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Security Government United States Politics

Hackers Take Aim at Republicans 1866

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-surprise-I-guess dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wired reports-- Online protests targeting GOP websites could turn out to be more than symbolic during this month's Republican National Convention, possibly blocking a critical communications tool for the party... "We want to bombard (the Republican sites) with so much traffic that nobody can get in," said CrimethInc, a member of the so-called Black Hat Hackers Bloc. It's one of several groups planning to distribute software tools to reload Republican sites over and over again."
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Hackers Take Aim at Republicans

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  • by beh (4759) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:45AM (#10000497)
    Wouldn't eliminating the Republican's "free speech" on the web via DDOS attacks basically amount to cyber-terrorism?

    Hint! Hint! You wouldn't want Bush to go for more governmental control of the Internet in order to fight all kinds of cyber-terrorism, wouldn't you?

    And - if this really hits the Republicans, it won't be long before Bush's spin-doctors claim the whole idea was, in fact, initiated by Al Qaeda members.... ...remember how, in front of the UN in the run-up to the Iraq war, a couple of trucks in the middle of the desert were "mobile bio weapon research/development platforms"? (Exactly those that, like all the weapons of mass distruction, can't be found now)...
  • Pardon? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:45AM (#10000503) Homepage Journal
    Apologies, but in my opinion massive page reloading to deny service is hardly "hacking". It's not even "cracking". What about reloading a page is innovative, clever, or technical?

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:46AM (#10000507) Homepage Journal
    Hmm....was there something like this for the Dem. convention? I'm hoping the 'hackers' are equal opportunity types...


  • So much for... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JPelorat (5320) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:46AM (#10000515)
    "tolerance" and "open-mindedness"
  • by ichthus (72442) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:48AM (#10000534) Homepage
    One group's voices are being silenced because another group disagrees with them. Now that's respect for freedom of speech!
  • Not unexpected (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:48AM (#10000537) Homepage Journal
    That's so typical of extremist left-wing groups who insist that everyone is entitled to free speech - as long as it meets their approval.

    I'd better hear the same hue and cry in here as if a group of right-wing extremists were gleefully planning to shut down the DNC, or Nader, or any other such group.

    That's just plain wrong. If you don't like someone, then debate them - don't try to shut them up.

  • Republicans (Score:1, Insightful)

    by MartinG (52587) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:48AM (#10000538) Homepage Journal
    Most things that the republicans have to say make me dislike them even more.

    Please don't hide their idiocy by DDOSing their servers. We want to let them spread the news of their incompetent lunacy as far and wide as possible.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:48AM (#10000544)
    ...who agrees with, or supports, this in any way, is a fucking hypocrite.
  • by spikexyz (403776) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:48AM (#10000546)
    ....I believe they have a right to speak. I believe that we should listen to everyone's ideas. I believe blocking them will only serve to infuriate people which will only help them in November.
  • This is wrong. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BigChigger (551094) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:48AM (#10000548)
    No ifs, ands or buts. Denying others their free speech rights via DDOS - these guys are making all of us and our anti DRM, "info wants to be free", OSS support look like fools. I hope the FBI throws every one of them in jail.

  • ... Wrong way... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlueCup (753410) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:49AM (#10000552) Homepage Journal
    ... Personally, while I'm going to probably be voting the same way as these hackers come election day, I don't think this is at all the right way to go about things. If you disagree with someone or some groups actions/beliefs etc, the correct way to beat them is through logic, presenting better arguments, getting a higher listing on google... what these people are doing is much closer to censorship. "We disagree with these people so we aren't going to let them speak" It's also a mistake to believe that every person that's going there is going to be convinced. I know that I have in the past gone to a political candidates website and after reading their beliefs found that I don't match up as closely to them as I previously thought... To me this is just a bunch of script kiddies trying to get attention, and going at something with as little thought as they're used to giving to their actions.
  • Childish (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StevenHenderson (806391) <stevehenderson@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:49AM (#10000554)
    Honestly, though...not to troll, but what are we accomplishing here? As Democrats, or Bush-opponents or whatever, what do they expect to gain? It just seems desperate to need to gag a website to self-serve your own agenda. Why not post a different site with information on why NOT to vote Republican if thats what you believe? Too easy and civil I guess?
  • Re:So much for... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by VT_hawkeye (33442) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:49AM (#10000555) Homepage Journal
    For the modern left, "tolerance" and "open-mindedness" only apply to ideas they agree with. Everything else is "hate speech" and thus deserving of complete extermination.
  • Re:Bound to happen (Score:2, Insightful)

    by strictfoo (805322) <strictfoo-signup&yahoo,com> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:50AM (#10000567) Journal
    Freedom of speech is a Republican ideal? Because that's what these skript kiddies seem to be against here. Just because you don't agree with someone's viewpoint doesn't give you the right to impede their ability to present it.
  • by beh (4759) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:50AM (#10000575)
    Just a second... How is "reloading a page" illegal?

    Unless they would intend to break into their servers, this doesn't seem illegal...

    Unethical, yes, but not illegal... Is it?

  • by mwood (25379) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:51AM (#10000579)
    Seconded. If one believes that Party X is wrong, wouldn't one wish for as many as possible to be able to view Party X's site and see the wrongness for themselves? This action just reflects discredit on the attackers, who come off as being people who want to hide their *own* wrongness.
  • Please remember (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dmayle (200765) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:51AM (#10000580) Homepage Journal

    Please remember, being anti-Bush does not make one a Democrat, and let's not let the actions of a few unsavory individuals tarnish the reputation of everyone who wants Bush out of office.

    This is just like when the media focused on the SCO/spam worms and claimed that linux evangelists were out to destroy the company.

  • Re:Bound to happen (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:51AM (#10000589) Homepage Journal
    liberal values and fairness

    That statement, right there, is why the two groups can't get along. To Conservatives, "liberal and fair" is an oxymoron, but to Liberals, it makes perfect sense. It's like arguing about whether the GPL or BSD license is "more free". Stating one position as unarguable fact only marks you as a partisan, and not insightful.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:51AM (#10000594)
    You yourself are an idiot, but there's an underlying truth to what you're saying. The more grotesque, destructive and hate-filled RNC protests turn out to be, the more votes that get swung to Bush. We'll see how it plays out.

    Meanwhile, these "hacktivist" morons manage to be complete failures on both political and technical counts. Remember a few years ago when they tried to DDOS the World Bank and an admin there bounced their packets and flooded them off, instead? How much of a loser do you need to be to get 0wn3d by the World Bank?

    And DOSing the Republican website affects the convention how? I suppose doing anything more sophisticated than a page reloading script is beyond them...

  • by nberardi (199555) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:51AM (#10000595) Homepage
    This is going to be widely reported if this "acutally" happens and it is just going to be a detrament to the republican opponents. Because this does look like political terrorism, and who will they associate with this. I will tell you who the Democratic Party, and the DNC and Kerry will come out looking like terrorist that can't actually win on the issues. Instead they have to resort to gorrilla war-fare inorder to win, just like many of the dictatorships around the world. (That last part was just a statement to prove a point I don't actually think these people are associated with Kerry or the DNC, but it is going to be very bad for Kerry in the election if this actually does happen.)
  • by garcia (6573) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:52AM (#10000601)
    Wouldn't eliminating the Republican's "free speech" on the web via DDOS attacks basically amount to cyber-terrorism?

    Of course, anything to have a story with the word terrorism in it.

    From the article: But some activists are condemning the planned attacks, saying they violate the principles of free speech that protesters rely on for their demonstrations.

    The free speech zones might be good enough for those people but I assume the hackers want Bush to be in the front seat when he sees what they hate about him.

    I disagree with the tactics myself as they are nothing more than an annoyance and fodder for Bush's team to say "look! we have terrorists right here trying to end your freedoms!"
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:52AM (#10000604)
    Sounds like a bunch of '1337 haX0rs to me. Or a bunch of 14 year olds in someone's attic. Seriously, would a real hacker a) reveal his plans, or b) draw attention to himself using 5kr1pt k1dd13s to DDOS a Republican website? The real hackers are the ones who, right now, are stealing your credit card number, and turning poorly maintained servers into warez servers.
  • Excellent idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:52AM (#10000607)
    "They think we're just a bunch of anarchistic, anti free speech, long hair freaks, who have nothing good to say. They think that we can't win on the merits of our own platform. They think that all we're interested in is making a scene, rather than coming up with constructive, workable ideas.

    Let's prove it to 'em!"
  • by beh (4759) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:52AM (#10000616)
    The question is just, whether that will be in a couple of months, or in 4 years and a couple of months...

    While I hope his re-election campaign will fail (badly), I am not convinced it will.

    All the guy needs to do is to occasionally raise (and then silently drop) terror alert levels again to create enough fear in the population to go for his kind of hard-liner politics...
  • Re:Bound to happen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blinder (153117) <> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:53AM (#10000621) Homepage Journal

    wow, could you be any more indoctrinated or what?

    Yeah, those evil republicans! I know, lets just stop taking half measures and just commit random acts of violence against them... yeah, i mean, they aren't even human right? So it won't matter... yeah, next republican you see, bash her/him over the head with a brick. They have it coming to them, subhumans that they are.

    You are a liberal, its your duty! To stand up against the inhuman unfairness of a republican.

    This little "stunt" is about as pathetic as anything I've ever heard of... and is just a glowing indication of the inability of the left to engage in the political process in any meaningful way.

    And yes, you with the mod points, sucked into the slashbot group-think, I fully expect you to mod this down as troll, flamebait... or wait... use the ULTIMATE cop-out... overrated!
  • by grunt107 (739510) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:54AM (#10000630)
    Once again the 'noble' hacker is committing crime - my hero!!!

    Intentions aside, people like these need to be removed from society, for they are no better than the ill they wish to remove.

    If you want to change a wrong, campaign (marketing) for the change, and VOTE!! Don't commit crimes and then say it was all in the name of justice.

    This is like the 'peace' protestors that assault the police or destroy other's property, or the abortion activist murdering a doctor or pro-choicer.

    It's time to start skimming the gene pool...
  • by Featureless (599963) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:55AM (#10000652) Journal
    I've seen the increasing drumbeat of anti-GOP protestors everywhere, clearly building towards a childish orgy of vandalism and street violence. It is monumentally naive.

    The GOP occupation of NYC is not just designed to exploit 9/11. It is a careful and deliberate attempt to provoke protest. Preferably large, frightening, unruly protest. The more masturbatory rage they can stir up in the city, the louder they'll be laughing on their way back to the white house.

    This election will be won with moderates and swing voters. Those are people like your parents. They will not identify with "CrimethInc" and "scruffy, unattractive" street protestors. They will see this event covered from inside the convention looking out.

    Every act of violence, provocation, and unruly or disorderly behavior will scare those moderates right into the GOP's arms. Whether it be showing up on 6th Ave. with a mask and a shield, or DDOS'ing a GOP website, this kind of bad conduct is exactly what Republican strategists urgently want. And it will hand them the election on a silver platter.

    Don't be a goddamn lemming. Save your "violence" for the voting booth!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:56AM (#10000674)
    That these idiots just make everyone else look bad? Congrats, you've just given Asscroft all the ammo he needs to take over all comminucations so asshats like you can't fuck it up for the rest.
    Next time, set yourself on fire in public, it will make a better impact.
    And for the record, I'm a registered Dem.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:56AM (#10000677)
    If the intent is to deny access to other people, then it is a denial of service and is illegal.
  • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gowen (141411) <> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:56AM (#10000681) Homepage Journal
    For the modern left, "tolerance" and "open-mindedness" only apply to ideas they agree with.
    Sure. If the left wing is to be slandered by the actions of these cretins, would be ok if we characterised the right wing by the actions of their most moronic elements []?
  • by soybean (1120) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:58AM (#10000701)
    How is that? Doesn't hypocriticisim require two conflicting ideas?

    If I did agree with or support this, then what would be my conflicting idea or action? (Hint: you don't know)

    What idiot thought that this gibberish was "Insightful"
  • by TheDredd (529506) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:59AM (#10000707)
    Arent' these Reloading apps similar to DOS apps? Written with the purpose of bringing websites down??
    Aren't using DOS apps to bring a webserver down illegal?
  • by mark2003 (632879) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:59AM (#10000712)
    In which reality were weapons of mass destrcution found? The Fox News dimension? Even Bush has given up on this and started talking invading Iraq because Saddam Hussein might have the capability to build WMD.
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @09:59AM (#10000728) Homepage
    Conspiracy to commit distributed Denial of Service attacks probably falls under something illegal. Doesn't matter whether reloading the page itself is illegal.
  • by Erwos (553607) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:00AM (#10000733)
    The fact that it's illegal, immature, and not at all conducive to proper political discussion is why people don't understand why anyone would think this is a good idea. Of course, the very fact that you used the word "regime" indicates to me that you are probably too far divorced from fairness and thinking for yourself to understand this.

    Here's an anecdote: this is roughly akin to nailing two-by-fours across every door and window in my house so that you can prevent me from coming out and using my freedom of speech because you don't like the views I espouse. If you disagree with what I say, the appropriate response is to write, speak, and make your views known. It is not to simply silence the opposition by preventing them from being heard.

    The US doesn't have a big problem with pro-neo-Nazi sentiment in our population. Why? It's not because we ban them from speaking or promoting their views, like in Germany. It's because every time they do speak, they get so thoroughly discredited by the opposition that everyone simply ignores them.

    I would urge all people who do not agree with the White House to _write_ them, whether it's by email or snail mail. Call them, even! But I would urge everyone, both in America and elsewhere, to NOT participate in a childish act like DDOS'ing the RNC's website. The politics in this country are awful enough without resorting to a new low.

  • Ahh, the irony... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rubikon (218148) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:00AM (#10000743)
    Isn't it funny, not ha-ha, how some of those who wrap themselves in the First Amendment, and who claim to be the most open minded and tolerant, are the ones who would attack a group whose political affiliation is different?

    Tolerance [] n. The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.

    Tolerance, Politically Correct n. The capacity to slander, libel, ridicule, belittle, attack, or otherwise marginalize anyone who adheres to moral, religious, or political views which are not Politically Correct. See also: hypocrisy []
  • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by raider_red (156642) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:02AM (#10000762) Journal
    Just remember, the definition of free speech according to some people means "free to say what I agree with."
  • Re:So much for... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JPelorat (5320) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:02AM (#10000770)
    No, the point is that left-leaners tend to think they're the be-all-end-all of fairness, tolerance, kindness, and generosity, and that the right is the antithesis of all these things. And then they go and support and excuse crap like this.

    They *already* claim the right is not these things, so that is not the issue here.
  • by goldspider (445116) <ardrake79@gmRABB ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:02AM (#10000771) Homepage
    Whether or not they're successful is hardly the point. The fact that these groups are trying to silence the Republican Party, and are unabashedly announcing their intent to do so should frighten any true advocate of free speech.

    In light of such actions, how can one associate "liberty" with "liberal" anymore?

  • by TheLoneCabbage (323135) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:02AM (#10000772) Homepage

    Where 100million tinfoil hat script kiddies can see it and get ready for the big day.

    The story IS obviously tech oriented (much more so than F 9/11), but is this the necesarily moral thing to do? I know Taco dislikes bush, but this is enabeling script kiddies to do damage to an electoral canidate in an ilegal way.

    Besides all you would have to do to shut down the GOP website would be to link it from the front page with the phrase "Microsoft buys up SCO". What nerds survive the initial heart attack will then /. it into oblivion.

  • Re:somewhat legit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by luckycat007 (458002) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:03AM (#10000776)
    Marching in Washington is absolutely not a comparison that can be made. The equivalent on the Internet would be a web site that you create that promotes your views. The idea is not to interfere with the message of those who don't agree with everything you say, that is prohibiting free speech.

    If there is a march in your town supporting let's say new roads, and you didn't agree with that march, would you prevent the other group from marching? NO! You would organize your OWN march. Or if these folks had their way they would prevent the New Roads Fascists from even voicing their opinion!
  • Re:So much for... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Photon Ghoul (14932) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:03AM (#10000777)
    Guess that puts the left on the same equal ground as the right now. Only the right doesn't use "hate speech" just "terrorist", "traitor", "liberal" and "girly man".
  • News flash! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by scotay (195240) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:03AM (#10000778)
    Liberals prove themselves equally stupid and as intolerant of dissent as conservatives. Maybe Americans really do get the government we deserve.
  • HUGE differences (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:03AM (#10000785)
    One, the march was to get the GOVERNMENT's attention. These are not government websites.

    Two, the march was NOT ILLEGAL. Denial of service attacks are.

    Three, it was their only avenue to get their message out to so many people. On the internet, anyone can set up their own website to get their message out.
  • by KarmaOverDogma (681451) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:03AM (#10000790) Homepage Journal
    No matter whether your're a Democrat or Republican,trying to inturrupt the Democratic Process becuase you don't agree with your opponent is just plain WRONG

    1) It shows a lack of faith in the strength of one's point of view, since valid arguments can stand well enough on their own merits.
    2) It serves the opponent by allowing them to claim the moral high ground
    3) It debases the cause you beleive in by allowing your opponents to show how many zealots exist on "your" side.
    4) It hampers/impairs free speech, which is the FOUNDATION OF DEMOCRACY
    5) It reduces the ability have a tone of civility in debate as a whole (and don't get me started on who was rude first, that cry-baby crap doesnt show responsible adult behavior - change begins with ME - and you.)

    Set a positive exmaple. Denounce this irresponsible behavior. If you know someone who is doing this or supports it, change their mind.

  • by Ieshan (409693) < minus author> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:05AM (#10000818) Homepage Journal
    The worst part about something like this is that the neo-left needs to be a group that places evidence and facts before ideology.

    Listening to Bush speak and extracting information - he supports pre-emptive war, he doesn't support scientific research on most stemcells, his education and domestic policy are faltering - this type of information is what should drive the left to vote for another candidate. The "he's wrong before I've even heard his views" stance is the *worst* way to go about creating a democracy, in fact, it's the best way to silence one.

    Democracy is dependant on everyone getting the facts. Interpretations of the facts are tricky, but creating your own set of facts is downright wrong. Silencing speech, in any way, is the first step towards the ideological mess that the "faith-based" Republican party finds themselves in right now: creating facts to fit beliefs about misguided assumptions.

    "If you disagree with someone or some group's actions/beliefs"... first requires that you listen to that group's actions or beliefs. I hope - *hope* - that we can get this message across.
  • by jdreed1024 (443938) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:06AM (#10000828)
    To me this is just a bunch of script kiddies trying to get attention,

    And Slashdot is giving them attention, which is a huge mistake. These people do not deserve any media attention at all. They are not martyrs, they are not fighting for freedom, and they are serving nobody's interest. If the websites get DDOSed or defaced, all it's going to do is provide support for Ashcroft and the fight against "cyber-terrorism". They could also spin it as an attack on the democratic process from al-Qaeda. "They're trying to prevent us from having an election, quick pass this new legislation to designate things like wget and shell scripts as weapons of mass terrorism. And it probably would pass. And we'd all be screwed.

    I'd have a lot more respect for these people if they set up a website about why the GOP sucks. And it would probably take less time, too.

  • by ichthus (72442) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:06AM (#10000837) Homepage
    Ok, for readers like musikit, who need it spelled out for them:

    In the midst of this DDOS attack, voices are being stifled. Their speech is being hindered, because someone else doesn't like what they have to say.

    Any way you look at it, their speech is no longer free. They are having to seek other means of expression, or they are having to take measures to overcome opression to express their ideas.

  • by ALeavitt (636946) * <`aleavitt' `at' `'> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:07AM (#10000845)
    While many people have pointed out that hackers may be shooting themselves in the foot and inviting retaliation by attacking the GOP, I see this somewhat differently. The GOP has been attacking us for a long time now. They've been attacking our basic freedoms and rights, they've been attacking other countries on whims, and they've been attacking the very moral fiber of the world. What's wrong with a little civil disobedience to strike back? While I am not in favor of stifling their free speech or actually causing damage, I am wholly in favor of making their lives more difficult, because that's exactly what they've done to me, and all of you, too, whether you want to admit it or not. While this is definitely not the method that our founding fathers held in mind in the formative years of our country, it is in keeping with the same ideals. In the face of tyranny, we must assert our rights, however possible, and make every attempt to bring about justice and liberty, two words that the GOP seems to have forgotten.
  • by kalidasa (577403) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:07AM (#10000852) Journal
    How do you defeat the modern Republican party? Not by shouting them down; if you shout them down, their ideals and agenda remain obscured. Let them talk themselves out of office. Let Cheney make stupid remarks about "sensitivity" so we can juxtapose them with the President's sensible remarks on the same subject. Let the President speak, so everyone can hear that he can't even figure out basic subject/verb agreement in a sentence. Let Ashcroft speak, so folks can see just how scarily totalitarian some of his ideas are. Let Rumsfeld speak, so everyone can hear just how egomaniacal and lacking in honest awareness of his own failings he really is. The best enemy of the US Republican Party is its own leadership ... let them speak.
  • by InnovativeCX (538638) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:08AM (#10000860)

    I suppose this is a concept that is hardly difficult for a thinking person to unearth, but as no one above my threshold has yet commented upon it, I'll take the soapbox.

    This sort of hacktivism is nothing more then the digital analogue of a violent protest. While I most certainly do not agree with the platform and politics of the GOP, I believe that it is these hackers that pose a greater danger to my 'free speech.' While the Republicans have paid to host a web site and run a server in order to communicate their vision to the world, this wonderful group of people has decided not to fight back with cogent argumentation and stunning logic, but rather with a wildly underwhelming attempt to flood the server.

    This sort of free campaign fodder offered to the Republicans can only harm Kerry's cause (though he is no prize pig himself...). Just wait for the War on Terrorism to go electronic: I can't wait for a digital reprisal of Ari Fleisher's 2001 declaration [] that "People have to watch what they say and watch what they do."

    It's time people began to think. I honestly believe that a logical policy analysis reveals the truth. Left to themselves, people reading campaign literature from either side should be able to discern the better candidate. Even card-carrying GOP members that plan to vote a straight ticket deserve to learn what their party stands for and believes.

    Now flip the coin. Suppose it were Republicans DDOS'ing progressive web sites such as, Kuro5hin, or (heaven forbid) Slashdot. Shouldn't we all have the right to publish in peace? Attack my logic and my political views if you'd like. I'm not here to argue today, but it seems to me that this is obviously a "bad idea."

    Yesterday, a wonderful article [] was published in Salon regarding planned protests of the GOP convention. Article summary: "If militants violently disrupt the GOP convention, it could be Chicago 1968 redux -- and Christmas in August for the Bush campaign." There is nothing like a free victory in a battle not fought.

    We recognize the right to free speech, but I personally believe in the right of anyone to be heard. By my personal moral code, the correct way to respond to a man shouting wildly on the street is not to toss a brick his way, but rather to engage in conversation.

    So please, think. It might work.

  • by 4of12 (97621) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:09AM (#10000876) Homepage Journal

    What about reloading a page is innovative, clever, or technical?

    Well, if it was a typical web page, then I'd say the innovative part is to drive up hits so that the high apparent traffic would enable the site maintainers to charge their sponsors more money.

    But in this case, the GOP already has fully-functional mechanisms for getting their sponsors to contribute money; now there are Super Rangers [] if you round up an extra US$300K.

    If you're a less wealthy Republican and can't raise that kind of money you can help out the cause by garnering signatures to help get Ralph Nader on the ballot [], particularly in swing states [].

  • by BlowChunx (168122) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:09AM (#10000891)
    I am hoping that we have as much guts as the Spanish who had the guts to throw out a government that kept lying to them...

    You know, America, home of the brave?
  • by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:10AM (#10000898) Homepage Journal
    It's more petty than anything else.

    Why not just go out and stand in front of the RNC's headquarters and block people from entering?

    What they should be doing is going out and doing something positive, like getting involed with the political party they feel the most affinity for.

    Personally, I think it's just a media ploy by a bunch of lowball egonauts.
  • Re:Not unexpected (Score:5, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:10AM (#10000902)
    You remember all the fuss last month when the Oregon Democrats flooded a Nader meeting in a limited-capacity hall with the explicit purpose of denying him ballot petition signatures, right? No? The New York Times managed to overlook it as well

    Imagine that. Both large political parties in the US try any means to squelch third parties. Both of them have a bone to pick after Nader in 2000 and Ross Perot in 92 and 96.

    ...and they tel lyou a third party vote is wasted? It's actually a pretty big threat. Nothing drains their resources as bad as a vote lost. And if neither of them takes in the vote it only shows that people are becoming disconent with both sides and their status quo BS.
  • by nojomofo (123944) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:11AM (#10000907) Homepage
    Yes, they found a couple of pre-1991 shells that the UN had mistakenly not destroyed. Not the WMD that georgie was talking about. He was talking about Iraq making new WMDs, not this.
  • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nate1138 (325593) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:12AM (#10000918)
    Is it really that unfair for them to do this? When the government (both parties, mind you) silences protestors by sticking them in "Free Speech Zones" that are so isolated from the event as to be irrelevant, what other alternatives are there? I think, in this case, this is fair play.
  • by mark2003 (632879) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:12AM (#10000920)
    Interesting and unfortunate view.

    Historically trying to forcibly kill a cultural viewpoint has done nothing of the sort. Take Northern Ireland as an example - whilst the British government were cracking down on the Irish they were queuing to join the IRA. Once the Good Friday agreement had been signed and most of the causes for the problems had been removed then the support began to dry up.

    Likewise in the middle east every attempt to control terrorism by blowing up towns, farms and houses (often of people unrelated to the problem) has caused nothing but an escalation of violence. This is why so many people world wide think the approach of the US is doomed to failure and if anything will lead to even more entrenched and violent Islamic radicalism that will last for centuries.

    It would be much better to understand and remove the causes for these problems but tackling poverty and lack of education is much more dificult then dropping a few bombs and doesn't give you neo-cons such a stiffy.
  • by Dr. GeneMachine (720233) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:12AM (#10000927)
    It's about forcibly killing Panislamic radicalism over the next several decades, perhaps in a generation, without letting it run its natural course over the next 2 to 3 centuries.

    Nice troll there, young fellow. Perhaps you should sometimes let reality slightly modify your worldview, won't you? Iraq was the only solidly secular state in the region. That for sure has changed now. Nice work there.

  • Re:SPIN! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JWW (79176) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:13AM (#10000939)
    It really disturbs me that if we capture Bin Laden anytime in the next few months that there will actaully be people in the US who will be UPSET about it!!

    Are we so divided that events that happen that advance the common good cannot be recoginzed by the everyone because of politics?
  • by nojomofo (123944) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:13AM (#10000946) Homepage

    If you're still going to vote for Bush, then you're supporting all of the neocon/theocons, whether or not you agree with them.

  • by mark2003 (632879) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:15AM (#10000968)
    I'm sorry didn't realise one shell containing a small amount of Sarin counted as a weapon of mass destruction.

    RTFA - "However, a senior coalition source has told the BBC the round does not signal the discovery of weapons of mass destruction or the escalation of insurgent activity."
  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:19AM (#10001027)
    Germany KNOWS that Saddam did have WMD at one point, without a doubt. It also knows that Saddam was never fully cooperative with inspectors. The weapons inspectors could not verify that Iraq had complied, and in fact believed they hadn't, in 1998.

    Are we to believe that in the interim period, Iraq secretly destroyed all of its remaining weapons, on its own, with no supervision or involvement of outside monitors, all with no proof or records, all the while Saddam Hussein himself thought he was increasing his investment in WMD?

    It's mind-numbingly clear that Iraq had WMD. But the war in Iraq wasn't about WMD - it was a political reason chosen in the hopes of rallying UN support, and the support of the people of the US. The war in Iraq was about a multi-faceted effort to begin exerting influence, forcibly when necessary, in the middle east, in the hopes of stopping Panislamic radicalism in a generation or two rather than in a century or two. There are MANY aspects to this strategy: it's not just about bombing people into oblivion; it's about encouraging free government with a free flow of information, and some beginnings of open economies and markets to attempt to give the young people something to do, something to strive for, as well as full, unfettered access to news, information, and education, instead of focusing their energies on hatred of the West and the Infidel as taught by some segments of radical Islam. It's also, in case you haven't noticed, about the economic well-being of not only the US, but by extension, most of the civilized world.

    So yes; in effect, this is a "war for oil". But it's not a war for oil so that greedy, fat Americans can drive Chevy Suburbans. It's a war to ensure the continued prosperity of the Western world, and thus the lives and happiness of hundreds of millions of people. What about the people of Iraq, you say? WE WANT TO HELP THEM, TOO. We don't want to indiscriminately kill innocent people, though the loss of innocent life is a tragic side effect of any military action.

    People think that the US just wants to arrogantly steamroll people and kill all the brownskins for oil (while installing a Starbucks and McDonalds on every street corner in Baghdad). It's a fuck of a lot more complicated than that. It's also a fuck of a lot more complicated than simplistic "you're either with us or against us"-type rhetoric. Any thinking person, of any political stripe, would realize that.
  • by syrinx (106469) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:19AM (#10001030) Homepage
    "I'm against Bush but I don't want to kill him or take down his server or rage about how he's a filthy liar. I just want people not to vote for him because he hasn't done a very good job."

    If there were more people like you, I wouldn't be so anti-Democrat. I haven't been very impressed with Bush, but all the "ANYBODY BUT BUSH/NO BLOOD FOR OIL/OMGWTFBUSHSUX0RS" 'liberals' have completely driven me away from that side as well. While I will most likely be voting for a third-party candidate, at this point I'd rather see Bush win than Kerry, mainly because the Democrat side seems so horrible now. Then again, if Bush loses, the Republicans may realize that they're been moving in the wrong (IMO, of course :)) direction, and will re-shape themselves into a better party.

    Bah. As the Aliens vs Predator trailer says: Whoever wins, we lose.
  • by LMCBoy (185365) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:20AM (#10001049) Homepage Journal
    The fact that these groups are trying to silence the Republican Party, and are unabashedly announcing their intent to do so should frighten any true advocate of free speech.

    This is not a free speech issue. As the corporate apologists are so fond of reminding us, free speech is about limiting government's control of speech.

    In light of such actions, how can one associate "liberty" with "liberal" anymore?

    Perhaps it's possible, and I am only speculating here, that someone, somewhere may consider himself a "liberal" and at the same time may also disapprove of such vandalism as this. Shocking, I know.
  • by grunt107 (739510) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:21AM (#10001060)
    That's the flawed 'thinking' in the US (and other Dem. countries).

    "My vote does not matter so I will not vote". Even if the vote is a lock for any candidate, VOTE!!! If you like neither, write in a candidate. If your state does not allow write-ins KILL THEM ALL (kidding - fight to change that). My opinion has always been no vote, no voice.

    I agree the current EC system is unfair. Instead of all/nothing go on % and total ECs w/decimal places (out to 3 should do). OR (my fave), allow 'None of the Above' on EVERY office choice (or at least Pres). If NOTA wins, ALL offerings for that post on the ballot get thrown off, the parties have 30 days to decide a new candidate (or indies get xxxx sigs) and re-elections held 30 days after that.
  • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:21AM (#10001061)
    For the modern left, "tolerance" and "open-mindedness" only apply to ideas they agree with. Everything else is "hate speech" and thus deserving of complete extermination.

    I'll say to you the same thing I'd say to the anti-GOP hackers:

    Grow up.
  • Re:Disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:21AM (#10001064)
    Libertarians, at least the mainstream ones that live on, are worried about excesses of power and inefficiency in government, and want to pare down the powers of government as much as possible. They also believe in what they call an "unfettered free market" and their opponents call "no checks on the excesses of large corporations."

    Hacker types tend toward Libertarianism in the sense that they want the government to have less power ("What do you care if I smoke weed in my own house? Fuck off!"), but they also want large corporations to have less power. Rather than portraying the conflict as government-against-private and coming down on the side of private (people and corporations), the hacker types see it as big-guys-vs.-little-guys, and support the little guys. It doesn't matter WHO the big guy with all the power is--they oppose it.

    The Democrats may be just as big-government as the Republicans, but they support less power for big corporations.

    Specifically, the big-governmental roles that hacker types object to are generally moral and ethical rather than financial. They oppose government interference in what they consider to be private matters more than they oppose higher taxes.[1]

    Conventional wisdom says that the Republicans want more of this sort of control than Democrats: they are the party that wants to ban abortions, write the heterosexuality of marriage into the constitution, is more vehement in attacking drug use, and so on.

