NYT Article: Police Surveillance of Cyclists as Political Dissidents

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Elisa Francesca Roselli, Dec 22, 2005.



  1. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Tom Keats wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Elisa Francesca Roselli <[email protected]> quotes:
    >
    > > "Ryan Kuonen, 32, who took part in a "ride of silence" in memory of a
    > > dead cyclist, said that two undercover officers - one with a camera -
    > > subverted the event. "They were just in your face," she said. "It made
    > > what was a really solemn event into something that seemed wrong. It made
    > > you feel like you were a criminal. It was grotesque.""

    >
    > Reminds me of back in the '60s and '70s, when the narcs would
    > try to blend in with the crowd at rock concerts.
    >
    > Anyway, I think this "radical cyclists" bugaboo hails from well
    > before 9/11. Maybe even before the Seattle WTO convention, which
    > certainly instilled paranoid ideas about the Great Unwashed into
    > the corporate mammon worshipers. Or maybe it just brought their
    > latent paranoid notions to the surface.
    >
    >
    > cheers,
    > Tom


    I don't blame the "radical cyclist" image on paranoia. IMO blame for
    that image rests squarely on the shoulders of those very few that in
    their public statements intentionally politicize what is in no way a
    political act, i.e., riding a bicycle. Those statements (and actions)
    are simple minded throwbacks to the philosophy of the mid-60s radical
    Left when everything was viewed through the lens of "The Movement".

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  2. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:

    > EFR
    > Glad to be in Ile de France


    It wasn't that long ago that you were wishing that the French police
    were doing more to curb the so-called "student riots" in Paris and
    writing posts about how you feared for your safety in your own
    neighborhood. I guess that your opinion of what are
    acceptable/unacceptable police actions in monitoring crowds depends to
    a great extent on your proximity to those crowds. That's a fairly
    common and very human trait. It's hypocritical but understandable.

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  3. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:
    >
    >> EFR
    >> Glad to be in Ile de France

    >
    > It wasn't that long ago that you were wishing that the French police
    > were doing more to curb the so-called "student riots" in Paris and
    > writing posts about how you feared for your safety in your own
    > neighborhood. I guess that your opinion of what are
    > acceptable/unacceptable police actions in monitoring crowds depends to
    > a great extent on your proximity to those crowds. That's a fairly
    > common and very human trait. It's hypocritical but understandable.
    >

    We EXPECT the government to monitor and infiltrate "bad" groups.

    If there were terrorists holding parades and the police were somehow NOT
    videotaping, even the NYT would criticize, I would think.

    The problem comes in defining "bad", and in avoiding over-surveillance where
    it's inappropriate but easy.

    In Michael Moore's 9/11 movie, there's a section about police infiltration
    of a "peace" group composed mostly of grandparents, and he makes the
    predictable criticisms. (Also, by cinematically focusing on the fact that
    these people are white and innocent, he comes close to implying a racial
    statement. People seem to have forgotten that the Oklahoma City bombings
    were done by middle aged white people.) To me, the problem isn't that they
    infiltrated this group but that the police kept after it so long, long
    beyond when you would have thought they would have given up as an
    unproductive use of resources. [And, before somebody pulls up old posts of
    mine, I liked and recommended the movie. That doesn't mean I had to like
    everything about it.]

    It's also the case that there are usually a massive number of digital photos
    of these events posted on the internet by people who were there. Nobody
    seems concerned that I'm shown with "helmet hair" and a bad bald spot in
    these photos.

    The question in my mind isn't so much the raw material -- like videos taken
    by embedded police -- it's whether it is used inappropriately or whether the
    whole program is operated outside the oversight mechanisms that provide
    checks and balances in democratic systems.
     
  4. Pinky

    Pinky Guest

    Cross posting is a total pain. Bah Humbug to all cross posters on both sides
    of the pond!

