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Doodler
2005-Jan-12, 04:46 PM
When I read news articles anymore, I see underlying developments that disturb me on a very deep level. Starting with the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, which to me had all the warning signs of a KGB or GRU style domestic policing agency, and the Patriot Act, which hauntingly echoed the old Sedition Act from World War II, there's been a steady string of actions by the US government that look, on the surface, like the erosion of what we've fought so hard to preserve.

Prisoners held indefinitely with no charges or trial, the US Capitol slowly morphing from a cultural and political center into a fortress through the actions of the US Park Police. The ongoing investigation into the "leaked" information about a "covert" CIA operative Valerie Plame is turning into a witch hunt against journalists who take the hard stance of protecting deep cover sources. Some aspects of the Patriot Act, which allow unprecidented ability for government agencies to monitor people in the US, and the recently revealed attempt to allow open government access to IRS return forms.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but there's a creeping feeling that things are starting to go wrong in the US. Not some ultradark conspiracy, but an open and accepting attitude on the part of a nation being pressured through fear into giving up personal freedom in exchange for security. Maybe its a trend that will end with the end of the Bush II era, maybe the damage will last for some years beyond that, but it can't be denied, in the light of over 100 blocks of the capitol being shut down for the inauguration on the 20th, that the government is clearly starting to consider its own needs over the needs of anyone else.

Note: If this comes off as too political, feel free to pull it. My thoughts here are more cultural than anything else. I just see things happening here that carry some chilling implications along with them.

Swift
2005-Jan-12, 05:11 PM
I absolutely agree, but this is probably too political for this board.

Maksutov
2005-Jan-12, 05:45 PM
I agree most wholeheartedly with the content of the OP.

Perhaps we can somehow manage to walk that narrow line that would keep this a civil discussion, as opposed to, well, you know what.

As a Libertarian, I think it would be nice to see yet another thread that is self-regulating.

jt-3d
2005-Jan-12, 05:52 PM
I guess you all expect a perfect solution right off the bat? Oh well, keep dreaming. The real world is a bit imperfect.

Maksutov
2005-Jan-12, 06:14 PM
I guess you all expect a perfect solution right off the bat? Oh well, keep dreaming. The real world is a bit imperfect.
"a perfect solution right off the bat"...who wrote anything about that?

Easy does it...

Whoa.

Nicholas_Bostaph
2005-Jan-12, 06:35 PM
I guess you all expect a perfect solution right off the bat? Oh well, keep dreaming. The real world is a bit imperfect.


I think that the desire was for a more intelligent viewpoint on the matter. 9/11 was a terrible tragedy to be sure. How many people died? How many were hurt? Yet, how many people died last year in car accidents? How many people because of disease? Have you ever lost anyone to a car accident? Believe me, the sense of loss is no less than losing someone in any other way.

There are a thousand things more likely to kill me than terrorism, yet the irrational fear of terrorism is tearing down the very fabric of freedom that this country was based on. The government can't tear away the most basic of human rights to try to keep people safe on the road, but does institute a set of rules and repercussions that attempts to foster the safest atmosphere possible. I think the OP was looking for the same response to terrorism, and I completely agree.

Ut
2005-Jan-12, 06:38 PM
The current stance of the government of the United States of America on security, intelligence, and the reach and jurisdiction of US military endevours is, indeed, a little worrysome. It's what's known in the field as a "knee jerk" reaction. I have full faith in the democratic process, as real or imaginary as it may be these days, to smooth these wrinkles out before I'm a charred pile of ash and bone covered in a fine dusting of plutonium.

Swift
2005-Jan-12, 06:54 PM
I guess you all expect a perfect solution right off the bat? Oh well, keep dreaming. The real world is a bit imperfect.
I have no such expectation. The world is a slippery slope and the argument is where on the slope you are going to walk the path. One of the characteristics of a democracy where personal freedom is a fundamental element is that there is a balance between freedom and security. I personally feel that we have pushed too far to the security side. I understand why (9/11), but I think it is time (past time actually) to re-examine our position. I find such aspects as holding a person in custody indefinitely without charges and without council, even if they are not a citizen, to be particularly troubling.

pghnative
2005-Jan-12, 07:11 PM
...Maybe I'm overreacting, but there's a creeping feeling that things are starting to go wrong in the US.
It's easy to think that way, especially if one tends (as I do) to be pessimistic.

However, one thing that I note, is that when you look at the whole of American history, you see a lot of examples where things were worse. Whether it's the treatment of slaves, Native Americans, Lincoln's detentions during the Civil War, the McCarthy (sp?) hearings, or some of the other things the US Government did out of fear of Communism, those were all actions that could have led down a slippery slope, but yet they didn't.

I think as long as reasonable people keep trying to "form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity", then the US will be OK.

Swift
2005-Jan-12, 07:29 PM
...Maybe I'm overreacting, but there's a creeping feeling that things are starting to go wrong in the US.
It's easy to think that way, especially if one tends (as I do) to be pessimistic.

However, one thing that I note, is that when you look at the whole of American history, you see a lot of examples where things were worse. Whether it's the treatment of slaves, Native Americans, Lincoln's detentions during the Civil War, the McCarthy (sp?) hearings, or some of the other things the US Government did out of fear of Communism, those were all actions that could have led down a slippery slope, but yet they didn't.

I think as long as reasonable people keep trying to "form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity", then the US will be OK.

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." -- Wendell Phillips, (1811-1884), abolitionist, orator and columnist for The Liberator, in a speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society in 1852, according to The Dictionary of Quotations edited by Bergen Evans
link (http://www.freedomkeys.com/vigil.htm)
Good point. The vigilance is to both internal and external threats.

Doodler
2005-Jan-12, 07:31 PM
I guess you all expect a perfect solution right off the bat? Oh well, keep dreaming. The real world is a bit imperfect.

I agree, and I'll admit that there are many things I'm willing to forgive Bush for. Lets face it, I voted to put him in office twice because as a Republican, I do think some of the things he's done have been worthwhile, without needing all the changes that have come. I'm not even attributing all of this to the current administration. Much of the momentum carrying these policies along is from the constituency in Congress who agree.

Its not that the Department of Homeland Security is an inherently evil thing, but its a thing that can very easily be abused. The Patriot Act allows law enforcement access to information which could well help them track potential threats before they become threats.

The problem lies in that for every measure which could work for the greater good can also be equally applied to those who would abuse it. The ability to track information accessed by a person can be used not only to determine whether they are a threat, but as a litmus test for political ideology. Its the danger inherent to pre-emptive action, how can you truly know whether the threat is real? Where is the line between someone thinking about a violent act and actually planning a violent act?

The system in this country is designed with the idea of presumption of innocence. What goes on inside your own head is your own business. You are guilty of nothing until you act. Several of the policies put forward by the Bush Administration have the appearance of trying to cross that line.

Part of the risk we take in having a free and open society is that we have to be willing to risk taking a sucker punch. 9/11 was just that, as has been every other terrorist act committed against the United States, its assets abroad and its allies ever been. Its the price that until 2001 we were willing to pay. On the one hand, a response was called for. On the other hand, there is no precedent for any attempt to dismantle freedom in exchange for security, regardless of the scope. Politicians need to accept the fact that in the protection of those freedoms, they are expendable as individuals, just as we all are in defense of this country. This is why there is a carefully mapped line of succession beneath a president. He is important, but we can go on without him. A perfect solution is no threats to us at all, but that's not reality. On the other hand, we need to look past the illusion that security can only be attained at the cost of personal freedom. If we're going to remain a free society, we'd better be ready to deal with the bloody nose that occassionally results from it. True security at home comes from going out and punishing those who slugged you, not putting bars on the windows, locks on the doors and never going outside again, hoping that stops whomever from hurting you. Convince those who would threaten you that doing so carries a price not worth paying in return.

Living the way we did prior to 9/11/01 took a buttload of courage. Part of it was probably arrogance on our part, which is certainly a lesson that needed to be learned the hard way, but part of it was our belief that those who would want to try something like that would fear reprisals. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Prior to that day, the United States had 17 active military aircraft actively patrolling the entire East coast. I'd be willing to bet we have that many here in the DC area alone aloft nowadays. The "perfect" solution is seeking out and eliminating those who pulled the 9/11 strikes and their supporters, then returning to how we lived before, daring them to try it again, lest another nation backing terrorism fall before us. Sure, increase coastal patrols, put our assets to work under a more uniform and coordinated authority, but don't turn the whole nation into a fortress jumping at every shadow, piling up concrete barriers around every monument like another strike was coming at any moment. That's winning the war FOR them.

Kaptain K
2005-Jan-12, 07:57 PM
In the words of Ben Franklin:

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security

russ_watters
2005-Jan-12, 08:03 PM
I think the opening post utterly lacks context: the things described are neither unprecidented nor "worse" than things done in the past.

Standing by to close in 3...

2...

1...

Kebsis
2005-Jan-12, 08:27 PM
Do you (that's a plural 'you', an open question) feel that the US government is doing anything that most other western govornments does not do? What I'm saying is, it doesn't seem like the US's policies are considerably stricter than, say, Englands or Frances (I doubt either country would mind holding a suspected terrorist without trial if they had to, right?).

Argos
2005-Jan-12, 08:34 PM
As a world citizen interested in the welfare of the USA, I just can applaud the OP. However, I think this is just a hystoric spasm. Old American values will prevail, in the end (they have to!).

Doodler
2005-Jan-12, 09:00 PM
I think the opening post utterly lacks context: the things described are neither unprecidented nor "worse" than things done in the past.

Standing by to close in 3...

2...

1...

You are right, we've done this before. I can recall reading on the Senate Committee on Unamerican Activities. I reference the Sedition Act. I can draw on the Japanese internment camps. There is precident for what's happening here, incredibly negative precident. What makes it worse is that we're doing it again in light of history's lesson that these measures do not work.

Just because we did it before doesn't mean we're right to do it again.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Jan-12, 09:28 PM
As another world citizen interested in the welfare of the USA, I'd say that if you're dissatisfied with the course that politics are taking in your country, then you should do something about it if you can. Join a political party or some organisation devoted to the protection of civil liberties, or donate money to one...

Swift
2005-Jan-12, 09:42 PM
I think the opening post utterly lacks context: the things described are neither unprecidented nor "worse" than things done in the past.

Standing by to close in 3...

2...

1...

You are right, we've done this before. I can recall reading on the Senate Committee on Unamerican Activities. I reference the Sedition Act. I can draw on the Japanese internment camps. There is precident for what's happening here, incredibly negative precident. What makes it worse is that we're doing it again in light of history's lesson that these measures do not work.

Just because we did it before doesn't mean we're right to do it again.
Absolutely right Doodler. =D>


Do you (that's a plural 'you', an open question) feel that the US government is doing anything that most other western govornments does not do? What I'm saying is, it doesn't seem like the US's policies are considerably stricter than, say, Englands or Frances (I doubt either country would mind holding a suspected terrorist without trial if they had to, right?).
My impression is that what the US is doing is probably not as strict as some other western governments and probably about the same as others. I visited England during the worst of the IRA bombings during the mid '80s and they were very strict about passport control, particularly compared to the rest of Europe. It may still not be right or right for us.

As another world citizen interested in the welfare of the USA, I'd say that if you're dissatisfied with the course that politics are taking in your country, then you should do something about it if you can. Join a political party or some organisation devoted to the protection of civil liberties, or donate money to one...
Absolutely. I personally have been a member of the ACLU for about 20 years, I support other groups and political parties, and have written several letters to members of the current Administration and to my congressional representatives about these issues. Whether you agree or disagree, I hope others do the same and express their opinions.

Richard of Chelmsford
2005-Jan-12, 09:47 PM
It's just the same, if not worse, in Britain.

Kebsis
2005-Jan-12, 10:17 PM
My impression is that many Americans simply aren't used to methods of warding off terrorism that most European countries, which are more well aquainted with the probelm, see as standard and logical. Would this be a valid viewpoint?

Andromeda321
2005-Jan-12, 10:19 PM
It might be worse in Britain and other European countries but Americans are very posessive of their rights (or in a more cynical view, the rights they believe they have). It has something to do with our image as Americans.
Personally I think the Patriot Act etc has more to do with the barrage of fear you hear in the American media nowadays. I mean we're safer then we've ever been before but all you have to do is turn on the TV to hear a batch of new things that are bad for you even if the risk is so negligible it might as well be nonexistant. For example a few summers ago the media latched onto shark attacks; covering each one like each summer resort was a reinactment of Jaws. Despite it all more people died of bee stings that year and the year was on average for the number of shark attacks.
When 9/11 came around it merely added to this fear frenzy. I mean you're ten times more likely to die in the car going to the airport than dying on the plane but the thought of someone hijacking your plane to ram it into a building is a very scary one. Of course no one wants to see that happen to anyone they know! So there's a mentality of "I don't really like the fact that a person in the US can be imprisoned without habeas corpus but if that can deter another attack I'll let it be." I don't think it's a good stance at all to take for two reasons. The first of these regards public discourse about new regulations: it's kind of hard to argue against them because if you do you're "for terrorism" in the mindset of many so you can't win. The second reason is it invites a frenzy where people who hawk their ideas better then others will get all the funding even if what the ideas deter isn't particularly efficient compared to others (because you can't have everything). In everything, including security, there are more viable options than others regarding implimentation etc.

