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ACLU Statement Opposing the 'Confronting the Threat of Domestic Terrorism Act' (2019) (aclu.org)
151 points by AndrewBissell 6 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 110 comments

This is relevant right now because Sen Durbin is planning on reintroducing the Domestic Terrorism Bill in light of recent events.[1]

I agree with those who say that there is no need for another bill that grants sweeping new powers to law enforcement. They need only use the laws already on the books. There is plenty more that law enforcement could have done the other day, and plenty more they can still do. Passing another bill has no bearing on that.

1. https://abc7chicago.com/senator-durbin-plans-to-reintroduce-...

20 years ago people criticized it will be used inwards at some point. You should start to listen to these people.

This kind of terrorism is mostly caused by people that wrote these bills and it slowly becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. It is not due to some post on Twitter. Just a very old stupidity rehashed...

> They need only use the laws already on the books.

Existing laws already make certain acts a crime, but that isn't what the new legislation is trying to do. Rather, it is trying to signal that certain acts, such as the storming of the Capitol by Trump associates, are objectionable to those proposing the new legislation. That's a political statement - not a legal necessity, as you point out.

The risk of making a political statement via legislation is that it can backfire when the shoe is on the other foot, which is what the ACLU is warning against.

From the statement, "In addition to further harming already marginalized communities, these charges could be used to brand as terrorists people who protest against government injustices by engaging in civil disobedience or actions that result in property damage."

Clearly demonstrated this summer, when these people [1] were charged with crimes punishable by life imprisonment. One of their charges had a 45 year mandatory minimum sentence. What sense does it make to create more Draconian laws? According to a former AUSA, "It's batshit... and I'm a pretty law-and-order guy."

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/nyregion/nyc-protests-law...

They can make political statements on Twitter, pushing legislation to make a political statement is a mockery of the process, a mockery of the actual victims of terrorism, and it costs a boatload of money with nothing to show for it.

To play Devil’s advocate, congresspeople don’t typically get re-elected without bills (failed or otherwise) to show for it and speeches don’t cut it. Also, such a bill targeted at Trump would have 0% chance of passing since it would go across his desk.

But yes, I agree.

The storming of the Capitol was another 9/11 type of event, we are now in the same climate that lead to the Patriot Act, war, torture and countless other abuses.

People are cheering on the bans and new laws without thinking further of the massive negative consequences the slippery slope will likely lead to.

Glenn Greenwald did an excellent interview yesterday where he explained exactly why acting hastily after traumatic events while in rage is so damn short sighted:


I'd also like to highlight this comment, the content of which is so damn important to think about:


Rage is never a good long-term solution.

Yes and no. 9/11 seemed to really unite US, which resulted in Patriot Act opponents a very small minority. I do not see that happening here. From practical standpoint, the US is already split and this bill appears to be targeted at the radical right. They will oppose it along with run-of-the-mill 'I am not sure government needs more power yo' crowd.

People really like to give up their freedom to punish the other side...

Greenwald really reported what a lot of other journalists should have reported too. Especially those that call themselves independent.

I just fundamentally disagree with the equivalence between social media bans and the topic at hand. I strongly support the recent bans and strongly oppose the Domestic Terrorism Act.

Why not oppose both? Wouldn't get people riled up as much. Without banning attempts Trump wouldn't have an argument about stealing. This is almost self inflicted.

It's not just targeted bans of specific people, Shopify banned Trump for completely benign merch and Apple/Google banned Parler (non-partisan Twitter clone which only removes illegal content).

When half the country are feeling discriminated for just expressing their views you've gone too far. Twitter could just have enacted manual approval of Trump tweets instead of banning him for absurd reasons [1], and there would be far less hate all around.

[1] The reasons stated for banned him was his two latest benign tweets that 1. his voters would have a voice and 2. that he would not attend Biden's inauguration. https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/suspensio...

> When half the country are feeling discriminated for just expressing their views you've gone too far

That depends entirely on the view they’re expressing, doesn’t it?

Based on the way things went down people took the second tweet as a “don’t come to school tomorrow if you know what I mean” type of message.

I'm not interested in debating that topic here, and I've edited my original comment to try and avoid sounding like I'm inviting a debate. My point is that you're drawing a line between two very different things with different sets of supporters.