    --
    Trevor A Panther
    In South Yorkshire,
    England, United Kingdom.
    Remove PSANTISPAM to reply
    "Elisa Francesca Roselli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/22/n...8926beae1ec&hp&ex=1135314000&partner=homepage
    >
    > Some extracts:
    >
    > "Undercover New York City police officers have conducted covert
    > surveillance in the last 16 months of people protesting the Iraq war,
    > bicycle riders taking part in mass rallies and even mourners at a street
    > vigil for a cyclist killed in an accident, a series of videotapes show."
    >
    >
    > "Provided with images from the tape, the Police Department's chief
    > spokesman, Paul J. Browne, did not dispute that they showed officers at
    > work but said that disguised officers had always attended such
    > gatherings - not to investigate political activities but to keep order and
    > protect free speech. Activists, however, say that police officers
    > masquerading as protesters and bicycle riders distort their messages and
    > provoke trouble."
    >
    >
    > "After the 2001 terrorist attacks, officials at all levels of government
    > considered major changes in various police powers. President Bush
    > acknowledged last Saturday that he has secretly permitted the National
    > Security Agency to eavesdrop without a warrant on international telephone
    > calls and e-mail messages in terror investigations.
    >
    > In New York, the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg persuaded a
    > federal judge in 2003 to enlarge the Police Department's authority to
    > conduct investigations of political, social and religious groups. "We live
    > in a more dangerous, constantly changing world," Police Commissioner
    > Raymond W. Kelly said."
    >
    >
    > "Ryan Kuonen, 32, who took part in a "ride of silence" in memory of a dead
    > cyclist, said that two undercover officers - one with a camera - subverted
    > the event. "They were just in your face," she said. "It made what was a
    > really solemn event into something that seemed wrong. It made you feel
    > like you were a criminal. It was grotesque.""
    >
    >
    > EFR
    > Glad to be in Ile de France
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
  5. Bill Sornson

    Bill Sornson Guest

    Pinky top-posted, cross-posted, AND didn't snip unneeded content:

    > Cross posting is a total pain. Bah Humbug to all cross posters on
    > both sides of the pond!


    Brilliant!

    <eg>
     
  6. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    Bob wrote:
    > Peter Cole wrote:
    >
    >>Bob wrote:

    >
    >>
    >>I find it troubling that you, a law enforcement officer I believe, would
    >>dismiss this so easily.


    >
    > Maybe he *did* shout that. I don't know but I tend to think he did
    > because based on the sign incident I'm inclined to think he's not
    > qualified to work in a UC capacity in that type of setting. That *one*
    > cop screwed up or is not suited for that type of duty though doesn't
    > change my opinion that there is nothing at all wrong with the police
    > monitoring people at public events to safeguard the general welfare.
    > The events are, after all, PUBLIC and safeguarding the public's lives
    > and property is not only an acceptable police function in our society,
    > it is the *primary* function of police.


    Thanks for taking the time to express your position so thoroughly.

    I think we have different ideas about what comprises necessary
    undercover police work. That's OK in a free society. We'll have to agree
    to disagree. Whatever one's position, I think it's a subject worthy of
    constant scrutiny and debate. Power is too easily abused.
     
  7. Pinky

    Pinky Guest

    It is done to illustrate your total idiocy in maintenance this stupid and
    irrelevant cross posting -- and I am no troll you total w*nker

    --
    Trevor A Panther
    In South Yorkshire,
    England, United Kingdom.
    Remove PSANTISPAM to reply
    "Bill Sornson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Pinky top-posted, cross-posted, AND didn't snip unneeded content:
    >
    >> Cross posting is a total pain. Bah Humbug to all cross posters on
    >> both sides of the pond!

    >
    > Brilliant!
    >
    > <eg>
    >
     
  8. Bill Sornson

    Bill Sornson Guest

    Pinky wrote:
    >> Pinky top-posted, cross-posted, AND didn't snip unneeded content:
    >>
    >>> Cross posting is a total pain. Bah Humbug to all cross posters on
    >>> both sides of the pond!

    >>
    >> Brilliant!
    >>
    >> <eg>


    > It is done to illustrate your total idiocy in maintenance this stupid
    > and irrelevant cross posting -- and I am no troll you total w*nker


    Now THAT hurt.

    BWAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHA!
     
  9. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Mike Kruger wrote:
    > "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:
    > >
    > >> EFR
    > >> Glad to be in Ile de France

    > >
    > > It wasn't that long ago that you were wishing that the French police
    > > were doing more to curb the so-called "student riots" in Paris and
    > > writing posts about how you feared for your safety in your own
    > > neighborhood. I guess that your opinion of what are
    > > acceptable/unacceptable police actions in monitoring crowds depends to
    > > a great extent on your proximity to those crowds. That's a fairly
    > > common and very human trait. It's hypocritical but understandable.
    > >

    > We EXPECT the government to monitor and infiltrate "bad" groups.
    >
    > If there were terrorists holding parades and the police were somehow NOT
    > videotaping, even the NYT would criticize, I would think.
    >
    > The problem comes in defining "bad", and in avoiding over-surveillance where
    > it's inappropriate but easy.
    >
    > In Michael Moore's 9/11 movie, there's a section about police infiltration
    > of a "peace" group composed mostly of grandparents, and he makes the
    > predictable criticisms. (Also, by cinematically focusing on the fact that
    > these people are white and innocent, he comes close to implying a racial
    > statement. People seem to have forgotten that the Oklahoma City bombings
    > were done by middle aged white people.) To me, the problem isn't that they
    > infiltrated this group but that the police kept after it so long, long
    > beyond when you would have thought they would have given up as an
    > unproductive use of resources. [And, before somebody pulls up old posts of
    > mine, I liked and recommended the movie. That doesn't mean I had to like
    > everything about it.]
    >
    > It's also the case that there are usually a massive number of digital photos
    > of these events posted on the internet by people who were there. Nobody
    > seems concerned that I'm shown with "helmet hair" and a bad bald spot in
    > these photos.
    >
    > The question in my mind isn't so much the raw material -- like videos taken
    > by embedded police -- it's whether it is used inappropriately or whether the
    > whole program is operated outside the oversight mechanisms that provide
    > checks and balances in democratic systems.


    Leaving aside the issue of how to determine what groups are "bad",
    i.e., pose a significant credible threat to the public good, without
    any research/intelligence gathering, I'm curious- what "inappropriate
    use" of videotapes of public events do you think possible? Again, the
    videotaping we are discussing is being done at PUBLIC events that take
    place on PUBLIC streets. If you or I choose to appear at a public event
    we don't have any reasonable expectation of privacy in regard to our
    physical appearance. The types of rallies and protests we're discussing
    are designed as physical demonstrations of support for whatever
    viewpoint the participants hold so if we attend a public rally in
    support of a particular cause we not only give up that particular right
    to privacy we INVITE publicity.
    The question that remains then is what inappropriate use could such
    images be put to by the police? Since we don't "disappear" political
    dissidents in the US and US police actions are *all* subject to
    oversight in the form of the courts, I'm at a loss to even imagine what
    inappropriate use you envision.

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  10. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> writes:

    >> The current crop of Reformatives should emigrate to Montana where
    >> they belong.

    >
    >
    > I'm actually rather enamored with the Governor of Montana.


    I'm rather enamoured with Kari, of MythBusters. Well, I wouldn't
    wanna get, you know, involved with her, but I'd buy her brunch
    and listen to her for a while. I have the impression she could,
    as the Hawaiians say: "talk story" very fascinatingly.
    /And/ talk shop.

    I guess there are nice people in all kinds of places.
    Even TV.


    cheers,
    Tom

    --
    -- Nothing is safe from me.
    Above address is just a spam midden.
    I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     
  11. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Mike Kruger wrote:
    >>
    >> The question in my mind isn't so much the raw material -- like videos
    >> taken
    >> by embedded police -- it's whether it is used inappropriately or whether
    >> the
    >> whole program is operated outside the oversight mechanisms that provide
    >> checks and balances in democratic systems.

    >
    > Leaving aside the issue of how to determine what groups are "bad",
    > i.e., pose a significant credible threat to the public good, without
    > any research/intelligence gathering, I'm curious- what "inappropriate
    > use" of videotapes of public events do you think possible? Again, the
    > videotaping we are discussing is being done at PUBLIC events that take
    > place on PUBLIC streets. If you or I choose to appear at a public event
    > we don't have any reasonable expectation of privacy in regard to our
    > physical appearance. The types of rallies and protests we're discussing
    > are designed as physical demonstrations of support for whatever
    > viewpoint the participants hold so if we attend a public rally in
    > support of a particular cause we not only give up that particular right
    > to privacy we INVITE publicity.
    > The question that remains then is what inappropriate use could such
    > images be put to by the police? Since we don't "disappear" political
    > dissidents in the US and US police actions are *all* subject to
    > oversight in the form of the courts, I'm at a loss to even imagine what
    > inappropriate use you envision.
    >

    Bob, you are setting up a situation in which information is collected in
    PUBLIC situations and where "police actions are *all* subject to oversight
    in the form of the courts"

    In order to answer your question about inappropriate use, I have to engage
    in what I hope is paranoia -- i.e. I hope I am expressing irrational fears
    about

    1. Police informing my employer about certain suggestive political ideas I
    seem to hold.

    (in my case, my boss frankly couldn't care less, but ...)

    2. Using this information as a way to create entries to other, less savory
    activities -- e.g. mining this information for leads to other activities
    that are questionable. Specifically, the fact that Bush seems to be stating
    he needs no court oversight for the NSA surveillance is very disturbing.
    And yes, I would feel the same way if Clinton had made the same claim.

    I'm aware the NSA isn't a local police agency. For your side of the fence,
    you can more easily make distinctions between the various roles of various
    policing bodies. They tend to blend together for us ordinary citizens.
     
  12. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Mike Kruger wrote:
    > "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > Mike Kruger wrote:
    > >>
    > >> The question in my mind isn't so much the raw material -- like videos
    > >> taken
    > >> by embedded police -- it's whether it is used inappropriately or whether
    > >> the
    > >> whole program is operated outside the oversight mechanisms that provide
    > >> checks and balances in democratic systems.

    > >
    > > Leaving aside the issue of how to determine what groups are "bad",
    > > i.e., pose a significant credible threat to the public good, without
    > > any research/intelligence gathering, I'm curious- what "inappropriate
    > > use" of videotapes of public events do you think possible? Again, the
    > > videotaping we are discussing is being done at PUBLIC events that take
    > > place on PUBLIC streets. If you or I choose to appear at a public event
    > > we don't have any reasonable expectation of privacy in regard to our
    > > physical appearance. The types of rallies and protests we're discussing
    > > are designed as physical demonstrations of support for whatever
    > > viewpoint the participants hold so if we attend a public rally in
    > > support of a particular cause we not only give up that particular right
    > > to privacy we INVITE publicity.
    > > The question that remains then is what inappropriate use could such
    > > images be put to by the police? Since we don't "disappear" political
    > > dissidents in the US and US police actions are *all* subject to
    > > oversight in the form of the courts, I'm at a loss to even imagine what
    > > inappropriate use you envision.
    > >

    > Bob, you are setting up a situation in which information is collected in
    > PUBLIC situations and where "police actions are *all* subject to oversight
    > in the form of the courts"
    >
    > In order to answer your question about inappropriate use, I have to engage
    > in what I hope is paranoia -- i.e. I hope I am expressing irrational fears
    > about
    >
    > 1. Police informing my employer about certain suggestive political ideas I
    > seem to hold.
    >
    > (in my case, my boss frankly couldn't care less, but ...)
    >
    > 2. Using this information as a way to create entries to other, less savory
    > activities -- e.g. mining this information for leads to other activities
    > that are questionable. Specifically, the fact that Bush seems to be stating
    > he needs no court oversight for the NSA surveillance is very disturbing.
    > And yes, I would feel the same way if Clinton had made the same claim.
    >
    > I'm aware the NSA isn't a local police agency. For your side of the fence,
    > you can more easily make distinctions between the various roles of various
    > policing bodies. They tend to blend together for us ordinary citizens.


    Before I address your post I'd like to say thanks for keeping this
    discussion on a civil level, Mike. After reading your posts here over
    the years I expected no less of you but frankly, I'm often sadly amused
    at how some of the people that accuse police of being jackbooted
    fascists (not you) are unable to express themselves rationally but
    instead resort to namecalling as if namecalling was a form of
    persuasion.
    Anyway, on to your post...
    When I wrote that, "US police actions are *all* subject to oversight in
    the form of the courts", I wasn't setting up a situation or creating a
    hypothetical instance. That is the reality. Can I or any police officer
    intentionally make a bad arrest, violate a person's constitutional
    rights, or otherwise disregard the limitations placed upon us? Of
    course. Do those things ever occur? Only a fool would argue that they
    don't. That's why we have oversight in the form of courts. The judge
    hearing the case can throw out a bad arrest. A federal prosecutor can
    charge me with a crime if I violate someone's rights. A civil court can
    award damages if I overstep my authority.
    As to your specific concerns:
    > 1. Police informing my employer about certain suggestive political ideas I
    > seem to hold.

