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Spying On Americans/Dissent

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Mistletoe Angel
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0 posted 12-17-2005 02:17 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

The New York Times: December 15, 2005

On Thursday, the New York Times released a story revealing that after the September 11th, 2001 attacks, President Bush secretly allowed the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans in the pursuit to hunt down terrorist grouos and influences, without the approval of the courts.

In addition, the New York Times admitted to holding back release of this story for a year by request of the White House.

MSNBC: December 13, 2005

Just two days before this story was released, an MSNBC story reveals that NBC News collected 8 pages of a 400-page secret Defense Department document, which reveals nearly four-dozen anti-war meetings or protests being monitored, anti-recruitment protests, and peace groups, including one at the Lake Worth, Florida Quaker Meeting House, listed as a "threat" and one of 1,500 "suspicious incidents" across the country in a ten-month span.

Reuters: December 17, 2005

The New York Times story served as deep influence in the Senate in the consideration of renewing the USA Patriot Act, which Democrats and a few Republicans are currently filibustering the act, with sponsers Russ Feingold and Larry David insisting they believe the law is essential, but would like to see the Patriot Act modified to ensure protections of civil liberties until it is to be approved (The USA Patriot Act was originally overwhelmingly approved, with virtually no public comment and media attention, and has been a controversial act in that some provisions have allowed any employee of the federal executive branch to monitor the electronic communications of any individual or group that is relevant to any federal case, and doesn't have to concern terrorism, as well as permitting unauthorized searches of library checkouts and records, the permission of certain unauthorized searches, and the inability for the public to go to court to challenge many particular government illegalities under this law.)

The Associated Press: December 17, 2005

Today, in responding to the Patriot Act vote and slamming the Senate for it, Bush admitted in a rare video-taped version of his weekly radio address that he personally authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S more than 30 times since the 9/11 attacks, lashed out at those revealing information about the program, and that he will continue re-authorizing the program.

*

Questions:

1) Does the fact the New York Times held back a story like this ring to your ears as utmost betrayal to the American public; that when the White House asks "Pretty please, can you not let the people know we're violating their First and Fourth Amendment rights?", they say, "Sure?"

2) Why would the Department of Defense consider the Lake Worth meeting and like gatherings a "threat"?

*

Is this simply deja vu all over again? Have we already forgotten the lessons we learned from the Vietnam era?



"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

[This message has been edited by Mistletoe Angel (12-17-2005 05:23 PM).]

Mistletoe Angel
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1 posted 12-17-2005 03:47 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

For a moment here I want to add another important point.

I expect within the next few weeks to months that many will be arguing in response to that the President has likely violated the Constitution at least thirty times and that this could serve as grounds for legal action against the administration, that, sure, the President may have well been over the law, but it was all "legal" or "lawful". And what will be meant by that it was "legal" or "lawful" is that Bush got a note from his lawyer in 2001 saying it was all OK.

LA Times: December 12, 2005

We can also expect to begin hearing across the media landscape one name in particular; John Yoo.

John Yoo's Legal Memo: (September 25, 2001)

According to this legal memo published by John Yoo on September 25, 2001, two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, it suggests to a extent that during war, the President can do almost whatever he wants in the name of finding terrorist suspects, so long as he "suspected" that person was a terrorist.

It seems to me this same memo also has influenced Bush and the administration in believing that it was legal for him to order the NSA to spy on Americans he suspected were tied to terrorists, even invading Iraq on the mere suspicion that Iraq was linked to terrorists.

In other words, the John Yoo Memo appears to me to be the legal blueprint for every unconstitutional action committed since 9/11. Remarkable indeed too how this memo is virtually unknown throughout the media and public landscape. A memo that almost seems to suggest that the Constitution does not apply to the President so long as there is terrorism in the world.

*

The bottom line is just because the president had a legal memo to guide his actions, it does not make those particular actions of the president "legal" or "lawful".

*

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

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2 posted 12-17-2005 04:52 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Noah, you are taking the Times story and everything theysay as gospel and then weaving your comments around it. Actually, the fellow who wrote the story has a book being released (what a surprise). Critics of the Times story claim that the reason the Times sat on the story for a year was that they wanted it to coincide with the release of the book. Does that sound impossible to you? Also, Bush notified Congress in reports over a dozen times exactly what he was doing and what the progress reports were.....these reports went to the same congressmen who are now voicing shock and outrage. This is nothing new...neither, I'm aftaid, is your taking a one-sided view and calling it gospel if puts Bush in a bad light...

By all means, let's be sure the prisoners are comfortable and well-treated and let's not do anything sneaky at all, like invading their privacy, to people considered a threat to our security. Let them have their way.....and then let's show our own shock and outrage at the next 9-11 and wonder how it was possible.
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3 posted 12-17-2005 05:11 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

btw, Noah, your Reuters link is actually the msnbc link duplicated.
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4 posted 12-17-2005 05:24 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Thanks Balladeer! I was copying and pasting the HTML Code and must have accidentally forgot to replace the existing URL with the Reuters one! I'm still new at the HTML Linking game and still trying to memorize the code! (giggles)



Love,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

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5 posted 12-17-2005 05:38 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Cleaning our society of terrorist influences and defending our nation from such threats is one thing which we can bilaterally agree is essential to our protection. When something as important as our civil liberties and constitutional rights are being violated or sidestepped, that is another thing, and is simply the abuse of power and going too far.

Our civil rights are all-American gospel. Can you imagine someone like our very own Ford (ice) who happens to be of Quaker descent and blood being undeservedly monitored and being considered a threat to America? Can you imagine something as peaceful and non-political as the Gandhi Institute being monitored and considered a "threat" to America?

This is a concern that's not only resonating on my side of the aisle, it's sounding from both sides. Even senators who voted in support of ending cloture and debate on the Patriot Act this week are now concerned over these new headlines, like Arlen Specter and John McCain, for they believe wholeheartedly, as a vast majority of Americans like you and I do, that we must have a strong defense and anti-terror policy in place, but that our liberties must also never be taken for granted.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

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6 posted 12-17-2005 10:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

but that our liberties must also never be taken for granted.


Exactly, Noah.....
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7 posted 12-17-2005 10:57 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Is this the same NY Times that purposefully sat on the story about Lewinsky's dress and tried to bury it (the story, not sure about the dress)?  Thank goodness Matthew Drudge broke the silence or President Clinton may never have been called to task for his actions.

A year ago, this would've been news.  A year after the story was researched, it's not.  Instead it's a successful piece of propaganda which manipulated fence-sitting federal lawmakers in torpedoing an extension of the Patriot Act.  As for the shock and outrage of those Congressmen and women who sat on those oversight committes for National Security and Intelligence, those same ones who apporpriated funds for the NSA, who received comprehensive reports about the NSA's activities and findings....it's all hooey, posing for the camera and trying to wash their hands clean for their constituents who might just have some hard questions for their respective legislators during the break.

I don't have any issues with the content of those articles and stories, just with the timing.
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8 posted 12-17-2005 11:31 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I don't have any issues with the content of those articles and stories, just with the timing.

What would good timing be? At least within a month of the story first breaking out or until every last terrorist intent has been dismantled across the world?

I'm thankful this story even got out there to begin with. With The New York Times blatantly holding it to themselves for a year is inappropriate and a betrayal to the American public in my mind. The American public have a right to know about this, and I'd certainly say better late than never any day.

CNN: December 17, 2005

Bush has now come out today to blast the New York Times for revealing that he allowed wiretaps on U.S. citizens after September 11 and accusing them of jeopardizing national security.

Many have found this sort of response surprising, but I certainly don't, as I believe many of us can recall President Nixon's response to the Ellsberg Pentagon Papers in 1971 when the Times printed them, when he told the Secretary of State Kissinger, "People have gotta be put to the torch for this sort of thing."

Must be deja vu all over again.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

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9 posted 12-18-2005 12:31 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Obviously within a relatively short time after breaking of the story.  That's why it's called 'breaking news'.  Sitting on it for a year and then putting it in papers when an extension vote on a controversial piece of legislation is eminent?  Pure political manipulation.
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10 posted 12-18-2005 02:29 AM       View Profile for majnu   Email majnu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for majnu


in the words of eddie izzard: " perjury 1 is saying there was no holocuast when 10 million people died in it perjury 2^100 is when you say you didn't shag somebody but you did."

as for this eaves dropping business. i will say what i always say: what happened to liberty or death. without that conviction america is nothing.

-majnu
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Timid thoughts be not afraid. I am a Poet.

[This message has been edited by Ron (12-18-2005 05:34 AM).]

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11 posted 12-18-2005 02:48 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

There's some hope gleaming from this and other recent troubling disclosures like that of posible secret prisons; Congress may finally be working together again and encouraging more administration oversight, something they've failed to do in much recent memory.

MSNBC: December 17, 2005

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

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12 posted 12-18-2005 04:44 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

hohumdedumdumbdumb dumb
Well, it actually surprises me that anyone would even act surprised? as it's simply one of many ominous REVELATIONS about how this "democracy" of ours functions. Hoping it's not another stick of dynamite added to the growing mountain which will no doubt ignite us all eventually in a gigantic KABOOM....when those who already hate us help us celebrate the 4th of July in a new way.
Impeach the SLOB and be done with it.
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13 posted 12-18-2005 06:56 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I bow to such stirring oratorical prowess
Mistletoe Angel
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14 posted 12-18-2005 06:57 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I don't think we can expect Bush to be impeached for anything; at least possibly until 2007. As I've mentioned before, I believe Bush has committed several impeachable offenses to this day already as it is, but with his party owning the trifecta, it's all but certainly unlikely he'll be charged for any such thing.

What I will remind here, however, is Nixon's ground for impeachment, where in his case, he was charged with wiretapping 17 people.

Take a look at this transcript for Nixon's impeachment case, particularly at Count 2:

*

Specification of Charges (Bill of Particulars)

Supporting All Articles

1. Conspiracy. President Nixon, H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Charles Colson, John Dean, John Mitchell, Herbert Kalmbach, and Maurice Stans, in concert with and abetted by others, conspired together to devise and carry out a plan or scheme to commit various crimes against numerous citizens of the United States who opposed the policies of Richard M. Nixon. President Nixon and his coconspirators thereby conspired to commit burglary in violation of 22 D.C. Code 1801; violated federal statutes making it a crime to wiretap, section 2510 et seq. of the United States Criminal Code (Title 18, U.S.C.); conspired to deprive citizens of civil rights in violation of section 241 of the Criminal Code; conspired to violate other federal statutes (e.g., the wiretap statute) in violation of section 371 of the Criminal Code; violated the President's constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, article 11, section 3; violated the First amendment rights of persons to freedom of speech, and violated the Fourth amendment rights of persons to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Pursuant to the plan or scheme specified in Count 1, President Nixon and his co-conspirators:

2: Illegal Wiretaps. Caused wiretaps to be placed on the telephones of seventeen persons without having obtained a court order authorizing the tap, as required by federal law; in violation of sections 241, 371 and 2510-11 of the Criminal Code.

3: Conspiracy to Suppress Free Speech. Caused harassment, by means of tax audits and other acts by the Internal Revenue Service, of named persons designated as political "enemies" of President Nixon for the purpose of inhibiting or preventing their exercise of First amendment rights, in violation of section 241 of the Criminal Code.

