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Taking Care of Business
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 05:53 AM   #16
Inner Circle
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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Since they aren't the police, are you obligated to give them any information?
Well, they could just cry "national security" and make an arrest on the spot. Mess up someone's day and hold them in jail until it gets cleared up. Then set the innocent photographer loose hours later without so much as an apology.

If they continued to make a fuss -- and they were because the MP's came out, too -- I would have called 911 and had the real cops come out. At least I know people there. Eventually the base security decided I was harmless and backed off.

As Adam points out, American citizens have a set of rights that were spelled out centuries ago. The Declaration of Independence openly states that these rights are supposed to be obvious, or "self-evident". The rights described in the Bill of Rights and its amendments are afforded equally to everyone and should never be abridged for the sake of current conditions. And above all, that any government derives its authority from the will of the people.

The framers of the constitution and the rest of these cornerstone documents insisted upon these rights specifically to prevent tyrannical rule, whether by an individual or a bureaucracy.

Since then, American history has recorded instances where our country has fouled things up by toying with these rights. One good example is "executive order 9066" where Japanese Americans were rounded up into concentration camps at the start of WWII. Thousands of lives and legitimate businesses were ruined for the sake of national security. Civil rights were set aside and only decades later did anyone admit a terrible mistake was made.

Taking away constitutional rights under the veil of national security has never been a good idea. And it has never stood the test of time.

Now the government wants to have the freedom to examine everyone's email at will. To tap phones without warrants. And incarcerate people indefinitely while torturing them in foreign prison cells for the sake of national security. There are people out there who desperately want to restrict someone's rights to protect a country that is supposed to represent individual freedom. Does that make any sense?

Civil and constitutional rights don't disappear overnight. They're often chipped away in little bits. A restriction here. A limitation there. Grain by grain it gets eroded away until the sun rises one morning and a huge chasam lay where freedom once stood.

That erosion starts with the government telling photographers what they can and can't shoot in public. That means that all the law-abiding, well-meaning innocent ones like us can't point our cameras in certain directions. But does it really prevent terrorists from using micro cameras and recorders to get the pictures and videos they need to plan an attack? Of course not. But that same set of rules will keep legitimate people from making an honest living -- or even pursuing a harmless hobby.

Consider this: Today the TSA can go through your bags at will, confiscate your screwdrivers and spare batteries from your hand-carry, carelessly repack or even steal expensive equipment from your luggage. And when you end up on the other end with damaged or missing gear and tools, do you have any recourse? Of course not. It's all in the name of national security. And you're a suspect unless you can prove otherwise.
Dean Sensui
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 08:21 AM   #17
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"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."

Justice William O Douglas

AND the subject matter of our award winning 35mm short, now in pre-production for feature work. See http://www.aftertwilightfilm.com/ and http://nu-classicfilms.com/
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 09:21 AM   #18
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I think everyone has had an adequate chance to express their opinion on this topic now. While this is an important issue, DVinfo policy forbids political discussion so this thread has been closed.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 11:18 AM   #19
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On a final note, obviously these are *very* important issues to all of us. However there's no faster way to break up an online community than to delve into politics. That's why this thread has been closed (left in place but definitely closed). Thanks all,

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