T Nation

Live Free or Die

Okay, I know I’m opening myself up for attacks, but heck, life is no fun if you don’t catch hell about something from time to time.

It occurred to me today, while blathering on in yet another Liberal versus Conservative post, what the underlying issue around here seems to be.

It’s freedom.

There are a lot of reasons to trample of freedom. We are at war. We need to protect our values. We need to protect lives. In order to do these things we are being told that we have to curtail freedoms.

Anti-business groups need to be discouraged or controlled in some way because some of them operate like PETA. Citizens need to be under closer scrutiny, just in case some of them are in fact terrorists hiding in our midst. The media needs to stop being able to publicize leaks as some of these might not help us implement our policies.

Never mind that these issues aren’t the real problems. The general citizen is not the problem. Having a free press is not the problem. A series of vocal, and presumably law abiding, groups concerned about the environment or other issues is not the problem. These things are not even close to being a problem.

The media is a check or balance on the government. The environmental groups are a proxy for nature, hoping to make sure that it is not forgotten in the scramble for the most important value these days… profits. They are yet another check in the system. The citizens certainly are not the problem here either. Why do conservatives want to limit, attack and control all the checks and balances?

What is it that our conservatives are looking for? Do they just want the power to do whatever they want without consequences. That damned media is always pointing out mistakes and endangering our policies. Those damned public interest groups are always endangering our almighty profits. Those damned citizens are always dissenting and disagreeing with policies. We have to control them all.

I thought being a conservative meant that you wanted reduced government, fiscal responsibility and strong punishments for convicted criminals. On these boards it seems that conservatism is not about being conservative, but instead about being able to shirk off controls and responsibilities. Screw the environment. Screw the press. Screw the citizens. They are all putting limits on our policies and profits.

I think the conservatives have lost site of what the issues really are. I think they have mistook those that point out what the real problems are for the real problems. What are the real problems?

  • Terrorists.
  • Imposed foreign policies that spread hatred.
  • Rampant disregard for the environment and the consequences thereof.
  • Inability to stop terrorists from infiltrating the citizenry.
  • Inability to identify terrorists before they commit attrocities.
  • People that leak sensitive information to the press.
  • Groups that are actually out breaking important laws.
  • Profiteering without respect for the law.
  • Large industry interests coercing government policies.

Why are the conservatives, especially the ones here, always out looking for ways to attack the messenger? The real problems are quickly swept under the rug and kept out of site. Lets make the media the culprit for those
leaks and then we can change the rules and eliminate a check on our power. Lets make the citizens the culprits and then we can slowly start to erode their freedoms. Lets make the environmentalists or activists out to be the bad guys and then we can remove impediments to our profits.

While I’m all for a strong economy, that doesn’t mean we need to eliminate the ability for the public to voice lawful dissent when they are in strong disagreement with the way things are going. While I’m all for a strong attack on terrorism, I am not for removing some of the checks and balances that protect citizens from out of control bureaucrats or law enforcement personnel.

I’m going to go so far as to say that conservative values are no longer in line with American values. American values are about freedom. About the citizen being empowered and protected against overbearing government. About the right to due process. About the right to practice your religion or lack thereof. About the right to bear arms. About the right to have a strong media to push back against the government of behalf of the citizen. About the right to assemble peacefully to protest the government or anything else.

These are the values that need to be pushed. All the other values discussed are just being used as ways to chip away at the really important things. As ways to impose conservative viewpoints on others. Well, I’m not interested in adopting your myopic viewpoint. I’m going to make up my own mind and I’m going to point out every government misdeed that happens along the way.

After all, there certainly are enough snakes in the tree trying to sell us safety. All we have to do to be safer is to sacrifice a little freedom here and a little freedom there.

Live free or die!

[ edited to fix line spacing issues ]

Don’t worry, vroom. As soon as everybody finishes their 2nd helping of turkey, I’m sure somebody will come along and start to heckle you.

Anyway, I liked your post, but I would hesitate to say that the cons are against living free. I would say that both the libs and cons are concerned with living free in their own way. Your point about private groups being a proxy for nature and existing to check the government was kinda weird. You see, those private groups aren’t there to “keep an eye on things”, they’re there to influence our representatives in congress to push their own agendas. I liked your point about the media being a check on our government, though. You just lost me when you started to ramble on about conservatives trying to attack and control everything. That’s not happening, dude. Look, everybody’s got their own axe to grind. If it seems like the cons/repubs are getting more than their fair share of the American pie, it’s only because they now have the majority in congress, the presidency, and soon they will probably have a large majority in the supreme court. This does not mean that all of a sudden we aren’t going to be free anymore. It just means that the liberal side of things will have it a little tougher to push their own ideas in government for a little while, that’s all. Nobody’s trying to take our freedom away. Why would you think that?

I was really talking more about the conservatives in these threads, more so than the mainstream out there in the real world.

Anyhow, guess I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what the turkey gobblers come up with for criticisms.

