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Newt Gingrich Says Free Speech May Be Forfeit 894

Posted by kdawson
from the cain't-let-the-terrists-use-the-internets dept.
At a dinner honoring those who stand up for freedom of speech, former House speaker Newt Gingrich issued his opinion that the idea of free speech in the U.S. needs to be re-examined in the interest of fighting terrorism. Gingrich said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message. The article has few details of what Gingrich actually said beyond the summary above, and no analysis pointing out how utterly clueless the suggestion is given the Internet's nature and trans-national reach.
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Newt Gingrich Says Free Speech May Be Forfeit

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  • Free Post (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:39PM (#17020676)
    FP
  • Irony of venue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kelson (129150) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:39PM (#17020678) Homepage Journal
    On one hand, it galls me that Mr. Gingrich would say free speech should be limited at a First Amendment Award banquet. The real irony, though, is that this is exactly what the speech, press, and association clauses of the first amendment are all about: protecting the expression of political ideas that might disagree with law, government policy, or popular opinion.
  • Help? (Score:5, Funny)

    by lupine_stalker (1000459) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:39PM (#17020698)
    I can't find a way to mod Newt Gingrich down as "Troll", "Flamebait", or "Redundant". Can someone help me?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)
      I can think of a twenty cent solution to your problem, but it is generally frowned upon. However, the government does it all the time, and he wants to be a part of the government, so I suppose he should be fair game.
      • Re:Help? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:12PM (#17021476)
        I can think of a twenty cent solution to your problem, but it is generally frowned upon
        I think I see where you're going. But where am I going to get a time machine to go back and give his father a cheap condom?
  • In Soviet America (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:40PM (#17020712) Homepage Journal
    Gingrich re-evaluates you!
  • doesnt get it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CyberBill (526285) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:40PM (#17020734)
    People need to understand that the reason we have freedom of speech and the right to bear arms is so that the people of this country can, if necessary, reshape the government WITH FORCE.
    • by gumbright (574609) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:48PM (#17020940)
      Well perhaps not force (if it can be helped).

      But it is so galling that these idiots who claim to want to defend the country see no problems with attempting to dismantle the very things that MAKE this country what it is. Where is this disconnect happening in their heads? I put this to my young sons:

      Somebody wants to take your favorite toy. You could break it apart is small pieces and bury those pieces in the ground so they can't find it. Now I have 2 questions:

      1) Is your toy now safe? They both answered yes.
      2) Did you protect your toy? They both answered no.

      A 4 and a 7 year old get it, why can't the idiot neocons?
      • by lawpoop (604919) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:10PM (#17021438) Homepage Journal
        The people who think that we need to sacrifice our civil liberties to fight terrorism really don't understand our liberties, nor do they really understand what the founding fathers were trying to create. They basically have a tribal/warmongering view of society of 'us vs. them'. In their world-view, different groups of people will wipe each other out if given the slightest chance. The only way to survive is to be a tough guy yourself. There is no right or wrong or rule of law in the abstract sense; instead, if it benefits us and hurts them, it is good; if is benefits them and hurts us, it is bad. That's why it's okay for us to torture -- we need it to get information from terrorists who are going to blow up our children. However, when they do it to us, it is wrong, because it hurts us.

        They have never really thought of the United States as a politically free people; the US is simply our team, and we will do whatever we need to in order to win. They are sadistic, and get off on the idea of torture, war, etc. They've never served, but they have adolescent fantasies of blowing shit up and killing bad guys.
        • by Reziac (43301) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:29PM (#17021898) Homepage Journal
          Actually, one could view the Bill of Rights as our own "Tough Guy Manifesto", thus:

          1) You can't tell me what to believe, or make me go home and shut up.

          2) I'll go armed and defend myself, thank you.

          3) You can't make me let someone else live in my house.

          4) This is MY house; if you can't demonstrate a compelling need to snoop, stay the fuck out.

          5) This is MY shit; keep your greedy hands off it. And don't go accusing me of Evil without evidence.