4: Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and Other Crimes. Caused the creation and adoption of a so called "domestic intelligence plan" for securing information about American citizens, under which plan it was intended to commit unlawful acts of burglary, wiretapping, bugging and the opening of mail; in violation of sections 241 and 371 of the Criminal Code.


*

Indeed there's some striking familiarities here. Both performed these wiretaps without a court approval. And where Nixon was accused for wiretapping seventeen, Bush has now admitted authorizing wiretaps on thousands of people. It's incredible.

Anyway, I'm glad that a bi-lateral investigation is coming together to fathom these grave matters, and that Congress may finally begin to do their job more effectively.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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15 posted 12-18-2005 08:05 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

at your reply, Mike

Noah, I know it will never happen. He's a lame duck anyway.
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16 posted 12-18-2005 10:27 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

OK... I was going to stay out of this, however the blatant disrespect (as is required by the piptalk guidelines as I recall) and the fact that I agree with very little that was said, and... well, geez... when have I ever let Noah say anything without giving the other side?
lol

Now, for Noah and Midnitesun, I have a scenario for you, and then a question that I would like you to both answer:

You were inaugurated your country's leader last February (the name of your country doesn't matter this is a "ficticious scenario, afterall). Just last month, you are reading a story to a bunch of school kids for a photo-op while trying to bolster support for your educational program, when your personal bodyguards pull you out of the room and tell you some terrorists from another country, who were in your country illegally, attacked your country's military power center, two of it's major financial centers, and an empty field in the middle of nowhere. The total amount of your citizens that died was estimated at almost 5,000. Your country's main economic centers are shut down for almost a week, and the plummiting economy that you inherited from your predicessor is taking a HUGE hit, and might not recover for quite a long time.
Intelligence tells you that there are up to 1,000 more of these terrorists in the country, and your country is screaming for you to protect them. Your intelligence agencies, and your top advisors are telling you that these other terrorists want to one up their dead brothers in both damage and body count. You are afraid, and being told that another attack like the one you just lived through will completely decimate the country's economy.
And, oh by the way, the attack on your military power center was SUPPOSED to actually destroy your house while your wife and kids were home.
The government and the country at large are looking for you to bring in the rest of the terrorists that are living in the country, and to protect them , and to keep another attack from happening.

Question: What do you do? How are you going to keep your country safe, and find the terrorists that are at large?

For this little exercise, I want you to be as brutally honest with yourself as is possible. Decide what you would do to find these people, and to protect the "honest" and "law-abiding" citizens of your country from the threat. Decide how your actions will affect the people of your country, and if they are going to be safer for you taking the actions you decide on, or will they cme to more harm from the terrorists. Once you have decided on everything, look at what you are willing to do as the leader, and then look at what you are not accepting from your leader now. How close are they? How far off of your personal standards now did you wander? Now the last question: Are you sleeping at night because of the actions you are taking?

"...and as we drift along, I never fail to be astounded by the things we'll do for promises..."
Ronnie James Dio

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17 posted 12-18-2005 11:53 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Since I opened my yap, I might as well take issue with a few of the other things you mentioned, Noah...

You brought up the fact that you felt the Administration had violated American's First and Fourth Amendment rights... With the evidence that you provided, it never happened. Did the present Administration arrest anyone for meeting peacfully for legal purposes?? Did the White House deny anyone the right to believe in whatever G-d they chose to believe in, or deny them the right to worship their idea of the Absolute in any lawful manner they chose? Did the government bust into the NY Times office building and confiscate all of the computers, discs, and files to prevent them from informing the American public of ANYTHING??? Well... looking at all of the links you provided, I found absolutely NO evidence of any of that happening at all.

The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.
They asked the NY Times not to publish. The editors were free to publish the article had they chosen to. My personal guess is (and I have no evidence to back it up) if they had wanted to publish the article of August of last year, just in time to affect the November elections, it would have been on the front page... regardless of what the White House asked them to do.

After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting.
Isn't it strange that their "additional reporting" happened to conclude right about the time that the reporter has a book coming out? I can see the headlines now... "New York Times Reporter Tops the Best Seller List" Nope... no additional publicity there.

Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.
The New York Times has admitted that they are not giving the American public the entire truth... they are (in your words) violating the Americans First Amendment rights. Where is your protest at that? It is acceptable for the admittedly liberal leader of the American press to do it; however the admittedly concervative Administration cannot? Oh, Puh-leez

After the special program started, Congressional leaders from both political parties were brought to Vice President Dick Cheney's office in the White House. The leaders, who included the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House intelligence committees, learned of the N.S.A. operation from Mr. Cheney, Gen. Michael V. Hayden of the Air Force, who was then the agency's director and is now the principal deputy director of national intelligence, and George J. Tenet, then the director of the C.I.A., officials said.
OK... there it is... the Congressional leaders were told. And yet it is ONLY the Administration that is being hounded. If it is such a huge deal, then where were the Democrats screaming about the unfairness of it then? Where was their loyalty to their constituents when they were told that the President was doing "illegal" things to the poor citizens of their great state (whatever it was)? Where are the outcries for THEIR culpability in (as you put it) denying everyone's Constitutional rights? IN the Great land of the United States of America, having knowledge of a crime and not telling anyone makes you an accessory, and puts you in jail right beside the actual doer. Yet no one seems to care about the Democratic leaders who knew about such "illegal" activities. In all fairness, Sen Rockefeller DID write a letter... however, since he did not inform the proper legal authorities, he is an accessory to the "crime" and should be impeaced, tried, and removed from office.

You also ask if we have "already forgotten the lessons we learned from the Vietnam Era?" Well, it is very possible. One lesson that we learned was that when the country is within a few months of winning a war (yes, Vietnam was THAT close) a Democrat will turn tail and run, and cause the war to be lost, cause the American fighting man to be dishonored, and cause the Uniteds States to lose face in the world market that will not be recovered for 16 years. Today's Democratic party (most of themembers, anyhow) seem to have forgotten that.