They're not really different things, it's about suddenly banning/criminalizing behavior due to slightly unrelated behavior.

Inciting a riot or storming the Capitol has always been disallowed/illegal, but now it's used as an argument to enact laws/policies to punish unrelated actions/tweets. We're in a situation where stating that you're not attending Biden's inauguration is branded as "inciting violence", and way too few reasonable people are speaking out about it.

The right screams bloody murder about it of course, but we don't listen to them any more. They don't listen to us lefties when we have reasonable things to say. We're quickly decending into a non-functioning society, and both sides are to blame.

> We're in a situation where stating that you're not attending Biden's inauguration is branded as "inciting violence"

That wasn't what he got banned for at all.


> On January 8, 2021, President Donald J. Trump tweeted:

> “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

> Shortly thereafter, the President tweeted:

> “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

> We assessed the two Tweets referenced above under our Glorification of Violence policy

> As such, our determination is that the two Tweets above are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021

Did you read past that sentence? They go into explicit detail as to why they made the call.

The argumentation is completely absurd though. They argue that his statement of "75 million American patriots" may refer to the hundreds of Capitol rioters and that his statement of him not attending the inauguration, which Biden supports btw, is a signal that it's a safe target to attack.

It's almost impressive how they manage to read things from his two tweets that the tweets didn't include.

I think just as taking him out of context is bad taking the context out of his statements is bad.

He has been using rhetoric of the kind they have accuse him of for a long time now but is always careful to never directly call for violence.

Doublespeak is part of his grifting strategy after all. You would need to see how the extreme groups reacted to those tweets. If they used similar verbiage to what Twitter says I think at this point holding Trump to that as proof of bad enough speaking is fine.

Honestly the reality is his tweet history earned him the ban but pointing to one set of tweets is easier PR.

But private organizations banning people and government legislatures criminalizing activity are very different things, enough so that this concept of "banning/criminalizing" strikes me as meaningless. I just don't see the connection you're proposing.

Only in concept, not in practice. People can be just as mistreated by monopolistic cooperations as they can be from the government.

I don't know what to say here other than, the concept is what's important. There's a huge conceptual gulf between us and I don't know how to bridge it.

So they don't remove spam?

Parler is mostly spam anyway.

I can’t get upset about Twitter bans, but I’m old enough to remember this country before the patriot act and I’ve got no desire to double down.

You might not be upset, but the right is deeply upset by what they feel is censorship of their thoughts, which fuels their rage, which should upset you.


Appeasing the right has gone on for long enough, and the country is worse off because of it. It's high time for the Democrats to execute on their platform, with or without support from the other side.

>Appeasing the right has gone on for long enough

You should reflect on what that really means. You're segregating the population into 2 segments, which furthers the current problems the US is facing. Each side ostracizing the other.

If one segment of the population decides to segregate itself by not participating in the political process in good faith, then they must be cut out of the process as much as legally possible. Previous attempts to reach across the aisle have been increasingly ineffective since at least Gingrich and they have led to this - an insurrection in the Capitol building mere weeks before a planned peaceful transition of power.

This is the first time in more than a century and a half that a transition hasn't been peaceful. Fort Sumter all over again.

Agreed, the statement that "the right is deeply upset by what they feel is censorship of their thoughts, which fuels their rage" doesn't necessarily apply to the entire right. It certainly does apply to the subset that recently hijacked the Republican Party though.

That's exactly how the right feels about the left.

Merrick Garland.

Well if Trump has ever proposed the plan for healthcare that he said was coming “in 2 weeks” many different times over 4 years then maybe they would get some therapy and work out the rage.

No one should be forced to give him a megaphone for any reason, especially if they think he’s spreading dangerous lies or inciting violence.

There might be horrible consequences but they are a direct result of the lies he’s been feeding his base this whole time. Not a result of the people who finally said enough is enough. If anything, they share blame for allowing it for so long.

If you're upset about attempts to prevent a government agent discrediting alternative sources of information, while encouraging hatred of half your fellow Citizens and distrust of the election process, divest yourself from that government agent. Extricate yourself from the web of lies and rhetoric. The right is not being censored, even a little. A government agent that embraces a radicalized far-right is being removed from non-government platforms (while still having the ability to hold press conferences and send out press releases.)

