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Freedom, responsibility and safety are related issues, not separate no matter what the constitution says about freedom.

 

For example: A person who owns a business should be free from unreasonable government inspection. But if it turns out that businesses irresponsibly dump toxic sludge into rivers and therefore harm the safety of people, then the government will reasonably infringe that freedom, and inspect how companies operate, to prevent them from harming people. The freedom of the company from government interference is contingent on all of them acting responsibly all the time. Once that trust is broken, there will be a reduction of freedom.

 

The freedom of a company to sell any car they want is infringed when it turns out that the seat-belts are defective. The government interferes with free commerce to insure our safety.

 

Similarly with terrorism. My right not to be killed by a terrorist on a flight supercedes your right to the privacy of your bags when you board.

 

People should be free from unreasonable government inspection. But if it turns out that some people irresponsibly board planes with the intent to harm the safety of others, then the government will reasonably infringe the freedom from government search, and inspect their belongings for weapons, to prevent them from harming innocents. The freedom of people from government interference is contingent on all of them acting responsibly. Once that trust is broken, there will be a reduction of freedom.

 

Moreover, the magnitude of the government interference depends on the magnitude of the threat:

  • When the threats were fist fights, or kids stealing from small grocers, all you needed was a cop walking the beat.
  • If the threat was bank robbery, armed guards were needed, not much more.
  • The response to gang warfare must be commensurate. A cop walking a beat and an armed guard or two aren't enough. You need many police, armed, with Kevlar body armor, to take on a gang

There is now, and has been for some time, the threat that terrorists may get hold of nuclear weapons and transport them to American soil. Or bio-weapons. Or chemical weapons. These aren't imagined threats. The people that happily cut off the head of Daniel Pearl, or burn people alive, would use such a weapon if they could buy one. That's why ISIS is such a threat: they're building up economically so they can afford more dangerous weaponry.

 

The right of the 24 million people who live in the New York City metropolitan area to live without being burned alive by a nuclear weapon or sickened by a bio-weapon supercedes your right to have private internet traffic.

 

And it's going to get worse no matter which party is in power, because biological weapons are about to get cheaper (due to scientific advances), so bad nuts everywhere will be able to harm people without having to accumulate big sums of money. As we reach that point, expect much more erosion of privacy and much more detention without warrant.

 

Hey, you know what? The first time something really terrible happens, the first people to shout that the government didn't do enough will be the ones complaining that the government was infringing their freedom. Shit happens. Things change. This isn't 1776, 1876 or 1976 any more.

 

When you say freedom, responsibility, and safety are related issues not separate no matter what the constitution says about freedom - that's troubling. How many and how often will law abiding citizens be infringed upon or harmed in the name of security ? Fear and desperation fuel the desire for evermore repressive measures that weaken us playing into the terrorist's hands. Moreover can we say that rolling back civil liberties is the only way to be secure ? I'm not convinced.

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When you say freedom, responsibility, and safety are related issues not separate no matter what the constitution says about freedom - that's troubling. How many and how often will law abiding citizens be infringed upon or harmed in the name of security ? Fear and desperation fuel the desire for evermore repressive measures that weaken us playing into the terrorist's hands. Moreover can we say that rolling back civil liberties is the only way to be secure ? I'm not convinced.

If a nuclear weapon goes off on American soul, smuggled in by a terrorist, say goodbye to all privacy.

 

You ask if it's the only way to be secure: the infringement of civil liberties won't make us secure, only less insecure.

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The right of the 24 million people who live in the New York City metropolitan area to live without being burned alive by a nuclear weapon or sickened by a bio-weapon supercedes your right to have private internet traffic.

 

And it's going to get worse no matter which party is in power, because biological weapons are about to get cheaper (due to scientific advances), so bad nuts everywhere will be able to harm people without having to accumulate big sums of money. As we reach that point, expect much more erosion of privacy and much more detention without warrant.

 

Hey, you know what? The first time something really terrible happens, the first people to shout that the government didn't do enough will be the ones complaining that the government was infringing their freedom. Shit happens. Things change. This isn't 1776, 1876 or 1976 any more.

 

http://www.theglobalist.com/liberty-vs-safety-false-choice/

Liberty Vs. Safety: A False Choice

- snip -

In general, democracy and openness, allowing people to air their grievances freely and to participate in the building of their communities, is by far the best – and probably the only – way to lastingly defeat terrorism.

The American War on Terror has gone on for over a decade, and thousands of terrorists have been killed or arrested around the world. But the list of terrorist organizations maintained by the State Department continues to grow, with only nine – including the Khmer Rouge and the Japanese Red Army – ever delisted. The number of terrorists around the world has actually increased.

Accountability is security

There is also a clear and convincing practical explanation why openness offers more security. Like all other government institutions, security services tend to be more efficient and professional when they are accountable to the public and when the results of their work, including successes as well as failures, are out in the open.

Respect for the public opinion and for the rights of all members of society lead to greater security, whereas shadowy activities by security apparatuses breed incompetence and failure.

Since 2001, the American public has been treated to assertions by security agencies that dozens of terrorist attacks have been thwarted. Of course, details of those attacks supposedly had to be kept top secret in order to safeguard ongoing operations.

But of those plots that have been disclosed in recent years, with law enforcement agencies patting themselves vigorously on the back, most had largely been masterminded by those agencies themselves. One example was the seven members of a bizarre Florida religious cult, to whom an FBI agent gave an idea to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Meanwhile, the shoe bomber Richard Reid, the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad and a number of others failed in their deadly plots by sheer luck or their own immense incompetence, without NSA, FBI or others having the slightest idea about any of them.

Similarly, the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston Marathon last April, evaded the security dragnet. By the Washington Post’s count, this means that none of the 1,271 government organizations around the country involved in “counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence” activities caught on, even with (or perhaps because of) their extensive data collection.

Unprofessional agencies

According to data leaked by Snowden, many people involved in spying on Americans to ferret out terrorists actually eavesdropped on their love interests and former lovers. Thus, the atmosphere of secrecy and lack of transparency in which security agencies like to operate is quite dangerous.

Most immediately, this undermines the professionalism and utility of the security agencies themselves. No one ever knows when they screw up or overstep the boundaries of the law. It’s an environment in which mistakes and failures go unpunished.

The result can very well be more terrorist attacks in the future – and that is, believe it or not, the best outcome. Operating in the shadows, security forces become a state within a state, with their own interests and agendas that may differ from those of the citizens who pay their salaries.

In order to get larger budgets and operate with less control, security services might want to exaggerate terrorist threats. They may allow terrorist attacks to go forward if that serves their purpose, and even go as far as to stage them outright if no suitable terrorists are available. Working out of the public eye, they may use their secret jobs for personal gain.

The KGB state

If this sounds far–fetched, you only need to look at Russia to see a cautionary example. Russia is run by a former lieutenant colonel of the KGB who has promoted his former cronies in the security services to positions of economic and political power.

They run the government, harass private businesses and manage state–owned resource companies mainly to enrich themselves and other officers in State Security.

It is basically a mafia state of former spooks, who never tire of telling ordinary Russians that they may not have any political or economic rights, but at least they are safe. And yet murky terrorist attacks go on in Russia with increasing frequency.

- snip -

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Prevention beforehand is better than searching for an antidote, afterward.

 

Many have argued, and I would agree, that the Daesh would never have arisen if, in 2003, we had not committed the worst foreign policy blunder in US history, and attacked the wrong country, Iraq. When the Twin Towers came down, we enjoyed international sympathy and subsequently, security improvements to pilot cabin doors combined with passenger screening for breaching implements, rendered hijackings largely impractical.

 

Now, we are faced with a greatly magnified terrorist problem of our own making, in the Daesh. We have squandered a good deal of international good will by our unjust aggression. And we are trading freedom for the appearance of safety.

 

We need to get out of the war business ... Yes business. Almost everything that came out of he Second Gulf War was evil. The only gains made were by the war profiteers. War is rarely the answer to any problem. It should be the measure of LAST resort. The endless war we are engaging in ow must stop. Otherwise asymmetrical warfare will grow. Terrorism will escalate exponentially. And groups like the Daesh will have achieved their goal of robbing us of our freedoms.

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I'll also note that regulation of businesses is not equivalent to loss of individual freedom, because businesses =/= people. Also, last time I checked, regulating businesses was permissible under the constitution. The Patriot Act? Not so much.

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....permissible under the constitution. The Patriot Act? Not so much.

Constitutional originalists and their ilk like to think that the Constitution means one thing, and that's all it means and all it will ever mean.

 

Others, myself included, see the constitution as a guide that may take on new meaning as a result of new things in the world. There were no assault weapons or laser guided missiles during the time of the framers. Are these permissible under the second amendment? Do I have the right to own a laser guided missile? Interpretation is needed, and will always be needed because the pace of technological advance far outstrips the pace of the advance of human goodness.

 

The constitution is interpreted and understood by humans, with all their foibles, fears, insecurities and occasional wisdom. The nine are people who pee and poop, not stone gods.

 

If there is a huge attack like a nuke or a bio-weapon, just watch how quickly they interpret the hell out of that f***er. The rationalization will be so thick you could stand on it.

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Constitutional originalists and their ilk like to think that the Constitution means one thing, and that's all it means and all it will ever mean.

 

Others, myself included, see the constitution as a guide that may take on new meaning as a result of new things in the world. There were no assault weapons or laser guided missiles during the time of the framers. Are these permissible under the second amendment? Do I have the right to own a laser guided missile? Interpretation is needed, and will always be needed because the pace of technological advance far outstrips the pace of the advance of human goodness.

 

The constitution is interpreted and understood by humans, with all their foibles, fears, insecurities and occasional wisdom. The nine are people who pee and poop, not stone gods.

 

If there is a huge attack like a nuke or a bio-weapon, just watch how quickly they interpret the hell out of that f***er. The rationalization will be so thick you could stand on it.

 

First off, I am not a Constitutional literalist. That said, I think it is pretty clear that corporations are not protected under the Constitutions, which is why Citizens United is such a big deal and so very VERY wrong.

 

As for how it would be interpreted after a huge attack, action in primal fear does not mean the action or interpretation is correct. It does not mean the rationalization is correct.

 

I don't think the Supreme Court is anything other than human. However, I think the Supreme Court is increasingly polarized and partisan, caring more about ideology than actually ruling on Constitutionality based on the law and legal precedent.

 

What I find strange about literalists is that when they argue for their weapons rights, they seem to forget about the well-regulated militia part of the Second Amendment.

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Yeah, I agree 100%: Citizens United is a travesty that puts too much power in the hands of corporations.

 

Technology, by making sophisticated things cheaper and easier to use, puts enormous power in the hands of people. Some young and foolish, and some just stupid.

 

For example: anyone can get hold of a laser nowadays. Laser pointers are common and cheap. They can be and have been used as a hazard to aviation.

 

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lasers_and_aviation_safety

 

Technological advance is dizzying. Soon dimwitted teenagers (never mind terrorists) will have more destructive capability than any mafia had in 1960.

 

This is the difficulty any government has, to protect the country while maintaining, as best as possible, the freedoms we take for granted.

