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stevenpd 
  Posted: 12-Aug-2009, 06:18 PM
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I've started this thread to continue a discussion in another without hijacking the original thread.

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stevenpd - I don't think anyone can dispute that Obama failed to place his hand over his heart during the national anthem once. There are photographs showing it. There are also photos showing him placing his hand over it on other occasions. The initial comment said he "refuses" to put his hand over his heart, as though it were an intentional snub. I can't find any comment by him which definitively proves any such intent. Remember, this was a reason given to assert some impending totalitarianism. So tell me what's the formula? How many neglected hands over hearts equals how much totalitarianism?

Lets take the Muslim comment in context shall we:

“What I want to do is to create a better dialogue so that the Muslim world understands more effectively how the United States, but also how the West thinks about many of these difficult issues like terrorism, like democracy, to discuss the framework for what’s happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and our outreach to Iran, and also how we view the prospects for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Mr. Obama said.

The president said the United States and other parts of the Western world “have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam.”

“And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world,” Mr. Obama said. “And so there’s got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples.”

He's quantifying the relative size of Muslim populations in the US and in predominately Muslim countries. That's an entirely different statement than saying the US is a Muslim nation. Why? Because its not a solely Muslim nation or even predominately one. Come now, lets give the guy some credit for an IQ and take comments within the context they're made without superimpositions of fictionalized nefarious intent.

I agree with your point that people should be heard in the health care debate and the facts of the bill should be revealed to them as it progresses rather than foisted upon them without regard for their opinions, particularly if manditory participation is part of the bill. Yet in fairness, how many of you really avidly peruse the congressional record and keep track of pending legislation? Are not avenues available to write/contact your representatives about any issue in their legislative purview? Haven't there always been?

The cybersecurity bill sounds scary yes. But when you consider how vast is the reach of internet, our dependence on it and how far reaching and disabling an attack would be in the realms of finanace, defense, communication and utility infrastructures, which would probably be considered "critical networks", then what is the government to do in an extreme circumstance? Before anyone says "create better security against attacks, with defensive software" I would think that's part of the mix wouldn't you? I wouldn't mind such a post being established - providing it has sufficient congressional and judicial oversight! Give me an alternative. What defensive means would you establish to defend against an attack which would effectively disable aspects of the internet critical to national defense, banking, telecommunications etc.? Wouldn't you want the ability to shut down those networks as an option? If you're worried about such activity being at the sole discretion of the president, remember the decision to launch nuclear weapons is in his discretion? Establishment of martial law..... What - You want assurances that you'd have the ability to email your loved ones once the missles fly?

How much do you trust your government? This seems to be the central question for all of us. By the way, "not at all" is a disingenuous answer. There are countless ways government is trusted in every facet of life by all of us. I have no argument against oversight, no argument with the people's constitutional right to address or protest government policies should they have a greivance and agree that govenment has an obligation to respond, but lets get real. Egregious totalitarian panic attacks and hyperbole serve as distractions from maintaining these rights effectively. With due respect to the emotions involved, at some point intelligent discussion has to commence. That said, I recognize the potential that town hall shouting matches may serve as prelude to greater discussion, if for no other reason than to stop them, then again they may only create backlash.



Antwn

Pledge of Allegiance:

I agree that the intent is not there and it could be a simple oversight. And such an over sight in no way indicates a predisposition towards a totalitarian regime. But it is disturbing nonetheless for the simple reason that we have a gentleman who was seeking the highest office in the land and a primary leader in the free world. I expect more from such a person. A simple act of placing ones hand over their heart during the Pledge of Allegiance was taught in elementary school. It is a sigh of respect of the greatest nation in the world. I can not read into anything when it comes to his thoughts for I can not read minds nor will I make assumptions. It is what it is.

Muslim comment context:

This speech was made during his travels in Europe early in his Presidency and was one of many during that time. I think that he had poor choice of words. To imply that the number of Muslims in the United States is so great that a majority of Americans are Muslim and then by inference make the United States a Muslim country is disingenuous to say the least. Such an error is also beneath my standards as an American citizen for my President. Although there is a substantial number of Muslims in this country, numbers range from a low of 2 million up to 10 million, their numbers in no way can be thought of in terms of making the United States a Muslim country with an overall population of 300 million.

Again, I expect more from my country's leader. We could infer all kinds of things from this but the essence is, he made a comparison that should not have been made.

