OT: Celebrity advice (was: Advice to a Junior in High School?)

Discussion in 'Python' started by Gerrit Holl, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Gerrit Holl

    Gerrit Holl Guest

    Terry Reedy wrote:
    > " Every political choice ultimately reduces to a choice about when and
    > how to use lethal force, because the threat of lethal force is what
    > makes politics and law more than a game out of which anyone could opt
    > at any time."
    >
    > Do you disagree?


    Yes.

    Maybe a government needs to use violence to enforce people getting
    into prison if they refuse to obey the law. But a prison is not
    lethal (at least, not in civilized regions like those in Europe
    and some parts of the USA).

    If a community decides to build a road, it has nothing to do with
    lethal force. Nor does it to strengthen the dikes, or cut taxes,
    or even create more strict gun laws. This statement by ESR is
    absolute nonsense.

    > Or are you one who doesn't the 'people' to notice the
    > elitist hypocrisy of being 'anti-gun' while supporting the bearing
    > *and use* of guns by 'govern-men' the elitists hope to control?


    I am against all violence. But because we don't live in Utopia, the
    government sometimes needs to use violence to enforce the law. The
    difference is that, in civilized countries, the law is (mostly)
    democratic and (for a large part) fair. Government violence is
    something absolutely different from person-violence (I don't know
    how "eigen rechter spelen" is called in English).

    > (I think it safe to say that during the 20th century, 99% of the 100s of
    > millions of murders were committed by armed govern-men rather than by
    > private persons acting alone.)


    That is probably true. But do you seriously think that the Dutch, Swiss,
    American or Japanese government can be compared with those of Hitler, Stalin,
    Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, etc.? Weapons in hands of idiots can
    cause dozens of deaths. Power in hands of idiots can cause millions of deaths.
    Does the latter mean the former isn't true?

    Gerrit (socialist).

    --
    168. If a man wish to put his son out of his house, and declare before
    the judge: "I want to put my son out," then the judge shall examine into
    his reasons. If the son be guilty of no great fault, for which he can be
    rightfully put out, the father shall not put him out.
    -- 1780 BC, Hammurabi, Code of Law
    --
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    Gerrit Holl, Aug 27, 2003
    #1
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  2. Gerrit Holl

    Peter Hansen Guest

    Gerrit Holl wrote:
    >
    > Terry Reedy wrote:
    > > " Every political choice ultimately reduces to a choice about when and
    > > how to use lethal force, because the threat of lethal force is what
    > > makes politics and law more than a game out of which anyone could opt
    > > at any time."
    > >
    > > Do you disagree?

    >
    > Yes.
    >
    > Maybe a government needs to use violence to enforce people getting
    > into prison if they refuse to obey the law. But a prison is not
    > lethal (at least, not in civilized regions like those in Europe
    > and some parts of the USA).


    But if you refuse to go to prison, things get lethal pretty quickly.
    That's what "ultimately" refers to above.

    > If a community decides to build a road, it has nothing to do with
    > lethal force. Nor does it to strengthen the dikes, or cut taxes,
    > or even create more strict gun laws. This statement by ESR is
    > absolute nonsense.


    I thought about that statement carefully when I read it, and at first
    it does sound ludicrous. Imagine, however, (using the law part of that
    statement and leaving the politics part out for now) that you received
    a speeding ticket, but decided to "opt out" of any negative effects
    because of it. Can't you see how short a path it is from there to
    an armed standoff with police (inevitably resulting their application
    of lethal force), if you ultimately insisted on avoiding *any* negative
    effect from that speeding ticket? If you didn't pay, refused to show
    up in court, attempted to prevent anyone from garnisheeing your wages,
    and so forth? I think the key word in the above is "ultimately", and
    I can see why ESR would (I think validly) state what he did above.

    -Peter
     
    Peter Hansen, Aug 27, 2003
    #2
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  3. Gerrit Holl

    Gerrit Holl Guest

    Peter Hansen wrote:
    > But if you refuse to go to prison, things get lethal pretty quickly.
    > That's what "ultimately" refers to above.


    Well, I don't think they get very lethal, they get painful at most.

    > I think the key word in the above is "ultimately", and
    > I can see why ESR would (I think validly) state what he did above.


    Ultimately, the state will use violence. But this violence should not
    have lethal consequences.

