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  1.    #21  
    Well then why have any security at all? If we are innocent then why search us? Because some people arent innocent. Why do the FBI and law enforcement uses profilers to catch criminals? Cause it works.

    Ben had it right but he didnt live in an age when radical religious zealot who killed innocents for fun were out to get our country and its people.

    The really sad part is your quote wont save the people that will be victims in the next terrorist attack.

    If I had to be searched to ensure everyone else on the flight felt safe that I was not a terrorist, I'd gladly volunteer.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  2. #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Franklin
    They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty nor security.
    The quote is nice, but it all depends on what "essential liberty" means. It doesn't help in finding the trade-off between liberty and security.

    Here is another one from Benjamin Franklin, decicated to Woof :
    "In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes."
    Last edited by clulup; 07/22/2004 at 04:06 AM.
  3. mrjoec's Avatar
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    #23  
    The Ben Franklin quote is all well and good, but it's out of context here.

    We're not talking about taking away essential liberties here. We're talking about having to endure an extra question or two, or being patted down an extra time before getting on a plane.

    If the government suddenly decided that no Middle Eastern men were allowed to fly at all, or if they had to go out and get extra documentation to prove they weren't terrorists before they flew, THEN you'd have a very valid point. No one is getting arrested here. No one is being carted away to camps.

    Bill Mahr said it best when he suggested that all law enforcement work is BASED upon profiling. As it has to be.

    It's impossible to search everyone, so you search the people who are MOST LIKELY to cause trouble.

    Like I said, I've been singled out plenty of times, and I've never minded. Because while I'm not middle eastern, I am more likely to be a terrorist than the mother carrying her twin infants standing next to me.
    mrjoec
    www.joecieplinski.com
  4.    #24  
    Well said Joe.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  5.    #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The quote is nice, but it all depends on what "essential liberty" means. It doesn't help in finding the trade-off between liberty and security.

    Here is another one from Benjamin Franklin, decicated to Woof :
    "In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes."
    True, but I plan to live to 120 and I pay very few taxes, so it doesnt bother me much.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  6. #26  
    The question then becomes, who polices those that police us? Second, those that do it for fun? How do you profile them? Are there those more inclined to random violence?

    You're stating that we should remove all the civil liberties we currently possess, allow the FBI and others to search us at will, invade our homes, take our weapons, and invade our bedrooms (because most states have laws in the books against sodomy), burn our books, hang the critics in the news media in order to be safe? Sounds a lot like North Korea or China.

    The statement that Ben Franklin made is still relevant. While 9/11 is indeed tragic, it would be a larger tragedy if we gave up our freedoms and changed our way of life because of it. Isn't that what the terrorists are out to accomplish?

    We created this atmosphere of being a target. The Madrid bombings, according to the reports, were for Spain's involvement with the U.S. The same thing with the Phillipino truck driver. The Phillipino's pulled out and are now distancing themselves from the U.S. As we lose allys in this fight, we become larger targets, and in the world view, the oppressors.

    Look at your own statement: Ben had it right but he didnt live in an age when radical religious zealot who killed innocents for fun were out to get our country and its people.

    They want to kill the country and its people, instead of trying to stop them with force which only justifies their cause, why hasn't there been an effort to figure out why? There was this brief campaign of hearts and minds in Iraq, trying to convince them that we're there to help them. As asked by John Steward of the Daily Show, "Would America have the same national identity if France beat the British and wrote our constitution?" Or in the case of Osama bin Laden, would he have reason to attack us if we didn't constantly and blindly side with Sharon of Israel? We're the 228 year old new kid on the block trying to solve a religious war between people that have been on the earth a lot longer than those that called themselves Americans.

    Yet the average American lives their life day to day wondering if the economy is going to get better and whether gas prices will go down. I do not think the answer is ratcheting up security, but fixing our place on the world stage.
  7. #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjoec
    The Ben Franklin quote is all well and good, but it's out of context here.

    We're not talking about taking away essential liberties here. We're talking about having to endure an extra question or two, or being patted down an extra time before getting on a plane.

    If the government suddenly decided that no Middle Eastern men were allowed to fly at all, or if they had to go out and get extra documentation to prove they weren't terrorists before they flew, THEN you'd have a very valid point. No one is getting arrested here. No one is being carted away to camps.

    Bill Mahr said it best when he suggested that all law enforcement work is BASED upon profiling. As it has to be.

    It's impossible to search everyone, so you search the people who are MOST LIKELY to cause trouble.

    Like I said, I've been singled out plenty of times, and I've never minded. Because while I'm not middle eastern, I am more likely to be a terrorist than the mother carrying her twin infants standing next to me.
    The arguement against profiling is that it assumes guilt, as I've stated before, and that goes against the very belief of "Innocent until proven guilty." And as stated before, what happens when the terrorists start recruiting the mother carrying her twin infants?

    I'm not advocating the elimination of searches, or security. The checks should be random, and not with the appearance of selection by race, sex, or age.

    C
  8. #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by controller
    The arguement against profiling is that it assumes guilt, as I've stated before, and that goes against the very belief of "Innocent until proven guilty." And as stated before, what happens when the terrorists start recruiting the mother carrying her twin infants?

    I'm not advocating the elimination of searches, or security. The checks should be random, and not with the appearance of selection by race, sex, or age.

    C
    I don't think it is true that profiling violates "innocent until proven guilty". If a woman has been raped in my neighborhood and I am being checked (with respect, taking into consideration that I am innocent most likely), I don't mind. It is true that terrorists could also recruit mothers with twin infants, but it is a fact that most islamistic terrorists are Middle Eastern men.

    Profiling is a matter of optimizing resources. We don't have the time and the money to check at random, it is much more efficient to narrow in on the more likely targets - but with decency and respect, keeping in mind that 99.999(...)99 of all Middle Eastern Men are innocent and most likely oppose killing innocent people as much as we do.
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by controller
    You're stating that we should remove all the civil liberties we currently possess, allow the FBI and others to search us at will, invade our homes, take our weapons, and invade our bedrooms (because most states have laws in the books against sodomy), burn our books, hang the critics in the news media in order to be safe? Sounds a lot like North Korea or China.
    It's never everything or nothing, nobody suggested removing "all the civil liberties". Total liberty would mean anarchy - finding the balance is what matters.
    Or in the case of Osama bin Laden, would he have reason to attack us if we didn't constantly and blindly side with Sharon of Israel?
    Osama bin Laden still would, but he would have less support from the masses if there was a fair solution in Israel/Palestine. Look at the lates UN vote. 110 countries including the whole EU said the wall on Palestinian territory was against the law, 6 countries (Israel, USA, some others) said it was ok...

    We're the 228 year old new kid on the block trying to solve a religious war between people that have been on the earth a lot longer than those that called themselves Americans.
    I agree that the US tend to forget about differences in culture and history due to relative lack thereof in the US. But I don't think it is a matter of how old a country is, and we should not forget that we are individuals, not just "people" or "peoples", and "we" don't stay on earth for ages.
  10. mrjoec's Avatar
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    #30  
    Well said, Clulup.

    No one is assuming guilt. They're simply trying to protect the innocent.

    Terror organizations are not recruiting mothers. Trying to get a woman, no matter how brainwashed, to carry her own child onto a plane that she knew she was going to destroy would be one of the hardest sales in the history of mankind. Heroin is about the only thing that could make a woman do that. And, fortunately, women strung out on heroin are pretty easy to spot.

    How would the logistics of that work out, anyway? Is she going to hand off the babies to someone before getting up, whipping out a knife, and cutting the flight attendant's throat?

    Possible? I guess. As likely to happen as getting struck by lightening 3 times in an hour? Not quite.

    You have to keep a sense of rationality here. Believe me, when it comes to things like the Patriot Act—as you mentioned, allowing the FBI to monitor our email, search our homes without cause, etc., I'm with you 100%. But a pat down at the airport is a far cry from that. A very far cry.

