Friday, July 22, 2005

On the Subject of Motives

In his post of 12th July, Devastatin’ Dave introduced the subject of motives in respect of the orchestration of acts of war or terrorism by governments.

Today the US House of Representatives voted to extend indefinitely the Patriot Act. I find it very interesting that the vote came up today, just one day after the four acts of terrorism that happened, and yet did not quite happen, in London.

At the same time, New York City has decided to initiate “random” searches within its subway system. The NY Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul Browne, said that they had been considering bag searches for the past three years, and now the events in London have “forced their hand.”

It would seem that most people in New York are not objecting to the searches because of their desire for some semblance of security, but then again, most Americans do not object to anything. At least the New York Civil Liberties Union is speaking up against the searches, rightly comparing them to a search for “a needle in a haystack”. The rule right now is bag searches only; what about in winter when someone can easily conceal a bomb under his or her coat?

Rep. Martin Meehan (D-Mass) described the Patriot Act as “an effort to answer the most difficult question a democracy faces: How much freedom are we willing to give up to feel safe?”

It is a valid question, but here is the answer, as previously quoted somewhere on these blogs:
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
– Benjamin Franklin

(Thanks, DD.)

37 comments:

Devastatin' Dave said...

I always thought the most difficult question a democracy faces is, "How much and for how long can the majority oppress the minority before they are found out?"

America was not designed to be a democracy, but a representative republic. For those that don't know the difference, I suggest educating oneself.

Here's what a I want a New Yorker to do: enter the subway with 4 huge dufflebags. When he is illegally stopped for a search, let the pigs open the dufflebags. In it, the New Yorker will have stuffed each dufflebag with flyers that state, "Fuck you!!"

Riggs is Crazy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Riggs is Crazy said...

When that happens, I hope the cops shoot his dumb ass.

Is everyone really that oppressed? Mad about nothing is more like it. Get over your liberties already. Your granola will taste the same whether some cops looked through your trader joes bags or not.

Tits Malone said...

DD...I 100% agree with you. Even in light of today's events, it is scary to compare the US tv coverage and the BBC World coverage...

Riggs is Crazy said...

The BBC won't even call terrorists terrorists. London is lame.

AG said...

Well done, Max!

Riggs,
After the German blitz and many, many years of American sponsored IRA terrorism, maybe Londoners are just a little less timid (dare I say braver?) than the New York authorities when it comes to dealing with whatever is in a bag. Get a life.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Riggs,

And what would the cops shoot him for? Possession of paper? Clearly a heinous felony. Is dissent and peaceful protest not allowed anymore?

Yes, they ARE that oppressed. When politicians take 40-50% of your earnings thru taxation, that is oppression. When people have to pay more in taxes than they spend in food, shelter and clothing combined, that is oppression. When you have a military with a presence in over 100 countries, that is oppression.

If you want to "get over" your liberties, that's your concern, but don't think that you or anyone else can surrender mine.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Riggs,

By the way, BART will soon follow. Let us know how your search goes.

Riggs is Crazy said...

I have nothing to hide, so I don't care about searches. Maybe one of the cops will be a hot lady. Who knows.

Taxes are an issue we can agree on. I stand behind everything you said on that issue.

Anonymous said...

A bunch of "dissenters" purposefully impeding the work of people trying to keep them safe is certainly a constructive suggestion.

Do you ever get the feeling that some of these people are anti-establishment just for the sake of being anti-establishment?

By the way, anyone here know anything about Salman Pak?

Anonymous said...

We should probably just assume that the US House, filled in part with people privy to the most confidential of information, voted to extend the Patriot Act because they're wholly un-informed, too busy "oppressing the minority" to recognize their efforts as taking everyone's liberties. Oh, wait, maybe with information, thought, and an unwillingness to blame America for EVERYTHING, they voted that way for a reason.

No, that can't be it. I'm sure that the ex-pats and the un-employed have it properly sussed. Down with America! Come on.

Oh, and while we're on the topic, many of these opinions have come to resemble the sentiments of the infamous "Arab street," whether you recognize that or not.

Riggs is Crazy said...

Well said anon.

Re Salman Pak, I think Hans Blix should know about it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way MM, your Franklin "quote" is a very bad paraphrasing.

Max said...

Anon, you are probably thinking of this quote: Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

The fact is that Franklin spoke on the subject many times and paraphrased himself each time. I can give you at least 3 more paraphrasings if you'd like.

Riggs is Crazy said...

It's funny when people claim that this isn't the "1800s" and then they come back and quote Ben Franklin.

Waiter, I'd like to eat my cake and then I'd also like to take it home with me.

Max said...

Anon, since you asked, I know quite a bit about Salman Pak. What do you want to know?

No one I know anymore is anti-establishment for the sake of being anti-establishment. That is the provenance of youngsters, not older, well-educated and well-informed people who think for ourselves, no matter where we live.

Skeeter said...

Max,

To answer your question on congress voting on the Patriot Act and coinciding with the London close calls, the Act was enacted to have sunset provisions so that it would be forced to come up for renewal instead of automatically renewing. It was the only way to get it through.
There have been people that refused to have their bags checked by NYPD and they were refused entry to the subway system. Most however were happy to open their bags.
If a homicide bomber blew up the NY subway three days ago everyone would have been screaming, rightly so I think, that the NYC government did nothing to protect its citizens.
The ACLU is a knee jerk organization, and most of the time I applaud that fact. The day people stop complaining about things is the day we're doomed. However the ACLU is very selective when it comes to speaking up. If it's an issue that isn't popular among the left leaning crowd, they tend to stay quiet. They know where their bread is buttered. They are abyssmal when it comes to the right to keep and bear arms...nothing, not a peep.
I have to go right now but I'll be back to finish my thoughts.
Thanks for the opportunity Max. :)

Anonymous said...

Actually, MM, I was thinking of this:

"Those who are willing to sacrifice their basic liberties to assure their security deserve neither."

I've never seen it quoted any other way, just as I've never seen anyone "paraphrase himself."

Anonymous said...

DD is anti-establishment for the sake of being anti-establishment, for just one example.

Not that there's anything wrong with raking the muck, necessarily. I'm just calling it as I see it.

Max said...

Skeeter, I didn't say "coinciding", and I know all about the Act and its sunset provisions.
Good call on the ACLU.
Please do come back and finish your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Okay, MM, two questions re: Salman Pak:
1. Who were they training?

2. What were they training them to do?

Max said...

Anon, I will address your American history and language questions first.

Benjamin Franklin spoke frequently about the importance of gaining and preserving liberty, hence the variety of phrases in each of which he said the exact same thing, only in a slightly different way.

And that, dear Anon, is a good illustration of how one paraphrases oneself. Just because you have not heard of something does not mean that it does not exist.

Anonymous said...

Here are two paraphrasings (I don't recall the source, sorry) I prefer:

1. Islam is a peaceful religion...so long as everyone is Muslim.

and

2. Islam is a peaceful religion...so long as the women are beaten, the infidels killed, and the little boys buggered.

(I hestitanly appropriate the latter to Tom Wolfe).

Max said...

Anon, according to certain sources, Salman Pak was a terrorist training facility, and so what they did there was they trained people to be terrorists. It is also thought to have been a biological warfare research facility.

Iraq claimed that it was an anti-terror training camp.

But Anon, I am sure you already know all of this or you would not have asked. So, please, what is your point?

(Sorry, I am just learning how to use HTML tags, thanks to Skeeter, so I have to practice.)

Anonymous said...

Oh, then to paraphrase myself, "Hogwash." (But should I use quotation marks while paraphrasing myself?)

My god, I'm so confused now.

Max said...

No quotation marks, Anon - you are paraphrasing. Don't you remember anything from school? Or just how to keep your head down and follow instructions?

Skeeter said...

MM,

I know you didn't say coinciding, that was my term, but you said "I find it very interesting that the vote came up today, just one day after the four acts of terrorism that happened, and yet did not quite happen, in London." My point was that the vote was scheduled long ago to come up now and had no relation to the four attacks that happened but didn't happen.
As far as traveling on the NY subway goes, last I heard its paid for with NYC taxpayer money, so it seems to me NYC has the say in what they do.
Also if they happen to find anything (drugs, etc) in their "search" and try to prosecute them, it would be illegal and thrown out of court anyway. Why? No Warrant.
If they don't want to be subject to searches, they can take a cab, walk or drive.
Let me pose this question to ya'll. If I own a restaurant could I not hire a bouncer to search peoples bags to enter my establishment? So long as I advertise what the requirements for entry are people can refuse and leave or open their bags and sit down to eat. As a business owner I should have the right of refusal for entry to MY establishment.
Therefore I think if NYC wants to search bags, they own it, they have the right and they have the right or maybe obligation to change it if they don't.

