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BS: The Degradation of the American Vision

Amos 15 Aug 02 - 12:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 02 - 01:07 PM
Kim C 15 Aug 02 - 01:26 PM
Genie 15 Aug 02 - 01:29 PM
DougR 15 Aug 02 - 02:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 02 - 02:08 PM
Clinton Hammond 15 Aug 02 - 02:09 PM
Ebbie 15 Aug 02 - 02:14 PM
Bobert 15 Aug 02 - 02:32 PM
Genie 15 Aug 02 - 02:34 PM
Big Mick 15 Aug 02 - 03:00 PM
Kim C 15 Aug 02 - 03:59 PM
artbrooks 15 Aug 02 - 04:47 PM
Amos 15 Aug 02 - 05:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 02 - 05:48 PM
Kim C 15 Aug 02 - 05:59 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 02 - 06:35 PM
artbrooks 15 Aug 02 - 06:37 PM
NicoleC 15 Aug 02 - 06:58 PM
Big Mick 15 Aug 02 - 07:07 PM
Genie 15 Aug 02 - 09:29 PM
Bobert 15 Aug 02 - 10:29 PM
DougR 15 Aug 02 - 10:29 PM
Bobert 15 Aug 02 - 10:52 PM
Big Mick 15 Aug 02 - 11:05 PM
NicoleC 15 Aug 02 - 11:54 PM
DougR 16 Aug 02 - 02:49 AM
Amos 16 Aug 02 - 04:31 AM
Kim C 16 Aug 02 - 10:01 AM
DougR 16 Aug 02 - 02:10 PM
Genie 16 Aug 02 - 02:13 PM
Kim C 16 Aug 02 - 02:21 PM
Genie 16 Aug 02 - 02:32 PM
DougR 16 Aug 02 - 03:07 PM
Ebbie 16 Aug 02 - 03:30 PM
Bobert 16 Aug 02 - 03:32 PM
Genie 16 Aug 02 - 04:14 PM
Ebbie 16 Aug 02 - 04:19 PM
NicoleC 16 Aug 02 - 05:15 PM
DougR 16 Aug 02 - 05:49 PM
Bobert 16 Aug 02 - 08:55 PM
Genie 16 Aug 02 - 09:24 PM
NicoleC 16 Aug 02 - 09:46 PM
artbrooks 16 Aug 02 - 09:56 PM
Bobert 16 Aug 02 - 10:55 PM
DougR 16 Aug 02 - 11:40 PM
NicoleC 17 Aug 02 - 01:03 AM
DougR 17 Aug 02 - 02:57 AM
Bobert 17 Aug 02 - 08:28 AM
NicoleC 17 Aug 02 - 03:09 PM

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Subject: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Amos
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 12:39 PM

Just in case we ant to elevate our attention from the theft of bumwad and the clipping of curlies, a couple of recent excerpts from hijinks in high places as documented by Declan McCullagh:

Item: Back to the Star Chamber, Gang! (Or: Justice: Ask the Man Who Owns One)

[Let's get this right: 1. Ashcroft asks for new "antiterror" powers last
fall. 2. Congress near-unanimously gives him what he wants in the USA
Patriot Act. 3. Ashcroft refuses to say how they're being used. 4. Whoops!
It turns out that the congresscritters forgot to put something in the law
that *requires* Ashcroft to answer any questions about how his brand-new
"antiterror" powers are being used. (Detention camps, perhaps?) Nice job,
everyone! --Declan]

---

>http://>www.nytimes.com/2002/08/15/politics/15PATR.html

August 15, 2002

Justice Dept. Balks at Effort to Study Antiterror Powers
By ADAM CLYMER

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 — The Justice Department has rebuffed House Judiciary
Committee efforts to check up on its use of new antiterrorism powers in the
latest confrontation between the Bush administration and Congress over
information sought by the legislative branch.

Instead of answering committee questions, the Justice Department said in a
letter that it would send replies to the House Intelligence Committee,
which has not sought the information and does not plan to oversee the
workings of the U.S.A. Patriot Act.

Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the Wisconsin Republican who is
chairman of the panel, and Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, its
ranking Democrat, sent Attorney General John Ashcroft a list of 50
questions about the use of the new powers in the act, which the committee
worked on before Congress approved it in October.

They asked about "roving" surveillance; lists of calls to and from
telephone numbers; demands for bookstore, library and newspaper records;
and subpoenas under the amended Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
served on Americans or permanent residents. Some simpler questions, about
Immigration and Naturalization Service employees the Canadian border, were
answered.

Mr. Conyers complained that the letter was "yet another shot in this
administration's ongoing war against open and accountable government." He
said Mr. Ashcroft was telling Congress that "his activities are not to be
oversighted."

[...]



Item: U.S Citizens In Detention Camps -- Ashcrofts Brave New World



August 14, 2002   

COMMENTARY
Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision
Attorney general shows himself as a menace to liberty.


   
      
By JONATHAN TURLEY, Jonathan Turley is a professor of constitutional law at George Washington University.


Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's announced desire for camps for U.S. citizens he deems to be "enemy combatants" has moved him from merely being a political embarrassment to being a constitutional menace.

Ashcroft's plan, disclosed last week but little publicized, would allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights and access to the courts by declaring them enemy combatants.

