1
   

Ben's old chestnut

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 10:37 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;118153 wrote:
Quite a few of the regulations are silly, and do nothing to promote safety. I am sorry for your loss of cuticle scissors to this stupidity. Either those in charge of such things have no clue what they are doing, or they know they are doing many things that are irrelevant to actual safety, for some undisclosed motive. I don't know which possibility is more disturbing.


Nothing is perfect. But from the fact that some of the regulations are silly (if it is a fact) what follows. That we should have none? I am glad we have those we have. But what is really silly is to pat down old ladies, and make them take their shoes off, while terrorists get on the plane with no trouble. It is not only a waste of time and energy, but it is dangerous, since that time and energy could be better devoted to potential passengers who might very well pose a danger. And that, of course, is why I am in favor of profiling.
Pyrrho
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 11:06 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;118165 wrote:
Nothing is perfect. But from the fact that some of the regulations are silly (if it is a fact) what follows. That we should have none? ...


Obviously not. What follows is that the regulations should be changed to come closer to actually doing what they are supposed to do. In this case, it is likely that that would mean eliminating or altering some of the current regulations, adding new regulations, and keeping some of the regulations as they are.

In the abstract, I have no problems with profiling per se, but in practice there is a great danger that it will be done in a prejudicial manner, which should be guarded against, both because it would be unjust, and because it would not serve the actual goal of making people safer. Or, to put this another way, if profiling is done properly, I have no problem with it, but I do have a problem with the slipshod way such things often get done in the real world. You may have noticed that I have not participated in this aspect of the discussion up to this point, as I presently have nothing terribly useful to say about the exact rules that should be in place regarding profiling.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 11:11 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;118185 wrote:
Obviously not. What follows is that the regulations should be changed to come closer to actually doing what they are supposed to do. In this case, it is likely that that would mean eliminating or altering some of the current regulations, adding new regulations, and keeping some of the regulations as they are.

In the abstract, I have no problems with profiling per se, but in practice there is a great danger that it will be done in a prejudicial manner, which should be guarded against, both because it would be unjust, and because it would not serve the actual goal of making people safer. Or, to put this another way, if profiling is done properly, I have no problem with it, but I do have a problem with the slipshod way such things often get done in the real world. You may have noticed that I have not participated in this aspect of the discussion up to this point, as I presently have nothing terribly useful to say about the exact rules that should be in place regarding profiling.


I imagine that everyone doesn't like any program run in a slipshod or prejudicial way. (Except maybe some of those who stand to gain by it). But there are some who are against profiling in principle, as I suppose you know. And, those people who are against profiling in principle, often cite as a reason Ben's Old Chestnut.
Emil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 11:13 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;118153 wrote:
Quite a few of the regulations are silly, and do nothing to promote safety. I am sorry for your loss of cuticle scissors to this stupidity. Either those in charge of such things have no clue what they are doing, or they know they are doing many things that are irrelevant to actual safety, for some undisclosed motive. I don't know which possibility is more disturbing.


A philosopher in Denmark commented that politicians sometimes make changes that they know will not help or they know will even hurt their cause, but they still make them in order to send out a signal. The case in Denmark was longer punishments for something, even though meta-studies reveal that longer punishments make people more criminal.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 11:23 am
@Emil,
Emil;118191 wrote:
A philosopher in Denmark commented that politicians sometimes make changes that they know will not help or they know will even hurt their cause, but they still make them in order to send out a signal. The case in Denmark was longer punishments for something, even though meta-studies reveal that longer punishments make people more criminal.


If you are right, then the signal (whatever it was a signal of) was presumably judged to compensate for the fact that the longer punishments increase crime.
0 Replies
 
Pyrrho
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 04:34 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;118190 wrote:
I imagine that everyone doesn't like any program run in a slipshod or prejudicial way. (Except maybe some of those who stand to gain by it). But there are some who are against profiling in principle, as I suppose you know. And, those people who are against profiling in principle, often cite as a reason Ben's Old Chestnut.


I suspect that most of the people who object to profiling "on principle" are really objecting to profiling as it has been done. There has been abuse of power, with profiling given as an excuse for some of it, and this naturally gets people to not like "profiling".

