Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Individual Rights VS. Collective Safety

It seems this will be the dilemma as we head forward. Actually, I guess this has been the dilemma since 9/11....hence the Patriot Act.

Last week we spoke about the conundrum of reporting someone 'on a bad feeling' and then the subsequent 'why didn't anyone report him' cry from the public when something does happen.

It's playing out again in the court here in Pennsylvania:

"A 21-year-old loner from Armstrong County had an arsenal in his bedroom, a radical Islamist online persona and videos suggesting paramilitary training before his arrest last week for biting two FBI agents, federal prosecutors charged in court Thursday.

Emerson W. Begolly "has a strong desire to kill non-Muslims and many other groups of people," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song. "He was preparing, and he was getting closer and closer to bringing his words and aspirations to fruition."

Federal public defense lawyer Marketa Sims, representing Mr. Begolly, countered that his actions before agents startled him -- legally owning guns, posting unpopular views online -- were constitutionally protected. "They had no probable cause to believe that he committed any crime." (SOURCE)

Again, this is a kid that obviously has some mental problems (and I'm not just saying that because he's a white kid that converted to Islam). I did a bit more reading and found that before his jihad obsession -he had a penchant for Nazis.

So the dilemma remains...what can be done? Luckily he bit the FBI agents so they can hold him for something tangible...but what then? Court-mandated lithium?

There's a kid that looks like this in my local Whole Foods...little, rich, libby white kid wearing a gross, straggly beard, crocheted skull cap and pants cut off above the ankles. I want to give him my email address and ask him to write me about how embarrassed he is by this phase ten years from now...

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