In what way are your thoughts being censored when it is Donald Trump who was removed from Twitter and Facebook?

The right is always deeply upset. Their rage has been fueled by demagogues and grifters for decades now. It's time to stop appeasing them.

Several American cities have been under siege for months from violent leftists. They normalized violent political tantrums with the support of the media, local governments, and many politicians. They even sieged the White House, injuring many Secret Service. They paved the way for this week’s lunacy.

"Cities under siege" is hyperbolic nonsense.

What paved the way for this week's lunacy was a concerted effort to cast doubt on the entire democratic process by lying about it, spread by grifters and fed to rubes. Blaming "violent leftists" for what happened this week is just encouraging the actual bad actors to avoid responsibility for their own actions (yet again).

Why should that upset me? I'm never happy to see other people be enraged, but it doesn't seem workable to get upset by proxy any time I see other people who are upset, even when I don't think their anger is correct. I'd never be able to get anything done that way.

This title should probably have 2019 on it. It precedes the recent unrest by over a year.

That's how power grabs always work - just like the Patriot Act. They draft unconstitutional, draconian bills and have them sitting on the shelf waiting for a crisis (real or imagined) so that they can roll them out and get people to sign on out of a sense of fear.

Irrelevant my dude.

Hacker news is not your political soap box, please stay on topic to the comment and thread you are replying to.

The comment you are replying to is requesting a title change based on existing hacker news norms by the mod team because the article can be confused (given current events) with a recently released response to recently introduced legislation to congress, which this is not.

Which recent unrest? The riots last summer are still pretty recent. I doubt most of the businesses have even recovered from it yet.

edit: I don't see why I'm being downvoted, the article seems to be written when the BLM riots were relevant.

I think five people dead and pipe bombs being planted in the Capitol building counts as unrest.

He just asked which one. I suspect we all agree that the Capitol attack definitely counts as unrest.

But there was another recent unrest in the summer, replete with a seditious autonomous zone and attacks on a federal building.

Oh absolutely, some of that was also highly objectionable IMHO.

I want to be clear vigorous protest is a democratic right, including some civil disobedience, but you have to be prepared to accept the consequences and responsibility for your actions. I think the vast majority of the BLM protesters in the summer and the MAGA crowd on Wednesday were intent on peaceful demonstration. It’s the violent assholes on both sides that need reigning in.

> It’s the violent assholes on both sides that need reigning in.

Agreed. However, a lot of the aggressive, confrontational rhetoric on both the left and right implicitly pushed the more action-oriented folks into making bad choices. So many of the "peaceful" protestors and even folks at home ramp up the rhetoric to the point where some confrontation is almost inevitable. Trump's rhetoric is a great example, and obviously extremely influential on the right. But while they're not as individually influential as Trump, there are firebrands on the left who do the same (AOC, Maxine Waters, Rashida Tlaib, many more on the state and local level).

And then even partisans who weren't engaging in aggressive rhetoric often excused it as understandable, which creates a nice cover for the folks engaged in violence.

Legal responsibility, of course, ultimately rests with the rioters who did the deeds. But moral responsibility is more diffuse. Many, many more partisans need to examine the role that they've played in creating the conditions for conflict, on both the left and right.

There weren’t pipe bombs in the Capitol. Stop spreading misinformation.

Improvised explosive devices were found in several locations in Washington, D.C. A device suspected to be a pipe bomb was discovered adjacent to a building containing Republican National Committee (RNC) offices. A search of the nearby area found another suspected pipe bomb under a bush at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters.[4] The devices were believed to have been planted prior to the riots.[124] Both the RNC building and the DNC headquarters are a few blocks from the Capitol.


An explosive device is found at the R.N.C., and the D.N.C. is evacuated.

An explosive device was found at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee in Washington and the nearby headquarters of the Democratic National Committee was evacuated after the discovery of a suspicious package on Wednesday, according to three people briefed on the discoveries.

The device that was found at the R.N.C. was a pipe bomb that was successfully destroyed by a bomb squad, according to an official for the R.N.C.


I hate to do this to you, but are either of those places in the Capitol building?

I hate to do this to you, but:

Both the RNC building and the DNC headquarters are a few blocks from the Capitol.


