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Is it 1984 again?

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Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
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0 posted 08-02-2001 12:19 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I just want to get a few things straight.

In America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, over the last few weeks we seem to be getting less free and more cowardly.

In Ohio a dastardly, despicable previously convicted pedophile was sent again to prison for private thoughts he wrote in his own journal which were found by his parole officer.  There were no photographs involved.  No distribution of material.  No children were exploited.  Just private thoughts written in a private journal -- and this -- has sent a man (albeit one worthy of loathing) to prison in America.

At the same time the US Congress of the Brave have decided all human cloning should be banned because dividing two human cells is 'evil'.  It, on the other hand, is not evil to condemn a person on dialysis in need of a new kidney to be hooked to a machine for the rest of their life when, the promise of cloning would be the growth of a perfectly functioning new kidney from the patients own genetic material that would not risk rejection when transplanted.  

It is also not evil to allow Alzheimer's patients to continue to lose their dignity as their lives spiral into disarray as their cognitive function disintegrates -- but it would be evil to  use research from stem cells to find a way to reverse this process.

And, the same people who find it evil to find cures for disease -- say that it would be evil to disconnect these patients from artificial, Frankensteinian, life support systems to allow them to die, or have a medical doctor help them find a more painless transition to death aka euthenasia.

Now today these same 'Brave' souls who stand up so forthrightly for 'good' want to drill for oil in the Alaskan reserve where it will be done without harming this last unspoiled wilderness -- haven't we heard that one before too?

As I took  my $600 surplus check to the bank the surplus had already vanished because of the diminished economy (yes -- you see the surplus was calculated when the economy was good -- the funny thing about taxes is people stop paying them when they are laid off from work and start DRAWING money from the government instead).

So in summary:

Curing disease is evil

Keeping people in pain is good

Bad thoughts are punishable by prison

Greed is good

Do I have all this straight?

hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


1 posted 08-02-2001 02:12 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I totally agree that our governemnt needs work. I don't know that we're on our way to the world of Winston Smith quite yet, but there are warning signs (the one that really scares me are the red-light cameras, the ones that take pictures of the liscense plates of cars running red lights, which includes people who can't stop in time for the yellow and maybe have the back bumper in the intersection when the light turns red. In short, machines doing a human [police officer] job that don't allow a margin of error, which is something people generally need. I think it's a good way for the government to rack in fees from tickets.) The imprisonment and impending death of Mumia Abu-Jamal is another.

I didn't hear about the Ohio man in prison, do you have a link to provide more info on that? I'd be really interested.

In short, us complaining on the internet isn't going to do anything though. If it really concerns you, try writing congressmen and senators, They're here for us- if enough poeple write, they'll listen.

You are more than the sum of what you consume
Desire is not an occupation
-Nicole Blackman/KMFDM

Local Rebel
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2 posted 08-02-2001 02:48 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

No we're not there yet Hush because we can still discuss these issues openly.

And the Net effect of posting on the Net is people become more aware of issues, pro or con -- and can then decide whether or not to influence their local politicians.
Dopey Dope
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3 posted 08-02-2001 04:42 PM       View Profile for Dopey Dope   Email Dopey Dope   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dopey Dope

Now I knew the Gov was absurd....but not THIS absurd!  
Local Rebel
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4 posted 08-02-2001 04:54 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

while I can understand your sentiment Dopey Dope I wouldn't say the government is absurd... some of the people who have been elected to serve in it.. yes... but, fortunately the government itself has been designed with the appropriate mechanisms to prevent temporary absurdity from lasting forever...
Ron
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5 posted 08-02-2001 06:45 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

While I agree with your premise, I disagree with most of your evidence supporting it. A man on parole, by definition, is still being punished and has no more rights than the man physically sitting in prison. Spurious as the reason may seem, no one took away his freedom; they just reinstated his sentence.

I'm not too sure the state of the economy can be entirely blamed on the government, either. Historically, there's no such thing as a perpetually expanding economy and it was well past time for a slowdown.

Cameras in intersections, if it prevents careless driving (it won't), is a good thing. There's no such thing as a margin of error when I'm going through on a green light and someone's back bumper is still sitting there. That's just a collision.

The drilling in Alaska, or anywhere else, is a complex issue and probably deserves its own thread. Everyone complains (LOUDLY) when the cost of gas approaches two dollars, but no one seems eager to have an oil rig installed in their back yard. I'm not at all surprised at the government reaction to the very vocal voices.