Another lesson we learned was by listening to the protesters who don't know anything except what they are being told by others (no, not all... the vast majority, though) will allow the enemy to do anything they want to our troops and will tell the entire world that they are peace-loving and do not want us there. They will also not allow ourtroops to do anything that will eventually lead to winning the war. In Afghanistan, the Americans have a 90% approval rate, and in Iraq it is not too far behind.

One last lesson we learned is that if you scream loudly enough about the evils that are being done by the American troops, and about how they are not effective, and how they are being killed without being able to fight back, then the American people will not find out that the troops have the highest morale possible, and do NOT regret being there, and the good that is being done, and their successes will not be reported, which will then lead to the American population screaming louder and the troops morale will then begin to drop because they realize that no one at home appreciates their sacrifice... I'll let you decide how well that lesson is being remembered.

Midnightsun- I have never complained about any individual on these pages speaking their opinions. My other "adversary" in this thread will be the first to agree with me on that. He and I almost never agree on anything, however I have never  begrudged him the ability to voice his views... the only thing I have ever asked is that the participants in our discussions/debates/whatever be respectful to all parties concerned. You obviously do not like the sitting Administration, and/or any of the things that it is doing, and that is perfectly wintin your right...although I do not agree with your opinions, I will give you the right to have them. I am, however, going to reserve my right to not accept anyone using offensive language in my presence. Questioning our leaders is our responsibility. Using language towards them that would cause us great distress were it used against us is just plain putting yourself into their world. By not finding a way to voice your opinions respectfully (as is a requirement on the Blue Pages, is it not?) then you are showing yourself to be no better than the person you are speaking against. While he does not have your respect as President, he does deserve your respect as a human being, and the office of President deserves more respect that you showed in your post... then again, that is just my opinion.

"...and as we drift along, I never fail to be astounded by the things we'll do for promises..."
Ronnie James Dio

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18 posted 12-19-2005 08:51 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

this spying or eavesdropping comes as no surprise...do you all believe that this hasen't or wasn't done before Bush?

I can't say as I like it, but in the same, I'd more so like to know, that they are keeping watch...

what I find so darned hard to digetst is the fact that they know, these terrorists are living here, setting up camp here, coming across the Mexican/US boarder and they don't do anything about that. They complain about the money it would cost to fence the border in, but do not take into account, the money illegal emigrants are costing the tax payers...billions of dollars.  They don't have to pay taxes, they can purchase homes and cars, have free health care...and the chance always exists that they are or could be terrorists....


I mean, they know there are terrorists camps right here in the states??????  numerous cells active and ready to strick?

I really have, over the period of my life, become immune to the fact that Big Brother has been listening in for years...

What I find rather ironic, is the fact that they don't go to the source of the problem and fix it...

Spy, yes, in this world it's practically inevidable....wouldn't you agree?

If I had been president after 911 I would have made it my personal vendita to clean up this country of it's illegals, and make it such, that becoming a citizen of the US is not only a must, but a privilege, only allowing several in at a time, under strict supervision....

Anyone else here illegally, would be shipped home and have to enter this country under new immagration laws that work and are most certainly upheld.  Maybe then, it wouldn't be necessary to spy.  and please let me add, again, it should be a priviledge to be a US citizen....so, spy, what other alternative do they have, if they are not going to clean up the corruption in our systems.
Sincerely
Lee J.

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19 posted 12-19-2005 04:40 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



I think you ought to answer my question first before I go on answering your question, Ringo! LOL!

*

Can you imagine someone like our very own Ford (ice) who happens to be of Quaker descent and blood being undeservedly monitored and being considered a threat to America? Can you imagine something as peaceful and non-political as the Gandhi Institute being monitored and considered a "threat" to America?

*

Anyway, I try not to be a procrastinator, LOL, so I'll certainly get right to this homework anyway, LOL! I'd also like to hear your own theoretical response, by the way, as I'm sure your intent in responding in this way is to try and expect me to be silent or vague in my ideal response, and I'm sure the most honest answer for the average American would be that living an experience would be far more convincing than envisioning an experience, so there's no "ideal" answer!

*

As I mentioned before, from what I had seen of Bush in the first few weeks following 9/11, I supported him and believed he was doing a great job trying to help the country mend and unite the country. What I wasn't aware of was how he was thinking and behaving outside the public eye; he was exploiting the tragedy for political and wartime excuses, largely because of the John Yoo memo; he was lead to believe because his lawyer gave him permission to do anything he wants in wartime, that was just it.

I would indeed be deeply concerned of the realness of the threat and of possible future patterns of attacks like that, but I'd also be mindful and ethical in my demeanor to in protecting the American public. I would be reminded of the words of Benjamin Franklin in my next parade of decisions: "The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either."

*

And again, mind you that this is only a generalized version of how I'd respond, as you could write a book on the detail-by-detail scenario of how you'd truly respond, LOL, but I would encourage the Pentagon to boost defense spending. By that I mean not funding of F-16 nuclear-capable fighter jets and C-130J cargo planes that can't even hold large quantities of cargo or fly under cool weather conditions, but the strengthening of technology and tools that are credible and proven effective to respond to all outcoming threats.

I'd recognize that the purpose of our military is to defend OUR country, defend OUR freedom. Under the most critical of circumstances when tyrants are abusing their people and such, I would deploy a reasonable number of personnel to capture and apprehend the guilty consciences and bring them to justice without resorting to war, but recognize their main purpose is to defend our soils and would have them well-trained and prepared to respond to potential threats while also abiding by the Posse Comitatus Act.