          6) If you've got evidence, lay it on the table. And no fair getting a confession by pitchforking me in the ass.

          7) I ain't guilty just on YOUR say-so.

          8) You can't keep me in jail just because you want to.

          9) As to the rest of my life, you can't tell me what to do or not do.

          10) And neither can your big fat uncle in Washington.

          Yeah, the Founding Fathers framed it in far more polite language, but the intent is the same. They understood standing up for yourself and not letting the gov't push you around -- your own or anyone else's. That was, after all, what the War for Independence was all about.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by advocate_one (662832)
            and basically their answer is... tough shit... we've got the power little guy...
            • by Reziac (43301) *
              Unfortunately, you're exactly correct :(

              As I speculate in another message, the fact that the gov't isn't forced to live within its means may be the real root of the problem. Effectively, they're ALLOWED to blow their own lunch money on candy, then knock you down and take your lunch money too.

              A chart of tax increases vs lost freedoms might be very illuminating.

        • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:44PM (#17023452) Journal
          They have never really thought of the United States as a politically free people; the US is simply our team, and we will do whatever we need to in order to win. They are sadistic, and get off on the idea of torture, war, etc. They've never served, but they have adolescent fantasies of blowing shit up and killing bad guys.
          blah blah blah Newt's a fascist blah blah doesn't understand our constitution blah rights blah blah stupid blah blah blah freedom blah blah

          OK great. We've all totally GOT IT that freedom of speech is a critical and inalienable HUMAN (ie applies to all, not just US citizens) right.

          Then again...

          It's pretty frikken' easy to stand at the sidelines and lob criticism at policymakers. After all, you're just some wanker on an anonymous login, YOU'LL never be tasked with the responsibility of actually making policy, right?

          So, if you can spare a moment between breathless rants about how sacrosanct our rights are, please, let us all in on YOUR secret plan to neutralize a fundamentalist religious creed (Wahabism) that
          - believes women are chattel, homosexuals should be killed, etc.
          - believes that the Koran is the only source of any worthwhile laws
          - will cheerfully kill you because you disagree

          How do YOU stop someone sitting next to you whose beliefs are not only inimical to yours, but he WANTS to kill you? Do you 'tolerate' him until he (hopefully) goes away? What about when he starts grabbing the local kids off the playground and starts explaining to them how wonderful his creed of hate is, blaming you for everything wrong that's ever happened to him, and telling them that if they kill you they will be rewarded, even if they die doing it?

          And don't say "education" or "poverty" in your answer, as the 9/11 hijackers were all well educated and came from (at least) comfortably middle-class backgrounds.

          I can't wait to see how many THOUSANDS of +5 insightful responses we get in here, since so MANY people are so instantly ready to criticize, they MUST have solutions themselves, right? Otherwise they are just typical internet windbag hypocrites.
          • by scheming daemons (101928) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:57PM (#17023714)
            So, if you can spare a moment between breathless rants about how sacrosanct our rights are, please, let us all in on YOUR secret plan to neutralize a fundamentalist religious creed (Wahabism) that

            - believes women are chattel, homosexuals should be killed, etc.
            - believes that the Koran is the only source of any worthwhile laws
            - will cheerfully kill you because you disagree

            Let's see.. a couple of edits here:

            s/chattel/second-class citizens/

            s/killed/discriminated against or beaten/

            s/Koran/Bible/

            s/kill/shout you down and work to make laws to limit your freedoms/

            Now it reads:

            - believes women are second-class citizens, homosexuals should be discriminated against or beaten, etc.
            - believes that the Bible is the only source of any worthwhile laws
            - will cheerfully shout you down and work to make laws to limit your freedoms you because you disagree

            Sounds a lot like modern American Evangelical Christians. Only the degree in which they want to "punish" the "infidels" is different.

            ...though, I believe if they thought they could get away with it, most Evangelical Christians wouldn't mind killing homosexuals and those that disagree with them.

            "Operation Rescue"-types have already crossed THAT line. Eric Rudolph anyone?