    If 'lethal' would be replaced by 'using violence', this statement is
    reasonable for some sorts of government decisions, but only for those
    involving law (e.g. not involving building roads (however, roads *can*
    be quite lethal ;)).

    Gerrit.

    --
    156. If a man betroth a girl to his son, but his son has not known her,
    and if then he defile her, he shall pay her half a gold mina, and
    compensate her for all that she brought out of her father's house. She may
    marry the man of her heart.
    -- 1780 BC, Hammurabi, Code of Law
    --
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    Gerrit Holl, Aug 27, 2003
    #3
  4. Quoting Gerrit Holl ():
    > Peter Hansen wrote:
    > > But if you refuse to go to prison, things get lethal pretty quickly.
    > > That's what "ultimately" refers to above.

    >
    > Well, I don't think they get very lethal, they get painful at most.


    It depends on the case. Several times in recent history, the American
    FBI has deployed lethal force when it was insufficiently provoked
    (Ruby Ridge, Waco).

    > > I think the key word in the above is "ultimately", and
    > > I can see why ESR would (I think validly) state what he did above.

    >
    > Ultimately, the state will use violence. But this violence should not
    > have lethal consequences.
    >
    > If 'lethal' would be replaced by 'using violence', this statement is
    > reasonable for some sorts of government decisions, but only for those
    > involving law (e.g. not involving building roads (however, roads *can*
    > be quite lethal ;)).


    Government derives its power initially from its control over the death
    of its subjects, from its ability to inflict death upon its subjects.
    Sometime in the last 500 years -- I want to say the 18th century? --
    this evolved. While most governments do still have the authority to
    kill one of their subjects, governmental authority is more usually
    asserted in increased measures of control over the subject's lives.
    This control is based on the underlying principle that the governing
    body has access to overwhelming physical force.

    For a fascinating and horrifying read on this topic, I heartily
    recommend Michel Foucault's _Discipline and Punish_, a discussion of
    the evolution of police forces and the prison, and the ramifications
    that has for governmental power.

    I don't mean to suggest support for either side of the argument here;
    I'm not sure exactly where I stand. I think an awful lot of things are
    being assumed, and many more are being oversimplified, all to support
    positions which are, at base, emotional.

    --G.

    --
    Geoff Gerrietts "If programming langauges were porn,
    <geoff at gerrietts net> Java would be bukkake."
    http://www.gerrietts.net --Dan Dillinger
     
    Geoff Gerrietts, Aug 27, 2003
    #4
  5. Gerrit Holl

    Bob Gailer Guest

    Re: OT: Celebrity advice (was: Advice to a Junior in HighSchool?)

    At 10:12 PM 8/27/2003 +0200, Gerrit Holl wrote:
    >[snip]


    OK; I'll bite. Why do you quote from Hammurabi, Code of Law?

    >156. If a man betroth a girl to his son, but his son has not known her,
    >and if then he defile her, he shall pay her half a gold mina, and
    >compensate her for all that she brought out of her father's house. She may
    >marry the man of her heart.
    > -- 1780 BC, Hammurabi, Code of Law


    Bob Gailer

    303 442 2625


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
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    Bob Gailer, Aug 27, 2003
    #5
  6. Gerrit Holl

    Peter Hansen Guest

    Gerrit Holl wrote:
    >
    > Peter Hansen wrote:
    > > But if you refuse to go to prison, things get lethal pretty quickly.
    > > That's what "ultimately" refers to above.

    >
    > Well, I don't think they get very lethal, they get painful at most.
    >
    > > I think the key word in the above is "ultimately", and
    > > I can see why ESR would (I think validly) state what he did above.

    >
    > Ultimately, the state will use violence. But this violence should not
    > have lethal consequences.


    No, you're not taking the word "ultimately" far enough. First the state
    tries to get painful on your ass, so you resist. Then they get really
    violent, and still you resist. Picture the nature of this resistance,
    which usually would have to involve standing up to armed police by
    this point. Now tell me how, you plan to avoid *ultimately* getting to
    the lethal stage, without giving in first.

    -Peter
     
    Peter Hansen, Aug 27, 2003
    #6
  7. Gerrit Holl

    Terry Reedy Guest

    Re: Celebrity advice (was: Advice to a Junior in High School?)

    "Gerrit Holl" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Terry Reedy wrote:
    > > " Every political choice ultimately reduces to a choice about when

    and
    > > how to use lethal force, because the threat of lethal force is

    what
    > > makes politics and law more than a game out of which anyone could

    opt
    > > at any time."
    > >
    > > Do you disagree?

