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Old 07-08-2005, 10:19 PM   #421
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Yeah great, go after people that have a brown skin so you will drive moderate muslims into fundalism because they are treated as scum of the earth.

Sounds like succes story to me.
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:29 PM   #422
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Originally posted by speedracer
[B]
Enough to know that they're not identical.
Oh, please. Where did I say that they were identical? That was not the point of my comment anyway.

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Verbal accent, skin color, facial characteristics and information in identity documents carry a lot of information though.
That's true to a certain point, sure. However, it's far from being an entirely reliable form of evidence:

Accents can be faked/changed and vary according to many factors. I know plenty of grown adults who have picked up various accents to some degree, having moved around - I'm one of them. Skin colour means very little, and as a huge percentage of the global population is of mixed race/country of origin/heritage, the same applies to facial features. I pointed that out, at length, in 2 posts several pages ago - I note you chose to ignore that side of my argument. Identity documents? Yeah, right. Forgery is easy.

So, take a D- for that one, and try talking sense next time.

Next!
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:03 PM   #423
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Originally posted by sallycinnamon78


Oh, please. Where did I say that they were identical? That was not the point of my comment anyway.
It's the point I'm making though, and it's an important one. Fairness is always desirable, but it begs the question of what is fair. Equality is easier to define, but begs the question of whether it is always desirable.

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That's true to a certain point, sure. However, it's far from being an entirely reliable form of evidence:

Accents can be faked/changed and vary according to many factors. I know plenty of grown adults who have picked up various accents to some degree, having moved around - I'm one of them. Skin colour means very little, and as a huge percentage of the global population is of mixed race/country of origin/heritage, the same applies to facial features.
Again, no method of identifying these characteristics is completely foolproof. but I suspect that trained agents can do a much better job than you think. Furthermore, the Islamic terrorists who have attacked us in the past were much more homogeneous than the global population as a whole, so the bar is set quite a bit lower. It remains to be seen if al-Qaeda etc. can adapt by recruiting large numbers of people who wouldn't fit this profile.

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I pointed that out, at length, in 2 posts several pages ago - I note you chose to ignore that side of my argument.
I may have missed it the first time, but I did not willfully ignore it.

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Identity documents? Yeah, right. Forgery is easy.
Easy enough to outweigh the expense and the risk of getting caught? (I personally don't know.)

As I said before, El Al in Israel handles a lot of international traffic and has been extremely successful in preventing or dissuading terrorist attacks despite being an attractive and obvious target, and I think we'd do well to learn from them.

Heck, adopting a policy of paying close attention to males between the ages of 17-45 (of which I am one) without regard to ethnicity would be more effective than doing a completely blind and random search.
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Old 07-09-2005, 06:07 AM   #424
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Before we start accepting racial profiling as a necessity in fighting terrorism we need to consider to what extent it has been proven to be effective. It's easy to see why people might feel safer if every man of apparent middle-eastern origin was subject to additional security searches but in my opinion there is no objective evidence to suggest this would actually prevent terrorist attacks.

Take Thursday's events. People are not searched prior to boarding a tube train or a London bus and anyone who's travelled on London transport will tell you that it would be impossible to institute such a system. How then could racial profiling have prevented Thursday's atrocities?

Take the events of September 11th. Even if the hijackers had been searched by security is it without doubt that they would have been prevented from carrying the pocket knives with which they carried out the hijackings? After all, the strict regulations on carrying potential weapons on aeroplanes were only enforced in the aftermath of September 11th. Even with racial profiling is it certain that each and every one of the hijackers would have been searched?

Take the Madrid bombings. Individuals aren't routinely searched before boarding commuter trains so it's difficult to see how racial profiling could have prevented the bombers from carrying out their attacks.

How could racial profiling have prevented other recent terrorist attacks such as the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the bombings in Kenya, the attack on the USS Cole?

The simple fact is that most planned terrorist attacks are prevented not by security services at airports, stations or ports, but by intelligence agents who intervene while the attack is being planned. Given this fact it's difficult to argue that allowing security services to search people boarding trains or planes based on their appearance would make a significant contribution to reducing terrorist attacks.

I'm not opposed in principle to searching people belonging to a particular age group, ethnicity or religion more frequently. If those tactics were proven to be effective in preventing atrocities like those which occured on Thursday I'd happily support their introduction. However introducing a policy which serves only to make us feel safer without actually reducing the possibility of terrorist attacks is pointless and unjustified, particularly when there are legitimate reasons (as there certainly are in the case of racial profiling) to object to that policy.
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Old 07-09-2005, 06:59 AM   #425
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Originally posted by Mildred
Before we start accepting racial profiling as a necessity in fighting terrorism we need to consider to what extent it has been proven to be effective. It's easy to see why people might feel safer if every man of apparent middle-eastern origin was subject to additional security searches but in my opinion there is no objective evidence to suggest this would actually prevent terrorist attacks.
I've only suggested implementing these measures in airports. And certainly ethnic/national origin should not be the only factor considered.

