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      CommentAuthormuse hick
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (252.1)
    given the shift in the political climate and the proposals coming in to allow almost any activity to be labeled as terrorism, how safe do you feel being political?
  1.  (252.2)
    I'm not sure I understand - isn't just voting a political act?

    (Not being snarky, just curious what your benchmark for 'being political' is).
  2.  (252.3)
    Define the country. Not everyone on Whitechapel or in the world lives in America, after all.

    -- W
    •  
      CommentAuthorbadger
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (252.4)
    it's relatively safe in the U.S. but it's easy to be labeled as needing a tinfoil hat.
  3.  (252.5)
    In England it's more 'dangerous' to say that you are religious.
    (Which is one of the reason why I like England - and I use England rather than UK for specific reasons.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorARES
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (252.6)
    I regularly state the identity, quantity, and frequency of items the US gov't can shove into whichever orifice it pleases, both online and outloud.

    However with each passing year I think the chance of black helicopters coming to get me increases, but that might just be due to further paranoia seeping in.
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      CommentAuthorRandy74
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
     (252.7)
    If your views are somewhat radical, its dangerous in the US even...

    Free Speech Zones, spying on citizens,...

    If the Patriot act wasn't enough now we have this :

    H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007
    •  
      CommentAuthormuse hick
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (252.8)
    Well, the US government said it was legal for it to kidnap British citizens so I am not sure country distinctions are necessary and sorry I was thinking of the act quoted by Randy74 when I posted. I meant vocally political and also holding views that do not adhere to the accepted party line -- or the line being pushed on both sides by the businessmen behind it all.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (252.9)
    If it isn't safe to be political, then people need to be getting more political.
  4.  (252.10)
    Honestly what do you mean by political?

    H.R. 1955 is overbroad and almost certainly unconstitutional, but have you actually felt your rights to protest being oppressed or damaged in such a way that that you are in personal danger? Right now the negative impact seems to mostly be social pressure to conform backed up by policies which undermine the public forum (such as the above free speech zones), and at the same time there is plenty of vocal opposition to such things which is stated openly and without reprisal that I can see. Danger is not the same as a climate which is harming the ideals of free exchange.

    I mean, having genuine radical views and acting as a radical is always dangerous - thats what being a radical is. But I do not think you mean that. It sounds like you think that it is now dangerous to not hold the middle of the road party line, and in fact dangerous to speak your mind on a topic in a way that does not match that same view.

    Its, I suppose the word is romantic in an odd way, to talk like there is danger to that now, but there is little evidence to show such danger.

    My own opposition to certain policies and laws aside, no there is no real danger in the sense your implying. There is some stupid stuff going on, but the actual danger, well it pales in comparison current or historical danger faced by genuine radicals world over. I think having a sense of perspective of the real impact of current bad laws and real dangers faced elsewhere is needed to act in a decisive manner to counter the stupid choices that are being made.
    • CommentAuthoradrian r
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
     (252.11)
    @ Oddcult: Precisely...what's really scary is how apolitical many people are.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRandy74
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
     (252.12)
    Well Jtraub, with things like TIPS and phonelines if someone say wanted to badmouth Bush and or say that they felt he was a a threat to the nation, a traitor lets say and someone wanted to call that in and report someone you would most certainly be questioned and possibly detained, people have had such things happen to them in recent years. anyway you look at it no one should be questioned for thier views unless say they are heard making a direct threat..., Peace groups have been infiltrated and thier definitions are broad as far as who is and what defines this and other legislation so...
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      CommentAuthormuse hick
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (252.13)
    i am not meaning to be vague but the way i understood some of the changes that were happening was that they are laws which aim to criminalise the holding of and expressing of opinions. they aim to redefine what constitutes an act or threat -- making it possible for them to go to extraordinary lengths to shut down opposing viewpoints. so i understood the laws to be aimed at being political in any sense of the word if it was deemed to be unacceptable by those in power.
    i am not trying to imply here that i hold views that are any more contentious than your average person but that as the world shifts to the right does it not make even the most apparently benign opinion something that could get you in trouble if someone else has a problem with it?
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      CommentAuthorRandy74
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (252.14)
    Muse is right..its all very "Orwellian" if you actually even read excerpts ot it...
  5.  (252.15)
    There have been false arrests and there has been plenty of crap yes.

    But you honestly feel its dangerous to bad mouth Bush?
    Honestly and actually dangerous to life and limb to hold a political opinion outside the mainstream?
    Questioning 911, well Loose Change is bullshit supreme of that game, but I do not see people being arrested.

    Take operation TIPS, it was attacked and assaulted on many levels from the congress to the media. People spoke up and condemned, and the postal service decided they wanted no part of such a plan. And then it died in congress.
    A big brotherish plan that did not happen in part because of vocal public and private opposition makes for a poor example of the danger of being political.
  6.  (252.16)
    George Dubya Bush has indeed taken it upon himself to act like our Big Brother. Might be akin to beating a dead horse, but the Patriot Act seriously fucked us citizens out of our rights and liberties. His use of "executive privilege" is nothing more than him trying to become a dictator. Which has worked fairly well on his behalf. Personally, I'm awaiting the day the words of Jefferson come into play. Revolution every eight years. Old blood out, new blood in. No career politicians. Go to work, make the laws/pass the acts, go home. The founding fathers would be very sad to see what state we're in.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRandy74
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
     (252.17)
    People have been held and detained without trial, harrassed even arrested for asking questions, im not talking tin-foil hat unprovable incidents, when they define the terms there is no telling how bad things will be or can be becasue they will determine which ideals, groups & individuals constitute a threat.

    I do feel that way, i have my own reasons for saying so and i'll leave it at that.
  7.  (252.18)
    In response to the initial question, I don't feel unsafe voicing a political opinion or engaging in political activity, but I am wary. It's pretty obvious that the U.S. is moving into more of a surveillance mode of its citizenry and I think that within my lifetime the climate will become more repressive, but in a way that takes advantage of the mechanisms and practices at the ruling gang's disposal. There will be a greater move to make the majority of people apolitical while mobilising a minority into the service of those in power, for example.

    H.R. 1955 is a step, not an objective. There is not a lot of violent political activity in the US, and homegrown terrorism has been pretty limited, so why this bill now? I'd like to find out what the impetus is behind it, because it really seems to be about creating more tension and testing the legality of certain ideas. Just another attempt to see what can be stretched legislatively. I think Orwell would be weeping with a combination of despair and wonder at what is being wrought in the U.S. in terms of the increasing consolidation of power and the deployment of cooptative propaganda.
  8.  (252.19)
    @adrian r:
    "...what's really scary is how apolitical many people are."

    In what sense do you mean 'apolitical'?

    If you mean it in the sense of 'not trusting any party politician on principle', then that's me. If you mean in the sense of 'ignoring political actions and developments', that's not me. If you mean 'not voting', then that's me. If you mean 'oblivious to racial, class, financial and other social boundaries' that's not me. Etc.

    If you use 'politics' to mean 'someone who acts in society based on their conscience and is prepared to do more than talk about it', then I'm very political. But I've never voted and unless there's someone who has to be utterly opposed, I never will (I have no faith in there ever being a UK politician who actually represents my interests!).

    Perhaps it would be good to define our terms here...
  9.  (252.20)
    Is it dangerous? Sometimes, depending on your opinions, and how loud you are about them
    Should this stop you? No.

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