Mac Users and Homeland Security

Discussion in 'Community' started by sturm375, Jun 7, 2002.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2002
    Bakersfield, CA
    How do you guys feel about Pres. Bush's proposal for a new Cabinet position for Homeland Security?

    Call me paranoid, but everytime I see or hear the words "Homeland Security" I think of opressive governments. Maybe I spend too much time on the Sci-Fi channel, but I swear Bush's speech last night could have been copied from several movies I have seen where a new "Homeland" protection agency is introduced. Inevitably, this protection agency takes away freedoms and liberty of the people it is trying to protect.

    Also I hear from the news agencies that this idea is getting a great deal of support from both sides of the aisle in Congress. Anything that gets that much support from congressmen, I view suspiciously.

    And did I hear right? Durring the speech last night, I could swear Bush basically said that if I didn't support this proposal, I was an unpatriotic coward?:mad: And then he urged Congress to "rush" this through? Why? Something this big should be VERY closely examined.

    Lastly, looking at all the departments covered in this "merger", doesn't FEMA cover nearly 90% of what is proposed?

    Let me know what you think Mac Community!
  2. Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i would take similar steps to the president but being a democrat, my views would be more liberal

    i would keep a slightly keener eye on human rights and personal liberties and freedoms

    racial profiling would be less common and i would try to make this a spy war more than something that would use carrier groups and b-52s
  3. macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Yeah, I too am suspicious. If anything, hell, it's perfectly clear that we can't run the beaurocracies we already have with anything approaching effiency... how's adding another going to help matters?
  4. Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    the republicans could use this to fight terrorism, but my skepticism would lean towards the gop trying to use this in a way to get votes this november in midterm elections

    the dems would do the same, too

    the pols have moved beyond 9/11 and it is back to politics as usual

    the greens, libertarians, and reform party would be the only sincere parties right now if they had the power...the dems and gop are too jaded to do anything swiftly or effectively

    i may become a green party member one day...though i may be considered a little to conservative
  5. macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Laura's Weekly E-Blast!

    Playing (and losing) Homeland Security Politics

    Hoping for an edge against President George W. Bush, Democratic hopeful
    Joe Lieberman told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee last week: "I
    must say that the administration's homeland security efforts thus far have
    left much to be desired." The occasion was the confirmation hearing of
    Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge, and Lieberman unloaded for the
    cameras: "Almost every independent assessment that I have seen says that
    in almost every way, America is as vulnerable today to terrorist attack as
    we were on September 11th."

    That may be a useful way to score political points among an uneasy public,
    but there is little indication that Senator Lieberman, his party, or most
    Republicans, for that matter, will take homeland security seriously enough
    to reexamine our immigration policy. Today the INS reports that it is
    still unable to find 300,000 illegals who are subject to deportation.
    Our borders remain so porous that in places like Arizona, citizens are
    taking enforcement upon themselves, patrolling lands on horseback and in
    Jeeps. Meanwhile, the Bush Administration is still mulling ways to give
    Mexico (and many U.S. businesses) what it wants - amnesty for millions who
    entered the U.S. illegally.

    Those who question the amnesty proposal are branded "anti-immigrant."
    Those who suggest that we institute a temporary moratorium on immigration
    from nations with terrorist ties are labeled "xenophobic."

    Lieberman, appearing on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, could cite nothing
    positive that the Bush Administration has done to protect the homeland.
    Yet given his deep concern about securing the homeland, Lieberman might
    have voiced support to the new government practice of registering visitors
    from 25 nations with links to terror. Congress passed this legislation,
    long overdue, in an attempt to account for tens of thousands of visitors
    in the U.S. who hail here from the world's most dangerous nations. The
    practice has been in place throughout Europe for decades, but that has not
    stopped "immigrant rights groups" and the mainstream media from

    For the past few weeks, The Washington Post "news department" has featured
    tear-jerker stories about men from the Middle East and South Asia who are
    subject to the post-September 11 requirement that male temporary visa
    holders ages 16 and older from 25 designated countries register with the
    INS by certain dates. (This was passed as part of the USA Patriot Act.)
    Here's how a January 20th front-page story on the registration requirement
    begins: "Mohammed's relatives filed somberly into his sister-in-law's
    cramped living room<sum>they had come to help the 38 -year-old limousine
    driver make a grim choice: obey a government order requiring men from
    countries deemed terrorist havens to register with the immigration
    authorities-and risk being swiftly deported for overstaying his tourist
    visa three years ago - or defy that command and potentially doom his
    pending effort to secure a green card." (Mohammed, along with thousands
    like him across the country, decided to continue to break the law and not

    In December, a coalition of Arab American groups filed a federal
    class-action lawsuit against Attorney General John Ashcroft, to prevent
    the government from detaining those caught violating the terms of their
    visas pursuant to the registration deadlines. How did we get to a place
    where enforcing our immigration laws, policing our borders, has become
    something to be ashamed of, or something to avoid altogether? If
    Lieberman is serious about challenging the Bush Administration, he would
    ask these questions, rather than repeating vague charges about lapses in
    our homeland security. But of course asking such questions means
    incurring the wrath of Muslim-American organizations or groups like La
    Raza, the most powerful Hispanic lobby in the US.

