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  1. #11
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    They might promulgate the Alien and Sedition Acts.

    Generally: this is legislation from the Senate, and carries all the inanity that one would expect from a minor bill. It was referred to committee in August and has gone nowhere, so apparently there are still a few adults in charge in D.C.
    Does "referred to committee" mean that it's unlikely to be passed? I've never heard that term before.

    Information at your fingertips. Go here, clarify the search for "Bill Number," and enter "S.1959" into the field.
    Thanks, I'll be keeping an eye on it.

  2. #12
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Does "referred to committee" mean that it's unlikely to be passed? I've never heard that term before.
    Referred to committee.

    It doesn't mean it is unlikely to pass, but it does mean that it's currently up to the Committee of Homeland Security whether it lives or dies.

  3. #13
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Referred to committee.

    It doesn't mean it is unlikely to pass, but it does mean that it's currently up to the Committee of Homeland Security whether it lives or dies.
    When it's said that they can "approve" the bill, does that mean they can pass it on their own, without putting it to the vote of the entire senate? That seems a little scary, I hope they know what they're doing.

    In any case, the president still has to sign it, right? Perhaps if it passes, we'll be lucky and he won't?

  4. #14
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    When it's said that they can "approve" the bill, does that mean they can pass it on their own, without putting it to the vote of the entire senate? That seems a little scary, I hope they know what they're doing.

    In any case, the president still has to sign it, right? Perhaps if it passes, we'll be lucky and he won't?
    Approve means giving the okay so the Senate can then vote on it. No bill can be passed into law without both the House of Representatives and Senate voting on it. However, it passed the House with a scary majority and if it did pass Congress I have absolutely no doubt it would be signed by Bush.

  5. #15
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term 'homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
    I agree that this bill is pretty useless. But I CAN see why so many consider it a valid definition of terrorism. When they say “threatened use” of force, I compare it to when a thief pretends to have a gun in his pocket, when really it’s just his finger. It’s also similar to a fake bomb threat, or saying, quite simply, “If you don’t do this, I’ll blow up this building.” But all of those things are punishable under other laws.

    I can see why “threatened” is ambiguous, because what DOES constitute a threat exactly? But I can see the concrete sense of the word “threat” in this bill. You’re right, something harmless like political unrest or even a sit-in could, in some people’s minds, be seen as a threat. The definition of “threat” needs more refining, but all other parts of the above bill fit well with my definition of scare tactics.

    But you all do have a point. Our founding fathers, by today’s definitions, would be considered homegrown terrorists. Looking at this bill the first time, I honestly saw nothing wrong with it, but why would I ever want to make what my founding fathers (oh, and mothers, too!) did an act of terrorism? PT, your point is interesting – I guess I shouldn’t think it could never happen here. All it would take was a change of circumstance, and we could all be in the same position our founding fathers were, fighting a corrupt government that considered any opposition “treason” and “terrorism.”

    Yeah, on second thought, this bill really sucks.

    VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term 'violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
    But this is what we’re doing in Iraq, correct? In fact, this is just a definition of war, really. In fact, terrorism is just another term for psychological warfare. It's what the entire Cold War between America and Russia was about: psyching the other out.

    I remember a passionate English teacher reciting this quote for me. Was it by Thomas Jefferson? "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."

    I think we're all psyching ourselves out with this "terrorism" business. Terrorism isn't new. It's not like the advent of terrorism. People and parties and nations have been using it since the dawn of man. We have been and continue to be guilty of it, as a nation. "Speak softly but carry a big stick" has been the motto of America for decades, and it's just plain terrorism, by these definitions.

  6. #16
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    I can see why "threatened" is ambiguous, because what DOES constitute a threat exactly? But I can see the concrete sense of the word "threat" in this bill. You're right, something harmless like political unrest or even a sit-in could, in some people's minds, be seen as a threat. The definition of "threat" needs more refining, but all other parts of the above bill fit well with my definition of scare tactics.
    Yes, that's exactly what was disturbing me.

    I remember a passionate English teacher reciting this quote for me. Was it by Thomas Jefferson? "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."
    I'd rephrase that to read, "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security are unlikely to have either." It's a bit judgmental to imply they don't deserve either when you don't even know them or their reasons for doing so, although you can rather confidently say they are likely to lose both.

  7. #17
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    I'd rephrase that to read, "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security are unlikely to have either." It's a bit judgmental to imply they don't deserve either when you don't even know them or their reasons for doing so, although you can rather confidently say they are likely to lose both.
    The quote is supposedly by Benjamin Franklin. Although it was originally, "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." I think the underlying idea is that if you are dumb enough to give up your fundamental rights then you deserve to die. It makes sense to me because there aren't any justifiable reasons for giving up those rights.

    Wiki Source

  8. #18
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    That's it! Benjamin! Actually, that's the wiki source I was just looking at, Kiddo. I do like Athenian's version better. There are quite a few good paraphrases of it, including:

    "If we restrict liberty to attain security we will lose them both."
    "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

    It's just funny that my English teacher's words stuck in my head so precisely that I remember them exactly as he said them, without looking them up once since then. "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." They're such powerful words.

  9. #19
    Highly Hollow Wandering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I always thought that the phrase "those who do not learn from history..." is better stated "those who do not have collective memory of history...". I say this because I continue to hear "it couldn't happen here" more than any other phrase in the US, nevermind that mindset. A society as a whole cannot really grasp history from a book, even if academics can.
    So very true!

    There's nothing like growing up in a society still asking itself "how did it happen?"

    It's so scary when you hear the very same mottos that were used here in our darkest times being used in America. Not just because obviously I don't want America to go through the same horrors we went through. But also because the USA are more than just a country: they are also a concept. They are El Dorado, they are the Last Utopia. That the old corrupt continents be riddled with all kinds of totalitarian aberrations is one thing, but not the US! America is the conceptual anti-thesis of all this.

    But the signs are there. They've been there for a long time. The signs don't mean that the worst end will necessarily happen. But refusing to face that possibility is called denial and it only increases the likelihood of the worst happening.

  10. #20
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I don't think it is too likely that the bill will violate any rights or liberties of Americans.
    Why would you think that? It looks to me as though that is precisely the bill's intended purpose.

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