Health Care debate:

I am one of those that tries to keep track of what is happening in Congress. I receive an email periodically when votes are made in Congress on bills through Yahoo!. So I do know who has voted for what. I also receive other emails like Rasmussen Polls to get a feel for what is going on. I make an effort to educate myself. My reading pile is growing faster than I can read. My current list consists of The Federalist Papers, The Communist Manifesto, Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals, and the H.R. 3200 - America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. I do not limit myself.

Writing to your representatives can only get you so far. I have written to mine on several occasions with either condemnation or praise for their vote on certain bills. And I get a dutiful form letter in response. It is the Congressmen that have decided to not take what I have to say about an issue that is frustrating. For example, Senator Boxer is one of two Senators for the State of California. She has an election coming up next year. Because of her general attitude and the issues she puts forth has made become more politically active to make sure that she does not get re-elected. With her condescension most prevalent in Congress no wonder the reactions occurring at the Town Halls. No one is feeling that their concerns are being heard.

Add to the level of frustration of not being heard with staged events and heavy-handed bullying tactics just to be heard, you get what is currently happening. We have our representatives actualy discounting our concerns, "We know what is good for you, so sit down and shut up." The last time I checked we lived in America, with a constitution outlining our rights. One of which is freedom of speech. Speech that allows us to question our government officials. But their attitude and actions belie such a notion.

Government Control:

Here I think the point is governmental involvement. We have a government that is becoming heavily involved in areas that are not only outside of the constitutional allowances but into more and more aspect of everyday life. All in the name of fairness. We have such involvment from personal issues, i.e. abortion, to wages to the way businesses are run. All in the name of protection.

After 9/11 the Patriot Act was passed in the name of protecting the country. This allowed instances that invaded everyone's privacy with the side effect of catching the bad guys. Now we have a bill that in essence does the same thing with the only difference is with party affiliation. This general direction that the government, regardless of party, is taking. Also consider their attitudes towards dissent.

There can be little argument that the internet has had and will always have a major impact on everyone's life in one way or another. Clearly cyber attacks are becoming the battleground of the future. It is a level battle field for all participants regardless of numbers. It can be a lone person or a large group. The means and methods are still the same. To protect from such attacks belongs with the individual systems, not the government. The government can share defensive information but they have no business, either morally or constitutionally, for any more involvement beyond that.

Now if you want to discuss the implications of "provide for the common defense" in reference to the Constitution that is another topic altogether. But suffice it to say that recent actions by our government are suspicious to a point that it is very hard to believe that they have the people's best interests at heart. From staging Town Hall meetings to calling people with opposing views "Un-American," there is very little reason to believe anything that is said or done to be worthy of serious thought. There is no one to blame but the current administration.

With events since the beginning of the current administration, very little has been done to warrant trust in it. Obama and Congress have told falsehoods and have passed bills without the benefit of even knowing what they approved and yet we are to believe that everything will be OK. "Just trust us!" I don't think so. Not when I see heavy-handed tactics being used to justify a position.



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Patch 
Posted: 12-Aug-2009, 08:28 PM
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Day before yesterday the AARP conditionally supported obama's health care. Today it announced that their conditional support has been withdrawn, this after obama said they were in "full" support. How could that be!!??

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SCShamrock 
Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 07:01 AM
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QUOTE
News outlets that are focusing on the incendiary rhetoric of conservatives outside President Obama's town hall meeting Tuesday ignored the incendiary rhetoric -- and even violence -- of liberals outside an appearance by former President George W. Bush in 2002.

When Bush visited Portland, Ore., for a fundraiser, protesters stalked his motorcade, assailed his limousine and stoned a car containing his advisers. Chanting "Bush is a terrorist!", the demonstrators bullied passers-by, including gay softball players and a wheelchair-bound grandfather with multiple sclerosis.

One protester even brandished a sign that seemed to advocate Bush's assassination. The man held a large photo of Bush that had been doctored to show a gun barrel pressed against his temple.

"BUSH: WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE," read the placard, which had an X over the word "ALIVE."

Another poster showed Bush's face with the words: "F--- YOU, MOTHERF---ER!"

A third sign urged motorists to "HONK IF YOU HATE BUSH." A fourth declared: "CHRISTIAN FASCISM," with a swastika in place of the letter S in each word.

Although reporters from numerous national news organizations were traveling with Bush and witnessed the protest, none reported that protesters were shrieking at Republican donors epithets like "Slut!" "Whore!" and "Fascists!"

