So am I the enemy now?

The Bush administration it seems to me equates any difference in opinion or thought and lifestyle with risking another attack on our country, which is just idiotic. It’s their way or the highway. What in hell has happened to our freedom? Is this what we are trying to sell to Iraq and other totalitarian regimes in the world? Our brand of government which is sliding rapidly away from Democracy?

Don’t we still have the right to debate on whether or not we agree with Bush? No. It seems we are disloyal to our contry if we voice an opposing opinion. Are those who oppose him now demons that want to bring down the U.S.?

His tactics have not only killed over 1,000 of our citizens and wounded thousands more, it has made Al-Qaida stronger and able to recruit many more people than ever before. He fell right into Osama’s hands. I believe that studying Bush, he could fortell what he would do when we were attacked: rush headlong into a cowboy war yelling our patriotic slogans on the way. and it worked perfectly. The Middle East is becoming more and more unstable every day with our presence there.

How can those who would want to help us win the war there trust an administration who jails people with no proof of wrongdoing, tortures them, treats eveyone who disagrees with them as the enemy, and treats terrorism, a very complex subject, with simplistic jingles. They hate us because we are free…blah,blah, blah.

When J. Edgar Hoover was in power, if you even throught to disagree with his politics you were labeled a Communist. Now Terrorist is the label of the day. If you don’t agree with Bush you are a Terrorist, or agree with them. God the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.

Right now this administration is monitoring what they call “unlawful protest activities” of the war,so beware, because your name might end up on a list. Just like Cat Stevens.

If what Bush is doing is right, why do I feel more and more afraid and less and less secure?

Stop bellyaching. I’m no fan of Bush but do we really need more of this attitude here?

I think you’re overreacting. I mean, yeah, the administration’s position does seem to be that, if you disagree with it, you’re immoral, foolish, or just plain wrong. However, most people believe that if you disagree with them, you’re immoral, foolish, or just plain wrong. People tend to say bad stuff about their political opponents. That doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to disagree, to protest, or vote against the President in November.

I agree of course that people resent being disagreed with. That’s human nature. But, fortunately, most people don’t have the ability to make their opinions law and for the dissenters to be punished or put in jail.

I think that’s what’s being proposed for debate, Captain (though the OP isn’t entirely clear on that) – we might be in danger of losing those rights. Or at least seeing them eroded. Protestors are being monitored by the FBI and might wind up on certain lists. As for voting – the Admin has talked seriously, this year, about postponing the elections in the event of a terrorist attack; and the felons’-list flap in Florida, combined with hard-line Republican resistance to adding verifiable paper trails to those new touchscreen voting machines, and their intimidation tactics designed to keep blacks away from the polls (see current GD thread on that) make it very clear they have no intention of playing fair for the foreseeable future.

How exactly do you, personally, not have the right to debate?

Have you been jailed for expressing your opinions? Fined? Beaten?

Or are you just whining because, when you express an opinion, not everyone agrees with you, and tells you so?

You have the right to express your opinion. You don’t have a right for it to be accepted, though.

So where would you suggest I voice my opinion? At a Bush rally? Oh wait, I’ll be cuffed by the SS and be arrested for engaging in an unlawful protest.

I’m old enough to know the consequences when people don’t at least try to speak out when they think something is terribly wrong with their leaders. The Jews in Germany couldn’t believe what was happening with Hitler and few of them escaped alive in the end. Ask the survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto. If you don’t know history then you will be the victim of those who do. Some people go into denial and have this idea that things will just continue on the way they always have; most people see their narrow place in history as the big picture. A generation from now we could well be looking back on the world that was, and wishing for it to return.

I don’t care if others agree with me; I got over that when I became an adult. I just want people to at least have the feedom to dissent without being arrested or intimidated by the SS. And if everyone agreed with me we would be in trouble. What about the times I was wrong?

Well, no, because like you said, you’ll be told to leave, and, if you don’t, be arrested for tresspassing. A political rally is a private function, and you’re there at the sufference of the individual or group holding the rally.

How could you legally voice your opinion? You could hold a rally of your own (and. You could write a letter to the newspaper. You could tell everyone you know, “I don’t like Bush”.

The opinion expressed in the OP? Here, of course.

You’re dissenting right now; is the SS at your door?

They’re watching you online, y’know! :slight_smile:

All kidding aside, has the SS ever visited you? Anyone you know?

If you went outside on your front porch right now and yelled “I hate Bush” do you really think the Secret Service would care, much less come arrest you?

Right up until now I actually thought the OP’er was describing Nazi Storm Troopers.

The amount of paranoia and chest beating about Bush is staggering at times. And then people on who oppose Bush scratch their heads in puzzlement when reasonable things they say are discounted. Its called ‘crying wolf’ and its been going on since before GW was even president.

Want to protest against Bush? No one is stopping you. Knock yourself out…you’ve come to the right message board. Go join an anti-Bush rally and sing kumbya, go to a Kerry rally, sign up on, etc etc etc.