    So, the GOP has lost with the hackers on two counts: favor to large corporations, and moralistic interference in private life. The Dems still want a large role for government, but their idea of large government isn't as oppressive to hacker types.

    [1] The Republicans generally portray themselves as the party that will tax Americans less; whether this is true or not is beyond the scope of this post.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:21AM (#10001065)
    for crying out loud mod parent up. i only wish the moderators had enough sense to notice what genemachine so adroitly pointed out.
  • I hate Bush (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BugMaster ChuckyD (18439) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:22AM (#10001067)
    and the GOP (at least what the modern GOP has become... theocrats, neocons and corporate apologists) but this sort of disruption is just wrong on so many levels. Now its true that most of what Bush has to say is nothing more than lies, fear-mongering and propaganda... OK EVERYTHING he says falls into one of those categories, but even a fraud like like Bush has a right to say it. We should counter his lies, fear-mongering and propaganda with web sites of our own telling the "other" side of the story, not acting like the GOP thugs who intimidate anyone who critizes their Great Leader.

    If we think we are better than this bunch of crooks & liars we ought to behave as if we are better then them, as true (small d) democrats, not just another set of absolutest goons.

    ON a more practicle side this sort of thing (and any disruption of the RNC in NYC) is in danger of being counter productive. There are precious few undecided voters this election, and although it appears that Kerry is doing better than Bush amongst those voters, it won't take much to turn them off.

    So I urge everyone who understands just how important it is to get rid of Bush and the neocon crazies in his administration not to try to disrupt the GOP's web sites or convention, but to channel the energy into a positive message.
  • by (trb001) (224998) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:22AM (#10001074) Homepage
    I absolutely agree with you. Not on your interpretation of Bush's views, but on your belief that you should be informed before voting. One of my pet peeves is best represented by my best friend's wife...her entire reason for voting for Kerry is because he wants to raise teacher's salaries. "He's for education, and as a teacher, I respect that.". Okay, dandy, but a) teacher's salaries are state dependant..federal funding supports education, but does nothing to directly affect their salaries, b) Bush has thrown more into education than any other president *ever*, including accounting for inflation, c) the 'underfunding' that keeps getting reported is a little known difference between 'approved funding' and 'appropriated funding'...every government program gets hit this way.

    My point is, the American people are ill-informed and it's going to come back and bite them in the ass. What people should really be looking at is the issues swept under the carpet. I don't care if John Kerry was a war hero or not, but I'll be damned if he's going to spend my tax dollars on a healthcare plan when almost 50% of the national budget is going to be going (within the next decade) to Social Security and Medicare. No candidate can hope to get elected on the "I'm going to raise your taxes because we have to pay for shit" platform, but that's exactly what's going to have to happen in the next few presidential terms. Either that or stop spending so much fucking money. The American public doesn't like hearing that either, unfortunately.

  • OK, I give in (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ThisIsFred (705426) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:24AM (#10001105) Journal
    Wow, that's got me convinced. I'm going to go down right now and change my party affiliation to Democrat.

    (do I really need sarcasm tags here?)
  • Re:So much for... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mattkime (8466) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:24AM (#10001108)
    Yes, the same way the modern right kills abortion doctors.

    (Hint: they don't, but there's extremists on either side)
  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:26AM (#10001131)
    The more grotesque, destructive and hate-filled RNC protests turn out to be, the more votes that get swung to Bush. We'll see how it plays out.

    I think the actions of the radical Left groups are actually going to turn off a lot of support for Senator Kerry if the Democratic National Committee doesn't distance themselves from them. Does anyone remember the riots in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the protest that turned very ugly during the 1999 World Trade Organization conference in Seattle? These ugly scenes played right into the hands of the people who want law and order, and probably contributed a bit to the Presidential wins of Richard Nixon in 1968 and President Bush in 2000.

    These "hacktivists" are going to be grouped among the anarchists, which will defeat their aims.
  • by 200_success (623160) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:26AM (#10001143)

    To all of you DOSers out there -- in case it's not already obvious... Denial of Service attacks earn you no respect, it demonstrates no skills. It's like child molestation: it's so easy, anyone could do it. But why would you want to?

  • by visually_extinct (773975) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:26AM (#10001146)
    Kind of interest how it is the Democrats are lacking morals and are doing this. Did Rebulicans do the same a little while ago? Not to my knowledge. It seems like something a 12 year old kid would do, but they can't even vote. Hmmm....
  • by PretzelAvenger (151751) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:27AM (#10001152)
    Pardon my ignorance (I'm Canadian, you see) but I thought the entire 'right to bear arms' and 'no standing army' provisions of the constitution were designed to allow the citizenry to overthrow the government, if they so chose? Didn't Jefferson himself actually think that the government SHOULD be overthrown every few years, just to keep it honest or something?
  • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by danheskett (178529) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <tteksehnad>> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:27AM (#10001164)
    The right to seek a redress of grievances does not mean you get to have civil disorder and break hundreds, perhaps thousands, of laws a day.

    Protesting is subject to the same laws and regulations as other speech. Can I stand in the road on any day of the week and hold up traffic and yell and hold a sign and whatnot? No. Of course not.

  • by Siniset (615925) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:30AM (#10001200) Homepage Journal
    I'd just like to point out that Kerry has made it clear that the war in Iraq was the right thing to do, if we had had the support of the world to do it. We did not. I think people don't remember that the US is a member of the world, and no longer a Superpower. We need to work with the rest of the world to solve our problems and theirs, not against the world.
  • by Misch (158807) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:31AM (#10001213) Homepage
    Just like the actions of the Swift Boat Veterans group should be turning off a bunch of Republicans, but you haven't heard much from anyone there other than John McCain condemning the actions of that group.
  • by shotfeel (235240) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:31AM (#10001217)
    The irony!

    Above is a perfect example of why its so difficult to have a "proper debate".

    It really saddens me that we spend so much energy painting those who disagree with us as stupid or one dimensional or evil that we really start to believe they are all that. Once you monstrify the other person, proper debate is impossible.
  • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fnkmaster (89084) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:32AM (#10001230)
    No, for 15 year old protest-mongering nutjobs, "tolerance" and "open-mindedness" only apply to ideas they agree with. I see quite a few posts in this story by liberals who want Bush out of office who are decrying this sort of childish technique to stifle speech because it inevitably alienates people and will produce a backlash. This does more for the Republican cause than for the Democratic cause any day of the week.

    In fact, I just saw an excellent post explaining that the Republicans want lots of youthful looney tunes protestors raging around the streets of New York - they think it will help alienate middle America and swing voters. I agree with this - I'm a moderate liberal Democrat myself, not a party-voter, but one who votes on issues. No chance I'm voting for Bush in this election, since he has no redeeming qualities as a person or a leader, but I would vote for the right Republican in the right circumstances. I have always been put off by rampaging protestors, having lived in Boston and New York for years. Nobody has EVER successfully changed my mind by getting in my face and yelling while I'm trying to walk to the bank or go out with my girlfriend to a restaurant. Nobody has EVER successfully changed my mind or influenced my vote by blocking traffic and making me late to a meeting, except by successfully labelling themselves and their candidates/causes as "thoroughly looney" in my mind and making me steer well clear of them.

    I support peoples' right to peaceful assembly, but most of the time I see lots of youthful exhuberence and ill-educated idiots who are out to protest because "it's cool", not because they truly believe in a cause or feel that this is their only way to make people aware of the cause. I saw this going on at Harvard all the time - you would expect better of a top Ivy League student body. By the time I graduated, I had hardened in my conservative beliefs because I'd gotten so thoroughly sick of all the ivory tower sheeple behavior. In any case, I've realized since that just because I'm a conservative by the standards of radically liberal college students, I'm still a moderate liberal compared to the rest of the world and my views are still more within the Democratic party fold than not.

    The moral of the story: don't piss people off in your zeal to convert them to your cause. Same message goes out to all the Republicans voting for a nutjob like Bush. Moderates don't want to hear about your so-called "faith" or "conversion" to born-again Christianity. This shit just alienates you from every moderately educated person out there. I guess the Republicans are lucky that roughly 50% of people are below average.

  • Re:So much for... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Linuxthess (529239) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:33AM (#10001245) Journal
    I've personally spoken to members of the Free Republic web board, and I can tell you that those were the most hate-filled individuals I've ever met.

    Free Republic, meet Democratic Underground. Democratic Underground, Free Republic.

  • by Misch (158807) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:33AM (#10001254) Homepage
    Sometimes, I think people are so bent on the whole "one nation, under god" in the Pledge of Alliegance that they forget that the Pledge ends "with liberty and justice for all"
  • by operagost (62405) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:34AM (#10001258) Homepage Journal
    You start out with what appeared to be an insightful comment:
    Wouldn't eliminating the Republican's "free speech" on the web via DDOS attacks basically amount to cyber-terrorism?
    Then you try to justify said destructive, oppressive behavior by pulling out the old "RIPUBLIKANS AR TEH 3V1L!" rhetoric. For those who are not familiar with the left wing apologists' rulebook, there are only two arguments allowed:

    1. is a diabolical, cunning Fascist.
    2. is a drooling, incompetent idiot.

    NOTE: It's perfectly OK to use BOTH of these arguments in reference to the same person - even in the same debate. Trust me, no one will ever notice the contradiction!

    HINT: Free speech means everyone gets to express their ideas, not just you.

  • by letxa2000 (215841) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:39AM (#10001327)
    Ironic how some activists today think that society is best served by making sure it doesn't have access to information that doesn't agree with the activists themselves. Interestingly, some of these "hacker activists" probably supposedly cling to the slogan "information wants to be free." I guess they just think they have a right to determine what information society should be free to access.

    How the actions of such "activists" differ from the efforts of government, RIAA, MPAA, etc. to restrict our access to information and the truth is left as an exercise for the reader.

  • by bahwi (43111) <incoming.josephguhlin@com> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:39AM (#10001332) Homepage
    Because everyone on slashdot thinks and believes the exact same things, right?

    Mind you, I'm against it personally, but I do not believe when I became a slashdot reader I was copy and pasted from the main slashdot template to fit in. I think you are a hypocrite for pushing down free speech of others(to say they support it, etc..)
  • Myth (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:39AM (#10001333)
    the Republicans have all the money in the universe (or soon will) so they'll just buy more servers and ride it out, no?

    Why does this myth perpetuate so much that the Republicans are the fat cats? Consider:

    o The Democratic bankroller, George Soros, is a multi-billionaire. He's the funder behind and one of the world's wealthiest persons.

    o Warren Buffet, multi-billionaire and depending on the list, the second richest man in the US (behind Bill Gates, who donates to both parties) is exclusively pro-Democrat.

    o Most of Hollywood's rich are Democrats and despise Republicans.

    o Most of the Fortune 500 CEOs are either pro-Democrat or contribute to both parties.

    o Enron's CEO and CFO were very close friends to Kerry's wife, and the CEO was on one of her boards.

    o Global Crossing did sweetheart deals (invest a couple hundred grand, get $16 million back, while the common folk get screwed) for the DNC head.

    o When research has been done on who donates to the parties, the Republican party's donations consisted of mostly numerous small donations by the non-wealthy with some large fat cat donations, while the Democrat donations were the other way (mostly rich folks with large donations). Here's a clue to help you validate this fact: look at what geographic regions vote Republican (aka fly over country, or the "Red states" which the elitists aka Democrats point out are rural schmucks not worth their time). Ever wonder why elitists are almost always Democrats too? Ever wonder why the media elitists hate humble people (i.e. George Bush, Ronald Reagan) and make fun of them as idiots because they don't understand complexities (that's code for relativism)?

    Seriously, you've gotta get off the plantation and quit buying into the master's propeganda. Yes, both parties listen to money, but quit buying this rich fat cat propeganda that the Democrats are for small folk, pro minorities (look at which party fought for slavery and even ran a candidate against President Lincoln that promised to end the civil war and let the south keep the slaves).

    Please... read your history. Check the facts yourself. The only thing sadder than living life blindly as a house negro is a house negro who conducts terroristic acts against his liberator, as these DoS efforts represent.
  • Protests, blyeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr Guy (547690) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:41AM (#10001361) Journal
    They won't need to. You should have been in Philadelphia in 2000. The PD there was the best anyone could have asked for. Like many protests, it started out peaceful and ended up violent or stupid. The fact of the matter is republican or democrat doesn't matter much in a mob; getting that many agitated people who tend to be younger and probably easily impressionable and it's a magnet for trouble.

    It is, perhaps, a stereotype that most protests are filled with people between the ages of 18 to 25, but from what I've seen it's largely true, with older people leading them. It makes sense though, that's the group of people who have the time to leave their lives for a couple weeks, go accross the country, and protest. They are also the ones willing to live in the streets for a bit and have the energy to keep up that kind of passion. They are also the least likely to actually vote, and the most likely to make an uninformed decision without listening to the rationale on both sides.

    Whether or not you agree with me, it's these perceptions developed largely by actually being forced to live in an area where protests were supposed to be "sticking up for me" that automatically makes me label protestors as idiots, no matter what they are out protesting. Republican, Democrat, Antiabortion, prochoice, environmentalist, antiwar, -- all of it is better served by discussion, not screaming. There are few instances I can think of where a protest would do more good than a well written letter.
  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:42AM (#10001367)
    There are some differences between what the Swift Boat Veterans and what the radical Left are wanting to do, though.

    First of all, the Swift Boat vets are NOT advocating acts of civil disobedience bordering of violence (and probably crossing that border, too) that some of the radical Left are advocating. Remember what happened in 1968 and 1999 when a small group of anarchists turned what was supposed to be peaceful protest into violent confrontations with the police and causing quite a lot of property damage? If we have a repeat of that at the Republican National Convention, those images shown on TV will turn off many "swing" voters and they'll end up voting against Senator Kerry in no time flat.
  • by dave420 (699308) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:42AM (#10001370)
    There was a MASSIVE investigation in the UK about the use of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war. The findings were that the intelligence was hyped up to insane levels, elevating something rather trivial to something sounding horrificly dangerous. Their "equipment used to manufacture WMD" could include any high-school chemistry lab anywhere in the world.

    Your analogy about the gun thing is short-sighted. It would work if owning a gun was illegal. You see, Saddam wasn't going to use those weapons (even if he had them). The US went at him because he HAD those weapons, which the US sold him. So, you see, the US attacked him for something the US specifically did, not because the US sold him something he later mis-used. Remember the story for going to Iraq (after the "he's gonna kill us in the next 10 seconds" excuse) was his ownership of WMDs.

    Your ideas about weapons inspectors in '98 is half-baked, relying on heresay as to what Saddam was thinking, and his probable actions. You don't go to war for that. You go to war when you're in imminent danger, or someone you care about is in imminent danger.

    You say the reason the Europeans are against the war is because of money, yet you never address the point that it might not be the case at all. You assume something, and run it into the ground, saying "look at this evidence! isn't it compelling!".

    You mention breaking UN security resolutions. You know the best way to not break those? Be able to veto them. The US has vetoed more resolutions than Iraq has ever broken. Resolutions like "abide by international law" etc. Blaming Iraq for not having the veto the US has is ridiculous. It's a vapid argument.

    Then, you say it's not about WMD. Isn't that what Bush told us it was about? Which is it - Bush was lying and it's about Islamic fundamentalism, or Bush was telling the truth and it IS about WMDs that aren't there. Well?

    Panislamic radicalism. That's a great one. How about we just give the US administration a catchy name like that and throw the exact same argument back at you?

    So Iraq does have ties to Al Qaida? Wow. Where did you get that little gem from? Can you cite some sources for us? Let me spare you the time - you can't. That is a claim the Bush administration has been trying to spread around for months. It's been debunked by every media outlet there is (excluding Fox, of course). If you still believe that, you obviously have no idea what's going on in the world.

    Why did the US pick Iraq? It was the least dangerous country in the middle east. So safe, in fact, that even Kuwait wasn't scared by it. I mean, if the US wanted to really take a stance against "panislamic radicalism", they would have gone for a hotbed of radicals, not a country ruled by a moderate, whisky-drinking Arab with a not-exclusively-muslim government. It just doesn't make sense. That's the whole point about all of this - if you actually think about it, using your own brain, using your own sources of information, you can quickly see that the Bush administration has changed their story SO MANY TIMES they clearly have something to hide. If they came out straight away and said about panislamic radicalism, then there would be more credibility to their stance. As it is, they didn't, and now look like they're pulling excuses out of their asses.