    First, we're talking about police monitoring public actions on public
    streets. Your boss is more likely to see you at that
    rally/protest/whatever in a newspaper photo or on the 10:00 news than
    he is to get a phone call from the police informing him that you're a
    dangerous anti-American subversive. No faith in the good will of the
    police is necessary to accept this. It's a matter of practicality. Even
    if we had the inclination to inform your employer, why would we? To
    leak information is in many cases a crime and in almost all cases an
    actionable cause civilly so why would I or any cop risk my job, my
    freedom, and my life savings to tell your boss, "Mike is a lefty?" That
    leads us right back to the far more likely situation that someone's
    boss will see them in the paper or on the television. Shall we then ban
    all cameras from such events? I can hear the howls of the civil
    libertarians at the mere suggestion of such an idea. Heck, I'd be
    howling right along with them and I don't *like* the media; I view them
    much the same as many view the police- often incompetent but a
    necessary evil. (I think we are more necessary but others may disagree.
    I also think we are more competent at our job than the media is at
    their job but IMO that's not saying a whole lot. <g>)
    > 2. Using this information as a way to create entries to other, less savory
    > activities -- e.g. mining this information for leads to other activities
    > that are questionable.

    Do you mean that you fear being videotaped at a public event will lead
    to an intensive investigation into your life? While that may happen in
    novels, movies, and television it doesn't occur in real life. An
    example- the Secret Service has been investigating possible threats to
    US presidents for years. Being videotaped at certain types of events
    will land you in a database as will checking certain books out of the
    public library. What happens when you land in that database? Not much.
    No agent is assigned to black bag your house, interview your neighbors,
    audit your taxes, or follow you unless you keep popping up
    spontaneously in that database. About all you could expect then would
    be a visit by an agent from the local Secret Service field office. If
    you don't foam at the mouth when you speak to him or her, that's it.
    Why not? Mostly because even if the inclination to pursue it further
    were there, the manpower is not and never will be. A background
    investigation into even a bland, middle of the road, not a darned
    unusual thing about him, individual takes on average 30 to 40 man
    hours. Multiply that by one million- a ridiculously understated figure
    of those that have protested against the war in Iraq, for instance- and
    you'll begin to see why such fears are baseless.
    > Specifically, the fact that Bush seems to be stating
    > he needs no court oversight for the NSA surveillance is very disturbing.
    > And yes, I would feel the same way if Clinton had made the same claim.

    I believe that the claim being made by the Administration is that they
    don't need *prior* approval in the form of search warrants for the
    surveillance. As long as their activities remain in the public arena-
    monitoring the Internet, for instance- they are on solid legal ground
    but like any other exercise of police power, those activities are
    *still* subject to oversight after the fact through the courts. The
    biggest problem I see is that society is having difficulty keeping up
    with technology where the law is concerned.

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  13. Bob wrote in part:

    > I believe that the claim being made by the Administration is that they
    > don't need *prior* approval in the form of search warrants for the
    > surveillance.


    Actually their claim is that they don't need *any* approval
    in the form of search warrants. The FISA procedure allows
    the govt. to eavesdrop *before* a search warrant is granted,
    then get the warrant later. (Furthermore, the FISA court
    almost never turns down a warrant request--5 rejections
    in approximately 19,000 requests or about .025 %
    rejection rate.) The question is...WHY in heck would
    the administration feel the need to bypass the FISA
    court. None of the 'explanations' given so far makes
    a damn bit of sense.

    Robert
     
  14. [email protected] wrote:
    <snip>
    > rejection rate.) The question is...WHY in heck would
    > the administration feel the need to bypass the FISA
    > court. None of the 'explanations' given so far makes
    > a damn bit of sense.


    Neither did spying on actors, musicians, and civil rights leaders back
    in the '60's and early '70's, but Johnson, Nixon, and Hoover did it.


    Bill


    --------------------------------------------------
    | Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; |
    | they support the laws before destroying them. |
    | --Voltaire |
    --------------------------------------------------
     
  15. Bob

    Bob Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Bob wrote in part:
    >
    > > I believe that the claim being made by the Administration is that they
    > > don't need *prior* approval in the form of search warrants for the
    > > surveillance.

    >
    > Actually their claim is that they don't need *any* approval
    > in the form of search warrants. The FISA procedure allows
    > the govt. to eavesdrop *before* a search warrant is granted,
    > then get the warrant later. (Furthermore, the FISA court
    > almost never turns down a warrant request--5 rejections
    > in approximately 19,000 requests or about .025 %
    > rejection rate.) The question is...WHY in heck would
    > the administration feel the need to bypass the FISA
    > court. None of the 'explanations' given so far makes
    > a damn bit of sense.
    >
    > Robert