That whole “small government” thing seems to be an act. It appears that this is the last thing many conservatives want. They want less women on tv dropping bathrobes during commercials between NFL games. I can just see some fat housewives running to the phones after that one crossed the tv screen (…“and Martha…it was a black man!!”). They want to put a stop to that loudmouthed media. How dare they report things that happened…in life…and in the government. They should only report what the government wants them to report. They want those horrible video games that are labeled “mature” to be pulled from the shelves because a child might accidentally play one. Anyone who is against these overtones or has a mind to allow freedom of speech must be stopped!

I loved the comment in another thread that the ridiculous principal who tried to stop her teacher from teaching the Declaration of Independence MUST have been a liberal. I laughed at that one actually. I know for a fact that religion is a strong factor in many households who might have voted democrat, yet that won’t stop this running belief that “liberals” are against God…oh, and meat…they all hate meat. Those crazy sons of bitches want to take our beef away!!

I didn’t vote republican…therefore, I must be in love with PETA and want God stripped from every school book. Because I voted democrat, this must mean that I want kids to stand for the pledge of Allegiance and just stand there as the teacher manually “bleeps” out any portion that says “God” as if this were a G-rated tv show and “God” was now a four letter word. Finally, it must mean that I am against most Americans. Further, if you criticize the actions of any republican party, you are a whiner and deserve to be thrashed with a cat of nine tails. You ahve to love those CONSERVATIVES. They are so…what’s the word…conservative.

Ok, I’ll bite.

I think you are seeing things I don’t see. I don?t see anyone saying the news organizations are not allowed to express their free speech. I see complaints about it, but I don?t see anyone saying it should be controlled.

Now what freedoms have you lost? You are talking about losing your freedoms, but what freedoms have you lost, really?

Let’s see, you mention the government leaks. All leaks are done for political purposes. Every one of them. The only time I can see a leak being suppressed is when it would hurt national security. That should be obvious.

What I see here is a completely out of sync view of the world. Who is controlling what? I just don’t get it. Your complaints mostly seem to be fabrications.

If you really worried about having your rights taken away, why are you a liberal? To me it seems as if they want to control every aspect of your life. Your car (environmentalism) your food (PETA) your job (labor unions) your religion (separation of church and state extended to all walks of life) your thinking (political correctness) your healthcare (socialized medicine).

Take a look at any radical political group, and there is a 9 out of 10 chance they are liberal.

Sure I don’t agree with everything considered conservative. Personally I find too many conservatives to be prudes. But that is balanced by the sluts on the left. :^P

If you have specifics, lets talk about them, but what I see here is a repeated tactic of fear mongering. People read this stuff, and think it is true without any substance.

Anyway anything the conservatives do will be called unconstitutional by the liberal activist judges. The true power in America.

[quote]vroom wrote:
I was really talking more about the conservatives in these threads, more so than the mainstream out there in the real world.
[/quote]

Oh. My bad.

[quote]The Mage wrote:

If you really worried about having your rights taken away, why are you a liberal? [/quote]

Who are you talking to and who has claimed to be liberal? I have written in so many posts I have lost count that I am not liberal. That label is what is thrown at me because I didn’t vote republican.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
The Mage wrote:

If you really worried about having your rights taken away, why are you a liberal?

Who are you talking to and who has claimed to be liberal? I have written in so many posts I have lost count that I am not liberal. That label is what is thrown at me because I didn’t vote republican. [/quote]

Dude, I’m pretty sure he’s talking to vroom here. Please relax. I think by now everybody can be pretty sure that you’re more of a moderate than anything.

Mage,

You don’t think the patriot act erodes some freedoms?

You don’t think shipping people off to other countries to escape American laws for questioning is a bit suspect?

You don’t think that labelling consumer activist groups as “extreme” while ignoring business “activist groups” is a bit one sided?

Now, I’m not saying there are large steps actually occuring, but if you listen to what the conservatives around here want, not what they can get, it’s pretty wild.

If you listen to the things they claim are problems these days, it is often the populace, the press or other groups that shouldn’t be considered a problem.

Heck, if one were to take Jeff seriously, he believes criticising the administration is an insult to the majority of the population. I haven’t seen a single conservative around here bother to disagree with this attitude.

We’ve got Zeb stating he is against anything that goes against traditions. However, obviously that would be whichever ones he considers valuable, because I doubt he’s looking to put back in place segration or remove the rights of women to vote, even if those were traditions once as well.

What we have is people wanting to control others… instead of just letting them do or say what they want. Yes, I know they can’t, but they want to. And they are working hard to find ways to justify attacking freedoms.

I’m pretty convinced, from statements made in the boards, that they’d be very happy if the press could be further muzzled to avoid speaking out against the war.

In the name of safety and the fight against terrorism they’d happily trade away the rights of citizens.

In the name of tradition and values they’d happily force their beliefs on others if given the chance.

I’m trying to understand what makes these people feel the need to “control” the thoughts and actions of other people. Why do they have to bitch and whine about everything people do, not the government, but the general people.