    You seem to think that Islamic countries have an in-built hatred for the US. That's not true. Osama Bin Laden is pissed off with the states for something the states did to him and his country. If the US stopped running around pissing off every country it could find, there wouldn't be anyone parking airliners in your sky scrapers. By your logic, there would have been bombs all over Canada and every conceivable part of Europe by now. As you can see, there haven't been. Doesn't that show you that it isn't "Islam vs. The West", but "Pissed off people vs. America"

    Your excuses for not going after other countries is stupid. Iraq was a "pre-emptive war" (which it

  • by scrod (136965) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:42AM (#10001376) Homepage
    I realize that you're probably being sarcastic, but what you're suggesting would probably be one of the most "American" things that one could do. Does this look familiar to anyone?

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
  • Mods on crack (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:42AM (#10001377)
    How does this get a 4?

    It's mind-numbingly clear that Iraq had WMD

    To who?

    Where are they?

    How come only half the US believe this and most of the rest of the world don't?

    It's more clear as time goes on that the premise for the war was shaky at best, due to either incompetent leadership or incompetent intelligence agencies. Saddam HAD weapons of mass destruction but that was a long time ago. As we drew up to war it seemed that he might have some still, but there was certainly no definite evidence. Now it appears there really were non, as we can't find any.
  • by lenski (96498) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:43AM (#10001381)
    ...And I just used up my mod points.

    I remember advocating two simultaneous reactions to 9/11:

    • Crimes must be punished
    • Americans should think carefully about why some people want to them down a few notches

    It's not "girly" or "unpatriotic" to think about how one's actions affect others.

    W.R.T. right vs left: It would be great if people thought about efficiency and effectiveness and responsibility once in a while instead of constantly going on about rights all the damn time. I am tired of laziness, intellectual and otherwise, substituting for getting together to get the job done (whatever the job is at any given time).

    Genuine thinking is difficult and takes discipline. But worst of all, taking the time to actually consider one's approach is being labeled by both sides as unpatriotic/wrong/girly/wonkish/etc. I guess it's not exciting enough.

  • by Chibi Merrow (226057) <mrmerrow AT monkeyinfinity DOT net> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:43AM (#10001382) Homepage Journal
    Historically trying to forcibly kill a cultural viewpoint has done nothing of the sort.

    I guess you're not familiar with Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, or Imperial Japan, then...

    Likewise in the middle east every attempt to control terrorism by blowing up towns, farms and houses (often of people unrelated to the problem) has caused nothing but an escalation of violence.

    Actually, from what I've seen in Isreal, blowing up Hamas and Islamic Jihad leadership seems to be pretty effective at shrinking (though, no eliminating) the violence. You're right if your point is that we can't just blow up the terrorists and hope they go away. That's why we didn't just carpet bomb Iraq and most of the middle east. Instead, we're trying to eliminate terrorists where we can AS WELL as set up a free state in the middle of the region to act as a beacon to bring liberty and peace to the rest of the region.

    Is this going to work overnight? Hell no! It took half a decade (and in some cases longer) to pacify post-WWII Germany and Japan, and even longer than that for them to become viable world powers. Likewise, it will take us just as long if not longer to achieve the same in Iraq. However, assuming we don't cut and run, it will be achieved.

    Read the articles of 1946 in magazines such as Time... They sound eerily familiar with headlines such as "America Won the War; May Lose the Peace"... Funny in light of the situation of today, where two of our 'occupied' countries both are on friendly terms with us and compete with us economically.

  • by Damek (515688) <adam@dame[ ]rg ['k.o' in gap]> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:44AM (#10001391) Homepage
    Perhaps you should also wake the fuck up and realize that this whole mideast strategy IS NOT ABOUT WMD IN IRAQ. It's about forcibly killing Panislamic radicalism over the next several decades, perhaps in a generation, without letting it run its natural course over the next 2 to 3 centuries.

    Perhaps if Bush had simply said that to begin with instead of towing the WMD line, people might have generally gone along with him. Perhaps we all could have an honest, adult discussion about the issue and what might be the best way to deal with it.

    I still think war in Iraq was really not the best way to start combatting Islamic fundamentalism/radicalism, but perhaps I didn't have all the info. I certainly wasn't given the chance to change my mind or think about it, I was just told Iraq had WMDs and was linked to Osama, both of which turned out not to be true (and Osama's name hasn't been mentioned by the President more than 6-7 times in the past year - apparently not much of a concern for him).

    I believe war can be just and necessary from time to time. I agree that fundamentalism of all kinds, especially the kind that tends towards militarism, is the biggest problem we need to be dealing with in the 21st century. Unfortunately Bush picked the wrong target, misled everyone and now we're in a mess that seems to be making things worse than better.
  • Re:So much for... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nate1138 (325593) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:46AM (#10001419)
    Bullshit. Simple bullshit. The last time I checked, this whole country was a "Free Speech Zone". You may not be able to stand in the middle of the road, because that would be stupid and dangerous. But that's illegal because of traffic laws, nothing at all to do with free speech. What the government is doing is a simple, calculated move intended to marginalize anyone who doesn't agree with them by treating them like caged animals and removing them from the very event that they are protesting. How is this any different than silencing their voice online? My point is that it is perfectly fair to treat the government the way they treat you. If they silence you and marginalize you, it is your right, it is your DUTY to speak out by whatever non-violent means you have.

  • by Theatetus (521747) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:48AM (#10001444) Journal

    IANA Spaniard, but I thought most Spanish voters were pissed that the government immediately blamed those Basque people when their own intel sources were saying it was Al Qaeda.

    i.e., the election was not about "caving" or "standing up" to the terrorists; it was about standing up to a government that was putting ideology ahead of solid intel.

    Hmmm... why does that sound familiar?...

  • by nlinecomputers (602059) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:50AM (#10001465)
    I don't support Bush even if I tend to agree with Republicans. But even I can see a con job and a grab for oil for what it is.

    However that doesn't make a DDOS attack right. If Bush's message is so bad then why shouldn't it be heard. All this does is drive up sympathy and plays in to the terrorist fear mindset that is the cornerstone of the Bush agenda.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:50AM (#10001474)
    It would be much better to understand and remove the causes for these problems but tackling poverty and lack of education is much more dificult then dropping a few bombs and doesn't give you neo-cons such a stiffy.

    You can't fix the problems of poverty and lack of education without removing the the dictator/regime that is forcing the conditions on it own people.

    Saying pretty please won't get the dictator/regime to leave either. So sometimes it is necessary to "drop a few bombs", as you put it.
  • Liberal? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FunWithHeadlines (644929) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:52AM (#10001507) Homepage
    "In light of such actions, how can one associate "liberty" with "liberal" anymore?"

    Huh? What's with the idea of bringing liberals into this discussion? We're talking extremists here. Extremists on both sides of political idealogy are against liberty. Extremists are the ones who want to shut up (or lock up) their opponents. This has nothing to do with liberals or conservatives, both of whom hate actions such as this (or such as the White House neo-cons have been doing). Extremists are the problem, not conservatives or liberals.

  • Re:Silly hackers! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Pxtl (151020) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:53AM (#10001514) Homepage


    Bush made his money in deals? No, he lost money in deals. He ran several businesses into the ground. He made his money the American way - Daddy arranged it all for him.
  • by freality (324306) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:53AM (#10001516) Homepage Journal
    Please, someone propose a better protest then.

    So far, here's what we have:

    - Street protests: Yeah, that'll make a big difference. Oh, another mass of people protesting in a major city? What good did the hundreds of thousands in multiple protests last year in Manhattan, or the millions in cities across Europe accomplish?

    - Voting: Yeah, that'll make a big difference. That huge political gulf (sarcasm) between Bush and Kerry notwithstanding, there's very little to hold either to their election day promises, as many a President has shown.

    To paraphrase Peter Lamborn Wilson, where did we cross the line where we forgot that protesting about the possibility of political consequences is not the same as political consequences? Voting for the RDNC will not solve our predicament. There has been a concerted effort between the parties to dig us into this hole for 50 years, and surprise, surprise, people are starting to lose faith in the system.

    This is a big vote, indeed. But the likely outcome, a Bush/Kerry win, will only change the rate at which new suckage spews forth from the headlines.

    What is one to do as this nation, and many of it allies, decends into war?

    If you give a real alternative protest with real political consequences, these petty hackers will listen.

    If you don't, you're probably part of what they're protesting.
  • by FullCircle (643323) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:56AM (#10001567)
    The republicans own the media.
    They won't let peaceful protesters within blocks of the President or in view of a camera taping the President.
    The debate process blocks anyone with a differing view.

    This is just about the only way people have left to voice their views. They aren't hurting anyone and they may very well make themselves look stupid. It is simply peaceful, but unlawful, protest.

    To quote Cris Rock, "I'm not saying that its right, but I understand."
  • by Lars Arvestad (5049) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:58AM (#10001590) Homepage Journal
    Is a DDOS attack not a form of speech?

    No! No more than throwing rotten tomatos on someone speaking to people in an open-air meeting.

    Would you like your candidate silenced?

  • by Azghoul (25786) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:59AM (#10001599) Homepage
    So in the same vein, if you vote for Kerry, you're supporting all the wacko Greenpeace, tree-huggin, anti-capitalist, anti-trade communists, whether or not you agree with them. :)

    I'd guess it's the theory that one side is a little closer to what you believe than the other...
  • by CountBrass (590228) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:01AM (#10001625)

    lessor? where were you when they were teaching spulling? Or has Bush cut education spending that far already.

    Anyway. Let's see, Bush has: sent American troops to die in an illegal war and after lying to the country about the reasons. He's presided over a regime that's successively stripped away your rights and freedoms. He's had out billions in tax breaks and dodgy contracts to his cronies (Halliburton): to such an extent that he's turned a massive budget surplus under the Democrats into a truly awe-inspiring defecit.

    And what has Kelly done?

    Clinton only lied about who was sucking his dick (and how is that anyone else's business anyway). Bush lied and got thousands of people killed, *increased* terrorism and reduced your freedoms (including the freedom to learn how to spell it seems).

    And Kelly has done what exactly that even begins to compare with Bush's fundamental corruption? Hmm let's see.... Nope, nothing is still the answer. Let's face it, in many ways Saddam Hussein would be the lesser of two evils when put up against Dubyah: at least he's honest about how he came to power.

  • by wikdwarlock (570969) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:02AM (#10001647) Homepage
    Have you met many Americans? Do they know what totalitarian means? Do they admit their own failings? Can they make sentences w/ subject/verb agreement?

    I'm not trying to say that Americans are slobbering idiots that deserve the crap leaders they get, but advocating silence and letting the GOP self-destruct just doesn't seem to acknowledge the apathy/lack of critical thinking that's so prevalent in America. I don't know the solution to the problem, but counting on analytical, intelligent voters is not it.
  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by upside (574799) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:02AM (#10001649) Journal
    Yeah, and many of these reasons are so morally corrupt or plain stupid and counterproductive. I was going to go through your post point by point, but I'll just say IMHO colonizing a country is wrong wrong wrong. Also goes to show how unsustainable western "civilization" is if it depends on expansion and appropriation of others' natural resources.

    I'm not a total relativist but I'll also say Islam is a civilization and no less a valid or valuable one than then western civilization (of which Gandhi said "would be a good idea"...).

    Sometimes my cynical side thinks Bush isn't even trying to stop Islamic radicalism. Fundamentalists need each other to get power at home, see Norther Ireland. Bush was a mediocre president at best until 9/11, and he's been riding the terror horse that made him #1 ever since.
  • by elijahao (195433) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:03AM (#10001666) Homepage
    If you Read The Article you would have realized that they were not only advocating page reload *programs* and distributing them (for the express purpose of DoS), but also "mischief and mayhem" by hacking and defacing websites.

    I would wager to guess that the "organizers" of this DoS could be charged with something, but no I don't think it is currently *expressly* illegal, but it is at minimum disturbing the Cyber-Peace, which could be translated from current laws.
  • by Red Rocket (473003) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:04AM (#10001679)

    ...liberals, are the ones most likely to attempt to censor to their opponents.

    I have two cases for you to help you ponder your hypocrisy:

    Al-Jazeera []
    Yellow Times []

    Censorship is wrong. A liberal would not be in favor of censorship. These guys are more accurately described as anarchists.
  • by ViolentGreen (704134) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:04AM (#10001682)
    HINT: Free speech means everyone gets to express their ideas, not just you.

    It's amazing how slashdoters can be so fickle. Free speech is OK as long as it doesn't come from a republican.
  • Problem is, the hacktivists don't see it that way. They probably don't even LIKE Kerry...many voters don't consider him progressive enough for their tastes and the anti-war folks can't like that he's a decorated veteran even considering his later protests.

    They see themselves as being anti-Bush...a separate option from pro-Kerry. But many conservatives don't break it down so granularly...anybody on the other side is on the Other Side, and so we moderates voting Democrat this year are in the same boat as the draft dodging hippies and punk subversives.

    In fact, one of the major problems I have with the modern Republican party is that they treat nearly everything as a binary issue. You're either for it or against it, you can't be ambivalent or vote to control the amount of something. In a way, this inflexibility makes the Republican party even more idealistic than the Democrats, and institutes a lot of what the Democrats claim is hypocrisy. How can you have a party that believes that parents should have the right to choose what school their children go to but that they're not bright not moral enough to choose whether or not to keep their child? Easy...each of these issues is broken down differently on that polar scale, and abortion falls cleanly into the "no fucking way" bin. Pragmatic decisions like keeping abortion legal, but dumping money into support and pro-child advertising campaigns to reassure scared young mothers that they don't have to kill their child, are seen as wishy washy liberalism -- even if such programs are met with greater success -- because they do not accept the artifical polarity forced onto the issue by idealistic conservatives. Yes, in a perfect world nobody would choose abortion and everybody would have a father and one parent would be able to be a primary caregiver. But these are cultural problems...and they are impossible to legislate.
  • Then we have to deal with average people joining the Republican party just because it offers a sane choice compared to the nutjob left wingers. Hell, even crazies like Anne Coulter seem sane compared to hacker groups actively working to break the law in the name of democracy.

    I'm sorry, but how can you honestly claim that these people, with the maturity level of 12 year olds, are somehow politically related to Clinton, Kerry, Cleland, Obama or anyone else who is taken seriously by Democratic Party? Janet Reno would have prosecuted these losers just as quickly as any other criminal. If you are willing to associate these idiots with the Democratic Party, then you also have to associate McVeigh, the KKK and the majority of right wing nuts listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center with the GOP. Besides, these little kids might be misguided about democracy, but the right just cares about power, which concerns me a lot more.

    Personally, I'd rather be associated with script kiddies, who just need to be taken out behind the woodshed once to straighten them out, than racist wacko nutjob terrorists like the KKK and it's spinoffs. Who's worse, vandals or terrorists?

    I'm a liberal because the Founding Fathers were liberals. I'm a liberal because this country is a liberal secular democratic republic. I'm a liberal because I believe in the American Revolution. I don't really give a rat's ass if someone else has managed to confuse their culture or religion with the business of the government of the US, it doesn't make their ideas valid. I'm a liberal because I believe that a political system of ideas must be internally logically consistent. Everytime I go applying scientific analysis to the historical record, to the original writings that formed the ideology behind the American Revolution, I come out looking liberal. I can logically and rationally defend my political positions and can do so consistently. That's why I'm a liberal, and anyone can try and criticize me for it all they want, but they still haven't beaten me in a debate. I'm a liberal, because intellectual conservatism is dead.

    <troll>Oh, and I also think that Ayn Rand was an idiot and libertarians are, for the most part, the most politically naive group I've ever run across. They're much more fun when they're drunk and trying to defend their ideology, cause when they're sober, it's just sad</troll>
  • by Qrlx (258924) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:12AM (#10001795) Homepage Journal
    I don't think it was Democrats who were DDoSing the Al-Jazeera web page at the start of the war. That shut down a legitimate news source, this is simply shutting down a fan site.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:15AM (#10001829)

    F911 is such propaganda and blatant lies it is unbelievable.

    after watching that it makes me want to vote for bush because i know all of what was said is obviousely false. and basically if they couldnt find anything REAL to go after, there must not be much there

    i am playing devils advocate, but seriousely, anyone who is swayed against bush because of F911, they shouldnt vote, becasuse they are idiots, stay home and get trashed on listerine instead. do yourself and your country a favor, we do not need more uninformed voters.
  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TyrranzzX (617713) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:16AM (#10001855) Journal
    Yes, it is far more complicated, and you make some good points. However, I'd like to make one of my own. We can argue back and forth about WMD that and supposed facts given by organizations, but I prefer to look at those organizations actions.

    I see 3 things that are happening right now; the US government is taking away our rights and activly oppressing the first amendment. If you want proof, go onto and type "protest" into the search engine and take a look at how the cops treat protesters.

    Secondly, I see corporate and foreign interests being serviced before american citizens interests. We've seen the deregulation of business law in the past 40 or so years, although some would say past 200 but our economic system has evolved a bit IMO. This is mostly being facilitated by trading favors and getting friends of friends into power who'll get bills passed. We can see the effect all over; public schools are closing, advertising on cop cars, the whole 9 yards.

    Finally, we're seeing a concentration of media, meaning, the government and corporations has access to a massive way to control the flow of information to people, and has used that control in the past. As the bible says, ye who keeps information from you sees himself as your master in his heart.

    Now, frankly, I see no justification for police to be terrifying protesters and I see no justification for artisans and common people to be put under scrutiny because they might be "with the enemy" because they express some unpopular idea. You can interperete that any you want to but logically there's no reason people should want to trust their government after they pull this kind of crap.

    That is why you see protesters in the streets protesting Iraq and they stupidly assume everything the government does is indeed bad. I find it hard myself to believe that this government is capable of doing anything but protecting corporate and foreign interests and in some fucked up round-about way, american interests, but that's just me.
  • by GreyGeek (792965) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:19AM (#10001894)
    These proposed acts say volumes about the Far Left. Continually crying about their rights being suppressed, they take every opportunity to suppress the rights of others. It obvious that they have no more love of Free Speech (or Democracy) than the Taliban, Bin Laden, and other terrorists.
  • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Abm0raz (668337) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:19AM (#10001898) Journal
    At the risk of starting a flame war, you've done nothing but prove all of the grandparent's post's points (however grossly generalistic they may be). His statement was:

    For the modern left, "tolerance" and "open-mindedness" only apply to ideas they agree with. Everything else is "hate speech" and thus deserving of complete extermination.

    His contention is that individuals on the left speak of tolerance and open-minds only when it's with those that agree with them.

    All of your points (Ann Coultier, Members of the Free Republic Board, Racially abusing your wise, censoring your sign(?), to name a few) were followed with absolutely no explination or proof. Just accusations with no substantiation. You seem to be attacking the words and thoughts of those who do not agree with you. I agree that Ann Coultier is a douchebag and that it is in very poor taste for "W" to attack the record of a veteran that actually served, but it's their right to be assholes.

    These attempts you make at points are then followed-up with slinging of words like FUD, "Swift-boat", and "Speaking out of their asses". Once again, none of this is followed with any sort of proof or backing. It makes you look less like a well spoken individual with thoughts and ideas worth listening to and more like a person that acts unwisely on emotional ebbs and flows and doesn't really have any substance in their discussion.

    As for the religion argument, Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam are very different religions. They all spanwed from an anchient belief in the same god and share some of the same scripture, but are vastly different in not only the rites, rituals, and requirements that each place on its members to worship god, but in the cultural aspect that has evolved with each religion individually. This blindness towards the differences is what causes a lack of understanding and insulting, sacreligous, or culturally offensive behavior that leads to hatred and war.

    To also quote you, The left wing supports everyone. They don't discriminate. This comes 1 paragraph after you imply that you wouldn't support the Members of the Free Republic and 1 paragraph before you write disparagingly against veterans that speak their mind against Kerry. This is the crux of the grand-parent's point. You CAN'T be for everyone and still have opinions of your own. In fact, even true Libertarians (motto: do whatever the hell you want, as long as it effects only you or other consenting individuals) have to draw the line somewhere, because there are people that are against self-deprication.

    The point wasn't that republicans are hate-filled (besides, republican != right. There are left leaning republicans and right wing people who aren't republicans, which is yet another semi-unfair generalization you make), it was that any statement made that was opposed to a left/liberal person's beliefs was automatically labelled as hate speach. If you (not you-specific, but change in audiance to you-general liberals) were truly tolerant and open-minded, you would embrace their words, consider them and either:
    1. incorporate the points that you found worthwhile.
    2. refute sensibly with counterpoints and proof the fallacies you find
    3. respect the differing opinion while agreeing to disagree or working towards a mutual compromise.

    Emotional responses with contridicting statements and little or no content such as the parent serve only as fuel to the fire rather than quench the blaze. Tolerance and open-mindedness includes tolerance of assholes and giving them your ear as well. Tolerance is easy to claim, especially when using it against an opponent's view, but is truly a tough thing to be because it requires you to ata least accept that view (but not necessarily follow it).



  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:20AM (#10001906) Homepage Journal
    "Anyway. Let's see, Bush has: sent American troops to die in an illegal war and after lying to the country about the reasons. "

    Illegal? What war is legal or illegal? He DID enforce the UN's last resolution on describing punishment if Iraq didn't start complying with the mandates of the UN (not to mention the terms of its surrender) that it hadn't done for about 12 years...if saddam had opened things up, verified destruction of old WMD (which he has had and used), and complied fully with UN requirements...he'd unfortunately still be in full power. Bush lying? Have you listened lately to the 9/11 and other commisions' findings? They said there was bad intelligence, but, it was the SAME intelligence th e rest of the world powers had and believed. If I were president, and my intelligence told me that someone was going to nuke me tomorrow...and I had Russia, Great Britan and a few others tell me the exact same thing...I'd definitely hit them before they hit me. This is an analogy of course, but, the same situation. Shit happens...and it did in this case. But, out of it...many good possibilities may come of it. Getting saddam democracy a real chance to happen in a Arab nation. But, lying? C'mon...if you're acting on the best intelligence that you believe to be lies. Clinton? Yup...he lied...and was caught at it lying to a court. In this land, no matter who you cannot do this. If Bush had been found to be lying for some reason, I'd be up in arms too, but, nothing points to him doing so.

    "He's presided over a regime that's successively stripped away your rights and freedoms."

    Gotta agree with you on this...the Rep's used to be more for individual rights, privacy, and fiscal responsibility, and they have none of this now. Trouble is...I don't see any of this on the Dem's side either...sigh

    "And what has Kelly done?"

    Who the hell is this 'Kelly'...and what is he running for?

  • by PretzelAvenger (151751) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:21AM (#10001922)
    Ah, but what is he lying about? I think you've been listening to the propaganda [] too long if you think Kerry is the 'ultimate traitor'; he has differeing views to be sure, but that hardly makes him a traitor. Can you point out why you think he's a traitor?

    IMNSHO you guys need to tone down the rhetoric down there. You end up with right-wing liars and left-wing liars, and for some reason you think you have to swear allegiance to one of them...

    Which is, of course, why you should go with Instant Runoff Voting []. Have more than two REAL candidates! Never waste another vote! Wanna vote for Buchanan but would rather get Bush then Kerry? You can EXPRESS THAT!

    Disclosure: I don't like Kerry, but I think Bush is a well-meaning but incompetent president, controlled by a group of vile sons of bitches. So feel free to call me a pinko commie Liberal and all that if you like, but there's no need to post it.

    Anyway, I'm sure I've sown enough seeds of sedition here...
  • by rinks (641298) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:21AM (#10001929)
    A vast majority of Spain's population was against the war to begin with. Of course they were going to vote out the government that didn't listen to anything they said. Not fighting a war that has nothing to do with you and is supported by shaky, constantly changing rationales is not "cowering in fear". It's sensible.
  • by ViolentGreen (704134) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:22AM (#10001933)
    Things are going from bad to worse at the moment, what makes you think they're going to take a turn for the better?

    And how much do you honestly know about the situation that isn't from some form of mass-media? I have friends in Iraq currently and some that have served and returned. What they tell me is vastly different from what is being reported on the news. But that's why it's news. They can't report that everything is going smoothly in 90% of the country because that's not news. That is the ordinary.
  • by FlimFlamboyant (804293) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:27AM (#10001998) Homepage
    If you throw out one government that lies to you, it will only be replaced by... guess what? ANOTHER government that lies to you. If you throw out one government that makes some mistakes, it will be replaced by... you got it... ANOTHER goverment that makes mistakes.

    What we should be asking our candidates is not so much "how many mistakes have you made in your life", but "what exactly is it that you stand for?".

    On the one hand, we have Bush; a guy who (most of the time) has a clear agenda, strong beliefs, and tends to stick to them (whether we like them or not). The end result is that he may do some things that we don't like, simply because he believes in them.

    On the other hand, we have Kerry, a man who has demonstrated again and again that he will say or do anything, and take nearly any side of any issue to appeal to as many people as possible in order to get elected.

    While this may seem like the perfect man for the job ("Finally! A president who will do what the PEOPLE want him to!"), this is also the epidomy of wishy-washiness.

    Let's say you're leading a group of 5 people, and you're lost in the woods. Each one of them wants you to go in each of the 4 cardinal directions. "Go East!" says one. "No! Go North!" says another, and so on. Would you rather be led by someone who will make a decision, accepting the risk that goes along with that, or would you rather be led by someone who is so bent on appeasing all 4 people that he'll just stand there with his thumb up his butt and go NOWHERE?

    A truly brave man is not afraid to take a stand in spite of what some people might think of him.
  • by Chas (5144) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:27AM (#10002003) Homepage Journal
    When the hell are these stupid children (however old they may be) going to realize that pulling juvenile stunts like this is NOT the way to make your point. Nor is it a way to "win".

    It merely points out (with glowing, thousand meter-tall indicators) exactly how stupid, petty, and childish you are. As well as aggravating your candidate when he realizes what a group of morons he has in his constituency and how badly they reflect on him and his political views and backers.

    You want to effect REAL change?


    Script-kiddie bullshit like this only inhibits it.
  • by billsf (34378) <[ln.xylac.abuc] [ta] [fsllib]> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:28AM (#10002020) Homepage Journal
    This is utterly disgraceful to use the word 'hacker' this way. My views mirror those of most hackers and are quite well known. This is low. Hacktivists are nothing more than mouse clickers on low bandwidth connections. This is lower than script kiddies.

    I am 100% against Bush, as are a sizable majority of Europeans. It is nice to see Americans turn against him and he'll do himself in without the help of hacktivists and violent protesters. There are simply better ways to replace George W. Bush!
  • by rd_syringe (793064) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:28AM (#10002027) Journal
    Is this the new liberal idea of free speech and choice? Block people from seeing Republican websites, and block them from entering Republican headquarters?

    I know it's not all liberals/Democrats, but some of them are completely insane. If they're not actively blocking Ralph Nader from being on the ballot (after all, nobody should have any choices), they're funding smear books and movies. I constantly hear about this "Republican attack machine," but honestly all I ever see is a liberal attack machine.

    Okay, so this is off-topic.
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:30AM (#10002048)
    This is to say nothing of the civil liability a person could incur. The RNC has deep pockets, far deeper than some script kiddie has.

  • by bradword (806343) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:31AM (#10002062) Homepage
    A lot of these anti-bush people don't even know what they are talking about. They let the media tell them how to vote. Bush is a bad public speaker, I'll give you guys that, but he is no idiot. I didn't know idiots get degrees and MBAs from Havard and Yale. Go figure.
    I also find it funny that Democrates don't even know what Kerry stands for (kind of like he doesn't even know what he stands for) but they again let the media tell them what to do. These are probably the same people who think Michale Moore is a genious, although he doesn't even make documentaries, since documentaries by definition are TRUE. []Inf ormation About Moore
  • by NeoSkandranon (515696) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:38AM (#10002156)
    Pinging a server isn't illegal either, but it becomes so when you do it in such a way (volume and repitiion) to disrupt traffic
  • by lysium (644252) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:40AM (#10002192)
    Remember what happened in 1968...when a small group of anarchists turned what was supposed to be peaceful protest into violent confrontations with the police

    So the police have no responsibility for their brutal assaults -- it was all the small group of anarchists' fault? I don't know what scares me more, your justifications for that sad day in history, or your defense of the Swift Boat Propagandists.

  • by cvd6262 (180823) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:40AM (#10002193)
    I was in France when the Spain held the elections. The terror plot worked (turned the elections), but not in the way the terrorists had planned.

    I listened fully to the coverage on BBC Radio and France Info, and I found that it was the media, not the government who suggested ETA (Basque) links. The government higher-ups stayed quiet while the pundits decryed ETA's tactics. Of course, it doesn't take a terrorist expert to realize that ETA always claims responsibility, and did not in this case.

    Also, my firend in Syria told me that at that time (while the investigation was unpublished), the Arab media was pointing their fingers saying, "See, it's not always Islamic extremists..."

    When the report was finally published, the opposition was *very* quick to accuse the government of hiding the Al Qaeda ties, thus deceiving the people concerning the risks of participating in Iraq. Without time to properly challenge the accusation, the people voted the opposition into office.

    Now, if the government had meant to blame ETA to keep the heat off them concerning Iraq, why did they release the info a couple of days before the elections? They could have kept it hidden for another day or two, no? Also, as I said before, the media was largely responsible for the accusation of ETA, and then for the accustation that the government had tried to keep the truth form the public.

    In the end, the terroists succeeded, but only through the media and the oppositon party. I think this is a small-scale preview of what could happen in the US.

    Large, competitive media, more concerned about ratings/profits than truth? Check.
    Partisian warfare? Check.

    What is truely scarry is that someone could be so politically spiteful of another party that they would help people inciting violence acheive their goals, if it hurt the other party.

    The more time goes by, the less I like partisian politics.
  • by jimmyCarter (56088) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:42AM (#10002204) Journal
    What a baseless crap statement. Which party is more tolerant in regards to flag-burning?* Which party lead a coordinated effort [] to jam the phone lines of the other party during "get out the vote" calling efforts on election day 2002? Which party helped back a massive campaign to force theater owners into not showing F9/11? Yeah, thought so.

    * I proudly served as a United States Marine and nothing breaks my heart like seeing the United States flag burned, but I also understand that giving others the right to burn the flag is what makes this nation so great.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:43AM (#10002224)
    >I guess you're not familiar with Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, or Imperial Japan, then...

    That is a completely different point. The resistance of those countries was organized and could be targeted. Terrorism has no central location. Terrorists do not represent a state. The parent comment's point is that you can't bomb an enemy who has no home. So all of your examples are beside the point.

    Do you actually have any proof that the Israeli tactics have reduced violence in Israel? Just because you think the tactics are effective is meaningless until you can offer some factual evidence to support this claim. Your entire comment is basically supposition.
  • by a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:48AM (#10002279) Homepage Journal
    Sorry I can refute that - I did not believe that Saadam has WMD neither did Hans Blix.

    So although you might think you are correct you are wrong.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:50AM (#10002305)
    Yes, it was the anarchists' fault. At the end of the day, they are the ones who brought rocks to a political conference.
  • by FlimFlamboyant (804293) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:51AM (#10002324) Homepage
    They do represent us, which is why we're supposed to vote for people who stand for the same things that we do. But do you want to vote for someone who *claims* to be on your side of a particular issue, then 5 minutes after he's in office, he switches sides because he gets the impression that most people want him to do something else? Or even worse; do nothing at all?
  • by John Newman (444192) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:53AM (#10002351)
    Give it up with this "liberal media" bullshit. Good lord. The "liberal media" acted so liberal in the run-up to war that the liberal editors of the two most liberal of the liberal papers, the NYTimes and the Washington Post, felt the need to publically apologize in recent months for not doing their jobs, and instead acting like pseudo-patriotic parrots of administration propoganda - and doing so very willfully. There was a great study [] showing that during the war anti-war pundits on all networks together (including PBS) got one-twenty-fifth the air time of pro-war pundits. That would be 1:25, not 8:1. Real "liberal" there.

