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About the recent continuing revelations on the scope of domestic spying, the drone attacks, and the many violations of civil rights and liberties we've seen since 9/11; we need to ask: “why don't we have any sense of proportion about terrorism?” OK, 9/11 was terrible. We lost more than 3,000 people. Since then, we have lost very few people to terrorism, apart from fatalities due to our own choices to prosecute wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places. But right now we lose more than 30,000 to auto accidents, more than 30,000 to domestic gun violence, and 55,000 to lack of health insurance, each and every year.

During WW II we lost 418,000 out of 131,000,000 people, the equivalent of almost 1 million adjusting for today's population of the US. We experienced these losses in a little more than 3.5 years, or the equivalent of about 270,000 per year now. That's the price we were willing to pay for freedom then.

Now we go crazy over 3,000 deaths and start compromising our civil liberties right and left. What's wrong with us? Where's our sense of who we are? Isn't our freedom worth more than an average cost of 250 fatalities per year from terrorism over the past nearly 12 years?

Sure, we might have had a lot more fatalities than that misleading average if we had taken only a law enforcement approach to the terrorism problem, rather than the brute force constitution-jeopardizing terrorism-above-all approach. But the real question is what price are we willing to pay annually for our liberty? As much as we're willing to pay for our cars?

Forget the “terrorism” crusade! Let's prosecute actual crimes committed against us and use normal police and intelligence work to prevent them or catch the people who commit them. Sure we'll lose some people. I in  no way minimize that fact. But not nearly as much every year as we lose to lack of health insurance, the auto, or gun violence right now.

So, let's pay the cost in lives and reconstruction if need be, and get back to normal American freedoms guaranteed by our constitution! Get rid of the Department of Homeland Security! Stop persecuting whistle blowers like Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, and John Kiriakou, and journalists like Julian Assange. Stop domestic spying by the NSA, CIA, Homeland Security, and the FBI; and defeat politicians who are supporting laws that take away our liberties!

Especially this last. Show our elected officials that they can't violate the constitution with impunity and expect us to just accept that. Make every one who voted for the Patriot Act, and other unconstitutional measures, pay with their jobs and political careers. Elect new people who will not only repeal the legislation, but impeach the judges, and people in the Executive Branch, who supported these policies.

What is tyranny? It is the existence and use of arbitrary Government power against citizens. The heart of such arbitrary power is secret laws, secretly interpreted, and secretly enforced. The Bush and Obama administration's development of the FISA and Patriot Acts into a structure of US law is tyranny and makes a mockery of the US Constitution.  Down with Tyranny!

(Cross-posted from Correntewire.)

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Comment Preferences

  •  What's wrong with us? (10+ / 0-)

    That thing that the public relies on for information has been outright lying to them for at least a decade, and dumping bastardized language manipulation on us for several times longer than that.

    Thank you, so much, Saint William, for signing that abominable Telecommunications Act "Update"!  IMO, that was the beginning of the final downhill skid...

    "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

    by lunachickie on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 05:21:04 PM PDT

    •  It's not us. It's them. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lunachickie

      Them would be all the congress critters who had to run for their lives on September 11, 2001. The assumption was that another airplane was heading for the the Capitol building. That may or may not be true, but it had a profound effect on the thinking of those who thought themselves targets on that day.

      Okay...I'm just guessing and can offer no proof.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 05:54:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob, Sue B

        a pretty good guess. But the rest of us have continued to elect them.

      •  Oh of course it is! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob

        You absolutely know, that between that and the mailed anthrax (and even the DC Sniper, if memory serves), there was a profound effect on those people.

        And there, for the purposes of "continuing to be able to comment on this here blogsite", we must Stop Asking Questions, yes? ;)

        "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

        by lunachickie on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 06:40:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  it's all about money (8+ / 0-)

    it's profitable for some, to keep this fear going for as long as possible.

    This strikes me as so obvious that I find it unbelievable that those who run the government are not in on it.