            Stop the fearmongering. There will ALWAYS be someone on this planet that wants to kill you for who you are. Tribalism is ingrained in our DNA. The solution to that is not to change your way of life... it's to work to change the OTHER bastards' way of life. I have no problem with killing Wahabist terrorists who want to kill us. I have a MAJOR problem with devaluing what it means to be an American to accomplish this. If we devalue our Bill of Rights, then what the hell our we fighting for anyway?

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:52PM (#17021036) Homepage

      Yes, exactly right. The Bill of Rights is less touchy-feely than most people think. Speech, arms, freedom for forcing soldiers into your home, freedom from unreasonable search and seizures, fair trials, nor cruel or unusual punishment, etc. These are to constrain the ability of the government to quell a just revolution.

      If we want freedom for ourselves, we must preserve the right of others to say things we disagree with.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by yankpop (931224)

      This is a bit of American civic theory that I've never understood. You claim that free speech and the right to bear arms are necessary to enable you to violently overthrow your government. But doesn't violently overthrowing your government also fall under the definition of treason and/or terrorism? How do you tell the difference?

      It's an honest question. I'm not American, and this has never made sense to me. That may also be partly due to the fact that it often seems that the people most vocal in defense o

  • What's that BS... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by creimer (824291) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:42PM (#17020776) Homepage
    If politicians are so hot on reducing free speech to fight terrorism, they should be voted out of office and be denied unemployment benefits (i.e., lobbying and speaking).
  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:43PM (#17020810) Homepage Journal
    Gingrich should be legally prevented from saying such dumb things.
  • by dcw3 (649211) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:45PM (#17020876) Journal
    Ok, as a lifelong conservative, I find the thought of limiting anyones freedom of speech morally offensive (note the sarcasm in my subject line). Unless it's yelling fire in a theater (or similar action), or conspiracy to commit a crime, freedom of speech should never be inhibited publically. I didn't RTFA, but Newt is off his rocker on this one (and a few others), though I'll defend his right to speak his mind.
  • FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maelstrom (638) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:52PM (#17021048) Homepage Journal
    So you don't know what he actually said, but you're going to post an article on a tech oriented site lambasting it.... That's responsible of you.
  • Hold on a minute (Score:5, Informative)

    by andytrevino (943397) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:01PM (#17021240) Homepage

    As usual, there is more than meets the eye, especially when the original article is from the "Union Leader"..

    From a fairly robust article in the Boston Globe [boston.com] I dug up with a quick Google News search for "Gingrich":




    MANCHESTER, N.H. --Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday that First Amendment rights need to be expanded and cited the elimination of McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms as one solution.

    ... (later in the article)

    Noting the thwarted London terrorist attacks this summer, Gingrich said there should be a Geneva Convention for such actions that makes those people subject to "a totally different set of rules."



    From this Globe article (hardly a conservative-friendly paper) it appears Gingrich's "totally different set of rules" has not to do with freedom of speech, but with the Geneva Convention as applied to terrorists, which is a whole 'nother bag of worms in and of itself; however, the question remains as to how the OP managed to spin what seem to be two separate points into one decidedly negative message.

    Does anyone have the actual transcript of his speech there so we can figure out who's full of BS and who's not? Think about it -- if the man is even THINKING of running for President in '08, he certainly isn't going to get elected if he runs on a platform of RESTRICTING basic freedom of speech.

  • Relevant Quote (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrCopilot (871878) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:02PM (#17021284) Homepage Journal
    Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
    John Adams

    I nominate Newt as democracy's first victim.

  • by VidEdit (703021) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:05PM (#17021342)
    I'm still stunned that the conservative movement, which used to claim to champion smaller government and strict constitutional readings, has turned into a champion of authoritarian governmental control. The Bill of Rights is key to the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and these rights were ironed out by leaders who just emerged victorious from a civil war. They understood war and its dangers but more importantly they understood the danger of tyranny, and so the very first right in the Bill of Rights is the right to free speech. To try and claim that now we must suspend this fundamental right because of "war" is to go against the very underpinnings of this country's foundation and sets the stage for increasing authoritarianism by the US Government.
  • by jbeaupre (752124) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:05PM (#17021344)
    I honestly hope we don't enact restrictions like Europe (and elsewhere) http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-02-26-euro pe-free-speech_x.htm [usatoday.com].