    If you could see past that log in your eye, you'd realize there's nothing liberal about the media anymore. Virtual all media in this country is owned by a handful of large corporations. They look out for #1. CNN viewers may have been slightly less misinformed than FNC viewers, but CNN still beat the war drum just as hard, and have been just as soft in criticizing the administration since.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @11:58AM (#10002429)

    I guess you're not familiar with Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, or Imperial Japan, then...

    The difference is that these were national governments (same as Iraq). It doesn't work the same way with Islamic Radicalism, the IRA or any other terrorist group. This doesn't mean that a military strategy to fight Al Qaeda is ineffective, but I doubt whether that alone will do the job.

    It took half a decade (and in some cases longer) to pacify post-WWII Germany and Japan

    Really? There was fighting in post-WWII Germany (i.e. in the 50s)? Strange, my parents don't seem to remember anything like that and they were there after all...

    Likewise, it will take us just as long if not longer to achieve the same in Iraq. However, assuming we don't cut and run, it will be achieved.

    While I agree that to cut and run is not an option, don't be too sure that it will be achieved. Things can play out either way (Germany vs. Vietnam). History tends to defy good intentions.
  • This is one of the stupidest reasons I've ever heard for wanting Bush to win. Does this mean you prefer the theocrat "Bush is a moral man" or "The rich are the only ones who innovate and create jobs" type idiots who are voting for Bush? Maybe you support the Neil Boortz "we should turn Najaf into a glass parking lot" type of idiots that support Bush.

    If you make political choices based on the fringes of the political parties, you should be voting Democrat, they at least know how to marginalize their loonies, the GOP let's em run the asylum. And how is this opinion Insightful? I'd rather see Kerry win because 9 out of 10 KKK members support Bush? You vote based on ignorant Bubba's in white robes? Maybe the GOP will learn when Bush loses? These aren't serious political strategies, they're akin to stoner dorm room conversations.

    This is why the GOP fails to impress me, I've yet to see a serious person with real ideas or any grasp of reality claim that Bush is a good president. This buffoon is quite literally, the absolute worst Presidential Administration this country has ever had. This guy is worse than Nixon, worse than Jackson, worse than Grant or Hoover. He makes Wilson look like a saint. I want this whole crowd of incompetent fools gone. They aren't worth the tax dollars wasted on them.

    Every problem that has arisen from Bush policies has been predicted. No result that the Bush Administration claimed would come from their policy has actually happened. More often than not, the results their critics have predicted have come to pass. These idiots are seemingly incapable of rational thought or any grasp of reality. Their tax policies have failed to create jobs. Their energy policies haven't done shit for foreign dependence or better energy markets. We have no coherent strategy for dealing with terrorism. "YeeHaw" is not a foreign policy. Wages are falling, jobs are leaving and there are no new industries or markets replacing what's disappearing. We are going further into debt as a nation. This administration has been squandering every great resource we've given it access to. They've squandered our reputation internationally. They've squandered our wealth, and they squander our environment.

    These people are cultural bigots who don't grasp anything outside their own limited experience. They believe they have some sort of monopoly on truth and are willing to do anything to gain power. Our system was set up so that the people would have the ability to stop individuals just like this. The Bush Administration advocates for every scenario our Founding Fathers warned would destroy the Revolution. The Bush policies encourage concentration of wealth, mingling of culture and religion with government, and they can't keep state secrets, SECRET.

    Between the Valerie Plame incident and that Khan computer guy, who was a freaking Pakistani mole, these guys might as well give Osama a swipe card for the Pentagon. They are incompetent, screw em, I'll take any marginalizable loonies over these nut jobs with power any day.
  • Patriot Act? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by (213219) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:00PM (#10002451) Journal
    I wonder if portions of the Patriot Act would make this act an act of terrorisim. I'm not sure if I feel that would be a valid use of the Patriot Act or not however, I do feel that attempting to limit someone's freedom of speech is morally, ethically, and legally wrong. Probably doubly so when it comes to limiting the political process. I am not a member of either major party but I do recognize their role in society and government.

    I also know that the two groups in this country that have done the most to limit political speech in this country are the Republican and Democrat parties. Their respective politcal machines hoard the publicity and raise money and as a result they are able to out-shout all the other voices that deserve to be heard. There are other political parties out there that have valid agendas and good ideas (the Greens and the Libritarians come to mind immediately). But the reality is that the two party system that has evolved in this country has served more to divide us than unite us. Most people are members of one party or another based on their feelings about a single issue that they feel strongly about (abortion for instance). They go along with the other planks in their party's platform simply because they agree with the one issue.

    In some ways, I'm pretty far to one side and in other ways I'm pretty far to the other. In general my leanings I feel are based on some core values that I got from my parents and my church others from values that I found for myself. Because of these things, I can't be a member of either major party, I run hot or cold, not lukewarm and I'm sorry but I will not comprimise my feelings just to play on one of the big teams.

    Unfortunately for me, this means that I do not have much of a voice in Washington D.C.
  • by Paradox (13555) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:05PM (#10002520) Homepage Journal
    They don't believe it because hackers are part of a demographic that's notoriously anti-organized-religion.

    With folks like Ashcroft at the helm of one of the more frightening departments of the government, people associate Republicans with money, power, and religion.

    What I think most people fail to realize is that right now, neither party really sticks to their core values. The Democrats want to restrict freedoms under the guise of social and economic reform. The Republicans want to restrict freedom under the guise of security and religous appeal.

    Which of these looks more dangerous to the typical hacker's social sensibilities? It doesn't matter if in the end, the core of the US is totally ruined and discarded. All people see right now is the road to get there.

    Of course, beware the gross generalizations. :)
  • by Catbeller (118204) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:06PM (#10002531) Homepage
    I really,REALLY doubt that anyone anti-Republican with an operational brain cell left would pull such a useless, inflamatory stunt such as this.

    It makes the 'pubs look like victims, and gives juice to the 'wingers and other "security" crazies in vogue, juice that will inevitably be used to set up a police state presence on the internet.

    It reminds me vividly of the few "anarchists" at the WTO protests in Seattle a few years back. A few dozen really violent bastards ran out from nowhere and trashed the city, of the thousands of peaceful people assembled. The news networks ran the pictures incessantly, and the American public were convinced that protests were not worth the free assembly rights we used to have. Now you need to get a permit, and IF you get that, you are herded past a gauntlet of shoulder-to shoulder armored and overarmed black monsters, into a small enclosure surrounded by barbed wire, with cameras trained onto your face, in some remote hellhole. You may be arrested at will. As recent reports indicate, the FBI is now visiting people's homes on the premise that they MIGHT someday protest, leaving the message that They Are Being Watched.

    Throwing out the obvious thought: the "anarchists" at the WTO protest were agents provocateurs, and the government security apparatchiks have used that "riot" to institute the present police state in the U.S. and Europe.

    And I am thinking that these "protestors" against the Republican web sites are about as authentic as the "anarchist rioters" in Seattle.

    Wait for it people: this DOS attack against the 'pubs will be used as publicity fodder to create a new internet police force. If it doesn't work this time, a few "anarchist" attacks in the future should convince the public that such a force is needed.

    And the FBI/CIA/HS police will be asking for your papers when you criticize someone in power. Count on it.
  • by ReadParse (38517) <john AT funnycow DOT com> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:10PM (#10002569) Homepage
    I'm surprised that more people from the left aren't absolutely ashamed of what's going on over there. All the talk of anarchy, black powder on your clothes to confuse the dogs, volunteering for the convention and then not showing up, trying to DoS their website, etc.

    God forbid any of these people would go out and campaign for their candidate on the issues. Go door to door asking people to vote for him and telling them why they should. Contribute money to your candidate's campaign. Go to the local campaign headquarters and ask what you can do to help your candidate -- something you can tell your grandchildren about with pride.

    The problem with the left is that they're so desperate to defeat Bush that they'll do absolutely anything sort of breaking the law. And I'm sure some won't stop there. Remember, it doesn't have to be a felony or a misdemeanor for something to be wrong or unscrupulous. DoS'ing the GOP's website is going to do absolutely nothing to help your candidate. And neither is causing chaos at the convention.

    I, for one, am completely in favor of very strict criminal penalties for anybody who intentionally distrupts the security personnel or infrastructure at the convention or at any high profile event. Send these morons to the city jail for some serious amount of time -- like 90 days. If there's no room for them in the jail, build a tent city outside of town and keep them there.

    Protesting is one thing, and you have every right to do that, despite what you and your friends might say about the GOP wanting to silence you. Nobody's going to stop you from protesting, as long as you obey the law. And yes, they might have rules about where you can be. That's not an infringement of free expression. It's a way of attempt to control a potential mob and keep them from intentionally disrupting a location that really does require a lot of security.

    Bottom line -- grow up and let the democratic process work. If you really want to help this election, you can get to work educating voters how to vote properly, so we don't have the fiasco we had last time in Florida. Thanks to that lunacy, we unfortunately had to take the whole thing to the courts, which obviously isn't the way a lot of people like to see an election decided.

  • by bokmann (323771) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:12PM (#10002589) Homepage
    If you want to help fix the political systmem in America, GET INVOLVED. We are in the boat we are in because we have record low numbers of americans actually voting and electing our leadership. Actually THINKING about the issues and MAKING AN INFORMED VOTE would be a big improvement. Get involed in a political party (not even one of the 'big two' - I bet a lot of slashdotters would like the libertarian party, for instance)

    Doing this kind of vandalism is going to do nothing to engender anyone to any cause it might be supporting. It might even polarize people AGAINST the cause it might be supporting. Remember how linux developers were recently criticized for windows virii?
  • by mcgroarty (633843) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ytraorgcm.nairb}> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:16PM (#10002644) Homepage
    So what was Bush's War service, again?
    Bush didn't make his war service the extent of his campaign. It's Kerry's entire platform, which is why it's being scrutinized.

    Kerry spent all of 40 seconds on his 20 year political career during his 1 hour DNC speech. The majority of the speech was taken up by Vietnam and praise of his character. He only mentioned three things of substance.

    1. He mentioned were committing to more troops in Iraq, which he has already reversed on.

    2. A misrepresentation of Bush's position on stem cell research (we don't spend government money on the research, but we don't ban it).

    3. Promise for national healthcare and some other miscellaneous new spending, funded by repealing the tax cuts for the people who are still paying 96% of the national income tax. Incidentally, it's been calculated that he's spent the repealed cuts nearly four times over with new spending announced before even making it into office.

    There's no other substance there to criticize, because everything else is a transitive opinion or a promise of free money, the latter of which is always dangerous to deal with, because you can never get the popular news services to express even basic economics.

  • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:17PM (#10002654) Journal
    On behalf of a loser country, I'd like to thank you guys for lending us the money and saving us from the Nazis and the red menace.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:25PM (#10002746)
    Hello all,

    I think preventing people from getting information from a party or another is not a good practice in democraty.

    But why don t all the people who do not want to see bush any more do not simply put a banner on their web site :


    The web is a media like any other one. It is right to use it into a political way.

  • by Aardpig (622459) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:28PM (#10002778)

    Maybe so, but only because we give our cash to practically every other country in the world as 'aid'

    As a percentage of GDP given as foreign aid, the USA rates as one of the meanest countries in the developed world. Add to that the strings attached to the meagre aid they do give, such as the withdrawl by the Bush adminstration of funding for NGOs which advocate the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS.

  • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <(sorceror171) (at) (> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:32PM (#10002823) Homepage
    A few points:

    When Hussein accused UN weapons inspectors of being US spies in 1998...

    Um...they actually were spies [].

    But all this stuff misses the main point about Iraq. Saddam was contained by the sanctions. He wasn't particularly punished by them (he didn't miss any meals) but look at hii options post-9/11, pre-war:

    • Attack one or more of his Islamic neighbors.

      Result: Gulf War II with full international support.

    • Attack Israel, either conventionally or with WMD.

      Result: War. Quite possibly a glowing crater where Bagdhad once was.

    • Attack the United States, either conventionally or with WMD.

      Result: it is to laugh. Iraq is stomped even worse than it actually was. Perhaps even a glowing crater. (If he actually posed any real military threat to us, the war might conceivably have been justified... but nobody thought that.)

    • Give, say, Al-Quaeda WMDs.

      The only real terrorism Saddam has been tied to, the stipends for families of suicide bombers in Israel, was very public... because he was doing it for publicity. He doesn't gain a lot from attacking the U.S. by proxy, and if it's ever traced back to him (a significant probability, though far from a sure thing), we're back to a full-on military onslaught with widespread international support.

    • Maintain the status quo.

      Result: pretty good for Saddam. He's still in charge of the county, livin' large, and he can tweak around oil prices and hurt the U.S. a bit by saber-rattling from time to time.

    Saddam's a vicious, evil SOB. But he's not stupid, and he could see the above as well as anyone. If you can come up with another alternative path for him to take, I'd love to hear it.

    If we really wanted to supress "Panislamic radicalism", screw Saudi Arabia or China or whatever, we could have done it better in Afghanistan. We had international support and clear moral grounding, a populace that actually didn't like the ruling regime and really did mostly welcome us, etc. If we'd spent the kind of dough and deployed the kind of troops there that we're currently throwing at Iraq, we might actually have been able to do some real nation-building.

    Just think, a democratic Islamic state. Nothing better to scare the thugocracies of the Middle East, and perhaps even inspire their people. Yes, it would have attracted the same foreign insurgents there that Iraq has, but the native populace didn't get introduced to us by infrastructure bombing. The Soviets did that, and we helped the Afghanis against them.

    How much money did Bush allocate for Afghanistan in the 2004 budget? Nothing. Not a damn thing []. They forgot about it.

  • by rabozo_too (806461) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:38PM (#10002897)
    Low voter turnout shows the world that we don't really care about how our country is run... GET OFF YOUR LAZY ASSES & VOTE... FOR SOMEONE YOU BELIEVE IN!!!
  • Re:Myth (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ignorant Aardvark (632408) <cydeweys AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:41PM (#10002936) Homepage Journal
    look at which party fought for slavery and even ran a candidate against President Lincoln that promised to end the civil war and let the south keep the slaves

    You're kidding, right? That happened a century and a half ago. The party has changed a lot since then. None of the grandchildren of the people in that party are still alive, for chrissakes. Please, grow up and stop using the "Democrats are pro-slavery" argument.
  • by gunnnnslinger (793553) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @12:42PM (#10002941)
    It seems pretty obvious to me that the 'hactivists' are exactly what they profess the desire to overthrow. They are deciding that its bes tfor people not to see these websites, and therefore not decide for themselves. Some freedom fighters... If they really belived in the opposing force here, in this case the Democrats, they would be confident that their (the Dems) message, weighed against the Repub's message, would be enough for people to make a valid and respectable choice. But to say, "ets silence one of their outlets of expression, so only one side can be heard' is exactly the kind of oppression that these morons think they are fighting. What a bunch of fools.
  • by conradp (154683) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:22PM (#10003459) Homepage
    Yeah, nothing says FREEDOM like shooting unarmed students at Kent State, urk, I mean, ummm, Tiananmen Square.

    I've intentionally brought up the Kent State-Tiananmen Square comparison myself when discussing the benefits of freedom and democracy with friends in China, since it offers a good chance for Americans to say "we know that our government sometimes behaves badly and we certianly don't think we're perfect." However, just for the record, here are some pertinent aspects of the comparison:
    • At Kent State, protesters had burned down a building and were pelting national guardsmen with rocks; the poorly-trained troops eventually panicked and began firing at the crowd of protesters and bystanders alike.

    • In Tiananmen Square, when local troops showed reluctance to start shooting the peaceful protestors, the government called in special out-of-town troops and ordered them to attack on the unarmed students.

    • At Kent State, 4 students were killed and 9 injured.

    • At Tiananmen Square, more than 300 were killed and countless injured.

    • In the U.S., students learn about Kent State in schools and analyze what the government did right and what it did wrong. By having a free press and freedom of speech, people can offer a variety of opinions on who was at fault and what went wrong. The government has learned from this and similar mistakes that poorly-trained soldiers with guns shouldn't be given riot control duties.