I'm also not surprised to hear about the cloning ban, though I've yet to read of it elsewhere. I'm personally more disgruntled by its short-sightedness, but not really surprised. The fears found in Congress are just a reflection of the fears found across the country.

I think each of these are symptoms of a much deeper problem, one that is only indirectly tied to government and politicians. Instead of referencing Orwell's relatively close date, going back a few thousand years might be more appropriate. To the time of Bread and Circuses.
Local Rebel
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6 posted 08-03-2001 11:57 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Ron,

Where did I blame the goverment for the state of the economy?

And, basically, your take on the Ohio law is incorrect -- that law states that anyone in possession of 'child pornography' under it's definition (which includes anything written) is guilty of a felony.

"**"No person, with knowledge of the character of the material or performance
involved, shall do any of the following... Create, reproduce, or publish
any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or
portrayed observers... Buy, procure, possess, or control any obscene
material, that has a minor as one of its participants..."

Anyone who possesses such a visual or written description -- including a
diary entry or an erotic story -- is guilty of a felony.

Your observation on the Alaskan drilling scenario is astute, but you've missed one crucial peice of the picture;

My friends in the refinery business will tell anyone off the record that the gas companies have been gouging the public -- the oft cited new federal regulations have had little impact on the production costs of gasoline -- this has been an industrial maneuver to make money -- enrage the public -- ease restrictions in Alaska -- and once again drive down OPEC prices -- so -- the gas companies can again -- make more money -- and I have no grief with making profits save two words -- anti trust

the entire, now federal court approved, Ohio law is here

SEA
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7 posted 08-03-2001 06:01 PM       View Profile for SEA   Email SEA   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SEA

did you know that the police don't get the money for those red light cameras? Nope. They aren't the ones putting them in even. It's a company that's doing it. They decide who gets the ticket and who doesn't. No kidding. My husband knows all the right names of everything about this, so I'm telling it from memory....but, that is why they are being sued, and people are saying it's illegal or whatever....at least here in California....my husband listen's to the News Talk Radio.....so does my dad....I can't take two minutes of it.....unless of course I have to ( don't touch dad's radio).
SO that's my two pennies on the red light thing. Don't quote me, or expect more from me, unless I can get all the correct facts from my hubby first LOL  
Ron
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8 posted 08-03-2001 06:26 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

LR, I did indeed misunderstand about the Ohio law, keying only on your use of "parole officer." You don't actually indicate, though, whether the person was convicted under this new law. And, unfortunately, your link doesn't work.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Any legislator should lose ten percent of their salary every time they vote to pass a law. There are far, far more bad laws on the books than good ones.

I'm not sure I would admit to having missed a piece of the picture so much as I choose to ignore it. "Off the record" is just a euphemism for rumor, and those without the courage or conviction to speak publicly don't hold much credence with me. But, even if I were convinced (and it wouldn't take a great deal), it wouldn't make any difference in what I said. If the ultimate power rests with the people, then so must the ultimate responsibility.
mariee66
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9 posted 08-03-2001 10:42 PM       View Profile for mariee66   Email mariee66   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for mariee66

From the last thing I read on CNN, stem cell research was still iffy--it may or may not be federally funded.  

"The policy statement said the White House supports "tissue-based therapies based on research involving the use of nuclear transfer or other cloning techniques to produce molecules, DNA, cells other than human embryos, tissues, organs, plants or animals other than humans.""

I take the above to mean that we may not clone cells from human embryos, we may produce molecules, DNA, tissues and so forth from stem cells, and we may clone plants and animals, not humans.  Stem cell research still has hope.


Local Rebel
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10 posted 08-03-2001 11:59 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Ron,

so then what you're saying is that a person that isn't willing to be blackballed by their industry, fired from their job, and left bankrupt and flipping burgers is not to be believed?