    "If the Constitution doesn't protect scum like me, it doesn't protect anybody."---Larry Flint.
  • by niola (74324) <jon@niola.net> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:07PM (#17021376) Homepage
    We have military tribunals that usurp Habeas Corpus.

    We have warrantless wiretaps and searches that basically ignore the Fourth Amendmant.

    Now some want to curb free speech.

    At some point you have to ask yourself what are we fighting for?

    There was a time when our steadfast will to uphold the US Constitution gave us somewhat of a moral compass that differentiate us from our foes.

    Now we are basically eroding the very document that made the US a great nation.

    The very purpose of terrorism is NOT to kill. That is a means to an desired end result.

    Here is a common definition of terrorism:

    the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimindation or coercion or instilling fear

    By us disregarding the Constitution we are giving the terrorists what they want.

    The terrorists are winning because the governments of the western world are GIVING THEM WHAT THEY WANT.

    And don't think for a second some of this is not for the benefit of the mega-multinational corporations either.

    This is facism at it's purest. Welcome to the 21st century. I hope you enjoy your coup that George W Bush et al engineered.
  • Quotes (Score:3, Informative)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:12PM (#17021462) Homepage
    Google News lists a dozen newspapers that are running this story, but they all site this one story as the source. I look forward to hearing more details. Although perhaps, if he really did say something this stupid, we may not hear from him much more.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BCW2 (168187)
      Sounds more like someone from the left is starting the standard "out of context" smear campaign. They know he might run for President next time and are trying to eliminate him before he starts. Both sides do it and there is very little truth in any of it. Like everything else in politics, accuracy and honesty are not required.
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:17PM (#17021592)
    It makes some sense, as a culture, to ask ourselves what sort of speech we find reasonable. That's not to be confused with what's allowed - since that's nonsense, both practically and idealogically. Of course, that hasn't stopped the political correctness crowd from attempting to move beyond condemnation and into actual banning of certain phrases - but generally only in the tiny little fiefdoms where they reign, like at schools, or county councils.

    But I've got no problem with having a loud enough discussion on this sort of subject, in a broad enough context, that we arrive at a slightly altered popular notion of whether it's culturally acceptable for people to rant along certain lines. For example, we quite delightfully shout down the idiot neo-Nazis and KKK-types when they decide to hold one of their special-ed style marches through some poor picked-upon town that has no choice but to issue them a parade permit. By all means, they should have the permit, and off they go. And a counter-demonstration shouldn't be allowed to occupy a street to protest them, or shut down traffic to hang things up (unless they've got their own permit to occupy said intersection). But that doesn't mean we can't just shame them into cultural oblivion, and in most towns where such things have happened, the klansgoons end up looking like the twits they are - with no speech bans necessary. Such movements arise by being given enough social comfort to exist, and they can be squashed by being starved of the same.

    Obviously, the context here is seen in the whipping up of zealots and jihaddis, and the inflammatory wackiness that fuels that mindset and the resulting carnage. Not counting direct incitement to riot or outright criminal conspiracy (which aren't and never have been protected speech), the challenge is to expose the clowns who spew this stuff, and do so in a context that shows what loons they are. If, as is so often claimed, there is a vast, silent majority of non-crazy Muslims, then the job is (since the inciters have no shame) to shame the quiet ones into mopping up their own fringe loons. This isn't done by limiting speech, it's done by showcasing it and calling it what it is. In other words, we can leave the constitution alone and still, as a culture, act to cast a harsher and less forgiving light on the mysoginists and the religious crazies that would prefer the calendar read '11/28/1006'.