Ilya
2005-Jan-12, 10:26 PM
My impression is that many Americans simply aren't used to methods of warding off terrorism that most European countries, which are more well aquainted with the probelm, see as standard and logical. Would this be a valid viewpoint?

I think it is. Compared with Western Europe, let alone the rest of the world, the steps Bush Administration took for the purpose of security are extremely mild. Modern Americans (emphasis on MODERN) are simply used to having unprecedented :) amount of personal liberty.

BTW, you need not go back to Japanese Internement of McCarthyism to find US far more restricted than it is today. Do you know that until mid-60's it was a serious crime to own gold coins in the USofA?

Disinfo Agent
2005-Jan-12, 10:37 PM
Compared with Western Europe, let alone the rest of the world, the steps Bush Administration took for the purpose of security are extremely mild.
Has anyone ever been arrested without trial for indefinite time in Western Europe? In democratic times, that is...

Swift
2005-Jan-12, 10:53 PM
My impression is that many Americans simply aren't used to methods of warding off terrorism that most European countries, which are more well aquainted with the probelm, see as standard and logical. Would this be a valid viewpoint?
I think that may be part of it, but not the entire picture. As Andromeda321 said, American's are very possessive of their rights, included the unspecific "right to privacy". For example, national identity papers are pretty standard in Europe (at least that is my impression). There is no such thing in the US. We have passports, but they are not used internally and many Americans don't even have them. The closest we have are driver's license, but their form varies from state-to-state and if you don't operate a car you might not have one. There was recently a proposed law to standardize driver's licenses and there are people that are arguing that this would infringe on their rights.

Ilya, I don't agree that all the measures in the Patriot Act are mild. As I said in a previous post, I am strongly opposed to holding prisoners for an indefinite period of time without charging them, without granting them a trial, and without a lawyer, even if they are not citizens.

Ilya
2005-Jan-12, 11:25 PM
Has anyone ever been arrested without trial for indefinite time in Western Europe? In democratic times, that is...

Britain: Terrorist suspects held without trial --

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_041223meth.shtml

http://quickstart.clari.net/qs_se/webnews/wed/cv/Qbritain-attacks.R4Pu_DOT.html

France: Vocal critic of the government abused and harassed by police after having been imprisoned in an allied (non-democratic country) --

http://presselibre.org/bourequat/articles/chroniclegb1.html

Austria, Belgium, France, Germany: Unarmed immigrants/asylum seekers killed while resisting deportation --

http://www.goacom.com/overseas-digest/ImAsy&Race%20(EU)/cases1993-99.html

Spain: Father suspected of killing his son held without trial for over a year (with predictable reaction from other prisoners) before being released on bail --

http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/s/121/121662_accused_dad_freed_in_spain.html


In Germany, France, Italy, Spain or Belgium, an investigating magistrate can hold someone without charge for questioning for quite long periods. Pressure thus builds on the detained person to strike a bargain with the prosecuting authority and concede guilt. Mr Strauss-Kahn, the former French Finance Minister, recently acquitted on charges of corruption, said:

"In our system you are presumed innocent until declared guilty. The reality is you are seen as guilty from the moment the judicial system is interested in you":

http://www.brugesgroup.com/mediacentre/speeches.live?article=156

Western Europe is far from blameless.

sarongsong
2005-Jan-12, 11:50 PM
"...Americans...have got to stop thinking that they can change the future by hitting that remote-control button. That's one thing the Ukrainians did---they went out into the street in below-freezing weather and shut the country down. The Yugoslavs, the Peruvians, the Nigerians all went out into the street at gunpoint and said, "We aren't tolerating this."..."
Something Is Wrong in America (http://www.sdcitybeat.com/article.php?id=2743)
(Note: Article contains strong language.)