whistle blower laws only protect persons reporting on activities that defraud the government

and yes -- marie -- stem cell research will go on but the very best source has been cut off by eliminating the cloning of embryos -- the next best source is from aborted fetuses -- need we speculate on how that vote will go -- so... this is like saying... we're not going to take fire arms away -- and therefore avoid the constitutionally protected right to bear arms -- but we can make it damn hard to buy ammunition...
Local Rebel
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11 posted 08-04-2001 12:11 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

sorry about the link -- I don't know what I missed out of this easy to type url:
http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/revisedcode/text.cfm?GRDescription2=title%2029&GRDescription3=text%20of%20statute&GRStructure1=2907&GRStructure2=2907%2E321&TextField=%3CFD %3A%22Section%20Heading%22%3E%3CJD%3A%222907%2E321%22%3E%3CBD%2B%3E%5B%3CBD%3E%A7%20%3CBD%2B%3E2907%2E32%2E1%5D%3CBD%3E%20%3CJD%3A%222907%2E321%22%3E%A7%202907%2E321%20Pandering%20 obscenity%20involving%20a%20minor%2E%3C%2FFD%3A%22Section%20Heading%22%3E.htm
Local Rebel
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12 posted 08-04-2001 12:21 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

And for further information on the pandering pedophile... Goerge Will's column is probably as good as you'll get:
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/opinion/columns/willgeorge/A63743-2001Jul27.html
Local Rebel
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13 posted 08-04-2001 12:32 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

This page may also be of interest and the links contained therein..
http://www.ala.org/alaorg/oif/courtcasesprivacy.html
Ron
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14 posted 08-04-2001 07:39 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

LR, there's a reason the criminal justice system grants the accused the right to confront their accusers. Maybe your insider is genuinely concerned and wants to correct a bad situation. Maybe he's just seeking attention or has an axe to grind. Sadly, the latter is more frequent than the former, and when the accusations are made only behind closed doors, there's absolutely no way to judge. Secrecy is anathema to justice.

Thanks for the links. Dalton's conviction for "pandering obscenity involving a minor" really raises a TON of issues, most seemingly still unresolved. He didn't contest the charges, so the law still hasn't been adequately tested. But let's assume it withstands all tests and look at the two main issues involved.

First, unlike previous statutes, this one doesn't specifically target "viewable" material and, as Will's column noted, Dalton is believed to be the first person convicted for child obscenity involving writings rather than photographs, films, or other images. On the one hand, as writers, I'm sure we'll all agree that words can be as powerful as images (or much more so). But, on the other hand, unlike pictures of real children, no minors were harmed in the creation of Dalton's work. And that, to me, is a very BIG issue. The courts, however, make a convincing argument that the nature of the child pornography warrants a legal attack at all levels in the distribution chain, which certainly should include creation. And if it's true that, "Evidence suggests that pedophiles use child pornography to seduce other children…" then I think I am convinced in the validity of attacking written material centering on illicit activities involving children.

The second big issue, and I think the one that seems to concern you the most, is the matter of privacy. Dalton's journal, containing his privately recorded thoughts, was seized and used to the throw him in jail. If true, I can understand both your concern and your Orwellian references.

But I question its truth. It's a bit of an unusual situation in that the issue of illegal search and seizure can't be raised. As a convicted felon on parole, Dalton had agreed to impromptu searches as a condition for his release. More importantly, to me, calling fourteen pages a journal sounds like little more than a desperate attempt at justification. Dalton said the lurid story was his journal and not intended for distribution. Should we believe him? I don't think the prosecutors did and I strongly suspect that is why the case was pursued. Since Dalton didn't contest the charges or conviction, we'll really never know. And until a less tainted case comes to trail, we won't know if privacy and personal use can be used as defenses against this law.
Rex
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15 posted 08-04-2001 01:55 PM       View Profile for Rex   Email Rex   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Rex's Home Page   View IP for Rex

Ah! Yes...a government of the people, by the people and for the people has become a government of the special interests, by the protesters and for the corrupt! This country has declined so far over the last fifty years that I seriously doubt it will be able to sustain its existence for the next three decades.
Local Rebel
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16 posted 08-04-2001 01:59 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Two words Ron; Deep Throat

reporters will always need anonymous sources

and on the Dalton issue -- the Ohio statute was already upheld by the Supreme Court in 1990 -- and since our judicial system is one that works on precedence this case is going to ring a lot of prosecutors bells across the country -- watch and see -- copycat laws will be on the books in a dozen states within two years

what really concerns me more than the privacy issue is the heinous nature of this case that makes us want to convict this [edit], if not take him out behind the jail and just shoot him...it's hard to defend the constitution when doing so defends a malevolent peice of [edit].

It is akin to discussing the capitol punishment issue with the McVeigh case at it's epicenter.