In terms of domestic security, I would hold an equal degree of concern while also keeping my nose above cynicism. I'd encourage a more sophisicated neighborhood watch program, where anyone from the public can respond to any suspicious credible threat, and indeed because many neighborhoods would have a nut, the police and other law-serving institutions would have access to a database of acknowledged and suspected criminals, and ethical guidelines would be implemented to respond to all those particular listed nuisances.

My general behavior would be that I should serve a great role in protecting the American public, but that I should also not be over the law and would make decisions within the law so as to not encourage younger generations that it's OK to promote an attitude of lawlessness. In contrast to Bush, I'd also be more open with the public and less secretive, as I believe that indeed there's some knowledge that terrorists should not have access to, but being heavily secretive to your own people is also incredibly dangerous and should have the right to know more of what's happening.

I'd push an anti-terror legislation like the USA Patriot Act that would effectively respond to terrorist threats here at home without such provisions that exploit the average American citizen's rights of privacy and civil liberties (as under Sections 206, 213, 214, 215, 216, 218, 411, 412, 505, and 802.)

When handed information in that it is suggested that al-Qaeda/Saddam Hussein were behind the attacks, I'd most certainly condemn their actions, but remain true to my nature and recognize the philosophy I share with H.G Wells as written in his publication "Things To Come": "If we don't end war, war will end us" I'd do everything within the law in an ethical and flexible manner to respond and capture the proponents of terrorism in all lines of domestic defense, while also remaining defiant to considering war as an option to stopping them; because intervention historically has only brooded more tension and conflict.

In economic terms, I'd respond to the tragedy under the belief that strengthening the American family strengthens America. While giving a sensible amount to the Pentagon to help build our defense infrastructure, rather than spending billions and billions on overseas war campaigns like the Bush Administration has and unnecessary Pentagon military weapons technology, I would reverse the extraordinary trend over the last few decades in weapons spending and use that money in beginning to work towards seeing America finally becoming a country with universalized health care, expanding the food stamp policy, and responding to the long-overdue minimum wage crisis by increasing it, and depending on economic trends over the span of a few months, boosting it to a living wage standard. My main domestic economic motto would be "A stronger American family makes a stronger America".

In terms of foreign policy, I'd operate in considering the four particular motivations to war: the willingness for humans to kill other humans, the belief that resorting to armed conflict is sometimes justified, the absence or fracturing of effective antiwar cornerstones, and the fact that weapons and arms are in existence. The central message I'd make to the world is though humans are capable of violence, they were also capable of other heinous acts which now are condemned by popular worldwide opinion in modern times, including slavery and cannibalism. Therefore, there’s reason to believe  and have optimism in that if mankind has learned lessons in that slavery and cannibalism  are wrong, it isn’t hopeless to believe someday mankind can finally stop and reflect on  that wars continue to happen yet they don’t tame the scars that afflict families, children, cultures, the environment, and the world in general. All that needs to be done is to follow  the examples of the pioneers who persuaded the world that slavery and cannibalism are crimes against humanity and convince the world to rise up and take to the grandest philanthropic mission the world has witnessed yet.

I'd think each foreign policy decision with something along the line of what Louis Kriesberg, a Social Conflict professor from Syracuse University, said: "Competition is continuous and impersonal, conflict is intermittent and personal.” The first step always begins with you, its origin resonates from your very individual heart; let peace begin with you, then let this peace come to your family and friends, then make baby steps from there. In following this example, we would put a human face on the other, which is the first step toward persuading peaceful dialogue between one another.

Which would also bring me to how I'd respond to terrorism in the world. I'd consider some of the root causes of terror worldwide; social inequality, poverty, inavailability of resources, etc. My main approach in responding to these types of threats would be adopting cooperative management processes in preparing and remedying conflict, which include opening forums for all related joint negotiations, behaving ambiguously to other interests in enhanching management, collaboration in the process, and strengthening the negotiation skills of the world’s less powerful interests. In following this sort of approach, third parties can develop which can serve as mediators between the conflicting interests of the major parties, as well as facillitate a most democratic, public forum where cooperation can be fulfilled.

In terms of conflict in general, I believe there to be a triangular model in peacemaking and conflict resolution in general; efforts to prevent conflicts related directly to the environment, attempts to initiate and maintain dialogue between parties in conflict, and initiatives to create a sustainable basis for peace. I would act under the influence that all three components are essential in completing the peacemaking process and to ensure all the cavities among each conflicted party are filled, for if you were only to focus on the prevention of environmental conflict in its physical form, then we tend to discount the relational aspect of conflicted parties, the marginalizing, social inequality and injustice that instigates much social conflict in general, and moreover if you engage parties through dialogue but struggle to come up with a bilateral sustainability measure, the conflicted parties technically remain in nothing better than a ceasefire, which would only leave a lose-lose situation behind.

In the more extreme of circumstances, which I recognize do happen, where indeed there are dictators and troublemakers who abuse their own people and such, I would order secret units and such to go and capture such individuals and have them most severely penalized under the International Criminal Court, under fullest respect of the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and international law in general.

And finally, I would always let the general public, which I expect those like yourself, have the fullest right to publicly dissent and disagree with me in that you feel I'm not doing everything I can to ensure your protection, and would never resort to demonizing or polarizing you and other opponents with "either you're with us or you're against us" rhetoric or "you're advocating a policy that makes our nation weaker" language. I'd say I am understanding of your concerns, and politely disagree with you while also allowing you to be heard.

*

Again, that's the generalized version of what I'd do and how I'd react, and I expect you'll probably disagree with much of it. I just happen to believe acting above the law, imposing a more Big Brother-ish operation in trying to secure our nation and engaging in an epic war in the Middle East in the false hope to bring an absolute end to terrorism only hurts us all in the long run, and further isolates us from the international community. I really hate to make such talk like this political, but I can't possibly begin to believe allowing secret prisons overseas, monitoring on voices of dissent, and some in our administration even advocating torture, improves our image as a nation to the rest of the world.