    I guess it just seems odd that some soccer mom would feel rude telling a jihaddist recruiter that what he preaches to impressionable young men is toxic, malicious buffoonery, but that same mom would have no problem chastising their neighbor's kid for saying something disparaging about the (to them) comic-book-villain-looking Imam whose weekly sermon is actually entitled "Democracy Is Unislamic," with a breakout session on "Death To America."

    Yes, yes, mod me down. But you know this doesn't have anything to do with Newt Gingrich or freedom. It's about what we proclaim - through our silence - to be acceptable within the context of western democracy. The Germans over-reacted and made certain utterances illegal - but making the utterers feel like fools is far more effective in the long term. Rebellion against a law gets passed down through families (see Ireland), but kids embarassed by their dad's medieval rantings tend to be the last branch of the family to repeat them. Or act on them.
  • by drDugan (219551) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:23PM (#17021750) Homepage
    Sorry to say folks, but the ideals that created America were pure and just, and they have run their course.

    What I mean by this is not that we should give up on those ideals, rather, they simply won't work any more in the land mass and 300 Million strong group of people we now call the U.S.A. The ideals need to be there even more than ever before.

    In fact, we need to restart, and re-assert with utmost clarity the freedoms that allow humanity to flourish. We need to have another continental congress (of sorts) and begin the process of building smaller groups that support human freedoms from the tyranny that Newt represents.

    Statements like those by Newt are sad by not unexpected. Rome failed too, and so will the USA, for similar reasons. In Newt's world, he CAN NOT SEE how people can be truly free and actually realize the real freedoms encoded in the constitution while simultaneously maintaining the system of controls needed for the USA to function the way it does now.

    The challenge is different now than it was in the mid 1770s. People have lots more guns, a lot less land to move into, a more technology for those in power to maintain control. Yet - it has to happen, and it will, even if only virtually. People need to reassert the freedoms that we agree upon, and structure the society we live in to maintain those freedoms.
    The USA no longer does.

    I don't see any Democrats stepping up to repeal the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act. I don't see them stepping up to reduce the abuses of the executive branch. They won't, because they can't. Pelosi will block impeachment. Dems benefit from more powerful government as most of them are career politicos just like the Republicans. The USA version of Left/Right in politics is a false dichotomy supported for power by the right and unable to be opened/changed by the dis-united left.

  • Newt (Score:3, Informative)

    by keller95971 (956226) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:35PM (#17022056)
    Several points: I have read the transcipt. Newt never said that free speech should be curtailed. Indeed, he said it should be expanded. But what's accuracy between a few friends? It should be pointed that the few attempts at LEGISLATION that would curtail free speech was sponsored by Democrats. It is also worth noting that the PMRC was the brainchild of Tipper Gore and that the panel was packed with Democrats. The two Repulicans on the panel, not any of the Democrats, were the ones who called the opponents of free speech restrictions as witnesses. A lot of folks forget that it was Edwin Meese, the Attorney General at the time and a Republican, wrote a legal opinion opposing the proposed PMRC legislation. He said parents were the bets people to decide whether children should be listening to Frank Zappa or whomever. Next, people like to whine about the suspension of habeas corpus and about warrantless searches, like George Bush invented these things or in responsible for them. Suspension of habeas corpus for prisoners of war has been the standard for nearly 65 years in the United States. In fact, President Lincoln utilized it during wartime. Also, before moving forward on it, President Bush consulted congress, or as I like to call them elected representatives of the people, and had its full support, included the democrats. Meanwhile, there is a legal standard for searches without warrants. Indeed, it's provided for in the U.S. Constitution, and the Bush administration followed the standard required by the court.
    • Re:Newt (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DM9290 (797337) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:40PM (#17023392) Journal
      "Next, people like to whine about the suspension of habeas corpus and about warrantless searches, like George Bush invented these things or in responsible for them. Suspension of habeas corpus for prisoners of war has been the standard for nearly 65 years in the United States. "

      1: Prisoners of War? Since when was George Bush talking about Prisoners of War?

      He are suspending habeas corpus for non POWs. people who Bush claims are in legal limbo with no rights and no status whatsoever. mere chattle of the US military. Conveniently labelled "detainee".

