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streakeagle

New York has their own Blue Thunder helicopter

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080523/ap_on_...th_helicopter_2

 

It may not have weapons and does not look like an attack helo...

but the real threat Blue Thunder posed to our society in the movie was the ability to spy on anybody anywhere without being noticed... until it was too late.

This helo is doing an important job and if used properly will only watch people in public places where they are already subject to being watched by other people anyway...

But powerful tools almost inevitably get abused.

 

Is the threat of terrorists so great that we should entirely give up the pre-911 way of life and live under the watchful eye of big brother?

George Orwell was a visionary... Animal Farm and 1984 showed the world for what it is and what it will be.

 

The standard question for paranoid delusional conspiracy freaks like me is: If you aren't doing anything wrong, why does it matter if someone is watching me, what am I worried about?

My answer is: If you don't understand what is wrong with the government trying to monitor everyone, everywhere, all the time, then you need to review human history and in particular the pros and cons of totalitarian governments even when they have been created for the good of everyone.

 

Despite the apparent victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, the ongoing "democratic" process of the West (i.e. North America and Europe) is slowing transitioning our form of government into one is little different than the "Reds" we were taught to fear and hate so much.

 

My mind is slipping away... all this psycho babble from one media story about a helo with big cameras and listening equipment.

But didn't the cameras and listening devices used to be reserved for our enemies?

Oh, wait, we allowed our enemies to freely come into the country and set up shop, so now we have to watch ourselves since any one of us might be the enemy.

Babbling brook that I am...

Edited by streakeagle

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Don't even get me started........

 

That arguement reminds me of a line from Half-Life 2. When the combine are raiding a building two guys are saying "They've got no reason to come to our place." the other replies "Don't worry, they'll find one."

 

I'd rather be allowed to carry a handgun anywhere and protect my own damn self. See! I'm not far out in left field.

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I also object to the way our civil rights are being tossed out the window in the name of national security. Our Government was able to protect us from the Soviets throughout the cold war without changing laws, and these terrorists are nowhere near as skilled as the Russians were. Do you really think that the Soviets never planned attacks on US soil during the cold war? Sure they did and our Government stopped them, but today if something is illegal and standing in the way they just re-write the laws.

 

I'm not the type to jump on every conspiracy bandwagon that comes along, but to me it seems that the Government and US Military could do the same job without casting aside the rights given to us in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They always have before and if laws needed to be broken to do it they kept it quiet instead of making it legal. As wrong as that may be, i'd rather have them do that then add laws that take away our rights.

Edited by WarlordATF

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The ideology of politicians is usually very simple:

Their goal is to make things better for the people who elected them.

Unfortunately, a lot of politicians (perhaps rightfully so) feel the people that elected them are too stupid to know what is best for them.

Therefore they feel it is the government's responisibility to decide what is best for them and make the people comply willing or not by passing appropriate laws.

At the same time, in order to do the most good, they have to stay in power as long as possible.

To get re-elected requires doing things that the people want even if it isn't what is best for them.

 

I submit that in a democratic republic, voters should elect someone because they can trust them to make the right decision even when it is not a popular one.

If, once in office, they perform as well or better than voters expected, then they should vote for them again until the politician violates their trust or hits a term limit.

 

Instead, politicians running for office use polls to determine what they have to say to get elected.

Once elected, they do whatever they want (which can actually be for the good of the people sometimes, but usually isn't).

Then, when election year is approaching again, they start taking polls and coming up with cover stories for the actions they took in office that contradict the ideas they need to support based on the polls.

 

So, the politicians who should either being keeping their election promises or making tough decisions based on what they believe to be the right thing to do are instead alternating between pandering for votes and pursuing their personal agendas whether it is what they people elected them to do or not.

 

Of course the people voting are no better since they will clearly vote for whoever gives them the best short term deal like a tax break rather than choosing a leader based on their knowledge and experience.

 

In my case, I have a tough time finding someone to vote for.

The two dominant parties typcially field candidates that will never represent my interest the way I want them to and the independents are extremists and/or simply unelectable due to the dominance of the two main paties.

 

I don't see a way out of this trap and both the Republican and Democratic parties are going to lead to this country's downfall if they don't start doing some good instead of just trying to maintain the status quo.