    If we follow your arguement to its logical conclusion, we'd have to agree that security of all kinds is unconstitutional. The President couldn't have the secret service, because that's assuming people are guilty. Government buildings would have to be left unprotected. Police could only exist to react to crime, not to prevent it. A guy could walk into a store with a licensed gun in his hand, and as long as he didn't shoot anyone, the cops couldn't even stop to ask him why he's carrying it.

    We can't forget the right to life and pursuit of happiness of everyone else on that plane. Your personal right to feeling that no one suspects you ends when several hundred other people's lives may be in danger.

    I agree with you that some of our actions overseas are the real cause of this problem. But no one has an easy solution for that one. With any luck, we'll work that out eventually, and the world will stop hating us. But in the meantime, we have to do what we can to at least prevent the obvious attacks.

    No matter what your security is, there's always a way around it. I think it was Lincoln who said that if a man is really determined to kill me, there's essentially no stopping him. "There are a thousand ways of getting at a man, if it is desired he be killed." But we have to at least make it difficult for them.
    mrjoec
    www.joecieplinski.com
  11. #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I don't think it is true that profiling violates "innocent until proven guilty". If a woman has been raped in my neighborhood and I am being checked (with respect, taking into consideration that I am innocent most likely), I don't mind. It is true that terrorists could also recruit mothers with twin infants, but it is a fact that most islamistic terrorists are Middle Eastern men.
    In your first example, you are being checked for a potential rape. Checked for what? You would be searched for proof of your guilt. They would be searching you to build a case against you. Your rights allow you to plead the 5th in court to not incriminate yourself, yet giving law enforcement the right to search allows them the leg up to attempt to find your guilt. How does that not violate "innocent until proven guilty"? How do you search someone with the intent of looking for the guilty and do that search in a respectful manner? (I'm sorry ma'am, you look like someone who would smuggle drugs into the country, we're going to have to do a BCS, but we respect you so we won't look and use latex gloves.)

    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Profiling is a matter of optimizing resources. We don't have the time and the money to check at random, it is much more efficient to narrow in on the more likely targets - but with decency and respect, keeping in mind that 99.999(...)99 of all Middle Eastern Men are innocent and most likely oppose killing innocent people as much as we do.
    What's the difference in resource for checking 100 people at random, vs. checking 100 people that are "likely targets".
  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjoec
    Well said, Clulup.

    No one is assuming guilt. They're simply trying to protect the innocent.

    Terror organizations are not recruiting mothers. Trying to get a woman, no matter how brainwashed, to carry her own child onto a plane that she knew she was going to destroy would be one of the hardest sales in the history of mankind. Heroin is about the only thing that could make a woman do that. And, fortunately, women strung out on heroin are pretty easy to spot.
    What about a religious organization? How many mothers and children died at Waco? Why does a terrorist have to be middle eastern? Oklahoma City bombing was done by an American.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrjoec
    How would the logistics of that work out, anyway? Is she going to hand off the babies to someone before getting up, whipping out a knife, and cutting the flight attendant's throat?

    Possible? I guess. As likely to happen as getting struck by lightening 3 times in an hour? Not quite.
    How likely is it for someone to organize and execute the hijacking 3 planes and fly them into the world trade center and the pentagon? It was the stuff of movies until it happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrjoec
    You have to keep a sense of rationality here. Believe me, when it comes to things like the Patriot Act—as you mentioned, allowing the FBI to monitor our email, search our homes without cause, etc., I'm with you 100%. But a pat down at the airport is a far cry from that. A very far cry.
    The next step is background checks via fingerprinting prior to boarding.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrjoec
    If we follow your arguement to its logical conclusion, we'd have to agree that security of all kinds is unconstitutional. The President couldn't have the secret service, because that's assuming people are guilty. Government buildings would have to be left unprotected. Police could only exist to react to crime, not to prevent it. A guy could walk into a store with a licensed gun in his hand, and as long as he didn't shoot anyone, the cops couldn't even stop to ask him why he's carrying it.
    I'm not stating that security is unconstitutional. I'm stating that proactively targetting a group of people by race, sex, or age because they are perceived as likely to commit a crime is.