    >
    > Yes.


    I knew someone would ;-)

    I'll just note that George Washington has been quoted as saying
    something nearly identical about the time he retired.


    Back to my understanding of what started this subthread and my concern
    thereof. Budding CS student A asks for advice about going into CS.
    Person B suggests that A read various CS-related writings by CS
    celebrities, including C. Poster D says something like 'No, Don't
    read C' because he has written 'dangerous' stuff on other topics
    (disconnected from CS). Quite aside from my disagreement about the
    'dangerous' characterization, is the boycott suggestion sensible and
    legitimate, or just flamebait?

    Let's consider celebrity K(nuth). I believe he has written something
    on a somewhat different non-CS topic (religion ). Suppose I were to
    read it (I have not as yet) and view it as 'dangerous nonsense'.
    Would that justify me suggesting to A, on this newsgroup, that he not
    read K's CS writings?

    Terry J. Reedy
     
    Terry Reedy, Aug 28, 2003
    #7
  8. Re: Celebrity advice (was: Advice to a Junior in High School?)

    Quoting Terry Reedy ():
    > (disconnected from CS). Quite aside from my disagreement about the
    > 'dangerous' characterization, is the boycott suggestion sensible and
    > legitimate, or just flamebait?


    I think you could fairly consider that flamebait, if the situation
    were as you characterized it. This situation is specifically when a
    given author writes scholarship -- or invective, whatever -- into two
    totally separate and readily distinguishable fields.

    The key in my mind is distinguishable. You can draw the line between
    Knuth's CS writings and religious writings. In some cases, it's more
    challenging: polemic and scholarship blend freely within articles that
    waver between analytic description and propaganda.

    I don't think it makes sense to avoid (say) ESR entirely; I do think
    that his work should be approached with some care and some capacity
    for critical analysis. It usually takes a year or two of college
    (often more!) for a student to acquire enough domain-specific
    knowledge to be able to evaluate a text and sort opinion from fact.

    As such, some writers (particularly the sort who love to speculate on
    fields they have no training in, or who get sloppy with their facts)
    are best left for when you can tell when they're talking out their
    ass, and when they actually know what they're talking about. Maybe ESR
    belongs to this category of writer?

    --G.

    --
    Geoff Gerrietts "Don't get suckered in by the comments--
    <geoff at gerrietts net> they can be terribly misleading.
    www.gerrietts.net/geoff/ Debug only code." --Dave Storer
     
    Geoff Gerrietts, Aug 28, 2003
    #8
  9. Gerrit Holl

    Gerrit Holl Guest

    Geoff Gerrietts wrote:
    > Quoting Gerrit Holl ():
    > > Peter Hansen wrote:
    > > > But if you refuse to go to prison, things get lethal pretty quickly.
    > > > That's what "ultimately" refers to above.

    > >
    > > Well, I don't think they get very lethal, they get painful at most.

    >
    > It depends on the case. Several times in recent history, the American
    > FBI has deployed lethal force when it was insufficiently provoked
    > (Ruby Ridge, Waco).


    "Several times in (American) history" is, of course, not the same as
    "every dicision", "ultimately".

    Gerrit Holl.

    --
    46. If he do not receive a fixed rental for his field, but lets it on
    half or third shares of the harvest, the grain on the field shall be
    divided proportionately between the tiller and the owner.
    -- 1780 BC, Hammurabi, Code of Law
    --
    Asperger Syndroom - een persoonlijke benadering:
    http://people.nl.linux.org/~gerrit/
    Het zijn tijden om je zelf met politiek te bemoeien:
    http://www.sp.nl/
     
    Gerrit Holl, Aug 28, 2003
    #9
  10. Re: OT: Celebrity advice

    Peter Hansen <> wrote previously:
    |No, you're not taking the word "ultimately" far enough. First the
    |state tries to get painful on your ass, so you resist. Then they get
    |really violent, and still you resist.

    Just as a question of biology, a person can be locked in handcuffs, or
    in a metal cage, and be neither dead nor have the power to kill others.
    This limit comes not out of the compromise and will-power of the
    detained person, but simply out of physics and anatomy. In most
    "ultimate" cases of state-sponsored violence, this is what happens...
    not someone being killed.

    Someone upthread recommended Foucault... I strongly second reading his
    looks at "technologies of control."

    Yours, Lulu...

    --
    mertz@ | The specter of free information is haunting the `Net! All the
    gnosis | powers of IP- and crypto-tyranny have entered into an unholy
    ..cx | alliance...ideas have nothing to lose but their chains. Unite
    | against "intellectual property" and anti-privacy regimes!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters, Aug 28, 2003
    #10
  11. Gerrit Holl

    Peter Hansen Guest

    Gerrit Holl wrote:
    >
    > OK; but the last lethal stage is reached *only* if the civilian involved
    > *also* defends himself with the same means as the government. So, things
    > will get lethal ulmitately *only* if the civilian owns the same arms as
    > the government. Consequently, ESR's statement is only applicable to the
    > situation he promotes.
    >
    > If I resist and keep resisting using only my fists or even a knife, the
    > Dutch police will be able to take me to prison without killing me. A
    > qualified police force should even be able to do this even when I am
    > using a gun, but does not always succeed in this.


    You just aren't cut out for this resistance stuff, are you? ;-)
    If I had a knife, I'd grab the nearest bystander (one of those types
    who hasn't chosen to opt out with me, and is therefore not "innocent" ;-)
    and I'd hold him or her hostage. After a while, the state would get
    tired of this and just shoot me.

    Lulu talks about biological and physical restrictions, but also ignores
    the process needed to *get me into those handcuffs* in the first place.
    I could be pretty imaginative in finding ways to avoid that, which did
    not involve a gun, if you insisted.

    But at this point the discussion quickly degrades, because my sole
    point was that ESR used the word "ultimately" for a good reason, to
    try to communicate to his audience a link between personal choice with
    respect to laws and such, and lethal force. I accept his point as
    made, even if I agree more with you guys that generally speaking it's
    a bit of a reach.

    -Peter
     
    Peter Hansen, Aug 28, 2003
    #11
  12. Re: OT: Celebrity advice

    Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters wrote:

    > Peter Hansen <> wrote previously:
    > |No, you're not taking the word "ultimately" far enough. First the
    > |state tries to get painful on your ass, so you resist. Then they get
    > |really violent, and still you resist.
    >
    > Just as a question of biology, a person can be locked in handcuffs, or
    > in a metal cage, and be neither dead nor have the power to kill others.
    > This limit comes not out of the compromise and will-power of the
    > detained person, but simply out of physics and anatomy. In most
    > "ultimate" cases of state-sponsored violence, this is what happens...
    > not someone being killed.


    That depends on the determination of said person and his friends to
    resist arrest -- with what means and to what extent. If the state's
    power to arrest is not to be merely theoretical, it must be backed by
    military ability (and will to exercise it) which exceed those of the
    people's meant to be arrested.

    People who do not understand this may not have lived their lives in
    the land of the Mafia, I suspect -- when the prospect of a group of
    organized criminals commanding armed power [[which is admittedly a
    mere fraction of the state's, a limitation which however is partly
    compensated by far higher readiness to use it in lethal ways]] is
    not a theoretical conumdrum, but a living and vivid reality. And as
    a consequence the corps of Carabinieri, midway between the normal
    Police (also armed and quite ready to kill, but not a full-fledged
    military organization) and other corps such as the Army, Navy etc.


    Alex
     
    Alex Martelli, Aug 28, 2003
    #12
  13. Peter Hansen wrote:

    > Gerrit Holl wrote:
    >>
    >> OK; but the last lethal stage is reached *only* if the civilian involved
    >> *also* defends himself with the same means as the government. So, things
    >> will get lethal ulmitately *only* if the civilian owns the same arms as
    >> the government. Consequently, ESR's statement is only applicable to the
    >> situation he promotes.


    False, even if one where to concede the part before your "consequently".

    "The situation [ESR] promotes" is one of LEGAL ownership of firearms by
    law-abiding citizens. The fact that some civilians own firearms is an
    absolutely inevitable fact -- not even the most repressive and intrusive
    government in the poorest, most-deprived country in the world has ever
    been able to stop THAT since technology made firearms cheap & light
    enough (note this doesn't cover the historical period where Japan, for
    a while, did manage to wipe firearms off their islands -- including
    their use by governments / armies / etc, of course). Therefore, the
    possibility that some civilians WILL use firearms to achieve their aims
    must be taken as an absolute given under present circumstances. The
    trade-off on which ESR and I do disagree is between the somewhat more
    limited availability [to anybody, including criminals] promoted by
    gun-control measures, and the wider availability _to law-abiding
    citizens_ promoted if gun-control measures are weaker/laxer; in any
    case, ESR's (and Hayek's, and Mao's, ...:) "ultimate foundation of
    power" in terms of potential for violence is undisputable.


