Fired up..

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Mr. Engineer, Aug 28, 2004.

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  1. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Whether one supports the current administration or not, I don't think anyone can honestly accuse its leaders of being particularly concerned about civil liberties. That's the biggest reason why I'll be voting for John Kerry in November; I want to make sure my kids get to grow up in a democracy.

    That said:

    (a) Getting arrested for criminal trespass is not the same thing as getting arrested for wearing a Bush T-shirt. Frankly, it pisses me off when Democrats lie much more than it does when Republicans do because I'm not usually put in a position where I have to defend the Republicans. The DNC still has a misleading bit on its web site about how Bush (paraphrased from memory) "inappropriately invoked the legacy of Hitler" in one of his advertisements; it was actually a photograph used in a rejected user-submitted MoveOn ad, broadcast as part of Bush's (admittedly clever) medley of embarrassingly vicious anti-Republican sound bites. It's supposed to be offensive.

    (b) I second Bruce: Mr. Engineer, with all due respect, I'm pretty sure you're no police officer. I agree with much of your politics, but the way you write about this stuff tells me that you're even less familiar with the law enforcement community than I am. Sorry, dude.

    (c) Bush is not another Stalin or another Hitler; he's more like Putin or Berlusconi. Wanna know what real totalitarian regimes look like? Skim the entries in the 2004 Amnesty International Report. Bush scares my beige pants brown, but he's a pot-smoking flower child compared to Kim Jong Il, Ayatollah Khomeini, and the House of Saud.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2004
  2. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Bruce: Thanks for the dissection. That was fun to watch.
    Tom Head and Carl: Thanks for displaying intelligent life on the left.

    Mingus 1, Faubus 0.
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Other than establishing your credibility, of course.

    I've dealt with major players in the outlaw bike gangs (Hell's Angels, Outlaws, etc.), and the Boston street gangs (Orchard Park Trailblazers, New York Boys, Humboldt Raiders, Mission Hill GOYAS, Franklin Hill Giants, etc.), so excuse me if I'm not impressed with your alleged experience.

    I'm offering to give you enough information about me for you to verify that I'm a for-real, honest-to-God, police officer. You can then send me the same verifiable information about yourself, and we can check-out each other.

    If you really were a cop, my only comment would be "Yep, he was". No personal information revealed.

    Yes, there sure are. :rolleyes:
  4. Casey

    Casey New Member

    Watered down Americans...

    Freedom is a delicate thing, but it would extremely reckless to abandon the Patriot Act. We will never be truly free until those who wish to harm us are destroyed. The Patriot Act will help to keep us safe, and in a way, safety is freedom.

    Really? I disagree. While I have no conclusive data, it seems to me that the Patriot Act has broad support. Even many of the most liberal Bush hating students at my law school support the Patriot Act. And if anyone is competent in this area, members of the legal community are.

    In any event, are you able to provide any support for your assertions? Specifically, I am curious as to how you were able to arrive at the conclusion that few Americans understand the Constitution? Did you conduct a research study? Or, are you just assuming that your fellow Americans are uninformed?

    If you don't mind me asking, what makes you a Constitutional Law expert? Did you go to law school? Are you a law enforcement officer? A historian? A political scientist?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2004
  5. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Busho, I was with you on "back up your assertions"--but when you start implying that the only worthwhile arguments are arguments from authority (e.g., "my arguments are sound because I'm an expert on constitutional law" or "your arguments are not sound because you're not an expert on constitutional law"), you're running headlong into the argumentum ad verecundiam fallacy. Worse, the idea that only certain people are entitled to opinions on civil liberties issues is horribly undemocratic.

    Now, as for the comment "we will never be truly free until those who wish to harm us are destroyed": For the entire history of the United States, somebody has wanted to harm us; to say that we should throw out the Bill of Rights until we've annihilated all possible enemies--angry men, angry women, grieving children who might grow up to be angry men and angry women, and so on--is to say that we should both throw out the Bill of Rights permanently and suspend our humanity in dealing with citizens of other nations.

    My position on the Patriot Act is that it should be revised, but not scrapped entirely; some of it is really quite useful to law enforcement and does no harm to due process. On the other hand, some of it looks more or less like the sort of reactionary law a nation might pass if it had just suffered a major terrorist attack--which is why Congress put an expiration date on the thing in the first place. Expiration dates on controversial legislation have a long and venerable history; Adams' Congress did the same with the Alien and Sedition Acts, as did Wilson's Congress when it passed similar legislation around the time of World War I and the first red scare.

    And regardless of your feelings on the Patriot Act, I hope you at least agree that U.S. citizens should never be classified as enemy combatants, that wonderful unregulated category of detainees that is exempt from all due process requirements. To say that the DOJ can arrest any suspected terrorist as an enemy combatant is to say that the DOJ can secretly arrest anyone at any time, without any meaningful reason, deny access to attorneys and the press, and imprison him or her for as long as desired. Do you honestly believe that's a good thing? The Supreme Court has mostly closed the enemy combatant loophole, but the fact that the Bush administration pushed this idea in the first place is more than a little frightening. Kind of makes you wonder what they wouldn't do in the name of "winning the war on terror."