    • In China, it's hard to find official mention of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and when there is it's only the official government position - there's no opportunity for a free press to present opposing views. You get the feeling that, rather than "learning from its mistakes", the Chinese government actually enjoys the fact that most people believe the government would do the same thing again if faced with the same situation - that's why we don't see big protests about anything in China these days.
    So go ahead and make that comparison, I'll take Kent State and the lessons learned from it over Tiananmen Square any day.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:23PM (#10003469)
    I think you're a hypocrite if you criticize the patriot act but applaud these types of efforts to limit free speech.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:26PM (#10003510)
    "we can track individual trucks by satellite."

    Satellites by definition have to obey Kepler's laws, which means where they are when is very predictable. This is why we still have spy planes.

    Also, being able to track a truck has little (if anything) to do with knowing its contents. Those transporting sarin tend not to write "WMD" in big letters on top of the trailer. If anything, they're more likely to put a red crescent on the truck than anything else. This is why we need more human intelligence.

    And finally, tracking something and being able to intercept it are two very different things. About the only thing US troops can do to effectively project force anywhere in Iraq right now is through airstrikes, which present new problems. Too little explosive and you have a lethal cloud of sarin wafting through the countryside. But if you use enough explosive to incinerate all the sarin, all anybody will find is a scorched piece of sheet metal with the aforementioned red crecent, which will be all over the news and convince well-intentioned locals to take up arms against the US. This is something that needs to be intercepted on the ground.

    "How is it that we picked up individual "chemical weapon lab" trucks on satellite,"

    Because ground intelligence was able to verify the contents of the truck beforehand, red-flagging the truck for special attention the the Reconnaisance Office.

    "but missed the 370 trucks moving across the border? If they were spaced only 150 feet apart, the convoy would have stretched for more than ten miles! How did we miss that?"

    Again, they tend not to write "WMD" on their trucks. Sarin is obviously not Iraq's only potential export, and it's easy enough to imagine a few "special" barrels of "oil" being shipped out here and there both in accordance with and against the Oil for Food program.

    "But Sarin is not a liquid."

    A weapon is all but useless if it isn't portable. Pretty much as a rule, chemical weapons are transported in liquid form and become a gas only upon use.

    "and to put 2 tons of gas in compressed cylinders on a military truck would be quite a feat."

    You're forgetting one of your gas laws. Why compress when you can chill?

    And they wouldn't use military trucks.

    "740 tons of 100 lb artillery shells is 14,800 rounds."

    And you're assuming that 14,800 artillery shells is a non-negligible number of artillery shells for the former Iraqi army to have on hand.

    "At 100 rounds/truck, you're still looking at 148 vehicles.

    How did we miss that?"

    Sit at any given point on a highway and count the number of trucks that pass by you during the course of any given day and you might have an idea.

    " but rather that he tried too hard to be like the U.S. - a sovereign nation possessing weapons of strategic deterrence."

    Except that the US doesn't have a consistent history of using such weapons both internationally and domesticly, doesn't have numerous UN resolutions against it, didn't have a statutory requirment to dispose of said weapons in a verifiable manor, etc.

    Comparing Iraq and the US in that manner is like saying "Everybody else in the US can own a gun, why can't a convicted felon?"
  • Re:Mods on crack (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:26PM (#10003515)
    It's mind-numbingly clear that Iraq had WMD

    To who?

    It was mind-numbingly clear to the Iranians, Kurds and others that have been gassed by Saddam.

    Where are they?

    They're dead.
  • by joshmccormack (75838) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:36PM (#10003624) Homepage Journal
    ...start combatting Islamic fundamentalism/radicalism

    I think some clarification might be valuable, lest we talk of opposition to all Muslims.

    Fundamentalism, when used to describe religious practice, describes an adherence to the original ideals of the religion without watering down by modern culture. If you believe in the freedom of religious expression, which includes believing there is no God, or we're all gods, or that only science can hold the answers, you should defend the rights of religious, and therefore Islamic fundamentalists.

    Islamism is the idea that since Islam is the truth, it should be the foundation for the law and government. This idea is a revolutionary one (in the overthrow the government sense), and the foundation for many Islamic terror groups. Of course not all Islamists are bad people, but they are all quite serious about their beliefs.
  • by Aardpig (622459) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:47PM (#10003771)

    Maybe by then some of the nations will be kind enough to absolve us of some debt like we have done to countless other nations, specifically those in Europe.

    And, along the same lines, you will be kind enough to absolve many developing nations from their debts, which in their cases mean a majority of their population living in crippling, often-fatal poverty?

  • by Suffering Bastard (194752) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:51PM (#10003827)

    So don't come complaining to Slashdot when you get arrested and get sentenced to a couple years in federal "pound-me-in-the-@ss prison" for violating the law - I just hope you feel that the increased political awareness caused by your acts of "civil disobedience" was well worth it.

    Heh, that conjures a pretty funny image. "Dammit, I got arrested and now I'm in jail! Who am I gonna call to complain? I know! Those guys at Slashdot will help me in a jiffy!!"

    Seriously, though, I fully agree that anyone who breaks the law must suffer the consequences, and therefore must understand the consequences before setting out to break the law. Gandhi himself made that point very clear by insisting that the British judges follow the letter of the law when punishing him.

    Personally, I do not plan to break the law and certainly do not plan to go to jail. That does not mean I don't appreciate the value of disobedience, I'm just not in a position (mentally or economically) to go to jail at the moment. When I am, I'll be sure to let the Slashdot community know so they can prepare to rescue me. ;-)

  • by That's Unpossible! (722232) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:01PM (#10003936)
    How is what they're doing any different from what MoveOn is doing? I just saw an ad from moveon that had three gross inaccuracies in it.

    Neal Boortz does a nice summary of those lies: on

    Conversely, the swift boat veterans are attacked in the media, yet they have already discredited some of what Kerry has put forth (e.g. that he was in Cambodia during the Vietnam war).

    How come it's OK for the media to call for investigations into Bush's military service, but it's not OK to do the same with Kerry? How come it's OK that Bill Clinton was a coward and went to Canada, but it's not OK that Bush merely served in the national guard?

    I can't stand either side, but let's keep the debate fair.
  • by webarchitection (721490) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:07PM (#10004005) Homepage
    Hacking the republican website: morally fine with me, legally not so much. At least they aren't SPAMMERS: I had to halt service at our free email server because of a Nigerian Scammer/Spammer. (Help me stop this guy - all the info is on the front page.) Personally I'd rather see the authorities go after these type of people instead of the blackhats mentioned in this article. Honestly though, is shutting down the Rep. site really going to do much other than cause inconvenience? It's the DieBold machines that need to be "taken care of"...
  • by colmore (56499) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:11PM (#10004039) Journal
    Yeah, but who is going to call in our debts? Given our military supremacy, actually having to caugh up that 6 tril isn't going to be an immediate problem.

    The real financial problem for the US is not the debt itself, but related to the debt.

    For the past several decades, the US could get out of financial troubles by simply printing more money. Since we had the only currency that was universally accepted as a unit of international monetary excange, this seldom caused the kind of inflation it should have. Now that the Euro is challenging the Dollar as the international currency of choice, and east Asia is talking about a unified currency, it's unlikely that we'll be able to continue this strategy.

    For a long time now, money has been growing on trees for the federal government, and that's stopping fast. This could spell real danger for the US economy.
  • by canicus (670885) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:12PM (#10004060)

    I think that "We want to bombard (the Republican sites) with so much traffic that nobody can get in" says it all. Intent is not hard to get when they announce it.

  • by FLEB (312391) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:27PM (#10004261) Homepage Journal
    No matter who's actually responsible, or what actually happened, the immediate net effect is going to be dictated by what people see on the evening news.
  • Re:Myth (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mad_Rain (674268) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:28PM (#10004265) Journal
    I just want to add (aside from "right on!") and an additional note:

    Quothe the grandparent: Most of Hollywood's rich are Democrats and despise Republicans.

    Let's think about the Hollywood elite who have crossed over into politics - Ronald Reagan, actor turned president. Charlton Heston, actor and former president of the NRA. Arnold Schwarztenegger, actor (okay, maybe a more appropriate term is "action movie star") Governor of California.

    All Republicans. Would people stop the "Hollywood is a haven for liberals" crap?
  • by Politburo (640618) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:32PM (#10004314)
    Erm, not really. The neocons are in firm control of the GOP. The greens are not anywhere near in control of the Democratic Party. While there has been a resurgence in the liberal/progressive wing of the party, there are still a lot of moderates in the leadership. If you vote for Bush, you're voting for a neocon agenda. If you vote for Kerry, you're voting for a moderate liberal agenda.
  • by DM9290 (797337) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:33PM (#10004333) Journal
    Perhaps you should also wake the fuck up and realize that this whole mideast strategy IS NOT ABOUT WMD IN IRAQ. It's about forcibly killing Panislamic radicalism over the next several decades, perhaps in a generation, without letting it run its natural course over the next 2 to 3 centuries.

    Wait... first you were talking about the justification to invade Iraq, and now you are alluding to some higher strategy.

    Why not just tell the TRUTH? Why does the Bush administration need to LIE about the reasons for going to war. This is a democracy, not a fascist state, and the people must be trusted to make the right choices democratically. To believe that the government may/should take unilateral action in spite of the electorate is well... .. I don't know what that is called. fascist?

    Why have 9/11 and "Iraq" been discussed in the same context? Not because, as some liberals mindlessly drone that Bush and his "cronies" wanted to "fool" the American people into thinking that Iraq was directly involved in 9/11 (and no one in the administration has EVER said anything of the sort;

    So 70% of the american people simply decided to believe that connection for no reason. SOMEONE was putting the thought into the minds of the public.

    additionally, Iraq does have proven ties with al-Qaeda, even while NOT having been involved in 9/11 - but that ridiculously misses the point!);

    And the point was stated that "Saddam Hussein is an iminent threat".... Saddam Hussein was a secular leader, and while he was a brutal dictator and an asshole, he was also helping to prevent the spread of islamic fundamentalism. Which is the reason America supported Saddam until the time he stepped out of line and invaded another dictatorship known as Kuwait.

    rather, they're talked about in the same breath because 9/11 is but a mere taste of what the US and Western Europe can expect if the problems in the mideast at large aren't dealt with preemptively. (Oops, is that a dirty word?)

    Dealing with a problem in such a self aggrandizing , unilateral and dishonest way, just throws fuel onto the fire. You honestly think, kicking the shit out of Saddam Hussein has weakened radical islam? And now to follow it up, with some farce of a show trial... this only weakens the bonds between democratic nations on earth and gives the enemy more opportunities for attack.

    Hussein should be handed over to the Hague.

    "pre-emption" is not a dirty word when applied to a bona fide iminent threat, but it is a polite way to say "war of aggression" when applied pointlessly to a non-threat (some 12 or so years late), and results in self-aggrandizement (i.e. restricting reconstruction contracts to coalition member based companies only, does not help Iraq, it lessens competition, raises the cost of reconstruction, and rewards coalition members).

    Democracies go to war because of what is right and good. Not in order to earn cash prizes. It is morally offensive.

    And certain multi-national corporations with very close ties to the Bush administration benefited splendidly from the war in Iraq. It is a conflict of interest. It smells like corruption. And it is certain to weaken the unity of democracies around the world, and give the enemy the chance to strike.

    9/11 CHANGED the threshold for dealing with things that could potentially execute devastating blows to the US, and to our economy with which our prosperity and our very lives are so dependent.

    I dont see how 9/11 did that at all. Military strategists knew of the posibility for such an attack. Everyone knew of such possibilities.

    9/11 changed the threshold for censorship and removing civil liberties and silencing dissent among all those who have differing opinions. And I'm not talking about the opinions of terrorists. I'm talking about the opinions of law abiding citizens who aren't morons, and when you claim to have proof, expect to see proof.

  • by ikkonoishi (674762) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:33PM (#10004339) Journal
    Well when you owe that much money there isn't much they can do to you because if you default on it they quite possibly could go out of business.

    It is said that if you owe a million dollars you have a big problem, but if you owe 100 million dollars the bank has a big problem.

    Scale that up to ~6 trillion dollars and draw your own conclusion.
  • Re:Myth (Score:4, Insightful)

    by demachina (71715) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:47PM (#10004479)
    I'll give you your point that both parties are pretty thoroughly corrupted by wealthy donors, the Democrats having trial lawyers and Hollywood in particular. But a couple of your points are well funny....

    I'll stick to just discussing this one:

    "Yes, both parties listen to money, but quit buying this rich fat cat propeganda that the Democrats are for small folk, pro minorities (look at which party fought for slavery and even ran a candidate against President Lincoln that promised to end the civil war and let the south keep the slaves)."

    You are correct the Republican's were the party fighting for blacks...140 years ago but you are glossing over the fact a seismic shift occurred in the 1960's. Prior to that it is true Southern Democrats were pretty much the worst supporters of segregation. But starting in the Kennedy administration and especially in the Johnson administration the Democrats passed major pieces of civil rights legislation that put an end to apartheid in America. The result...blacks moved to the Democratic part en masse and whites, especially southerners, who were either overtly or not so overtly racist moved to the Republican party. The end result is the South moved from being overwhelmingly Democratic to what we have now where it is nearly solidly Republican.

    So your key mistake is you are citing ancient history which no longer applies. It is well understood the Republicans are routinely playing the race card, sometimes subtlety and sometimes not so subtlety to hold whites, with rascist inclinations, in the Republican column and that is how they hold a lot of less than affluent whites in the West and South in their camp, along with massive pandering to fundementalist Christianity, gay bashing, and flag waving militarism, all of which play well in "fly over" country.

    So you are correct that are a lot of less than affluent people vote Republican, but if you look at the Republican power base, the people that call the shots, they are overwhelmingly affluent white men, mostly businessmen.
  • by lysium (644252) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:49PM (#10004498)
    you're supporting all the wacko Greenpeace, tree-huggin, anti-capitalist, anti-trade communists, whether or not you agree with them.

    One group of wackos doesn't mind sacrificing me to advance their cause. The other group might make me poorer, and my ecnomy less efficient, but at least I will be alive and able to enjoy my life of poverty...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @03:03PM (#10004672)
    If the causes of terrorism were poverty and lack of education, as so many try to claim, then we would find the terrorist organizations staffed and filled with poor and uneducated masses.

    That is completely and utterly stupid. It's like saying Martin Luther King wasn't standing up for the disenfrachised, uneducated black man, because he was obviously an intelligent, effective man of some means.

    I'm not equating the methods of terrorists with those of that great passivist; I'm simply pointing out the obvious fallacy in your argument. The poor and uneducated in those countries are too busy scratching out a living to fight, that's true. Those that are educated and/or wealthy, seeing the institutionalized causes of that poverty, and how those institutions limit their opportunities and ability to be masters of their own destiny, then choose to strike out against those they believe to be responsible. Dr. King did so with reason, passion and dignity. The terrorists have chosen other, more deplorable means.
  • by Wile_E_Peyote (805058) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @03:06PM (#10004722)
    Please do not compare the violence of 1968 with what happened in 1999. 1968 was a very complex and sensitive situation and IMHO was only made worse by the police actions. The police were there to crack heads and were an overwhelming force. 1999 was completely different in that ALL the violence began in the crowd with breaking windows and looting. If anything the police were outnumbered and ill-prepared for the violence (Seattle protests are normally peacful).
  • Re:Links? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by writertype (541679) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @03:08PM (#10004747)
    Perhaps my Google skills are lacking, or the key references have been buried on a back page, or you're full of it--either way, I can't seem to find these Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch links you refer to in the post above. Can you provide them?

  • by Alaska Jack (679307) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @03:16PM (#10004866) Journal
    I'm not trying to criticize you here, but I think I should post a correction: your post is only really meaningful if one does two things:

    1. Count only governmental aid. The U.S. is different from most other Western countries in that we are not a centralized, government-controlled society (although admittedly we become more so every year). The percentage of private vs. government aid is much higher for the U.S. that it is for most other countries.

    2. Ignore perhaps the most colossal subsidy of all: Defense. For 50 years, the only thing preventing the Red Army from pouring through the Fulda Gap and into Western Europe, or the North Koreans from smashing through the DMZ into South Korea, was the U.S. military. Same situation vis-a-vis China and Taiwan. Freed from the colossal burden of defense spending, those countries used their resources instead to develop stable polities, healthy economies and the freedom to bitch about the U.S. everytime something goes wrong.