At the same time, I’m trying to recharacterize the conservatives, as is often being done to liberals. Liberals are called hated-filled, whackos, god-haters, PETA lovers and all kinds of bullshit. It’s time to find some appropriate labels for the behaviors of our local conservatives.

I might not be doing a good job, but its a work in progress… :wink:

Vroom-

You are self-concious about your position and rather then promulgate them with a well thought out argument and support of ideas you attack.

You attack conservative positions by those who post on a political discussion board but do not defend your own positins very well if at all. When you are overwhelmed with reason and common sense you then go after the individuals or “those that post on this board”. A classic liberal position most recently utilized by John Kerry…with similar results. His argument doesn’t get made and he is regarded as a wannabe.

I guess I am the individual you are talking about when you refer to muzzling the media. Well I have experience with them. They are not usually well informed and they never have the public interest at heart. Reread that statement. In the utopia you describe you think the media is the moral compass that guides us. Wrong. It is a business organization that exists to communicate to the public and is funded through advertisement of sponsors. Once a persons thought matures enough to accept that, the puurpose of the media becomes clear. We have not had a crusading press since the 30’s.

The other point I will address that you made is terrorism. You certainly can have an opinion on the subject, ill thought out as it may be, but you have no credibility on the subject. Your country is generally regarded as a pacifist state. The US is at the forefront. I live in NYC. Ground zero for the last attack and most likely for the next. We lost 3000 souls in my city. Pardon me if I want the government granted the power to combat it. It’s a little less homogenous down here in the big city. The enemy is among us.

Conservative values are not out of step Vroom. Conservative values define our country. We actually think we believe in something. Most of the electorate agrees. We come up with ideas rather then criticize the oppositon.

As to the people on this board let’s face it. The conservative generally argue the issue not the person. They do it well and to the point it frustrates most of the liberals. After your frustration level hits, you go after the person. You guys are nothing if not predictable.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Who are you talking to and who has claimed to be liberal? I have written in so many posts I have lost count that I am not liberal. That label is what is thrown at me because I didn’t vote republican. [/quote]

I was talking to vroom, who I thought called himself an ultra-liberal, at least in jest. You’re post had not appeared when I posted.

As far as big government conservatives, I believe the budget being worked on is finally producing some cuts, or at least slowing the growth.

And I would bet you $100 the principle was a democrat.

And I don?t think anyone says that just voting for a democrat makes you a liberal. In fact I have argued this point, trying to explain to a person how Bush got more votes then there are republicans in some districts is not proof of fraud by explaining that who you vote for doesn’t always coincide with what party you belong to.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Mage,

You don’t think the patriot act erodes some freedoms? [/quote]

I am not sure. What exactly does it do? My understanding is that it takes the laws that are already in place for drug laws and places them into the terrorist arena.

I hear a lot of hype, but I cannot really believe most of it, otherwise the whole thing would have been tossed out by the judges.

Who has this happened to? Sorry if I don?t know of some sort of news report of somebody who was taken out of America and shipped to another country before being questioned.

Which groups are labeled as extreme? And by who? The government or politicians? I think calling business activist groups extreme is extreme. They are following the laws, not like PETA who has been shown to support animal terrorist groups, and actually caused some animal torture then blamed some other group to benefit their cause.

Like what?

I thought the populace was stupid for voting for Bush. I hear complaints about the press, but I never hear anyone proposing censorship of the press.

I thought I did. I don’t see a problem with disagreeing with the current administration. But I also said that we are allowed to criticize the criticism. Personally I don?t think it is an insult, unless you criticism is actually nothing more then an insult.

I also don’t think tradition has any link with the negatives of the past. It actually means if one thing was bad, you don’t need to dump everything. Many traditionalists see the progressives as attempting to eliminate the good. But then again I cannot speak for Zeb.

Again this sounds like liberalism to me. My freedoms are one of the reasons I am a conservative. The liberals are attempting to put out too many rules that take away our freedom.

I will complain about the media from sun up to sun down, but I would never advocate preventing the freedom of speech. Just like I am disagreeing with your assessments, but I would never say you were not allowed to say them. I see censorship coming more from the left then the right, but I will admit (again) the prude factor of many conservatives, of which I don?t think exists here as much as elsewhere.

Again I don’t see that. I see people attempting to open up the boarders, and giver the terrorists more rights then we have. There is no fight for our rights, it is a fight to give terrorists all the rights.

Is that what you are doing here? What values and beliefs are being forced on you anyway? Maybe allowing a child to prey at the school cafeteria is impeding your rights. Again I see the left as taking rights away from others just because apparently being offended is violating rights.

Why are you bitching and wining about it then? Isn’t that what this thread is about? Again how are you being controlled? What exactly is this control that is being advocated over your life? I don’t see it.

Oh, I see. You are attempting to change thoughts through statements, ignoring the truth, just making statements.

