 and 40" includes Israelis and Turks? ewps.

ishmael
11-25-2002, 03:32 PM
Meerkat, yes.

thechemist
11-25-2002, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by ishmael:
Chemist,

I agree, there needs to be more surveilance...of Middle Eastern men between the ages of 17 and 40--not of everyone. But that, that the civil libertarians would go bonkers over. Why is it not okay to focus on the group you know contains your enemy, but it is okay to sacrifice everyone's privacy instead?

JackThis ethnically-specific group is a target-rich environment, in relative terms. Not every terrorist wears a sign on themselves giving positive identification, however.

These people are (1) not always of swarthy complexion and sporting rich moustaches (2), innocent people from Iraq itself [or Yemen, etc, etc], let alone other countries have similar if not identical appearance, (3) the money and goods and services that are utilized by the terrorist are bought or stolen from others of diverse ethnicity and age, etc.

These terrorists are hidden within our society, and can be found by tracing the money flows and communications flows, and purchases of certain strategic materials for some forms of terrorism.

I am not going to list the explosives one can make with common laboratory chemicals that are not presently closely monitored, but believe me, they exist. There are contact poisons and other noxious booby-traps that can terrorize a civilian population, that can be fairly readily acquired if one knows what to ask for, from whom, and what cover story to give.

Fifty years ago chemists were trusted and chemical suppliers sold to chemists and the largest threat our society faced was some of the roman candles I lit off with chemicals I got my hands on.

Now, we need to watch the communications lines upon which flow anything a terrorist needs, and anyone who may unknowingly be on such a line.

My chemical purchases are watched, and I have had on several occasions been approached by people who wanted some apparently innocuous chemical to be bought for them. I happen to know what such chemicals can be used for, and sent them on their way. Had I purchased their chemicals and sold them to those people [as many do], someone would have followed up, if they were watching, and tracked down where those materials went, and busted their lab......if someone were watching.

As long as we have a society, let alone a planetary civilization, that produces criminals, some amount of surveilance will be necessary. Too little surveilance, and you will have guys standing on street corners in the inner cities, wearing a lot of gold chains and selling crack and speed, and guys with little educational or employment background going to flight school and paying a lot of money to learn how to fly an airplane, but not how to land it.

Oh.

You do?

Well then, a good solution would be to watch everyone a bit more closely until you can spot those that need to be watched a LOT MORE closely.

You got a better way to find everyone who needs really close surveilance?