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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Ugg, Aug 16, 2004.
Sounds like georgie is up to his old tricks again.....
From comments on various boards around the Internet, I'm not at all surprised about the FBI's efforts. This is the most polarized campaign I can recall--and I believe the general commentary has exceeded the hostilities of 1968. (I grant that the anonymity of the Internet allows a lot of braggadocio.)
I wouldn't be at all surprised if Tom Hayden was correct as to this year's RepubCon being as wild-eyed as Chicago, '68, and the DemCon. If it's not, it will be because of all this advance effort at preventing such a repeat.
Sorry 'Rat, I don't agree with you at all. Your comparison of '04 to '68 makes very little if any sense. The riots at the '68 DNC in Chicago weren't isolated events -- they were the culmination of at least two years of increasingly provocative antiwar protest and four years of major urban race riots. And it's arguable that the Chicago riots wouldn't have been half as bad as they were if it hadn't been for Mayor Daily.
I will give you one meaningful comparison of then to now, though. Back then, the FBI spied on Americans who were doing nothing more than exercising their Constitutionally guaranteed rights to free assembly and speech. It looks like this is an idea that's come back into vogue.
IJ, hoping to clarify: I'm referring to the amount of emotion in this comparison, not the background for the emotion. If somebody wants to bring in the similarities due to hostility against a war, along with other reasons, fine by me. But to agree with your idea about protest and riot: Is it not somewhat scary to see this degree of emotion without such a background?
As far as the allegations against the FBI for using repressive scare tactics: Isn't this behavior nothing more than the usual governmental effort at an ever-growing control or subjugation of the populace? After all, the primary mission of large groups is to make everybody be round pegs to fit in round holes--and government is just another large group but with the power of the badge, gun and court.
We know that an extremely high percentage of all protestors are peaceful people. We know that a very low percentage of those at a protest are wanting to do some form of violence. That the latter group exists is the excuse to harass the former.
Much like the excuses for gun control...
And racial profiling, drug laws, backcountry regulations, leash laws, zoning laws, fireworks regs on the 4th, etc. etc. A few people usually manage to ruin things for the responsible rest of us. Human nature being what it is, there will always be someone who feels the need to push things too far.
Incidentally, that, in short, is why I can never be a Libertarian.
I like their philosophy on freedom and all, but while the vast majority of people can be trusted to do the right thing, there will *always* be one or two who can't be.
Yes it would be fair to call this election one of the most emotional in recent memory. But by the same token, it hasn't been proceeded by years of mass demonstrations, either -- let alone, riots or assassinations. It seems to me that today national security is being used as a generic cover-story for repressing Constitutional rights, but with even less justification than might have been available in the late '60s.
Yeah, mac, IJ, no argument whatsoever.
Every now and then when I compare behavior from one era to a later one, it sometimes seems as though there's an increase in spoiled-brattishness which has continued growing.
For instance: Do any of you really see MORE violations of civil rights now than back in the 1960s/1970s? (I'm not sure about violations. I DO see more POTENTIAL for violations under recent laws.) But we certainly have a bunch of yowling and howling about how the Bushies are violating civil rights.
Could all this be sort of a culmination of a "last straw" sort of thing? Not really justified by Dubya's actions so much as just folks being fed up with the drip, drip, drip of a steady erosion of rights?
I ask because it's not just the liberal side of the spectrum that's bitching against government or Bush or whomever...
Not having been there myself, I must say I have heard that there was quite a lot of 'yowling' about civil rights violations during the 60's. I don't see the riots and demonstrations that I've heard were if not commonplace at least not totally unheard of.
When was the last time there was a riot over civil rights violations? After the Rodney King verdict? I guess Cincinatti has had some rough patches over police shootings and what not, but small scale stuff by historic comparison. Were not the riots over segregation and war protests happening more often than that?
FWIW, I haven't heard as much yowling over the Bushies civil rights violations (granted the Florida election raised that issue in a big way for some, but again past times have seen more voter disenfranchisement) outside of the Patriot Act stuff that gets as much criticism from the right as it does from the left and perhaps the issue of racial profiling that is in vogue. There are plenty of other criticisms to be leveled at Bush Inc.
As to the steady erosion of rights, I'd imagine it's in direct proportion to this rise in childishness you have mentioned.
I admit I'm operating on recollections and a serious case of "sort of".
I guess what started this, for me, was during the Vietnam war. Folks acted like they were startled that geting shot or blown up actually hurt! It has been commented that the Vietnam war, live on your evening news, was a first for the American civilian. But, I'd figured out the pain and suffering bit long before TV was common. Maybe it was due to having seen the P.I. and South Korea not long after combat, as well as WW II newsreels and ex-GIs' commentaries.
Anyway, my seat-of-the-pants feeling is that the FBI did more actual violating of rights in the Hoover era than has happened in more recent years.
The protest years ended such things as anti-vagrancy laws and anti-loitering laws. Small, but important to those who'd previously been hassled for no good reason. Heck, there's even more slack in traffic enforcement, now, than in the past.
Anyway, it just seems to me that it takes less mal-action on the part of the establishment, now, to get a higher degree of emotional reaction from today's protestors than it did in the past...
Is that necessarily a bad thing? I'd think that the whole point of progress is to keep refining the system. Just because the odor isn't as strong today as it was in Hoover's doesn't mean it isn't s**t. I think too you're missing out on the electronic tracking that is going on today, it is much more insidious than the mere wiretaps of the fifties.
NPR covered this story tonight on All Things Considered.
They interviewed some of the girls the FBI questioned. I had to laugh that the FBI was interviewing members of the American Friends Service Committee, as being possible terrorists or links to terrorism.
Just because someone doesn't want to grab a gun or agree with the current situation your under speculation. I know I'm generalizing, but it sure does feel that way lately.
'Rat, I do not want to get into the argument/comparisons between the late 60's and current times (I wasn't even born until the 70's)...but I thought I would mention that many anti-loitering/vagrancy laws have been re-enacted or re-constituted in a vaguely-or-cleverly written way (such as the no sitting law [on the sidewalk])...there have also been a countless number of other innocuous-seeming laws that have crept back into the books...giving the law the opportunity to hassle people once again for no reason...(these are in medium-sized cities, with little-to-no safety concerns of the citizens, with just petty crimes happening overwhelmingly...)
Just thought I'd let you know...fwiw...seems troubling to me, even if it hasn't directly affected me as of yet...
Ugg, I agree about improving/refining the system. What puzzles me, somewhat, is the degree of emotion about relatively small mal-actions as compared to past wrongs. It's not just in the protest-group thing; I see it in environmental issues, as a for instance. It's as though people don't know what's gone on before, whether good or ill.
criana, I, too, doubt that the American Friends pose a danger. I doubt that the FBI seriously thinks so. More likely, they ask about what the AFSC folks know or have heard about others. Inter-group rumors and hearsay, to seek directions for investigation. I guess. The Feebies have the manpower to vacuum up all manner of information from large numbers of people; the question remains as to how well they can interpret and correlate it to any useful purpose.
blackfox, I'm behind the curve on that sort of thing, living in a rural area. The only stuff of which I'm aware, in Austin, Texas, has had to do with aggressive panhandling.
Well environmental issues tend to get a little charged with emotion when you have people claiming that 'those whose color used to be red now claim to be green'.
Add to that the frivolous invoking of some aspect of environmental law when someone's view corridor is threatened and you have a lovely mix of anger on both sides unnecessarily.