Frank Dulcich, president and CEO of Pacific Seafood Group, had a cup of liquid thrown into his face, and then was surrounded by a group of menacing protesters, including several who wore masks. Donald Tykeson, 75, who had multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair, was blocked by a thug who threatened him.

Protesters slashed the tires of several state patrol cruisers and leapt onto an occupied police car, slamming the hood and blocking the windshield with placards. A female police officer was knocked to the street by advancing protesters, badly injuring her wrist.

The angry protest grew so violent that the Secret Service was forced to take the highly unusual step of using a backup route for Bush's motorcade because the primary route had been compromised by protesters, one of whom pounded his fist on the president's moving limousine.

All the while, angry demonstrators brandished signs with incendiary rhetoric, such as "9/11 - YOU LET IT HAPPEN, SHRUB," and "BUSH: BASTARD CHILD OF THE SUPREME COURT." One sign read: "IMPEACH THE COURT-APPOINTED JUNTA AND THE FASCIST, EGOMANIACAL, BLOOD-SWILLING BEAST!"

Yet none of these signs were cited in the national media's coverage of the event. By contrast, the press focused extensively on over-the-top signs held by Obama critics at the president's town hall event held Tuesday in New Hampshire.

The lead story in Wednesday's Washington Post, for example, is headlined: "Obama Faces 'Scare Tactics' Head-On."

"As the president spoke, demonstrators outside held posters declaring him a socialist and dubbing him 'Obamahdinejad,' in reference to Iran's president," the Post reported. "People screamed into bullhorns to protest a bigger government role in health care. 'Nobama Deathcare!' one sign read. A young girl held up a sign that said: 'Obama Lies, Grandma Dies.' Images of a protester wearing what appeared to be a gun were shown on television."

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that a Democratic congressman discovered that "an opponent of health care reform hanged him in effigy" and was confronted by "200 angry conservatives." The article lamented "increasingly ugly scenes of partisan screaming matches, scuffles, threats and even arrests."

No such coverage was given to the Portland protest of Bush by The New York Times or the Washington Post, which witnessed the protest.


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Patch 
Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 08:02 AM
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S J Lee,democrat congresswoman from the Huston Tx area, took a phone call during a question from from a constituent. (the second question of the meeting.) She claimed it was from someone she had called in response to the first question. It later became known that she lied.

Unfortunately typical behavior for most of our political (parasites). It seems to be worse with the newer crop.

The town hall meetings are changing the polls and the change is picking up speed!

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Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 08:18 AM
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I just heard that some D legislators are requiring a photo ID for entrance to a town hall meeting to keep people from other geographic areas out. Most, if not all, voted a couple of years ago to allow "citizens" to vote without a picture ID. For voting they felt it was placing the bar too high!!

There is certainly something wrong with that picture.

Does it seem to the rest of you that the D's are grabbing for straws?" To ammend this, I should also add there a couple of R's and I's involved too.

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stevenpd 
Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 10:11 AM
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It appears that when the message gets opposed, in whatever manner, the messenger gets attacked. This is does nothing to add to the discussion.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee's acceptance of a phone call during a question from her constituent is not only bad phone etiquette but only strengthens the appearance that not only does not care about the question but the issue as well. And people wonder with incidents like these why the attempts to be heard in any manner appear so loud.
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Antwn 
Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE (stevenpd @ 12-Aug-2009, 06:18 PM)
Now if you want to discuss the implications of "provide for the common defense" in reference to the Constitution that is another topic altogether. But suffice it to say that recent actions by our government are suspicious to a point that it is very hard to believe that they have the people's best interests at heart. From staging Town Hall meetings to calling people with opposing views "Un-American," there is very little reason to believe anything that is said or done to be worthy of serious thought. There is no one to blame but the current administration.

With events since the beginning of the current administration, very little has been done to warrant trust in it. Obama and Congress have told falsehoods and have passed bills without the benefit of even knowing what they approved and yet we are to believe that everything will be OK. "Just trust us!" I don't think so. Not when I see heavy-handed tactics being used to justify a position.

Muslim comment context:

This speech was made during his travels in Europe early in his Presidency and was one of many during that time. I think that he had poor choice of words. To imply that the number of Muslims in the United States is so great that a majority of Americans are Muslim and then by inference make the United States a Muslim country is disingenuous to say the least. Such an error is also beneath my standards as an American citizen for my President. Although there is a substantial number of Muslims in this country, numbers range from a low of 2 million up to 10 million, their numbers in no way can be thought of in terms of making the United States a Muslim country with an overall population of 300 million.


Poor choice of words in making a point, yes I can see that. Not only that but its a silly statement. But read between the lines here. He's trying to bridge an US vs THEM mentality with the Muslim world by making the point that the US has millions of Muslims as well. By way of analogy, you could say the US is a Spanish speaking country. Practically every business' customer service departments have Spanish speaking options, you can literally spend a day in downtown Miami without hearing a word of English (I've done it) - yet its all a matter of context. Saying the US is a Spanish speaking country doesn't mean the majority speaks that language nor does it mean the US is solely Spanish speaking, yet the comment is not inaccurate given the proper context in which its made - meaning you'll find so much support here along with the ability to live, work and participate in society if you're monolingual in Spanish that the statement is true. I'm just suggesting credit be given for the same contextual nuance in Obama's statements.

Again, I expect more from my country's leader. We could infer all kinds of things from this but the essence is, he made a comparison that should not have been made.

Agreed. Mistake on his part.

Add to the level of frustration of not being heard with staged events and heavy-handed bullying tactics just to be heard, you get what is currently happening. We have our representatives actually discounting our concerns, "We know what is good for you, so sit down and shut up." The last time I checked we lived in America, with a constitution outlining our rights. One of which is freedom of speech. Speech that allows us to question our government officials. But their attitude and actions belie such a notion.

I have no argument with this nor your paragraph preceding it.

After 9/11 the Patriot Act was passed in the name of protecting the country. This allowed instances that invaded everyone's privacy with the side effect of catching the bad guys. Now we have a bill that in essence does the same thing with the only difference is with party affiliation. This general direction that the government, regardless of party, is taking. Also consider their attitudes towards dissent.

I have no dispute with this. I'm also very concerned about the Patriot Act and the extent of government control and penetration of their authority in everyday life.

To protect from such attacks belongs with the individual systems, not the government. The government can share defensive information but they have no business, either morally or constitutionally, for any more involvement beyond that.

This may be ideal but it also may be unrealistic. Given the interconnectedness of the internet, it may be possible to disable or destroy large interdependent and absolutely vital infrastructures, beyond just defense. Although individual systems may have their own protections in place, they do not cooperate with each other and remain untested. Granted this is all speculative, but the point is, should an attack infect vital systems, and a domino effect is created by their disabling, then some intervening authority may need to shut down systems in vital areas. Given the susceptibility of the financial industry alone to the actions of a cabal of greedy bank executives, how disabling would a cyber attack be to that industry and who would stifle the ripple effect? You're going to trust the competence of the IT heads of the systems themselves to coordinate efforts? What about the simultaneous shut down of gas, electric, telecommunications and banking by cyber attack in mid-winter? Who would coordinate recovery efforts? No one would have the authority to contain the continued effect of such an attack if no one had authority over the internet itself - you see? Who would contain it if an authority hadn't been put into place to do so.

As odious and scary as it is to allow such uber-authority over the net and our lives, I don't think leaving it up to private industry in the above scenario is tenable. I say that in full recall of the incompetence of FEMA during Katrina - "trust us we're the government" is not a statement I'd respond to by saying "okee dokee" either. But lets look at the response demands potential scenarios create. You want to be caught with our pants down?

I have to confess to have mixed feelings about all of this. I do not disagree with you and share your concerns about government control. There's a book by Adam Wildavsky (spelling?) concerning risk and safety where he asserts the best response is resilience - as opposed to setting up rigid systems for every contingency, and your idea would seem to be in line with that philosophy. I see great wisdom in that. Given the dangers, what trade offs are we willing to make, and how much of this projected loss of liberty is paranoia? That's my struggle here.

Vigilance is the price of liberty, I know. But to interpret nefarious intent at every twitch of a finger of government authority is the opposite extreme. A balance is needed. That was the thrust of all my posts - to confront the boisterous and rather idiotic hyperbole and conspiratorial ranting that began these discussions. Our views differ, yes, but I don't think we're too far apart on our positions - I'm trying to bring out people's real ideas in order to distinguish them from the pukefest of Chicken Littleism.





