Falsely Putting Your Wife On The Terrorist Watch List May Hinder Your Chances For Promotion

from the just-a-tip dept

Wired has the bizarre story of a UK border agent who, in an apparent attempt to get his wife out of his life, put her name on the terrorist watch list, which left her stranded in Pakistan (where she was visiting relatives) for three years, unable to fly back home to the UK. That seems like a rather extreme way to get your wife out of the picture. And, apparently, this nefarious plan all would have worked... if only the guy never thought to apply for a promotion. Since the promotion would involve higher security clearance, he was put through a background check, where it was revealed his wife was on the watchlist. That created a bit of concern... and then it was realized that he had put her there. He's since been fired. Of course, the bigger question is whether or not whoever designed the system in such a way that it would allow a single person to add his own wife to the terrorist watch list, with no oversight and no review, was fired as well. It would seem like that person has some serious questions to answer as well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    It is better to detain a 100 Innocents then to allow one could be terrorist to fly. Are you saying you support terrorist activities mike?


    /sarc

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    I support all terrorist activities.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Who better to know if their wife is a terrorist?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 7:58am

    If one hundred people are put on the no fly list when they shouldn't be, is it better to allow 101 to fly and have 400 die?

    Is it better for 100 criminals to go free to keep the 1 innocent out of prison? How would you feel if one of those criminals went free and killed your family? Committed a mass killing?

    Where does the rights of one outweigh the rights of many?

    Go back in time and be in a room with two babies, one of them is Hitler and one of them is a innocent baby. There is no way to know which one is which, but if you kill the Hitler baby, WWII never happens and there is no turmoil in the Mideast today. Would you kill both babies? Should you?

     

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  5.  
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    RikuoAmero (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:06am

    Re:

    For this good sir, I point you towards the first Command and Conquer Red Alert. Einstein goes back in time, kills Hitler, only for Stalin to invade Europe, thus starting an even worse World War II.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:06am

    Probably fake

    The source for this "story" is the Daily Mail, which is the UK version of the Weekly World News.

    There is no independent source, and nobody else knows anything about it. I'll believe it happened when there are independent sources... until then Mike, I think you got Onioned.

     

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  7.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    "Go back in time and be in a room with two babies, one of them is Hitler and one of them is a innocent baby. There is no way to know which one is which, but if you kill the Hitler baby, WWII never happens and there is no turmoil in the Mideast today. Would you kill both babies? Should you?"

    The answer to this question can NEVER be anything other than no and no in a civilized society. We that are civilized ought never turn to uncivilized methods to stave off evil, lest we become evil ourselves and defeat our very purpose.

    That the question even needs to be asked is sad....

     

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  8.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:17am

    There are Americans abroad who can't come home for this very reason, without due process or any kind of legal review.

    Which is a fucking travesty.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    If we want to fix this then we need to start adding celebrities, politicians, and CEO's of big corporations to the list. Then it'll make it all over the news and government(s) will be far more likely to fix the problem.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    Re:

    Heck, why not someone just write a bot that adds everyone to the list and watch the circus unfold.

     

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  11.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re:

    Where does the rights of one outweigh the rights of many?

    On the road - when it comes to speed limits.

    Your chance of dying on the roads is about 1 in 200 - and yet the other 199 people have to slow down (and waste much valuable time from their own lives) just in case.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    That the question even needs to be asked is sad....

    Hey, they made a Star Trek episode about this question.

    The Hitler baby story is extreme, but it relates to the many outweighing the few. Isn't that how our society works? People get vaccines, it saves lives, but it does harm some. We require everyone to get the shots because the benefits for the many outweigh the harm for the few.

    Again I ask, is it better for 100 criminals to go free to keep 1 innocent man out of prison (or off the no fly list?)

    Of course, that begs the question of "does the no fly list stop terrorism?"

     

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  13.  
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    Shon Gale (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Welcome to the UK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    "Isn't that how our society works? People get vaccines, it saves lives, but it does harm some. We require everyone to get the shots because the benefits for the many outweigh the harm for the few."

    You're talking to the wrong guy on that one. I don't advocate forced vaccination, so that example doesn't do much for me.

    "Again I ask, is it better for 100 criminals to go free to keep 1 innocent man out of prison (or off the no fly list?)"

    Yes. Always yes. Forever yes.

    "Of course, that begs the question of "does the no fly list stop terrorism?""

    That is indeed probably the better and more concrete question on which to focus....

     

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  15.  
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    Greg G (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    Is it better for 100 criminals to go free to keep the 1 innocent out of prison? How would you feel if one of those criminals went free and killed your family?

    How would YOU feel if YOU were that 1 innocent imprisoned for even just a short while, for whatever reason? Oh, but we can't release you because you were convicted. Lack of evidence be damned.

    I was once falsely accused by a friends girlfriend attacking her (breaking into her house and trying to assault or rape her) but when questioned by cops, along with my reaction and a receipt I had for a fast food stop I made, they realized that I was innocent. But what if I didn't have that receipt? The cops would have had to believe my incredulous reaction to realize it wasn't me.

    So AC, innocent until proven guilty. Remember that.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re:

    do the babies have colic?

     

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  17.  
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    JackSombra (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:42am

    Re:

    "How would you feel if one of those criminals went free and killed your family?"
    How would you feel if you were the innocent locked up for nothing?
    How would you feel to be forced to live with rapists and murders (and possibly become their victim) while you watch from behind bars your family fall apart because you are not there, watch your kids go bad and become real criminals (because they have understandable hatred of society that took the father away for no good reason), responsible for the deaths/destruction of many many family’s, all because you are not there due to no fault of your own?

    “WWII never happens and there is no turmoil in the Mideast today. Would you kill both babies?”
    And if you kill both babies and because there is no Hitler, someone else raises to the leadership of the Nazi party (which was going to exist regardless of Hitler) but this other guy is a lot better leader/military commander than Hitler, so the Nazis end up winning WWII, Jews are exterminated worldwide, blacks are confined to Africa where they are slave labour for the west and a severely depopulated Asia is Japan’s fiefdom and WWIII between the Japanese and Aryan Empires is looming and it’s expected there will be no survivors

    Do you go back and kill yourself before you have a chance to kill Hitler as a baby?

    See how pointless these little exercises are? There is always another “what if?”

    Much better to get the system of checks and balances right in the first place and if you cannot err on the side of caution

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re:

    "We require everyone to get the shots because the benefits for the many outweigh the harm for the few."

    To add to this, we actually do not require any vaccines (at least not in the US). They are ALL opt out. It is (unfortunately) a bit more work for the parents, but they can refuse any vaccine they want and it is ILLEGAL for anyone to hold that against them. Daycare providers and schools that want to see vaccination records cannot actually refuse entry (at least not in CT) based on refused vaccinations. It is a bit shocking that we even allow them to ask for the records these days.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Coco Was Screwed, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:43am

    Re:

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

    What happens to your belief system when you are picked up at the Walmart for looking like the guy some dude saw dragging a women into the bushes and then killed. You are then put on trial with no clear evidence other than the "eye witness" that saw you. Lucky for you the jury is made up of your peers who share your ideas about the rights of the many over the few. They don't like the way you look and think, the cops arrested him he must be guilty.

    Fast forward to you on the gurney strapped down for your lethal injection. You think to yourself as the plunger goes down, "Well at least they didn't let 100 guilty guys go so that I didn't get convicted"...You drift off to sleep.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:44am

    A story about a process abuse and you lot want to talk about time travel and baby Hitlers?

    Stunningly sad.

     

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  21.  
    icon
    JackSombra (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re:

    And in case was not clear, the side of "caution" is let the innocent man go free

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:47am

    Jews are exterminated worldwide, blacks are confined to Africa where they are slave labour for the west and a severely depopulated Asia is Japan’s fiefdom and WWIII between the Japanese and Aryan Empires is looming and it’s expected there will be no survivors

    And your problem with this is what exactly? As Meatloaf once sung, "3 out of 4 ain't bad"

    I know, its 2 out of 3.

     

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  23.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:50am

    Re:

    "If one hundred people are put on the no fly list when they shouldn't be, is it better to allow 101 to fly and have 400 die?"

    Follow that logic and you end up banning flying.

    "Where does the rights of one outweigh the rights of many?"

    In the US Constitution. One person's right to life outweighs everyone else's rights to liberty.

    "Go back in time and be in a room with two babies, one of them is Hitler and one of them is a innocent baby. There is no way to know which one is which, but if you kill the Hitler baby, WWII never happens and there is no turmoil in the Mideast today. Would you kill both babies? Should you?"

    Perhaps you can explain why there might be no other option available. Is the point of your example that time travellers are too stupid to come up with a better plan than killing a baby?