The proposed camp plan should trigger immediate congressional hearings and reconsideration of Ashcroft's fitness for this important office. Whereas Al Qaeda is a threat to the lives of our citizens, Ashcroft has become a clear and present threat to our liberties.

The camp plan was forged at an optimistic time for Ashcroft's small inner circle, which has been carefully watching two test cases to see whether this vision could become a reality. The cases of Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi will determine whether U.S. citizens can be held without charges and subject to the arbitrary and unchecked authority of the government.

Hamdi has been held without charge even though the facts of his case are virtually identical to those in the case of John Walker Lindh. Both Hamdi and Lindh were captured in Afghanistan as foot soldiers in Taliban units. Yet Lindh was given a lawyer and a trial, while Hamdi rots in a floating Navy brig in Norfolk, Va.

This week, the government refused to comply with a federal judge who ordered that he be given the underlying evidence justifying Hamdi's treatment. The Justice Department has insisted that the judge must simply accept its declaration and cannot interfere with the president's absolute authority in "a time of war."

In Padilla's case, Ashcroft initially claimed that the arrest stopped a plan to detonate a radioactive bomb in New York or Washington, D.C. The administration later issued an embarrassing correction that there was no evidence Padilla was on such a mission. What is clear is that Padilla is an American citizen and was arrested in the United States--two facts that should trigger the full application of constitutional rights.

Ashcroft hopes to use his self-made "enemy combatant" stamp for any citizen whom he deems to be part of a wider terrorist conspiracy.

Perhaps because of his discredited claims of preventing radiological terrorism, aides have indicated that a "high-level committee" will recommend which citizens are to be stripped of their constitutional rights and sent to Ashcroft's new camps.

Few would have imagined any attorney general seeking to reestablish such camps for citizens. Of course, Ashcroft is not considering camps on the order of the internment camps used to incarcerate Japanese American citizens in World War II. But he can be credited only with thinking smaller; we have learned from painful experience that unchecked authority, once tasted, easily becomes insatiable.

We are only now getting a full vision of Ashcroft's America. Some of his predecessors dreamed of creating a great society or a nation unfettered by racism. Ashcroft seems to dream of a country secured from itself, neatly contained and controlled by his judgment of loyalty.

For more than 200 years, security and liberty have been viewed as coexistent values. Ashcroft and his aides appear to view this relationship as lineal, where security must precede liberty.

Since the nation will never be entirely safe from terrorism, liberty has become a mere rhetorical justification for increased security.

Ashcroft is a catalyst for constitutional devolution, encouraging citizens to accept autocratic rule as their only way of avoiding massive terrorist attacks.

His greatest problem has been preserving a level of panic and fear that would induce a free people to surrender the rights so dearly won by their ancestors.

In "A Man for All Seasons," Sir Thomas More was confronted by a young lawyer, Will Roper, who sought his daughter's hand. Roper proclaimed that he would cut down every law in England to get after the devil.

More's response seems almost tailored for Ashcroft: "And when the last law was down and the devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? ... This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast ... and if you cut them down--and you are just the man to do it--do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"

Every generation has had Ropers and Ashcrofts who view our laws and traditions as mere obstructions rather than protections in times of peril. But before we allow Ashcroft to denude our own constitutional landscape, we must take a stand and have the courage to say, "Enough."

Every generation has its test of principle in which people of good faith can no longer remain silent in the face of authoritarian ambition. If we cannot join together to fight the abomination of American camps, we have already lost what we are defending.




Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 01:07 PM

"Of course, Ashcroft is not considering camps on the order of the internment camps used to incarcerate Japanese American citizens in World War II."

Is that "of course" being used ironically or naively?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 01:26 PM

I thought you couldn't hold someone indefinitely without charging them with something.

Now, I am all for punishing the bad guys BUT let's do it the Right Way. I am all for the bad guys getting a fair trial, because that's the way we're supposed to do things around here. And I would also add that especially in these precarious times, we should pay careful attention to how that system is supposed to work. (Did that make any sense? I know what I'm trying to say but I don't know if I said it right...)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Genie
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 01:29 PM

Thanks for posting these excerpts, Amos.

Just yesterday I heard Dubya saying (and my memory may constitute a slight paraphrase), "...I have sent a bill to Congress and I urge them to pass it to give me the power to keep this country secure." [The underscored part is pretty close to an exact quote.] When I heard that, my immediate thought was, "Whoa! When did we start being a country that wanted a Lord High Protector?" It's not supposed to be the job of the executive branch of our government, in and of itself, to "keep the country secure."

The Ascroft/Bush proposals re "enemy combatants" and people associated with "terrorist" activities/organizations are especially scary when many in the government are quick to label tree-sitters and protesters who block city streets as "engaging in terrorist activities."

Genie


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: DougR
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 02:02 PM

All Bush was doing, Genie, was asking Congress to pass legislation creating the new agency for Home Security. That's hardly an earth shaking pronouncement is it? It's been in the news for months. It's not as though Congress opposes creating such an agency, they are at odds over how much power the new head of the agency will have over the employees of the agency. All Bush is asking for is the authority every president since Jimmy Carter has had to exempt certain employees during a national emergency from being able to strike instead of performing their duties. I believe that conflict will be resolved soon.

