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We ought to ban all head cases.
That might take some doing. There are a lot of them.
It is amazing how quickly a simple piece of wearing apparel can assume mythical meaning from a single event. Hoodies were relatively meaningless until the Trayvon Martin tragedy.
Perhaps our contemporary way of thinking is not so different from that of people living in simpler times after all.
Well, with modern technology, I think we could make the rules match their intent.
How about this set:
(1) it is against the law to wear headgear which makes it impossible for mediocre facial-recognition software to recognize someone.
(1a) except on certain events — to be decided …
(1b) except on your own property where you can wear it to your heart’s content
Of course they would have to be tweeked up a bit, but that is why you have divided legislatures in most countries.
So that we can find people who blow up bombs in public. Perhaps you asked this at a bad time David, or maybe not. If the Boston guys and others in that crowd were allowed to run around with faces covered, we would never find them. People’s laws vary depending on how threatened they are — when people feel safe, the loosen up.
Sabio, the issue is how much of our personal freedom are we willing to sacrifice to gain a greater measure of public security. There is no way to insure absolute public security. If an individual is willing to sacrifice his or her life to make a statement the chances of preventing a successful terrorist act are greatly decreased in spite of how draconian our security measures have become.
I am for taking REASONABLE precautions, but some of the post-9/11 measures seem to me to be bordering on the neurotic and they have definitely deminished our quality of life. The point at which the diminshed quality of life has become intolerable differs from person to person. That is why “homeland security” is such a divisive issue. The challenges to the public security issue are more psychological than technological.
Let’s examine your argument:
(1) Yes, it is the generic personal-freedom vs public safety(PS) issue. That is of course what I am saying.
(2) Yes, of course there is not way to secure absolute PS
(3) Yes, people willing to sacrifice their lives are more dangerous than those who aren’t.
BUT you imply
(4) “in spite of draconian security measures”, bad stuff still happens”
and of course that is true.
But to imply that therefore draconian measures are not useful is a mistake and to label something as ‘draconian’ is already begging the question. For in the next paragraph you want to scream that my measures are unreasonable and you know exactly what reasonable and non-draconian are.
Strong measures will not stop some attempts, but they will stop more than the weaker measures. And indeed, it is an challenge to decide where to draw the line.
I say “No covering your face in public” is a non-draconian, reasonable, sane, helpful measure. And if it offends someone’s religious sensibilities, screw ’em. [PS — I lived in South Asia for 2 years where people I personally knew dressed in public all covered up. My homestay Muslim “mother” did the same but took off the costume in our house. Just to let you know some of my personal background]
I specifically did not make a difinitive statement on what is unreasonably “draconian” and what isn’t. I merely stated that some some measures make me psychologically uncomfortable by the extent to which they curtail personal freedom of choice.
I am more than willing to admit that my experience of “draconian measures” my is not universal. There are some who would tolerate far less than I in the interest of public safety. I would like to have seen legislation extending the requirements for background checks to gun shows and private sales, for example. There are others posting on this blog who might consider that a “draconian measure.”
My objection to legislation that restricts the personal choice of head-coverings has nothing to do with “religious sensibilities” and everything to do with the limitation of personal freedom of choice. I wish you would get over projecting your assumptions about perspectives and motivations onto other people.
I wonder if the *Bishop* finds your “screw ’em” less offensive than Gary’s “fuck you.” Just an idle curiosity, no insult intended to anyone. I have been known to utter both terms under distressing circumstances.