    There are states allow anyone who passes a background check to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. So, yes, there are places where you can carry a gun legally in public, but gun control is a lot stickier subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrjoec
    We can't forget the right to life and pursuit of happiness of everyone else on that plane. Your personal right to feeling that no one suspects you ends when several hundred other people's lives may be in danger.

    I agree with you that some of our actions overseas are the real cause of this problem. But no one has an easy solution for that one. With any luck, we'll work that out eventually, and the world will stop hating us. But in the meantime, we have to do what we can to at least prevent the obvious attacks.

    No matter what your security is, there's always a way around it. I think it was Lincoln who said that if a man is really determined to kill me, there's essentially no stopping him. "There are a thousand ways of getting at a man, if it is desired he be killed." But we have to at least make it difficult for them.
    Security comes down to the cannon and the wall. The larger wall you build, the bigger cannon they'll come back with. I'm not stating that a wall isn't necessary. When you know that they'll come back with a bigger cannon, building a bigger wall starts to become moot. When the wall is so big and so thick, you can't see the sun, or go outside, do you still have freedom or are you just safe?

    The situation that is discussed in this thread is airline security, and now we are talking about the lives of a few hundred people at a time. How far do we go to insure that everyone is safe on that plane? Does that include preventing other people from flying if we suspect them? Does that mean giving pilots guns? We're so focused on trying to prevent this exact same thing from happening again when I think there's a larger picture. It's not just airlines, it's everything.

    Do we have to wait for a train bombing before we think about rail security?

    c
  13.    #33  
    Controller since you think we are to blame for the actions of the terrorists, why dont YOU go talk to them and figure out what it is we can do to make them happier and less likely to want to kill us?
    Of course then it will be your beheading that we see on tv.

    These people arent interested in conversation. They dont negotiate. And please dont call holding somone hostage until their govt responds then letting them go negotiating. That not what that is.

    They understand one thing.

    Sorry is offends your sensibilities but profiling works. I seriously doubt that if you family was ona plane tht is crashed by terrorists that werent searched due to the random program you might feel differently. Or maybe not. You might just be saying " well it's too bad my wife and child are dead but at least no ones rights were violated during boarding." What about the rights of those flying to expect a safe journey?

    I'll get heat for this but as far as I'm concerned if your visiting this country your rights are limited anyway.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  14.    #34  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I don't think it is true that profiling violates "innocent until proven guilty". If a woman has been raped in my neighborhood and I am being checked (with respect, taking into consideration that I am innocent most likely), I don't mind. It is true that terrorists could also recruit mothers with twin infants, but it is a fact that most islamistic terrorists are Middle Eastern men.

    Profiling is a matter of optimizing resources. We don't have the time and the money to check at random, it is much more efficient to narrow in on the more likely targets - but with decency and respect, keeping in mind that 99.999(...)99 of all Middle Eastern Men are innocent and most likely oppose killing innocent people as much as we do.
    Duse youre freaking me out. Are we gonna keep agreeing like this?
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  15. #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    Duse youre freaking me out. Are we gonna keep agreeing like this?
    Don't count on it.
  16. #36  
    Quote Originally Posted by controller
    In your first example, you are being checked for a potential rape. Checked for what? You would be searched for proof of your guilt. They would be searching you to build a case against you. Your rights allow you to plead the 5th in court to not incriminate yourself, yet giving law enforcement the right to search allows them the leg up to attempt to find your guilt. How does that not violate "innocent until proven guilty"?
    If the police have reason to suspect I raped somebody, why should they not check? How would the police EVER find a culprit without searching for proof? I really don't see what you are up to in this example. You seem to be suggesting a search should only be legal in case there is a verdict against that person - not very logical, is it?

    I would not find it acceptable if the police would push me around, I would expect them to behave, but apart from that - glad to be of assistance, happy to clear this.
    What's the difference in resource for checking 100 people at random, vs. checking 100 people that are "likely targets".
    Obviously there is no difference in resource, there is a difference in efficiency, as mentioned in my post. Focusing on more likely targets vs. at random is not a 100% vs. 0% thing, but you can still be FAR better if follow reason instead of chance. I am not saying e.g. women should never ever be checked, btw. Are you suggesting that for every mosque where a known islamistic mullah preaches we have to put a synagogue, a church, a Buddhist and a Hindu temple under surveillance, just to be politically correct?

