Since Dec 20, 2002
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the publics money.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
William Pitt, 1783
You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence. Attributed to Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948)
The Totalitarian Dream of a World Without Risk by Lee McCracken
Not only has increased government intervention in our lives failed to create a risk-free world, in many cases it has only exacerbated the problem. The thought that government will look after them has made too many people willing to give up on looking after themselves. People are tempted to use government to shift the costs of their own actions onto others, resulting in an increasingly irresponsible populace, and a riskier world. If someone else is picking up the tab, why not order the steak? When people are forced to bear the costs of their own behavior themselves, they tend to make more rational choices, which actually does result in a less risky world. The attempt to use government to stamp out risk is like dousing a fire with oil.
But the strongest argument against the omnipotent Nanny State is that it leads logically to totalitarianism. The only way to completely eliminate risk would be total control of every aspect of life. After all, virtually anything we do in any area of our lives could involve some potential risk, either to ourselves or to others. Eliminating all such risk would require surveillance and regulation beyond the dreams of all the tyrants in history. After all, this kind of control is for our own good. --Lee McCracken
"Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." General John Stark
"if we change our society because of what some lunatics do to us, then the lunatics win. The object of a terrorist is to create political change in the society that he targets, if we change the terrorist wins... if we keep to our principles and we remember that we are the United States of America, we win." Tom Clancy
"I believe privacy is a fundamental right, and that every American should have absolute control over his or her personal information."
October 2000, Before Election, George Bush.
Interesting trivia about Denzel Washington, and his support of our service members
Let's see, where do I start. I was in the USAF for several years, got out in the 90s during Clinton's time and went into the private sector (can't complain) working with computers (networking and security to be precise). I read FR off and on back in the late 90s when it looked like This. However, I spent the latter part of of '98 through '02 overseas and my internet access oustide of work was metered so I didn't do much web browsing in my free time (could get expensive). I was a Republican, was for the majority of my adult life. These days I feel like the RINOs are steering the party in the wrong direction
I feel old at times when I get on various forums, because I've been debating the same things on and off on the internet (usenet) and on various BBSes since the '80s and the time of Reagan (when all was well). For the younger crowd - BBS = Bulletin Board Systems, you would use your slow modem to call somebody else's slow modem to discuss whatever with other people using a text interface (with ANSI), which could be agonizing at times since only one or two people could be on at a time - unless you knew of a BBS run by a sadist with more than two phone lines. Usenet = semi-controlled anarchy in the form of various "newsgroups" that were usually very limited in scope/topic. Even in the "moderated" groups, you would see flame wars and trolls that would singe the ears of a few people on FR (although I'd be willing to bet quite a few of you participated in those same flame wars as did I). Usenet has grown and grown and grown and I've been quite surprised at times, however I rmember when it first started out, and the foundation it was built on, and it has stayed simple and therefore stable (if only Operating Systems were that way). If only the spam would disappear.
If your curious about usenet, I recommend browsing it through groups.google.com (which used to be dejanews) as they filter out the majority of the spam (although not the language or flames) and you can do great searches across many groups.
Places like Free Republic grew out of usenet and the BBSes, and it's a logical evolution/offshoot/whatever. BBSes were very limited in many ways, and usenet these days - I would not allow my kids to go browsing through there these days. At least in the old days trolls would put some effort into their posts, these days, their posts consist of "your a Republican, you ****" or "you don't give a **** about the environment" (which, actually I do, I am an avid fisherman and hunter and I probably see more of the environment and do more, than the tree-huggers, but if I mention that, then I get the response of "you animal killer" and the like).
I'm not going to talk specifics about my job in the Air Force, nor my current job consulting these days for various reasons including the fact that anybody and everybody can read FR. I might talk a little bit about it in private or in person, but that's it.
Enough of me being an old computer fart. If your curious, I do much of my personal and business use on Macs. Some of you know my email address is af_vet_rr @ hotmail and I've gotten many messages through there. Keep in mind that it's a throw-away account and I don't pay much attention to it. You can send me FReepmail and that would get my attention quicker.