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  • #16
    On or off topic...

    Just my 2 cents, but i do feel this DOES belong on topic. Sci-fi from it's very origins is a commentary on society, government, and current/recent events. It started out as a means for people to say in metaphor what couldn't (at that time) be said straight out, especially during the McCarthy era.
    The concept of Nightwatch, while rooted in Nazi Germany, could be applied to many different organizations. Since Sci-fi is often (definitely by JMS) used as metaphor to reflect certain movements and attitudes, i believe it is very relevant to discussing the B5 genre as a whole.
    Disagree if you will, and note i didn't take a stance on whether Nightwatch and Homeland Security bear great similarity. I do have a strong opinion on the subject, but feel it would detract from the point i'm trying to make in the first place.
    thanks, ARW

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by cruiser
      Nightwatch and the Dept. Of Homeland Security have several things in common. That is why it would be easy to say that the One is as bad as the other. But that is not the case. Just because public transportation operators are being trained to look for suspicious behavior doesn't mean that they are going to be reporting seditous behavior.
      As was pointed out in the Time article you posted: The recruitment of others was denied by congress.

      If it's local neighborhood snoops getting involved in your personal business that your worried about then let's not forget about the Neighborhood Watch and DARE programs that have been around for decades now.

      Perhaps Bush Bashing would be best viewed somewhere else.

      When I had speech class in college the only banned topic was abortion. But one of the students got up and gave an anti-abortion speech the class became unmanageable and had to be dismissed early. Too many people felt to strongley about the subject to be able to talk about it in an orderly fashion. Perhaps this may be the case with this.
      No need to get upset by what Cruiser said. What he/she said is extremely important. Good intentions can very quickly turn into something ugly whether expressed secretively or overtly. Our country is no different than any other place on the planet. This is what we Americans seem to forget as a whole. In fact, we should all go back and review our history. It isn't pretty in the least. The comparison of "watchful" citizens can very very easily turn into "Nightwatch" of the worst kind as proven by recent American History of the 20th century. The 18th and 19th centuries were extremely ugly for many in this nation whom the "founding fathers" didn't want to consider Americans; i.e., the indigenous people to whom the continent belongs to and people held in bondage as slaves who were kidnapped from the African continent. We Americans had watchdog organizations against these two groups back then. The KKK (the Ku Klux Klan)is a terrorist organization responsible for the death of thousands of people since the mid 1800s. The KKK have only been outlawed once in our nation's history; and that was under President Ulysses S. Grant. President Rutherford B. Hayes helped reestablish the KKK and its acts of murder against ex-slaves and native american after he gained the Presidency through the same questionable means as George W. Bush. The KKK was considered a "watchdog" group by many Americans during those days. People would gather with picknick baskets and bring their children to watch the KKK and their supporters lynch men and women with the end result a burning on a pyre. Some were burned alive. This was America from the 1800s to the 1960s.

      Joseph McCarthy and his people thought they were doing the most patriotic thing. It cost people their lives and others their livelihoods. He thought he was doing what was best for America. So did J. Edgar Hoover. Both men were monsters in position of power who left a wide swathe of death and destruction. Did it make America and the world better? No.

      So what Cruiser said is extremely important and worth considering very much.
      The Eagle stood erect on the Mountain watched the ships arrive.

      Comment


      • #18
        If you want to see just how Ugly American History can be, check out this website.
        The images are taken from Postcards sold in towns all over the US Celebrating Lynchings of black people.
        And not all of them were KKK Lynchings.
        Some places weren't that Organized.


        Lynching Postcards

        Comment


        • #19
          Hey thanks for the link.

          Comment


          • #20
            Its that kinda thing that makes you wish the American Indians
            had won.
            Duracell Bunny is arrested and charged with BATTERY!!

            Comment


            • #21
              And here's a series of stories about the Official people protecting us from Osama that will make us all feel So Much Safer:

              Who Hired these Turkeys?


              Air marshal busted for kiddie porn

              BY ROBERT E. KESSLER AND DEBORAH HIRSCH - STAFF WRITER

              July 23, 2004

              A federal air marshal from Hicksville has been arrested on charges of possessing child pornography and false credentials identifying him as both an a FBI agent and a CIA agent, federal officials said.

              Michael McGowan, 32, of 47 Haverford Rd., was arrested by federal postal inspectors late Wednesday at a casino in upstate Verona near the Canadian border, officials said.

              At a hearing in federal District Court in Syracuse yesterday, McGowan did not oppose being transferred to the federal District Court in Central Islip for arraignment on the charges Monday, officials said.
              Air Marshall Arrested

              Homeland Security Officer Charged in Tourist Beating

              By Carolyn Thompson Associated Press Writer
              Published: Jul 23, 2004

              BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A Homeland Security inspector who forcibly subdued a Chinese tourist he mistakenly believed was involved in marijuana smuggling was charged Friday with violating her civil rights, officials said.

              The incident occurred late Wednesday at the U.S.-Canadian border in Niagara Falls, after Customs and Border Protection officers confiscated marijuana from a male pedestrian.

              Officer Robert Rhodes, mistakenly believing the woman standing nearby was involved, allegedly sprayed her with pepper spray, threw her against a wall, kneed her in the head as she knelt on the ground and struck her head on the ground while holding her hair, according to witnesses.

              The woman, whose name was not released, was treated at a hospital and released.

              An agent who interviewed the victim through an interpreter several hours later noted in an affidavit that her eyes were nearly swollen shut, and she had bumps and bruises on her face and head.

              A telephone number listed for Rhodes was disconnected Friday.
              Tourist Beatdown


              Teaching Torture
              Congress quietly keeps School of the Americas alive
              by Doug Ireland


              Remember how congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle deplored the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib as ôun-Americanö? Last Thursday, however, the House quietly passed a renewed appropriation that keeps open the U.S.Æs most infamous torture-teaching institution, known as the School of the Americas (SOA), where the illegal physical and psychological abuse of prisoners of the kind the world condemned at Abu Ghraib and worse has been routinely taught for years.

              A relic of the Cold War, the SOA was originally set up to train military, police and intelligence officers of U.S. allies south of the border in the fight against insurgencies Washington labeled ôCommunist.ö In reality, the SOAÆs graduates have been the shock troops of political repression, propping up a string of dictatorial and repressive regimes favored by the Pentagon.

              The interrogation manuals long used at the SOA were made public in May by the National Security Archive, an independent research group, and posted on its Web site after they were declassified following Freedom of Information Act requests by, among others, the Baltimore Sun. In releasing the manuals, the NSA noted that they ôdescribe æcoercive techniquesÆ such as those used to mistreat the detainees at Abu Ghraib.ö

              The Abu Ghraib torture techniques have been field-tested by SOA graduates ù seven of the U.S. Army interrogation manuals that were translated into Spanish, used at the SOAÆs trainings and distributed to our allies, offered instruction on torture, beatings and assassination. As Dr. Miles Schuman, a physician with the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture who has documented torture cases and counseled their victims, graphically wrote in the May 14 Toronto Globe and Mail under the headline ôAbu Ghraib: The Rule, Not the Exceptionö:

              ôThe black hood covering the faces of naked prisoners in Abu Ghraib was known as la capuchi in Guatemalan and Salvadoran torture chambers. The metal bed frame to which the naked and hooded detainee was bound in a crucifix position in Abu Ghraib was la cama, named for a former Chilean prisoner who survived the U.S.-installed regime of General Augusto Pinochet. In her case, electrodes were attached to her arms, legs and genitalia, just as they were attached to the Iraqi detainee poised on a box, threatened with electrocution if he fell off. The Iraqi man bound naked on the ground with a leash attached to his neck, held by a smiling young American recruit, reminds me of the son of peasant organizers who recounted his agonizing torture at the hands of the Tonton Macoutes, U.S.-backed dictator John-Claude (Baby Doc) DuvalierÆs right-hand thugs, in Port-au-Prince in 1984. The very act of photographing those tortured in Abu Ghraib to humiliate and silence parallels the experience of an American missionary, Sister Diana Ortiz,ö who was tortured and gang-raped repeatedly under supervision by an American in 1989, according to her testimony before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
              Torture University

              Comment


              • #22
                What I don't understand is why the media insists on showing the AG pics over and over and over to remind us how evil America is, but when it comes to showing the results of 9/11, they won't show it because it is insensitive to victims' families.
                Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                Comment


                • #23
                  jesus - i'm coming over to the states in november..

                  it kinda makes me think twice...
                  Duracell Bunny is arrested and charged with BATTERY!!

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by circularREASON
                    jesus - i'm coming over to the states in november..

                    it kinda makes me think twice...
                    About what? I mean it, about what? I could throw entire barrels of salt through the bias holes in all those stories and I'm sure you can do the same. Are they disturbing? Yeah, some, but only one of the stories is about an actual government installation, one that's been around for many decades. The other two are about individuals and as we learn as children, 'it takes all sorts to fill the freeways'.

                    Jan
                    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      <<jesus - i'm coming over to the states in november..

                      it kinda makes me think twice...>>

                      At least you can carry a gun here, though. If the British government went hostile, you'd be screwed.
                      Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        If the British government went hostile, you'd be screwed.
                        You've obviously never seen the kind of damage a bunch of Pissed Off British Soccer Fans are capable of inflicting.

                        I suspect the British Government pays Close attention to that sort of thing. If those soccer fans ever went after Parliament, it would be Nasty.

                        And you wouln't be able to use Metal Detecters to ID them.

                        It ain't the Guns. It's the Pissed Off that matters.

                        That's why we are getting more and more "circuses" on television these days and less News.
                        The PTB don't Want us PeeOns paying Attention while they steal our civil rights and make America safe for Wealthy CEOs.


                        BTW, Jan, while two of those stories were about Individuals, note that Both were employees of the Dept of Homeland Security, the people who are supposed to be "Highly Trained Professionals" protecting us from Terrorism.

                        Neither of the induhviduals in those stories should have ever made it through the screening/training process.
                        It not These TWO who are the worry. Its how many Other incompetents must have made it through that these two didn't "Stand Out" in the crowd?



                        Last edited by bakana; 07-25-2004, 09:15 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by bakana
                          BTW, Jan, while two of those stories were about Individuals, note that Both were employees of the Dept of Homeland Security, the people who are supposed to be "Highly Trained Professionals" protecting us from Terrorism.

                          Neither of the induhviduals in those stories should have ever made it through the screening/training process.
                          It not These TWO who are the worry. Its how many Other incompetents must have made it through that these two didn't "Stand Out" in the crowd?
                          Not defending them in any way but exactly where did you get the 'highly trained' part? Most of them were hired in a huge mass hiring when the Gov't decided to close the barn door after the horses had escaped. In the case of the first story, did you see (in the part that you snipped) where it said that according to the officer, three women *ran* when approached? Wouldn't that be waving a red flag at pretty much any enforcement type?

                          As for the porn arrest, frankly I was more concerned to read that he was on administrative leave for the 'road rage' incident. Why? Because *that* could effect his job as an Air Marshall and alleged kiddie porn isn't likely to. Last I heard, there's no reliable way to screen for a penchant toward kiddie porn, either.

                          How many other incompetents? As many as in *any* other company, industry or profession obviously. Why?

                          Let's quit with the knee-jerk reactions and *think* about what we see and read, huh? Yeah, there's cause for concern and we need to be vigilant. Which means that *nothing's* changed, that's the way it's always been.

                          Jan
                          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            What we american conveniently forget is that what happened at Abu Ghraib is what happens in the USA everyday. Everyday. Has always happened here and will continue to happen here. And it isn't just the prisons in the USA. All over the world these things happen and worse. China is known for slave labor in their prisons (some of the stuff we buy here in the U.S.) and she is also known for killing her prisoners and striping their bodies of vital organs and skin before the prisoners are actually dead. They are still conscious. But we have granted Red China favored nation status. She has threatened us on numerous occasions with retaliation for some "slight" be Americans blinked and then conveniently ignored it. So the same is with Abu Ghraib. We have ignored our own prisons and ignored U.S. policies in the middle east, africa and other 3rd world nations. When they retaliate we can't seem to understand why.
                            The Eagle stood erect on the Mountain watched the ships arrive.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by bakana
                              If you want to see just how Ugly American History can be, check out this website.
                              The images are taken from Postcards sold in towns all over the US Celebrating Lynchings of black people.
                              And not all of them were KKK Lynchings.
                              Some places weren't that Organized.


                              Lynching Postcards
                              No not all were by the KKK. Some of the lynchings were done by ordinary towns folk perpetrating crimes against humanity that are too horrible to even put in books but was done in public and view of the media. The latest lynching in the U.S. was done by some guys who beat a black man and tied him to the back of their truck and dragged him until his body disintegrated. This was a few years ago. You would remember it from the news. There are others that we, the public, are not hearing about.

                              But "Nightwatch" is inevitable. The state of paranoia is always with us. It is the state of mind of the elite against the rabble majority. It is also the state of mind of the elite to control the majority against the basically powerless minority.
                              The Eagle stood erect on the Mountain watched the ships arrive.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                <<When they retaliate we can't seem to understand why.>>

                                You mean like retaliate like 9/11? If I am wrong, please correct me. That's just what I got out of it.
                                Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                                Comment

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