---------- Post added 01-07-2010 at 05:39 PM ----------

Emil;118191 wrote:
A philosopher in Denmark commented that politicians sometimes make changes that they know will not help or they know will even hurt their cause, but they still make them in order to send out a signal. The case in Denmark was longer punishments for something, even though meta-studies reveal that longer punishments make people more criminal.


kennethamy;118200 wrote:
If you are right, then the signal (whatever it was a signal of) was presumably judged to compensate for the fact that the longer punishments increase crime.


I would suspect that, generally, politicians do such things for one of two reasons. The first is to give the appearance of taking useful action, despite it being really bad for the country overall, though possibly good for the careers of the politicians. And the second is stupidity and incompetence.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 05:53 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;118306 wrote:
I suspect that most of the people who object to profiling "on principle" are really objecting to profiling as it has been done. There has been abuse of power, with profiling given as an excuse for some of it, and this naturally gets people to not like "profiling".

---------- Post added 01-07-2010 at 05:39 PM ----------





.


I don't think so. I think they think that profiling is discriminatory, and therefore wrong.
0 Replies
 
housby
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 08:45 pm
@kennethamy,
Kenneth,
To protect the west's supply of oil.
To show that we would not be trifled with.
To reverse the course of tyranny.
To defend democracy.
You are in my view wrapping yourself in the stars and stripes my friend. It is exactly this kind of view that is the cause of the very terrorism you are so afraid of. In sociology there is a term called ethnocentricism (believing that your own ethnicity is the only one which is right) and it is the kind of arrogance that has caused war the world over through all of history.
Saddam was not a nice guy, we all agree on that, but the invasion of Iraq has made the place more unstable than it ever was prior to his overthrow.
As for not caring what the people of Britain think, well, that just shows that you are perhaps the kind of self-interested, uninformed American that has, unfortunately, become a stereotype the world over. Remember my friend that the British people whose opinions you do not care about are your nations closest allies. You would do well to remember this.
As for "what is true", do the United States have a monopoly on this?
I am trying not to get involved in an "off the thread" argument and perhaps we should agree to differ on this one but, honestly Kenneth, no one has a monopoly on truth.
housby
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Jan, 2010 05:17 am
@housby,
Kenneth,
I feel I must apologise for the rather personal nature of my last post. Unfortunately there are some subjects that bring out the worst in me and American foreign policy is one of them. However, I did not wish to make a personal slur on your integrity and if you feel offended in any way please accept my apologies. My basic argument still stands but I would like to say that I do not have a problem with you, the American people (who are amazingly friendly) or your country itself. I just don't trust your government (or mine for that matter).
We all have our personal biases and fears: yours seem to be Islamic Fundementalist terrorists and "lefties", mine are governments and large corporate interests. Perhaps we are both right and wrong. As I said before, no-one has a monoploy on truth. Hope we can still argue till the cows come home.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Jan, 2010 10:09 am
@housby,
housby;118398 wrote:
Kenneth,
To protect the west's supply of oil.
To show that we would not be trifled with.
To reverse the course of tyranny.
To defend democracy.
You are in my view wrapping yourself in the stars and stripes my friend. It is exactly this kind of view that is the cause of the very terrorism you are so afraid of. In sociology there is a term called ethnocentricism (believing that your own ethnicity is the only one which is right) and it is the kind of arrogance that has caused war the world over through all of history.
Saddam was not a nice guy, we all agree on that, but the invasion of Iraq has made the place more unstable than it ever was prior to his overthrow.
As for not caring what the people of Britain think, well, that just shows that you are perhaps the kind of self-interested, uninformed American that has, unfortunately, become a stereotype the world over. Remember my friend that the British people whose opinions you do not care about are your nations closest allies. You would do well to remember this.
As for "what is true", do the United States have a monopoly on this?
I am trying not to get involved in an "off the thread" argument and perhaps we should agree to differ on this one but, honestly Kenneth, no one has a monopoly on truth.


Your reply is quite irrelevant. We were talking about reasons other than the WMDs for invading Iraq, not whether those reason were (in your estimation) good reasons. That is a different matter. The fact is that you said that the WMDs were the only reason for invading Iraq. And you are wrong. I did not say I did not care what the British think. I said I did not care what the British think about why we invaded Iraq. I don't care what anyone thinks. I care only about whether what they think is true or false. If the British think (as you said) that Iraq was invaded only because of the WMDs, then they are wrong. It was not the only reason. If the British think that, then they have been "Guardianized". And that is unfortunate.

