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Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm sorry to say I've become something of a recluse over the past five years.  In that time, I've not been very good at paying attention to the news on regular basis.  Today, I learned about something that the United States Government may actually start doing and it's very disturbing.  Actually, I've no doubt that every government does this to some extent, but to come out and make it legally acceptable?
 
Before I say exactly what it is, I want to remind you of something that happened in the Marvel universe during Civil War.   Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and a skrull-Hank Pym created a prison in the negative zone; Prison 42.  
 
Tony Stark, as director of SHIELD, began imprisoning heroes (citizens of the U.S.) in this prison.  He had every intention of keeping them locked away until they registered and agreed to support the registration act.  He stated that he would keep them there indefinitely without trial.  He knew they would never get a trial.  One of the reasons he chose to build the prison in the negative zone is so that it would be outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts.  Here are a few scans to remind you.
  

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is pretty cut and dry.  Tony Stark did this.   I was disgusted by him.  I realize it's only a comic book.  It's make believe.  But we're here in comic vine because we love comics.   Sometimes they make us happy, sometimes they make us sad, sometimes they make us laugh, and sometimes they piss us off.
 
I have to say, I was surprised that very few people were disturbed by what Stark was doing....  I believe many sort of laughed it off with the, "It's just a comic book" mentality.
 
Well, it's not just comic book fiction anymore.   And this is NOT a conspiracy theory.  This is in the news.  You can go google it for yourself...  There is a movement within the United States Government trying to make it legal for the U.S. government to INDEFINITELY DETAIN prisoners WITHOUT A TRIAL OR CONVICTION.
 
Let me be clear on this.  They want to be able to:
  • Incarcerate anyone 'they' determine to be a threat
  • Detain that citizen for any length of time WITHOUT TRIAL
  • Detain that citizen without conviction of a crime

This is an absolute violation of one's CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.   The constitution guarantees the citizens of the U.S. the "Right to a speedy trial."
 
So, you see, what happened in Marvel Civil War, is essentially beginning here in the real world.  Members of the U.S. government want to be able to arrest and detain indefinitely citizens of the U.S.  It's REALLY HAPPENING folks...  This kind of thing happened in pre-cold war Russia.  It happened in China under the rule of Mao Tse Tung.  It happened under Stalin and Mussolini.   You may think I'm being melodramatic, but that's the thing, I'm not.  This has happened in the past.  And it's happening again...
 
I wonder...Those of you who thought it was okay for Tony Stark to do this, do you feel the same way now that it will likely happen here in the U.S.  And as far as I can tell, President Obama supports the idea.  This makes me sad.  I voted for the man.  I've always liked him... But this... to me... is unacceptable.

#1 Posted by akbogert (3150 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd love to just toss around politics here, but I definitely can't. I didn't vote for Obama, but it's not like he began this train. Bush's administration ushered in the horrifically cavalier Patriot Act, and Obama has merely upheld and expanded it. The indefinite detention of American citizens without trial or evidence of their guilt is simply the logical next step after we've willingly given the government the right to spy on us without trial or evidence of guilt. It's a mockery of habeas corpus, but you'll find few Americans who are willing to get angry about it. I can't tell you how often I hear the old "well if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to be afraid of" argument.

I'm a libertarian. I fervently believe both major parties are destroying our country, and I tend to be vocal about it in person (though I try to avoid that particular trench war on the Internet). And I wonder, not entirely hypothetically, how many years it will take before my views are considered dangerous to the safety and well-being of the country.

I commend you for at least acknowledging that the person you elected is not living up to your expectations. There are too many people who are so blinded by their love of platform that they will support anything the president does regardless of how clearly terrible it is (and again, that's not just an indictment of Obama, though he's the current exhibit). Sadly, I don't think enough people will have the epiphany necessary to actually stop this particular train.

#2 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

Frankly, this is terrifying.

Why is there no loud protest your country?

#3 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@akbogert: Oh, I didn't mean to make this an anti-Obama thing.  Yes, the Bush administration started this ball rolling..   
 
When I was young, I was actually very much a Republican... Up until the Republican party tried to shove George W. down my throat...  I'm no longer registered as either Democrat or Republican.  I've lived long enough and seen enough to realize that most politicians, on some level, are corrupt.  Even the good ones.  As for Libertarians... There are very few Libertarians that I've ever disagreed with...  I wish there were more of you out there...
 
and you are right, most people who support the current regime will never acknowledge they are doing something wrong or unconstitutional...  I can remember Presidents as far back as Nixon...  I remember being angry with President Ford for being on T.V. too often and ruining my t.v. watching for the evening... There were only three channels back then, and if the President was on t.v., he was on ALL THREE CHANNELS   (I was a kid)     I remember being angry with Jimmy Carter when he gave the Panama Canal back to the country that it belonged to.   I remember being surprised how easily Regan got the people of Russia to forgive him for calling them an "Evil Empire."  on and on and on...
 
I voted for Ronald Regan...  He lied... and he did it with a smile... I still liked him.
I voted for George Bush Sr.  I thought he did a good job.. for the most part...
I didn't vote for Bill Clinton.  We ALL know he lied quite a bit, but. DAG NAB IT, he did a few good things.  I hated when he did things I knew to be right.  How dare he!
And then came George W... sigh... We absolutely KNOW he lied about SO MANY THINGS...   and what took place just getting him into office???  Dead people voted for him?  and that was acceptable?  Men and women in the service weren't able to vote?  and that was acceptable?  The person placed in charge of the vote recount in Florida was a member of his campaign staff?!?!
 
I'm rambling...  What I MEANT to get at, is that  nearly every time a President is caught doing the wrong thing, or lying, the people who voted him in NEVER admit that  their candidate is or was wrong... NEVER... Regardless of how obvious it is.  Richard Nixon is the perfect example.  WATERGATE...  11 of his people were involved... He was involved... and the only one who suffered any real punishment for what happened in the Watergate hotel was the Security Guard who caught them!  Could things be much more wrong than that?
 
