OT: CompUSA Collecting personal information / Is this a trend?

Art Pollard pollarda at lextek.com
Tue Feb 1 21:41:15 MST 2005

>I do not know of a culture or religion where one  considers drinking 
>alcohol during a formal dinner a true core value, something they believe 
>came to them in a revelation from God, something that has been at the core 
>of their religion, something that they believe has made their families and 
>communities strong and protected them from harm, something they would do 
>even when threatened with torture or death.

So, do we only protect somebody's liberty and freedom when it is a "core 
value" and it is an inherent part of their religion, something that has 
protected them from harm, and something that they would undergo torture and 
death for ?

That seems a bit minimalistic doesn't it ?

Voltaire took the other approach when he said : ""I disapprove of what you 
say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

To bring this back to Linux (somewhat) here is a statement which appears to 
come from the Blog of Tony Lawrence Unix / Systems consultant. (Not that 
that qualifies him anymore than anyone else on this list since that 
describes about 1/2 of the people here.)  But it is a good statement 
none-the-less :

"Too many people are only willing to to defend rights that are personally 
important to them. It's selfish ignorance, and it's exactly why 
totalitarian governments are able to get away with trampling on people. 
Freedom does not mean freedom just for the things *I* think I should be 
able to do. Freedom is for all of us. If people will not speak up for 
other's people's rights, there will come a day when they will lose their 
own." - Tony Lawrence

So, as far as I am concerned, if someone wants to have alcohol with their 
dinner -- even on Sunday, I will fight for their right to do so.  In return 
however, I expect that they will fight for my right to be free and to live 
my life as I choose provided that I am not taking away someone else's 
freedoms (such as through theft, assault, or force of law.)

If we are to live in a free society, we have to learn to allow people to 
make choices which we believe are wrong.  In return, they have to learn to 
allow us (you and me) to make choices which they believe are wrong.  I hate 
to use the word "tolerance" since it is often times over used and the 
people who use it most are those who often have the least -- but it is 
probably the best word for what we must all have if we expect to live in a 
free society.

I would hate to think what sort of society we would live in today if the 
only freedoms we enjoyed were the core freedoms for which we were willing 
to lay down our life or dictated specifically by our religion.  I know that 
that would specifically be against the tenents of my religion which is that 
we were placed here to see what sort of choices we would make. To have 
righteousness, you must have choice. To have choice, you must have 
freedom.   Thus you can not have righteousness if you have no freedom.


Art Pollard
Suppliers of High Performance Text Retrieval Engines.

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