---------- Post added 01-08-2010 at 11:16 AM ----------

housby;118456 wrote:
Kenneth,
I feel I must apologise for the rather personal nature of my last post. Unfortunately there are some subjects that bring out the worst in me and American foreign policy is one of them. However, I did not wish to make a personal slur on your integrity and if you feel offended in any way please accept my apologies. My basic argument still stands but I would like to say that I do not have a problem with you, the American people (who are amazingly friendly) or your country itself. I just don't trust your government (or mine for that matter).
We all have our personal biases and fears: yours seem to be Islamic Fundementalist terrorists and "lefties", mine are governments and large corporate interests. Perhaps we are both right and wrong. As I said before, no-one has a monoploy on truth. Hope we can still argue till the cows come home.


I am not biased against Islamic fundamentalists. To be biased is to be prejudiced, and to be prejudices is to have an attitude not backed by evidence. But there is a mass of evidence that Islamic fundamentalists are dangerous evil people. Therefore, I am not biased against them. And I admit readily to fearing them, since, as I just pointed out, they are dangerous and evil people. So why should I not fear them, and justifiably so? The left enables these people to do what they do, so why should I not be concerned about the left?
housby
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Jan, 2010 08:26 pm
@kennethamy,
Kenneth,
If the British people have been "Guardianised" as you say (whatever the hell that is supposed to mean) then you have been Americanised. Blinded by your governments lies. You hit out at me, the British people and everyone else who disagrees with you by simply saying they are wrong. I remember when I was a child in infant school when kids used to say things like, "you are wrong" without having a shred of evidence to back it up. It was naive then and it still is. The fact is you are biased against Islamic Fundementalists, it stands out a mile. I personally don't care too much for them either but at least I admit to it. I also have to admit to fearing the right wing attitudes that are just as much a threat to world peace as anything else. Yes I have a fear of Islamic extremists but the far right in your country has a far bigger threat because you have the ability, if your government wished, to create far more havoc.
The cold war years were a scary time, Kenneth, but at least there was balance. To have the USA as the only superpower in the world, rampaging around the globe like an unelected worlds policeman is really quite frightening. The idea of a God-bothering lunatic like Bush and his cohorts is even more so. I can only hope that, for the sake of world peace, Obama is a little less intent on world domination and perhaps a little more understanding of others. The odd thing recently was Obama winning a Nobel peace prize at a time when he had just announced the commitment of yet more troups to back up the invasion of Afghanistan. This is of some concern. Alfred Nobel would turn in his grave.
By the way, I haven't read The Guardian for about 30 years. When did you last read it?
0 Replies
 
cruise95
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 12:03 am
@housby,
Housby,
I am waiting for my wife to get through jabbering on the phone ...but in the mean time, you have given me some entertainment. For that I thank you.

[QUOTE=housby;118456]As I said before, no-one has a monopoly on truth.[/QUOTE]

This is a something that I have heard in many forms. There are absolute truths, lies, and things in between. Some people do have a "monopoly" on truth. Well, maybe not a monopoly...but there are some true statements. If others disagree with those true statements, then there statements are not true...or at least not as true...if that makes sense.

For example, lets assume that person A says that the world is round. Also assume that person B says that the world is flat (for mankind's sake I really hope that person B doesn't exist anymore). Either A or B is correct.

Since so many things are not black and white many people declare that there is no real truth because much of the time that is a true statement. But the truth is that there are absolute statements.

In the same vein, there are terrorists, there are freedom fighters, and there are many who are both.

housby;118398 wrote:

To protect the west's supply of oil.
To show that we would not be trifled with.
To reverse the course of tyranny.
To defend democracy.
You are in my view wrapping yourself in the stars and stripes my friend. It is exactly this kind of view that is the cause of the very terrorism you are so afraid of. In sociology there is a term called ethnocentricism (believing that your own ethnicity is the only one which is right) and it is the kind of arrogance that has caused war the world over through all of history.
Saddam was not a nice guy, we all agree on that, but the invasion of Iraq has made the place more unstable than it ever was prior to his overthrow.
As for not caring what the people of Britain think, well, that just shows that you are perhaps the kind of self-interested, uninformed American that has, unfortunately, become a stereotype the world over. Remember my friend that the British people whose opinions you do not care about are your nations closest allies. You would do well to remember this.
As for "what is true", do the United States have a monopoly on this?
I am trying not to get involved in an "off the thread" argument and perhaps we should agree to differ on this one but, honestly Kenneth, no one has a monopoly on truth.


