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George Bush's primary responsibility?

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When he talks about foreign policy, the president is always using the word freedom; we will "bring freedom to the Middle East," replace tyranny with "freedom and democracy." When he talks about problems here at home, the watchword is security; "homeland security" is a priority, he says, or "national security" is being neglected.

People lap both spiels up like kittens after milk despite the obvious disconnect. Increased security at home has, without a doubt, lessened our freedoms; more freedom abroad has meant decreased stability (think the whole of Iraq, here).

I ask you, as I am sure you have been asked before, this: in the most general sense, which is it first and foremost the president's responsibility to provide? Freedom, or security?

I'm very curious as to everyone's opinion.
 

M14 Shooter

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Stupiderthanthou said:
I ask you, as I am sure you have been asked before, this: in the most general sense, which is it first and foremost the president's responsibility to provide? Freedom, or security?
National defense is the Federal Gvmnt's first responsibility.
 

Stace

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I think his primary responsibility should be protecting the freedoms of the people right here in the United States; worry about everyone else later, or maybe even not at all sometimes. We're not the worldwide babysitters, after all, nor should we be.
 

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Stupiderthanthou said:
I ask you, as I am sure you have been asked before, this: in the most general sense, which is it first and foremost the president's responsibility to provide? Freedom, or security?

I'm very curious as to everyone's opinion.

I would say since we already have freedom-somewhat-then the presidents responsibility is to make sure we are secure at all times.
We can never be fully secured so someone has to atleast watch out for us.
I laugh everytime someone says our freedom is jeopardized. by who? Even if we are attacked we would never loose our freedom.Only if someone overturned our government would we loose the freedoms we have.
 

M14 Shooter

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Stace said:
I think his primary responsibility should be protecting the freedoms of the people right here in the United States; worry about everyone else later, or maybe even not at all sometimes. We're not the worldwide babysitters, after all, nor should we be.
If you had to make the choice between violating the 4th amendment rights of a few people and keeping the enemy from landing troops on our beaches, razing our cities and subjugating us, what would you choose?

National Defense is the Fed Gvmnts first priority - if you can't protect the people from the enemy, nothing else really matters.
 

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M14 Shooter said:
If you had to make the choice between violating the 4th amendment rights of a few people and keeping the enemy from landing troops on our beaches, razing our cities and subjugating us, what would you choose?

National Defense is the Fed Gvmnts first priority - if you can't protect the people from the enemy, nothing else really matters.
Why is this an either/or? Is there really no way to uphold the 4th Amendment, AND keep our beaches free from invading troops?

If it had to be one or the other, I would definitely agree that keeping the country safe is #1. But I don't believe the enemy we are facing now is going to invade, which means that the importance of the rights of American citizens rises; it still may not overtake the importance of security, but it isn't such an easy answer.
 

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National Defense is the Fed Gvmnts first priority - if you can't protect the people from the enemy, nothing else really matters.
So given the choice between being enslaved and being killed, you would choose enslavement?
 

M14 Shooter

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Why is this an either/or?
There can only be one "first priority", and therefore its a one-or-the other situation.

If it had to be one or the other, I would definitely agree that keeping the country safe is #1.
Thats all you needed to say. Thanks.

But I don't believe the enemy we are facing now is going to invade,
I dont believe the question was limited to the situation on 15 JAN 2005. GWB is the president right now, but the question to applies to all Presidents, past, present and future
 

M14 Shooter

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FinnMacCool said:
So given the choice between being enslaved and being killed, you would choose enslavement?
Not sure how your question stems from my statement.
 

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You need a poll...
 

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Stupiderthanthou said:
When he talks about foreign policy, the president is always using the word freedom; we will "bring freedom to the Middle East," replace tyranny with "freedom and democracy." When he talks about problems here at home, the watchword is security; "homeland security" is a priority, he says, or "national security" is being neglected.

People lap both spiels up like kittens after milk despite the obvious disconnect. Increased security at home has, without a doubt, lessened our freedoms; more freedom abroad has meant decreased stability (think the whole of Iraq, here).