    If they were smart enough to get elected (not you, Gohmert!) then they're smart enough to know how it works.

    Thus, they're deliberately wrecking the world to get a profit. Or I should say, they're making a profit and if they accidentally wreck the world, too bad. Collateral damage and all that.

  •  You are on the right track. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, psyched, WheninRome, Sue B

    The War on Terrorism is turning into an analog of The War On Drugs.  All we're doing is making a bunch of rotten people filthy rich while we hone oppressive political tools.

    We need to realize that the terrorists are causing the emergence of Big Brother.  We need to prioritize education and personal responsibility to expose and dispose of those who just want to die and take others with them.  We need to re-define religious tolerance to include a condition that any faith that chooses death is itself anathema and must reform or die.

    Spend that Booz-Allen money on eliminating poverty, education, and support of a modern middle class and we'll have citizens who care enough to root out this rotten-ness on their own.  Each of these terrorists needs a network.  Poverty and despair keep the network of death alive.

  •  Nobody Knows How to Accomplish This. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psyched

    Millions of people have better ideas including many of yours, for how to run the country, security, the military, you name it.

    Nobody has figured out a way to do it under our system.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 05:45:56 PM PDT

  •  I think it's a bad line of argument... (0+ / 0-)

    ...both politically (persuasion-wise) and ethically, to say our freedom is worth some number of deaths per year.  For one thing, it incrementalizes the cost of deaths but it doesn't incrementalize the cost of giving up bits of freedom--in other words, it's inconsistent.  For another, it's an argument that belongs to the Right: if it's structurally sound, then the whole progressive agenda from gun control to environmental regulation to progressive taxation is dead in the water.  For another, it denies the reality that if we don't make it difficult for the current generation of crazy people to kill us via terrorist attacks, they'll do so with increased frequency, something we know because they've told us with admirable forthrightness.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 05:57:23 PM PDT

    •  But in the grand scheme of things, the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, Letsgetitdone

      number of deaths of Americans they could cause are dwarfed by other causes.

      Why are we not willing to put the force of the federal government and our tax dollars behind these even greater risks, while jettisoning our rights?  For terrorist attacks?  Phleez.

      Dying being killed by a foreigner is no worse than being killed by a fellow countryman.  Or dying from lack of medical care.

      I have some idea - I was injured as an 11-year-old American child in London by an IRA bomb financed by Americans.

      Kind of gives me a whole different perspective on this "furrin' terrerist" thing.

      •  The other situations you're talking about... (0+ / 0-)

        ...take away rights as well.  I don't see how absolutism in the present case helps us make the case that the real sacrifices of freedom implied (more than implied) by much of the progressive agenda are worthwhile. It doesn't really matter that you find those other rights unimportant, because others seem to find them important while finding the right to privacy unimportant.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 06:22:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  OK... (6+ / 0-)
      I think it's a bad line of argument... (0+ / 0-)

      ...both politically (persuasion-wise) and ethically, to say our freedom is worth some number of deaths per year.

      Then let's shut down the highways and forbid the ownership of motor vehicles.  We can save about 30,000 lives per year that way...

      http://www.census.gov/...

      "En todas partes se manifiesta el GRAN ABISMO entre la gente común y los poderosos" -- from a tweet posted on https://twitter.com/#occupygezi

      by Cassiodorus on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 06:39:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fear mongering FAIL (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, TheMomCat

      None of which you mention via progressive taxation or gun control is against the 4th amendment(juts like registering your car is not anainvasion of privacy) and endangers privacy or a road to a police state like other countries who have taken similar measures. The facts are that the DHS hasn't prevented terrorist attacks on a grand scale. Shutting down Boston did not find the younger Boston Bomber; someone walked into their back yard to take a smoke.

      There's no secret law with secret approval to raise your taxes or pass gun laws. That's ridiculous like your entire comparison.

      Letsgetitdone is just pointing out that we will never have freedom from death and destroying the 4th amendment over 3,000 deaths is lunacy specifically since it won't make us safer and endangering privacy of our citizens in a de facto warrant less wiretap way is only for the sheeple not for the people in actual reality.