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"A people who would sacrifice a liberty for security deserved neither."

 

Wasn't that Franklin ?

 

On the subject of privacy and liberty, I highly recommand searching for a BBC documentary by Adam Curtis, "The Trap: WHat Happened to Our Dream of Freedom", or checking it out on Youtube (part

,
,
,
,
,
).

 

It's not bad, even though it offers no alternative except a blind idealistic humanism and fails to understand the real use and values of the theories it discusses and why they fail.

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[quote name='Julhelm' date='May 23 2008, 11:13 PM' post='16188

McCarthy era revisited.

 

The funny thing was that with the collapse of the solviet union we learned thru doccuments and former high level KGB personel that McCarthy was not a nut after all and that almost everything

he was saying about solviet operatives, government/media infiltration and the American Communist Party turned out to be spot on.

 

What we are facing now is far worse than the McCarty trials we have 2 political parties who put the survival of thier political party before loyalty to this country.... and they see the bill of rights as tool to divide the people rather than unite them. They use tools like civilian disarmament(gun control) and Abortion rights or to keep people pointing fingers at each other screaming you god damned ( insert political party here) you are to blame for the country going to hell. The average american has never taken the time to fully grasp profound nature of the bill of rights, what is worse is that they seem content to let the government/ media define these rights when there is no shortage of written record as to the founding fathers intent with all ten articals of the bill of rights.The problem is that many in government and the media are not only aware of the founders intent they are vehemently opposed to it, they play into the ignorance of the average voter and whip up emotional issues to further cloud the minds of sheep who are willing to trade liberty for the promise of security. This was never intended to be a democracy where a majority of idiots is able to scuttle the rights of all americans, this is a free republic.

 

The one thing that is a constant is that we Americans are losing our freedom, in the Clinton years it was a constant assault on the rights cherished by traditionalists or people from the center to the right and you did not here a peep out of the left about attacks on those right wingers constitutional rights. In the bush years freedoms cherished buy leftwingers and self proffessed "intelectuals" or progressives came under fire, however the difference here was that with some of these infringements some very conservitive voices were heard joining the liberals in condeming the current march tward a police state. Take a good look at the recent past and learn from it, the more we can find common ground and protect each others freedom the better. It would be nice if some of the folks on the left would wake up in the same way that many conservitves have as it pertains to working together to protect each others rights. my political views are liberetarian and i have freinds on the right and the left and while my leftist friends and coworkers think my " open mindedness" is great when it comes to helping them fight the patriot Act- I would be really shocked if any of them raised a finger to protect the second ammendment or any other rights wich they do not agree with.

 

Sorry about the rant.... I will get off the soap box now :biggrin:

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The funny thing was that with the collapse of the solviet union we learned thru doccuments and former high level KGB personel that McCarthy was not a nut after all and that almost everything he was saying about solviet operatives, government/media infiltration and the American Communist Party turned out to be spot on.

 

Well, I don't know, I could live under the delusion that my neighbour is a terrorist, if by some coincidence it happens that he was one, that would just be coincidence, not a proof I'm not insane.

 

Of course during the Cold War the Soviets would try to gather intelligence and influence opinions in the West, just as the West tried to do the same in the Soviet Union, noone ever doubted that, does that justify the often ridiculous witch-hunt of the McCarthy era ? The paranoid ambiance to the point of insanity ?

I'd say I doesn't...

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Big Brothers's bigger brother is alive and well and living in Britain. Apparently we have more CCTV camera's here than anywhere and looking around I well believe it. I read that we're on camera approx' 300 times a day on average in a big city.

 

Doesn't appear to be doing anything about crime rates though.

 

I guess half the CCTV camera operators are asleep on the job, the other half too busy zooming in on your arse. That's my theory anyway.

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I hope no one's zooming on my arse :ph34r:

I Moscow we've got CCTV eyes near any buildings of importance, on road junctions, on the underground (aka Metro) both on the stations and in trains.

Oh, and in my university we've got those cameras hidden in balls of black glass. Something like two per corridor in one of the buildings. No one watches us there real-time I think - it's just being recorded for posterity.

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We have about a billion of those black ball things at my high school. Thing is, half of them don't work and the ones that do don't work very well.