If the Executive Branch is not responsible for homeland security, which branch of government is? The president is Chief Executive of the military, right? :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 02:08 PM

Here's a link to the definition of terrorism in the UK terrorism Act 2000.

It was written in such a way that it could definitely be used against civil disodedience if they wanted to; and it's been pointed out that if it had been in place, people expressing sympathy for the African National Congress during the time of Apartheid woudl heva been liable to be cxaught by it.

Actually it reads to me as if a strict interpretation of the definition of terrorism would include activities of a lot of governments. If the activity "(a) involves serious violence against a person, or (b) involves serious damage to property" and "the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public" that's terrorism, according to the act.

Which definitely would seem to mean that Tony Blair, George Bush, as well as people like Sharon and Saddam would be properly classed as terrorists, alongside Nobel Peace Prizewinner Nelson Mandela.

"the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public",


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 02:09 PM

The theft of bumwad and the clipping of curlies is SOOOO much more interesting though...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 02:14 PM

"...cannot interfere with the president's absolute authority in "a time of war." Since there is no way to win a war against terror (succeeding generations take care of that) just when are we supposed to go back to the normal - and constitutional - safeguards against abuse? Sorry, DougR, closing our eyes and following blindly whatever dictates our government pronounces just does not cut it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 02:32 PM

Yeah, what ever happened to the War Powers Act? Presidents have way too much power to screw up with little standing in their way. Now, if Jimmy Carter is President I'm less worried though still of the opinion that it's up to Congress to make the call. The lone exception would be to react to incoming nuclear warheads, which ain't gonna happen.

But, ya' know, it gets real scarey to let the someone like Junior Bin Laden have this power because he is an ill tempered man with an agenda pushed by those who satnd to gain the most from war!!! And now we're just signing off on the concept of freedom in the name of national security. Just who is it that holding a gun at ourt heads other than ourselves for continuing to put forth failed foeign policies that haven't worked in the past and have no chance of working in the future.

I mean, lets get real here. Bin Laden don't scare me but I can't say the same for his cousin, Dubya, and the recycled retreads that surrounf him...

Give my boney, Wes Ginny butt a break...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Genie
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 02:34 PM

Kim C., You say "...I am all for punishing the bad guys BUT... I am all for the bad guys getting a
 fair trial... "  That's exactly the point:  the law says that you're presumed not to be a "bad guy" until your've had your fair trial and been convicted.

Doug R, I know what Bush was referring to (and he's asking for more than just preventing Federal employees from striking), and, even though I'm not crazy about the legislation itself, it was his "take" on it that really struck me -- the idea that he was going to protect all the rest of us.  Sure, the executive branch enforces laws and the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed services, but that doesn't make our country an autocracy.  The checks and balances among the three branches of government are there for a reason.  All three branches of government are and should be involved in ensuring "homeland security"--especially when you consider the rights of citizens to be secure in their own homes from unreasonable searches and seizures and secure from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

The "in time of war" scenario really doesn't fit the "War On Terror" because there's no defined enemy (especially no country or government we're "at war" with) and no clear objective or duration.  Ebbie said it well.
 
 

Genie


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 03:00 PM

Hey Doug.......I know you are a right wing zealot and all (tongue in cheek, in case you couldn't tell)......but have you ever heard of the balance of powers? You right wingers are so fond of telling us poor, deluded folks on the left side of the aisle what the "intent of the founding Fathers" was, what about this? The facts of the matter are that the the successful faction of the founders of this country (there was also a faction that wanted to crown Washington a King) were very concerned about the centralization of power in any one branch of government. Supposedly the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces only has power to command once it has been granted by Congress, and so on. But this administration is troubled by these bothersome democratic principles. Because they know what is best for us. Hence they allow their buddies in big business to pile on their pet projects in the budget for the war on "terror".

The suspension of civil liberties under the guise of fighting terror is a ruse for the takeover of the system. It is that simple. Everyday the red herring ploy becomes more evident. It is our civil liberties that actually sets our system apart from most. I am not willing to sacrifice a one of them to this supposed war on terror. To do so means those that hate our system win. All they have to do is kill another bunch and we will become more fascist. Not me, sir.

Do we have to respond? Absolutely. I have the greatest respect for our partners around the world, but if they don't understand that we must capture and prosecute the killers of 3,000+ people, then I say do what we must. But the gravest sin of all would be to use the memory of those victims for political gain of ones personal agenda. Those that do it are guilty of a treason of the worst sort.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 03:59 PM

The law just says you're not presumed to be a guilty bad guy until you've had a trial. ;-) Anyway what I meant was that I am all for the process, when it works like it's supposed to.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: artbrooks
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 04:47 PM

Doug, I think that the Pres is asking that employees of the new agency be forbidden from forming or belonging to workplace unions. I think that it is asking to much of them to give this up, especially since nearly all of the agencies that are supposed to be merged ionto the new one have existing unions. Almost all Federal employees can belong to unions, except those in positions (such as the one I used to have before I retired) that are executive or managerial. That includes those that work for the Department of Defense (and Luke AFB, in your neighborhood, has an active chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees). No Federal employee has the right to strike, under any circumstances. Its my opinion that Mr. Bush is seeing this as nothing more than an opportunity to engage in some petty anti-union activity.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Amos
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:35 PM

The core question is, are we riding the wave into an age of American Fascism, where the dreams of a Jeffersonian republic honoring the self-determination of an educated population iof citizens is steamrollered by other sorts of dreams altogether -- like being praised by Daddy for killing that nasty Saddam feller, and making lots of dough for the dynasty?

