Why I Love Democracy and Freedom

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Why I Love Democracy and Freedom

Postby ryguy » Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:09 pm

I was also going to title this thread: Justification for the Right of Citizens to Bear Arms

Myanmar: Nine dead in crackdown (9/27/2007)

YANGON, Myanmar (CNN) -- Nine people have been killed in a crackdown on anti-government protests in Myanmar, after attempts to clear demonstrators from the streets of Yangon on Thursday, authorities say.

Myanmar soldiers carrying automatic weapons take up positions Thursday in downtown Yangon.

The dead include eight protesters and a Japanese man, Myanmar authorities said, adding that another 11 protesters were injured.

An American witness told CNN soldiers waded into a crowd of protesters in Myanmar and beat several of them mercilessly, at least one of them to death

"All of a sudden, the police and military guys started coming toward the crowd, and all of a sudden started beating them and running after them," said the woman, who witnessed the incident from atop a nearby building.

"And in one corner they got around, maybe, five or seven people, and they started beating them so bad for almost five minutes, and then they took them and put them in trucks.

"And there was this one guy, laying down on the floor, and he was dead. And then these same police came a few minutes later and picked him up and took him to the police station."

Red-robed Buddhist monks who had led several days of marches were largely absent from the streets Thursday after soldiers raided monasteries the night before. Monks reportedly were beaten and taken into custody or confined to the monasteries.

"This morning, around noon, we went around the city and we saw that most of the monasteries were locked and we saw some of the monks inside," the American witness said. "So the government is keeping them locked because they don't want them to go out and protest anymore."

She said the soldiers used batons, rifle butts and riot shields to beat the protesters.

"It was a crowd of, I would say, around 2,000 people, between 2,000 and 3,000 people today, and they ... put 10 monks in front of them as a human shield. But the police didn't care. They just came and started even beating the monks," she said.

Streets that had been jammed with as many as 100,000 protesters were deserted by 6 p.m. after the violent crackdown, the witness said.

"Right now it's a ghost town. I mean, nobody's outside. Everybody is so afraid," she said.

"Please, these people need help," the woman said. "It's inhumane what's happening here."

At least 10 people were shot throughout Yangon, said Aung Zaw, editor in chief of the opposition Web site Irrawaddy.org.

CNN could not independently confirm the report.

Gunfire broke out when troops confronted thousands of demonstrators who had marched from Yangon's center to its eastern Tamwe township on Thursday afternoon, Irrawaddy.org reported.

The demonstrators had marched to eastern Yangon from the city center. Two separate forces of troops sealed the huge crowds off and then opened fire, the report said.

A Japanese journalist was among those shot and killed Thursday, the Japanese Foreign Ministry and the man's employer told CNN.

An executive with news agency APF said Kenji Nagai, 50, was in a crowd of protesters when he was shot. His body was carried to a hospital, where a Japanese consular official confirmed his identity, said the executive, who got his information from the Foreign Ministry.

China quietly prods Myanmar leaders to calm tensions
U.N. envoy to Myanmar urged to meet junta
Nagai, an independent video journalist under contract with APF, had entered the country Tuesday to cover the protests, the APF executive said.

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said "something deplorable is happening" and "we have to think about what we should do to resolve the situation," according to a report issued by the Kyodo news agency.

"We're trying to check sources...but we're getting lots of information about disturbing news of what's happening in Rangoon (Yangon) today," Aye Chan Naing, chief editor of the Democratic Voice of Burma (Myanmar), told CNN through his office in Oslo, Norway.

"It seems to be the most violent day throughout the demonstrations," which unfolded in mid-August in response to higher gas prices.

Witnesses told CNN's Dan Rivers that security forces were firing warning shots and tear gas near two major pagodas in Yangon's city center.

Earlier, thousands of anti-government protesters in the country's biggest city were dispersing as military trucks filled with soldiers rolled through the streets shouting through megaphones, Johan Hallenborg, a Swedish embassy official in Yangon told CNN on Thursday.

In a risky phone call to CNN from the heart of the protests, a Myanmar citizen who asked not to be named for security reasons described a deteriorating scene in the streets.

"People are shot and they are running. The soldiers shoot the people...some people are walking on the street and shouting," she said, adding she witnessed government troops shooting a man.

"No one can help us. We have no weapons," she said over a bad connection. The military junta "have weapons and they are doing what they want. We have no rights."

She appealed to the international community for help.

"We don't want that kind of government. Who can help us? Who can help us? I want (United Nations) or many nations to help us," she said before the line cut out.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu urged the government of Myanmar to show restraint in dealing with the protesters.

"China has paid great attention to the situation in Myanmar and we hope that all concerned parties of Myanmar show restraint and properly handle the current issue," she said Thursday, according China's Xinhua news agency.

The military sweep through the heart of the city came after overnight raids on Buddhist monasteries in which hundreds of monks were reportedly arrested, and a day after security forces forcefully cracked down on thousands of demonstrators gathered in the streets.

Since last week, thousands of monks, barefoot and dressed in red robes, have taken to the streets of Yangon, the country's largest city, with few incidents. However, on Wednesday the security forces used firepower for the first time against street protests that have brewed over the past month into the biggest demonstrations against Myanmar's military rulers since 1988.

The Associated Press reported family members as saying that earlier Thursday, security forces arrested Myint Thein, the spokesman for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's political party.

Overnight, the country's military regime raided at least three Buddhist monasteries in Yangon, "breaking their way in and beating and arresting at least 600 monks," witnesses said, according to an opposition-issued report on the Web site, www.irrawaddy.com.

