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    Well, the whole process of terrorism is based on the typical heard reaction.
  2. Well said! i couldn't agree more...the herd mentality is one of the greatest dangers we face, IMO. Far worse than terrorism itself.
  3. Well said! I couldn't agree more. The herd mentality could do us in one day.
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    Oh I have been saying that for a long time. People don't seem to realize that their demanding for laws to protect us, many times strips us of rights, supposedly guaranteed to protect us from our govt being too strong and intrusive in our personal lives. I am not just talking about gun control, though that is my strongest objection, but allowing things like wiretapping by saying "they are not concerned with my conversation", we are shooting ourselves in the foot.
    Pessimistic or not, it's that lack of foresight that drives the demand for laws supposedly created to "protect" us. They have effectively created "the enemy" just by capitolizing on that fear. The examples the govt sets, by putting little subtext in laws allowing them skip due process by generating the slightest hint of panic sets a poor example to the people. It gives the people the impression that a state of uncertainty gives them the same permission to strip another individual, of their rights. We may not, yet have town square lynchings but think about how many times, in the past five years, Muslims have been kicked off planes for praying. With such little respect given to our own rights, how can we possibly respect the rights of others? I have seen a saying on this board, often, something about the dangers of group thinking. It escapes me right now, but absolutely fits the conversation. Do you know what I am talking about?
    I admitted that I stood corrected in the thread that sparked this conversation, but I just didn't see how similar, we live, and how real that possibility is, in these "enlightened" times.
  5. What frightened me (and still does) was not so much people's the support for the war (reasonable people could disagree on that), but rather how many people were perfectly happy to cancel our civil liberties for the mere illusion of safety. Not a great leap to imagine them taking to the street and lynching people just to feel better! But maybe I am needlessly pessimistic; I hope so.
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    And I totally agree with your opinion. They are, all three of them, extremists. All three use their authority to spread fear and intolerance. I also admit to being amongst the panicked. I was totally gung ho war and wasn't to selective over who we went to war with. It wasn't so much that I misunderstood what you were saying in the thread, I just didn't see it that way, but it's true; all it takes is a little jab at our comfort and we can be led right off a cliff.
  7. I am also on the fence about the death penalty. Although I know that, statistically, it doesn't do any good as a prevention (by far most murders are crimes of passion), it does keep that person from doing it again. On the other hand, a LOT of innocent people get convicted and it is a pretty final sentence, to say the least.

    But my main concern is that 9/11 showed me just how easily panicked our population can be...and panicked groups will do ANYTHING; all it takes is a "leader" willing to exploit that panic. That, combined with religious groups attempts to take over everything makes me very, Very nervous. I don't think Mullah Omar is all that far removed from Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

    Just my opinion.
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    As it turns out, I just watched a program, yesterday afternoon, about ancient torture practices. I learned that burning people at the stake, isn't as merciful as I thought it was, compared to other death sentences of the time. Fortunately, my only experience with electricution is accidentally touching the prongue as I am plugging something in; though it's a rather unpleasant feeling, it's far less severe than being strapped to the electric chair. As you and Salty brought to my attention, the act of execution in a society that claims to be so civil is a hypocricy, especially when looking down our nose at a far less educated society who, by comparison, take a similar path. A group gets together, decides this person is guilty, and then terminates their life in a slow, brutal, and extremely painful act.

    Though my stance on the death penalty is shakey, I see a big difference between our process and theirs. The don't require a condemning amount of evidence for an actual crime against another human being. They look at a person, deduce that they must be something that they don't like, regardless of whether or not this criminal has committed any real crime at all, and sentence them to death. We, in our evolving society only use the death penalty for extreme cases. I admit that all the pro arguments are logical fallacies, not one of them says much for the intelligence of humanity, but a suspects guilt, unlike their process, is not decided within the circle. A random jury is selected of average people, not higher ups in their dogmatic order. The people of the community decide the fate of a person who committed an actual crime.
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