Ilya
2005-Jan-13, 02:03 AM
Something Is Wrong in America (http://www.sdcitybeat.com/article.php?id=2743)
(Note: Article contains strong language.)


"Michael Moore used Palastís articles about the 2000 elections as well as those probing links between the bin Laden and Bush families as the backbone of Fahrenheit 9/11"

Generally speaking, that's enough for me not to bother reading the rest of the article.

Kebsis
2005-Jan-13, 03:03 AM
I'm sorry I posted in this thread. It has kept very civil but...the BA funds a place for us to talk about astronomy, and doesn't ask for much. All he asks is that we attempt to keep politics of the board. This is, regardless of how calm the discussion might be, quite definetly politics. Sometimes it seems like people just don't care about it. There is even one person here who has a blatantly political website linked in their sig. What better way to say 'I'm going to take the one thing you ask us not to discuss, and I'm going to put it in every single post I write'.

sarongsong
2005-Jan-13, 04:38 AM
So you see nothing wrong with the politicalization of science?

Brady Yoon
2005-Jan-13, 04:41 AM
You could say we are overreacting to terrorism and I sometimes think so too, but if my family and friends were actual victims of the terrorist attack, I would feel much more angry toward the people who had committed these crimes. I couldn't help but feel terrified everytime I stepped on a plane and my views would probably be drastically different. I think it's hard to make a judgment as an outside bystander who only saw the TV and news, as myself.

Terrorism is definitely a problem, and it is absolutely unacceptable in the 21st century. The time of wars has passed and this is the time for peace. It's really hard for me to make a definite conclusion on this topic. I think we're on the wrong track here. I disagree with the War in Iraq. Transition to democracy, while a good thing, I believe is a transition that must take place aturally. Democracy in name means nothing if the country is corrupt and authoritative. A true democracy is a democracy made by the people and chosen as a group, not one set up by military action.

I believe our goal is to spread peace around the world, to show them just how dangerous terrorism is-it can eventually escalate into the use of nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks, which will undoubtedly incite revenge and perhaps nuclear war. A change in leadership doesn't mean much. Monarchies and dictatorships, if they are bad forms of government, will be overthrown by the people themselves. The American Revolution was fought by us, it wasn't forced onto us, whether we liked it or not.

Even though America is a melting pot, I believe that we don't respect all cultures, or assume that they are old-fashioned, outdated, and strange. We assume that Western values and government will be universally be beneficial for the whole world, and it is ideal. We don't know if this is true or not, but nonetheless, Americans must respect the traditions of other cultures and religions. It is natural to dislike being influenced by a foreign power; people like their way of life. The message we should be promoting is not a change into democracy or a Westernization of the world. It is just to promote peace and prosperity in the world for everyone, and to accept the fact that not all countries may be ready for a transition into democracy yet. Let them do what they choose, and live together. Unfortunately, many people think Americans are "evil", and that they want to make the whole world like them. This is certainly a bad reputation, and can lead to no good.

If I was the president, I would definitely honor the ideas of other world leaders more, and seek to build strong alliances. The fight against terrorism is not an American one. It is a global one in which all nations must participate. Nobody wants to be victims of a terrorist attack, obviously. Even if terrorism isn't fully stamped out (which can't happen), it should be reduced to the level where it is extremely rare.

Sorry for the long post and rambling... Hopefully I made a point, it seems like I just kept talking. :)

Brady Yoon
2005-Jan-13, 04:47 AM
Ok, my post above can be summed up as...

Military power and influence isn't the way to win the war on terror. The way to win is peace and some critical thinking. It is extremely difficult to talk about peace in these times; people are labeled as liberals and hippies, and revenge and militarism are common ideas, but I think peace and tolerance when it is hardest to do is what will win the war. In addition, we need to think of the motivations of the terrorists. They did a horrible thing, yes, but we need to go beyond the word "evil." The people who are commiting these acts are people, and they have a motive. We must analyze that motive and work to lessen the tensions.

Peace seems wimpy and unpatriotic, but it will actually save more lives in the long run.