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2004
  6. Casey

    Casey New Member

    Don't assume...

    I implied no such thing. If I implied anything at all, it was that regular Americans are informed. It was DesElms that basically stated regular, everyday Americans are idiots. I was merely trying to ascertain what makes him/her such an expert. The comments in the paragraph above should have been directed towards him/her, not me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2004
  7. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member

    Just Give him the Proof

    "Mr. Engineer,"

    I am not into getting into political conversations...I do have my views and my standpoints, however I will let my cast ballot speak for me!

    The reason I am chiming in is to advise you that It is very weak to use an excuse of possibly compromising your identity in order not to disclose truly whether you are really a former cop or not. Give him your badge number and the city (county, or state/municipality) that you served in and he can run a quick check...however, knowing Bruce's tendencies from being a member of this forum for years he probably wouldn't run it. He would probably be satisfied if you were forthright with providing your information. Heck, even give him the FOP or PBA chapter that you belonged to...Me? Pemberton, NJ Chapter Federal Officers FOP #149.

    The point of this forum is to proliferate distance learning and degrees offered to those of us who cannot sit in a classroom! We have to be very Clear and Vigilant on screening the information that we receive (we as members of the forum and we as students who may possibly use this information in our decision-making process). So, if you say something...stand by it and stay the course or you are a liar, a degree mill, etc. (I am not specifically calling you a liar, but if it hurts then it may be true).

    Finally, any cop...any soldier, any government employee would know that it is highly improper to slander fellow cops (fellow professionals within the same community/career field) without having the "full story." I have some good friends and associates that are Secret Service Agents...I was on the cusp of becoming a "Uniformed Sec. Serv. Agent" myself (got selected and everything), however I did not want to live in DC. I find it unlikely that ANY law enforcement officer, besides Barney Fife would believe a headline in a newspaper tells the entire story. Heck, I read in a paper that Oprah Winfrey and Alf are Michael Jackson's true parents and that Alf is outraged that Michael used the "Moonwalk" in his music career! You should be just as outraged as Alf was.

    BTW, if you want my credentials...I would be glad to provide you with proof, badge number, etc. etc.
  8. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member

    Watching Oz

    Originally posted by Mr. Engineer
    Having dealt with major players in the BGF, MM, NF and others, I avoid giving out personally identifiable information to people I do not know. I am very surprised that you do so, but that is your business.

    Hey, aren't all of these gangs mentioned on any television show or movie about prison about prison?
  9. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Re: Don't assume...

    Sorry, Busho; that's just the way it sounded to me. I don't see an appeal to authority per se in DesElms' post; I think the point he's making is that most folks who vote aren't as literate as they need to be about civil liberties issues, and I'm with him on that. We don't have a very well-informed electorate and, in a democracy, that can be a scary thing. That isn't an appeal to authority because (as far as I know) he isn't saying that the Republican position on civil liberties is necessarily wrong just because uninformed voters happen to arguably share a similar position; just that the issue needs to be brought to the forefront in a way that uninformed voters can understand, much as Ross Perot introduced us all to the dangers of federal deficits in 1992. Once the debate had dwindled down to tax and spend liberalism vs. tax-slashing Reaganomics, without any real deficit hawks in the race, Perot had a legitimate reason to run; I suspect one of the reasons he lost his mojo (and, arguably, his mind) was because Clinton brilliantly adopted the deficit as his own issue at about the same time Perot first dropped out. Stole his thunder and rode it all the way to November. Now every Democrat runs as a budget-balancer, and every Republican has to address the issue in some way as well, Reaganomics or no. I wish civil libertarianism was so universally accepted as a desirable thing.

  10. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I've only been arrested once. It was for selling copies of the Bill of Rights on a public street.

    The town where we lived passed a law banning street artists, under pressure from the boutique owners who sold expensive non-local art to the tourists. The law said nothing could be sold on the streeets -- but, to protect political rights, etc., any literature could be given away for free.

    On a busy Saturday morning, I set up a two tables on Main Street. One offered free copies of Hustler Magazine (to adults only, of course). The other was selling copies of the Bill of Rights for a nickel.

    The Sheriff came (by invitation, of course). Read me my rights. Made it clear (for the media in attendance) that my crime was selling the Bill of Rights. It was OK to give away Hustler.

    When it reached court, Judge Lamb dismissed charges because he said the law was unconstitutional.

    The Board of Supervisors passed a new law, permitting sale of printed matter, salmon, and firewood. (The special interests had been aroused.)

    I proposed to the street artists that they return to the streets, selling a poem for $25 or $50, giving away a free wood carving or painting with each poem, but they didn't want to take that risk.

    Democracy in action. I bet it was fun to be vigorously opposed to the lawful regime in 1775, and to think about ways to overthrow it. Now all we have to do is punch Chad on November 3rd.
  11. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    Who was the Sheriff at the time? Was this in Alameda County or another place?
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Mr. Engineer,

    I note that you are still ignoring my requests to prove that you were formerly a police officer, as you have claimed.

    Just to let you know, I'm not letting go of this. Every time you post on this website, I will ask you for confirmation that you used to be a police officer. Every single time.