I ask you, as I am sure you have been asked before, this: in the most general sense, which is it first and foremost the president's responsibility to provide? Freedom, or security?

I'm very curious as to everyone's opinion.
Stupid, (I just referring to what you picked as a user name, not calling you that). I think freedom and security are both of equal responsibility. Although, I agree that the president is not above the law, I truly don't feel as if my freedoms have been violated or any other everyday citizens. If I was making phone calls to a terrorist group in the Middle East, I would understand why that would be investigated. If it is protecting our fellow Americans, I am all for it. We deserve the "freedom" so to speak, to feel safe about traveling on an airplane or in any other regard.

As for the War in Iraq, it was originally based on WMD that have never been found to exist. There has been no evidence that Bin Laden and Hussein were in cahoots. In fact, Bin Laden resented Hussein because he maintained a secular government, if you will. Iran is currently making nuclear weapons and brazenly refuses to stop. The UN said they do not want Bush to play a role in the negotiation with Iran, because they don't want a controversial, cowboy making matters worse.

By the way, where is the poll? Don't worry, I have made that mistake myself.
 

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FinnMacCool said:
Its about priorities. National Security.
If thats the case, my statement stands.
National Seciurity is the Federal Government's first priority.
 

cnredd

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americanwoman said:
I would say since we already have freedom-somewhat-then the presidents responsibility is to make sure we are secure at all times.
We can never be fully secured so someone has to atleast watch out for us.
I laugh everytime someone says our freedom is jeopardized. by who? Even if we are attacked we would never loose our freedom.Only if someone overturned our government would we loose the freedoms we have.
Sounds about right here, but I'd like to "tweak" it a touch...

Ever notice there are some here that push the panic button whenever someone mentions "liberty" or "freedom"?

Example - They sound like the day before the Patriot Act was a beautiful day filled with blue skies and flowers, and the second it was signed, all of a sudden we turned into Stalinist Russia...EVERY freedom that has ever existed has been totally decimated and we will turn to Martial Law by 3pm next Tuesday...

And they say Bush uses scare tactics...:shrug:
 

Billo_Really

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Originally Posted by M14 Shooter
If you had to make the choice between violating the 4th amendment rights of a few people and keeping the enemy from landing troops on our beaches, razing our cities and subjugating us, what would you choose?
Now who the f_ck is going to do that? Iraq? They don't have a navy! How the hell are they going to get over here? Have you no faith in TSA?
 

Kandahar

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cnredd said:
Sounds about right here, but I'd like to "tweak" it a touch...

Ever notice there are some here that push the panic button whenever someone mentions "liberty" or "freedom"?

Example - They sound like the day before the Patriot Act was a beautiful day filled with blue skies and flowers, and the second it was signed, all of a sudden we turned into Stalinist Russia...EVERY freedom that has ever existed has been totally decimated and we will turn to Martial Law by 3pm next Tuesday...

And they say Bush uses scare tactics...:shrug:
I'll agree that some people do tend to be a bit alarmist about it, but the bottom line is that they're right. Police states can be created through incremental infringements on our civil liberties, each step seeming perfectly reasonable given the previous one.

For example, consider the following line of thought:
1. Suppose the current law says that police can't search the premises without a warrant (or permission) and without notifying the owner.
2. Given #1, it's not such a big step to say that they can do it without notifying the owner, if they have a warrant. After all, the searchee is suspected of some kind of wrongdoing.
3. Given #2, why get the warrant at all? Our law enforcement doesn't have time to wait around for court permission while the searchee might be out plotting or committing crimes (This is essentially Bush's argument for wiretaps).
4. Given #3, why even notify the court at all? They didn't need to sign off on it, and since the courts aren't in the law enforcement business they don't need to know about it at all.
5. Given #4, we don't REALLY need much evidence that the searchee is doing anything wrong, do we? He'll never know about it (nor will the courts), and if he isn't doing anything wrong he won't mind. And if he is doing something wrong, our search might prevent a crime.