 

Now, about this helicopter thing. From what I have gleaned from history books and personal experience, Americans are endlessly stubborn. If the sort of semi-fanatic people I see around town don't want surveillance, they'll picket, march, whine, yell out from the audience on talk shows, rage, complain, post on little-read blogs, hold up signs in the background of Good Morning America, lobby, and make bumper stickers until it's either gone or they've moved to Canada.

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Big Brothers's bigger brother is alive and well and living in Britain. Apparently we have more CCTV camera's here than anywhere and looking around I well believe it. I read that we're on camera approx' 300 times a day on average in a big city.

 

Talk about lack of freedom. Doesn't appear to be doing anything about crime rates though.

 

I guess half the CCTV camera operators are asleep on the job, the other half too busy zooming in on your arse. That's my theory anyway.

 

 

So CCTV operators hold the answer all Women want to know - "Does my bum look big in this" :haha:

 

 

on a more serious note I cant believe many of these cameras can be manned 24 hours a day - think they are there so they can go through the film to watch a replay of you being stabbed.

 

 

When my car got broken into a few years back it was right by a camera - luckily when I went to see the security guards they said there was no film in it - cant remember why :doh:

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Back on topic - well Blue thunder - perhaps we can now see for real what happens in RL when an F-16 with an AIM-9X (standing for freedom obviously) takes on an extremely lame chopper with a machine gun :victory: .

 

 

Well if you are comparing the Soviets to Terrorists - the Soviets may have had the decency to fire their Nukes from TU-160s etc etc - whereas the terrorist is happier to put a dirty bomb in a suitcase and come here on Easy jet.

 

Though tbh it has to be said that it doesnt matter how far you erode civil liberties - anyone can still pretty much come here and do what they like> I can only think that they currently get such good handouts from the state that they prefer living in the UK to paradise.

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I guess half the CCTV camera operators are asleep on the job, the other half too busy zooming in on your arse. That's my theory anyway.

 

That is most likely the case.

 

Cameras don't particularly bother me, in a crowded place, its merely another eyewitness. And a more reliable one at that. 10 people see the same event, you'll get 10 different descriptions. They aren't terribly helpful though without expensive high end equipment. The best we got from a camera on a guy apparently nabbing a kid was enough of an image to safely say that was the same guy walking out of the hotel with the girl that I saw upstairs.

 

The problem is alot of this stuff can be used correctly for safety, but it is so easily abused and the safeguards just aren't in place to prevent it. I'd be more comfortable if they specifically wrote out that these roving wiretaps cannot be used as permittable evidence for any crime or for justification of a warrant for any crime other than terrorism (which also needs its own clear meaning so you can't call angry protestors who trash a police car or something terrorists and lock them away without due process)

 

The sad thing is, scoring political points does more to get you elected than reasonably working to solve problems. It's easier to rally conservatives over banning guns than to actually disect the issue and agree on what safeguards to put in place to prevent impropper use without getting in the way of gun ownership.

 

I like a law from one of the southwest states( I think Arizona) my father learned of when he was down there on business. Where he was, anyone was allowed to carry a gun, it just had to be plainly visible. Any criminal use of a gun can easily be met with propper use of a dozen more at any given time. Wouldn't work in NYC though, people would be offing each other for subway seats and traffic jams too often.

 

I've never heard of any actual evidence backing up McCarthy. Might there have been a few communists and soviet spies, of course, they wanted to gather intelligence as much as we did. Paranoia, Salem witch hunts and blacklisting aren't the way to handle such things. Likewise J. Edgar Hoover had this fetish with the Soviets commanding and supporting the American communist party and had agents following the leaders around to find they were under nobody's influence and that they had themselves neither any influence or money.

 

We learned after the fact that much of the feared soviet capability simply wasn't there to begin with. And some of the things I've read or seen on the history channel are funny how easily duped and how bad they actually were.

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It is a delicate balance security and rights. These people who claim their rights are being infringed upon will be the first ones to complain that the government failed them when they are at the funeral of a loved who died in a terrorist attack. When one person dies or thousands die, then its said to the government, "How come you didn't do enough?" The govt responds by saying, "You didn't give us the tools." So my question is one persons life worth the security of a nation? Or do we have to quantify that with a larger number of dead before we say we need better security and if some of our rights are infringed upon so be it? The average person going to work and raising a family is more concern about gas prices and food than security IMHO. They think about it but it's not in the forefront of their thinking.