Information is still being uncovered and reported. Since I'd posted my comment above:

An Alabama man allegedly parked a pickup truck packed with 11 homemade bombs, an assault rifle and a handgun just two blocks form the United States Capitol Building, according to federal prosecutors.


Given conditions, volitility, and expressed intent, two blocks proximity to the US Capitol building, on the Capitol complex, and directly across from the Cannon House Office Building, the location is well within the security zone of concern for the Capitol and was clearly associated with the insurgents and rioters.


Close only counts in horse shoes and... lawn darts. People are making the assumption that the people who entered the Capitol building brought pipe bombs in with them. This is not true, according to both your version of the facts and my version of the facts.

This event is serious. You owe it to yourself to be accurate and informed. You never know who is using you as their news source.

Close counts in explosives.

1. I did not claim the bombs were in the Capitol building itself. You are arguing against a case I am not making. The snarky question you asked was clearly answered in the comment you replied to. The insinuation was gratuitous and unnecessary.

But wait, there's more.

2. I do cite and quote reputable sources noting that a) there were in fact multiple bombs, b) that we now know of, c) discovered to date, d) in very near proximity to the Capitol building, e) within the greater Capitol complex, f) posing threats to persons and assets g) with hostile intent.

3. The thousands of insurgents active with the attacks on the Capitol building and complex demonstrably included people carrying and placing bombs within at the very least two blocks of the Capitol building itself and on the same block as Capitol office buildings in which congressional members and staff were lkely present and/or sheltering.

4. There is much we simply don't know as those actually entering the Capitol building proper are not fully identified or known, were not arrested immediately, and certainly have not been fully checked, searched, or inventoried. One person of interest in the Senate Chamber was carrying zip ties and likely a firearm, dressed in paramilitary gear: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/crime/2021/01/08...

5. A false precision limited to proved facts and ignoring, dismissing, or petily hair-splitting distintions in an emergent situations is itself actively dangerous. This discussion is reminiscent of Chernobyl, "3.6 Roentgen, not great, not terrible", rejection of likely, and as it turned out, actual circumstances in the no-longer extant reactor core.[1] The failure in evidence was due to circumstances far beyond the capacities of existing reporting capacities. We face similar circumstances here.

Failure to maintain situational awareness, grasp magnitude, and remain ahead of developments is a common element of crises situations. At Chernobyl in 1986. In the Falklands crisis as the HMS Sheffield was attacked in 1982[2]. At Banqiao in 1975.[3] At Hiroshima in 1945.[4] The causes are multiple: failures of imagination, failures of understanding, incapacitation of observers, disruption, destruction, or overwhelming of sensors, communications, reporting and response systems.

For the moment, we cannot say with certainty that bombs were or were not actually in or on the Capitol building itself. Multiple bombs, possibly placed by multiple parties or units, acting either in concert or independently, were found in the immediate vicinity, close enough to be inside the Capitol within minutes or seconds. The possibility that explosives were inside the building is high, the evidence-based demonstration of this may be years away, possibly never established (though forensics detection may be able to establish likelihood more clearly soon). In terms of risk, post mortem assessment, and future preparedness, with furthe similar events likely within days, operating on the ASSUMPTION that explosives were or could be introduced to the Capitol building and environs is the right thing to do with absolute crystalline clarity.

No, I cannot say with reasonable certainty that there were. Nor have I.

You cannot say there were not.

The best that can be said is that there is as yet no immediate evidence, but a strong possibility, and s clearly demostrated material risk

This event is serious. You owe it to yourself to be realistic and reasonable.

Pedantry on this point goes beyond obtuseness.



1. https://youtube.com/watch?v=ocBVLMHK6c8

2. https://old.reddit.com/r/dredmorbius/comments/2ab25z/on_disa...

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_Banqiao_Dam_failure

4. https://old.reddit.com/r/dredmorbius/comments/1wf9yc/on_disa...

Preciseness is important but both DNC and RNC hqs are about a half mile walk from the Capitol building.

Preciseness is extremely important. How many people are on social media right now calling the people who entered the Capitol terrorists because they assumed they carried bombs into the building?!

They are terrorists, insurrectionist, and seditionists, regardless.

There were bombs very near, critically near, the Capitol itself.

