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Posted: 3/29/2002 6:18:46 AM EDT
How much for the war on terrorism? http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com -- PRESIDENT George Bush's State of the Union address told us that legislation passed, expenditures made and troops deployed are just the beginning of our war on terrorism. But shouldn't we begin to confront the hard-minded question: How much should we sacrifice and for how long? To answer at least part of that question, there must be a realistic assessment of the risks of further terrorist acts and the attendant expected losses. There is such a thing as over-caution against terrorist acts as well as under-caution. Both can be costly errors. Let's look at it. Any knowledgeable astronomer will tell me that there's a non-zero chance that a meteorite will strike my house. What precautionary steps should I take other than a prayer or two? I'm going to take none because the risks are so small that any precautionary steps I might take would be a waste of resources that might be better spent elsewhere. Clearly, the risks of terrorist attacks are greater than a meteorite hitting my house, but the principle is still the same -- namely, we must make realistic risk assessments of a terrorist act before we commit resources to its prevention. For example, I don't believe there's much risk that terrorists will ever again be able to hijack a plane using box cutters or some other sharp object. The reason they got away with it on Sept. 11 was because passengers thought they'd just wind up in Cuba or some other destination. If passengers had known or suspected they'd be flown into the World Trade Center, they would have subdued the hijackers even if a few were injured in the process. Moreover, box-cutter hijackings are even more improbable since the random assignment of sky marshals. To the extent that there's little risk of a Sept. 11-type hijacking, the massive resources expended trying to prevent it, including costly passenger hassle and inconvenience, are wasted and might result in terrorist casualties elsewhere. Why? Because the resources used by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to prevent Sept. 11-type acts might be better spent elsewhere. But terrorist casualties elsewhere are of little concern to DOT or FAA officials because the victims of DOT and FAA under-precaution are visible and might result in embarrassment and job loss. The victims of DOT and FAA over-precaution, through wasting resources that might be better spent elsewhere, are invisible. In other words, no one would blame DOT and FAA officials for a terrorist attack in a shopping mall.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:20:43 AM EDT
Another important cost of the war on terrorism is our loss of liberty. Politicians have always coveted the liberties we hold. The war on terrorism provides them cover and an excuse for encroachment. For example, in order to dig into our pocketbooks, politicians have always wanted detailed information about us -- such as where and how much we bank and invest. Under the cover of anti-terrorism, new bank and security exchange regulations have been written enabling Congress to pry into the business of all Americans. Some Washington politicians have always longed for the day when Americans are forced to carry identity cards -- the war on terrorism has provided them cover. We might not be far from the day, a la Nazi Germany, when we'll be walking down the street and hear someone bark, "Show me your papers!" Don't misread me. A clear constitutional duty of the federal government is national defense, and not taking the earnings of one American and giving them to another. We'd have more than enough resources to put into our anti-terrorism battle, while keeping our liberties, if we'd increase the former and decrease the latter.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:27:44 AM EDT
Come all you "your not an American if you challenge the govment" types.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:40:34 AM EDT
Come on guys, trash this.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:51:39 AM EDT
Summary of your point, please, for those of us with ADD...
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:54:44 AM EDT
For example, in order to dig into our pocketbooks, politicians have always wanted detailed information about us -- such as where and how much we bank and invest. Under the cover of anti-terrorism, new bank and security exchange regulations have been written enabling Congress to pry into the business of all Americans. Some Washington politicians have always longed for the day when Americans are forced to carry identity cards -- the war on terrorism has provided them cover. We might not be far from the day, a la Nazi Germany, when we'll be walking down the street and hear someone bark, "Show me your papers!" Try this short part.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:10:58 AM EDT
DScott We might not be far from the day, a la Nazi Germany, when we'll be walking down the street and hear someone bark, "Show me your papers!" Maybe this is short enough for you.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:15:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2002 7:15:54 AM EDT by DScott]
Even shorter: But then again, we may not. What's wrong with a national ID?
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:19:34 AM EDT
What's right with one? They can be forged. And it does not work in Europe, or Israel or anywhere else. They will only be used to keep track of the honest people, like gun laws.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:24:57 AM EDT
Now more than ever, we have to know who people are and what their status in our country is, don't you agree? How would you do it, then?
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:28:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: Now more than ever, we have to know who people are and what their status in our country is, don't you agree? How would you do it, then?
View Quote
They can be forged. Don't you agree? So what purpose would they serve? Other than the one I alluded to earlier.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:32:10 AM EDT
Dscott---I am saying this with humour and sarcasm....please don't get too upset...but... Can you really be that thick-headed? I am a natural born citezen of the US, 6'3" blonde blue-eyes....how, in the light of current events can you justify shaking me down at the airport, and letting the Arab right behind me glide on through? It happened two weeks ago.. Who people are and their status? excuse me? how about citizen of the US and Innocent until proven otherwise....ya want an ID---here's my birth certificate....
