Response to Travis

2002-10-6 04:26:00

Travis (first quoting JJ)
"You mean like the Christians who stepped forward and said Jesus was Lord and not Caesar? If you think you can best serve by getting thrown to the lions, yes, go ahead and bless you for your sacrifice, but there is a time to sacrifice and a time to retreat and wait until a day of opportunity to fight again."

I really find this paragraph odd in the context of current problems in the present day US government. Even the more paranoid people I have met would not think that the government would "throw them to the lions" just for speaking out. There are a number of things they might do, but I think murder unlikely.

So do I but a number of people here and other places seem to think that the government will do its worst to you with the slightest provocation and compare it to Nazi Germany.

I find that sentiment odd from you as you have been saying things aren't that bad here and some of us are overreacting. ;) I do agree that you have to pick your battles, however, I do think it's time to at least start looking at potential battlefields. Not in a "pick up a gun" type of way, in the political arena, education, activism, etc.

Yes, education is the way I choose and have plans in this arena when the time is right.

As for the patriot movement, I would agree with your assessment of their status. IMO, things won't change there unless/until the existing government nosedives rather than the slow boiling of the frog they are doing now. People are just enjoying the warmth right now. I'll have to admit to being a pessimist on this. I think things will have to get a fair bit worse before they get any better.

Let us hope you are wrong. Right now I think things could go either way. There are disciples out there working on the problems attempting to create positive change without intense suffering.

I don't see Alcoholics rounded up and put in concentration camps awaiting the gas chamber.


Why does it have to be EXACTLY the same for you to acknowledge the point? It's like saying that two men that drive drunk and hit someone can't be compared because one was going 10MPH faster, or one victim lived. Comparisons to history are NEVER going to be 100% accurate. They are still valid as points of illustration. We rounded up the Japanese in WWII and put them in camps. We didn't gas them, I suppose that makes it all better? We essentially did the same thing to the Native Americans, not as bad as WWII. So can those be compared in your view? I've seen you use this tactic in debates before, I find it annoying and less than useful for seeking the truth.

The correspondence does not have to be exact, but it shouldn't be so far off that you need an overactive imagination to see it.

Comparing how the United States deals with alcoholics here is a long way off from Hitler rounding up the Jews and other groups for concentration camps and death.

For one thing we do not round up alcoholics. How do we speak up for "them" coming for the alcoholics when "they" do not come for them? If they get in trouble, they do it the same way you and I do by breaking the law.

Hitler dealt with standard German lawbreakers not that much differently than the rest of Europe.

Travis (First quoting me)
As for the terrorists. I want authorities to come after them. I would not think that a nuclear bomb planed in Washington DC with potential to kill millions of people and destroy life as we know it to be something to sit back and do nothing about. This threat is about a hundred times as great as any problem cited by the group so far.

1) It's unlikely that terrorists have nukes at present.

I hope not, but Russia has about 100 missing nukes and we know that many nuclear materials have been sold by rogue Russians on the black market. It's quite a chance to assume the missing nukes are not in the hands of those who wish to destroy us. We need to take every precaution.

If they did, we would have seen a mushroom cloud by now. That's not to say it's not a concern, I'm just tired of seeing this same thing dragged out time and time again as an excuse to take away freedom. More so because it probably won't decrease the possibility of it happening anyway.

Shall, we resign ourselves to our fate and just figure that when an enemy gets a suitcase nuke and sneaks it across the border there is nothing we can do? Not on my watch. We have the technology to detect nukes and we need to use everything at our disposal to prevent such a tragedy.

2) A nuke in DC would not destroy life as we know it any more than 9/11 did. Those in or near DC certainly have cause for concern, but it would not really change things much for the rest of us. The government would need to be reorganized, and there would be panic, but I think that in the end things would get back to normal for the most part, much like they did after 9/11. Even a rather powerful nuke is only going to cause immediate damage for a 50-100 mile radius. Depending on winds, radiation can be a concern, but it's not as big a deal as people think it is. DC could be fit for habitation again in a few years of cleanup work, mostly to clean up debris.

It's as big of a deal as I think it is because I have studied nuclear energy. A reasonable sized nuke would produce much more damage than 911, but beyond this the psychological damage would be horrendous. The whole nation would live in fear of more to come and an entire economic breakdown could take place which could open the door for true tyranny.

3) I agree we should track terrorists. However, I feel we should do so without shredding the Constitution in the name of expediency. Warrant requests and such could get put to the top of the line and still be within the bounds of the Constitution. If we throw away our principles in the effort to catch them, do we really win, or do they? "Those who sacrifice essential liberties in order to obtain a little temporary security, deserve neither." Franklin, paraphrased. I would also add that they will not get either liberty or safety. They want to destroy us, they don't care how. If we destroy ourselves, victory is only that much more sweet for them.

There is a time and place for everything. Abraham Lincoln did away with Habeas Corpus during the Civil War giving him power to arrest and hold anyone without trial, incarcerated thousands of political enemies considered dangerous for aiding the South, opened private mail, shut down newspapers opposing the war and arrested problem legislators.

Some in the South still resent this and view John Wilkes Boothe as a hero and Patriot seeking to protect the Constitution by killing Lincoln. But most historians agree that if Lincoln did not take such drastic steps that the North could have never fought a successful war. The South would conquer the North and slavery would have continued for quite some time. Perhaps we would have been fighting for the freedom of the slaves in the Sixties rather than civil rights.

Did Lincoln go too far? It is difficult to say. Many historians rate him as our greatest president because they think he went just far enough to win the war and change the country for the better.

"As the sword was the last resort for the preservation of our liberties, so it ought to be the first to be laid aside when those liberties are firmly established." George Washington