Regarding what you said about your views being deemed "dangerous."  If the current regime has their way, the government will have the legal means to arrest and detain people like you, who try to think for themselves.  How can that not be a frightening thought to the citizens of this country?
#4 Posted by Pyrogram (32271 posts) - - Show Bio

This is...Strange. Life follows art indeed.

#5 Posted by akbogert (3150 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: As I said, whenever I talk to people about it and wonder why they're not furious, I am told that I'm overreacting because (as I said above), "If you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about." We call ourselves the "land of the free and the home of the brave" but we are afraid of outsiders and one another, not brave, and we gladly trade our freedom for the illusion of security against those perceived dangers. Then again we also say "in God we trust" but largely don't, and pledge allegiance to "one nation...indivisible" despite how clearly divided we are. It turns out you can't have a pluralistic society without, well, pluralism.

Despite how many Americans will say they love Ben Franklin, few would recognize the haunting prophecy of his words "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." We are simply reaping what we've been sowing for decades.

#6 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@lykopis said:

Frankly, this is terrifying.

Why is there no loud protest your country?

I don't know.  I suspect many people think it's actually a good thing because they view this as a situation-ally ethically acceptable thing.  In other words, in the right situation, this is the right thing to do.  And, they believe the government can be trusted to do the right thing...  I'm guessing they actually believe this power would only be used against terrorists and the likes....  They're wrong, of course, but they probably believe that.
 
This was a hot topic in England, and the final word was that, the longest any person could be detained without trial or conviction is 28 days... How ironic it is, that one of the reasons the colonies seceded from English rule was to insure freedom and liberty....  And here we are in a day and age where Britain believes full well in the rights of individuals and protects its citizens from things like indefinite detainment, when the U.S. government is actually trying to make it legally acceptable...
#7 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1120 posts) - - Show Bio

This is really been out there for quite a while, I'm not surprised that someone has brought it up, just the delay

#8 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@akbogert: True... All too true...  You know, that quote of Ben Franklin was used during Marvel Civil War and it was blown off with, "And now you're going to quote Ben Franklin to me?"    Notice it wasn't a disagreement.  It was simply, ignoring it...  Mr. Franklin was right...  I'm honestly very sad over this...
#9 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@Brazen_Intellect said:

This is really been out there for quite a while, I'm not surprised that someone has brought it up, just the delay

Yeah, I've not been watching the news... I'm guilty of being lazy with regards to one's civic duties.  We all should be paying attention...
#10 Posted by KnightRise (4757 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis said:

Frankly, this is terrifying.

Why is there no loud protest your country?

Because the individuals that would have slowly escaped to Canada

PS: there's still room on your couch, right?

#11 Posted by lightsout (1811 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

We call ourselves the "land of the free and the home of the brave" but we are afraid of outsiders and one another, not brave, and we gladly trade our freedom for the illusion of security against those perceived dangers. Then again we also say "in God we trust" but largely don't, and pledge allegiance to "one nation...indivisible" despite how clearly divided we are. It turns out you can't have a pluralistic society without, well, pluralism.

Despite how many Americans will say they love Ben Franklin, few would recognize the haunting prophecy of his words "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." We are simply reaping what we've been sowing for decades.

Ug...so true, especially the bold'd part. I try to use that BF quote anytime it's relevant (drop some knowledge on people's butts)

#12 Posted by akbogert (3150 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm: @lightsout: I usually like being right, but this is a case in which I'd be happy to be wrong. It saddens me that such a relevant and true quote runs the risk of becoming hackneyed. The best rebuttal is either a "he lived during a different time" or ad hominem attacks on his character.

@KnightRise said:

@lykopis said:

Frankly, this is terrifying.

Why is there no loud protest your country?

Because the individuals that would have slowly escaped to Canada

PS: there's still room on your couch, right?

Haha. I just need floor space, if you've got some of that too. I was thinking of just doing the 'ol American Writer Ex-Pat in France thing (was all the rage last century) but I could settle for just a French-speaking country ^_^

#13 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1120 posts) - - Show Bio

While the prospect is terrifying to say the least, I would not get so up in arms about it now as it has slim chances of getting pushed through. If they could not get it on the books after 9/11 when fear was at it's height, it's far less likely now that clearer heads have prevailed and (some) sense has been restored in regards to national security policy.

If this bill actually gets scheduled for a vote and does not just flutter in the wind like so many other bad ideas throughout history I will be genuinely surprised.

#14 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@Brazen_Intellect said:

While the prospect is terrifying to say the least, I would not get so up in arms about it now as it has slim chances of getting pushed through. If they could not get it on the books after 9/11 when fear was at it's height, it's far less likely now that clearer heads have prevailed and (some) sense has been restored in regards to national security policy.

If this bill actually gets scheduled for a vote and does not just flutter in the wind like so many other bad ideas throughout history I will be genuinely surprised.

I hope you're right... But the fact that the past administration wanted  this (and that was a Republican Administration) and the current administration wants it...  I think it's cause for concern, but you are right... It didn't get through back when we were very much angry and sad and afraid after 9/11....
#15 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1120 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm said:

@Brazen_Intellect said:

While the prospect is terrifying to say the least, I would not get so up in arms about it now as it has slim chances of getting pushed through. If they could not get it on the books after 9/11 when fear was at it's height, it's far less likely now that clearer heads have prevailed and (some) sense has been restored in regards to national security policy.

If this bill actually gets scheduled for a vote and does not just flutter in the wind like so many other bad ideas throughout history I will be genuinely surprised.

I hope you're right... But the fact that the past administration wanted this (and that was a Republican Administration) and the current administration wants it... I think it's cause for concern, but you are right... It didn't get through back when we were very much angry and sad and afraid after 9/11....