If that's the train we're on, fellas, shouldn't somebody jump for the emergency brake cord about now??

If our half-elected Pretender offered half as much real information to the Great American Public as he does rabble-rousing in one form or another, we'd all be world-class diplomats instead of dumbstruck marks for the Great American Sting operation.

I would like to add one thought: being a deer in the headlights is perfectly natural to a deer. Being unable to perceive the inconceivable is a normal human reaction. It froze good Germans at the stick on Krystallnicht, and allowed Brown Shirts to terrorize their own kind. It did the same thing to the Japanese people who were smart enough to know that war was the last hting they really wanted, but they were trained ot keep their mouths shut and respect authority. Are we now also so conditioned?

It would pay us to examine whether or not we are suffering from Bambi-meets-Big Rig syndrome. And shake ourselves out of a stilled silence before we lose the last shred of Jefferson, Paine, Adams and , yes, even Hamilton's vision of what our human existence could become if managed with decency and care.


"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be
purchased at the price of chains and
slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! "


Regards,


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:48 PM

"In a time of war" - I hadn't heard there has been any war declared at this time by the only people who have the constitutional power in the USA to declare war. Presidents aren't allowed to do that off their own bat, are they?

Of course over here the right to declare war doesn't lie with Parliament, but with the Crown (which of course means the Prime Minister - I don't think Lizzie has much say in the matter).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:59 PM

Art, I was just reading an article on the Drudge Report about the air marshalls - they are not allowed to form unions. Many of them are working very long hours and think they're being taken advantage of. But they don't have any leverage, because they can't form a union.

I guess they could always get other jobs, though...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 06:35 PM

...if you put a frog into cool water, and raise the temperature slooowly.....

I am VERY worried about dozens of variables in this new equation. I don't doubt for a minute that GW wants to 'protect' us and stop terrorism....but neither do I doubt that he see it as an opportunity to add powers under that umbrella that he would have NEVER gotten in normal times..and we shall see how those powers are used in the next few years, hmmmm?

(Defining what has happened, loosely, as 'war' gives him much leverage, whether it is 'really' war or not!)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: artbrooks
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 06:37 PM

Yes, that's true, Kim. Federal law enforcement officers are another exception (not a universal exception), as are members of the military (but not civilian employees of the military or law enforcement agencies).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: NicoleC
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 06:58 PM

'Cmon, Dougie. Protecting the Constitution from being trampled by self-serving would-be tyrants is one area where the died-hard conservatives and the raging liberals can agree. The so-called Patriot Act clearly violates at least 4 constitutional amendments, and Ashcroft would love to get rid of more of those inconvenient liberties. I'm sure the courts will toss it out eventually, but how many innocents will suffer in the meantime?

I'd love to toss Ascroft in a prison camp on the grounds that HE'S a threat to our national interests and see how quickly he whines about his rights being violated.

A well-intentioned dictator is still a dictator, and they're notoriously hard to get rid of once they've wiggled out a secure spot for themselves. What's next, martial law?

I don't have a hard time imagining that Dubya & Co. would cancel the next election on the premise that it was bad for the "war" if he thought he could get away with it. What do you think, catters -- would Americans revolt against such a move, or would the only reaction be a lot of whining and newspaper editorials?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 07:07 PM

Remember, when a shyster is trying to get you to look one way, look the other. The war on terrorism is a Red Herring. As is the idea that we have to take out Saddam. This man and his despicable henchmen are using the current outrage over the heinous attack of 9-11-2001 to gain other objectives.

Let us examine the Hussein problem for a moment. Saddam Hussein is a two bit player. His most effective tactic is the classic carrot and stick. He maintains his power by using the carrot (money) or the stick (the military and his domestic espionage capabilities). Any neophyte student of the use of tactics knows that the key to taking down someone using this tactic is to simply take away either the carrot, or take away the stick. A bit of an oversimplification, I'll grant you, but true nonetheless. It is why the whole Gulf War was unneccesary. And why the boycott since has been ineffective at anything except killing ordinary Iraqi's. If we had really been interested in taking this man out, we would have put an absolutely airtight embargo on his ability to pump or refine his oil. This would have dried up his money and taken the ability to hand out carrots. Instead we spend a massive amount of international chits on trying to enforce an embargo that was unworkable and that hurt ordinary citizens. This led to a natural protest by our neighbors on this planet and that emboldens Saddam to the point he is at today. The whole thing was screwy and actually enhanced the Moslem terror groups ability to gain sympathy and supporters in the Arab world. The implications of these actions have led us to a very dangerous time and I am not sure we will be able to back away. I told another Mudcatter who is the mother of a 17 year old son that she was right to be afraid. I stand by that.

Today I read a newspaper article that reported about a college that was offering a course that gave an introduction to Islam by having the students study about 35 passages from the Qu'ran. A group of parents were protesting this saying it might cause the students to convert. What has happened to us? How has the study of others in the effort to know them and their religion become a thing of fear? Are these parents so insecure in there own faith and teachings that they fear their children could be led away so easily? And what does that say about their beliefs and faith? Is it not better that their young are interested? What is the future of intellectual discourse if this goes on?

