Author Topic: Freedom  (Read 5237 times)

Offline Not Myself

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Freedom
« on: April 15, 2013, 10:29:52 AM »
I have no desire to stand up next to Believer and be counted.  However ...

Your comments lead me to believe that you have not spent any time in the USA.

I have spent time in the USA, in fact a few decades.  I became a citizen a long time ago, and more recently left.  However, the US is rather like the Hotel California - you can check out any time you like, but . . .

The earmarks of a totalitarian regime simply do not exist.

I'm just curious as to what those earmarks would be.  Would they include things like indefinite detention without trial, operation of secret prisons, targeted killing, warrantless monitoring of communications, things like that?

On a rather different note, walking down the corridor of my office building and talking about how free the United States is will generate some rather loud guffaws, and those will mostly come from the five people who are American citizens or green card holders.  The "land of the free" words written by Francis Scott Key (or maybe he had a slave write them?) are a running joke here.  Those who have no other citizenship have difficulty opening bank accounts, are shunned by potential employers and business partners because of the regulatory burdens that hiring/partnering with them would impose on the entire enterprise, etc.  Those who (like me) also have other citizenships are largely able to escape the economic embargo the US has imposed on them, provided they can hide their American identities.  But those who are nothing but American can only dream of having the same level of freedom a North Korean living here would enjoy.  And if anyone thinks that last part is a joke or hyperbole, think again . . .

« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 10:31:34 AM by Not Myself »
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Offline AtomicDog

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 10:47:59 AM »
I think that any discussion about how free or not free the United States is that is not related to the hoax theory should be taken to a new thread.
"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." - Isaac Asimov

Offline Noldi400

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 10:59:21 AM »
I have no desire to stand up next to Believer and be counted.  However ...

The earmarks of a totalitarian regime simply do not exist.

I'm just curious as to what those earmarks would be.  Would they include things like indefinite detention without trial, operation of secret prisons, targeted killing, warrantless monitoring of communications, things like that?
More like a single leader whose authority is unchallengable short of armed revolution; no travel between states without a valid "internal passport" or some such; taking your life in your hands if you publicly criticize the government; constant fear of that visit in the night from the "men in black"; no choices allowed in political leadership.

Quote
On a rather different note, walking down the corridor of my office building and talking about how free the United States is will generate some rather loud guffaws, and those will mostly come from the five people who are American citizens or green card holders.  The "land of the free" words written by Francis Scott Key (or maybe he had a slave write them?) are a running joke here.  Those who have no other citizenship have difficulty opening bank accounts, are shunned by potential employers and business partners because of the regulatory burdens that hiring/partnering with them would impose on the entire enterprise, etc.  Those who (like me) also have other citizenships are largely able to escape the economic embargo the US has imposed on them, provided they can hide their American identities.  But those who are nothing but American can only dream of having the same level of freedom a North Korean living here would enjoy.  And if anyone thinks that last part is a joke or hyperbole, think again . . .

It may be that my reading comprehension is still asleep, but I really don't understand what you're saying in this paragraph. Those who have no other citizenship than what? US? Have difficulty opening bank accounts where?  Americans have less freedom than North Koreans living where? I can't deny what you're saying, as I have no idea what you're talking about.

Also, IMO this subject is about as off-topic as it gets - I suggest either replying by PM or let's take it to a new thread down in General Discussions.
"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz

Offline twik

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 11:06:17 AM »
I do hope Not Myself explains him/herself more fully in another thread, because I do find his last posting incomprehensible.

Offline Noldi400

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 11:08:45 AM »
I do hope Not Myself explains him/herself more fully in another thread, because I do find his last posting incomprehensible.
Good. I thought I was having a stroke.
"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz

Offline Abaddon

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 03:04:27 PM »
I do hope Not Myself explains him/herself more fully in another thread, because I do find his last posting incomprehensible.
Yeah, right. I can only second that. It seems such a departure from the norm.

Offline Valis

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 03:28:40 PM »
I do hope Not Myself explains him/herself more fully in another thread, because I do find his last posting incomprehensible.
I could understand and even agree with the criticism, until "On a rather different note,..." where he lost me completely.

Offline smartcooky

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 03:32:26 PM »
I do hope Not Myself explains him/herself more fully in another thread, because I do find his last posting incomprehensible.

Perhaps he's not himself today... 8)


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Offline gillianren

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 11:50:35 PM »
My first column for the school paper at my alma mater was titled "Why You Are Not Living in a Police State."  I admit things have gotten worse since then (I wrote it in March, I believe, of 2001), but I think most of what I said then still applies now.
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Offline twik

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 10:17:39 AM »
It appears Not Myself is living somewhere where American citizens are unable to set up bank accounts?  ??? This would imply his location is NOT in the US.

Also, there is some sort of restriction (he calls it an "embargo") on US citizens, which is presumably an economic measure.

Neither of these scream "police state" to me. They sound like "immigration bureaucracy". To compare this to the problems of people in North Korea is gross first-world self-pity.

Offline Noldi400

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 11:44:18 AM »
It appears Not Myself is living somewhere where American citizens are unable to set up bank accounts?  ??? This would imply his location is NOT in the US.

Also, there is some sort of restriction (he calls it an "embargo") on US citizens, which is presumably an economic measure.

Neither of these scream "police state" to me. They sound like "immigration bureaucracy". To compare this to the problems of people in North Korea is gross first-world self-pity.

And I don't understand what it has to do with freedom in the United States.  How other countries treat our citizens is not something we have much control over.
"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz

Offline Echnaton

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 05:53:54 PM »
There are plenty of things not to like about the U.S. when it comes to government powers, freedom and the directions of change from individual liberties to institutional rights.  But we remain among the countries that are considered relatively free.  Until Not Myself comes back to explain what he meant and how he arrived at his conclusions, his thoughts remain a mystery to me. 
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett

Offline raven

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 06:56:53 PM »
The very fact that American citizens can complain should tell one something about the level of freedom compared to certain other nations.
Is it perfect? Hells, no. I would even say it's not even as good as it claims itself frequently, but there have been, and are, far, far worse examples.

Offline Noldi400

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 09:02:48 PM »
I'm certainly not stepping forward to defend the policies or actions of my country's government.

I am just objecting to Believer's characterization of NASA (?) or the USA as a totalitarian regime. He either doesn't know what "totalitarian" means or he's not familiar with life in the US.
"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz

Offline Echnaton

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Re: Freedom
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 10:23:36 PM »
I'm certainly not stepping forward to defend the policies or actions of my country's government.

I am just objecting to Believer's characterization of NASA (?) or the USA as a totalitarian regime. He either doesn't know what "totalitarian" means or he's not familiar with life in the US.

I'm sure each one of us has met that type in the real world too.  The "nobody can tell me what to think" type who spends most of the time telling others what to do or think.  Just another outlier on the great diversity distribution that is humanity. 
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett