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  •  Here's What I Take Away From This Conversation (none)
    One, a number of points which register for me but no matter how I present them you don't see.

    What I am asserting is a standard of proof in the former case that goes beyond a single non-specific, non-conspiratorial, non-directed statement. I think more evidence than that should be required to secure a conviction and I took it as agreement when you wrote:

    And yes, lock the fucker up if you have evidence the person meant it. Your problem with that?

    Clearly you don't consider the thread in question to be "evidence the [Democrat] meant it." Meaning there has to be more to prove a death threat. Agreed.
    And this is a lose/lose situation because, if you try to tell me that one line you typed doesn't truly represent your intent, you have again agreed with me.

    Now in the second case: Context. In discussing a fictional television show I made a number of statements about how I interpreted its tone, aesthetics, and message. The context indicates these are subjective opinions, in the event I didn't explicitly say so. Were you in on the creation of the work, I could credit your absolute assertion that I am "wrong" in my conclusions. As it is, it's my opinion versus yours. My opinion is also the opinion of my friend the Utah expatriate Mormon, and one other person with whom I watched the show, all of whom independently formed that opinion. Now I may have been too assertive in judging your own opinion as blindness to the content of the show, not clearly labelling that as opinion, but I thought that would be obvious.

    Just to be clear that there is such a thing as propaganda, view this:
    Now I ask you if that were set in space with the names changed wouldn't it still be?

    But there was another issue raised in the discussion of the show. It's whether a person should be punished for a crime that he did not commit, on the backroom assumption that he committed some other crime.
    I say nay, you say yea.

    This is a very topical concern because a lot of people are in jail on such an assumption; it comes up a lot if you follow such matters.

    As for the overall issue of whether it is NeoCon to have a low threshold of proof, no. No, I admit it is not NeoCon. Rather, in our modern AMerican society it is NeoCon, conservative, centrist, to hold that opinion. We don't have, for instance, a lot of totalitarian communists running around. Certainly Che Guevara executed hundreds of people on very slender evidence in many cases. And Stalin too of course.

    Totalitarianism is not law and order. Too little tolerance and compassion is to pass through the eye of the needle of justice into lawlessness. In 1984 nothing is illegal, because anything can be punished. The more broad or small the transgression required for punishment is, the closer we get to that degree of totalitarian lawless chaos. Authority acting to preserve "order" without restraint, without regard for the complexity of human nature, is lawlessness. Ultimately in such a society everyone can be found guilty of something or other and thus fealty to the power structure is the only safety; although in Stalinism and Naziism it was found that even exceptional prowess in one's actions, however loyal, could also be punished as these were their own kind of threat.

    These may not seem like legitimite concerns. Certainly a lot of Americans don't recognize how we are verging on this. They don't recognize that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were only two people, and that hundreds internationally and thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan have been subject to even worse injustice because it has been covert. At least what happened to the Rosenbergs happened in broad daylight so that the nation could take note and correct the course. The same unfortunately cannot be said of lots of executions and ongoing imprisonment in the face of new evidence because black people are invisible to much of our society.

    It is for these reasons that I support a standard of proof. Upon its founding this country agreed that governemnt oppression was the worse danger than some crime going unpunished. Really! It's a fact look it up. The current drift away from reasonable standards of proof, toward punishing sentiment is unamerican. I hope you can see that.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Sat Dec 10, 2005 at 12:39:08 PM PST

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