There are two dangers in the way this law was written -- it doesn't define what obscene means -- and recent court rulings have held that 'obscene' is a matter of 'community standards' -- in the future probable cause and conviction could -- in theory -- be executed on almost any grounds -- in short -- we could be incarcerated for doing anything -- or nothing.

[This message has been edited by Alicat (edited 08-07-2001).]

Ron
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17 posted 08-05-2001 03:27 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Sorry, LR, but I ain't ready to buy the Deep Throat argument. I think the Fifth Estate is a vital adjunct to our freedom, but I also believe people should be tried in the courts, not in the press. Citing secret resources in the Washington Post should incite investigation. Citing secret resources in the Washington Post should NOT make it the accepted truth.

In reference to your 1990 federal decision, I obviously still don't know enough about the Ohio statute. Or perhaps you're reading the comments in Will's column about a different Ohio statute incorrectly? The one cited in Will's column and upheld in 1990 involved "mere possession" of child pornography. I was under the impression Dalton was the first conviction under the law we were discussing, and it's rare for a federal court to issue an opinion except in the case of appeals.

The federal ruling tying a definition of obscenity to community standards is something in the neighborhood of thirty years old, and is hardly recent. The impact of the decision was to make most of what people consider obscene instead "indecent" in the eyes of the law. I don't think the Dalton law, even if upheld, will really change that.

BTW, I did discuss capital punishment in direct correlation to McVeigh, as did many others here. While it's not always easy to separate personal feelings from personal convictions, I think it's absolutely vital to do so if our goal is to be justice and not just retribution.
Local Rebel
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18 posted 08-05-2001 03:58 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I'm not really sure why you have it in for confidential sources Ron... are you for throwing journalists in jail until they reveal their sources?

Obviously the only place a trial can take place is in court.

This law in Ohio is the same law as Osborn V. Ohio in 1990 -- this is the first time a person has been convicted for possession of written materials and not pictures -- as you noted from Will's column.

And in the slow-moving landscape of Supreme Court Rulings anything within the last 50 years is 'recent' in my book.

It will be decades before we understand fully the impact of the contemporary events in Dalton case.

My prediction though is that laws like it will be used all across the fruited plain to prosecute and incarcerate people disliked by prosecutors -- much in the same way current Indiana law against fireworks is used.  There it is unlawful to use fireworks but not own them or buy them -- the result is naturally -- selective enforcement.

All of this is great as long as your community standards dictate that you are someone worthy of being liked -- but -- hey that's ok -- we're due for another holocaust.
Brad
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19 posted 08-05-2001 07:42 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Fascinating discussion. I admit that there's so much to talk about here I find it difficult to get a handle on what people are talking about -- too much too fast.

LR lists a number of examples to promote the idea that the American government (or society more generally) is becoming like Ingsoc in "1984".

Ron agrees with the general idea but not the specific examples and prefers the analogy "Bread and Circuses".

I really wish we had more discussion on the parallels and differences between the two analogies.

Still, everybody seems to agree with the general sentiment.

Hush and mariee66 focus on the government use and support of technology (in opposite directions of course).

DD and Rex (and Ron?) focus on the power and absurdity of government. Or perhaps Rex prefers the more general term society?

SEA and LR (to some extent) focus on the power and absurdity of companies.

The discussion between Ron and LR is difficult to follow but if I understand it correctly:

First,
LR sees the Dalton case as legitimate (in that this person deserves to go to jail) but illigitimate because it might further enforcement of this law regardless of the factors that make this specific case legitimate. Ron disagrees and thinks this case is legitimate and not precedent making.

Second,
LR thinks that anonymous sources are necessary, the fifth estate is necessary, and more weight should be given to them than Ron does. Ron, while he believes in the fifth estate and probably believes in anonymous sources in journalism, does not believe that more weight should be given to them without further investigation.

Is that about right?

Going to the second part of the discussion first, I think both Ron and LR agree with each other far more than they disagree. The key points are 'further investigation' that then lead to accusers who should and would be identified. The Deep Throat example is an interesting one because, as I recall, it was controversial to use an anonymous source in the way that Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman used him (sorry about that).

In the first part of the discussion, both seem to agree that Dalton should be in jail but disagree in it's future use as precedent. It's something to watch for certainly, but I don't think either person here is arguing against vigilence. As LR pointed out, that we can have this discussion is still a counter-sign to the trends that everybody seems to agree on.

However, I think LR is correct that nothing whips people up more than references to child pornography. It has the advantage of bringing everybody together (who is against protecting children?) and taking everybody away from themselves (most molestation cases take place in the home by family members and close friends). It makes people argue against the constitution and individual rights faster than anything I know (anecdotally at any rate). It moves people through emotion and reaction rather than through reasoned conversation based on the constitution, precedent, and their own self-interest. Orwell's nightmare will come, not through a coup, but because people will vote for it. Rhetorically, nothing better moves us in the direction that the speaker wants than references and pleas "to save the children."

With the possible exception of references to the Holocaust.

Brad

PS Ron, what is your position on the death penalty?
hush
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20 posted 08-06-2001 02:53 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Something that bothers me is that everyone seems to be in agreement that this guy deserves to be in jail. What was his first conviction for, anyway? The link doesn't say. But even Will states that "He seems to be an appalling person with ghastly tastes." Journalistically, that's pretty uncalled for, because a journalist really should strive to deliver as objective a version of the story as possible.... but maybe Brad's right, that child pornography is seen as so universally objectionable that it's okay to state that a person seems appalling just as easily as one states that it's a nice day today, because everyone universally agrees that sunshine is good?

Personally, I don't think obscenenity should be prosecutable- I think the freedom of speech should encompass everything. But that's something i can't change. So maybe I'm alone in thinking that simply writing bad things about children being abused doesn't make someone a bad person deserving of jail? I really don't think that his writing about imaginary children is harming anything- perhaps it was an emotional release, like masturbation, that could help him cope with his feelings for children and avoid harming them.

Now, to respond to Ron's response to the red light cameras- if you are waiting at a red light, and the light turns green as someone's getting their ass end out of the intersection, one would assume that you have enough common sense not to tear out of your spot so quickly as to hit the person who just happenned to not quite make it through. I'm not trying to justify running red lights or anything, but even cautious drivers will be presented with a suddenly yellow light, and have to decide whether to go or stop, and it's not always an easy decision. But isn't it better to be pulling out of an intersection as it turns red than to try to stop too quickly and find yourself stopped in the middle of it, and having to run the red light to get out anyway? Once again, as humans, we make errors, and I don't think a simple slip-up should be means for ticketing. Maybe when they make robotic chaufers that don't make mistakes we can do that, but until then, we are all human, and unless the running of the red light is blatant, like the person had plenty of time to stop, I don't think the person should be ticketed. And since red light cameras don't have the ability to reason and draw conclusions about how big a mistake the driver made, they shouldn't be able to determine if we've broken a law. After all, it is the executive branch that enforces laws... and I feel extremely uncomfortable with an increasing amount of that branch being composed of machines.

You are more than the sum of what you consume
Desire is not an occupation
-Nicole Blackman/KMFDM

Local Rebel
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21 posted 08-07-2001 09:34 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Brad

Your gracious attempt at humility is endearing but misplaced... lol... I think you've managed to grasp the discussion quite well -- and I would expect someone of your caliber to do so.

I don't really think there is that large of a chasm between my Orwellian reference and Ron's Bread and Circuses analogy.  

Politicians in this country (if not all) have always used the purse strings of the treasury to manipulate voters and there is a long-standing theory in the U.S of A. that people vote their pocket-books.  That the current administration and legislature has opted to go back to busting the bank (specifically the Social Security Trust and Medicare) to give people a 'bribe' is no huge surprise -- what would have been a surprise is if George W. got up one morning and decided to get on television and say to the American people -- "you know what?  I promised you tax relief in my campaign but the numbers aren't there anymore to make it happen -- I hope you'll forgive me for doing the right thing but I can't give you back a couple hundred dollars without robbing social security or getting us back into deficit spending this year"  but alas -- poor George saw what happened to his dad's 'read my lips' promise when he opted to do the 'right' thing and it cost him his presidency.

But bribes like this one will always be used to garner popular support for ones' candidacy -- which translates into a tacit mandate for the politian's (translate special interests) legislative objectives.

I'm surprised actually that conversation on this thread has avoided the prickly issues of human cloning and stem cell research altogether and agree with Ron that there are many issues here that are deserving of individual threads.

I think also that Ron and I agree more than we disagree on a host of issues and particularly on the matter of confidential sources -- it would have been ludicrous to convict Richard Nixon on the basis of heresay evidence from Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward from his alleged 'deep throat' source.