    >> If I resist and keep resisting using only my fists or even a knife, the
    >> Dutch police will be able to take me to prison without killing me. A
    >> qualified police force should even be able to do this even when I am
    >> using a gun, but does not always succeed in this.

    >
    > You just aren't cut out for this resistance stuff, are you? ;-)
    > If I had a knife, I'd grab the nearest bystander (one of those types
    > who hasn't chosen to opt out with me, and is therefore not "innocent" ;-)
    > and I'd hold him or her hostage. After a while, the state would get
    > tired of this and just shoot me.


    Good point. More significant, perhaps, why talk of individuals when
    "MOB" action is quite a possibility? Half a dozen policemen may well
    be able to take to prison a single individual who's resisting arrest
    when, say, sticks and stones represent the upper limit for everybody's
    armament -- but who's to say we're talking of a SINGLE individual?

    Doesn't he have friends, relatives, people who agree with his ideas,
    willing to pelt the police with said stones? How many policemen can
    the state field against the mob? It's unusual that the numbers can
    be SO much in favour of the police that the mob can be dispersed or
    arrested without weapon use *or threat*. Besides, individuals today
    possess powerful, dangerous weapons known as CARS -- even though
    direct use of cars as weapons is unusual, filling bottles with gas
    and setting them on fire before throwing them at the police is quite
    common. Are you going to ban cars to avoid this possibility?

    In the end it does come down to (at the very least the possibility
    or threat of) military confrontation. If the weapons available to
    both sides, government and protesters, are somehow equalized (be it
    down to sticks & stones, midway to "Molotov cocktails" and teargas,
    or up to firearms on both sides), the government can prevail (in
    the actual or potential "civil war" acts we're talking about) if,
    and only if, they can field superior military power _anyway_ -- e.g.
    through better training, organization, logistics (mobility of
    forces to concentrate on points of clash), and the like.

    Again, I suspect these are very theoretical possibilities for most
    discussants. People who were in Bologna in 1976, on the other hand,
    have witnessed these issues first-hand: with the "mob" of protesters
    having nearly taken over the city, the government acted rapidly and
    decisively by sending in the armed forces, with abundant tanks to
    occupy and hold the city's key strategic points. In this way, it
    was made militarily indifferent that the protesters had gained a
    substantial amount of small arms by raiding shops, barracks etc;
    none of those pistols &c were, obviously, any match for the tanks'
    armour, guns and machine-guns -- to the point that *not one single
    shot had to be fired* from those tanks' main guns in order for the
    army to take the city... the psychological effect of the govt's
    clear determination to do whatever it could take was enough. Even
    though at the time I had (and in a sense still have) lots of
    sympathy with the protesters' reasons (basically, the police had
    shot and killed in cold blood a student who was loudly protesting,
    and probably [this will never be proved either way] had thrown a
    stone or two at the police -- the news of this murder inflamed the
    full-fledged revolt which immediately followed), I _am_ admired at
    the way the government managed to restore calm without any more
    deaths on either side after that "triggering" one. Overwhelming
    military force may not need to be USED, if it IS overwhelming in
    an obvious-enough way to scare the shit out of the enemy (it DOES
    depend on the enemy's motivations, of course -- make him bitter
    enough and he won't be scare-able any more). Apparently, the role
    of military preponderance in establishing the state's authority
    can in fact be "deep" enough to become NON-obvious to otherwise
    bright and perceptive people!-)


    > Lulu talks about biological and physical restrictions, but also ignores
    > the process needed to *get me into those handcuffs* in the first place.
    > I could be pretty imaginative in finding ways to avoid that, which did
    > not involve a gun, if you insisted.


    Just get a crowd of friends and little imagination will be required.


    > But at this point the discussion quickly degrades, because my sole
    > point was that ESR used the word "ultimately" for a good reason, to


    I fully agree (and I'm pretty sure Hayek expressed himself quite
    similarly, though, darn it, I can't find a relevant URL).

    > try to communicate to his audience a link between personal choice with
    > respect to laws and such, and lethal force. I accept his point as
    > made, even if I agree more with you guys that generally speaking it's
    > a bit of a reach.