I don’t think most liberals are wacos, but I do believe most wackos are liberals. You have to understand the semantics. Sure some conservatives consider all liberals wackos, but some liberals consider all conservatives wackos too.

Personally I think taking all Christians and calling them wackojust for their beliefs is what wackos do. And it is liberals that do it. (Again not all, just a faction, but a powerful faction.)

Yeah, I am sure we will hear more from you.

You wacko. :^P

[quote]vroom wrote:
Okay, I know I’m opening myself up for attacks, but heck, life is no fun if you don’t catch hell about something from time to time.

It occurred to me today, while blathering on in yet another Liberal versus Conservative post, what the underlying issue around here seems to be.

It’s freedom. [/quote]

I think you need to make a distinction between social conservative positions and economic conservative positions. I think some social conservative positions do go to far in terms of trying to proscribe certain things – of course, at the same time, you have others from the other side trying to impose their values in the public sphere, which is different than being for freedom in the private sphere.

THere are always trade offs to be made between regulations and freedom. Every single regulation on the books curtails freedom. Speeding laws curtail my freedom to drive as fast as I would like to on the freeway without incurring a penalty. The key is whether the particular freedom in question is Constitutionally protected, and whether the federal government has the power under the Constitution to regulate behavior in the proposed area.

[quote] Anti-business groups need to be discouraged or controlled in some way because some of them operate like PETA. Citizens need to be under closer scrutiny, just in case some of them are in fact terrorists hiding in our midst. The media needs to stop being able to publicize leaks as some of these might not help us implement our policies.

Never mind that these issues aren’t the real problems. The general citizen is not the problem. Having a free press is not the problem. A series of vocal, and presumably law abiding, groups concerned about the environment or other issues is not the problem. These things are not even close to being a problem.[/quote]

It is important that the press and groups that advocate governmental actions and policies be placed under the same scrutiny as the governmental actors – people need to know whether the groups have perspectives, whether the put forth fair information, etc., in order to make informed decisions as citizens in the voting booth.

[quote] The media is a check or balance on the government. [/quote] THe media isn’t a check against the government – the vote of the citizens is the check against the government. The press is a way of keeping the people informed so that they can make their best choice, and we don’t trust the people currently in power, i.e. the government, to regulate the people’s source of information.[quote] The environmental groups are a proxy for nature, hoping to make sure that it is not forgotten in the scramble for the most important value these days… profits. They are yet another check in the system. [/quote] THe environmental groups are certainly not a proxy for nature. They are a political group advancing a political agenda, and they should be held to the same scrutiny as any other political group advancing a particular agenda. With respect to the environmental groups, one of their main policy goals is to have private property owners curtailed in their freedoms in using their property. They want it done via regulatory takings, without fair compensation to the landowners. THis is problematic, and it would be better known if the press was doing its job. As to funding, tactics, etc., the groups like PETA should be scrutinized, but they have the right to advocate whatever positions they wish. When groups such as the Sierra Club endorse spiking trees, which can maim or kill loggers, people have the right to know about it, and the Sierra Club should be investigated to the maximum extent of the law to ascertain whether they were involved in criminal conspiracies. [quote] The citizens certainly are not the problem here either. [/quote] Most citizens aren’t the problem – certain citizens and certain non-citizens residents and illegal immigrants are the problem. If you don’t want average citizens troubled, how would you go about allowing the government to target those groups most likely to contain the “problems”? [quote] Why do conservatives want to limit, attack and control all the checks and balances?

What is it that our conservatives are looking for? Do they just want the power to do whatever they want without consequences. That damned media is always pointing out mistakes and endangering our policies. [/quote] I can’t speak for everyone, but with the media I want publications and networks with liberal tilts to admit it, and those with conservative tilts to admit it – I’m tired of the media holding itself out to be unbiased when it so clearly isn’t. Some publications/networks do a better job than others of being unbiased, and some do a better job than others of presenting both sides of a controversial issue – but as a whole, the media doesn’t do a good job with controversial (meaning political) reporting. [quote] Those damned public interest groups are always endangering our almighty profits. [/quote] Not all of them, but the ones who advocate stuff like I listed above are a problem – and the solution is exposing them, not banning them from advocating their positions. [quote]Those damned citizens are always dissenting and disagreeing with policies. [/quote] Dissent is great – including dissent from the press position, dissent from the environmental organization opinion, and dissent from any other opinion – it should be aired and discussed. [quote]We have to control them all.[/quote] I don’t think this is a conservative solution – people on both sides of the spectrum encourage regulations to coerce behavior of the type they approve. Helmet laws? Smoking laws? Market regulations? Gas taxes to control driving habits?

[quote] I thought being a conservative meant that you wanted reduced government, fiscal responsibility and strong punishments for convicted criminals. [/quote] That sounds like what I want. [quote] On these boards it seems that conservatism is not about being conservative, but instead about being able to shirk off controls and responsibilities. Screw the environment. Screw the press. Screw the citizens. They are all putting limits on our policies and profits. [/quote] See above.