There may plausibly have been explosives within the Capitol, a circumstance which is operationally significant if not precisely knowable.

Hairsplitting is pedantic.

It seems you are correct, the pipe bombs were elsewhere, my apologies. Capitol != Capital. Still, pipe bombs.

How about just correct the mistake next time? The way you corrected that mistake makes it seem like there were no pipe bombs at all.

similarly, hardening the capitol is not the way. To the extent that even trying to be a shining city on a hill is possible, I can tell you that it is impossible if you wall it off.

Walling up the people's house this summer and violating the rights and bodies of peaceful protestors was rightly condemned, too.


We can improve the security of the capitol without closing it off the public. Off the top of my head, such improvements might include:

- Exterior doors that can't be rammed open with portable fences

- Interior doors with shatterproof glass windows

- Facade walls that don't function as ladders [0]

[0] https://www.chron.com/news/nation-world/article/photo-capito...

We don't have to do any of this. We just need to have the same preparations that were (wisely) in place for the BLM protests in DC, to also be in place for any other major protest with the potential to go off. And then enacted if a threat arises.

It takes a large number of people to pull off what they pulled of on Tuesday.

And no need for tear gas unless and until an attack is mounted.

Regardless of who the protestors are, the moment it becomes more than a peaceful protest teargas is a pretty safe tool compared to everything else in the arsenal. "LTL" projectiles are really nasty and easily mis-used, tasers fairly consistently produce deaths on a segment of the population with heart defects, and baton fighting is basically open melee combat.

Oh, I agree that it should be used once a riot is declared. I just think its use was probably a bit premature in DC over the summer, although I'd need to go back and review the footage myself to be sure. I can't trust the media to report incidents like this fairly anymore.

Smithsonian museums are federal property open to the public and they have better security.

So, from the article:

* “U.S. Capitol security needs a total overhaul. The physical breaching and desecration of our temple of democracy must never happen again,” Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, said on Twitter. The thing is, he is right, but physical security improvements alone will not protect the Capitol from another insurrection.*

So, how did the author make the leap that Senator Schatz meant physical security improvements?

I think alot of Senators are thinking more along the lines of this article:


How do they ensure law enforcement are not complicit in the coup?

>“U.S. Capitol security needs a total overhaul. The physical breaching and desecration of our temple of democracy must never happen again,” Senator Brian Schatz,

I would argue that those trying to secure the structure against invasion by the People are the ones desecrating the Temple. Like it or not what many hear call an insurrection, I call an unequivocal vote of no confidence by the governed and a call to action aimed at Representatives. Not to hide away behind locked barriers, but to listen, and take to heart the fact that people are pissed enough to mobilize in the first place. A call and voice message to the Rep is one thing. Repeated letters another. Putting in a physical appearance at an office yet another.

Pushing your way into and disrupting Legislative business is an unmatched attention grabber, and to be frank, I'm not willing to deprive anyone willing to drive to D.C. of the opportunity to have an impact, nor am I willing to accept only the well heeled should be capable of regularly exercising the advantage of exploiting proximity to Federal Representatives.

A person exercising Liberty, especially to the disdain of the majority, is the quintessential act of American patriotism and civil spirit. That foreign actors may have made use of the chaos is regrettable, but nevertheless, this is American government by design. It doesn't exist and rule by it's own right or ability to trounce all comers. It exists and rules because we all let it. Something I think a lot of people do not quite grasp.

That Trump of all people is the one to bring all this out makes me want to vomit a bit, but it is what it is. So it goes.

Respectfully, we disagree on what discourse means.

@dang, can we please ban coup advocacy on this forum?

Can we ban banning? What is so scary about words? And how did he even advocate for anything? It is scary how quickly we are ready to silence any dissent.

What's scary is the five people who died in the event he's lionizing as "an unequivocal vote of no confidence by the governed and a call to action". A police officer was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/police-officer-who-died...) - to call that a "quintessential act of American patriotism" is open advocacy for violence, and I don't think I can ethically participate in a forum which permits such a terrible thing.

I do not mean to trivialize this, but five people dying is nothing in US. Hell, we just had 4k people die today of covid alone. It is an issue, even a serious issue and it is being handled by appropriate agencies ( as it should ), but by overblowing this people will only make it worse. So why not let system work? That is what it is there for.