Republican or Democratic administration has little to do with it, intelligence agencies being asked to perform miracles are behind this push, not the executive branch

#16 Edited by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

@Timandm: @lightsout: I usually like being right, but this is a case in which I'd be happy to be wrong. It saddens me that such a relevant and true quote runs the risk of becoming hackneyed. The best rebuttal is either a "he lived during a different time" or ad hominem attacks on his character.

@KnightRise said:

@lykopis said:

Frankly, this is terrifying.

Why is there no loud protest your country?

Because the individuals that would have slowly escaped to Canada

PS: there's still room on your couch, right?

Haha. I just need floor space, if you've got some of that too. I was thinking of just doing the 'ol American Writer Ex-Pat in France thing (was all the rage last century) but I could settle for just a French-speaking country ^_^

You are all welcome to crash at my place -- we keep things simple here in Canada. While we might allow our banks rob us blind with nonsensical fees and not bat an eye-lash -- or roll over and not say boo when yet another tax is brought forward to supplement the failing of yet another initiative the current government partook in, at least we knew to gather our wits about us and fight back in unison against the only cable company at the time for trying to raise their rates. Take away funding for lobbying groups who fight for fairness and equality for minorities, no problem, but try to make us pay more for our Bachelor and Vampire Diaries? NO WAY! THE INSANITY HAS TO STOP SOMEWHERE.

(yes -- that was sarcasm. A horrible representation of it, but there you have it.)

@Brazen_Intellect said:

@Timandm said:

@Brazen_Intellect said:

While the prospect is terrifying to say the least, I would not get so up in arms about it now as it has slim chances of getting pushed through. If they could not get it on the books after 9/11 when fear was at it's height, it's far less likely now that clearer heads have prevailed and (some) sense has been restored in regards to national security policy.

If this bill actually gets scheduled for a vote and does not just flutter in the wind like so many other bad ideas throughout history I will be genuinely surprised.

I hope you're right... But the fact that the past administration wanted this (and that was a Republican Administration) and the current administration wants it... I think it's cause for concern, but you are right... It didn't get through back when we were very much angry and sad and afraid after 9/11....

Republican or Democratic administration has little to do with it, intelligence agencies being asked to perform miracles are behind this push, not the executive branch

Yet who are the ones asking the intelligence agencies to perform miracles? Is there really a divide that is accepted between the executive branch and other bureaucrats? Do they really have that kind of autonomy? If so, there are bigger problems to tackle.

#17 Posted by akbogert (3150 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: Hey, The Vampire Diaries is pretty good :P

Nah, but I do find it amusing how many people "flee" to Canada (or threaten to) over the economic/social stuff they don't like happening in our government. "If Obamacare passes, I'm going to Canada." It's actually hilarious. But in terms of government clout? I think it's fair to say that the American government is far more terrifying.

To answer your question about bureaucracy, I think the answer may be yes, there is a divide. Seems to be a lot more "oh no, that wasn't my department, you can't blame me" and a lot less "we rise or fall together." And since it seems we're allergic to blaming the president's administration (or the president) for anything until after he's out of office, someone has to take the fall for things. Just so happens to be the intelligence communities are the witches this time around.

#18 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

@lykopis: Hey, The Vampire Diaries is pretty good :P

Nah, but I do find it amusing how many people "flee" to Canada (or threaten to) over the economic/social stuff they don't like happening in our government. "If Obamacare passes, I'm going to Canada." It's actually hilarious. But in terms of government clout? I think it's fair to say that the American government is far more terrifying.

To answer your question about bureaucracy, I think the answer may be yes, there is a divide. Seems to be a lot more "oh no, that wasn't my department, you can't blame me" and a lot less "we rise or fall together." And since it seems we're allergic to blaming the president's administration (or the president) for anything until after he's out of office, someone has to take the fall for things. Just so happens to be the intelligence communities are the witches this time around.

lol -- fine. Nina is Canadian and the show is filmed where I am from originally (in and around) so I will give it a pass. :)

Ah -- I see. Canadians do make noise with those in power do wrong -- there has been a fair share of controversies over the years but our problem is that nothing comes out of it. At least your government impeached your presidents, no? Here -- we do nothing at all except wag our finger and say "We know what you did" and then get a shrug as a response. Don't get me started on the ridiculousness of rules when it comes to parliamentary procedures and how out-dated rules can still affect who runs our country. It's disgusting and embarrassing.

So, I hear you. I love my country and may one day lead it, but we are not perfect. :) Although I do choose it over the United States....

#19 Posted by Pyrogram (32271 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis said:

@akbogert said:

@lykopis: Hey, The Vampire Diaries is pretty good :P

Nah, but I do find it amusing how many people "flee" to Canada (or threaten to) over the economic/social stuff they don't like happening in our government. "If Obamacare passes, I'm going to Canada." It's actually hilarious. But in terms of government clout? I think it's fair to say that the American government is far more terrifying.

To answer your question about bureaucracy, I think the answer may be yes, there is a divide. Seems to be a lot more "oh no, that wasn't my department, you can't blame me" and a lot less "we rise or fall together." And since it seems we're allergic to blaming the president's administration (or the president) for anything until after he's out of office, someone has to take the fall for things. Just so happens to be the intelligence communities are the witches this time around.

lol -- fine. Nina is Canadian and the show is filmed where I am from originally (in and around) so I will give it a pass. :)

Ah -- I see. Canadians do make noise with those in power do wrong -- there has been a fair share of controversies over the years but our problem is that nothing comes out of it. At least your government impeached your presidents, no? Here -- we do nothing at all except wag our finger and say "We know what you did" and then get a shrug as a response. Don't get me started on the ridiculousness of rules when it comes to parliamentary procedures and how out-dated rules can still affect who runs our country. It's disgusting and embarrassing.

So, I hear you. I love my country and may one day lead it, but we are not perfect. :) Although I do choose it over the United States....

Better than the UK, here we get one or 2 people complain and piss all happens.