Equally -- if Linda Tripp had chosen to go to reporters instead of the authorities with her illegal audio tapes it would have been impossible to have hearings, let alone a trial for the horn-dog president.

The shelacking Linda Tripp got in the press as the Clinton cronies dug up dirt on her though -- should be prima facie evidence of why confidential sources (for reporters) need protection.  Everyone has skeltons in their closet and if faced with a smear campaign like Tripp recieved it would be doubtful anyone would ever again come forward with any information regarding wrong-doings by the powerful be they public or private.

I find your analysis that my focus (to some extent) is on the absurdity and power of companies interesting.  But, I don't agree with it (to some extent).  My focus is on the corruption of government by the power of huge interests (in this particular example some large companies and some large religious groups).  And this is a never ending battle.  

We could substitute the current calamity with a bunch of liberal politicians and be having this discussion surrounding a host of other examples -- the basic difference between liberals and conservatives being (in practice but not in definition) that liberals seek to have totalitarian control over what we do WITH our property and conservatives seek totalitarian control over what we do ON our property.

It is the challenge of every generation to answer the question 'how much government is good?'

Local Rebel
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22 posted 08-07-2001 09:50 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Hush,

You are correct in saying that reporters need to be 'objective' (which is an intersting conversation in Philosophy) but regarding George Will -- he is an OP-ED writer and as such -- pretty much gets to say whatever he wants (because it is naturally attributable that whatever is written on the OP-Ed pages is the opinion of the writer).

RE: Cameras -- one of the things that I find interesting is that it was illegal for Linda Tripp to make her covert recordings.  One of the reasons for this was the socio-political climate of the era when audio recording technology was proliferating and the foresight of the court at that time to see the dangers of electronic media being used by the government to prosecute.

It should be noted that in the age of video technology proliferation the courts have decided it is perfectly ok for anyone (including your next door neighbor or landlord) to go as far as to put a secret camera in your house so long as it doesn't record what you SAY!

I would think then, that this would be evidence that the pendulum has swung in the Orwellian direction.

As new technology becomes availiable the free speech issues and privacy issues will continue to be debated -- as with the internet and CIPA (another attempt to limit speech to protect the children Brad).

But, I think I would debate one point about cameras being used as an enforcement tool -- I don't want any police officer making judgements -- that's what Judges are for.  I've been harrased by police officers and given tickets just for being me.  I don't think a camera would do that -- and cameras mounted on police cars will have a deterring effect on the gende arm as well.

So, I think it cuts both ways.

That being said -- there needs to be a huge debate about where and when video technology can and cannot be used.

(I should also add that I have not been given deserved tickets just for being me in jurisdictions where my family had political power.)

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (edited 08-07-2001).]

Denise
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Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002


23 posted 08-08-2001 08:26 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Re: George W.

To me it came as quite a surprise that a politician actually kept a campaign promise...such a rarity, wouldn't you say? I doubt giving us taxpayers a long deserved and well deserved cut in taxes will break the piggy bank in D.C. There are plenty of other places in the budget where monumental waste can be eliminated to keep it balanced. I, for one, will not feel guilty one iota for cashing my check when it comes in the mail. It amounts to chump change in the grand scheme of Washington high finance. But, I guess if anyone doesn't think it's a good idea, or that it is just a bribe, they can always refuse to take it. They can donate it back to the government to ease the strain on the funding of endless bureaucratic money-wasting programs (that never seem to benefit the working class), or to fund another increase in the pay rates and pension plans of our beloved Senators and Congressmen/women who work soooo hard for us (so what if it's only around campaign time? They actually break a sweat shaking hands with us working class folks when they are trying to garner our vote, in the hope of maintaining the standard of life to which they have become accustomed). Or, to those who still feel that Gore was robbed, they can donate it to him for a run in the next presidential election (maybe by that time he will be able to invent even more creative ways of counting his votes). Nobody would ever have to worry again about getting a tax break if he were elected. Or, if none of the above sound like good ideas, they can always send it directly to me! I'll take it!  

And now, to sum up: God bless, George W. Bush! He is the first man of integrity in the White House since his father was President. Here's to you, George   Keep up the good work!
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


24 posted 08-08-2001 09:15 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

So good to be disagreeing with you. All is right with the world again.  

I don't like comparing Dubya with his dad. Two words describe the chasm between the two presidents:

International Relations

Do you have any idea how many times I've been asked:

"What does your president think he's doing?"

I don't have an answer.

Brad
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