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  1. #1
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Default What a vague and useless bill...

    Quote Originally Posted by S. 1959: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007

    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.

    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.
    Now wouldn't you say the wording there is pretty vague? What constitutes an "extremist belief system"? Do I really want the government to have the ability to declare me a terrorist if they don't like what I have to say? It also troubles me that there doesn't have to be any actual violence or planning of violence. If they can justify a "threat" of violence, then that is defined as terrorism. What constitutes a threat? What about non-violent "force"?

    Basically the bill appoints a commission that composes a report on how to identify and fight "homegrown terrorism". The part that peeves me off about this is just how Anti-American the ideas are. Anybody who pushes for social change could be defined as a terrorist if they pose a "threat". What would the Founding Fathers think of that?

    Apparantly we are in grave danger of homegrown terrorists as outlined by the findings section of the bill.

    Quote Originally Posted by S. 1959: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007

    The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.

    The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.
    I don't think it is too likely that the bill will violate any rights or liberties of Americans. It just seems rather strange to me that we are going to start declaring American citizens as terrorists despite having very few domestic terrorist actions in our country. Would the Oklahoma City bombing or Beltway Sniper attacks have been prevented by the formation of such a commission?

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    What would the Founding Fathers think of that?
    Think? They'd of been rounded up for planning on leading a violent uprising against the government. That's the whole point of the bill...

  3. #3
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Now wouldn't you say the wording there is pretty vague? What constitutes an "extremist belief system"? Do I really want the government to have the ability to declare me a terrorist if they don't like what I have to say? It also troubles me that there doesn't have to be any actual violence or planning of violence. If they can justify a "threat" of violence, then that is defined as terrorism. What constitutes a threat? What about non-violent "force"?
    That does kind of bother me... what can I do about this to protest it? Has it already passed? Or am I too late and need to keep my mouth shut, going along with whatever the government says no matter how arbitrary? If that's what I have to do to keep living, I'll do it, but I won't be happy.

    I don't think it is too likely that the bill will violate any rights or liberties of Americans. It just seems rather strange to me that we are going to start declaring American citizens as terrorists despite having very few domestic terrorist actions in our country. Would the Oklahoma City bombing or Beltway Sniper attacks have been prevented by the formation of such a commission?

    Thoughts?
    Actually, I disagree. I don't see how it could NOT violate rights or liberties. It gives the government too much leeway in controlling what people can believe. I would never advocate overthrowing the government, but I do worry that even discussing policies like this could eventually be considered seditious behavior, and that's the point I'm afraid things are leading up to.

  4. #4
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    *shudders* I HATE reading laws- they're all worded so incredibly vaguely in hopes of including everything that they wish to and leave the interpretation up to the courts now you see why I hated Constitutional Law!!!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  5. #5
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    *shudders* I HATE reading laws- they're all worded so incredibly vaguely in hopes of including everything that they wish to and leave the interpretation up to the courts now you see why I hated Constitutional Law!!!
    I can see the implications, and this law isn't a good one. I'm sorry the vagueness is so painful for you. But tell me... do you think it would sound better if it were strictly limited to dealing with groups actually promoting or suggesting the overthrow of the government, rather than simply permitting any perceived "threats that could lead to violence" towards the government to be dealt with? That's what I'd propose to limit the sphere of influence of this law.

  6. #6
    Highly Hollow Wandering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    What would the Founding Fathers think of that?
    Think? They'd of been rounded up for planning on leading a violent uprising against the government.
    That was my thought exactly: by the definitions used in that bill, the Founding Fathers were prime examples of "Violent Radicalization" (how much more radical can you get than planning and starting a whole revolution war??) and "Homegrown Terrorism"

    As a non-American, it saddens me to no end to see you guys (and by that I mean the country, not individual people) fall prey to the exact same kind of rhetoric that was used to create and justify the European authoritarian regimes of the last century or two

  7. #7
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    As a non-American, it saddens me to no end to see you guys (and by that I mean the country, not individual people) fall prey to the exact same kind of rhetoric that was used to create and justify the European authoritarian regimes of the last century or two
    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.

  8. #8
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    It's clear that a lot of people consider this a first step in taking away their freedom of speech and assembly. Some even believe it's the formation of a thought crime commission. But I'm happy to see I'm not the only person on this forum who thinks the bill is just stupid. There are a lot of sites offering phone numbers you could call in protest. I believe the bill is in the judiciary committee at the moment and will go to vote soon. It passed the House with an unbelievable majority. What is Congress thinking?

  9. #9
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    What is Congress thinking?
    Since when does Congress think? There's a reason it's called "Congress" instead of "Progress."

    But that means only the Senate can stop this... and are the representatives similar in disposition? I'm so irritated that I'll soon have to live in a country with virtually no right to say anything without fear. It's awful.

  10. #10
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    What would the Founding Fathers think of that?
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Has it already passed?
    Information at your fingertips. Go here, clarify the search for "Bill Number," and enter "S.1959" into the field.

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