#20 Posted by akbogert (3150 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: I'd say impeachment in American history is always more of a tease than an actual event. It has barely ever actually happened. Sadly, the system of checks & balances is simply broken. I can't remember the last time the Supreme Court did a thing in response to the actions of the president or congress, and so the flagrant abuse and ignoring of the Constitution gets a free pass. I believe even Obamacare was ruled unconstitutional except as a tax -- they found that loophole to excuse it -- but Obama insists it's not a tax...so technically he's insisting he's violating the Constitution.

#21 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

@lykopis: I'd say impeachment in American history is always more of a tease than an actual event. It has barely ever actually happened. Sadly, the system of checks & balances is simply broken. I can't remember the last time the Supreme Court did a thing in response to the actions of the president or congress, and so the flagrant abuse and ignoring of the Constitution gets a free pass. I believe even Obamacare was ruled unconstitutional except as a tax -- they found that loophole to excuse it -- but Obama insists it's not a tax...so technically he's insisting he's violating the Constitution.

Ah. Then we are all subjected to the same ridiculousness.

Your Constitution scares me sometimes. O_O

#22 Posted by akbogert (3150 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: Oh, why's that?

Personally I find the scariest thing about the Constitution to be the Bill of Rights and the mindset it allowed to exist: that rights of free and equal people can be enumerated, and that if those rights are not explicitly laid out, you can't take them for granted.

#23 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert:

Your second amendment.

Plus -- it's ageist. You have to be 25 years old to be a representative and 30 years old to be a senator.

O_O

#24 Posted by akbogert (3150 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: I have always thought age restrictions on things were rather arbitrary. For example, I know plenty of people under the age of 18 who are far more informed and passionate about politics and can't vote, while I know plenty of registered voters who are so infuriatingly ignorant and nonchalant about it. I think there ought to be some sort of awareness/responsibility test you have to pass to be able to vote rather than an age limit, but there are so many hazards and risks with implementing something like that that I've just sort of accepted it will probably never happen.

I think having life experience is an invaluable necessity when it comes to being political leader (or, really, any leader). I am dumbfounded by my own displays of naivete and ignorance over the course of even the last couple years, and while I don't presume that a year from now I will be any more capable of a leader, I think it's safe to say that younger is hardly going to create a superior pool. I'm not saying those particular age limits are great, but I do think a minimum level of experience is crucial to that level of leadership and age is at least a somewhat decent gate; as with voting, I'm open to a superior alternative, but I know far too many impulsive and misguided teens and early twenty-somethings to think putting them on capitol hill is a good idea.

As for the second amendment...I've done my best to elucidate my thoughts on the matter here, and then here. Y'all are welcome to spend your time there, if so inclined.

#25 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

Very true about age --- my experience has been the opposite -- I know many young people, teenagers especially who are well-informed and have a firmer grasp of what should be done in terms of education and even healthcare. Granted, it's indicative and the crown I surround myself with, but its substantial enough to make me confident my country won't be without proper representation. Thing is -- many people who run for office need enormous amounts of money to run so the pool is strained and what you have left are usually people who have no real idea of what is out there. 30 doesn't mean life experience -- you can be in school past that and have yet to build any life experience that would make you credible in the eyes of your constituents who are blue-collar, family people with two and a half children each.

Besides, it takes a campaign to get into office and wet-behind-the-ears candidates will be eaten alive. Your country allows eighteen year olds to go to war and die, but not run for office? That's my yard-stick. If you can die for your country and what it believes in, then you are fighting for the protection of your Constitution and so you are fighting for the right to be excluded.

I look for consistency. If you are considered an adult at eighteen years of age, then everything accessible and allowed for adults should be universal.

#26 Posted by Pyrogram (32271 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis said:

I look for consistency. If you are considered an adult at eighteen years of age, then everything accessible and allowed for adults should be universal.

I disagree, An 18 year old does not have the life experiences of a 30 year old to be able to make changes that would affect millions, they may have knowledge for example, but experience is not overrated.

#27 Posted by DarkxSeraph (672 posts) - - Show Bio
" I think there ought to be some sort of awareness/responsibility test you have to pass to be able to vote rather than an age limit, but there are so many hazards and risks with implementing something like that that I've just sort of accepted it will probably never happen."

This is very dangerous ground. They used to have Citizen tests and literacy tests and all kinds of tests before you could vote--it was used as a tool to control who could and could not vote and was primarily used to suppress minorities from voting at the polls.
#28 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

@Pyrogram said:

@lykopis said:

I look for consistency. If you are considered an adult at eighteen years of age, then everything accessible and allowed for adults should be universal.

I disagree, An 18 year old does not have the life experiences of a 30 year old to be able to make changes that would affect millions, they may have knowledge for example, but experience is not overrated.

That's where voters come in. If the people appreciate experience more than age, then they won't vote for the 18 year old. It's a democracy.

#29 Posted by Pyrogram (32271 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: True point, Cannot argue against that. Its valid.

#30 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1120 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis said:

@Brazen_Intellect said:

While the prospect is terrifying to say the least, I would not get so up in arms about it now as it has slim chances of getting pushed through. If they could not get it on the books after 9/11 when fear was at it's height, it's far less likely now that clearer heads have prevailed and (some) sense has been restored in regards to national security policy.

If this bill actually gets scheduled for a vote and does not just flutter in the wind like so many other bad ideas throughout history I will be genuinely surprised.

I hope you're right... But the fact that the past administration wanted this (and that was a Republican Administration) and the current administration wants it... I think it's cause for concern, but you are right... It didn't get through back when we were very much angry and sad and afraid after 9/11....

Republican or Democratic administration has little to do with it, intelligence agencies being asked to perform miracles are behind this push, not the executive branch

Yet who are the ones asking the intelligence agencies to perform miracles? Is there really a divide that is accepted between the executive branch and other bureaucrats? Do they really have that kind of autonomy? If so, there are bigger problems to tackle.

