RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Tue Mar 05 2002 - 12:31:19 GMT

  • Next message: Vincent Campbell: "RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence"

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
    Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 12:31:19 -0000 
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    > Even the laws of most countries make allowances for people when they
    > defend
    > "my home, my family, my children, my beliefs, my property." If you shoot a
    > stranger on the street, you go to jail for murder. If you shoot a stranger
    > in your home or while they are attacking your children, or your person, it
    > is called self defense and not prosecuted. There are no limits to what I
    > can do in defense of what is "mine.">>
    > On the contrary, what you describe is virtually uinique to the USA. Both
    > Ecuador and the UK (where I have some personal experience) would put you
    > behind bars for a very long time if you shoot somebody just because they
    > are intruders on your property. The situation in the USA is a historical
    > relic of the time when cowboys had to forcibly clear stray indians off
    > their ranches. The law had to be made so that they could do this without
    > ending up in court every other day. It's a historical accident, not a
    > cultural universal.>
            Very true, although that case in the UK a year or two ago (The
    Martin case was it?) suggested that at least some proportion of the
    population felt that it should be legitimate (although not me- shooting an
    unarmed teenager in the back as they were trying to get out of the property
    is not self-defence to my mind).

            I think Grant's wider point about territoriality is basically right.
    I don't want to stir up the Aussies on the list, but there seems to be two
    diametrically opposite views about aboriginals in Oz, either the traditional
    colonial one of disdain and control (evidenced by Prince Phillip's spear
    throwing comments the other day- oh we Brits are so proud...), or a
    guilt-ridden over-celebration and over-estimation of their culture and
    capabilities (a bit like those pro-native americans who refuse to accept
    that the Anasazi might have been ritualistic cannibals as the archeology
    strongly suggests).


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