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Thread: Holiday Season thought

  1. #1
    The Beast Master TZ Veteran PIPER's Avatar
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    Holiday Season thought

    As the holiday seasons approach us, let us reflect for a moment on those things in life that are important to each and every one of us. First and foremost should be the FREEDOM we as americans enjoy and the price that our fallen comrades paid so that we may continue to enjoy them. We sit at our computers and play war games, make jokes, razz one another over our foolish moves which is kewl, but on the flip side in actual combat situations there is no room for error or bad judgement calls. So let us all say a silent prayer for our fellow americans, who were soliders, fathers, brothers, sons and daughters who paid with their lives so that we may enjoy all that freedom has to offer. May God watch over them and those currently serving to protect what we all hold most precious, our FREEDOM.

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    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Here here Piper. Totally agree, and spot on with the season.

  3. #3
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Excellent sentiment.

    And don't forget the Families that support their loved ones as well. It's a great sacrific for all to bear.

  4. #4
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    This the kind of FREEDOM you mean?
    When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.

    When Bush went to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, "The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us."

    The local police, at the Secret Service's behest, set up a "designated free-speech zone" on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush's speech.

    The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, but folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president's path. Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign.

    Neel later commented, "As far as I'm concerned, the whole country is a free-speech zone. If the Bush administration has its way, anyone who criticizes them will be out of sight and out of mind."

    At Neel's trial, police Detective John Ianachione testified that the Secret Service told local police to confine "people that were there making a statement pretty much against the president and his views" in a so-called free- speech area.

    Paul Wolf, one of the top officials in the Allegheny County Police Department, told Salon that the Secret Service "come in and do a site survey, and say, 'Here's a place where the people can be, and we'd like to have any protesters put in a place that is able to be secured.' "

    Pennsylvania District Judge Shirley Rowe Trkula threw out the disorderly conduct charge against Neel, declaring, "I believe this is America. Whatever happened to 'I don't agree with you, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it'?"

    Similar suppressions have occurred during Bush visits to Florida. A recent St. Petersburg Times editorial noted, "At a Bush rally at Legends Field in 2001, three demonstrators -- two of whom were grandmothers -- were arrested for holding up small handwritten protest signs outside the designated zone. And last year, seven protesters were arrested when Bush came to a rally at the USF Sun Dome. They had refused to be cordoned off into a protest zone hundreds of yards from the entrance to the Dome."

    One of the arrested protesters was a 62-year-old man holding up a sign, "War is good business. Invest your sons." The seven were charged with trespassing, "obstructing without violence and disorderly conduct."

    Police have repressed protesters during several Bush visits to the St. Louis area as well. When Bush visited on Jan. 22, 150 people carrying signs were shunted far away from the main action and effectively quarantined.

    Denise Lieberman of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri commented, "No one could see them from the street. In addition, the media were not allowed to talk to them. The police would not allow any media inside the protest area and wouldn't allow any of the protesters out of the protest zone to talk to the media."

    When Bush stopped by a Boeing plant to talk to workers, Christine Mains and her 5-year-old daughter disobeyed orders to move to a small protest area far from the action. Police arrested Mains and took her and her crying daughter away in separate squad cars.

    The Justice Department is now prosecuting Brett Bursey, who was arrested for holding a "No War for Oil" sign at a Bush visit to Columbia, S.C. Local police, acting under Secret Service orders, established a "free-speech zone" half a mile from where Bush would speak. Bursey was standing amid hundreds of people carrying signs praising the president. Police told Bursey to remove himself to the "free-speech zone."

    Bursey refused and was arrested. Bursey said that he asked the police officer if "it was the content of my sign, and he said, 'Yes, sir, it's the content of your sign that's the problem.' " Bursey stated that he had already moved 200 yards from where Bush was supposed to speak. Bursey later complained, "The problem was, the restricted area kept moving. It was wherever I happened to be standing."

    Bursey was charged with trespassing. Five months later, the charge was dropped because South Carolina law prohibits arresting people for trespassing on public property. But the Justice Department -- in the person of U.S. Attorney Strom Thurmond Jr. -- quickly jumped in, charging Bursey with violating a rarely enforced federal law regarding "entering a restricted area around the president of the United States."

    If convicted, Bursey faces a six-month trip up the river and a $5,000 fine. Federal Magistrate Bristow Marchant denied Bursey's request for a jury trial because his violation is categorized as a petty offense. Some observers believe that the feds are seeking to set a precedent in a conservative state such as South Carolina that could then be used against protesters nationwide.

    Bursey's trial took place on Nov. 12 and 13. His lawyers sought the Secret Service documents they believed would lay out the official policies on restricting critical speech at presidential visits. The Bush administration sought to block all access to the documents, but Marchant ruled that the lawyers could have limited access.

