Xah Lee's Unixism

jmfbahciv at aol.com jmfbahciv at aol.com
Fri Sep 10 14:39:57 CEST 2004


In article <10k1a13rnpc2p94 at corp.supernews.com>,
   Jeff Shannon <jeff at ccvcorp.com> wrote:
>jmfbahciv at aol.com wrote:
>
>>In article <10juvnrt88k4868 at corp.supernews.com>,
>>   Jeff Shannon <jeff at ccvcorp.com> wrote:
>>  
>>
>>>
>>>Here there's a lot of room to disagree -- it's a tragedy when U.S. 
>>>citizens are killed, but it's an even greater tragedy when the entirety 
>>>of the U.S. loses its freedoms in the name of "security".
>>>    
>>>
>>
>>Okay, that's it!  Tell me what freedoms you have lost.  Be specific.
>>No sound bytes and no rhetoric parroting allowed.
>>
>>I really want to know.  People keep saying this but never say which
>>freedoms have been lost.
>>  
>>
>
>I've lost the freedom to read whatever books I want, without the 
>government snooping over my shoulder. 

You lost that before 9/11; its cause was tranferrring library
catalogs and book tracking online.

>
>I've lost what little was left of the freedom to presume that the 
>government isn't listening to my phone calls and scanning my email.

This is not a freedom.
  
>(This particular freedom has been being eroded for decades, but the 
>Patriot Act is pretty much the final nail in the coffin.)

Are you kidding?  Did you live through the McCarthy and Hoover
eras?  Hoover as in FBI, not president.  AFAICT, this Patriot ACt
at least leaves a paper trail.

>
>I've lost the freedom from the assumption that, if I read certain books 
>and speak of believing in certain principles, I'm not necessarily going 
>to act in a criminal manner to further those principles.  (If I loudly 
>proclaim that the government is horribly wrong, and I also happen to buy 
>a copy of something like, say, The Anarchist's Cookbook... I'm now 
>liable to be perceived by the government as a terrorist, and thus be 
>subject to arrest and imprisonment with no charges being filed and no 
>access to legal recourse. 

How did you get this conclusion?  Has a US citizen bought the book,
only yakked about it and then was arrested and imprisoned
with no trail or arraignment?


> .. It doesn't matter whether the government can 
>*prove* that I planned anything, or even if I can prove that I have no 
>such plans -- there's no opportunity for me to offer or dispute evidence.)
>
>I have a good friend who's a (European) immigrant.  It is now legal for 
>the government to detain her for any length of time they so desire, 
>without giving any reason more definite than "suspected involvement in 
>terrorism" -- and with *no* need to provide any evidence to back that 
>claim.  Whether it's been done or not is irrelevant -- she's very much 
>aware of the feeling that, despite the fact that she's been living and 
>working in the US for most of her adult life, the mere fact that she's 
>not "American" makes her immediately suspect, and potentially subject to 
>being "disappeared". 

People are not being made to disappear.  YOu do know what that
term means?

> .. Trusting to the goodwill and honesty of the 
>government to *not* use its authority is, to say the least, not exactly 
>heartening.

You have been doing it all your life.
>
>Most importantly, I've lost the freedom to live my life *without* 
>feeling quite so much like Big Brother is just waiting for me to make a 
>mistake, so that the rest of the US can be "saved" from terrorism.

Now I know you didn't live through the Nam war.

>
>(I've said my piece, but I don't expect we're likely to ever reach an 
>agreement.  So, especially considering that I don't feel that 
>comp.lang.* is really an appropriate place for political discussion, I 
>won't be commenting further in this subthread.)

This is not a political discussion.  

/BAH

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