[IP] Your people are growing increasingly worried about a

Brad Templeton btm at templetons.com
Thu Aug 5 05:47:16 PDT 2004

'police state.' For such an educated audience,

>Subj: Your people are growing increasingly worried about a 'police
>For such an educated audience, they seem to lack any sense of
>proportion, a sense of history or an > awareness of human nature.

Indeed, as you cite, there are many police states and history is
littered with ones that have risen and fallen as well.

Each time a police state rose, there were those who cried that a police
state was coming and were called paranoid.   There were those who
actively assisted the police state in coming, seeking the security it
promised.  There were those who assisted the police state in coming,
not wanting one, but feeling those who called out the warnings were
paranoid.  There were those who said and did nothing.

Free states are the abberation in the history of mankind.  Police states
(for the level of technology of the day) the norm.

So perhaps when Mr. Ashcroft erodes civil rights, you can make a valid
claim that it introduces only a very slight risk of a police state, or
is only the start of a trend.

How much risk is enough?  If events only presented a 1% chance of
taking the path to a police state, would you want to tolerate it?

Would you find it acceptable to teeter on the edge of a police state,
because you were still on the free side of the line?

Often, in the defence of free speech, we find ourselves defending people
expressing ideas we loathe.   Nazis, pedophiles and other scum.  We
do it not because we welcome a world full of their messages, but because
we know that if the Holocaust deniers can publish, we are _really,
sure that we can publish.  It's not paranoia.

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