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Old 08-26-2003, 05:39 PM   #1
Neero
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What ever happened to that shoe bomber guy?

US District Court Judge William Young made the following statement in
sentencing "shoe bomber" Richard Reid to prison. It is noteworthy, and
deserves to be remembered far longer than he predicts. I commend it to you
and anyone you might wish to forward it to.

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid. Judge Young: Mr. Richard C. Reid,
hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the
custody of the United States Attorney General.

On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on
each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other.
That's 80 years.

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years consecutive to
the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you each of the eight
counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million.

The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to
restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre
Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment.

The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the
law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go
no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and
just sentence. It is a righteous sentence. Let me explain this to you.

We are not afraid of any of your terrorist coconspirators, Mr. Reid. We are
Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war
talk here. And I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this
court, where we deal with individuals as individuals, and care for
individuals as individuals, as human beings we reach out for justice, you
are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in
any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a
soldier gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of
government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be
your view, you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We
do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and
bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you
are not that big. You're no warrior. I know warriors. You are a terrorist. A
species of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders.

In a very real sense Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken
off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where
the TV crews were and he said you're no big deal. You're no big deal.

What your counsel, what your able counsel and what the equally able United
States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know
how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it
that led you here to this courtroom today? I have listened respectfully to
what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself
what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit
you are guilty of doing. And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy
you. But as I search this entire record it comes as close to understanding
as I know. It seems to me you hate the one thing that is most precious. You
hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as
we choose, to come and go as we choose, and to believe or not believe as we
individually choose.

Here, in this society, the very winds carry freedom. They carry it
everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual
freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that
everyone can see, truly see that justice is administered fairly,
individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are
striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in
their, their representation of you before other judges. We are about it.
Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of
our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear
any burden, pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.

Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long
remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow it will be forgotten.
But this, however, will long endure. Here in this courtroom and courtrooms
all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice,
individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being
done.

The very President of the United States through his officers will have to
come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be
judged, and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence
democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag Mr Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That
flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for
freedom. You know it always will.

Custody Mr. Officer. Stand him down.
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Old 08-26-2003, 08:42 PM   #2
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This is true! (The link provides the background of the case and also provides a link to the official transcript.)

Bravo, Judge Young!

--K.
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Old 08-26-2003, 09:04 PM   #3
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Beautiful.
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Old 08-27-2003, 01:12 PM   #4
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Y'know sometimes it's nice to find that people like Reid are put away for a long ass time...... Although, my way would have been far more affordable to the American public, I am satisfied with Judge Young's words.
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Old 08-27-2003, 11:43 PM   #5
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Some reading the below text will laugh it off, but to me this is really serious.

If anybody reading those words of the judge are moved and respect them, then please, take a good hard look at our governing process through history and compare it to how it stands today.

Maybe a reader had a hard time in history in school. I did. It was long an monotonous; boring as hell. I just didn't know any better at the time to pay more attention to it. There are a lot of twists as our country has evolved. I think we need to revisit our history lessons and maybe talk to our elders and listen comparatively to what they have to say about the basci truths of freedom. The words that judge spoke could have been from the heart and strongly felt yet I read them as a slowly fading echo and am afraid.

It is so easy to feel that way, to think about it and....ignore what is happening around you because you do not want to ackowledge what is happening to the Freedoms that the concepts of America promote. A little bit at a time, they are going. A single example: In a few years passports and then common licenses will have tracking chips in them. It is already harder to travel where you want without needing to have to report your whereabouts. I'm not going to go on about it, it is in the news in bits if you care to investigate.

I am not negating that judge's sentiments about Freedoms. I deeply want those sentiment to be real, I see it around me but feel it fading rapidly. I think America is bordering on becoming a police state. This is so hard, so hard to talk about and make clear I undertand the difficulties of balancing security and freedom. I also think that a lot of people want to remain ignorant and feel secure so are willing to give up Freedoms. I am not. Part of those Freedoms stem from being responsible citizens. We are not a Country founded by sheep!

There is no such thing as complete security. I think the majority of the posters here are very intelligent, or if not "book smart" quite capable individuals and know these things for themselves. It is so frustrating to see outter masses of sheep-like citizens giving away my liberty though. We were taught these things in school, this is how governments become more corrupt and enslave their people. I think that, probably, only some in power positons are actively pursuing this - it is human nature to do so. All, though, need to hear from us. Let us make sure our reps know how we want things to work. For or against or something new, just let them know and be a responsible citizen.

Tough times, folks and I wish us all the best getting through them.

TK
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Old 08-28-2003, 05:05 PM   #6
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(By no means taking shots at you, Xion. Please read this as totally indifferent.)


I'm curious to know a couple of things.

First, (and I'd love it if all who read this thread respond) what are some specific examples of how your life (or hell, even how you percieve your life) is different since 9/11 spurred more restrictions on freedom, and what restrictions are responsible for how you feel now.

(Noted that you gave the passport example, but that has yet to happen. I personally am against something of that magnitude, as well as anything else that can actually track our movement. BTW, all you people who drive cars with On-Star GPS shit... Hahahahahaha.)

Second, my On-Star comment brings something else up. Is it even possible to advance in technology *without* losing basic personal freedoms? Even in this day and age, a man can live in a cave in Montana and never be known about. He will of course have no running water and electricity (on a public grid.) But if he is to enjoy a telephone, the internet... he has to acknowledge that *he* does in fact live at some address.

You can argue that the various databases aren't subject to search by the government, but we all know they can and will harvast whatever info they need to get a batter handle on their suspects. Will it hold in court? Nah, but good luck getting a lawyer that can prove they got non-legal info that lead them to legal info.


Anyway, hoping this thread can perhaps evolve into a good discussion on just what freedom is, how much have we lost, and how much we are even capable of having. Try to keep politics out of this if at all possible!
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Old 08-28-2003, 08:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Neero
(By no means taking shots at you, Xion. Please read this as totally indifferent.)
Np and I didn't feel I was being shot at all. I appreciate the response, Neero. The following is a general response with much of the "you"s in there being generic.

Skip down to “What Freedom means to me” for the short answer list to Neero’s last paragraph if you like.

Quote:
I'm curious to know a couple of things.

First, (and I'd love it if all who read this thread respond) what are some specific examples of how your life (or hell, even how you percieve your life) is different since 9/11 spurred more restrictions on freedom, and what restrictions are responsible for how you feel now.
I request time to make a real list. A short list would include the following (knowing these are short topic descriptions so the imagination will probably run wild). They are just short for this list.
  • loss of more "free speech", more book bannings, forced media content monitoring, more regulation about what speech types constitute crimes, there is more.
  • more camera monitoring
  • more encouragement of neighbors to watch each other for criminal activity, same for children of their parents. This only encourages us to divide ourselves. Terrorists need to very little work as we do a lot for them already
  • more invasive profiling
  • more opening of wire-tapping regulations
  • new business regulations on how equipment and personnel tracking must be reported
  • warfare
  • extra taxation/fees either directly forced through laws or indirectly such as more internett regulation requiring more monitoring equipment, there's more such as higher licensing fees due to the more invasive paper trails

While the above sorts of things can help security, it can hinder it as well. It can also ruin one of America's prime characteristics: thinking like a Yankee. The above control brings about thought control as well.

A form of thought programming is already rampant in what I personally feel as being anti-American; that being "politically correct speech" "Free Speech".vs."Politically-Correct Speech" ... Did you know political- correctness was being hallmarked as a good way to program communists ? This was studied by 1920’s Germans. The studies report was that, politically-correct speech brings about a mental change in the form of lessening independent thought. Lessened independent thought meant a more complacent population, among other things. Maybe some would say that’s good for security. I can understand that but don’t want it for myself. To me, it’s just another link in the denial chain.

Quote:
(Noted that you gave the passport example, but that has yet to happen. I personally am against something of that magnitude, as well as anything else that can actually track our movement. BTW, all you people who drive cars with On-Star GPS shit... Hahahahahaha.)
The passport example is happening starting 2004. Licenses starting as soon as states do so, but the general thought is having them seen more so by 2010.

On-Star is definitely a part of it and cell phones having GPS every one as the trend now starts. Too much hassle triangulating criminals but I bet they will have hacked phones in some fashion anyway.

Quote:
Second, my On-Star comment brings something else up. Is it even possible to advance in technology *without* losing basic personal freedoms? Even in this day and age, a man can live in a cave in Montana and never be known about. He will of course have no running water and electricity (on a public grid.) But if he is to enjoy a telephone, the internet... he has to acknowledge that *he* does in fact live at some address.

You can argue that the various databases aren't subject to search by the government, but we all know they can and will harvast whatever info they need to get a batter handle on their suspects. Will it hold in court? Nah, but good luck getting a lawyer that can prove they got non-legal info that lead them to legal info.
Yup, I agree. (slight tangent) I would like to see some legislation that plans out protections around this evolution. A primitive first thought [I]example[I] that would not be accepted but is this: To go back to requiring a human witness for crimes. Dig all you want but no witness = no crime. That’s junk, but the sentiment is not to base incrimination just on data. I could live with more invasive monitoring if there were effective gag orders on everything involved with police investigations (which won’t happen). Reporter’s sometimes say “The people have the right to know” I say sure they do; on an individual basis and not mass spam. This is also junk. Even what I would like and want I constantly tweak by the balance of security. /sigh

I go back and forth on this a lot. I’d like to be able to pick up a porno and not have it broadcast to people I don’t wish to share that with. I would like to go shopping and not share my list of purchases with a spammer who is going to harass me with advertisements. It’s my life and unless I do something illegal, I’d like to keep it private at every level. I have no problems with police investigating me to the fullest extent. I would if it becomes mass media. Private media for a court room, for witnesses, for a jury and for television if I choose to let it be broadcast; no problems.

Quote:
Anyway, hoping this thread can perhaps evolve into a good discussion on just what freedom is, how much have we lost, and how much we are even capable of having. Try to keep politics out of this if at all possible!
Hard to keep out politics when I think it is all about politics – okay, and social dynamics

What Freedom means to me:

1) It’s the ability to choose and act without censure.
2) I’ve never experienced that freedom (1) 100%. I’ve come close on long hiking trips, though

How I have noticed we have lost freedom:

4) From the start of the USA we’ve not had 100% Freedom. It is deemed without some laws to maintain an orderly society we would not be able to retain what freedoms remained (I agree to this)
5) Every law decreases those freedoms
6) Greed, stupidity, etc. (I lump stuff like this under the label “the human condition”) causes more laws that decrease our freedoms, e.g., every war we are involved in decreases Freedom. Further, those laws we do have may be intended for the people but many folks will admit that the way they are enforced as being absurd such as the famous “Ignorance is not an excuse” …

How much Freedom I think we can have

7) Let # 1 reign free as long as folks do not take action that is overtly evil to one another. “Evil” being defined by me for this example as any action that reduces the life long happiness of another, that the other does not forgive the originator for. This is very simplistic that many can talk it down from various angles. I still feel with this premise in mind for all then laws will be much simplified. Those laws that affect society should be directly ratified by the major majority of those who will be living under them. We have the technology to enable people to be responsible. A freedom removal would be to force citizens of such a society to vote thus force them to be responsible and reap their consequences (ironic of me yet that is part of my complexity I guess)
8) Laws based on 7 are acceptable to me. I think the limit is Anarchy but we shouldn’t fall to that state as I think some order to be a good thing.

I’ve been outside the USA a bit; enough to appreciate my home more. I really do love this land. I don’t think all the laws are bad. I think we are plagued by apathy though. I also think we are headed to the brink but even so, we can save it. Just, please folks, be even a smidgen active in following what’s going on and being a citizen.

Heh, trying to keep this “skip” section short. Oh, well

Good Luck to us.
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Old 08-28-2003, 10:01 PM   #8
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I finally unplugged and decided to leave work every day and unwind at my local bar for about an hour. I'm really glad I did that, because I stumbled across the most amazing group of people; they're a group of guys that are the RL equivalent to VS. One is a cartoonist for the local paper, one is a housing developer, and one is a salesman. Last night, the cartoonist and the developer (liberals) were engaged in a heated debate with the salesman (conservative) and I just kind of sat there involuntarily moderating the discussion. (I just kept asking questions which seemed to fuel the debate.) These guys are intelligent and informed and their debate was fascinating to me. What was even more fascinating was what happened when they finally came to loggerheads in the debate: The conservative salesman, frustrated, bid us all goodnight. And his farewell was answered by his "opponents" with "Hey call me tomorrow."

And there they were tonight, with no hard feelings about their prior disagreement. And once again, I sat down with them and told them about how amazed I am that they are able to intelligently debate each other and still remain friends. I simply haven't seen that type of behavior outside of VS (and in much rarer circumstances, Slashdot). They told me that they're "abnormal" and that their corner of the bar is considered "commie corner".

I guess I should probably make my point now. Xion, Neero...I think you're both right. It is the struggle between the extremes that makes this a great nation. The only fear I have is what would happen if one side gains the ability to suppress their opposition. Thankfully, the First Amendment makes that endeavor difficult enough that only the most power-hungry and elitist people or organizations (i.e. those most disconnected from the rest of us) attempt to circumvent it.

So, in conclusion, I agree with Xion in that we need to get off our collective asses and get more involved in our political process. There once was a teaching methodology called "Critical Thinking" and the teachers that embraced it taught their students to question everything and individually verify every "fact" put forth by any entity. Verifying every fact was difficult at one time but, given the Internet, the barrier has been removed.

A healthy debate is a good thing when each side would rather understand the opinion of their opponent than disparage it.

Press on, guys!



--K.
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Old 08-29-2003, 11:09 AM   #9
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One thing I'd like to add: when we start giving up our freedoms in the name of security - it becomes easier for commercial interest to equally start using that to their advantage.

Granted the DMCA was passed before 9/11 - but in a different climate - I feel not only would the RIAA's attempts to prempt the equiviliant of subpeona power in demanding identity of file sharers from ISP's be laughed at by the ISP's and the courts - but it seems many consumers just shrug it off with the assumption that they don't have any privacy rights as far as accessing the Internet is converned.

But what bothers me the most about this - is seeing people like John Ashcroft was has been pushing to increase police/statist powers over individuals for the past 20 years or more now acting like this is "new" based on the war on terrorism.

The reality is - the actual number of terrorists is very small. Al Qeida has at most 4000 members - probably more like 2500. It's pretty sad that a nation of 300 million is thinking about changing fundamental rights that were considered part and parcel to what the nation stood for to fight a force that numbers at most in the 10's of thousands.

And my closing comment. In this day and age - I think it's clear that we have a problem with information overload. I'm not getting into a "blame game here" but clearly there was a LOT of data available to the FBI etc available about the 9/11 attackers and their plans.

It was raw and unassimilated data. The difficulty is putting the pieces together. Will goverment's attempts for the ability to get more and more raw data without oversight or checks and balances (which it seems to me the majority of what things like the USA Patriot act are about) really going to make us safer?

Or will it just make the mountains of data more volumus (sp?) and make this problem worse.

And consider how poor a job the goverment is safeguarding this data. We all should know about the "Carnivore" system that the goverment uses to monitor our email.

It's been well documented that Israeli Intelligence and the Russian Mafia have comprimised the system and used it for their own ends.

It's not the least bit inconcievable that the rights we give away to the goverment will end up aiding terrorists if they like the Russian Mafia find ways to hack into those systems.
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Old 08-29-2003, 11:47 AM   #10
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I'll keep this short for now, as I have a ton of work nagging at me. My basic premise is this:

For every constraint there is a corresponding freedom and for every freedom there is a corresponding constraint.

Now examples of this postulate can be very wild, but still, true if you work hard to find the corresponding freedom or constraint. I'll try to give more useful examples.

1) Constraint: Violence laws, I cannot kill or intentionally injure someone without being thrown in jail. (Please don't bring up OJ or the like, the law is imperfect and some times people will get away with their crimes, most times they are caught).

Freedom: The chances of my being a victim of a violent crime are reduced.

2) Freedom: As a "democracy" (actually, we are a Republic...) I am allowed to vote for whomever I choose in elections.

Constraint: So is Joe Six-tooth, who votes for <insert elected official you disdain> because <insert innane reason here>. Now, you are governed by a man you disdain because there were enough Joe Six-tooths to sway the vote.

Freedom is a tricky subject. What do we want to be free of? If your answer is "everything" then you have 1 option...die (please dont kill yourself and tell God, "Fezzy told me to!")


Fez
(ok, so it ended up not being so short...)
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Old 08-29-2003, 05:03 PM   #11
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The one arguement I have to somewhat agree with, with regard to the 4000 terrorists versus 300 M people is this:

A single terrorist in this day with today's technology can harm far more people than they could before. When this country was founded, a maniac with a cannon might have been able to kill a couple of people.. now, a maniac with a nuke can kill millions.

Now, I'm of the opinion that we *cannot* have all the freedoms this country was founded on. Its simply too much risk if one guy gets a suitcase nuke into a major city. However, the actual limits on our freedom are totally debatable, and I can't say what they should be. This is a debate I feel is going on right now, and it will find itself to an end in my lifetime.


With that said, and with the essence of Xion's posts, no major loss of freedom will happen overnight. It will be in small bits and peices. A judge's decision here, a city law there, a new 61,563 page law written by some beloved congressman. So... pay attention to the outcomes, not the opinions, of the major news stories, and decide for yourself what happened.


And on a lighter note, the greatest moment in recent history has been the Un-edited airing of the South Park movie on Comedy Central. A totally uneducational (although I feel it is probably the MOST educational show (that is fiction) currently on TV) was allowed to say 'fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck' on basic cable. A grand day. Do not lose hope!
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Old 08-29-2003, 06:22 PM   #12
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Well, hell I missed that. /grrr. Perhaps if I bombard the local station with yogurt they will air it again...or I could just go rent it heh.