    You can't ignore me for long.
  13. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Uh, oh. Now you've stepped in it, Mr. Engineer. Nothing pisses off a cop more than someone who claims to be a member of his fraternity...

    ...but who isn't. I'm not saying you're not... er... weren't, as you claim. But it's lookin' kinda' bad, to be candid.

    Moreover, Bruce's being a cop -- and, even more importantly, a cop seemingly hell-bent on getting to the bottom of your claim -- he's able to pretty much figure out who you are without breaking too much of a sweat. I'm not saying he'd take the time to actually do it. I'm saying all he'd need is an afternoon or two with nothing to do right about the same time he thinks back on how much you've pissed him off with this claim of having carried the badge, and next thing you know he's done the work without having really set out to do so. Cops is kinda' funny that way.

    And, of course, once he knows who you are, finding out if you were ever in law enforcement starts becoming a somewhat easier task. Again, I'm not suggesting he'd ever actually set out about doing such things; I'm just sayin' that if he were ever of a mind to, I'm guessing he'd soon be able to know with some degree of certainty what the truth is in fairly short order.

    So, Mr. Engineer, you might want to kinda' pull back and re-think your position a little; and figure out if there's some sort... oh... I dunno... some sort of PM exchange or something that you and Bruce could have that could more or less put an end to all this.

    Whatd'ya say?

    Just a suggestion.
  14. Hey! Don't go THAT far!!!

    But, in general I completely agree with your post.
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I have not posted here for some time, but I find it necessary to add my two cents:

    GOOD! Keep at it Bruce, there are too many goofballs on this board. People can claim anything they want, but only those with true authority can prove it.

    Police officer, banker, baker, Indian chief it does not matter if it seems important to the discussion someone will claim to have done it and to be an expert.

    I spent 9 months with Tampa PD until the Mayor let our entire cohort go because of the budget. Most went to an S.O. or another PD - a bad move on Tampa's part by losing FDLE certified LEOs they paid to train but good for the other agencies. I changed careers, it just wasn't for me at that time.

    So keep up the good work Bruce, and the other admins, while I may not post often I thouroughly enjoy the substantive commentary by a great number of the members of degreeinfo.


    Oh, if you want pay stubs and tax returns as proof I have them :)
  16. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Ag shame, Carl, you're right--no more quoting Mingus.
  17. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    I guess my question would be, even if I PMed my 411 to Bruce (something which I would never do because he has obviously showed his lack of maturity), how could he verify anything? Do you think there is a national database of former police personnel that he could access? No, and Bruce knows it. I may come up in NCIC, but unless Bruce could prove that he was involved in some sort of on-going investigation, to simply access it for his own personal pleasure is a crime. (something that he also knows).

    I've said enough. I believe it shows the character of some members of this board who circle around Bruce despite his unfounded and frankly spiteful statement that I am a liar. Bruce is the kind of cop that scares me. I have found that this is the type of cop who follows the blue line even when witnessing an obvious crime by a fellow officer, and the type who would probably lie about it under oath. Is this the type of man that you want protecting you? I wouldn't.

    I normally don't mention past jobs, but in this and a few other threads, I used it merely as a point of reference to show that all cops and all former military personnel don't think alike. They are as different as their are people in this great nation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2004
  18. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Very simple (if you were a cop, you'd know this).

    You send me your name, DOB, agency you worked for, and former ID number. I make a call to the agency, ask them if you're legit, and they'd fax me almost anything I wanted. That's one of the pitfalls of being a public employee....almost anything is fair game.

    Well, I noticed that you've never disputed it. If someone called me a liar, I'd be all over it in a second, yet you just rail on that it's spiteful. I haven't seen you dispute the truthfullness of my statement.

    Of course, you know nothing about me, other than you & I disagree politically, and I have apparently bagged you for lying. Based on that, you're going to make those outrageous allegations about me?

    I thought that the Liberals are the "compassionate" and "tolerant" ones?? :rolleyes:
  19. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Mr. Engineer, I "circle around Bruce" because I've dealt with him for over five years, online and once or twice by telephone. There's nothing here to indicate the kind of craven dishonesty you suggest; I don't know where that's coming from. With Bruce you're talking about a guy whose entire career has revolved around military service and police work. If that makes him a stickler for accurate credentials (be they degrees or veteran status or anything else), I can understand why.

    I don't agree with his politics, but then I'm a Mississippi boy, so I'm used to that. Generally speaking, I live by the Jorge Luis Borges principle that most people are more important than their opinions.

    And more than that: I do like most of your politics, but I really don't think you're a cop. The bit about not knowing how to check an officer's status is only the most recent example among many of cases where I knew something about the law enforcement community that you didn't. That's just silly.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2004
  20. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I'm a bit embarrassed that I let this thread get to where it is.

    I promised myself a few weeks ago that I wouldn't involve myself in controversial arguments, but sometimes I just can't resist.

    As an Administrator, I have to hold myself to a higher standard, and I will now once again strive for that.

    I'm closing this thread, but I want to make it clear that no one "won" the argument. I just don't see the point in continuing this.
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