    I don't agree about the "bit of a reach": again, I suspect that having
    lived in Italy most of my life (and being in Bologna in particular in
    1976) is what makes a difference -- what's theoretical to you guys is
    obviously true to me because of real-life experiences.


    Alex
     
    Alex Martelli, Aug 28, 2003
    #13
  14. Gerrit Holl

    Terry Reedy Guest

    Re: Celebrity advice (was: Advice to a Junior in High School?)

    "Gerrit Holl" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > No; reading Newton is also perfectly valid.


    Cute.

    For those whoe don't get the joke, Newton, the great mathematical
    physicist who helped spur the 'Age of Reason', also spent decades
    'practicing' and secretly writing about alchemy and related magic,
    which writings would now (and even then) be considered rubbish to
    most. (They only became public in the 1930s.) Ironically, his
    magical beliefs probably helped him conceive of gravity and its
    'magical' action at a distance.

    Terry J. Reedy
     
    Terry Reedy, Aug 28, 2003
    #14
  15. Quoting Gerrit Holl ():
    > Geoff Gerrietts wrote:
    > > Quoting Gerrit Holl ():
    > > > Peter Hansen wrote:
    > > > > But if you refuse to go to prison, things get lethal pretty quickly.
    > > > > That's what "ultimately" refers to above.
    > > >
    > > > Well, I don't think they get very lethal, they get painful at most.

    > >
    > > It depends on the case. Several times in recent history, the American
    > > FBI has deployed lethal force when it was insufficiently provoked
    > > (Ruby Ridge, Waco).

    >
    > "Several times in (American) history" is, of course, not the same as
    > "every dicision", "ultimately".


    And neither is it "they get painful at most", which is the point I was
    making. ESR overstates his point to make his point; you're doing the
    same. Whether either point can be made is a different question, as is
    whether either should be made.

    --G.

    --
    Geoff Gerrietts "There is no fate that cannot be
    <geoff at gerrietts net> surmounted by scorn." --Albert Camus
     
    Geoff Gerrietts, Aug 28, 2003
    #15
  16. Gerrit Holl

    Andrew Dalke Guest

    Alex Martelli
    > Again, I suspect these are very theoretical possibilities for most
    > discussants. People who were in Bologna in 1976, on the other hand,
    > have witnessed these issues first-hand: with the "mob" of protesters
    > having nearly taken over the city, the government acted rapidly and
    > decisively by sending in the armed forces, with abundant tanks to
    > occupy and hold the city's key strategic points.


    Another datum for the discussion is Iraq. In Slate at
    http://slate.msn.com/id/2080201/ and with reader responses
    at http://slate.msn.com/id/2081185

    In the March 11 New York Times, Neil MacFarquhar notes
    in passing, "Most Iraqi households own at least one gun."
    This comes as a shock to those of us who've been hearing
    for years from the gun lobby that widespread firearms
    ownership is necessary to prevent the United States from
    becoming a police state.

    Note also that the US allows Iraqis even now to own AK-47s,
    which isn't legal in the US. The US tried an amnesty program,
    for people to turn their weapons in, but only a few hundred of
    the estimated 5 million were turned in.

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/15/1060936052309.html


    Andrew
     
    Andrew Dalke, Aug 28, 2003
    #16
  17. Gerrit Holl

    Tom Plunket Guest

    Re: OT: Celebrity advice

    Alex Martelli wrote:

    > > Just as a question of biology, a person can be locked in handcuffs, or
    > > in a metal cage, and be neither dead nor have the power to kill others.
    > > This limit comes not out of the compromise and will-power of the
    > > detained person, but simply out of physics and anatomy. In most
    > > "ultimate" cases of state-sponsored violence, this is what happens...
    > > not someone being killed.

    >
    > That depends on the determination of said person and his friends to
    > resist arrest -- with what means and to what extent. If the state's
    > power to arrest is not to be merely theoretical, it must be backed by
    > military ability (and will to exercise it) which exceed those of the
    > people's meant to be arrested.


    How did Gandhi do it then? Was it just that the British decided
    that they weren't mean enough to take it to its "ultimate"
    extent, or was it truly that there was a way to "go to the
    ultimate" and take back India in a nonviolent way?

    -tom!

    --
    There's really no reason to send a copy of your
    followup to my email address, so please don't.
     
    Tom Plunket, Aug 29, 2003
    #17
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