      "Given the willful denial, among a host of kossacks, of the basic proposition that 2+2=4, I find the diarist's tone to be remarkably restrained." ~ Wisepiper

      by priceman on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 06:46:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think it's the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psyched, BruceMcF, TheMomCat

      only argument, and I certainly don't rely entirely upon it. But the point that we've created the framework for totalitarianism in response to a crime that cost 3,000 lives is a valid one and creating that framework and placing it into operation, as we've done, seems entirely disproportionate to me.

      On the point that we must make it difficult for "the crazy people" to kill us via terrorist attacks, who said anything about not doing that? All I've said is that we ought to do it through law enforcement and not through what has turned out to be extra-constitutional means. We can make it difficult enough for terrorists to launch successful attacks through law enforcement efforts to contain our losses, while still retaining the freedoms that are core to our way of life.

      •  And since many of our actions in response to ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... those deaths act as some of the most effective recruitment tools for terrorist organizations, there's a substantial degree to which the perceived need to destroy our political freedoms in the name of self defense is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 10:30:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We can save lots of lives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    priceman, tardis10, psyched

    by ending Dick Cheney/ Barack Obama's war on the world.

    "En todas partes se manifiesta el GRAN ABISMO entre la gente común y los poderosos" -- from a tweet posted on https://twitter.com/#occupygezi

    by Cassiodorus on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 06:41:07 PM PDT

  •  Propaganda. Lies, deception, misinformation, (0+ / 0-)

    disinformation, manufactured reality, social engineering, human conditioning.  
    It's not just the proportion.  It's what terrorism has been made to be.  The first terrorists of the American people were Native Americans fighting against the insane and racist Manifest Destiny ideal.   So what really is a terrorist?   Combine that with the fact that the US, mostly thru the CIA, actually creates terrorists and conducts terrorist attacks. So who does that fit in?
    Basically everything that is happening to this degree is reliant on what happened on 9/11, an incident few dare to question the official story.

    "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 06:49:25 PM PDT

  •  A double standard (0+ / 0-)

    When soldiers die in battle, we eulogize their heroism by saying that they gave up their lives fighting for our freedoms.  Therefore, it seems that the least we civilians could do is be willing to give up our lives in a terrorist attack once in a while for the sake of those same freedoms.

    But there is a remarkable double standard here.  That thousands of lives should be lost on the battlefield for the sake of our freedoms is never questioned; but let a much smaller number of civilians die in a terrorist attack, and people start demanding a police state.

  •  100 percent of people living today will die (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    someday so I guess we should abandon all the safety precautions we take.  I'm in favor of repealing seatbelt laws.  Deaths have gone down so they're not needed anymore.  

    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    by thestructureguy on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 07:42:43 PM PDT

    •  If seatbelts were as ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... dangerous to our well-being as these measured taken on the pretext of defending us are dangerous to our national security, then hell yeah we would be well justified in abolishing seatbelt laws.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 10:33:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with the basic idea you are trying to put (0+ / 0-)

    forth here, it's just fear mongering 101, and any people are susceptible to it, especially those without a sense of proportion, but I have to say you did the exact same thing in your first paragraph.

    I read posts here at DK all the time that are the equivalent of "woman dumps 3 headed baby off elevator and laughs" it's sensationalism that turns heads.

    "30,000 to gun violence"? Oh really? Why not call it suicide cause that's what it mostly is? Instead we have a mental image of some kind of street mugging, and bullets flying everywhere. Maybe a photo of an AR would help.

    I'd be real happy if DK stopped with the sensationalism, but similar to major media the screaming gets the clicks, or the add  revenue, or whatever. Look at this rec list. There are currently two or three posts that are simply screaming hissy fits of expletives. That's what typical Americans find interesting, or rather absorbing. Everyone wants to get all jacked up and mad or scared.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 04:14:17 AM PDT

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