Politicians who built their election or re-election on national security needs heads to put on pikes to promote themselves so people can forget how useless they really are in some cases. They come from all levels and all political parties, its not a one sided issue no matter how many people try to push it that way. As for the autonomy of the various intelligence agencies, I think you would be surprised the more you looked into it, and not just in the US, but in your own back yard.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, just a realist. Part of doing their job is subterfuge and most of the time they are doing it for the greater good, but that also makes oversight a difficult prospect and opens the avenue for abuse. Politicians are a hell of a lot more concerned with keeping their cushy jobs and expense accounts than making sound policy for the most part.

It is never going to be a perfect system in any administration, in any government, but I would put the US (and Canada) overall at the top of the heap.

#31 Posted by akbogert (3150 posts) - - Show Bio

@DarkxSeraph: Indeed. That's precisely what I meant by "hazards and risks." At the same time I do not feel like simply be alive and existing for eighteen years should qualify a person for dictating the direction of a nation, particularly one so powerful. The fact that a person who is registered but knows absolutely nothing about candidates or issues can literally walk in and put a name on a ballot and walk out and that vote is weighted equally with a neighbor who has spent dozens of hours researching things...it's just wrong. I may be egalitarian when it comes to rights and treatment, but I am vehemently not a believer in true democracy.

@lykopis: That's a fair point, one I'd not considered. On the other hand, there's a risk of popularity contest going on. It's amazing the groundswell that can be built up around young people or stars. You get a few popstars saying "hey, go out and vote for this person, he/she is our age, he/she understands us!" combined with sharing on social media, and you could potentially have millions of uninformed young people putting someone in power who definitely should not be there. Of course that's more of a national concern; probably on a state level, when it comes to Congress (which is what you specifically mentioned), that risk is not present.

There are a ton of young voters who don't care about politics. They could wield a tremendous amount of clout if galvanized into action, but that potential could go very well or very badly.

#32 Posted by DarkxSeraph (672 posts) - - Show Bio

Good thing we're not a true democracy, then.

#33 Posted by DarkxSeraph (672 posts) - - Show Bio

*has family in Canada-- london and chatham. Might have to look into his dual citizenship thing...* heh.

#34 Posted by Aiden Cross (15513 posts) - - Show Bio

Personally i don't give a damn about age. In my country we have young politicians that do a great job. My real gripe is with the divide between rich, middle class and poor. We have an economic crisis and everyone knows Europe is doing too great right now. So there need to be extra taxes and cut backs, i completely understand that. But they get the money from the poor, middle class and elderly simply because they're the biggest group and so that's the easiest way to get money. They make changes to health care, to pensions etc that directly affect those groups but not the wealthy. Just as an example: in our government the regular pay for someone who's in politics is around 7500 euro's a month (twice what an average person makes without all the deductable expenses they have on top). Now they are complaining that they go back 170 euro's a month with regulations they thought up themselves! (Which makes me think they have no idea what they agreed to in the first place). All this while poor people go back in their monthly income much more thanks to the new regulations. Young people, like me, can't even afford to live on their own. If we have to make changes, fine, great! It sucks but if that needs to happen it will. But this goes for everyone(!) not just certain groups... Equality is the key.

#35 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

@Pyrogram said:

@lykopis: True point, Cannot argue against that. Its valid.

**tips hat**

@Brazen_Intellect said:

@lykopis said:

@Brazen_Intellect said:

While the prospect is terrifying to say the least, I would not get so up in arms about it now as it has slim chances of getting pushed through. If they could not get it on the books after 9/11 when fear was at it's height, it's far less likely now that clearer heads have prevailed and (some) sense has been restored in regards to national security policy.

If this bill actually gets scheduled for a vote and does not just flutter in the wind like so many other bad ideas throughout history I will be genuinely surprised.

I hope you're right... But the fact that the past administration wanted this (and that was a Republican Administration) and the current administration wants it... I think it's cause for concern, but you are right... It didn't get through back when we were very much angry and sad and afraid after 9/11....

Republican or Democratic administration has little to do with it, intelligence agencies being asked to perform miracles are behind this push, not the executive branch

Yet who are the ones asking the intelligence agencies to perform miracles? Is there really a divide that is accepted between the executive branch and other bureaucrats? Do they really have that kind of autonomy? If so, there are bigger problems to tackle.

Politicians who built their election or re-election on national security needs heads to put on pikes to promote themselves so people can forget how useless they really are in some cases. They come from all levels and all political parties, its not a one sided issue no matter how many people try to push it that way. As for the autonomy of the various intelligence agencies, I think you would be surprised the more you looked into it, and not just in the US, but in your own back yard.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, just a realist. Part of doing their job is subterfuge and most of the time they are doing it for the greater good, but that also makes oversight a difficult prospect and opens the avenue for abuse. Politicians are a hell of a lot more concerned with keeping their cushy jobs and expense accounts than making sound policy for the most part.

It is never going to be a perfect system in any administration, in any government, but I would put the US (and Canada) overall at the top of the heap.

I see it the same way and it's concerning. The only time it's revealed is when someone whistle-blows and usually the one who does is the one who suffers most.

It's a complicated issue and in regards to the majority of politicians being in it for the money - this is a reality. Also, the influence they wield after their term is done is substantive when it come to employment and profit-making.

#36 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

@DarkxSeraph: Indeed. That's precisely what I meant by "hazards and risks." At the same time I do not feel like simply be alive and existing for eighteen years should qualify a person for dictating the direction of a nation, particularly one so powerful. The fact that a person who is registered but knows absolutely nothing about candidates or issues can literally walk in and put a name on a ballot and walk out and that vote is weighted equally with a neighbor who has spent dozens of hours researching things...it's just wrong. I may be egalitarian when it comes to rights and treatment, but I am vehemently not a believer in true democracy.

@lykopis: That's a fair point, one I'd not considered. On the other hand, there's a risk of popularity contest going on. It's amazing the groundswell that can be built up around young people or stars. You get a few popstars saying "hey, go out and vote for this person, he/she is our age, he/she understands us!" combined with sharing on social media, and you could potentially have millions of uninformed young people putting someone in power who definitely should not be there. Of course that's more of a national concern; probably on a state level, when it comes to Congress (which is what you specifically mentioned), that risk is not present.

There are a ton of young voters who don't care about politics. They could wield a tremendous amount of clout if galvanized into action, but that potential could go very well or very badly.

With that line of thinking I can argue that the babyboomers have things heavily stacked in their favour since they are the majority who vote so therefore they are well represented in the government. Everyone should vote --- majority rules -- and if the majority of the votes go to younger candidates, then so be it. Having white, rich middle-aged men in power means poor, visible minorities have no one to take up their issues based on your way of thinking

#37 Posted by akbogert (3150 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: Well I think the babyboomers do have things stacked in their favor (so feel free to argue that ^_^). The decisions being made today seem to pretty much directly benefit them and indirectly (though no less seriously) screw over my generation and the ones to follow. I'm all about young power rising up. I just want it to be based on something substantial -- which again brings me back to the point about wishing there were a way to ensure voters were at least somewhat competent about the things they were setting into action. Get a system of that sort in place and the age question will rightfully go out the window.

@DarkxSeraph said:

Good thing we're not a true democracy, then.

Exactly.

@Aiden Cross: I really do wonder how/when economic imbalance will be addressed. I used to consider myself a socialist (but then I read Atlas Shrugged and it kind of destroyed my ability to appreciate socialism). I appreciate the reality of imbalance and the fact that right now the rich really do have way too much power and the poor really do suffer more because of the ability to buy votes and power. I see the problem frequently but I don't really know how to deal with it in a way that doesn't completely trample on the rights of some section of society.

#38 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@lykopis: I love my country and may one day lead it, but we are not perfect. :) Although I do choose it over the United States....
 
Well, sure!  You have REAL beer and affordable medication.  So unfair....
#39 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm said:

@lykopis: I love my country and may one day lead it, but we are not perfect. :) Although I do choose it over the United States....
Well, sure! You have REAL beer and affordable medication. So unfair....

Awh -- there, there. You have the Disney Channel and the NFL.

#40 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@akbogert said:

@lykopis: I'd say impeachment in American history is always more of a tease than an actual event. It has barely ever actually happened. Sadly, the system of checks & balances is simply broken. I can't remember the last time the Supreme Court did a thing in response to the actions of the president or congress, and so the flagrant abuse and ignoring of the Constitution gets a free pass. I believe even Obamacare was ruled unconstitutional except as a tax -- they found that loophole to excuse it -- but Obama insists it's not a tax...so technically he's insisting he's violating the Constitution.

Well... in 1841  there was the "freedom suit" thing... ref. the movie Amistad.   Had to go pretty far back for that one...Although, I'm not sure the U.S. President (Harrison) ever took a 'formal' stance in favor of the slavers...  
Other than that.. um.... I got nuthin...
#41 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1120 posts) - - Show Bio

@Aiden Cross said:

Personally i don't give a damn about age. In my country we have young politicians that do a great job. My real gripe is with the divide between rich, middle class and poor. We have an economic crisis and everyone knows Europe is doing too great right now. So there need to be extra taxes and cut backs, i completely understand that. But they get the money from the poor, middle class and elderly simply because they're the biggest group and so that's the easiest way to get money. They make changes to health care, to pensions etc that directly affect those groups but not the wealthy. Just as an example: in our government the regular pay for someone who's in politics is around 7500 euro's a month (twice what an average person makes without all the deductable expenses they have on top). Now they are complaining that they go back 170 euro's a month with regulations they thought up themselves! (Which makes me think they have no idea what they agreed to in the first place). All this while poor people go back in their monthly income much more thanks to the new regulations. Young people, like me, can't even afford to live on their own. If we have to make changes, fine, great! It sucks but if that needs to happen it will. But this goes for everyone(!) not just certain groups... Equality is the key.

The poor, middle class, and elderly do not have lobbyists to push their agenda and line a politicians pockets through PAC's and SuperPAC's, therefore they get the shaft. I do not blame the wealthy outright, but there are some old money groups that really straddle the line of legality with their influence on such matters. Politics is a system and they simply know how to game the system better than the average Joe or Jane.

@lykopis:

You miss are a lady and a scholar

#42 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@lykopis said:

@Pyrogram said:

@lykopis said:

I look for consistency. If you are considered an adult at eighteen years of age, then everything accessible and allowed for adults should be universal.

I disagree, An 18 year old does not have the life experiences of a 30 year old to be able to make changes that would affect millions, they may have knowledge for example, but experience is not overrated.

That's where voters come in. If the people appreciate experience more than age, then they won't vote for the 18 year old. It's a democracy.

Well, here's an interesting thought...
The number of U.S. citizens between the age of 18 and 24  is (I believe) a little over 31 million...  Think about the sheer immensity of that number.  Now, MOST of them have the right to vote.  IF they were wise enough to be politically aware, and IF they participated in the political process (corrupt though it may be) can you imagine how much pull they would have?  I honestly believe if enough young people cared enough and were willing to work hard enough, they could get congress to change the laws regarding the age at which one could run for office...  the question becomes, why DON'T they?
 
Now, you're suggesting that experience is more important than age, and you're absolutely correct...  But, consider a few things that older people are seeing when they look at younger people... And this isn't meant to be insulting.  I'm just going to throw some facts out there.   And I'm getting this info from reports by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the NIH. (National Institute of Health)
 
1:  In 2010  34% of all drunk drivers were between the age of 21 and 24.   Think about that.  ONE-THIRD of all the drunk drivers in the U.S. were either 21, 22, 23, or 24......  I know a lot of university students.  I teach...  I am absolutely not surprised by these numbers.  After a football game, the campus is sometimes littered with beer bottles/cans, and empty liquor bottles.  it's just accepted as normal behavior...  But it's actually quite dangerous.
 
2: In 2010 the percentage of people in the US between the age of 18 and 22  that engaged in Binge drinking was around 40%.  Nearly HALF the people in that age range, in this country, engage in BINGE DRINKING?!?!
 
3: in 2010, the percentage of people in the US between the age of 18 and 25 who used illegal drugs on a regular basis, was around 41%.      Can you imagine?!
 
4: Take a look at the following chart which plots the  number of those convicted of violent crimes by age...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Numbers like these, don't inspire confidence in young people...    Now, for the record, I am not saying all young people are irresponsible drug using criminals....    I'm showing you numbers acquired by agencies that study health...  These numbers are real...
If you compare groups by age, you find that young people between the age of 18 and 24, on average are doing   A LOT of drinking, drugs, and crime....  Of course, this is absolutely  NOTHING NEW.   I'd bet hard cash that if I looked at the percentages for the years 1967 to 1972 it would be FAR worse...
 
Most young people are just getting away from home and they go a bit wild... I did... I was incredibly stupid... I'm glad I survived it...
 
So, what's my point?  Well, there IS a reason that many of us would have a hard time trusting a someone under the age of 35 to run the country.... But to be fair, I'm not all that confident in the people over 35 either...
#43 Edited by Pyrogram (32271 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm: Dude half of them statistics are BS.

"2: In 2010 the percentage of people in the US between the age of 18 and 22 that engaged in Binge drinking was around 40%. Nearly HALF the people in that age range, in this country, engage in BINGE DRINKING?!?!"

Seriously... Just no. Have they asked everybody in that age group? No.

#44 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@Pyrogram said:

@Timandm: Dude half of them statistics are BS.

"2: In 2010 the percentage of people in the US between the age of 18 and 22 that engaged in Binge drinking was around 40%. Nearly HALF the people in that age range, in this country, engage in BINGE DRINKING?!?!"

Seriously... Just no. Have they asked everybody in that age group? No.

You could be right, but that information came from an article that was published in a scientific journal that is a peer reviewed journal...   In science, getting an article published in a peer reviewed journal is EXTREMELY difficult....  
#45 Posted by Pyrogram (32271 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm: I have seen a lot of peer reviewed stuff and they have a lot of BS in them. A lot. I have researched for a while how to get stuff peer reviewed with my uncle who was trying to do something in physics that has not been done before and we realized it is not as hard as you would think. It is not easy though. But a lot of things can get unnoticed when you have contacts.

#46 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@Pyrogram said:

@Timandm: I have seen a lot of peer reviewed stuff and they have a lot of BS in them. A lot. I have researched for a while how to get stuff peer reviewed with my uncle who was trying to do something in physics that has not been done before and we realized it is not as hard as you would think. It is not easy though. But a lot of things can get unnoticed when you have contacts.

Um... I HAVE published in peer reviewed journals... It might be easy for you... but it's been a SON OF A B)*#$ for me...  Also, journals are rated.  Some are very easy, and some are extremely difficult.  Nature, for example, most scientists are happy if they can publish in Nature just once in their lives.
 
Now, I have right here in front of me, a journal article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.  JAMA. 2003;289(1):70-75. doi:10.1001/jama.289.1.70   I'd be happy to send you the PDF file...  The journal of the American Medical Association is a well respected journal...  There are SIX authors to this paper.  Four of them are M.D.s and two are PhDs....   I think they can be trusted.   Their data was verified by a panel...  it's a well written article.
 
I'd be happy to send it to you if you like and you can see for yourself... Can you think of a journal you'd trust more than the JAMA?  Because, i can pull articles from Nature, Science, Blood, you name it....
#47 Posted by Pyrogram (32271 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm said:

@Pyrogram said:

@Timandm: I have seen a lot of peer reviewed stuff and they have a lot of BS in them. A lot. I have researched for a while how to get stuff peer reviewed with my uncle who was trying to do something in physics that has not been done before and we realized it is not as hard as you would think. It is not easy though. But a lot of things can get unnoticed when you have contacts.

Um... I HAVE published in peer reviewed journals... It might be easy for you... but it's been a SON OF A B)*#$ for me... Also, journals are rated. Some are very easy, and some are extremely difficult. Nature, for example, most scientists are happy if they can publish in Nature just once in their lives.

Now, I have right here in front of me, a journal article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. JAMA. 2003;289(1):70-75. doi:10.1001/jama.289.1.70 I'd be happy to send you the PDF file... The journal of the American Medical Association is a well respected journal... There are SIX authors to this paper. Four of them are M.D.s and two are PhDs.... I think they can be trusted. Their data was verified by a panel... it's a well written article. I'd be happy to send it to you if you like and you can see for yourself... Can you think of a journal you'd trust more than the JAMA? Because, i can pull articles from Nature, Science, Blood, you name it....

No, I agree with you, I know some journals can be like walking through a Forrest that is burning and being hunted by wolves, But things like this can never be that ACCURATE, they may be reliable, but not accurate, I seriously doubt they have asked everybody in the USA if they drink. Some things just cannot be assessed.

#48 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@Pyrogram said:

@Timandm said:

@Pyrogram said:

@Timandm: I have seen a lot of peer reviewed stuff and they have a lot of BS in them. A lot. I have researched for a while how to get stuff peer reviewed with my uncle who was trying to do something in physics that has not been done before and we realized it is not as hard as you would think. It is not easy though. But a lot of things can get unnoticed when you have contacts.

Um... I HAVE published in peer reviewed journals... It might be easy for you... but it's been a SON OF A B)*#$ for me... Also, journals are rated. Some are very easy, and some are extremely difficult. Nature, for example, most scientists are happy if they can publish in Nature just once in their lives.