In just four easy steps, we've gone from a perfectly reasonable policy to an unchecked police state. None of the steps are that radical in themselves, given the preceding step.

That's the same reason I oppose a national ID card; it's not that the government will suddenly have access to new information that it wouldn't otherwise have, it's because it is simply the next incremental step toward authoritarian statism.
 
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cnredd

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Kandahar said:
I'll agree that some people do tend to be a bit alarmist about it, but the bottom line is that they're right. Police states can be created through incremental infringements on our civil liberties, each step seeming perfectly reasonable given the previous one.

For example, consider the following line of thought:
1. Suppose the current law says that police can't search the premises without a warrant (or permission) and without notifying the owner.
2. Given #1, it's not such a big step to say that they can do it without notifying the owner, if they have a warrant. After all, the searchee is suspected of some kind of wrongdoing.
3. Given #2, why get the warrant at all? Our law enforcement doesn't have time to wait around for court permission while the searchee might be out plotting or committing crimes (This is essentially Bush's argument for wiretaps).
4. Given #3, why even notify the court at all? They didn't need to sign off on it, and since the courts aren't in the law enforcement business they don't need to know about it at all.
5. Given #4, we don't REALLY need much evidence that the searchee is doing anything wrong, do we? He'll never know about it (nor will the courts), and if he isn't doing anything wrong he won't mind. And if he is doing something wrong, our search might prevent a crime.

In just four easy steps, we've gone from a perfectly reasonable policy to an unchecked police state. None of the steps are that radical in themselves, given the preceding step.

That's the same reason I oppose a national ID card; it's not that the government will suddenly have access to new information that it wouldn't otherwise have, it's because it is simply the next incremental step toward authoritarian statism.
What you've just stated is perfect...

for paranoia...

You're first paragraph sums it up nicely...Police states can be created ...

"can"...mighty big word there...and that's the defense used in cases where liberty and freedom are concerned...

There has to be a separation where the immediate results of tightening freedoms outweighs long term issues that you yourself have only claimed as possibilities through the use of the word "can"...

Living in the world of negative outcomes will just prevent any positive intervention...

Would Alfred Nobel reinvent TNT if he had known the extent of its full use?...He felt sorry for it because of its negative aspects of how it would be used...so much so that he created the prizes we now know...

But what's the percentage of those negative aspects compared to the positive aspects of TNT?...Low...VERY low...borderline non-existant...If not for TNT, the world would not have gained much in the way of expansion, mining, and economic & social progress in general...

But imagine NOT going forth with TNT just because of its negative uses...It would be just plain stupid...

Mostly everything, and in this case, national security, will ultimately infringe upon something else, in this case, freedom...The real question is...

Will the positives outweigh the negatives?...If you skip the knee-jerk reactions, it's an unequivical "yes"...
 

Kandahar

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cnredd said:
What you've just stated is perfect...

for paranoia...
Not at all. Government naturally has a tendency to abuse its power as it gets bigger. To not acknowledge this is naive.

cnredd said:
You're first paragraph sums it up nicely...Police states can be created ...

"can"...mighty big word there...and that's the defense used in cases where liberty and freedom are concerned...

There has to be a separation where the immediate results of tightening freedoms outweighs long term issues that you yourself have only claimed as possibilities through the use of the word "can"...
Many of the Bush Administration's policies - such as wiretapping without a warrant, holding suspected terrorists without charges, and some of the provisions of the Patriot Act - produce no discernable benefit in protecting the American people. They do, however, represent an incremental step toward authoritarianism.

cnredd said:
Living in the world of negative outcomes will just prevent any positive intervention...
I don't live in a world of negative outcomes, but if you're going to advocate policies that take away our civil liberties, there had better be a damn good reason for doing so. I just don't see any such reason in most of the cases.

cnredd said:
Mostly everything, and in this case, national security, will ultimately infringe upon something else, in this case, freedom...The real question is...