 

My opinion, I do not have anything to hide from the government, I am not a criminal or a terrorist so if big brother is watching to make sure we are safe, then so be it. I am not worried. Also how bad are your rights being infringed currently? Is it affecting your daily routine in the least bit? Lets be honest here. Who is honestly getting up everyday and putting on the tin foil hat? Or are you going about your business? I can answer that, you are going about your business.

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My opinion, I do not have anything to hide from the government, I am not a criminal or a terrorist so if big brother is watching to make sure we are safe, then so be it. I am not worried. Also how bad are your rights being infringed currently? Is it affecting your daily routine in the least bit? Lets be honest here. Who is honestly getting up everyday and putting on the tin foil hat? Or are you going about your business? I can answer that, you are going about your business.

 

Cant speak for the US - but over here the people moaning really dont know they are born. The so called erotion of civil liberties here isnt major in anyway - not that I really care tbh - have nothing to hide so whats the issue.

 

If in 10 years it has turned into the British society portraid in "V for Vendetta" :biggrin: then I will eat my hat - but I really cant see it happening somehow.

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At the moment, no its not terribly intrusive. I don't care if I've done nothing wrong and have nothing to worry about. I simply do not want some faceless agent reading my email, hearing my phone conversations and looking at my bank and medical records. I don't like people watching me when I take a piss, plain and simple

 

I heard a story about an Italian man who customs detained because traveling back and forth so frequently between Italy and the US appeared suspicious. They resisted releasing him until the media got involved even though they knew he was no threat. When released he said there were other people there detained that had been there for a year and didn't even know why. Why was he traveling back and forth so frequently? He was engaged to an American woman and was making the necessary arrangements to move to the US. If it wasn't for media pressure and good lawyers a perfectly innocent man would be hidden away somewhere for doing nothing wrong. It doesn't matter if you have no reason to hide "Don't worry, they'll find one!"

 

I'll see if I can find the story again. Here http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/14/us/14vis...article_popular

 

The only people I trust or want anything to do with keeping me safe is myself, my family and my close friends. Anyone else is a threat regardless of who they are.

 

I can understand certain measures like the warrantless wiretaps sometimes, for example when there simply isn't enough time to go through the propper channels (like in a 24 type situation) But to hold people without due process is too dangerous to ever allow under any circumstance.

 

There's no action they can take without these restrictions to prevent an attack that they can't take with them. Without these civil rights there's nothing to protect people from the abuse of power by the government. Ultimately, they they are that determined, they'll carry out a successful attack no matter what.

 

It's bad enough with cops pulling people over and making up offenses for the sake of the town gaining some revenue.

 

Ever seen A Man for All Seasons? Watch it and pay particular attention to the scene and the lines about giving the devil the benefit of law.

 

Edited by eraser_tr

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Tin foil hat on too tight again eraser?

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Nope, I'm just more scared of getting tossed in gitmo because I got into an arguement with an airport worker over a lost bag or something and never heard from again, than I am of some bearded psycho trying to kill me. Which honestly doesn't scare me the slightest bit more than a common criminal.

 

And I don't like people watching me take a piss. Don't know about you, but I simply can't trust people with authority, never have, never will.

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People that have problems with authority have issues within themselves. I am so sick of people using that line. It called growing up. Not everyone in authority is corrupt. Everyone has a boss. I am in an authority position myself. Its all on how you use it. The fact you can say that is because you are being protected by your government who entrust that security to people like me and my other uniformed personal. And we are in postitions of authority. You need to get over that media run Xfiles BS. And I dont like being watched while peeing either...however I am secure in myself not to worry about it. Again tin foils hats are not in style.

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I think history has proven time and time again, that civil authorities take it upon themselves to enslave others that are poorly protected. The purpose of this enslavement is the enrichment of the civil government itself, any derived benefits that reach the general population notwithstanding.

 

This modus operandus can explain modern societies as well. The planet was deemed "too crowded" even in the time of Julius Ceasar. Genocide is politically not reasonable, leaving enslavement the only practical alternative.

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This issue for me is that everyone from the Elected Official on down are supposed to be public servants, Serving the will of the public, Not authorities who dictate how we should live and constantly watching our every move. They swore to defend the constitution, not change it.