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Antwn 
Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 03:26 PM
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QUOTE (stevenpd @ 12-Aug-2009, 06:18 PM)
From staging Town Hall meetings to calling people with opposing views "Un-American," there is very little reason to believe anything that is said or done to be worthy of serious thought. There is no one to blame but the current administration.

Gee, where have we seen this tactic used before? Who popularized it?

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Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE (SCShamrock @ 13-Aug-2009, 07:01 AM)
QUOTE
News outlets that are focusing on the incendiary rhetoric of conservatives outside President Obama's town hall meeting Tuesday ignored the incendiary rhetoric -- and even violence -- of liberals outside an appearance by former President George W. Bush in 2002.

When Bush visited Portland, Ore., for a fundraiser, protesters stalked his motorcade, assailed his limousine and stoned a car containing his advisers. Chanting "Bush is a terrorist!", the demonstrators bullied passers-by, including gay softball players and a wheelchair-bound grandfather with multiple sclerosis.

One protester even brandished a sign that seemed to advocate Bush's assassination. The man held a large photo of Bush that had been doctored to show a gun barrel pressed against his temple.

"BUSH: WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE," read the placard, which had an X over the word "ALIVE."

Another poster showed Bush's face with the words: "F--- YOU, MOTHERF---ER!"

A third sign urged motorists to "HONK IF YOU HATE BUSH." A fourth declared: "CHRISTIAN FASCISM," with a swastika in place of the letter S in each word.

Although reporters from numerous national news organizations were traveling with Bush and witnessed the protest, none reported that protesters were shrieking at Republican donors epithets like "Slut!" "Whore!" and "Fascists!"

Frank Dulcich, president and CEO of Pacific Seafood Group, had a cup of liquid thrown into his face, and then was surrounded by a group of menacing protesters, including several who wore masks. Donald Tykeson, 75, who had multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair, was blocked by a thug who threatened him.

Protesters slashed the tires of several state patrol cruisers and leapt onto an occupied police car, slamming the hood and blocking the windshield with placards. A female police officer was knocked to the street by advancing protesters, badly injuring her wrist.

The angry protest grew so violent that the Secret Service was forced to take the highly unusual step of using a backup route for Bush's motorcade because the primary route had been compromised by protesters, one of whom pounded his fist on the president's moving limousine.

All the while, angry demonstrators brandished signs with incendiary rhetoric, such as "9/11 - YOU LET IT HAPPEN, SHRUB," and "BUSH: BASTARD CHILD OF THE SUPREME COURT." One sign read: "IMPEACH THE COURT-APPOINTED JUNTA AND THE FASCIST, EGOMANIACAL, BLOOD-SWILLING BEAST!"

Yet none of these signs were cited in the national media's coverage of the event. By contrast, the press focused extensively on over-the-top signs held by Obama critics at the president's town hall event held Tuesday in New Hampshire.

The lead story in Wednesday's Washington Post, for example, is headlined: "Obama Faces 'Scare Tactics' Head-On."

"As the president spoke, demonstrators outside held posters declaring him a socialist and dubbing him 'Obamahdinejad,' in reference to Iran's president," the Post reported. "People screamed into bullhorns to protest a bigger government role in health care. 'Nobama Deathcare!' one sign read. A young girl held up a sign that said: 'Obama Lies, Grandma Dies.' Images of a protester wearing what appeared to be a gun were shown on television."

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that a Democratic congressman discovered that "an opponent of health care reform hanged him in effigy" and was confronted by "200 angry conservatives." The article lamented "increasingly ugly scenes of partisan screaming matches, scuffles, threats and even arrests."

No such coverage was given to the Portland protest of Bush by The New York Times or the Washington Post, which witnessed the protest.

What's the point then of worrying about whether Bush or Obama are right if the're equally culpable for the same dirty political tactics Shamrock? They have each been lambasted with the same extreme rhetoric, both sides accuse dissenters of being Un-American. Instead of taking sides and fueling the conflagration, why not unite against the tactic itself? That's what's truly Un-American.
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Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 03:51 PM
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Pelosi announced that the new health care will cost us nothing. 500 million will be cut from medicare, which covers the elderly and the disabled. and 500 million will be raised from the "rich." The rich are already shielding their money to avoid the tax and unless the 500 million in medicare benefits is put back somewhere else, thus no savings, it amounts to passive euthanasia. You do not have to give people a shot or pill to kill them, just block their care.