Tits Malone said...

The world has gone mad...not to belittle any of the comments above..I agree with some and definitely not others...MM why don't you come with me to Dublin for cute boys? It is a lot easier to solve the problem of liberty vs security with a cocktail in hand and a celtic hottie in the other..hahaha

Skeeter said...

DD,

Your comment about oppression is right except for your last example...military presence. Each of the examples before relate to the American people, the fact of American military presence in other countries is not oppression of American people by definition.
I do believe we need to get out of places like Japan, Europe and most of the other countries we have soldiers/sailors stationed.
Just keep in mind that we do have agreements from many governments to be there...treaties. Stop, I know, I know, I'm just saying if they don't want us there, kick us out and get the UN and NATO to help kick us out if necessary. Frankly, I want out of the UN (aka Frank Burns) too.
I'd love to get the hell out of Guam and the Phillipines to name a couple.

And as far as the duffle bags are concerned, frankly that's a stupid protest, but let the cops search the duffle bags....no bombs...OK go on..and let the idiot walk around with 4 huge duffle bags that he didn't need to bring. I guess the F%$k You will be on him then.

Tom Cruise forgot to take his pills said...

bitch and moan...bitch and moan...

That is what this has turned into....where is the common sense? There are people out there trying to kill other people - why would anybody be opposed to stopping them from doing that? Because they had to stop for 5 min for somebody to look in their bag? 'OOOOOHHHH I've been violated!! Someone looked at my stuff...!! OOOOHHH!!!!'

Give me a break...Folks need to live in the now. Enough of the 1800's, enough of quoting slights and instances that took place 100 years ago...take some time to look around at the real world and deal with it.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Jesus Christ! I leave for a couple hours of continuing ed and all hell breaks loose. Although this is usually reserved for a Festivus celebration, I'm going to make an exception and have an Airing of Grievances. To quote Frank Costanza, "I've got a lot of problems with you people!"

Anonymous said: " DD is anti-establishment for the sake of being anti-establishment, for just one example." This is incorrect, so please don't speak for me. If by "anti-establishment" you mean "anti-government", then yes, you are correct. However, anyone that knows me knows that my anti-government position is a moral and ethical stance, not a whimsical one. As for "blaming America," I've never done so in my blog posts or comments. If you haven't been paying attention, I blame politicians. You have made the mistake of confusing government agents with citizens;I draw a distinction between the two. I lay the blame where it belongs. While you mention Salman Pak, should we also mention the US Army's College of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga. which has trained some nefarious Central and South American military types? As for your well-informed Congressmen, are you talking about the same Congressmen that abdicated they're power to declare war against Irag because G.W's information was so good? The same Congress that passed the Patriot Act without reading it?

Skeeter said: "the Act was enacted to have sunset provisions so that it would be forced to come up for renewal instead of automatically renewing. It was the only way to get it through." You're talking about an Act, The Patriot Act, that was passed without the legislators having time to read it!! Bravo! Bravo!!

Skeeter said: "There have been people that refused to have their bags checked by NYPD and they were refused entry to the subway system." This isn't a choice of a free person in a free society; this is an ultimatum by a bully. Submit to a search or else!

Skeeter said: "As far as traveling on the NY subway goes, last I heard its paid for with NYC taxpayer money, so it seems to me NYC has the say in what they do." Then shouldn't the taxpayer have a say in it?

Skeeter said: "Also if they happen to find anything (drugs, etc) in their "search" and try to prosecute them, it would be illegal and thrown out of court anyway. Why? No Warrant." The legality of a search is not determined by what they find after the fact! It's determined before the search in question ever takes place. Clear violation of the 4th Amendment.

Skeeter said: "Let me pose this question to ya'll. If I own a restaurant could I not hire a bouncer to search peoples bags to enter my establishment? So long as I advertise what the requirements for entry are people can refuse and leave or open their bags and sit down to eat. As a business owner I should have the right of refusal for entry to MY establishment." Yes, you should. But, the 4th Amendment prohibition against illegal searches is a prohibition against governments and their agents, not against private citizens/owners. The idea that NYC "owns" the subway is tenuous at best. If in fact the NYC taxpayers fund the subway, then aren't they the rightful owners?

I would refer you all to recent research on terrorist/suicide bombings, which shows that bombings are mostly a function of military occupation. Here's the link as provided on Beamis' blog -
http://amconmag.com/2005_07_18/article.html

All I hear these days are the plaintive wails of full-grown children that want to be cared for by Mommy and Daddy. "Don't let the bad man get me!" "Please provide for me!" "Please tuck me in at night, because there's a monster under my bed!" Meanwhile, Mommy and Daddy are out in the neighborhood alienating the neighbors and making enemies. The American government didn't protect Americans on 9/11 and the British government didn't protect Britons on 7/7. Yet, you think they will do so in the future? I've got some beautiful swampland here in Colorado if anyone is interested.

And now...The Feats of Strength!

Devastatin' Dave said...

More...

Skeeter said: "Your comment about oppression is right except for your last example...military presence. Each of the examples before relate to the American people, the fact of American military presence in other countries is not oppression of American people by definition." You're basically saying that as long as Americans aren't oppressed by it, then its OK. Ask some Okinawan parents, whose teenage daughter was raped by US Marines, if they don't feel oppressed. And yes, the military presence is oppression on the American people, because we have to foot the bill and deal with the consequences. e.g., suicide bombers.

Skeeter said: "And as far as the duffle bags are concerned, frankly that's a stupid protest, but let the cops search the duffle bags....no bombs...OK go on..and let the idiot walk around with 4 huge duffle bags that he didn't need to bring. I guess the F%$k You will be on him then." At one time, I'm sure dressing up like Indians and dumping tea in harbor seemed like a "stupid protest." Since you are a long-time buddy, I'll refrain from saying, "F you."

Anonymous said...

DD, you're splitting hairs; you're anti-establishment.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Yes, I am, but not just for the sake of being anit-establishment as you suggested earlier.

Max said...

It's 4:17 in the morning here and I have just got home from you-know-where. Fantastic stuff.

Max said...

Skeeter, you said, "Also if they happen to find anything (drugs, etc) in their "search" and try to prosecute them, it would be illegal and thrown out of court anyway. Why? No Warrant." I think you are wrong. That is the way it should be, but things I have been reading indicate otherwise. Both yahoo and the New York Times have suggested that police will use whatever they find through the illegal searches as "probable cause".

"In a guideline issued on Thursday to top police commanders, Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly wrote that officers retained the right to use their normal investigative methods if they had probable cause to suspect someone of a crime."

A man on Friday was arraigned on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon; the weapons were found during a search outside a Long Island Railroad station. Maybe it will get thrown out of court later - we'll just have to wait and see.

Skeeter said...

DD,

Well I don't think I deserve that kind of talk, but since you focus mostly on me I'll try to respond in best way I can.

Re: Patriot Act comment: I was just explaining to MM about the sunset provisions of the Act I didn't make a judgement or statement about the Act so I'm not sure where the vitriole is coming from.

Re: Refusal of some to submit to search comment: Again, just stating facts Glenn...some people refused, most didn't. I disagree with you that it's an ultimatum, though...

Re: My No Warrant comment: Christ, are you reading what I'm saying!!!! I'm not saying it is illegal after the fact!! They haven't obtained a warrant (4th Amendment) to search your bag for anything other than explosives, if they went that far even, therefore if they find drugs for example, you can beat it in court.(OK quick side here...if you're a drug dealer/user and you carry your drugs in a back-pack on the New York Subway during these searches then you need your balls cut off so you cannot contaminate the rest of the population with your stupid genes...keep your drugs safe, esse, don't ride the subway..thats our new slogan)

Re Who owns the subway comment: You're right, thats what I'm saying, the NYC taxpayers are the owners...so they need to get their representatives in local government to stop the searches...hell, protest out in the streets. With all the cameras around, I'll just bet they'll get some airplay.

Too much guys...I'm wrong, DD is right about everything.....I'm just a worm sir a wiggly worm sir from the bottom of the ocean depths.

Later, And peace.

Skeeter