Wow.. I think I am too liberal in foreign policy issues. I'm more conservative when it comes to domestic issues. :x :D

Brady Yoon
2005-Jan-13, 04:58 AM
Oh yeah, it kinda sucks that religion and politics debates are discouraged here... So much to talk about with so many intelligent people. :P

Richard of Chelmsford
2005-Jan-13, 09:08 AM
Something else about 911.

3000 odd people were killed in 911, but in the year 2001, Americans killed each other to the tune of TEN times that figure.

Aproaching 30,000, as happens every year.

We British get criticised for producing soccer hooligans, but at least we don't go round shooting each other all the time. [-X

captain swoop
2005-Jan-13, 10:23 AM
Why is this thread not yet locked? I am surprised that it got as far as 2 pages and surprised at you all for participating.

Fram
2005-Jan-13, 10:37 AM
Western Europe is indeed far from blameless, but you have to make a distinction between excesses that are not politically endorsed (at least not openly, I'm trying to be not too naive), like the murders of one or more illegal immigrants in Belgium by the police, and some of the actions of the US government (like the indefinite inprisonments in Guantanamo), that are law (or something similar: they are politically endorsed is what I mean).
France is, IMO, one country that shouldn't blame the US too much, as their recent history isn't very nice either.

A few other points: identity papers are not that common in Europe: Belgium has it, but the UK doesn't (they are planning to), and the Netherlands have only just introduced them (in a more thorough way, they probably had something beforehand), amidst some protest. I don't see a problem with ID's myself.
I do think that the US indeed had/has a knee-jerk reaction, and that they have taken some measures that go beyond what any other democratic country does. The information they ask about every passenger that flies into the US is quite intrusive, and apparently are the custom checks rather heavy as well (in what hotel are you going to stay? Oh, I'm planning on moving around a bit, see what's free, I haven't made any reservations... Definitely wrong answer!).

Nicolas
2005-Jan-13, 11:20 AM
The Netherlands still have no obligatory separate ID card. A driver's license or some other cards are equally valid. The ID cards exist, but aren't a necessity, which they are in Belgium.

Doodler
2005-Jan-13, 02:36 PM
Oh yeah, it kinda sucks that religion and politics debates are discouraged here... So much to talk about with so many intelligent people. :P

Actually, I've been impressed that its managed to stay apolitical. Not much has been of the "them bad, us good" variety yet. You can't talk about anything cultural without tapping on the door of politics. Even threads on this board about Dark Skies Movements can't be brought up without discussing the politics that have to be put in motion to make the changes needed. Politics are driving various exploration missions currently being discussed, politics are driving the controversy surrounding the space station and space shuttle.

This thread isn't a debate on policy, its a debate on the impact of recent events in the US and how its causing some negative ripples in the pond of life over here. Its no more political than the other thread on DNA sampling and storage, which is fairly parallel to this in terms of how ongoing fear and the desire for instant gratification measures to ensure security, so called 'magic bullet' solutions, seem to be on the rise in the world.

Some of what I've gotten from this thread is very apolitic. The fact that other democratic nations are either already further along this path due to more regular exposure to terrorism go a long way towards alleviating some concerns and elevating others. Nothing of that comparison of experience is directly political, but is still very germane to addressing the concerns I had in my original post. That's the answer that I was looking for, not a debate on the politics that got us here, but an independent opinion of whether it was safe for a democracy to be in the state the US is coming to. Maybe the US has been foolish to be as open as it has been for so long, maybe it is a privelige that this generation has to decide the value of re-earning. Maybe its a bygone golden age we'll never have again. Those are the issues I'm considering.

Moose
2005-Jan-13, 02:43 PM
Why is this thread not yet locked? I am surprised that it got as far as 2 pages and surprised at you all for participating.

Isn't Phil at "The Amazing Meeting" right now?

Maksutov
2005-Jan-13, 02:43 PM
Why is this thread not yet locked? I am surprised that it got as far as 2 pages and surprised at you all for participating.
Surprise!

Sorry we haven't yet lived down to your expectations!

8)

sarongsong
2005-Jan-23, 08:12 PM
Fascinating editorial look (http://starbulletin.com/2005/01/23/editorial/special.html) at where the U.S. now finds itself:
"...The U.S. military, since its inception, has helped to break down discrimination in American society against minorities and women, allowing them to demonstrate they were just as competent as anyone else. Perhaps the last barriers that need breaking are those regarding age and so-called physical handicaps."