Want to go and disrupt a Bush rally, or disrupt the RNC?? Well, you will probably be arrested sure. Guess what? If you went and disrupted a Kerry rally or the DNC you’d probably be arrested too. Want to know something else that might stagger you? If you went to disrupt an authorized KKK rally, you’d probably be arrested as well. If you went to disrupt a Friends of the Whales rally you’d probably be arrested as well. If you went to disrupt a Neo-Nazi rally…etc etc. If people are peacefully engaged in a rally for any part of the political spectrum and you attempt to disrupt it…you will probably be arrested. YOU GETTING THIS??


I feel the OP goes overboard. Things aren’t as bad as all that. But there are some things that are happening that all of us, regardless of our odealogy, should be worried about.

There’s the Patriot Act and other powers the government has aquired in the last couple of years. Suddenly there are secret lists and we don’t know if we’re on them. We only know about these lists when somebody famous like Ted Kennedy or Cat Stevens gets pulled over.

There’s a growing trend of shutting down all forms of protest. Not just violent or disruptive protests at events. Any protest, anywhere near an event. At the RNC, protesters were arrested blocks away from the convention itself. When a judge said they were being held illegally and ordered their immediate release, there was a "paperwork error’’ that held up the release until the convention was over and the reporters had left town.

A year ago, some actors endorsed John Kerry. The chairman of the Republican Party called them “unpatriotic”. Not “left wing liberals” or “misguided Hollywood types” or “stupid democrats”. He said they were unpatriotic. When did it become unpatriotic in this country to say you’re going to vote for a candidate who is legally running for office?

In another thread, we posted reports of incidents in nine different states where black voters were being illegally intimidated in to not going to vote. When the party in power starts making sure people don’t vote for the opposition, we’re all in trouble.

Cite that the “no fly” list of which you speak is secret? It might be difficult to get off the list once you are on, but I’m not aware that the lists are secret.

I should have been more clear on that “secret” issue. I believe you can find out if you are on the list or not. But I doubt you could find out if I was on the list, and I would not want you to be able to.

I have mixed feelings about this as well. The right to congregrate and free speech and all that is a pretty fundamental right, and I hate to see it curtailed. On the other hand, I think the argument can be made that there is a very legitimate security problem that is excacerbated by protestors.

I guess I look at it this way in terms of New York and Boston. Both parties have the right to congregate and hold their conventions. They have the right to expect security. I hold in less regard the right of protestors to show up and deprive either the Democrats or the Republicans of their right to congregrate and hold free speech. These protestors’ activities can be reasonably curtailed to whatever extent is necessary to ensure the rights of the people who scheduled the event.

In other words the protestors’ rights of free speech and congregration do not extend to depriving others of their rights of free speech and congregration.

The Chairman of the Republican Party is allowed to have an opinion. Is he not?

Yeah, I saw that. It was pretty one-sided. Let’s take off our partisan hats here for a second, and admit to reality. Both parties do their damnedest to get out the vote in the sectors where they think that vote will be most favorable. Both parties also try to curtail the other party’s activities to the extent their are able. At times the law is crossed in getting out the vote (like the bussing and cigarettes in Philadelphia,) and other times attempts to enforce the laws may be overzealous.

That’s politics. That’s all.

Well, I guess it is sort of obvious that you can find out if you are on the list or not…You try to fly and you find out. Do you have evidence that there is another way to find out?

Noone is saying he does not have a right to an opinion. But we have the right to question his opinion and to really wonder what it says that someone who thinks this way is doing in a position of power in the Republican Party…And, to let everyone else know what this party seems to stand for. (Assuming this story Little Nemo related is true…I would want a cite for it because I really truly hope the Chairman of the Republican Party didn’t say that.)

Well, I think voting for Kerry is unpatriotic as well. The guy’s a traitor.

Nope they’re classified. According to their own website, the APIS watchlist is only avialable “only for official business on a need-to-know basis”. - a newspaper article - a government website - a somewhat paranoid homepage describing privacy aspects

The Advance Passenger Information Systems (or APIS) has been around since 1988 but until 2002 it was a voluntary decision for the airlines on whether or not they wanted to participate. It is now mandatory.

The Dept of Homeland Security releases a list of names to airlines. The airlines monitor all passengers for names on the list. But the airlines also forward a complete list of all passengers to the DHS for all flights. The DHS then checks these names against a larger list, which is not distributed to the airlines.

There was basically no information about who was on these watchlists or why. There definitely was no information about how a person could find out if they are on the list. But by searching around I eventually found a website that had a FAQ addressing the “privacy concerns” involved. Here’s the quote:

See anything there about contacting them about whether or not your name is on the list?

Incidentally APIS is not only an American program. It also involves all international flights arriving in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea. A number of airlines, including those in Russia and Mexico, are also participating in the program. The United States has been negotiating with several European countries to bring them into the program, but so far they have not because the APIS program as it now exists does not comply with EU data security laws. An US Government guideline on the program encourages international participation in APIS but points out that some countries might write laws which would allow a person to know if he or she was on a watch-list.