As you've already said, the above statement came in part because American foreign policy brings out the worst in you. Everyone gets passionate sometimes...so I will disregard this post since it suffers from aggravation and strings of slanderous sentences that would grade on those that are unsure.

Welp, the wife's through yakking but I was wondering: since you said that you are critical of government and large beaurocratic entities, would you say that you dislike American liberalism? (I say American liberalism because I don't know if it is different than liberalism in England)
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 12:24 am
@cruise95,
cruise95;118746 wrote:
Housby,
I am waiting for my wife to get through jabbering on the phone ...but in the mean time, you have given me some entertainment. For that I thank you.



This is a something that I have heard in many forms. There are absolute truths, lies, and things in between. Some people do have a "monopoly" on truth. Well, maybe not a monopoly...but there are some true statements. If others disagree with those true statements, then there statements are not true...or at least not as true...if that makes sense.

For example, lets assume that person A says that the world is round. Also assume that person B says that the world is flat (for mankind's sake I really hope that person B doesn't exist anymore). Either A or B is correct.

Since so many things are not black and white many people declare that there is no real truth because much of the time that is a true statement. But the truth is that there are absolute statements.

In the same vein, there are terrorists, there are freedom fighters, and there are many who are both.



As you've already said, the above statement came in part because American foreign policy brings out the worst in you. Everyone gets passionate sometimes...so I will disregard this post since it suffers from aggravation and strings of slanderous sentences that would grade on those that are unsure.

Welp, the wife's through yakking but I was wondering: since you said that you are critical of government and large beaurocratic entities, would you say that you dislike American liberalism? (I say American liberalism because I don't know if it is different than liberalism in England)


Yes.The idea that there is no real difference between a terrorist and a freedom-fighter (although the idea that Muslim bombers of school buses are fighting for freedom is laughable) and that it is only a matter of partisan attitude is clearly not true, and people who believe it is not true do have a monopoly on that truth. But, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Your last paragraph raises an interesting question. We have been informed that now everyone adores the Obama administration overseas. Especially by Obama himself. Am I to suppose that this is no longer true? I must allow that I was not so much surprised by Obama's getting the peace prize as I was astonished, and then amused. It was so blatantly idiotic that I would have thought that even those overdressed and overpaid Norwegians would have been ashamed of themselves.
cruise95
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 11:38 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;118748 wrote:
We have been informed that now everyone adores the Obama administration overseas.


Classical liberalism had a strong foothold in the British Whigs. At that time it referred to individual freedoms. Roosevelt was a democrat, however his emphasis in the group over the individual was not liberal in the classic sense. Thus liberalism changed from representing individual freedoms to those of the group and bigger beaurocratic organizations (ie. government). I'm currently looking more into this area, but it is interesting nontheless to point out that the Liberalist Union Party merged with the conservative party in 1912.

That is why I am so perplexed at those that subscribe to liberalism in America but at the same time say that they are pro individual freedoms! I too am for some government involvement but I am also for individual freedom. Thus I may agree to and argue more liberal ideas (some regulations) however I cannot get on board with liberalism in America since I know what it is really about.

kennethamy;118748 wrote:
I must allow that I was not so much surprised by Obama's getting the peace prize as I was astonished, and then amused.


As far as the peace prize...I gave up on that one when they gave it to Al Gore. Long are the days when someone such as Mother Teresa deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. Remember that Irena Sendler was passed up for the prize when it was awarded to Al Gore. Who was Irena Sendler? Sendler saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto in WWII, providing them false documents, and sheltering them in individual and group children's homes outside the Ghetto.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 11:48 am
@cruise95,
cruise95;118826 wrote:
Classical liberalism had a strong foothold in the British Whigs. At that time it referred to individual freedoms. Roosevelt was a democrat, however his emphasis in the group over the individual was not liberal in the classic sense. Thus liberalism changed from representing individual freedoms to those of the group and bigger beaurocratic organizations (ie. government). I'm currently looking more into this area, but it is interesting nontheless to point out that the Liberalist Union Party merged with the conservative party in 1912.

That is why I am so perplexed at those that subscribe to liberalism in America but at the same time say that they are pro individual freedoms! I too am for some government involvement but I am also for individual freedom. Thus I may agree to and argue more liberal ideas (some regulations) however I cannot get on board with liberalism in America since I know what it is really about.



