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View Full Version : U.S. is a joke - homeland security out of control



Qtrainat1251
September 2nd, 2003, 01:32 AM
I am an amatuer photographer. I have been questioned, and chased away from buildings, but some
others who are railfans taking photos in the NYC subway have been given TICKETS for taking photos. Cops say its due to homeland security. The worst experience I ever had was taking photographs outside a mall in West Nyack,NY. I saw a cop car and put my camera away. The cop then got out of his car and started walking towards me asking what I had in my hand. I felt like saying none of his business (because it really is none of his business). But I said it was a camera and I was a tourist taking photos of the area. Then the cop asked me for ID, I gave him my college ID since I dont have a driver license and he radioed it in to make sure I wasn't "wanted". Everything was OK and he let me go, but lemme tell you that was SCARY. Something like that belongs in the former Soviet Union, not the US.
And now I hear maps of rail systems, power systems,etc is being put under tight lock and key. This is PUBLIC information! I guess they think terrorists are blind, just because they cant get a map. After all, we are in a new age "of McCarthy-ism", instead of the much feared "enemy" being Communists, its Terrorists. Cant walk into a building because you "might be a terrorist". Cant take photos anywhere because "you might be a terrorist". This country aint no fun anymore. Its starting to sound more and more like the USSR.
And this is what the "terrorists" wanted, they want us to live in fear constantly worrying about "when they will strike".
So I have these so called "unusual interests" of railroads, malls, skyscrapers, and power lines. I guess that makes me a terrorist, right?
I never seen so many personal rights violations as whats going on lately. People better wake up and start realizing what's going on, because if they dont soon, we might as well kiss democracy goodbye.

Freedom Tower
September 2nd, 2003, 02:57 PM
You can't blame the government for being worried and trying to prevent an attack. How do you think people who want to grow up to be pilots feel? Imagine how closely people in flight training are looked at. But it's worth it if it saves lives. To most people someone who is going to college who happens to be taking pictures of potential targets is very suspicious. The hijackers were all here on student visas for college, and they all visited the sites they wanted to attack to learn about it. *BTW, are you from another country going to college here? Because then mabe he was even more suspicious of an accent or something. You can't blame the police for doing their job. It's funny you say "people should wake up". People woke up after the attacks and realized we have to be on alert. If you have a problem with this country being extra cautious I suggest you go watch the news from about this time 2 years ago. Then you will know why we are so cautious.

ZippyTheChimp
September 2nd, 2003, 04:40 PM
Qtrain, are ya one a them thar furriners?

The same thing has happened to me. On my Concourse trip, when I was stopped across from the courthouse and explained what I was doing, the cop said something like, "Be careful, or they'll take your film," while glancing toward the courthouse. I didn't know who they were - court officers or his superiors - but he seemed embarrassed by the pointlessness.

Jasonik
September 2nd, 2003, 04:45 PM
It is unfortunate that mall security and lower echelon law enforcment may take hightened security to absurd extremes. *These people genuinely believe they are doing what is best for our national security. It remains to be seen whether this 'first line of defense' will prove to be a deterrent to terrorists or the bane of freedom loving Americans.

I doubt media and/or Gov't sensationalism does much to diminish the ferver which these patriots apply to 'rooting out evil'.

With respect to McCarthy-ism, the term properly refers to past ideological persecution of communist sympathizers. *With all due respect Qtrain, I'm not sure who is being ideologically persecuted at present to warrant the characterization- 'new age', with the obvious exception of Militant Islamic Fundamentalists.

BTW we live in a Constitutional Republic - not a Democracy. *True democracy can at best hope to achieve mediocrity. *Bell curve dynamics generally stultify all but the banal and uninspired.

Qtrainat1251
September 2nd, 2003, 07:02 PM
I am not a foreigner but a white American citizen. I'd hate to think what it would be like if I was a Middle Eastern immigrant. They must have it even worse.
Police have been given these unconstitutional powers by the USA Patriot and Homeland security acts. I hope that voters will elect a better administration next time that will rescind both acts. Where is the ACLU in all of this? This seems like much more of a loss of liberties than many of their other cases.
Next time I get questioned and I'm on public property I am going to refuse to cooperate. The incident at the West Nyack,NY mall was outside mall property on a public road, the cop had no right to question me. Someone has to practice some "non-violent resistance" to these security practices. If they put me in jail then I'm gonna sue their a** off.

Freedom Tower
September 2nd, 2003, 07:31 PM
Very funny Zippy, I am not a southerner. But I will mention one thing, nowadays it is politically correct to discriminate only against one group, the rednecks. Zippy proves this point quite well. On this particular thread where tolerance seems to be an important issue, patriotic people, and rednecks are much discriminated against. This is part of being a liberal but whatever. Let me ask you a question, qtrain. If you happened to be an enthusiast of nuclear power, do you think it'd be wrong if they stopped you from taking pictures of a nuclear power plant? The fact is, the Homeland Security Act and the USA Patriot Act are here to protect us. I don't see how they violate any civil liberties. Please, since you are so knowledgeable on the subject, name a few ways these acts are unconstitutional. I think if someone looks suspicious and is taking pictures of a potential target, it'd be horrible if police didn't look into it. The same people who are wondering why we missed all the signs before sept 11th want to intentionally disregard similar signs becuase it may violate our privacy. By the way, the ACLU is too busy releasing terrorists from Guantanamo. Call them in a few years, then they'll be ready to talk. Qtrain, I think you are just looking to create a problem. Talking about suing people, etc. This country is not, by any means, violating civil liberties. When the cop left you did he put your name on a terror-watch list? I bet not. Should he have? Well if you were out there taking pictures of a nuclear plant or something like that he should have. He didn't even write down the incident did he? You have to think about something. What is more important to you? Your life or your photos? If you don't understand why the country is currently very careful then you should take a closer look. By the way, I too have been told to stop taking pictures of at least one or two things, but I respected the cops decision and obided by it. I suppose next you'll sue to be allowed to bring a weapon on an airplane. You'll say it's your second ammendment right.