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 8:10:02 AM EDT
I'm thick headed and thick-skinned, so it's no big deal. I'm just thinking our loud here, so let's give it a go... Think about it- we already use SSN for just about all transactions, we have state IDs and DL's, credit cards, debit cards, all that stuff. It's not like we're not IDed to death already. The SSN has become a defacto national ID number, why not just go ahead and create a universal ID, perhaps issued by state of residence? I'm uncomfortable with a Federal ID only because the feds are such lousy beauracrats, and it'd be harder to manage from that level, but they may be able to swing it. As to the forgery issue, the technology is getting more complex and harder to duplicate. Sure, there will always be fakes, but the average person won't have the know-how, the technology, or the willingness to create the forgeries. It's impossible to make it perfect, but it would go a long way to helping ID illegal immigrants and others we all want to find and boot out of the country. And to verify who does belong here, including those overstaying student or tourist visas. Along with the ID has to come policies that make having it useful. Just to have it for it's own sake is silly. What is a better system?
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 8:15:03 AM EDT
We already have a national i.d. card. I've had one for years. It's called a passport.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 8:17:42 AM EDT
A passport is not mandatory... some live their whole lives here and never get one.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 9:37:52 AM EDT
thanks for taking it well...as for the SSN...it is part and parcel of the government insinuation into our business and turning the orders of things around. The government was set up for the people, not the government over the people. I am sure that there are many who remember when SSn's were not allowed to be used for ID's and the debates on this. Just like the yellow forms{4739?} that we fill out to purchase guns.. we were told that they would not be kept, but we found out different. And you are talking about illegal immigrants and such...much of this doesn't apply to them, it's like a criminal doesn't have to register a weapon---upheld in court--because he can not be in possesion of one anyway. The papers situation that I am upset about is only is only for US citizens...I don't care if you spray-paint illegals.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 9:43:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 9:55:18 AM EDT
why stop there? why dont we put a collar device on all immigrants and require them to check in with the INS every month. failure to do so will initiate a tightening device on the neck collar that in effect will kill the bastards, err, excuse me, i mean, the illegal aliens. trying to remove the device triggers it as well. (no explosions, you crazy mother-effers. might hurt innocent citizens). desperate times call for desperate measures. im making a prototype now. going to test it on the neighbor's barking dog. signed, Dexter. in my Laboratory
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 9:57:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2002 9:58:29 AM EDT by hound]
If any of the airport security would make any difference at all, then I would maybe be for it...but if they stop anybody, it is only someone too stupid to do much damage. Without too much skullsweat, I thought of five ways to down a plane while typing this and none of them would be detected by current screening. And I travel for a living so I have been through the checkpoints.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 10:32:14 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 11:02:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2002 11:03:50 AM EDT by trickshot]
While our politicians bluster about how safe and secure our airports are, the bad guys are most assuredly devising plans to go after other parts of our infrastructure. We can't defend it all. Ar10er--I agree with you wholeheartedly, but you are preaching to the choir. Go to any place at 3am and you can wreak havoc. That's why I laugh when my local airport has closed off the convenient parking area close to the terminal out of sheer fear (of what, truck bombs? When were they a heightened threat?) and now you can't sit at the curb and wait to pick someone up, they shoo you out of there right quick--nothing to do with terrorism, because I could still pull up in a Ryder van laden with explosives, jump out and into the car behind me and set that mother off as we speed out of the area while the dumbshit cops at the curb are still scratching their asses. This situation is about taking advantage of people's fears--making people pay more for less and still make them feel like they're getting a bargain. The airlines want to treat you as much like cattle as possible and stripping you of your civil rights as you enter airport grounds is the best way to accomplish that. Also, the corrupt labor unions are in on the game--they get more people hired as cops, security guards, tow truck drivers, etc. etc. ad naseum. The makings of a police state all around us. As I was leaving the airport grounds this morning I saw a sign that summed it all up perfectly. The sign said "Welcome to North Carolina". I thought, "yes, how appropriate!" because the fascist, federally controlled airport I was leaving certainly does not resemble the rest of North Carolina or America at all for that matter.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 11:03:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 5:38:55 PM EDT
War On Drugs? Forged licenses? Counterfeit money? Yes, just go ahead and pass some more laws. These are excellent examples! How many here know we had a problem with coke in the twentys and Teddy just sent the marines in to Nicaragua kicked their asses and left and told the world, if you let your people grow this stuff and send it here we will do the same to you. If we would have kept this policy up we would not have this war on our freedom going on now!!! And ada boy to you too trickshot.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:48:31 PM EDT
And YOUR answer is...?
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:56:00 PM EDT
What no one wants to do, revolution. Then re-institute the constitution. Minus slavery!
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:00:53 PM EDT
Great. Another real *practical* solution... Who will join you?
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:07:45 PM EDT
No one, everyone is too comfortable so "they" will continue to cook the lobster by turning the heat up slowly, while everyone waits for the SHTF scenario.
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