Quote:

Take Thursday's events. People are not searched prior to boarding a tube train or a London bus and anyone who's travelled on London transport will tell you that it would be impossible to institute such a system. How then could racial profiling have prevented Thursday's atrocities?
I don't think any reasonable measures would have stopped Thursday's atrocities. The sad fact is that mass transit systems like buses and subways are sitting ducks. Nobody's going to ride them if there's a possibility that they're going to be searched for 15 minutes prior to boarding, as that rather defeats the purpose of riding a bus or subway.

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Take the events of September 11th. Even if the hijackers had been searched by security is it without doubt that they would have been prevented from carrying the pocket knives with which they carried out the hijackings?
They didn't use pocket knives. They used pretty substantial box cutters.

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After all, the strict regulations on carrying potential weapons on aeroplanes were only enforced in the aftermath of September 11th.
I don't really see the point of evaluating September 10th security measures. We now know a lot more about these people today than we did before. Specifically, we know that they're willing to kill and be killed in the course of their mission.

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Even with racial profiling is it certain that each and every one of the hijackers would have been searched?
Of course it would not be certain, unless you want to search and interrogate every single passenger. A reasonable goal is just to search enough passengers and to do so in an smart manner so that terrorists can either be picked out or dissuaded.

Quote:

Take the Madrid bombings. Individuals aren't routinely searched before boarding commuter trains so it's difficult to see how racial profiling could have prevented the bombers from carrying out their attacks.

How could racial profiling have prevented other recent terrorist attacks such as the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the bombings in Kenya, the attack on the USS Cole?
Again, the only point where these sort of measures really make sense is in airports, and perhaps seaports.

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The simple fact is that most planned terrorist attacks are prevented not by security services at airports, stations or ports, but by intelligence agents who intervene while the attack is being planned. Given this fact it's difficult to argue that allowing security services to search people boarding trains or planes based on their appearance would make a significant contribution to reducing terrorist attacks.
Source? (I'm not saying this to be combative; I'd geniunely like to see this sort of analysis by someone who's studied this stuff in depth.)

It's hard to get a handle on how effective these measures are, because we want to count not just the number of attacks that are stopped, but the number of attacks that terrorists decide isn't worth it to carry out. And we all know that it's really hard to count the latter without somebody throwing in a reference to Homer Simpson and the Springfield Bear Patrol.

Quote:

I'm not opposed in principle to searching people belonging to a particular age group, ethnicity or religion more frequently. If those tactics were proven to be effective in preventing atrocities like those which occured on Thursday I'd happily support their introduction. However introducing a policy which serves only to make us feel safer without actually reducing the possibility of terrorist attacks is pointless and unjustified, particularly when there are legitimate reasons (as there certainly are in the case of racial profiling) to object to that policy.
Well, I'd say this matter is probably not as clear as you or I or anyone else in this thread has tried to make it to be and deserves scrutiny. But thanks for your clear and calm post.
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Old 07-09-2005, 07:05 AM   #426
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Originally posted by martha
Now back to the argument already in progress:

So many of you are so willing to put your civil rights up on a shelf because "it might save a life."

You realize you'll never get them back, don't you? EVER.

I'm not willing to subject myself (or my darker-skinned brothers) to unConstitutional searches because some dipshit wants to blow me up. These searches don't turn up anything anyway. They offer the illusion of security while slowly our rights are eaten away and we roll over and take it.
Stirp away the rhetoric of civil rights and you realize that at the core this is a slippery-slope argument of indefinite steepness and unspecified mechanisms, right?
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Old 07-09-2005, 09:50 AM   #427
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Originally posted by speedracer
We do and should, but consider that there were nineteen guys involved in the 9/11 attacks, all of Middle Eastern descent. Plus a bunch of other guys involved in the 1993 WTC bombing. Plus a bunch of other plane hijackings in recent history.
Okay...? Again, if we insist on checking Middle Eastern people, fine, but then we check every other group, too, because there's people from all ethnicities and religions that are capable of this sort of thing. We should check white people of Timothy McVeigh's kind along with everyone else, yes...so why aren't we? You listed the terrorist acts committed by Middle Eastern people, well, on that same wavelength, Timothy McVeigh isn't the only white guy to commit a terrorist act. The guy who set the bomb off at the Atlanta Olympics was white. The Unabomber was white. And of course, there's those people who go around bombing abortion clinics...I don't doubt some of them are white. And so on and so forth. So we'd better get cracking then, eh?

to martha's post.

