I agree with you, clem.
But, since I never was a big fan of passivism, allow me to refute a few of Scorp's claims (just to set the record straight):
Scorp123 wrote:France? Germany? Don't be ridiculous. Laughing
Europe in general is far (!!!) from being even in the same ballpark like communist China, where people face the firing squad just because they opened their mouth. Rolling Eyes
Unless I'm missing something here I don't have the impression right now that you're "well informed", my dear Very Happy
And as for freedoms: Can you walk in your street and drink beer although you're only 16 and not 21? We can. When we turn 16 we can buy ourselves beer if we want. Real beer like Heineken, Amstel, Tuborg, Hoegaarden, Franziskaner, with real 3% to 8% of alcohol in them. Don't like beer? Fine, take a Vodka then. Or one of those Baccardi or Smirnoff mixtures you can buy here in every ordinary supermarket. Do you have to "brown-bag" your alcoholic beverage? We don't. And we don't have more alcoholism or alcohol abusers here than other similarly developed countries.
Can you vote with 18? We can. For with 18 we are considered fully adult ... and not only with 21 like you people Wink ... How many political parties do you have that you can choose from? Two: Republicans and Democrats; maybe independent candidates here and there, but that's it. We don't have limits regarding the number of parties that may or may not exist. Heck, you can even vote for the communists if you feel like it. Or the socialists. Or the populist right-wing parties. Vote as you wish.
Can you walk down a street while smoking a joint without being at risk that the police will drag you in prison? We can.
Do you think that any politician or official in the USA will face any consequences for collecting all that data you mentioned in your previous post? Here they would. Something like the "Patriot Act" where your own police spy on the ordinary citizen without search warrant is simply impossible here and if anything like that were to become known it would cost someone's political career.
Do you face jail and extreme monetary fines way out of any proportion if you are caught owning illegal copies of copyrighted material? Yes you do. Thanks to the "DMCA - Digital Millennium Copyright Act". I don't. I can copy what I want, for as long as I make no monetary profit of that it is not considered "piracy". I can walk down the street and brag with my MP3 collection and hold it under the nose of a police officer ... The biggest risk for me would be that he too wants a few copies of some favourite songs. No monetary fines, no jail time. Please try that in the USA ... Laughing Laughing Laughing
Nope my dear, you are not free at the moment, thanks to Bush and his minions and their bizarre creations such as the "Patriot Act" and the soon to be introduced update to the DMCA (250'000 dollars monetary fine + 10 years of jail time if they catch you copying stuff ...). As a fact: you are not really free right now.
BTW, Having your own secret services spy on you without legal ground (= "Patriot Act") is pretty far away from the concept of freedom as I understand it; and sadly: This totally is in the same ballpark like China!
Windows is a pile of sh** and it deserves to be bashed. Sorry about that, but Windows and Microsoft products in general do absolutely nothing for me. The overall design is totally flawed in my professional opinion as IT admin and Windows as OS is per design bound to get seriously broken at some point ... which is totally braindead. Why do you design an OS that will break so easily if you give it some serious workload? Why is it so easy to get around all those pathetic security measures? Why are so many unwanted and undesirable network services running? Why are those services running under the "administrator" account and with full priviledges? Why aren't they turning those idiotic services off -- per default?? Heck no: Instead they ship that idiotic excuse of a firewall that wouldn't be needed in the first place if Windows had a sane design and those stupid services were turned off! Sorry, but I can't help but bash Windows. It's total crapware. And that after so many years of development Vista is the best they could come up with ... oh please. Rolling Eyes
The newest funny thing I heard about the upcomming "Windows Server 2008" is that they want to create a "Core Server Version" that won't have a built-in GUI but be "command line only". LOL. No thanks Microsoft, nice try though ... Wink
I am not bashing America, and I am not bashing you. Keep cool, chill out. It's just my observation that since beginning of the Bush era you people have gone on a weird path that ultimately had to lead to the war in Iraq, to the de facto invasion of Afghanistan, to the "Patriot Act", and many other absurdities. Instead of solving the problems e.g. in the Middle East which lead to the 9-11 attacks in the first place, Bush isn't helping at all in this question but instead made even more enemies ... And now they are all looking for an "exit strategy" ?? Rolling Eyes Maybe it would have been intelligent not to get involved in a war in the first place? Wink
And as for "bashing" you: Nope. I am just trying to open your eyes a little. You should travel more I guess. Or maybe go and work and/or study abroad for a year or so. It broadens the horizon and adds new perspectives
First of all, it is a widely-believed misconception that we can't legally consume alcohol untill 21. There are only limits placed on the Purchasing and Public Posession of Alcohol. "Public Posession", though, does not apply "In private clubs or establishments" or "In the course of lawful employment by a duly licensed manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer.â€
IIRC, only One state requires that Alcohol be brought out of the store in an opaque bag.
We can vote when 18.
We have a number of Political Parties, including a Socialist party, Numerous Independent Parties, a Communist/Workers party
, and even an American **** Party! (They don't see many offices) The only reason there are two main parties is that they are two well-defined ends to the political spectrum, meaning that most citizens' political beliefs (with the exception of a few) are personified by one of the two parties.
No, we can't walk down the street with a joint and not get prosecuted (well, depending on who you know....), because it is a widely regarded theory that Marijuana is whats known as a "Gateway Drug". When users become Tired of the high they get from Marijuana, they move on to other, more clandestine contraband such as cocaine, heroine, and Methamphetamines.
I am in no way, shape, form, or fashion in support of the Patriot act.
That being said:
Only Elecronic data is recorded (emails and Phone calls), and only from and to citizens that are on what is known as a "Red-List". To get on this "Red-List", one usually has to display the potential of being a threat. This includes searching Google for Certain Keywords that may indicate dangerous intent (e.g. "Anarchist Cookbook", "IED", "Binary Explosives", etc.), Purchasing one of Barnes&Noble's Red-Listed books (usually stuff like Biographies of Terror cell leaders, extremist literature, etc.), and the like. (these things do, however, require repeated instances. i.e. Supppose I buy The Quran, The Anarchist's Cookbook, and a book on the Kennedy assassination, then search google for the words "Home-Made supressors" and "Dirty Bomb"...)
"Black bag searches", however, are not exclusive to the U.S. They have been carried out by almost Every Country at some point or another.
I have a large Mp3 collection as well (as does my Brother, who is a police Officer). Regulations are only for Profit-yielding Piracy operations. (As an afterthought, It's prefectly legitimate to download mp3s that are hosted on public HTTP servers for display. No Monetary Fines, no Jail time.) I had a friend though, who was selling copied CDs, He got a Legal Beatdown by the MPAA.
Since the Beginning of the Bush Era, We haven't changed. Our President never was the Brightest-Tack-in-the-Knife drawer, if you get my meaning.
Everybody's concept of "Free" is flawed. Like Clem said. It's hard (if not Damn-Near impossible) to quantify.
Clem: The market doesn't have a hold on anyone's freedom, It just has a hold on their mindset: If you go into a computer store and se nothing but windows, what are you going to think? Computers = Windows.
...and Windows = Trash.
Nothing Personal, Scorp. I just can't stand to see a great argument go to waste
again, sorry for trolling.