Speaking of South Park; I have finally corrupted my stright-laced wife muhahah. I got her to watch a full episode. Normally she won't for the language etc., but over time I've been telling her about the moral stories each episode has and the various jabs at modern goofiness.

Well gotta run, 5th anneversary with her tonight and since I was too late ordering ballons and flowers for her at her work I'm just forced to go buy some crab legs and make her dinner

Cheers
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Old 09-06-2003, 09:33 PM   #13
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Neero, I'm in total agreement with almost everything you said in your last post...even the quote I'm nitpicking below.

Quote:
A single terrorist in this day with today's technology can harm far more people than they could before. When this country was founded, a maniac with a cannon might have been able to kill a couple of people.. now, a maniac with a nuke can kill millions.
I think this is a very relevant spotlight on how we're dealing with the prospect of terrorism in the USA. Terrorism is a quality, not quantity, strategy. The goal is to make people afraid.

So it's interesting to me that the Washington D.C. snipers accomplished more than the Al'Qaida terrorists. After all, schools were shut down in D.C. because of the snipers but people didn't stop flying after 9/11.

Judge Young was very on-target with his sentiments, but he was slightly off-target (or perhaps just overly broad) with his statement that terrorists hate our freedom. I don't think Islamic terrorists hate our freedom. Rather, I think that their beef is more about what our government (representing our freedom) has done outside of our country. Our freedom is what they exploited and, understandably, our government's knee-jerk reaction has been to implement policies that restrict that freedom.

If we want to stop terrorist actions like 9/11, I think it would be much more productive to have a Department of Foreign Policy than a Department of Homeland Security.

Just MHO of course.

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Old 09-07-2003, 01:36 AM   #14
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The problem in getting rid of the cancer cell is in identifying it. The body's natural immune system can't do it, and technology has yet to give us Star Trek-like methods of scanning and irradicating th4e bad things while leaving the good things alone. Often indiscriminate countermeasures are called for, ie chemo that devastate everything.

Terrorists are no different than cancer cells and methods for ridding the world of them no different than treating cancer. Strategically speaking, this form of subversion is EXTREMELY efficient.

So.. rather than attempting to find markers for the bad people, one school of thought is to create markers for the good people with the hopes that the bad people will then stand out. It's sounds viable enough until one does tries to apply this to billions of people.

Hmm.. these words are getting more poignant each day. "I woke up this mornin and I got myself a beer. I woke up this mornin and I got myself a beer. The futures uncertain and the end is always near. Let it roll baby roll."

You know what really scares me are all those nukes in the former USSR. Who runs Russia?
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Old 09-07-2003, 09:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ming
...You know what really scares me are all those nukes in the former USSR. Who runs Russia?

The Russian Mafia.
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Old 09-07-2003, 09:52 PM   #16
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Good question about the Russian nukes, MingO and your comparison of terrorism to cancer is a very good analogy. Terrorism is very much like a cancer on western civilization and we seem to be as much at loggerheads with it on the sociological front as we are with cancer on the medical front. The analogy is certainly thought-provoking.

In a related meme, I just watched President Bush's address to the nation. While I was happy to hear his comments in support of my friends in the Army in Iraq, I'm still uncomfortable with his overall position. $87 billion doesn't grow on trees. That cost is eventually going to come out of my wallet and I remain unconvinced that my security was threatened by Iraq. Afghanistan, yes. Iraq......ehhhhh, I dunno. I still hope WMD are found buried in Iraq but until then, I'm inclined to believe that the administration created a straw-man argument (despotic asshole + Islamic slant = terrorist government) to capitalize on the oil in Iraq.

I love the spin I'm seeing on CNN and FOX news.

Allow me to translate: "The UN Security Council warned us that our foot was directly poised over a mound of shit. We blew them off and plunged our foot directly into the shit. Now, with our shoe effectively covered in shit, we're asking the people that protested this action in the first place to help wipe the shit off."

Now, what I'm hearing from the President is this: "Yes, you warned us that we were about to step in shit. Yes, we went ahead and did it anyway. But that's all in the past. The present reality is that our foot is covered in shit and it's in your best interests to help us wipe it off."

I know France, Germany, and Russia had their own motivations, but those are things that could have been politically and diplomatically resolved...unless a sense of urgency was falsified.

And I wonder why (if indeed that could be the case) someone would falsify that sense of urgency?

Halliburton?

--K.
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