"to call that a "quintessential act of American patriotism" is open advocacy for violence, and I don't think I can ethically participate in a forum which permits such a terrible thing."

Correct me if I am misreading this, but you are making this an ethical issue the same way your opponent does. Note that the comment you replied to appears to view his position the same way. He, apparently, sees it as not only ethical, but a mandatory subset of being an American; a virtue.

May I suggest that all of us participate freely in this exchange of ideas. You are free not to the same way he is free to. Ethics have little to do with this.

I disliked the Patriot Act too, and I'm strongly opposed to this new Domestic Terrorism Act. All I'm saying is that endorsements of terrorist attacks should be banned from reputable discussion forums and I won't participate in a forum that allows them.

I upvoted your comment, because I think this is the crux of the issue. I am not entirely convinced if it was a terrorist attack.

It does fit FBI definition ( https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/terrorism ), but that definition is rather broad to begin with. To me attack suggests some level of planning, forethought, end game even it is just to terrorize. FBI definition also does not seem to indicate that terrorist attacks are typically directed towards civilians ( government buildings are not civilians ).

But if we accept FBI definition then what political end was achieved by this? Clearly not the intended one.

Again. I think this is just another Patriot Act moment. We can calm down or go down another rabbit hole. Only this time, we will have to TSA every time we want to talk to a government official.

> I upvoted your comment, because I think this is the crux of the issue. I am not entirely convinced if it was a terrorist attack

Folks turned up the protest armed and carrying zip-tie cuffs. Improvised explosive devices were planted in multiple locations. There can be no argument that there wasn’t a segment of protestors that turned up to commit acts of terror.

> There can be no argument that there wasn’t a segment of protestors that turned up to commit acts of terror.

okay, but you can say that about pretty much any sufficiently large protest. most people show up to be heard. a few arrive with bricks, molotovs, etc. it's always hard to tell whether the violent elements are aligned with the greater cause, false flags, or just people who saw an opportunity to create mayhem.

You're being wilfully blind.

I'm not super attached to the word "terrorist". What's relevant to me is that it was a violent incident which people enthusiastically engaged in; nobody seems to have premeditated the specific deaths that happened, but many of the participants spoke quite openly after the fact about how excited they were to be able to break their way in and how glad they are that it happened.

I do agree that we need to calm down rather than going down the rabbit hole of making 100% sure it can never happen again. But one of the critical ways in which a society calms down is by reinforcing its commitment to nonviolent norms of communication, and that involves a collective recognition that glorification of violence is incompatible with norms of kindness and respect. Reading a comment on how neat it was to watch people break into the Capitol is like reading someone's detailed story of how they'll kill burglars who break into their home - I get it, I really do, but it's incredibly poisonous to polite discourse.

> How do they ensure law enforcement are not complicit in the coup?

"Complicit in the coup" makes it sound like they're on the side of the Trump morons. This is certainly possible, but does having comically understaffed security when it was extremely well known that there was going to be a huge crowd serve Donald Trump, or someone else? Like, when you turn on the news, or read forums, do you get a feeling that this is playing out in favour of Trump and his supporters?

I am going to be paying close attention to how this story is spun over the next few weeks, including the type of language they use, and we'll see if an investigation that can be taken seriously is ever performed. And going forward, how often this event is used as "proof" of how dangerous "right wing extremists" (or populists) are.

Is the Capitol really the "temple of democracy"? If anything, I would think the voting booth would be the temple of democracy and the Capitol would be the temple of Republicanism/Federalism?

You got me thinking. Maybe democracy is just like a religion. We go in every Sunday ( if that ). Some on sufferance. Some recent converts full of awe. Some out of habit. We have disciples. We have priests. We have holy words and phrases that shall not be spoken.

Don’t forget the holy relics (e.g. the flag).

You’re not the first to make this comparison :)

Lol, religion is the prototype for bureaucracy

By that logic, democracy is only practiced several times a decade (over a period of weeks)?

That's the underlying truth - we don't have direct democracy, we have representative democracy.

Isn't that exactly the case (besides in Switzerland)?

Democracy is a form of government, so any function of a democratic government is a democratic act. This is because that act was made legitimate and is held accountable via a democratic process.