      "Also, before moving forward on it, President Bush consulted congress, or as I like to call them elected representatives of the people, and had its full support, included the democrats."

      I'm sure you like to call them "representatives of the people". It kind of makes them sound legitimate doesn't it. snicker.
      But come secret congressional comittee consisting of Dick Cheney and a few congressmen sworn to secrecy which does not include all of congress is NOT the same thing as consulting congress. Moreover congress does not approve or disapprove of anything except via passing LAW. It is not the executive branch.

      Was a law passed which authorized warantless searches? NO. Congress does not offer support of things in real time. (not without violating the seperation of powers). It passes laws. Those laws are then carried out by the Executive, and overseen by the judicial branch which is the sole final arbiter for the meaning of the words of the law. It is the written word which counts. not backroom deals, winks, nods and handshakes.

      As to the presence of democrats in congress.. Who cares? The democrats and the republicans are the same political party. There is no significant difference of opinion on almost any issues. Citing democrats as justification for the republican's wrongdoings is as fallacious as when the democrats point the finger at republicans to justify theirs. The entire system is corrupt. And both parties merely take turns screwing the people for private gain.

      "Meanwhile, there is a legal standard for searches without warrants. "

      yes. exigent circumstances. And there weren't any exigent circumstances here. There were plenty of chances to get a warrant.

      "...and the Bush administration followed the standard required by the court." bull shit. which court case made such a finding?

  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:05PM (#17023870) Homepage Journal
    ``Gingrich said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.''

    I have to wonder why Gingrich is so afraid of free speech. If the "terrorists" are using it to get out their message and recruit people, perhaps this says something about their cause and the state of the world? Apparently, the message is, somehow, convincing. What is the message? Why are people so angry that they become terrorists? Perhaps _that's_ what we should be looking at. I have the feeling that doing so might improve things for us and for the people who are now being recruited by the terrorists, making the recruiters less successful, and us safer.

    Five years ago, saying this provoked angry reactions and accusations of siding with the terrorists. Let's see what happens in 2006, after years of war, erosion of rights, lies, and public outrage.
  • by starX (306011) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:43PM (#17024580) Homepage
    Freedom of speech is one of the core principles upon which this country is founded, and in this post 9-11/Internet/Pentagon Papers/McCarthyism/American Century era, a re-examination of those principles is perhaps exactly what this country needs. Let us examine such highfalutin ideals like freedom of speech, expression, religion, and the press that our founding fathers saw fit to make the foundation of jurisprudence in this country in light of enemies who really DO hate freedom. How much do we want to become like our enemies in order to be safe from them? Do we need to become like them at all? Is it possible to survive as a nation clinging to principles that are two centuries old? Is it possible for us to survive if we forsake them?

    It's definitely time to have this conversation, because we have already given up so much in the name of making ourselves more secure. And while we're at it, let's have this conversation with the Republican party, which is purportedly in favor of tax cuts, smaller government involvement in daily lives, greater personal freedom, and greater personal responsibility. While we're asking the American people if we want to go so horribly wrong, let us ask the Republicans how they have gone so far astray from the core values of the Party of Lincoln.
  • incompetence (Score:4, Insightful)

    by idlake (850372) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:49PM (#17025848)
    Gingrich is the same kind of politician that asserted that waging war on Iraq would make us safer, when, in fact, it has done the opposite. And now, he is making similarly wild assertions about how restricting free speech would make us safer.

    The problem here is not any difficulty of dealing with terrorism, the problem is that Gingrich and politicians like him are completely and utterly incompetent.

    Tragic as it is, an instance of 3000 deaths does not warrant throwing away our democracy or spending billions of dollars on ill-conceived wars; we have tens of thousands of preventable deaths from the flu and from traffic accidents each every year.

    And maybe Gingrich didn't notice, but we did lose a city recently. That loss would have been completely preventable if people like Gingrich had done their job. And it would have been preventable at a fraction of the cost of the current anti-terrorism measures and without destroying our democracy.

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"

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