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  • Freedom and democracy???

    Originally posted by BBC news
    As Mr Straw spoke, 82-year-old Walter Wolfgang shouted "nonsense" and was ejected from the hall by conference security.
    As always, the media can't report the facts - this is from the BBC website, whilst BBC TV is reporting he shouted liar. That's the least of our worries here. Having seen news footage, and considering the gentlemans age, the word "ejected" isn't appropriate. To say he was violently dragged away would be an exageration, but closer to the mark than "ejected. "Subsequent footage shows news cameras almost violently being forced away from him. Even this is insignificant compared to what happened next.

    This 82 year old has been arrested under terrorism laws for telling an elected official that he is a liar. There were no threats of violence (and even so, they are not terrorism). He wasn't holding a copy of the book entitled "scouting for boys" (which is a terrorist offence in the UK), he wasn't advocating assassinating the prime minister (he should be tried under his own terror laws and then executed, not murdered). He called the guy a LIAR.

    I've previously been accused of being a conspiracy theorist (in this forum) for daring to compare Orwell to the current double act of Palpatine and Vader in the white house and downing street. Lets not forget that Orwell wrote about communist russia.

    The same police force that arrested this man as a terrorist for speaking his mind to a politician, is the police force that is supposed to protect me. I'm just waiting for the stormtrooper snatch squad in the middle of the night.

    Root
    BFCL TF2 league admin

  • #2
    Re: Freedom and democracy???

    I'll try to trump that story.
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    • #3
      Re: Freedom and democracy???

      Things certainly have taken an Orwellian turn of late, that is certain.

      Like ICE-T said: "freedom of speech, just watch what you say." Any form of dissent is marginalized, demonized, and generally stiffled. Of course, the people dissenting are those that are easily marginalized, so it usually doesn't take draconian tactics.

      Wonder if it would all be different if the left had all the guns? Probably not. Just different masters.

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      • #4
        Re: Freedom and democracy???

        That's really sad to hear. As a bit of background to those not from the UK we had some radical new 'terrorist laws' made in the UK. The basic principal goes that under this act, anyone in the UK can be held for any length of time, without charge or trial, in the UK if they are suspected of being a terrorist and/or a danger to the public.

        Now this is completely against the grain of normality, especially the ethos of innocent until proven guilty. I took the news of this as somewhat chilling, but understood that if this was what was necessary of keeping radicals who stir up trouble / plan terrorism whilst exploiting loopholes in the law, or by allowing the UK to hold both domestic and international terrorists that they think will try and escape whilst evidence / extradition is being collated/arranged, then that is simply what it takes in order to protect society.

        I was aware of it's potential to be misused... but never thought it would come to something like this. This is quite horrific really.

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        • #5
          Re: Freedom and democracy???

          Originally posted by Wulfyn
          That's really sad to hear. As a bit of background to those not from the UK we had some radical new 'terrorist laws' made in the UK. The basic principal goes that under this act, anyone in the UK can be held for any length of time, without charge or trial, in the UK if they are suspected of being a terrorist and/or a danger to the public.
          The US has similar laws in place. Any citizen essentially forfeits his/her rights if the word "terrorism" is associated with them. The sad part is that most americans aren't even aware that the laws are in place.
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          • #6
            Re: Freedom and democracy???

            Originally posted by Spyder
            Originally posted by Wulfyn
            anyone in the UK can be held for any length of time, without charge or trial, in the UK if they are suspected of being a terrorist and/or a danger to the public.
            The US has similar laws in place. Any citizen essentially forfeits his/her rights if the word "terrorism" is associated with them. The sad part is that most americans aren't even aware that the laws are in place.
            Really? Can you tell me what laws those are? I've found Cornell to be an excellent place to look up federal law...
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            • #7
              Re: Freedom and democracy???

              Originally posted by Pokerface
              How about this - when new labour first came to power, Gordon Browns (the chancellor) first budget speech was leaked. Exactly two offences were comitted under UK law at the time :
              • Theft of photocopier paper
              • Theft of photocopier toner


              At the time there was absolutely no law in the UK that protected the contents of the budget speech, or a wider law that covered other speeches

              Which police officers were assigned to deal with this? Special branch. These guys are supposed to protect us from terrorists. They work closely with SO13 (The Mets anti-terrorist branch), and with MI5 and MI6. These are intimidating people - they need to be do to their real job - and they were sent to interrogate every single person who could have had access to the budget speech at the printers.

              Unfortunately, very few people seem to get outraged by this kind of behaviour, and most of them tend to move on.

              Originally posted by Wulfyn
              Now this is completely against the grain of normality, especially the ethos of innocent until proven guilty
              That ethos is being eroded by governments, and will eventually be removed. An example : If, when your car tax runs out, you decide to take your car off the road, you have to inform DVLA. If you don't, they assume your car is on the road and fine you. That is guilty until proven innocent. Innocent until proven guilty is where they have to catch you driving a car that is untaxed.

              The Americans have gone further than this. They fingerprint and photograph you at the airport. That's not innocent until proven guilty. It's not guilty until proven innocent. It's guilty but we haven't had time to find or manufacture evidence against you.

              The right to trial by jury has gone, and not just in terrorist related cases.
              The right to hear all the evidence against you has gone in terrorist cases.
              Double jepordy has been scrapped for certain offences.

              None of the major political parties in the UK will do anything to repeal those laws if they're elected. What will happen, is that whoever wins successive elections, our freedoms will continue to be stripped away.

              The IRA, in its various guises through the centuries, has generally resorted to violence. Without the violence of the IRA, even the 26 counties wouldn't currently be free of British rule. Without their violence, we'd never have the current state of affairs, which effectively is the beginning of withdrawal by the invaders. There are exactly two reasons the IRA ever got to do this. The people just sat by and let it happen, much the way most people will let this 82 year old face terrorism charges for calling an elected official a liar. The other reason, is that the politicians involved decided against doing what was right. It may take decades, but that sort of violence could eventually appear on the streets of this country, and that's a very scary prospect. You can never rely on a politician to do what's morally right, except where it's in their own self interest. That leaves the people.

              Unless the people get organised within a political framework, but without politicians, and force change for the better, the future is extremely bleak and filled with fear. America will follow, although having an armed population will make politicians there either more cautious, or more devious. And then eventually, england will have it's own bunch of violent psychopaths who are quite happy to kill women and children to further their aims.

              Root
              BFCL TF2 league admin

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              • #8
                Re: Freedom and democracy???

                Originally posted by Root
                The Americans have gone further than this. They fingerprint and photograph you at the airport. That's not innocent until proven guilty. It's not guilty until proven innocent. It's guilty but we haven't had time to find or manufacture evidence against you.
                Whoa, now you go to far, my friend. International law has always held that sovereign nations have the right to control their borders. The United States has made the new US Visit program mandatory. Electronic fingerprints and photos are taken when a foreigner enters the United States through a Port of Entry (illegal entrants are evidently exempt :icon23: ). This is not an implication of any sort of wrongdoing whatsoever, it's merely a requirement in order to enter our country. Those of you from the UK, or any other country where the requirement for a visa is waived, may find it unusual, but it's long been required for those people wanting a US visa in order to visit. Technological advances have now made it practical for the US to do it to everybody. Where do you see "guilty until proven innocent" in that?
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                • #9
                  Re: Freedom and democracy???

                  Guess what a totalitarian government does first. They take away people's guns. Everyone was celebrating in the streets in Nazi Germany when private gun ownership was banned.

                  Don't you guys have very strict gun laws in England? And you have cameras everywhere. Things aren't looking good. At least in America we will be able to fight back.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Freedom and democracy???

                    Originally posted by CingularDuality
                    Whoa, now you go to far, my friend. International law has always held that sovereign nations have the right to control their borders. The United States has made the new US Visit program mandatory. Electronic fingerprints and photos are taken when a foreigner enters the United States through a Port of Entry (illegal entrants are evidently exempt :icon23: ). This is not an implication of any sort of wrongdoing whatsoever, it's merely a requirement in order to enter our country. Those of you from the UK, or any other country where the requirement for a visa is waived, may find it unusual, but it's long been required for those people wanting a US visa in order to visit. Technological advances have now made it practical for the US to do it to everybody. Where do you see "guilty until proven innocent" in that?
                    Generally the only time law enforcement take your photo and fingerprints here (together with a sinister DNA sample), is when you're arrested. For now it's still more often the case that an arrested person is guilty (despite todays events).

                    If I came to America, the closest I'd come to comitting terrorist acts would be to sample your beer, your music and your wenches. Better send a delta team to take me out now, because clearly I'm a danger to the world.

                    It's a breach of civil / human rights. It's about controlling people. Before others jump in and this gets unpleasent, I'll concede right now that maybe on matters like this I'm simply one of the lame ass, woolly thinking liberal do-gooders that I despise. You know - the ones that made owning a gun illegal here, and made smacking your naughty children an offence under child abuse. I believe people should be free to break the law. I also believe law breakers must be treated with an appropriate degree of harshness. Many people see those two opinions as mutually exclusive, but they're not.

                    Flights from the EU to the US have to sit on the ramp before take off, and don't get clearance until the names and addresses of everyone on board have been transmitted to the US. Couple this with the photographs and fingerprints, and thats a whole lot of information that law enforcement in the US have no right to have. It's none of their business if my intentions in your country are as I've mentioned above, or if I actually intend to raise money for the IRA, go on a killing spree, or camp outside the white house campaigning the arrest and public trial of the current occupant. It's only law enforements business if I break laws, or if I'm stupid enough to be indiscreet in my preperations to commit and offence.

                    And as you've said, illegal immigrants are exempt. Yes I get it - most of them sneak in rather than come in via a port of entry, so it's kinda hard to grab them, but once again, the human and civil rights of criminals aren't affected, whilst those of decent, generally law abiding people are.

                    Root
                    BFCL TF2 league admin

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                    • #11
                      Re: Freedom and democracy???

                      Originally posted by Root
                      Couple this with the photographs and fingerprints, and thats a whole lot of information that law enforcement in the US have no right to have. It's none of their business if my intentions in your country are...
                      It most certainly is their business. When you come to the USA you are a guest in our home and we the people have determined to check you out. It's like going into someone's home and they ask you to take off your shoes: kinda weird, not always a good idea, but their house their rules.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Freedom and democracy???

                        Originally posted by Hockeydude
                        Don't you guys have very strict gun laws in England?
                        Indeed we do. To be fair, you can't encrpyt personal emails in France without a government licence. It's still easier to get a gun licence in England than it is to get an encryption licence in France, but only marginally so. (The French do not, ever issue those licences btw).

                        There were two major incidents that lead to this. The first was Hungerford back in the 80's. A guy shot 17 people with an AK47 modified to fire full auto. At the time IIRC, an UNMODIFIED AK47 was legal.

                        The second incident was Dunblane. I'm not as familiar with the weapons involved, but I understand from a former police officer that the criminal had at least one handgun with a magazine size that exceeded the legal limit.

                        As a result of this, the anti-smacking lobby got a law passed pretty much banning all gun ownership. Apparently there is no distinction between these three groups of people :
                        • People who want to target shoot
                        • People who want to carry a concealed weapon (legally) for personal defence
                        • Criminals


                        Their attitude is that those who fall into either of the first two catagories are sick in the head. To them, there are two types of people - those that are normal and don't want to allow guns, and those who are subversive who do want to allow guns.

                        Legally owned guns have rarely been used in gun crime in the UK. In both the incidents I mention above, the guns were not legal because of the altered sear in Hungerford, and then over-sized magazine in Dunblane. Even so, these incidents are rare because at one point the owners were inside the law. Normally you go somewhere like Aldershot and buy a gun that soldiers have smuggled into the country.

                        Originally posted by Hockeydude
                        And you have cameras everywhere. Things aren't looking good. At least in America we will be able to fight back.
                        Yeah CCTV is more and more common. It *does* have it's place, but it needs to be backed up with a police response when something happens. The county I live in has 3500 police officers. Thats not enough for my town. The way to prevent crime is to have police officers on foot patrol every few streets 24/7/365. They need to be backed up with far more emergancy response vehicles than we have. I made an arrest once, and had to deal with a potentially very violent offender for over 20 minutes because a response vehicle wasn't available due to shift change.

                        One night we had a violent incident going on outside our house, and it took 3 different people making 999 calls, and over an hour before police were on scene. Why? Because there was one other incident in the town at the time which DID involve a knife, whereas we only BELIEVED there was a knife involved outside our house. A big concrete flowerpot was certainly used to good effect on a car.

                        You have quite an anti-gun lobby in the states. Personally, I think they'll win eventually. Objectively, you don't need a standing militia anymore. Not unless you're all going to deal with the politicans. Mexico is hardly a superpower, and the days of the minutemen are over. The war of independance is over. You guys won. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for responsible people being allowed to carry concealed for self defence purposes. I just think your rights will eventually go the same way ours have. When it happens, Columbine and other instances will be cited, when Columbine was actually the result of poor parenting.

                        Root
                        BFCL TF2 league admin

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                        • #13
                          Re: Freedom and democracy???

                          Originally posted by Root
                          Generally the only time law enforcement take your photo and fingerprints here (together with a sinister DNA sample), is when you're arrested.
                          Wrong. If I want to move to Scotland to live with my family, I would have to submit fingerprints and a photo and proof of vaccinations and all kinds of other things before the UK would grant me an immigrant visa.
                          It's a breach of civil / human rights. It's about controlling people.
                          No, it's about controlling borders.
                          thats a whole lot of information that law enforcement in the US have no right to have. It's none of their business [what] my intentions in your country are...
                          Oh, but it IS their business. And if you don't like it, you are free to stay in your own country!
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                          • #14
                            Re: Freedom and democracy???

                            Originally posted by Root
                            You have quite an anti-gun lobby in the states. Personally, I think they'll win eventually. Objectively, you don't need a standing militia anymore. Not unless you're all going to deal with the politicans. Mexico is hardly a superpower, and the days of the minutemen are over. The war of independance is over.
                            The reason for our right to bear arms isn't to fight off an invader, but to protect us from malicious use of the federal military. It's a lot harder for a corrupt politician to initiate martial takeover when the citizens have the firepower to fight back.

                            However, I don't deem everyday people like you and me as militia, so I don't necessarily believe that the rule is being followed as it was meant to be. It could be argued, however, that the citizenry need arms to protect themselves against malicious state military, or if the state military won't/can't protect against mailcious federal military. Either way, though, the second amendment was put into place to protect against domestic, not foreign, armies.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Freedom and democracy???

                              Originally posted by SmokingTarpan
                              However, I don't deem everyday people like you and me as militia, so I don't necessarily believe that the rule is being followed as it was meant to be.
                              “We have found no historical evidence that the Second Amendment was
                              intended to convey militia power to the states, limit the federal government's power to
                              maintain a standing army, or applies only to members of a select militia while on active
                              duty. All of the evidence indicates that the Second Amendment, like other parts of the
                              Bill of Rights, applies to and protects individual Americans.”
                              U.S. v. Emerson, 5th court of Appeals decision, November 2, 2001, No. 99-10331
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