    Joe Lieberman knows that most Americans still prefer Republicans' handling
    of foreign policy and national security, so he's cleverly trying to
    position himself as the wise man on domestic security. Yet until the
    Democrats muster the courage to buck their own special interest fringe on
    issues like border policy and immigration enforcement, their criticism of
    the Bush homeland security policy will ring hollow. (Memo to John
    Edwards: Since you are the candidate for "the regular people," remember
    that regular people favor tougher enforcement of our immigration laws.)

    UN Idiocy Watch: A diplomat from Libya was overwhelmingly voted to
    preside at the March 17-April 25 session of the U.N. Human Rights
    Commission, against the strong protest of the US. The vote was 33-3, with
    17 countries abstaining. The vote was secret, but our so-called friends
    in France were thought to be among the abstainers. Libya has an atrocious
    human rights record, remains under suspended U.N. sanctions stemming from
    the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland, and is on the State
    Department list of countries that support terrorism. Heck, why stop with
    the Human Rights Commission? Gadafi for UN Secretary General!
  6. macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    No such thing as too conservative as long as you're against the rampant corruption in our current government.

    I wish the Greens, Libertarians, Reformers, and all the other 3rd parties would get together and form a temporary Anti-Corruption party, and attempt to heavily recruit Democrats & Republicans who have also had enough of corruption but feel "locked in" by it. John McCain could run for president again under this party and I believe he could bring a lot of people to the polls who are sick and tired of governmental corruption and want to change it. Maybe I'm too optimistic...

    Joe Lieberman is the best candidate for office the Republicans have.
  7. macrumors 65816

    Jan 22, 2002
    d00d!!! they could join up with the socialists of central and south america and we could have one big west hemisphere clean-out!!! *grabs sickle and hammer* i'ma cut them corruptn' repubbies!!! :D :D
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2002
    Denver, CO

    Huh? Was that supposed to make sense?
  9. macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2001
    N 49.50121 E008.54558
    Isn't freedom for everyone our most important good? What happened on 9-11 was only possible because of our "open society". Should we really "close it down"? Then, the terrorists will finally have succeeded!

    BTW, I'm not American, so, maybe I don't understand these things, but, as we say in my country, freedom is, in the first place, the freedom to be different. So, if I choose not to be a patriot according to Mr. Bush, where's the problem?
  10. macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2002
    San Destin Florida
    What amazes me is that people think that we are closing down our society and our freedoms. That is absurd. I am just as free today as I have been my whole life.
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2002
    Bakersfield, CA
    No you are not.

    Before, as per the freedom of speech, you could state in an email/phone call/fax/conversation that you were so mad at the government you want to {insert terrorist act her}. Yes the government might investigate, and see that it was very unlikely you would do such a thing. With the "enemy combatant" this no longer hold water. You must watch what you say against our government. They have taken one of our greatest freedoms, and buried it. I'd go on, but I have to get back to work.
  12. macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2002
    San Destin Florida
    Nope. The only difference is that now, they monitor your email through an algorithm. If before you stood up and took a bull horn and said that you were made, and everyone should [insert terror attack]. Guess what you went to jail. It is called insighting a riot. Besides if you ever wrote in an email that you were so mad that you wanted to [insert terror attack], then you are not normal, and you need help. Normal people still have all of the freedom that would have had otherwise. You can speak out against your government. Even in email. Just don't plan terror attacks against the US and you will be fine :)
  13. macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    Don't forget that they have also created a special judgment body for people that are considered terrorists completely bypassing our regular judicial system and laws protecting your rights. If they even consider you a terrorist they can and have the right to now to throw you away and get to you when they feel like it. You are also guilty until proven innocent in this system and you do not have the right to an attorney.

    They also now have the right to look at any database of names they want to with out anyone knowing. In fact if the person who manages the database is requested to give it up for investigation he is held by law to keep it secret even from his employer and supervisors. This has caused some recent problems in that the government did a search of all airline databases and made it so no one that is even considered a possible terrorist can fly this includes the aliases they use. I'm not talking about known terrrorists. I'm talking about potential. They haven't been tried yet and they are taking away there freedom of travel. Well it turns out that one of these potential terrrorists uses an alias that is the same as some 70 year old woman in Florida and because of this she couldn't go visit her family over the holidays. As far as I know she is still not allowed to fly because of it.