     

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  24.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re:

    "Perhaps you can explain why there might be no other option available. Is the point of your example that time travellers are too stupid to come up with a better plan than killing a baby?"

    Well, the problem is that those time travelers are from the future, a future in which internet piracy killed off all creativity. Turns out the time machine was the last great invention. Now those folks can't think of creative ways to use it to stop Hitler because a couple of kids downloaded the Black Eyed Peas album today.

    Stupid pirates, always enabling Hitler....

     

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  25.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    "Again I ask, is it better for 100 criminals to go free to keep 1 innocent man out of prison (or off the no fly list?)"

    Firstly, crmiminals is a broad term. My understanding is that at least 20% of the US prison population is there on drugs related charges. No one seems to have a good idea how many of those are guilty of the charges they were convicted for.

    Secondly, if it is acceptable to put one innocent person in prison for every hundred criminals then why isn't it acceptable to incarcerate two innocent people for every hundred, or fifty innocent people for every hundred, or just lock everyone up just in case.

    'Of course, that begs the question of "does the no fly list stop terrorism?"'

    Leaving aside your apparent misuse of the phrase 'begs the question', why would you accept innocent people on the list if you aren't even sure of its effectiveness?

     

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  26.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 9:08am

    Re:

    "A story about a process abuse and you lot want to talk about time travel and baby Hitlers?"

    A story about a process abuse and you want to talk about people talking about time travel and baby Hitlers?

    Stunningly sad.

     

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  27.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "because a couple of kids downloaded the Black Eyed Peas album today."

    At least I can rule out myself to blame then.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 9:20am

    Now those folks can't think of creative ways to use it to stop Hitler because a couple of kids downloaded the Black Eyed Peas album today.

    Stupid pirates, always enabling bad "music"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    Put the babies in prison without evidence -- that should fix the problem.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    yumitori, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Our system of justice is based on the concept that it is better to let 100 criminals go free that to unjustly imprison one innocent person.

    Congratulations on turning our Justice system on its head.

    Be sure to tell us how well it's working when you are the unjustly imprisoned innocent...

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    A murderer is let free and goes out and murders 10, or 100 people. The one innocent man goes free.

    Does freeing that one innocent man outweigh the rights of those 10 or 100 murdered people?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    V, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 10:18am

    Re: Idiocy

    "Go back in time and be in a room with two babies, one of them is Hitler and one of them is a innocent baby. There is no way to know which one is which, but if you kill the Hitler baby, WWII never happens and there is no turmoil in the Mideast today. Would you kill both babies? Should you?"

    I'll see your idiocy and raise you.

    What if the other baby was Jesus Christ. Or, if you're not religious... Ghandi... Mother Teresa... Albert Einstein...

    You just MURDERED not only an innocent child, but also a cornstone of religious, social or scientific progress.

     

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  33.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re:

    their mother? ;-)

     

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  34.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    sources please.

    a parent has the right to expect their children aren't going to be exposed to deadly childhood diseases while publicly provided school. The base way to do this is vaccinating all the children prior to allowing them to attend.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Chosen Reject, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    The problem with your question is that you aren't distinguishing who is doing the rights abridging.

    Should the government be allowed to abridge the rights of the innocent? Absolutely not. Should we allow an individual to abridge the rights of others? Again, absolutely not. So you're question rewritten is:

    Is it worse for the government to abridge the rights of one innocent man or for one person to kill 10 or 100 people?

    Another way of putting is:

    Is it better that we keep our government in check from wrongfully imprisoning the innocent, or to let the government imprison anyone it wants in the slight chance that a few of those people maybe might have done something bad?

    If the choice really were total anarchy vs total control, I choose anarchy. I'd rather run the risk of being killed by a mad man, than guaranteed that my life will be taken from me by the government.

     

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  36.  
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    Stuart (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    how do you add a name

    I volunteer my ex!

     

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  37.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Re:

    "Does freeing that one innocent man outweigh the rights of those 10 or 100 murdered people?"

    As they're only potential victims at that point, there isn't anything to weigh.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Al, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    We decided to "opt out" of a vaccination for our daughter who is in kindergarten in Illinois. The school notified us that if she was not vaccinated, she would not be allowed back. We had to go to extremes and opt out based on religious reasons. At this point, all is well... but they definitely don't make opting out easy.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    Re:

    "Go back in time and be in a room with two babies, one of them is Hitler and one of them is a innocent baby. There is no way to know which one is which, but if you kill the Hitler baby, WWII never happens and there is no turmoil in the Mideast today. Would you kill both babies? Should you?"

    You kill the baby with the weird little mustache...Duh!

     

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  40.  
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    A Dan (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why did you opt out? Is your child allergic to a vaccine ingredient?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Correction: the side of "caution" is to let the guilty man go free, knowing full well that you cannot bring him to justice without the far greater injustice of persecuting an innocent man.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    Some food for thought, to follow the logic of your argument:

    Here we have Billy bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's son (Yes, I know their names don't work that way). He takes off after his dear old dad and has committed all sorts of atrocities, with witnesses, video evidence, the works. Due to a technicality, however, the evidence is not admissable in court. No worries, he's clearly guilty, so he's imprisoned/executed, and many lives are saved.

    Then, here in the US, there's this guy named Quaker Oates Serial. He's a bit unbalanced, has been on record as wanting to "kill that Muslim in the White House." He hasn't actually done anything, but he is the owner of quite a few guns, including some high powered rifles, and he tneds to make people around him uncomfortable. But, it's clear that he'd go through with an assassination attempt if he had the opportunity, and there are indications that he's making plans for an opportunity. So he's arrested and taken care of.

    In your state, there's an odd fellow in the local college, often visits the psychiatrist, not terribly popular, occasionally talks about violent fantasies in his blog. recently dumped by his girlfriend. Better round him up before he goes on a killing spree.

    Then it's your next door neighbor, because he talks at dinner parties how Hezbollah has some good points, and we should pay attention to some of the issues.

    Then Your wife, who attended an orientation meeting for some radicals in college, becasue the fliers seemed innocuous enough.

    Then, finally, they come for you, because, on a bad day in 3rd grade, your mother testifies that you grumbled that you wanted to blow up the school.

    So, where do we start going too far?

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous a-hole, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re:

    "Al's a good boy." --Theresa Capone, mother on infamous mobster Al Capone

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    Pretty sad when a poster actually places a sarcasm tag, and you STILL miss it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Meh, it would only take ten or fifteen minutes of their squalling and stinking and puking before I was ready to kill them if they were ghandi and mother theresa. Babies suck.

     

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  46.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Historically, Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Theresa suck, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Easily found sample form:
    (We / I) {First and Last name(s)}, as the {(parent (s) /guardian(s)} of (name of newborn child) are exercising (our/my) rights under the First Amendment of the US Constitution , Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3701.501(A)(2) and §3313.671 to receive Religious Exemption from Vaccination, ALL injections, & testing.

    Applicable law has been interpreted to mean that a religious belief is subject to protection even though no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not advocate or require such belief. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended Nov. 1, 1980; Part 1605.1-Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion.

    Our legal rights are guaranteed by the free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Recent court decisions have upheld the rights of individuals seeking exemptions from immunizations based upon personal and religious reasons. On the U.S. Supreme Court level in Frazee V. Illinois Dept. of Security, 489 U.S. 829, it was found that a state may not deny an exemption simply because a person is not a member of a formal religious organization.

     

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  48.  
    icon
    Beta (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 11:12pm

    priorities

    Did anyone else notice that they don't actually say (though they do imply) that her name was taken off the watch list? The focus of the story was on his firing, not the restoration of her rights. It's as if this is tacitly considered a crime against the state ("you misused the power we entrusted you with!") rather than a crime against an individual ("you exiled me from my homeland!").

    It also occurs to my nefarious brain that he might not have been caught if he'd had someone else put his wife's name on the list, perhaps with some trumped-up supporting reasons. Maybe the auditors should start looking for groups of people banishing each others' enemies...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 6:01am

    "So, where do we start going too far?"

    These are all good questions and in fact need to be discussed and different viewpoints examined. I can totally understand the mentality of the Jack Bauer mindset of "this guy knows where the bomb is and if we don't torture him it will go off and kill millions."

    In a just society would the bomb go off, killing millions while in an unjust society, millions are saved?

    Do good people sometimes have to do bad things?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Idobek (profile), Feb 21st, 2011 @ 5:04am

    Re:

    I don't know the answers to the questions you posed but I do know that if the guy was tortured then any information gained in that torture shouldn't be admissible in a court of law.

    Can we stop the bomb and send the perpetrators to prison?

    Probably not, and that is why "to govern is to choose".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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