 

If they were serving the public wishes right now the price of gas would be more important then giving a civilian police force a super chopper to monitor its citizens while billions are spent on cameras that are installed coast to coast at stoplights,rooftops,resturants,airports and malls to watch our every move in case we might commit a crime,endanger ourselves or get drunk and run home from the bar naked.

 

The department of homeland security is redundant and yet another authority forced upon the people.

 

Its...

 

The Military and CIAs job is to keep the damn terrorists out of the country in the first place.

 

The FBIs Job is to track them once inside our borders with help from military,state and local police and prevent them from endangering the people.

 

Usually all these groups operate within the law and things run smoothly,The system worked.

 

However, All dropped the ball on 9/11.

 

The terrorists got in, abused our stripclubs and trained right here under the authorities noses for months.

 

For whatever reason, the system failed and over 3 thousand Americans are dead.

 

There was NOT even a Emergency Broadcast on 9/11!

 

As a civilian that tells me to watch out for myself and report abdul with the RPG down the steet if i see him. If it really hit the fan, I honestly believe Civilians would be left left to defend ourselves until government covered its butt and then we might even be considered expendable. Sad but true.

 

I am also against warrantless wiretaps, if something is that important and they can show just cause then its worth waking a judge, who is also a public servant and able to authorize it on legal grounds. Judges get paid well to be ONCALL and Warrents can be had at any time day or night with a simple signature.

 

Don't get me wrong, not all are evil and corrupt, many do faithful service to the Flag,Constitution,Nation and People and also support civil rights as American rights without infringement.

 

The point is the system works, its was made by the Government and the People with safeguards in place to prevent abuse.

 

Now the Government is changing the system whenever it suits them, even against the Peoples wishes, this is wrong.

 

Government has gotten lazy and are failing at there jobs and is in the regular practice of rewriting Laws as it sees fit to make its easyier. Breaking a Law and changing a Law to not break a Law is the same thing without the support of the People.

 

Theres always hope with free elections, but this rounds choices don't give much hope for the next 4-8 Years IMO.

Edited by WarlordATF

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Well, it all depends whether you are fundamentally an individualist or a collectivist.

 

For collectivists, society comes first, and individuals are there to serve it and make sure it stays safe, secure, prosperous, usually they have no trouble losing liberties or privacy for a little security, real or imagined.

 

For individualists, individuals come first and society is only a by-product of interactions between individuals, loss of liberties, privacy or an over-abundance of rules, laws and unfounded and unneccessary authorities are suspicious, seen as a way for interest groups to manipulate society for their own interest at the expense of individuals.

 

Which is right ?

Probably not, the "right" view being somewhere between those extremes.

 

You also have to take into account further distinctions in the ways of judging the virtues and values of things.

 

Some people judge primarily on intent, in which case the moves toward more security and less privacy are "right" as the intention of the proponents of these actions are usually "pure".

 

Others judge mostly on execution (the means if you will), meaning they don't care about intents, or results, but only how well the policies are implemented, with such a view, the situation in the US is a mixed bag, with some things done very well tainted by a host of exemple of things going FUBAR, abuse of power, bureaucratic nutiness etc...

 

Most would judge on immediate results, the intent and the means are irrelevant to them, as long as the results are there, in that case, do US citizen feel safer ? Well, some do, others don't; More important, are they safer ? That's so far impossible to judge.

 

And finally you have people judging on potentiality, they "know" the intent can be pure, the means "right" and the immediate results impressive, yet spell doom for society as we know it in the long run.

Those who oppose the security society toward which we all are going belong mostly to that last group, some for irrationnal reasons, others for very rationnal one.

For what is seen today as necessary and exceptionnal measures to deal with a dangerous world might become the norm in the spirit of our children, meaning that in a few years, even tighter rules can be enforced with little resistance, and so on until we end up with a real police state without even realising how we got there or anyone has anything against it.

 

For most people potentiality is not a factor, as it is only of interest in the long term and might not even concern them, especially taking into account that a lot may happen to change policies radically before things go "too far" with the current ones.

For others the long term and the effects on society is the only thing that counts.

Once again, the right attitude is one sitting somewhere between, taking the potential into account without forgetting the present needs and results.

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