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My point was that for freedom to exist, there must be an acknowledgement by the government. One of the key principals is that while the government has the right to have people arrested, they must follow that with charges. There are rights for those accused. They have a right to an attorney. They have a right to a phone call. They have a right to their day in court. They have a right to face the accuser. When our government openly stated in the Pat Act that US citizens no longer have that right, and the government can arrest anyone it wants, with a vague accusation from someone in government and that the citizens have no rights to a trial, no right to a phone call, no right to an attorney, that all rights are gone. It is easily conceivable that a president could, for example, have his opponents accused of being enemy combatants, have them arrested, and for all practical purposes, that person disappears. What would you think if suddenly Obama arrested Trump without any rights. He could according to the Pat Act. Perhaps that is an unlikely scenario, but I would not put it past a "president Trump" to arrest anyone he didn't like. The law is in place.

 

The only way to guarantee that you will not be arrested is to attempt to please the government. They can put you in prison for the rest of your life for any reason, or no reason. You are no longer guaranteed a trial, or a day in court. You can be put away without even the slightest bit of evidence against you.

 

This is why I claim our freedoms have been lost. Until the government openly states that it will not arrest people in this fashion, we have no freedom.

 

I don't believe that it is necessary to trade away all our freedoms for the illusion of security. If we give up on trying to restore our freedom we have already lost.

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My point was that for freedom to exist, there must be an acknowledgement by the government. One of the key principals is that while the government has the right to have people arrested, they must follow that with charges. There are rights for those accused. They have a right to an attorney. They have a right to a phone call. They have a right to their day in court. They have a right to face the accuser. When our government openly stated in the Pat Act that US citizens no longer have that right, and the government can arrest anyone it wants, with a vague accusation from someone in government and that the citizens have no rights to a trial, no right to a phone call, no right to an attorney, that all rights are gone. It is easily conceivable that a president could, for example, have his opponents accused of being enemy combatants, have them arrested, and for all practical purposes, that person disappears. What would you think if suddenly Obama arrested Trump without any rights. He could according to the Pat Act. Perhaps that is an unlikely scenario, but I would not put it past a "president Trump" to arrest anyone he didn't like. The law is in place.

 

The only way to guarantee that you will not be arrested is to attempt to please the government. They can put you in prison for the rest of your life for any reason, or no reason. You are no longer guaranteed a trial, or a day in court. You can be put away without even the slightest bit of evidence against you.

 

This is why I claim our freedoms have been lost. Until the government openly states that it will not arrest people in this fashion, we have no freedom.

 

I don't believe that it is necessary to trade away all our freedoms for the illusion of security. If we give up on trying to restore our freedom we have already lost.

 

​You are absolutely right.

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This is why I claim our freedoms have been lost. Until the government openly states that it will not arrest people in this fashion, we have no freedom.

 

I don't believe that it is necessary to trade away all our freedoms for the illusion of security. If we give up on trying to restore our freedom we have already lost.

 

I agree that freedoms have been lost. I disagree with you'r statement that " we have no freedom".

 

I agree that it isn't necessary to trade away all our freedoms. But every increase in security due to a threat has come at a cost. And that cost is always some limit on freedom.

 

Moreover the magnitude of the limitations on freedom are commensurate with the threat against which the measures are guarding.

 

The above isn't a political statement, it's only an observation.

 

I also take issue with the characterization "illusion of security". No protective measure can successfully guard against every threat, because people learn about the measure and try to evade it; and people can be smart when they're pathologically violent. But the protective measures always prevent some of the attempted threats from occurring. That makes measurement of the success of the protective measure difficult to quantify. You can count bad things that happened. You can't count things that didn't happen.

 

So protective measures don't give you perfect security, they give you increased security over what you would have had without them. For example: seatbelts. The laws requiring them take away my freedom to drive a car without one. And some people, even wearing seatbelts, get into fatal accidents. That doesn't mean that seatbelts give only the illusion of security. They don't give security at all. They only give an increase in security over what you'd have had without them.

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There are many disadvantages to establishing high levels of security. As we see in the war on drugs, these para military forces tend to be self perpetuating, constantly citing the need for more security; confiscating drugs by the ton, and yet, always losing the war.