[quote] I think the conservatives have lost site of what the issues really are. I think they have mistook those that point out what the real problems are for the real problems. What are the real problems?

  • Terrorists. [/quote]

Definitely a problem, and they should be dealt with as befits a War on Terror, not a police investigation on terror.

[quote]

  • Imposed foreign policies that spread hatred. [/quote]

To what might you be referring here? And how would you define “imposed.”?

[quote]

  • Rampant disregard for the environment and the consequences thereof. [/quote]
    Funny, I thought massive disregard for freedom was the problem? Maybe massive disregard for property rights and contract rights?

[quote]

  • Inability to stop terrorists from infiltrating the citizenry. [/quote]
    Definitely – what sort of strategies should be taken to address this?

[quote]

  • Inability to identify terrorists before they commit attrocities.[/quote]
    Very true again – but we can identify groups to which they would likely be affiliated, be it cultural, religious, nationality, etc. – how do we use that information?

[quote]

  • People that leak sensitive information to the press. [/quote]
    Very true – they should be punished. And this means they need to be identified, which is why journalists do not have the right to protect their sources if they are asked on the stand. That right does not exist.

[quote]

  • Groups that are actually out breaking important laws. [/quote]
    Who gets to decide which laws are important?

[quote]

  • Profiteering without respect for the law. [/quote]
    If they’re breaking the law, that is a problem – either with the law, the behavior, or both. Following the law in a way that produces consequences you do not like is not. Unless illegal activity is involved, “profiteering” is not taking advantage of loopholes – it’s following the law. THe problem, to the extent there is one, is in the law or regulation.

[quote]

  • Large industry interests coercing government policies. [/quote]
    Why is this a problem? At least if by “coercing” you mean spending money to get out their message. Industries and companies have the same rights to advocate their positions as do environmental groups. The information should be made public, and people should decide – they can contact their representatives and vote at the ballot box if they aren’t satisfied.

[quote] Why are the conservatives, especially the ones here, always out looking for ways to attack the messenger? The real problems are quickly swept under the rug and kept out of site. Lets make the media the culprit for those
leaks and then we can change the rules and eliminate a check on our power. Lets make the citizens the culprits and then we can slowly start to erode their freedoms. Lets make the environmentalists or activists out to be the bad guys and then we can remove impediments to our profits. [/quote]

The real problems, and all the information-- not just that which is politically correct and won’t hurt anyone’s feelings – should be part of a debate on the solutions.

[quote]While I’m all for a strong economy, that doesn’t mean we need to eliminate the ability for the public to voice lawful dissent when they are in strong disagreement with the way things are going. [/quote] And not against the ability of companies and people to advocate their own positions, right? [quote] While I’m all for a strong attack on terrorism, I am not for removing some of the checks and balances that protect citizens from out of control bureaucrats or law enforcement personnel. [/quote] Me neither – good.

Rights are important – especially the right to dissent. And it’s important whether you agree or disagree with the position taken by the dissenter.

[quote] These are the values that need to be pushed. All the other values discussed are just being used as ways to chip away at the really important things. As ways to impose conservative viewpoints on others. Well, I’m not interested in adopting your myopic viewpoint. I’m going to make up my own mind and I’m going to point out every government misdeed that happens along the way.[/quote] Good.

[quote] After all, there certainly are enough snakes in the tree trying to sell us safety. All we have to do to be safer is to sacrifice a little freedom here and a little freedom there.

Live free or die! [/quote]
Does this include gun control? Just curious. You did mention the right to bear arms as a freedom up there, so how would you agree that the right to bear arms should be allowably diminished? Should people have fully automatic weapons, sawed-off shotguns, etc.? Seriously, because this would be an excellent example of the trade offs between some restrictions on a freedom versus taking the freedom away, and which ones should be allowable as a trade off with safety.

Hedo,

Point of order… :wink:

Many of those on these threads espousing values of the right do not argue very well. They attach labels and generally ignore the points raised for discussion and spout simple slogans and catch phrases.

Yes, it is frustrating to put work into a reply, working to describe how and why you view the issues the way you do, and then to have all that work ignored over and over again.

As for personal attacks, again you are kind of viewing them in a one-sided way as well. They also come flying in from the conservatives on a regular basis.

Anyhow, its my opinion that a bit of spice is useful, but this shouldn’t be at the cost of ignoring the main issues being discussed.

Also, you may notice that often people jump into a criticism that is not personally directed… looking for insult when none needs to be taken.

However, I will admit that when Boston takes the time to create his own comments instead of merely pasting in externally published material does do a good job at it. Even if I think he views everything as politically motivated even if it isn’t… :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyhow, I am geniunely curious as to the issue of control and how it is being expressed. How perhaps the mantra of “the evil PC police” is now being used to justify statements that weren’t acceptable before there was a PC movement.

It’s all very interesting. Looking at the big picture, the right has set up defences based on converting expression of thought and opinion into negatives.

Supposedly, the news media is an evil profiteering group not useful for watching the government anymore. Never mind that it has always been supported by advertising and that it has always published ridiculous crap.

Criticism some segments of right wing thought equates one with the PC police. Criticism in general makes you a hate-filled liberal. Criticism of religious matters makes you a god-hater.

You and I know that attaching these labels is a very powerful thing. When the general public equates liberalism with all of these labels, obviously it will reject it.

Nobody wants to associate with the overbearing PC police, be hate-filled, be a god-hater, be anti-American or be traitorous. These labels are being attached for a reason though. While they are free speech they do represent a form of coercion or attempted control.

You should be able to see that though they are free speech and therefor should presumably be protected, they are not the same type of free speech as a thought out argument. Even a ramble like this post has become.

I’m analyzing, thinking out loud, questioning things, putting together an argument or an opinion. Free speech lets me do that. Sadly, what I’m usually countered with is a total dismissal of all the thoughts and issues and get reward with a label such as “ultra-liberal”.

What the hell does looking into these issues and wondering where they come from and why they are so popular these days have to do with being liberal or anything else?

Anyway, I do appreciate when you or some other “conservatives” take the time to actually think about the points raised and offer thoughts in return. Since I’m at work and the PC police are rampant in my environment I’d better get out of here before today’s “powerful image” is spotted!

[quote]vroom wrote:
Nobody wants to associate with the overbearing PC police, be hate-filled, be a god-hater, be anti-American or be traitorous. These labels are being attached for a reason though. While they are free speech they do represent a form of coercion or attempted control.

You should be able to see that though they are free speech and therefor should presumably be protected, they are not the same type of free speech as a thought out argument. Even a ramble like this post has become.[/quote]

I do believe this election, more than any before, helped to spawn the use of “catch phrases” in order to avoid the actual issue. It also helped those who don’t even follow the issues, as well as those who aren’t extremely mentally competent, hold a view on something without having to research into it at all. Saying “flp flop” became a new fad even though most of the people using it had no clue what the issues were. Throwing everyone who wants free speech into the “God-hater” box is also an example of this. Tossing everyone who thinks that there is nothing wrong with a woman standing with her back turned during a commercial as she drops her robe are suddenly “liberals”, which has also become a bad word all of a sudden. Labels help people avoid discussion and avoid opening their minds to any other points of view. You would think that more would realize how their thoughts are being manipulated, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Any act to squelch God in the classroom is seen as a “liberal” move, when in reality, a true liberal would not object to something that this country was founded on. They have the right to stand there and not participate should they choose to.

To sum it all up, conservatives seem to want more morals and values forced on the entire community. These “morals”, of course, have to fall directly in line with the conservative agenda or else they are not valid. Television should be censored to a PG13 or less rating across the board. The media should be reprimanded and made to only discuss what passes conservative appeal. Civil rights are expendable as long as we are trying to catch terrorists. Is there anything else I forgot? If one side can make judgements across the board, the other can as well, right?

Professor and Vroom-

Perhaps the current explosion of conservative thought and it’s validation by the presidential election is a backlash against the PC adgenda that sadly has been furthered by liberals.

Eventually it strikes a balance. I would observe however that the tide is certainly rising under the conservative ship.

X,

I disagree with your assessment of "labels". Labels are everywhere and inescapable. You use them just as much as anyone. I think you don't like labels for the same reason I don't like them.....people apply the wrong ones in the wrong situations.

I think in the case of the label, liberal, what has happened is the whole party is being identified by what people(conservatives) see in the media…i.e. the big court cases that are decied by “liberal” judges. So when a liberal judge says that it is not OK to say God in school then the whole party gets that applied to their label. Like you said if they don’t want to parcipate then they don’t have to…but they take it to the next step and say that the other kids can’t say it. In the first example rights were not violated in the second they were. It is their right to not participate (as you stated)…it is not their right to decide that others should not do it.

I think the problem is that liberals and conservatives have different ideas of what the word “rights” should encompass. What all can be defended with the “You’re violating my rights” argument? People hear that defense so often that it’s kind of like crying wolf. Some people in the liberal camp use this defense for all kinds of things.

Sometimes liberals soud more like anarchists and conservatives sound more like puritans. The problem is when people think that since you voted a certain way you agree with everything on that platform.

Another point…and of course this is just my opinoin…I think that liberals in general(especially on this board) disagree with more things in their parties platform than the average conservative does with his…What do ya think?

Profx,

Thanks for some thoughts from someone who isn’t a whacko liberal… :wink:

Hedo,

This is really not a very powerful argument. I’m not insulting you, but please follow the point, if you were an idiot with stupid ideas before the attack, you’d probably still be one today.

Anyhow, I’ll grant that you have strong feelings and opinions concerning terorrism, but I won’t grant that you have any expertise based on that evidence alone.

As for my qualifications, they have nothing to do with the country I originate from. They come from my understanding of issues and my ability to express reasonable courses of action.