    - Alaska Jack
  • by wyseguy (513173) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @03:23PM (#10004944) Homepage

    After reading the posts on this particular topic, I'm amazed at how quickly the /. community retreats to the rhetorical (albeit slightly better researched and intelligent) arguments on both sides of the Bush vs. Kerry argument.

    I'm not going to advocate either candidate here as I don't really think it really matters. Both men have questionable service records during the Vietnam war. I know that service speakes to the character of each man, but just how relevant is a three decades old cold-war conflict to the modern world with regard to the completely different "war on terror"?

    The grim reality we need to face is that Bush and Kerry are actually two sides to the same damn coin. Is your real tax burden really going to go down under either administration? Is the government going to be less intrusive under either administration? John Kerry hasn't met a tax increase or bigger governmental progam he didn't like. George W. Bush signed on one of the largest entitlements in over 30 years. While Bush did manage to get tax cuts handed out, how many of us felt a real impact? How many of us really believe that the cause of liberty (which I differentiate from freedom to include a measure of responsibility) will be championed by either man?

    Bottom line is with either man, your taxes will go up (if you live here anyway), the government will increase its size, scope, and intrusiveness, and neither man will work toward true liberty for the citizens of the US.

    Sure, John Kerry will not appoint someone as scary as Ashcroft as Attorney General, but he will appoint an equally scary Janet Reno clone. Political Correctness will be the blinders Mr. Kerry will strap on each of us to blind us from the harsh realities he doesn't believe we're capable of handeling.

    On the other hand, George W. Bush won't hasten the demise of free speech via PC activism, but will use national security to the same end the blinders Mr. Kerry would see implemented. Neither man believes we the people are capable of managing our own lives and protection.

    Sure GWB lowered taxes and I've heard the various arguments for and against them (left: only the rich get tax cuts, right: the rich pay the bulk of the taxes so who else should get the cuts) ad nauseum, ad infinitum. Kerry has said he'd repeal the Bush tax cuts, he's raised taxes every times he's been asked, so I believe he'll do it again. Bush tells us that the he wants the tax cuts to be permanent, but increases entitlement spending. Neither candidate is interested in really reducing the tax burden on most families. That would mean cutting too deeply into pet projects of our various congresscritters.

    Why is there even a debate here about taxes? What governmental agency has gotten anything right in the past 30 years? We dump more and more money into social problems only to find them getting worse. Why not try a different approach? Oh yeah, beacuase both parties have a vested interest in getting people addicted to the heroine that is government assistance. Neither party wants to see Americans independant, able to successfully function on their own, and provide for their families needs. Republicans want us to need them for personal protection and to be good little consumers, and Democrats want us to need them for everything else.

    Under either candidate's adminstrations we'll still have to deal with Ridges Retards poking around our personal possessions at airports. Under either candidate, the war on terror will take a surprisingly similar look and feel as the war on drugs. Color coded alert levels are now a permanent fixture of life here in the USA. Neither candidate will lift a finger to attempt to discredit the animating ideas that inflames those who would do us harm. While Kerry would capitulate to world opinion before acting and allow terrorists the exclusive right to the use of force, Bush's approach tends to feed fuel to the fire.

    A vote for Kerry means higher taxes, a PC system designed to inhibit thoughtful int

  • by Aardpig (622459) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @03:30PM (#10005029)

    1. Count only governmental aid. The U.S. is different from most other Western countries in that we are not a centralized, government-controlled society (although admittedly we become more so every year). The percentage of private vs. government aid is much higher for the U.S. that it is for most other countries.

    Firstly, I'm not sure I understand your comments about centralized, government-controlled societies. Are you claiming that Germany is not a federal republic? Or Switzerland? Are you claiming that in the UK, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland do not have regional semi-independence?

    Secondly, I've heard this claim about private vs. public donations. I would be willing to listen if you could back it up with some facts and/or figures.

    2. Ignore perhaps the most colossal subsidy of all: Defense. For 50 years, the only thing preventing the Red Army from pouring through the Fulda Gap and into Western Europe, or the North Koreans from smashing through the DMZ into South Korea, was the U.S. military. Same situation vis-a-vis China and Taiwan. Freed from the colossal burden of defense spending, those countries used their resources instead to develop stable polities, healthy economies and the freedom to bitch about the U.S. everytime something goes wrong.

    Well, not altogether. Both the UK and France have had viable nuclear deterrents since the 1950s, although it is debatable whether these would ever have been useful in preventing a conventional invasion through Eastern Europe. In any case, however, its important to note that the US expenditure on defence has often had a very damaging effect on the poorest countries of the world. During the Star Wars programme of the 1980s, the US went through a capital crisis, and hiked up the interest rates many-fold on the foreign debt it held.

    Unfortunately, much of this debt was in the forms of loans to third-world countries. These loans were made in the late 1970s, when the US was awash with cash from Middle-East oil-producing nations; hence they had low, affordable repayment rates. The hike in interest rates in the 1980s, caused indirectly by Star Wars expenditure, raised these repayment rates to crippling levels, which is one of the reasons so many third-world countries are in such a dire state today.

    This is only one example; I'm not trying to convince you to change your argument completely, simply attempting to show you that there are more subtleties to the issues at hand than might appear to be the case.

  • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @03:35PM (#10005084) Homepage
    First of all, the Swift Boat vets are NOT advocating acts of civil disobedience bordering of violence

    No but they are proven to be complete fucking liars.

    If we have a repeat of that at the Republican National Convention, those images shown on TV will turn off many "swing" voters and they'll end up voting against Senator Kerry in no time flat.

    If there was a repeat of the Chicago situation voters would turn on the incumbent for failing to keep order, same way that they turned on LBJ and his party in '68.

    I suspect that there are large numbers of Republicans thinking as you do and are planning ways of making the situation turn violent, but it would be a real bad mistake.

    Rove thought that he had a masterstroke when he had his little Top Gun stunt on the USS Lincoln. When I saw the pictures I thought 'we just saw George W. Bush loose the election'. Now they are planning a 13 minute attack ad against Kerry as the centrepiece of their convention. I hope that people convince the networks to give the Kerry campaign equal time to rebutt it.

    George W. Bush is an incompetent, corrupt, manipulative, lying, coward. He can think up schemes but he fails to execute. Remember when the Spanish government tried to claim that the Al Qaeda attacks were byu ETA and that a vote against them would be a vote for terrorism? People saw right through that and voted the government out. I think they will see through whatever schemes Rove and his agent provocateurs think up.

    When Bush was tested he spent 7 minutes reading My Pet Goat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @04:38PM (#10005897)
    The most recent flip-flops are pretty interesting.

    Bush was bashing the 9/11 Report the day before it came out. When it turned out not to criticize him the very next day, he was all for it!

    Then John Kerry says he wants to implement the changes right away, and Bush says, "now hold on a minute..."

    Then a few days later when all the papers are talking about it, Bush comes around and says "I want to implement these changes right away!"

    It's funny. Bush actually follows Kerry's lead on a lot of things. Kerry says something popular that Bush is against, and then Bush says the same thing to mitigate its effects.

    It's very effective, because it makes Kerry seem like he doesn't know what he's talking about. But in reality, all of the best things that Bush has said and done in the last few months have come from the mouth of John Kerry.
  • Re:Myth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @04:39PM (#10005916) Homepage Journal
    Um. "Fair" would mean everyone would pay the same. In other words, I pay $1000/year for roads and Bill Gates would pay $1000/year for roads.

    We don't even do that. We don't even pay the same percentage of our income. It's a regressive tax system. Rich people not paying any taxes is a myth. If that were true then why would the top 5% of income earners be footing 50% of the bill (my numbers might not be exact, but they are about right).

    Sure, rich people benefit from the government, but guess what? So do we. When's the last time you worked for a poor person. It's the rich people (and not the government like some people seem to think) who create jobs. How is socking it to the very people that create jobs consistent with Kerry's absurd notion of creating 10 million jobs (something he couldn't do because that would mean less than 0% unemployement)? The sad fact is that the Democrats base their platform largely on jealously and class warfare.

    And in the interests of being open, I spent about 15 months in the last 30 out of work, largely because of the outsourcing of software development jobs, but you didn't hear me complaining that it was somehow Bush's (or anyone else's) fault. It's a free market, and I was temporary out of luck. So I sucked it in and dealt with it. No one owes me anything (and no, I didn't bother getting unemployement checks either, because I didn't want the Man telling me how to look for a job). Now I'm self-employed and doing just fine.

  • by xarak (458209) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @04:40PM (#10005929)

    I might get trolled down fore this, but....

    You scare me!

    Republicans don't demonstrate because they are conservatives. They don't want social progress, so they don't have much to demonstrate for.

    Police violence is not good anywhere. But a strong police has traditionally been the programme of the right. The more cops there are, the more chance of accidents happening.

    What's so bad about gun control? It will save lives, and ever since there's viagra, they won't be needing them anymore to get their hard-ons.

    Abortion? Ever get knocked up and dumped? Ever been raped? Pregnant and unable to provide for another mouth? Accidents happen. Shit happens. Abortion is a way of saving at least the mother. The guys who sit in front of clinics making young girls feel even worse about doing the thing they will regret the most in their lives - which they do not out of disresect to life, to save their future, to preserve their offspring from misery, and at a tremendous price to themselves psychologically - do not have one millionth of the courage the people they are persecuting have.

    Drugs? Not good. Hard drugs - way out. If you're referring to dope, I've seen more harm out of alcohol than cannabis.

    Gees, am I happy to live in Europe.
  • Re:Mods on crack (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tbird20d (600059) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @04:59PM (#10006200)
    Grandparent: It's mind-numbingly clear that Iraq had WMD.

    Parent: To who? Where are they?

    To the Kurds, who were victims of them.

    We don't know now if many were preserved, or if so where they are now. Given how hard we've looked for them, maybe they were all dismantled. But you can't realistically say that Saddam didn't have them and use them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @05:06PM (#10006278)
    Blocking access to the opponent is precisely what we must NOT do if we are interested in preserving democracy.

    This may be hard to believe these days but this system depends on a vanishing sort of genteel competition in order to flourish. Whoever wins, the important thing is that the process has been upheld, and the people have spoken. It's not whether you win or lose, the all important thing is how you played the game.

    These black hat tactics will more likely shift votes to the Republicans as a backlash. They will certainly not help Democrats. The real loser(s) are Americans and the entire ideal of freedom and fair play and an open selection of who we want to govern the country.

    If anybody should be prosecuted as the real enemies of freedom in the ultimate sense it should be those who interfere with voting, campaigns, or any kind of communication between and among the people and the candidates.
  • by Rayonic (462789) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @05:48PM (#10006749) Homepage Journal
    I don't think anyone is opposed to the Iraqi people being better off, it's the reasoning for it. Instead of making up some crap about wmd's why didn't Bush just come out and say 'look this ass has been killing x people per year, is disregarding UN requirements on a lot of things' it is the worlds duty to the Iraqi people to stop this crap from happening any longer.

    I would have supported that, and I don't think anyone could have said no to that, except maybe the majority of the American public.
    So you can't support the war for those reasons because...?

    And whatever has happened to Afganistan for god's sake! The country seems like it's collapsing and we don't hear a word about it.
    The media can't harp on how invading Afghanistan was a bad idea, that's why. They would if they could, but there would be viewer outrage.

    I don't know if you noticed, but the media like to simplify everything. Much like how they boil down the Iraq question to "WMD or not" -- not even touching on WMD intent.
    If the US had send a quarter of the troops it has in Iraq we probably would have had Osama by now.
    Osama is in Pakistan, more than likely.
    I think this is what is pissing 'the world' off so much, the US goes in bombing, but there is little followthrough
    Actually, most opposers of the war in Iraq have been against it since before day one -- well before any reconstruction efforts.
  • What is funny..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rspress (623984) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @06:03PM (#10006861) Homepage
    What is funny is that in all the discussion groups, newsgroups, etc. I frequent the liberals, notice I did not say democrats, constantly blame bush for everything....even for their irregularity. They blame republicans for using Nazi tactics, censorship and hundreds of other things that they do not do. It sounds like the paranoid ramblings of the John Birch society of the 50' & 60's.

    When Sandy Berger was caught with his hands in the cookie jar, so to speak, even liberal democrat came out and dodged any questions about it being right or wrong and blamed bush for anything that would get the reporters off the subject.

    What is worse is they always talk of freedom of speech but then in the same post say that republicans should not be allowed to talk or use their free speech. They state that republicans are Nazis and should have to wear patches to indicate in public that they are, that no one should do business with republican owned business and that republican should be kicked out of America so it will be the land of the free. Some radicals even talk of killing all republicans. I guess these liberals are unsure of the meaning of the word Nazi.

    Wake up democrats! The liberals are going to make sure Kerry loses in November. I guarantee that if the liberals remain in control of the party they will insure a Bush win. Take your party back from these people or Bush will be here another 4 years.
  • by RexRhino (769423) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @07:17PM (#10007537)
    While it is fashionable to claim to support free speech, only a tiny minority of people actually support free speech. Some people want campaign finance reform (esentially limiting how much people can donate to a party, so that only the two big parties can get enough money to advertize), some people want to ban advertizements against products they feel are bad (cigarettes, for example). Some people want to ban "hate speech". Left wing people and right wing people want to ban pornography, either because it "exploits women", or "is against the bible".

    And now there are people on the left who are so angry about the Iraq War and The Patriot Act that they are willing to abandon the principle of free speech to win votes for... well... to win votes for someone else who wholeheartedly supported the Iraq War and Patriot Act.

    When are people going to learn that it isn't some secret cabal of evil facists who are destroying free speech? It is people like your typical Slashdot reader who thinks they are enlightened and opened minded and support free speech, but who are willing to make exceptions for whatever speech they want to ban. YOU, the person reading this right now, more likely than not does not support freedom of speech.
  • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @08:05PM (#10007867)
    "incl. wife"

    You just made a bullshit leap.

    Bullshit leap: When you assume something without providing proof.

    Kerry's assets *don't* include his wife. The prenuptial agreements clearly state that John's assets are seperate from Teresa's.
  • Amusing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The AtomicPunk (450829) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @08:30PM (#10008047)
    As a Libertarian sitting on the sideline, I find it very amusing that democrats/liberals that always tout how 'tolerant' they are are always the ones that are so intollerant of their opponent's viewpoint.

    Case in point, the idiot quoted in this article.
  • Re:Yes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oddfox (685475) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @03:00AM (#10009912) Homepage

    Sure. Maybe maybe maybe. But after 10 years of dickering around, we got Sept. 11, and we just weren't in the mood to dicker around anymore.

    And you have heard by now that Iraq had nothing to do with September 11'th [], right? The administration whipped up our nation into a furor, linked Al Quaeda and Saddam, and then turned the anger towards Iraq, and all their blustering and "intelligence" turned out to be a load of crap. And even before we're done with Iraq we're talking about invading Syria if they don't comply with our demands, where's the evidence that Syria is so damned guilty?

    Again, sure. But we're talking about the situation *before* the U.S. invaded. We only know about the nuclear situation in hindsight, and here's the kicker: WE WOULDN'T KNOW THAT NOW IF WE HADN'T INVADED TO BEGIN WITH.

    It's sad when you can justify the invasion of another country against all advice from most of the international community like that. Oh, we know now that we invaded that they don't have nukes, 'sall good!

    As for the rest of your post, you make a perfect example of the type of American who thinks that what's good for America is good for the world, and if they can't realize it, well then sucks to be you. We have no right to take out Saddam halfway accross the world when he is in no way a direct and immediate threat to our country, if Saddam does something, there's nothing stopping us from going in there and taking the bastard out, but as long as he minds his own business, we have no business there. We're not the world police man. Maybe we should start gathering reliable intelligence rather than relying on what Bush and Cheney decide to say today. Then we could actually get the rest of the world backing us because we can prove it.

    I'm not saying Saddam was a nice guy, or that taking him out of power was not ultimately a bad thing, I'm only saying the methods that we utilized were EXTREMELY unnecessary. The war was a devastation of Iraq's already considerably weakened forces (Remember the first war? I'm sure Iraq had already amassed at least as much power as they had previously), and now it's just squabbling with a bunch of terrorists, putting our troops into a quandary. Operation Shock and Awe was a huge joke as well, hey let's fling tons and tons of missles into a populated urban area, they're guided and things never malfunction! Like half those missles were necessary?

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir