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GernB: The Libertarian Party is, sadly, not an alternative. I AM a libertarian and agree with most of the party platform. But if you vote for them, you throw away your vote. I used to think the Dems and Repubs would notice, but they only notice if they win or lose. The LP will never carry enough votes to make any significant difference.


As to the comments of others about rights given up under post 9/11 policies: How can you possibly be upset about those lost rights and not the rights you have surrendered in the name of the war on drugs. Those losses are much more pervasive and a lot closer to home for most of us.

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Progression of some people's reasoning.


There is a strong weather front approaching my area but I don't need to worry about that since it probably won't come here.


The barometric pressure is changing rapidly but that only effects people with inner ear problems or sinus problems, that is not me.


There are strong thunderstorms in the area but I'm not worried because I live in a good house. It will only impact those that did not build as stong as I did.


Doppler radar indicates rotation in the clouds but that doesn't prove there is a tornado - I haven't seen one yet.


I hear a tornado siren but that is just those bureaucrat weather forcasters looking for danger to protect thier jobs.


Look it's a tornado, oops.



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I'm afraid there's no third option (or free lunch, either) :). If you vote for Democrats, you vote against all you stand for, if you believe in the Reagan Republican values. Sad, but true.


At one point, I got so fed up that I voted Libertarian in a national election. I was voting in Florida at the time. That was the one that almost put Al Gore in the White House. I realized I had thrown away a vote that could have turned the whole election and jeopardized my own security.


What's the answer? We just have to get the message to the RNC and the elected pols that we've had enough. I think a lot of people are starting to do just that. Sooner or later, they will get the message.

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"And to be practical, how could the dems be any worse than the Republicans on spending, government size or immigration? "


At this point I would even add security and defense. I read a recent article where fomer military personnel are lining up to run for office under the Democratic Party. While we can never know what might have been, it's hard to believe we would be any worse off with Kerry as President than we are right now.


Iraq war vets will have strong credibility with respect to defense and security issues, especially running against Republican incumbents that have spent the last 4 years in a comfy Washington office, or who have never served. Although I suppose I shouldn't underestimate the depth to which this party will sink to given the way they have treated veterans such as McCain, Murtha and Cleland.




I've stated earlier I generally consider myself an independant, although if I tallied my votes, I usually vote Republican more often than Democrat. I agree with Gern, this rendition of the Republican Party that has abandoned Reagan's small, non-intrusive government mantra, needs to be sent a message.


Although I will also say, given the general lack of satisfaction with the current administration, I find it somewhat amazing the Democrats have not been able to gain more ground politically. They, also need to reexamine their approach to Government.


I would love to see a viable third party emerge. It seems when we had third party candidates for president the last several elections, it forced the other parties closer to the center. Now, both parties seem to cater to their extremes and those of us in the middle feel pretty left out, leaving us to vote for what we feel like are the lesser of two poor alternatives.







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So the government wants to monitor Google searches for red flags. What freedoms have Americans lost, and exactly how will our lives be affected? And, can anyone give me a specific real life example as to how they personally, have been affected by new laws (i.e. the Patriot Act) which supposedly restricts our freedom? Please refrain from, I had to stand in line for two hours at the airport or Im losing sleep at night because Im afraid the government will discover my taste for ladies shoes. How, in real terms, has our freedom and happiness been hindered by Big Brother. To me, this is all overblown. Until I hear a case where someone has truly been harmed, this is just a bunch of hype.

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Thank you for your comments and your service to our country. I'm a conservative independent who never bought into GWB. My father was a Marine in WWII. My being diabetic kept me from being able to serve. My 13 year old son says he wants to be a Marine. While I consider myself a patriotic sort of guy, I have deep reservations about encouraging my son in that direction. Bush had my full support in Afghanistan. He lost me with Iraq. Regardless of which version I hear of why we went, none of them work for me. I never saw Iraq as the threat the administration said they were. If so, they could/would have hurt us when they were stronger over the last dozen years. I fear that this "war on terror" will be like the war on drugs. It will be an ongoing effort that our grandchildren will be saddled with. When will we ever be able to claim that we have won a war on terror? About the same time we declare victory in the war on drugs and poverty. While I love this country and our freedoms and take neither for granted, I would be hard pressed to sacrifice my son for the overthrow of a dictator of another country on the hope that they "might" become democratic. I do not believe that our government's actions are consistent with the intentions of our founding fathers. Shedding blood in defense of our nation is a totally different thing than shedding it for another country.

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Regardless of whether or not someone has been affected yet or not is beside the point. The trouble is that the government is taking an inch.....that could eventually lead to a mile. What is next? What if they decide they need to know about the counseling your pastor did with you? Are you OK with that? As a Christian, I know you are aware of how one small sin can turn into a life altering monster in someone's life. Eroding our civil liberties are no different. Just because it doesn't affect you today does not mean it won't grow and affect you tomorrow. After several years of precedence, it will become "just the way we do it" and no one will care when you complain that your liberties are being infringed upon. As I asked in my previous post about when can you declare a victory in a war on a concept, when will the civil liberties being infringed be given back? I fear that the answer is never. When the line gets crossed, there is no going back.

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Mr SR40Beaver,


Trust me; I am nowhere near wise enough to sort this one out.


One of our problems is the good news of what is happening in Iraq is not getting out; the troops are forbidden to blog. BTW, in case anyone asks about freedom of speech, a member of the Armed Forces voluntarily suspends some of his rights while he serves, and indeed may suspend other elements lifelong (you should see the security clearance termination agreement we sign).

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What's the answer? We just have to get the message to the RNC and the elected pols that we've had enough. I think a lot of people are starting to do just that. Sooner or later, they will get the message.

     I cant help but think of my Troop when I read that sentence. Ive tried for a long time now to get the boys to take over leadership and ownership of their troop. The bottom line is they dont want the responsibility or the work involved. There is no way to force them to take the reins. My only options are continue as is or disband the unit.

     In politics what are my options? Vote for a slated candidate or dont vote. The system we use in my area does not allow for write ins. What would motivate a Politician to changes his/her ways? The threat of losing their office is the only one I can think of. In order to get a pol out of office we must elect someone else. Yes we have primaries and can chose between members of a given party but if we are aligned with a particular party we are already limited in our choices. The problem I see is the concept of parties to begin with. We have two parties The Haves and The Have Nots and that polarizes their approach to government. Say what you will the Republican party policies favor the very rich and the Democratic parties policies favor the VOTING poor often to the determent of the WORKING poor. The Democrats in Chicago just held a rally/parade, with Chicago Mayor Daley as a key speaker, to HONOR Illegal Immigrants.

     Our system of Government is the oldest continual government on the planet. When we look at why governments fall or are replaced we usually find that it was/is due to polarization. Haves and Have Nots. Those in favor and those out of favor with no one in the middle. When you eliminate the middle ground you end up with drastic actions from the polar ends, the Haves trying to keep it and the Have Nots trying to get it and ultimately Revolution from the Have Not pole.

A third party reflecting the wishes of the Middle American. A party that would be more influenced by the validity of a proposal than how the media will spin it. A party that would concider a policy of take from the very rich and help the very poor achieve self sufficiency. Why does that sound like Socialism?


Rooster 7   All I can do is quote Martin Niemoeller.

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a communist;

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a socialist;

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me-- and there was no one left to speak out for me.

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When the Patriot Act was passed and you gave up some of your rights just where did YOU go to Ok it's Passing? When it was revised and repassed again were you given the option of saying NO!? When the case to require Google to turn over data was drafted were you consulted? Were you even aware that the Patriot act was up for vote the first time around? Your question "If you give an inch you may give a mile?" ignores the reality that it is harder to stop something already started than to prevent it from starting in the first place.(This message has been edited by LongHaul)

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Until someone gets hurt, its ok with you?

Well, I don't think that should be the filter.

Until the terrorists blow up a dirty bomb in Times Square, I don't think we should really worry about it?

How about a little critical analysis on where this could go? I'm very much against child porn and I think the cops should be able to use internet search databases to help them convict. But in this case, they are just fishing. They don't have any suspects in mind, we are all suspects. If they have a suspicion, then get a warrant and get those records.


This is akin to requiring all of us to just open our doors to the cops when they want and let them search our homes. If you aren't doing anything wrong, why are you upset? It might reveal a terrorist or child molester. Just stand outside while my team goes through your dresser drawers. Oh, and if you resist, you must be guilty so we are taking you downtown for questioning. Nobody is getting hurt, if you can prove you're innocence, you will be free to go. We are keeping our eye you though.

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I lock my doors at night because of what ifs. I practice two deep leadership, youth protection and G2SS guidelines because of what ifs. My comapny has a disaster recovery plan because of what ifs. Heck, one of the news items on the interent today is Bush reaffirming his doctrine of premptive strikes.......because of what ifs. So yeah, my main worry with eroding civil liberties are because of what ifs. I've seen many what ifs happen in my life and it was too late to do anything about them after the fact. At that point "what ifs" turn into regrets when you ask "what if" I would have done something to prevent this from happening. Proactive is far better than reactive.

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I dont know what disturbs me more, the continuing revelations of government abuse of rights or the lack of public reaction. What makes anyone think that the government wont want to continually expand its powers? The steps taken so far have been small. The patriot act; wiretapping with out a warrant; and watching antiwar protesters, environmental groups and religious organizations are all small step toward restricting freedom. Once these are accepted what is next?


Th following is from yesterday's Washington Post


FBI Took Photos of Antiwar Activists in 2002

By Dan Eggen

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

An FBI agent in Pittsburgh photographed members of an antiwar activist group in 2002, according to documents released yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union, which said the disclosure marks the latest incident in which the FBI has monitored left-leaning groups.

An FBI report from November 2002 indicates that an agent photographed members of the Thomas Merton Center as they handed out leaflets opposing the impending war in Iraq. The report called the group a "left-wing organization advocating, among many political causes, pacifism."

The same memo notes that one of the leaflet distributors "appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent" but that no other participants appeared to be from the Middle East.

"All we were doing was handing out leaflets, which is a perfectly legal way to spend an afternoon," said Tim Vining, the center's former executive director, who said he participated in the Nov. 24, 2002, protest monitored by the FBI. "All we want to do is exercise our First Amendment rights . . . Is handing out fliers now considered a terrorist activity?"

The FBI said in a statement that the agent was "acting with all appropriate investigative authorities" as part of an ongoing terrorism probe. The photos were destroyed once the agent determined that a person under investigation was not in attendance at the event, the FBI said.

The incident is the latest disclosure by the ACLU involving antiwar protesters, environmental groups and religious organizations that have been monitored by FBI agents or other anti-terrorism investigators.

Another memo from February 2003 said the center was "opposed to the United States' war with Iraq" and described its Web site and activities. That letter was a draft that was never included in an investigative file, the FBI said.

Heavily censored documents from 2005 also refer to information about the center from an unidentified source. An FBI official said those reports were from a separate probe that did not involve terrorism.


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