I am more afraid now than I have ever been. Not of dying myself. Not of someone kicking down my door. Not of having to fight an enemy. These things don't frighten me. What I am afraid of is the polluting of our young ones minds. I am afraid of a rise of xenophobia and racism that will have tragic results. I am afraid of this great beacon of democratic republicanism, freedom, and diversity descending into a fascist, self involved state. I am afraid of going the way of Rome. Please...........Please..........pay attention right now. Your grandchildren will praise you for doing so.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Genie
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 09:29 PM

Kim, I was just paraphrasing the "presumption of innocence" concept in the light of your words.  People may label you a "bad guy" for whatever reason they like, but the law doesn't consider you anything of the sort unless or until you've been convicted.  : )

I'm for that process (that presumption) even when it doesn't work like it's supposed to -- even when it allows a guilty person to escape punishment for lack of proof of guilt -- , because it is so fundamental a civil right.
 

Well said, Amos, Nicole, Mick.   [Amos, you do know that last quote was from one of our founding fathers you left off the list, don't you? :-)   ]

Genie


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 10:29 PM

Yeah, well said Amos, Nicole and Big Mick. Like I've said before. There are too many ties to the Bushes and Bin Ladens to not stink of a conspiracy. On the day after 9-11, when almost all airplanes were grounded there was one airplane flying freely arounf the US. It was a Sauid airplane. Its mission? Collect all of Bin Laden's family memebers and carry them to safety. No, not planes to carry Senators and Congressmen to safety, but Bin Laden's family, and this against the advice of the F.B.I. and the C.I.A....

Hmmmmmmmm? Now this one ain'r even ginna make the Wes Ginny I.Q. test, folks, but ol Bobert is sniffin some purdy srinky stuff here... and its all comin' from the White House....

Yeah, don't believe me? Check out the BBC. Get the facts... The US media is completely involved in Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft's plan to cancel the future of the founding father's dreams and ideals....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: DougR
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 10:29 PM

Gee whiz, Bobert, no wonder you're not afraid of old Bin Laden, he'd never FIND you in West By God Virginia!

Mick: "Supposed war?" You really don't think we are at war with terrorists?

McGrath: Nope. President's can't officially declare war.

Nicolema'dear: You probably heard on the radio or TV today that a federal court upheld the Justice Department's right to withhold the names of the detainees ...at least for the time being. Conservatives will rule the world!!! :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 10:52 PM

DougR: You're going just a little too far with the Conservative Repub thing. Iz beginning to sniff a conspiracy here. Your Rush Limburger facade is starting to melt in the heat... I mean, your arguments are becoming so much more Archie Bunherish in their content. I mean no offense. Just an observation.

HEY, CATTERS: DougR is just another commie in disguise. Is that unbelievable, or what? byr ut seems to be true.

Well, Dougie, welcome aboard. We're gonna need all the help we can get against the Bush/Cheneys, but heck, you know that....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 11:05 PM

Doug, isn't it funny how Vietnam and Korea were never called a war and no one made a big deal out of it. Hell no we aren't at war with the terrorists, would you stop? You are driving me nuts! You are an intelligent man, who usually carries the Republican and conservative viewpoints well. But we are not at war "with terrorists". We are hunting mass murderers, and we should hunt them to the ends of the earth. We are after the bastards responsible for killing 3,000 people and anyone who isn't with us in hunting them is abetting murder. We are after the bastards that planned a heinous crime. If this is war, where is Berlin? In other words, what is the objective? Is it to wipe out all terrorists? Which terrorists? Who gets to make the distinction on what constitutes a terrorist? Is it the Saudi's who abetted the killers of 3,000? Oh, wait, they control oil.........and that is the business of who? I guess we mean all the terrorists except the good ones? And what of the civil liberties, Doug? Is this now going to be civil liberties that Dubya thinks are the good ones? I am reminded of Ross Perot's plan to get rid of drug and gang related violence by surrounding neighborhoods with APC's and doing house by house searches. OH............you mean that it was a greater good, so fuck the Constitution. Same here.

No, Doug, I don't think we are at war with "the terrorists". I think we have some hunting to do, and the rest is a smoke screen for a larger agenda. And the signs are all over the place. Am I a paranoid? Nope, I just think the bastards are after us.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: NicoleC
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 11:54 PM

No, Doug, I don't think we are at war with "terrorists," because if we were, the US government wouldn't be harboring so many.

For a while there, it appeared that we were at war with the mountains of Afghanistan, Afghani wedding parties, and those evil, evil charity people who distribute safe birthing kits to Afghan women.

As for the courts -- well, the last time we tried secret military tribunals, they weren't overturned until long after the damage was done. It will be declared unconstitutional EVENTUALLY, but I don't except it to happen anytime soon. (Unless, of course, there's a "Handmaid's Tale"-esque theocracy that manages to sieze control in the meantime and do away with silly ideas like judicial oversight... a tale that seems less and less like idle speculation with each passing year.)

Speaking of idle speculation, where's the opinions on my question -- do enough Americans have the backbone for a revolution if the worst happens? Or are too many of us sheep who bleat and whine, but take to action? I'd like to think I'd find myself behind a sniper's rifle or at least in the middle of a rampagin mob, but maybe I am just one of the sheep, too...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: DougR
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 02:49 AM

Well, Nicole, you could join InOBU's Brigade. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Amos
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 04:31 AM

Well spoke, again, Nicole and Mick.

I do not know about revolution -- the dynamics are so different than they were three hundred years ago, it seems, looking at the Military Industrial complex and the amazing powers of the Feds' budget, network, technology -- but perhaps all this is just as it was for Tom Paine (yes, G, I know who he was! C'mon!) and his fellows. An overwhelming risk absolutely discomfiting to contemplate -- but back then, the militia and the King's Best both used comparable arms!

But for the love of God do NOT BE SILENT!! At least, if nothing greater can be done, TALK BACK!!


A




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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Kim C
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 10:01 AM

Yes, Genie, we agree. :-)

I don't know what to make of it all. On the one hand you have the mass murderers, like Mick said, and on the other hand... well, on the other hand, you have different fingers, don't you? I mean, I suppose each side can present viable arguments in their favor, and each side can present viable arguments against the other. Isn't there anything in between?

I do know that I am completely against US citizens of any nationality being hounded because they "might" be "perceived" as being an "enemy."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: DougR
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 02:10 PM

Mick: we simply disagree I suppose. Nothing unusual about that. I just think some of you are finding it difficult to think of war in today's terms. I believe the terrorist groups (most of them at least)have been identified. They are not "countries" to be sure, and some of them could be your neighbors, but I truly believe (admittedly the minority view in this thread) that we are at war. At war with terrorism. It is a war we should have become involved in years ago, but it wasn't until the terrorists attacked us here in the U. S. that we started paying attention to the terrorist threat.

Because of the nature of this war, it may be necessary for the U. S., acting unilaterally, or with some allies (which I think will be the case)act rather than just react, which is what we did after 9/11.

Ok. Fire away! (Just a figure of speech, Larry) :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Genie
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 02:13 PM

Amos, IIRC, the next words are "I know not what course others may take, but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

If so, it was not Tom Paine, it was that good old Irish-American patriot:
(everybody, all together now)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Kim C
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 02:21 PM

Patrick Henry.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Genie
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 02:32 PM

Kim, I would add that it is not only US citizens who should not be deprived of due process because they might be perceived as being an enemy. Immigration status and deportation is one kind of issue, but, as I understand it, the presumption of innocence under the (criminal) law and many other rights apply to legal immigrants (including short-term visitors), as well. I.e., I don't believe it is Constitutionally permissible to incarcerate non-citizens who are here legally and hold them indefinitely without benefit of counsel, etc.

And, Amos, you said the magic words: Speak out!

Ever notice how talk radio is saturated with one rather narrow range of political opinion (and slant on the "facts") and both network and cable news are flooded with a slightly different, but still very narrow range of opinion (and slant)? Since the mega businesses who control our mass media won't encourage or provide a platform for fair, open, honest debate of important issues, anyone whose views are not represented in those "mainstream" channels has got to work even harder to have those views heard.

Genie


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: DougR
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 03:07 PM

Genie: Why don't you and other mudcatters start a radio station! I understand it can be done very economically on the Internet. I agree that most radio talk shows favor the conservative point of view. There must be a reason for that though. Think there might be more conservatives than liberals suspect there are?

Phil Donohue has begun a TV talks show similar to the one Bill O'Reilly has on the Fox News Network. His would definitely be the voice of liberalism. I think Donohue is on MSNBC.

As to the question of "rights" of non-citizens, it is my understanding that they are entitled to the same legal rights as citizens. The one exception would be in times of war or national emergency, which is the state in which we find ourselves at the moment. Hundreds of foreign nationals are being held without due process, but that is only because the Justice Department believes they may represent a threat to our safety. The courts will decide who is right on that issue. The good old ACLU is out there representing the POV of most of you folks, so you should feel very secure, I would think, that your view will prevail.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 03:30 PM

DougR, you did catch on that Archie was meant to be funny, didn't you? I really don't want to offend you but the words you use and the views you espouse could have come straight out of his mouth.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 03:32 PM

Based on what I am reading here, I firmly believe the "revolution" has begun. Actually, I think it began when 5 conservative judges called off democracy. Yeah, there was a lot of anger at Bill Clinton but it was anger based on jealousy rather than issues.

I think that over the next year the lights are going to come on in the heads of a lot of folks who either have never seen it or forgot what it looked like the last time they did see it. Yep, I guess it took someone as brazen as Junior Bin Laden to deemonstrate so clearly "their" plan. And this isn't parania. Just reality. We know the ruling class has been real pissed off since the 60's which was the last time that "working" America had a glimpse of their evilness, tyheir greed, their Godlessness and their absolute will to own and control every molicule on the planet. Well, we have Junior and his henchmen standing there with their chins out, daring anyone to mess with them. They're huffing and puffing and getting ready to blow your house down. John Ashcroft is the most dangerous man in the world. And he calls himself a Christain. Well, I'd like to be at the Pearly Gates when he gets there with his briefcase of rationiztions.

Yeah, I know I'm approaching "rantsburg" but I just did wantg to make one point perfectly clear to any would be participants in the coming 'revolution". We're going to have to win it on our terms, not theirs. We'll have to out think them, out PR them, out organize them but most importantly we're going to have to do it in a manner that brings more and more warriors to the front and the only way to do this is thru civil disopbeydieance and uncompromised non violence. Violence is their way. A true revolution has to deliver mankind a few steps forward and killing folks is hundreds and thousands of years backwards.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Genie
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 04:14 PM

Doug, I'm sure you know that the predominance of particular views on the mass media is not commensurate with people's voting patterns, among other things. Listener/viewer numbers are important to the decision makers, but they generally care more about how you vote at Wal-Mart than how you vote at the polls. They also care mostly about certain "demographics," wherein they believe people's buying habits are most malleable. Moreover, you can bet that people like Rupert Murdock have their own political views and to some extent will promote those views via the media that they own, rather than always going with what the majority want.

I understand, BTW, that when Americans were polled, quite a substantial majority wanted both Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader to be included in the 2000 Presidential debates. Were "the people's wishes" catered to? No, because the two major parties didn't want third parties to be given such a big microphone.

Further, Doug, I was not aware that there was such a thing as "the conservative point of view" in the sense of a set of beliefs and attitudes that "conservatives" share on all issues. It may be that more people call themselves "conservative" than "liberal" right now (partly because there's continuous "conservative" propaganda presented about 80% of the time on the radio [while TV is much more likely to present debates], but that does not mean that most Americans agree with Rush Limbaugh and his cronies on most issues. (And Donohue is nowhere near as far to the left as Alan Keys and others are to the right. You're not likely to see Angela Davis having a talk show on a big cable network any time soon.)

But your point about starting a radio station on the net is well taken. The internet may yet be Joe and Jane Public's salvation from the tyranny of corporate ownership of everything. It's already helping folks find music that the big corporations wouldn't promote, and it does allow people to self publish, etc. Not a bad idea to break the "Disney-Time/Warner-AOL-etc." habit.

As for holding foreign nationals without due process in a time of national emergency, in limited circumstances that might be justified, but this "emergency" is much too nebulous in the definition of its scope and duration to be good justification for such.

Genie


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 04:19 PM

"Violence is their way. A true revolution has to deliver mankind a few steps forward and killing folks is hundreds and thousands of years backwards. " Thanks, Bobert. I want to go on record as agreeing that violence is not the answer.

Civil disobedience and focused non-violence, however, are legitimate. If citizens march in the streets or gather enmasse at strategic points, whether it's in blocking roadways or convoys or entrances to important buildings, local authorities will have to pay attention. And if they have to, it will resonate upward. It took quite awhile during the Viet Nam years, but it did work.

Didn't Jefferson himself say that revolution is essential, and needed every few years? We're way overdue.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: NicoleC
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 05:15 PM

Ebbie, Bobert, I agree. To a certain extent.

Are we in the middle of a revolution? I'd say we definately are, but the revolution isn't happening with the people; those groups that are always trying to seize personal power for themselves are starting to succeed, and doing it in a tearing hurry. But very few people are fighting back, least of all our legislative and judiciary branches, and it starting to look more like a coup.

History shows us that this happens from time to time, the pendulum of power swings toward a small group, but eventually our basic belief in democracy brings us back to the center. Personally, I haven't lived through any of those past swings (at least not of an age to really be aware), so it's hard for me to judge. But it looks like power is shifting at a much higher rate of speed than it has in the past, mostly because few people are resisting it.

Is it the time for discussion, demonstrations, and even acts of civil disobediance? Absolutely. Violence would be self-defeating. (Although I think the end of the Vietnam war had a lot more to do with the goverment using political unrest to save face while removing themselves from a situation they didn't want to be in. But I was about 2 years old, so what do I know?)

But let's not forget one of those great shifts of power in our history -- our Civil War. The northern states insisted that the federal government should hold more political power. The southern states disagreed, they still held that the local and state governments were more important. A bloody conflict followed, and our state laws have been much weaker since. That was 140 years ago. 225 years ago, we overthrew our British government. A few years after that, we shredded our own government and created the one we (mostly) have today.

I don't think that we'd have another all-out war like the Civil War, but I do think that a war *could* happen, given the speed with which the executive branch is accumulating power and their disregard for basic civil liberties and the Constitution.

Our founding fathers practically invented guerilla warfare and terrorist tactics to fight off a vastly superior enemy. We still have wacky "militia" groups hiding out in the countryside waging war via fake anthrax letters to abortion clinics and setting bombs around federal buildings. The mechanism and the knowledge is in place for a nasty conflict.

The frog is being lulled to sleep on the stove, but he might wake up. If it does come to that, I am not going to sit in the street and peacefully wait for a tank to roll over me. I love peace, but I'm not a pacifist.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: DougR
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 05:49 PM

Ebbie: Archie? McCleish? I KNOW you didn't mean Bunker.

Genie, Bobert, Nicole: Revolution? You mean like fighting? Surely you jest. I think we are about as far from a revolution as we are from converting the mideast to democracy.

If you want to march, though, I say right on! Walking is a healthy pastime. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 08:55 PM

Ebbie, Ebbie, Ebbie: First of all, bless your heart. Your determination is a wonder to witness.

Now, hang with me here. When I was working for the Richmond Community Action Program (R-CAP) in the 60's as a community organizer I met Rev. Rotan Lee, a black activist, with whom I spent a lot of my time. The Reverand had a way of teaching and I'll be the first to admit, that I needed some teaching.