ZippyTheChimp
September 2nd, 2003, 08:11 PM
You found my statement offensive, but not your own.

Are you implying that I am not patriotic. Maybe you should rethink your attitudes about patriotism.

Freedom Tower
September 2nd, 2003, 09:56 PM
The only thing I was implying is that anyone against Homeland Security is not patriotic. If you are against Homeland Security, yes I was implying that. However, it seems you consider yourself patriotic. Therefore, I am assuming you want to catch terrorists and stop attacks. So in order to do that we need to give law enforcement more authority in finding these people. Therefore I would guess you are all for Homeland Security. If not would you mind explaining why? I don't mean to be rude, Zippy, really I don't. I just wouldn't understand why a "patriotic" person would oppose legislation making it easier for law enforcement to catch terrorists and thwart attacks. And if you are all for Homeland Security and thought I implied that you weren't patriotic by saying "patriotic people, and rednecks are much discriminated against" I am saying that because whenever I post something supporting the war on terror, etc. I am constantly harassed. When you tell me what made you think I was implying such a thing then I can explain further what I meant.

ZippyTheChimp
September 2nd, 2003, 11:11 PM
I just wouldn't understand why a "patriotic" person would oppose legislation making it easier for law enforcement to catch terrorists and thwart attacks.

If the goal is to make it easier to catch terrorists, would you oppose detaining all people of a particular ethnic group as persons of interest. If not, why not? There are certainly terrorists living among us; it would scoop up at least a few. *By the way, it has happened here in the past.

It is my belief that people can be patriotic, regardless of their political stance. It is your brand of narrow-minded patriotism that I find offensive.

Your own words - unless you don't actually believe what you write.

On this particular thread where tolerance seems to be an important issue, patriotic people, and rednecks are much discriminated against. This is part of being a liberal but whatever.

Freedom Tower
September 3rd, 2003, 04:07 PM
You still haven't gotten my point. It isn't narrow minded patriotism to support the USA Patriot act. It DOES NOT round up people based on their race. In WWII, yes the Japanese were rounded up. That was wrong, but it is not happening today. We are not rounding up any group. Of course I would oppose detaining every muslim in the country, but that's not what we're doing. It offends me, that you consider my patriotism to be narrow minded. I support all justified acts to help law enforcement catch terrorists. Name one thing from the Patriot Act or any act recently passed that is unconstitutional. Then we'll have something to debate. It is very true. For some reasons even though liberals preach tolerance, I am assuming you are a liberal, they are anti-redneck as you have clearly demonstrated. Tell me what you deciphered that sentence to mean.

Freedom Tower
September 3rd, 2003, 04:10 PM
If you thought I meant liberals to be against patriotism, that was not what I meant. I merely stated that even though they preach tolerance they are very mocking of rednecks. You proved that. I added in "patriotic people" because when I agree with something I believe is to protect the country, I am constantly harassed for thinking that way. I meant that patriotic people are very often mocked, however I did not mean by liberals.

I put two seperate thoughts into one sentence. It'd read better: "Liberals preach tolerance but then mock rednecks. Another group often discriminated against is patriotic people."(However it does not state who they are discriminated by. That is more or less what I was trying to write into one sentence.)

(Edited by Freedom Tower at 4:12 pm on Sep. 3, 2003)

ZippyTheChimp
September 3rd, 2003, 04:30 PM
Rednecks are assholes.

Freedom Tower
September 4th, 2003, 03:32 PM
Thanks for proving my point once again

My point of liberal intolerance towards rednecks

ZippyTheChimp
September 4th, 2003, 04:13 PM
My description of rednecks has nothing to do with political philosophy. I certainly don't consider George Will an asshole.

You brought up the issue of redneck. If you consider yourself a redneck, well then....as Popeye says, "I yam what I yam."

This "debate" has become tedious. I extend to you the pleasure of the last comment.

Freedom Tower
September 5th, 2003, 05:32 PM
Well then Zippy, Ill take that pleasure. I may have brought up the redneck topic, but you are the one who proved me right. You stated that, in your opinion "rednecks are assholes". The opinion of a tolerant liberal, as you may consider yourself. However, if I were to make prejudice comments about anybody but rednecks I'm sure that you would preach liberal philosophy on not being prejudice. Now whether you think George Will is a redneck or not is up to you. I don't consider myself a redneck. However, this has much to do with politics because you thought my political beliefs were those of a redneck, or at least that is what your post suggested. However, I do agree with you on one thing. That this argument is becoming tedious. Therefore, hopefully this will be the last post. I haven't had much time yet to browse this new and improved site. I now am going to do that.