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Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn @ 13-Aug-2009, 03:37 PM)

What's the point then of worrying about whether Bush or Obama are right if the're equally culpable for the same dirty political tactics Shamrock? They have each been lambasted with the same extreme rhetoric, both sides accuse dissenters of being Un-American. Instead of taking sides and fueling the conflagration, why not unite against the tactic itself? That's what's truly Un-American.

It may be un-American if we have some kind of ideal vision of American mores as being generous and forgiving -- not sure that one carries out past the level of ideals into concrete practice. We would like to think it's un-American to trade ignorant, ugly low blow for low blow -- we can agree on that, most likely. I am disgusted myself when the liberal expression in protest takes that kind of turn.

But in this case, it appears to me that it's more of an aggrieved, personal tit-for-tat position: "How come they can do it and get away with it, and we/I can't?" Shamrock has also spoken on various occasions of his dissatisfaction with minority cultural expressions that would be disapproved of, or squashed down, if they were being expressed by whites. Seems to be of a piece.
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Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn @ 13-Aug-2009, 03:37 PM)

What's the point then of worrying about whether Bush or Obama are right if the're equally culpable for the same dirty political tactics Shamrock? They have each been lambasted with the same extreme rhetoric, both sides accuse dissenters of being Un-American. Instead of taking sides and fueling the conflagration, why not unite against the tactic itself? That's what's truly Un-American.

Where have you seen me call protestors un-american on either side of the political aisle? My point in posting the story (did you even read it?) was to show the bias in the media reporting. Talk about a leap.

By the way, I don't think there is any "conflagration" concerning the town hall meetings and the protestors. People are exercising their constitutional right to speech, and for that the media and the Pelosi's of the nation accuse them of being Nazis. Where do you stand on that issue?
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Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 06:55 PM
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QUOTE (stoirmeil @ 13-Aug-2009, 06:08 PM)
We would like to think it's un-American to trade ignorant, ugly low blow for low blow -- we can agree on that, most likely. I am disgusted myself when the liberal expression in protest takes that kind of turn.

But in this case, it appears to me that it's more of an aggrieved, personal tit-for-tat position: "How come they can do it and get away with it, and we/I can't?" Shamrock has also spoken on various occasions of his dissatisfaction with minority cultural expressions that would be disapproved of, or squashed down, if they were being expressed by whites. Seems to be of a piece.

I don't like the tit-for-tat either. I'll tell you as well, I was quoting the news piece only to show the bias in the media. Anyone who reads past the first line in many of my posts already knows how I feel about that. The media is the propaganda arm of the Liberal Left, and it's been that way for eons. I take pride in helping to expose that, so draw any unfounded conclusions you wish.
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Posted: 13-Aug-2009, 06:59 PM
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I must make a correction here on some of my previous statements. The "Muslim country" comment was made during his travels to the Middle East but the comment was made during an interview with French TV on June 1, 2009 not during his Cairo speech.

Here is a transcript: Interview Transcript

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stevenpd

To protect from such attacks belongs with the individual systems, not the government. The government can share defensive information but they have no business, either morally or constitutionally, for any more involvement beyond that.


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antwn

This may be ideal but it also may be unrealistic. Given the interconnectedness of the internet, it may be possible to disable or destroy large interdependent and absolutely vital infrastructures, beyond just defense. Although individual systems may have their own protections in place, they do not cooperate with each other and remain untested. Granted this is all speculative, but the point is, should an attack infect vital systems, and a domino effect is created by their disabling, then some intervening authority may need to shut down systems in vital areas. Given the susceptibility of the financial industry alone to the actions of a cabal of greedy bank executives, how disabling would a cyber attack be to that industry and who would stifle the ripple effect? You're going to trust the competence of the IT heads of the systems themselves to coordinate efforts? What about the simultaneous shut down of gas, electric, telecommunications and banking by cyber attack in mid-winter? Who would coordinate recovery efforts? No one would have the authority to contain the continued effect of such an attack if no one had authority over the internet itself - you see? Who would contain it if an authority hadn't been put into place to do so.

As odious and scary as it is to allow such uber-authority over the net and our lives, I don't think leaving it up to private industry in the above scenario is tenable. I say that in full recall of the incompetence of FEMA during Katrina - "trust us we're the government" is not a statement I'd respond to by saying "okee dokee" either. But lets look at the response demands potential scenarios create. You want to be caught with our pants down?

I have to confess to have mixed feelings about all of this. I do not disagree with you and share your concerns about government control. There's a book by Adam Wildavsky (spelling?) concerning risk and safety where he asserts the best response is resilience - as opposed to setting up rigid systems for every contingency, and your idea would seem to be in line with that philosophy. I see great wisdom in that. Given the dangers, what trade offs are we willing to make, and how much of this projected loss of liberty is paranoia? That's my struggle here.

Vigilance is the price of liberty, I know. But to interpret nefarious intent at every twitch of a finger of government authority is the opposite extreme. A balance is needed. That was the thrust of all my posts - to confront the boisterous and rather idiotic hyperbole and conspiratorial ranting that began these discussions. Our views differ, yes, but I don't think we're too far apart on our positions - I'm trying to bring out people's real ideas in order to distinguish them from the pukefest of Chicken Littleism.


I don’t think it is unrealistic to maintain a decentralized network in place versus a centralized one. The concept is more along the lines that you have stated about being resilient rather than rigid. This fluidity is what makes the internet so responsive, and at the same time, risky.

I think you are referring to “Searching for Safety” by Aaron Wildavsky. “While he agrees that society should sometimes try to prevent large harms from occurring, he explains why such anticipatory measures are usually inferior to a strategy of resilience - learning from error how to bounce back in better shape. His purpose is to shift the risk debate from passive prevention of harm to active search for safety.” (Amazon.com Product Description)

It also comes down to personal responsibility at the corporate level. This is where capitalism shines because it is in the best interest of the company not to be shut down. So if it is in their best interest not be shut down why do we need the government to do it? They also inadvertently cooperate with each other just by protecting themselves from outside attack thereby creating this decentralized world that has the ability to limit any outside influence. And if is the case what need is there for government influence or protection? I believe that the internet is much more dynamic than you realize which can only get bogged down with bureaucratic red tape to a point of not working at all.

As evidence of the private sector doing what it does best look at the anti-virus programs and their evolution. There many brands of various levels of effectiveness. Now, not only do we have off-the-shelf solutions but the industry itself has its own sphere of influence. They are so large now they are actually providing timely information about what is going on within the internet to anyone that will listen.

Yes, vigilance is the price for liberty. One aspect of vigilance is, and I don’t think that it is paranoia, to think through the potential scenarios to arrive at a logical conclusion. The government is already so pervasive as to warrant concern as evidenced by the health care debate currently going on. Everyone must draw their own line in the sand.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin.


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Posted: 14-Aug-2009, 03:40 PM
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QUOTE (stevenpd @ 13-Aug-2009, 06:59 PM)
I think you are referring to “Searching for Safety” by Aaron Wildavsky. “While he agrees that society should sometimes try to prevent large harms from occurring, he explains why such anticipatory measures are usually inferior to a strategy of resilience - learning from error how to bounce back in better shape. His purpose is to shift the risk debate from passive prevention of harm to active search for safety.” (Amazon.com Product Description)

It also comes down to personal responsibility at the corporate level. This is where capitalism shines because it is in the best interest of the company not to be shut down. So if it is in their best interest not be shut down why do we need the government to do it? They also inadvertently cooperate with each other just by protecting themselves from outside attack thereby creating this decentralized world that has the ability to limit any outside influence. And if is the case what need is there for government influence or protection? I believe that the internet is much more dynamic than you realize which can only get bogged down with bureaucratic red tape to a point of not working at all.

As evidence of the private sector doing what it does best look at the anti-virus programs and their evolution. There many brands of various levels of effectiveness. Now, not only do we have off-the-shelf solutions but the industry itself has its own sphere of influence. They are so large now they are actually providing timely information about what is going on within the internet to anyone that will listen.

Yes, vigilance is the price for liberty. One aspect of vigilance is, and I don’t think that it is paranoia, to think through the potential scenarios to arrive at a logical conclusion. The government is already so pervasive as to warrant concern as evidenced by the health care debate currently going on. Everyone must draw their own line in the sand.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin.

Yes, that's the guy! He's on my reading list that like yours has piled high. You've made some excellent points here, and yes everyone must draw their own line in the sand, but tell me really - what's your concern with this particular government aspiration? Are you afraid that they'll close down the internet entirely for reasons of censorship not legitimate security concerns? Are you concerned that their line in the sand will be drawn with different parameters? Are you just leary of them generally and want to limit their reach in any area of social commerce? All of the above? Do you think a closing down of the internet for other than legitimate security concerns would survive a Supreme Court speech challenge? We're not China.
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