Well, one day her told a story of a racist white writer who had published a book about the superiority of the white race. Now this writer was to speak at a black college and walked into the auditorium, stepped to the podium, cleared her throat and calmly said, "You folks are descendents of apes and monkeys..." and then stepped back as those in attendence preceeded to jump up and down, making hand jestures, screaming and prettty much acting rather unruley. After about a minute of of this behavior this writer stepped back to the microphone, cleared her voice and calmly said, "I rest my case..." and walked off the stage. Hmmmmmmmm? Whats the Bobert saying here?

The Who said it best when they sang, "We won't get fooled again." This time, it is very, very important to not let their "tapes" stop us. The Yippies and anarchists did more to kill the last attempted revolition that anything the other side could have thought of. The other side even infiltrated radical srudent groups trying to get them to move from non-violence toward a behavior that would justify things such as Kent State.

We have a responsibility this time around to keep the fight on our terms. Not theirs. If we do, then no one is going to be run over by tanks. And if someone does then the other side be be seen for waht they are and they will loose at that very moment because the moms and pops will join the movement and that scares the crap out of them. The Moritorium was moms and pops and baby strolers and that scared the absolute crap out of them. The only way we're gonna get the moms and pops is to hold the course.

We can win this one if we keep it on our terms and that is the only way. Not their rules.

Think about what I've said, Ebbie. I know you are a good person and I want to know that we can count on you to not blink. It tales more heart to stand up to a tank with out a gun than to be gunned down playing their way.

End of Bobert's sermon, but this is a very important one that I feel has to be delivered and redelivered over as we go about taking back our country.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Genie
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 09:24 PM

Right on, Bobert!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: NicoleC
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 09:46 PM

Bobert, I wish I could agree. But most of those moms and pops see the world through the TV screen and the news they are told. Control the media, and you control public opinion.

In the (hopefully unlikely) event that our government did turn the military on a crowd of dissenters, the people would be portrayed as violent terrorists and as a threat to Homeland Security, whether they did anything or not. That is, if infiltrators didn't start the violence themselves. And in this climate, your average citizen is swallowing the terrorist excuse hook, line and sinker.

No, I'm not this paranoid :) I brought up the subject of public revolution as a worst case scenario. Or maybe best case scenario. Guess it depends on how the revolt went ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: artbrooks
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 09:56 PM

"War with Iraq", "civil disobedience", "dissenters in the streets", "guerilla warfare and terroristic tactics"...obviously I've been listening to the wrong news channels. Its all smoke and mirrors, folks, so we won't notice how much more messed-up the economy and the environment are now.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 10:55 PM

Nicole:

In 1968 my father, a conservative Nixon-ite, threatened to kill me if I brought up the Vietanm War arounf him again.

Less than 2 years later, he marched, with my mother in the Moritorium in Washington, D.C.

Like I said, we just have to out PR them, out organize them and show them for what they are. If we do that, the moms and pops WILL figure out the rest. When you are on the right side, it's a lot easier....

And, BTW, Nicole. It will be my pleasure to have you with me when it's time to shine. You are a good person. I know that...

Amd don't worry aboput their control of the media 'cause when we get a half a million folks marchin' on D.C. they won't be able to ignore it any more next time than the last.

You must maintain you upmost Faith and dedication and not worry about the resources of the ruling class. They can and must be beaten and shown for what they are: Godless, anti-human greedy controling people.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: DougR
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 11:40 PM

Hey, Bobert! A half million! I always liked your style. A half million is ambitious, and I hope you can recruit them. That will be good for the economy of that city which has probably been hurting since 9/11. All of those folks have to eat (good for restaurants), sleep (good for motels unless everyone is going to camp out), and maybe even good for the stores that sell umbrellas (it does rain in D. C. I'm sure you are aware). Right on!

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: NicoleC
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 01:03 AM

Sign me up, Bobert! We seem to be shy of the charismatic and driven leader(s) crucial to such an endeavor -- the kind of leaders that mesmerize people enough to put away their everyday concerns and think about the world for a while.

I've noticed more and more mainstream religious leaders becoming outspoken about the political situation and even the environment. There's a lot of great social leaders that came from a religious backgrounds.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: DougR
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 02:57 AM

Nicole: Methinks you may be wading in deep water in that last paragraph. You might get a pass, though, because other than your seeming approval of religion, your other postings are right on with the majority here.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 08:28 AM

DougR: LOL. You must have some stock stashed away for some DC resturant, or something.

Nicole: The leaders are among us now and will step from the shadows when it is time.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: The Degradation of the American Vision
From: NicoleC
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 03:09 PM

Doug, I don't care if someone chooses to worship the Great Pumpkin. I do care when they try to shove it down my throat under the pretext that they know better than I do.

There's a bewildering array of reasons people choose to be religious, from fear to security to just habit. But many religious leaders seem to naturally exude charm and charisma, and as humans we tned to respect the idea of people having given their lives over to God, even if it isn't the same God we worship. When you combine that with a man or woman who genuinely wishes to do good for their fellowman, you can end up with a King or Ghandi or Tutu. (You can also end up with a nightmare like the 4th Crusade.)

Even Jesse Jackson turned out to be a pretty good negotiator :)


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