Finally, Canada is not pacifistic, it simply has slight military might – and the difference is significant. You keep drawing little lines of maps and believing they tell you something about individuals if you like.

Boston,

Of course there are trade-offs. Living in a democratic society I acquiesce to the generally accepted laws and usually am content to do so. My concern is that when people are in fact doing this, they should not be attacked. The laws should be changed or the people should be left to go about their business.

Sure, we are also in agreement in this area. But the way to highlight the actions of these groups is to gather information about them and make it available to the public. The media is diverse enough to watch the watchers and this does happen.

People in here are pointing to various studies and discussing the issue ad nauseum. Again, their does seem to be systematic labelling and attacking going on though.

Okay, your point here is really just arguing for the sake of arguing. Media shines a light onto the activities of the government and other groups and thereby helps effect visiblity, opinion and informed exercise of public control.

I presume you actually know by now that I’m aware of the division of government into executive, legislative and judicial brances? :wink:

Heh, okay, I know you actually are a lawyer, so I guess I have to expect this. These groups, assuming we are talking about law abiding groups, are representative of the opinions of a significant portion of the populace.

Anyway, as you mentioned before, there are trade-offs. For decades, perhaps hundreds of years, people or businesses were free to do just as they damn well pleased with their property.

However, we now know that certain types of pesticide kill off bird species, that certain types of chemical disposal will poison nearby citizens and all kinds of other problems. Beware, I am not claiming all these groups are well informed or law abiding.

There does however have to be a balance between the ability of large business groups to amass money and use it to lobby the government and the ability for the public to put forth a credible counter to it. This is interest group versus interest group. As long as both sides are playing fair and not resorting to unlawful tactics, I think it is appropriate.

Now we get to the heart of the matter. The fact that it is difficult or inconvenient to enforce the laws of society doesn’t mean we should eliminate the freedoms that the citizens enjoy. If you are asking me to solve the problem of law enforcement for society, I’m afraid the task is probably out of my grasp as well.

I do however have the opinion that a solution that removes the carefully deployed freedoms that were put in place by the founding fathers would be a mistake. The government is not a normal entity and it cannot be relied upon to be run benevolently, although the checks in place have kept it so for so long people can’t imagine it any other way.

The country was founded to escape the tyranny of government that was not responsive to its subjects. This is the area that a lot of my thinking and a lot of my ideas are coming from. I’m not so sure believing that checks against the government are critical really qualifies me for the ultra-liberal label I’ve been slapped with.

Keep dreaming… :wink:

Again, desire for and expression of control is not always done via laws. If they were in fact being put into effect as laws and were representative of the functioning of a democracy then I’d be less inclined to be concerned about it.

Because the laws you mentioned are passed, well, being a good citizen and finding them restraints I can easily comply with, I choose to live within them. If they bother me enough I will work with others to follow the process to have them overturned. Isn’t that the way these things are supposed to work?

Who are you arguing with here? Do you believe I’ve suggested anything counter to your suggestion?

Someone quoted recently in these threads “walk softly but carry a big stick”. I meant to find it and ask if they noticed the first two words. Carrying a big stick pisses people off, so walking software with it would be good.

Whether or not anyone is willing to admit it around here and whether or not anyone actually gives a flying fuck what other people around the world think, pissing off sections of the globe for decades at a time doesn’t lead to friendship and peace. I see the big stick, but I don’t see the walk softly very often.

There really are two sides to this issue and neither should get a free pass. Isn’t there some type of balance involved here as well?

Well, I see this one a lot. Unless I’m able to instantly solve this problem my point is supposed to be moot? I don’t have to single-handedly be able to solve problems that an entire nation of experts hasn’t solved yet. However, when solutions are proposed I am of the opinion that they should not unduly restrict freedoms.

If the US starts to throw away it’s freedoms now it will end up a different place than it was meant to be. If your choice is safety with the possibility of a future tyranny or some additional danger under freedom, I’d advocate choosing to live with a bit more danger. However, it is your country, feel free to fuck it up any way you like – won’t stop me from advocating what I believe in when the issue is being discussed.

You already know my answer. In ways that won’t unduly impact the rights of the innocent citizens among them. Yes, there is room for balance and disagreement as to which degree loss of rights is acceptable.

Personally, I don’t think a knee-jerk loss of rights due to one incident in several hundred years is a wise tradeoff. Think about it for a decade or two… then decide. Right now the American psyche is a bit rabid with respect to revenge, control and protection… and honestly, it is only natural.

I think the hundreds of billions of dollars now being funnelled into the CIA, homeland security and military will all yield dividends… imposing restrictions on freedoms is more dangerous. Just like income tax was a temporary war measure, loss of freedoms represent a way to make it harder to dissent in the future. Remember McCarthyism?

Come on now, the importance of laws is generally telegraphed by the penalty attached when breaking it. Okay, I’m rolling my eyes and kidding here, but thats why there is such a large penalty for personal use of steriods. The public, in it’s wisdom, decides on these issues via its elected officials. Hey, we all know it isn’t perfect, but democracy is the best way so far.