    The government has also searched Safeways databases for potential terrorists based on food purchases.

    I'm sorry but this is all too much like 1984. If you don't know what 1984 is you don't have any right to using a Mac. Apple has been against this use of governing power from the very start.

    Whether you believe it or not we are not the free America we were a year and a half ago and never will be again. Once freedoms are lost you can not ever expect to regain them. We are in a sorry state of affairs and the simple fact is my president is the one who is leading the fight against personal rights. I am so ashamed.
  14. macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2002
    Sure you are.

    Until you check out the wrong combination of books, or buy some hummus and falafel with a healthy tan, use the wrong words in an email ('this virus is terrorizing the whole country'), go to Tiajuana without your passport, go to Vancouver without your passport, wanna knit on an airplane, etc.

    Your freedoms are being eroded in front of your face, even those which are constitutionally protected, and it is ignorant not to admit it.

    Our government can't handle murder, rape, burglary, espionage, larceny, etc. with any level of effectiveness, but they can call a middle eastern MP3 trader a terrorist and get away with it.

    The guise of homeland security is just a giant umbrella, and you'll see homeland security used to indict shoplifters, insider traders, bad check writers, etc. While I don't condone these activities, I feel strongly that some good old cold war style spycraft is a better solution than assimilating every bit and byte for gov't consumption.

    Remember when some senator's home address /phone was published and he was livid? I would imagine he had the power to have those pages shut down (citing homeland security).
    You won't have that power, whether it is your address, your medical history, your credit, etc.

    Do you really think the gov't has the right to know everything about everybody?

    Between patriot & dmca, there is nothing you can do privately.
  15. macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2002
    San Destin Florida
    I really don't understand why everything has to be a conspiracy. Like the computers will filter "this virus if terrorizing the country" and in 20 seconds the FBI, DEA, CIA, ATF, and any other agency that has letters for its name will be beating down your door.

    This isn't about catching commo thiefs and criminals, but terrorists. Damn, until people start walking out of jails going, "all I did was call Bush a terrorist pig in an email" then give it a chance, and don't be such a democrat :)
  16. macrumors 65816

    Jan 22, 2002
    it depends on how you compare it to some of the 'arguments' here :D
    and bweep has a W in it!!!!!! :mad: :mad: :mad:
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2002
    Bakersfield, CA
    I didn't say anything about taking a bullhorn, or speaking to a large audiance. I said specifically: email/fax/phone/conversation. This is communication between 2-5 people (just a guess on my part), that is private. This person has not done anything else, just opened up their mouth. Not insiting a riot, possibly not in the right mind, but has not committed any harm against anyone. Yet still, any US citizen, can be locked up without attorny, or court date for this action. This violates 2 maybe 3 of the Bill of Rights. Who gets to draw the line as to what is criticisim, and what is terrorist activity toward the US govt? It shouldn't be the Executive branch, that's for sure.

    Without their day in court, the Bush adminstration essentially has carte blanche dictatorship conserning citizens.

    It boils down to what comes first on the priorities list. "National Security", or civil rights. In my opinion, this country cannot have a secure nation without civil rights.
  18. SPG
    macrumors 65816


    Jul 24, 2001
    In the shadow of the Space Needle.
    Funny you should mention that! There have been several cases already.
    People show up to protest bush at an appearance and sent off to a fenced in "protest site" several hundred yards away and always out of view of the media and our very sensitive george bush who doesn't want his feelings hurt.
    So of course there are some people who know what our rights are and hold up signs critical of bush or his policies.
    In North Carolina a man was arrested for refusing to remove his anti bush sign while people around him were allowed to carry pro bush signs. The man wasn't combative, wasn't posing a threat, wasn't even being disruptive. He was in no way different from the people around him except that his message was anti bush. The ACLU showed up for his hearing and grilled the police chief who gave the orders, and guess what? The order to arrest anti bush protesters in the crowd was given by white house staff.

    Bush did it before taking over the white house:

    And you check in here for an updated list of how we are as free as ever :
  19. macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2002
    Along these lines, there have been a ton of stories over the last year or so detailing the nightmare that some people of mid-eastern decent have gone through since 9/11.

    Could someone explain to me how holding a person for 6 months or more without being charged is legal?? Some of these men were not allowed communication with their families and were smeared by the press, and yet did nothing wrong, besides being of the wrong skin tone or heritage. Often these men were not allowed to talk to a lawyer and were kept in solitary confinement for months on end.