Will the positives outweigh the negatives?...If you skip the knee-jerk reactions, it's an unequivical "yes"...
It's not that simple. You can't just say that "national security" will ultimately outweigh "freedom." Each policy needs to be evaluated on its own merits, and most of them produce little benefit in national security while having a high cost in freedom.
 

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Kandahar said:
Not at all. Government naturally has a tendency to abuse its power as it gets bigger. To not acknowledge this is naive.
Just like the word "can", you choose to use the word "tendancy"...You're more concerned with what "may" happen instead of concentrating on what "is" happening...

Do you think the USA is more free now than in 1960?...And if you answered "yes", which I don't see why you wouldn't, here comes the second question...

Don't you think that there were many people saying the exact same thing then?...I'm think it's obvious they were proven wrong with time...can't you acknowledge that the same possibility is in the here and now?...So far you haven't...

Kandahar said:
Many of the Bush Administration's policies - such as wiretapping without a warrant, holding suspected terrorists without charges, and some of the provisions of the Patriot Act - produce no discernable benefit in protecting the American people. They do, however, represent an incremental step toward authoritarianism.
You say they don't produce "discernable benefit"...some say otherwise...Who to believe?

As for the "incremental step", that logic is flawed...If I were to punch your arm, would make the logical leap that it's only a matter of time before I kill you?(No personal shot intended...you get my point)...:2wave:

Kandahar said:
I don't live in a world of negative outcomes, but if you're going to advocate policies that take away our civil liberties, there had better be a damn good reason for doing so. I just don't see any such reason in most of the cases.
Once again...you don't...some do...AFAICT, most want the Patriot Act revamped...not thrown away...That tells me there are some redeeming laws applied with "discernable benefit"...

When a multiple rapist is on the loose and the authorities tell you to lock your doors and windows, will you cry about your "liberties" and "freedoms" being taken away in an incremental step to authoritarianism?...Don't think so...

Kandahar said:
It's not that simple. You can't just say that "national security" will ultimately outweigh "freedom." Each policy needs to be evaluated on its own merits, and most of them produce little benefit in national security while having a high cost in freedom.
Please explain this "high cost"...This is the same extreme rhetoric I've referred to earlier...

Example - They sound like the day before the Patriot Act was a beautiful day filled with blue skies and flowers, and the second it was signed, all of a sudden we turned into Stalinist Russia...EVERY freedom that has ever existed has been totally decimated and we will turn to Martial Law by 3pm next Tuesday...

The "high cost" reference, with all due respect, is not only not needed, but a scare tactic frequently used to oppose the government for the sake of opposing the government...

Should we be wary of the government?...Of course...

Should we have the kneejerk reaction that everything they do MUST be anti-freedom and only to gain more power?...Ridiculous...

GWB has three years left(almost to the day)...Nomatter what claims of "dictatorship" and "absolute executive power" is thrown at him, I guarantee that by Feb. 2009, any "power" you think he may attempt to snatch will not be his to keep...

I have a feeling you wouldn't want to wager that...;)
 

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cnredd said:
Just like the word "can", you choose to use the word "tendancy"...You're more concerned with what "may" happen instead of concentrating on what "is" happening...
Failing to examine the possible long-term consequences of our nation's policies is a recipe for disaster.

cnredd said:
Do you think the USA is more free now than in 1960?...And if you answered "yes", which I don't see why you wouldn't, here comes the second question...

Don't you think that there were many people saying the exact same thing then?...I'm think it's obvious they were proven wrong with time...can't you acknowledge that the same possibility is in the here and now?...So far you haven't...
Were they actually proven wrong with time, or did they help to keep the government's power in check by serving as a watchdog during that time? If I say the sky is falling and show conclusive evidence of how to prevent it, I wasn't "proven wrong" if the government adopts my suggestions and the sky doesn't fall.

cnredd said:
You say they don't produce "discernable benefit"...some say otherwise...Who to believe?
I see no reason to believe that warrantless wiretaps are necessary, when a warrant can easily and quickly be obtained. I see no reason to hold suspected terrorists without charges, since there's supposed to be enough evidence to suspect them of wrongdoing anyway.