[quote]Does this include gun control? Just curious. You did mention the right to bear arms as a freedom up there, so how would you agree that the right to bear arms should be allowably diminished? Should people have fully automatic weapons, sawed-off shotguns, etc.? Seriously, because this would be an excellent example of the trade offs between some restrictions on a freedom versus taking the freedom away, and which ones should be allowable as a trade off with safety.
[/quote]

Good question Boston. Gun control is an issue which gets a lot of people up in arms! However, I’m going to take the easy way out and say that I will respect the laws passed in the democracy I live in.

I expect, because of the right to bear arms, that a reasonable right to own and use weapons will be maintained. Whether the general public believes it needs machine guns and hand grenades to effect this is something they get to decide upon as conditions warrant.

Strangely, I believe that the weapons available do not need to be small enough to be concealed, at least for general use. I believe the weapons need to be in the hands of the public for the day that they decide to fight either for or against their government… and hopefully that day never comes.

So, I don’t have a problem limiting weapons in ways that makes it harder to commit crimes, if possible, while not limiting the ability of the populace to use them for or against their government.

Anyway, thank you for the thought and effort it took to look into the issues I raised and to put together your own thoughts on them. I’ve tried to return the favor and supply responses to most of the areas where there seemed to be something less than general agreement on the point at hand.

Vroom
My point was this. A person sitting in
Ontario has no idea what person in Battery Park City feels about terrorism. The persepctive is different. I brushed the dust of the WTC of my balcony. Trust me it is a world of difference.

Lines in a map. Interesting comparison but be honest really nothing to do what I said. Canada has a small military by choice. A choice that having a powerful Southern neighbor allows them to make.

The US will take care of terrorists in due course. Those that choose not to help will still benefit but they should certainly refrain from criticism. It’s simple gratitude. You shouldn’t question the blanket of freedom that another provides.

Enjoying this argument. Stillhaven’t been swayed though!

Hedo,[quote]hedo wrote:
Vroom
My point was this. A person sitting in
Ontario has no idea what person in Battery Park City feels about terrorism. The persepctive is different. I brushed the dust of the WTC of my balcony. Trust me it is a world of difference.[/quote]

As mentioned in an earlier thread - welcome to the real world. I realise that the US has been struck in an uncomparably vicious strike, but if you count the incidents, you end up with 3 real big attacks on US soil in the last decade - and one of them (Oklahoma) was not even coming from an external threat. No one among the critics of the “war on terror” denies that these were despicable acts.

But many countries have been facing terrorism for decades, and still in quite a few of them there is criticism of the approach of the current US gouvernment. How come? Because the reaction shown by the current US gouvernment has been regarded by some as extreme and ineffective. Basically everyone on the planet accepted the Taliban regime’s responsibility for 9/11 - and they acted accordingly, by supporting an effective strike against them; and they still do, by doing their service in Afghanistan.

But this unity did not extend to covering a strike against Iraq, as there were justified doubts about the existence of WMD, links to Al-Quaeda and a present and current threat for the west by the dreadful Saddam regime. Also, there were and are serious doubts about the treatment of prisoners in the “war on terror”. Why? Because quite a few societies and individuals believe exactly in the values of freedom, the rule of law and a being alert towards any influence that might infringe these values. And that is why they are criticising the current US policies.

Being a friend does not mean just saying “yes” all the time, but rather saying “no” when deemed necessary. And this is exactly what some of the US’s allies have been trying to do. For that they have been attacked and insulted (just check the current thread on France), and I find this most unfortunate. Not only because I am personally insulted by it (which I have been and sometimes am), but mostly because it shows negligence in rethinking the own viewpoint. Instead of dismissing criticism by friends as treachery, everyone who considers going to war should really rethink their own position if it is really beyond doubt. That I miss in the current US’s gouvernment and quite a few of the conservative voices here on these political threads.

My point? A person in the UK, Germany, Italy does very well know how a terrorist attack feels - and they sympathise with their counterparts in the US. Quite a few countries actually keep quite a strong military to counter those threats - like France; and then they get criticised for running their own show, and their own (always) flawed military activities. The EU has been working on coming up with a military taskforce to act in local conflicts - and the reception in the political threads here wasn’t the best. Other countries are quite happy to take responsibilities - but that also means taking their viewpoints seriously, even when they criticise the US’s actions.

[quote]The US will take care of terrorists in due course. Those that choose not to help will still benefit but they should certainly refrain from criticism. It’s simple gratitude. You shouldn’t question the blanket of freedom that another provides.

Enjoying this argument. Stillhaven’t been swayed though![/quote]

What you effectively ask for in your last paragraph is that they shut up - if you really respected them as friends and allies, you wouldn’t ask for that. I am quite surprised that you actually expect gratitude for something that is not wanted and highly criticised.

Makkun