    BTTM, you said that you're no less free than you were a year or two ago. What about those of us who don't happen to be white middle aged men with a history of military service and a conservative track record. Do you think my friend [name removed] from work who is of Iranian heritage feels his freedoms are secure?? He doesn't. I've asked.

  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2002
    Bakersfield, CA
    The "enemy combatant rule allows Bush to imprison, indefinatly, anyone "fighting against the US," without a trial, lawyer, or contact to the outside world.

    Case in point, Jose Padillia(sp?), a US Citizen, after flying back from Pakastain, was detained at customs. (O'hare Int'l Airport). The feds started a trial, and when the judge threatened the procecuter that they didn't have evidence to hold them, Ashcroft transfered Jose to Rumsfield to be held in a Navy Brig. This was nearly a year ago, nobody has seen or heard from Jose since then.

    The case against Jose:
    The administration accuses Jose of planning to detonate a "dirty bomb" in the use. They say he was talking with known Al Quada(sp?) operatives. Also, he decleared $5,000, while he had $10,000 at the customes in O'Hare. None of these things do the feds have enought evidence to hold a public trial, but due to the "enemy combantant" rule, he is now in a Navy brig off the east coast, in International Waters, where the courts cannot get him.

    If you look at the definition of "enemy combant" to that of treason, they are almost identical. The difference is that treason must be proven in a court of law, while the Adminitration can just declear somebody an "enemy combantant", and done, your gone.
  21. macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness

    There is no conspiracy.

    1) The government will use as much power as it is given
    2) The government has been given an unprecedented amount of power
    3) The government will use this power.

    Aren't Republicans supposed to be all for personal freedom and small government? Why do they argue for the largest government agency ever devised and unprecedented restrictions on and monitoring of our personal lives? (This goes for Democrats just as well)
  22. macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2002
    Here's a benign example of an invasion of privacy coming soon to a mailbox near you:

    You get a Safeway Card because you want to save money.

    You use your real name, address, and phone number, because your ignorant, stupid, or really believe the groocery store needs to call you.

    Safeway tracks your shopping for a year, to tailor advertising to your demographic.

    The government seizes data about your shopping habits, tied in to your name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, and checking info.

    A lobbying group representing advertising makes substancial contributions to their faves on the hill.

    This data is quietly released to advertisers, marketers, etc.

    You get a call during dinner offering to sell you the food you're already eating.

    No harm/no foul? An annoyance of life?

    Well, next it'll be your medical records, your timesheets, your financial records, etc.

    Search and seizure are effectively negated. Communication privacy is effectively negated (The most secure comminques are now those via snail mail!). Privacy of records if effectively negated. The right to trial by jury is eroding.

    Do you trust your govenrment enough to let them hold YOU for a year while they decide whether or not YOU are or are not at all involved in terror...or pot dealing, adultery, littering, etc., because you are named Ahmed, and bought a falalfel platter. I most assuredly do not!

    Life (let's keep this one), liberty (sold down the river in favor of Homeland Security and Copyrights), and the pursuit of happiness (sponsored by Pepsi).
  23. macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2002
    San Destin Florida
    Good point. I understand it from that view, but remember I am a Native American ;)

    Alex, good point. Yes, we are for individual freedom and small government, but we are also for not having our country nuked, and terrorized.
  24. SPG
    macrumors 65816


    Jul 24, 2001
    In the shadow of the Space Needle.
    Sturm, you can get the full story here:
    scroll down to the story "secret government"

    BTW, Jose Padilla was being held originally for questioning in a murder investigation, so he's probably no angel, but the relevant part of all this is how this sets a precedent for say, ELF the guys who wreck ski lodges? or the guy who plasters a thousand anti war posters? or anyone else that they have nothing at all on but can't let them go and admit that they were wrong.

    For all those out there who think that this can't happen to you. I was once picked up thrown in a patrol car and was on my way to county jail for "resembling in height and complexion a suspect currently being sought" luckily they actually caught the guy earlier that day. Years ago a friend of mine spent two days locked up for suspicion of bank robbery. He was at a supermarket across town at the time of the robbery.

    The authorities make mistakes. That's to be expected. When they have no check on their authority and no oversight is when those little mistakes can have severe consequences.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2002
    First of all, I agree with Backtothemac in that I am as free as when I was ten years ago. I'm not going to send emails saying, "I want Bush to die!" to people, and if I was, maybe the CIA, FBI or whoever the hell's in charge should take me out.

    Second, Nipsy, I think you're being a bit paranoid on the whole safeway/politcal process.

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