Now, I have right here in front of me, a journal article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. JAMA. 2003;289(1):70-75. doi:10.1001/jama.289.1.70 I'd be happy to send you the PDF file... The journal of the American Medical Association is a well respected journal... There are SIX authors to this paper. Four of them are M.D.s and two are PhDs.... I think they can be trusted. Their data was verified by a panel... it's a well written article. I'd be happy to send it to you if you like and you can see for yourself... Can you think of a journal you'd trust more than the JAMA? Because, i can pull articles from Nature, Science, Blood, you name it....

No, I agree with you, I know some journals can be like walking through a Forrest that is burning and being hunted by wolves, But things like this can never be that ACCURATE, they may be reliable, but not accurate, I seriously doubt they have asked everybody in the USA if they drink. Some things just cannot be assessed.

Well, it's true they can't go about asking everyone...  But we know that.  So, we develop methods to  investigate and then we use statistical analysis to verify.  Is it perfect, SMURF no.... But it's the best we can do.
For things like this, we collect data from hospitals, prisons, health care providers, insurance agencies.   We take polls from a LARGE sample of the population that we "hope" is representative of the entire population.  But we use statistics to verify whether or not are polls are a good representation of the entire population.  We KNOW are sample has to have the right proportion of ages, races, income brackets, so on and so fourth...  and we do the best we can.   It's not perfect, but it's better than anything else out there that we know of...
 
I wonder if you recall a few years back, an article came out talking about the number of civilians that were killed in Iraq, during the years of the gulf war...  The numbers were staggeringly high.  Sadly, the head of the Christian Science Monitor stated in an interview for the Washington Post that the numbers seemed "inflated."  When he said that, many people in the US laughed off the article.
 
It turned out, that the Rat-F($* Son of a B)$($ had NEVER even read the article....   I pulled the article and read it for myself.  I was impressed with the way the data was collected.
Iraq, at least at the time, had what we would call 18 states.  The authors of this article collected data by sending people LOTS of people out all over IRAQ to a minimum of 1000 houses in each state (If I'm remembering correctly).  THAT is a lot.  Now, they went directly to the houses because in IRAQ, when people know they're dying, they go home to die, not to hospitals.  
 
My point is, many researchers do put a great deal of effort into trying to collect accurate data.  We do the best we can.  Course, there are always going be lazy so and so's out there....  
But getting back to the numbers I posted, I took them from what I believe to be credible sources...  it wasn't intended as an attack.
#49 Posted by Pyrogram (32271 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm said:

@Pyrogram said:

@Timandm said:

@Pyrogram said:

@Timandm: I have seen a lot of peer reviewed stuff and they have a lot of BS in them. A lot. I have researched for a while how to get stuff peer reviewed with my uncle who was trying to do something in physics that has not been done before and we realized it is not as hard as you would think. It is not easy though. But a lot of things can get unnoticed when you have contacts.

Um... I HAVE published in peer reviewed journals... It might be easy for you... but it's been a SON OF A B)*#$ for me... Also, journals are rated. Some are very easy, and some are extremely difficult. Nature, for example, most scientists are happy if they can publish in Nature just once in their lives.

Now, I have right here in front of me, a journal article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. JAMA. 2003;289(1):70-75. doi:10.1001/jama.289.1.70 I'd be happy to send you the PDF file... The journal of the American Medical Association is a well respected journal... There are SIX authors to this paper. Four of them are M.D.s and two are PhDs.... I think they can be trusted. Their data was verified by a panel... it's a well written article. I'd be happy to send it to you if you like and you can see for yourself... Can you think of a journal you'd trust more than the JAMA? Because, i can pull articles from Nature, Science, Blood, you name it....

No, I agree with you, I know some journals can be like walking through a Forrest that is burning and being hunted by wolves, But things like this can never be that ACCURATE, they may be reliable, but not accurate, I seriously doubt they have asked everybody in the USA if they drink. Some things just cannot be assessed.

Well, it's true they can't go about asking everyone... But we know that. So, we develop methods to investigate and then we use statistical analysis to verify. Is it perfect, SMURF no.... But it's the best we can do. For things like this, we collect data from hospitals, prisons, health care providers, insurance agencies. We take polls from a LARGE sample of the population that we "hope" is representative of the entire population. But we use statistics to verify whether or not are polls are a good representation of the entire population. We KNOW are sample has to have the right proportion of ages, races, income brackets, so on and so fourth... and we do the best we can. It's not perfect, but it's better than anything else out there that we know of... I wonder if you recall a few years back, an article came out talking about the number of civilians that were killed in Iraq, during the years of the gulf war... The numbers were staggeringly high. Sadly, the head of the Christian Science Monitor stated in an interview for the Washington Post that the numbers seemed "inflated." When he said that, many people in the US laughed off the article. It turned out, that the Rat-F($* Son of a B)$($ had NEVER even read the article.... I pulled the article and read it for myself. I was impressed with the way the data was collected. Iraq, at least at the time, had what we would call 18 states. The authors of this article collected data by sending people LOTS of people out all over IRAQ to a minimum of 1000 houses in each state (If I'm remembering correctly). THAT is a lot. Now, they went directly to the houses because in IRAQ, when people know they're dying, they go home to die, not to hospitals. My point is, many researchers do put a great deal of effort into trying to collect accurate data. We do the best we can. Course, there are always going be lazy so and so's out there.... But getting back to the numbers I posted, I took them from what I believe to be credible sources... it wasn't intended as an attack.

This is SO annoying! I hate people like that with a passion! I admire you dude, you are very knowledgeable in these subjects, What are you qualified in by the way?

#50 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@Pyrogram: Qualified in?  Probably nothing.... But my PhD is in Bioengineering.   At the time that I read that article, I was working in a Children's Center at a medical university researching infections in the lung.
 
Oh!  Another thing Mr. Christian Science Monitor did was criticize the statistical analysis the authors of the article performed...  I looked at how they did their statistical analysis.  I couldn't find a problem with it....  But I'm going off on a tangent now... aren't I?     How bout those Braves?