CNN cannot independently confirm the report.

According to the government, security officials were provoked into violence after their attempts to peacefully disperse the crowd failed.

"The crowd mobbed the security forces in crescendo, throwing stones and sticks at them and using catapults," the report said. After attempting to persuade the crowd "not to use violence against them and to disperse peacefully," the protesters "refused to obey" and "raided the security forces" for a second time.

Monks in the predominately Buddhist country are highly respected. If they are mistreated, it could spark a major backlash against the military junta. Conversely, if the junta backs down and is seen as weak, it may heighten the tension by emboldening dissenters.

The situation in the country is precarious. International leaders have been anxiously monitoring the secretive Asian nation. The latest uptick of violence in Myanmar -- a country where human rights concerns have quietly emerged as an international issue -- has garnered worldwide concern.

In addition, there has been growing concern that citizens may flee to neighboring countries India, Thailand and China in fear of increased violence, said Aung Zaw, editor-in-chief of Irrawaddy -- a Burmese exile magazine based in Thailand.


"In Thailand, particularly, there are several checkpoints that have been closed down because of fear of a crackdown in Burma," he said.

In Myanmar, Brig. Gen. Thura Myint Maung has said if the protests don't end, the army would be forced to act according to its own regulations. Maung -- who says the monks make up only two percent of the country's populace -- has asked senior monks to rein in the protests that have gripped the country.
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Postby Access Denied » Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:58 am

Ah yes, the “backup clause” to our system of checks and balances. :)

[Translation: If you want to take away my freedom you’ll have to pry it out of my cold dead hands!] 8)

As further testament to the wisdom of our forefathers…

Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional
Provisions allow search warrants issued without probable cause, she says
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20999950/

Updated: 5:40 a.m. PT Sept 27, 2007

PORTLAND, Ore. - Two provisions of the USA Patriot Act are unconstitutional because they allow search warrants to be issued without a showing of probable cause, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended by the Patriot Act, "now permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment."

Portland attorney Brandon Mayfield sought the ruling in a lawsuit against the federal government after he was mistakenly linked by the FBI to the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people in 2004.

The federal government apologized and settled part of the lawsuit for $2 million after admitting a fingerprint was misread. But as part of the settlement, Mayfield retained the right to challenge parts of the Patriot Act, which greatly expanded the authority of law enforcers to investigate suspected acts of terrorism.

Mayfield claimed that secret searches of his house and office under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act violated the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure. Aiken agreed with Mayfield, repeatedly criticizing the government.

"For over 200 years, this Nation has adhered to the rule of law — with unparalleled success. A shift to a Nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised," she wrote.

As long as there’s human error and greed our system of government will never be perfect but more often than not it eventually seems to work the way it ought to… I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

Sadly though I fear there are far too many here now (e.g.. illegal immigrants) who don't appreciate the fundamental principals this nation was built on (e.g. the true meaning of “We hold these truths to be self evident…”) and how hard our forefathers fought to make it this way and why.

[sigh]

AD
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Postby I.P.Freely » Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:37 am

your so right AD if I had my way we would do to those illegals what we did to the natives when we took their land.
"You can either trust people or not. I choose to trust what people say and sometimes I get lied to. If I were to trust no one I would never hear the truth." - James (IPF) Martell
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Postby Access Denied » Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:51 am

Some stuff for you to ponder IPF…

Image
Territories in the Americas colonized or claimed by a European great power in 1750.

[Translation: Who would you suggest we pin this one on?]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_c ... e_Americas

The number of deaths caused by European-indigenous warfare has proven difficult to determine. In his book The Wild Frontier: Atrocities during the American-Indian War from Jamestown Colony to Wounded Knee, amateur historian William M. Osborn sought to tally every recorded atrocity in the area that would eventually become the continental United States, from first contact (1511) to the closing of the frontier (1890), and determined that 9,156 people died from atrocities perpetrated by Native Americans, and 7,193 people died from those perpetrated by Europeans. Osborn defines an atrocity as the murder, torture, or mutilation of civilians, the wounded, and prisoners.

[Translation: Why can’t we all just get along?]

Of course the real tragedy is an estimated 95% of the indigenous population of the Americas (North and South) were wiped out by disease brought by the Europeans… if wasn’t for that who knows… perhaps things would have turned out differently.

[Translation: Sh*t happens and/or Survival of the fittest.]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Ame ... ted_States

Current status

There are 561 federally recognized tribal governments in the United States. These tribes possess the right to form their own government, to enforce laws (both civil and criminal), to tax, to establish membership, to license and regulate activities, to zone and to exclude persons from tribal territories. Limitations on tribal powers of self-government include the same limitations applicable to states; for example, neither tribes nor states have the power to make war, engage in foreign relations, or coin money (this includes paper currency).

[Translation: It’s better than nothing.]

So tell us IPF, what do you in your infinite wisdom propose we do about the illegal immigrant situation? Make them all legal (and anybody else that wants to come here) and then tax the sh*t out of them (how about taking 30% of their already low unskilled labor pay for starters) so they can start paying their fair share of their own (and the rest of their extended family) medical expenses, the cost of police and fire protection and other government services like the military and welfare programs, infrastructure costs (roads, bridges, waterways etc.) etc. etc. etc. like the rest of us???

[Translation: Anything’s possible to the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.]

:roll:
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Postby I.P.Freely » Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:59 pm

I say take over mexico should be easy enough.
"You can either trust people or not. I choose to trust what people say and sometimes I get lied to. If I were to trust no one I would never hear the truth." - James (IPF) Martell
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