 

There is nothing the Daesh and other terrorist organizations would like better than to make us more like they are. By moving toward a police state, we play into to their hands. Although the Patriot Act has not robbed us of our freedoms yet, its draconian provisions have the potential to nullify our constitutional rights. The oppressive provisions of the Pat Act can be invoked any time, under the right circumstances ... A Trump or Cruz presidency, for instance.

 

http://www.theglobal...y-false-choice/

Liberty Vs. Safety: A False Choice

- snip -

The American War on Terror has gone on for over a decade, and thousands of terrorists have been killed or arrested around the world. But the list of terrorist organizations maintained by the State Department continues to grow, with only nine – including the Khmer Rouge and the Japanese Red Army – ever delisted.

- snip -

Like all other government institutions, security services tend to be more efficient and professional when they are accountable to the public and when the results of their work, including successes as well as failures, are out in the open.

Respect for the public opinion and for the rights of all members of society lead to greater security, whereas shadowy activities by security apparatuses breed incompetence and failure.

Since 2001, the American public has been treated to assertions by security agencies that dozens of terrorist attacks have been thwarted. Of course, details of those attacks supposedly had to be kept top secret in order to safeguard ongoing operations.

But of those plots that have been disclosed in recent years, with law enforcement agencies patting themselves vigorously on the back, most had largely been masterminded by those agencies themselves. One example was the seven members of a bizarre Florida religious cult, to whom an FBI agent gave an idea to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Meanwhile, the shoe bomber Richard Reid, the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad and a number of others failed in their deadly plots by sheer luck or their own immense incompetence, without NSA, FBI or others having the slightest idea about any of them.

Similarly, the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston Marathon last April, evaded the security dragnet. By the Washington Post’s count, this means that none of the 1,271 government organizations around the country involved in “counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence” activities caught on, even with (or perhaps because of) their extensive data collection.

Unprofessional agencies

According to data leaked by Snowden, many people involved in spying on Americans to ferret out terrorists actually eavesdropped on their love interests and former lovers. Thus, the atmosphere of secrecy and lack of transparency in which security agencies like to operate is quite dangerous.

Most immediately, this undermines the professionalism and utility of the security agencies themselves. No one ever knows when they screw up or overstep the boundaries of the law. It’s an environment in which mistakes and failures go unpunished.

The result can very well be more terrorist attacks in the future – and that is, believe it or not, the best outcome. Operating in the shadows, security forces become a state within a state, with their own interests and agendas that may differ from those of the citizens who pay their salaries.

In order to get larger budgets and operate with less control, security services might want to exaggerate terrorist threats. They may allow terrorist attacks to go forward if that serves their purpose, and even go as far as to stage them outright if no suitable terrorists are available. Working out of the public eye, they may use their secret jobs for personal gain.

The KGB state

If this sounds far–fetched, you only need to look at Russia to see a cautionary example. Russia is run by a former lieutenant colonel of the KGB who has promoted his former cronies in the security services to positions of economic and political power.

They run the government, harass private businesses and manage state–owned resource companies mainly to enrich themselves and other officers in State Security.

It is basically a mafia state of former spooks, who never tire of telling ordinary Russians that they may not have any political or economic rights, but at least they are safe. And yet murky terrorist attacks go on in Russia with increasing frequency.

- snip -

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Honest people can and should disagree. We each have our own point of view. When I say we lost all our freedoms with the Pat Act, I don't mean we are not allowed to drive to work. We have the right to go to the grocery store, and cheer for our favorite sports team. Those "freedoms" are typically allowed even in the most repressive dictatorships know. Even in Nazi Germany, people went to work, got paid, bought things, etc.