    Bursey sought to subpoena Attorney General John Ashcroft and presidential adviser Karl Rove to testify. Bursey lawyer Lewis Pitts declared, "We intend to find out from Mr. Ashcroft why and how the decision to prosecute Mr. Bursey was reached." The magistrate refused, however, to enforce the subpoenas. Secret Service agent Holly Abel testified at the trial that Bursey was told to move to the "free-speech zone" but refused to cooperate.

    The feds have offered some bizarre rationales for hog-tying protesters. Secret Service agent Brian Marr explained to National Public Radio, "These individuals may be so involved with trying to shout their support or nonsupport that inadvertently they may walk out into the motorcade route and be injured. And that is really the reason why we set these places up, so we can make sure that they have the right of free speech, but, two, we want to be sure that they are able to go home at the end of the evening and not be injured in any way." Except for having their constitutional rights shredded.

    The ACLU, along with several other organizations, is suing the Secret Service for what it charges is a pattern and practice of suppressing protesters at Bush events in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas and elsewhere. The ACLU's Witold Walczak said of the protesters, "The individuals we are talking about didn't pose a security threat; they posed a political threat."

    The Secret Service is duty-bound to protect the president. But it is ludicrous to presume that would-be terrorists are lunkheaded enough to carry anti-Bush signs when carrying pro-Bush signs would give them much closer access. And even a policy of removing all people carrying signs -- as has happened in some demonstrations -- is pointless because potential attackers would simply avoid carrying signs. Assuming that terrorists are as unimaginative and predictable as the average federal bureaucrat is not a recipe for presidential longevity.

    The Bush administration's anti-protester bias proved embarrassing for two American allies with long traditions of raucous free speech, resulting in some of the most repressive restrictions in memory in free countries.

    When Bush visited Australia in October, Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mark Riley observed, "The basic right of freedom of speech will adopt a new interpretation during the Canberra visits this week by George Bush and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao. Protesters will be free to speak as much as they like just as long as they can't be heard."

    Demonstrators were shunted to an area away from the Federal Parliament building and prohibited from using any public address system in the area.

    Attempts to suppress protesters become more disturbing in light of the Homeland Security Department's recommendation that local police departments view critics of the war on terrorism as potential terrorists. In a May terrorist advisory, the Homeland Security Department warned local law enforcement agencies to keep an eye on anyone who "expressed dislike of attitudes and decisions of the U.S. government." If police vigorously followed this advice, millions of Americans could be added to the official lists of suspected terrorists.

    Protesters have claimed that police have assaulted them during demonstrations in New York, Washington and elsewhere.

    Such aggressive tactics become more ominous in the light of the Bush administration's advocacy, in its Patriot II draft legislation, of nullifying all judicial consent decrees restricting state and local police from spying on those groups who may oppose government policies.
    Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...type=printable
    Patriot II?
    In sum, Patriot II puts in jeopardy the First Amendment right to speak freely, statutory and common law rights to privacy, the right to go to court to challenge government illegality, and the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures.
    Full article: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/ramasastry/20030217.html
    FREEDOM? Yeah, sure. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. Doubleplusgood.

  5. #5
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    So excercise your freedom and right to vote, that other's have fought and died to preserve by the way, and elect someone else that YOU think will do a better job.

    and don't forget that your right to whine is protected by the constitution.
    Last edited by rik; January 5th, 2004 at 14:59 PM.

  6. #6
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    The ACLU, along with several other organizations, is suing the Secret Service for what it charges is a pattern and practice of suppressing protesters at Bush events in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas and elsewhere. The ACLU's Witold Walczak said of the protesters, "The individuals we are talking about didn't pose a security threat; they posed a political threat."
    The ACLU ? OMG the biggest threat to freedom this world has ever known! just ask the people in Colorado who now must call their Christmas tree's "Holiday tree's"

    BTW rik, Nikto doesn't live in the US so the only thing he's protected by is a millon miles of internet...thank God (I don't believe in the ACLU so I can say God) that its as easy as pulling the plug on his Left Wing Extremest BS!!!! oh my mistake, Nikto is so extreme that it isn't fair for me to include him with the Left......

    [unplug]whiners, extremest[/unplug] ahhh all better now

    Thanks PIPER I agree with your wonderful post

  7. #7
    The Beast Master TZ Veteran PIPER's Avatar
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    Thanks FG and Rik....what nikto fails to realize is the simple fact that we would protect HIS right to speak what is on his mind or in this case post it....lol...Good, bad or indifferent. Thank God for the good ole US of A. Nikto, this was not a political statement there Dude...wake up and smell the f**king roses will ya.

  8. #8
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    great post piper.

    @Nikto, its not only the USA that may be holding back freedoms, Im sure every goverment in the WHOLE world has done the same. Dont blame the US for doing a better job at it :P

    --- 0wN3D by 3gG ---

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