    There is a difference between assuming someone is guilty and trying to find out whether he/she is or not!
  17. mrjoec's Avatar
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    #37  
    I wasn't trying to suggest that Franklin's words aren't priceless. I just think this arguement isn't about giving up essential liberties. "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" is also a priceless quote, but it doesn't make much sense to use it here.

    Don't think I'd ever disrespect Mr. Franklin. He's one of my favorite American forefathers.
    mrjoec
    www.joecieplinski.com
  18. mrjoec's Avatar
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    #38  
    clulup:

    Maybe rape isn't the best example here, because it's hard to do a quick search to check if someone has raped someone. I get your point, but controller has a point, too.

    Let's say someone stole my car. And maybe ten cars had been stolen in my neighborhood in the last few weeks. And someone who witnessed one of the thefts described the thief as a white male in his thirties with short, brown hair.

    Would it make sense for the cops to pull over a black woman and question her on the theft? Sure, it's possible that she stole my car, but it's far more likely that one of the ten white males in their thirties driving behind her did.

    No one is suggesting that we only pull Middle Eastern men aside. I'm simply suggesting that we stop pulling nursing home residents and mothers carrying children AS OFTEN as we do able-bodied men, or people who look like they could kick some a$$. We simply don't have the time or man/woman power at the airports to make that viable.

    And, like I said, no matter what we do, people are going to slip past security sometimes. But we shouldn't make it any easier for them.
    mrjoec
    www.joecieplinski.com
  19. #39  
    I've always wondered if we are ever going to determine the exact line between what is prudent and what is inappropriate. For instance, when I get insurance (drivers, health, etc) I pay more than if I were to be a woman with the same statistics (in other words, I am being discriminated against). I don't really have a big problem with this (of course I'd rather not have to pay more) because I realize that there is something about being male that indicates (note: I didn't say "cause") a higher level of risk. If we were to raise people's rates because they are black (or white, or whatever) even if skin color can be likewise shown to be a risk indicator, that would get some people's blood boiling. And in my heart, I think rightly so. However, there has to be a line somewhere. I just have to wonder where that line is...

    In relation to this discussion, if it can be demonstrated people of Middle (or near, or far or none) Eastern "appearance" are more likely to be of a terrorist nature (a big, gigantic, clear-the-aisles-because-we-need-to-make-room-sized "if"), would such discrimination be "okay." Is that situation closer to the male-female thing or closer to the black-white thing?

    If I knew the answer, man would things be easier...
  20. #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjoec
    clulup:

    Maybe rape isn't the best example here, because it's hard to do a quick search to check if someone has raped someone. I get your point, but controller has a point, too.
    Sadly, it is quite easy to find out who raped someone. You take a cotton tip full of suspects saliva, (10 sec), do a DNA fingerprint (two days), and compare it to DNA traces left behind. I think it is quite a good example because you can do mass screening of suspects, e.g. all males in a certain neighbourhood. It has been done e.g. in Germany, and it worked. I don't think they included women and men above 90.
    Let's say someone stole my car. And maybe ten cars had been stolen in my neighborhood in the last few weeks. And someone who witnessed one of the thefts described the thief as a white male in his thirties with short, brown hair.

    Would it make sense for the cops to pull over a black woman and question her on the theft? Sure, it's possible that she stole my car, but it's far more likely that one of the ten white males in their thirties driving behind her did.

    No one is suggesting that we only pull Middle Eastern men aside. I'm simply suggesting that we stop pulling nursing home residents and mothers carrying children AS OFTEN as we do able-bodied men, or people who look like they could kick some a$$. We simply don't have the time or man/woman power at the airports to make that viable.

    And, like I said, no matter what we do, people are going to slip past security sometimes. But we shouldn't make it any easier for them.
    As to the rest: you are preaching to the choir, I share your view.
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