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Old 07-09-2005, 10:06 AM   #428
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I agree with you speedracer, although I seem to be the only one.

If it were the KKK causing all these problems, wouldn't it be rational to search white people more frequently? (not exclusively, but more frequently) Of course it's not foolproof, people's complexion can vary, etc, it's a general matter of searching people thought to be of Middle Eastern descent more frequently. My aunt is dark-skinned, she gets searched almost everytime. She's never been mistreated as you were sally, that's not right at all. My dad uses a CPAP machine to help him breathe at night, he's been interrogated a few times because it's sort of a strange looking device. As I think I mentioned before, my Muslim friend's father has been searched before. He understood the intent, got it over with, and went on with his day.

Look, we got attacked, we're at war with this group, most of them are Arab Muslims, and people within that demographic are going to be subject to searches at a more frequent rate. Tough shit. Being searched is not infringing upon anyone's civil rights and people that act like Al Queda is a racially and religiously diverse bunch are only kidding themselves.

I'll be the first to rail against the Patriot Act, and am one of the least racist people you'll ever meet, but some of this political correctness and tiptoeing is kind of ridiculous.
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Old 07-09-2005, 10:25 AM   #429
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But thanks for your clear and calm post.
It's incredibly easy to be 'calm' when, as you have said yourself, you have no experience of what you are talking about. I've questioned the foundation of your argument in detail and you've completely ignored several points I made.

How many times do I have to repeat myself until I'm blue in the face?

What I object most strongly too is the 'looking Middle Eastern' nonsense. That's indefinable as it is subjective, it's unworkable, and thoroughly flawed. You would have to introduce a policy based upon complete profiles of the 'features' of an entire race. That involves eliminating personal judgement on the part of security personnel worldwide to do so - that is never going to happen.

That's not 'political correctness'. It's common sense. Of course we need better security measures. I am certainly not arguing with that. It is not vaguely rational, logical, sensible or intelligent, to suggest that a policy based mainly upon individuals' perception of others racial background is anything but moronic.
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Old 07-09-2005, 12:08 PM   #430
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rono
Yeah great, go after people that have a brown skin so you will drive moderate muslims into fundalism because they are treated as scum of the earth.

Sounds like succes story to me.
anyone who is driven to mass murder because they were searched at the airport was probably not very moderate to begin with.
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Old 07-09-2005, 12:20 PM   #431
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer


We do and should, but consider that there were nineteen guys involved in the 9/11 attacks, all of Middle Eastern descent. Plus a bunch of other guys involved in the 1993 WTC bombing. Plus a bunch of other plane hijackings in recent history.
I wouldn't be surprised if they started to put up fronts using their European adherents. Then this would make no sense. Bombers and every other kind of kook could get in.
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Old 07-09-2005, 02:36 PM   #432
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Quote:
Originally posted by sallycinnamon78

How many times do I have to repeat myself until I'm blue in the face?



That might make getting on an airplane easier for you actually.
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Old 07-09-2005, 02:39 PM   #433
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speedracer. you keep mentioning El Al as you wonderful role model for searches. Let's take a moment and think about why Israel's airline has to be so fucking paranoid.


...................




That's right! Relentless persecution of a minority!!!

Is that starting to sound like a familiar vicious circle?
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Old 07-09-2005, 02:44 PM   #434
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I just found out this evening that my parents' next door neighbours sons school friend lost her Mum and Dad to one of the attacks She will be about 17 or 18 I guess
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Old 07-09-2005, 02:45 PM   #435
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Originally posted by VertigoGal

Look, we got attacked, we're at war with this group, most of them are Arab Muslims, and people within that demographic are going to be subject to searches at a more frequent rate. Tough shit.
You really would sing a different song if young teenage girls were the group we were "at war" with and you were searched all the time.

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Originally posted by VertigoGal

Being searched is not infringing upon anyone's civil rights
You need to go back and repeat your civics class. Don't tell your teacher this one.

Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal

I'll be the first to rail against the Patriot Act, and am one of the least racist people you'll ever meet, but some of this political correctness and tiptoeing is kind of ridiculous.
Actually, it sounds like you might love the Patriot Act once you really read and understand it. Or don't you like it because it affects you, rather than some nameless "Arab Muslim"? As for your claim of "least racist," you haven't proven that one yet.
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