 

When the government says that it can incarcerate anyone it wants, at any time, for any reason or no reason, then for all practical purposes we have lost all our freedom. While that doesn't mean that everyone who disagrees with the government will be pulled off the streets, the government says it has that right and may be doing it now without our knowledge. At least one person, a lawyer, was accused of being an enemy combatant because his fingerprints matched someone in the middle east. The only reason he was able to get free was because he was a lawyer. How many people have been put away? Since no criteria is given, how long before they take you, or anyone in your family? Say the wrong word at the wrong time, and off to extraordinary rendition and the public will not know, nor will your family. Just because they haven't done it yet, doesn't mean they won't tomorrow. They claim the right, they have done it in the past. What will tomorrow bring. Remember, power corrupts and they have the power to remove criticism.

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Here is the potential of the Patriot Act:


 

 

vg_logo.gif
español italiano

victims.gifresp.gifconadep.gifhuman.gif
info.gifacks.gifreading.gifb_search.gif

Desaparecidos is the Spanish word for "The Disappeared." For thousands of Argentine families, this word has become a symbol of a long harrowing nightmare.

In a coup on March 24, 1976, a military junta seized power in Argentina and went on a campaign to wipe out left-wing terrorism with terror far worse than the one they were combating. Between 1976 and 1983 - under military rule - thousands of people, most of them dissidents and innocent civilians unconnected with terrorism, were arrested and then vanished without a trace.

In 1983, after democracy was restored, a national commission was appointed to investigate the fate of the disappeared. Its report revealed the systematic abductions of men women and children, the existence of about 340 well organized secret detention centers, and the methodic use of torture and murder. According to former president, Carlos Menem, records of the atrocities were destroyed by the military, following the 1982 Falklands War. The disappeared have not been heard of to this day.

These pages are a humble attempt to bring the voices of the desaparecidos and their loved ones to the world. The vanishing was swift, a burst into a home at night, a few minutes and they were gone - not enough time to be heard. We owe it to them.

 

 

 

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Here is the potential of the Patriot Act:

 

 

And that is the way to say it. The Potential of the Patriot Act. Perhaps it has not happened yet, but that law is in place and it is hard for me to support any politician who is not actively engaged in removing this "potential."

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Here is my view of what extremism is:

 

It is the unwillingness to accept less than 100% of what you want. It is the attitude that, if you don't get your way, all your way, you take your ball and bat and go home.

 

Extremism gives rise to a willingness to accept dictators, as long as they give you what you want.

 

Everything about how the United States is set up, how the House, Senate, and President must agree, how the Supreme Court can overrule, everything is set up to prevent extremism.

 

It's a good system. There are only a few things that need fixing (and how to fix them):

1. State-level gerrymandering. (Organize and get Democratic candidates elected at the state level.)

2. The perverted idea that corporations are people. (Supreme Court justices that will reverse that decision.)

3. The intellectual laziness of too many Americans. (Emphasis at home and in school on the importance of English, mathematics, science civics, and world affairs.)

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Here's the thing, though.

 

Most people aren't asking for 100% of what they want. Most people would like to get a good majority of it, though.

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Here is my view of what extremism is:

 

It is the unwillingness to accept less than 100% of what you want. It is the attitude that, if you don't get your way, all your way, you take your ball and bat and go home.

 

Extremism gives rise to a willingness to accept dictators, as long as they give you what you want.

 

Everything about how the United States is set up, how the House, Senate, and President must agree, how the Supreme Court can overrule, everything is set up to prevent extremism.

 

It's a good system. There are only a few things that need fixing (and how to fix them):

1. State-level gerrymandering. (Organize and get Democratic candidates elected at the state level.)

2. The perverted idea that corporations are people. (Supreme Court justices that will reverse that decision.)

3. The intellectual laziness of too many Americans. (Emphasis at home and in school on the importance of English, mathematics, science civics, and world affairs.)

I agree with this. Except for #3. It's not just Americans. It's happening all over the Western world, and it has been caused by the proliferation of right-wing media and fearmongering about terrorism.

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3. The intellectual laziness of too many Americans. (Emphasis at home and in school on the importance of English, mathematics, science civics, and world affairs.)

I agree with this. Except for #3. It's not just Americans. It's happening all over the Western world, and it has been caused by the proliferation of right-wing media and fearmongering about terrorism.

Yes, I agree. I guess I was being US-centric. (Like many Americans, I change a light bulb by holding it in the socket and letting the world rotate around me. ;))

 

What I don't agree with is the cause. Right wing crap and fear of terror doesn't cause math-phobia or general dislike of learning.

 

Learning isn't easy, and people who don't see a need to advance themselves often won't do it, because people are naturally lazy (Even when they aren't inept). Western civilisation may just have gotten too rich for its own good.

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Yes, I agree. I guess I was being US-centric. (Like many Americans, I change a light bulb by holding it in the socket and letting the world rotate around me. ;))

 

What I don't agree with is the cause. Right wing crap and fear of terror doesn't cause math-phobia or general dislike of learning.

 

Learning isn't easy, and people who don't see a need to advance themselves often won't do it, because people are naturally lazy (Even when they aren't inept). Western civilisation may just have gotten too rich for its own good.

Yeah it can cause fear of learning if you're so scared and believe liberals cozy up to terrorists and that education is a liberal indoctrination camp.

 

That's populism in a nutshell though

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Yes, I agree. I guess I was being US-centric. (Like many Americans, I change a light bulb by holding it in the socket and letting the world rotate around me. ;))

 

What I don't agree with is the cause. Right wing crap and fear of terror doesn't cause math-phobia or general dislike of learning.

 

Learning isn't easy, and people who don't see a need to advance themselves often won't do it, because people are naturally lazy (Even when they aren't inept). Western civilisation may just have gotten too rich for its own good.

 

Learning is a huge investment of your time, money, and effort. Many won't put in that effort unless they believe there's a payoff. Belief in a payoff requires that you believe there's a strong correlation between your performance and your reward. Too many people have lost faith in that correlation. They have been convinced (either by facts or propaganda, depending on your point of view) that the system is rigged, it's who you know not what you know, discrimination will hold you back, success is all about luck, and if you don't succeed it's because someone else did something wrong. Once a person accepts that view, learning loses much of its attraction.

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Jeez Louise, that is about the most defeatist thing I've ever seen an intelligent person write.

 

The internet is full of information about jobs and salaries. Any capable person can see what kind of income is made by an actuary, a doctor, a lawyer, an oil industry engineer, a software engineer, a university professor, an IT specialist, a nurse, etc etc etc.

 

Any of these practical and honest ways of earning money are open to anyone that is able, and willing to study. (And there are more.) State universities cost much less than private ones, and if the student lives at home even lower middle class families can afford a four year degree. Especially with university help, scholarships, low interest loans etc.

 

Three hundred well paid jobs on a web page I found in 30 seconds.

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Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night....Being passionate and closed is exclusive, being open is freeing.

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I'm not buying the argument. First there is much intrinsic value to the education itself. More education makes for better people. I would advocate for as much education as a person can handle.

 

On the other hand, I don't believe that we should charge students as much as possible. Education is not only an investment in and by the student, it is an investment in and by society. My view of history is that those societies that invest in education of the people end up being much better societies. Even further, those societies which invest in education, end up being much more prosperous.

 

As to the jobs, a great many of them are in the medical field. One might question how stable they are. I personally know several doctors who do not find stable employment, in spite of being excellent doctors. In particular, they serve patients rather than insurance companies resulting in less profit.

 

I am more familiar with the engineering community. A great many positions are available for the job only. I had one job where the company openly admitted that once done with the project you would be laid off. In order to keep people there long enough to finish the job, the offered a $15,000 bonus. The first person who got the bonus, immediately left and his part of the project didn't work. I claim there is little to no job security; thus, how can you pay back maybe a hundred thousand dollars when you don't have a stable job? How can you buy a house until you have saved enough to buy it without a mortgage? Even if you do, and your next job is in a different state, you still have a problem.

 

I would argue that making college free to anyone who can do the work would be one of the best investments our nation could make in itself. It would pay back better than anything else.

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