*



OK, there I go! You may criticize me as you wish, but I also am interested in hearing how YOU'D respond!



Love,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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20 posted 12-19-2005 05:24 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

OK... I was going to stay out of this, however the blatant disrespect (as is required by the piptalk guidelines as I recall) and the fact that I agree with very little that was said, and... well, geez... when have I ever let Noah say anything without giving the other side?
lol


I have done nothing here as to violate the creed of Passions in Poetry, and certainly don't believe I am being "blatantly disrespectful" as you suggest in that I'm just saying my argument as it is. Also, you never have to earn permission from me or anyone here to provide your own side of the story; just follow your intuition and post it as you please!

*

"One lesson that we learned was that when the country is within a few months of winning a war (yes, Vietnam was THAT close) a Democrat will turn tail and run, and cause the war to be lost, cause the American fighting man to be dishonored, and cause the Uniteds States to lose face in the world market that will not be recovered for 16 years. Today's Democratic party (most of the members, anyhow) seem to have forgotten that."

If this is what you mean by "blatant disrespect" as you suggested earlier, I would say you are acting no different to the Democratic Party and the United Nations in general as I may or may not be towards President Bush. You and Balladeer in particular are guilty of the exact same problem in that you just demonize the party in whole and the UN in whole in every periodical post, and here is just more evidence of the former. I don't consider myself a Democrat and disagree with much of what they do, but I do believe that men and women from both of our parties have done great things as individuals nonetheless.

As for your point regarding Vietnam, you can continue to suggest in your opinion that Vietnam was a "Good War", but clearly approximately 52,000 U.S casualties, hundreds of thousands more of Vietnam civilians, over $200 billion spent and untold ecological damage that'll forever scar their country and hurt their health and ecosystems spells pure loss to me. I only wish the war hadn't gone on as long as it did, perhaps Eugene McCarthy would have even been elected to stop the crescendo, for I believe his personality and poetry still ring to many's ears to this day.

*

"Another lesson we learned was by listening to the protesters who don't know anything except what they are being told by others (no, not all... the vast majority, though) will allow the enemy to do anything they want to our troops and will tell the entire world that they are peace-loving and do not want us there. They will also not allow ourtroops to do anything that will eventually lead to winning the war. In Afghanistan, the Americans have a 90% approval rate, and in Iraq it is not too far behind."

Again, you seem to be making that same mistake of "blatant disrespect" in assuming the "vast majority" of protesters are the same and demonizing them for what they believed in. I've previously agreed that some of the protesters were nuts, like Jane Fonda, but many of them were merely concerned, socially-conscious youth and even military veterans who recognized that war was only bringing out the worst of us as a nation and doesn't solve the gravest of social problems, not that the U.S is evil and want us to fail, etc.

By the way, would you mind sharing the source of that 90% figure? I actually believe that percentage would certainly be accurate, as all nations worldwide, despite their disapproval of Bush and their foreign policy strategy, it doesn't affect their views that America is a great nation whose leaders just aren't living to the nation's fullest promise is all. I'm most encouraged and blessed by that. The only thing you failed to add to that percentage result is that a vast majority of Iraqis want our forces out of Iraq, and disapprove of the occupation, and I'll provide the sources if you'd like.

*

"One last lesson we learned is that if you scream loudly enough about the evils that are being done by the American troops, and about how they are not effective, and how they are being killed without being able to fight back, then the American people will not find out that the troops have the highest morale possible, and do NOT regret being there, and the good that is being done, and their successes will not be reported, which will then lead to the American population screaming louder and the troops morale will then begin to drop because they realize that no one at home appreciates their sacrifice... I'll let you decide how well that lesson is being remembered."

It is most unfortunate that when many of our troops came back, they were shown vast gestures of disrespect; spitting in their faces, slaps across their cheeks, noses turned up with their backs turned on them, etc.

Our troops certainly never deserved this. Any propaganda that would suggest it's our troops that are carrying out evil on others, whether it be from the few nuts in protest crowds to other outlets of propaganda, is truly insane and I wholeheartedly find it disgusting when that gets in the way of the purity of social consciousness.

It isn't our young men and women in uniforms' fault that such atrocities and war crimes happened in Vietnam. It is simply the fault of the government leaders at the time who deployed them to war and failed to take responsibility for their own actions and exploit the tragedies and intelligence on a routine basis. They're the ones who deserved all the saliva on their faces, which unfortunately was directed toward the wrong cheeks.

*

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

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21 posted 12-19-2005 06:38 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Noah- I know that you were not being disrespectful.. you, in my opinion, are not capable of such. It was directed at another. I thought I had made that clear later in my post, and I apologize if you thought otherwise.
My ideal response from you is not silence... it is actually answering the question. AS for my answer, I can think of not much that I would do diffeently. I thought about this because I knew that you would challenge me to answer.  lol
About the only thing that I can honestly say I would have done is gone back tro the court AFTER the wire taps were done and told them about it. According to the regs, the Administration has 3 days to do so and to get after the fact permission.

As for your question, I do not know Ford, really, at all. I am not sayinig that =he would. I am simply saying that I cannot answer that question any more fairly than if you asked me about your favorite teacher from grade school. My initial and my gut instinct is no, however As I do not know him, I respectfully decline to answer the question.

The only challenge I have with the enforcement agencies having the database that you suggest is that the attackers of 9/11 were NOT in anyone's radar. They were forgotten, and had slipped out of sight.

Without hitting each of your foreign/terrorist policies individually, I will simply reply to them all as a group with a phrase that I have used before: I firmly believe that you are just simply to naive and wishful to make the tough calls. That is not an insult, and in a "perfect" world it would be a great thing to have our leaders with such attitudes. Terrorists do not want equality and peace. It just is not what they are interested in. Treating them like your crazy uncle or as an unruly child is going to do nothing to make them stop. They want what any other tyrant, and any other school bully wants: Power. Being nice to them is not going to do the first thing to stop them, and even though I firmly support the President with his support of a Middle East Democracy, I very highly doubt that it is going to stop the terrorists. Unfortunately, I really feel that the next few years is going to prove me right on the one time I want to be wrong. And sending them to the World Court is like threatening a drug cartel leader with jail time... all it is going to do is to produce laughter.

I do not believe that every Democrat feels the same way. There are still Democrats in Congress and in the Senate who fully support the War and what our troops are doing. I am simply pointing out that so far, going back to Lyndon Johnson EVERY Democratic president (well... all 3 of them) has cut and run, and has pretty much not had the courage to maintain the tough course of action.

During Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson would start an offensive and then cut and run when election time came around or when the public started protesting. I have done much research for various reason into the US military conflict of the 60's and 70's and have seen in too many sources to disbelieve that America was within 6-8 months of actually breaking the Communists back in South East ASia. When President Johnson backed off (repeatedly) the Communists realized that we were not going to do anything to actually win the war, and started on the public reaction front.

President Carter "talked" with the Iranian collegte students that had our captives for a year, and when we tried to go in and get them and had a challenge, he backed out and decided to "wait them out", and refused to go back in. (for the record, my next door neighbor was on the C-130 and another neighbor was a hostage. Between the 2, I got the scoop)

President Clinton decided that we were going to help the Somalis and then we were going to take out the people who were in charge. One one fateful day, we got into a spot of trouble, and had a kill ratio of almost 500-1. Instead of making the place a parking lot, he cut and ran, and the African nations know not to count on us for ANYTHING because we are cowards, and we are weak because a few backwards villiagers defeated the US Military.

With the current conflict, we are winning, and again, it is 90% of the Democratic party that is screaming for us to cut and run before the job is done. It was ONLY after the polls were showing how P-O's the country was getting at their rhetoric that the Democratic Nation Congress changed it's words. No, it is not all of them... just the very vast majority.

Once again, the blatant disrespect I mentioned was aimed at another post in this thread. I might make, according to you, generalizations, however I have never resorted to being disrespectful. I voice my opinions, and my disapproval in no uncertain terms, however I do not lower myself to name-calling, and disrespectful attitudes... I simply do what you do... present the facts as I see them. and in the part of the post that you used to accuse me of this, there were NO disrespectful statements made. Just the plain truth spoken without the flowers or fertilizer.

I never... and I mean NEVER said that Vietnam wasa a "good war". Even though I support the actions in the Middle East, I do not believe that any war is good... they are, however, occasionally needed. I do not know if Vietnam was truly needed, or if it was something that President Kennedy screwed up that we couldn't walk away from. I do know, that it was not a "good war" and that we should still be undefeated with 1 tie.

Again, Noah, I did not speak of ALL protestors... only the ones that knew ONLY what they heard from their more radical friends and took it as the absolute gospel, and get highly militant about it. To put another face on it, I am referring to the "Black Panther-style" protestors rather than the "Dr. King-style". And again, I made no disrespectful comments. The simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the militant protestors (both this war and the other one we are discussing) continue to scream at the top of their lungs about all of the atrocities that the Americans are committiing, however seem to forget that the enemy were not snow white virgins with unicorns for pets, and the purest of intentions towards their fellow man. I am talking about the protestors who "forget" that the same peace-loving Iraqis who do not want us there were torturing, killing, and keeping their fellow citizens in poverty. IF you will look around you, and at the people that you know, there are too many people who simply spout the popular rhetoric without doing the research themselves.. and that is, indeed, on both sides of the issues. Again, there were no disrespectful words or phrases used... just a simple telling of the facts.

Yes, Noah, the vast majority of Iraqis want the Americans to go home... AFTER the job is finished. They do not want us gone until they are able to do things for themselves. And right now, the Irqaqi people are well aware that their own troops are not ready. There is only one batallion of Iraqi soldiers that are autonomous at this momnet. UNtil theya re all able to be, there is no sense in leaving them alone. That is like giving someone with a learner's permit permission to drive a big rig. It will only cause disaster. As for the sources, I would have to go back and check them... It was a poll that I was reading about somewhere about a week ago.

Anyhow... those are just my thoughts on the subjects, and the facts as I have seen them.

"...and as we drift along, I never fail to be astounded by the things we'll do for promises..."
Ronnie James Dio

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22 posted 12-19-2005 07:54 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

"Noah- I know that you were not being disrespectful.. you, in my opinion, are not capable of such. It was directed at another. I thought I had made that clear later in my post, and I apologize if you thought otherwise."

Awwwwwwww Bradly, I apologize if I had misunderstood where you were going with that disrespect comment. And I certainly believe your criticisms and commentary here is 100% respectful of Passions guidelines too. We truly are a most wonderful, tolerant family and very rarely here have lines been crossed, yay!

"As for your question, I do not know Ford, really, at all. I am not sayinig that =he would. I am simply saying that I cannot answer that question any more fairly than if you asked me about your favorite teacher from grade school. My initial and my gut instinct is no, however As I do not know him, I respectfully decline to answer the question."

That's OK. I actually predicted that would be your kind of answer, and it is a most honest, respectful answer. My point in the question was simply to suggest the gravity of the situation if people like our very own Passions members were subject to this sort of monitoring.

Make no mistake about it that I believe the Democrats have played a pivotal role in encouraging violent forms of foreign policy to this day, and I believe them to very much be part of the obsession to war in our nation among leaders today. In other words, I certainly don't even see the Democrats as a "cut-and-run party" that you suggest them as; they're part of the problem too.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, was the one who officially commenced the U.S-Saudi Royal Family relationship, a deeply ironic relationship in that Roosevelt and the U-S represented democracy and the Saudi Empire represented otherwise, which still endures to this day.

Jimmy Carter was responsible for, obviously, the Carter Doctrine, which is truly the origin of the attitude that "any hostile effort to impede the flow of Persian Gulf oil would be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States, and, as such, would be repelled by any means necessary, including military force." It was truly Carter that has influenced, to this day, the behavior that our young men and women are almost being treated like a natural resource police force, and anyone that threatens to disrupt the flow of resources will be warred at.

I have no clue where that "90% of the Democratic party that is screaming for us to cut and run before the job is done." statistic is coming from, as that's clearly not true as every vote on withdrawal has shown a divided Democratic party, including the very last one over the weekend where half of the Democrats are still for the occupation, but about half of Democrats in fact are eye to eye with Bush on this war, including 2008 presidential hopefuls Hilary Clinton and Joseph Biden.

I never... and I mean NEVER said that Vietnam wasa a "good war". Even though I support the actions in the Middle East, I do not believe that any war is good... they are, however, occasionally needed. I do not know if Vietnam was truly needed, or if it was something that President Kennedy screwed up that we couldn't walk away from. I do know, that it was not a "good war" and that we should still be undefeated with 1 tie."

And I wholeheartedly apologize if I misunderstood you there. I said what I said because I remember in a previous thread, the American Legion one I think it was, where you quoted from a book titled "The Good War" which was about Vietnam, and it seemed to me as though you were mirroring the author's thoughts there. Anyway, I apologize for that misunderstanding, and only add that I, unlike you, believe war shouldn't be necessary, and also don't like to gauge actions on "wins" and "losses", but rather by lessons.

"Again, Noah, I did not speak of ALL protestors... only the ones that knew ONLY what they heard from their more radical friends and took it as the absolute gospel, and get highly militant about it. To put another face on it, I am referring to the "Black Panther-style" protestors rather than the "Dr. King-style". And again, I made no disrespectful comments. The simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the militant protestors (both this war and the other one we are discussing) continue to scream at the top of their lungs about all of the atrocities that the Americans are committiing, however seem to forget that the enemy were not snow white virgins with unicorns for pets, and the purest of intentions towards their fellow man. I am talking about the protestors who "forget" that the same peace-loving Iraqis who do not want us there were torturing, killing, and keeping their fellow citizens in poverty. IF you will look around you, and at the people that you know, there are too many people who simply spout the popular rhetoric without doing the research themselves.. and that is, indeed, on both sides of the issues. Again, there were no disrespectful words or phrases used... just a simple telling of the facts."

And I would agree with you here, too, about the Black Panthers, as well as those who carried out the ideas of Malcolm X in forms of violent demonstration. Those types of protesters were truly troublemakers.

But I certainly dismiss your suggestion that MOST protesters were affliated with the Black Panther and like movements. They were clearly the minority, and unfortunate as it was that their influence tainted some of the best, purest protests, a majority of the protesters were clearly concerned youth, students, families, eventually military veterans, who simply believed this war was wrong and it would be devastating for it to reel on.

And I absolutely not only disagree with, but condemn those types of protesters who defend the actions of what truly were violent, criminal individuals and suggest that the U.S and U.S alone was the enemy, just like I feel about those protesters in LA last week who weren't there to protest capital punishment, but were actually there to say Stanley Tookie Williams was a hero and an icon for nonviolence and such. I have no sympathy for those type of protesters, and whenever I'm on the streets and see the Tualatin Skinheads or people carrying signs that have the words "fascist" or such on them, I walk away.

It's a minority group of protesters that simply has spoiled and amalgamated the larger, purer form of protests, and there's a whole other form of propaganda that continues to be proliferated to this day across the media landscape that these views of this lunatic minority are shared by the views of the crowds in general. Whenever you hear about protests to the war in the media, seldomly as they are, whenever they do make the headlines, they always seem to be addressed in a negative fashion, focusing on the rowdiest of the bunch and not the central message echoing from the heart of the crowd. The lunatic fringe is what's making it in the press.

*

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Ringo
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23 posted 12-19-2005 08:01 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Yes, the book was entitled "The Good War" .. however the author was not saying that it was a good war, rather that it was not as bad as history is showing it to be... not that war isn't bad, however since the victors write histroy, the protesters wrote the history... and they wrote all of the bad things, and none of the "truth"....
That is what is meant by it being a "good war".

"...and as we drift along, I never fail to be astounded by the things we'll do for promises..."
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24 posted 12-19-2005 08:11 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

SLOB? lame duck? offensive?
Ringo, I'm very sorry if those words offend you, but I think that's a funny reaction, considering some of the remarks that have been made on these blue pages regarding many other well known social and political figures. I'm not saying you personally made any such remarks, but SLOB is pretty darn mild compared to what I've heard him called on the streets.
or was it the lame duck comment? Virtually all Presidents are lame ducks in their second terms, since that's all they are allowed nowadays. It's a very well established and acceptable term.
And your assumption is correct. I do NOT respect this particular President's Administration. How does that reflect upon Pips rules of respect? Where have I disrespected anyone here at Pips?
As for all the rest of this thread, and your request for the game playing? I'll decline, thank you, for my own personal need at this time to dis-engage in politics. Too bad I had to venture into this thread, as it goes nowhere but around in the same old circles as always.
Sorry, Noah, for disrupting your thread.
I'll stay out of here after this; but don't think for one moment that I am silently letting this President get away with his deadly games. And as for respect? It doesn't just automatically go with the title. MHO
 
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