As far as the peace prize...I gave up on that one when they gave it to Al Gore. Long are the days when someone such as Mother Teresa deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. Remember that Irena Sendler was passed up for the prize when it was awarded to Al Gore. Who was Irena Sendler? Sendler saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto in WWII, providing them false documents, and sheltering them in individual and group children's homes outside the Ghetto.


Left Liberalism in America has nothing much to do with classical (Millian) liberalism. Indeed, it is contrary to it. Forcing people to pay for their own medical care has as much to do with liberalism as does forcing people to be slaves. As for the awarding of the Peace Prize to Obama, even he was embarassed. Gore, of course, knows no shame. His "Inconvenient Truth" nonsense shows that.
housby
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 08:58 pm
@kennethamy,
Cruise95,
I'm glad that I was able to give you some entertainment, I have always tried to inject some humour into otherwise ridiculously "serious" subjects.
Kenneth,
We agree at least on the peace prize thing.
I have to admit a degree of ignorance on the American Liberalism front as I don't live there and am "uninformed" as to what exactly it may be. Liberalism in Britain takes 2 forms. Firstly there is the political liberalism of the Liberal Democrats. This a form of liberalism that I don't subscribe to. This would have us, for example, give all our political rights and powers over to the Euopean Union, a thing that fills most people in Britain with dread. The "liberals" in this country, politically, are weak and too "politically correct" to operate in the real world.
The other kind of liberalism is the one, generally, I would subscribe to. This is the kind of liberalism that allows for free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of lifestyle etc. This liberalism allows for individual freedom in all things providing it doesn't harm others. I would guess that this is the same in the US? In this sense I believe that we (Britain and the US) are not that far apart. Voltaire said (and I believe one of your presidents quoted this, I confess to not remembering which one), "I disagree with everything that man says, but would die for his right to say it". This saying is the one above all others that I would subscribe to. I have lived my life as an adult by this same creed. My anger is aroused by those who cannot or will not accept that there is more than one way of doing things and who believe that theirs is the only way.
This is the freedom that I was defending at the start of my posts on this subject. Kenneth, you are absolutely right in saying that the person who blows up school buses is not a freedom fighter, they are quite simply murderers. Yes, we are right to fear them. Yes, we are right to fight them. But for goodness sake we must also understand where they are coming from. Sometimes people become so desperate that they will stop at nothing to get what they want. The Islamic Fundementalists know this. They recruit from the disaffected and angry. All terrorists do this. The way to stop terrorism is to remove that which they fight for. The Afghan and Iraqi invasions played right into the hands of these murdering lunatics and became the best reason they had for recruiting young and impressionable muslims. Wrapping ourselves in our national flags and saying it is our way or no way is not the way to get anything positive done. The argument aroused between us I think clearly proves that entrenched ideas and a refusal to see the other view is the cause of almost every conflict the world over and throughout all history. We are all (including me) guilty of this at times.
cruise95
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 11:57 pm
@housby,
Housby,

I have talked to various people from Europe and have briefly visited France and the Netherlands. Many (most?) people from overseas seem to be biased against anyone who does not support liberalism. After a bit I realized that 1) the liberals overseas are different than the liberals in the US and 2) the environments are different thus a liberal in the states and a liberal overseas would not act in the same manner.

I have since realized that liberalism in America has changed. The fundamentals followed from Britain in America's beginning. But as time passed, the liberalism in America changed and was no longer the same liberalism tha exists in Britain.

housby;118909 wrote:
I have to admit a degree of ignorance on the American Liberalism front as I don't live there and am "uninformed" as to what exactly it may be. Liberalism in Britain takes 2 forms. Firstly there is the political liberalism of the Liberal Democrats. This a form of liberalism that I don't subscribe to. This would have us, for example, give all our political rights and powers over to the Euopean Union, a thing that fills most people in Britain with dread. The "liberals" in this country, politically, are weak and too "politically correct" to operate in the real world.
The other kind of liberalism is the one, generally, I would subscribe to. This is the kind of liberalism that allows for free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of lifestyle etc. This liberalism allows for individual
freedom in all things providing it doesn't harm others.


Liberalism in America revolves mainly around the form of liberalism that you say you don't subscribe to.

housby;118909 wrote:
I would guess that this is the same in the US? In this sense I believe that we (Britain and the US) are not that far apart.


