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Tim Mallos
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Joined: 23 Apr 2001
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Location: Brighton, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2003 8:58 pm    Post subject: Wow. Reply with quote

Yay Scott! For saying what ever you want. I don't think our political views align perfectly, by any means, but, woo hoo! You go!

Seriously folks, by the time any politician reaches the level of the Presidency I wouldn't buy a used car from them. The people who are beyond reproach and critisicm never make it that far.

I'm concerned about how the Bush administration has done what it's done. I'd have been concerened about what a Gore administration wouldn't have done.

That's the way it goes.

Tim
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Dr. Empirical
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I DON'T believe this administration has done ANYTHING to harm the Bill of Rights, at least anything that hasn't been done by every other previous administration. If you actually read the patriot act, it not as grim as people make it sound. "

Ashcroft has stated that he is entitled to arrest anyone he suspects of being a terrorist, even an American Citizen, and hold him for as long as he likes. The "terrorist" is not allowed access to a lawyer, doesn't have to be formally charged, and the "Justice" department doesn't have to tell his family where he is.

I think the Bill of Rights has been trampled pretty thoroughly.
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kaos
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:20 am    Post subject: my opinion Reply with quote

first of all... i don't want to be anonymous in a political discussion. my user name is kaos_de_moria. but as i don't have my laptop with me and my password is stuck in there i can't log in.

2nd... i am german and i live in the middle east these days, so that's the background of my opinion. i won't comment on the election thing, as i don't think i have the right to comment that as a non american. i will aswell not comment the bill of rights, eventhough i'm a bit shocked what you guys do in guantanamo. and yes, i know that many countries actually profit from the prisoners to be there and send in their own teams. even germany had some people over, which i strongly condemn.

Rip Tanion wrote:

I DON'T believe we've pissed of every friend we've ever had. We pissed of some countries who have never really been our friends to begin with. I don't think anybody around the world hates America anymore than they already did before Bush took office.


i wouldn't be too sure about that. did you see the pro america demonstrations in berlin shortly after 9/11? did the germans refuse to help in afghanistan? aren't they still having their troops there? do you know why? because we agreed with the americans and thought, that what happened to you was a tragedy.

but in the iraq qar we opposed you. we didn't share the american opinion. it's not that we wanted to piss the americans off, but we thought that as friends we should be able to express our opinion. i personally prefer my friends to tell me when they think i'm doing something stupid - even if i don't agree with them.

but ok, the americans decided to go to the un with three arguments. 1st WMD 2nd link to al qaida 3rd saddam is an awful dictator.

now i guess we don't have to go into the first or the second as we all know better now. and afterwards it's always easier to judge. now on the third point you were correct. he actually is an awful guy since he got in power. but supporting him as kind of a lesser evil during the communistic era could be argued for. why not going in that country and take that guy out of power?

1st wars do destabilze regions
2nd people who are not able to go for democracy themselves are usually not able to get one working when the dictator is gone
3rd there is mant dictators on this planet and many regimes are worse then saddam

this was the argument. the french and us brought it forward. and some other nations did together with us. in the end the americans decided not to have a vote in the un, because they were afraid they would loose it. and actually you just did, what the majority of the worlds population opposed. the surely lost some friends. believe me.

Rip Tanion wrote:
I DON'T think we've de-stabilized the Middle-East for decades to come. How can you de-stabilize something that never was stable to begin with? Really, it's too early to tell what effect the wars in Afghanastan and Iraq will have on Middle-East. Bottom line is the sons of the prophet are out of control, and they need to bopped on the head when they are so.


hmm... i'm a bit shocked about your sentence on the sons of the prophet. let me rethink? who was supporting all the dictators in the middle east? who was using the WTO to have contracts allowing us to get our products in their countries but not allowing them to send any the other way around? who is at least partly responsible of the economic problems in the middle east?

the west...

and why do you think that there is so many people here who do not like us? (BTW, the radicals here dislike us nearly as much as they dislike you. it's just these days that we have a bonus for standing up against the us...)

let me give you a picture of the situation in egypt which is quite well compared to other places. a university prof earns 160 USD per month here. that's considered as upper class. you're considered as upper class if you have a fixed monthly income over 110 USD per month. and that's the money you have to feed a whole family with, as there is too little jobs. how can you judge someone for anti western opinions, if he can see the west everyday on tv, but he himself can barely read and write and must get his family through on less then 1 USD per day (two thirds of the population)?

now wait. you think they are out of control. i think you just gave the radical guys some more arguments to recruit terrorists. i sleep worse since this war happened, eventhough i'm happy saddam is caught. every guy who lost his father or brother in this war, uncle o other family member (and don't forget, family ties are quiet wide here) has suddenly a good reason to go to this so clled jihad himself.

that's enough for the moment. looking forward to your reply.
kaos
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
If you actually read the patriot act, it not as grim as people make it sound.

If you actually read the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act (also available in .pdf format), you'll find one of its chief problems. It's not just one specific thing in and of itself, but a large portion of it is given over to a gigantic list of amendations to existing laws. It's difficult to understand exactly what it does do because you need piles and piles of external reference. Changing only a few words in the law may seem relatively harmless, but those words were chosen very carefully when written (and, hopefully, when previously and subsequently amended), and it may take years to find out the true effect of changing certain passages. Can you really say it's not that grim without being an expert in the law?

The real problem with the Act is that it was pushed through Congress with such speed and urgency by the administration that it's doubtful that a majority of Senators or Representatives were any more informed than you or I were about the exact implications of what they were voting for. It is a fundamental principle of American government that laws should not be enacted with such ill consideration.

That's about all the time I have this morning, without getting into any nuts and bolts concerning specific issues with the Act.
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Kris Lachowski
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... looks up at the seriousness of previous posts... looks around for secrect service.... I hope that Pete trips and knocks G dub's teeth out.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a former library employee, I feel an obligation to step up and highlight one of the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act's particularly dire effects. With new powers granted in that act, law enforcement personnel (including the various big scary federal agencies) can access the library records of anyone on the most nebulous of grounds. And, if this happens to you, the library is forbidden by law to tell you about it. I don't know about you, but I would rather that the government doesn't know that I've read Steal this Book or a book about Earth First!. And if they do have the nerve to look at that stuff, I'd like to know about it so that I can challenge them in court. Like we do in countries governed by the rule of law. I am proud to say that many libraries have taken to destroying all records as a response, but when a government starts prying into the reading material of its populace, there's something desperately wrong.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and I forgot to mention that this particular issue is hardly limited to dirty communist pinko liberals. Back home in Idaho, representative Butch Otter, who is about as conservative as anyone in the world, and with whom I agree on just about no political issue, was the FIRST to lead the charge against the PATRIOT ACT. And I mean first. He was one of very very few who actually took a stand and voted against the monstrosity when it was first proposed, and he has helped lead efforts behind a new bill cutting funding for enforcement of some of the most noxious parts of the act, including the aforementioned Library rule.

I don't think I'll say this very often, but way to go, Butch.
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Christopher Lundgren
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 7:16 pm    Post subject: Regardless of what "side" you're on... Reply with quote

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept that some people (apparently a fairly sizable number) would actually stop reading Scott's comics simply because they don't agree with his politics (a subject which, I'd like to point out, very rarely enters his work). That kind of knee-jerk reaction is immature and lacks any semblence of critical thinking.

One does not have to swallow an entire ideology to find value in an artist's work. If these readers found Scott's improvs entertaining enough to have been following them thusfar, I don't see how this one short comic should upset them so much that they'd feel forced to turn away.

Patrick Farley, for example, strongly expresses his beliefs in many of his comics--beliefs which I don't particularly like, oftentimes. But that doesn't mean that there's no merit in the work he's doing. I would be missing out if I ignored his contribution to the webcomic world, solely because he ruffled my sensibilities.
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John Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christopher Lundgren wrote:
Patrick Farley, for example, strongly expresses his beliefs in many of his comics--beliefs which I don't particularly like, oftentimes. But that doesn't mean that there's no merit in the work he's doing. I would be missing out if I ignored his contribution to the webcomic world, solely because he ruffled my sensibilities.


That's new-agey talk! Common sense is to measure your wisdom in your RESISTANCE to change - and sometimes the resitance may require smacking some heads!

Keeping your "mind open" to the "merit" in other peoples "work" is wishy-washy nonsense! Manly men stand up stoutly for what the Good Lord told us too!
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MotherInferior
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:59 pm    Post subject: Apologies and flames Reply with quote

I'm new to this forum, so I'll keep it short. I'm one of the assholes that fired off a spiteful flame at Scott yesterday. I regretted it after I did it, and I regret it now.

Yes, there are differences in my political views and his, but that isn't the reason why I sent the flame. I sent it because of the amount of respect I have for Scott's opinions. Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense. Yeah, I know it's immature. Scott's thoughtful presentations on comics, micropayments, etc., along with his gentle but honest (if a bit strange) artistic expression had really won me over. I had found something of a kindred spirit, as I'm sure many people feel him to be. Then the comic hit and pow, it was like my friend told me that my favorite band sucks. It hurt. So, like the immature schmuck that I am, I returned (what I thought at the moment to be) in kind. Like I said, an explanation, not an excuse.

So, sorry Scott. Keep up the good work.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I plead to my fellow Bush supporters...leave Scott alone! I suspected long before this strip began, that Scott was lefty (I have a nose for these things) and the "Accidental Dentist" simply confirmed it. But we don't have to hold that against him (too much)

I don't think what Scott said was offensive. I just thought it was factualy wrong, and refelcted a common liberal line that's prevelent in the United States right now, especially out on the West Coast, and on the Upper West Side. It just so happens that prevelent liberal line irritates me, and many others, to no end. I don't think anyone should attack Scott based upon that one panel, however. So far, he hasn't pissed me off nearly the way Kate Hudson, Johnny Depp, et al have. Besides, some of my best friends and relatives are liberals. I don't think I've ever dated a girl who WASN'T a liberal.

Personally, I love a political argument, but they are lot easier in personal converasation, than on the net...at least when you're a slow and horrible typist like myself. Hanging out at the local bar, my friends and I argue politics. Sitting at the ball-game, during a lull in the action, we argure politics. When my family gets together for a holiday, we argue politics (when we're not shoving food in our mouths.) When I'm in bed I argue politics...even when I'm NOT alone (?rimshot?).

One of the liberals calls Bush a "retarded, Nazi, warhawk". I reply that Clinton is "lying, two-faced, scumbag (and so's her husband )". It's fun for all. We call each other crazy and stupid (among other things), but it's all forgotten when the topic changes (or get's worse if the topic turns to sports.)

Bottom line: Scott is an American citizen, and it's his Constitutional Right to critisise any elected official and his/her policies. Hell, I used to a curse a blue streak toward the previous administration every other day. We've got a right to tell him he's "wrong, wrong, wrong, Meathead", but don't cruxify the dude. As far as I know, there is no photographic evidence of Scott wearing an I love Saddam shirt - but my operatives are still looking .
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Dr. Empirical
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip, getting back to your point about civil rights not being violated, what do you think of this:

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1210-04.htm
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Dr. Empirical
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:00 pm    Post subject: Or This? Reply with quote

Here we have an American citizen, held for over a year without charge, without bail, without access to an attorney or his family.

After over a year, a federal court has finally ruled that his rights are being violated.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/12/18/padilla.case/index.html

Yeah, yeah, he's an "enemy combatant."

Show me where the term "enemy combatant" appears in the constitution.

He was arrested and denied his rights. The Bushies argue "But he's a terrorist!"

No, He's an accused terrorist. In America, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This is America, isn't it?
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Scott McCloud
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:42 pm    Post subject: Don't Worry, Be Happy! Reply with quote

To my flamer: Don't worry one bit. Your email was an honest expression of legitimate frustration. I publicly attacked someone in public life through my words and I should be prepared to receive the same in return. I don't think you did anything wrong.

Also, in the end, I got far more letters of support than hate mail, so please don't worry about me. There were no death threats or anything! (I would have said something on the blog about it, but didn't want to give anyone ideas -- "Oh, look he said he didn't get much hate mail after his post, well, I'll fix that!").

Honest, uninhibited debate is the heart and soul of this society. I'm happy to host a bit of it here.
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Jimmy Ho
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 4:54 pm    Post subject: The Missing Glass Reply with quote

Back to the strip: is it just me, or did Pete's glass disappear in the last panel?
Also, did you reduce the size of the panels? It looks better to me, but I was wondering if it depended on my browser.

(Those are meaningless details: I wish everything gets back to harmony as soon as possible.)
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MotherInferior
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Or This? Reply with quote

Dr. Empirical wrote:
Show me where the term "enemy combatant" appears in the constitution.


Ok.

The US Constitution Article III Section 3 wrote:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.


Or maybe...

The Oath of the US Congress wrote:
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic....


Sounds like an "enemy combatant" to me.

Dr. Empirical wrote:
No, He's an accused terrorist. In America, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Except in time of war. There are plenty of rights that we take for granted that get thrown out the window in times of crisis. I don't particularly like that fact, but there's nothing I can do about it. It's part of living in a nation. Especially in modern times.

I know that no one likes the manner in which Bush has prosecuted this war, but does anyone have a better idea on how to handle it? When you have no idea who your enemy is, when he's been proven to live within your borders, pay taxes, and keep his nose squeaky clean (until he detonates the dirty bomb he's had shipped to him in pieces over the last ten years), how do you fight that war? With good intentions and noble words?

No, I don't think anyone here has a clue how to fight this war. I sure as hell don't. I don't think Bush has been perfect, and yes I believe the Patriot Act is extraordinarily bad law (poorly designed, badly implemented, entirely undebated). But, all things considered, things have gone favorably. If we watch, and are vigilant, we can make sure that our inalienable rights remain so. Some people might think that Bush lies curled up in a corner of the oval office like some bloated spider, plotting ways to take away our freedoms. Most times, I've found, these are the same people that two years ago reveled in Bush's ineptitude and stupidity (ala "That's My Bush"). Sorry, I just don't think so.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Or This? Reply with quote

MotherInferior wrote:
Dr. Empirical wrote:
No, He's an accused terrorist. In America, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Except in time of war. There are plenty of rights that we take for granted that get thrown out the window in times of crisis. I don't particularly like that fact, but there's nothing I can do about it. It's part of living in a nation. Especially in modern times.
Actually, if you compare what's gone on since 9-11, it nothing compared to what happened in previous American wars. During the Civil War, Lincoln had no qualms about violating the Bill of Rights, if he felt it hurt the war effort. More than one elected official was jailed for speaking out against the war, or expressing Confederate sympathies. WWI had the Sedition Act. During WWII, Japanese-Americans were intered. And Vietnam had Kent State. So far, I've seen nothing to compare to that today.

Quote:
I know that no one likes the manner in which Bush has prosecuted this war, but does anyone have a better idea on how to handle it? No, I don't think anyone here has a clue how to fight this war. I sure as hell don't.
I do. I'd just simply lay waist to every between the Jordan and the Indus Rivers (with a bubble around Israel, to protect it from the fallout.) Of course, this is why I'm not in office...yet (muwahahahaha!)

A word about the whole thing with libraries's and the Patriot Act. So far, nobody has been arrested or charged with anything based of what he took out of the library. Homeland Security does not care if you took out a book by that fat-headed moron, Michael Moore, or some Global Envirormentalist propaganda. They don't care if you requested Karl Marx, the Qoran, Lady Chatterly's Lover, or an issue of High Times. They're looking for people who are taking out books about making bombs, or biological weapons; not books about how to find gay-bars around the world.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Or This? Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
They're looking for people who are taking out books about making bombs, or biological weapons


In all honesty, I don't really know why that would be germane to the war on terror. Those that are a threat already have the knowlege. They are trained outside the US for the most part (weapons training), and brought into the US for licensure and ligitimization (flight school, pilot's license, etc.). Or at the very least, training materials are smuggled into the US by other operatives. What happens at the local library seems a bit far from the course.

In any event, no amount of comforting words will convince me that the Patriot Act doesn't need a complete overhaul. That it exists is not the problem. That it came into existance so quickly after 9/11 is.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Or This? Reply with quote

MotherInferior wrote:
Except in time of war.

Except that there is no declared war.
MotherInferior wrote:
There are plenty of rights that we take for granted that get thrown out the window in times of crisis

Hold on-- Not a "time of war" but a "time of crisis?" What's that? Who decides? Is there an official designation? How is it declared?

An awful lot of play has been given to the notion that "everything changed" on September 11th, 2001, but this is not true. Certainly, a lot of people's attitudes changed and many started paying attention to national and world events more closely than before, but the fact that there are enemies of the United States now is no different than in the past and does not mean that we should decide that in order to protect ourselves we must limit our own rights and freedoms under law.

Rip wrote:
They're looking for people who are taking out books about making bombs, or biological weapons; not books about how to find gay-bars around the world.


This sounds suspiciously like the argument that only the terrorists, criminals and enemies of the state will have anything to fear, but that doesn't change the fact that a law which allows the invasion of the privacy of any citizen is an infringement of our rights as we have known them. Just because it hasn't yet been used to investigate you or anybody you know doesn't mean it's a good law. Also, part of the change in the law means that departments and agencies doing this investigation don't have to report that they're doing so, which makes it even harder to prove what and who they're investigating.

Rip wrote:
Actually, if you compare what's gone on since 9-11, it nothing compared to what happened in previous American wars.

It may not be as severe, but that doesn't make it right.
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MotherInferior
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Or This? Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:
Except that there is no declared war.

Neither was there during Korea or Vietnam. Given that the aforementioned inalienable rights are life, liberty, and property, we had no due process protection before 9/11.

Greg Stephens wrote:
Hold on-- Not a "time of war" but a "time of crisis?" What's that? Who decides? Is there an official designation? How is it declared?

The head of FEMA says so. Or a DEA agent decides you're running drugs. Or you're Kevin Mitnick. There are a number of unelected, unconstitutional executive agencies that hold the power to take life, liberty, and property with impunity, should they decide it expedient.

Greg Stephens wrote:
the fact that there are enemies of the United States now is no different than in the past and does not mean that we should decide that in order to protect ourselves we must limit our own rights and freedoms under law.

Agreed. But you miss my intented meaning. This is not a Soviet Union we are talking about. Escalation, arms race, SDI, detente, hell war are all useless in this situation. These aren't even guerilla fighters in the jungle. They are people that have no compunction against walking into a building and blowing themselves and every civilian they can get access to, to kingdom come.

Sitting back and pissing on Bush isn't going to help the problem. It may make people feel better about themselves, but it doesn't do anything useful. Why not discuss real solutions? Come up with alternatives, instead of bitching at Bush/Clinton/Reagan/Congress to "save us, we perish." For instance, how would one protect the citizenry of a nation from terrorists when the terrorists come from the citizenry of that nation. It's sounds like a stupid question, but this is what Israel, India, et al. are facing with great difficulty, as are we.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathy Guthrie @ FCNL.ORG wrote:
The "War on Terrorism," like the "War on Drugs" and the "War on Poverty," enjoys a popular presumption that it is necessary and good policy. Also like those two ongoing wars, the War on Terrorism isn't working; in fact, it is making things worse. Someone has to stand up and tell the truth. Terrorism is not a person, place or thing. Terrorism is a behavior, not something that can be eliminated by explosive force. Terrorism is an outcome, not a root cause.

Our policy makers need to get at the root causes of terrorism--humiliation, ignorance, fear, marginalization, isolation, rigid thinking. Bombs, cannons, grenades, rifles, and pistols are the tools of war; they are good for killing people and destroying buildings, but they are not the tools for eliminating the causes of terrorism.

"Soft power" policies--e.g., peer reviewed intelligence, non-proliferation treaties, trade and commerce, jobs programs, educational exchanges, language training, crossing borders through inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, and building up organizations of civil society--cost less than war but have more potential to counter the threat of terror attacks.

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Kris Lachowski
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

I found that quote in a comic (Liberty written by Chris Allen) so I'm sure that will settle the arguement.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those who are comfortable with the Bush administration's violations of civil rights, and trust the president not to abuse these extraordinary new powers he's aquired, remember this:

A precedent has now been set.

Imagine five years from now. Hillary Clinton has just been elected president. Do you trust HER with these powers?

I fear our government a hell of a lot more than I fear the terrorists.
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Eric F Myers
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kris Lachowski wrote:

I found that quote in a comic ... so I'm sure that will settle the arguement.


Hahahahaha
I can play too.

"Their laughter dies out all over the world. They know. They laugh at the law. ... But they don't laugh at me."
-Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher

I too found that quote in a comic, the Punisher always settles arguements.
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