This isn’t sophistry, it’s a vitally important point because the legitimacy and accountability of government are the individual responsibility of every citizen. You and I are responsible for complying with government because we consent to be ruled due to our recognition of its legitimacy. Equally, we are responsible when we vote in a leader or representative. The guy in Starship Troopers is right, a vote is an act of force.

I honestly don’t know, but I know it is not 24/7.

More like the cave in Alibaba and thieves.

Oddly, I was reading Audacity of hope lately and Obama was reminiscing about how Washington was much more open with less checkpoints and whatnot. In a sense, he mourned passing of direct access of US citizenry to the halls where the sausage is made. That is kinda how I am feeling now. I remember being on a trip to White House. It was very accessible way back when.

I am not certain to overt separation of 'little people' and 'non-little peopple' is that good of an idea, overall.


It’s not OK to describe shooting police in the head, lighting them on fire, burning down precincts, firebombing Federal courthouses, occupying city halls, and cordoning off entire city blocks with armed insurgents as “begging officials to acknowledge a perspective.”

"Begging officials to acknowledge a perspective" is not an accurate description of protestors declaring an autonomous zone or taking over or burning down police stations and courthouses.

Here's a BLM protest speaker definitely not "begging officials to acknowledge a perspective": "I'm at the point where I'm ready to put these police in a f***ing grave. I'm at the point where I want to burn the f***ing White House down. ... I wanna take the fight to them. And at the end of the day, if they ain't gonna hear us, we burn them the f**k down."


I for one support the yahoos on both sides. Burn it all down.

No, but that doesn't mean they aren't just as bad.

> hardening the capitol is not the way

But they did exacrtly that during the BLM protests, where people had no weapons. They've even physically ejected disabled people from protesting at the Capitol.

So it seems they have no qualms about doing it to certain groups of people.

And that was wrong then too. What is with people and wanting to make this society do its version of 'papers please' every 5 steps.

Link to the bill, since I don't see it in the article: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/4192...

Sincere question --

How many times have existing anti-terrorism laws been misused versus "well" used for the purpose they were intended?

So many people's objections are based on the particular example they can quote, or the very bad outcome case that sticks in your mind. Just like in dumb presidential debates you can line up specific example after example of someone who got left out of the healthcare system, etc (for either side's argument). But laws are for dealing with hundreds or thousands of incidents, not optimizing for the 0.001% case.

ACLU says that existing laws have unfairly targeted <xyz>, etc. etc. How many times? Versus what positive things did it prevent?

The ACLU is an advocate -- it isn't required to weigh and balance both sides. Lawmakers should.

Why people think it is good idea to engage in mass suppression of speech? It is not just Trump himself, general Flynn, Powell, and even a random political cartoon satire author (that is not pro-trump) got banned.

If you take speech (and thus diplomacy) out of your opponent toolbox to deal with you, what tool is left?

>The four boxes of liberty is an idea that proposes: "There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."

Big tech, with crowds cheering, is pushing these people toward the one that we are going to regret.


> I find it odd that no one on the Democratic side is stopping to think what a civil war in which one side has disarmed themselves because they think weapons are evil and the other already is ideologically aligned with most of the police and military would look like.

That, my friend, would be a senseless massacre. You find it odd that most Americans don’t spend their daily lives worrying about getting literally murdered by Republicans? Why? Should they?

first of all, plenty of democrats own guns. not nearly as many as republicans, but I wouldn't be surprised if the gap closed a lot after controlling for urban vs rural living.

if anything is odd, it's that konjin just made a case for why it would be rational for democrats to push gun control and disarmament of the police.

> first of all, plenty of democrats own guns.

I’m aware of that, I was just going along with gp’s fantasies.

When you decide that half of people's opinions are criminal don't expect the law to save you.

Funny, I’m pretty sure it just did, as it has for the last 4 years of abject defeats the judiciary has been handing out to Trump. Good luck with your lynching fantasies, sounds like you’ll need it to get through the next 4 years.


Someone go dig up John Candy!

Michael Moore's most underrated movie. Too bad so few know it exists.

Ha! had no idea it was a Michael Moore movie. Plenty of people have seen Canadian Bacon. It used to play on TV all the time too(early 00s?). I've fairly sure most of my generation knows it... (as a kid in the 90s)

"Canadians: they walk among us!"


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