Actually, the type of liberalism (in Britain) that you would subscribe to is closer to conservativism/libertarian views in America. This is interesting and neat to know. I've always thought that it was human nature to be free...its just that some people do not understand how to be free or can not handle it. Are there many in Britain that believe the way that you do - that some government is neccessary but that individual freedom is imperative? If this is true, then it makes sense that America and Britain are so much alike. The terms that we use are opposite (suffer in the translation), but we are more alike than different.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 02:31 am
@housby,
housby;118909 wrote:
Cruise95,
Kenneth, you are absolutely right in saying that the person who blows up school buses is not a freedom fighter, they are quite simply murderers. Yes, we are right to fear them. Yes, we are right to fight them. But for goodness sake we must also understand where they are coming from. Sometimes people become so desperate that they will stop at nothing to get what they want. The Islamic Fundementalists know this. They recruit from the disaffected and angry. All terrorists do this. The way to stop terrorism is to remove that which they fight for. .


Actually, I think you misunderstand me. In fact I think that they are, "freedom" fighters. The fact that terrorism is their means does not make them less "freedom" fighters. But notice the inverted commas I put around the word "freedom". What they (and what up to this time, you) called the "freedom" they are fighting for (using terrorism as their way of fighting for it) Is not, of course, freedom. Not as we understand that term. For the kind of society they are fighting for is theocratic fascism. Not freedom. You don't think that Al-Quada is fighting for anything like freedom, do you? Or that that the Hamas or Hezbolla would even recognize freedom if they could see it. Actually, they are terrorists who are fighting for a return to the Dark Ages. For the destruction of civilization. There have been terrorists who have also been freedom fighters. Nelson Mandela was one of those. Evil means, but a good goal. But these people who blow up school buses and rocket civilians are using evil means for an evil goal. I hope you see the difference between Mandela and Hamas. Life is more complicated than the slogan "One man's terrorist is another man't freedom fighter". As I said, that is just mindless.

You say the way to fight them is to remove what they are fighting for. Does that mean, give them what they are fighting for. A fascist theocracy? For it is that they are fighting for.We could, I suppose, have stopped Hitler too, by giving Hitler what he was fighting for. Would you have wanted to do that? The way to stop them is to kill them, or render them impotent.
housby
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 07:49 pm
@kennethamy,
Kenneth,
You are right, I have misunderstood you. I agree with your last post, and I would whole heartidly say that I would never want any kind of theocracy, Muslilm or otherwise. Yes I do recognise the difference between Mandela and (for instance) Bin Laden. I also recognise that the "freedom" they seek is not what you and I would call freedom. I am afraid of the Muslimification (is that a word) of Britain and there are those here who would allow that (politically correct fools). When I say we must try to understand and then remove what they are fighting for I do not mean "give in to them or give them what they want". I am saying we should destroy their basis for recruitment. In other words we should be targeting the "moderates" and try to make sure that the recruitment chain is broken. Not an easy task I agree but it is, in the end, the only way to try to break the cycle of violence. This all started with the argument for and against the curbing of human rights in the interest of freedom and has become something more but I still think we should be wary of the scattergun approach to finding a solution. I think that by living in the area that I do I have a little more insight into Islam at it's roots because the place I live has a high Muslim population (Lancashire in general does have) and I can say that most Muslims do not want violence and my original opposition to what you were saying was based on that. I can understand, however, your view because it is human nature to fight that which we see as a threat to our lifestyle. I still believe though that the Iraq and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the Afghan invasions are wrong and I suppose on this we will never agree.
Cruise,
I can't speak for the general population here but I would say that, in the main, people here are sick to death of government interventon, especially the kind of "it's for your own good" kind of crap that happens here (and probably in the US too). We call it the "nanny state" attitude. I personally believe that there is a vital role for government (why wouldn't there be, we couldn't functon without it) but there is a time and place for it and people should, in general, be left alone to "get on with it" providing they are harming no-one else. Unfortunately I live in a country that has more "laws" than almost any other nation on earth (you wouldn't believe) and it is with this in mind that I would say that, in this respect at least, I envy you. Britain and the US are close and will always be (I hope) but, as you say, some of our terms can lead to confusion. I suppose I am what you call a conservative/libertarian but again terms can mislead because if you were to call me a conservative in this country I would be offended as the conservative party here is something else and I can't abide most of what they stand for (the eighties under Thatcher were awful here for anyone but the wealthy). I also agree that some people are not fit for freedom (or democracy for that matter).
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