cnredd said:
As for the "incremental step", that logic is flawed...If I were to punch your arm, would make the logical leap that it's only a matter of time before I kill you?(No personal shot intended...you get my point)...:2wave:
The difference is that government policies generally last indefinitely. If you made it a habit of punching my arm every day and I didn't resist (and doing so somehow benefitted you, at least in your opinion), it's quite possible that eventually you would take more aggressive actions.

cnredd said:
Once again...you don't...some do...AFAICT, most want the Patriot Act revamped...not thrown away...That tells me there are some redeeming laws applied with "discernable benefit"...
There are certain parts of the Patriot Act that I (and most other people) could live with. Revamping it is fine, as long as it doesn't significantly curtail our civil liberties for no reason.

cnredd said:
When a multiple rapist is on the loose and the authorities tell you to lock your doors and windows, will you cry about your "liberties" and "freedoms" being taken away in an incremental step to authoritarianism?...Don't think so...
How is my liberty being taken away in that scenario?

cnredd said:
Please explain this "high cost"...This is the same extreme rhetoric I've referred to earlier...

Example - They sound like the day before the Patriot Act was a beautiful day filled with blue skies and flowers, and the second it was signed, all of a sudden we turned into Stalinist Russia...EVERY freedom that has ever existed has been totally decimated and we will turn to Martial Law by 3pm next Tuesday...

The "high cost" reference, with all due respect, is not only not needed, but a scare tactic frequently used to oppose the government for the sake of opposing the government...

Should we be wary of the government?...Of course...

Should we have the kneejerk reaction that everything they do MUST be anti-freedom and only to gain more power?...Ridiculous...
I don't oppose security measures if they have some justification and the benefits outweigh the costs. But that is frequently not the case with the policies adopted by the Bush Administration.

cnredd said:
GWB has three years left(almost to the day)...Nomatter what claims of "dictatorship" and "absolute executive power" is thrown at him, I guarantee that by Feb. 2009, any "power" you think he may attempt to snatch will not be his to keep...

I have a feeling you wouldn't want to wager that...;)
Bush won't keep his power, no. But suppose Bush behaves like a saint with warrantless wiretaps and doesn't wiretap anyone unless he honestly suspects them of being a terrorist. That doesn't mean that the next president will be so honest. And he/she might keep policies like this from the Bush Administration while adding several new anti-liberty policies of his/her own.
 

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The major issue with the Patriot Act and it's relationship with civil liberties is it ignores due process and checks and balances. The president doesn't trust the people. He doesn't trust the judicial branch. He wants no oversight from the judicial branch. Without oversight what keeps corruption in check. If no one questions the govt., then no one can tell if the govt. is honest, and even worse, the govt. is not accountable.

I think that the president's primary responsibility is the security of our freedoms. True, if we are invaded and our govt. was thrown out, we would lose our freedoms. Also true though, if we lose our freedoms under the guise of security then we might as well have our govt. thrown out.
 

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Billo_Really said:
Now who the f_ck is going to do that? Iraq? They don't have a navy! How the hell are they going to get over here? Have you no faith in TSA?
What part of 'I dont believe the question was limited to the situation on 15 JAN 2005. GWB is the president right now, but the question to applies to all Presidents, past, present and future' didnt you get?
 

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Originally posted by M14 Shooter:
What part of 'I dont believe the question was limited to the situation on 15 JAN 2005. GWB is the president right now, but the question to applies to all Presidents, past, present and future' didnt you get?
Looking at it that way, if George Washington hadn't started this country when he did, Iraq might of over-ran us.
 

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Billo_Really said:
Looking at it that way, if George Washington hadn't started this country when he did, Iraq might of over-ran us.
Is someone holding an "Most Asinine Statement of the Day" contest?

If so, I think you have it locked up.
 

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Originally posted by M14 Shooter:
Is someone holding an "Most Asinine Statement of the Day" contest?

If so, I think you have it locked up.
What do I win?
 
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