    Search warrants are by definition prior approval for a search granted
    by an independent magistrate/court. The FISA procedure you mention
    simply allows a search to proceed after the warrant has been applied
    for but prior to its actual issuance. If upon receipt of the actual
    affidavit and warrant the court decides to not approve the warrant,
    nothing resulting from that search may be used or retained. In that
    respect it's not that unlike a telephonic warrant. In a telephonic
    warrant, I call the judge (usually at 2 AM or so) and read him my
    affidavit for the warrant and he approves the immediate search. I must
    still deliver the physical affidavit in person and swear to its
    accuracy without delay. Nothing I may have discovered in my search can
    be included in that affidavit. (God help me if the judge then
    disapproves the warrant!)
    I think you missed the points I was trying to make though, Robert.
    First, warrants are required only if the government is proposing to
    intrude somewhere that a reasonable expectation of privacy exists and
    in this thread we're discussing an area where there is no such
    expectation, i.e., public streets. Absent restraining orders of the
    type imposed on stalkers, anyone may watch anyone else in public. You,
    I, the government- none of us need a court's permission. I doubt anyone
    that has thought it through wants to change that.
    Second, while I don't agree with all of the Administration's proposals
    I thought it important to point out that the procedures you are talking
    about *are* being subjected to judicial oversight and scrutiny. The
    Administration is in court defending them, aren't they? What those
    court battles are all about is to what extent and under what
    circumstances the Administration's actions require *prior* approval,
    not whether or not the need for national security supersedes the
    Constitution.

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  16. Bob

    Bob Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > <snip>
    > > rejection rate.) The question is...WHY in heck would
    > > the administration feel the need to bypass the FISA
    > > court. None of the 'explanations' given so far makes
    > > a damn bit of sense.

    >
    > Neither did spying on actors, musicians, and civil rights leaders back
    > in the '60's and early '70's, but Johnson, Nixon, and Hoover did it.
    >
    >
    > Bill


    And this has what to do with the current discussion?

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  17. gds

    gds Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > <snip>
    > > rejection rate.) The question is...WHY in heck would
    > > the administration feel the need to bypass the FISA
    > > court. None of the 'explanations' given so far makes
    > > a damn bit of sense.

    >
    > Neither did spying on actors, musicians, and civil rights leaders back
    > in the '60's and early '70's, but Johnson, Nixon, and Hoover did it.
    >
    >
    > Bill
    >
    >


    Ahh! the many wrongs make it right argument.
     
  18. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >SB wrote:
    >> On Fri, 23 Dec 2005 00:52:11 +0000, Mike Kruger wrote:
    >>
    >>>In linguistics, Chomsky is a bona-finbe genius. Genius isn't all that
    >> > transferrable, however. Just because you have achieved brilliance in an
    >> > academic field does not mean you are brilliant in all fields, or even more
    >> > than one. In politics, Chomsky is on the far, far fringe.

    >>
    >> No, he's not. He's right on. He seems on the fringe because
    >> the rest of the western world is disgustingly to the right. Peace, love
    >> and understanding are only for songs and peoples' personal inner circles
    >> in our current corporate dominated society where ignorance and selfishness
    >> prevails.

    >
    >IOW, "I and that very small percentage of the population that agrees
    >with me are centrists. Everyone else is on the fringe and they are all
    >disgusting, hateful, ignorant, selfish people."
    >
    >Thank god the "true believers" on both the left and right think that
    >this type of foaming at the mouth proselytizing is effective
    >persuasion. That helps prevent their lunacies from spreading.


    Beautiful. Couldn't have possibly said it better myownself.

    Mark Hickey
    Habanero Cycles
    http://www.habcycles.com
    Home of the $795 ti frame
     
  19. Bill Sornson wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > > How do you define 'left-wing' and what makes you think
    > > I am part of it?

    >
    > I mostly meant the mind-set you ascribe to Chomsky; however, your expressed
    > views qualify pretty well, too :) (Read: more liberals think that "people
    > are fundamentally stupid and sheep-like and largely complicit in their own
    > repression and ignorance" than do conservatives.)


    The idea that the great unwashed masses need to
    be governed is perhaps the original conservative
    political idea, first articulated in writing in Plato's
    Republic, I believe. Pure democracy, otoh, is the
    embodiment of political liberalism.

    Since then, the words 'liberal' and 'conservative'
    have come to mean all kinds of crazy things to
    all kinds of crazy people.

    I didn't really mean that people are 'fundamentally
    stupid,' although that is what I wrote. What I should
    have said was people are fundamentally lazy, and
    they tend toward ignorance because it's the easy
    way out.

    Robert
     
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